A question I am asking often goes like this, “Is Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry worth going to?” It is noble question as many people walk to learn more about revival, scripture and how to run a ministry. The problem that I see in Redding is that alot of that doesn’t actually happen. Continue reading…
Tagged in: Oral Roberts University
I recently read an article from Premier Christianity about Bethel Redding. It was quite positive and I did like it, even with many of the wrong information that was in it. As I have said before, I love the church that Bill Johnson leads even if I disagree with them on a regular basis about missiology and the prophetic. I can love and disagree at the same time. That’s a spiritual gift that many in the Pentecostal movement need.
Let me start out by saying this, Bethel Redding is not the largest or most prominent Charismatic church in California. It would not not even be consider Charismatic. It is a Pentecostal church in the theological tradition of the Assemblies of God. In fact, the church was called Bethel Assembly under a few years ago. Bill Johnson’s theological training was at the Bethany Bible College in Scott Valley, CA.
It would be hard to say that Bethel is the largest Spirit-filled church, either. Jack Hayford’s Church on the Way, Matthew Barnett’s Angeles Temple, and Fred Price’s Crenshaw Christian Center are all much more known and larger in scope. Bethel is a niche church and I like it that way.
Bethel Redding can’t make you a revivalist
In the article, Andy Peck, says that 2,100 students are there learning to become revivalists. This is simply not true. Being a revivalist has to do with impartation, not information. As with everything in the anointing; it can only caught but it can not be taught. What they are doing is giving people who have the anointing a platform to grow safely and that includes screwing up as they grow.
Many of the students becoming revivalists by taking risk and stepping out of the water so to speak. Being in Redding is like a cheap version of doing Master’s Commission in my opinion. It is theology practiced in the community; not the classroom. I really wish that Oral Roberts University had the practical application of ministry than Bethel does. It is where the rubber meets the road.
If anything, they are helping train people who have caught the revivalist anointing in another wave of healing revival. It might or might not look like the 1950’s revival with Jack Coe, A.A. Allen and Gordon Lindsey. Who knows, there could become alot of tent revivals again; especially in small towns. Interestingly, it was in Redding that Jack Coe had some of his most powerful services.
With that said, I would recommend that something going to Bethel Redding to grow in revival have a strong foundation of what they believe and do not believe. Bill Johnson loves to push the employ alot and doing so can lead to some really crazy doctrines. If you do not believe me, ask Jason Westerfield.
I would liken the school to more of an internship after getting a traditional bible education at a school like Oral Roberts University or Evangel University. If you bring those together, you have a very powerful foundation to launch a worldwide healing revival ministry.
What about the unusual signs and wonders?
They are just that: unusual. They are should never become the focus. I have a friend that lives in Redding that learned to let the focus be on miracles, not bizarre stuff the hard way. In the end, he publically talked about his fixation to gemstones and how it was misplaced. He loved the presence of the Holy Spirit and realized that being in the presence is most important, with or without gemstones.
Personally, I will always take someone that is extreme in their views on signs and wonder over a church that the signs and wonders you have is wondering how old the sign out front is. It is always easier to tame a wild believer than set a dead on fire. I am just being real here.
I tend to agree with the old boys at the Pentecostal church that we should focus on Jesus, not the signs and wonders. However, as much as they might hate to admit it the unusual stuff is very encouraging. I have never had an angelic encounter and did not feel encouraged and closer to Christ.
I have been in some meetings that was just out of control. I remember speaking at a conference and another speaker, David Herzog (cool guy) was talking an hour about supernatural weight loss. I am not even joking. It would be alot better than Weight Watchers. That much I know.
The problem was everyone was “in faith” for God to take off their extra weight when most of them just need a membership to Gold’s Gym and change their eating habits.
Open your mind but keep your brain
I remember hearing Paul Cain warn people over and over again in the heyday of the “Kansas City Prophets” to be open minded. He would tell people to “open your mind but don’t let your brain fall out.” This only became more and more of an issue when the renewal broke out that become known as the Toronto Blessing with John and Carol Arnott.
