Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is so undiscerning she can’t recognize pagan witchcraft & heretical teachers

[January 2, 2023: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is someone we have called out before for teachings which harm victims of abuse and for promoting ESS, the false doctrine of Eternal Submission of the Son. I have just found out that she is dangerous in other ways as well. This is no surprise to me. If someone has a faulty doctrine of the Trinity, and if they are unable to teach in a way that does not endanger victims of domestic abuse, they are most likely to be ‘off’ in other ways as well. Here are the two things I have found. Full documentation is given in the links.

1) Nancy mixes Witchcraft Circle-Making with Christianity

At Pulpit & Pen, the article Nancy Leigh (DeMoss) Wolgemuth Mixes Pagan Witchcraft Circle-Making With Christianity gives detailed documentation proving that Nancy DeMoss (now Wolgemuth) was standing and praying with other women in a circle drawn on the platform, and that Nancy has endorsed the so-called evangelist named Rodney “Gipsy” Smith. It is important to know that “Gipsy” Smith taught the circle-drawing practice to Christians while being fully aware that the practice derived from gypsy witchcraft. Read the above link for further info about that witchcraft practice and how it has crept into ‘C’hristian circles.

photo source: Nancy Leigh (DeMoss) Wolgemuth Mixes Pagan Witchcraft Circle-Making With Christianity


On the broadcast Inside This Circle (Revive our Hearts: Seeking Him Radio), Nancy says:

Gypsy [sic] Smith was a nineteenth-century revivalist who did something unusual when he came to a new town. He’d stop on the outskirts and draw a circle in the dirt. Then he would stand inside that circle and say, “O God, please send a revival to this town, and let it begin inside this circle.”

2) Nancy is so undiscerning that she has quoted Richard Foster, without warning her readers that he is a gnostic heretic.

The Pulpit & Pen article pointed to an article at Apprising Ministries which documents another problem with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s doctrine and level of discernment. That article, Nancy DeMoss Turns Readers to Richard Foster for Guidance, demonstrates that Nancy was approvingly quoting from Richard Foster who is gnostic and teaches the heretical doctrines and practices of ‘contemplative Christianity’ and who is strongly influenced by Eastern pagan religions and Roman Catholicism.

I followed the links given in that article about Nancy endorsing Richard Foster. I found that on Nancy’s website Revive Our Hearts, she has a transcript of her talk Potential Pitfalls of Servanthood. It’s obvious, reading that transcript and comparing it with what was quoted on the Apprising Ministries article, that Nancy or her minders have now removed1 the bit where she approvingly quoted from Richard Foster. But in the comments thread on her transcript, some of the commenters reproved her for having quoted Foster — so it’s without doubt that she had originally quoted Foster.

Despite Nancy scrubbing her Foster’ quote, she made no admission of fault or apology to her readers. She just scrubbed the quote from Foster. It is typical of false teachers to just scrub their ‘mistakes’ but never admit fault or publicly apologize.

If Nancy later realized that Richard Foster is a false teacher, and it was not wise of her to have quoted him so approvingly, why didn’t she then warn her readers that Foster is dangerous? 

I am so thankful that I was in the New Age before I came to Christ. It made me hyper-vigilant to pagan ideas infecting in the church. After I became a Christian and had a good grounding in Christian doctrine, I did a lot of research into many branches of paganism and satanic and gnostic teaching. That research, coupled with my previous experience in the New Age, has helped me recognize the red flags. So many Christians are ignorant about these red flags.

1[January 2, 2023: We found a copy of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s Potential Pitfalls of Servanthood podcast and transcript that still contains the Richard Foster quote. To read the older Potential Pitfalls of Servanthood podcast and transcript click here [Internet Archive link]. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that podcast and transcript. Editors.]

[January 2, 2023: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to January 2, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to January 2, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to January 2, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (January 2, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


Further reading

Bad News for Victims from Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Holly Elliff 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Says Women Victims Must Reverence Their Abuser!

How Perverted Notions of “Martyrdom” Promote Abuse in the Church

18 thoughts on “Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is so undiscerning she can’t recognize pagan witchcraft & heretical teachers”

  1. Wow, thanks for this. I thought I had heard and seen a plenty in the Charismatic Churchianity (including all sorts of New Age-y and Gnostic practices), but never heard of this — circle-drawing. It does make sense though, the belief in specially anointed locations / transferring the anointing….
    I am so sorry I did not question these practices more when I was younger, of course I did want God’s favor…. Now I realize it’s better to stay ‘outside the camp’, and seek God without any witchcraft practices, based on His Word.

  2. This is a bit off topic but I have wondered about Steven Bacarnz (may be misspelling his last name), former “Spirit Science” writer. He speaks out about the New Age he previously belonged to and converted to Christianity, which I think is terrific…. But I also read where he admits to living in sin and also being a narcissist in the past. This immediately made me a bit ill at ease because usually, narcissists do not change. I suppose there are always exceptions but I have a hard time trusting for obvious reasons. I do hope he truly transformed when he became [a] born again Christian as all things are possible with God. I just know how good cons they are so I cannot help but wonder if it is all genuine. You can delete this if you think it is too far off the topic here.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      I have watched quite a few of Steven Barcarnz’s videos and been to his website (the one he set up after he became a Christian and closed down his New Age site).

