One day this week: It’s 11 a.m. today (I’m at work) with Lincoln Brewster on the small Bose-type stereo they allow me to play in my office. He is belting out, “All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises”.
So I was doing a type of testing with an employee who’d just arrived. I noticed she was in sandals and street clothes and had some type of charm around her neck. I asked her if she was on her day off. She was very sweet, from India, and replied that, “yes” she was on an off day. I couldn’t believe someone would come into the heart of the city on their day off for testing like that. She went on to say that she had listened to relaxing music when she was driving into the city so that made coming in through the traffic easy….and that she had also “done very deep meditation” before leaving the house…
Per company policy: I am not to discuss “anything spiritual” at work. If someone disregards that rule, they lose their job. Well The Holy Spirit really, really, really stirred within me and I heard myself saying, “Well you know what. ‘Chee’? I listen to my Bible when I drive into work. (This was followed by an official ‘pregnant pause’… I heard myself saying next, “Then, if there’s time, I turn on Pandora and listen to Christian music — much like the song that you hear playing right now.” (By this time “Third Day” was singing ‘God of Wonders’). Now I hear myself saying, “After spending that time, I walk through my day with a peace that passes understanding.” (I purposefully left out praying…. because… The Holy Spirit just zip-locked my mouth right at that moment. Why? I don’t know.
She then gave me a smile acknowledging what I’d said..and said, ‘goodbye and thank you’ as she left.
Friends, she is not a Christian and as she was leaving, walking down the hall, I immediately asked God to “Please send other believers in Christ to witness to ‘Chee'” That isn’t her real name, but I would ask all those who are lead by the Holy Spirit to please pray the same prayer for “Chee”.
A lot of churches get caught up in NUMBERS. E.g.. This many came to know the Lord this month.. or X number of people were baptized this quarter/year and etc.
God calls us to be SEED SOWERS. HE is the one who is over The Harvest. So today, seed was sown with Chee. TODAY, I am really asking for prayer for this person. “Chee” could be a VERY STRONG WITNESS for Christ among her friends and family. Please keep her in prayer.
In lieu of the fact that she is in touch with demonic entities via her “meditative” practices, I ask that you’d be in agreement with me that God would crush that stronghold and allow her eyes to be opened to His Truth. She was listening to very powerful Christian music for 10 straight minutes. She was able to witness the “peace” that was within me.
It doesn’t matter if she’s practicing meditation from the Buddhist faith or Contemplative prayer. They are literally the absolute same thing. A Christian who practices Contemplative may say, “no, no, no! I meditate upon Jesus.” Author after author has said, “for successful Contemplative prayer to work, your mind really has to enter an area of ‘nothingness'”. “Your mind cannot be focused on any one thing for it to work.” I’ve had multiple contemplatives tell me that right to my face. You don’t end up meditating on Him – you just end up emptying your mind of every outside influence — and allowing whatever entity is awaiting that open door, to enter in.
Pray for Chee. One day, we will see The Harvest. I hope to see Chee amongst those harvested.
i took a moment to read about some of the IHOP lessons…
Let me say this – is isn’t a Mike Bickle issue. He is but one of the IHOP teachers who are taking God’s Holy Word and are shaping, molding and twisting it to fit into the spiritual journey they’re on.
I read a site on “medical meditation chakras” and thought, “Hmmm, that’s identical to what IHOP teaches for relaxation and breathing practices prior to going into contemplative prayer”.
If you open your mind, sweep out the old and just keep that door open, what do you think will walk they through that open door? (You got it!). Every evil entity imaginable will walk right in and set up house.
So it’s not just Mike Bickle teaching it. ALL the IHOP teachers are teaching and/or supporting encounters with supernatural beings via contemplative prayer. Read the rest of this entry
Nowhere in scripture are we ever told to get into a relaxed body position when we pray. Additionally, we are not EVER told in scripture to slow our breathing or block out all external influences or “empty our minds”. I’ve heard from NEW believers that this “just isn’t in the bible to do this”! Yet those who’ve been in Christ for 30+years have been falling for it hook, line and sinker. Such OBVIOUS deception – and yet believers in Christ are buying into it.
