International House of Prayer

Cruz Campaign Defends Controversial Pastor Who Says God Sent Hitler To Hunt Jews

A few weeks ago, we noted that Ted Cruz's presidential campaign had proudly announced the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the head of the controversial International House of Prayer and an extremist pastor who believes, among other things, that Oprah Winfrey is a forerunner to the Antichrist.

Among Bickle's more radical views is his prophecy that as the End Times approach, all Jews will be given a chance to accept Jesus, warning that if they do not accept "the grace" of Christ, God will then "raise up a hunter" who will kill two-thirds of them "and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler": 

Such views have understandably alarmed Jewish groups who have called on the Cruz campaign to distance itself from Bickle and his views ... but the Cruz campaign is doing no such thing and is, in fact, defending Bickle's comments:

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign defended an endorsement from a controversial pastor who has called Adolf Hitler a hunter “raised up” by God and actively seeks to convert Jews.

Kansas evangelical Pastor Mike Bickle, whose endorsement the campaign publicized last month, runs a project called “Israel Mandate,” one of whose goals is “partnering with Messianic Jews for the salvation of the Jewish people.” In a sermon in 2011, Bickle said God would give Jews a chance to convert to Christianity and “raise up the hunters” against Jews who refuse. Bickle called Hitler “the most famous hunter in recent history.”

In 2005, Bickle said in a sermon that before Jesus’ coming, “a significant number of Jews will be in work camps, prison camps or death camps.”

Nick Muzin, a senior adviser to the Texas senator’s campaign, said Bickle was referring to biblical passages.

“Our campaign welcomes support from faith leaders across the country,” Muzin said in a statement, according to Jewish Insider. “Mike Bickle is one of the hundreds who have endorsed us. My understanding is that he was paraphrasing the words of the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah. I know that he has made support for Israel and the Jewish people a central part of his mission.”

...

Muzin said Cruz has 70 rabbis endorsing him.

“No one has a better record than Senator Cruz when it comes to standing with Israel, fighting against radical Islamic terror, and combating global anti-Semitism,” Muzin said in the statement. “We are proud of the support we are building in both communities and see them as complementary, and part of our larger goal of restoring Judeo-Christian leadership values to America and the world.”

This comes as no surprise given that the Cruz campaign likewise refused to distance itself from another radical pastor who openly advocates putting gays to death, claiming that his calls for imposing the death penalty for homosexuality were "not explicit" enough to warrant repudiation.

Cruz Endorser Connects East Coast Blizzard With North Dakota Abortion Ruling

Mike Bickle, the far-right pastor whose endorsement was recently embraced by Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, joined a group of anti-abortion activists today in linking a blizzard that hit the East Coast last month to a Supreme Court decision on abortion rights in North Dakota.

Bickle joined anti-abortion activists including Priests for Life’s Alveda King, the Family Research Council’s Pierre Bynum and Mark Gonzalez of the United States Hispanic Prayer and Action Network in signing a statement distributed by the Texas based Justice Foundation calling for a month of “national prayers and repentance” leading up to the Supreme Court arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, the Texas abortion laws case.

“We fear that the judgment of Almighty God, which is designed to be merciful, and the wrath of God, will come upon the United States of America,” the statement warns, noting that a blizzard hit Washington on the same day that the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down North Dakota’s restrictive anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill.

These leaders agree with the statement: "We tremble for our country when we remember that God is just and that His justice never sleeps. We fear that the judgment of Almighty God, which is designed to be merciful, and the wrath of God, will come upon the United States of America. God hates the shedding of innocent blood." But there is hope for our nation if Christians will pray! "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13-14. We believe that the role of the SCOTUS is to affirm God given rights to every individual throughout ALL stages of LIFE.

We are calling for national prayers of repentance from February 3 to March 4. On January 22, the Jonas storm, which also means Jonah, hit Washington, D.C. That same day the Supreme Court denied North Dakota the right to ban abortion and help women with child care. We urge everyone to pray every day for the Supreme Court and America to repent. From February 3 to March 4, we are urging prayer groups to cooperate in mobilizing the Body of Christ to 24/7 non-stop prayer for the SCOTUS.

On March 2, the Supreme Court will hear the Texas case which calls for ambulatory surgical centers and hospital admitting privileges. We all will have another opportunity to repent for the sin of abortion through this case.

Maddow Calls Out Cruz For Embracing Pastor Who Said God Sent Hitler & Oprah Presages Antichrist

Sen. Ted Cruz has been embracing so many far-right figures in his quest to become president that we’ve almost stopped being surprised every time he rolls out a new, more extreme endorsement.

Almost.

Last week, Cruz outdid himself when he sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of Mike Bickle, head of the 24-hour International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cruz’s announcement was remarkable because associating with Bickle had already caused a considerable amount of trouble for Cruz’s fellow Texan Rick Perry back when he was launching his first presidential run in 2011. Bickle, whose theology iscontroversial even among evangelicals, was involved in organizing a prayer rally meant to launch Perry’s campaign, which ended up causing trouble for the then-Texas governor when Bickle’s extreme views — including his belief that Oprah Winfrey is the forerunner to the Antichrist — came to light. Nonetheless, Bickle ended up emceeing the second half of the event.

