IHOP – And I don’t mean pancakes!

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Is IHOP a dangerous cult? And I am not talking about pancakes. I am talking about the fast-growing International House of Prayer. Is it a false religion attracting followers through emotionalism?

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I have never written about another church. This is not some article of a no-gooder authoring judgment about a church down the street because I have nothing better to do. I am a Christian woman that rededicated my life to Christ 10 years ago. I love Jesus with all my heart. And I am also a mother whose heart was broken in only way a mother’a heart can hurt when they feel helpless to help their child in physical, mental and spiritual crisis. I am motivated to finally write this because of my experience and hope to bring attention to the IHOP movement.

If you love a student that is about to go to college or that is in college, ask them about the organizations that they affiliate with and carefully research IHOP, Campus House of Prayer (CHOP), 24-7 Prayer Rooms, YWAM, Circuit Riders, etc. They even have an IHOPU where they “Redefine Theological Education in a context of night-and-day prayer.” If any of the local college campuses are even “loosely affiliated” with IHOP or the prayer room in Kansas City, you should be cautious!

IHOP is so much more than an uber-charismatic Christian movement. It seeks out enthusiastic well-intentioned Christians through emotionalism, especially youth on college campuses, and slowly takes over their lives. Just because thousands of people are doing it doesn’t mean you should too. You’re a Christian, not a cliff jumping lemur. You’ll often hear that the IHOP One Conference has thousands of attendees, so everyone is doing it. Ummmm….. There are 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world. Sure, I get freedom of religion, but I am not persuaded by “everyone is doing it”; I am a Christian.

At first the IHOP affiliated organization appears to be charismatic and radical-for-Jesus and you watch the college student get zealous for Christ. So you think, zealous for Jesus is better than standing in a typical greek frat keg line. You actually feel some pride for their choices and support them in their endeavors. But eventually, the IHOP follower becomes out of balance and begins to give up many other things in life for 24/7 intercessory prayer and fasting. Someone has to keep these 24/7 prayer rooms going. So, they begin to sacrifice classes, studies, work, friends, social life and family to do it. A local university website says, “We believe strongly that Jesus is worthy of sacrificing our time in night and day prayer. We also believe it is not as big of a sacrifice as it first may seem.”

Before you know it, the student has little contact with family and have stopped socializing with many of their non-IHOP friends that “don’t get it” and they are struggling with their studies and missing out on work and food and sleep to keep up with the IHOP demands (the works). You begin to notice some lost weight, lack of color, dark circles under the eyes, some irritability, but mostly consumed by enthusiasm for Jesus; so you dismiss it and think they are busy and living the young work-hard play-hard life of a college student.

These followers believe they are forerunners for Christ and their works are directly responsible for bringing Jesus back to earth. “The chosen”. Did you know that Kansas City the new Israel? When Jesus returns, KC is the place to be. And the founder and leader, Mike Bickle himself ascended to heaven and met God in a courtroom of clouds. He actually ascended through his bedroom ceiling and sat at the hand of God. And his prophet Bob Jones also teleports to heaven on a regular basis, sometimes several times a day. Bickle states that the heavenly courtroom is where God brought a golden chariot for Bickle to enter and this is where Bickle was anointed one of God’s new apostles; 1 of 35. This is Bickle’s take. If it’s prophetic, well… To speak ill of it is blasphemy. If it’s a charismatic cult leader…. Some students and certain personalities are highly susceptible to be spiritual, mentally and physically damaged.

Circuit Riders, Campus House of Prayer (CHOP), etc. can all be healthy groups. They appear to be good deed missionaries, but beware if they are directly apart of or affiliated with IHOP or KC prayer rooms. Over the years, many have begun to distance from the KC affiliations but for the ones that remain connected, I strongly encourage you to read about it yourself by reading IHOP’s own written materials freely available to anyone on the web. Search for:
ihopkc resources 2011 White Light Horse Chariot.

I personally know two people (unrelated, living in separate towns, strangers to each other and 40 years age difference between them) whose lives were completely ripped apart and broken once they became devout IHOP followers.

