International House of Prayer

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

Engle: Gay Rights And Secular Government In America Similar To Nazism

At the International House of Prayer’s Prayer and Prophetic Conference, Lou Engle contended that gays and lesbians only have the right to “repent” for their homosexuality and compared the state of America to Nazi Germany. IHOP has been facing increased scrutiny as a result of its prominent role in organizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, for which Engle’s The Call serves as a model. Engle, who has advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality and showed solidarity with Uganda while it was considering a bill that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, told IHOP that gay rights and secular government are putting America on the road of Nazi Germany.

Watch:

Can a homosexual have civil rights in America? They might. But it is not their right given by God. Their right is to repent and stand until Jesus delivers, and then the Church must go into war for them and get them free. Brothers and sisters, we made it two spheres: government has a sphere and God has a sphere. That’s what they did in Hitler’s day, they voted for money in economic crisis and they sacrificed the sanctity of life of the Jews. We do the same thing in America.

Rick Perry Ally Bickle Says Marriage Equality Is "Rooted In The Depths Of Hell"

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has turned to organizers from the International House of Prayer (IHOP) to put togetherThe Response prayer rally, of which IHOP founder Mike Bickle is an official endorser. As RWW previously reported, Bickle believes that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist who will help introduce a one-world religion based on the principles of tolerance and justice. In separate speeches at IHOP’s annual Onething conference, which have been posted on GOD TV, Bickle declared that gay rights and marriage equality are signs of the “Last Days.”

Bickle predicts that “the homosexual agenda will become so intense” that marriage will not only be “blurred and defiled” but also become a crime across the world. He also claims that “the gay marriage agenda” is “rooted in the depths of hell” and influenced by “demon spirits,” accelerating the coming of the End Times.

Paul said in the Last Days, in the Last Days they’ll depart from the faith, they’ll listen to demon spirits, and the homosexual agenda will become so intense that before the Lord returns marriage will be outlawed in various parts of the earth. It really will be. Marriage will actually be an illegal institution; they will forbid people to marry because of all the economic and social dimensions. The conflict that’s going to emerge as the homosexual agenda increases on a global level, pay attention, it’s exploding in this hour. All of these signs are happing at a historic level, most of these at the highest point of history and they’re all happening together.



I’ll tell you where this thing is going. Marriage will not only be the sanctity of marriage blurred and defiled, marriage in some parts of the earth will be outlawed. Marriage as an institution will be forbidden in parts of the earth as one of the Signs of the Times. The gay marriage agenda, which is rooted in the depths of Hell, this is not about love, this is deception.

Engle's Youth Group Claims God Is About To Punish America For Legal Abortion

After Lou Engle claimed that the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri was God’s punishment for legal abortion, Engle’s youth group Bound4Life now says that God is getting ready to punish America for reproductive freedom. Bound4Life is based in JHOP, the International House of Prayer’s Washington D.C. affiliate, and seeks to end “the holocaust of abortion” through spiritual warfare. Bound4Life’s Susan Tyrrell writes that judges who defend abortion rights will compel God to punish America:

Make no mistake, God will hold accountable those who rule with tyranny without fearing Him—they are those who take power into their own hands, and pound it with their gavel as if they are representing a people instead of a few.

Tyranny, you say? Indeed. Tyranny is defined as “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.” To be a lone twister of justice of a law that’s gone through the proper channels of government and bow the knee to the evil entities that drive the abortion industry is perhaps one of the best visuals for tyranny that exists in modern day America.

Often we think because there is no immediate consequence, on a people or a nation, God has somehow closed His eyes, but in actuality what we are seeing from the throne room of heaven is a great outpouring of mercy; however, the Bible is clear that mercy will end:

Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecc. 8:11)

Clearly, the sentence is coming—this window is the nation’s opportunity for repentance, not a condoning of our national sin or excuse of our national culpability.



Abortion has caused us to acquiesce our justice system, but it’s not too late. It’s time to stand up for those who can’t (proverbs 31:8) and defend the unborn. If we don’t fight for justice in the courtroom of heaven, we will continue to lose our battles in the courtroom of earth, opening the path wider to the coming judgment for sucking life from 54 million innocent babies in the womb.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The New York Times profiles Mike Bickle and his International House of Prayer.
  • Ralph Reed is supporting Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally.
  • The Family Leader drops the crazy slavery language from its candidate pledge.
  • The ACLJ's "Ground Zero Mosque" lawsuit has been tossed out of court.
  • Glenn Beck is moving to Texas.  That sounds about right.
  • Apparently conservatives just need to be more militant.
  • Don't tell the Tea Party, but Michele Bachmann used to work for the IRS.

