Examining the latest NAR bible twisting in the pursuit of worshiping this country...
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom. -- Genesis 13:12 (BSB)
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) often appears nebulous even when we are staring right at it. That is because most never claim to be a part of it even if they are neck deep in its theology. Someone like Dr. Michael Brown often pretends it doesn't even exist even while vociferously defending its most popular teachers. Over the past two decades since C. Peter Wagner coined the term, the NAR has grown beyond what Wagner may have even envisioned. It now embodies the false notion of new apostles, fake signs and lying wonders theology as well as America worshiping dominionism. There are offshoots of these main heresies such as contemplative prayer, soaking, and even the return of holy laughter. It is easy to get caught in these weeds and lose sight of the more obvious and egregious teachings surrounding the idolization of America that is seriously starting to infect the entire body of Christ.
When Abram and Lot split up we are told that Lot pitched his tent towards the wicked city of Sodom (see key verse). The next time we see Lot he is living in Sodom. This is what happens when we idolize what is wrong. When we look wistfully upon a fallen world instead of realizing people need to be saved out of it. We end up living in it. The church pitched its tent towards Sodom several decades ago with the advent of the seeker friendly industrial complex and the purpose driven church models of growth. We started to hear nonsense about finding relevance with the world. That the church had to meet people where they were in the world. That the church needed to be changed to attract people from the world. Fast forward twenty years and now you cannot tell the world apart from the church. We went from pitching our tent towards it to living in the world and the NAR loves it. They love it because they can pretend to rail against what they love. The sin and excess. For example, only in the depraved mind can you think you are doing the Lord's will by covering up an affair on your wife, taking over a new church and buying your wife off with a Lamborghini all in the same year while portraying yourself as the victim. The above link is to a new article by another NAR, America worshiping adherent named Ed Silvoso. He is the founder of a "transform our world" network, which gives you an indication of where his head and heart are at. He has written a new book called, Ekklesia and this article presents the general NAR arguments on steroids as he hawks his new book. Let us once again reason together beloved to be aware of the heresy that surrounds us.
'"What I share is meant to be revolutionary but not rebellious. When I address the shortcomings of the modern-day church, I do so with the utmost respect for its leaders and members ... and with the unshakable conviction that Jesus is still building His church, because I know that 'He who began the good work in you (us) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.' (Phil. 1:6)."' -- Ed Silvoso
We start off by misappropriating Philippians 1:6, which of course has nothing to do with building the church. His ideas are far from revolutionary. They are espoused by false prophets and teachers every single day. Jesus builds His church through the message of the Gospel and the work of His under shepherds. Not through chasing carnal revival in a fallen world.
'"The issue is not so much what we are doing wrong, but rather what is missing that is keeping Jesus' stated objectives from materializing. Could it be that we have confined to four walls once a week what is designed to be a 24/7 people movement out in the marketplace, transforming our cities and nations?' -- Ed Silvoso
The arrogance of the NAR at work here. Nowhere are we commanded to figure out how to help Jesus with His stated objectives. We are simply charged with bring the Gospel to the world -- period. Perhaps God is extending His time of grace to sinners? Perhaps His love is staying His wrath? The underlying assumption being made here is that God WANTS to unleash judgment but cannot for some reason and Ed Silvoso thinks it is the job of the church to help make His objectives materialize. He then flat out lies beloved but in doing so we can see the underlying argument he intends to make. The church is to be considered bad and the NAR goals of conquering seven mountains is good. Nowhere does the bible teach that the church is supposed to be in any marketplace or transforming our cities and nations. That is straight up NAR-speak. People need to be saved out of the marketplace and culture.
