Leaving the NAR Church: Dean’s story


“My leader whom I love and respect called me critical, judgmental, and condemning. He said I was too young and inexperienced, and that I was seeing only through my bias and biblical grid that I’d received at Bible school.”

Dean had become a victim of the most vile manipulation of truth. His leadership convinced him that he was disobedient to God Almighty and needed to repent for raising concerns about false teaching.

He has allowed me to include his story in this series about a movement called the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR for short. In this series, I want to take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth.

Here is Dean’s story in his own words:

I was blindsided by the NAR. I was serving at a wonderful ministry as a full time missionary. I love my former coworkers like family but my leader started showing us video teachings centered on modern day apostles. I wasn’t agreeing at first but I didn’t think it was a big deal…that is until I heard that they believe they are the remnant and the rest of the church is ineffective and hopeless. That’s when my red flags started to fly.

I began researching the NAR and was blown away by what I was seeing. The whole movement rests on the giant claim that God Himself is restoring the offices of apostle and prophet and the entire body of Christ must submit to their authority or else miss out completely in the “new” move of God. If that claim is false, the entire movement crumbles.

I began to be so burdened. I searched the Scriptures and was further convinced that apostles of this nature aren’t for today. Rather I found many warnings about false apostles and prophets that do false signs and wonders. So after this I became convinced that I had no choice but to voice my concerns. I tried to but my leader whom I love and respect dominated the conversation, calling me critical, judgmental, and condemning. He said I was too young and inexperienced, and that I was seeing only through my bias and biblical grid that I’d received at Bible school.

I felt backed into a corner as I’m a terrible debater and hate confrontation. I was told that if I rejected the teachings, then I would be prideful and unteachable, and that I would be hardening my heart and closing myself off from what God was trying to do in me. After leaving that meeting I felt so afraid and manipulated. I was too stressed to eat for about three days. When I expressed my desire to leave the ministry, they said they were shocked and that my character was being revealed for its true nature (though I’d served faithfully for eight months without a single issue). I broke down and wept under the pressure and apologized for researching. They thought I was experiencing breakthrough.

I left that second meeting feeling more oppressed than before, because I’d caved to pressure when I had made up my mind to leave. I had to have my father come and sit with me for the third meeting. I had asked him to come but my leaders told me I was being tested: Stay here and obey God, or run home to your parents and break your vows to God and us. Finally in the last meeting I made it clear I was leaving and it helped having dad by my side. My leader told me I was making a very dangerous decision and posted a verse on Facebook about pride that I knew was intended for me. I was so broken because I was put in such a position with the folks I trusted and loved. I still love them.

For weeks I wrestled with their voices in my head. I felt so guilty, because we were a small ministry and I was valuable to the team. But when I re-examine the Word I can’t find a way to impute guilt to myself. I had no other choice. Either remain and embrace the apostolic paradigm or leave the group. I would not have been allowed to openly oppose the teachings while being there.  All the blame of sin was laid at my feet and I dealt with a kind of PTSD.

I re-lived the stress of those moments so many times. If not for the books of Holly Pivec and the podcasts of Michael Boehm on the NAR I’d still be in a downward spiral of guilt and shame. The more research I do the scarier this movement becomes and I’m so thankful God pulled me out before the seed of deception germinated in me. Now I pray for my dear friends in the movement and trust God to expose it to them.

I praise God that we don’t need their “new revelation” and we don’t have to take over the earth for Jesus…He will do a great job of that on the day of the Lord!  He’s Sovereign! He’s faithful! He’s true!

I have peace now and I can resume seeking Jesus Christ without feeling like I’m under the curse of today’s apostles and prophets.

Author’s Note:  You can read the entire series of NAR testimonies here.  If you would like to send me your story about your NAR church experience and what happened when your eyes were opened, you can email me here. I will be changing your first name to keep you anonymous.

8 Responses to Leaving the NAR Church: Dean’s story

  1. Sola Scriptura May 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Good job my brother. You fought and are fighting the good fight of faith. The scriptures are the only truth we have. I respect you much for giving up friends who were like family for the eternal truths of Jesus Christ. That decision, and the truths you spoke to those receivers, will be well rewarded on the other side. I’ll see you there.

  2. Bridgette Blumenthal May 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story. Keep talking to anyone who will listen, especially those who may be involved with NAR. God protects His own. To Him be the glory. But we are also cognizant and rational, so I am thankful you made the right choice. I know God gives us an abiding sense of peace when we are in HIs will, so being upset was a good sign you weren’t! Blessings.

  3. Maggie May 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Dean, I’m glad you didn’t succumb to your feelings after all the pressure you received. I believe anyone who challenges the teaching in a church should not go alone to the leadership. There is too much opportunity for spiritual abuse when it’s behind closed doors. Many of us have been vilified for questioning, let alone opposing, what is going on in the church.

  4. Manny1962 May 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    This story is just amazing, it shows what the NAR really is, a cult! What they do and say behind doors is not what they tell their converts. This is not even Christian, this is more akin to the Jim Jones CULT! God truly showed you who you were dealing with!

    • Maggie May 10, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

      When I was in a house church, not knowing it was NAR, but starting to connect the dots, I started asking direct questions of the pastor who was in charge of the network of house churches in my area. What I got in response was doublespeak. It smells pretty fishy when a pastor is cagey about answering questions about doctrine and affiliations–what is he trying to hide?

      As it makes inroads into independent and denominational churches with its teachings and practices, the NAR hides in plain site by not disclosing its identity. Many people involved in NAR churches have no idea what NAR is or that their church is part of the NAR “movement.”

      • Manny1962 May 11, 2017 at 7:07 am #

        That is frightening, but it comes down to lazy sheep, they don’t want to read their bibles, they don’t pay attention and then before they know it, they’re caught in a snare. We are taught not to question authority, that is wrong. I taught my son to question anyone who held authority over him and if something was out of his comfort zone, he was to immediately speak out, that included teachers, principals and pastors. The Bible must always be our standard and our authority, we use it to gauge everything the world says or does, no man is above it, that’s why the devil works overtime to try and destroy it​ with agendas such as the NAR, something that is not possible, God said His word is everlasting! It’s so great to read about all these wonderful people coming out of this abomination! Truly part of The Great Apostasy!

        • Manny1962 May 11, 2017 at 7:11 am #

          P.S. Maggie I wasn’t saying you in particular were lazy and didn’t read your bible! Lol! You obviously did and you saw things for what they were! Evil just doesn’t hide in mega-churches, it hides in small groups too! Questioning a pastor is crucial these days!

          • Maggie May 11, 2017 at 11:58 am #

            Manny, I understand. I always appreciate your comments and often wish I could express myself better in writing.

            Having been confronted with false teaching, I learned about biblical discernment and how to study the Bible properly. God used it to wake me up!