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.