The first time I was called a heretic I was heart broken… The second time, I examined the “ministry” of the heresy hunter, and the lack of fruit, and deemed it a compliment… And so it goes ever since. I’ve never ran across a “self appointed heresy hunter” yet whose life, walk, verbiage, or ministry looks anything like Jesus.
A personal friend of mine posted an article yesterday by one such modern day “Berean” entitled “The Six Hallmarks of a NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) Church”. I read the article, and posted (tongue in cheek) to his link that I was Proudly NAR!… Normally I wouldn’t have, but this particular friend is someone I do know and love and have not only prayed for, but have been blessed by his faith.
According to the author I am an apostate cultist as follows:
- I believe in the 5 fold ministry… as defined by Ephesians 4.
- Yes I know the twisting of scripture that says that the foundation of the church has been built so there is no need for these offices, however you don’t pull the foundation from a house after it’s built… or continue to build a neighborhood without building a foundation for each house… The offices were for the equipping of the saints… ongoing, not past tense… as long as we have new saints, they will need equipping.
- The hatred of the offices other than teacher and pastor are based on cultic control of modern day American churches where “Pastors” and “Lead Ministers” rule supreme.
- I believe in the Kingdom of God… although Jesus said for us to preach the Kingdom of God this is apparently an issue.
- Apparently thinking that Christians shouldn’t pull back from government, the arts, business, education, etc. is a bad thing.
- In Luke 19 Jesus uses a parable teaching us to “occupy” until he comes, which literally means to do business and take control… and these “heresy hunters” twist that definition to jump to all sorts of conclusions about NAR types.
- Your will as it is in Heaven on Earth… also biblical… so biblical that Jesus prayed to the Father for it to be done.
- I love God’s presence… or may have “experienced” the Holy Spirit.
- I was saved through a “Damascus Road” experience… much like Paul… you know that guy that wrote quite a bit of the Bible…
- These “Good Bereans” spend time studying a God they are not willing to meet. Saying prayers but never praying… how sad is that? For both them and a Father that I know longs for his children so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son to spend time with them.
- Signs and Wonders… Mark 16 takes care of that…
- I’ll use the Berean Literal Bible just to be fair…
And He said to them, “Having gone into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation. The one having believed and having been baptized will be saved, but the one having disbelieved will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those having believed: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; and with their hands they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it shall never hurt them; they will lay hands upon the sick, and they will be well.”
- Those that believe again is present tense… there is not a single scriptural reference in the word of God that supports Cessation… only grasps at straws. All means All. Here Jesus is talking about all those who would believe.
- I’ll use the Berean Literal Bible just to be fair…
- The last two items the article mentions are broad accusations rather than a position:
- Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine)
- God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them.
That’s a pretty broad brush to paint with, but a common accusation is that NAR types don’t value the word of God or put revelation above scripture… and both statements are flat out false.
- Most of the people in the ministries they attack are some of the most Biblically literate people I have ever encountered.
- There is a love of the word that in unprecedented in these movements. The adherents tend to read the word because it’s alive to them and they have a passion for it, not out of obligation.
Of course there were also the typical generalizations, mis-stated beliefs, flat out lies, etc. made in the article I have encountered from several of these ministries… and a typical byline is that if there is one thing not right biblically (in their understanding) the entire movement, and everyone in it, must be apostate and heretical. Of course the author of this particular article (along with most of their contributors) belongs to a protestant denomination that openly ordains those in the LGBT lifestyle as ministers and performs same-sex marriages. This is an extreme break from biblical tradition, so couldn’t we, based on that alone, dismiss their entire viewpoint as well?
In fact, I’ll make some broad generalizations of my own admittedly, most of these ministries come from leaders in dying denominations that have abandoned living out their faith with the exception of attacking those in the church they don’t agree with.
So as I stated above, when I have evaluated those they attack against their own ministries, or movements against the early church and the life of Jesus I have to make the conclusion the very ones they are coming against are the ones I want to emulate in my own walk… ultimately my desire is to be like Christ.
But we do see these “Protectors of the faith” in the bible as well…
Matt 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
To read what the NAR Movement REALLY is, check out this Charisma article written by the very man that coined the phrase here. It’s NOT what you think it is.
To read how these “Heresy Hunters” use more cult tactic than those they attack, check out my friend Kay’s own response to her attackers here.
Shannon Chappell – Just1City