Susan Cardoza’s article this week is an eye-opener for those who think of pancakes when you hear the brand name”IHOP”. The IHOP that she is unveiling in this article is the “International House of Prayer”, a powerful player in today’s Republican Party politics and business. For example, remember a snake-oil salesman named Mike Bickle who bellowed that Oprah Winfrey is the Anti-Christ at Rick Perry’s event in Houston called The Response? Here is a short video clip for those who may have missed this part of that show…
Well…Bickle is the very wealthy leader of IHOP and he has every reason to believe. Prosperity is working ten-fold for this cult leader. Phalse Prophets like Bickle are more than under-the-radar extremists. They have infested the GOP and work tirelessly to implement their 7 Mountain Strategy and sweep the marketplace – all while indoctrinating young minds through whatever means possible. It is a frightening wave of theocracy heading to our legislative shores. Listen to this short description about their goals by longtime fellow snake-oil salesman, Lou Engle…
You can’t get it told much clearer than that! Now on to Susan’s in depth discussion about one of their successful businesses – the International House of Prayer…
Heretical Ritualistic Cults Disguised as Christianity
by Susan Cardoza
Just like the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) you can go to International House of Prayer (IHOP) 24/7. At the first IHOP you can get a great breakfast. At the other you can be introduced to the heresy and the bible-based cult of the scripture-twisted Christianity under the Dominionist umbrella 24 hours 7 day a week prayer.
Oh, you can also get other things at both but even with all the cholesterol at IHOP #1 that is where I would rather be any day or hour of the week. As most of you probably have surmised by now I am not an “organized religion” type of person and IHOP #2 is one reason why. You see, I attended church services similar to theirs most of my life and like these people I saw a great many things I did not think were right. I must also add that the type of churches I attended were likely one third as bad as this New Apostolic Reformation(NAR)/Dominionist brand of Christianity – however all the hypocrisies just turned me off completely.
It is my belief that dangerous, heretical IHOP teachings pose a far greater threat to the world and specifically to people caught in their lair than the speaking in tongues practice ever did. Now they are adding signs and wonders and supernatural powers and some are even claiming they have been to the third heaven.
Third heaven? Is that like the Mormons ideas of life on another plane? According to them, where according to Bob Jones, is where G-d exists. In fact Bob Jones (Bob Jones University), Todd Bentley (Lakeland Outpouring) and Patricia King of XPMedia all claim to have gone to talk with G-d – heresy number one.
IHOP also targets kids from ages 6 though 25 and they are known as Joel’s Army or Manifest Sons of God. Jesus Camp was probably a fore-runner to this new group as they are all involved with Morningstar Ministries/Rick Joyner and Bob Jones.
IHOP, in cult-like fashion, on the surface presents itself as a vibrant, growing prayer movement. However, like an onion, pealing back IHOP’s layers reveals deeper levels saturated with dangerous, heretical, even occultist teachings and practices. I would say this to anyone who runs into this group in their religious life: peel back the layers of IHOP, to see for yourselves how dangerous and heretical IHOP is.
Do your research – there are many Internet blogs and articles exposing the dangers and heresies of IHOP. Listen to the conversations of its leaders like Bob Jones talking about supernatural visits with G-d or how the movement likes to target the 6-25 age group because they are so open and accepting. Think about the 24/7 prayer and fasting activities and how they are central to the “program”. The harp and bowl** activity is geared toward addiction because of the “hypnotic” effect it has had on people who practice it. Consider how when a member voices concern over practices of the group, they are advised they are demon possessed. Consider how members are encouraged to cut ties with families who express concern over the activities of the group. Then think about the “de-programming” period most members who have left go through.
All of these actions are typical of a cult and how they manage their flock, however, all of this activity has not deterred thousands of others from their participation in the cult. IHOP is not an isolated movement. It is part of a much larger, extremely dangerous movement – the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), also called the “Third Wave of Pentecostalism.” There are many other related terms to research, including “Elijah’s List” and “Dominionism” in a quest to gain some insight into these groups.