I believe this applies with Bethel Redding too. Be open minded and receive what God is doing but don’t start making new doctrine and patterns to canonize an experience. I have seen many knock the hell out of people like Smith Wigglesworth did but I have very few people actually heal the sick doing it like Smith did! Remember the message is what is sacred; not the message.
In my mind, it is about being open to what God is doing in your environment and doing what John Wimber said we must always do: keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on the core values of Jesus (intimacy and evangelism) and you will have encounters with the Holy Spirit that are mind blowing. You can trust me on that.
In the end, I love Bethel Redding, what they are about, who they are as a people and their mandate to the world. I am not a groupie nor do I live in Redding. I celebrate them even when I disagree with some of the things that come out of the pulpit there. Really, it is possible.
Before we get started on this, I want to say that I will no way make fun or mock the condition of Justin Peters. I am saddened by his sickness that he has and more sickened that most of the issue he faced in because of a fear based theology he that was told was biblical. However, I know first hand the problems of dealing with sickness.
As I understand it, he has Cerebral Palsy and was prayed for by R.W. Schambach. I am not sure if that is in Tulsa or not. I also understand he has some very unkind words about the faith movement. I believe part of this might be because of living in Tulsa when things did get out of control in the early 1990’s. I was in the mix of it all and I will only said there are some thing happening, especially at Rhema Bible Training College that made me uncomfortable. (Yes, I am a graduate of Oral Roberts)
As someone that has a medical issue (but will preach healing all day), I disagree with Justin on being “content with life.” I believe we should always be trying to level up spiritually. We are to move closer to God than we was yesterday. Smith Wigglesworth said it best, “If you are in the same place in God than you are yesterday, you are backsliding.”
But, hey, that is a whole new discussion for another day.
Justin Peters has a problem with the Word of Faith Movement
The funny thing about this is I am firmly in the faith movement, graduate of Oral Roberts and all, but I probably agree on more issues with Justin that he would probably believe. I have preached against people laying hands on cars and “claiming them.” I walked out of a chapel at ORU and later confronted Kenneth Copeland to his faith for some things that was outside the Word. I did not think telling thousands of students in debt over their ears that “show me your bank account, I will show your faith” was right.
With that said, I believe that if you believe, you will recieve. It is a done deal. I believe that Prosperty is the will of God and there is a purpose for it. Every single promise of prosperity in the Bible is connected to a passage about the great commission. Prosperity is not for you, it is through you. After all, renting stadiums, buying bibles, and getting plane tickets are not free.
I have watched Benny Hinn much like Justin has. In fact, I had met with Benny twice and went have dinner with him once. He is a great person who loves people. He has helped many people around the world by building children’s homes for them. I have visited the ones he finances in Manila.
What else I have done is been on the platform of the crusade when Benny Hinn was touched by the Holy Spirit and it led him to re-think some of his positions on prosperity. It was in 2007 in Manila, Philippines. He saw the hunger of the poor spiritually and realized that poverty was not a demonic spirit.
I guess the difference between Justin Peter and myself is I am in the faith movement (with my eyes wide open) and see its problems. He is on the outside and can’t see its’ benefits. My guess would be the Word of Faith has won more people to Christ than any movement in the last twenty five years.
What about the Todd Bentley issue?
I know Todd. I was in the middle of the whole thing in Lakeland. I was in Oklahoma preaching in protracted meetings when I got an email that the fire of God was falling in Lakeland. I was ready to go….then I found out it was Todd Bentley’s meeting. At first, I knew the theological issue I had with Todd but I also knew he was a man of the Spirit and believed in the fullness of Pentecost. I asked a friend to come lead the revival I was in from Springfield and I left for Lakeland. When I went, I had a bible in one hand, a Strongs in the other and a mind that said, “Eat the meat and throw away the bones.”
