'Christian' cults, biblical discernment, Bill Johnson, Brian Houston, Charismatic movement, Christianity, church growth movement, deceiving spirits, doctrines of demons, false doctrine, false prophets, false teachers, Hillsong, mysticism, NAR, new age spirituality, New Apostolic Reformation, New Thought movement, signs and wonders, Word of Faith heresy
After a long break, I am finally posting – this time I am sharing links for a number of heartbreaking testimonies, kindly shared by courageous ex-NAR members with Amy Spreeman over at the Berean Examiner.
I urge you to read each of these testimonies, as they provide a lot of insight into what is actually going on with the worldwide, charismatic NAR movement. I have provided links below to all of the testimonies, but you can also just read them for yourself at the Berean Examiner.
Most Christians will have been affected by the NAR movement, even if they are not aware of it. It has infiltrated countless churches around the world, resulting in divided congregations and families, and the faith of many being shipwrecked by the false teaching and occult rituals. The NAR movement is very well-organised (including its increasing domination of right wing politics), very powerful in many areas of society, and growing in international influence. In Australia, it now accounts for much of the Australian Christian Churches Network (formerly Assemblies of God) including Hillsong, C3 and countless other megachurch networks. It has a growing representation on every continent, including intensive growth in South America, many African nations and Asia.
The NAR has also spread to all major denominations including taking over previously sound Anglican, Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Its ‘apostles’ like Brian Houston in Australia aggressively plant and take over smaller churches and absorb them into the larger network. NAR churches often advertise falsely by retaining ‘Anglican’ or ‘Baptist’ labels. Another common sign of an NAR takeover is when churches change from being ‘such and such Baptist Church’ to ‘Destiny Church’ or ‘Now Church’.
The NAR movement internationally drives a multi-billion dollar industry of books, conferences, DVD and CD teaching programs, music, TV programs, TV stations and an ever expanding megachurch network of church volunteers and tithers, to fund its enterprises, man its conferences and promote its wares. Many unsuspecting churches around the world are helping to finance the global success of the movement by buying albums or paying fees to sing Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Matt Redman or Chris Tomlin songs in their churches – often not realising the heretical doctrines these songs are based on.
As with other major heretical movements such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventism, the NAR has its own prophets and apostles, it own distorted ‘Bibles’ (The Message and the Passion translation), and its own unique (and unbiblical) definitions for ostensibly Christian terms like ‘salvation’ and ‘sin’. It teaches well-known heresies like the Word of Faith heresy and the kenosis heresy. Like the aforementioned cults, it has specially exalted leaders (apostles and prophets) like Billl Johnson, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, T D Jakes and Brian Houston. NAR members claims direct revelation from God apart from the written word of God, and their teachings are based on prophecies and teachings from proven heretics such as William Branham (denied the doctrine of the Trinity) and Bob Jones.
Whilst NAR adherents are often very sincere and believe themselves to be Christians, they are actually believing/teaching heretical doctrines and introducing people to pagan practices and deceiving spirits. On closer examination, its teachings are actually very similar to Gnosticism and Theosophy, and it is a spiritually dangerous movement that needs to be exposed.
Christians such as Amy Spreeman works tirelessly to help people understand what the NAR movement is teaching, and why it is a false version of Christianity. However, it is in the stories of those who have been in the churches and seen the teachings and practices firsthand that the most effective understanding of this aberrant movement can be gained. It is for this reason that so many people have shared their testimonies with Amy. I am thankful to Amy and all of those who have shared their stories so far.
I first encountered the NAR movement in an ostensibly reformed, evangelical Anglican church. As is commonly experienced by so many other Christians, the NAR teachings and practices were gradually introduced by the pastor over time, and through the small groups within the church. I have also heard from countless people who have come out of this movement, and their stories are consistent, shocking and invariably testify to the demonic nature of the movement, its teachings and its rituals.
Christians need to seriously take heed of what is going on in the visible church, and not be ignorant of the many attacks on the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and on the Body of Christ. The NAR movement is a most urgent matter that requires our attention and action. For further information, I have included extra resource links at the end of the testimony links.