Originally posted on DiscernIt:
Contemplative Prayer Movement and Its Origin
Published in the Christian Chronicle – By S. E. Ray – 06/18/06
There is a prayer practice that is becoming popular within the evangelical church. It is primarily known as Contemplative Prayer. It is also known as centering prayer, listening prayer, breath prayer, and prayer of the heart. The practice is now widely embraced and taught in secular and professed Christian seminaries, colleges, universities, organizations, ministries and seminars throughout the United States. Academic promoters have introduced these practices into the fields of medicine; business and law while countless secular and Christian books, magazines, seminars, and retreats are teaching lay people how to incorporate them into their daily lives. Promoters promise physical, mental and spiritual benefits desiring to bring about positive social change.
The essential function of contemplative prayer is to enter an altered state of consciousness in order to find one’s true self, thus striving…
View original 1,655 more words
Hitting the news: THE TRUTH about IHOP (despite the Rolling Stone writing it about Tyler Deaton’s IHOP antics).
Oh yeah, it’s long but well worth the read.
Interesting facts noted about IHOPers cutting off ties with family members who try and pull them away from Bickle’s teachings..
And why, after reading this, would anyone with any ability to reason think, even for a moment, that IHOP was not a cult?
I’m dear, dear friends with a sister in Christ that some of you know: Truthspeaker .
Please pray about giving her any monetary support you can.
She and her husband are currently in very dire need as they have lost everything they have. (It’s a long story, and I’ll let her be the one to share it eventually.)
She will not ask, but I’m asking for her.
Please send any help you can Contact me for her address. Thank you!
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, God will raise up a standard against Him. Isaiah 59:19
After joining a Word of Faith church 30+ years ago, I remember thinking, “My parents (who loved the Lord), would have really gone places (with God) if they would have known about some of the things I’m learning. But they just did CHURCH! They didn’t really know how to BE with God.”
(Yes, God eventually opened my eyes to the deception I’d bought into – and graciously forgave me.)
Now, however, I hear these same thoughts from IHOP people all the time. (Yes, some of you don’t get published. If your comment is hateful, it gets trashed.)
I truly did love the Word of Faith messages I heard. (I wonder if anyone realizes that IHOP is promoting the same WOF theology and then some?)
I would walk away from church feeling powerful! I knew that I had the power to speak God’s word over (whatever the situation was) and then I could EXPECT to SEE a change! I could speak to my checkbook and command finances to increase! I could EXPECT everything in my life to line up ( ! ) with God’s word! And blah, blah, blah… I’m embarrassed just thinking about it.
So what made me think what I was learning was the real deal?!? WHY did I love it so much? WHY do the kids at IHOP think that they have learned “the” truth?! Why do they love IHOP teachings so much? [And please note, I am not mixing Jesus, God's Son, in with my question about IHOP. That question was strictly referring to IHOP and nothing else.] WHY do the IHOP interns believe that “they” have something that the rest of the Christian world has missed out on?
It’s that flesh thing. The Word of Faith message I heard years ago fed my flesh like none other. Mike Bickle is in desperate need of having his eyes opened to the deception that he has bought into. The CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER he teaches doesn’t feed the spirit-man — it feeds the FLESH. Instead of walking away from prayer time feeling washed and clean, the person who has been practicing it walks away feeling ‘a little bit taller’ (spiritually), and then in comes that feeling of “spiritual superiority” over those who only pray the old fashioned way.
I write this with great humility. I write this in obedience to Him. This teaching alone, leads believers in Christ down a sensual, demonic path.
I read a story from Lighthouse Trails that I wanted to share. It’s not just IHOP that’s being deceived. It’s happening everywhere, but God warned us the deception in the end times would be great – didn’t He. I’ve shortened this letter but it is available at teh Lighthouse Trails website.
To Lighthouse Trails:
I’m a new student at __________College in ___________ Canada. The President of the College himself teaches the Spiritual Formation classes.
The Lord delivered me out of 30 years of spiritual seeking last year (where I tasted of and practiced just about every spirituality and philosophy and practice on the planet) and brought me to salvation. You can imagine my surprise, if not shock, when in class the spiritual exercises the prof was teaching seemed like nothing so much as repackaged New Age stuff. I bought Ray [Yungen's] PDF A Time of Departing a few days ago from you. It completely confirms my impressions. My professor, also the president of the university, is such a gracious caring man . . . who knows his Bible cold – what a deception!
