< Browse > Home / Bill Johnson/Bethel Church, Cal Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, Jane Hansen Hoyt, Kris Vallotton, Lou Engle, Mike Bickle, Randy Clark, Rick Joyner, Seven Mountain Mandate / Blog article: Protect your church from the NAR: adopt a position paper

Protect your church from the NAR: adopt a position paper

church-and-crossI was contacted by the pastor of a church, requesting help with drafting a position paper against the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). This church, like so many others, had experienced disunity and decline due to the introduction of NAR teachings. Now that the church is moving forward in a healthy direction, he and the elder team felt that adopting a formal position paper would clarify the church’s stance on the NAR and ensure that NAR teachings don’t rear their destructive effects again in the future.

I’m heartened to see church leaders take such a firm stand against the NAR in a time when the theological convictions of many other churches have waned. Would that other churches follow suit in disassociating themselves from these aberrant teachings.

To that end, I’ve shared the boiler plate position paper I wrote. I make it available below for other churches and Christian organizations to consider adopting for their own use. If you are a pastor or serve in another position of church leadership, consider bringing this paper before your leadership team for discussion, fine-tuning if necessary, approval, and adoption.

A Statement on the New Apostolic Reformation

This statement has been established by [insert name of your church] in response to the growing concerns about the teachings and practices of the New Apostolic Reformation movement, also known as the “apostolic-prophetic movement” and the “apostles and prophets movement.” The original document upon which this position paper was based came from that posted on Spirit of Error’s website (http://www.spiritoferror.org) and has been modified for our church’s specific use to address the issues in our midst.

 Part 1


The New Apostolic Reformation is a rapidly growing movement of individuals, churches, and organizations that share belief in present-day prophets and apostles who govern the church and reveal new truths that all Christians need to release miraculous power on earth and to advance God’s kingdom. Leaders in this movement teach that New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) prophets and apostles share similar authority and functions with the Old Testament prophets and Christ’s apostles. These beliefs contrast sharply with those of the majority of Protestant Christians, who believe there are no prophets or apostles today who possess the same level of authority as the biblical prophets and apostles. Closely associated with the NAR movement are teachings and practices such as strategic-level spiritual warfare; spiritual mapping; prayerwalking; corporate fasting initiatives; the Seven Mountain Mandate; prophetic evangelism (including “Treasure Hunting”); “Sozo ministry”; classes teaching people how to work miracles (such as prophesying and healing people); and the establishment of supernatural schools of ministry, healing rooms and 24/7 prayer rooms.[1]

The NAR is experiencing explosive growth in the Global South—Africa, Asia, and Latin America—and is also fast growing in the United States. Since the NAR is a movement, and not a formal organization, there is no official list of leaders or organizations. Some of the most influential U.S. leaders include Bill Johnson (Bethel Church in Redding, California), Kris Vallotton (Bethel Church in Redding, California), Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri), Lou Engle (The Call), Cindy Jacobs (Generals International), Dutch Sheets (Dutch Sheets Ministries), Rick Joyner (MorningStar Ministries In Fort Mill, South Carolina), Randy Clark (Global Awakening), Jane Hansen Hoyt (Aglow International), and Cal Pierce (Healing Rooms Ministries). In addition to these NAR leaders who are well-known nationally, many other apostles and prophets are known regionally, in specific cities and states, where they directly govern churches or are invited into churches to teach, prophesy, and recruit participants for various NAR outreaches and initiatives.