I remember during those days getting emails from some pretty important ministries that was asking why in the world I was there and if I really believe that God was moving. They believed that I had really put my neck on the line and that Todd was unstable. Then, to my surprise one of those who emailed me walked onto the platform one evening and prayed for Todd to have the spirit of boldness.
What think I can tell you is my theology did not change because of being in the meetings and I was still doctrinally the same person. The important was that hundreds of people did not have the same story. They were delivered from drugs, sex addictions and crime by the presence of God in the meetings.
Where Justin Peters and I disagree is open attacks and using the bible, out of context, to do it. I want to include a video of Justin openly attacking Todd. What I do want to say is I respect Justin for doing it to Todd’s face.
The passage that Justin used is not against healing, delivernce or raising the dead. It is about doing the will of God. Todd is a doer of God’s will. How do I know? I have traveled with Todd Bentley to Africa and to South America. He preached the salvation message just as much as Justin Peters preaches it. It is the simple ABCs of salvation. God’s will is none would perish but all would come unto eternal life.
I can not help but think that there would have been a better way to handle this then to make a big public confrontation. The gospels tells us to go to them in private and if need be, bring others. To this regard, I have to say that Justin Peters did not do that and that Todd handled it quite well.
Justin Peters is an Independent Fundamental Baptist
From what I can tell, the guy is a hard core Fundamentalist that is to evangelicalism what Oneness Pentecostals are to Charsmatics. These guys live for a fight and they believe that holiness is about how you dress and what translation you use. Legalism is the name of the game and I have seen far too many people end up living in open sin once they get a little distance from the legalism. Not good.
My mother had a friend who had some issues with my mom being in ministry because her baptist church was against it. They just agreed to disagree and had a somewhat decent friendship for alot of years. Her son and I didn’t get along because I turned basketball into WWE too many times.
Then, the friend of my mom got Multiple Sclerosis and she became more and more against healing and her pastor was telling her that is was “the will of God.” As things went on, my mom and her became less friendly because my mom does not believe (nor do I) than disease is the design of heaven or the Kingdom in this world.
Where I stand on the whole Discernment (heresy hunters) ministries
I get that you want to keep people accountable and all but we need to build up people and to say anyone that disagrees with you is going to hell just is not right. I believe that Justin Peters will be in heaven with me and I believe that Todd Bentley will be in heaven with me as well.
At the end of the day, we must remember that our faith is based on just that, faith; not doctrine or philosophies.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)
I was part of the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) back when it was called Friends of the Bridegroom and Mike Bickle was focused on the Song of Solomon and revival. I signed up for Stadium Christianity, not an eternal bible study on Revelation and Daniel. I also signed up for freedom, not spiritual abuse at the hands of leaders with religious spirits.
Now, with that said, I love Mike Bickle to pieces and I think the world of him. He is a great intercessor, leader and more importantly, friend of God. He was gracious to write the foreward to my first book, Pentecost at any cost, and I always respected him. Even if I radically disagree with him.
The problems at IHOPKC are under Mike and I do not believe that he knows what they are doing until he hears them through the rumor mills. A couple of the leaders, namely Stuart Greaves, have several torments from religious and controlling spirits. Greaves would grieve the Holy Spirit and think in his mind, he was doing the will of God. He was, and I am sure is, the “manifestation police.”
My personal struggles with Stuart go back to the “stable,” the original double wide that the IHOP-KC started in. The only reason I bring them up is he seems to be the common player is every story of someone wounded from the house of prayer.
IHOPKC is against Holy Freedom
As I said, Stuart and I had our run-ins over the years and it was almost always over two things: I believe in the pre-tribulational rapture and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. He did not like either one of them. We had some very intense discussions (nice way of saying heated debates) over both of them and I would not buy into the IHOPKC position on eschatology or Stuart’s position that manifestations were childish.
It was back in 2005 that it all came to a head. I was having some serious challenges in ministry. I had some challenges in my personal walk as well. I was trying to put my life back together and I went up to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship for Catch the Fire and the Partners in Harvest leadership meeting. I wanted to spend time where I knew I was free to be….well, free. I also wanted to be in a place that I could admit I was not perfect and had stuff going on. IHOPKC is not the place to admit issues in your life.
