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.
First off, let me say how much I hate to approach this topic. We live in a generation that had their innocence stolen from their hearts and minds before they can even remember. A generation bred on pornography and promiscuity, and now perversion. I don’t think there’s anything funny about it, about the sitcoms that compete to be more filthy than the next, or about the widespread impotence of the American church in preaching a strong, pure gospel and faithfully offering them what God offers: complete cleansing, including of the mind. Images, memories, and abuses crucified, and newness of life in its place. Eradication of shame, as it was completely borne on the Cross by the innocent Lamb of God. Absolute destruction of every addiction and deliverance from perverse bondage to sexual spirits, through repentance. Full redemption, fulfillment, and delight in the context of marriage through obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It’s not funny to me that a young person would have to search hard to find a church that will tell him straight that he can be delivered from lust, free in his inner man. That he can have his mind and heart back, walking uprightly, in dignity and self-control.
I could preach on. Oh, how I long to tell the truth to this dirty, abused, scandalized, fornicating, empty generation–the truth of the gospel. That is what I would like to write about.
But for now, I need to write about a different gospel, a false one, built on the same fleshly sensuality that the world embraces. One that says, “Instead of preaching to the conviction of your soul over your self-centered lusts, we’ll tell you that you are simply immature, or ‘dark, but lovely.’ Instead of commanding you to repent and be cleansed, we’ll tell you that the way out of the hellish bondage to self-pleasure in your head, young man, is to discover even BETTER pleasures. We’ll not command you, as scripture does, to FLEE youthful lusts, but instead, we’ll repetitively pound into your head that “Experiencing God” in the “Beauty Realm” and the “Glory Realm” will satisfy them, so they don’t bother you so much anymore. Instead of telling you to “crucify the flesh and its passions (Gal. 5:24),” we’ll talk about passion for Jesus, your Bride-groom Lover. Who wants to “touch the passions of your heart,” “change your emotional chemistry,” “arouse the tender affections of the human heart,” etc. Instead of giving that bound young man or defiled young woman of this generation the real answer to their torment (the Cross of Jesus Christ and the fear of the Lord), this false gospel will teach him and her to speak and pray the erotic poetry of the Song of Solomon OUT LOUD. Daily. Inserting their own name, and the Lord’s name into the text. Crying out for Him to “kiss me with the kisses of your mouth,” and “feed me with cakes of raisins, for I am lovesick,” “let the king bring me into His chambers!” and fasting for increased INTIMACY. Sensual (sensual–that means felt by the senses) experiences of intimacy. (BTW, I am quoting Mike’s teaching on Intimacy with God, Passion for Jesus, and Song of Solomon generally throughout this whole paragraph. If you are not familiar with these teachings, you might be tempted to think that I am overstating. I assure you, I am not at all. Listen to the teachings.)
The gospel given in Scripture describes our human condition like this:
“And YOU were DEAD in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the SPIRIT that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind…by grace, you have been SAVED…” Eph 2: 2-5
Do you hear it? The scriptures say it is death (ever talked to a young man bound by lust? MISERY.) to be enslaved to your fleshly passions. In fact, they go so far as to say that it is the course of this world. It is how the rest of mankind lives. It is the way in which the prince of the power of the air (Satan) works through individuals. There is no titillating, no enticing, no alluring here…in the New Testament, the glorious message is: it is death to be enslaved by your passions, but YOU CAN BE FREE!!!
But in a scathing condemnation of false prophets and teachers (which every believer, especially you as you consider IHOPKC) should read, Peter warns us of “accursed children” who will do this:
“…speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.” 2 Peter 2:18-20
Peter is warning us! He’s shouting a warning at us! He’s warning us not be believe them, not to be enticed, not to be allured by a sensual religion that appeals to our flesh, instead of condemning it. But my friends, I was not prepared for how alluring it would be! My leadership did not prepare and warn me, instead, they misled me, right into these deceptions! I can still remember the tones of Mike’s voice in my mind: “OHHHHHHH, the PLEA-sures of intimacy with the MAN, Jesus Christ!!!” Yes, he does say, “Ohhhhhh.” He says it a lot. I am still convinced he does not mean to be sexual. I guess I give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think he is just duped. I remember him talking about persuading his sons that the pleasures of prayer far outshined the pleasures of the world. I honestly think he is duped. He sounds so shocked when he’s confronted by accusations of sensuality. As if he never thought of it and is surprised at how dirty other people’s minds are, as he has to add disclaimers to his teaching, officially change the phrase to “kiss me with the kisses of Your Word” (instead of Your mouth), and make other provisions to try to hinder the thundering stallion of sensuality that is rampaging through the place.
