Spiritual Warriors with an Antigay Mission: The New Apostolic Reformation

About Rachel Tabachnick

The New Apostolic Reformation, an aggressively political movement within Christianity, blames literal demonic beings for the world’s ills and stresses the power of “spiritual warfare” to deliver people and nations from their power. It is rapidly gaining influence in the United States and around the globe, and it aims to advance a right-wing social and economic agenda—all while reinventing the structure of Christianity.

An August 2007 TheCall gathering in Nashville, TNPhoto: thoughtquotient.com

An August 2007 TheCall gathering in Nashville, TN
Photo: thoughtquotient.com

In the late summer of 2000, Rev. Lou Engle, a political activist and Charismatic religious leader, organized an all-day prayer rally in Washington, D.C. As Engle explained later, the event originated in a pressing question that he couldn’t shake: “How can I turn America back to God?” In a dream, Engle “felt overwhelmed by the impossibility” of achieving that goal, but then he saw a vision of a verse from the Bible: “And he will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous.”1 From that dream, and a subsequent “supernatural series of events,” a giant prayer rally was born. Engle named it TheCall.

By Engle’s account, TheCall drew 400,000 people to the Mall in Washington, D.C., and changed the course of the 2000 election. The prayers of the faithful were answered when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Bush v. Gore decision, giving the election to George W. Bush. On the heels of that success, “the inward voice of the Lord . . . reverberated strongly in his spirit,” and Engle decided to organize a similar event in another city in 2001. At the suggestion of Sam Brownback, now the governor of Kansas and then a Republican U.S. senator, he chose Boston. Brownback had told him that “you need to dig the wells of revival in New England and close the doors to false ideologies that have found entrance through Boston.”2

Since then, Engle has staged more than 20 similar rallies, and each has attracted tens of thousands of participants to stadiums across the U.S. He and his organization have also become deeply involved in U.S. politics, especially in antichoice and antigay organizing. Engle staged TheCall San Diego, for example, the week before the 2008 election, with the explicit purpose of bolstering support for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative and constitutional amendment that limited the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Engle’s organization mounted a radio campaign and sent out email and phone blasts in support of Proposition 8, and he urged attendees to be martyrs for the cause.3 James Dobson, founder of the Christian Right organization Focus on the Family, later cited TheCall San Diego as the reason for Proposition 8’s success. 4 In 2010, an estimated 10,000 people attended TheCall Houston, whose purpose was “to contend for the ending of abortion and to spark an adoption revolution.” Antichoice activism was a major focus, as well, of TheCall Detroit in November 2011.5

TheCall’s message crosses national borders as well. Engle was featured extensively in the 2013 Sundance premiere of God Loves Uganda, a documentary about U.S. evangelical conservatives’ antigay influence in Uganda, where the infamous Anti-Homosexuality “Kill the Gays” Bill was first introduced in 2009.6

Engle is a leader in a Charismatic religious and political movement called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). His rallies are among the movement’s most visible public manifestations, and despite Dobson’s endorsement, they reflect many of the NAR’s departures from the traditional Christian Right. The movement is rooted in Charismatic Christianity, a cross-denominational belief in modern day miracles and the supernatural. Emerging from the U.S. neo-Pentecostal movement that gained particular force in the 1980s, these beliefs spread to Roman Catholics and mainline and evangelical Protestant churches in the United States and worldwide. Pentecostalism has a history of racial diversity and women ministers, and NAR itself has broad appeal in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, for example, and women and minorities are prominent in its leadership.7 It’s also culturally savvy, sponsoring youth events that look more like rock concerts than traditional church services. Its stylish leaders dress in casual clothes, encourage fasting and repetitive chanting as a means of inducing altered mental states, and use sophisticated media strategies and techniques to deliver their message.8

But the NAR aims to be far more than a hipper and more diverse version of the Christian Right. Its most prominent leaders and prolific authors claim to be creating the “greatest change in church since the Protestant Reformation,”9 and they describe themselves as modern-day prophets and apostles. The movement aims to unify evangelical and all Protestant Christianity into a postdenominational structure, bringing about a reformation in the way that churches relate to one other, and in individual churches’ internal governance.10

The NAR believes that radical political and social consequences will follow from this religious reformation. Speaking of TheCall D.C., Engle told the movement’s flagship magazine, Charisma, that it “was part of a shift in the heavens and that God has thrown a window open,” so that we “have entered a season of time in a massive spiritual war. . . . We are in a war, and if we don’t win, we lose everything” (brackets in original).11

Consequently, NAR leaders have forged a powerful “spiritual warfare” theology that puts the political and social transformation of the world at the top of Christianity’s agenda.12 The revolution begins, they believe, with the casting out of demons. NAR training materials claim that communities around the world are healed of their problems—experiencing a sudden and supernatural decline in poverty, crime, corruption, and even environmental degradation—once demonic influences are mapped and then purged from society through NAR’s particular brand of “spiritual warfare,” which is sometimes referred to as “power evangelism.”13

Power evangelism is based on the idea that some “people groups,” including ethnic, racial, religious, or geographic groups, resist being evangelized because they are controlled by “territorial spirits,” or high-level demons.14 Strategic prayer is believed to loosen the control of these demons, allowing for mass evangelism and the subsequent transformation of communities.15 The sources of demonic activity can include homosexuality, abortion, non-Christian religions, and even sins from the past.16 This practice of applying power evangelism to people was evident, for example, in TheCall Boston in 2001. Charisma reported that“50,000 people filled City Hall Plaza” and “petitioned God to shift the ideologies of witchcraft and the Gothic subculture and to affect the humanism that came to Boston by way of the French Age of Enlightenment philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire.”

NAR leaders teach that strategic prayer can literally alter circumstances in the temporal world: the spontaneous burning and destruction of religious icons and structures, for example. 17 Both animate and inanimate objects are believed to be demon haunted,18 and NAR training materials include examples of prayer harming or killing human beings who are considered to be demonic. The purging of supposed demonic influences is celebrated in NAR media with dancing and singing.19

In all of this, the NAR’s leaders believe that they are preparing Christians to battle against evil, gain dominion over the earth, and pave the way for Jesus’s return. With those goals in mind, the NAR is deeply invested in infiltrating every realm of American society, and the movement believes that what is now primarily a religious revolution will culminate in total revolution. Indeed, at a conference in 2008, a prominent NAR leader pointed to a map showing apostolic centers in the U.S.—or “Freedom Centers,” as he described them. Speaking of NAR apostles and prophets, as leaders of the movement are called, he said: “They’re out there. Believe me, they are everywhere. There are apostles in the military. There are apostles in government. . . . They’re there in entertainment. They’re there in education. You have no idea what God is about to unleash on this nation.”20

Even if it falls short in its world-conquering ambitions, or in Engle’s hope to “turn America back to God,” the NAR demands serious attention. The movement is bringing about profound changes in the character of conservative Christianity and the Christian Right, both in the United States and around the globe.21 The source of the movement’s great strength lies not just in building new institutions, but in creating new networks and alliances among long-established institutions. The NAR’s leaders are methodically transforming the nature of the relationship between congregations and their leaders, creating a much more authoritarian leadership style than has traditionally been true of evangelical Christianity. That shift is central to the movement’s political potential. The NAR’s charismatic, authoritarian leaders are well-positioned to reinvent the Christian Right, infusing it with a new wave of energy, expanding its base of support, conducting sophisticated political campaigns, and doubling down on right-wing social and economic agendas—all while giving the Christian Right a new gloss of openness and diversity.

