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The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

A new Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and Jesus' return is becoming more of a presence in American politics. Rachel Tabachnick, who researches the religious right, explains its beliefs and influences.

43:33

Other segments from the episode on August 24, 2011

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, August 24, 2011: Interview with Rachel Tabachnick; Review of John Doe's album "Keeper."

Transcript

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The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

TERRY GROSS, host:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics,
business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus
is establishing a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered
apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role.

The International Apostolic and Prophetic Movement was named the New Apostolic
Reformation, or NAR, by its leading architect, C. Peter Wagner. My guest,
Rachel Tabachnick, has been researching and writing about this movement. She
says although the movement is larger than the network of apostles organized by
Wagner, and not all those connected with the movement describe themselves as
part of Wagner's NAR, the apostles and prophets of the movement have an
identifiable ideology that separates them from other Evangelicals.

Two ministries in the movement, The Call, led by Lou Engle, and the
International House of Prayer, led by Mike Bickle, helped organize Rick Perry's
recent prayer rally, where apostles and prophets from around the nation spoke
or appeared on stage.

The Kenyan pastor who anointed Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assembly of God
Church in 2005 while praying for Jesus to protect her from the spirit of
witchcraft is also part of this movement.

My guest, Rachel Tabachnick, researches the impact of the religious right and
end-time narratives on American politics. She writes for the website Talk To
Action.

Rachel Tabachnick, welcome to FRESH AIR. For people who haven't heard about the
New Apostolic Reformation, and I'd say that's the majority of the people,
overwhelmingly, what are some of the basic beliefs or goals of this group?

Ms. RACHEL TABACHNICK: I would say the basic belief began with the idea of
dominionism, and dominionism is simply that Christians of this belief system
must take control over all the various institutions of society and government.
They have some unusual concepts of what they call spiritual warfare that have
not been seen before in other groups.

Spiritual warfare is a common term in Evangelicalism and in Christianity, but
they have some unique approaches and unique spins on this that distinguish them
from other groups.

GROSS: And that literally have to do with casting demons out of people and
religious and...

Ms. TABACHNICK: They use this in terms of evangelizing. So whereas we might be
accustomed with the idea of saving souls, of missionaries or evangelical work
to save individual souls; they believe that they can, through this demon
warfare, take control over entire communities, or perhaps nations or people
groups, an ethnic group, a religious group and so forth, because they believe
that they are doing spiritual warfare at this higher level against these
demonic principalities, what they call demonic principalities.

GROSS: So I've been reading about the New Apostolic Reformation. Tell me if you
think that I've gotten this right at all. My understanding is that they are a
group that believes in the end times, that there will be a second coming of
Christ, that certain things need to be accomplished on Earth before he comes,
and that it's their job - it's the job of the apostles to listen to what Jesus
is telling them so that they can get the world ready for his second coming.
Yes?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes, what this group believes is that they must re-organize
Protestant Christianity under their leadership. So instead of having all of
these different denominations in Protestantism, they would unify the church,
the Protestant Church, into one body under the leadership of their apostles.

And then the other thing that distinguishes them is this idea that in order to
do this, they must take control over society and government and that they will
do this in large part through this warfare that they are conducting with
demons.

GROSS: So how does this new movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, connect to
American politics?

Ms. TABACHNICK: This is a very political movement. In fact, I would call it a
religio-political movement in that it has networked across the United States in
something that looks like a hybrid between a religious denomination and a
political party.

For example, they have what are called prayer warrior networks in all 50
states, and they have very strong opinions about the direction they want the
country to take. They teach what is called dominionism. And the idea of
dominionism, or dominion theology, is that all areas of society and government
should come under the control of God through these apostles and prophets, and
that all of these areas of society should represent Christian and biblical
values.

They have interesting campaigns. One that's been very successful for the last
few years is called the Seven Mountains campaign. And what this means is they
teach that they are reclaiming the seven mountains of culture and society. And
those mountains are arts and entertainment, business, education, family,
government, media and religion.

And business is considered to be one of the most important mountains to reclaim
control because this is the way that they finance the other mountains.

GROSS: So when they want to, like, reclaim government or politics, what does
that mean?