'"If the church is so important, why did Jesus mention it only twice in the Gospels? And why is there neither a command nor instructions in the Bible on how to plant one? "The New Testament examples of church are vastly different from the contemporary notion that it is a place where members go, usually once a week. Back then, church always referred to people, never to buildings, and it was made up of individuals who operated 24/7 'from house to house' all over town as a transforming organism, not as a static institution (Acts 2:46; 5:42). Its objective was the transformation of people and of society, rather than acting as a transfer station for saved souls bound for heaven.' -- Ed Silvoso
Yeah, no Ed. This paragraph is so off even the conjunctions are lies. Let's go through the warped mind of an NAR acolyte one by one:
Jesus is God and thus wrote the entire bible. The New Testament is teeming with instructions on orderly church service. So what he is saying is so deceptive. If church was so wrong, why did Paul go on three missionary journeys establishing churches? In Revelation Jesus reprimands churches but never says they should not have started!
Yes the church today does differ wildly from what existed over 2000 years ago -- as does everything else in this world. If you examine how church is structured however, it still follows the model laid out in Scripture (not the apostate church but that was not the point he was making).
Yes, the Ekklesia are made up of people. Ekklesia means the ones called out. He is right to say that we collectively are the church but he does so to shoot down the idea of coming together for fellowship in a building and that is just ridiculous. The reason why the early church met house to house is there were no church buildings and there was great persecution.
The bible does not present the church as a transforming organism. It largely was a static institution beloved. Read Acts 2. They gathered together to hear the teaching, to break bread, and to fellowship. They were not trying to change the marketplace, conquer seven mountains, or any other NAR dream.
The notion that the objective of the church was to transform people and society is simply absurd. They preached the Gospel, period. It is the Gospel that transforms people, not the church. We are merely the chosen vehicle for His message. Perhaps the saddest commentary is his last line here. Ed Silvoso believes that a church that feeds the sheep and disciples them biblically is just acting as a waystation for heaven bound souls. This is how little the NAR thinks of the actual children of God. The things of God are still foolishness to those who are lost and the only thing that can save them is the Gospel. The sheep however, need to be fed and cared for. That is the job of the shepherd. The church is not a way station or a rest stop.
'"During Jesus' 33 years on earth, three major institutions shaped the life of the Jewish people: the Temple, the synagogue and the ekklesia. The first two were religious. The third was secular."
Rather than in a building, the ekklesia is meant to be centered in the public square, where the cultural mountains of influence are affected and nations are discipled. The key is to insert the "leaven" of the ekklesia into the local communities.' -- Ed Silvoso
Wow, where is he getting this from because it sure is not the bible. So the Ekklesia, those called set apart for God's purpose, are secular and not religious? The body of Christ was supposed to centered in the public square? Really?
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. -- Acts 19:8-10 (ESV)
That does not sound as if Paul was even remotely concerned about preaching to the lost or entertaining goats. He brought the Gospel and when some came against it he did not put on skinny jeans and rent a smoke machine. What was more important was the health and well-being of the sheep the Lord had entrusted to him. Because of this move to not confront the culture he lasted two more years there until all had heard the Gospel in Asia. Nations are not discipled beloved -- people are.
"Jesus promised to believers that as the ekklesia "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." The kingdom of God is not "confined to four walls once a week," but "designed to be a 24/7 people movement out in the marketplace, transforming our cities and nations. I am the church, and I bring the kingdom and the power of God to the marketplace." And "the church is the only institution on earth that has a branch in every city and a representative in every neighborhood." If we could only get the church to be the transformative agent in American culture." -- Ed Livoso
I want to make sure I am being clear. As Christians we are to represent Christ in all we do. Our coworkers should know we are Christians, assuming we actually behave as one. That is not however, "influencing culture." What Livoso and the NAR espouse is the Christianization of the secular world. Being a shining city on a hill means we stand out so that people will see what we have and want it. They will want the assurance we walk under and the peace that permeates our lives. If that draws them to our church, and the Gospel is being preached there, then they have a chance of being saved. This has absolutely nothing to do with the marketplace or seven mountains, or turning America into a theocracy. Jesus called for none of that. It is only the infatuation and idolization of this country that leads people to believe He did. You should also note that this carnal teaching only works in our country and that is how you know it is unbiblical because the Gospel transcends all culture. The same Gospel that saved me can save a factory worker in China but the notion that Christians in China need to better represent in the marketplace is absurd. This world is not going to be saved -- it is going to be judged.