IHOP has already invaded many Regions of the Evangelical Friends Church so if you know anyone attending that denomination, please give them a friendly warning to peel back the onion, and if they have seen recent changes – be afraid and ask themselves if what they are hearing is in line with their current theology. If not, then run for the hills no matter how hard it is to leave a church you have been in for years. In most cases, no amount of talk or action is going to change the church leaders’ minds. They have already bought into the new supernatural worship.
IHOP has connections with the heretical TACF (Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship), referred to by many simply as “Toronto” and connections with extremely dangerous, heretical Third Waver Todd Bentley. IHOP – like Toronto and Todd Bentley – engages in the dangerous and occultish contemplative practice of soaking prayer. IHOP’s Bob Jones taught Todd Bentley soaking prayer as a method for receiving dreams, visions, trances, angelic visitations, third heaven visitations, and more. All of this is extremely dangerous. One tactic they will use with people who are having second thoughts is to tell them they are demonically possessed and in a cult and when a person is down deep, something like that is an effective tool in order to control them.
Todd has experienced a revival of his own, being brought back from the depths of hypocrisy after cheating on his wife by none other than Senior Apostle Rick Joyner & Friends over at the C. P. Wagner Institute of Dominionist insanity. They have him in sports coats to cover the tattoos and he seems to have responded well to their intensive spiritual shock treatment – enough to put him back out on the road. Gotta keep those dollars rolling in!
The International House of Prayer (both church and de facto denomination) got its start in a NAR/Dominionist movement within the Assemblies of God and various “daughter denominations” of the Assemblies (particularly Vineyard) back in the early 90s. These are often referred to as the “Third Wave”, probably most notorious in this time period for the “Brownsville Revival” and the “Toronto Outpouring”.
Mike Bickle is the founder of IHOP-KC and his group has also been known as the Kansas City Prophets. He was among the “founding fathers” of what you could term as modern NARasitism, and in fact Mike Bickle is explicitly shouted-out in the very book that resulted in the former branding of the NAR–“Joel’s Army” on page 31 of the PDF document. (many thanks to Sarah Leslie for posting this online in full for the research community).
The group started out as a highly NARasitic Vineyard congregation known as the Kansas City Fellowship and had close links to the “Toronto Outpouring”. They rebranded in the late 90s (1999to 2000) to Metro Christian Fellowship. Mike Bickle forked off a group with a name sharing initials with a certain International House of Pancakes. Another member of the “Kansas City Prophets” is the infamous Lou Engle, who has made public calls for “Army of God”-style domestic terrorism against women’s clinics and LGBT gathering-places.
Since then, they have easily become one of the most influential NARasite churches in the US, particularly within “Wagner lineage”. C. Peter Wagner is the founder of NAR; the group has set up branded “chains” of churches in the US and Israel (the latter despite Israeli laws prohibiting proselytizing to observant Jewish people).
Of late, they’ve been connected to Governor Rick Perry in his “The Response” a day of prayer and fasting. Fasting is big in IHOP more likely because after fasting for long periods of time a person is more susceptible to information they are being fed. Here ) and here are The Response website and Herescope Blogspot who have done a very good job of covering these people. On the Response website there was at one time a listing of all the “prophets” who joined Rick Perry in Houston. I am assuming when all the talk and reports of this connection surfaced in the secular world, they decided to wipe the page clean, but Leah Burton covered this event here at God’s Own Party? in August of 2011 when it occurred.
In addition, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch now keeps an explicit watch and tag for IHOP-KC
IHOP-KC must be considered in the “Wagner lineage” and Mike Bickle is one of Wagner’s many, many “number twos”.
