There is a belief in what has become known as the New Apostolic Reformation that really more a collection of teachings that have a common mission: culture dominance. The focus to control the cultural discussion within a nation or region.
In my view, the following is the working definition,
“New Apostolic Reformation is defined as a philosophy to bring secular culture into submission to the Church in a nation by enforcing biblical law. It seeks control by using first century Jewish structures in modern gentile cultures apart from the proclamation of the gospel. The end goal is control of culture, not seeing people receive forgiveness of sin and walk in the Spirit.”
While it is wider than this, it is basically taking the doctrine of Calvin that is became known as Post-Millennialism, throw some Charismatic Pneumatology on it and changing some of the rhetoric and you have Kingdom Now((Popularity among Pentecostals came in the 1948 Latter Rain revival. )) or the 7 mountain mandate.
However, their missiology is more developed from Christian Reconstructionism from the 1920’s. They want to take Calvin’s Institutes and build American society based on biblical law (Law of Moses). Anyone who committed a biblical offense would face death like the Israelite did in the Old Testament.
This is the goal of the New Apostolic Reformation.
Apostolic Reformation in the Philippines” width=”1280″ height=”960″ />
My experience with the NAR Movement
While I have been part of ministries that have serious New Apostolic Reformation leaning such as Global Awakening and the International House of Prayer, I have experience that has seen this fleshed out and the result: geocide.
The Charismatic Church in the Philippines has strong convictions about Kingdom Now and are influenced by the teachings of people like Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle and Bill Johnson. Evangelism often is more about convincing people to support the murdering of “bad characters” than about the death, burial, and resurrection.
Charismatic Filipinos believe that Duterte was appointed by God to kill anyone who committed social sin. According to Jayeel Cornelio,
God appointed Duterte to root evil out of communities.
As a result of their Kingdom Now values, the Church has turned the other way to over 50,000 young men and women murdered in the streets of the Philippines. Catholic priests who challenges the narrative has to fled the country as well.
On a personal level, I have had to step over dead bodies to go to 7-11 in the morning from the killings by the police the night before. I also was on the ferry that the Police murdered Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr for being a possible drug lord.
Yet, the Charismatic Church supported these actions by over 80%.
If you are interested in more understanding of the Kingdom Now values of the Philippines, I recommend Third Wave Pentecostalism in the Philippines by Lora Angeline Embudo Timenia.
How Pentecostal values counter New Apostolic Reformation values
There is several ways that they are different. Some of the ways are concerning Pneumatology, Missiology and Eschatology. While there is more than can be said in a short article like this, I want to highlight these three major areas of disagreement and how they impact worldviews.
The view of who the Spirit is and what He does is critical to see how the Pentecostal worldview differs from those supporting this newer view. Much of what we see in these “revival meetings((This is common in churches that came out of the Toronto Blessing))” is actually the occult. They are calling on spirits of the fallen world to give them “experiences.” The desire to be formed in the image of Christ and to walk in deeper sanctification is not present. In some cases, testing the spirits((1 John 4:1-6)) present is actually discouraged.
In contrast, Pentecostal focus on the transformation of the person as the work of the Spirit. The test of an experience is a changed life. The Holy Spirit comes to convict us of sin, righteousness and judgement. Any experience must draw the person closer to the Lord in intimacy, deeper works of holiness, and a renewed passion for soul winning. If these three are not present, the experience must be rejected.
However, the main difference would be one of how they see the Great Commission. People in the New Apostolic Reformation focus their mission on winning elections((Fixation on Donald Trump by Paula White and others)) and taking control of the media((Controlling news is viewed as “culture wars”)). They believe if you control the political and social constructs of a society, you will influence the change needed within a generation. The vision is to “Christianize” society. This is why Christian Nationalism((Christian nationalism is Christianity-affiliated religious nationalism. Christian nationalists primarily focus on internal politics, such as passing laws that reflect their view of Christianity and its role in political and social life. In countries with a state Church, Christian nationalists, in seeking to preserve the status of a Christian state, uphold an antidisestablishmentarian position)) is such a driver of the New Apostolic Reformation.
Classic Pentecostals, on the other hand, have a very different missiology. Historically speaking, they have discouraged any involvement with “politics of this world.” While there has been people involved with the process who are Pentecostals (John Ashcroft comes in mind), the mission of Pentecostals has always been “We commit to each other and to Jesus for the greatest evangelism thrust the world has ever seen.((2nd General Council at Stone Church in Chicago, 1914))” The mission of Pentecostalism is to preach the gospel with miracle confirmation. Period.
What about Eschatology? For those in this movement, it is about taking “dominion.” This is theologically known as Post-Millennialism. This is the belief, as the name says, the Lord will return AFTER the Kingdom age. (1,000 years) This was popular a few centuries ago((Edwards and Finney believed this)) but as more people became educated, they realized this was wrong and should rejected. However, in the 1980’s, there became a new push for it with Kingdom Now teachings((Earl Paulk, ex-Pentecostal was its’ founder)) that impacted John Wimber through George Eldon Ladd((See George Eldon Ladd’s Gospel of the Kingdom.)). Today’s Kingdom Now teachers are influenced by the ministry of John Wimber.
In their worldview, we must go from “glory to glory” and slowly take society back and return to the “state of the garden.((This view is widely supported by Rick Joyner))” There is no expectation of the rapture of the Church within this theological thought. Each generation must built society closer to the garden state than the last one.
Pentecostals, by contrast, believe the gospel of the Kingdom, must be preached to the all people groups then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14) It will start with the rapture of the Church. Completing the Great Commission is the primary focus on the last days according to Pentecostals. It is widely believed that the great end time harvest will finish the task of testifying of God’s story to humanity.
Can Pentecostals and New Apostolic Reformation work together?
While many would say a hard no to it, I think there are areas that we can find common ground. An example of this would be doing a gospel crusade overseas. The desire for political controls leads to relationships with political leaders. This can help with permit approvals, for example. People within the New Apostolic Reformation also hold to divine healing so holding healing meetings is possible as long as the gospel is central.
However, the missiology of the Pentecostals must be compromised.