I left everything in Kansas City behind and took a Greyhound to Toronto, stayed in some ran down hotel and asked a friend on staff at the church to get me because I didn’t have money for food and the conferences. I was not there in expectation; I was there in desperation. I needed a fresh touch from the Lord. I need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit again. I was there and I was hungry.
I came back to Kansas City with a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit like I had in 1996 in the Brownsville Revival. I was completely full of the River of God. I also knew that if I didn’t keep my distance, there was Round 47 coming with Greaves.
Praying for Freedom at IHOPKC
I wanted to pray for everyone to get freedom. Jesus did not die so we could have bible studies; He died so we could be filled up with love and release it to the world. I laid hands on anyone that wanted me to pray for them. I want everyone in freedom! I did not care where we was…. altar lines, wal-mart or the grocery store… it didn’t matter.
One girl, a Canadian that came from YWAM, didn’t have a grid for the presence of the Holy Spirit, complained to Stuart about getting touched too much by the Spirit and there I was, in the cross hairs again. In the back office with several leaders again about my impartation emphasis and this time, it was different: they told me that I should leave the ministry all together. Stuart said there is no common ground and I was “rebellious.”
Simple as that. I was gone from a ministry that I was raised in spiritually and lived very close (almost next door) It was weird to look at the window and watch friends go to prayer meeting, knowing that I was not loved anymore by the people I gave much of my life praying for Stadium Christianity.
Is IHOPKC a cult?
I do not believe so. I just think the Mike does not realize how controlling some of the leaders like Stuart really are. They kill the joy of the Lord in people. I have no hard feeling towards Mike Bickle, Allen Hood or even Stuart. Forgiveness happened a long time ago.
I have tried to reach out to him over the years and come to a common place of understanding. After three years of trying, I just gave up. I was back in the Philippines so on when I am home did it even matter? I know I could see him, hug him and love him as I would any brother. I still believe in the freedom of the Holy Spirit but I love him as a brother. I do not have to agree with him to love him.
I will be amiss to say that it does not bother when I am in Kansas City and watch people drive by to the House of Prayer and I am just sitting there with the stereo worshipping or pretending I can play guitar. In times like that, I would rather be in the prayer room leading a set for Stadium Christianity. However, it is what it is.
On a side note, the Word is true and the enemy is defeated. I would not have went back to Oral Roberts University to get a seminary degree if it was not for what happen. All things really work together for good for those who love Jesus.
David Yonggi Cho is the pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world’s largest church. He is a pastor of pastors. Yoido Full Gospel Church is more like a domination that has camp meeting regularly than an actual local church. Cho is only the Apostolic leader over it all.
I have been to this church in Souel and it is quite amazing. He has built an amazing work for the Lord that started with an old stolen Army tent left after the Korean War. I like what I found in Korea and I liked the freedom that Cho operated in from a ministry point of view.
I listen to him to speak once at Oral Roberts University and he told about all the times he tried to do great things for God only to fail. It was faith building for young revivalists to know ministry really is about trail and error more than the mega-church make it sound like.
Is G12 churches supported by David Yonggi Cho?
The simple answer is no. A core value of Yoido Church is cell ministry but even Cho has reservations about these g12 churches. Cho used it as a tool to grow the church, not to replace the great commission. G12 churches think that their cells are the great commissions. Being a cell group is salvation. This is completely rejected by David Yonggi Cho.
Yoido used cell ministry is one of many tools to grow the church and preach the gospel to South Korea. It never was the focus on the ministry nor did it replace the gospel. In fact, David Yonggi Cho blessed and helped Benny Hinn as well as Reinhard Bonnke when they came to gospel crusades in Seoul. He did not believe that cell ministry would do the great commission, only be one of many expressions.
It is important to understand that Cho believes in using all tools at hand to develop soul winning ministry. He will use crusades, church services, outreaches to governmental leaders, and cell groups. All he cares is people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; not how they came to know Christ.