Just as worrisome to people who have left Dominionism are multiple signs that IHOP-KC (and its affiliates) are in fact a bible-based cult, a coercive religious group. Add to that signs that they seem to be repeating the exact same chain of abuses that led to Hillsong Church, infamous in Australia, to the point “the entirety of the Assemblies of God had to rebrand in that country (of note, the Assemblies in Australia is totally NARasitised at this point and is regarded in about as much favour there as Scientology or the Unification Church aka Moonies are here in the States, and exit counselors who deal with walkaways in Australia have been on the forefront of recognising the NAR as a whole as a coercive religious movement).
Specifically, there are reports of abuse going all the way back to when the congregation was known as Kansas City Fellowship.
This site gives details, and also some interesting info that indicates that Mike Bickle may have been a protege of Bob Jones (yes, of Bob Jones University), there are reports of coercive tactics from ex-members that meet various “coerciveness checklists” such as the BITE model and other criteria for thought reform. This site and another by a former IHOP member, and even an article in no less than the New York Times has noted coercive practices within the group. At least one exit counseling group that deals extensively with walkaways from “Charismatic Bible-based” coercive groups, Rick Ross Institute, has expressed concern about coercive tactics at IHOP-KC) and the International Cultic Studies Association also apparently explicitly monitors the group and “Wagner lineage” NAR groups in general (in fact, ICSA has started monitoring reports of coercive activity within the Assemblies of God proper, giving further ammo to the statement that NARasitism is a coercive religious movement).
As I was perusing the internet I found several sources to read on this group and as it is very difficult to impart everything about them in one post and you find yourself wanting more, here are some titles to Google for further reading. If you are like me, you will more than likely continue clicking over and over – happy reading.
- KCF- Kansas City Finances (03/14/08)
- IHOP openly promotes contemplative prayer/visualization (08/04/08)
- Beware the teachings of IHOP KC – New Age contemplative spirituality (08/10/08)
- You just don’t “get it.” (12/14/08)
- Mike Bickel, IHOP and Mysticism (11/25/09)(YouTube video)
- Kansas City Awakens to Revival at IHOP–RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (12/18/09)
- Mike Bickle – Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle (12/29/09)
- IHOP – Contemplative prayer taught at healing rooms (12/29/09)
- Apostolic pirate Brandon Barthrop teaches Jesus was born again (01/10/10)
- Revisionism and the Blueprint Prophecy (02/18/10)
- Your Pastors are Lying (06/03/10)
- Red Flags Over IHOP – Devotion or Deception? (02/08/11)
- The Mother of All IHOP Casualties (02/14/11)
There is also a book called Megashift by James Rutz that claims by the year 2032 Christians will have taken over the entire world. And the Christians he is referring to are Dominionists, not mainstream Christians. I have not yet read the book but have definitely put it on my list. One of the things he claims is that this new form of Christianity may stand a strong chance of growth in North America (well we already know that), as well, because of its appeal to ordinary people who feel that they lack power in their lives or society, as Rutz’ Megashift concludes:
“This megashift to a new, responsible society is attracting thousands in North America who want a lot more from their faith than a warm pew, a commercial-grade sermon, Nashville-level music, and a Brownie-point religion that may or may not get you into Heaven, depending on whether God grades on a curve.”
He further says this brand of Christianity solves the three biggest problems in the church, expensive buildings, paid pastors and no sermons, further defining it as the next step up from Protestantism.
I must give much thanks to Alex Bird who is known across the web as “dogemporer” and is a Senior Researcher of God’s Own Party? Bird’s help with the research for this article and many of our articles here as well as contributions to other researchers on this world of scripture-twisted Christianity. Without Bird’s help I would have had a very difficult time trying to put this info into a readable format.
**A common feature of harp and bowl worship is antiphonal singers, who use the Bible as a song book along with spontaneous instrumental accompaniment.
This style can sustain long periods of worship – for instance, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City has used this method of worship to sustain a prayer meeting since September 1999. Their example has inspired other churches to adopt similar practices.