Even more disturbing than his unusual theological beliefs about Oprah was a sermon that came to light after Perry’s prayer rally in which Bickle declared that in the End Times, God will “raise up a hunter” to kill Jews who don’t accept Christ “and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler.’”

This statement was similar to remarks made by Religious Right leader John Hagee that had caused Sen. John McCain to publicly reject his endorsement during his own presidential campaign in 2008.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who extensively covered Bickle’s role in Perry’s prayer rally back in 2011, took on Cruz’s latest endorsement on Friday, saying that while “candidates cannot be held responsible for everything said and done and believed by people who like them and endorse them and vote for them,” once you welcome and campaign on an endorsement, “you kind of own it” … and while John McCain sought to quickly distance himself from this type of controversy, Ted Cruz doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Ted Cruz Welcomes Endorsement Of Mike Bickle, Who Believes Oprah Is A Forerunner To The Antichrist

Back in 2011, when Texas governor Rick Perry was planning his first run for the presidency, he kicked off his campaign with a massive prayer rally in Houston called "The Response." The event was the source of considerable controversy because Perry organized it in partnership with a whole host of radical Religious Right activists, including several members of the New Apostolic Reformation, a collection of self-proclaimed modern day apostles and prophets who believe that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they are capable of performing greater miracles than even Jesus himself.

One of the key leaders in the NAR movement is Mike Bickle, who also played a central role in organizing Perry's prayer rally. Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, a controversial missionary organization in Kansas City, Missouri, that some critics have labeled a cult and which is best known for engaging in nonstop 24-hour-a-day prayer in preparation for the End Times and for its anti-gay activism in Uganda.

Bickle, unsurprisingly is a demon-fighting radical who believes that gay marriage is "rooted in the depths of hell," that homosexuality "opens the door to the demonic realm" and that Oprah Winfrey is a forerunner of the Antichrist:

Back in 2004, Bickle declared that as the End Times approach, all Jews will be given a chance to accept Jesus, warning that if they do not accept "the grace" of Christ, God will then "raise up a hunter" who will kill two-thirds of them "and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler":

Yesterday, Ted Cruz proudly announced that Bickle had endorsed his presidential campaign:

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced the endorsement of Mike Bickle, Founder and Director of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization based on prayer.

“Our nation is in a great crisis in this hour,” Bickle said. “We need a president who will first be faithful to honor God’s Word. We need a president who will work to defend religious liberty, uphold our Constitution, keep our country safe and our economy sound, and speak truth to the nation. We have been praying for righteous leaders, and Ted Cruz is such a leader. I am enthusiastically endorsing Ted Cruz.”

The International House of Prayer is engaged in many outreaches, justice initiatives, and mission projects. For the last 16 years, their prayer room has continued nonstop in 24/7 prayer led by worship teams. 800 staff members work at the IHOPKC Mission Base in Kansas City, and 800 full-time students and interns attend the International House of Prayer University, which consists of three full-time ministry schools— a Bible school, music school, and media school. About 20,000 people attend One Thing annually, IHOPKC’s year-end young adult conference

“Through prayer, the Lord has changed my life and altered my family’s story,” said Cruz. “I am grateful for Mike’s dedication to call a generation of young people to prayer and spiritual commitment. Heidi and I are grateful to have his prayers and support. With the support of Mike and many other people of faith, we will fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.”

Bickle is just the latest in a long list of radical Religious Right activists who have publicly endorsed Cruz for president, many of whom Cruz's campaign has eagerly embraced.

It is also worth noting that back in 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain was forced to reject the endorsement of John Hagee after it was revealed that Hagee had made comments similar to Bickle's about God having used Hitler as a "hunter" to force the Jews return to Israel.

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/1/14

In Response To Uganda Documentary, IHOP Says It's 'Not Involved' in Politics

“God Loves Uganda,” a documentary about American evangelical involvement in inflaming anti-gay sentiment in that country, made its debut at last year’s Sundance Festival and reached a broader audience through this week’s broadcast on public television. The attention from this week’s broadcast has provoked a response from the International House of Prayer (IHOP).

Filmmaker Ross Williams was given extensive access to IHOP leaders, including evangelist Lou Engle, who believes Uganda has a special prophetic destiny.  The documentary includes footage of Engle at a rally with supporters of the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act, where he tells the crowd he was “called” to encourage the Ugandan church for standing up for “righteousness” in the face of international pressure to drop the bill.  IHOP now says it has never supported the anti-gay law.

Charisma Magazine’s Jennifer LeClaire writes that IHOP and Lou Engle are being “falsely accused of ‘demonizing’ homosexuals in Uganda.” IHOP’s response says that while it believes all sex outside of the marriage of one man and one woman is sinful, “We honor the dignity and rights of all whose opinion differs from ours” and that IHOP is “open to civil dialogue and mutual respect.” The filmmakers, says IHOP, “pursued a deceptive means to achieve a hateful, polarizing result.”