Ms. TABACHNICK: They teach, quite literally, that these mountains have fallen
under the control of demonic influences in society. And therefore, they must
reclaim them for God in order to bring about the kingdom of God on Earth.

GROSS: And what are some of the major issues that they think are important?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Well, the typical religious right hot-button issues, if you
will, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights - but they also have a laissez-faire
market ideology, the belief that government should not be involved in social
safety nets, that the country is becoming socialist, if not communist - so a
Tea Party mentality.

GROSS: And I think that they also advocate - tell me if I'm wrong here - the
privatization of schools - the school system.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes. All of the typical, you know, what we've come to call Tea
Party issues of very small government. And in the case of the apostles, they
believe this because they believe that a large government or government that
handles the safety net is taking away what is the domain of the church and of
Christianity.

GROSS: And what kind of authority do they want in government?

Ms. TABACHNICK: They want the authority to align government with what they
believe is the kingdom of God, with biblical values in their interpretation.

Let me back up and say something about dominionism. Dominionism is very
different than having strong beliefs or even having very strong beliefs about
one's Evangelical values. Dominionism is very controversial inside of the
conservative and Evangelical world. It's a specific theology that states that
somehow God lost control of the Earth when Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the
Garden and that humans must help God regain control of the Earth. And the way
that they do this is by taking dominion over society and government.

The apostles and prophets have an interesting twist on this. They're not the
only dominionist movement out there. Some people may be familiar with Rushdoony
and Christian Reconstructionism. This is a different brand of dominionism.

And the apostles teach what's called strategic-level spiritual warfare with the
idea being that the reason why there is sin and corruption and poverty on the
Earth is because the Earth is controlled by a hierarchy of demons under the
authority of Satan.

And so they teach that not just evangelizing souls one by one, as we're
accustomed to hearing about, they teach that they will go into a geographic
region or to a people-group and conduct these spiritual-warfare activities in
order to remove the demons from the entire population or the demonic control
over the entire population. And this is what they're doing that's quite
different than other conservative Evangelical or fundamentalist groups of the
past.

GROSS: My guest is Rachel Tabachnick. She writes about the impact of the
religious right and end-time narratives on American politics. She has written
about the New Apostolic Reformation for the website Talk To Action. We'll talk
more after a break. This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: Let me re-introduce you. For our listeners just tuning in, my guest is
Rachel Tabachnick. She's a researcher and writer who focuses on the impact of
the religious right on politics and of end-times narratives on politics.

So one of the reasons why the New Apostolic Reformation is of interest now is
because several of the apostles from that movement were connected to the recent
Rick Perry rally in Texas, the prayer rally, which was called The Response. A
couple of apostles helped organize the rally. Several others endorsed it. So
what is Rick Perry's connection to the New Apostolic Reformation?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Well, looking at the event, not only were there apostles who
endorsed it and participated in it, but although the event was funded, it was
sponsored by the American Family Association, it was organized and led
throughout by people from the New Apostolic Reformation.

And this included numerous leading apostles who were seen all through the
event. The coordinators and people who led each section were from an event
called The Call and which is associated with the International House of Prayer
in Kansas City.

So actually the event, from beginning to end, was a new apostolic event. And
the major topics at these events, there are three major topics that you see as
they take this event around the world, and that is usually anti-abortion, anti-
gay rights and the conversion of Jews in order to advance the end times. And
this was very visible at Perry's event, as these apostles led all of these
different prayers and repentance ceremonies at The Response.

FLATOW: You refer to the importance of Messianic Judaism in the end-times
narrative that the apostles subscribe to, and you could hear that if you knew
what to listen for at the Rick Perry rally when Rabbi Marty Waldman spoke and
was introduced by Don Finto. And in introducing him, Finto said Waldman is the
son of Holocaust survivors, but he's come to acknowledge his own messiah. What
does that mean?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Marty Waldman is a quite-well-known messianic rabbi in Texas.
And by messianic, we mean Jews who have converted to Christianity, but they
retain aspects - they retain a Jewish identity. So they may even retain many
aspects of Jewish practice.

GROSS: This is a group that's known in the vernacular as Jews for Jesus.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Jews for Jesus is only one group. I would argue that the
network that the apostles have right now supporting messianic Jews dwarfs Jews
for Jesus. It's a much more extensive network.

