Leaving the NAR Church: Olivia’s story

I was exposed to the “kundalini” spirit, and saw some people barking like dogs. At one of these meetings a well-known & respected AOG pastor declared that these manifestations were indeed from the Lord. I didn’t stand a chance.

Olivia found a church in Australia, and began to grow in truth – or so she thought. Unfortunately, the New Apostolic Reformation is a counterfeit dominionist movement, and not biblical Christianity at all.

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 Olivia’s story in her own words:

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home but I had several older relatives who I’m sure used to pray for our family.

I was always searching for truth, and knew that I had found it when a friend shared the gospel with me. This couple led me to the Lord in 1993, the day after I married my husband. He took another 10 years to come to the Lord, but that’s another story.

The people who led me to the Lord were not going to church much at this time, and didn’t really disciple me much, so I floundered during those first two years of my faith. A new pastor came to our local AOG church in our small town so my friends took me along.

At that time I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and received the gift of tongues. Now I actually began to see some fruit in my life. I began to pray more consistently and read my bible regularly but there were some ungodly influences from well-meaning Christians giving me books by Kenneth Copeland, Hillsong, Oral Roberts and lots of other Word Of Faith false teachers.

No one taught me about discernment, and we were under the “eat the meat and spit out the bones” influence. My husband still wasn’t a believer, so I was vulnerable to a certain extent.

I did have a lovely lady for a few years who mentored me and that did help me grow in my faith. But she lacked discernment also, and took me to some church meetings around 1998 where there were some weird people ministering the ” Toronto blessing” nonsense. I was exposed to a “kundalini” spirit, and saw some people barking like dogs. At one of these meetings a well-known & respected AOG pastor declared that these manifestations were indeed from the Lord. I didn’t stand a chance.

In 2001 after we moved to Canberra, my husband came to faith in Jesus and we attended a Christian Life Centre there. The church was basically a clone of Hillsong. The pastor was a good guy and meant well but he was a friend of Brian Houston‘s.

There was a lot of emphasis on tithing, Purpose Driven Life, church attendance, home group attendance, and Hillsong conferences, but no emphasis on discernment at all. Unfortunately there was no discipleship at this church. As my husband was a relatively new Christian, he struggled in his faith. There was a lot of control in this church coveted by a thin veil of politeness. Everyone loved you as long as you served a lot and went to every event, but if you pulled away you’d be ignored. I call it “The Passive-Aggressive Church.”

We felt called to the mission field from 2008-2012, and our family went to Russia and Estonia and ministered to orphans there among other things. During 2011 in Estonia I met a guy who opened my eyes to the truth about Hillsong, Bethel and false teaching.

I was in shock that I could have been deceived for nearly 18 years coming under this false prosperity teaching. I had to seriously repent.  I had to start again with my faith. I was really angry with all these Christian leaders who had let me and my family down.

I began to read my bible thoroughly, not just the nice parts. I scoured the internet for more websites that exposed false teaching, and found CARM.org,  Chris Rosebrough, Hillsong Churchwatch, and more. It was so important for me to connect with accurate biblical teaching for the first time and to hear stories of others who had also been deceived. It was like getting saved again.

When we returned to Australia we had to leave our church. Thankfully we found a Baptist church with a great pastor who taught the Word accurately. Very few people from our old church kept in touch with us, because it was like a cult.

I’ve come under much opposition from other Christians for speaking against Hillsong and NAR teachings. Friends have deleted me on Facebook. I felt like a leper. Thanks be to those who are brave enough to speak out and expose the many false teachers in the church today; because of them I am free!! I have a better understanding of the Bible and I’ve been able to teach my children the importance of knowing God’s Word and being like the Bereans.

Thanks & Blessings.

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.

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6 years ago

Thanks for sharing these testimonies about leaving the N.A.R
One day I will write my testimony but I am not in that place to do so yet.
However over the past 9 months I feel the Lord is opening my mind up to the truth of all this ‘falseness’. I too live in Australia and was born again in a Pentecostal church 10 years ago. The pastor is a lovely guy but they are into all the word of faith teachers, signs, wonders, Bethel music etc and I am now questioning all this stuff, especially the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I never really felt I belonged in this church. I have not been for about 8 weeks now but my husband and kids still go. My 14 year old son plays drums on the worship team. I feel like I am in the wilderness right now. I don’t want to go to church and I really don’t know what to believe about all this prophetic stuff anymore.
Praying for discernment and the Lord’s guidance.
I don’t normally post replies to things but this story brought a tear to my eyes so I felt to respond.
Thank you once again for this site.