One in Kansas (IHOP-KC) and the other a college student in Texas (CHOP student leader). Both were strong Christians that wanted to live boldly for Jesus. Unfortunately, they got caught up in the emotionalism and “works” designed by Bickle; such as prescribed mantra-style intercessory and contemplative prayer, programs of long term daily fasting as a way of every day life, sleep deprivation tactics because prayer must be 24/7, repeated worship songs and Bickle prayer recordings played over and over again, needing to be delivered from demons of doubt, and guilt/blasphemy pressures about lack of focus on works, works and more works; things that a healthy Jesus loving Christian could not imagine.

One of my elder friends and her spouse, who were hard working and more successful than many, sold their lifetime of assets and moved to KC. It was not completely uncharacteristic of them at the beginning, considering they had been born-again Christians for 30+ years. They were doing it for Jesus so you go with it.especially because it was coming from parents who had always openly shared their faith with their children and grandchildren. Suddenly the focus shifted more towards Mike Bickle, Ihop, and a work-based mindset – all intended to be for the Lord, but there were no sign of peace – only growing issues and concerns. This eventually led to less communication with their children, strained relationships with so many that love them and their 40+ year marriage ending in divorce. Where is the fruit?

The other is a young college student on the Dean’s list that played varsity sports in high-school, was physically healthy, generally happy, has never touched a drug or drop of alcohol, but eventually distanced himself from everything socially normal so he could fulfill the unreasonable and overwhelming responsibilities associated with being a leader/member of the local IHOP movement on campus. He did this because of his love for Jesus. According to IHOP, he could push through the sleep deprivation and lack of food because it was all in the name of Jesus. He had a psychotic break that lead to a shocking emergency admission to a mental facility and dropped out of school to deal with the voices and feelings of lost salvation and guilt/failure of letting down the lHOP organization. Where is the fruit?

Hallucinations, delirium, paranoia, demons talking and fear of losing salvation haunts both of them to some degree. There are many other similar testimonies out there. It’s like a really bad Lifetime movie that you can’t fathom is really happening to someone you know.

Does everyone experience it the same way? Probably not. A wise counselor once explained to me that participating in a cult is like dropping a hit of LSD for the first time. Most people love it and think it’s great and nothing like they have experienced before. Total euphoria and sometimes they stay and sometimes they move on without problems. But lots of people can take LSD and it might seem ok at first, but it eventually rips the lid off of some scary stuff and you go on a horrifying trip for a moment, or sadly for some, a lifetime.

The transition for an IHOP follower is gradual. It’s an exuberant high for about a year (the emotionalism brings you in), but no one questions it, because Jesus is supposed to make you feel good! And then suddenly an incremental downward spiral begind and the IHOP follower starts to become confused and isolated and does not know who to turn to for help. If they ask IHOP to help explain their confusion and doubts or answer their questions, they will say, “Fast more, pray more and let’s deliver you from your demons. God is worth the effort.”

Where is the real love when the emotion is not there? Where is the fruit? Where is the grace? Where is the freedom? It really becomes a heavy bondage of the worst kind.

Of course IHOP doesn’t tell you it will bring you close to death or mental illness or that it will likely cost you relationships with your existing family, friends and church. The followers led to IHOP are often beautiful and well intentioned Christ loving brothers and sisters. I am not criticizing or chastising those that most always go to love Jesus and fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

But they begin to reject their family, friends and former church elders, because when they express concern for the followers well being and comment on uncharacteristically negative changes, the IHOP follower will distance themselves by cutting off or limiting communication. This makes it unsafe to speak to your loved one about your concerns, for fear that they will completely cut you off.

I reiterate, the devotees are not bad people. The leaders themselves are charismatic and cunning. They do not walk around with hateful words, horns, a pitchfork and a tattoo on their forehead that says “I am here to try to break your spirit and rob you of your sanity and salvation and everything good in your life.” It is clear, Bickle’s position is that His movement “the new church” is directly responsible for bringing Jesus back to earth through 24/7 intercessory prayer and daily fasting. The existing church (your and my church) has lost it’s zeal and doesn’t get it and won’t bring Jesus back.