Some people have linked the NAR with charismatics or classical Pentecostals. NAR teachings, however, are entirely different. While NAR leaders do promote charismatic and classical Pentecostal teachings about the miraculous gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12—including the gifts of prophesying, healing, and speaking in tongues—they go far beyond promoting these as gifts; they also promote the present-day governing offices of prophet and apostle. These are formal church offices, like the offices held by pastors and elders. However, NAR apostles and prophets claim to possess much greater authority than pastors and elders. This is because pastors and elders must submit to the apostles and prophets since they are divinely authorized spokespersons for God. Also, pastors and elders govern within a single church. But NAR apostles and prophets may govern multiple churches at once. And, in many cases, the authority of these apostles and prophets extends beyond churches to workplaces, cities, and nations. Thus, NAR prophets and apostles claim to wield extraordinary authority with insufficient accountability. These claims have opened doors to abusive leadership and the promotion of harmful and aberrant teachings that have caused spiritual harm to countless individuals. They’ve brought division and disunity to many families and churches.

 Part 2


1.) We reject the teaching that present-day apostles and prophets must hold specially recognized official positions in church government.

Scripture gives no indication that today’s apostles and prophets hold formal, governmental offices. The three key Scriptures that NAR leaders frequently cite—Ephesians 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and 1 Corinthians 12:28—do not support present-day offices or say anything about governing offices at all. Other than the apostles of Christ, who held an exclusive, temporal office in the early church, the only two church offices clearly identifiable in the New Testament are elders and deacons (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).

There are at least three indications in Scripture that the governing office of apostle was temporary. First, the twelve apostles had a unique role as companions of Jesus and eyewitnesses of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:39-41). With their passing, there would be no more living eyewitnesses with such authority, at liberty to add records of Jesus’ life and teachings. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas after Judas betrayed Jesus and killed himself (Acts 1:15-27). But after the circle of apostles was completed with Matthias, no attempt was made to replace any of the Twelve after their deaths. This closes the door on the emergence of additional apostles who would claim to share in their unique role as Christ’s authorized eyewitnesses.

Second, Paul—who had a unique commission to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16)—reasoned that he was the final apostle. For him, receiving a personal appearance from the resurrected Christ was a requirement for being a late-arriving apostle (1 Cor. 9:1). Since he was the last person to be appeared to by the resurrected Lord, he was the last to qualify for apostleship (1 Cor. 15:8).

Third, Scripture gives no instructions for appointing future apostles, and no indication that any should be recognized following the deaths of the apostles of Christ. But it does provide instructions for the appointment of elders and deacons (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). If God intended for apostles to govern the church in the next and every later generation, as NAR leaders claim, then surely the authors of Scripture would have made this clear.

Though others are identified as apostles in the New Testament and had important functions—including Barnabas (Acts 13:2-3; 14:4, 14; 1 Cor. 9:6), Andronicus, and Junia (Romans 16:7), and possibly others—they did not exercise the same level of authority as the Twelve and Paul.

Contrary to NAR teachings about prophets, there is no evidence that New Testament prophets held governing offices in the early churches. There are no examples of the appointment of prophets, nor are instructions given for appointing prophets to office. Given the Bible’s silence on the topic, it’s likely that the prophets spoken of in the New Testament did not govern. Therefore, there is no scriptural support for a present-day office of prophet.

  • We affirm that the Bible testifies to Elders (referred to variously as “Overseers,” “Elders,” “Shepherds,” and “Pastors”) and to Deacons as the two offices explicitly mentioned in Scripture for church governance.

2.) We reject the teaching that present-day prophets and apostles are revealing to the church “new truths,” also sometimes referred to by other terms, including “present truth,” “present-day truth,” and “strategies.”

Prophets and apostles today do not reveal new truths—that is, they do not reveal new teachings or practices that are essential for the church to fulfill God’s will on earth and to advance His kingdom. Some of the new truths that have been revealed by NAR prophets and apostles include the need for the church to participate in specific corporate fasts or prayerwalks, and to launch 24/7 prayer rooms. Yet all teachings and practices that are essential for the health and success of the church can be found in Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Once the truths of the Christian faith were preserved in Scripture, Christians weren’t to expect new truths from future prophets or apostles. Rather, they were supposed to safeguard the truths that had already been revealed—once and for all (Jude 3).  The apostle Paul urged his pupil Timothy to take the teachings he had learned from Paul—the apostolic teachings—and “entrust [them] to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Notice that Paul didn’t tell Timothy to look for new truths from prophets or future apostles. He instructed them to recall truths already revealed through the apostles of Christ. There is no biblical support for the NAR teaching that contemporary prophets and apostles can reveal new truths.