Could you send me Ray’s other book For Many Shall Come in My Name, the e-book version? [I] am right in the middle of a paper for this prof. I’m trying to line my ducks up in a row and state my case, as far as I can as a new Christian. I’m going to call for him to repent and need to be clear on what I’m saying. No idea how this will affect my academics, and will leave that in the Lord’s hands.
You might want to add ______________College to your [Contemplative Colleges] list.
Part of my testimony is that I was adopted into the family of the chief medicine man of the Lakota nation (my own natural father abandoned when I was 5) and intensively practiced aboriginal ceremony for 13 years.
Praise the Lord God! The victory is His! Amen!
No question about it in my mind – this is the great falling away happening before our eyes. I was also once a member of the Anthroposophical Society – an offshoot of the Theosophical society. The mystical Christ being preached more and more is the same as the anthroposophical Christ taught by Rudolf Steiner, a gnostic version of Christ.
Paul was serious when he said that those who teach and follow this other gospel, this other Christ, will be accursed.
Stephen (not real name)
IHOP students & interns – wake up! You are making a choice to believe a different gospel! But if you ever chose to leave IHOP, you would end up losing all your IHOP friends — After all, it’s the unwritten rule at IHOP to cut off all contact with anyone who leaves or disagrees with IHOP doctrine.
I’m still waiting for someone to show me where contemplative prayer is listed in scripture..
In going thru my older items this morning, I came across this article. It is (sadly) still true. The deception within the Christian community is almost as bad as the unbelief within this world. Unfortunately, not much has changed over the past 10 years — except for things becoming much, much worse – which causes me to say, “Come Lord Jesus, come!”
The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP)
by John Park
The International House of Prayer (IHOP) was started on May 7, 1999 by Mike Bickle in Kansas City.  It is well known for its 24/7 worship and prayer ministry. Now it has grown substantially to include international ties, its very own seminary, and undergraduate program. People from around the globe are flocking to IHOP, but do they actually know what they are getting into?
[NOTE: IHOP'S SEMINARY AND UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM ARE NOT ACCREDITED PROGRAMS.]
Cultic Origins and Goals
It is clear that almost all of the participants in IHOP do not have an understanding of what they are getting into. Many of the participants, including many genuine Christians who are being deceived, believe it is a place to go pray and worship, while not knowing what the theological distinctives are that make IHOP unique. The true origin started in 1982 after a man named Augustine approached Mike Bickle and said an audible voice told him to prophesy to his congregation. Later that year, Mike Bickle claimed to hear an audible voice speaking to him while on a trip in Cairo, Egypt. The voice told him, “I am inviting you to raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth. I have invited many people to do this thing and many people have said yes, but very few have done my will.” 
This is parallel to how many other cults of Christianity are born. They follow the basic formula:
(Blank 1) said God told him/her a message, and he/she and starts the (Blank 2) church.
Joseph Smith said God told him a message, and he started the Mormon church.
Ellen G. White said God told her a message, and she started the Seventh Day Adventist church.
Mary Eddy Baker said God told her a message, and she started the Christian Scientist church.
Sun Myung Moon said God told him a message, and he started the Unification church.
Witness Lee/Watchman Nee said God told him a message, and he started the Local Church.
Mike Bickle said God told him a message, and he started the International House of Prayer.
Not only is IHOP origin akin to many other aberrant groups, but their ultimate goals follow suit. Mike Bickle has been quoted to say the church brings on the great tribulation:
We’re not absent for the great tribulation, now listen carefully, the church causes the great tribulation. What I mean by that – it’s the church, it’s the praying church under Jesus’ leadership that’s loosing the judgment in the great tribulation in the way that Moses stretched forth his rod and prayed and loosed the judgments upon Pharaoh. The church in the tribulation is in the position that Moses was before Pharaoh but it won’t be a Pharaoh and Egypt, it’ll be the great end time Pharaoh called the antichrist and the book of Revelation is a book about the judgments of God on the antichrist loosed by the praying church. 
Even worse, Bickle proposes that an elite end-time church defeats God’s enemies, and Jesus is “held in the heavens” until it happens.
Right now the prayer movement is growing fast….really fast! But when I say it’s growing fast instead of one percent of the Body of Christ taking hold of it, maybe 10 percent. It’s….you know it’s like 10 times bigger than it was a generation ago, but beloved as fast as the prayer movement is growing, where people are getting hold of it, still for 90 percent of the Body of Christ it’s not even on their mind. Jesus is not coming until the Body of Christ globally is crying out “Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus” and they don’t just say “come and forgive me” they are crying out in the understanding of who they are as the one that is cherished by Jesus in the bridal identity. 
