Update on my speaking engagement in Nashville

RNA panelThank you to all who prayed for my talk at the Religion New Association’s annual conference in Nashville last Saturday. It went extremely well.

For those who don’t know, I was invited to take part in a panel discussion titled “The New Revivalists,” held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Julia Duin,  a getreligion.org writer, served as the moderator. The two other panelists who spoke with me were James Goll, president and founder of God Encounters Ministries, and Paula White, the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center and pastor to President Donald Trump. The audience included about 150 members of the media, representing major outlets including the Associated Press, Washington Post,  and the USA Today Network.

Here’s an overview of the panel in a nutshell. Each panelist spoke for 15 minutes. Goll kicked things off with his talk presenting a positive spin on NAR history. Then I gave my talk on NAR from a more critical perspective. White wrapped up with a defense of herself and President Trump from media attacks. The talks were followed by a Q-and-A session, which ran overtime due to so many questions from the reporters. Feedback was that this panel was one of the hottest sessions of the conference.

The reporters’ response to my talk was very encouraging, with many of them coming up afterward to talk with me and get my contact information for future interviews. From what I could tell, many of them didn’t know about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)–and what a massive movement it is–prior to my talk.

You can watch a video of the entire panel presentation here.  (This is the Religion News Association’s public Facebook page. Scroll down to the September 9 posting titled “Panel: The New Revivalists.”) You may notice how the panelist James Goll–a very influential NAR prophet–didn’t directly respond to any of the major points of my critique. Rather he diverted by dismissing critics’ concerns about NAR as pertaining only to excesses that can be found within the movement. He also implied that their critiques are based on an anti-supernatural bias.

I also thought it was interesting that Goll tried to portray NAR as an outworking of the Protestant Reformation. Yet Martin Luther and the other reformers–the leaders of a movement based on the doctrine of sola scriptura–would recoil from the NAR notion of prophets and apostles revealing new truths. The idea that Luther received prophetic “illumination” of the true meaning of Ephesians 2:8-9–something Goll says during the panel–is a common teaching in NAR. But Luther didn’t claim to discover a new, hitherto disguised sense of Ephesians 2:8-9. Nor have Protestants ever suggested that the discovery of the doctrine of justification by faith alone happened as a result of prophetic illumination. On the contrary, Protestants have emphasized the perspicuity of Scripture, the doctrine that, in matters concerning salvation, the teaching of Scripture is clear, plain for all to see, if they can but read the Bible for themselves. In short, Goll dishonors the Reformers by claiming continuity with their aims.

NAR wasn’t the only focus of the panel, as you’ll see in the video. Paula White received a lot of media attention due to recent controversial comments she made about President Trump on Jim Bakker’s show. You can read more about her comments here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the panel.

And, oh yes, I ran into one of my favorite singers in the hotel lobby and got a selfie with him! : )



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.

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20 Responses to “Update on my speaking engagement in Nashville”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I would love to see the video.  The link embedded in “here” takes me to this on Facebook and I am signed in
    Sorry, this content isn’t available right now

  2. Holly Says:

    Hmm. not sure what happened, Kathryn. Did you try again? I just checked and was able to view the video, if I’m logged into Facebook.

  3. Holly Says:

    Kathryn, others were also having trouble with the link I posted. I just changed it. I hope it works for you now.

  4. AriseMyLove Says:

    Dear Holly: 

    Good for you. But remember you are dealing with a demonic entity that fuels and sources these false prophets of the NAR.  I’ve witnessed this familiar and demonic spirit with Jim Goll personally at my former church.  It killed his wife. 

    Also remember that since you are not just dealing with aberrant doctrine, but actual principalities and powers of Hell, you can’t “outthink” or argue with it.  This spirit is to be denounced and “not tolerated” by Christians… as Christ says “do not tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess…” 

    What I witnessed several times through Jim Goll as well as others is that when a real Christian has a dream or word or prophetic encouragement/insight, the counterfeit spirit that animates them will “steal”, twist and mutate that word or vision or dream or encouragement of God into something idolatrous. 

    Saw it happen repeatedly in my former NAR church.  This is as per Jeremiah 23:30: I am against (false) prophets who steal My words from another.

