Monthly Archives: July 2013

Christian Mysticism (Oxymoron)

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.

From Wikipedia:

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.”[37]

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.

Anti-IHOP Author is Suddenly Silent?

I just happened upon this story…and found other stories – all connected with IHOP – that renewed the fire in me to warn others about IHOP.

No Stranger to Controversy (IHOP)

March 2013 – Author S.R.Claridge is no stranger to controversy, particularly surrounding her novel, House of Lies.

Upon the book’s release in early October 2012, it was immediately linked to the International House of Prayer (IHOP) student’s, Bethany Deaton, murder later that month. Strange similarities between the happenings in the prayer group, the murder itself and what Claridge wrote in her novel began to surface, making some IHOP members uncomfortable.

In November, Fox news posed a question that was on everyone’s mind: Does the author know more about IHOP than she’s letting on?

In a statement to the press, Claridge said she studied “five groups with cult-like tendencies” before writing House of Lies and admits that IHOP was one of those five; but she has ensured her readers that the book is fiction.

More intriguing is the fact that Claridge’s sister is a leader in IHOP, making the premise of her novel, a story about a woman trying to save her sister from a cult group, appear to hit close to home. Claridge’s distaste for IHOP is no secret, though she maintains that her stance is against the “dangerous cult-like nature of the group” and not against her sister. In a recent letter written to the Mayor of Sunset Hills in St. Louis, Missouri, made public through the Board of Alderman website, Claridge stated, “my sister has a beautiful heart.”

Could House of Lies hold the truth about IHOP and other current cult-type organizations? Claridge won’t say, but advises anyone who is considering joining these types of groups to “educate yourself before jumping in.”
IHOP is certainly no stranger to controversy and has come under fire since the ’80’s. Founder, Mike Bickle, admits that the entire operation has been built upon the prophetic visions of Bob Jones and Paul Cain, both of whom “have been discredited as dangerous false prophets.” Further scrutiny came with the Gruen Report and the secrecy surrounding Bickle’s Blueprint Prophesy, a document supposedly given to him by God, but has been altered three times to fit the ever-changing make-up of current Christianity. Investigative findings and testimonies from ex-IHOP members lend credence to the speculation that something dangerous is happening behind closed doors, though IHOP denies all claims against them and takes drastic measures to distance itself from controversial issues, such as the starvation death of baby Jeremiah Candler and the murder of Bethany Deaton. In both cases, IHOP stated the persons involved were not members, though evidence suggests otherwise.
Claridge’s blog gives insight into some of the groups she may have researched for House of Lies, leaders which include Jim Jones, David Koresh, Westboro Baptist Church, IHOP and many others; though the author remains vague in naming all of the groups and we’re guessing it’s because of the backlash.

On her blog, Claridge stated, “I’ve received countless hate mail, seemingly from IHOP members, telling me I would be better off dead and berating me for writing House of Lies.” In a December post, Claridge stated that she owned a shot gun and was now carrying a stun gun for protection.

It prompts an important question: Do people get that upset about something that isn’t true? Or has House of Lies hit the proverbial nail on the head? A person who might be able to shed light or at least relate to the backlash Claridge is experiencing would be Dan Brown, author of the controversial novel, TheDaVinci Code. After his book release he received death threats and employed body guards because evidence shown much of his fictional novel held truth.
When asked about the Deaton murder case, Claridge said she is following the case closely and praying for justice to be served. “I want the truth to come out so that Bethany’s family and loved ones can begin healing from this tragedy,” Claridge wrote.

Who is Mike Bickle?

Some say he is a prominent Christian leader and will be influential in creating an End-Times army that will pray in the return of Christ. Others say he is the Anti-Christ. We take a look at the facts and let you decide.

Mike Bickle is the former senior leader (until July, ’99, senior pastor)at Metro Christian Fellowship, Kansas City, Kansas (Formerly: Kansas City Fellowship). He pastored the Kansas City Prophets and promotes Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God theology. He was also a prominent leader in the Toronto Blessing movement, a movement that was found to be corrupted with false prophetic visions and false healings.

Bickle currently leads the International House of Prayer and he told Charisma magazine in July, 1993:

1. We had an elite spirit. That’s become more and more real to me — it’s so repulsive.

2. We promoted mystical experience in a disproportionate way and it was disastrous.

3. We were careless in the way we communicated prophetic words. This was hurtful in a lot of cases.

4. We were wrong in the way we promoted the city church concept. I still believe in it, but now I believe it’s a unity based on friendship.