In fact, Engle is a remarkably polarizing figure who has frequently describes those who disagree with him on abortion and marriage as being in league with Satan in a confrontation between good an evil. “God Loves Uganda” includes footage of Engle’s pro-Prop. 8 rally in California at which he warned that allowing same-sex couples to get married would unleash “sexual insanity” and a spirit “more demonic than Islam.” In 2011, he organized an event in Detroit that was pitched to local pastors as a unity event for people of faith to pray for Detroit’s economy when its actual purpose was to “invade Dearborn” and convert followers of “demonic” Islam to Christianity.

Perhaps the most laughable statement in IHOP’s response is this:

Our primary mandate as an organization is prayer and humanitarian action; it is not political. We are not involved in U.S. politics, let alone politics in another nation.

Not involved in US politics? Where do we begin?

Lou Engle, an IHOP co-founder, is a dominionist who believes the church’s role is to “rule history with God.”

"The church’s vocation is to rule history with God...The same authority that has been given to Christ Jesus for overwhelming conquering and dominion has been given to the saints of the most high....We’re God’s rulers upon the earth...We will govern over kings and judges will have to submit...We’re called to rule! To change history! To be co-regents with God!"

Engle has been intensely involved in US politics, hosting “The Call” prayer rallies in election years to denounce legal abortion and politicians that support it. He worked hard to mobilize support for anti-gay Proposition 8 in California.

In 2008 he passionately opposed the election of Barack Obama and declared that by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain had “gone to war for America, for our families, and for our children. And this war, we cannot afford to lose.”

In 2009, Engle introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann and asked her to lead a prayer at an anti-health-care-reform “prayercast” organized by the Family Research Council.

More recently IHOP and its leader Mike Bickel were at the center of organizing dominionist leaders to put on “The Awakening,” a 2011 prayer rally that served as the launch of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign. Bickel served as the event’s MC. The head of IHOP’s Tallahassee branch, Pam Oslen, was on the Perry campaign’s Florida leadership team.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/21/14

New York Times Investigates Relationship Between American Dominionists and Uganda

Earlier this week, The New York Times posted an excerpt from a new Roger Ross Williams documentary on how the Religious Right in the U.S. is shaping anti-gay activism in African countries like Uganda. The documentary includes interviews with International House of Prayer (IHOP) leaders Lou Engle and Mike Bickle, whom we have followed closely here at Right Wing Watch, along with footage of IHOP missionaries at work in Uganda.

Engle organizes the anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, which regularly feature Republican and Religious Right leaders. In 2010, he brought The Call to Uganda to help promote the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would have made homosexuality a capital offense. (He later backpedaled after facing scrutiny.)

IHOP, including many The Call figures, helped to organize Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2011 The Response prayer rally, which Bickle emceed.

In the film, Episcopal priest Kapya Kaoma makes a reference to Seven Mountains Dominionism, the belief that fundamentalist Christians have a mandate to take control of the seven major spheres of society: government, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, the family and the church. As Engle explains, there are “seven mountains of influence” that right-wing Christians must “reclaim” in order to win over society.

Engle and Bickle are also key players in the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement of self-appointed prophets and apostles who believe they are spokesmen for God on Earth. Bickle has claimed that gay people are the targets of “flaming missiles” from Satan and has warned that the “gay marriage agenda” is a sign of the End Times as it is “rooted in the depths of Hell.” At one IHOP service, Bickle also claimed that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist:

In 2008, Engle held massive rallies to encourage Californians to pass Proposition 8, which banned marriage equality, arguing that legalizing same-sex marriage “will unleash a spirit more demonic than Islam, a spirit of lawlessness and anarchy, and sexual insanity will be unleashed unto the earth.” His rallies have focused on creating a “movement” of ex-gays to stop a Satanichomosexual tornado” that will “destroy America.” (He specifically targeted Ellen DeGeneres for “conversion.”) In addition, he has warned that the separation of the separation of church and state and gay rights are putting the U.S. on the path to Nazism:

While Engle and Bickle have extended their influence to nations like Uganda in order to export their anti-gay politics, they have continued to increase their clout in America’s Religious Right.

Congressional Prayer Caucus Teams Up for Seven Mountain-Themed Pre-Election Prayer Rally

At the end of September, Religious Right leaders will once again partner with the "prophets" and "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation for a pre-election "American For Jesus" rally on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

But apparently that won't quite be enough, so just a few days later, many of these same leaders and activists are hosting another prayer rally called "The Summons 2012" in Washington, DC that is being organized by National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is chaired by Shirely Dobson, the wife of James Dobson:

With each generation seeming to drift away from the God of our Fathers, now more than ever, it seems that we are truly at the precipice of a societal migration away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. With this in mind, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force has called a Solemn Assembly in Washington D.C. for such a time as this. The urgency of the moment, and the prompting of God, has paved the way for The Summons (October 3-7, 2012) to be a moment in time for God’s people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans – perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106). Based on Psalm 50:1-6, this special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington D.C. and include outdoor, corporate worship near the steps of the Capitol building, as well as the base of the Washington Monument. Groups will meet with various congressional leaders, travel to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, and many other key locations to PRAY. This is not an assignment for the faint of heart. You will need walking shoes and clothing suitable for being on location and ‘hitting the streets’, regardless of weather. We invite you to join with us, and several hundred other like-minded believers, for this unique time of prayer and worship in our nation’s capital.