The Power of Emotionalism, Mysticism, and Gnosticism
The major draw of IHOP is experience. People often come to me citing their experience and go back again and again to experience “God” and the “Spirit” – no different than an emotional high. This is analogous to mysticism, which is defined as “the pursuit of deeper or higher subjective religious experience,” and “that spiritual reality is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses.”  They practice what is known as centering or contemplative prayer. This is defined as “the practice of relaxing, emptying the mind, and letting one’s self find the presence of God within.”  In fact, they had an article titled “Contemplative Prayer” on their website, but after much negative press they have taken it down.  However, the contents of the article have been preserved by a former IHOP staff member’s website and is available for all to see here: (http://gospelmasquerade.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/contemplative-prayer-continued/)
One of the highest criticisms would be IHOP’s insidious Gnosticism. Gnosticism is derived from the greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The hallmark of Gnosticism is the idea of having “hidden knowledge” of the spiritual realm that is unavailable to others. This knowledge comes via prophecies, visions, and dreams that God specifically gives to a certain privileged group of people – in this case IHOP. In fact, IHOP has their own “prophecy rooms” where one can receive “prophecies,” and they used to have a practice of mailing out recorded tapes, of which I was asked by my friend’s mother to translate!
This is something the Apostle Paul discusses in Colossians 2:18. “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind” (NASB) .
Great experiences with our Lord are a gift from God, but one needs to exercise caution concerning the authority he/she gives personal experiences. More often than not, the people who go to IHOP do not have a strong theological foundation and so they rely on their experiences to dictate what the Bible says and not the other way around. Here are some words (from Dr. John MacArthur’s sermon “Are Experiences a Valid Source of Truth?) of wisdom regarding experiences:
There is the ploy they use, “Well, we would expect you to be against it since you haven’t had the experience.” That is Gnosticism. That is believing that you have been elevated to a higher level of comprehension which the uninitiated have no understanding. Rodman Williams, who has written a number of books and who was once the president of a local Charismatic school, and I quote said, “Any vital information concerning the Gifts of the Spirit, the Pneumatic Charismata, predisposes a participation in them. Without such a participation, whatever is said about the Gifts may only result in confusion and error.” If you haven’t had it, you have no right to talk about it. One pastor said to me, “You talk exactly like one who never had the experience. You are speaking out of ignorance.” I wonder if they feel that way talking about Heaven, Hell, murder, adultery, homosexuality, and numerous other subjects. Do we have to have that experience too? 
The IHOP Dilemma
When someone comes to you and say that God gave him a clear audible and/or visual revelation (dream, vision, prophecy, etc.), you are now in what I will call the IHOP Dilemma.
Due to the seriousness of disobeying genuine prophecy and the heinousness of proclaiming a false one, you are in an IHOP Dilemma when you are now forced to choose:
1) If this person is actually speaking truth from God. If so, we are bound to listen or face incurring the steep penalty of disobeying God’s very own commands via His prophet.
2) Whether or not a person is proclaiming falsehood in God’s name and thus incurring the steep penalty of false prophesying and being a false prophet.
Unfortunately, this puts the rest of Christianity in a hard situation, because we now have to make the determination whether IHOP is full of false prophets or true prophets and to treat them as such. We cannot merely remain neutral. How can we be neutral on God’s revelation or on such an egregious sin as false prophecy within the church? It is like someone saying the pastor cheated on his wife or that he murdered someone and saying, “Hmm… let me think about that and get back to you later.” No, you’re now in a tough situation and you now have to make a hard decision!
Unfortunately, many of those in IHOP have no idea what they are doing when they are supposedly “prophesying.” As I said before, they do not have a strong Biblical foundation and do not pause to think of the gravity of what they are actually proclaiming. 
A Sampling of the Prophecies
Lest you think the prophecies at IHOP are like ones in other mainstream charismatic churches or similar to prophecies noted men like John Piper, Vern Poythress, or Wayne Grudem believe, please read the following quotes other authors have noted:
1. On disc 7 of The Prophetic History, Bickle describes a visitation to the throne-room of God as he is told that God will be restoring the apostles to the church. Let me preface this by saying that before getting to this point in his message, Bickle described the experience as being on par with the Apostle Paul’s experience in the Third Heaven in 2 Cor. 12 as well as John’s visions.