  • We affirm that the Bible—consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments—is the church’s supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. As such, we affirm its primary role in establishing the belief, practice, and mission of the church—both universally and locally.

Because of these significant theological disagreements, it is the position of the leadership at [insert name of your church] that we cannot support, endorse, recommend, introduce, or follow the positions or teachings associated with the NAR movement. Furthermore, we will not support the use of books, Bible studies, small group studies, sermons, conferences, music, or speakers utilizing sources with direct or indirect ties to the NAR movement.

[1] For a detailed examination and evaluation of the New Apostolic Reformation’s teachings, see R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec, A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement (Wooster, OH: Weaver Book Company 2014).


Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

  • No Related Post
Follow Discussion

14 Responses to “Protect your church from the NAR: adopt a position paper”

  1. Bruce Cooper Says:

    Outstanding Holly and I am delighted that this action on your part has been put forward as an option. I have taken the liberty of reproducing your narrative and linked it directly back to your site.

  2. Michele Says:

    I was searching the internet and stumbled upon your site and have a question.  Through this movement, are souls being won?  Are miracles taking place?  If so, I think this should be what is most important.  

    I would be nervous to denounce any movement that is winning lost souls. 

    This is just my opinion. I am not very familiar with this organization; however, I do know the best test is to try the spirit by the spirit and if fruit is being produced, I think we should be careful before saying what is and what is not of God. 

    There are many interpretations of the Bible, hence, the many denominations of this world. However, I believe we should be able to agree to disagree.  My belief is the Father made us all as unique as our DNA and our fingerprints. Therefore, in my opinion, there will be difference avenues to win souls based upon the uniqueness of individuals. 

    My position is if it is working to save the lost and fruit is being produced, we should be careful in creating another movement to denounce a movement. 

  3. Pam Campisi Says:

    Is there a way to have this Protect Your Church from the NAR position paper sent to my email? I do not have the capability to print and this is something I want to share with my brother in law (Pastor) as we are seeing such a move of this falseness here in the greater cleveland area of Ohio. If possible can you forward this to me via email .
    thank you 

  4. Holly Says:

    Yes, Pam. I just sent you an e-mail message with the document.

  5. James Macrory Says:

    When I was a young man I had the pleasure of picking up a Pastor from Romania.  This man planted over several thousand churches during a time when there was persecution.

    Later we had in our network of churches where several Pastors went to China and were prophesying to the Church elders they were called Uncles.

    While there the power of the Holy Spirit came in great power.  It had nothing to do with the NRA.  Well as the meetings continued the Pastors name in the first paragraph came up.  The one from Romania.  The Church in China said owe the Pastor from Romania has planted 10,000 churches he is a great Apostle.

    I would say anyone who claims new truths are in Error.  I would say dont worry about the title or work Jesus as the Head choses to use a member of the body.  Jealosy or Envy or even insecurity can be found in the hearts of so many Pastors.

    I appreciate your protection of your church, but they belong to Jesus.  24/7 prayer is a ministry tool just like Pastor you have sunday school probably on Sunday and maybe Wednesday.

    I had a season in my life where I prayed with young people 4 days a week for 1-4 hours for an entire year.  It was one of the most powerful seasons of my life.  Looking back on the fruit of that ministry time the students who went through that year are still going strong years later!

    Be careful to guard yoyr heart.  The more intimacy we have with Jesus the less we try to control others.

    Gods Word teaches that if we draw near to Jesus, He will draw near to us.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.

