What does the NAR believe?
Hello @Betsey when you say NAR do you mean New Apostolic Reformation? Or something else? I just wanna ask before answering to be sure I am answering the right thing lol
Hi, @Betsey. That’s a great question. I only began to look into this a few months ago and can tell you a little. However, there seems to be a spectrum of beliefs that fall into the category of NAR, whereas active participants within the movement may embrace only some of the beliefs of the original founder of the movement, C. Peter Wagner. The movement has risen out of some Pentecostal and charismatic circles.To get a full and balanced look at the NAR, if you are able, I would recommend reading A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. It is basically the belief that God is “restoring” the offices of prophet and apostle to the church so that they would be leading churches rather than pastors and elders. The apostles and prophets are believed to have the power to work miracles to advance God’s kingdom on earth and usher in the second coming of Christ. While the New Testament clearly testifies that people today still carry out prophetic and apostolic functions, the proponents of the NAR want to make them the sole authority over the church, and many of the proponents consider the apostles’ and prophets’ authority to be equal with that of Scripture. Some even claim that there is new revelation that is being given to these prophets and apostles that goes beyond what Scripture says.
Here is an article from gotquestions.org that somewhat explains the beliefs of this movement, as well:
It is also important to be aware that a new Bible has come out of this movement called the “Passion Translation” which is not actually a translation at all. It isn’t even a paraphrase, because the person who wrote it actually changes what Scripture says to fit and support the agenda of the NAR. Here is some more about it in this thread:
I hope this helps, Betsey.
This is a great question and it is awesome that you are looking into this stuff and trying to get more clarity on it. This movement and the Word-Faith movement, or prosperity gospel, are two very dangerous movements that exist today. They draw in a lot of people and teach them a false truth that sadly puts a lot of people much further away from Christ and His salvation.
The new apostolic reformation movement believes that the apostolic office is basically being resurrected. That new apostles are coming to lead the church into the new age. While the Holy Spirit does give spiritual gifts to people, the office of apostle is closed. There are no new apostles or prophets, and there will not be any coming. One of the reasons for this is that, in order to be an apostle you had to meet some qualifying criteria. First, you had to be a firsthand witness to Christ’s death and resurrection. No need to say much more as this is not possible, but the others are important too.
The next criteria is that you had to be personally appointed by Jesus Christ Himself, and if anyone is claiming this then I think there going to be a serious issue. This would mean that you would have to receive personal revelation from Jesus Christ Himself, which would mean that you would be inclined to add this revelation into scripture. The problem with that is that scripture very clearly tells us not to add to, or take away from scripture in Revelations 22.
The last criteria is that you had to be able to perform the apostolic miracles, or apostolic gifts. This means you would be able to heal, prophecy, speak in tongues, raise people from the dead, etc…
Now, while I do agree that the Holy Spirit gives people spiritual gifts within the church(wisdom, leadership, worship, etc…), the apostolic gifts are quite clearly not given anymore. Those gifts have ceased. This is much for the same reason that we are not hearing directly from God. These gifts were revelatory gifts, and if they were still happening, then we would have to add them into the scriptures. This again causes the issue of Revelation 22. We are not to add to, or take away from scripture. The canon of scripture is not open, it is closed, as indicated through this command not to add to it.
I would highly recommend if you want to learn more about these movements to check out a couple of things. The first is a pair of documentaries called American Gospel: Christ Alone(Word-Faith Movement) and American Gospel: Christ Crucified(New Apostolic Reformation Movement). These Documentaries were made by a team of bible scholars to provide information and awareness of these movements, as well to show how destructive they are, and continue to be. I will leave a couple of links to the trailers for them below.
The other resource I highly encourage you to check out is called Justin Peters Ministries. Justin Peters has dedicated a lot of time and research into these ministries and is a formidable authority on how they work, and what they teach. You can find many of his videos on YouTube, and he is also one of the participants in the American Gospel documentaries. I will leave a link to one of his videos below as well.
I hope this helps you Betsey. May God grant you wisdom and understanding as you seek the truth that only He can provide. If you have any other questions please ask them. God bless you and thank you.
American Gospel: Christ Alone
Can be found on Amazon Prime and iTunes. This is the first hour of the documentary, found on YouTube.
American Gospel: Christ Crucified
Also can be found on Amazon Prime or iTunes. This is the trailer for the documentary.
Here is one of the videos from Justin Peters. It is the first section of his presentation on the false teachings of the Prosperity Gospel called Clouds Without Water presented by Grace to You. You can find more of Justin Peters videos on the channels Grace to You, or Justin Peters Ministries.
Yes the new apostolic reformation.
The reason I’m asking is because I think my daughter is involved in this and doesn’t want to pray with me and my daughters weekly. I think they pray the binding and claiming type prayers and we don’t. They also are very separated and don’t attend church looking for an apostle they can follow.Thanks for the information. Im trying to understand what she believes now and why they’re so distant.
It’s always a good idea to ask her about it. Even when we know about a specific doctrine the person may differ a bit from it. Maybe a conversation would help a bit.
I think you’re right, I had not heard of the NAR before this question was posed so I’ve been following this conversation and looking at all the supporting links shared by people. I think it’s really important to know what movements appear so we can question them from a Biblical perspective. It’s great you’re asking questions about this, and thank you to @mmingus36 and @psalm151ls who have shared some helpful material. I think the American Gospel film is an excellent reminder that our message must always be about Jesus, never to glorify ourselves or make us feel good or enjoy ‘experiences’.
May I add a thought regarding part of this?
Whilst I do agree with much of what Justin Peters says in his presentation, I do find he uses a gross generalisation about the charismatic church. I just wanted to contribute by suggesting that it’s not all as he describes. I completely agree with what he says about the specific examples he’s used, and I find his particular clips of the showiness of mega church preachers swaggering about on stage arrogant and grotesque, their messages unbiblical and highly concerning. Quite rightly, we should stay away from any teaching like this. However, I believe we don’t have to be cessationists whilst being able to hold this view. I’m referring to use of spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues and prophecy (1 Corinthians 14). I do not mean that the ordinary church that I’m familiar with are stepping out of sync with scripture and creating a whole bunch of prophets as suggested by some of the material I’ve read on NAR. Rather, it is possible to hear God speak to us without adding to scripture. I know that many ordinary churches - i.e. not mega churches - encourage their members to practice the spiritual gifts but this is always to be done with gentleness and humility and never to be flaunted. I believe it is possible to use gifts of prophecy and tongues to edify and encourage the body, but also to be done with careful oversight from the church leadership so that deceit and showmanship don’t creep in. It is always held against what scripture teaches and must be in line with who God is. My experience of normal churches practising this have leaders exercising a lot of wisdom and always remind their churches that anything shared must be weighed up (1 Thes 5:21). This requires huge discernment on the part of everyone, which is as Paul encourages us in 1 Cor 12:10, 1 Jn 4:1.
In short, whilst the description of the NAR quite rightly raises big concerns that every Christian must be wise and prayerful about, it is possible for the general church to pursue spiritual giftings: are we able to not distort the good simply because of the loud unbiblical sections of the church? Yes, be wary about NAR, and anything like it that preaches a new gospel that’s not true to the inerrant word of God. Please don’t let it taint your understanding of all the good work God is doing in the lives of ordinary people, pointing to Jesus, through the use of spiritual giftings around the world.