Following ‘You the Leader’ – or following the Great Shepherd.

In his latest article Reverend Anthony Wade, a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God, addresses the New Apostolic Reformation’s ‘false authority paradigm’.

Reading his article reminded CWC that this teaching is eerily similar to that taught by NARpostle Phil Pringle.

In light of this paradigm has anyone ever wondered why the Lord, in His great mercy, is leading so many of His Sheep out of C3 Church Global, away from this ‘vision-casting’ authoritarian leadership? Of course there will be ‘nay-sayers’ about the number of those leaving C3 and similar movements. Much like the ‘LGBTQetc’ movement who refuse to acknowledge true conversion to Christ by those who were once practicing homosexuals, ardent followers of Pringle refuse to express concern for those who leave their movement but instead accuse the ‘Berean’ believers as being ‘the problem and not the answer’ – then point to ‘numbers’ as a sign of their success! All this very much part of the unbiblical ‘leadership’ model heavily promoted by Phil Pringle and C3 Church Global.

From Pringle’s book ‘You The Leader’, the following ‘word-salad’ may offer some explanation:

“If we ask, “Who’s the pastor around here?” we generally mean, “Who’s the boss?”…  The leader of a church need not necessarily be the pastor. Many of those so called to lead churches today attempt to be pastors when, in fact, that is not their primary calling.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 260-1.

“I don’t approach Sundays with an attitude of, “What message shall I preach?” but rather, “What do we want to achieve in our church at this time?” That desired end result determines what and how I preach. Then, within the particular message, I ask myself, “What am I trying to achieve here? What one thing am I attempting to say? What do I want these people to have or do at the end of this time?’ Then I follow the plan.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, pg. 234.

“We all know we need leaders. Without leadership, anarchy ensues. But we need more than just leaders. In fact, we even need more than just good leaders. We need great leaders.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 11.

“In short, we need leaders because they see things that others don’t. When we follow great leaders, their  vision becomes ours. We start to see what they see, and we begin to own a vision larger than ourselves.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 16.

“Leaders actually conceive realities within themselves before the events have happened.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 33.

“Vision could be just as well described as “vibration.” The leader feels the vision as a vibration. He or she then imparts the feeling to others, who accept the vision and run with their leader to make it happen. The leader has seen something that ignites fire in their souls.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 43.

“When you have to set down the rules all the time, you know people have not caught the dream. People who have caught the vision instinctively know what is appropriate and what is required. They don’t care what it takes; they live to make the dream reality. At the risk of sounding unrealistically romantic, I have to say that unless the hearts of the team members beat with the pulse of the leader’s dream, it’s never going to fly.”  – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 44.

“The leader is the bell ringer, the trumpet blower, the drum beater, the vibration maker, and the vision caster… A great leader imparts the burden, inspires commitment, and sets the pace for achievement of God’s purpose.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 45.

“When a particular teaching comes forth, it is just as foolish to denounce it simply because it differs from what we have been accustomed to. When Kenneth Copeland began preaching on prosperity, it seemed out of balance to many. Maybe it was, but few prophetic messages come forth as balanced thoughts. God often has to push the pendulum to the opposite side to get us back in balance. However, for whatever reasons, a lot of preachers took up arms against Copeland and began preaching against his message.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, pg 140.

“I have a simple philosophy of “rolling with the punches.” This takes the heat out of a lot of the punches we take. I simply rolled with what a lot of others thought was a threat to the local church. In fact we had Brother Copeland come twice and preach in our church. We’ve only been blessed by the message. If there are any extremes, we as leaders are able to address them and graciously bring whatever balance we feel is needed. However, we need to be careful that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 141.

Dr. Robert Schuller was preaching in our church. Out in the back room before the service, he asked me what I thought about particular things that were happening in the church around the world. I was still only a  young pastor at the time, yet this world-renowned figure was asking for my opinion.” – Phil Pringle, You The Leader, 2005, pg 175.

