I’ve written at some length on the Christian movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a group that’s been getting increased media scrutiny lately due to their proximity to presidential candidates like Texas governor Rick Perry. Some may believe I’m over-stating their influence, or that I’m being somewhat paranoid in my coverage, so it’s always a good thing to have relatively level-headed media outlets to compare your own findings/suspicions with. Back in August the NPR interview program “Fresh Air” interviewed Rachel Tabachnick of Talk To Action, a leading researcher into this movement, and promised to follow-up interview with a NAR member for rebuttal/response. Today that promise is fulfilled as the show interviews C. Peter Wagner, one of key architects and Apostles of this movement. It is Wagner who articulated the movement’s battle against the “Queen of Heaven,” and penned several books on the subject of spiritual warfare.
[The following is a report from Cara Schulz at PNC-Minnesota on a message sent to Pagans from the organisers of “DC40,” a spiritual warfare event put together by leaders from within the New Apostolic Reformation movement.]
The Reformation Prayer Network, led by Cindy Jacobs, and the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, headed by John Benefiel, have joined together to produce a nation-wide event called “DC40.″ The goal of DC40 is to effect “eternal change in our nation’s capitol so our elected officials can govern from a new position of uncompromising light and understanding as we change the spiritual atmosphere over Washington DC forever.” This effort is variously named DC40, Forty Days of Light Over D.C., and 51 Days of Reformation Intercession. The change DC40 wants to make is electing leaders who fear the Christian God and “find that compromise is not the way” as it is impossible to “compromise with unrighteousness.” The “uncompromising light” refers to a statement released by Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, which says God’s word should be the legal authority in the United States and Christians should acknowledge no other, “no power to purpose or accept any compromise of the promises of God, and we declare illegal in the earth any action or any people, Nation or nations that undertake what is contradictory to the Word of God.”
Pagans are pushing back against what they see as malefic magic aimed at erasing the separation of church and state and DC40′s attack on the goddess Columbia. Bloggers Hecate and Literata, both of whom live in the Washington DC area, are calling for Pagans to make daily devotions to the Goddess Columbia and to pray to Her to help this country preserve its foundational commitment to religious liberty. “I will be spending this time making a daily devotion to her, not against these conservative Christians, but in hopes that they and I might find ways to live peaceably together in a nation that values religious pluralism,” writes Literata. Hail Columbia is organizing positive interfaith responses to DC40 to counter their agenda.
In their latest newsletter, DC40 sent out this response to the Pagan community:
We are well aware of the websites and blogs rallying to try and curse our effort and counter it.
The English-language site for the Arabic news outlet Al Jazeera recently featured an editorial by Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor of Random Lengths News, on the neo-Pentecostal Christian network known as the New Apostolic Reformation. In the piece Rosenberg compares NAR with Islamist militia group the Taliban. “Prior to 9/11, the Taliban government in Afghanistan did not register very much on American radar screens, with one notable exception: when it blew up two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan province in early 2001. But destruction of treasured artifacts isn’t just limited to the Taliban. There’s a right-wing politico-religious presence centred in the US, but with a global reach, engaging in similar practises, destroying religious and cultural artifacts as a key aspect of its ideology of “strategic level spiritual warfare” (SLSW). Until recently a fringe evangelical movement, warned against as deviant, “spiritual warfare” is rapidly positioning itself within America’s mainstream political right. It’s well past time for political journalists to start covering what this movement is up to.”
“There is no essential difference between sticking pins into a wax image of an enemy and burning candles in front of a wax image of the Virgin. You may think that both these practices are gross superstition, but you can hardly think that one is real and potent and deny reality and potency to the other.” — Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense
Yesterday I covered an ambitious spiritual warfare campaign that’s being planned by New Apostolic Reformation leaders. The campaign, “DC40,″ which aims to “lay siege” on Washington D.C. and bring about “the advancement of the Kingdom in the earth.” The New Apostolic Reformation, a neo-Pentecostal movement, is extremely anti-Pagan in its orientation. They call Washington D.C. the “District of Christ” because Columbia is an aspect of the Queen of Heaven, essentially the feminine divine in all its many forms, from Isis to Mary.
I’ve written at some length about the upcoming prayer rally “The Response” and its problematic organizers and endorsers, and I have also devoted quite a bit of time to the New Apostolic Reformation, a neo-Pentecostal Christian movement that regularly engages in spiritual warfare tactics, displays a disturbing anti-Pagan emphasis, and has intertwined itself with Perry and his prayer event. While I use the terminology “spiritual warfare” quite often, I think that it’s hard to envision what this practice is like among the Christians who engage in it. I’ve mentioned that it is, in essence, malefic magic, but that’s often a difficult picture to square with the usual harmless image of devout Christians with heads bowed and hands clasped. But an upcoming New Apostolic Reformation-led event, brought to my attention by fellow Pagan blogger Hecate, does an very good job of illustrating how “spiritual warfare” works in their context.
The above video is from an upcoming prayer-war event called “DC40” which will “lay siege” on Washington D.C. to change the “District of Columbia” into the “Disctrict of Christ” (they even issued a faux-legal “divorce decree”).