It is the message that is divine, not the method. The problem with G12 churches and why David Yonggi Cho would never support them is they make the method more important that the message. This is not something that Cho would sign off on. In fact, he has rejected it completely.
Cho also understands that cell ministry is completely a cultural thing. It is a biblical model because it does not work everywhere but it can work within some cultural. He would never try and preach the model into the scriptures. It is not unbiblical but it is extra-biblical.
It is important to note that Cho did say publicly that cell ministry, while it works in Korean culture would not work well in American culture. Americans would be won by media presentations of the gospel, not cell groups.
G12 Churches misrepresent David Yonggi Cho
Cesar Castellanos is the main leader in the G12 movement and he repeatly misrepresented Cho in his books and his videos. Cesar did go to Korea and saw what was happening at Yoido Church. However, there was no impartation from Cho. To my knowledge, I do not think they met while he was in Korea. I am not sure if they have met since or not. That is possible.
If they followed the example of Yoido Church, they would give everything away. The church charges for nothing. Counseling is free. Books are free. Food is free. It is based on the words of Jesus, “freely you have received, freely give.”
G12 Churches do not follow this model in any way, shape, or form. There is a price for everything. Counseling with Castellanos is worth about $150 American dollars. That is not bad. If you counsel for two hours a day, you only make around $78,000 a year. Only.
All the conferences at G12 churches are far from free as well. Some of them can get over $100. Charging for conferences is something that need to seriously stop. If you are charging people to hear the gospel; you are a pastor, you are a scam artist. It is just that simple.
For G12 churches and Cesar Castellanos is anyway connected with David Yonggi Cho is completely untrue and that seems to have more differences than they have similarities.
The secret of Yoido Church
I believe the key to the church growth in South Koroa was not any one thing. They realized that as well. They used anything that would work to grow. Cell ministry was a tool but it was not the tool. The focus was always on the gospel of the Kingdom being preached to the lost and dying world.
If pastors burned for the lost like they do in Seoul, we would see much more of a harvest in our cities than we do. They also have never settled for what they have. They see the harvest from what is the field still, not what is already in the barn.
Something that many miss is that they have not won the nation of South Korea or even the city of Seoul. While they have over 800,000 members; most people in Souel are still on a bobsled to hell. They are still going to hell without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Yiodo Church still has work to do.
I am a Pentecostal. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to save, heal, deliver, and fill. I am washed by the blood of Jesus but I am finding too are closer to brainwashed. This is very concerning to me.
This is one reason I raise questions about World Revival Church in Kansas City and even IHOP University but it goes alot better than that. I am finding alot of saints that just can’t think logically about the scriptures and the things of the Spirit.
One group thinks they are Stanley Horton and think the trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Bible. They wouldn’t know the power of God if it hit them in the face. They are Pentecostal that would find a problem with the Azusa Street Revival! They would condemn anything that was not dead and lifeless theology.
The other group is just following whatever they hear. They hardly open their bible. They perfer to get their theology from Trinity Broadcasting Network and Daystar. Just remember, television ministries will preach anything to get the wallets open. Spots on the networks is not cheap. It is not cheap at all.
Pastors are brianwashed too
Do you follow your pastor? Do you know more about what your pastor teaches than Jesus? When I hear someone saying “Pastor ___ says that…” I tune out. I do not care about what your pastor says or what sermon series you think I should listen to by your pastor. I really don’t. Your pastor did not die for you.
I love listen to teaching quite well. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle. I quote theological books on here quite often too. I want to be a student of the Word as much as you do. However, I will never make my theology a collection of great quotes from Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle and Oral Roberts. I love them but they did not die on the Cross.
I love Orals Roberts University. I remember sitting in dozens of chapel services in Christ’s Chapel. I heard some of the greatest voice of revival and Pentecost in our generation. Richard Roberts, Rodney Howard-Browne, Reinhard Bonnke, and Tommy Barnett to name a few.