As well as promoting false teachers, Pringle’s book is endorsed by like-minded false teachers:

“Phil Pringle is an apostolic leader par excellence. He is also one of the many few leaders who knows how to mentor others and to communicate what he knows. You The Leader is crammed full of extraordinary insights that will help you become the dynamic leader God wants you to be! I highly recommend it.” – C. Peter Wagner, Wagner Leadership Institute, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA.

“You The Leader is a “must-read” for any person who feels called to leadership.”– Joyce Meyer, Joyce Meyer Ministries, St. Louis, Missouri USA.

“Phil Pringle’s outstanding leadership skills have been proven over many years, and so he is well qualified to write this exceptional book on leadership.” – Pastor Brian Houston General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Australia / Senior Minister, Hillsong Church.

“I would like to recommend You The Leader by Dr. Phil Pringle.  All true Christians are called to use their talents and gifts in a position of authority in the body of Christ. This book will help each Christian understand his or her role in the body.” – Dr. David Yonngi Cho, The Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea.


Rather than heed the words of a ‘hired hand’, take comfort the words of your true Shepherd:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:11-16

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord” Psalm 23

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:25-27

 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4


Rev Anthony Wade writes:

Beware the NAR false authority paradigm.

And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. — Luke 11:39-41 (ESV)
One of the least discussed planks in the platform of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is an adherence to a false authority paradigm. Now it is important to realize that there is expected authority within the structure of the church. Paul speaks at length to order and calling. This does not mean that those the labor in teaching and preaching are better than laypersons; rather they have a different calling. Their labors will be judged harsher because the blood of their listeners hangs in the balance of what they say. Thus they are due double honor. So do not confuse this. God is not a God of disorder. That being said, not all authority is equal and therein lies the rub.
The NAR leadership is off theologically. Mike Bickle teaches Joel’s End Time Army and the Bridal Paradigm. Bill Johnson teaches the actual gifts of the spirit and false signs and lying wonders. Joel Osteen and Joyce Meter teach word faith and speaking things into existence. The fact that they are in positions of authority is not something to be respected but rather, something to be rebuked. Titus teaches us that ministers of the Gospel must be prepared to rebuke those that do not teach correctly. I am not singing Kumbaya with a wolf devouring my brothers and sisters. The false teacher deserves nothing but our utter contempt and the working end of the shepherd’s rod. Authority is completely irrelevant to that discussion.
The NAR however realizes that their leadership is tenuous at best because they are not backed by scripture. So the false authority paradigm says anyone in leadership must have been placed there by God and thus we must respect the mere fact that they are in leadership. This is absurdly unbiblical. I present just one instance in the key verses when Jesus dealt with the religious leadership of His day. Was He “respecting” the Pharisees by calling them white washed tombs and a brood of vipers? Of course not because they did not deserve such respect.
This false authority paradigm is rooted in the conflation of God’s permissive will and His decretive will. It is true that God will use everything for His glory. It is true that everything that happens, including the rise of false leaders, can only occur within what He permits; His permissive will. That does not mean He decreed it. It does not mean He prescribed it. Despite the Charismaniacal teachings of God intervening for every hangnail in our lives, the bible shows that God does not actually interfere much at all. Sin and sickness entered this world through the sin of Adam. The unregenerate heart can blame God but ultimately we do not want to be mere puppets in the hands of the Creator. We cannot have it both ways. If God prescribed all leadership than He prescribed the evil of Hitler and Stalin. We know that runs contrary to His character but we also know He permitted it. This is different than let’s say Babylon for example. The capture and exile of the Jews was prophesied in Deuteronomy 28. It was a direct result of the disobedience of God’s people.
Now, it is true that God may raise up a false teacher on purpose as wrath upon those who do not want to hear the truth. Paul Washer once quipped that Joel Osteen was God’s wrath upon those willing to sit through his sermons.