I do believe him, and here’s why. I’ve alluded to this before, but among the people who come into IHOPKC with an already somewhat sanctified background, a strong standard of sexual purity, and a renewed mind (Iwas in this category), all of these phrases can be batted around, sung and prayed, and kept well within a PG sort of mental framework and experience. Sexual thoughts about Jesus never crossed my mind and never would, because I was already well familiar with Jesus in the context of biblical righteousness, before I was introduced to the teaching. Anyone who did cross that line struck me as totally insane. Mike could say, “OOOOh, the Pleasure!” over and over in a teaching, and I never thought anything dirty about it.
Now, thinking clearly, I realize, that duplicitousness is totally insane. To English speakers, the word Lover means someone you’ve slept with. To talk incessantly about Jesus as a Lover, and then be shocked at scandal in your midst, is ridiculous. It’s another version of doublethink that is rampant in that community. This generation is NOT coming in to OneThing with a sanctified background, years of victory in the area of sexual purity and renewed minds, unspotted from the world. They’re coming in like Tyler Deaton and Micah Moore, defiled, perverted, addicted…the true gospel being their only hope. So when they hear “Ohhhhhh, the Pleasure!!!” over and over in teaching, are taught to seek heightened spiritual experiences of ecstatic, mystical union with Christ, are actively seeking visitations from the spirit realm, and are singing and praying erotic love poetry as their spiritual quest…what is happening in their souls IS NOT PG.
So, why is this going so badly for this generation of youth that is prophesied to rise up and be the super-apostles that oversee the great harvest? Why instead of lightning from their hands are your ministry leaders doing everything short of tying their hands to try to keep interns and staffers out of sexual sin? Why did the professors at IHOPU have to make announcements in class, warning the students not to go to the “Holy Spirit parties,” because people were getting drunk and having sex? Why do you have an endless list of inner healing ministries for those who are bound with sexual sin (and most not getting free, by the way)? Why are there effeminate young men crooning on the worship teams and homosexual sin rampant?
Let’s look to see where you got these newfangled ideas for how this generation was going to be cured…this brilliant scheme to allure them from the lower pleasures to the higher ones (this is straight out of the best of the boy-loving Greek philosophers’ writings, by the way)…let’s go back to the prophetic history and look at a few of the important names.
“In July 1988 while in my office reading a wedding card with Song of Solomon 8:6 on it, I began to pray, “Jesus seal my heart with Your seal of love.” I began to weep. I asked the receptionist to hold all my calls. Ten minutes later, my phone rang and the receptionist said, “Bob Jones heard the audible voice of the Lord for you.” At that very moment, I was on my knees weeping over the Song of Solomon with the phone in my hand. Bob Jones called to tell me at that very moment that the Lord spoke audibly to Him promising to release grace across the Body of Christ worldwide to walk in Song 8:6-7 and that I was to focus on this theme throughout my ministry.” Encountering Jesus: Visions, Revelations, and Angelic Activity from IHOP-KC’s Prophetic History, Session 6: Called to Proclaim Song 8:6, Hephzibah, and Jesus in Red, p. 1
One of the first prophets to call Mike out as the leader of this move of God was named Augustine Acolla. He is not spoken of much, after having been discredited by a prophecy that proved to be totally inaccurate (not sure why this would discredit him, it doesn’t seem to discredit anyone else). It was discovered that he, also, was living a secret homosexual life.The sensual spirit that infects IHOPKC as a community and the teachings out of it is no mystery. Given its roots and origins, what would be a mystery is if they actually had any success suppressing sexual sin and sensuality.