Maddow Helps Expose Rick Perry's Radical Ties

On Friday, Rachel Maddow looked into the extreme political activists and pastors that Texas Governor Rick Perry is working with to put on his The Response prayer rally. In the segment, Maddow discusses Mike Bickle, the founder and executive director of the International House of Prayer and an endorser of The Response. Maddow cites research from Right Wing Watch on Bickle and his claim that Oprah Winfrey is the precursor to the Antichrist. Bickle’s IHOP ministry is closely involved in organizing Perry’s prayer rally, modeling it after the IHOP-linked The Call prayer rally which preaches the use of spiritual warfare against legalized abortion and gay rights.

 

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Rick Perry Partners With Pastor Who Thinks Oprah Is The Precursor To The Antichrist

Right Wing Watch has documented the close ties between Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally and the International House of Prayer (IHOP), not the least of which is that IHOP’s affiliated The Call rallies appear to serve as a model for The Response. Mike Bickle, the founder and executive director of IHOP -- who along with Lou Engle made IHOP a prominent force in the Religious Right – is also an official endorser of The Response. Like Engle, Bickle is a radical who pushes extraordinary End Times prophesies.

In an undated GOD TV video about the End Times, Bickle claims that Oprah Winfrey will be one of the principal “pastors” of the “Harlot Babylon,” which he says is the precursor to the coming of the Antichrist. Bickle predicts that progressive Christians and humanitarian activists will work with Winfrey to create a unified one-world religion based on tolerance that will ultimately be used by the Antichrist to take global power and introduce demon-worship. Bickle goes on to argue that the End Times will see marriage outlawed due to the legalization of same-sex marriage: “Marriage as an institution will be forbidden in parts of the earth, as one of the signs of the times, the gay marriage agenda, which is rooted in the depths of hell, this is not about love, this is deception.”

Bickle: The Harlot Babylon is preparing the nations to receive the Antichrist. The Harlot Babylon will be a religion of affirmation, toleration, no absolutes, a counterfeit justice movement. They will feed the poor, have humanitarian projects, inspire acts of compassion for all the wrong reasons. They won’t know it, beloved they will be sincere, many of them, but their sincerity will not in any way lessen the impact of their deception. The fact that they are sincere does not make their deception less damaging. I believe that one of the main pastors, as a forerunner to the Harlot movement, it’s not the Harlot movement yet, is Oprah. She is winsome, she is kind, she is reasonable, she is utterly deceived, utterly deceived. A classy woman, a cool woman, a charming woman, but has a spirit of deception and she is one of the clear pastors, forerunners to the Harlot movement.

Engle: Joplin Tornado Was God's Judgment For Abortion

Preaching last month at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri Lou Engle declared that the massive tornado that had devestated Joplin, MO in May and killed more than one hundred people was "a sign that God's redemptive judgment" was falling upon America for the sin of abortion:

You should actually watch this whole thing because Engle goes on to relate a series of dreams about how President Obama is being called to bring an end to abortion as he praises Gov. Sam Brownback for taking steps to make it impossible to ever obtain on in Kansas:

 

Lou Engle Is Coming To Michigan To Convert Muslims

When Lou Engle announced The Call will be coming to Detroit, he initially focused on using prayer to revive the city and to have African Americans release whites from becoming “slaves” of guilt. But in a new advertisement for his prayer rally, Engle discusses the need to bring Christianity to the Muslims in Detroit and nearby city of Dearborn, a city which many in the Religious Right wrongly think is subject to Sharia law. “We’re launching a house of prayer between Detroit and Dearborn,” Engle said, “I believe His target of intercession is for Muslims to know the love of Jesus and a breakthrough of revival in Detroit.” Engle’s The Call is the model for a similar prayer rally, The Response, hosted by Texas Governor Rick Perry, the American Family Association, and the International House of Prayer, which is closely affiliated with the The Call.

Rick Perry Partners With Group That Prays For Jews To Convert To Christianity

When Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry announced that he was holding a prayer rally called The Response, co-hosted by the American Family Association, Right Wing Watch flagged the immense influence of another group, the International House of Prayer (IHOP), in organizing the event. Members of the IHOP leadership hold high-ranking positions in The Response’s leadership team, including Director of The Response Luis Cataldo, National Student Mobilization coordinator Dave Sliker, and program coordinators Jill Cataldo and Randy and Kelsey Bohlender. Mike Bickle, the director of IHOP, is also an official endorser of the event. IHOP is closely tied to a similar prayer rally known as The Call, whose head Lou Engle has used The Call to strongly denounce reproductive rights and homosexuality, support Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill among other anti-gay legislation, and engage in “spiritual warfare” against the Supreme Court.

IHOP also propagates an extreme but common view held in many Religious Right circles: that the Jewish people must convert to Christianity in order to bring about the return of Jesus Christ to Earth and the End Times. Many Religious Right groups and activists, including John Hagee, another endorser of The Response, believe that the End Times will only be fulfilled once enough Jews leave their faith and become Christians.