Okay, so that was supposed to be a short introduction to the following testimonies:
Leaving the NAR Church: Dina’s Story
“Dina’s story is one of many from people I’ve met who desire as I do to see the New Apostolic Reformation movement exposed for what it is: An anti-biblical counterfeit that sounds almost like biblical Christianity.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Jessie’s story
“I had no idea that I was in the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation), or part of the Word of Faith movement. I didn’t even know those terms existed. I simply went to the church that I found most exciting, cutting edge and challenging. I had been saved out of the occult and so I was aware of the spirit world. When the Toronto blessing began I was right in there too.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Joshua’s story
“Joshua served on a worship team in Dallas, where he saw first hand the devastating impact of “NAR” teachings on his faith and the faith of his friends.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Katie’s story
“Katie grew up in New Zealand, where the New Apostolic Reformation and its mystical teachings are infecting many churches. Her particular church dabbled in Word of Faith, SOZO and the Patricia King prophetic influence.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Dylan’s story
“The emotional and spiritual abuse from Dylan’s Australian church (not to mention the false teaching), was so intense that he packed his wife and five children up and moved away. Australia is rife with New Apostolic Reformation and its mystical teachings.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Malcolm’s story
“Anyone could interrupt the sermon, grab a microphone, and give a word from the Lord. This became more common, and the pastors loved it!”
“Malcolm was born and raised in a church dabbling in mystical SOZO Healing Prayers, Soaking Prayers, Fire Tunnels and more.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Erin’s story
“Everyone seemed to feel God’s love all the time and have crazy experiences, dreams, visions, prophesies. I was dissatisfied with just Bible study. I wanted more, and was constantly seeking more prophecies and visions and signs.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Heather’s Story
“Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. According to my family, we are “troublemakers,” “harsh,” “divisive,” “ignorant,” and my favorite, “tricky.””
“Fortunately and by God’s grace, Heather and her husband were not tricked into believing the counterfeit doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation. But, like many of you, her extended family fell hook, line and sinker for the NAR, and is trapped in the bondage of a movement that contains doctrines of demons.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Glenn’s story
“I saw what I was doing as a band member as not leading people in worship, but participating in ‘conjuring’ the Holy Spirit to ‘come down’. The Holy Spirit being defined as the euphoric feeling that the droning music creates.”
“As you’ll learn from Glenn, oftentimes NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) teachings filter into churches by way of worship music. While contemporary styles can glorify Christ, there are certain methods musicians like Glenn are taught to use repeating phrases, musical tones, and ethereal lyrics designed to seductively manipulate your mind into a mystical consciousnesses.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Tom’s story
“Tom’s experience with some big-name New Apostolic Reformation celebrities gave him a unique window into how these so-called miracles work.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Jared’s Story
“The deliverance ministry counselor told my wife to close her eyes and allow the demons to speak through her. He explained that each demon has a name, and if bound “by the blood” must be truthful and submissive.”
Jared and his wife had been experiencing what they called demonic thoughts, and sought help through a spiritual deliverance ministry. These spiritual warfare sessions are common in New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches and are gaining popularity in mainstream Evangelical churches. Spiritual warfare is one of the hallmarks of the NAR movement.
Leaving the NAR Church: Carter’s Story
“After their prophecies, visions, and declarations were all proven false, not a single one of them apologized to the grieving father or repented of their vain and powerless deeds.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Maaike’s story
“After literally hours and hours of that prayer I saw myself as a 3 month old baby being raped by my father. I recovered memories about being raised in a satanic cult, abused in the most awful ways possible and suddenly the prophecy about giving my heart to Satan became clear.”
“Maaike is from the Netherlands, and her story of inner healing took her back to her childhood, where false memories were inserted into her head. This Sozo or Theophostic – type healing is foundational to New Apostolic Reformation “deliverance ministries,” which Maaike was a part of.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Jonathan’s story
“The overall ambiance and feel of the services left me feeling confused. How come I wasn’t experiencing these gifts? Why couldn’t I speak in tongues? Why couldn’t I receive these visions and prophecies? Why wasn’t the Holy Spirit talking to me like he was to these people? And then it came to me: How could I learn to become like them?”