    What this spirit of these NAR liars does is twists the actual Godly encouragement or unction into something that is false flattery or puts Self on the throne instead of the Lord, all as per Deuteronomy.  So it is not just a doctrinal debate; you are dealing with the craftiness of Hell.  This is why I wrote a while back to you that the full armor of God must be put on to deal with this, and that people who believe the Gifts have ceased will not be able to effectively fight this movement in the Spirit.  I am not trying to get into some John MacArthur vs. Jack Hayford argument about the gifts as if it was the 1980’s; I am explaining that this NAR thing is animated by a counterfeit spirit that personally targets people in their weaknesses.  When I witnessed Jim Goll doing this, he twisted something that was meant to be an encouragement to the pastors there into something that was so flattering, it puffed up the pastors’ egos.  

    God Bless and just pray on what i wrote here. Jim Goll cannot account for all the false prophesies given over his wife at Lakeland before she died and he cannot defend his “toking the Holy Spirit” crazy  abomination.
    Remember, the Enemy knows the word inside and out and he will utilize these NAR liars in ways that would amaze you regarding the twisting and turning of the Word.  Lord Bless you. AML 

  5. Bill (cycleguy) Says:

    Well Holli. I could not watch it or read some of the info because I am not on FB and they wanted me to Log In. I’m sure you stood for truth among some wacky stuff.

  6. Sandy Wren Says:

    Holly, thank you for your consistent defense of the gospel and biblical response to the New Apostolic Reformation and other nonbiblical movements. You have given those of us trying to respond to this movement in our own churches and neighborhoods solid information, rational arguments based on Scripture, and your example of a gracious but truth-filled response.  Our family had to leave a wonderful, growing church when it went off track and began teaching and giving pulpit time to leaders in this movement. As you have noted in the past, often those opposing these unbiblical movements are accused of being “anti-Supernatural,” or “old wineskins,” or “Pharisees” or worse. The other issue that comes up is that of unity. We came to the conclusion that the integrity of the gospel was more important and we left and joined a small church that was teaching from the Bible.

  7. Chris Says:

    Was it just me, or was Paula White pretty much completely off-topic?

  8. Anna Says:

    I am logged into my FB account but cannot view the link! Is it broken?

  9. Holly Says:

    Anna, I’m sorry the link wasn’t working for you and some others. I changed the link in the article. See if it works for you now.

  10. Kathy Says:

    So little content on NAR or New revivalists, which was ‘supposed’ to be the topic of discussion. Paula White and her connection to the President was the dominant interest of the reporters. How disappointing and a wasted effort to learn about the religious movement NAR. But thanks to Holly Pivec for her attempt and her polite composure in a frustrating exercise.

  11. Elin Says:

    Hey Holly, I think you did a great job there!! So proud of you!!!

  12. Elin Says:

    You sounded so sound and clear and I’m so pleased to hear that the reporters came to you to ask questions!

  13. Kathryn Says:

    Hi Holly,
    Thank you for your efforts to make the video accessible.  The new link did take me on my iPad to the right FaceBook page and I saw the 14 videos. The New Revivalists video would try to play but eventually gave an error message.  I do have high speed cable.

    What worked was using my laptop with Windows 10 on it; IE is 11.  I am sharing the steps I took for the sake of others that may still be having issues.  I look forward to viewing it.

  14. Kathryn Says:

    I have viewed the video portions of Jim’s presentation followed by Holly’s twice now.  Very different approaches taken.  Jim seemed to speak more generally (not specifically at all) about the global movement which began with Martin Luther having repercussions or waves which are consecutive movements of the Holy Spirit throughout the past several centuries into today.  Only once did he say “new apostolic reformation” and never did he speak about the NAR in detail.  (I ask myself, why is that?  If you are a leader in a move of God, why not get the specifics out?) He did mention several ministries-Mike Bickle, Arnott’s, Che Ahn, Heide Baker, Bethel-as if to say that because they are thriving with numbers of people, the “global movement” is completely of God and therefore, just criticisms only attach to the extremes. 

    Rather than talk about spiritual authority exercised by present day apostles and prophets and well-defined structures (networks with down lines), he chose to characterize the leaders as organically linked, not as organizations with structures but all relationally created and maintained.  And finally, the movement is all about Jesus and the message is not new but the faces and places are new. 

    Holly, on the other hand, had a very detailed presentation.  Well thought out and full of names, places, and clear and relevant examples of how the NAR leaders conduct themselves.  If you had never heard of the NAR before, you certainly were well-briefed in a fifteen minute span of time.  I was left wondering if Jim had read Holly’s book or had he heard such a cogent critique before.  Holly came across as analytical and critical with her facts but there is no sign-at least not to me-that she is speaking with animosity or a critical spirit, but with genuine concern over the state of the body of Christ exposed to and in some cases, taken in by the NAR teachings.

