This post is part of a series, primarily aimed at parents who have questions about sending their son or daughter to IHOPU or young people who want to know what they are getting into there at IHOPU or the wider IHOP-KC community.
1. What does the New Testament say about work v. idleness?
IHOPKC has a couple thousand “staff.” These folks (mostly very young) sign a “sacred trust,” in which they promise that they will spend at least 24 hours a week in the prayer room (sitting, standing or walking a hole in the carpet repeating the same phrases over and over, and trying to experience God totally separate from the real world of obedience). A couple of years ago, they committed to spending equal time on “Acts of Justice.” For students at IHOPU, they must do this in addition to the full-time or part-time class load, in addition to all their studies and extra-curricular activities. Internships always come with unique added loads. This is a very brief description of literally hundreds of thousands of man-hours being devoted to an altar, with no measurable production whatsoever for themselves, their families, or anyone else. These staff believe they are giving these hours on God’s altar. Only that lifestyle is found nowhere in the New Testament. The idea came from discredited prophets.
Instead of bearing the supernatural fruit these prophets promised, the outcome is widespread poverty. Students who should be building businesses, building families, building character and stability, instead are building a track history of spiritualized futility, living on next to nothing and pretending that it is fruitful. The few hours they have left in the week go to jobs at the local coffee shop or maybe waiting tables, as their strange schedules do not allow for anything more stable. Young families are suffering at excruciating levels, but they are so insulated, even as they sink lower and lower (six children in an 800 sq ft apartment or Grandview shack with food stamps? Absolutely.), they think it is normal because their neighbors live the same.
What does the Word say? Is this the Lord’s intention for His devoted people? Is this His fruit?
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Tim. 5:8