Mailbag, New Apostolic Reformation

The Mailbag: What is the New Apostolic Reformation?


I keep seeing you and other discerning Christians mentioning the “NAR” or “New Apostolic Reformation.” Is that some sort of new church denomination? Is it bad? What is it, and what do they believe?

This is one of those questions that others have answered so much better than I could ever hope to, so I’m going to give a brief synopsis and then urge you to study the articles and videos in the “Additional Resources” section.

Yes, the NAR is bad. Extremely bad. In my opinion, it is the worst form of false doctrine in the United States today because so many people think it is biblical Christianity and unknowingly import it into reasonably doctrinally sound churches. I mean, I’ve never heard of Anytown Baptist Church teaching (as Christianity) that Mohammed was a prophet or that God lives next door to the planet Kolob, but you’ll certainly see NAR beliefs and practices like dominionism, unbiblical manifestations of the “Holy Spirit” and NAR prayer practices gradually creeping into many average evangelical churches.

The NAR is not a denomination in the way we would typically think of, say, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), etc. There’s no headquarters building, no national president or leadership structure, no official creed or statement of beliefs, no membership criteria for admitting or dismissing churches. It’s more of a movement or a “denomination by imitation.” Pastors and/or church members of non-NAR churches generally discover an NAR church, book, or personality, decide they like what they see, and begin importing NAR beliefs and practices into their own church.

What are those beliefs and practices? Since there’s no official NAR creed or statement of faith, beliefs and practices can vary from church to church, but, loosely speaking, what it looks like externally is that the NAR takes the Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) heresy and kicks it up a notch with outlandish “supernatural” manifestations, blasphemously attributed to the Holy Spirit, such as: holy laughterstrange “anointings,” glory clouds of gold dust, tremoring, false prophecy, grave sucking, raising the dead, trips to Heaven, and being “drunk in the Spirit.”

The NAR is also largely responsible for many of the corrupt teachings on prayer that have become popular in recent years, such as: contemplative/centering prayer (which we see creeping into churches through the teachings of Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Lysa TerKeurst, Christine Caine, and others), lectio divina, Sozo prayer, healing rooms, and soaking prayer, as well as the false teaching of dominionism and the restoration of the church offices of apostle and prophet.

A Few NAR Organizations and Personalities
Bethel Church (Redding, CA.) led by Bill Johnson
Bethel Music (a music performance/production company of Bethel Church)
Jesus Culture (an arm of Bethel) led by Kim Walker Smith
International House of Prayer (Kansas City, MO) led by Mike Bickel

(You could sort of call these entities “Ground Zero” for the NAR. Much of what is believed and practiced in NAR churches trickles down in some form from these organizations.)

Todd White
Kenneth Hagin
Dutch Sheets
Ken and Gloria Copeland
Todd Bentley
Patricia King
Wendy Alec (GodTV)
Jennifer LeClaire (Charisma Magazine)
Beni Johnson
Cindy Jacobs
Rick Joyner
Amanda Wells
Rod Parsley
Jen Johnson
Kris Valloton
Heidi Baker

Two of the main ways NAR false doctrine begins infiltrating otherwise healthy churches is through the music ministry and the women’s ministry. Many churches use Jesus Culture music, Bethel music (or other music by NAR musicians) in their worship services, which can introduce church members to the band, and, subsequently, to their false doctrine. Examine the materials your women’s ministry is using and the conferences they’re attending. It’s likely that the authors and teachers your women’s ministry follows are either proponents of NAR false doctrine, partnering with proponents of NAR false doctrine, or at least being influenced by proponents of NAR false doctrine.

The New Apostolic Reformation is heresy and has no place in a Christian church in any way, shape, or form. Stay far away from it.