Christianity and the Charismatic Revolution

The NAR has emerged primarily from the Pentecostal/Charismatic sector of Christianity. Charismatics are evangelicals, in that they believe in the necessity of being “born again.” But they also believe that a second conversion experience, sometimes called baptism in the Holy Spirit, endows believers with supernatural gifts, which may include the powers of healing, speaking in tongues, and prophesying. “Pentecostal” refers to the denominations formed by Charismatics beginning in the early 1900s. As a whole, Pentecostals and Charismatics constitute about one-fourth of the Christian population globally, and their numbers are rapidly growing, along with their influence.22A recent Pew survey found 36 percent of Americans were Pentecostal or charismatic.23

In one sense, the NAR is the latest iteration of a long tradition: For decades, rogue movements have emerged on the fringes of the Pentecostal/Charismatic sector of Christianity, teaching that a coming generation will receive a supernatural outpouring that empowers it to subdue or take dominion over nations.24 With the NAR’s rise, this belief has moved from the fringes into broader streams of evangelical life.

The man credited with coining the name New Apostolic Reformation is C. Peter Wagner, who was a professor of “church growth” for three decades at Fuller Theological Seminary, a nondenominational evangelical seminary in Pasadena, CA. Wagner became internationally known for his teaching on church expansion and was a leading strategist for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism. A spinoff of that organization, following an international conference in Singapore in 1989, launched a massive effort to evangelize as much of the world as possible by the year 2000.25 Known as “AD 2000 and Beyond,” this effort enabled Wagner and other pioneers to promote the distinctive ideology that is central to the NAR.

Though not from a Pentecostal or Charismatic background, Wagner has embraced Charismatic beliefs about faith-healing, speaking in tongues, and prophecy.26 In this, he reflects the dramatic growth of Charismatic-style belief among evangelicals who don’t consider themselves Charismatics or Pentecostals. Wagner has dubbed the movement the “Third Wave.”27 It’s now the largest sector of the Pentecostal/Charismatic stream within Christianity, far outnumbering First and Second Wave Charismatics. (The former refers to traditional Pentecostal denominations. The latter refers to the spread of Charismatic beliefs within the Mainline Protestant denominations, and among Roman Catholics, beginning in the 1960s.28)

The Third Wave involves the spread of distinctly Charismatic manifestations and beliefs throughout other sectors of evangelical Christianity, including an obsession with the spirit world and with demonology. Paradoxically, these obsessions have often been rejected by traditional Pentecostals and Charismatics.29 The Third Wave is primarily made up of postdenominational, or unaffiliated, churches and ministries. The NAR apostles and prophets are forming relational networks between these unaffiliated churches as well as current denominations.

As the author of dozens of the movement’s foundational books, Wagner is both its leading theorist and its most important organizing force. In the late 1990s, he became the leader—or “Convening Apostle”—of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).30 It became an international model for forming the NAR’s relational networks, which have both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Within the ICA, Wagner presided over an association of apostles—many of which, in turn, claimed hundreds or thousands of ministries under their leadership.31 Wagner also formed networks of faith-healing ministries, “deliverance ministries” that claim to free people from demon possession, and an inner-circle of leading prophets,32 in addition to the Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI), a network of training programs in locations across the U.S., Canada, and several Asian nations.33

Disdain for traditional institutions and seminary training is common across the movement, and leaders are provided certificates, including doctorates, for completing courses on apostolic government, submission to authority, combatting demons, and the “Seven Mountains Mandate.”34 The latter is a campaign that teaches how to take “dominion” over the seven power centers of society: arts and entertainment, businesses, education, family, government, media, and religion.35

The Authoritarian Impulse and Evangelical Churches

Evangelical churches in the United States are, traditionally, democratically governed. Pastors are typically hired or fired directly by congregational vote or by elected deacons or elders, who also manage the budget and make other decisions for the congregation.36 But one of the major themes taught by New Apostolic leaders is the need for congregational and organizational members to submit to pastoral, or apostolic, authority.37 The effect is that, across the nation, churches that were once democratically governed are transferring power to NAR apostles, who then provide “apostolic covering” to other pastors, churches, and ministries below them.38 The apostolic “cover” is the person to whom one is accountable—a spiritual mentor. Failing to submit to this authority means inviting demonic attack. Submitting becomes a measure of one’s faith.39

Apostles and prophets, who the movement asserts are chosen by God rather than church elders, are the leaders of this new authority structure. One way they demonstrate their chosen status is through prophecy. They differ from traditional evangelicals in that they claim to receive extra-biblical revelation directly from God—early warnings of natural disaster, for example, or messages about various political candidates.40 They frequently broadcast their prophecies on the movement’s popular websites.41

NAR leaders refer to this shift as the “restoration of the five-fold gospel,” based on a verse in the New Testament book of Ephesians, which describes the roles of church leadership as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.42 The responsibilities of apostles and prophets overlap. In broad terms, prophets claim they have the power to hear God’s voice, while apostles claim to have received a special anointing from God, which allows them to assume leadership in implementing God’s will. In many cases, a senior pastor declares him or herself to be both an apostle and a prophet, and it’s common for pastors/apostles to have spouses who are also prophets.43

Apostles often require a percentage of the tithe from the churches for which they provide apostolic covering, creating a pyramid system in which money flows to the top.44 And though there is no rigid hierarchy, the system leads to an increasingly authoritarian system of church governance. Apostles at the helm of churches often have control over much of the church’s finances, and they can be sanctioned or removed only by their own apostolic overseers. This transition has become so common that there are now organizations that provide New Apostolic-style church constitutions online.45

In the United States, an influential advocate of shifting away from democratic governance is Rick Warren, the best-selling author and pastor of a megachurch in California. Though his church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination in which churches have traditionally been governed by democratically elected deacons, Warren echoes the NRA teaching that church government should be led by those who have been endowed with “spiritual gifts.” As Warren wrote in his dissertation at Fuller Theological, “The church functions on the basis of spiritual gifts, not elected offices. You don’t find anybody getting elected in the New Testament.”46 Peter Wagner was the mentor for that dissertation, which became the basis for Warren’s first book, The Purpose-Driven Church. Unlike Wagner, though, Warren does not specify that churches be under the authority of modern-day apostles and prophet, a distinct marker of NAR adherents.47

Another influential advocate of these new authority structures was Ted Haggard, the now-disgraced former president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). In the late 1990s, Haggard partnered with Wagner to build the World Prayer Center as the electronic “nerve center” and headquarters of Wagner’s newly formed NAR entities in Colorado Springs.48

Haggard’s book The Life-Giving Church, included a foreword by Wagner and described the “evolving way we administrate the discipling of believers” in New Apostolic churches. This included church bylaws that allowed for Haggard to have control over 65 percent of the church budget. 49

Wagner and Haggard parted ways a few years later, but before Haggard’s dramatic public sex and drugs scandal.50 In his autobiography, Wagner cited Haggard’s move toward traditional evangelicalism, in anticipation of his presidency of the NAE, as the reason for the split. That shift “did not fit at all with our apostolic/prophetic stream of Christianity,”51 according to Wagner, though today, NAR apostles and prophets such as Samuel Rodriguez and Harry Jackson hold board positions in the NAE, including on the executive board.52

The NAR’s Broadening Influence

The inroads made by the NAR in the larger evangelical world are evident in the work of Samuel Rodriguez, an Assemblies of God pastor and one of the nation’s most prominent Hispanic evangelicals. He described the apostles of his own Third Day Believers (3DBN) network as “gatekeepers and agents of change and leadership within their regions.”53 Though Rodriguez has been marketed as a moderate evangelical, he is deeply engaged in social-conservative activism and in promoting Islamophobia, denying global warming, and promulgating neoconservative economic policy, as a recent Public Eye article shows.54 Churches from numerous denominations were to be included in Rodriguez’s grandiose goal of “bringing together the top 12 most anointed apostles of every nation of the Western Hemisphere by the year 2010 and every nation of the world by 2020.”55

The 3DBN network led by Rodriguez included the participation of an AOG presbyter who provided references for the network.56 The network provided apostolic covering for a group of primarily Latino churches in the U.S. and a few international churches. In 2004, Rodriguez and two other 3DBN leaders founded the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) as an evangelistic association. In 2010 and 2012, the NHCLC partnered with the multimillion dollar get-out-the-vote effort of United in Purpose, and its media promoted the work of Rodriguez, Newt Gingrich, David Barton, and Christian Right luminaries.57

