My investigations into NAR (David Choiniere)

by David Choiniere – Guatemala/Guatemala-City  site: Dominionismo en todas sus formas

The problem I have when talking about false teachers and NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) in the United States is that I do not live there. Even when I joined an anti- NAR group on FB I did not pay attention to a lot of comments as they seemed irrelevant to my situation in Guatemala. I had never heard of Mike Bickle or Bill Johnson until I joined the group and basically ignored comment relating to those guys for so long.

C. Peter Wagner

I was much more interested in investigating C.Peter Wagner as he was very connected to a false teacher who founded a church only 12 blocks from my house. Wagner was the first person I started researching in the United States. The reality is that in the Hispanic world they have their own army of false teachers and many of them are not directly connected to North American false teachers. In fact, I hold that NAR took hold here (in Latin America) before it took hold in North America. The reason I say that is because Wagner fell under the influence of an Argentine evangelist names Carlos Annacondia who was claiming revival in Argentina. Wagner went to Argentina for nearly a year to observe what was happening and then returned to the United States to put into practice what he witnessed there. (to tell the truth I do not know if Wagner was in Argentina continuously or if he just made a series of short visits over that time span).

Either way, Wagner was mesmerized with what he saw and saw it as the key to ‚revival‘. Of course Carlos Annacondia was pure NAR and was having NAR weird spiritual manifestations way back in the 1980s, long before the Toronto Blessing put NAR on the map in North America.

I suspect that NAR took root here in Guatemala before it did in North America due to the fact that they had no language barrier with Argentina. I know that another Argentine evangelist, Claudio Freizón, is very popular here and has come many times and I suspect he brought weird manifestations before the Toronto Blessing. Still, I don’t have all the information gathered on this.

The false preacher that I first researched here was the preacher of a megachurch who formed him own apostolic networks after declaring himself an apostle. I have written extensively about him and his name is Cash Luna. He has more facebook followers than nearly all of the false teachers in the United States (and they often have more followers than the legitimate preachers) except for maybe Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and Joyce Meyers.

Of course Cash Luna copied his doctrines from a Colombian pastor named César Castellanos. César Castellanos was a Pentecostal pastor of a small church who became frustrated with little growth. He went to Korea to study under Dr. Yonggi Cho and them tried to apply his techniques to his church. The church started growing but not as fast as he wanted so he began to study more and so he came up with the idea that there should be discipleship groups of 12.

When he started implementing this system his church literally exploded and went as high as 300,000 persons. (many defections may mean that the current number is less than 300,000).
Quickly, he became famous in Latin America church circles and soon started his own apostolic networks centering himself in the center of NAR theology. So, Cash Luna copied Castellanos and eventually eclipsed him in influence in Latin America. Luna gained fame through his ‚miracle‘ healing crusades Called Nights of Glory in English. He also was one of the first to sign up on the new Hispanic version of Trinity Broadcasting Network called Enlace. Enlace made Cash Luna a household name across Latin America in Christian circles.

So now, Latin America has been highly penetrated by NAR doctrine. Latin Americans are quite content to have their own ’stars‘ and not depend on the NAR preachers popular in the United States. Not to say that there isn’t some crossover. In fact, popular NAR preachers from the United States regularly come here. Cindy Jacobs was just here about a year ago. Dr Cho has been here too (I do not consider Cho at the center of NAR but his teaching has stamped NAR very deeply. Benny Hinn has been here as well (again Hinn may not be at the center of NAR as he is usually classified as a Word of Faith preacher but he has influenced NAR very deeply also.

You can see how NAR and Word of Faith influence each other to the extent that many people think they are one movement. But they have two different roots. WoF goes back to E.W. Kenyon who influenced Kenneth Hagen who is the father of WoF while the roots of NAR go back to William Branham with his Latter Rain doctrine and Manifest Sons of God teaching. Still, each group has high appreciation for the other and they share many of the same heresies.

Going back to Mike Bickle and Bill Johnson their influence is minor here and most people, even in NAR circles, do not have a clue who they are. Neither do they know who Peter Wagner is. Wagner plays too low key to make himself a household name. Still, his influence is far greater than many of the more famous names in NAR.
There is a preacher from Kansas City who I know has close ties to an NAR preacher in Gutemala named Harold Caballeros. His name is Bill Hamon. They have even collaborated on some books and I am sure he has visited the church run by Caballeros. Still, I am lacking some pieces of the puzzle. I need to have more documentation but it is hard to gather this type of information. Even blogs and websites I have researched say very little on this. Latin America is not blessed with discernment ministries which are so popular in the United States and the English-speaking world in general. Most of the information to be found is gathered by individuals interested in exposing the fraud. They do not have the resources or the time of much larger ministries. That is my chief problem in finding information in Spanish.

My interest in Mike Bickle is less than a year old when I realized my niece was following IHOP. When I found that out I dashed an email to my sister but she did not react. It was not until my niece came back from a trip to Mozambique to visit Heidi Baker and charged a 3,000 dollar bill that my sister had to pay in order to avoid interest. (She made her daughter pay it off on installments.)

To me the problem with investigation NAR is that it is simply too vast. There are too many preachers doing it and I don’t think anyone can keep track of all the preachers and new names come on the scene on a regular basis. It is so much more complicated than a simple cult like Mormonism which is dominated by a small group who dictate doctrine to the whole church so that you mostly need to study basic doctrine and nearly all Mormons believe the same things. NAR doctrine is very complex and one preacher may not teach the same as another preacher. So then, you have to focus on individual preachers and there are too many to count.
But despite their difference they hold so much in common and represent a serious threat to the church. The threat is due to the fact that they masquerade as bible-believing Christians and even praise other non-NAR preachers and even stock their books in their bookstores. It makes them seem as legitimate as any other church, but with more claim to being at the center of what God is ‚doing‘ today.

They are very ecumenical but in the end, they believe that every other church should align themselves to them and be under their ‚apostolic‘ authority.
Plus, their dominionism and zeal for political power is making them the new Christian right, replacing the Christian right that was first set up by Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority, but unlike the Moral Majority, the NAR is international and desires to control governments in every nation that they can. That also makes them a threat as they desire to install their form of theocracy with many possible restriction to religious and personal liberties. The fear is that they might repress religious groups which oppose their NAR doctrine. That makes them a serious enemy of the truth in much the same way as the Catholic church used to persecute other religious groups for so many years when the Catholics were aligned with temporal governments in many nations and opposed religious liberty, granting themselves the sole right to exist legally and without opposition.

posted by Siegfried Schad © David Choiniere all rights reserved

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