I’ll start this post by stating I’ve been deceived in the past.
The reason I encouraged everyone to check out the origins of Christmas is because I was deceived to believe that Jesus is the reason for the season. Jesus is NOT the reason for the season. Compromise, paganism, greed and the winter solstice is the reason for the season. Jesus is THE REASON!! He is the reason for life, joy, hope and peace. He deserves our worship 365 days a year for this!
The reason I wrote on being the shepherd of the home is because I was deceived to believing that I could be a loving husband and not seek to nourish my wife or children.
The reason I wrote on not voting is because I was deceived into believing that it is my Christian duty to vote.
The reason I wrote on grace is because I was deceived into believing that grace is limited to salvation. Grace is SO much deeper than that. I encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself to see!
The reason I wrote on good intentions is because I was deceived into believing that the Purpose Driven Life, and Rick Warren’s humanitarian efforts are what God wants.
There are many other ways in which I have been deceived in my life from God’s truth. I write because I don’t want you to be deceived either. I’m not saying that I’m free from deception. I am saying that I desire to worship Him in spirit and in truth. I write because I love. I love God, and I want to love my brothers and sisters by sharing what I’ve discovered.
Jesus and the writers of the New Testament spoke of false teachers. They are numerous (1 John 4:1,) they appear to be harmless sheep (Matt. 7:15,) they corrupt the word of God (2 Cor. 2:17,) many will follow them and their teachings (2 Peter 2:2,) and they serve their own desires with great communication skills (Romans 16:18.) There are many other Scriptures to inform us about false teachers.
The purpose of this post is to share some information on the International House of Prayer, otherwise known as IHOP. I was deceived into believing that there was nothing wrong with this organization and their teacher Mike Bickle. However, I encourage you to put your personal feelings aside, and search for truth.
Let me first state that the music presented is powerful! I’ve heard them perform hymns, contemporary Christian songs (don’t like that term,) and original compositions based on Scripture. It generally builds musically by adding instruments with driving rhythms. Here is a classic example of their powerful musical presentation.
“Listen to the rhythm of heaven.” repeat “We wanna hear your heartbeat.” repeat
What is this song saying? How do we listen to the rhythm of Heaven? What is really going on here? Part 2 really shows what is going on.
I’ve been fortunate to participate in various musical performances. Repetition is used to emphasize a musical idea, establish a groove, or to get you into a musical trance. Once you’re in this trance, anyone can get up and say stuff like a prophecy or make their words sound like Scripture. Listen to Bickle’s words in part 2. “I will pour out my Spirit on the youth, on the musicians…” Why is he focusing on musicians and young people so much? What is with the prophecy between Misty Edwards (song leader) and Bickle? They add a couple of Scriptures in there, call out false religions…and boom! We believe it is the real deal. Remember Satan knows Scripture well, and there are times when someone is not telling the truth they say “I’m telling the truth!”
The music of IHOP is meant to move the emotions and to get your brain mushy so you don’t think. I can say that because their music has moved me emotionally in the past. I know how to musically recreate this. I’d rather sing you a hymn that says an awesome truth about God, or about how we are supposed to live.
Here is another interview about IHOP. What is up with the prophecies? Why is it that when people are filled with the Spirit or healed in the Scriptures they get up and go? Compare that to how everyone falls out, starts laughing or stays still in today’s “healings.”
When I was into IHOP, I checked out a few of Bickle’s teachings. I remember one on fasting, where he was encouraging followers to fast twice a week. Even Jesus didn’t tell us how often! I read another from his website on prayer. His favorite models on prayer and on the power of God were Catholic priests and monks. This is why IHOP wants to have you “experience” God through ways not taught by the Bible, sometimes even contrary to what Scripture says!
I know some people are going to disagree with my statements. Allow me to ask you a question or two:
Have you ever been deceived into believing something is God’s truth before, only to find something was false?
When you have believed the deceiving words of a false teacher (as I have,) did you still listen to him, thinking that you could discern what was truth from then on? Is that wise?
I believe there are saved people who attend IHOP. I encourage you to do your own research, and compare the teachings, prophecies, theology of music and other fruits to the Scriptures, and pray for God’s truth to come through.
I am doing this because I love God, and I don’t want people to be deceived like I was. I would not be loving my brothers and sisters in Christ if I saw them being devoured by wolves and did not say a word. If I wanted to love myself I would say nothing.
Additional links for consideration:
The IHOP Murder Case
Copy and Paste from IHOP on Contemplative Prayer/Visualization
The Parable of the Candy Apple
The Dangers of the International House of Prayer
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/vasek/2161689275/”>vasekvi</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>