FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 04-10
GENDER & SPORTS
Bronner & IDF
Jane Anne Morris
Protesting School Cuts
Dolls & Drudges
Epic Recession III
Capitalizing on Disaster
NY For Sale
In Vitro, In Vivo!
Zaps - 04-10
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The New Apostolic Reformation
An interview with Rachel Tabachnick
Rachel Tabachnick is an independent researcher who specializes in End Times narratives. In 2008 she assisted Bruce Wilson in publishing a video of John Hagee's sermon about Hitler being sent from God as a hunter of Jews. She continues to provide research on the Religious Right for political campaigns from local school boards to national organizations and was a presenter at the recent PA Progressive Summit 2010 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she spoke on the "sacralization" of economic and political issues by the Religious Right.
BERKOWITZ: Most people aren't aware of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Tell us what we should know?
TABACHNICK: Imagine for a moment that a large block of the evangelical world decided to re-organize themselves in a hierarchy resembling the Roman Catholic Church, with leaders in authority over each nation and region. Imagine that every person—from the congregants to the top leaders—has someone to whom they are accountable.
Although this is not the first time this has been tried, this "second reformation" is having more success. It is organizing within a mega-block of Protestants larger than all the traditional denominations put together, as well as "post-denominational" churches. It's heavily charismatic, made up of born again, but also "spirit-filled" Christians—sometimes called neo-charismatics or neo-pentecostal. They believe that spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and faith-healing powers, are signs and wonders that will help evangelize unbelievers in preparation for the End Times.
C. Peter Wagner, a key figure in the movement, streamlined the ideology and named it the "New Apostolic Reformation." Wagner serves as the presiding apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), which includes several hundred apostles across the U.S. and about 40 nations, international training centers, and "prayer warrior" networks in all 50 states and worldwide. Those in the top tier each have apostolic authority over other ministries, sometimes hundreds or even thousands.
Many of the leaders teach prosperity doctrine—or the belief that the more you give to ministries, the more God will bless you. But this is not just a church movement. Market apostles work in business, finance, communications, media, and lead the "Reclaiming the Seven Mountains of Culture" mandate.
"Kingdom" businesses play an important role. For instance there is an apostle in Toronto whose ministry includes an oil and gas company. Two ICA Apostles head Markets Unlocked, a business matchmaking system that connects Kingdom business customers and suppliers, and claims exclusive agreements for over a half billion dollars of products and services. Trained intercessors are now paid to pray for businesses. ICA Apostles work closely with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce.
Leaders are encouraged to get involved in social services to expand their influence in government and society. One apostle, a former fitness instructor, is now listed as a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation and claims to have distributed $30 million in gifts and donations during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He has expanded his organizations to Fiji, Poland, and Southeast Asia.
Wagner teaches that there will soon be a great transfer of wealth from the ungodly to the godly and has set up structures to prepare. Wagner's Leadership Institute teaches courses in prophecy, but also in foreign currency exchange.
How has this movement grown so rapidly?
Church growth is the key concept. Other Christian dominion movements propose austere biblical law, but Wagner explains in his 2008 book Dominion that theocracy will not be necessary. He believes rapid growth of the movement will allow Christians to take dominion inside a democratic framework.
Wagner, who will be 80 this year, was a professor of church growth for 30 years at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has mainstreamed cell church ideology, a strategy which began in Asia and South America and has resulted in congregations of tens of thousands. Cell churches are organized like a pyramid marketing scheme with small groups, usually with no more than 12, tasked with spinning off new cell groups and growing the church. This also resembles a military structure—each cell has a leader and lower level leaders are accountable to their superiors on up the chain.
Such schemes used to be called shepherding, but, because of bad press and reports of coercive and abusive practices, they have been re-named "discipling." Laypeople in cells perform many of the functions that would normally be carried out by pastors—and pastors then become like corporate CEOs. The New Apostolics are now trying to apply shepherding to entire communities and even nations.
What do the terms spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare mean and where do they come from?
Spiritual warfare is not a new term, but the New Apostolics have now co-opted it. With the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Wagner promoted unique evangelizing tools as part of a frenzied effort in the 1990s to evangelize the world before 2000. Instead of slowly winning souls one by one, Wagner proposed that entire geographic areas and people groups be targeted, speeding up the process.
These new strategies include strategic level spiritual warfare and spiritual mapping designed to win territory. This is accomplished by doing battle with demons or principalities that they believe cause entire ethnicities, religions, and geographic areas to resist conversion. After expulsion of the demons, the evangelized population can take "dominion" over local government and culture. Then the community supposedly experiences a foretaste of "God's Kingdom on Earth." These mini-utopias are advertised as having reduced poverty, corruption, and disease. This is the ultimate faith-based initiative—remove the demons and society will be healed.
Spiritual mapping is the reconnaissance mission for spiritual warfare and involves the literal mapping of neighborhoods and cities to determine where the demons are. This includes "generational curses" or those things in a city's history that allowed demons to take hold of the entire populous. Spiritual mapping is the ideological foundation for the now popular "prayer walking" and the formation of many citywide prayer groups.