Had his confessions been a sign of repentance and a changing of his ways, this would have been a positive thing. Instead, Bickle and IHOP grew worse on all accounts.

For a deeper understanding of the Toronto Blessing and the false prophetic words therein, study these writings:
The Kansas City Prophets Chapter in Bill Randles’ book “Weighed and Found Wanting”
The Way of Cain – New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us? Feature-length examination of the movement, its teachings, and its teachers.

Suffice to say, Bickle is fulfilling Biblical prophecy, because Jesus warned us against the false prophets, against those that would do works falsely in His name, and that is EXACTLY what Bickle and IHOP are doing.

Beware! For the wolf comes dressed in sheep’s clothing.

There has been some question as to the validity of the IHOP University in Kansas City, MO. Is it an accredited university? The answer is NO. That means college credits cannot be transferred from college to college or university to university. Students will not take state required classes, such as algebra, physics, geography and economics. Instead, the will be taught to “minister in the prophetic.”

If prophesy is indeed a gift and the Bible says that it is, than how is it that IHOP is teaching kids to “minister in the prophetic?” What’s the difference between this and teaching someone to become a psychic? Absolutely nothing.

Beware parents if you are considering sending your child to IHOP University. It’s a crock. It’s a scam. It’s a sham and your kid will not come out with any applicable world skills whatsoever.

(Note by Annunk: The kids who go there will also come out with a VERY twisted understanding of God and scripture.)
See article below:

International House of Prayer

The International House of Prayer (IHOP) is a charismatic Christian organization based in Kansas City, Missouri.

After a dispute with the International House of Pancakes (the real IHOP), the International House of Prayer started to use IHOP-KC (for Kansas City) instead.

It was founded on May 7, 1999 by Mike Bickle — who was also involved in the controversial Kansas City Fellowship (later renamed Metro Christian Fellowship) where he pastored the so-called Kansas City Prophets.

While many Americans know the IHOP acronym to represent the ‘International House of Pancakes,’ Paul Cain — a heretical minister who considers himself to be a prophet used the initials as an acrostic for the vision of the ministry, which was Intercession, Holiness, Offerings and Prophecy.

The International House of Prayer is a 24-hours a day, citywide, worship and warfare, inter-denominational prayer ministry serving the body of Christ. This ministry is modeled after the tabernacle of David with singers and musicians being released to lead corporate intercession and worship 24-hours a day. This is an effective method for the churches in the county to come together and DWELL in unity so that God can unlock His commanded blessing. …The Word of God Declares “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations” Mark 11:17. … This House of Prayer for All Nations ministry includes continuous praise and prayer dethroning the principalities and power over a region declaring Gods sovereignty. This is in the spirit of Revelation 4-5 “Harp & Bowl” worship and warfare prayer gatherings, the harp representing praise and the bowl representing the prayers of the saints which is at the heart of David’s Tabernacle.
– Source: Restoring David’s Tabernacle , Revival Times

The International House of Prayer holds prayer meetings around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

IHOP “is planning a $150 million-plus world headquarters a few miles south in Grandview that would include a 5,000-seat conference center, a Bible college (IHOP University) and administration offices.” [1]

So IHOP is a place of perpetual worship, with continuous two-hour sets of rock band praise music and prayer, which the Web site calls “heroically keeping the fire upon the altar.”

“Get 24/7 access to the prayer room for as little as $10 a month,” offers the Web site.

It also is a Bible school – IHOPU – at which students pay $1,500 a semester to earn two- and four-year certificates.

The Forerunner Ministry curriculum focuses on the End Times. The school is not accredited; meaning credits are not transferable to regular colleges.
[…]

IHOPU also has a music academy and a media school at which students use the latest equipment to learn lighting, video production, graphics, scoring and audio effects.
[…]

IHOP has outgrown the old Terrace Lake Shopping Center in the 3500 block of Red Bridge Road. At the west end is Glad Heart Realty, which works closely with people moving here to attend IHOP. The broker/owner is Bickle’s wife, Diane. According to the agency’s Web site, all profits go to the IHOP ministry.

The group also occupies another strip center on Grandview Road as well as the former Kernodle Lake community, which now is called Shiloh Retreat and used for IHOP conferences. The 94-acre Shiloh site is blocked from public access. The music academy is in what once were Grandview School District administrative offices.

Most recently, IHOP has contracted to purchase the Grandview Plaza shopping center, which is just south of the site of the planned 125-acre development across U.S. 71 from Truman Corners.