I also heard some people that don’t have such great theology as well. I remember walking out of the chapel over things said by people like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Fred Price. Sorry, I do not have Rolls Royce faith today, Fred.
If I took everything I heard people proclaim from the platform at chapel, I would be one confused guy. I would believe that prosperity was for be to get 4 houses and also believe that living as simple as possible was the biblical way.
My point is living by pastor’s sermon will make you one confused, crazy mess. You have to make sure you are living for Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit; not the teaching of your favorite televangelist on Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Be a Pentecostal, not a Republican
I am a Pentecostal. I am a Republican. I am not a Republican because I am a Pentecostal. One has nothing to do with the other. Jesus is not into political parties anyways.
When people try to tell me that they are o a party because God told them this or that; I see red flags coming up. You might hold your views based on your faith (as I do) but that does not mean God told you to be a member of the Republican party.
Gun Rights is a constitutional issue; it is not a biblical issue. God did not make the second amendment the 11th commandment back in 1776. I believe in the second amendment because it is right and it is what our Founding Fathers envision; not what Jesus said.
When Christians make constitutional rights into biblical issues, all we do is look stupid to the liberals. Stand for what you believe and that can be an expression of your faith but it is not your faith directly.
When we mix them up, we look brainwashed, and only make Barack Obama look right about clinging to the bible and guns.
Being a Pentecostal does not mean we throw out logic and reasoning. Part of worship is with all your mind. That means you engage people with logic.
Pentecostals need to learn how to think.
Did I say that? I did. Paul told us to be ready to give reason for hope that lives within us. “The Bible says so” is not reasoning either. If we want to be effective in witnessing, we better rethink how we come across and quit being brainwashed by preachers.
We need to learn how to think, not what to think.
That means we have to start thinking about how to engage people on a mental level, not just a spiritual level. This is why I think a required reading of every bible school student should be Evidence that demands a verdict by Josh McDowell and Why Jesus? by Ravi Zacharias. They might be boring but they would do us a great service.
Being able to engage people with knowledge, not just words of knowledge will only make us more effective in our witness to a world around us that is growing to be more liberal and believe in atheism. “God said” is not going to cut it any more. Not in the 21st century. The Post-modern world is here.
Having knowledge on many subjects will only make us better Pentecostals. As a computer programmer, student of history, and former boxer; I have a much more well rounded approach to be a witness. Knowing the twisted world of boxing, I can do more than tell them they are going to hell. I can relate to them and reach to them with the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been where they have been. I know the corruption in the boxing sense. I know about the partying, the drugs, the drinking, the womanizing. I know what exactly they think about Christians. As a result, I know how to engage them and bring them to the foot of the Cross.
Please, don’t be brainwashed but be blood washed!
Thinking of going to IHOP University at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City? You might want to do some more research. There are some major challenges to the school that are hidden on the websites and some of them are not even mentioned.
I went to the school when it was the Forerunner School of Prayer. It was more of a prayer focused version of the Berean School of the Bible back then. Most of the teaching was by Mike Bickle, Kevin Matthews, and a little by Graham Walsh. It was great and focused on revival. However, it was not legit education.
Before we go any futhur any into this, I want to say I have the deepest respect for Allen Hood and Mike Bickle. Allen is a solid guy and was always there when I had a question. I thought the world of him. He also knew how to let education be inferior to the move of the Spirit. Something most people with a seminar degree just can’t do.
With that said, I strongly suggest you re-think going to IHOP University.
IHOP University has a history of cancelling class
Around the House of Prayer, they tend to let a few people; Mike Bickle, Julie Meyers, Misty Edwards and a few others make the schedule for the school. What do I mean by that? They will call classes off for a month because someone had a prophetic dream that if they have a fast and do not but contend in prayer; breakthrough will come.
Instead of being in class, students are expected to be in the prayer room contending for whatever Misty, Julie or Mike thinks needs to be contended for. This is great in a ministry context but this is hardly serious academia research.