Speakers include the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. Randy Forbes along with NAR leaders like Negiel Bigpond and Luis Cataldo, who played a key role in organizing Gov. Rick Perry's NAR-infused "The Response" prayer rally.

Interestingly, the Congressional Prayer Caucus is listed among the "partner ministries" along side Lou Engle's TheCall, Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer, Intercessors for America and various others.

For those who don't recall, Bickle is the one who thinks that Oprah is a forerunner of that Antichrist:

According to the schedule, the event lasts for four days, during which participants will "meet with designated elected officials" and receive a "Private Capitol Tour Led by Congressman Louie Gohmert."

And you will not be surprised to learn that the entire event is rooted in Seven Mountains theology:

As we move toward The Summons in Washington D.C., please pray specifically, focusing on the seven points of prayer for each state. As we pray, day by day, and state by state, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to sweep through our nation like a ‘mighty, rushing wind’!

Seven Point of Prayer for each State

1) Government – Pray for local and state leaders asking God to grant them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.

2) Church – Pray for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout that state. Ask God to preserve and protect them, as He inspires and empowers His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the building up of the Church, and for the spreading of the Gospel.

3) Military – Pray for our Military, Guard, and Reserve units and their leadership. Pray for God to grant courage, protection, and strength for our service men and women, and their families, as they serve our country.

4) Family – Pray for families in your community and across the state. Ask Him for protection, and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure traditional values in each home.

5) Education – Pray for God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling.

6) Media – Pray for Christian influence in the media industry, from local television and radio stations, to newspaper and magazine publishers. Ask for the Lord to provide Godly men and women to work in and influence the media throughout the state and in every city.

7) Business – Pray for divine intervention in the state and local economies. Ask that God raise up Godly business leaders and provide industry to provide honest employment and generous provision for individuals and families in each community.

Lou Engle has Prophecy of Looming Natural Disasters and Economic Wreckage Because of Legal Abortion

Lou Engle has been heavily promoting his belief that the tornado that killed over a hundred people in Joplin, Missouri last year was God’s punishment for legal abortion in America, contending that President Obama must release an emancipation proclamation to criminalize abortion or continue to face divine retribution. At the International House of Prayer’s annual Onething conference, Engle reiterated his claim that the Joplin tornado was a sign of “the beginning of God’s redemptive judgments” for abortion and argued that it is going to take “a great shaking, an economic breakdown” for America to ban abortion.

Listen:

Engle: The Joplin tornado came last year, three tornadoes in one, rumbling through the land. I said right after that to my friends, this is the beginning of God’s redemptive judgments for the shedding of innocent blood of the unborn, this is a sign God’s separating the nation on the issue of abortion.



President Lincoln was not trying to end slavery, but after five years of the judgment, that’s when he understood and got revelation. Maybe that’s what it is going to take for America, a great shaking, an economic breakdown.

Mike Bickle Warns that Homosexuality 'Opens the Door to the Demonic Realm'

The International House of Prayer’s Mike Bickle, who emceed Rick Perry’s prayer rally The Response, claims that Christians who are gay are opening themselves up to attacks from Satan. Bickle, who is best known for claiming that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist and arguing that the “gay marriage agenda” is “rooted in the depths of Hell,” recently said in an interview about homosexuality that gays and lesbians must “declare war” against their sexual orientation or will face “flaming missiles of the Evil One.” He warned that gays and lesbians, along with heterosexuals who have sex before marriage, who “give up and give in” will ultimately begin “denying the faith,” which “opens the door to the demonic realm to touch them.”

Watch:

Rick Perry Still Refuses To Denounce His Radical Allies

When Rick Perry announced that he would be holding a massive prayer rally in Houston this summer, conveniently timed to coincide with the launch of his presidential campaign, Right Wing Watch started chronicling the litany of extremists who were endorsing, organizing, bankrolling and speaking at the event. Prominent among these was Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer, the church that lent its organizational muscle to The Response, who emceed the latter portion of the rally. Bickle, we reported, had previously claimed that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist and that gay marriage is literally from “the depths of Hell.”

At The Response, Bickle gave a rousing speech about how “in the name of tolerance, even in the name of love, we are redefining love that’s not on God’s term.” He also attacked non-Christian faiths — no surprise, since The Response also included a speaker who called for attendees to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity and for God to send a Christian revival to Israel.

Joining Bickle at The Response was controversial pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement Perry openly courted. John McCain was forced to reject Hagee’s endorsement in 2008 after the pastor’s statements that God sent Adolf Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews came to light.