And what was interesting about this was that apostle Don Finto, who introduced
the prayer and introduced Marty Waldman, is an elder statesman in the movement
who spent the last more than a decade working to encourage churches to support
messianic ministries.

And the reason is that they believe that messianic Jews have a much better
chance of converting Israeli Jews or Jews in various locations around the world
than Christian Evangelicals. And so what they're doing is promoting
internationally, through all types of events and in magazines in the movement,
promoting the idea that churches should, financially and in other ways, support
messianic ministries in order to advance the conversion of Jews to Christianity
and bring about the end times and the return of Jesus to the Earth.

GROSS: Yeah, how does the conversion of Jews to Christianity bring about the
end times?

Ms. TABACHNICK: This is a different end-time narrative than what many people
may have been familiar with that comes out of fundamentalism where the
believers are raptured prior to the horrors of the end time and the rule of the
Antichrist.

And this, the believers remain on Earth, and that's one thing that makes it
quite different. But another difference is what is holding Jesus back from
coming to Earth is that there has to be a tipping point where a certain number
of Jews in Israel reach out and call for Jesus to come as their messiah. And so
that's what they were referring to at this Rick Perry event.

Both Don Finto and Marty Waldman, who were there, are involved in a network of
apostles in this movement that have set up messianic training centers around
the world, in places where there are significant Jewish populations.

GROSS: So I don't really know what to make of this, the fact that two people
spoke in kind of covert language about the importance of Jews converting to
Christianity and recognizing Jesus as their savoir so that Christ can return
back to Earth in his second coming, the fact that that was expressed at a Rick
Perry rally. I have no idea whether any of that reflects Rick Perry's own views
or not.

Ms. TABACHNICK: I don't think there's any way to know what Perry believes
personally. What I can tell you is that this is a part of a larger package of
themes that we saw throughout the entire event.

The basic idea of this event, as all The Call events, like this was patterned
after, is the idea that in preparation for the end times, barriers will be
broken down, and those barriers will come down between denominations in
Protestantism, between generations, racial groups, and everyone will come
together for the end times as what they call one new man.

So the idea is that you were doing all of these activities all around the
country, interesting ceremonies, reconciliation ceremonies, to break down these
barriers to bring everybody together under the banner of Jesus for the end
times.

So a significant component of that is that the resistance of Jews to conversion
is blocking this utopian period in the end times, the millennial in the end
times, when there will not be poverty and death and corruption, environmental
degradation, all of those things will disappear under the rule of Jesus.

GROSS: Are there other things that were said at the Rick Perry that would need
to have some background to actually understand because it is a kind of a
separate language, do you know what I mean? Like you wouldn't really understand
it unless you knew the context.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes, all through the event. The three major themes were the
same as we've seen in The Call events around the world: One, anti-abortion,
which was expressed with the terms shedding of innocent blood; two, anti-gay
rights, which was expressed in repenting of sexual immorality; and then third
the theme of converting Jews.

Also, if you were watching the event, you would have noticed that it was very
much about personal repentance and what they called corporate repentance of the
entire country. And this - but the idea of repentance is that they are
repenting of being tolerant of sin. So they are repenting of being tolerant of
abortion and repenting of being tolerant of what they call sexual perversion.

GROSS: So we don't really know what Rick Perry's own beliefs are on these
issues, but we do know that when he spoke at his prayer rally, he was
surrounded on each side by two of the apostles. Tell us a little bit about
those apostles.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Well, one is an apostle, Alice Patterson. The other is a well-
known African-American pastor, C.L. Jackson. Alice Patterson wrote a book,
published last year, when she describes the journey that they have been with
Perry since 2002.

And in this book, she explains that the Democratic Party is controlled by a
demonic structure, and their mission was to travel around the state and to
explain to African-American leaders why they should not be in the Democratic
Party.

And on this journey with them was - and now I'm talking about Alice Patterson
and C.L. Jackson, Perry personally - but as they went around the state since
2002, they had with them David Barton.

And David Barton is well-known for his histories in which he claims that the
founding fathers had no intention of separation of church and state. One of his
early books was called "The Myth of Separation."

And he has a history in which he credits Democrats with being the source of
racism throughout American history and conservative Evangelicals as being the
source of fighting against slavery and for civil rights.

