As we mentioned yesterday, C. Peter Wagner was the guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air” where one of the topics discussed was the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation and the role of NAR leaders in Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally.
For instance, host Terry Gross asked Wagner about the presence of NAR-affiliated activists at the event and even Wagner admitted that he was surprised by just how many were involved, speculating that it had a lot to do with Perry’s ties to Alice Patterson – who believes that both the Democratic and Republican Party are literally controlled by demonic spirits – and agreeing that NAR leaders organizing a prayer event and praying with a governmental leader like Perry was “significant step forward” for the movement:
GROSS: Alice Patterson, who is an apostle in the movement, and she was onstage with Rick Perry when he spoke, and she helped mobilize supporters for the rally … Is Rick Perry’s connection to the apostles an indication that he approves of your work, or is your endorsement of him an indication that you endorse him as well as a presidential candidate?
WAGNER: Now, that’s a very, very good question, Terry. I know Alice well. But when Doris and I got – we didn’t know about the prayer rally. We didn’t know about the – who would be on the stage at The Response and – but we were there. And I was very surprised that so many of the platform participants would fit under the New Apostolic Reformation template. The names you named would be very correct.
GROSS: So I can’t presume to speak for Rick Perry or know what he believes or know his relationship to the New Apostolic Reformation, but how do you interpret it, that the rally was organized in part by people affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation and that, you know, several of them were represented on stage with him, including standing next to him when he spoke? How do you interpret that in terms of what Rick Perry’s connection is with the New Apostolic Reformation?
WAGNER: Now, I can – I don’t know Rick Perry personally, so I can only surmise because that question kept running through my mind as well. My suspicion is that when Rick Perry arrived at The Response, he had never heard of the New Apostolic Reformation. The only thing is that he is a governor that believes in prayer. And so not only will he call large prayer rallies like The Response, but he will also, from time to time, have people pray for him personally.
And one of the people who has prayed for Rick personally has been Alice Patterson, and so they bonded to the extent that when Rick said, well, let’s have a prayer rally – Alice, would you mind organizing it, and she said yes – that was with no previous knowledge that there was any such thing as a New Apostolic Reformation on his part.
GROSS: But at the same time, Alice Patterson is one the people who – her mission is to bring the views of the New Apostolic Reformation into government. Correct me if I’m wrong on that.
WAGNER: That’s right. No, you’re right.
GROSS: So it’s interesting that she should be praying with Rick Perry.
WAGNER: It’s very interesting. And what it shows is that Rick Perry is a political figure that strongly believes in prayer, perhaps – well, you can’t say more strongly than others, but as strong as some.
GROSS: Strongly believes in prayer and is also connecting himself with somebody who wants to bring the views of the New Apostolic Reformation into government. And he is a government leader who wants to run for president.
WAGNER: That’s very true. But I wish somebody would ask Rick Perry how much he knew about what you just said before he invited Alice to help organize it.
GROSS: So in this respect, in terms of making inroads into government, would Rick Perry’s prayer rally from August be considered by people in the New Apostolic Reformation as something of a victory?
WAGNER: Yes. The governor of a state sees and articulates, verbalizes, that the nation is in such dire straits that we need to do things differently, one of which we need to make more direct contact with heaven through prayer, and he called the prayer rally.
And so we – yes, we would see that as a significant step forward.
We share Wagner’s desire that “somebody would ask Rick Perry how much he knew” about Patterson and the NAR before he partnered with them in organizing this prayer event.
Gross also brought up the video of Thomas Muthee anointing and protecting Sarah Palin from witches at her Wasilla church in 2005 and asked Wagner what he thought of it, to which he replied that such things ought to be done in private because when when it happens in public, people can see it and then “we get the kind of flack that you’re reflecting … and the kind of criticism, and there’s no need to make that overt. We can just do that – probably could do that in her kitchen.”