Kissing God & Emulating Saints: How Catholicism and The Bridal Paradigm are leaking into the body of Messiah

Posted: March 22, 2009 in Allen Hood, Bridal Paradigm, Catholicism, Cult, Deception, Discernment, False doctrines, IHOP, Mike Bickle, Mystics/Mysticism, New Age, Uncategorized

In the physical world we live in,
where the foundation of something is not secure,
invading problems have a port of entry.

For example, cracks in a building’s foundation
compromise the integrity of a building.
Cracks unsettle the structure and can weaken interior walls.
Bugs, termites and other intruders make their way
into a home that isn’t well protected, stable and strong.

In the same way, when the spiritual foundations in our lives,
homes or ministries are compromised, there are open cracks
for the enemy to enter and bring in an entourage
of confusion, deception, lies, delusions and much more.

I’ve been asked many times about what I’ve seen and experienced
in the time I was on staff as an intern at the International House
of Prayer (IHOP) here in Kansas City.
One of the major cracks in IHOP’s faulty foundation
is their return in many ways to the New Age roots of Catholicism.
The saints, patriarchs and characters of scripture
are the ones idolized, emulated and worshiped.

Everyone is encouraged to be a “Mary” at the feet of Jesus
or an “Anna” in the temple or a “David” (ie: worshiper).
The focus is not on being like Jesus.
It’s about being like a particular Bible character.
Jesus is not the primary focus…becoming like a person is.
Catholics worship Mary
IHOP-ers worship the pillar figures that have become a staple
part of their doctrine.

Another example of this is seen in IHOP’s
erroneous interpretation of the book of Song of Solomon.

The book of Song of Solomon is held above the rest of scripture as the primary way G-d relates to His people. This makes G-d out to be a sexual, lovesick, love-struck, hormone-driven teenager who is so “captivated” and “awestruck” that He longs after humanity and is running around Heaven going crazy without her.

The relationship G-d has to Israel is likened to that of a marriage in a few places in scripture…but it’s with the nation of Israel as a whole…it’s not an individual romance between God and a person. The book of Song of Solomon is written about the natural marriage relationship between husband and wife as written by Solomon about his own marriage. It is not the blueprint of Christianity or the primary starry-eyed, lustful way that IHOP paints G-d’s view of His people.

On 9/24/07, an ex-ihoper shares on a blog forum that as part of the required reading curriculum at IHOP’s Forerunner School of Ministry, students have to read a book called “The The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus” written by a Franciscan Priest named Brennan Manning.  Chapter six expounds on the belief of the author that “God is sexually aroused by His people.”  This led students to confessing that reading this book caused them to have sexual thoughts…which they forced themselves to excuse away by telling themselves “well, God feels this way so it’s ok”.  When Allen Hood (the school’s president) was confronted about the book, he refused to pull it from the shelves or from the required reading material of the class.  His response was simply to “chew on the meat and spit out the bones”.  This is the kind of dangerous thinking that causes many in cults such as IHOP to have a passive mind.  They come under a learned helplessness and lose all ability to filter and discern between truth and error.

This theology which is a staple teaching of IHOP also forces men to relate to G-d in a feminine way with G-d being his lover. G-d never intended for men to sacrifice their masculinity in order to worship Him. He does not place men into feminine roles. I’ve heard Mike say things like “when we say ‘kiss me with the kisses of your mouth’ we simply mean ‘kiss me with the kisses of your word’.
No where in scripture is this interpretation supported or taught as a way of G-d relating to the heart of His creation. That verse does not say “kiss me with the kisses of your word.” This is IHOP’s translation of this verse which they tacked on to make it mean what they want it to mean.

It’s a deeply sobering and serious thing to take a verse, passage or book in the Bible and re-draw the lines of meaning and interpretation to propagate your own theology and teach your spin on scripture. G-d is pretty clear in His word about how He desires it to be interpreted. He warns against his Word not being added to or taken from. To mis-interpret scripture is to mis-interpret and mis-represent
the heart of the One who wrote it.