Additional Resources:

New Apostolic Reformation by Apologetics Index

New Apostolic Reformation by Berean Research

Truth & Transformation (video series) with Costi Hinn and Justin Peters

Clouds Without Water by Justin Peters

False Spirits Invade the Church: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3  A Documentary by Andrew Strom

The Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church by Berean Examiner

The New Apostolic Reformation Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Dominionism, Charismania and Deception  by Messed Up Church

Drunk in the Spirit by Todd Friel

Popular False Teachers see links for “International House of Prayer (IHOP)” and “Jesus Culture/Bethel Music/Bethel Church (Redding, CA)/Bill Johnson”

God’s Not Like “Whatever, Dude,” About The Way He’s Approached in Worship

The Mailbag: Should Christians Listen to Reckless Love?

What is the International House of Prayer? (IHOP) by Got Questions

The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) by CARM

Love and Death in the International House of Prayer by Rolling Stone

Leaving the NAR Church testimony series by Amy Spreeman

If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

22 thoughts on “The Mailbag: What is the New Apostolic Reformation?”

  1. I would add this – that if you’re in a mainline Protestant church or evangelical church and the leadership starts endorsing or bringing in people with the title of “Bishop” or “Apostle”, do some research on them – they are likely to be NAR and to be affiliated with a larger NAR organization. Happened to us last year and we were the only ones to ask questions. When we did, the leadership denied any connections. We subsequently were asked not to return to that church.


  2. Was NAR not brought into the spot light by Peter Wagner? He was adamant of the apostle/prophet authority. Did he not invent the phrase National Apostolic Reformation?


  3. There is a movement coming from South Africa, New Covenant Ministries International, that teaches many of these things also. We have seen it creeping into a few churches here in Canada, and I believe they are in the US as well.


    1. Wow! I knew that the US was exporting this garbage under the guise of “missions” to other places, particularly in Africa, but it never occurred to me that other nations were sending it out as well. Thanks for the heads up, Ann!


    2. New Covenant Ministries International is an international Neo-charismatic Christian church network founded by Dudley Daniel in South Africa in the early 1980s, currently led by Tyrone Daniel, and active in about 100 countries. Dudley was once a mentor to the current leader of the Four12Global group of churches based in Cape Town, South Africa. As the name indicates, this group of churches bases their mission on Ephesians 4:12, and therefore they believe that God still has His Apostles that lead the local church on Earth today. They also believe, amongst others, that miracles of healing, prophesying and speaking in tongues are for today. Congregation members are also encouraged to see Tithing as a New testament ‘requirement’. Submission to leadership is often emphasized and sermons often revolve around topics like ‘keeping the unity’.


  4. I appreciate your work .. the women’s ministry of our church is using all of the “Propell” material for women’s groups and for ladies retreats as well as the “ If table “ material. I have tried to talk to the new, young women’s ministry leader .. I shared some of your information on Christine Caine .. I was told she didn’t believe the program was bad . She said many of the spirituality mature women of the church liked it and approved of it . I told her that unfortunately I could not sit under that teaching . My heart is burdened by this . Also one of our worship leaders brings in a lot of music from Bethel, Hillsong and Elevation , this also concerns me . Our pastor is solid , not sure if he knows about any of this .. about the NAR , or it’s influence on the women’s teaching . I’m still trying to share with appropriate people in the church . Thank


      1. Thank you ! Since I’ve written to you , the church is now planning to use a house on its property for a “Hope house of prayer. And renewal”. There will be rooms for contemplative prayer, contemplative art, and appointments for spiritual direction. With this, the women’s ministry and use of Bethel, Hillsong music, my husband and I are about done. Praying about finding a more reformed ,solid church . Thank you for all you do .


      2. I’m so sorry to hear that, Janet. In case you need it as you begin your search, check out the “Searching for a new church?” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Lots of good resources there.


  5. Thank you for providing this information! I had no idea there was already an established nomenclature and such valuable apologetic links regarding them. I’ve had my theological journey severely influenced by these sorts of teachings and they are a real pain to uproot. It is a hair splitting process many times and has caused a great amount of difficulty. Thankfully, Gods goodness and leading has also shone through these times. Still, it makes me wonder how much of my ideology is still framed by this sort of teaching…


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