'A personal story may serve as application. My wife, Cindy, began taking Pilates classes four years ago. Her teacher is Jewish. Cindy has loved on, and a few times when the opportunity arose, prayed for her classmates and teacher. Nine months ago, the teacher had an injury that would have left a permanent indentation in her calf. Cindy and her friend Nancy spontaneously prayed for her in class, and she was healed; the leg returned to normal. Since then, prayer has become more of the norm. When a grandmother fell in class and hurt herself, the teacher contacted Cindy to pray. Her classmates now are asking prayer for jobs, relationships, healing and more. "Your prayer healed me," they say. To which Cindy responds by saying, "Jesus healed you; it's not my prayers."' -- Ed Livoso
This is a fantastic testimony to the power of prayer and how we should represent Christ. It also has nothing to do with what Ed Livoso is selling and he knows it. There is a vast difference between praying for our Pilates instructor and trying to conquer seven imaginary cultural mountains. This is the shell game the NAR likes to play. They know full well that their design is for global domination. They openly believe that Christ cannot return until they literally take over the world. Yet when offering examples of that they advocate for they offer up innocuous tales such as this Pilates story. Don't fall for it beloved.
"America will soon need a refresher course if her citizens are to sustain freedom. Secularized education has rendered Christian thought and biblical wisdom obsolete. Secularism's preeminence in newsrooms, sports, the Fortune 500 and medicine has led to the folly of a culture glorifying carnal man. Christians have now reached the point where it is a waste of time to reason with the "religious secularists" doing this to our country. We live in alternate universes. Evangelicals regrettably have established a subculture by hiding their light under a bushel outside of the public square. Unless the Spirit shortly awakens the conscience of America's youth, the sun is setting on America as the political, economic and cultural leader of the world. The American century will come to an end, unless we can resurrect the magic of the Founding Fathers and that Jesus is the greatest export of America, rather than democratic capitalism. Reiterating Founding Father Robert Hunt's prayer on landing at Jamestown in 1607, "We do hereby Dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth ..." There is good news: "I see a cloud rising, like a man's hand." In the public square, Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand." -- Ed Livoso
Finally at the end we come to the admission. This is not about praying for our Pilates teacher. It is about perceived lost freedoms, secularized education, newsrooms, sports, the Fortune 500, and medicine. It is about a culture that has decidedly moved away from Christ over the 200 + years of its existence. While Livoso is right about this fact he refuses to look in the mirror as do nearly all Christians. The NAR seeks to steal culture back from the secular forces without recognizing the colossal failure of the church that has led to this present day. For over three decades the world has watched the church devolve away from Christ! Is it any wonder they simply followed suit! The things of God may be foolishness to them but the things of this world they see very plainly. They saw the 1980s boom of televangelist charlatans fleecing the flock while promising healings never delivered and miracles falsified. They watched in abject horror at the holy laughter manure of the 1990s and as the purpose driven church model of growth exploded. They watched cult of personality pastors arise and buy mansions and Learjets while their sheep were left destitute and dying. They moved into this century watching the spasmodic and demonic twitching of Brownsville sow the seeds of Todd Bentley kicking people in the face to receive their healing. They watched the hypocrisy exponentially increase. The head of the National Association of Evangelicals was caught in a 20 year relationship with a male prostitute who he liked to do crystal meth with and the church said -- don't you judge! The world has watched in disgust as the church has aligned itself with political forces and deemed them righteous when they most certainly are not. In short, they have watched the church worship everything but God for 30 years and still have to endure people like Ed Livoso urging the church to double down on it. You can blame those darn secularists all you like but in the end, the world moved away from Christian values because it moved away from an apostate church. Those are not Gideons and Rahabs you see arising Ed. They are the seven sons of Sceva. Talking about things they do not understand with authority that have never possessed.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- February 7, 2019
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 His purpose.