      From my judgement, he has been genuinely born again and renounced all the New Age stuff he used to teach. And I would think that he is being honest in saying that he used to watch porn, live immorally, and be quite narcissistic — including loving the money he made from teaching the New Age, but he has been convicted and reborn by God’s power, and so is now living as a Christian. To my knowledge, he does not say he was abusive to his intimate partners in the past. I think Bacarnz is like the people in Acts 19:19 who used to practice magic arts but burned all their magic books after they were converted to Christ.

      At ACFJ we have always suggested that for a domestic abuser to cease being an abuser, he must be genuinely born again. Not the phoney conversion many abusers put on, but the real thing, the conversion that is initiated by God — the conversion that brings the person into profound conviction of sin, reveals Christ, and brings the person from death to life.

  3. They should have drawn the circle with salt. Don’t they know anything?
    (I had no idea people were praying inside of circles now. What was wrong with regular praying?)

  4. Barbara, a couple years ago a woman was telling me about her church and how wonderful it was as they were “slain in the spirit”. She said when women went to the alter to pray they were given a red blanket to wrap around themselves for modesty because when they were “slain” they fell down. She didn’t want to consider that they were put into a hypnotic trance. When they got up they once again were “endowed” with submission. Is this an ancient pagan practice?

      1. However, Satan tries to counterfeit the things God does. So no doubt there are shamanistic practices which counterfeit the genuine things which God can do to people.

        In my time in the Pentecostal church, I witnessed and personally experienced both the genuine and the counterfeit. The counterfeit could be induced by hypnotic-type techniques from the preacher (or shaman)….in Pentecostal circles, the most obvious phoneys in this regard at the time were Benny Hinn & Rodney Howard Brown, but there are heaps of copycats of them.

        The counterfeit could also be self-induced, by a person wanting so much to ‘get a touch from God’ that she or he fell down after being prayed for because that was ‘the thing to do’. I confess to having once or twice done the latter myself, but inside I knew that it wasn’t the real thing. God showed me that it was just me being immature and silly and wanting to use prayer and being ‘slain in the spirit’ to avoid dealing with some of the tough everyday problems I had in my life at the time.

      2. When my then-4-year-old saw Benny Hinn on TV she said, “He’s pushing people [over] for Jesus”. Which is exactly what they did at a church I once attended. They put their hand firmly on your forehead so as to put you off balance. If you stood firm and refused to be pushed over they got annoyed. Almost as much of a con as the recycled tele-evangelist rubbish they preached every week!

  5. On the other hand, asking God to place a spiritual hedge of protection around us and our loved ones is biblical — but drawing circles has nothing to do with it. Asking is enough….

  6. Thank you for posting this. I used to subscribe to DeMoss’s ministry many years ago. Began noticing questionable quotes and influences creeping into her broadcasts as this post is confirming. DeMoss has quite a following. Many women claim to be seeking truth but will not read the Word and seek proper teaching on The Way, The Truth and The Life; in Christ Jesus. 😦

    (John 14:5-7 [NASB1995])
    Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

  7. Had the same experience with being ‘slain in the spirit’. I have no doubt that God can give someone a powerful touch that causes them to be overcome. But I`ve seen my share of people trying to force things to happen and have been heavily pushed myself. Some are determined to validate that they have an anointing by doing this and they get aggravated if you don’t go down under their touch. I refused to fake an experience that wasn’t really happening which made me a burr under the saddle of some. I didn’t think God needed me to put on a show if He wanted to do something. I was attending a Word [of] Faith church at the time and I asked my pastor about this. He said that he could pray for ten people and maybe only one or two of them would go down because they were receiving a genuine touch from God and the others did it because they were making it happen or were caught up in hyping the experience.

  8. You’re welcome, Barb.

    I was first made aware of the practice of circle-making [from another site about a year ago]. Then, with a little Googling, I stumbled onto a link featuring Nancy DeMoss at that women’s conference where the above photo was taken. I don’t know where Mary Kassian and the other True Woman speakers stand on this, after having been promoted by CBMW. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has said for years that she is under proper spiritual (read: complementarian) authority; if so, I wonder what went wrong. If she has changed her mind on the circle-making practice, she really needs to make that known. If not, well….of course, with some of the men she admires most promoting ESS, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    1. We would put no confidence in the ‘proper spiritual authority’ that Nancy is under. Yes those ‘authorities’ are most likely CBMW people….and perhaps her local pastor as well. And we would have little confidence in their discernment, given the inability of CBMW to come out and declare that ESS is NOT SOUND DOCTRINE.

      And in my experience, there are many otherwise orthodox Christian leaders who do not adhere to ESS but who nevertheless are quite undiscerning about the infiltration of pagan & witchcraft things into the church.

  9. I was sent her book “Lies Women Believe” by a friend who had moved to read together as like a distant “Bible” study (not sure what that book has to do with the Bible, but I was a newer Christian and more impressionable then). I read the book but didn’t get much from it. I do remember getting bored with it, but I didn’t realize the horrible wrong teaching in it because I was being taught wrong things about marriage and “biblical womanhood” anyway, so my eyes were glazed over.

  10. Yep. Figured. The Pastor at the church I’d been attending for a while just pushed this junk on the entire congregation last week, actually ENCOURAGING us to use chalk to “draw a circle around ourselves for revival”. Needless to say, I had headed straight for the door, as I was already aware of this heresy. He’s also pushed the “Prayer of Jabez” teaching despite claiming he “opposes the Prosperity Doctrine”.

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