The harmful rituals and beliefs are masked in the emotionality of it all. The elitism of being chosen and actually literally hearing the voice of God is powerful. And isn’t emotionality at the heart of most sinful temptations? And if you haven’t experienced it, you either haven’t done enough fasting and praying or maybe you need to be delivered from your demons because you have questions.

Bickle never attended a bible school, all of his teaching materials are his own words, by his own publishing company and given directly to him personally by God in dreams and in person. The scripture he does site is often edited and taken out of context to support his own message.

The materials they provide to their followers includes coaching about elders in the “current church” (that would be every existing church, including yours and mine) losing their zeal and lacking understanding of the “new church” (aka Bickle’s church). And further, if the elders and family members and fellow Christians you have loved and trusted for most of your life do not understand Bickle’s “new church” and they question your daily choices and new lifestyle, then distance yourself from them because they lack understanding. In Bickle’s words, the existing church and its pastors are nominal and lack zeal and do not understand. I guess “seek counsel from many” only applies to Bickle and his most faithful prophets/apostles.

In my opinion, IHOP rituals resemble tactics one might use on prisoners of war to break them down. Many IHOP followers reject their families, isolate themselves and succumb to the lack of food, sleep deprivation and the giving of every $ or asset they may have or own. Their lives become out of balance, primarily focused on their Bickle-prescribed works that will bring Jesus back to earth. Thousands of well-intentioned Christians have been deceived by Bickle for decades and the movement is gaining momentum now on college campuses all over the country.

The enemy is working mightily through his works. Believers fall from the grace of the new testament and suffer greatly trying to manage Bickle’s subscribed works; many eventually questioning their own salvation. It reminds me of Paul’s writings in Romans about suffering under the law. Jesus died and there was grace. Where is the grace? Where is the fruit?

Obedience is paramount to Christianity, but becoming a brainwashed slave to a manmade list of works designed by Bickle which lack biblical support… I am not a theologian, but I feel confident that IHOP/Bickle’s prescribed works are not what is bringing Jesus back. Further, Bickle is using IHOP to create division within the church. IHOP breaks Christians down in ways that you cannot fathom until you see them suffering, especially college students.

If you have any doubt, you will know it is not from God when you hold them in your arms while they sob like a desperate broken child because in their delirious state of fatigue and no food they feel overwhelming guilt for failing at prescribed “works”. They believe that they have lost God’s favor; that God has forsaken them and they question their salvation. They pray, beg and plead through tears for someone to deliver them from their demons. Where is the grace? Where is the fruit?

There is a time and place for dedicated prayer. There is a time and place for fasting. But the IHOP way appears to have the potential to be dangerous cult like brainwashing stuff.

And I won’t get into the sex scandal, murders, killing babies through starvation (fasting) stories that are lurking out there as well. Bob Jones alone is enough to make the Inquirer busy. And have you seen Bickle lately? When is the last time that man missed several meals for several days in a row through dedicated and daily life-long fasting? You’ll have to research and read it for yourself and you will need to decide. Even Bickle himself has started teaching about why IHOP is not a cult as a damage control measure (smart move Bickle). Where is the grace? Where is the fruit? Does Bickle have the fruit?

I am not a theologian. Do your research. Many people are sharing their personal IHOP/CHOP experiences with the world in hopes to help at least one person. If messages like this help just one person, it is worth it.

The truth needs to be circulated a million times. Even in the face of IHOP followers aggressively attacking anyone that questions their movement. I can just foresee the comments I may get to this blog (and I didn’t need to ascend to the cloudy courthouse in heaven and enter a golden chariot to “see” the future comments I may receive in reaction to this post). This particular posting is merely a hope that I might save at least one person from IHOP. If there is only one, then this post is worth it. Or maybe I can enlighten at least one IHOP follower and let them know, “You are loved. You have grace. You do not have to earn God’s favor. You are not a failure. You are tired and hungry for practical reasons. And you are not alone.”

I don’t hate Bickle’s IHOP followers. It’s actually quite the opposite. My heart breaks for those that are hurt, alone and confused. My heart cries out in sorrow for their guilt, pain, grief, loss of family, loss of health, sense of failure, fatigue, hunger and unfruitful and often unhealthy toils. Where is the
fruit?

