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Hidden in Plain Sight: The NAR Agenda of ‘The Response SC’

On Saturday, June 13, thousands of Christians are expected to gather at a coliseum in South Carolina for a prayer rally called “The Response SC.” Many seem unaware that this event is about much more than simply praying and fasting on behalf of the nation. It’s organized by leaders of the controversial New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement and has–as a pivotal part its agenda–a revolution of church and civil government led by NAR apostles and prophets.

First some background: This will be the third Response event to date. The first Response was held in Houston in 2011, and featured Texas governor Rick Perry. The second was held in Baton Rouge earlier this year, and featured Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. Saturday’s event will feature both Gov. Jindal (who is expected to run for president) and South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley. The Response is hosted by a Christian group called the American Renewal Project.

NAR leaders who have played prominent roles in organizing the Response events include NAR apostle Doug Stringer, of Somebody Cares International; NAR prophet Lou Engle, of TheCall; and senior staff members of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri–a NAR organization.

So how has the radical NAR agenda of the Response gone largely unnoticed? Many people seem to just accept what the event’s promotional materials say, without digging any deeper. For example, according to the Response website, Saturday’s event will not be affiliated with any particular ministry or denomination, and will not promote anybody’s personal agenda. It states:

The only thing we will be promoting is the Church taking responsibility for the condition of the land, in humility and repentance following Joel 2 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.

That sounds innocuous. But, despite disclaimers to the contrary, a NAR agenda is being promoted–an agenda for NAR apostles to take over governance of the church. In other words, while it’s true that the event isn’t promoting any particular denomination, it is promoting a divisive and sectarian religious movement. To see what I mean, check out the Daily Prayer Guide–e-mailed to supporters prior to the event. The guide for Week 3, Day 17 (which is also posted on the website) is titled “A Call to Declaration: Godly Church & Civil Government.” It opens with a description of prophetic decrees that have been made about South Carolina by leading NAR prophets and teachers Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets–decrees about church and civil government. It says:

Several years ago, Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets came to South Carolina and decreed a shift and realignment in the church government and then the civil government, in that order.
They said these realignments will be recovenanted with God’s purpose so that South Carolina can influence the entire nation. It was also said that wealth will be released that will affect the whole nation and not be hoarded by some in the South Carolina government.

People unfamiliar with the NAR teaching known as “fivefold ministry” could not know that the references to a “shift” and “realignment” in church government are actually references to an overthrow of the current church governments led by pastors and elders and the rise of a new NAR church government led by apostles and prophets. But that’s exactly what’s in view. This is made clear in the same prayer guide just two paragraphs later, where it specifically identifies the fivefold ministry teaching, which NAR leaders claim is supported by Ephesians 4:11-13:

It is God’s will to keep His church government, i.e. the fivefold ministry from Ephesians 4, in place and to have His hand-picked civil leadership in place at all times.

Read the guide for yourself to see the multiple statements alluding to the necessity of apostolic government, including a statement urging individuals to “Repent and receive God’s forgiveness for walking outside of God’s established government and leadership both within the church and within society.” Pause and think about that last statement. In other words, failure to submit to apostle-led church government is a sin requiring repentance. Some of the statements even seem to suggest that apostolic government should extend its rule beyond the church to civil government.

Does this sound like an event without an agenda?



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9 Responses to “Hidden in Plain Sight: The NAR Agenda of ‘The Response SC’”

  1. John Says:

    God bless you, sister. Great work.

  2. TM Says:

    I have really appreciated your research on the NAR movement being that it has given me insight on the agenda and leaders of  this movement. When I  was reading about this event earlier, I could find no ties to NAR; It seemed more of a secular political motive.

    The fact that NAR movenent is operating under this cover of deception and not willing to call their end game agenda out loud and in full disclosure, is what concerns me the most. I as well, thank you for being a voice and hand to shine light on this movement. Fellow brothers snd sister we must show discernment and folowing the berean example given us in scripure.

  3. Lance Wonders Says:

    Please double-check your sources.  While IHOP overlaps into some of NAR theology — but not all! — it is not officially networked into or under NAR leadership.  Many charismatics are “ecumenical” within the apostles and prophets movement in general, but reject the hierarchical and overly organized and overly authoritarian approach of Wagner and Pierce…and also reject their triumphalism, Finally — and this is key — Mike Bickle is a pre-millennialist, not a post-millennialist.  His eschatology is about 80% similar to that of George Eldon Ladd (though he is much more pro-Israel than Ladd was).

  4. Tracey Says:

    Hi Holly

    I appreciate your work on the NAR. I too had a question about IHOPKC. As I understand it, Mike Bickle has specifically said IHOPKC is not affiliated with the NAR and does not align with any of the apostolic networks. He is also definitely not a partial preterist as are many in the apostolic movement. By what criteria are you determining their membership?