6 years ago

God bless you Sharron, may He for His glory bring you in to His pasture! May He open your eyes and be a light unto your feet, may He show you the error of the NAR and may He bring you to still waters, there’s only rest in Him, may our good and gracious God deliver you and your family from the snare. God bless you sister, please keep on praying, pray for discernment, pray for your family and pray for those that are captives in the NAR.

6 years ago
Reply to  Manny1962

Thanks Manny for your encouraging words.
The Church I mentioned in my post we have been there for about 5 years.
We started out in a Pentecostal church for about 2 years then with a change of Pastor we went to a Brethren Church, stayed there for about 2 years but they did not believe in the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit. I was seeking for ‘more’ and so desperate to move in the ‘gifts’.
(I had already been baptized in the Holy Spirit at home on my own when I was saved for about a month). We then went to another Pentecostal Church, the one we are at now. I am not sure if one would call it a N.A.R church as such but I do remember them having a N.A.R Apostle from the U.S (who wrote his own version of the bible – Passion translation) come to preach there and another time when a visiting preacher come we had a ‘fire tunnel’.
I was mentored by a lady there who was a self proclaimed ‘Prophet’ but that was a bad experience because she had a very controlling spirit. Emotionally she hurt me badly and it took me 2 years to get over it. She is no longer at the church.
Like I said the Pastor really is a genuine nice guy so I don’t want to speak badly of him.
I am OK with my husband and kids still going as I feel for the kids sake they need to be in church but as for myself I have no desire to go there or anywhere at present.
Seeking the Lord in His word as I know that only there will I find truth.

6 years ago
Reply to  sharron


I would recommend you get out of that church. What you are saying leads me to believe the church is a part of the NAR.

Richard Gliddon
Richard Gliddon
6 years ago

We were also caught up in this stuff for 43 years in Australia, starting with Faith Centre in Sydney in 1972. It is taking a lot of discipline to unlearn isolating scripture or using it out of context. Finding a biblically sound church is also very difficult. But I know Adonai is in control & we are thankful that the Holy Spirit gently leads us to the Truth.

Terry Caturano
Terry Caturano
6 years ago

My husband and I left a NAR church in Kentucky USA a little over a year ago. We had been members in this church, raised our children there, and loved the people, believed in and practiced the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then there was a change of leadership. The new pastor was very heavily into Word of Fatih teaching, and didn’t seem to know anything else. He lived a godly life and all his 6 children were in church, looked like good fruit. But he began bringing in “prophets” from Kansas City, and then more prophets. One stayed and we had 19 weeks of “revival.” A lot of exciting things went on, and many of his sermons were pretty biblical, but some of the prophecies were simply not true. There was no accountability. The people who objected or had received false prophecies were shown the door. They left and the prophet continued. Some of the “prophets” within the church began a prophetic ministry class to train people how to move in the gift of prophecy, as if they could impart and teach this gift. The Bible says the gifts are given by God as He desires, not because people decide to prophesy or learn it from another prophetic person. The church then had a regular guest speaker who trained us in how to shepherd our people better. Much of it was good, but the pastor referred to this teacher, a man and wife from South Africa, as “our Apostle,” and the prophet who had led the 19 week revival was “our prophet.” Later, “our revivalist” was added to the leaders who visited our church and focused on manifestations and every one had to take up their own offerings. One offering was never enough. There were always at least 2 and sometimes 3, accompanied by a sermonette on how much they had been blessed financially or health-wise, etc after they gave something. Thus they bribed people to give, and manipulated the gullible, promised healings and prophesied certain healings that did not come. Some of the people who received prophecies of healing and really believed it DIED. Again, no accountability, and these people didn’t fit the narrative, so they were simply forgotten after they wrecked the doctrine by dying. Of course it was their fault, not enough faith or not enough decrees of their healing…or sin might have been in their lives that they didn’t repent… It couldn’t be that the doctrine was in error and the prophet was false!! Anyone who suggested such an idea and didn’t express total loyalty to the pastor and his vision and agenda was unwelcome. We are now in a church that preaches the gospel, serves the community in many wonderful ways, supports missions and sends their members on short-term missions to many locations, and has ministries for every age group. The pastor of the NAR church had changed the name of the church and brought in so many errors, and wanted the church to have a younger more multi-ethnic look than before, and to have immature members who were easily led and didn’t have any discernment. One gift of the Holy Spirit they didn’t relish was discerning of spirits. I happened to have that gift, as well as to have done some deep Bible study and teaching…so I wasn’t gullible and brain-washable. Nevertheless, we stayed far longer than we should have because we had so many beloved friends and fellow believers there and so many sweet memories of how the Lord had ministered there in the past.

6 years ago

I wouldn’t recommend an Assemblies of God church in Australia. From what I’ve heard, it’s been overrun by the Word of Faith movement, led by Hillsong in Sydney.