My heart breaks for the division that Bickle himself unapologetically creates in the existing church that was created by Jesus himself. The existing church versus the new IHOP Church. Casting judgment on existing pastors and ministers and elders declaring and teaching that they are nominal and lack zeal. Where is the fruit?

The exert below is from aDevotion.org. It says it all so well! In the mean time, please share your thoughts and experiences. And if you are a confused IHOP follower or victim, there are people like me that love you and can pray for you.

WHO DO I BELIEVE? WHO IS RIGHT?

Whose teaching should I listen to? It seems Christians differ on many things, although all claim to believe the same Bible. (But on many
subjects, there is not agreement.)

How can I know who to believe? Who is right?

Fortunately, God gave us His Word, the Bible, so we could know
the truth, and it gives some guidelines to help with this
question.

JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you
abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
free.”

So an important question is whether freedom is being produced
in the lives of the people who are following a teaching. If
not, it cannot be the accurate message of Jesus, which will
make people free. This does not mean everyone will instantly be
free, but over time, the fruit of the teaching should be
freedom.

In Matthew 7, Jesus taught that we can judge by whether “good
fruit” is being produced.

MATTHEW 7:16-17,20 NKJ
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes
from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree
bears bad fruit.
20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Galatians tells us what kind of fruit is produced by followers
of Jesus who live a spiritual life.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 NKJ
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Hebrews 13:7-8 also gives us some important guidelines of who
we should follow.

HEBREWS 13:7 NKJ
7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of
God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of
their conduct.

What has their teaching produced? Is it love, joy, peace,
gentleness, etc.? Does it result in setting people free from
bondage? Are broken people being healed and made whole? These
are questions we should ask when we “consider the outcome of
their conduct.”

Is love, mercy, and compassion (like Jesus had) a mark of their
ministry? Or do they more closely resemble the Pharisees who
loved to focus on keeping a list of rules, instead of helping
people.

Avoid the teaching of any group that tells you the day of
miracles has passed and that God no longer does the same things
He did in Bible days. They are simply wrong. Jesus Christ is
the same today as He was yesterday!

People can be wrong, even good, well-meaning people who may
seem to know the Bible. Plenty of people have studied the Bible
their entire life and still don’t really understand it. The
Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the Bible experts, yet God walked
among them and they called Him the devil!

1 CORINTHIANS 12:12,27 NLT
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up
only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.
27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of
you is a separate and necessary part of it.

God does not make everyone the same, or direct us all to do the
same thing in the same way. So don’t reject or criticize others
just because they are different. God loves all His children, no
matter how ignorant, mis-informed, or immature they may be.
Because God loves them, we should also treat them all with love
and respect.

JOHN 13:35 NKJ
35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another.”

Most importantly, Jesus told how we could know who were His
true disciples: they would be known by love. So, if the ones
you follow are known more for fighting (or for man made prescribed works) than for sacrificial
love and giving, you need to pray about making a change.

SAY THIS: Jesus Christ is the One who is right.

http://aDevotion.org

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24 thoughts on “IHOP – And I don’t mean pancakes!

  1. About seven years ago I attended IHOP’s One Thing conference with a group from my church. I was only two or three years into my personal relationship with Jesus at that point and still pretty naive and ignorant when it came to the Scriptures. There were certain aspects of the conference I enjoyed, and I had a great time of fellowship with the people I was with. But a few of the sermons rubbed me wrong; I couldn’t figure out how some of the speakers could go on for hours about a prophetic dream one of their friends had when said dream had absolutely no Scriptural backing. Even so, I confess I arrived home on a spiritual high and if I’d had the opportunity I would have eagerly joined an IHOP group. Thankfully, but the time I had the opportunity to return, I was thinking clearly and went online to find out more about IHOP. I was shocked by some of their beliefs and their apparent disregard for the Scriptures. Matt. 7:15 warns against false prophets in sheep’s clothing, and I believe that is what Mike Bickle is. Thank you for spreading this warning; you’re right to do so!