Now, Bruce Wilson of Talk to Action has compiled a video of excerpts of past Bickle sermons making similar claims about Hitler’s supposedly providential role as a “hunter.” In the sermons, Bickle alleges that by refusing “the chance to respond to the fishermen” and “grace” of God, the Jews were given up to a hunter—Hitler. Wilson’s video also includes Bickle’s prediction that, according to his interpretation of Scripture, the Jews will be persecuted in the End Times. In fact, as we’ve reported, IHOP has frequently called for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to fulfill the Second Coming.

As Perry has been silent about Hagee and the many other radical supporters of The Response, it is no surprise that Perry’s campaign refuses to comment on Bickle.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Los Angeles Times profiles the International House of Prayer.
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  • Bryan Fischer says "our next president must understand that the more devout a Muslim becomes ... the more of a threat he becomes to the national security of the United States."
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  • FRC defends the Protect Life Act, saying it simply "ensures that Americans who want health care insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it, but not with federal dollars."
  •  

  • Richard Land is demanding the Pentagon reverse the policy of allowing chaplains to officiate at gay weddings, saying it "degrades both the tradition of high moral conduct in the military and the vital and exclusive role of traditional marriage in society and within our military."
  •  

  • Finally, the quote of the day from Gary Bauer: "The private company that owns Zuccotti Park backed down from its demand that the Wall Street protestors clear out so the park could be cleaned. And how did the protestors respond? Just as Iran or the jihadists in the Palestinian territories do — at the first sign of weakness they attack!"

Meet Rick Perry's Radical Leadership Team Co-Chair

Before heading to this week’s Presidency 5 conference in Orlando, Rick Perry named two Religious Right leaders to his Florida Presidency 5 campaign leadership team: John Stemberger and Pam Olsen. While Stemberger’s anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism is well known, Olsen is a far more obscure figure, but no less extreme. Olsen has said that same-sex marriage will lead to God’s judgment, preached Seven Mountains dominionism, and even claims that she, as a prophet, will have the power to raise the dead in the End Times.

Olsen heads the Tallahassee branch of the International House of Prayer, whose members helped organize and preached at Perry’s The Response prayer rally in August. The Response emcee Mike Bickle, who once claimed that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist and that gay marriage is “rooted in the depths of hell,” is the founder and director of IHOP. As reported by Sarah Posner, Olsen was inspired to found IHOP Tallahassee after extremist self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs prophesied over her.

In July, Olsen warned that God’s increasingly severe judgments will come on the church and America for legalizing same-sex marriage in the form of natural disasters:

We are under judgment. Do you know how many of the denominations now are suddenly saying, ‘Oh ok we think it’s ok now to have gay marriage, we think it’s ok to have gay preachers, we think it’s ok.’ Whole denominations! The Episcopalians fell off the planet, they think it’s ok to have gay priests. We’ve got other groups, one of the Presbyterians, they’re looking at voting, we’ve got other ones, they’re all of the sudden going, ‘Oh in the name of tolerance,’ and they’re forgetting God’s word completely in whole denominations. You know what, God is not one that’s gonna wink at sin, He will come and shake at everything that can be shaken. God is a God of judgment, He is. If we think we’re not gonna be judged…He judged Israel? Are we better than that? And sometimes I think we think we are, but we’re not. And God is shaking. If anybody looks at the news and has just seen what’s been happening recently with the floods, the fires, the tornadoes, God is shaking. Yeah I think you have God shaking, sure you have the Enemy shaking, you have both and I don’t want to say oh that’s the judgment of God or that’s the Enemy. But the reality is God is judging us, and I think it’s going to get worse.

In an April service, Olsen preached Seven Mountains dominionism, the radical theology that demands fundamentalist Christians take control over the seven critical spheres of society: government, business, media, arts and entertainment, family, media, education, and religion. Towards the end of the service, Olsen also states that in the End Times she will be capable of raising the dead:

We talk a lot about the seven centers of power or the seven mountains, asking God to come. If you are ever in any intercession set here at the house of prayer, you will find us often crying out God move on the hearts of the family; awaken the church in the West, in this city awaken the church; we cry out for the government, we’re in capital city and we better be crying out to the government; pray for the campuses and the youth to be moved; that God will move and change the media’s heart that He would begin to cause them to speak truth; that He would come and move in the marketplace and awaken and bring His people the finances to literally fund the Kingdom of God; that He come and move in every area in arts and entertainment. Those are the seven mountains of influence that God would begin to move, and we cry out for that because God wants to come, the Holy Spirit wants to come and it is like hot molten lava that He would literally sweep over every area.



Man I tell you what, we better know God’s word in this hour with what’s coming, we better know God’s word, and we better be saying, God I want to partner with your heart, whatever’s coming I want to be prepared as an End Time messenger who has walked in the fire and knows You and knows how to say, God that person needs to be raised from the dead and I’m gonna say, in Jesus’ name rise up and walk, and I’m gonna pray that in and see the dead raised!

