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The NAR Cognitive Dissonance of Dr. Michael Brown

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"It will surprise some to know that the NAR embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity. It is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam. Christianity is booming now in the Global South which includes sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and large parts of Asia. Most of the new churches in the Global South, even including many which belong to denominations, would comfortably fit the NAR template. The NAR represents the most radical change in the way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation. This is not a doctrinal change. We adhere to the major tenets of the Reformation: the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, and the priesthood of all believers. But the quality of church life, the governance of the church, the worship, the theology of prayer, the missional goals, the optimistic vision for the future, and other features, constitute quite a change from traditional Protestantism. The NAR is not an organization. No one can join or carry a card. It has no leader." -- C. Peter Wagner -- 2011 on Charisma News

This seems like a lot of detail and hype for something that doesn't exist! This article appeared on the same website that runs Dr. Brown's material. Odd that he doubts the existence of the fastest growing segment of Christianity? Note the way Wagner describes the NAR not as a church but a model that a church can comfortably fit into. He openly admits that it is not an organization, no one can join, and there are no business or identification cards. Sounds an awful lot like the way I described it at the start. Let's see if Wagner can shed more light on the claims that Dr. Brown makes regarding no one believes in dominionism:

"Dominionism.This refers to the desire that some of my friends and I have to follow Jesus and do what He wants. One of the things He does want He taught us to pray for in the Lord's Prayer: "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This means that we do our best to see that what we know is characteristic of heaven work its way into the warp and woof of our society here on earth. But where does dominion come in? On the first page of the Bible, God told Adam and Eve to "fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, etc." (Genesis 1:28). Adam, Eve, and the whole human race were to take dominion over the rest of creation, but Satan entered the picture, succeeded in usurping Adam's dominion for himself and became what Jesus calls "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30). When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth. This is what we mean by dominionism." -- C. Peter Wagner

At least Wagner was honest about his false beliefs. God giving Adam dominion over the fish does not mean God gives us dominion over other human beings who do not share our beliefs. This is only seven years ago and the dominionist teachings continue to grow and fester within the body. You either have to be blind or willfully ignorant to not see it. The notion that God needs us for anything, let alone to bring peace to the world in advance of His coming is patently absurd. Remember though; the NAR adherents worship this world not the eternal life. For Michael Brown to continue to claim disbelief that the NAR exists reveals more about him than anything else. Here are some other musings from Wagner, from the same article:

"The way to achieve dominion is not to become "America's Taliban," but rather to have kingdom-minded people in every one of the Seven Mountains: Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment, and Business so that they can use their influence to create an environment in which the blessings and prosperity of the Kingdom of God can permeate all areas of society. -- C. Peter Wagner

Some object to the notion that God communicates directly with us, supposing that everything that God wanted to reveal He revealed in the Bible. This cannot be true, however, because there is nothing in the Bible that says it has 66 books. It actually took God a couple of hundred years to reveal to the church which writings should be included in the Bible and which should not. That is extra-biblical revelation. Even so, Catholics and Protestants still disagree on the number. Beyond that, I believe that prayer is two way, we speak to God and expect Him to speak with us. We can hear God's voice. He also reveals new things to prophets as we have seen. The one major rule governing any new revelation from God is that it cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may supplement it, however. -- C. Peter Wagner

Extra-biblical revelation.Some object to the notion that God communicates directly with us, supposing that everything that God wanted to reveal He revealed in the Bible. This cannot be true, however, because there is nothing in the Bible that says it has 66 books. It actually took God a couple of hundred years to reveal to the church which writings should be included in the Bible and which should not. That is extra-biblical revelation. Even so, Catholics and Protestants still disagree on the number. Beyond that, I believe that prayer is two way, we speak to God and expect Him to speak with us. We can hear God's voice. He also reveals new things to prophets as we have seen. The one major rule governing any new revelation from God is that it cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may supplement it, however. -- C. Peter Wagner

