New Apostolic Defamation

The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is a movement originating in North America (where else?) which seeks to restore to Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity the five-fold offices described in the New Testament. It therefore appoints apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors. This sounds biblical, but the most sought-after job is that of apostle, naturally. The usual suspects are involved- Bill Johnson of Redding, Rick Joyner, Hill Songs and the Toronto Airport Vineyard.

We in the United Kingdom are not immune from this alternative Church; it is not limited to the sun-drenched slopes of California or the Southern Prosperity Belt. Its emphasis on powerful, supernatural Christianity with its abundance of miracles and additional revelation, has many acolytes and admirers not very far from Salem. I looked one of them up, and I quote from his personal website:

For over twenty years, W__ has walked in apostolic authority. An apostle has the ability to establish congregations, receive revelation, administer judgement, apply the plumb line, deliver God's people from darkness and deception, experience the sufferings of Christ and pass on the deposit of The Faith.

Founding congregations sounds great, but ‘receiving revelation’ sets the alarm bells a-ringing. He’s quite right in declaring this to be an apostolic function. The genuine apostles in the New Testament revealed God’s truth both verbally in their preaching and in their writing. That someone alive today would have this authority is not something I can accept. Likewise, passing on the ‘deposit of the Faith’ is done by every Bible preacher and believer.

Removing a senior demon principality near Washington, England in 2007, W__ has grown to enjoy a new era in apostolic authority and territory. The unclean energy of the so-called "Toronto blessing" has been cleansed from the area; angels have been loosed out of the ground from the Battle of Hastings; wizardry from Norway has been dealt with; Parliament has been cleansed from 17th century anarchy; Pakistan has been helped.

Wow. Much as I share his negative views of the Toronto Curse, I’m a little perplexed by angels trapped in the ground in Sussex and needing a helping hand. Cleansing Parliament of anarchy doesn’t seem to have worked post EU referendum, and good riddance to those annoying Norwegian wizards. More tantalisingly still, the apostle has been in our own area:

Energy from the Pendle witches has been cleared; Taliban principalities brought down; religious spirits in England destroyed; buddhistic (sic) principalities in Burma displaced; the curse upon the Kennedy family lifted; the Royal family protected; the influence of the Pope's visit to England limited; and strength given to Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, David Cameron and to the Angel over London.

Deep down, I have a soft spot for this apostle; his support for our monarchy and repugnance to Rome’s pontiff warms my cockles. But what about this bad energy in Pendle? If demonic power has been cleared, we who live in the hill’s shadow are yet to feel the benefit. The place is as godless and hostile to the gospel as ever. And the angel over London? I guess it takes an apostle to see such a one.

This calling is a spectacle to the world, angels and men, and we are prepared for that scrutiny.

I’m glad, because that’s what I’m doing now. Preaching through Jude has made me a little wiser to leaders who speak with such confidence about angelic and demonic beings:

‘Likewise also these dreamers…reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these speak evil of whatever they do not know…’

I have no time for living apostles, whether they wear the shiny suits of over-paid American mega-preachers or the elegant, scarlet robes of popish cardinals. The real apostles delivered their doctrine and all that is needful to the saints within the scriptures. Even when our friend, quoted above, effects seventeenth-century syntax and pronouns (“So, ye that are faithful to the Lord, be encouraged in the work that you do.”), nothing he says carries the least weight except where it corresponds with the Bible. Interestingly, I agree with much he teaches. I just wish he’d been content to call himself a plain, old-fashioned Bible teacher and left the wizards and buried angels well alone.

Image by Marcel Langthim from Pixabay