Perry Names Stemberger Co-Chair Of Leadership Team For FL GOP Event

Last week we noted that John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council was hinting that he was going to be endorsing Rick Perry for President, despite the fact that Michele Bachmann had recently headlined a fundraising event for his organization.

Today, the Perry campaign issued a press release announcing that Stemberger would be serving as co-chair of his leadership team for the upcoming Florida Presidency 5 event:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced his leadership team for Presidency 5 (P5), with Speaker Dean Cannon serving as chairman. Gov. Perry will participate in Florida P5 this week, including the P5 debate, CPAC and straw poll in Orlando, Fla.

...

In addition to Speaker Cannon, conservative activists John Stemberger and Pam Olsen will serve as co-chairs.

Stemberger was Chairman of the Florida4Marriage.org campaign which outlawed marriage equality in Florida in 2008 and was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga in 2009.  In fact, his actions during the Bary case resulted in Stemberger eventually facing misconducted charges and a ten million dollar lawsuit, though the complaint was eventually dismissed and the lawsuit was dropped.

In addition to being a Religious Right activist, Stemberger is also a personal injury attorney who has, in this capacity, put forth some rather novel legal arguments:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

Update:  Sarah Posner reports that the other co-chair, Pam Olsen, is a Cindy Jacobs associate and the founder of the Tallahassee International House of Prayer:

Olsen founded the Tallahassee International House of Prayer after she "received a prophetic word through Cindy Jacobs that God was going to use her as a mighty weapon against the enemy through the prayer movement and that He was going to raise up a physical location that would be a place of refuge for people, pastors and missionaries to come and pray."

Engle: Perry's Presidential Announcement May Have Alleviated Texas' Drought

Leading up to The Call: Detroit on November 11, Lou Engle has detailed his plan to use the rally to convert gays and Muslims and is promoting his work with various prophets, apostles, and even the Second Coming of Moses. During a conference call with Ministry Today, Engle described the beginnings of The Call by recounting a dream that convinced him to “target false ideologies.” He later received a dream “of two tornadoes coming to destroy America, they had the letters ‘HA’ ‘HA’ on them,” that represented the “homosexual agenda and the abortion issue.” He called them two “spiritual powers that were coming to sweep this nation” rooted in the “spiritual powers of death, the gates of hell”:

Engle also discussed The Response, as The Call was the model for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, and many of Engle’s close associates at the International House of Prayer like Mike Bickle were Response speakers and organizers. He said that The Response was a “historic prayer gathering” and that he briefly spoke to Perry and “felt the genuineness of his own heart and life.” Engle even suggested that Perry’s announcement for president may have led to rain in Texas to alleviate the state’s severe drought which Perry tried to end with prayer.

I heard that actually the day that Governor Perry announced that he’s running for president, and this is not an endorsement I’m giving here, it simply it rained I believe he said for five hours, it poured. And people think that that could’ve been a sign, I don’t know. I think that was a historic prayer gathering for a governor to call a true Joel:2 solemn assembly. You don’t always see an immediate answer to these kinds of prayers but God does, God sees and responds and I believe we’ll look back at that gathering as a historic moment in American history and that’s what I’ve got to believe.

...

He read Joel chapter 2 and said this is his prescription in times of trouble, it was phenomenal and then he prayed, and in reality really prayed to Jesus, using the name of Jesus. Now people could say it’s a political ploy, listen, I think the church should actually rejoice that someone had the courage, he is in one sense risking political suicide but basically his purpose is, ‘hey I just know I’m not going to succumb to political pressure on this thing, I know we need God.’ Of course Texas is in such a bad state with the drought, the fire, the difficulties. Well the whole nation is and I believe that what he called was very significant for the nation, I was privileged to speak to him just for a few moments and felt the genuineness of his own heart.

Bakker And Jacobs Claim To Have Prophesied September 11th Attacks

During the The Jim Bakker Show on August 12, Jim Bakker and self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs both claimed to have prophesied the September 11th terrorist attacks. Jacobs added that her Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, which is composed of leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, and colleague Mike Bickle also prophesied the attacks. Bickle, the founder and director of the International House of Prayer, was an emcee and organizer of Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally (which Jacobs also endorsed). He previously prophesied that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist.

Bakker, the founder of PTL Club who is best known for his financial and sex scandals, said that he prophesied the September 11th terrorist attacks in 1999 and claimed that the attacks were God’s judgment on America because God “let his hand down of protection for those planes to come in to hit those buildings.”

Watch:

Mike Bickle: Exercising Dominion By Casting Out Demons

As we noted in our post-event write up of Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally, a large portion of the event was run by Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer:

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.” Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.

Today, we were watching part of a message delivered by Bickle entitled "Authority of the Believer, Exercising Our Dominion in Christ" in which he explained that part of exercising dominion is the ability to cast out demons which, Bickle stated, he has had to do several times in his life when he has personally been attacked: 

Perry, Prayer, Politics and the Presidency

Casual viewers of “The Response,” including some political reporters who don’t pay a lot of attention to the Religious Right, may have watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally on Saturday and wondered what all the fuss was about.  Most of the time was taken up with prayer and praise music.  Few of the speakers seemed overtly political.  Nobody used the occasion to endorse Perry’s pending presidential bid.