Wagner, George Otis, Jr., Ed Silvoso, Ted Haggard, John Dawson of Youth With a Mission, and others created an entire genre of books, texts, videos, and other media teaching spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare, including a glossary of new terms. The Transformation DVDs produced by George Otis, Jr. are promotional "documentaries" showing prototypes of this process in which supernatural transformation of a community takes place, including the healing of AIDS, instantaneous purifying of polluted streams, and even growth of huge vegetables. These movies have been shown to millions globally, and Transformation organizations are attempting to replicate these prototypes in their local communities.
The Transformation ideology originated from western evangelicals—witch-hunting and all—and the prototypes have included cities like Hemet, California. Ugandan Julius Oyet, who starred in one of the Transformation movies, is a key figure in the recent proposed draconian anti-gay legislation in that county.
How are these strategies put into practice?
Although many of the claims made in the Transformation movies can be easily disproved, the movement's advancement appears to be partially due to the promotion of Transformations prototypes. Supernatural healings of AIDS, spontaneous destruction of property of other belief systems, and even claims that the prayers of the movement have killed other humans are featured in films shown worldwide, including to mainline Protestant churches and "renewal" groups, which have subsequently broken from their parent denominations.
The movies appear to have played a role in encouraging mythology that flourishes in the Religious Right and beyond, particularly in their assertion that thousands of cases of AIDS in Uganda have been miraculously cured. Medical leaders are warning these claims are interfering with their HIV/AIDS treatment. Since altering their AIDS programs to abstinence-only, promoted by U.S. evangelicals, Uganda has had an increase, not decrease, of new AIDS cases.
To give you an idea of how deeply entrenched the New Apostolics are in this policy, consider one of the most celebrated abstinence-only programs in the U.S. "Recapturing the Vision" and "Vessels of Honor" are names for abstinence-only programs headed by Jacqueline del Rosario, who testified for Title V abstinence-based funding in Congressional hearings in 2002. Since 2001, her Miami organizations have received $3,147,589 of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant money, as well as significant sums from other public sources. This funding came despite the fact that her organization was one of four in a long-term, federally-funded study that showed no measurable results.
Del Rosario was a speaker, along with Wagner and other top apostles, at a conference in January where she was described as an Apostle in the promotional literature. Her relationship with the Apostles is not new, however. She incorporated her organizations in the mid-1990s with leading Florida Apostle Diane Buker, head of Battle Axe ministries, and Cindy Trimm, described as a "general in the art of strategic warfare." Buker is the author of God's Power to Multiply for Wealth and her Battle Axe Brigade ministry website features a graphic of an arm swinging a medieval mace, as well as virulent attacks on Catholicism and other faiths.
Another political area in which New Apostolics is deeply entrenched is John Hagee's Christians United for Israel. Hagee is still teaching that the Rapture may happen any moment, but many of his directors and leaders teach that they must take dominion over the earth, including Israel, before Jesus can return. These include ICA Apostle Stephen Strang, who heads the Strang charismatic publishing empire, and regional director Robert Stearns, who publishes a New Apostolic journal titled Kairos. Stearns also leads the largest single international Christian Zionist event, involving 200,000 churches worldwide. His ministry has been endorsed by the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus and by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Are there well-known politicians involved with the NAR?
The Transformation movies show that they have access to many political figures, from Fiji to South America to Africa. Transformation Hawaii has the full participation of Lt. Governor Aiona, who has spoken at conferences and written for the movement. Lou Engle, a prophet in Wagner's inner circle, has recently been in the news leading an anti-health-care reform prayercast with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), among others. In May, Engle led another televised event in which he prayed over Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.
The New Apostolic movement more closely resembles a political campaign than a denomination. Wilson has written about PrayforNewark, a citywide project in which every precinct and street has been assigned to a volunteer and mapped out for prayer. However, PrayforNewark is part of Ed Silvoso's ITN, the same operation that is "transforming" Uganda, and promoting the belief that homosexuals are possessed by literal demons.
Where does Sarah Palin fit into all this?
The movement made early inroads in Alaska through an ICA apostle named Mary Glazier, who claims that a 24-year-old Palin joined her spiritual warfare network. These networks allow apostles to communicate and disseminate new prophecy to their prayer warriors. During the presidential election this included such prophecies about Palin, as when Glazier described a vision that Palin would take the mantle of leadership after a period of national mourning following the death of John McCain.
The first Transformation movie so impressed pastors in Wasilla, Alaska that they contacted some of the religious leaders featured in the movie—including Thomas Muthee, shown driving a "witch" out of Kiambu, Kenya. The Wasilla Assembly of God developed an ongoing relationship with Muthee and a 2005 church video shows him anointing Palin. Unfortunately, the press picked up on the witch part of the story, not the more important fact that Palin has ties to top leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.
Why should the American people be concerned about NAR?
I believe this movement's threat to separation of church and state is greater than some of the more overtly theocratic movements of the Religious Right. Unsuspecting people are becoming involved in New Apostolic activities without understanding its agenda.
Wagner's ideas have spread widely into mainstream evangelicalism with little public notice. Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, partnered with Wagner in founding the New Apostolic Reformation and building its early headquarters, the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs. Despite the fact that Haggard has written books on New Apostolic strategies, his participation in promoting this massive reformation of both church and society is so little known, it could be described as Haggard's other secret.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
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LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
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MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
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BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
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NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.