The NAR’s broadening influence is evident, as well, in the recent coverage it has received from Christianity Today.58 In 2012, the magazine featured a popular figure in the movement, Heidi Baker, on its cover. The author begins by stating that there are credible reports that Baker heals the deaf and raises the dead in her ministry work in Mozambique. Baker goes on to assert that she and her husband do not promote the NAR or consider themselves modern-day apostles.59

Christianity Today failed to challenge her assertion despite Baker’s role as a leader of the internationally known Revival Alliance network. In this role, Baker provides apostolic covering to numerous other ministries around the world, including her own Iris Ministry’s Nashville branch.60 In her role as one of the Revival Alliance Apostles, Baker spends much of the year outside Mozambique, speaking at apostolic and prophetic conferences globally, including the annual “Voice of the Apostles” conference.61

The nation’s flagship evangelical publication also failed to delve into Baker’s practice of “expelling” demons from children or the role that Baker and the Revival Alliance played in the work of Todd Bentley, one of the most controversial figures in the NAR. Bentley had held revival events with Baker in Africa at which he claimed to heal AIDS victims.62 And in 2008, the heavily tattooed Bentley temporarily became the superstar of the movement with a faith-healing revival in which he punched and kicked patients in order to “heal” them and expel the demons that caused their affliction.63

Apostles representing Revival Alliance, Wagner’s ICA, and Rick Joyner, a prophet and leader of another apostolic network, came together in an unprecedented ceremony in June 2008 to place Bentley under the apostolic covering of the Revival Alliance apostles, claiming that this was the beginning of a great Holy Spirit outpouring of supernatural signs and wonders on the nation.64 A press investigation found no evidence of Bentley’s power to heal people or bring the dead to life.65 This failed to deter thousands of pilgrims from around the world from flocking to Lakeland, Florida. Bentley’s role in the healing revival abruptly ended a few weeks after the ceremony, when he was exposed for cheating on his wife.

Dominionism Rising

The New Apostolic Reformation has inherited and accelerated two transformative currents within conservative Christianity over the past several decades. One is a revised theology of the End Times. The other is the energized, empowered, and highly politicized variety of evangelicalism that has emerged from this theology.

Prior to the emergence of the contemporary Christian Right in the 1970s, many conservative Christians were strong defenders of the separation of church and state, and there was little in fundamentalist theology—particularly their beliefs about the End Times—that could be interpreted as encouraging political activism.66 Those beliefs centered on a narrative that involved Christians being “raptured” to heaven just prior to the seven-year rule of the Antichrist on earth. This belief is called Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalism, or simply Pre-Trib, and it was popularized in fiction in the mid-twentieth century, when the threat posed by nuclear weapons made end-of-the-world scenarios seem especially plausible.67 The belief system’s most influential articulator is Hal Lindsey, whose book The Late Great Planet Earth, published in 1970, became a publishing phenomenon—one of the best-selling books of the decade—and brought Pre-Trib ideas into the U.S. cultural mainstream.68

The disconnect between this theology and political activism is the lack of incentive for working through political mechanisms to change the world. A theology more compatible with their politicization began percolating through conservative Christian circles in the decades prior to 2000. In direct contrast to Pre-Trib teachings, Dominionism posits that Christians must take dominion over the earth before Jesus can return.69 The leading thinkers behind modern-day Dominion Theology belong to a movement called Reconstructionism. In 1982, Reconstructionists dedicated an entire issue of the journal Christianity and Civilization to a critique of the way that fundamentalists, including Jerry Falwell, were operating the New Christian Right.70 The critique centered on the “intellectual schizophrenia” of the movement, meaning the conflict between its theology and its behavior. The Reconstructionists believed that the defeatist and escapist Pre-Trib teachings failed to provide the foundation for the reformation of American society.

In the same publication, a leading Reconstructionist, Gary North, recalled a political rally in Dallas in 1980, at which Ronald Reagan addressed a crowd of about 15,000 people, including 200 pastors.71 Several evangelical luminaries were in attendance, and the former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, was in charge of logistics. North wrote of the rally that it “was a political rally: more precisely, it was a rally for politics as such, and for Christian involvement in politics. It was a break from almost six decades of political inaction on the part of American fundamentalist religious leaders.”72

The man who made the rally possible, according to North’s account, was his father-in-law, Rousas J. Rushdoony, the preeminent Reconstructionist intellectual. Rushdoony has become best known for his belief that biblical law should be enforced—even execution by stoning for some offenses, such as gay sex and abortion. The shock value of these stances has mostly obscured Rushdoony’s mainstream influence and achievements, which are considerable.73 Rushdoony laid the foundation for the modern homeschooling movement; for Christian nationalist histories that claim separation of church and state is a myth; for the revival of creationist teachings;74 and for “biblical economics,” that is, using biblical sources to justify free-market economics.75 On the last subject, Rushdoony has written extensively about the biblical prohibition of certain taxes and government-sponsored welfare and social-safety nets. Most importantly, Rushdoony paved the way for American fundamentalists to move toward the aggressive political engagement that has marked the Christian Right since the 1980s.76

By the 1990s, Reconstructionist ideology had been widely disseminated within the Christian Right, largely through the efforts of a group called the Coalition on Revival, founded in 1984. Its goal was to bring conservative evangelical, fundamentalist, and Charismatic leaders together to overcome theological differences and to “implement the Biblical and Christian worldview.”77 The agenda is described in the Encyclopedia of Evangelism: “The Coalition on Revival has sought to build bridges between Reconstructionist thought and political conservatives, and all members of the coalition’s steering committee must sign the Coalition on Revival Manifesto which includes a pledge to ‘work to Christianize America and the world.’”78

A key player in the transition from apolitical to political theology was Christian Broadcast Network’s Pat Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition following his unsuccessful run for president in 1988. Robertson was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister but became a Charismatic who flirted with Reconstructionism. One leader within the Christian Right, Gary DeMar, described Robertson as an “operational Reconstructionist,”79 and Gary North included Robertson’s “Christian Action Plan for the 1980s” in his own “Biblical Economics Today” newsletter.80

The alliance between the Pentecostal/Charismatic sector of Christianity and the Reconstructionists seems an unlikely one. Reconstructionist leadership consists largely of white men, and Rushdoony was an intellectual and an Orthodox Presbyterian who wrote tomes on biblical law for a reconstructed America.81 Pentecostals and Charismatics, meanwhile, are known for their racial and gender diversity, and for their experiential faith and manifestations of the Spirit. The Neocharismatic stream, in fact, is a world in which it’s not unusual to find reports of glory clouds, gold dust, and gem stones appearing, or of worshippers being “slain in the Spirit” and falling to the floor with ecstatic laughter.

But the two groups served each other’s needs and purposes well. Reconstructionists needed followers, while the Pentecostal/Charismatic sector needed a more muscular intellectual dimension. Frederick Clarkson has described the efforts of Christian Reconstructionists to convince Pentecostals and Charismatics to join their ideological camp: “Reconstructionists have sought to graft their theology onto the experientially oriented, and often theologically amorphous, Pentecostal and Charismatic religious traditions.” 82

Though Reconstructionism was crucial to the spread of Dominionism among Neocharismatics, the concept wasn’t entirely alien to them. Fringe movements had emerged repeatedly within Pentecostalism, teaching that there would be an outpouring of supernatural powers in a coming generation, allowing them to subdue or take dominion over nations. A rogue movement called Latter Rain, for example, emerged in 1947 from a series of faith-healing revivals and a popular booklet on gaining supernatural powers through long-term fasting.83 The movement taught restoration of “the neglected offices in the contemporary church of apostles and prophets,”84 along with the laying on of hands to directly “impart” supernatural gifts, including prophecy. The Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God officially denounced the “New Order of Latter Rain” in 1949 (and repeated that denunciation in 2001).85 But Latter Rain’s ideology lived on in the following decades through groups other groups, including the Ft. Lauderdale Shepherds and the Kansas City Prophets, and in revivals like the Toronto Blessing and the Lakeland Outpouring.