But context is everything, and the context for this event was remarkable: a governor launching a presidential bid by teaming up with some of the nation’s most divisive extremists to hold a Christians-only prayer rally that suggested Americans are helpless to solve the country’s problems without divine intervention. Some media coverage is missing the boat: the issue wasn’t whether it was ok for a politician to pray, or the size of the audience, but the purposes of the event’s planners and their disturbing vision for America.

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that “The Response” was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast, and organizations like the Family Research Council, whose president was among the speakers, are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building.  They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

By calling for this rally, and partnering with the far right of the evangelical world, Perry aligned himself with all these troubling strategies.  When he drew criticism for the event and the extremism of its sponsors, Perry suggested his critics were intolerant of Christians.  Speakers returned to the theme, with one of them declaring that “there is an attack on the name of Jesus.” Such claims of anti-Christian persecution are a tried-and-true strategy of the Religious Right for rousing conservative Christians to political activism.  And for those who actually believe that Christianity is on the verge of being criminalized in America, Perry’s event defined him as a defiant and courageous defender of the faith. 

As journalist Dave Weigel writes, “That's the brilliance of what Perry has done here…He doesn't need to talk about politics, or do anything besides be here and understand this event. The religion is the politics. These worshippers understand that if they can bring ‘the kingdom of God’ to Earth, economic problems, even macroeconomic problems, will sort themselves out.”

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.”  Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.  But in spite of their well-documented extremism, they are embraced by Republican leaders.  Engle, for example, took part in a Family Research Council prayer-a-thon against health care reform, at which he introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Christian-nation crowd, like Response speaker David Barton and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who says the First Amendment protects only Christians’ religious liberty, shares a certain vision for America’s future.  Some of the political goals of “The Response” sponsors were brutally clear at the rally; a series of speakers prayed for an end to legal abortion.  While rhetorical gay-bashing was surprisingly absent at an event whose sponsors include the most vehemently anti-gay groups in America (including the AFA, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), it is clear that in the America envisioned by “The Response” planners, same-sex couples would have no chance at legal recognition or protection for their families.  Shortly before the event, Perry himself was forced to walk back from his very brief flirtation with a states’ rights defense of New Yorkers’ decision to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples -- and to vow his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would strip married same-sex couples of their rights and make sure that in the future gay couples could not get married anywhere in the U.S.
And lest anyone think that Perry’s religious agenda is limited to social issues, he made clear that a rigid conservative economic agenda was central to his spiritual mission. Just days before the rally, on “The 700 Club,” Perry said he’d be praying for “our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.” Those words echo the theology of activists like Barton, who have preached that the Bible condemns progressive taxation, the minimum wage and collective bargaining.
 
Perry is clearly positioning himself to enter the Republican presidential primary as a political savior to right-wing activists who are underwhelmed with their choices so far.  Yet, oddly for someone who wants to be president, he insists that America’s problems are beyond human ability to fix. (Sadly, that may only be true to the extent that enough legislators believe that God, like Grover Norquist, is opposed to any tax increases.)

Perry’s worldview and that of “The Response” organizers seems to see no useful role for non-Christian Americans, whose religious beliefs were denigrated at “The Response.”  When Perry told Americans on Saturday that we, “as a nation,” must return to God, it’s clear he meant God as understood by the event’s organizers.  Jim Garlow, who organized anti-marriage equality pastors in California before being hired by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, told journalist Sarah Posner on Saturday that “The Response” was “not about whether Perry becomes president, it’s about making Jesus king.” Perry used the event to let right-wing religious voters and churches nationwide know that for those who see politics as spiritual warfare, he is the warrior they have been waiting for.

Perkins Tries And Fails To Downplay The Extreme Views Of 'The Response' Organizers

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Friday to discuss The Response. During the show, Matthews played a number of videos, first posted on Right Wing Watch, of Response organizers Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer, John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church, and John Benefiel of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network.

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Lynn said Perry’s links to such extreme figures don’t represent “guilt by association” but “guilt by construction.” Perkins, on the other hand, tried to distance the import of Bryan Fischer, saying, “Look, he has a talk show on the American Family Association.”

While Perkins may be trying to downplay Fischer’s role at the AFA, he knows full well that Fischer isn’t just some radio talk show host but is in fact the public face of the American Family Association. In fact, his official bio lists him as the “spokesman for AFA.” He represented the AFA at Perkins’ Values Voters Summit and had a prime speaking slot, although as Kyle notes Fischer is not a listed speaker this year. Fischer is the group’s Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy, hosts AFA’s flagship radio program Focal Point and is the go-to voice of the AFA for inquiring journalists. Perkins himself co-hosted Today’s Issues with Fischer on AFA radio.

