I am all about building the Kingdom of God with a correct world view. Recently I discovered these two theologies that have occupied my mind for some time now. These theologies teach an improper kingdom building process and a distorted un-biblcal, man-centered world view. In this post I discuss why and how we should answer.
Recently a post in a Facebook group I am a part of lead me to do some research on the New Apostolic Reformation. People’s comments on the post lead me to believe it was contrary to the Bible, and explicitly in contradiction to church history. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is nothing new at all. It is a belief that has been challenging the church for centuries. The reason our eyes are not so opened to this improper teaching and theology is because it so closely relates to the Bible but crosses a fine line making it un-bilical.
In researching the NAR I found another belief (I call it belief because I could never agree to calling it christianity) closely related to it called Moral Government Theology (MGT). In this article I am to correct they two beliefs.
The New Apostolic Reformation
The biggest problem with the new apostolic reformation lies within their view of church government. Quoting from GotQuestions.org, “The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that God’s intended form of church governance is apostles and prophets, holding leadership over evangelists, pastors, and teachers.” They believe that apostles and prophets essentially run the church. There’s just one small problem with that teaching, and it is this: There are no longer any apostles in the present church. Only God appoints apostles and he has not nor will he appoint more apostles in the rest of eternity. GotQuestions.org points out that the requirements for apostleship are impossible for today.
In 1 Cor. 9:1 Paul says, “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?” Proper hermeneutics leads us to interpret that as a requirement for apostleship. While people claim to see Jesus today I do not know of a single person who has claimed to see him in physical form as the apostles did. To avoid being long-winded I will sum up the rest of the requirements. 2, an apostle must be specifically designated by Jesus (Galatians 1:1; Acts 1:2; Luke 6:13), and three, and apostle must be confirmed by miraculous signs, (Matthew 10:1; 2 Corinthians 12:2; Acts 5:12).
Now if the apostles were to appear today in physical form then yes, they would have headship over the church and no one would argue with that. But therein lies the problem. Only they (besides Jesus) have headship over the universal church. Therefore present day “apostles” cannot take headship in church government. Modern day “apostles” don’t exist.
There are many more problems that lie within NAR’s claim for apostles to govern church (such as their financial status, spiritual power and spiritual warfare) and I encourage you to read the GotQuestions.org to learn more about it.
Another problem is within the NAR’s view of church government they believe that the church should rule the seven pillars of society which are government, arts, finances, education, religion, family, and media. They believe that in the fall, mankind lost dominion over the earth and it was restored by the death of Jesus and that we are now commissioned to dominate these seven areas. Notice I emphasize the word dominate. It is true that we as a church must invade these seven areas of society and fill them with godliness but the NAR takes it much further and seeks to establish a physical kingdom rather than the spiritual kingdom that Jesus spoke of and established (Luke 17:20-20; Romans 14:17).
The third largest problem with the NAR is new revolution and miracles. Here is a snippet of GotQuestions.org’s article on the issue:
“The idea of new revelations from God, especially those that come in the form of vague, easily reinterpreted mysteries, runs counter to the idea of a faith delivered “once for all” to mankind (Jude 1:3). The fact that New Apostolic Reformation prophecies frequently turn out to be false suggests a false spirit behind those predictions (Deuteronomy 18:22)… The same holds true for [their view on] miracles:”
So whats wrong with this belief system? It leads to the larger picture and problem of experimentalism and somewhat prosperity Gospel. The idea of church government leads to an over emphasis on miracles which leads to experimentalism. Second the NAR believes that “apostles” and “prophets are to be very wealthy and we all know where that leads.
Moralistic Government Theology
Moralistic Government Theology in short is explicitly un-biblical. Here are a few beliefs held by MGT.
- God does not fulfill some of his own prophecies.
- God’s foreknowledge is limited in the area of man’s free decisions.
- God does not know ahead of time the free decisions of humans.
- Jesus did not pay for our sins.
- The devil has deceived us into believing that Christ was a ransom for us, and that he redeemed us by paying for our sins.
- One is ultimately responsible for his/her own salvation because of free will.
- God has the ability to make wrong choices or to sin.
- The sin of Adam is not transmitted to us, and it would be unjust for God to pronounce us guilty because of his sin.
- Humans are not bound to a sinful flesh that continually wants to sin. Through good choices and an iron will, mankind can turn away from sin in and of him/herself.
- One can achieve perfection if that individual sets his/her goals high enough.
That right there is enough. There are so many things wrong with this theology and it is completely man centered. If those who hold this theology preach some sort of gospel (mind you it’s not the gospel of Jesus because according to this theology Jesus did not pay for sins), Paul says to us in Galatians 1:8-10″ But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
MGT is exactly what Paul is describing. Thats ‘ll I have to say about that.
So then what shall we do? The answer is know your word. Inside and out. Have a defense for the faith. Hold strong doctrines. Let your conscience be held captive by the word of God.