Prophets and Apostles in a Modern World

These theological and political currents led Peter Wagner to declare, in 2001, that the New Apostolic Reformation had begun. In his book Dominion!, Wagner describes the theology of the movement as Dominionism and traces its intellectual heritage “through R.J. Rushdoony and Abraham Kuyper to John Calvin.”86

Wagner and his closest colleagues proceeded to energize the NAR in the United States and across the world through their recently developed evangelizing strategy, dubbed “Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare,” whose purpose is to increase the speed of evangelization across the globe.87

Creative media campaigns were developed to introduce this new concept of evangelizing worldwide, including a series of films under the Transformations title.88 These movies resulted in a series of Transformations organizations forming in communities across the globe.89

In the United States, among the most significant and far-reaching parts of the NAR infrastructure is its “prayer warrior” networks. Today, all 50 states have a network under the authority of a statewide apostolic leader.90 The prayer warrior networks regularly distribute guides in preparation for elections, “educating” participants on political issues. They also sponsor training events and conferences and serve as a link between individuals and various NAR ministries.

Calls for prayer, especially public displays of prayer and repentance, are the movement’s most vital organizing and energizing tool. One of the NAR’s most influential institutions, the International House of Prayer (IHOP or IHOPKC), is headquartered in Kansas City and organizes 2,000 people (staff, students, and interns) to maintaining prayer sessions that are open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to its mission statement, IHOP “is committed to praying for the release of the fullness of God’s power and purpose, as we actively win the lost, heal the sick, feed the poor, make disciples, and impact every sphere of society—family, education, government, economy, arts, media, religion.”91 IHOP claims that its volunteers work fifty hours a week “as they go from the prayer room to the classroom and then to ministry outreaches and works of service.” Lou Engle is part of IHOP’s leadership team and IHOP’s founder, Mike Bickle, was part of Peter Wagner’s original Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. Bickle’s work in Kansas City has been the model for more than 400 more “houses of prayer” in the U.S.92

To date, the most highly publicized of NAR’s calls to prayer or “solemn assemblies” took place in Houston in the summer of 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry aggressively promoted it at a time when he was a leading contender for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The rally attracted 30,000 people and was broadcast to churches around the world.93 Several familiar figures from the Christian Right appeared on stage with Perry and leaders of the NAR.94 The result was that apostles and prophets who had for years remained under the radar were suddenly subjected to scrutiny from the media, including an interview with me conducted by Terry Gross on the NPR program Fresh Air.95

Exposed to this scrutiny, NAR’s leaders publicly distanced themselves from some of their more radical ideology. Webpages were removed and websites were amended to explain that the NAR’s apostles are either not Dominionists, or that the term simply means to gain influence in society.96 Peter Wagner himself granted two unprecedented interviews with mainstream media outlets in October 2011. He explained to Terry Gross, for example, that the NAR respected religious pluralism and that Dominionism was not about ruling: “In terms of taking dominion, we don’t—we wouldn’t want to—we use the word dominion, but we wouldn’t want to say that we have dominion as if we’re the owners or we’re the rulers of, let’s say, the arts and entertainment mountain.”97

Compare that explanation with what Wagner said about Dominionism at an NAR conference in 2008: “Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing and it relates to society. In other words . . . what the values are in Heaven need to be made manifest here on earth. Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings. It says in Revelation Chapter 1:6 that He has made us kings and priests—and check the rest of that verse; it says for dominion. So we are kings for dominion.”98

The magazine Charisma, owned and published by a former member of Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles, published an issue of articles about the growing influence of Pentecostals within American politics.99 Charisma attributed the negative press to “anti-Pentecostal bias” and the Left’s demonization of “any high-profile leader who takes a stand for Christian values.”100 Writing for the Washington Post, Lisa Miller quoted the head of the largest evangelical public-relations firm in the nation: “You would be hard-pressed to find one in 1,000 Christians in America who could even wager a guess at what dominionism is”—though knowing the definition of Dominionism is hardly relevant to following the lead of apostles in religious and political activism.101

After Rick Perry’s campaign for president began to visibly collapse, interest in the NAR waned, and it was back to business as usual. On November 1, 2011, Lou Engle and Mike Bickle led TheCall Detroit, which had been preceded by a year of events and conference calls discussing “spiritual warfare” against the Muslim community, though it was publicly billed as reconciliation between whites and blacks.102

On November 20, 2012, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a proclamation declaring December 8 a “Day of Restoration” in Kansas. It was accompanied by a video in which he invited citizens to attend a prayer event in Topeka, called ReignDown USA, to be held near the capitol building.103 “For about three hours Saturday,” a local paper reported on December 8, “Topeka held the eyes, ears, hearts and souls of followers of Jesus Christ throughout the nation and world as host of a religious movement within a stone’s throw of the governor’s mansion.” The event, which was broadcast globally via satellite television and the internet, had an estimated audience of up to 30 million people.104

Three days earlier, Peter Wagner had published an essay titled “Why You Must Take Dominion Over Everything.” He explained how, as a younger man, he had been seduced into the error of Pre-Trib thinking, in part by The Late Great Planet Earth: “Now I look back on those days with a strange combination of regret and amusement,” he wrote. “How is it that I was so wrong for so long? As I analyze my change, I can sum it up by admitting that I simply did not understand the kingdom of God.”105

And what is the key to understanding the kingdom, according to Wagner? Dominion theology.

“Now I take the Great Commission more literally,” Wagner wrote, “when it tells us not to make as many individual disciples as we can but to disciple whole social groups—such as entire nations. This is kingdom theology. . . . The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way. However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations. We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”

[1] “TheCall DC 2000,” TheCall, http://www.thecall.com/Groups/1000080319/TheCall/Who_We_Are/Event_Map/Event_Map.aspx.

[2] “TheCall Boston,” TheCall, http://www.thecall.com/Articles/1000104250/TheCall/Who_We_Are/Event_Map/Boston.aspx

[3] Engle calls for participants to be “marked for martyrdom” near the end of this video of TheCall San Diego: “The Call: Spiritual Warfare in the Field of Martyrs,” YouTube, November 4, 2008.

[4] “TheCallSan Diego,” TheCall, http://www.thecall.com/Articles/1000104263/TheCall/Who_We_Are/Event_Map/San_Diego.aspx.

[5] “TheCall Houston,” TheCall, http://www.thecall.com/Articles/1000104264/TheCall/Who_We_Are/Event_Map/Houston.aspx; and “TheCall Detroit,” TheCall, http://www.thecall.com/Articles/1000116729/TheCall/Who_We_Are/Event_Map/Detroit.aspx.

[6] See God Loves Uganda, http://www.godlovesuganda.com/film/main-subjects/. Lou Engle is also featured in the documentary Jesus Camp (Magnolia, 2006).

[7] For instance, the Reformation Prayer Network of Apostle/Prophet Cindy Jacobs includes “National Apostolic Special Focus” leaders in the categories of African-American, Asian-American, Ethiopian, Hispanic-American, Native-American, and Filipino American. See “United States Reformation Prayer Network Structure,” http://www.generals.org/fileadmin/documents/prayer_reformation_network/rpn_structure_description.pdf.

The Oak Initiative, founded by Rick Joyner, Samuel Rodriguez and others in 2009 is an example of the redefining of social justice for the purpose of religious supremacism. See Rachel Tabachnick, “Samuel Rodriguez and the Oak Initiative- Marketing Religious Supremacism as Social Justice, Talk to Action (blog), September 2, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/9/2/133338/8422.The Oak Initiative was a co-sponsor of TheCall Detroit on November 11, 2011. Advertised publicly as racial reconciliation between blacks and whites, it was preceded by a year of preparatory events at which Islam and Freemasonry were claimed to be the cause of demonic oppression of Detroit. Rachel Tabachnick, “Spiritual Warfare,” Dome, October 17, 2011, http://domemagazine.com/features/cov101711.