Perkins acknowledged that he knew the background of Fischer and other organizers, commenting, “Look, I don’t, as I said before, not everybody that’s on that platform agrees with what others have said or what they hold to believe.”

But no one has suggested that Rick Perry agrees with Bryan Fischer’s argument that gays and lesbians should be banned from holding public office, Mike Bickle’s claim that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist or John Benefiel’s belief that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol. The problem is that a sitting governor and likely presidential candidate is effectively endorsing and promoting individuals and organizations with such far-right and extreme views in an exclusively fundamentalist Christian prayer rally.

While Perkins attempted to give Perry cover about the extreme views of the prayer rally organizers, The Response represented the extent Republican leaders and Religious Right groups will go to jockey for the support of even the most fringe figures and elevate their voices.

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International House of Prayer Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/11/2016, 1:08pm
A few weeks ago, we noted that Ted Cruz's presidential campaign had proudly announced the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the head of the controversial International House of Prayer and an extremist pastor who believes, among other things, that Oprah Winfrey is a forerunner to the Antichrist. Among Bickle's more radical views is his prophecy that as the End Times approach, all Jews will be given a chance to accept Jesus, warning that if they do not accept "the grace" of Christ, God will then "raise up a hunter" who will kill two-thirds of them "and the most... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 02/03/2016, 3:40pm
Mike Bickle, the far-right pastor whose endorsement was recently embraced by Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, joined a group of anti-abortion activists today in linking a blizzard that hit the East Coast last month to a Supreme Court decision on abortion rights in North Dakota. Bickle joined anti-abortion activists including Priests for Life’s Alveda King, the Family Research Council’s Pierre Bynum and Mark Gonzalez of the United States Hispanic Prayer and Action Network in signing a statement distributed by the Texas based Justice Foundation calling for a month of “... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 01/25/2016, 12:43pm
Sen. Ted Cruz has been embracing so many far-right figures in his quest to become president that we’ve almost stopped being surprised every time he rolls out a new, more extreme endorsement. Almost. Last week, Cruz outdid himself when he sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of Mike Bickle, head of the 24-hour International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. Cruz’s announcement was remarkable because associating with Bickle had already caused a considerable amount of trouble for Cruz’s fellow Texan Rick Perry back when he was launching his first... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/22/2016, 12:02pm
Back in 2011, when Texas governor Rick Perry was planning his first run for the presidency, he kicked off his campaign with a massive prayer rally in Houston called "The Response." The event was the source of considerable controversy because Perry organized it in partnership with a whole host of radical Religious Right activists, including several members of the New Apostolic Reformation, a collection of self-proclaimed modern day apostles and prophets who believe that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they are capable of performing greater miracles than even Jesus himself. One... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/01/2014, 5:33pm
Sarah Posner @ TPM: Inside the International House of Prayer. Joe Jervis: Harlem Hate Pastor: Oklahoma Beheading Victim Was Killed For Being A "Sodomite." Joseph Ehrman-Dupre @ Towleroad: Full-Page Advertisement In Minnesota Newspaper Paints Transgender Teens As Locker Room Predators. Eli Clifton @ Salon: Far-right birther’s secret funders: Look who’s backing Islamophobe Frank Gaffney. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Texas GOP lawmaker: Secularism is like Nazis putting a ‘bullet through the throat’ of Jews. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist:... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 05/21/2014, 5:09pm
“God Loves Uganda,” a documentary about American evangelical involvement in inflaming anti-gay sentiment in that country, made its debut at last year’s Sundance Festival and reached a broader audience through this week’s broadcast on public television. The attention from this week’s broadcast has provoked a response from the International House of Prayer (IHOP). Filmmaker Ross Williams was given extensive access to IHOP leaders, including evangelist Lou Engle, who believes Uganda has a special prophetic destiny.  The documentary includes footage of Engle at... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/21/2014, 6:33pm
Paul @ PFAW Blog: Report on Judge Cebull Shows Why Courts Matter. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: When conservative isn’t conservative enough. Rachel Tabachnick @ PRA: The John Birch Society’s Anti-Civil Rights Campaign of the 1960s, and Its Relevance Today. Jeff Tietz @ Rolling Stone: Love and Death In the House of Prayer. Evan McMurry @ Mediaite: GOP Candidate Calls for Obama to Be Hanged; Quotes Jesus in Defense. Hannah Groch-Begley @ Media Matters: Conservative Media Can't Talk About Wendy Davis Without Demeaning Her. Jeremy Hooper: Hiding behind... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/24/2013, 1:40pm
Earlier this week, The New York Times posted an excerpt from a new Roger Ross Williams documentary on how the Religious Right in the U.S. is shaping anti-gay activism in African countries like Uganda. The documentary includes interviews with International House of Prayer (IHOP) leaders Lou Engle and Mike Bickle, whom we have followed closely here at Right Wing Watch, along with footage of IHOP missionaries at work in Uganda. Engle organizes the anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, which regularly feature Republican and Religious Right leaders. In 2010, he brought The Call to Uganda to... MORE >