As the chookwatchers continually blather on about the so-called NAR invasion of churches and movements, it should be remembered that NAR is not a denomination, movement or even a real entity, but a title given to an explanation of what is considered to be a revival of the five-fold ministry within the Body of Christ.
The New Apostolic Reformation was a descriptor for a phenomenon observed by a number of commentators, the main ones being authors C Peter Wagner, and the late David Cartledge, who pastored a church that was, at one time, amongst the largest in Australia.
There is no actual denomination or movement with this title.
In fact, if you Google it, the main places you will find any reference to NAR, as it is known, are the so-called discernment sites, who have created an error-strewn meme they now nurture having totally convinced themselves of its authenticity.
There is a very dodgy Wikipedia reference to the New Apostolic Reformation, which invites contributors to verify some of the tripe that is written in its article, that has mainly been produced by those (ahem…) ‘discernment’ writers who make up most of what they claim.
Thus, the discerners have demonised the NAR. Which means there is a real NAR, being a concept based on a phenomenon, and there is an alternative NAR, being an entity made up by the so-called discerners by which to group-criticise a number of ministries.
Chief amongst these demonisers are the chookwatcher sites, whose NARrative actually depends on the perceived existence of what they consider the wicked and cultish NAR.
Applying their warped version of the NAR as a contrived epithet, they a jumble up all and any ministries and churches they despise into one big mish-mash.
In this way, they can sustain their imaginary world by making their quasi-NAR into the most baddest thing in the whole wide world.
The origins of the NAR
C Peter Wagner, in his book ‘Churchquake’, which outlines the phenomenal rise of what is identified as the New Apostolic Reformation, points out that it is an observation of a developing theology amongst many hitherto unconnected and diverse movements and ministries, not an initiative he has constructed, or conceived or introduced.
Unlike chookwatcher, Rosebrough or a myriad other similar copy-cat critics who pass down their error from one to the other, I have read both Wagner’s book and that of David Cartledge, who devised the term ‘New Apostolic Reformation’.
I should, at this point, qualify my position on this, because, whilst I’m happy to point out that these so-called discerners are wrong in their understanding of what the NAR is and represents, I differ in my own understanding of what the Word says about the five-fold ministry and of the theology of Apostolic and Prophetic ministry.
In reality, there is no need for a reformation of the apostolic ministry. It never went away in the sight of God. The apostate church of the dark and middle ages ignored it and developed a different understanding of what they called the Apostolic Succession, and had nothing to do with Ephesians chapter four, which outlines the five-fold ministry, or chapter two, which tells us the Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets.
Ephesians 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
What we have is a restoration of a set-up God put in place under the New Testament. He never changed His mind, or His will, or His Word. It is the Church that has come back to the truth and begun to reestablish it through reading, believing, and acting on the Word that was already established.
Neither is it new in terms of the twentieth or twenty-first centuries. It has been with us since the beginning of the New Testament. So the five-fold ministry is apostolic, but it is not new, nor is it a reformation by God. Rather it is a reversion to the original plan of God by the Body of Christ as we read, believe and respond to the will of God as it has already written to us in the canon of scripture.
No post-Christian society
The ignorance of chookwatcher and others is made glaringly obvious every time they make criticisms such as the following:
‘You can actually thank Hillsong, Bethel, Lakewood, Saddleback, C3, CHC, Yoido Full Gospel Church and all other “churches” of the NAR for creating this post-Christian society.’
What an empty, baseless statement.
First up, there is no ‘post-Christian society’. I think they derived that from something Brian Houston was explaining and twisted it to mean something he didn’t. There is an anti-Christian society, but nothing comes after the true Church, which is set to be with the Lord forever.
Therefore, there won’t be a post-Christian society, so how could anyone have created it?
If we define Christians as those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and are waiting for His return for the Church, then we know that once the Church has been caught up to be with Him, there will only be the clean up on earth to deal with, but those Christians will be with Him forever more.
How, then, could there be a post-Christian society? That is gobbledegook. Double talk from the lips of the discernment mockers and scoffers.
Secondly, none of those ministries is anything to do with NAR, especially not the chookwatcher construct of NAR, which is completely different in all ways to the NAR model C Peter Wagner discusses.
As I have said, the NAR is a description of an already existing phenomenon. It is not a movement.
Fault-finders like the chookwatchers and associates make things up as they go along to fit some kind of narrative and agenda they have contrived, by which they make themselves seem important. Which reminds me of something Jude said about the critics of his day.
Jude 1:12-13 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
If chookwatcher or Rosebrough ever take the time to actually read these books they will see exactly how foolish their claims have become.