The theme of this year’s Answers for Women conference is Defend: Ready to Give an Answer. God calls each of His beloved children to share the hope He has given us through Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Yet how can we share this hope when so many are questioning the very foundation of our faith and false stories abound about Christianity? How would you answer a friend asking if Jesus truly resurrected? How do you share the hope of heaven among all the stories of visits to heaven? Is the Bible even God’s true Word? Should we be involved in things like holy yoga and contemplative prayer? We want to equip you with answers.
Joining Bodie Hodge, Erin Benziger, and Marcia Montenegro at this year’s conference is Amy Spreeman. Amy researches modern day apostate movements and counter-Christian cults to equip Christians to study all things in the light of Scripture. She is founder of the Christian news site Berean Research and Naomi’s Table, a Bible-based program for women. Amy also runs the Berean Examiner blog on Pirate Christian radio. Amy’s presentation for Defend is titled, “Six Hallmarks of the New Apostolic Reformation,” and here’s what she had to say about it:
If you were to ask me about the fastest-growing false movement in the church a decade ago, it would easily have been the Word of Faith or false name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel, which tells us we can speak good things into existence, and if we just have enough faith, God will bless us with good health and financial wealth. Today, a much bigger, all-encompassing movement is sweeping churches throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and especially in the United States. It’s called the New Apostolic Reformation movement or NAR.
What Is NAR?
First, you need to understand that NAR isn’t an official organization, nor can it be characterized by a common creed. It is instead a loosely knit and often unaffiliated network of leaders who share a common vision and goal for the visible church: to re-establish the official titles and offices of prophets and apostles of men and women appointed and anointed to have authority over the church—not just their own churches, but all of us within the church as the bride of Christ.
These apostles and prophets are to govern the church and reveal new truths that we—all of us together—can and must unleash God’s miraculous power to advance His kingdom on earth. They believe we as Christians are mandated to practically and supernaturally take dominion over every aspect of our lives, from education and government to the demonic in the spiritual realm.
Today there are many popular pastors and leaders who, while they may say they aren’t part of the New Apostolic Reformation, are in fact influencing millions of people with NAR teachings.
What’s the Big Deal?
Perhaps the churches you and your loved ones attend don’t adhere to these titles or offices of modern-day apostle or prophet. However, leaders and members could unknowingly be learning about some of the NAR’s unbiblical practices. In fact, a growing number of mainline denominational and non-denominational evangelical churches have done just that, adopting some of the NAR methods without its leaders recognizing the red flags of deception. Many of these practices are seeping into churches of every denomination through small groups, church planting, conferences we attend, or even the books we bring home from Christian bookstores.
The danger is that some of their teachings are true.
With every counterfeit movement we’ve seen attack the visible church, you’ll find some biblical truth mixed with error. Scripture when used out of context as an end to a means can sound like truth, which is why we need to be discerning and know our Bibles. We need to do as the Bereans in Acts 17 did, and compare every teaching we hear, read, and watch to God’s breathed-out Word.
There is incredible spiritual harm in looking at Scripture through the lens of the NAR. At the upcoming Answers for Women conference, Defend, I will spend some time helping women learn to recognize what the NAR movement believes and what it practices. To do this, I will outline six distinct traits that characterize NAR’s core teachings. But more importantly, my aim is to help women understand how to hold these teachings up to the light of Scripture, so that we can discern truth from counterfeit.
I think Amy’s presentation will help women identify not only the problems with the NAR but also how to use God’s Word to discern truth from error in the many other things the church is confronted with today that sound Christian but are actually contrary to God’s Word.
Register today to take advantage of the early-bird price (ends February 1), and remember the price includes lunch on Saturday, free admission to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter for the attendee, and 20% off admission for accompanying spouse and children. This year’s conference will be held at Florence Baptist Church (20 minutes from the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter) because we’ve outgrown Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum—what a wonderful problem! Be sure to download the bulletin insert on the event website to advertise the conference at your church.
Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!