Leaving the NAR Church: Sean’s story
“These people could see angels, see visions and interpret dreams. Some of the leadership would travel to Bethel for inspiration and guidance.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Cole’s story
“I thought my voice could be one that would usher in repentance and reform. Oh how foolish I was to think I could accomplish only what the Holy Spirit can do.”
“Cole wanted to stay in the only church he’d ever known, but God opened his eyes to the false teachings of the NAR church. Could he stay and make a difference? Be a light in the darkness?”
Leaving the NAR Church: Penny’s story
“Thinking that we would be safe in a conservative church was a huge mistake. I was repeatedly told I was causing the devil to destroy the unity of the church. The NAR is infiltrating our churches and most Christians are unaware of the dangers.”
“Penny is from Canada, and after leaving her NAR-influenced church two years ago, she has yet to find a church family. Being without a church is tragically common for many who’ve come out of this infectious counterfeit.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Phil’s story
“Something supernatural is going on in the NAR movement. I once thought this to be the Holy Spirit. I now believe it to be demonic, Satan disguising himself as an angel of light.”
Phil’s hunger for God was idolatry. He was focused on wanting more and more experiences of God’s “presence,” but instead received the Spirit of the Age. That’s because the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), is a counterfeit. It’s not biblical Christianity at all.”
Leaving the NAR Church: Angela’s story
“The senior pastor himself was declared as an apostle by an Elijah List prophetess, and that his church would be known as the “loving church.”Armed with this fresh knowledge, the church became fanatical in making that prophecy happen.”
Crosswise Articles on Bill Johnson’s False Teachings
A review of Bill Johnson’s book ‘When Heaven Invades Earth’
“Church of Tares” Church Growth movement documentary
Bill Johnson’s false teaching
Thanks for sharing these. I, too, went through NARnia. By God’s grace, I escaped and have seen in the scriptures how this movement utilizes manipulation empowered by seducing spirits as Paul warns of in 1 Timothy 4. You can check my website and youtube ministry exposing the New Apostolic Reformation here:
God bless in Jesus’ name!
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The Narrowing Path said:
I thank God for your diligence in warning others!
In Christ’s service,
The Narrowing Path said:
My sincerest apologies for not getting back to you sooner! I have just sent you an email so hopefully you are still around and available for further discussion about your NAR experience. If you don’t get the email but are willing to get in touch with me, that would be great. If so, please email me at email@example.com.
In Christ’s service, Sherryn
Michele E. Rivera said:
People I love and have grown close to have yet to see this. I feel alone in being delivered from this . Please pray. God Bless you for your passion and diligence to expose this.
This is spreading like gangrene.
Literally, there is not one true church left to attend Sunday Worship Service ..
Somehow, there is ‘compromise ‘ in leadership…they emphasize ‘unity’ which obviously is false unity!
I have become so skeptical to even be in a small church….I am so alerted to the NAR falsehoods that I actually discovered it is present among some worship leaders and pastors who are also teaching in seminary!!!
It is either I leave the church congregation eventually and have no church to go to or share with them the Truth in love and see what happen next…(actually I already did on my 1st visit to this new church!)
Will let the Holy Spirit lead as I do not want to be trapped in ministry should I stay on and serve….at the crossroads….
The Narrowing Path said:
Thanks for your comment Grace. It really is a heartbreaking thing to see so many Church tainted and even overrun by either the NAR or emergent church lies.
I’m sorry you’ve been so affected by it yourself and hope you can find a church to attend somewhere. These are certainly days where we need wisdom from the Holy Spirit, who graciously gives it! I am ever thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness and compassion towards to his sheep.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you, keeping you in Christ with all wisdom and steadfast love.
In Christ’s service, Sherryn
The Narrowing Path said:
Grace, further to my last comment, I have seen stuff in my church and have raised it with my pastor. My concerns were heard with respect and have been genuinely addressed (like Hillsong music), and had simply crept in and stayed partly because of a lack of awareness of what Hillsong actually teaches.