[8] Casual dress is now common in many churches, but the apostles often lead events in jeans, t-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, and tennis shoes. Some youth leaders are tattooed and pierced. See the collection of videos at Rachel Tabachnick, “How is Dominionism Getting into Politics? Meet the Apostles and Prophets of the NAR (Video),” Talk to Action (blog), February 28, 2012. http://www.talk2action.org/printpage/2012/2/28/12537/6816.

[9] C. Peter Wagner, Churchquake! The Explosive Power of the New Apostolic Reformation (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1999), back cover.

[10] C. Peter Wagner, Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2006); C. Peter Wagner, Spheres of Authority: Apostles in Today’s Church (Wagner Publications, 2002) ; C. Peter Wagner, Churchquake! The Explosive New Power of the New Apostolic Reformation (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1999); C. Peter Wagner, Apostles of the City (City Transformation) (Wagner Publications, 2000); David Cannistraci, Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement: A Biblical Look at Apostleship and How God is Using it to Bless His Church Today (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1998); Cindy Jacobs, Possessing the Gates of the Enemy: A Training Manual for Militant Intercession (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 2009).

[11] Ed Donnally, “God’s Fire Starter,” Spiritual Renewal (blog), Charisma, http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/162-j15/features/spiritual-renewal/498-gods-fire-starter.

[12] There are dozens of books about the NAR’s brand of spiritual warfare, including C. Peter Wagner, Engaging the Enemy: How to Fight and Defeat Territorial Spirits (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1991); C. Peter Wagner (ed.), Territorial Spirits: Insights into Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare and Intercession (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1991); and Cindy Jacobs, Deliver Us from Evil (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 2001).

[13] Training materials include Wagner’s Prayer Warrior series of books and his Breaking Strongholds in Your City videos.

[14] Territorial Spirits, edited by Wagner and published in 1991, is an early explanation of the idea. The back cover asks whether “evil spirits [are] assigned to geographical areas.”

[15] The process of “transformation” through spiritual warfare has been widely taught in books, training videos, and the Transformations series of movies produced by George Otis, Jr. There are now Transformations-related entities throughout the U.S. and the world. See George Otis, Jr., “History of the IFTP,” http://www.iftpartners.com/index.php/about-us/history, and Ed Silvoso, “Transform Our World,” http://www.transformourworld.org/en/welcome. Also see Kapya John Kaoma, Colonizing African Values: How the U.S. Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa, (Somerville, MA: Political Research Associates, 2012), 51,https://www.politicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Colonizing-African-Values.pdf.

[16] Military terminology is used to describe Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, and battle imagery, such as swords and maces, are featured on websites, book covers, and other media. Orrel Steinkamp is one of many conservative Christian critics of the NAR and its militant rhetoric. See his “The Technology of Spiritual Warfare Evangelism,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel9.html.

[17] Wagner and other practitioners teach that SLSW can result in the supernatural and spontaneous destruction of other people’s religious icons and buildings. In the first Transformations film, a Transcendental Meditation Center supposedly spontaneously burned after prayer warfare. In his 2011 book Spiritual Warfare Strategy (an updated version of his book Confronting the Powers), Wagner claims prayer warfare by his group in Penang, Malaysia, caused the destruction and burning of a statue of the Goddess of Mercy at Kek Lok Si Temple, one of the largest in Malaysia. Also see “The ‘Transformation’ Movement” section in PRA’s Colonizing Africa’s Values report, p.51,https://www.politicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Colonizing-African-Values.pdf.

[18] The classic training texts on spiritual mapping include Wagner’s Breaking Strongholds in Your City (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1997) and George Otis, Jr., Informed Intercession: Transforming Your Community through Spiritual Mapping and Strategic Prayer(Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1999). One of the most extensive histories is the doctoral dissertation and book by René Holvast, who concluded that spiritual mapping was an “expression of Americanism as well as a socio-political concept of Manifest Destiny and U.S. religious marketing.” See Holvast, Spiritual Mapping in the United States and Argentina, 1989-2005: A Geography of Fear, (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2008), http://www.brill.com/spiritual-mapping-united-states-and-argentina-1989-2005-geography-fear.

[19] The Transformations movies include vignettes of communities singing and dancing after purported transformations through spiritual warfare in Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala, Fiji, and more. These include Transformations and Transformations II: The Glory Spreads.

[20] Dutch Sheets, speaking at the “Starting the Year Off Right Conference,” Glory of Zion Ministries, Denton ,TX, January 3, 2008, http://freshpublishing.com/glory-of-zion-ministries-fresh-c-192-p-1-pr-33363.html.

[21] The impact of the NAR’s apostolic ideology and networks has been reported in dissertations and research conducted primarily by scholars outside the U.S. These include Rene Holvast, “Spiritual Mapping: The Turbulent Career of a Contested American Missionary Paradigm” ( Ph.D. diss., University of Utrecht, 1989-2005); Erwin Van Der Meer, “Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare Theology of Peter Wagner and its Implications for Christian Mission in Malawi,” (Ph.D. diss., University of South Africa, 2008); Israel Ortiz, “Neo-Pentecostal Churches in Guatemala With Special Reference to Their Presence and Social Role, 1976-2006,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Wales, 2007). Also see John Stemberger, “The Rising Tide of Influence: How Pentecostalism is gradually changing the dynamics of American politics,” Charisma Magazine, November 1, 2011, http://www.charismamag.com/site-archives/1475-1111-magazine-articles/features/14579-the-rising-tide-of-influence. The article describes the involvement of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians in American politics as “off the radar of most political observers” yet “steadily forming like a tsunami,” and it features politically involved leaders. Although not labeled as such in the article, the overwhelming majority are apostles and /or prophets in apostolic networks, including Harry Jackson, Jr., Lou Engle, Samuel Rodriguez, Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, Alice Patterson, Dutch Sheets, and Mark Gonzales.

[22] “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population,” Pew Forum on Religious & Public Life. (December 2011). http://www.pewforum.org/Christian/Global-Christianity-exec.aspx

[23] “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population,” Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (December 2011). http://www. pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Christian/Christianity-fullreport-web.pdf.

[24] These included the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s and 50s, the Shepherding Movement of the 1960s and 70s, and the Kansas City Prophets of the 1980s. NAR leaders who have backgrounds in these movements include Bill Hamon, Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Jim Goll, and others. See Rachel Tabachnick, “Dominionism Taught by Forerunners of the New Apostolic Reformation since the Late 1940s,” Talk to Action, November 3, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/11/3/211943/087.

[25] Jay and Olga Gary, The Countdown Has Begun: The Story of the Global Consultation on A.D. 2000 (Rockville, VA: A.D. 2000 Global Service Office, 1989), 10.

[26] C. Peter Wagner describes his journey in many of his books, including the autobiography Wrestling with Alligators, Prophets and Theologians: Lessons from a Lifetime in the Church (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2010).

[27] Reports on the Third Wave describehttp://www2.crcna.org/site_uploads/uploads/2007_thirdwave_majority.pdf C. Peter Wagner as coining the name of the movement, as well as being one of its leading pioneers. A description of the Third Wave can be found in this 1991 sermon by a critic of the movement, John MacArthur: “The Third Wave,” Grace to You, http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-57. Also see Wagner’s 1988 book The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit: Encountering the Power of Signs and Wonders Today (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1988).

[28] World Christian Trends: A.D. 30-A.D. 2200 (Pasadena, CA: William Carey, 2003), 286-87. World Christian Trends defines the Third Wave as “Third Stage in the 20th-Century Pentecostal /Charismatic Renewal in the Holy Spirit known primarily as Neocharismatics, also making up the greater part of the major ecclesiastical-cultural megabloc termed Independents, or Postdenominationalists, or Neo-Apostolics” (301).

