Meetings in Kansas City at the International House of Prayer that have been happening since November ’09, known as the IHOPU Student Awakening, have resulted in the baptism of over one thousand people that had either just been converted to Christ or not yet been baptized, since they began the meetings in November. According to an IHOP leader (quoted from the March 27th meeting):
From the time that we started in November until now, we have baptized 1,259 people.
You can watch the meetings live, and view past webcasts and testimonies, by clicking here.
Meanwhile, at meetings of the likes we can barely fathom in America, over half a million people gave their life to Jesus over the course of just a few days in Nigeria! According to Evangelist Daniel Kolenda:
Just a few days ago we held a mass Gospel Campaign in the city of Numan, Nigeria. Over the course of 5 days more than 800,000 people attended the meetings and 557,860 decisions cards were registered from those professing their newfound faith in Christ.
What does a meeting like that look like? Below is a picture from Day 3 of the CFAN Crusade:
God is on the move in Kansas City, Nigeria, and around the globe!
Editor’s Note: After this article was published, the video in question was removed from YouTube by IHOP:KC
The video below is from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. It shows a young man named Jacob sharing his story of being set free from addictions to cocaine and heroine, as well as same-sex attractions:
[Link to Video]
In response to this, the gay activist organization Truth Wins Out said the following:
Behold the power of Fundamentalist Christian delusion.
Jacob, I don’t know who you are, but these people are predators. Your sexuality is part of you, and it has nothing to do with your drug addictions. And you don’t beat addiction to drugs by exchanging it for a dependency on profit-based faux-spiritual experiences proffered by people who use your life as a way to get rich.
The gay activist website Ex-Gay Watch declared the following in their post on the video:
As a former charismatic, the type of religious experience shown in this video is very familiar to me. In this kind of heady, charged atmosphere, it is very easy to suppress one’s “sin” issues and live on a “victorious” spiritual plane – that is until the trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship aren’t there or just don’t work any more, and the subject is brought down to earth with a bump.
In this video from IHOP (International House of Prayer, not to be confused with the restaurant chain International House of Pancakes), a young man claims to have been delivered from homosexual attractions he has experienced since childhood. The odd behaviour and spasmodic movements (as well as the wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter from the congregation) have been especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s, and are usually attributed directly to the Holy Spirit.
To sum up the gay activist response to this video:
No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
Let’s look at these arguments one by one:
1. No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
This all depends on the starting point. If we come to the table believing God exists (and is more than an intellectual concept), then why would this not be entirely within the realm of possibility? If we already “know” that either there is no God or that He has nothing to do with humanity, then we will end up dismissing this out of hand. It is not clear which of these starting points the gay activist authors mentioned are coming from, but suffice it to say that if there is indeed no God, then we all have much more to worry about than this young man’s story, IHOP, or indeed the whole subject of morality and truth altogether!
If we do come with the presupposition that it is indeed possible that God exists, then is it not entirely possible that what this young man said is true? It is true that there are plenty of reports of people who claimed to have changed but really did not, but then there are plenty of reports of people who really did change. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
2. Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
It is true that one can become “hyped” up in an emotional experience that fades quickly and has no bearing on reality, but if someone genuinely has an encounter with the living God, why would we dismiss out of hand the possibility of someone really changing? (Whether it be from addictions to drugs, same-sex attraction, or whatever.) Again this comes down to the presuppositions one has. Did the blind man not walk away from Jesus truly able to see [John 9]? Did Cornelius and his house not have a genuine spiritual experience when the Spirit fell on them[Acts 10]? It is no different today.
As to whether this young man’s experience was genuine and what it will mean long-term for him, I cannot say (though I have no reason to doubt what he had to say), and we ought not judge the whole of IHOP or the charismatic movement by the way any one person’s life ends up (or in the case of John Paulk, one night of falling to temptation), but there is absolutely no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility that someone can be changed from the inside out in a moment, if we do indeed believe that God exists and interacts with people.
3. The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
What Mr. Rattigan dismisses as a new fad in religious circles from the mid-1990’s, “odd behaviour, … spasmodic movements, … wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter,” actually have been present with followers of Jesus since the birth of the church. Who have “proffered” these “faux-spiritual experiences” through the centuries? Only the likes of Jonathan Edwards (called “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian”) who so despised emotionalism that he was known to speak in complete monotone so as not to arouse one’s emotions while he preached, while his puritanical congregations swooned, cried, and convulsed under the power of the Holy Spirit. More examples could be added here such as John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, etc… but the point is clearly made that while these manifestations are not proof of God moving in someone’s life, there is no reason to be afraid of or dismiss the possibility of these types of things happening when someone has an experience with the living God.
Must one believe that this young man was really having an experience with God? Not necessarily. But to dismiss these as “faux-spiritual experiences” is unfounded and presumptuous.
4. The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
This accusation would be laughable if people did not really believe it. Are there some people that really get rich off unsuspecting Christians? Yes. Do they distort the gospel of Jesus for their own monetary gain? Yes. (Points which we at this ministry decry continuously). But why does this mean that everyone that’s preaching the gospel is in it to get rich? What’s the reality of the situation at IHOP (a multi-million dollar ministry)? The following was published in 2001 by News World Communications concerning the head and founder of IHOP, Mike Bickle:
“I have lived in simplicity all my adult life and love it,” he says, adding he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income from his books and tapes. He and his wife live in a nearby duplex, and he raises about $35,000 as an annual salary from friends and supporters. Those earnings, he says, are supplemented by his wife’s earnings as a real estate agent. “I want to live as minimally as possible” he says, “to give more away.”
