Discussion of the theological direction in which the church is moving.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
The NAR Controversy
The Talk to Action blog has an interesting post on Peter Wagner's defense of the Third Wave Charismatic movement's definition and practice of spiritual warfare. As a Pentecostal, I see a need for balance here. This is my main problem with the whole Charismatic movement generally, including the start of it in the 1960s. There is too much "leeway" outside the Bible. I can prove that Wagner is a Charismatic, not a Pentecostal, because I heard him say so in a class he taught in Pasadena in the 1990s. I was in that class for about 5 months until one Sunday he looked straigt at me and strongly said this class was Charismatic, not Pentecostal. Since he didn't know me, it was a bit eerie to say the least. But I find these people to be a bit eerie. Christians shouldn't be eerie, even ones who practice Pentecostal/Charismatic beliefs. I do agree with the principle of spiritual warfare but I believe the NAR people are taking it a bit far. You could argue that the Bible doesn't have any precedent in it for the kind of practice they do. Individuals break spirits over people, not places. However, according to Eph. 6:12, there are higher level spirits and perhaps they are over places, so you could argue that too. But something in the NAR practice disturbs me. I imagine it's because they never affect anything with all of this praying. I have tracked for the past 12 years where these people go to pray over places, and instead of these places improving, they seem to get worse. First they were in the Middle East before 9/11 and then we had 9/11. After that were the two wars as well as so many muslim threats against us and bombings of hotels, embassies and so forth. Then they went to Eastern Europe. Many countries in Eastern Europe were doing quite well economically but after the NAR people got finished, even the best ones (i.e. Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lativa, Lithuania, Estonia) started to go down the drain. The next stop on their praying tour was New England. After they finished there, suddenly....there was all of these homosexual marriage laws being debated in some of those states. Next stop....Arizona. After that they had more and more violence from across the border and finally the shooting of Gabriella Giffords. Now all of this could be a coincidence, but I wonder. Are we waking sleeping spirit giants which should be left alone. Or, mabye the NAR folks just aren't praying correctly. Or, maybe they just do not have all of this power they say they have? Or....? Or....? What do you think?