    I am aware that IHOP does believe in the restoration of the prophetic gift and ministry, but they do not seem to adhere to the authority of the prophetic and apostolic offices as is found in the NAR. 

    Do you consider IHOP’s teachings Dominionist and if so why?

    Many any of my friends follow Mike Bickle, so I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

  5. Kathryn Says:

    To Tracey  If you are searching for truth and truth related to the apostolic/prophetic moves or NAR, then reading Holly’s books is a great place to find it.  Maybe you have read them, and, if you had, you will notice Mike Bickle is mentioned several times and also his beliefs about the end times, e.g. releasing judgments on unbelievers, great end time move of miracles etc.  This is all covered well in A New Apostolic Reformation which is the longer of the two books. Mike Bickle was a member of the ACPE (a large group of apostolic/prophetic leaders convened by Wagner) in 2003.  It may be worth your while to check out the ACPE and see who’s who and what apostolic responsibilities they assume. God bless you on your search!

  6. Kathryn Says:

    To Tracey

    As you look for truth regarding the NAR, you have come to the right place.  In Holly’s longer book-A New Apostolic Reformation, you will find a discussion of end time judgments being loosed and also the miracle working army being raised up, specifically, in relation to Mike Bickle/IHOP and in context with the manifested sons of God doctrine.  If you have yet to read Holly’s book, then it would be a great read.  She has done in depth research and backs up what she says.  Another thought related to Mike Bickle and the NAR-he was on the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders in 2003, a large group of apostles and prophets in leadership convened by Wagner.  Why was he included and what are the apostolic responsibilites of the group?  Those would be my questions.

    God Bless you in your search for truth!

  7. Lance Wonders Says:

    We need to avoid guilt-by-association references.  The Pharisees were wrong about Jesus when they considered Him a “sinner” because He spent time with tax-collectors and prostitutes, ministering to them for godly reasons.  Likewise He “made room” for Judas — as an apostle, no less — even though Judas proved to be a “bad apple”.

    Our own school, ACTS International Bible College in Blaine, MN, was a founding member of Peter Wagner’s educational network (the ACEA), back before Wagner’s “drift” away from Third Wave Evangelicalism (think Wayne Grudem) and on into Bill Hamon’s neo-Latter-Rain-ism became a fete accompli.  When it did, we left the ACEA in 2007 (after making attempts to challenge the newer theology and practices “from within” first).  Our own theology, however, is definitely NOT “Latter Rain” or Dominionist — and it would be unrighteous were anyone to accuse us of that orientation, simply because of our past connections to Wagner.

    I’m not totally sure if the same thing applies to Mike Bickle and IHOP — but I know that Michael Brown is a Jewish Pentecostal author with close ties IN THE PAST with Lou Engle, but Michael agrees with much (NOT ALL!!!) of John MacArthur’s criticisms of the extremes that NAR has been guilty of promoting, especially in the last 15 years.  But anyone claiming that Michael Brown is “NAR” would be gravely mistaken: he has friends in that camp, but that camp is mistaken, not “evil” in its intentions!

    J.C. Ryle, an evangelical Anglican bishop, wrote in 1879 in his book “Coming Events & Present Duties” that he had many friends who simply did not see, or embrace, the return of the Jews as God’s promise for the Hoy Land in the end-times, nor a literal 1000 years reign of Christ upcoming on the earth.  Yet, because they embraced the same Savior and work of the Cross as he did, he remained in genuine unity with them (while also striving, of course, to change their minds on the other two matters!!!)  In my view, that should be the spirit in which we handle NAR “opponents”: as mistaken colleagues in the Body of Christ, who love our Savior and embrace His finished work at the Cross.  We therefore seek to do our “correcting” as BROTHERS and SISTERS in the Lord, not treat them as if they are proponents of s different religion altogether.  They are not “Arians” nor Jehovah’s Witnesses: they are “off” on their ecclesiology and eschatology, but otherwise are genuine believers, with us, in the Lord.

  8. Jerry Herrera Says:

    What makes “Spirit Of Error” CREDIBLE?
    And what makes this website expert in how the HOLY SPIRIT works?
    I’m waiting.

  9. Lance Wonders Says:

    NAR makes clear its views on a number of topics — Chuck Pierce, for instance, has published a long list of what his own organization believes. Among the main convictions of most modern-day apostles and prophets is that we can and will “transform the nations” by means of a worldwide revival, in spite of Jesus’ and Paul’s and John’s canonical warnings to the contrary. When we pray and fast for “restoration” for a nation like the U.S., then, what are we praying for, if the lead in the praying is being handled by NAR? Are we seeking to bring the Gospel to the unknowing, or repenting of known corporate and individual sin — or pushing to create a launching-pad for promoting a global “awakening” that some think will bring in the Kingdom of God? These are not minor concerns: people have a right to know what theology stands behind any “rally” they give their time and money to. Basically, all Holly is seeking to do is give information to people to “see for themselves”, so as not to be blindsided otherwise.

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