The prayer event I’m speaking of is The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis. The cult –like group Gov. Rick Perry has involved himself with is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The NAR has dozens of offshoots and an assortment of names such as Dominionists, Latter Rain, Kansas City Prophets, Third Wave, Joel’s Army, Manifest(ed) Sons of God, Five-Fold Ministry, to name a few. Another offshoot, and the one I’ll deal with here, is the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a splinter group of the Kansas City Prophets. Confusing? You betcha!
I’m not alone in my view that much of the NAR and IHOP theology and doctrines are unbiblical, most conservative Bible scholars, apologists and pastors agree. According to Brannon Howse:
The Response…is being promoted as a time of prayer and repentance. However, how can Christians and Christian leaders gather together in a spiritual enterprise and a spiritual service, with individuals that embrace a theology and doctrine that teaches a different Jesus and a different gospel? I, and thousands of pastors and theologians, believe that the Word of God reveals that the teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation, (NAR) the Word of Faith movement and the prosperity gospel is completely unbiblical. (Online source)
The American Family Association (AFA) is sponsoring the event. AFA is part of the Religious Right a.k.a. the Christian Right (CR). Is the fact that what many consider a cult, or cult-like, are involved just a slip up or a failure on the part of AFA to fact check? No. They know perfectly well who these people are and have decided to unite with them anyway.
So why would a so-called Christian group pal around with members of a so-called Christian cult? In a word, pragmatism. This is the philosophy that “the end justifies the means.” In this case the end is getting people motivated to show up at a prayer rally. The NAR has the resources to accomplish this task because a large part of what they do is planning global prayer events. Although I have no way of validating how this project was conceived it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the NAR wanted to do a prayer event in Texas that included the governor so they presented the plan to the AFA and a partnership was created. Since it benefits politicians to have the support of the Religious Right, Perry also jumped on board. Another possibility is that AFA’s leadership has Dominionist leanings and they, feeling comfortable with this group, sponsored the event. Finally, it very well might be that the governor’s staff came up with the idea and presented it to the AFA, they liked the idea and agreed to sponsor it. Although it would be interesting to know how the idea for this event was conceived and how this group of organizers was put together, the fact remains that Gov. Perry and the CR are involved with cult-like false teachers.
It’s not a stretch to say that most folks, including the governor, have never heard of the NAR or IHOP-KC, so it’s possible that at first he was unaware that false teachers were on The Response leadership team. He knows now! And rumor has it that he might be backing away from the event. We shall see what happens on August 6th.
On the other hand, the AFA is not backing away. As of today AFA.net has a large advertisement on its website. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More on the AFA after I summarize the NAR’s beliefs.
Let there be no doubt that the NAR is a cult-like movement within many Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It stresses supernatural signs and wonders, prayer, and spiritual warfare. According to C. Peter Wagner, former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, church growth guru, and NAR author,
the new apostolic churches, better than any I have previously studied, combine, on the highest level, solid technical principles of church growth with solid spiritual principles of church growth. (Online source)
The NAR believes that God is restoring the lost offices of Prophet and Apostle and that the modern-day apostles and prophets are gifted with the same gifts as the New Testament era Apostles. What do the apostles and prophets do? Wagner explains:
The apostles bring spiritual government to the pastors of the city so that the pastors of the city can do the job that God has given them in a much more effective way. The only thing is that the pastors of the city have to recognize the existence of apostles and be willing to acknowledge their governmental role. This hasn’t happened too much yet. (Online source)
Wagner said this over a decade ago. Today it is definitely happening… too much.
The NAR also believes God is giving them new revelation, thus they are able to rewrite Church doctrine. Moreover, these so-called apostles and prophets plan to aggressively “retake the reins of our country” for Christ. They also hold that Jesus Christ cannot return until Christians subdue and rule the earth. You say, “that’s crazy! The Bible doesn’t teach that!” True….which makes one wonder how a savvy politician like Rick Perry-who’s considering a run for the presidency–got bushwhacked by a band of religious renegades.