Erin Bardon of BNB Design, a Lenexa-based architecture firm, said occupancy of the new Truman Prayer Center is scheduled for summer 2013. Later phases call for dorms, a hotel and office towers, said Bardon, who is not an IHOP member.

An extensive campaign is under way to raise money for the Grandview project just east of U.S. 71, Hall said. Large donors are expected to show up.
[…]

Page 11 of the IHOPU catalog contains these words: “We are looking for a generation of radical young people who are willing to prepare their own hearts and lives that they may soon prepare others for the return of Jesus.”

Controversy at the Center of Silence

February 2013 – Once a vocal spokesperson against cult groups like those in her novel, S.R.Claridge goes silent, leaving fans to wonder why.

To her regular readers it seems strange that Claridge has stopped blogging about the International House of Prayer (IHOP), one of the many groups she admits to studying prior to writing the controversial novel, House of Lies, which generated death threats and hate mail for the author.

Up until last month, Claridge had been staunch in her stance against the group, labeling them a “dangerous cult.” Now, her silence has some concerned.

Ironically, this silence comes at the same time that Claridge’s sister, Director of the Gateway House of Prayer (GHOP) in St. Louis, withdrew her request to turn a vacant firehouse into a rectory for students; a request that stirred dissention within the small St. Louis community.

We’ve now learned that at the center of the dissention was Claridge’s novel, House of Lies, once again prompting people to wonder how much truth is on the pages.

Residents near the Gateway House of Prayer objected to the expansion, signing a notarized petition and placing signs in their front yards; after which they experienced acts of vandalism which resulted in police intervention. No charges have been filed against GHOP members, though many residents remain skeptical of their innocence.

“Nothing like this ever happened in our neighborhood until we said we were against this (GHOP expansion),” one resident told the South County Journal.

“This isn’t the type of group we want in our backyard,” another resident shared back in October with a local television station.

“We read about the Deaton murder at IHOP in Kansas City and had questions about the connection between IHOP and GHOP,” one resident told reporters. She explained how they followed the trail from the Deaton murder to House of Lies to Claridge being related to the Director of GHOP. It was this coincidence that led residents to take their concerns to Claridge, who responded in an email that residents later forwarded to the press.

In the email Claridge stated, “IHOP and GHOP are one in the same. They are not financially or legally linked, but relationally, in belief, practice and methodology they are one.” Also in the email Claridge encouraged residents to “educate yourself on their theology,” calling the group a “dangerous end-times Apocalyptic movement.”

Upon finding out that her letter had been forwarded, Claridge drafted a second letter to the Board of Alderman and the Mayor’s office. “House of Lies is fiction and should not influence your decision regarding GHOP’s permit request,” Claridge wrote . “I encourage you to educate yourself on IHOP/GHOP and base your decision upon the facts.”

We finally caught up with Claridge via email and asked her if her recent silence on the subject was indicative of a change in stance concerning IHOP. She wrote: “My stance against the International House of Prayer movement has not changed. I still believe they are one of several misguided groups with dangerous, cult-like tendencies. I encourage everyone to study these types of movements before getting involved.”

Claridge ended her email by stating that she wanted it made clear that her stance was against IHOP and not against her sister, who happens to be a leader in the movement. “I love my sister and she has a beautiful heart,” Claridge wrote.

Though there is speculation that Claridge is somehow being coerced into silence, the author denies the allegation. “Sometimes you just get tired of beating your head against a wall,” she wrote. “When you become so obsessed about standing against something, you lose sight of all of the wonderful things in life that you stand for.”

Many Branches with Deadly Fruit

As the International House of Prayer [IHOP] works hard to cover its tracks and distance itself from Tyler Deaton and his group of so-called “misfits,” other houses of prayer make the headlines while scrambling to mask their relationship with Bickle’s mothership in Kansas City.

IHOP isn’t your regular Sunday morning church, and neither are its off-shoots. How many churches do you know that have armed guards and escort folks who are asking questions, off of the premises? Isn’t the entire foundation of Christianity based upon a “seek and ye will find” premise? That doesn’t seem to apply at the International House of Prayer, where if ye seek ye will be thrown out by thy armed security guards. Something’s wrong with this picture.

Anna Alvarez, who lives down the street from IHOP-KC told reporters, “IHOP has always kind of given me the creeps.”

Grandview resident, Sean Russian, told reporters, “IHOP leaders have threatened many of us into keeping quiet.” When asked about those threats, Russian said, “ Let’s just say they are persuasive in their methods of getting what they want.” He went on to say those methods included vandalism of personal property.