[29] Some of the harshest critics of the movement are in fact Pentecostals and Charismatics. Examples include the video “Kundalini Warning” by Andrew Strom: “SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY 1- False Spirits invade the church,” YouTube. July 5, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpw2oQrvMM; “SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY 2- False Spirits invade the church, YouTube, July 27, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCcGaTRwG_4; “SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY 3- False Spirits invade the church,” YouTube, October 25, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWeUNoR30_0. See also Rachel Tabachnick, “NAR and Dominionism Have Been a Concern of Conservative Christian Groups for Many Years,” Talk to Action, October 18, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/10/18/133757/45/Front_Page/NAR_and_Dominionism_Have_Been_a_Concern_

[30] International Coalition of Apostles, “About ICA,” http://www.coalitionofapostles.com/about-ica/. The membership list is no longer available to the public. However, see the 2009 membership list at “International Coalition of Apostles: Membership Directory,” International Coalition of Apostles, November 10, 2009, http://www.psa91.com/resource/ica.pdf.

[31] Wagner served as the “Convening” or “Presiding Apostle.” After turning 80 years old, Wagner turned this position over to John P. Kelly.

[32] These are the International Association of Healing Rooms (IAHR), the International Society of Deliverance Ministries (ISDM), and the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. The IAHR is led by Cal Pierce; see Healing Rooms Ministries, http://healingrooms.com/. The ISDM is led by Bill Sudduth; see International Society of Deliverance Ministers, “Welcome to the International Society of Deliverance Ministers,” http://www.deliveranceministers.org.

[33] Wagner Leadership Institutes are now under the leadership of Che Ahn and are located in several U.S. cities. See Wagner Leadership Institute, “WLI Regionals,” http://www.wagnerleadership.org/regionals.htm. There are international locations as well: see Wagner Leadership Institute, “WLI Internationals,” http://www.wagnerleadership.org/internationals.htm .

[34]Significant books on the mandate include Johnny Enlow, The Seven Mountain Prophecy: Unveiling the Coming Elijah Revolution (Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 2008). Enlow writes, “God is now preparing and raising up apostles to possess the mountain of government.” Some versions combine arts and media and add the military as one of the spheres or power centers. Also see Marketplace Leadership Ministries, “Reclaiming the 7 Mountains of Culture,” http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/.

[35] The Seven Mountains Mandate was the focus of the 2012 National Day of Prayer activities, which are organized through Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. The event included state legislative proclamations referencing the seven mountains: for example, “Legislators Observe National Day of Prayer Scheduled for May 3, 2012,” May 1, 2012, Louisiana Senate, http://senate.la.gov/broome/releases/2012/05012012.pdf.

[36] Ecclesiology, or church government, is usually divided into: a) hierarchical or episcopal; b) representative or presbyterian; or 3) congregational.

[37] A frequently referenced text on apostolic covering is John Bevere, Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001). A website dedicated to critiquing apostolic covering describes the practice in detail; see Covering and Authority, http://coveringandauthority.com/

[38] Nondenominational churches and churches from numerous denominations have shifted to the New Apostolic model of church government. Eddie Long, one of the original members of the International Coalition of Apostles, wrote about the shift in power in his Missionary Baptist church from the board to him in his book Taking Over: Seizing Your City for God in the New Millennium (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 1999).

[39] Jonathan L. Walton also described Eddie Long’s shift to an authoritarian church structure in his book Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism(New York: NYU Press, 2009), 133: “According to the bishop, the democratic systems in place at Baptist churches, featuring management by the traditional deacon or trustee boards, are ungodly governmental structures that are outside God’s order. . . . In Long’s theological framework, the church in God’s order, like the family in God’s order, is run, not democratically, but according to divine authority and the concepts of respect, submission, and obedience.” Long provides apostolic covering to numerous ministries, including one of his “spiritual sons” in New Zealand. In an extreme example of submission, Brian Tamaki held a ceremony in which 700 male members of his church were required to make an oath of obedience to Tamaki and were given rings to wear. See Garth George, “Tamaki’s 700 ‘sons’ swear oath of loyalty,” New Zealand Herald, October 29, 2009, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10605956. Note also that Che Ahn, of Revival Alliance, also gave Todd Bentley a ring during his commissioning ceremony. “Todd Bentley ‘s Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 4/4,” YouTube, June 25, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAnNSiZfgvI&feature=relmfu.

[40] Examples include numerous prophecies about Sarah Palin that were disseminated during the 2008 election. These are communicated through the apostolic prayer networks in each of the fifty states, and through popular New Apostolic websites like Elijah List; for example, see Chuck Pierce, et al., “URGENT PRAYER WARNING AGAINST ATTACK ON THIS NATION,” The Elijah List, September 26, 2008, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/6897.

[41] C. Peter Wagner, “Open Memorandum Addressing the Twin Towers War,” International Coalition of Apostles, September 14, 2001, ,http://web.archive.org/web/20020122023912/http://www.globalharvestministries.org/home.qry?ID=71&newsID=3

[42] Ephesians 4:11 is cited as evidence that modern-day apostles and prophets are required to return to a biblical church model throughout NAR media. See Ron Cottle, “Definition of ‘Apostle,’” International Coalition of Apostles, http://www.coalitionofapostles.com/about-ica/definition-of-apostle/.

[43] On the difference between apostles and prophets, see ICA apostle Joseph Mattera, “The Difference Between Apostolic and Prophetic Roles,” Charisma News, February 3, 2013, http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38077-the-difference-between-apostolic-and-prophetic-roles

[44] C. Peter Wagner edited New Apostolic Churches (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1998), which included a section by John P. Kelly, now the Convening Apostle of the ICA. Kelly explained the need to “tithe up” to one’s apostolic authority, stating, “Many pastors will declare they have a covering, but the question is, do they tithe to that covering? By tracking the tithe, we can literally track the order in the house of God” (38). See Apostle Association of Related Ministries, “Types of Ministerial Credentials,” http://www.apostolicarm.com/Credentialing.htm.

[45] One example is Apostolic By-Laws, http://apostolicbylaws.com/.

[46] Richard Duane Warren, “New Churches for a New Generation,” (Ph.D. diss., Fuller Theological Seminary,1993), 48.

[47] Wagner is described in the dissertation as Warren’s mentor. Both Warren and Wagner use biblical and “church growth” reasoning to argue against a voting membership. Fuller’s church-growth department drew heavily from Peter Drucker’s model for making the church work more like a corporation, with the pastor as CEO and performance rated by measurable outcomes, primarily rapid expansion. Bob Buford, founder of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, also leads a “church-growth think tank” called Leadership Network. Its NEXT magazine featured Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation as the January/March 1999 cover article. The NEXT archive can be accessed at http://leadnet.org/resources/page/resources_archive.

[48] Charisma Magazine reported on both the beginnings and endings of the Wagner/Haggard partnership in the World Prayer Center, including J. Lee Grady’s “God’s Air Command” in May 1999: “Welcome to the World Prayer Center, the Pentagon of modern Christianity, a 55,000-square-foot nerve center designed to supply prayer warriors from all over the globe with the largest collection of data ever assembled about unevangelized nations. Soon, thousands of intercessors will hook up to an impressive computer system based in an undisclosed location that will provide 24-hour surveillance of the invisible world.” See http://web.archive.org/web/20020420014839/http://www.charismamag.com/issues/cm599/cm59922.htm

[49] Ted Haggard, The Life-Giving Church (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1998). The senior pastor/apostle has authority and can only be removed by his/her apostolic overseers, not the congregation. Note that Ted Haggard’s fate was determined by his board of overseers as well as his rehabilitation. When he refused to obey his overseers’ instructions, his restoration was declared “incomplete,” and it was determined that he should not pastor another congregation until he follows apostolic protocol. See Adrienne S. Gaines, “Ted Haggard to Begin Home Prayer Group,” Charisma Magazine, November 5, 2009, http://www.charismamag.com/site-archives/570-news/featured-news/7267-ted-haggard-to-begin-home-prayer-group.

[50] Ted Haggard made headlines with his sex and drug scandal in 2006. See Dan Harris, “Haggard Admits Buying Meth,” ABC News, Nov. 3, 2006, http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2626067&page=1 .

