Unveiling the New Apostolic Reformation: Understanding Its Beliefs and Practices

Are you familiar with the New Apostolic Reformation and its growing influence in modern Christianity? This religious movement, characterized by its emphasis on miracles, visions, and prophecy, has generated both enthusiasm and controversy. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, beliefs, and practices of the NAR, explore the criticisms that have been aimed at it, and examine its impact on the global missions and evangelization. Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating movement.

What is the New Apostolic Reformation?

Unveiling the New Apostolic Reformation: Understanding Its Beliefs and Practices

If you’ve been hearing buzz about the “New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR) and wondering what it is all about, you’re not alone. The NAR is a modern movement within Christianity that has gained significant attention in recent years. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of what the NAR is all about.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The NAR is not a formal organization with a specific set of beliefs. Rather, it is a loosely-affiliated network of churches, ministries, and individuals who share certain beliefs and practices.
  • The NAR is rooted in the charismatic movement of the mid-20th century, which emphasized the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit (such as prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues) and challenged traditional expressions of Christianity.
  • The NAR places a high emphasis on the “fivefold ministry” (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) and believes that the lack of these ministries has resulted in a weakened Church. Some adherents believe in ongoing apostolic and prophetic offices that have the same authority as the original apostles and prophets of the early Church.
  • The NAR places a strong emphasis on the “kingdom of God” and believes that Christians should seek to transform society and culture in every sphere of life (such as government, education, and the arts) through supernatural means.
  • The NAR believes in spiritual warfare, which involves engaging in prayer and other practices to defeat demonic forces that are believed to be active in the world.
  • Some NAR adherents believe in a “dominion theology” which asserts that Christians should take dominion over the earth and its institutions, in preparation for the return of Christ.

It’s worth noting that there is significant diversity within the NAR, and not all adherents believe in every one of these points. However, these ideas are common within the movement and help to define its unique identity.

If you’re coming from a more traditional background in Christianity, some of these ideas may sound unfamiliar or even concerning. However, it’s important to approach the topic with an open mind and a desire to understand rather than simply to criticize. In the next section, we’ll explore the history and key figures associated with the NAR.

To sum it up, the NAR is a modern movement within Christianity that emphasizes the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, the “fivefold ministry”, transforming society and culture, and spiritual warfare. It is important to keep an open mind when learning about the NAR and not to dismiss it without further research.

photo of brown wooden cross at cliff

History and key figures associated with NAR

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a modern evangelical Christian movement that originated in the 1990s. The NAR is characterized by its belief in the present-day operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including prophecy, miracles, and healing. The NAR also emphasizes the importance of apostolic leadership and governance, global missions and evangelization, and the establishment of a “kingdom of God” on earth.

The NAR has its roots in the charismatic movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which emphasized the experiences of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy. The NAR emerged from this movement in the 1990s and has since developed into a distinct and influential movement within modern Christianity.

One of the key figures associated with the NAR is C. Peter Wagner, a prominent American theologian who played a significant role in the movement’s development and growth. Wagner was a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary and was a prolific author, writing numerous books on the subject of church growth and leadership development. Wagner was also a leader within the NAR movement and was responsible for the establishment of many apostolic networks and organizations.

Another key figure associated with the NAR is Bill Johnson, a popular American pastor and author who leads the Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson is known for his teachings on the supernatural, including healing, miracles, and prophecy, and for his emphasis on the importance of developing a personal relationship with God.

Other prominent leaders within the NAR include Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lou Engle, founder of The Call, a movement focused on prayer and fasting for spiritual revival and societal transformation.

Although the NAR has gained significant influence within modern Christianity, it has also been the subject of controversy and criticism. Some theologians and religious scholars have raised concerns about the NAR’s emphasis on prophecy, miracles, and healing, arguing that it represents a departure from traditional Christian theology. Others have criticized the movement’s hierarchical leadership structures and apostolic governance, suggesting that they represent an authoritarian and potentially abusive approach to church governance.

Despite these criticisms, the NAR continues to grow in popularity and influence, particularly in the area of global missions and evangelization. The movement emphasizes the importance of world evangelization and has established numerous apostolic networks and organizations dedicated to this task. As such, the NAR represents an important and influential force within modern Christianity, with the potential to shape the future of the faith.

Beliefs and practices of the NAR

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is composed of a diverse group of Christian leaders and individuals who share a set of similar beliefs and practices. Here are some key beliefs and practices of the NAR:

  1. Prophetic Ministry: The NAR places a high value on the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit, seeing them as crucial for the church to function effectively. They believe in prophetic words, visions, dreams, and other supernatural experiences that provide guidance, direction, and correction for individuals, churches, and nations.

  2. Kingdom Theology: The NAR holds to the belief that the kingdom of God is both present and future, and that Christians should seek to bring God’s rule and reign into every sphere of society, including politics, business, education, and the arts. They believe that the gospel is not just about individual salvation, but about the transformation of society as a whole.

  3. Spiritual Warfare: The NAR believes that there is an ongoing spiritual battle between the forces of good and evil, and that Christians have authority through Jesus Christ to engage in spiritual warfare against demonic forces. They practice “warfare prayer” and often engage in deliverance ministry to free individuals from demonic oppression.

  4. Signs and Wonders: The NAR emphasizes the role of signs and wonders, such as healing, miracles, and supernatural encounters, as evidence of God’s presence and power. They believe that such manifestations are not only for the early church but are available to believers today.

  5. Leadership: The NAR affirms a leadership structure that places a strong emphasis on apostolic governance. They see apostles as the highest level of leaders in the church, who are responsible for providing vision, direction, and oversight to facilitate the growth and expansion of the kingdom of God. The NAR also emphasizes the need for generational alignment, where older leaders mentor and train younger ones.