There is no library to speak of on campus. Nothing anywhere close to the ORU library, William G. Squires Library at Lee University, or Cordas C. Burnett Library at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
IHOP University is more of a pay to pray thing than it is a real academic research type of thing.
IHOP University gives you useless degrees
I do not know why they will not seek some type of accreditation
This is straight from the website of IHOPU
IHOPU is not presently pursuing accreditation. However, the values represented by accreditation (particularly academic excellence and relationship with other theological institutions) are very important to IHOPU. For this reason, IHOPU is not opposed to pursuing accreditation in the future if it can be done without compromising our vision and core values, and if it actively builds relationships with theological institutions to transfer credits.
I know for sure that in the last 14 years they have not made one step towards getting any accreditation in any way. I do not think they will in the next 14 years either. This is a problem because all you get is a paper than no one will honor and you can forget higher education.
One reason I believe they don’t want it is many of the “professors” are not qualified to even teach their own subjects. Many of them do not have legit bible training.
Realize you will graduate without any degree that mean anything in the real world and will have no marketable skills.
Need financial freedom? Not at IHOP University
According to their website, your tuition as a freshman is $2,275 per semester, zero help from the school and you are not allow to work. Either you have upper middle class parents, your church paying, or you will struggle. I could not have done it at 19 years old, that is for sure. My parents are Gates, Buffet, or Waltons.
What is could cause is a bunch of William Seymour that sit in the hallway hoping to hear the class and get what he could. In that case, it was race; in this case, would be economical class.
You also have to consider that this does not include housing or food. Throw around $4,000 a year into the mix and you are looking around $10,000 with no help, no job and no chance to do anything with your degree.
In reality, for most this will spell trouble for many students at IHOP University.
What options are there besides IHOP University
My suggestion is find either a real bible school that works for what you want to do, what you can afford and give you the tools to move forward or look at a training school such as Youth With A Mission, Iris Ministries (Heidi Baker) or a short term school in Toronto or Bethel Redding.
If you have the resources, Oral Roberts University is a great school to be train in and you will get real experience for ministry. I have never been a student here but I hear great things about Elim Bible Institute as well.
I left bible school (Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri) and finished through Global University. It is not cheap but you can do one class at a time and work your way through it. They are full accredited as well.
Master’s Commission is another amazing opportunity to get training. For less than IHOP University, you could be trained in the middle of a move of God at the Dream Center Leadership School that includes room and board. Theology and practical ministry married together.
Are you called to the mission field? Harvest School in Mozambique is another option that you have. In the midst of world missions, you learn on the job from some of the best missionaries that are alive today. You can do it for about half what IHOP University wants as well.
Am I telling you not to go to IHOPU?
Not at all. I am telling you to get all the facts before going. There is alot of things on the website that are not full truths and half-truths is what sets you up for failure in life. I just want people to make an informed decision about what path is best for them in the quest for biblical education and getting to the ministry.
I hope this helps.
Yesterday, we covered on Filming God and judging God Stories based on the documentary by Darren Wilson. Today, we will continue on the subject and addressing the issue of doubting Thomas. In reality, it is one of the most common sins in Western Christianity.
It is no secret that I have little to no respect for people living in doubt and fear. You can’t do anything from a position of fear; yet so many people spiritualize and canonize both of them be “wisdom.” Wisdom makes you bolder with confidence; not pushes you back in being more into compliance.
We need a fresh touch of faith. One of the first things I learn at Oral Roberts University was that faith is always current. It is always now. Hebrews 11 starts with “Now Faith is….” God is the God of the Now. He is always on time.
However, everyone around us are doubters it seems. I hate to say it but Pentecostals can be some of the worst cases of doubting the word of the Lord and the move of the Spirit. It is one thing for the Baptists to question things but Pentecostals that was born out of the Azusa Street Revival? Seriously?