The more likely proposition is that the false teachers within the church rose themselves up by scratching itching ears and have been rewarded through the cult of personality system with the purpose driven church model. Now they stand as a witness against the apostate church that adores them so much and is willing to sacrifice the verity of scripture on the altar of a false blessing theology.
The above link is to a very brief video snippet from someone named Putty Putnam and no, I am not kidding. He is the overseer of a “School for Kingdom Ministry” with Vineyard Church, which sounds very NAR’ish to me.
Even though it is brief it does touch on the teachings of the false authority paradigm so let us reason once more together.‘Putty Putman, overseer of the School of Kingdom Ministry and a leader at the Vineyard Church of Central Illinois, says we must honor our leaders as a way of honoring God’s ultimate authority. In a video, Putman says, “We cannot dishonor leadership without dishonoring the fact that God is the ultimate leader. You can’t divide those apart. Once you begin to say, I’m against leadership, in some way you’re positioning yourself against authority as a whole and ultimately against God’s authority.”‘ — Charisma NewsThis is flat out an absurdly unbiblical teaching. We must test everything and hold to the good. If you honor a false teacher you are in fact dishonoring God by showing utter contempt for His word. The Bereans were considered more noble not because they accepted what Paul said but because they compared it to scripture to ensure he was teaching correctly.
Try correcting a NAR pastor today and see what happens. You will be blessedly subtracted out of that church so fast it will make your head spin. Why? Because they is what they are taught by Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church.
The leader casts the vision and the sheep follow or are cast out. Literally this is taught by Warren to up and coming pastors. When disgraced pastor Mark Driscoll was at the height of his abusive tenure at Mars Hill Church he actually preached the following from the pulpit:
“I’m all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies under the Mars Hill bus [chuckles] and by God’s grace it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done. You either get on the bus or get run over by the bus. Those are the two options. But the bus ain’t gonna stop.” — Mark Driscoll
That is not even remotely Christian in nature or deed. To refer to people you hurt for daring to disagree with you as a “pile of dead bodies” should not be honored in any way. Driscoll was a perfect example of an abusive leader who should have been rebuked out of ministry by his elders or flock but instead was coddled and protected until he felt comfortable enough to steal 250,000 dollars in tithe monies to cheat the NYT Time Best Seller List. According to Putty Putnam, positioning yourself against such unbiblical leadership is akin to positioning yourself against God when the opposite is true. We must always position ourselves against what is false, authority be damned. Putty continues:
‘He notes that this does not mean, however, that all authority and leadership is perfect–simply that we must show the God-given honor they deserve. “Not every person in leadership is in alignment with God’s will,” Putman says. “And do we pray for them? Absolutely. And do we, when necessary, stand for justice? Yes, we do. I’m not saying that we don’t pursue the Lord’s end. Absolutely we do that. But as we do that, it’s very important that we recognize that God created authority and I’m not going to dishonor that reality.”‘ — Charisma News
Like I said, somewhere even the false teachers know this paradigm is false so they try and couch it like Putnam does here. Beloved, we are not talking about a flaw in a leader and Putnam knows it. Following leaders blindly is how you end up in Guyana drinking Kool-Aid with Jim Jones. As a lesser example, it is how you end up following a false theology and thus a false christ and stand before the real Christ on the last day saying “Lord, Lord” while He says He never knew you. Yes, it is that serious. God did not “create” all authority — He allowed it. He also gave you a discerning eye and a brain in your head. Christianity should not result in your brain checking out but rather that your spiritual insight gets honed. I am not saying we buck all authority but rather that we test everything and hold onto the good. The Putty Putnams of the world can take their false authority paradigm and peddle it somewhere else. True believers should not fall for it.
Rev. Anthony.

Source: Rev. Anthony Wade, ‘828 Ministries’ blog, Published November 26, 2019. (Accessed November 27, 2019.)

 “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30

Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16

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