    • Thank you for sharing Leah. Feel good conferences with great music and motivational speakers are very common with IHOP. It’s the “little things” like apostle appointment from God in cloudy courtrooms in heaven and stories of teleporting to Heaven daily, are the “big things”. Especially when they say the “new church” (Bickle’s church) is the movement that has the forerunners to bring Jesus back to earth. It’s scary and sad that more people don’t study the theology of this movement. It’s like “everyone is doing it” so how could it be wrong?

  2. Ken Bagwell

    Hi nicielee, may God bless you as you seek to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ!
    My own IHOP testimony is that the Lord has used this ministry to wake me up from spiritual lethargy to spiritual life. I witness more, give more, pray more, study the bible more, serve more in my church, love Jesus more than I have ever in my life. In the past 5 years I have many IHOP journeys and adventures. I have dug deep into this ministry, and found it to be very, very good soil. The fruit that I have seen in my life and in my ‘IHOP’ friends has been very good – these are people(including myself) who are loving Jesus and living for Him.
    Again, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to weigh-in on this topic. Blessings, Ken.

    • Ken, thank you for sharing your experience. Our experience was with a local University chapter in Texas. Do you mind sharing where you have plugged into IHOP? I have heard various experiences for different areas. Also, and I truly am curious if this is true or just another gossipy falsehood. So far your the only kind supporter that I have had an opportunity to ask…. Does IHOP promote Jesus coming specifically in this particular generation (due to the prayer and fasting efforts of the IHOP forerunners)? What happens to those of us in the existing church who are not considered a forerunner but do believe in Jesus our messiah? And finally, is Mike Bickle viewed as an apostle appointed by God himself to lead a group if forerunners to usher Christ back to earth (in this generation)? I am getting mixed answers to these questions, but mostly from those that criticize IHOP. I would love to hear answers from someone who is actually actively involved in the IHOP movement that is finding it fulfilling.

      • I was at IHOP-KC for eight years, from the age of 18-26. I did an internship, worked with many different leaders, and, because of the job I had there, attended more conferences and services than I could possibly remember. I’ve since graduated from college and, though I’m no longer personally involved with the ministry, still live nearby and have relationships with multiple staff members. I hope it’s okay that I try to answer some of your questions?

        Mike believes that Jesus is returning soon, but has never publicly announced a specific timeframe. I’ve heard him refer to his great-grandchildren (who don’t exist yet).

        To your second question: Anyone who believes Jesus is the Messiah is saved according to what is preached from the platform and what is discussed among leadership privately. Period. IHOP staff members don’t have a special place in the kingdom simply because of their connection to the ministry. Christians outside of IHOP aren’t denied anything or excluded in any way.

        To your last question: Mike views himself no differently than any man or women called to lead a ministry. I’ve never heard him (or anyone else there) refer to him as some sort of “special” apostle. If no one was a part of the ministry, he’d still be having prayer meetings and doing what he feels like God has asked him to do with his life.

        I also just want to clarify that any ministries outside of IHOP-KC that use “House of Prayer” in their name aren’t actually branches of the group here in KC. It’s confusing because of the name, but none of those report back to Mike or anyone in KC in any sort of official capacity. Their internships, structures, rules, etc are theirs alone. Mike & the KC leadership team have no direct control over what happens at any other House of Prayer.

        In general, I’ll say this. Over the years there were multiple major theological differences that I had the accepted IHOP teachings, particularly those related to the End Times. But I always had the ability to freely discuss those differences and be vocal about my opinions. The schedule can be intense (especially as an intern) but I was never encouraged to distance myself from friends, family, or non-IHOP Christians. When I left for school, I wasn’t excommunicated (or anything similar) and still count many people there to be dear friends.

        I’m sorry to hear about your son. I hope he is doing better.

    • Beware IHOP. Deceiving in the most disturbing of ways. It’s the enemy’s way of luring well intentioned Christians away from the truth and the true and living God.