That’s it in a nutshell. (For more on the NAR go to Recommended Reading.)
Returning to the AFA, what’s important to know is that it is a prominent Christian organization that has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war since 1977. How prominent? According to their website,
AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with over two million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio (AFR) banner.
AFA is big. My reason for bringing attention to them is simple: Their supporters have a right to know if the AFA leadership shares the NAR’s unbiblical beliefs — or are they simply deceived.
In my opinion the AFA’s leadership is anything but deceived. Whoever chose The Response leadership team knew perfectly well that they were choosing members of the IHOP-KC and I have good reason for believing this. Several weeks ago an article I wrote titled The Religious Right unites with Religious Renegades, Part 1 was featured on AFA’s blog Rightly Concerned. After 2 days my piece was pulled — with no explanation for several days. Why did they suddenly pull it? Because I connected the dots between the CR and the NAR. (Blogger David Brumley noticed that my article disappeared from AFA’s blog. He became curious and began digging to find out why. There’s not enough space to explain what he found. Read his report. You will find it very interesting.)
Christian discernment groups have been all over the Perry debacle. They’re rightly concerned that the NAR is a major player in the event and that their participation will give these wolves credibility, not only with people of faith but also with politicians. CR leaders must heed Christ’s warning:
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22).
In an effort to right the wrongs here I’m going to include the names (it’s biblical) of The Response leadership and endorsers. Some of them are high-profile Christian leaders, others not so much.
Buddy Smith-Executive VP
Luis & Jill Cataldo-Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP)
Randy & Kelly Bohlander-IHOP &Lou Engle’s The Call
Dave Sliker–The Call & The Elijah Revolution
Doug Stringer–NAR “Apostle”
James & Shirley Dobson
Richard Land–Director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Penny Nance-CEO Concerned Women for America
Tony Perkins-President of the Family Research Council
Tony Evans-President of the Urban Alternative
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez –President National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference / Hispanic Evangelical Association
Endorsers: (More here)
David Barton–President & Founder, WallBuilders
Jim Garlow-Senior Pastor Skyline Church
John Hagee-Cornerstone Church; John Hagee Ministries
Timothy Johnson–Founder and National Chairman, Fredrick Douglass Foundation
Max Lucado-Pastor, author, speaker
Kelly Shackelford–President and Chief Counsel, Liberty Institute
NAR Endorsers (includes “Apostles” and “Prophets”)
C. Peter Wagner-Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles. (According to Herescope: “Wagner’s presence indicates the marshaling of forces of his Seven Mountains Army behind a potential presidential candidate.” Wagner and his wife’s names were recently removed from the list with no explanation)
Cindy Jacobs-General’s International
Mike Bickle-Director, International House of Prayer – Kansas City
Ché Ahn–Senior Pastor, Harvest Rock Church
John Benefiel-Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network
Laura Allred-Founder, Captured and Back to Life Movement
Nick Nilson–Youth & Young Adult Pastor, Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen’s church)
This is only a partial list. And the list is growing.
You’re probably wondering, Is something sinister going on behind the scenes?
According to Herescope:
This type of prayer is not about evangelism. It is about Dominionism. This movement has been going on for decades now, but it gained momentum and popularity under the auspices of C. Peter Wagner, who first articulated this agenda in numerous books on the topic. Wagner… began to experiment with novel forms of worship, including prayer, in the 1980s. Wagner says that his idea about prayer began to change when he was exposed to Paul Cain in 1988 and Cindy Jacobs in 1989. Paul Cain was a father figure in the “Kansas City Prophets” which formed the IHOP … movement. Cindy Jacobs has since become one of Wagner’s chief lieutenants in the global Dominion movement, particularly through the vehicle of prayer. (Online source)
The Response is not the only event where the CR and the NAR have joined forces. In my 3 part article on the CR uniting with the NAR, I took no joy in reporting that “prophet” Cindy Jacobs and General’s International held the May Day 2010: A Cry To God For A Nation In Distress at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and that pro-family conservative Janet Porter of Faith2Action organized the event. Among the many promoters were James and Shirley Dobson. According to the Christian Post intercessors included Janet Porter, Tony Perkins, Jerry Newcombe, host and senior producer of “The Coral Ridge Hour,” the television outreach of the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, and Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. NAR leaders Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets and Chuck Pierce offered prayers of “Repentance for the Mountain of Religion” and for “The Church.” A large number of pro-family conservative leaders showed up for the prayer meeting.