They’ve been told by church leadership that it is up to them to “usher in” the Second Coming of Jesus. They’ve been encouraged to do away with discernment concerning mystical experiences. They’ve been told that they are “forerunners” of Christ in the same way that John the Baptist was. They’ve been told that the orthodox views of Christianity are weak and it’s up to them to restore the “true” message of the Gospel, using their new “powers from God” to start a revival that will win souls for the Kingdom.” 
2. They could hear from God, and speak forth God’s words, prophesying of great events soon to transpire on planet earth. And they could have flipped a coin as to whether what God allegedly told them would actually come true. Often they didn’t come true. Some of the main prophets and/or leaders in the movement included Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane, and others…However, he was quoted as saying that the general level of prophetic revelation in the movement’s “prophets” had an accuracy level of about 65 percent. Some prophets were as low as 10 percent accurate, he said, with some of the “most mature” prophets having a rating “approaching 85 percent to 95 percent. ” (Steven F Cannon, “Old Wine in Old Wineskins: A Look at Kansas City Fellowship,” The Quarterly Journal 10, no. 4 (October-December 1990): 8. 
3. Bickle claims that a “voice” spoke to him in September 1982, directing him to a ministry to touch the ends of the earth. ( Albert James Dager, Vengeance is Ours. Redmond, Wash.: Sword Publishers, 1990, pg. 127.) Bickle’s account is as follows: “The Lord simply said, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.'” (Mike Bickle, Growing in the Prophetic. Lake Mary, Fla.: Creation House, 1996, pg. 30) 
4. Bickle speaking, “…but the fact is God showed me that it was truly a healing anointing. It was a tremendously, ah, dynamic dream for my own personal history and what I can understand for the life of this church. There’s a healing anointing He said would be second to no other movement. That’s what He told me directly, it would be second to no other movement in this whole generation, the healing anointing that will come upon this people. . .He (BJ) [Bob Jones] says ‘They took a banner and He (God) put a banner upon you last night and it spoke of the entire movement.’ Then he told me the dream I had and he said the Lord says there will be no movement that will be superior to the healing power that comes forth from this movement . He goes, ‘There will be nothing in the earth that this thing will be second to in the generation.’ I said, ‘God, this is incredible.’” (P.His 2, p. 15 – 17) 
5. “I (Mike Bickle) stood there and I was at the Lord’s left hand, and it was not a dream–this was as real as life here and like I said, I don’t know that realm… He (God) was speaking so sternly to me, He said, ‘If you are impatient…you will cause great turmoil and much trouble for many people.’ I was ashamed and I was broken with sorrow that He said that so harshly to me. And then what happened is that I start falling so rapidly–I mean like–S-H-O-O-O-M, it takes about five or six seconds, and fall down to my bed, right through the ceiling–I mean it was right through the walls and things–S-H-O-O-O-M, I hit my bed and it wasn’t like an instant I was there–I had knowledge of travel for five or six seconds. Have you had that?”
MB: “And I was falling so rapidly and I was going like ‘A-H-H-H-H.’ I was coming right down through the black sky…And I come right through the ceiling and I hit my bed and I looked for like a half a second, I goes S-H-O-O-O-M right back up again, I go. . . right through the ceiling again! And I understood immediately the impatience was of setting in leadership premature without permission. He said…‘You cannot put leadership in that I do not say, because the leadership will divide and cause much division and many people will suffer great harm and I will hold you accountable for it. ‘…So what happens is this golden chariot, it appears–S-W-O-O-O-P-and it comes right there. . . and I under–I knew intuitively, instantly–it was an apostolic ministry, though it’s only the invitation. It was not a commission. The Lord was not calling me an apostle. He said He was thinking, ‘The days to come, if you’re faithful, you have an opportunity in the grace of God to fill an apostolic calling if you’re faithful to the full measure.’ And I set in the chariot and I went shooting right into a blue sky and I knew as I was going up that it was revelation. He said, ‘I’m going to bring you to divine revelation in the days to come.’…There would be an end-time measure of apostolic ministry that would come out of the fruit of the intercession…so like it’s a number of years down the road. But the Lord said that I’m going to bring forth apostles—champions–if the people will live in intercession and ask for them to come…And so that was no small visitation in terms of the promise of what God said to this movement…And the Lord says, ‘Now you have the word in yourself now and you will not go running after other movements and other places because I have spoken to you face-to-face. ‘…But I know that at that time I owned,..from the voice of God–face-to-face (but I never saw His face), but I mean standing next to Him, I owned the word myself and it was not just a matter of me believing Him. It was amazing how the revelation turned after that time.” (F88, p. 81 – 84) 
The Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura
One of the biggest issues of this movement is their denial of one of the bedrock doctrines of the Reformation and evangelical Christianity: Sola Scriptura, or Scripture Alone. Sola Scriptura is the notion that the Bible is the revealed will of God and all that is necessary for faith (all teachings are contained within the Bible) and practice (the things we need to govern our church and everyday life).