  6. Unity: The NAR emphasizes the importance of unity within the body of Christ, both locally and globally. They seek to build bridges between different denominations and streams of Christianity and work towards a shared vision of world evangelization. They believe that the church is called to be one, just as Jesus prayed in John 17.

In conclusion, the beliefs and practices of the NAR are diverse and multifaceted, reflecting a range of theological perspectives and experiences. While there may be points of controversy and disagreement, the NAR remains committed to advancing the kingdom of God through prophetic ministry, signs and wonders, spiritual warfare, and unity.

Controversies and criticisms surrounding the NAR

While the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement has gained a significant following, it has also faced its fair share of controversies and criticisms.

One of the main points of contention revolves around the idea of modern-day apostles and prophets. Traditional Christianity holds that the office of apostle ended with the twelve apostles appointed by Jesus Christ himself. However, the NAR believes that apostles and prophets continue to exist in the present day. This idea has been called into question by many theologians and scholars, who argue that it is not biblical and can lead to false teaching and apostasy.

Another criticism leveled against the NAR is its focus on signs and wonders, and the belief that supernatural experiences are a necessary part of the Christian walk. While the Bible does contain references to miraculous events, some argue that the NAR places too much emphasis on them and risks promoting a distorted view of the gospel.

The NAR has also faced accusations of promoting authoritarian leadership. In some instances, pastors and leaders associated with the movement have been accused of exerting control over their congregations and using their position to gain power and influence. Some have also expressed concern about the influence of the NAR on politics, with some members using their platform to promote a particular agenda.

Finally, there are concerns about the NAR’s impact on unity within the larger Christian community. While the NAR espouses a message of unity and cooperation, some within the movement have been accused of divisive actions, such as denouncing other Christians who do not share their beliefs.

It is important to note that not all members of the NAR adhere to these controversial beliefs and practices. However, these criticisms and controversies have caused many within the broader Christian community to view the NAR with suspicion and caution.

person standing while reading ook

Comparison with mainstream Christianity

When it comes to comparing the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) with mainstream Christianity, there are several points of difference that should be highlighted. Here are some of the key areas where NAR and mainstream Christianity differ:

  1. Leadership structures: In NAR, there is a strong emphasis on apostolic authority, with certain individuals being recognized as apostles and prophets who have a unique role in leading the church. This is quite different from traditional Christian denominations where the leadership structure is more horizontal and democratic.

  2. Use of spiritual gifts: NAR places a heavy emphasis on the use of spiritual gifts such as prophecy, speaking in tongues, and healing. While these gifts are also present in mainstream Christianity, they are typically viewed as being less central to the faith.

  3. Eschatology: NAR believes in the imminent return of Christ and an end-times harvest of souls. This belief in “kingdom now” theology is in contrast to traditional Christianity’s belief in the second coming of Christ and the ultimate establishment of his kingdom.

  4. Theology: While NAR adheres to many of the core beliefs of traditional Christianity, there are also significant departures from mainstream theology in areas such as spiritual warfare, divine healing, and the role of the supernatural in daily life.

  5. World evangelization: Another key area of difference is in the area of global missions. NAR has a strong emphasis on world evangelization, with many NAR churches and ministries actively engaged in missions around the world. This is in contrast to mainstream Christianity, where evangelism and mission work are important but not necessarily viewed as the central mission of the church.

It’s important to note that while there are significant differences between NAR and mainstream Christianity, there are also many areas of overlap and similarity. Both groups share a belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the importance of spreading that gospel to the world. Additionally, many individuals and churches within the NAR movement would consider themselves to be part of the broader Christian community, despite some theological and practical differences.

In conclusion, while there are significant differences between the NAR and mainstream Christianity, it’s important to approach these differences with a spirit of love and understanding. Ultimately, we share a common faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and should seek to build bridges and promote unity wherever possible.

Impact of the NAR on global missions and evangelization

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a movement within modern Christianity that prioritizes global missions and evangelization. The NAR believes in the Kingdom of God, the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, and the importance of spiritual warfare. These beliefs drive the NAR to embark on a mission to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.

One way the NAR impacts global missions is through its emphasis on training and equipping young people for ministry. The NAR emphasizes youth ministry and believes that young people are important in fulfilling the Great Commission. This has led to the formation of many youth-focused organizations and mission movements within the NAR.

Another way the NAR impacts global missions is through its emphasis on prophetic ministry. The NAR believes that God speaks through his followers today and that prophetic ministry is essential in spreading the gospel. This has led to the formation of prophetic ministry schools and the development of prophetic teams within mission movements.

The NAR also emphasizes the importance of signs and wonders in evangelization. The movement believes that miracles and healing are signs of God’s presence and power. This belief has led to the formation of healing ministries within the NAR and the practice of healing prayer.

Some critics, however, have raised concerns about the NAR’s impact on global missions. Some argue that the NAR’s emphasis on supernatural power and spiritual warfare can lead to an unhealthy focus on the demonic and a loss of focus on the gospel message. Others have criticized the NAR for promoting false teachings and for prioritizing subjective experience over biblical truth.

Despite these criticisms, the NAR continues to be a force in global missions and evangelization. Its emphasis on young people, prophetic ministry, and signs and wonders has led to the formation of many successful mission movements and has resulted in countless conversions to Christianity.

If you are interested in learning more about the NAR’s impact on global missions, consider attending a NAR missions conference or reaching out to a NAR-affiliated mission group in your area.