Janet Porter is a huge supporter of Israel. On May 19, 2011 she ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal and in the Jerusalem Post on May 20th: Israel: You’re Not Alone. We Stand With You. Following are some of the signatures of CR leaders Porter gathered for her ad: Tim Wildmon, Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, Mathew Staver, Lou Sheldon, Bill McCartney and Judge Roy Moore. She also gathered signatures from NAR “apostles” and “prophets” Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle and Che Ahn. Far be from me to criticize Janet for supporting Israel. I’m with her on this one. What troubles me is her ongoing friendship with wolves in sheep’s clothing.
There’s more. A number of prominent pastors and Christian leaders attended Televangelist James Robison’s Leadership Summit in September of 2010 and again in June of 2011. Robison conducted the gathering because he believes,
there is an insidious attack on God, faith, family and freedom” and that God was planning on using this group of “national leaders to help inspire a spiritual awakening, a return to sanity and a restoration of freedom’s foundation. (Online source)
Robison’s blog provides visitors with a list of attendees along with those who encouraged and assisted in bringing about the gatherings. The list includes some of the leaders and endorsers of The Response such as AFA founder Don Wildmon, Tony Perkins, Jim Garlow, Richard Land and Tony Evans. Emergent Church guru Dallas Willard is also on the list. And there are several infamous televangelists. For example: Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Rod Parsley. On the roll with prosperity preachers you find David Meyers (Summit Ministries), Jay Richards (Discovery Institute), Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage), Wayne Grudem (author and professor of Phoenix Seminary) and Rabbi Daniel Lapin (American Alliance of Jews and Christians). David Barton and Ravi Zacharais were on the list but their schedules did not permit their attendance. You’ll find the entire list here.
I have thrown out a number of names, events, and organizations in this article. My intent is not to confuse but rather to provide limited insight into how blurry the lines are becoming between true believers and false teachers. I hope readers will do their homework and follow the links I’ve provided.
The serious Christian must ask oneself if it is prudent to support false teachers in an effort to “take back America.” You’ll find the answer in the Bible:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. (Eph 5:11)
Exposing unfruitful (worthless) works is not happening! What’s happening is that so-called Christian organizations are teaming up with outright heretics and unbelievers. What does the Bible say on this subject?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together (team up) with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14)
It seems many Christian leaders do not have an ounce of discernment. Here they are standing on platforms all across America in front of thousands of people calling for repentance when they’re the ones who need to repent for going against God by uniting with wolves in sheep’s clothing! Many in the discernment ministries have been warning the Religious Right about their alliances with those in false religions and cults. How do they respond? By thumbing their noses and continuing their march down the path to destruction.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, if you really want God to bless this nation His people need to start keeping His commands beginning with Jesus’ command to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:5)
Do you love Him? Then prove it.
By Marsha West
New Apostolic Reformation-Email Brigade
Links to articles
Joel’s Army-By Jewel Grewe
The Latter Rain Revival Movement, Part 1-By Thomas Ice
The Formation of a Revolution-Herescope Blog
What is Dominionism? -By Sarah Leslie
IHOP’s New Breed Leaders-Herescope
Mike Bickle’s Gigolo Jesus-Herescope
The Ramp Exposed-Babylon Forsaken
You’ll find many names of false prophets on this site. Watch the video to see the NAR “apostles” and “prophets” gathered together for Todd Bentley’s commissioning ceremony.
The Shocking History of Spiritual Warfare-End Times Prophetic