[51] C. Peter Wagner, Wrestling with Alligators, Prophets, and Theologians: Lessons from a Lifetime in the Church, A Memoir (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2010), 228.

[52] These include Samuel Rodriguez and Harry Jackson, Jr., a prophet in the Wagner-formed Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. Rodriguez joined the invitation-only ICA in 2009 and was also listed in the membership in 2010. The membership list is no longer available; Rodriguez denies that he is now a member of the ICA.

[53] See http://web.archive.org/web/20031107071052/http://www.3dbn.org/ministries/3DA.asp. The

Third Day Believers Network, or 3DBN, was established by 2003. Most of the webpages have since been removed, but archived pages are at http://web.archive.org/web/20080108025254/http://www.3dbn.org/fivefunctions.asp.

[54] Frederick Clarkson, “Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: Not So Moderate,” Public Eye, October 2, 2012, https://www.politicalresearch.org/rev-samuel-rodriguez-not-so-moderate/.

[55] See “Vision of Third Day Believer’s Network,” Third Day Believers Network,http://web.archive.org/web/20040222173953/http://www.3dbn.org/vision.asp

[56] By 2003 the webpage stated, “3DBN is in partnership with NPLAD [North Pacific Latin American District Council] of the Assemblies of God under the leadership of Rev. Felix Posos who can be contacted for references.” See http://web.archive.org/web/20040206060827/http://www.3dbn.org/leadership/pastorsambio.asp

[57] United in Purpose provides funding to NHCLC and sponsored the Champion the Vote campaign, advertised on the NHCLC website at http://www.nhclc.org/event/one-nation-under-god. See their two-hour One Nation Under God video, featuring Rodriguez, at http://www.morningstartv.com/oak-initiative/one-nation-under-god.

[58] In 2009, a Christianity Today article quoted church historian Arturo Piedra, who said that the “religious space of ‘prophets and apostles’ is dominated by an anachronistic Protestant shamanism, made up of individuals (actores) who pretend to save the world through an animist manipulation of evil spirits.” See Milton Acosta, “Power Pentecostalisms,” Christianity Today, Jul. 29, 2009, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/august/11.40.html?paging=off .

[59] Tim Stafford, “Miracles in Mozambique: How Mama Heidi Reaches the Abandoned,” Christianity Today, May 18, 2012, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/may/miracles-in-mozambique.html?paging=off .

[60] “FAQ,” Irish Nashville, http://www.irisnashville.com/faq/.

[61] Heidi Baker speaks annually, along with the other Revival Alliance apostles, at the Voice of the Apostles conference. Her 2013 schedule, posted at Iris Ministries, http://www.irisglobal.org/itinerary, includes:
January 24-26 San Antonio
February 7-9 Bangalore, India
March 1-2 Roskilde, Denmark
March 12 -14 Singapore (Kingdom Invasion with Revival Alliance)
March 28-29 Toronto
April 3-7 Sarasota, FL
April 10-11 Raleigh, NC
April 12 -14 Chesapeake, VA
April 18-20 Denver
April 20-21 Anaheim, CA
May 11 -13 Mandurah, Western Australia
May 17-18 Carina, QLD, Australia

[62] See Todd Bentley’s ministry report on Mozambique: Fresh Fire Ministries, “Malawi Report – Greater Battles, Greater Victories,” Jun. 19, 2003, http://healing2thenations.net/news/03-06-19.htm.
It notes that “Todd Bentley has been encouraging the local people to bring the dead to the crusade meetings where opportunity will be given to see them raised up with resurrection power.”

[63] Casey Sanchez, “Todd Bentley’s Militant Joel’s Army Gains Followers in Florida,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, Fall 2008, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2008/fall/arming-for-armageddon.

[64] Wagner speaking at Bentley’s “apostolic commissioning”: “Peter Wagner Endorses Todd Bentley,” YouTube, July 4, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEwsG4lsXq4.

[65] Jeffrey Kofman, Karson Yiu, Nicholas Brennan, “Thousands Flock to Revival in Search of Miracles,” ABC Nightline, Jul. 9, 2008, http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaithMatters/story?id=5338963&page=1.

[66] In Dispensational theology, believers are snatched to heaven, or “raptured,” before the rule of the Antichrist and the horrors of the End Times. The millennial kingdom on earth, or 1000 years of rule by Jesus, will not take place until after the seven years of Tribulation. The world is supposed to become increasingly evil as the End Times approach. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice formed the Pre-Trib Research Center in 1993, now at Liberty University, in response to the decline of Dispensationalism among evangelicals. See Thomas Ice, “20th Anniversary of The Pre-Trib Study Group: Tom’s Perspectives,” Pre-Trib Research Center, http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/20th-anniversary-of-the-pre-trib-study-group.

[67] Dispensationalism was introduced in the United States in the mid-1800s and was widely disseminated through the Scofield Reference Bible, first published in 1909 and still in use today.

[68] Passages from the Book of Revelation and other apocalyptic scriptures were interpreted to be references to nuclear war. In recent decades, this resulted in elaborate narratives that include nuclear war in the End Times scenario by writers and televangelists such as Tim LaHaye, Kay Arthur, and John Hagee.

[69] Chip Berlet, “How We Coined the Term ‘Dominionism,’” Talk to Action, Aug. 31, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/8/31/17047/5683.

[70] This was the first journal in the series published by Reconstructionists through Geneva Divinity School: “Symposium on the Failure of the American Baptist Culture,” Christianity and Civilization, Spring 1982, http://freebooks.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/a_pdfs/cc_1.pdf.

[71] On the importance of this rally to the politicization of the Southern Baptist Convention, see Bryan Kaylor, “A ‘Transformative Moment’ in SBC Political Activity,” Ethics Daily, Aug. 20, 2010, http://ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16555.

[72] See Gary North, “The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right,” Christianity and Civilization, Spring 1982, 2, http://freebooks.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/a_pdfs/cc_1.pdf.

[73] See Frederick Clarkson, “Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence,” The Public Eye, March/June 1994, https://www.politicalresearch.org/christian-reconstructionism .

[74] According to North, Rushdoony convinced the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company to publish The Genesis Flood, by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, after other publishers had rejected it. Its publication in 1961 sparked the modern revival of creationism.

[75] Michael J. McVicar, “The Libertarian Theocrats: The Long, Strange History of R. J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism,” Public Eye, Fall 2007, https://www.politicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/01/PE-Fall-2007.pdf

[76] Prior to the emergence of the “New Christian Right,” fundamentalists were often apolitical. Jerry Falwell attacked Martin Luther King, Jr., for his political activism. Throughout the Christian Right, there are ongoing media efforts to convince constituencies that they should vote and be politically active, including the United in Purpose/Champion the Vote campaigns in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

[77] The Coalition on Revival continues to maintain a website that houses the Manifesto for the Christian Church and Worldview Documents. See “Welcome to Coalition on Revival,” Coalition on Revival, http://www.churchcouncil.org/Reformation_net/default.htm

[78] Randall Herbert Balmer, The Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism (Westminster: John Knox Press, 2002), 147.
Balmer used the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Leagues’ 1994 report “Religious Right: Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America” as a source on COR. The ADL would later soften their stance on the Religious Right because of a growing partnership with Christian Zionists.

[79] See Frederick Clarkson, “Christian Reconstructionism: A Covert Kingdom,” The Public Eye, March/June 1994, https://www.politicalresearch.org/christian-reconstructionism.

[80] Pat Robertson, “A Christian Action Plan For The 1980’s by Pat Robertson,” Biblical Economics Today, Volume II, No. 6, ed. Gary North, http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/28ba_43e.htm.

[81] Rushdoony was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1944, but later joined the more theologically conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

[82] Clarkson, “Christian Reconstructionism: A Covert Kingdom.”

[83] Franklin Hall’s booklet Atomic Power with God through Fasting and Prayer was self-published by Hall in 1946 and repeatedly since then. http://holyghostfire.org/ourministries.html Some apostles and prophets, including Lou Engle, reference Hall as the inspiration for their teachings. Hall was the author of the 1966 book Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations, also self-published.