So they traveled around Texas. So this - delivering this message to African-
American churches. So the fact that Alice Patterson and C.L. Jackson were
standing with Perry was indeed politically significant.

GROSS: Rachel Tabachnick will be back in the second half of the show. She's
been writing about the New Apostolic Reformation for the website Talk To
Action. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We're talking about an emerging
evangelical movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and
culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus. The movement,
dubbed the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is establishing a presence in
American politics. Two ministries in the movement, The Call, led by Lou Engle,
and the International House of Prayer, led by Mike Bickle, helped organize Rick
Perry's recent prayer rally.

My guest Rachel Tabachnick has been writing about the New Apostolic Reformation
for the website Talk To Action.

One of the people you may recognize who's connected to the movement is Thomas
Muthee, the Kenyan pastor who anointed Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assembly of
God Church in 2005, while praying for Jesus to protect her from the spirit of
witchcraft. A video of that went viral during the 2008 presidential campaign. I
asked Tabachnick about Muthee's connection to the NAR.

Ms. TABACHNICK: The New Apostolic Reformation has another campaign that's been
very successful and this is called Transformations. Transformation is the
buzzword for bringing communities into dominion or gaining dominion over
culture and government in a community. And the movement has put out
transformation videos since 1999.

Thomas Muthee, who was what's called anointing Sarah Palin in that grainy
video, was a star of the first transformation movie. And what these movies did,
they show vignettes of communities or locations around the globe which they
believe have been transformed through the supernatural move of God. And the
process is that they, the people in the community come together, repent, pray
together, expel the demons from their community - which they describe in terms
of witches and witchcraft - and then that the community undergoes a
transformation in which there can be miraculous healing, the growth of very
large vegetables and agricultural products, the end of corruption and crime.

What was totally missed by the press was the fact that Muthee was an
international leader in the movement at the time and recognized because of his
role in this series of videos. And people became quite fixated on the
witchcraft part of it as opposed to looking at who Muthee was and understanding
his role in a larger movement.

And then the other point I would make is that although this is a movement that
has mostly organized independent charismatics - so that means charismatics who
are not in a denomination - there are also Pentecostal churches, churches that
are in denominations, that have embraced the very distinct ideology of the
movement. And one of those churches is Wasilla Assembly of God where Sarah
Palin attended for over 20 years, and leaders of the movement have been there
frequently to speak. So who knows what Sarah Palin personally believes but she
certainly had quite a bit of exposure to the movement.

GROSS: Now you write about this group that it looks multicultural because
they're reaching out to Native Americans, to African-Americans, Asian-American,
Latinos. There are women apostles as well as men apostles, and they stress
racial reconciliation. But you say they stress racial reconciliation while
literally demonizing all other religions and belief systems. What do you mean?

Ms. TABACHNICK: One example would be in the transformation movies. In these
vignettes, the participants do what's called spiritual warfare and spiritual
mapping in some of the movies. And this is an activity to isolate where the
demons are and then to start doing what they call strategic level spiritual
warfare against those demons.

Let me explain this concept of strategic level spiritual warfare. They teach
that there are three levels of spiritual warfare. The first is ground level
warfare, which is expulsion of demons – exorcism, if you will, of demons from
individuals. This is nothing new. We've seen this for centuries. They have a
little - a controversial twist to it because they teach that born-again
Christians can harbor these demons.

Then they have a second level called occult level spiritual warfare. This they
say is fighting freemasonry, Eastern religions and witchcraft. Then there's the
third level, strategic level spiritual warfare, which is removing these
principalities they call them, the most powerful demons that hold in spiritual
bondage entire populations. And this might be a community, a geographic area,
what they call a people group, an ethnic group or a religious group. They
literally name these demons and then go on these excursions to fight these
demons.

GROSS: So let me see if I understand this. Does that mean that these prayer
groups are trying to exorcise mosques and get the demons out of mosques so that
Muslims can convert to Christianity?

Ms. TABACHNICK: They see the demon as holding sway over a large area, so over
not just the mosque but the entire people group. Let me give you a specific
example about this and this is something that's coming up this November.
Several groups have come together for another The Call event which will be in
Detroit on November 11th. And the purpose of this one is to fight the demonic
spirit of Islam.