Across the state of Missouri, the same thing is happening to neighbors of the Gateway House of Prayer [GHOP] in Sunset Hills. According to a resident who asked to remain anonymous, several of acts of vandalism against his neighborhood prompted residents to sign a petition to stop GHOP from expansion efforts into a vacated fire station. The vandalism coincidentally began after local news reported that the neighbors were against the expansion.

“I think they [GHOP] like opposition,” Sunset Hills resident, Wendy Boehner, told reporters in October 2012, a similar statement as those made by Alvarez and Russian in references to its counterpart [IHOP].

Members of these groups believe they have been hand-selected by God to pray in the Apocalypse, the Second Coming of Christ and become a raised up End-Times army. They are taught to expect opposition from those that are not chosen of God. The greater the opposition, the greater the proof they are on the ordained path.

“The dangers of this movement are many,” said former member Stephanie Belmont. “They teach exclusivity and elitism that damage familial relationships and have misguided, anti-Scriptural philosophies that lead to sexual misunderstanding and abuse.” Belmont also said that Tyler Deaton’s group was a welcomed part of IHOP and IHOPU and the fact that IHOP leaders are now lying to distance themselves is an abomination.

Based on false prophecies, the IHOP movement with its many off-shoots and branches appears to be a giant growing tree of life, but the fruit is deadly.

Former member, Beth Cavete, blogged this: “To discern IHOPKC’s fruit, you need to track its impact. Not its entrants. Despite all their protests, Tyler and Bethany Deaton are IHOPKC’s fruit. After almost a decade of faithful ingestion of their teachings, Tyler’s blog was in its doctrinal skeleton, pure IHOPKC doctrine. The perverse “cult” was formed years after their whole-hearted jump into IHOPKC teaching, doctrines, and practices. THIS CANNOT BE IGNORED. The bright new faces are not IHOPKC’s fruit, the state of the faithful adherents over years are.”

Leaders at IHOP-KC did not respond to our questions or attempts to reach them for comment.

If you are involved in IHOP-KC or any of its branches or off-shoot organizations or have family or friends involved and you are trying to get them or yourself out, we want to help and we want to hear about your experience. Your experience could help others.
You may send a private email to: duranthemanmike@<strong>gmail.com

More Threats Surround Novel ‘House of Lies’

December 2012 – Kansas City, MO – Susan Claridge (S.R.Claridge),author of seven mystery novels, never imagined she would receive threatening letters from readers. But she never imagined one of her stories would play out in real life either.

The problem: International House of Prayer (IHOP) members are claiming her book, ‘House of Lies’ is about their group.

On her blog today, Claridge posted the threatening note: “S.R.Claridge, I have read your blogs about IHOP and your book House of Lies. I know it’s written about IHOP but your information in the book isn’t accurate. You tried to make your character Max Sagan be like Mike Bickle, but Bickle is a true man of God and a true prophet. You are going against God and God will not allow you to spread lies about His chosen people. You are offended by what you don’t understand and you’re mocking people you shouldn’t. If I were you I’d be careful.”

The sender is someone who calls themself “AnonBerean12.” Anon stands for anonymous. Berean is a common term used within IHOP and means “one who tests what is told.” The number twelve can be symbolic of many things, the twelve apostles, the fact that IHOP founder, Mike Bickle, teaches that God is raising twelve new super-prophets and apostles, etc. Regardless of the symbolism, it is clear that the sender is an IHOP advocate.

Claridge’s response reads calm. She first states factual evidence about Bickle, his history with false prophesy and his status of being what she calls a “self-proclaimed” prophet of God, and follows it up by asking the sender a question.

Claridge wrote: “I will end this blog by asking you one question: Could it be that House of Lies offended you because deep down you know you are indeed dwelling in a house of lies? Could it be that it is just too close for comfort?”

If we were to tally points on who won this round it would be Claridge, hands down. But one point cannot be overlooked and that is the fact that a threat was made to “be careful.”

‘House of Lies’ is a story about a 29-year old woman who tries to save her sister from a Kansas City cult group called P3, led by Maxwell Sagan. The book probably wouldn’t have drawn as much media attention were it not for the likeness between the circumstances surrounding IHOP member, Bethany Deaton’s death, and what happens to cult members in the story.

Now, IHOP members are bringing it even more attention with their angry threats.

In relation to receiving hate mail about the book, Claridge commented in a thread on her Facebook page: “It doesn’t hurt me anymore because I know they are speaking from a brainwashed view… but it saddens me.”