(see also this website article titled “Mike Bickle’s Romantic Jesus”)

  1. […] (Link): Kissing God & Emulating Saints: How Catholicism and The Bridal Paradigm are leaking into the bod… […]

  2. SaraStory says:

    I would just like to thank Ariel for beginning this blog, and allowing like-minded, concerned Christians to discuss these issues. I have a very good friend involved in IHOP and few who have gone through the internship and are still heavily influenced by Mike Bickle. It seems like they can’t stay away from the place, let alone turn of the live web feed. He’s constantly got the live worship music playing on his TV. It’s literally always on.

    I’ve been searching blogs and websites for about 2 years to find an insiders perspective. Yours is the first one I’ve found.

    I was myself involved in the very spirtualized church and its teachings for a little while, mainly to do with my good friend. She is now currently on staff at IHOP. At the time, I was still rather young 19, 20 years old, and pretty much excepted anything these teachers promoted. I was even planning on attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, in Redding, CA. They’re teachers are all very Latter Rain. If I had known at the time that what I was into was a softened down version of the New Age Movement, I would have fled, but I didn’t even know what the New Age Movement WAS or what it entailed. I don’t think most young Christians do. Its taken a lot of research as well as repentance to finally see through all of the deception.

    I started to become concerned, or should I say, angered at IHOP .. when my best friend wouldn’t come to my wedding because she was in the internship at the time. I now see from reading your blog, why she was most likely hesitant to take any time off. Because of that situation, from then on, I’ve been on a mission to uncover IHOP, Mike Bickle, as well as others.

    I wish I could reach my friend .. I wish she had someone directly involved in her life who would challange her with these realities. I am not always the best at doing so, an often just sound frustrated in my debates/arguments. I’ve tried to tell her things that I’ve heard and in turn, I’ve usually just gotten the feeling that I’m making things up .. or “I just don’t know because I haven’t been there”. She’s been involved in similar ministries since 2005 to present .. I feel more and more saddenned for her .. because she doesn’t see the truth. The fact that she’s missing out on having a happy relationship with a man is one thing that bothers me. It seems like everyone who goes to IHOP .. fears relationships? That or they just can’t seem to find some perfect enough for them? That’s the sense I once got when I was going through this whole “world.”

    I’m sorry, I’m ranting. Thank you for all those on this site, who share my feelings and research the same things. It makes me feel less obsessive.

  3. mkayla says:

    Todd Bentley has a teaching (gag) if you can call it that on his website on the Holy Spirit. (It’s very long and poorly written.) I put it on my blog and tore it to shreds – it’s that bad. But he too, is into the “ooey gooey love of God” or that our love for God has to be white-hot, like a volcano, or that the Holy Spirit wants to be wooed by us. It’s completely sickening to read and I did have a hard time getting through it. I wanted to show the readers how easily it is to spot the lies.

    I know Todd hangs around IHOP sometimes and I’ve seen some of his writing that I would think he got from Bickle. I have to wonder if there isn’t some homosexual spirit behind these ideas these men have!

    • Ariel says:

      Yes, this teaching about “the seduction of the Spirit” has enchanted many and it is so perverse. When one goes back to the roots of simple trusting–what our relationship with God is built upon–and when we study the Word as it is written and in context (without adding man’s opinion to it), it makes spotting these erroneous teachings (aka: heresies) a bit easier to see.

  4. sadparent says:

    Back in the 80’s, who would have ever thought that all this would be taking place today? All the signs of Jesus’ return are plain as day. Just open a newspaper. But we’re watching the great falling away happening all around us. Turn on CBN! Go into a Christian book store! It is virtually everywhere. People are swallowing it hook, line and sinker. God said it would happen but I’m still amazed at the way even believers are being deceived.


  5. jarrod says:

    Thankyou for posting this. I have said many times that this is what I see in the bridal paradigm but coming from an insider it may carry more weight.