Now I was listening to a recording. They're in preparation for this and this
has been going on all throughout the year. And one of the leading apostles, and
one who endorsed Perry's event, was speaking in a conference call to a group,
and they placed these recordings online, and explaining to them the way that
they were preparing for The Call Detroit. And one of the things that they're
doing is they're literally going and putting a stake in the ground with a verse
from Jeremiah at every Masonic lodge in the state. They have a ceremony to
fight the demons and then they put the stake in the ground.

This is the type of ceremony that's been taking place all over the country. In
all 50 states, ceremonies, which they call divorcing Baal - Baal being what the
Israelites worshiped when they abandoned God in the Old Testament.

GROSS: So the event is in Detroit which is very near Dearborn, Michigan, which
has I think the - or one of the largest populations of Muslims in the United
States.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: Is that significant?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes, that's very significant. The purpose of that event is to
fight the spirit of Islam. In other words, to conduct spiritual warfare against
the demons which they claim hold Muslims in bondage and keep them from
converting. Now, of course, this is expressed in terms of love. They say we
don't hate Muslims. We love Muslims but we hate that they are in spiritual
bondage and don't convert to Christianity.

GROSS: So do you think that the people at the rally intend to go to mosques or
directly address Muslims in any way? Like I don't know how much you know about
what the plan is.

Ms. TABACHNICK: I don't know of specific plans. I can give you examples from
the past. In 2008, just before the election, they held one of The Call events
in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This was an event in support of Prop 8.

GROSS: Which was meant to make gay marriage illegal.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Correct. And so in the promotional material put out about the
event, Lou Engle talked about that they had to come together and pray because
this would unleash a spirit more demonic than Islam, was his words. And prior
to that event they did have people who came into conflict with people in gay
communities, because they did have people going out in the streets and
evangelizing and so forth and there were some conflicts prior to that event.

And also I might add, by the end of that event – which was another daylong
event – Lou Engle was calling for martyrs to the cause from the stage. So I am
concerned about the ramifications of the event in Detroit.

GROSS: So when you say this event is intended to be spiritual warfare against
the intent of Islam, are the organizers of this event publicly saying that?

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes. And in fact another person who has been there preparing
for this event is Retired Lieutenant General William Boykin who is now part of
the Oak Initiative. He does not announce himself as an apostle but he's a part
of this Oak Initiative which includes many of the leading apostles. And he has
been going to Michigan and speaking about the nine principles of warfare. One
of these principles is offense instead of defense, and he is advising people
that they have to act to prevent mosques from being built before they are
actually constructed.

GROSS: My guest is Rachel Tabachnick. She writes about the impact of the
religious right and end time narratives on American politics. We'll talk more
after a break. This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: Now let me move on to Mike Bickle. He is the leader of what is known as
the International House of Prayer and he was one of the organizers of Rick
Perry prayer rally. And he is also semi-famous now for having described Oprah
Winfrey as a forerunner of the harlot movement. He says she is winsome, kind,
reasonable. She is utterly deceived. A classy woman, a cool woman but she has a
spirit of deception and is one of the forerunners to the harlot movement. Just
a brief translation of what you think he means by that.

Ms. TABACHNICK: He's talking about the end times. And in the end times
narrative there is what is called the Great Harlot or the Great Harlot of
Mystery Babylon, and this is a demonic figure in the end times. Throughout
Protestant history this has sometimes been described as being the Roman
Catholic Church. But it represents the apostate religion of the end time.

I might add Mike Bickle is one of the major thinkers in the movement. And his
embrace of this particular type of ideology, which goes back to the 1940s and
1950s in something called the Latter Rain Movement, but his embrace of this
ideology predates the coalescing of the New Apostolic Reformation. Mike Bickle
was part of what was referred to by others as the Kansas City Prophets at Metro
Christian Fellowship in the 1980s and 1990s. And his embrace of this ideology
was very controversial, even among other independent charismatics at that time.

GROSS: Now Mike Bickle has what he calls the God School. And on his website he
has the literature from the God School which you can read or watch videos of,
and I just want to quote some of that. This is from the chapter "The Harlot
Babylon: The One World Religion." He says an angel gave John one of the most
significant prophecies related to the end times.