  3. Ken unfortunately is an exception to the rule, perhaps he has not dug deeply enough. Beyond that, the ‘ministry’ isn’t supposed to be the soil, we are. It’s a very, very subtle twist of the actual scriptural meaning of soil, seeds, planting and watering. But that is ihop, it’s subtle and sly.
    Much has been written about their lack of fruit. No evangelism etc. ihop has now come out with their “Acts Evangelism School”. Why anyone would need to go to school to be taught how to evangelise is beyond me. There are glowing testimonies about witch doctors and tribal chiefs in Africa becoming “radically” saved. But the problem lies in their core doctrines of everything MUST be in the ‘context’ of night and day prayer. In fact one is not considered worthy to even preach their ‘gospel’ until one has got that concept down. The ihop false ‘gospel’ incorporates Kingdom Now/Dominion theology, the roman popish works based salvation and many elements of the pagan hindu religion in their ‘prayer’ practises. nicielee has written somewhat about their aberrant doctrines and teachings above. This is the ‘gospel’ they are preaching. It’s a false one, it’s another ‘jesus’ not the real Jesus. So any report of salvations received from the acts school group is questionable at best.
    They have now what they are calling ‘house churches’. These are not the secret underground churches that we envision when we hear that term. The resemble a house church about as much as my home kitchen resembles the kitchen of a commercial cafeteria. But ‘house church’ sounds so cutting edge, doesn’t it? They are nothing more than little bible study groups and still connected and administered under the main church or ‘prayer room’ that’s all.
    To counter the charge of them hiding away in their little 24/7 rooms and leaving off preaching the Gospel, other than the Acts School, they hold little ‘outreaches’. Still, no Gospel. I have been to one and have had reports of others. Basically tables with literature promoting ihop, not Jesus. When we say evangelism, house church, the love of God, saved or church planting; we have a totally different meaning than does ihop. The words are the same but the concepts, execution and even the raw meaning of the words is completely different than that of biblically based believers. It’s another Jesus, another Gospel – a false, emotionally driven culture of lies.

    • So true! I have learned a great deal since my initial posting. Walk the other way when you see IHOP and pray for those that continue to search for the true unconditional love under grace that the real Jesus offers for eternity.

  4. Sarah

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I know several people who have been a part of IHOP KC through the university, internships or even on staff. None experienced any of these “issues”. They are very well-balanced people who love Jesus. No one forces them to stay awake all night or fast all the time. I would say that if people have had mental breaks or other issues mentioned it is because of their own inability to balance their lifestyle and has nothing to do with IHOP itself. A lot of what you are saying they or each is completely false as well and taken out of context.

    • I completely disagree with your characterization. It is a true testimony. While others experience the ritualistic works in different ways, the testimonies here are true. And nowhere did any of them say that they did not love Jesus. IHOP predicts dates and establishes works/prayer rituals as the means to bring Jesus back during this generation. Seriously….. Read the bible; not Bickel and IHOP literature. Talk about taking things out of context. If you are not afraid, do some objective research to simply compare theologies…. Ask around. Decide for yourself. Seek counsel from many. This is merely a cautionary testimony. I don’t condemn you nor judge you for rejecting it as your own opinion. But I will be darned if I will keep quiet for someone to tell me that my own personal testimony is not real. And I will be double darned if I will keep quiet when someone blames the victim for the consequences of the rituals pushed by the IHOP group for which they are or were involved. As God as my very witness, and on my own son’s life who I held in my arms, it s not false. It is not taken out of context. And you have no knowledge whatsoever to allege anything about my own personal experience. And YOU are calling out something ridiculous…..?

  5. Karen

    My husband and I have been here at IHOP for 7 years. In that time, we have grown and learned so much about what is actually in the Bible as we are reading all of it now instead of a few common parts. Mike Bickle has said numerous times, “Don’t take my word for it, study it out for yourself as the Bereans did in Acts.”

    There are some people who come here with personal issues relating to hurts, wounds, abuse, drug related things of the past. I have personally seen many of these people completely restored and set free as they spend time with Jesus, seek out prayer, learn to receive love from others, etc. Some go the opposite direction and become more hardened and bitter and then leave. For the majority, we are a weak people who love Jesus and want to see His presence and goodness manifested in our daily lives and in the world around us.

    I would encourage you to seek out the good fruit and throw away the few bad apples that end up in a batch on occasion. That is what I do when I buy a batch of fruits or vegetables. I am not shocked when that happens nor do I vow to never eat fruit or vegetables again.