Accusations toward the book and the author from IHOP members have been outlandish and Claridge states on her blog that she finds them “humorously ironic.” One such complaint is that the book doesn’t show IHOP accurately.

Any reader or mildly intelligent individual will tell you that there is neither accuracy nor inaccuracy in fiction. It is whatever the novelist wants it to be. However, IHOP members have gone as far as to post negative reviews on Amazon, stating the book shows that the author has a personal vendetta against IHOP.
Despite the fact that Claridge has stated in a Fox 4 news interview, on her Facebook page and in her blog that the book is not written about IHOP, IHOP members refuse to listen. “I studied five cult groups before writing this novel. IHOP was merely one of those five,” Claridge told Fox reporter, Gia Vang.
“They’d rather attack the author and place blame on her for their own insecurity about their cult group than face the truth,” said one ex-IHOP member.

Outside of IHOP, ‘House of Lies’ is receiving rave reviews, likening it to Dan Brown’s ‘The DaVinci Code’ and calling it “another action-packed adventure by S.R.Claridge.” (RipeReviews)

Is Tyler Deaton’s Southwestern group angry because the book, which released three weeks prior to the Deaton murder, foretold the killing in which they were involved? Are IHOP members angry because ‘House of Lies’ hits too close to home?

Whatever the case, Claridge is taking the brunt.

Tyler Deaton’s Inner Circle Crumbling

Immediately following Micah Moore’s confession to murdering Bethany Deaton, Alan Hood of IHOP-U (International House of Prayer University) made a statement denying that Tyler Deaton and the members of his group were an active part of IHOP.

Hood said: “Mr. Deaton led his religious group entirely independently from IHOPU.”

Following this statement, it became clear that Tyler Deaton was listed as a Division Coordinator of the IHOP “Friendship Groups.” Also, Tyler Deaton wrote on his blog that he was an active member of IHOP.

“I am student in Kansas City, MO at the International House of Prayer, in the second year of a 6-year preparation to overseas missions.”

There is now more evidence to support the fact that Tyler and his group were indeed actively involved in IHOP.

Boze Herrington, a friend of Tyler Deaton and Micah Moore, who moved with the group from Texas to IHOP in Kansas City, is listed on FB as an “Editor at the International House of Prayer.”

Herrington also has a blog, though he hasn’t posted since July of 2012. http://thetalkingllama.wordpress.com/2011/12/

In a December 2011 post, Herrington writes, “I’ve gotten to the end of this year and I’ve realized, people aren’t all that bad. I don’t know where I’d be without them. Even the people I’m not allowed to talk to. It hurts, but I enjoy them. I like them.”

Is this another case of IHOP telling its members not to talk to people who question their beliefs? Or to “fast from their families” as it has been called by many IHOP attendees.

Also, members of Tyler Deaton’s original group are beginning to talk and what is being said is troubling. Several members have eluded to the notion that Micah Moore didn’t kill Bethany Deaton, that one of the others did, and that Tyler (being the leader) forced Moore into taking the blame, stating, “he knew he had it in him.”

We’re now learning that that statement, which the media and all of us thought to mean he had the strength to kill Bethany, may have meant he had the fortitude to protect his friend and do jail time.

Was Bethany killed out of accidental rage and then Tyler and his friends tried to make it look like a suicide?

That’s the story we’re hearing now.

According to one anonymous group member, who has since left IHOP and returned home to Texas, “I realized they were capable of anything. We were capable of anything.”

What role does IHOP play in all of this? One ex-member says it is the distorted teachings of the Bridal Paradigm that adds a sensual undertone to the relationship of humanity and Christ, sending hormonal surges through the mass hypnotic worship sessions.

Did this message pave the road to Bethany’s sexual assault? Several friends from the tight knit group say YES.

One member, who has recently un-friended Boze Herrington on Facebook, claimed that Herrington didn’t do well with the news that Tyler and Bethany were getting married. They wed on August 18, 2012.

On August 19, 2012 Herrington posted these photos to his Facebook page.

His photo albums have more pictures of Bethany Deaton than anyone else, but no photos of Tyler and Bethany’s wedding. One friend states this is because “he was secretly in love with Bethany.”

Was Bethany Deaton’s murder a crime of passion? Accidental rage? Or was it a deliberate murder to keep her from telling her therapist about being sexually assaulted by Tyler, Moore, Herrington, Vowell, Cain, Matt, Gehring and others?

The truth will eventually spill out and IHOP will need to answer a lot of questions about the ramifications of their false teachings. One cannot open the doorway to evil and then claim no responsibility when the child steps inside.

Posted by Michael Duran