At first glance, IHOP is a good institution.
From their statement of beliefs: We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work or any other activity on the part of man is required or accepted in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. (Jn. 1:12–13; 6:37–44; 10:25–30; Acts 16:30–31; Rom. 3:1–4:2; 8:1–17, 31–39; 10:8–10; Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 2:12–13; Titus 3:3–7; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9)
Also included in their statement is this: We believe that the Church is God’s primary instrument, through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the Church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. We believe that women, no less than men, are called and gifted to proclaim the gospel and do all the works of the kingdom. (Mt. 16:17–19; Acts 2:17–18, 42; Eph. 3:14–21; 4:11–16; 1 Tim. 2:11–15; Heb. 10:23–25; 1 Pet. 2:4–5, 9–10)
So far, so good — right?
Where non-biblical issues arise are where scripture is taken out of context whereby it ends up being twisted.
For example: Where is it listed in scripture that prophecy need not be 100% correct 100% of the time? Yet at IHOP, Mike Bickle has endorsed Bob Jones’ prophetic words numerous times while stating they were only 40-50-60% correct. And sometimes much less: Per Mike Bickle: “Some “prophetic words” may be 10 percent God’s words and 90 percent man’s words, while others have a greater revelatory content. On occasion God speaks to His servants in an audible voice. These are His “very words” that may be reported with a high degree of accuracy.”
(He is right about that “high degree of accuracy”. His message always demands 100% accuracy.)
“What I am trying to illustrate is that all prophecy today has a degree of mixture in it. Sometimes this yields a “mature” word that reflects more ideally what God would like to communicate, and sometimes it is communicated in a much-less-than-ideal fashion, yielding a “weak” word of lesser value, but still one that should not be despised.” – (Mike Bickle, The Difference Between Old and New Testament Prophecy)
Someone remind me — why isn’t Bob at IHOP anymore? And that is but one example. There are many. I am perplexed, however, by undocumented claims of wondrous works (yet no one can produce one shred of proof). I’ve recently read and heard IHOPpers claiming someone has been “raised from the dead” yet where is this person? No one knows. That reminds me of Todd Bentley…but I digress.
Then there’s the claim that Mike Bickle lives on a pauper’s salary and in a pauper’s house. Yet his wife, Diane, founded Glad Heart Realty and let me add here, that Glad Heart Realty’s list of Realtors reads like a list off of IHOP’s Who’s Who. So Diane is making a great salary off the company she founded — right? This would include the purchase of IHOP and its facilities as well — correct? So let’s pretend IHOP goes under. Let’s pretend it gets closed down for whatever reason — the government storms in (!), it quits paying its bills, or how about Mike tells everyone he is following some new direction from God! (YES, I’m being very sarcastic here..) and the place closes its doors. WHO gets the money when everything’s liquidated? IHOP is in whose name? Even more thought provoking than that is the question: WHERE are all those commission royalties right now? If they’re in the bank, the IRS is taxing them — but IHOP is a non-profit so whose bank are they in? It sure isn’t in the U.S. of A.
So back to the initial question in this post: Are there good teachers/teachings at IHOP? Answer? You betcha. Trouble is being able to distinguish between the good and the not so good isn’t always that easy. So what’s the scripturally best way to look at IHOP? I like Clark’s Commentary: James 3:11
Does a fountain send forth – sweet water and bitter? – In many things nature is a sure guide to man; but no such inconsistency is found in the natural world as this blessing and cursing in man. No fountain, at the same opening, sends forth sweet water and bitter; no fig tree can bear olive berries; no vine can bear figs; nor can the sea produce salt water and fresh from the same place. These are all contradictions, and indeed impossibilities, in nature. And it is depraved man alone that can act the monstrous part already referred to.
or from the God’s Word Translation:
Do clean and polluted water flow out of the same spring? The answer is NO.
So better to be safe than sorry — use His wisdom — BE the Berean from Acts 17:11 and stay far, far away from IHOP. Instead, ask The Lord to lead you to a place of His choosing. He is always faithful.