  6. JS BOEGL

    Hi Nicelee,
    My name is Jon. I’ve been associated with IHOP for nearly all of it’s 15 year history. My family and I moved to Kansas City to join staff three years ago. I’m a graduate of Fuller Seminary with a M.Div in Christian Formation and Discipleship. I worked with evangelical leaders of nearly every stripe and denomination in Fuller’s doctoral program. Over 30+ years of professional/pastoral ministry I cultivated close relationships and partnered with numerous evangelistic ministries – investing my life in marrying the dynamic of Biblical intercession with the Matthew 28:19 mandate. I can honestly say, that I’ve not met another slice of Christian evangelicalism that puts more emphasis on whole-hearted love for the Man, Christ Jesus; in teaching, relationship and praxis than the leaders I’ve met in the House of Prayer movement. Mike Bickle is an extraordinarily normal man; deeply committed to the empowerment of the Church in her evangelical witness, while maintaining a humble, studied, fidelity to the Word of God. Each and every teacher/pastor leader/staff member at IHOP fully subscribes to the tenets of the Apostles, Nicean and Athanasian creeds. (Universal marking points for all definitions of “cult”) and hold an inerrant & infallible view of scripture – adhering to sound, historical/evangelical theology built on the authority of scripture; not prophetic experiences. We are also deeply committed to personal and corporate prayer and worship – and working against our personal/cultural grain to make that commitment more than “rhetoric” :o)
    We are imperfect, human believers who are passionate about being empowered by the Word and the Spirit as prayer-fueled, authentic witnesses of Jesus Christ in our world.
    With respect: my encouragement would be as you and your discerning readers are “seeking counsel from many”, to include some of the thousands of Word-centered teachings that IHOPKC has posted online. A concise place to begin may be to google a YouTube series entitled “Ask Mike Bickle”.
    In addition, you might also check out the statements from dozens and dozens of orthodox, evangelical denominations, para-church ministries and missions organizations that have resoundingly endorsed IHOPKC, Mike and his good Biblical ministry over the years.
    Our Father’s Ephesians 4:2 & 3 blessings to you Nicelee.

  7. Karen, you can lie to people who have not been a part of ihop but it doesn’t wash with me “… we have grown and learned so much about what is actually in the Bible as we are reading all of it now instead of a few common parts…” Almost all of the teaching from ihop which actually has some presence in scripture and not the extra-revelatory stuff come from just a few books, Song of Songs, Joel, Matthew and Revelation, I’m sure you can find exceptions,but thisdoes not negate the fact of the other 95% (or so).
    Mike Bickle has said numerous times, “Don’t take my word for it, study it out for yourself as the Bereans did in Acts.” Unfortunately nobody actully does this otherwise you would have walked away long ago, but the scripture does tell us about itching ears. When teaching is laid out and irrefutably shown and proven to be false and unscriptural, and this repeatedly and it is ignored, well it sounds as if someone is under a delusion, that is what scripture teaches by the way. I also noticed you didnot address any theological or doctrinal issue, but used a variation of the baby/bathwater analogy.
    “…For the majority, we are a weak people who love Jesus and want to see His presence and goodness manifested in our daily lives and in the world around us…” The scripture tells us exactly how we are to do this – Go and preach the Gospel to every creature, there is no scriptural warrant for a vocation of an ‘intercessory missionary’ nor for staying in a room repeating scripture to yourself while a lost and dieing world is right outside the door. Can you rationalise any of that from scripture?
    “…seek out prayer…” What in the world does this even mean?
    “…learn to receive love from others…” This is psychology and the exact opposite of the state of natural man, we are told to deny ourselves specifically because it is hard for us to do and our natural desire is to seek out others who will love us as much as we love ourselves.
    “… Some go the opposite direction and become more hardened and bitter and then leave…” This of course can happen anywhere, but since ihop is and even by your own descriptions “man centred” therefore “self centred” and by definition selfish everyone is too involved with their own ecstatic experiences to really worry about anyone else. I was there for years, I know what I am talking about.
    “… I am not shocked when that happens nor do I vow to never eat fruit or vegetables again…” Rotten vegetables are not heretical doctrine. bad fruit and good fruit as used in the scripture is analogy, using absolutes, not some good and some bad on a tree, either good or bad. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cast into the fire. If that is how God views this, then absolutely we must vow never to ‘eat’ at ihop again.