Supernatural signs and wonders.I have a hard time understanding why some include this in their list of "heresies." Whenever Jesus sent out His disciples He told them to heal the sick and cast out demons. Why we should expect that He has anything else in mind for us today is puzzling. True, this still pulls some traditionalists out of their comfort zones, but that just goes with the territory. One critic claimed that the NAR has excessive fixation on Satan and demonic spirits. This is purely a judgment call, and it may only mean that we cast out more demons than they do. So what?" -- C. Peter Wagner

There we have the seven mountains mandate, gnostic revelation for the new apostles and prophets, extra biblical revelation, and false signs and lying wonders. All summed up neatly by the man who founded the NAR, which Dr. Brown says doesn't exist. At this point Brown goes back into the history of where Wagner said he got the notion for the NAR and then returns to mock anyone who would disagree with him. He continues to erect old strawman arguments of not having a membership card and no one he knows knowing anything about the NAR other than it was C. Perter Wagner's group. He then politely disparages the work of Holly Pivec and Professor Doug Geivett, whom he recently debated about this subject. The entire debate was Brown again pretending no such thing exists as the NAR and that we should accept this because he knows the people involved. This is the same defense he gave me when I spoke to him about Bill Johnson being a heretic. The "I know his heart" defense does not trump "I know his teaching." Sorry it just doesn't. For the sake of time and because he threw so much at the wall this time, let me conclude with responding to some final points he tried to make:

"Does it matter that Mike Bickle's IHOP KC put out a categorical statement differing with some of the alleged tenets of NAR? Not at all. That just proves their duplicity." - DMB


"Recently, Dr. Joseph Mattera, who leads the organization once led by Peter Wagner, wrote two articles in which he strongly rejected some of the tenets of Wagner's NAR. But this doesn't matter to the critics. They simply heap scorn on him for being part of NAR and denying it. Do these critics really care about the facts?" - DMB

I put these two quotes together because they are of the same problem. IHOP or Mattera may indeed disagree with a teaching here or there but overall they still support the fundamental beliefs of the NAR. Bickle was friends with Wagner and Mattera runs what used to be his organization!

"If you enjoy Hillsong worship songs, you're part of NAR, and you are apostate. (Surprise!) If you believe God confirms His Word with signs, wonders and miracles, you're part of NAR, and you have fallen away. (Yes, surprise again!) If you believe the church should make a positive impact on the culture through the gospel, you're part of NAR, even if you repudiate dominionism. (Sorry, but that's what the critics say!) And if your church hosts 24-7 prayer, you're NAR. (Holly's website lists this as a tell-tale sign.)" - DMB

Hillsong is one of the most polluted false churches on the planet Michael. They do not preach the Gospel. They preach prosperity so much that the lead pastor wrote a book called You Need More Money. Now, if you listen to a song by Hillsong, and some of them are ok theologically, that doesn't mean anything -- and you know that. As for signs and wonders Michael we are only talking about fake signs and lying wonders. Like the type your buddy Bill Johnson cooks up over at Bethel. Gold dust and gem stones. Angel feathers and glory clouds. Todd White pulling to old con artist scam of growing the shorter leg out is not divine healing. Your friend Benny Hinn waving his coat did not knock 100 people down with the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you getting the point yet Michael? As for culture, Brown gets cute. I agree that through the Gospel we can affect culture by God winning people out from this culture. That is not what the NAR or Dr. Brown believes. They believe in dominionism. In affecting culture through the carnal political processes to get Christians into positions to affect policy. You can "repudiate" dominionism all day long but if you do so while writing the type of political cover articles Brown is now famous for? Yeah that would be known as hypocrisy. The 24-7 prayer is a reference to IHOP and the issue there is the non-biblical prayer. The soaking prayer. The Eastern Mysticism and chanting. Just read the testimonies of anyone who has escaped from IHOP.

"In short, what the critics have basically done is take whatever trends they differ with in the worldwide Pentecostal-charismatic movement, group them all together and put them under the heading of NAR--even though this is not what NAR has ever meant. So, they have taken a term that had a specific meaning for years, put their own definition on it, and then decided who is part of it, regardless of how the facts line up." - DMB

No Michael, just no. C. Peter Wagner defined what the NAR was. All we do is see who is ascribing to and teaching those doctrines. Maybe not all of them like Bethel does but any of them at all because they lead people away from Jesus Christ.

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