In a surprising turn of events, it appears as though the newly-elected Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, has aligned himself with the nefarious unbiblical movement, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). According to a report in Rolling Stone, Johnson is flying a flag outside of his office that represents one of the most pernicious characters of the NAR, Dutch Sheets.
Sheets has emerged as a quintessential example of a dangerous false teacher within NAR, appearing regularly with Steve Schultz of Elijah List Ministries, repeatedly claiming divine revelation and making “prophetic” predictions that are vague and do not come to pass. Sheets has misled multitudes of his followers with his self-proclaimed apostolic authority. Endorsed by figures like C. Peter Wagner, Sheets aggressively pushes for a radical transformation of church and society under the guise of apostolic and prophetic leadership.
The “An Appeal to Heaven” flag, as depicted in the image, comes from the Sheets’ book that bears the same name. The book An Appeal to Heaven epitomizes the dominionist theology at the heart of the NAR, a movement notorious for its false prophecies and deviant practices. Sheets advances the NAR’s contentious view that Christians are destined to seize control over societal and governmental realms prior to Christ’s return and promotes the idea of Christians establishing earthly dominion. This flag symbolizes the theme of the book, which is a flawed pursuit of power, blending religious zeal with secular ambition, and fostering movements and prophecies that conflict with the core tenets of biblical Christianity.
Sheets’ role in the NAR is not just concerning but perilous, as he actively distorts biblical teachings, leading unsuspecting believers astray. Sheets’ efforts to shift the charismatic church towards an ‘apostolic church’ reveal his deep entrenchment in the NAR’s misguided agenda. By aligning himself with other controversial NAR leaders, Sheets perpetuates a false narrative, dangerously misrepresenting Christian doctrine and leading many away from true biblical faith. His assertive proclamations and misleading teachings serve as a clear warning to discerning Christians to steer clear of his influence and remain anchored in the truth of Scripture.
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The New Apostolic Reformation, a movement steeped in controversial and unbiblical doctrines, poses a significant threat to the integrity of Christian faith. This movement, spearheaded by figures like C. Peter Wagner and Bill Hamon, has been rightly criticized for its departure from core biblical truths. One of the most alarming aspects of the NAR is its claim to apostleship. Historical and biblical records, such as those from Clement of Rome, a contemporary of the apostles, affirm that neither the early church nor the New Testament endorsed the idea of apostolic successors. Clement’s writings reflect a clear understanding that the authority of the apostles, appointed directly by Christ, was unique and not to be perpetuated through successive appointments.
Furthermore, the NAR’s teachings about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit diverge sharply from orthodox Christian doctrine. They promote a distorted view of Jesus, often referred to as the kenotic Jesus, which undermines the biblical truth of His full divinity and humanity. Their interpretation of the Holy Spirit aligns more closely with New Age metaphysical concepts than with the biblical role of the Spirit in convicting and guiding believers in truth.
The NAR’s “Gospel of the Kingdom,” another concerning and pernicious false doctrine, prioritizes signs, wonders, and material blessings, overshadowing the fundamental Christian message of salvation through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. This skewed gospel is often used to justify unethical and pragmatic methods for church growth and evangelism, further straying from biblical principles of holiness and righteousness.
Additionally, the NAR’s organizational structure allows for unchecked authority and lack of accountability among its self-proclaimed apostles. This absence of a codified doctrinal statement or ethical code enables leaders to operate without accountability, fostering an environment where false teachings can proliferate unchallenged. To say the least, the New Apostolic Reformation is a false gospel that attracts false teachers, goats, and reprobates, while its adherents blaspheme the Holy Spirit regularly.
So why does it matter if Johnson has aligned himself with this movement? Well not because, as Rolling stone complains, he holds stringent positions on abortion, thinks homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that should not be recognized under legal protections against discrimination, defends young earth creationism, blames school shootings on the sexual revolution of the 1960s, ore because he questions the framework of the separation of church and state. These are actually good positions to hold, and we hope that the policies he promotes and endorses align with these views.
However, his alignment with the NAR matters because while promoting some of these good and right views, he misrepresents Christ, misrepresents His bride, and misrepresents the gospel that we, as the Church, are called to proclaim and defend. If Johnson stands with the New Apostolic Reformation, it’s going to be extremely difficult to stand with him as a professing brother in Christ, as these serial blasphemers known as the modern-day “Apostles” and “Prophets” are nothing more than blaspheming, idolatrous heretics—and I want nothing to do with them except expose them.