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”)