As awareness of this movement increases and their false doctrines are more boldly taught now, it does make it a bit easier to articulate to those who have ears to hear. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t know what the NAR is, so if you have a chance to be in a church and help educate and warn people, then fantastic! Not easy, but worth the effort. The issue many are facing is when the pulpit becomes tainted with the teaching. That happened in my lady church and now it’s fully NAR…that’s when it’s time to go.
Yes, thanks for your reply and thoughts….praying for the right timing and opportunites to share with the pastor…
However, I have spoken to a lady in this church who teaches in a school of theology together with her husband …she is totally unaware of NAR!
I actually found out that this school is also influence by NAR..
Have to be really careful when sharing as I find that maybe the church is small and the pastor is accommodating…they do sing hillsong and kari jobe worship songs also and other contemporary worship songs too…
I was asking the Lord how to worship You when the worship service is filled with such music….
In the end
The Great Commission has been sabotaged by these false evangelists!!!
Multitudes of counterfeit christians and false disciples have been produced…weed /tares /goats!
While the church is sleeping…the Enemy has been planting his servants masquerading as servants of righteousness in the church….I see that in every church I visited especially the leadership!!!
The things of God are spiritually discerned
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have the mind of Christ!
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Revi Ewer said:
…”including its increasing domination of right wing politics”… PLEASE PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION THAT SUPPORTS THIS ASSERTION, WHICH WAS TAKEN FROM PARAGRAPH 3 AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS ARTICLE.
There are alot of testimonials and blogs however, is there a list of NON NAR Churches through out the US That we can fellowship with online or in person? That is the one thing I am not finding.
The Narrowing Path said:
So sorry for the delay in responding to your comment.
There are a lists of churches or church finding functions within the websites of denominations (e.g. you could try the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, LCMS/ALC – Confessional Lutheran etc.). Other lists exist, such as the ones at 9 Marks or Founders Ministry. They are certainly worth a try.
Choosing a church can be hard work. If you are looking for a good church, I recommend selecting 2 – 3 churches. Read their statement of faith, anything you can about the denomination they are part of, and then listen to sermons from that church. And pray for wisdom!
Sorry I couldn’t give a more definitive list. Any lists still need to be checked out on an individual church basis as sadly churches (and denominations) can drift from the truth over time.
Don’t know if anyone will respond. If not, fine!
I think I know what to do, but seeking reassurance.
I am in England, what you might call upstate West Sussex, so out in the sticks.
I have my own problems, but kept in very close touch with NAR and Bethel particularly.
One New Frontiers church (Lifespring Horsham), I know Dave Fellingham here and he knows exactly what I think. The lead elder is going off onto sabatical, partly he will visit Bethel. I have written to him to speak with ordinary people as well.
The local Anglican church (Episcopalian in US terminology) we have had a connection with for 20 years, the reading yesterday was from the Passion Translation. The vicar did say something about that translation but I didn’t hear it properly, I was at the back helping with the computer program.
Do I do anything more than as kindly as I can point out errors they should have picked up on long since?
If these 2 have been infected by the NAR there are other places, or a DIY Bible study group!
The Narrowing Path said:
Thanks for getting in touch! I’m sorry to hear that there is so much NAR influence in your area. It seems to be a worldwide problem that has affected virtually every denomination. That is certainly true here in Australia. (I left an Anglican church years ago that completely embraced the NAR heresies.)
I’m not sure if your own church is starting to embrace NAR teaching, or if you just mean the one that is connected to your church. Either way, it sounds like you might need to consider looking for a new church home, if your own church (or affiliated churches) are becoming infected with NAR teachings. Not only is NAR teaching (and the Passion “translation”) heretical and destructive to the soul, but also the resulting absence of sound teaching will be detrimental to your own spiritual growth and sanctification, especially if it’s coming into your church or others you are involved with.
Anyway, I’m not sure how helpful I am being, as I’m not exactly sure what issues your own church is facing. If you are encountering NAR teachings in your church or affiliated church, apart from encouraging you to raise your concerns (which is a good thing to try), the only other advice I can give is to consider trying to find another church. In my experience, churches that begin to dabble in the NAR rarely change course, but rather they abandon sound doctrine and become spiritually toxic.