For an excellent explanation of this by Dr. Greg Bahnsen go here: (http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/bahnsen.html). Basically, God does not need to give us anymore revelation, and this was first used in the Reformation against the Roman Catholic church that said we needed their traditions and clergy, but now it is under attack by IHOP. They might say they believe in it, but their actions outright deny it.
When people from IHOP make decisions, they do not use the Bible as the only revealed revelation from God because they supposedly still get direct revelations from Him. They deny this very doctrine that defines the protestant and evangelical faith. Sadly, this is rampant at IHOP.
Indexed as a Cult by Multiple Ministries
There are certainly many different theological distinctives in the Christian church, and many of us do differ. However, we do not go so far as to label each other cults or heretics. On the other hand, IHOP has been labeled dangerous, cultic, false, and heretical by many ministries, former members, apologetic groups, and Godly men. In fact, other charismatic Christians have stood up to oppose them as well. A small listing of these groups include:
The Apologetics Index
Apologetics Resource Center
Critical Issues Commentary
Pastor Ernie Gruen (a Charismatic preacher) who was written a manuscript entitled “Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries).” Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries) is Mike Bickles former ministry prior to founding IHOP.
Pastor Bill Randles (a Pentecostal preacher) has written a book titled “Weighed and Found Wanting.”
The Gospel Masquerade is a website created by a former staff member of IHOP.
All these resources are available in the references section. I especially recommend The Gospel Masquerade website, Pastor Gruen’s manuscript, and Pastor Randles’ book.
A quick review of the main offenses include:
Cultic origin, worship style, and goals
The IHOP dilemma
Effective Denial of Sola Scriptura
Opposition by multiple Godly Christian Groups
Though it may seem like a place that is on fire and passionate for God, this is simply not the case. Many of the people that do go there are sincere Christians, but they have been overcome by the lies and experiences they have there. In short, the people I have communicated with ignore the things above and simply hold on to what they have experienced and point the finger at me saying, “you don’t know about us.” Unfortunately I do know, and I hope this article persuades or helps you convince someone else who is going down a destructive path. It breaks my heart to see so many young people fall victim to this place, and all the people who waste their lives and God given talents to expand IHOP’s kingdom and not God’s Kingdom.
 Randle, Bill. “Weighed and Found Wanting: The Toronto Experience Examined in the Light of the Bible. Cambridge, UK. 1996. http://www.apologeticsindex.org/docs/WeighedAndFoundWanting.pdf
 Gruen, Ernie. Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries). Shawnee, KS. No date. http://www.deceptionbytes.com/AberrentDoctrinesKCF
 The Lockman Foundation. New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA. 1995.
 MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon. Chicago, IL. 1992.
The black and white, right and wrong and easily discernible issues in the Christian walk have now become very, very gray and sadly, very difficult to identify. This has been a steadily growing problem over the past 30+ years.
Casein point is Charisma Magazine’s article in which it blatantly states that IHOP is no cult. This author begs to differ. Not noted in the Charisma article is the use of contemplative prayer at IHOP, or the many complaints from family members whose IHOP children have cut off all communication with them. Charisma also fails to note the numerous “prophecies” which have failed to come to pass (such as the drought Bob Jones predicted) for one, and leaves off any mention of the sexual perversion by additional teachers.
Never forget, friends, that God is long suffering but He will not be mocked. Approach IHOP (and any other bigger and better new way to worship) with great caution. Ever heard the expression, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”? That concept totally applies to IHOP’s leader, Mike Bickle.
