Category Archives: Contemplative Prayer
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.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.” 
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
Looks like my Spam-block wasn’t working today… But then again, I do appreciate getting a little “outside help” in proving where Contemplative prayer really comes from.
…and yet to date, Mike Bickle really advocates this practice heartily at IHOP. Mike’s not the only one however.
Contemplative is springing up everywhere within the body of Christ. Christians are learning this demonic practice and are calling it ‘good’. I used to be so amazed at this thinking, “How can they (anyone who calls the self a Christian) be so deceived?” Think about it though. It feeds the flesh. Who can recognize that?!Only the Bereans of today can truly recognize this evil around them. Jesus warned us it would get really bad before His return.
Christian, if you’re practicing Contemplative prayer, you are literally playing with fire.
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It’s time for Christians to open their eyes.
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.
Answer: The International House of Prayer- (IHOP) is a para-church ministry located in south Kansas City, Missouri. IHOP was founded by Mike Bickle in 1999. Its primary purpose seems to be international prayer of intercession. Since 1999, the International House of Prayer has experienced explosive growth, with the group acquiring significant amounts of property in Grandview, Missouri, and opening up satellite branches in other cities. The rapid expansion, the unusual practices, the fierce loyalty of many IHOP members, and the relative newness of the ministry have led many to question whether the International House of Prayer is a biblically-solid ministry or a cult.
At the International House of Prayer, there is active prayer taking place, literally 24/7, without interruption, and this has been the case for many years. 24/7 prayer is a good thing. There is no such thing as “praying too much,” so, in this area, IHOP is to be commended. The problem arises, however, in the type of prayer that is taking place. The International House of Prayer has adopted many of the practices of the contemplative prayer movement, with much more focus on mystcism and contemplative spirituality than on worshipping the Lord in prayer and interceding for others through prayer. Some elements of the IHOP employ prayer in a Word-Faith manner, claiming things from God rather than submitting to God’s will in humility. So, while 24/7 prayer is commendable, if the prayers being uttered are not biblical, there is no true value in them.
Another concern with the International House of Prayer is its connection with the prophetic movement in general, and the Kansas City Prophets specifically. Instead of a biblical understanding of prophecy, that is, declaring the truth that God has revealed, IHOP essentially views prophets as Christian psychics, with prophetic hotlines, prophetic readings, and an emphasis on personal prophecy. Many have been led astray by those claiming to be apostles and prophets with a “word from the Lord.” There have been many reports of spiritual abuse and prophetic manipulation within the International House of Prayer movement.
This misunderstanding of the gift of prophecy leads to another area of concern. The International House of Prayer has an extreme over-emphasis on the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Much has already been written on the cessation of the miraculous gifts, but IHOP’s use of these gifts goes far beyond what most Charismatics and Pentecostals will accept. At IHOP, the miraculous gifts of the Spirit are expected to be commonplace. Miraculous healings, visions, dreams, prophecies, tongues, words of knowledge, signs, wonders, etc., are claimed to be constant within the ministries of IHOP. Whether full cessationism is accepted or not, IHOP’s claims regarding the gifts of the Spirit do not at all agree with what the Bible presents. In the New Testament, the miraculous gifts of the Spirit authenticated the teachings of the apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12). If miracles are normal, they cannot have an authenticating quality to them. IHOP’s claims regarding miracles do not agree with what the Bible teaches about miracles, signs, and wonders. We would all be wise to remember Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:24, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.”
With all of that said, clearly IHOP should not be considered a biblically-sound ministry/organization. The above concerns are only the “tip of the iceberg” in comparison to some of the things that have been lreported by former IHOP members.
Should the International House of Prayer movement be considered a cult? That is more difficult to answer. Generally speaking, a cult is a group that has false teaching on one or more of the core truths of the Christian faith, such as the deity of Christ or salvation by faith alone. On these core truths, IHOP appears to be solid and biblical. However, other common identifying factors of a cult are present at IHOP, such as it being controlled primarily be one individual, fierce loyalty to the organization, communal living, and a feeling of superiority over the uninitiated. That last point is undeniable as so many IHOP inductees have written into this (and other) blogs with a blatently elitest attitude — many times referring to other believers in Christ as “dead”, “without faith”, “religious” simply because they “only attend some dead, protestant church”. So, while the International House of Prayer should probably not be considered a cult by definition, there are enough serious concerns about its beliefs and practices that should prevent Christians from getting involved in its ministries as, more likely than not, IHOP is most certainly a cult.
Many thanks to “Got Questions?” Ministry for this article.
This one hit the nail on the head.