  8. Sarah,
    “…I know several people who have been a part of IHOP KC… None experienced any of these ‘issues’…”
    Yet we still have hundreds of people (myself included) who testify that they have indeed experienced these “issues” Additionally, false doctine is not some “issue”
    “…No one forces them to stay awake all night or fast all the time…”
    If you are on staff, fasting REQUIREMENT, and when you are told to. If you are part of “The Watch” you are absolutely REQUIRED to stay up all night, Lev 6.12 is the falsley applied proof text for this ihop doctrine.
    “…I would say that if people have had mental breaks or other issues mentioned it is because of their own inability to balance their lifestyle and has nothing to do with IHOP itself…”
    Blatant lie,or you are ignorant of physiology. Medically speaking, these things can indeed be brought on by severe fasting and sleep deprivation. All part of the curriculum at ihop.
    “…A lot of what you are saying they or each is completely false as well and taken out of context…”
    No need to answer this as it has already been demonstrably done above.
    I have seen, repeated instances of normal young people, who love the Lord with a passion for the lost,become lost and withdrawn in the labyrinth of ihop. Families pulled apart, because kids are told that ‘your parents don’t understand’ or your old church and beliefs are wrong, this is the NEW thing God is doing. I have seen vibrant young people into near visages of nazi concentration camp victims from over zealous,ihop approved fasting. If you have not seen any of this,you are either,
    1)blind
    2) deceived
    3) a liar,
    Sound harsh? There are no other explanations,
    There is too much documented evidence from the hundreds of young people that have been plucked from this ‘fire’ of ihop.
    There are hundreds (literally) of systematic, scriptural rebuttals of the Kingdom/Dominionist, Latter Rain, 7 Mountains, N.A.R. ( don’t forget – Joel’s Army, Joseph Company, Anna Annointing) etc doctrinal heresies being taught there. This is indeed the end times, anybody can see that. But rather than the ihoppers praying to “release” the judgements of God (rank heresy) or ‘taking over’ the ‘kingdoms’ of this world, there will be an apsotate ‘church’ rising up in great power, led by the anti-christ mentioned in Revelation. This Apostate ‘church’ will be the ones who subdue and kill the actual believers, which are, according to scripture, small in number and described as a ‘remnant’. So there is indeed a great deal of scriptural support for what ihop is doing and teaching. But it’s the wrong side to be on.
    In case you think I am pointing the finger squarely at ihop you are correct, but they are really only a small part of the picture (ie Bethel Redding, Morningstar etc)
    I have been there, I have actually taught and spoken at SEVERAL ihops, I KNOW ALL the major players, I’ve been an outspoken apologist for them for years. I DID NOT have a bad experience with ihop.
    You need to pull yourself away from ihop for a month or maybe 6 weeks. Stop listening to the teaching, facebooking with your friends, visiting the campus, reading the literature or even listening to the music. Literally cut yourself off for a season and see what happens.

    • My son gave all he had to IHOP out of his love for Jesus. He was devoted and did everything IHOP asked of him. It broke him mentally, physically, psychologically and even spiritually. After questioning his life and even his salvation, we sought out a team of physicians, counselors and a pastor from our home church to help us rehabilitate him. Almost a year later, he is still struggling, but at least is integrating back into college and some normal socializing. No one will ever convince me that IHOP offers good fruit. May the tree of bad fruit one day burn.

      • Heidi

        I agree that I hop is not a healthy place for any young person to be. However, I also think college can be just as damaging to to young adults. Most of them try to take God completely out of our children as soon as they start attending. I am middle aged and decided to go back a few years ago. I was in shock after just attending one class. The teacher was anti God, hate filled, cursing liberal who lambasted and flunked anyone who didn’t agree with her liberal agenda. Face it our country and world is in trouble I don’t care what anyone says.

  9. it is like having your soul torn out, as you begin to heal you run into survivors guilt too, In all honesty, it’s like coming out of anesthesia, but incredibly slowly (weeks, months). God indeed heals and sets us right again.

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