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.
One of the many disturbing “fruits” that run rampant in IHOPKC’s community is eating disorders, especially among young women. Ranging from fully anorexic and bulemic to the mildly tormented, young women are in desperate straits there, and they are not getting free. True, many young women arrive in this condition, reflecting the culture they come from. The problem is, they are not getting better. And many who come without eating disorders acquire them.
There are ministries and healing groups for these women within the community. But at the same time as a gal might be going weekly to an inner healing session for her eating disorder, she is learning that the oracles of God have proclaimed fasting as one of the key means to bring in the second coming and she is being drawn into fast after urgent fast for this, that, and the other. Segments of her community are consumed with every sort of idea of what is acceptable to eat, whether it be Old Testament kosher laws, all-natural, scarcity simply due to poverty, etc. The moaning women she may idolize up at the front of a worship or intercession set can be emaciated, or even stunted-looking. In this sense her models look something like, well, models…
When you bring young women in from a culture that is literally throwing its children on the fiery altar of physical perfection, with the vestal virgins dutifully vomiting up their sustenance to honor the photo-graven THIN perfect image on every block of every American city…when that is the pagan background these girls are leaving…what would Jesus do with them? What should they find in Christ?
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.” Rom. 11:26-27
Is He a Deliverer? Or not? Does He turn away ungodliness? Or does He call young men and women to very important, very spiritual activities that fill their weeks with “sacrifices” unto God (classes and fasts and worship sets), but carry no power to deliver them?
Should we look at the Jesus that walked among men and proclaimed the Kingdom in the biblical account?
Remember the rich young ruler who came to Jesus to find out how to inherit eternal life? Jesus’ prophetic command to him discerned his heart and uncovered his god, the allegiances of his most secret desires. They were to money. Jesus commanded him to leave his god and his family’s god and come and follow Jesus. He didn’t allow him the fantasy of sticking with the generalities of the law, which the ruler had always done. He confronted his god, and commanded him to switch his allegiances to the Son of God, the Christ. The rich ruler could not. He could keep the law, but he would not give up his heart’s beloved god.
Jesus is not stupid or weak, and never has been. He is strong to save. But when He confronts a young woman whose heart cries out, “How can I inherit eternal life?” He would identify her pagan idolatry of image and appearances, her self-consumption, and HE would DELIVER her. He would tell her to leave that old god, to come and follow Him.
What He would NOT do is say, “OH GOOD, now that you’re here, we can get some things done. You can get some office work done for me, you can play the triangle in this worship set, you can fast enough that I can come back some day, and you can raise money so that the prayer movement can continue to reach the ends of the earth. And you can wait. And wait. And wait. Undelivered, tormented, confused, and delirious with the contrariness of everything you pray and preach in contrast to your actual reality. Remember, some day you will have power coming out of your hands like lightning and the multitudes will come to a stadium to be struck by the power of God moving through you, all because you spent these faithful years doing outward acts while you were inwardly a captive and slave to your sin. Someday maybe there will be an outpouring in which you get free. But don’t worry about that. Concentrate on all these activities that I have given you to do through the prophet Bob Jones and teacher Mike Bickle, especially fasting. I’m afraid I don’t have time to address how that specifically will damage you greatly because of your bondage, I can’t really deal with individuals because this movement is just sooo important. And don’t have enough sense to know that fasting won’t deliver a bulemic/anorexic generation. But when the power falls and the stadiums fill, things will be better. You’ll see.”
What would Jesus do? Why are there so many young women consumed with what they eat, when and how? Enslaved like the world, only often worse. If nothing I’ve said makes sense to you, but you have a daughter you are thinking of sending to IHOPKC, please at least take a moment to consider this particularly glaring fruit.
Is IHOPKC’s Lover-Jesus, as seductive and spiritual of an image as is presented, the real Jesus? Does the biblical Jesus bring the daughters of Zion INTO captivity or OUT of it?
Note: I have ministered to many young women in the context of battles with self-image and eating disorders. This bondage is nothing to take lightly. Nor does it present any challenge to the Cross of Jesus Christ, who is in overwhelming victory. The truth is (not all, but) many, many young women who struggle with these things could be simply delivered by truly repenting of their love of the world, with its false standards of worth and its lust after appearances above all. Idolatry is often at the root, and trying to deliver a young woman of her self-hatred and self-punishment without confronting her love of the world is often a vain effort.