Darren Wilson’s journey into the Spirit realm
If you were to ask me then (and my wife often did), I would have told you that I was a healthy skeptic. In truth, I didn’t believe most of what I heard from other people. It’s not that I thought they were lying, I just figured they were embellishing things, remembering poorly, or stretching the truth (sometimes quite a bit). Usually they had something to gain if I believed them. Maybe I’d give them money, support their ministry, stroke their ego, or allow them to keep speaking at other churches. I was sure God could do great things, I just didn’t think He did do them all that much.
What he calls being a skeptic is really the spirit of Doubting Thomas. He excepted people to not have prophetic experiences. Anything radical at all and he didn’t want to receive it. This is not special to Darren Wilson, either. This is very common, even in renewal churches. Doubt is never a fruit of the Spirit, either.
He expected that faith required him to agree with the person on some level. There was an investment to be made. It might be seeding an offering, supporting them in prayer, or endorsing them in ministry. By his own admission, he knew that having faith in people’s experience would cost him something.
This is a risk that many will not take. They would live a life of failure. They see themselves as people struggling and therefore, they believe everyone around them must be struggling to have faith as well. This is actually far more common than we care to admit.
It is amazing how many Christians think the Holy Spirit is the quiet kid in the corner of the lunch room that is afraid to speak to anyone in fear they will mock Him and humiliate Him!
Darren Wilson was not alone.
The story does not end there. He is open to the move of the Spirit, he is just a skeptical. There is hope and deliverance for skeptics. They are not critics; they haven’t made up their mind, yet.
In Darren’s words,
In my mind, I was a healthy skeptic, but in reality, I was an impostor. I hid behind my skepticism and called it discernment. But what I have discovered in years of traveling the world filming this stuff, and in dealing with people’s opinions of me and my movies, is that skepticism and discernment are two totally different things…
What he is releasing is a powerful word for all of us, if we have ears to hear it. Most of us remain skeptics and spiritualize it as discernment. In reality, most people do not even know what discernment even looks like!
Discernment is being like the Bereans, checking things out hoping it is true. A skeptic is looking with the position, “I am sure they are wrong and I am just checking to make sure before I blog about them as heretics.” There is a world of difference.
I have never been good at being a skeptic of the move of the Holy Spirit and really bad at being a critic. I do not check my brain at the door but I believe in the God of the Possible too. Impossible is nothing to a man with faith.
I am over being being a doubter, completely set free and not returning to being in bondage in the near future. Sorry, not my thing.
What about Scam Artist Preachers
Darren Wilson touches on this as well,
The problem, of course, is that there are so many charlatans out there, so many religious men and women who have been caught lying to us. So many leaders have proven to be hypocrites on a grand scale, and it has become increasingly difficult to trust and believe anything at face value anymore. I don’t see this problem going away any time soon, and I think it’s both healthy and important that we continue to wrestle with these things, test them, and turn a discerning eye toward them.
This is where I will tend to disagree with him on some level. Darren is a solid guy, loves the move of the Spirit but some of His old Baptist theology is raining through. Worrying a scam artist or a charlatan is really not something I care to do. You can say someone is, I can say than they are not. Who is right and who is wrong?
I have found that most people who are accused of being a scam artists are not at all. I hear this leveled against Todd Bentley on a regular basis. I do not believe he is for one minute. He might be dumb with some of his presentation and he might be an idiot when it comes to finances; but that does not mean he is a scam artist.
Todd is no Robert Tilton. He is one of the few that I will say is clearly a con artist. Peter Proff is another. These are confirmed. Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, and even Paul Cain are not. They might have issues but issues don’t make you a charlatan. It just makes you completely lack responsibility.
Darren Wilson’s final outcome
If it was true that God really was moving at an unprecedented rate around the world, and His spirit was doing things that were, well, of biblical proportions on a pretty regular basis, then church for church’s sake wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
If you want to see more of God than you have, you are going to have more faith in what He is doing than you do in what He is not doing. Until we can get to the point, we are not going to see much change in how we think of the Holy Spirit or we express the move of God to the culture we dwell in.
As I said, people like Darren are very common. The sad part if they fill the seats of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches across America.