Leaving the NAR Church: Penny’s story

“Thinking that we would be safe in a conservative church was a huge mistake. I was repeatedly told I was causing the devil to destroy the unity of the church. The NAR is infiltrating our churches and most Christians are unaware of the dangers.”

Penny is from Canada, and after leaving her NAR-influenced church two years ago, she has yet to find a church family. Being without a church is tragically common for many who’ve come out of this infectious counterfeit.

In this series, I want to take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth.

This is Penny’s story in her own words:

My story is a bit different, I suppose. I am writing this as its been over two years since I have attended church, and am still so saddened by the influence the NAR has on Christians who don’t see the deception. It’s going worldwide as you know. I am in Canada. It is cathartic to share my experience. Thank you for reading.

I was very involved in a couple of Vineyard churches, and had trained in their style of “spirit-lead” worship and prayer ministry. I left that denomination after being abused. My family and I moved on.

We had been involved in a conservative church plant for five years. We were very involved and loved our church family. We lost that church family two years ago.

I started to attend a Bible study there. They were using Danny Silk’s book, Keep Your Love On. I had no idea who he was or anything about Bethel Church.

(Editor’s note: Silk is on the senior leadership team of Bethel Church, a leading NAR organization headed by Bill Johnson in Redding, California. See, Danny Silk Defends Bethel’s “Glory Clouds”)

I read the first chapter in preparation for class. I felt very uncomfortable with the material, and I felt very uncomfortable that I was feeling uncomfortable! I wanted to fully participate with the ladies group and fit in!

I chose to go anyway, and decided to just listen and refrain from sharing my struggle with how his advice was not fitting with my many, many years of therapy from spiritual abuse and my training and work in abuse prevention.

I attended the group and remained quiet. One of the leaders asked me what I thought. So I chose my words carefully and said I was uncomfortable with some of his thoughts. Other women in the room nodded in agreement with me. The leaders were not at all comfortable with me sharing how I felt.

I embarked on a study of Bethel and Danny Silk to help clarify and discover why my alarms had gone off. I contacted The Bible Answer Man and started looking up anything I could find. I was shocked to discover all of the false teaching within the NAR and the infiltration of New Age and occult practices.

I finished the book and also read his book, Loving our Kids on Purpose. In both books he tells stories of his interaction with his child and with a nephew in which his behaviour is abusive to the children!
This was not material I would want anyone reading and following in their homes.

I received a statement from the Bible Answer Man telling me that he doesn’t recommend Bethel. I did further reading that only confirmed my growing concerns.

After much prayer and hesitation I called the pastor to tell him of my concerns. He did not want to read the material or hear my concerns. I told him I would not be attending any more classes until they were done with this book.

A few weeks later, I received a call from the pastor’s wife, who was one of the group leaders. She berated me for telling two friends of my concerns about the book. I was repeatedly told I was causing the devil to destroy the unity of the church. It was a terribly disturbing call. Clearly, they did not want to look at the source of the material at all, but punish me for speaking up.

It exposed their naive and unwise leadership and led them to become abusive in their power posturing. We never returned to that church, and lost many friends in the process.

Thinking that we would be safe in a conservative church was a huge mistake. The NAR is infiltrating our churches and most Christians are unaware of the dangers! The music coming out of Bethel is also being used in many non-NAR churches.

I am still shaken by that experience and am still struggling with returning to church….any church.


Author’s Note:  You can read the entire series of NAR testimonies here.  If you would like to send me your story about your NAR church experience and what happened when your eyes were opened, you can email me here. I will be changing your first name to keep you anonymous.

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10 Responses to Leaving the NAR Church: Penny’s story

  1. Terry Palmer says:

    Gripping story. Her story shows the length and depth with which the evil reach of darkness wants to steal, maim, and destroy, John 10:10. As a Christian writer I’m becoming more aware of the grief caused by this church and people. The Bible is complete and so is what Christ did for us at the cross. The deception of darkness is that we need more… More darkness of course, dressed as light. For Christian writers, this is a call to action, part of which I have started.
    Author Terry Palmer

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  2. Manny1962 says:

    The NAR is a cult, period. They say the right words and key phrases, but when someone questions their theology or methodology lookout! They show their true colors and fangs! I see so many proponents do drive-by postings here it’s sickening, yet they never back up their assertions from scripture, all they have is vitriol for anyone questioning their rockstar-idol-preacher!

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    • Terry Palmer says:

      It isn’t a hard thing to find enough scripture. Here is a list which applies from Galatians 5:15-26. See what you think.

      15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

      It’s sort of a way to pick which camp you want to belong, that of darkness or that of light. which would you pick?

      which way would lead others to Truth and Light?

      Which way would lead to alife of love, joy, and peace?

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  3. Malinee says:

    Dear Penny,

    Praise Him for leading you out of the depths of deception. It is so painful to be rejected by those whom we thought were our brothers and sisters. When confronted with the truth, they would rather ignore it. The truth is uncomfortable; it exposes the darkness and the wickedness of sin (the pride and lusts of the flesh).

    Stay strong in Him. You are not alone in this battle.

    Malinee

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  4. Great job standing up for truth, and directly confronting the “pastor.” That is exactly what Paul did when he confronted Peter in Galatians 2 when Peter was preaching a false gospel through his actions. I also love that you shared your concerns with friends, trying, as Jude says, to snatch them from the flames. That and prayer are all you can do. Thanks for sharing and thanks for contending vigorously for the gospel that saved us from the flames of hell.
    And as for unity, if we are unified in anything other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we were crucified to the world and the world to us…then our unity is in vain.

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  5. Maggie says:

    As Penny said, false teaching is infiltrating the churches. Because of this, any pastor/elder who neglects warning the congregation of false teaching and false teachers is not doing his job as a shepherd guarding Christ’s flock.

    After leaving an NAR house church network, as well as a non-denominational conservative church embracing seeker sensitive methods, I found a good church through discernment articles I found online written by the pastor. It is a healthy church where questioning is welcomed, and expected, because much of the congregation are Bereans and are zealous in studying the Scriptures. Some have come out of cults. It is a wonder to me that this remains a tiny congregation when good Bible-believing churches are so hard to find.

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    • Caryn says:

      Maggie,

      Where is this bible believing church with a congregation of Bereans? 🙂 My family is also looking for a church.

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      • Maggie says:

        Caryn,
        Here is a good article about How to Find a Bible-Believing Church: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=22627

        I think it’s highly unlikely that you are in my same geographic area, but surely there must be a Bible-believing church near you, or at least a group that meets in a home. I prayed for a good body of believers to meet with, and God provided providentially in unexpected ways. For instance, while I travel an hour to church on Sundays, I attend a mid-week Bible study locally with a group of Lutheran ladies, although I am not Lutheran.

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      • Caryn says:

        Okay Maggie, thank you so much!

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  6. Tammy Feathers says:

    Caryn, I wanted to tell on the site by Michelle Lesley there is a post that helps others to find Churches in their area. It is a Scripture based site for ladies. I am in Pa, and about a year ago we switched to a reformed Church. If you live in PA let me know, and I will be more than happy to share my info with you! Thanks, Tammy

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