IHOP – Feeding the Undiscerning

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Doug Evans of Asleep No More delves into IHOP-KC guru Mike Bickle’s background. Evans uncovers solid evidence that Bickle’s teaching on prayer is highly unbiblical yet, unbelievably, the man heads up a noted “Christian” prayer ministry. What are young people who flock to IHOP exposed to? Contemplative prayer.  Allow me to explain.  CP is a prayer ritual that comes from teaching associated with Roman Catholic mystics. The aim is for the participant to empty and free the mind and empower oneself. In other words, Transcendental Meditation.  (More on this below)  So there’s no question that CP’s a dangerous practice.

Now find out the reasons Christians must not involve themselves in Eastern mysticism…

Mike Bickle

IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle

Once upon a time, Joseph Smith said that God sent him a message, so he started the Mormon Church. Ellen G. White also claimed a message from God and she started the Seventh Day Adventists. Mary Eddy Baker believes she got a message from God and she started the Christian Scientist church. Sun Myung Moon said he got a message from God and he started the Unification church. Muhammed claims to have received a message from God and started Islam.

Then there’s Mike Bickle. In the 1980’s Mike was a preacher in a small church St. Louis when a man named “Augustine told him that he had heard an audible voice that told him to prophesy “by the spirit of truth” to Bickle’s congregation. Bickle allowed him to do this and was impressed by the seeming accuracy with which he described the condition of his church. In September of that same year Mike claims that while visiting Cairo, Egypt a mysterious, audible 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.(Source, page 60)

In 1999 Mike Bickle started the International House Of Prayer known for it’s 24/7 prayer ministry. It has since grown to establish international ties, its own seminary, and an undergraduate program along with tying itself to the New Apostolic Reformation. And when I say it’s a 24/7 prayer ministry, I mean it’s really, really, Really 24/7. Nonstop praying 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is true that there’s no such thing as praying too much, so the idea of a ministry dedicated to non-stop prayer is a good one. But what worries Christians is the type of prayer they use. IHOP is dedicated to contemplative prayer. Here are a few quotes on contemplative prayer by Mike Bickle.

“Every one in the Body Of Christ is called to live lives of contemplative prayer…”

“Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle. Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! That’s one of the great strongholds we have to overcome (resistance to contemplative prayer).

“…contemplative prayer, you gotta get over that hurdle! Barnes & Noble is prophesying it! Hurtle one we gotta understand it’s for everybody! Everybody is called to the fullness (contemplative prayer). We’re all going to go into this thing!”

What’s so wrong about contemplative prayer? First and foremost, consider the origin:

Centering Prayer is drawn from ancient prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage, notably the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert, Lectio Divina, (praying the scriptures), The Cloud of Unknowing, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. It was distilled into a simple method of prayer in the 1970’s by three Trappist monks, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating at the Trappist Abbey, St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts… During the twenty years (1961-1981) when Keating was abbot, St. Joseph’s held dialogues with Buddhist and Hindu representatives, and a Zen master gave a week-long retreat to the monks. A former Trappist monk who had become a Transcendental Meditation teacher also gave a session to the monks. (Source) Continue reading

Related:

Francis Chan’s not afraid of the big bad wolf, says, “I still love Mike Bickle! by Marsha West

A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity by Marsha West

Mike Bickle, International House of Prayer research links — My Word Like Fire

See our White Papers on Contemplative Prayer and Roman Catholicism

H/T Glenn Chatfield

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4 Responses to IHOP – Feeding the Undiscerning

  1. John April 15, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    I believe all of Christian living is lived in the mode of fellowship with God. This requires an attitude of being aware of God and receiving and His counsel as you look to Him for it in your very attitudes. I would call this a kind of prayer and contemplation. People contemplate life so that they can plan and do. I think real contemplative prayer is this kind of living. I haven’t listened to them much recently, but I have been to IHOP-KC and listened to a large number of their podcasts. They have some solidly biblical teaching. I’m not sure you know much about it. I have taken time to research them. I think they have some really good things going on there. It takes courage to do anything well, and many don’t speak their language, just like most or all of us don’t speak the language of business professions we are not familiar with. I think you don’t see their good intent very well in some ways. I do, and I like it. Thanks for sharing though.

    • Jessica April 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      Honestly, it is apparent from the article that the writer has taken much of their teaching out of context. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but you have to be careful not to be too quick to slander someone. Instead, I would challenge people to search out the word for themselves. You will find it looks different to everyone because we all need different things from the Lord. Spending time searching out the Lord for yourself is a much more worthwhile venture than worrying about whether or not someone else got it right. I’m just suggesting that, while you might mean well in wanting to warn people, you may just be offending someone. Instead, you might help people more by suggesting ways they can learn to discern from the Lord what they need to understand. I have found that there is something not right for me taught by every teacher I ever met. They are human beings and they cannot substitute for God. Trust the Lord to tell you what to listen to and when to ignore and you will find you have nothing to worry about.

    • Sola Scriptura April 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

      Ihop is full of patently false teaching and practices. They emphasize experience over sound biblical doctrine, and I have seen many videos of demonic activities occurring during the service…often from the pulpit (bizarre head shaking and body contortions ala the Exorcist movie). Jesus Christ didn’t touch people and give them a spirit that made their heads shake uncontrollably or cause them roll on the floor laughing like fools. Jesus cast those kinds of spirits out, and sent them back to hell where they came from. Paul said that church is to be a place of order and peace. I can tel you that Ihop is not such a place. Of course satan is smart, weaving light and darkness together, so there are of course moments of decent teaching…yet there is much wicked and false teaching as well. No church, approved of God, should EVER have demonic manifestations, or teachings that directly contradict scripture.
      Ihop, Bethel and their progeny (Antioch churches)have stolen the hearts of many of my dearest friends, so I am glad to point out how wicked and unbiblical they are.

  2. Ferguson August 30, 2016 at 6:05 am #

    Who are you Marsha West?
    I do not know you but i certainly do know Mike and the good anointing that rest’s on him.
    I have learnt loads from his teachings and as a berean, i found Mike’s teaching’s nothing but solid truth.
    BTW i’m from a small town in some small corner in India.

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