Rather than being tedious, read the article for yourself. You be the judge.
Would You Recognize a Christian Cult if You Were In One?
9:58AM EST 11/29/2012 JENNIFER LECLAIRE
Jim Jones was the cult leader behind Peoples Temple, best known for the mass suicide in 1978 of 914 of its members in Jonestown, Guyana, and the murder of five individuals at a nearby airstrip. Over 200 children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning.
Cults are making major news headlines this month. Some accused of cult-status are truly cultish and others are not. But the flood of cult activity should urge you to sharpen your cult identifications skills. Most Christian cult followers had no idea what they were getting into until they were already brainwashed adherents to the warped religions.
ABC’s 20/20 just exposed the shocking truth about life inside Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints Church. The cult leader was convicted and jailed for sexual abuse of young girls, yet his 8,000 followers continue to believe he’s a persecuted prophet. He’s known for ordering married couples to stop having sex and handpicked 15 men to father all of the cult’s children. That’s clearly a cult.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported earlier this month that members of a Bolivian cult that reveres human skulls have held a rite to close out a Roman Catholic religious festival in honor of the dead. The cult’s followers believe the skulls have miraculous powers that help them find a job or even help their favorite soccer team win. That’s clearly a cult.
Also earlier this month, ABC 7 reported on Scientology controversy in Washington, D.C. L. Ron Hubbard’s creation theory highlights a despot named Xenu sending surplus beings to volcanoes on earth. Scientology officials deny cult status, but this is clearly a cult. And just earlier this week, Ontario officials began investigating allegations of abuse and polygamy under the leadership of a “prophet” named Fred King from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Meanwhile, Fox sent an undercover reported to investigate the Church of the Endtimes and its cultish qualities. Then there was Angus T. Jones, a star of the comedy series Two and a Half Men. His family expressed concerns that his newfound religion is a cult.
Those are just a few of the “cult” headlines from November. You can find others by searching “cult church” on Google News. But the question is, would you recognize a Christian cult if you were in its midst? Would you know you’d entered into a cult before you were effectively brainwashed? How can you discern a Christian cult?
IHOP is Not a Cult (emboldened mine)
For all the legitimate cult accusations in news headlines this month, there was also one major false accusation among them. False accusations about cults make it more difficult for people to understand what a cult is. So I want to dispell this allegation right now. The Huffington Post published an unfortunate article penned by a radical gay activist characterizing the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., as a cult. It’s clear from the words on my digital screen that Wayne Besen doesn’t understand the Holy Spirit or how He moves. How could he? He’s not saved and he’s been on a witch-hunt for years.
So when an IHOPU student—who was also participating in an outside sex cult—confessed to the murder of a former IHOP U intern, Besen took his opportunity declare his discernment in warning Kansas City about this 13-year-old prayer movement. IHOP is not a cult. In fact, in response to the tragedy IHOP Director Mike Bickle taught on the seven characteristics of a cult. I’ve heard Mike teach on this in the past, but he dusted off his notes to address the IHOP community earlier this month—a responsible response to the heartbreaking story.
I’d highly recommend heading over to Mike Bickle’s teaching library and listening to the message for yourself. I’ve summarized the points of “How to Recognize Cults: 7 Characteristics” below in order to get the message out to more people. When I first heard Mike’s teaching on Christian cults, it really opened my eyes. I pray this will open your eyes, too.
Seven Characteristics of a Cult
Bickle defines a cult as, “a group that deviates from the doctrines and practices of historic Christianity and has an inordinate loyalty to one leader, whose beliefs are not found in Scripture (as affirmed by historic Christianity). Cult leaders, or false teachers, often believe that they alone possess the truth. If a group displays even one of these seven characteristics, they are a cult or have cultish tendencies.” Here are the seven characteristics of a cult as Bickle outlined them:
1. Oppose critical thinking versus demanding that people think for themselves: Cult members must accept what the cult leader believes without ever challenging their doctrines. They do not want their members to think critically for themselves.
2. Dishonoring the family unit versus insisting on the biblical priority of the family unit: Children are taught to be more loyal to the leaders than to their parents. Women are taught to be more loyal to the leaders than to their husbands, and husbands are taught to accept this as normal behavior.
3. Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving versus helping them to do God’s will: Cults isolate their people from their families, the church and society. They reject any who leave and warn them, saying that they will be judged by God or will lose God’s best if they leave. People are taught to make lifelong commitments to the group. Some groups teach that their members must get permission before joining another ministry.
4. Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders versus loyalty and connecting people to Jesus: Cults seek to connect their members to the cult leader and require loyalty to him instead of to Jesus. Loyalty is defined as not questioning the leader. It is very dangerous, when the leader cannot be questioned.
5. Crossing biblical boundaries of behavior versus walking in purity and financial integrity: Cults cross biblical boundaries of behavior especially in immorality and finances. False teachers can be detected by their covetousness and immorality (2 Peter 2:3-18).
6. Separation from the church versus a culture of honor towards the church: Cults separate from the wider church and operate with an elite spirit, believing that they alone have a special status with God. They have a polarized mentality of “us versus them.” They criticize the larger body of Christ and often claim to be the only ones truly saved. They view all other ministry and denominations as being in error.
7. Emphasizing special revelations that contradict Scripture versus loyalty to Scripture: Cults emphasize the special revelations of their leader that contradict the Scripture.
Saints, hear me. I’ve been very close to two cults and escaped both before falling into the deception headlong. It’s not always easy to recognize the fruit of cults at the surface. You have to dig down to the roots. Sometimes the cultish behaviors don’t manifest until you are integrated into the community. At that point, it’s harder to escape—but Jesus can set you free if you set your heart to go through the door into true Christianity. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That? You can email Jennifer at email@example.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
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I believe story writer, Jennifer LeClaire needs her eyes opened. Maybe then she’ll print a retraction. In the meantime, I hope and pray that she’s not sending her children there..
My pastor is in the process of being out for six weeks on a sabbatical. (Wish I could do that.) In his absence, the Elders at my church have been filling the empty pulpit with a guest preacher/speaker. Every message spoken by this man has, so far, lifted up one contemplative author after another – and scripture, (for lack of a better way to describe it), is lacking.
After his last message, my dear husband (who’d had enough), got with this guy and asked him if he knew that the authors he kept promoting were ‘”Christian” mystics’. His response? Not only was he ‘aware’ of it, he was also quite pleased. In further discussion, my husband discovered that this gentleman was in love with the “wonderful lessons out of the Catholic faith”.
Rule #1: When in doubt (or just making sure what I’m hearing lines up), I study. After all, the Warrior’s motto is to BE the Berean.
Since mere scripture isn’t enough to satisfy this gentleman ( ! ) , I will print out what I found on Wikipedia and pray God opens his eyes.
Historically, Christian mysticism has taught that for Christians the major emphasis of mysticism concerns a spiritual transformation of the ego-self, the following of a path designed to produce more fully realized human persons, “created in the Image and Likeness of God” and as such, living in harmonious communion with God, the Church, the rest of world, and all creation, including oneself.
For Christians, this human potential is realized most perfectly in Jesus, precisely because he is both God and human, and is manifested in others through their association with him, whether conscious or unconscious such as case of Christian mystics, with regard to spiritual persons who follow other traditions, such as Gandhi. The Eastern Christian tradition speaks of this transformation in terms of theosis or divinization, perhaps best summed up by an ancient aphorism usually attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria: “God became human so that man might become god.”
I’m deeply saddened to see New Age seeping/slithering into the church — because the church has not only closed its eyes but squeezed them tightly shut.
This is the same spiritual message that has been trying to push through since the Garden of Eden. In the background is Satan’s voice whispering, “You…shall be …’like’ God…” Genesis 3:4
But when Man tried to be “like” his Creator, what was God’s response? And yet Contemplatives do not make this connection. IHOP’s leader, Mike Bickle, promotes contemplative practices. He’s a huge advocate of it. (Just check out their bookstore.) Sadly however, the majority of the IHOP interns are NEW believers in Christ – swallowing these teachings hook, line and sinker.
On occasion an intern or two has had their eyes opened to this error and either leaves IHOP by their own choice or gets booted out by IHOP leadership – once they’ve openly voiced their concerns about the IHOP doctrine (even possibly) being incorrect. They ALL have the same story: “If you leave IHOP, you lose all your friends that you’ve made there. It’s pretty much the unspoken rule to distance yourself from whoever who wants to leave.” Isn’t that what happens in cults? But that, as well as why Catholicism is a pagan religion, is another thread.