These are just some of the examples--many more exist to demonstrate that Heidi Baker is active in apostolic and prophetic ministries, including those led by people who characterize themselves as part of the New Apostolic Reformation. Anyone who views or reads these links will have a hard time understanding why Baker tried to present herself as a peripheral figure to this movement, and an even harder time understanding why Stafford did not press her on this significant aspect of her public ministry.
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Friday, May 4, 2012
Heidi Baker and the New Apostolic Reformation
(PART TWO OF THIS POST IS HERE)
(PART TWO OF THIS POST IS HERE)
Christianity Today is out with an extraordinary cover story by Tim Stafford on Heidi Baker. Her story is a powerful one and her ministry in Mozambique sounds like one that is bringing great hope to people. I doubt that she could have hoped for a more sympathetic presentation of her story for an American evangelical audience than what Tim Stafford has provided. But in presenting her personal story and her work in Mozambique, Stafford chose to be nearly silent about the broader framework of her life and ministry, a broader framework that is marked by her active participation in prophetic and apostolic ministries that are core components of what C. Peter Wagner calls a New Apostolic Reformation. Stafford does not completely ignore this important part of the story, but he might as well have because what he does include is very misleading. Here is the extent of Stafford’s coverage of Baker and NAR:
Though they have lost financial support due to their association with the Toronto movement, the Baker’s are loyal to its leaders and attend their Catch the Fire conferences in North America every year. Several leaders involved are active in the so-called New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial charismatic movement. But the Bakers do not promote the New Apostolic Reformation or consider themselves to be modern-day apostles.
This is a very questionable characterization of her history. It implies that the only reason anyone would consider her active in NAR is that she attends an annual conference of a group with some people who are active in NAR. For the Bakers to say that she does not promote NAR is technically true in that there is no one group called NAR—anymore than there was one group called Reformation. And the fact that she does not call herself an apostle is besides the point—Cindy Jacobs does not call herself an “apostle” either, yet she is a central figure in the NAR world. What Stafford seems unaware of is that NAR is not limited to apostles at all--it explicitly draws on the leadership of "prophets" as well as apostles. Like Baker, Jacobs goes by the term “prophet”, but like Baker she is very active in what any informed person would call the NAR. Six very clear examples can be given to show that Baker should be rightly considered an active player in the New Apostolic Reformation.
1. She is an instructor at C. Peter Wagner’s own school of ministry called the Wagner Leadership Institute.
2. Her organization, Iris Ministries, is the major component of Partners in Harvest, under the “apostolic leadership” of “apostles John and Carol Arnott”.
3. She is a founding member of the Revival Alliance (RA). RA organized and hosted an important moment in the history of apostolic restoration—the anointing ceremony of Apostle Todd Bentley, featuring significant participation by Apostle C. Peter Wagner. RA was so important to the apostolic authority of Todd Bentley that when his ministry later crumbled under the weight of serious ethical violations he specifically apologized to RA’s leadership.
4. In 2011 she was a headline speaker at Voice of the Apostles 2011 conference. Her tape from the talk is published by the sponsors who are called Apostolic Network of Global Awakening. A video was produced of Heidi promoting Voice of the Apostles by talking about the many gatherings she has been to.
5. She is one of ten authors of The Reformers’ Pledge, a major publication that features chapters by C. Peter Wagner, Che Anh, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Lou Engle and other noted NAR figures.
6. She headlined a conference together with Chuck Pierce, the new leader of Wagner’s Global Spheres network of apostles.