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The NAR Cognitive Dissonance of Dr. Michael Brown

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click here had an article recently detailing 10 absolute giveaways that someone is lying to you. The number two sign was details, detail, details:

"Liars are extremely generous when it comes to giving you details.They're trying to con you into believing them by overloading you with details." --

There is no one over the past few months that has provided more details about the New Apostolic Reformation than Dr. Michael Brown, which is odd because he does not believe it exists. He almost seems unhinged in his crusade to disprove the NAR and relegate it to the minds of tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nuts. His campaign against the critique of the NAR seemed to start around the time that I wrote a devotional calling him out as a gatekeeper for the NAR. Before we get into debunking his latest four page article (details, details, details) it is time to take the narrative back on the issue of the NAR. Discernment ministries have been lax in using the term NAR as a catchall to describe a certain set of core teachings that is infesting the body of Christ. What this has enabled Brown to do is attack the veracity by referring to the NAR as some kind of a shadow group that meets in secret and won't reveal it members. He is able to deflect by simply stating that no one admits to actually being a part of the NAR. This is not so far off the truth. The NAR was always more conceptual than official, even when C. Peter Wagner coined the term 30 years ago. So it is not so much that Bethel Church is an NAR church but that they embrace NAR theology. Maybe not every tenet but one is enough. I see the core NAR beliefs as follows:

* Dominionism, including seven mountains theology or not

* Experiential Christianity over the Bible, including false signs and lying wonders or not

* False authority paradigm, including a reliance on new apostles & prophets instead of the Bible

* Focus on the temporal life instead of eternal, including prosperity gospels or not

Now some may think they have more but I am trying to streamline the list. So one might say the NAR is involved in the carnal political landscape and they would be correct but I place that in the seven mountains bucket, for example. Fake healings go in the false signs bucket. What we will see over and over again from Brown is the exaggeration of these points, the accepting of denials as proof, and his constant barrage of details being thrown against the wall in an attempt to see what sticks. Beloved, let us reason together with our common sense first. No one is running out to brag that they are an NAR church. No one is championing the cause of dominionism but they will hide behind wanting to influence culture with their faith. That's the same thing. If asked about whether they value the temporal or eternal, no pastor is going to admit to worshipping this life but we do not look to their words but rather their teachings. So with this as our backdrop let us once again peer into the mind of someone who defends the greatest figures who adhere to NAR teaching while pretending there is no such thing as the NAR.

"The warnings are dire indeed. "The world's fastest growing sect of Christianity is not Christian at all. And chances are very high that your child and church are getting infected." Yes, this ministry website tells us, "The New Apostolic Reformation movement and the Jesus Culture worship band boasts of 369 million adherents." What, exactly is this New Apostolic Reformation (abbreviated NAR)? According to the website, "The New Apostolic Reformation worships God drunk in the spirit and they teach scant amounts of truth. Christians do not need to be aware of each and every false teacher on the planet. But the New Apostolic Reformation is the most influential aberrant movement the church has ever seen." And so, the website urges, buy this one-hour DVD and you will find out how terrible this "influential aberrant" movement is. Seriously? This alleged "sect" boasts 369 million adherents? Where did this figure come from? And why is it that most of these 369 million adherents (who think they are Christian but are not) have likely never heard of NAR?" -- Dr. Michael Brown (DMB)

This is the complete dishonesty of Michael Brown on full display. The link is to wretched radio but not to their beliefs or a podcast about the NAR. It is to a product page for a DVD about being drunk in the spirit. Why not use the search function on the site for NAR and deal with the first video that comes up which is Paul Washer explaining that the NAR is not a church. Because that does not fit Brown's agenda of painting the critics of NAR teachings as loony tunes. The fact that he implies something nefarious because the producer of the DVD is charging money for it is beyond the hypocritical pale for Brown. On his website he also has a store where he hocks his wares. For just under $100 you can get an eight-book starter set. He has various other offers as well as DVD teachings for similar prices. Keep in mind that Wretched has never gone on the Benny Hinn show for a week to sell their products like Brown has.

"I was doing my radio show last year when, during a break, my producer and I heard an ad playing for this DVD. We were absolutely shocked. What in the world were they talking about? What is this massive, dangerous "NAR"? During the 2016 presidential campaign, I had seen articles on radical-left websites accusing political leaders like Ted Cruz of being part of "NAR." By this the critics meant an alleged Christian dominionist movement that wanted to take over America. But that, apparently, was quite different than this new description of NAR, since most of its supposed followers are not dominionist." -- (DMB)

Another hallmark of debating Brown is his feigned ignorance regarding subjects one would expect such a figure to know about. When I explained the false teachings and prophecies from Hinn for example, he claimed he had not heard. He also is quite adept at finding the outlier stories to use as representations of the mainstream thought. I operate a discernment ministry and I never saw any article claiming Ted Cruz was NAR. However, if we start speaking about the NAR correctly, one could easily see Cruz as part of the government model of the seven mountains mandate. The NAR is not a church as much as it is an idea that is directing churches.

"So I continued to wonder, "What is this so-called NAR?" I was familiar with the term New Apostolic Reformation, coined by Peter Wagner (more on this below), but it hardly resembled this ominous new "NAR." To make matters more interesting, last year, some colleagues began sending me links to articles and videos attacking me as one of the leaders of NAR. Worse still, the websites claimed, I denied being part of it. How nefarious and dishonest of me! (To this moment, when I tell the truth about "NAR," I'm called a liar. It would be very funny it wasn't very sad.) I began to ask other colleagues about NAR (or, in full, the New Apostolic Reformation). Almost to a person, they responded, "What is NAR?" Yet they, too, were alleged leaders in this so-called world movement! How is it they never heard of it either? (According to the critics, all of us are lying about our involvement in NAR because we're embarrassed by it. Honestly, these critics could make better use of their time writing a novel about the Illuminati.) So where is all the confusion and misinformation coming from? Why are these critics making such outlandish charges?" -- DMB

These are the defenses Brown always offers up. He does not know what the NAR is and neither does anyone he knows except the late C. Peter Wagner. Brown is right that Wagner coined the term and founded the movement so why not turn to Wagner's own words from 2011:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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