    IMO, the gravest error with the NAR is the authoritarianism displayed by their leadership over  Christians who sit under their ministries.  They may call it relational but it runs the risk of control and manipulation eventuating in wounded lives and broken relationships.  Perhaps, the discipleship-shepherding error of the 70’s has re-surfaced through the NAR.

    Holly, please keep doing what you are doing!

  15. Joy McCloud Says:

    Great job. Your decision to use Bethel was brilliant as it  epitomizes all that is so wrong about NAR.

  16. Watchman Says:

    I have only just managed to watch the full video, hence the delay in commenting, although I was praying for it when the event happened. Firstly I must say that Holly was very brave! I know what it is like to stand up and challenge others about unbiblical behavior. It takes courage. It is (relatively) easy to be on a panel and say something bland which no-one disagrees with, it is an entirely different matter to openly warn others about unbiblical beliefs and practices that those on the same panel are engaged in themselves. Holly’s presentation was clear, factual, and biblical, with real content, so well done Holly!

    Some comments on what was said by the other panelists:

    James Goll mostly waffled, not sharing much real content in the intro, but did say some concerning things in the Q&A, such as “In every generation there are new voices” “we’re to bring forth treasures, both new and old”. Hmm, what are these “new treasures” I wonder? He does not elaborate here but it sounds very much like new revelation to me, which is dangerous! Then he tries to equate the NAR with the reformation, and incorrectly calls Luther and Calvin revivalists! They were NOT revivalists, they were reformers, returning people to the Word of God (even if you disagree with some of their teaching and conclusions), precisely what the NAR does NOT do! The NAR actively encourages extra-biblical revelation, and either equates dreams, visions and prophecy with Scripture, or even worse holds it of higher value than Scripture. 
    After equating himself and NAR leaders with famous historical Christians, including John Wesley and Charles Finney, he couldn’t resist implying that the present day leaders are better though, by saying “we would believe that there is an increase though, of a dimension of the power and the revelation that gets released. It is progressive.”
    What a deceitful thing to imply to the journalists present there (some of whom may not know better), to encourage them to incorrectly think that you are doing nothing different than what happened during the Reformation or Great Awakenings!

    Paula White did not say much of substance either, but also stated some concerning theology, such as her thoughts about the Churches primary calling, which she says is “build a bridge” “that’s what the church, in my opinion, is supposed to do, and what we do the best”. She continues “We try to make a great difference, that’s what the church is all about. Make a difference, and improve peoples lives, to the best that we can”. Well I’ve no doubt we are called to practical action and service as a demonstration of God’s love (Matthew 25:31-46 and elsewhere) BUT our primary calling is to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross to pay the price of our sins and enable us to be reconciled to God. But it’s revealing that she then went on to say in the Q&A that “you’re not as bad as people say you are. Really? But the Bible tells me that we “are all under the power of sin” and that “there is no one righteous, not even one” and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:9-10, 23) and that “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Anything that implies that sin isn’t such a problem, and that we’re not really bad, is once again dangerous!

  17. R. R. Says:

    Thank you for going To this conference. We have taken this news conference apart bit by bit to show our listeners what a dangerous group this is. Your comments and insight were extremely helpful in making our case. Goll only exposed the group for what it is. Paula was out of her league and resorted to her personal testimony to get the sympathy card. You were right on point. This is the most dangerous group out here today and will destroy an entire generation of young people. We must keep warning the sheep to avoid them at all cost. 
    God Bless!

  18. Holly Says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, R.R. I’m glad my talk was helpful to you.

  19. Cris Says:

    Holly I have a link to your speaking engagement in Nashville. Hope it works. I got the link from churchwatchcentral.com.


  20. Cris Says:

    Just trying to be helpful, but I also listened to your interview on “The Alisa Childers Podcast.” Its kind of funny how I am finding these links by searching for you on twitter by your name. Once I found these links I would go back to twitter and this links would not come back up. So I had to dig through my history log and thats how I managed to hold on to these. I cannot guarantee that you will be able to access them because the same problems that some of the people on your blog complained about could also happen on this link. God bless you Holly for your work. I think it is very important and its why I am sending you these links. I do no want any kind of credit because it is not my work. Just trying to help. Also wondering if you were able to do any more of these podcast. There was talk about interviewing Brian Simmons who wrote the Passion Translation. I will keep following your work and letting my friends know about it.

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