In Christ’s service, Sherryn
Thanks Sherryn very helpful.
I drafted most of a reply which seems to have got lost.
Anglican Church: I don’t know if this is a blip or something more serious. Personally, I would not have thought it fertile ground for the NAR.
The NF church is more likely, but Dave Fellingham has been here before, as I have, and he might restrain this lead elder. I have input into him, and he to me, and he knows very well that the promise of the Wimber years produced not much, ‘clouds without rain’.
Your point, once they start, they go on; yes that is my concern. I am finely tuned here. It requires the Vicar, Eldership etc. to force it through and dispose/excommunicate the opposition and that process can be discerned.
At that stage one might begin to think?
The Narrowing Path said:
In my city, I observe that the wider Anglican church system seems to be pretty corrupted by false doctrine, and doesn’t seem to care about the NAR doctrine that some churches have embraced. I think there is other false teaching that is far more prevalent than the NAR, but it is appalling that churches calling themselves Anglican are allowed to teach NAR doctrine with no disciplinary action being taken. I’ve now left the Anglican system entirely, and now attend a a reformed Presbyterian church.
Also, I thought the NF churches were somewhat NAR-ish and that Terry Virgo was considered an apostle in the movement.. If not NAR, how would you describe them?
Yes the Anglican Church is a broad church, there are all sorts, very good and very bad and everything in between. I take what you say about Reformed Presbyterian Church; I am not aware of any such around but there may be one or two small ones not on my radar.
I had occasion to look at the Court system of the C of E over the last year or two and it is possible for 6 members of a church to institute proceedings against the Vicar/ Rector for heretical views. Such cases are heard before the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved, a Court with the same sort of status as our High Court.
No such proceedings have taken place since the C19 and even then a verbal assurance of the Creed or the Council of Chalcedon or whatever it was sufficed.
So that is absolutely a dead letter, the English deal with things in other ways.
NF; you are communicating with someone with inside knowledge stretching back decades and I can assure you it was not as bad as the NAR appear to be now. A friend of mine quipped, ‘apostropies overlook churches’ so much of it was quite light hearted. Yes I agree TV was no more an apostle than I was, possibly the leader, the bishop, the pope, however you want to describe it.
In retrospect I am concerned with abuse of authority- more in the upper ranks than against the ordinary church members- and my impression Terry Virgo let in all this US stuff (Wimber, Mahaney et al) and that was a polluted stream. He didn’t have to and one of my old friends said he did it as he was keen to have the aura of miracles so he could justify his apostolic title. Pass.
Dave Fellingham is a different kettle of fish and I have much respect for him.
I have let the curate know of my concerns in confidence so I will see what he says.
All the very best
The Narrowing Path said:
Thanks for this information Andrew. It’s very interesting to know some church history from your own part of the world, and I look forward to updates if you are so inclined.
Thanks I would love to do that.
Whilst scrolling down I saw a comment about seeking the presence of God. This point caused me a fair amount of angst whilst investigating all this stuff and I discussed this with the curate I mentioned. His view was that this what we are accustomed to; so I in a C of E church; others perhaps in other settings, oftentimes with people around.
So it is natural? – I had to discount experiences I had had about God being there, so be it.
The most High God and the most Nigh God; but only scripturally!
I am reminded, I happened to be in Chartres Cathedral on one Easter Sunday as a tourist quite by chance with my wife and I then realised these Gothic cathedrals were built to accommodate hundreds, even thousands of people in them.
So now perhaps we can understand the RCC cult of the saints and how Becket and Cuthbert healed from their coffins on top of their shrines.
Unfortunately NAR are following this route but I will not cope with necronancy! That would be it!
Sorry, I know I am preaching to the converted and my own faults are there, so please ignore what you like!
Taking your advice I have e mailed the Diocesan Bishop of Chichester, Warner, to see if he could do anything about the spread of TPT. I know myself of 2 Anglican churches who have used it and there must be more. Discernment? DOH!
We tend to think the bishops are hopeless and won’t do anything but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Warner is Anglo- Catholic so TPT he will not like anyway.
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