John saw a Harlot that will have two global networks. First, it will be a
worldwide religious network of great tolerance that will bring together the
major world religions into one unified network including Christians, Muslims,
Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etcetera, teaching that every road will lead to God
and that everybody is good.

Second, it will be a global economic network. In the middle of the final seven
years of this age the Antichrist's plan is to replace the harlot religion of
tolerance with Antichrist worship. This new worldwide religion will be very
strict without any toleration. All who refuse to worship the Antichrist will be
killed. Satan's purpose for the harlot religious system will be to weaken the
convictions of the people of the major world religions to prepare them for
Antichrist worship.

So if I understand him correctly, what he's saying here is that it's the
Antichrist, who's responsible for some people's belief that all the world
religions are good but that's just the Antichrist's deception.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes. And what they're saying is you cannot tolerate tolerance
and that you cannot tolerate religious pluralism. The narrative that he's
describing there has been a common narrative to American fundamentalism for
over 100 years. But there's one major difference in what Bickle is teaching
there. In the fundamentalist narrative all of this happens - the seven years of
Antichrist rule happens after the believers have been taken from the earth in
the Rapture.

What Mike Bickle is teaching and - to this movement is that no, the believers
will remain and they have to be ready to fight and they have to be ready to be
martyrs. Now this is a very different end time narrative that creates a very
different activism. If you are going to still be around and you have to fight
that's very different than believing that you will be raptured and you'll just
be watching from the grandstands of heaven.

Also Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer is a very youth-oriented
operation and what they're doing is teaching youths that this will likely
happen in their lifetime and that they must be prepared to be martyrs.

GROSS: Now we were talking about how demons figure very prominently in the New
Apostolic Reformation. Lou Engle who is one of the apostles and was one of the
organizers of the Rick Perry rally, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he
said that gays are possessed of demonic spirits.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Right. And in fact, in another The Call event Lou Engle spoke
at length about how one of his sons has started an International House of
Prayer in the Castro district of San Francisco, and that his son is now
expelling demons from homosexuals, and supposedly then this cures them of their
homosexuality.

GROSS: Tell us a little bit more about Lou Engle. And again, he's also
organizing the event on November 11th in Detroit.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Lou Engle has held these The Call events around the world. In
fact he held one in 2008 in Jerusalem which coincided with the Global Day of
Prayer. The Global Day of Prayer is also initiative of the New Apostolic
Reformation movement.

Lou Engle also took The Call event to Uganda in May of 2010, where various
people got on the stage and promoted the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda,
which is still pending. It's a very draconian bill that would allow for
execution of certain offenses and would also allow for people who don't report
homosexual activity to be jailed.

The apostles have a long history in Uganda and have - and some of them have had
close relationships with both political and religious leaders there. And in
fact, an apostle in the movement in Uganda takes credit for promoting the Anti-
Homosexuality Bill and was recognized by the Parliament of Uganda when the bill
was introduced.

GROSS: Can I just end this interview on a kind of personal note, personal on
your behalf? You said that you spent the first half of your life as a Southern
Baptist and the second half as a Jew.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GROSS: So...

Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes.

GROSS: What changed?

Ms. TABACHNICK: I got married.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GROSS: Oh, OK. OK.

Ms. TABACHNICK: But having that background, having the Southern Baptist
background and growing up in the Deep South, has helped me to be able to do
this research. And it's also helped me to realize something that might not be
apparent to some other people looking at the movement, that this is quite
radically different than the evangelicalism of my youth. And the things that
we've been talking about are not representative of evangelicalism. They're not
representative of conservative evangelicalism. So I think that's important to
keep in mind.

This is a movement that is growing in popularity and I think one of the ways
they have been able to do that is they're not very identifiable to most people.
They're just presented as nondenominational or just Christian. But it is an
identifiable movement now with an identifiable ideology.

GROSS: Well, I want to thank you so much for talking with us.

Ms. TABACHNICK: Thank you, Terry.

GROSS: Rachel Tabachnick has been writing about the New Apostolic Reformation
for the website Talk To Action. You'll find links to her recent articles on our
website, freshair.npr.org.