  6. Bonnie Adams Says:

    Thank you for posting your excellent research.  I am involved with a wonderful state and national prayer team (House of Prayer, Daniel’s Tent) that seems to be saturated with NAR and prophetic voodoo.  I had not heard of Chuck Pierce or Dutch Sheets until the email updates posted their vague predictions about shaking and flooding, etc.  I can predict there will be an earthquake or flood somewhere on the planet tomorrow.  I can predict  the sun will rise tomorrow.  Neither prediction makes me a prophet.

  7. Richard Wheeler Says:

    Thank you for the work you put into this.

    1. I am adapting the text to share with friends and on my blog. Since you only give permission for churches to use it, it seems only right to ask for permission for wider usage. I will prominently include the links and due credit to you, along with a statement that I have made significant changes.

    2. 24/7 prayer rooms sounds pretty innocuous, in fact, commendable. Has the NAR found a way to twist that into an error?

    3. Todd Friel has said (if I understood correctly) that preachers in Word of Faith and NAR demote Christ and elevate man. They deny the hypostatic union and exceed the meaning of kenosis by saying Jesus gave up His elevated divine nature. They elevate man (“little gods”) by teaching that we all inherit the divine nature and abilities. This is a far greater error than those identified in your statement, and if true, deserve a place in it.

  8. Doreen Poole Says:

    Thank you for this article – for your web page. I was apart of this movement – I am a true Bible student and check every scripture. We were not long in the NAR church before we saw the change happen. It was a good bible believing church but a change took place. No repentance but much emphasis on worship. No opening prayer. The words of the songs seemed strange but good tunes then the scriptures did not match up. Every thing was taken out of context. We left one Sunday and never went back. My husband and I joined a Baptist church and love hearing the word.

    I visit a church in Florida where my best friend and prayer partner lives. There was something wrong with the service. A woman was a guest speaker and the new doctrine she preached was not scriptural. This was not how my friends church usually believed. After two years the church completely changed. My friend had to leave. Good meaning pastors are being eaten alive with this new doctrine (will nothing is new under the sun). Church growth is most important to them and not the souls of man. The Passion bible is so wrong – I downloaded a copy to help my friend when she told me about the scriptures. Dominion theory, one leader for many churches giving the directions for the next sermon, an apostle as head not Christ, etc. I came out of the New Age 35 years ago and this is just another way to introduce deception. This is why I study so much – I don’t want to get trapped again. Thank you

    Doreen Poole

  9. pam campisi Says:

    we so need to be able to stand firm in soundness of doctrine and the word of God. So many being led astray. So thankful that God revealed how I was being impacted by false doctrine and drew be back to Himself. As I ponder I wonder if this is the great Apostasy mentioned in scripture, deceiving many.

  10. Tom Says:

    Hello Holly,
    could you please e-mail me the position paper as well?
    Thank you!

  11. Holly Says:

    Tom, I sent it to you.

  12. Cris Says:

    Hello Holly,

    I started seeing changes in our non-denominational church. Name change and new website. There was some sort of falling out also, which I was not a part of, but I saw many of the people that used to attend left the church. My husband asked our pastor why this happened and his comment was the church grew stagnant and they wanted the young people to lead the ministries. So I started researching the new website for the church and I found this paragraph in what the church believes. My problem is that the scriptures used by NAR are not the same. I also saw on a friends FB page a photo of laying of hands on a young man who is getting ready to attend YWAM. This is the wording I found:
    We believe that the church is God’s primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching gifts to the church. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. God has called the church to preach the gospel to all nations, and especially to remember the poor and to minister to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service. Matthew 16:17-19; Acts 2:17-18,42; Ephesians 3:14-21; 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10. Other things I have noticed like our women’s bible studies are open to all and more and more of the women that are coming are members from churches from NAR. I’ve been really praying about this and hoping you can give me your insights and my concerns. Thanks

  13. Holly Says:
  14. Amy Aziz Says:

    Hi Holly,

    Can you please email me the position paper as well?

    Thank you,

Leave a Reply

* Please read my Comment Policy