[84] Jack W. Hayford, The Charismatic Century: The Enduring Impact of the Azusa Street Revival, (New York: Warner Faith, 2006). p. 182 3

[85] http://www.ag.org/top/beliefs/position_papers/pp_downloads/pp_endtime_revival.pdf The 2001 position paper references the 1949 decision, stating, “The 1949 General Council of the Assemblies of God, in Seattle, Washington, adopted a resolution disapproving the doctrines of the New Order of the Latter Rain. The minutes of that Council record that after brief debate the resolution
was adopted with an overwhelming majority.”

[86] C. Peter Wagner, Dominion!: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2008) 59.

[87] SLSW was controversial even among other conservative Christian missionaries. It resulted in a Lausanne Movement consultation in Nairobi in 2000, titled “Deliver Us From Evil.” See A. Scott Moreau, “Gaining Perspective on Territorial Spirits,” Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Dec. 31, 2009, http://www.strategicnetwork.org/index.%20php?loc=kb&view=v&page=v&id=3027%20&pagenum=1&lang=EN.
The Lausanne paper by Scott Moreau references pioneers in the movement C. Peter Wagner and Harold Caballeros. Caballeros is now the foreign ministers of Guatemala and a previous candidate for president.

[88] The Transformations series of films has continued since 1999 and includes Transformations, Transformations II: The Glory Spreads, Let the Sea Resound, An Unconventional War, and more. See a description of An Unconventional War at Rachel Tabachnick, “A Joseph Kony and his Victims Movie That Demonstrates the Ulterior Motive Behind a ‘Good Cause,” AlterNet, March 19, 2012, http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/2012/03/19/a-joseph-kony-and-his-victims-movie-that-demonstrates-the-ulterior-motives-behind-a-good-cause?page=entire.

[89] Political Research Associates has published a detailed account of the Transformation films and organizations in a 2012 report, “Colonizing African Values.” See Kapya John Kaoma, “Colonizing African Values,” Political Research Associates, 2012, https://www.politicalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/10/Colonizing-African-Values.pdf.

[90] The 50-state networks are under the authority of Cindy Jacobs, Reformation Prayer Network; Chuck Pierce, Global Apostolic Prayer Network; and John Benefiel, Heartland Apostolic Network. See “About,” Reformation Prayer Network,http://www.usrpn.org/about; and HAPN map at Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, http://www.hapn.us/.

[91] See “About the International House of Prayer,” International House of Prayer,” http://www.ihopkc.org/about/.

[92]See, for example, this list of “houses of prayer” in the U.S.:“24/7 Prayer Ministry Directory,” http://www.24-7prayerlist.com/index.html.

[93] Most of the pages have been removed from the event’s original website, “The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis,” http://theresponseusa.com/about-the-response.php. These events were planned to continue through the election season. Coverage includes aTexas Observer article: Forrest Wilder, “Rick Perry’s Army of God,” Texas Observer, August 3, 2011, http://www.texasobserver.org/rick-perrys-army-of-god; and my interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, “The Evangelicals Engaged in Spiritual Warfare,” National Public Radio, August 19, 2011, http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare.

[94] The New Apostolic Reformation should not be confused with the New Apostolic Church, a denomination dating to the mid-1800s. It had approximately 9.6 million adherents worldwide and also believed in the restoration of modern-day apostles in preparation for the End Times: see “History of Our Church,” New Apostolic Church International, http://www.nak.org/about-the-nac/history-of-our-church.

[95] “The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare,” narrated by Terry Gross, Fresh Air, Aug. 19, 2011, http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare .

[96] C. Peter Wagner first put out “An Urgent Message From Peter” through the apostolic networks, warning that the NAR had “become a tool in the hands of certain liberal opponents,” although most of the message responded to comments by conservative Christian critics of the NAR. He followed with a multi-page article in the November 2011 issue of Charisma, titled “The Truth About the New Apostolic Reformation.” Three of the major spokespersons for the Seven Mountains Mandate—Os HIllman, Lance Wallnau, and Johnny Enlow—participated in dialogue, disseminated by video, calling for a moderation of language. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch monitored their efforts to tone down language and use “influence” instead of “dominion” in mainstream media and among secular audiences. See Kyle Mantyla, “Why are Dominionists Suddenly Downplaying Dominionism,” Right Wing Watch, August 22, 2011, http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/why-are-dominionists-suddenly-downplaying-dominionism and Kyle Mantyla, “Wallnau: Don’t Say ‘Dominionism,’ At Least Not in Front of The Media,” Right Wing Watch, October 17, 2011, http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wallnau-dont-say-dominionism-least-not-front-media.

[97] “A Leading Figure In The New Apostolic Reformation,” Fresh Air narrated by Terry Gross, Oct. 3, 2011, http://www.npr.org/2011/10/03/140946482/apostolic-leader-weighs-religions-role-in-politics .

[98] 2008 “Starting the Year Off Right” conference hosted by Glory of Zion Ministries. A short video at “C. Peter Wagner: Dominionism Means Ruling As Kings,” YouTube, August 30, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2woK8-y0_w. The longer video is at “‘Apostle’ C. Peter Wagner of the NAR Teaches ‘The Dominion Mandate,’” YouTube, August 28, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecszOPc95s8

[99] Charisma Magazine, Nov. 2011.

[100] List of quotes by leading apostles and prophets about Dominionism and the Seven Mountains Mandate: Rachel Tabachnick, “Quotes on Dominionism From the Apostles and Prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation,” Talk to Action, Aug. 26, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/8/26/193314/769.

[101] Lisa Miller, “Be not afraid of evangelicals,” Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2011, http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-08-18/national/35269575_1_white-evangelicals-world-views-christians. The quote is from Mark DeMoss, who heads the DeMoss Group. His family’s foundation funded an evangelizing booklet that was distributed around the world and was first published by leading Reconstructionist authors and Gary DeMar’s American Vision. See Rachel Tabachnick, “Washington Post On Faith Columnist’s Flawed Article Dismisses Dominionism,” Talk to Action, Aug. 29, 2011, http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/8/29/03752/8133.

[102] Rachel Tabachnick, “Spiritual Warfare,” Dome Magazine, October 17, 2011, http://domemagazine.com/features/cov101711. Bickle founded the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, which is a model for 24/7 houses of prayer emerging across the U.S. and the world. Bickle led the “Kansas City Prophets,” one of the first wave of groups declaring themselves to be modern-day prophets and including Rick Joyner, James Goll, Bob Jones, Paul Cain, and others. Bickle contributed to Pastors & Prophets (2000), edited by Wagner and was part of Wagner’s original Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. See: Steve Shultz, “2003 Word of the Lord – Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders,” The Elijah List, Feb. 24, 2003, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=1409.

[103] Cathy Cosby, “An Invitation from Kansas Governor Sam Brownback,” American Family Association, Nov. 29, 2012, http://afa-ksmo.net/an-invitation-from-kansas-governor-sam-brownback/. U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) also spoke at the rally.

[104] Corey Jones, “ReignDown USA, Brownback draw crowd to prayer movement,” Topeka Capital-Journal, Dec. 8, 2012, http://cjonline.com/news/2012-12-08/reigndown-usa-brownback-draw-crowd-prayer-movement.

[105] C. Peter Wagner, “Why You Must Take Dominion Over Everything,” Charisma Magazine, Dec. 5, 2012, http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/prophecy/15402-the-case-for-dominionism.

Rachel Tabachnick (PRA associate fellow) researches, writes, and speaks about the impact of the Religious Right on policy and politics including civil rights, education, economics, environment, foreign policy, and labor. She produces presentations and speaks on conservative infrastructure and the intersection of the Religious Right and other sectors of the Right, including “free market” think tanks. Rachel has been interviewed on NPR and other radio and print media across the nation on topics including the New Apostolic Reformation, Christian Zionism, and education privatization. Follow her on Twitter at @RTabachnick.