We invited several people affiliated with the NAR to join us on FRESH AIR, but
they were unable to do anything in time for today's broadcast. Mike Bickle has
agreed to join us at a future time. We hope to schedule that soon.

Coming up, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews John Doe's new album.

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John Doe's New Album Is A Contemplative "Keeper"

(Soundbite of music)

TERRY GROSS, host:

Ken Tucker has a review of John Doe's new solo album called "Keeper." Doe is
probably still best known as the co-founder in the late '70s of the punk band X
with Exene Cervenka. Since then, he's put out solo records, written poetry and
acted in TV shows such as "Roswell" and "Carnivale," and in movies such as 'the
Good Girl" and "Great Balls of Fire!"

(Soundbite of song, "Never Enough")

Mr. JOHN DOE (Musician): (Singing) You got a closet full of junk. You got a
room fill of junk. You got a house full of junk, and a room full of junk, and a
closet full of junk, but it's never enough. No it's never enough.

KEN TUCKER: For a guy who started out his career yelling over loud guitars in
the great Los Angeles punk band X, John Doe has steadily become one of the
warmest, most welcome voices in pop music. There's a beseeching quality to his
singing that draws you in with curiosity: What's this guy's story, you want to
know. What's he thinking about?

(Soundbite from song, "Moonbeam")

TUCKER: On "Keeper," he is, generally speaking, in a contemplative mood, and
his crooning is frequently lovely.

(Soundbite from song, "Moonbeam")

Mr. DOE: (Singing) Lying on my bed late at night, looking out the window at the
caramel night. Moonbeams, moonbeams seem, I got your picture on the wall.

TUCKER: John Doe has said his challenge in making his recent music has been to
quote "figure out how to write a love song where people actually get loved."
Where a lot of his earlier music was about struggle - with relationships, with
the world and, implicitly, with a career that has been defined 30 years ago as
a punk-rock rebel working in a corporate town like L.A. - the music on "Keeper"
presents an intriguingly assured John Doe, less conflicted but never merely
laid-back.

(Soundbite of song, "Giant Step Backward")

Mr. DOE: (Singing) Working in a factory, you're always next to me. When the sun
came up we got our coffee cups. Walking down the road to a dirty job. Our money
runs to a dirty job. He's thinking up and I'm thinking back. I take a giant
step backward to bring you back.

TUCKER: That's John Doe harmonizing with Patty Griffin. The giant step backward
that the song title and chorus refer to is the notion that sometimes to achieve
some degree of happiness, you have to go back to someone or to an earlier time
that brought you comfort and love.

(Soundbite of song, "Don't Forget How Much I Love You")

Mr. DOE: (Singing) In the summer we climbed down to the river looking for our
pictures in the clouds. Lying on our backs watching creatures pass, stepping on
the stepping stones and laughing. Yeah, we're laughing. Don't forget how much I
love you. Don't forget how much I care. And when you see the salt on the leaves
up above you, just remember I am there.

TUCKER: That happiness I just spoke of, it glows and warms the songs such as
the one I just played "Don't Forget How Much I Love You" are retaining all the
force and forward momentum of any of Doe's most aggressive music. In a lot of
songs here, Doe locates a place somewhere between rock 'n' roll and country
music to summon up the atmosphere he wants to achieve.

There are also songs that operate as the gorgeous soundtrack to a darkly
romantic movie in which John Doe is the B-movie star, a vocal version of Robert
Ryan or Dana Andrews, seeking solace and serenity.

(Soundbite of song, 'lucky Penny")

Mr. DOE: (Singing) When we walk your moonlit hair waves by your side, sweet
scent of mine. You take my hand so casually and pick me up like a penny. Put me
in your pocket. Hold me there for keeps. Squeeze me all of your lifetime. Hold
onto me 'cause I'll be there for a long long time.

TUCKER: Throughout "Keeper," John Doe meets the challenge he's set for himself,
one that gives the album its pleasing tension. The goal here seems to have been
to create a sequence of songs that would embody the qualities of satisfaction
and fulfillment, while retaining a buoyancy and lilt. The result is music that
carries you along in its brisk wake.

GROSS: Ken Tucker is editor-at-large for Entertainment Weekly. He reviewed John
Doe's new album "Keeper."

I'm Terry Gross.
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Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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