    • Ariel says:

      I would truly hope that what the Word of God says would carry the weight but since so many it seems have started trumpeting this pet doctrine, it requires us to blow the whistle and pray that people’s eyes are opened to the deception and allure of these false teachings. Thanks for your comment Jarrod

  6. Jan says:

    Mike Bickle is a false prophet and has decieved his followers for years. He and Rick Joyner have channeld the same dreams and visions as Alice Bailey, the occultic medium who channeled the New Age movement for 30 years. “Birthing, transformation, synergy, passion for Jesus, a “glorious coming church” are just a few of the signals of deception brought into the church under the guise of ‘revelation.’ Because of the refusal to adhere to written Scripture alone for truth, churches today have been decieved into bringing occultism into their midst. The occultic agenda to bring in the Antichrist “New Beginnings” is now in the churches thanks to Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life and the charismatic “Latter Rain”. It is my prayer to reach as many people as I can about this endtimes delusion. Unfortunately, good God loving charismatics have been led to ‘drink’ of the ‘New Wine” which is the ‘cup of abomination” as seen in Revelation. Cindy Jacobs, Gwen Shaw, Benny Hinn, Mike Bickle and other false teachers are promoting occultic teachings and sadly the world is following them. God does everything in decency and order and the church today has forsaken the safety of the confines of the Dispensations. Its now leading the church to welcome the Man of Sin. No one speaks today of the coming Bridegroom, but rather the “King”. This is the false King as Jesus does not comes as King until after the Rapture. But thanks to Rick Joyner who has removed the Rapture from ‘truth”, churches are on the same bandwagon as the occultics to bring in the False Jesus. Jesus warned of the coming end time delusions with all the signs and wonders. “Come out of her”….” Revelation 18:4

  7. sadparent says:

    …chew on the meat and spit out the bones… Amazing. And this is coming from the number two guy at IHOP, right?
    Then I guess that would mean that God is all the time sending us His messages mixed in with garbage and He just expects us to take it all in and then decide which part is actually the stuff worth keeping? Right?

    Allen Hood, every good and perfect gift comes from above according to my Bible. I’m glad that there’s none of God’s word that I ever have to spit out after chewing. I think IHOP leadership has been spitting out the wrong part of what they’ve been “chewing”.

  8. truthspeaker says:

    Excellent post Ariel. A friend recently gave me Frank Viola’s book “From Eternity to Here”. Frank is also into contemplative prayer. His book was so full of sexual innuendos between God the Father and Jesus and then Jesus and his bride…. it was disgusting! This is ancient gnosticism come to life in the 21st Cent. Check this out:

    “The new directions of spiritual and scientific studies are showing that it is now possible that the Holy Spirit, Ruach Ha Kodesh, can be portrayed as feminine as the indwelling presence of God, the Shekinah, nurturing and bringing to birth souls for the kingdom. Spiritual insights recorded in the Book of Knowledge: Keys of Enoch carefully remind us that we are being prepared to understand that just as the Old Testament was the Age of the Father, the New Testament the Age of the Son, so this coming Age where gifts are poured forth will be the Age of the Holy Spirit. However, the Keys also tell us that the Divine Trinity is beyond the anthropo-morphic forms of male and female. Here our own masculine or feminine natures are only symbols of the Divine and our Life’s manifestation in the Universe. And herein we understand who we really are, as we both male and female make our own preparation for the rebirth of our “Christed Overself,” unified as the peoplehood of Light, the “Bride,” for the coming of the “Bridegroom”- – the Christ.”

    • Ariel says:

      Wow! It amazes me that when stuff like this gets published, people are so hungry for a new gnostic view of G-d that they believe it…hook, line and sinker! Thanks for sharing Truthspeaker.

    • SaraStory says:

      WOW…. wow, … wow, … I’m continually amazed at how incredibly New Age all of this garbage is.