Does this sound like someone getting rich of this young man? The idea is laughable! And I have personal knowledge that Mr. Bickle lives the same kind of lifestyle today, even with the ministry growing exponentially since 2001 (I wonder if Wayne Besen, head of Truth Wins Out, draws this kind of salary?). This same example could be multiplied throughout the IHOP leadership team, and well into most of the charismatic movement today (again, with a few exceptions).
Rather than IHOP using this young man, they’ve simply set up an environment where people like him can come and experience the power of the living God through the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours a day (they have facilities open to the public around the clock with people praying continuously for America and the world). I pray that this young man builds on this experience in prayer and devotion to Jesus, yielding a life that is full of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
A letter from Mike Bickle and Lou Engle concerning the critical hour in which we live – it is time to encounter God and take action
We stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. It is time to encounter God and to take action. The Holy Spirit is visiting His people with power. At the same time, the powers of darkness are raging against the moral fabric of our nation. The light is getting brighter as the darkness gets darker.
Many of you will have heard of the spiritual awakening at our Bible school. On Wednesday, November 11, the Spirit fell on a class for more than 15 hours. The word spread quickly and over 2,000 people spontaneously gathered in the auditorium from all over Kansas City, as deliverance and physical healings continued to increase. We canceled our classes for the next week so that each one of our 1,000 students and interns could receive from the Spirit in an extended way.
We decided to meet nightly from 6:00pm to midnight because His manifest presence continues to increase. Visitors are pouring in from many places across America to partake of this spiritual awakening.
We will continue these evening meetings until our onething conference, December 28–31, 2009, when we are expecting 20,000 young adults to gather for worship, teaching, and to participate in the supernatural ministry of the Spirit.
Last year, over 16,000 young adults attended this conference. We are still hearing testimonies of lives that were changed. This year, we are expecting to receive even more from the Spirit. We believe that this will be a historic and important conference, and encourage you to attend.
The theme for onething’09 is “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” Our team will proclaim what we believe the Spirit is prophetically speaking to the Church in this hour. We will also share practical ways in which we can “adopt” high schools and colleges across our nation as we envision young people to impact each sphere of society with works of justice and acts of compassion. At the conference, we will have extended ministry times to receive healing, renewal, and impartation from the Spirit. We believe that the Spirit will release His power at this conference, as evidenced by what He is currently doing in our evening meetings.
Mark Anderson, a senior international leader in YWAM who also works closely with Campus Crusade for Christ, will host forums for leaders to discuss how we can systematically evangelize entire cities and campuses in partnership with the houses of prayer in their area. Mark has remarkable insight that comes from his 30 years of successful ministry in evangelism. The Lord has given him some bold new strategies for this hour.
The crisis in our nation is real. The serpentine stranglehold of abortion continues to squeeze the life out of over 4,000 wombs daily. Sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, are reaching epic heights of perversity. The number of women and children being trafficked into the dark underbelly of the sex industry in our cities is growing at an alarming rate. Entire school systems are giving way to darkness. The sanctity of marriage is under siege, threatening to destroy the moral foundations of our nation.
We will also address the growing crisis that is emerging in many churches across America. A new wave of confusion is systematically seducing many young adults into deception. Sincere young people whose hearts were once ablaze for Jesus are being allured into compromise on foundational biblical truths and practices, while at the same time they are increasing in works of compassion and justice. No amount of increased ministry activity can “balance out” their profound spiritual compromises. In the name of tolerance, they are settling for a humanistic and “politically correct” theology that trivializes the glory of Jesus. Many young adult ministries are falling prey to this as they are seeking “relevance” that dulls the razor’s edge of truth for the sake of man’s approval. It is not enough to mention Jesus’ name if they deny foundational truths about Him. Our works of justice must flow from deep allegiance to Jesus and the Scripture.
Our nation has never stood on such a precarious footing as today. The onslaught of spiritual darkness is increasing in our classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, and bedrooms. We must confront the confusion that is pouring forth from many pulpits as well as from the halls of Washington. It is time to draw a line in the sand. We must hear what the Spirit is saying and we must act on it. The Spirit will confirm the truth with demonstrations of power.
It is darkest before the dawn. Our hearts are full of faith. We know another historic “Great Awakening” is soon to sweep across our nation. We look with confidence to God’s promise: “In the last days . . . I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17-21). All nations will receive the witness of kingdom with power (Mt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9). What a privilege to live in this awesome hour of history.
At this very hour, Jesus is raising up young adults who are being mobilized to cry out in night and day prayer, win the lost, heal the sick, and do works of compassion and justice as they impact the very fabric of our society.
Please join us in Kansas City from December 28–31. The onething’09 conference is FREE. You can register at IHOP.org/onething09
With passion for Jesus,
Mike Bickle and Lou Engle
More about the awakening, and live video of the Wednesday through Saturday meetings, can be found here.