Charisma Magazine Misses It Again

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 jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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RELATED TOPICS: CULTURE | WORLD RELIGIONS

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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..

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About annunk

I have seen too many believers in Christ falling into the trap of practicing "Christianized New Age" and still calling it holy. Contemplative prayer is nothing more ( or less) than TM. Totally unscriptural. I encourage anyone who's interested in knowing the truth of God's word to dig in daily and SEARCH - be like the Bereans - FIND OUT if the teachings, messages, books you've read or radio speakers you've heard are dissecting God's word correctly. If they're not, throw out what you've heard. Trash it. God demands we STUDY to show ourselves approved. BE a Berean. Acts 17: 10-11

Posted on August 2, 2013, in apostasy, christian mysticism, Christian mysticism, occult, Contemplative Prayer, cult, End Times, False prophets, generational curses, growing in the prophetic, IHOP, last days, Mike Bickle, New Age, occult, signs and wonders, Transcendental Meditation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. WHO IS A HERETIC?

    Heresy is an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and formation of sects. Christian heresy is opinion contrary to the Scriptures. Christian heresy is opinion in opposition to the doctrines of God.

    One mans heretic is another mans truth teller.

    There are men who believe there are many ways to heaven. Was Jesus being a heretic when He said (John 14:6 …”I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.)

    There are believers in Christs as well as others who believe that that it took God millions or billions of years to create the heavens and the earth. Was Moses being a heretic when he wrote in Genesis of a six day, twenty four hour day creation? (Genesis 1:1-31……31 God saw all that He made, and behold, it was very good. And that was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.)

    Many believers in Christ believe and teach that water baptism is not essential to have sins forgiven. Was the apostle Peter being heretical when he said (Acts 2:38 ….and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..)

    Some believe that Jesus is God the Father. Was the apostle Paul guilty of heresy when he said (1 Corinthians 15:20-28…..24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He has abolished all rule authority and power……28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.)

    Some men believe that you do not have to believe in Jesus to be saved. Other men assert that water baptism is not a requirement for salvation. Was Jesus demonstrating an act of heresy when He said (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…)

    There are those who proclaim that Christians cannot fall from grace. Was the apostle Paul deemed a heretic when he said (Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.)

    There are a few who believe that God only offers salvation, by His grace, to a select chosen few. Was the apostle Paul showing his heretical side when he said (Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared bring salvation to all men) Gods grace is available to all who accept His terms for pardon.

    Are Jesus, Moses, the apostles, and the writers of the Bible, all heretics?

    Is it heretical to be opposed to denominational doctrines that are contrary to the facts found in the Bible?

    Are Jesus and the apostles heretics because they disagree with denominational doctrines?

    WHO IS A HERETIC?

  2. Steve,

    The heretics being discussed here are those who take scripture and then twist it. That is, twist it to cause teachings which are totally against scripture (talking about God’s word here…)

    Steve, let’s take, for example’ Transcendental Meditation. You feel like that’s AOK to tout that as a Christian way of worshiping God? Oh, but it’s OK, right? Because they use a scripture from Psalms “be still and know that I am God” and say THAT’S the go-ahead to go into a state of self-induced hypnosis i.e. contemplative “prayer” – right?

    There’s a lot of feed-the-flesh/feel good teachings making it to the big screen these days, not to mention the numerous authors and well known, and in HIGH demand teachers who are getting really “big” in the traveling circuits…

    Now you tell me – in Paul’s day, when he was pointing out all the false teachers, wasn’t it the Pharisees who were upset with him? And then didn’t those same Pharisees stir up a little trouble amongst the crowds?

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