In fact, IHOP made a video that asked people to prayer for Jews to convert to Christianity, because “He will return only when Israel is ready and willing to receive Him as their savior and king. When He returns, the entire nation of Israel will be saved.” Much like the spokesman for The Response who said that he wants members of all faiths to “seek out the living Christ” at Perry’s rally, IHOP urges members to pray for Jews to accept the Gospel:

The nation of Israel – God’s chosen people. Believers are commanded in the Bible to pray for this nation, but why? It’s true that God wants to bring forth a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, neither Jew nor Gentile to worship before his throne, but when it comes to Israel, is there something more? Yes. God has not finished with Israel. The eternal covenant promises of God to Israel still stand.

It is through Israel that God will establish His kingdom on the Earth in fullness, and through whom, He will bring blessing to every nation. Jesus is returning to the Earth to rule as the Jewish king from Jerusalem on the throne of David.

He will return only when Israel is ready and willing to receive Him as their savior and king. When He returns, the entire nation of Israel will be saved.

The attack against Israel will escalate as we approach the End Times, with an increase in global anti-Semitism, culminating in a united political and military assault against the city of Jerusalem. For this reason, it is critical that the people of God come into agreement with God’s purpose for Israel, and take their stand in the place of prayer.

So, how should we pray? Scripture tells us to pray for two cities: our own city, and for the peace of Jerusalem. We must pray, first and foremost, for spiritual peace, that the Gospel would go forth with power among the Jewish people both globally and in the land.

We must pray for the Lord to raise up anointed, prophetic witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it will be through the Gentiles, Paul says, that Israel will be provoked to jealousy. We must also join our prayers with those of believers in the land, praying that God would raise up an anointed witness to Yeshua in the land of Israel. We must pray for social peace in the land of Israel, both relationally and economically.

Finally, we must pray for political peace. There can be no true political peace until Jesus rules as king from Jerusalem, but until that time, we must pray for the safety of believers, the safety of the land from every demonic attack, that the Gospel might go forth with power.

Will Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Feature Spiritual Warfare?

When Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry decided to host a prayer rally, The Response, with the bigoted American Family Association and the radical International House of Prayer, Right Wing Watch noted the two groups’ bigoted and extreme beliefs along with the rally’s goal of proselytizing to non-Christians.

Yesterday we noted that one of the leaders of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s The Response, ‘Apostle’ Doug Stringer, blamed America for the September 11th attacks because of what he saw as the country’s increasing secularism and acceptance of homosexuality, and that the AFA began using other ‘apostles’ to defend Perry as the answer to their prayers. Already, Kansas governor and former senator Sam Brownback has signed up to participate.

One of The Response’s endorsers, Cindy Jacobs, is a self-declared ‘Prophet’ and a well-known advocate of the “spiritual warfare,” writing books such as Deliver Us From Evil and Possessing the Gates of the Enemy: A Training Manual for Militant Intercession. For example, Jacobs used spiritual warfare against Craigslist, non-Christian religions, and gays and lesbians.

Another The Response endorser is “spiritual warfare” leader James ‘Jay’ Swallow, a Native American “apostle” who founded the Two Rivers Native American Training Center. Like Jacobs, Swallow has spoken at The Call rallies including one in which he accepted on behalf of all Native Americans Brownback’s apology for the federal government’s mistreatment of indigenous people. According to his biography, “God has given Dr. Swallow extraordinary insight into ‘healing the land’ through prayer and spiritual warfare.” The Center is built around the “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.” Seminars include “Demonic Spirits,” “Spiritual Warfare,” “Identifying the Strongman,” and “Freemasonry.” The training is apparently so intense that Swallow asks participants sign a “release of liability” form to waive their right to sue.

According to the Swallow, the theme of the training is “We have declared war”:

In the last decade great leaders have been given the revelation of ingredients that have instituted the desire of God to recover from the enemy the promises of our nation, America, and to compact the many divisions into an expression of Biblical Christianity.

The enemy has fortified his temporary property by placing strongholds of resistance to the coming invasion. He knows he is to be removed from authority over areas that we, the divided church, have given him permission to rule.



The next two weeks will make warriors out of you. I don’t mean armchair warriors, but a SPECIALIZED COMMANDO group that will engage and set the order of discipline and order to tear down the first line of defense against the enemy.

Our job will be to establish a beachhead and occupy until the main forces can mobilize to secure the territory in Jesus’ Name.

Again, these are just a few of the people who Rick Perry is working with to put on his prayer rally.

Rick Perry Partners With 'Apostle' Who Blames America For September 11th Attacks

Right Wing Watch has looked into organizers of Gov. Rick Perry's The Response from Cindy Jacobs, who blamed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for mass bird deaths in Arkansas, to televangelist John Hagee, who claimed God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews, and the rabidly anti-gay International House of Prayer. The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator Doug Stringer, a Texas ‘Apostle’ who believes that the America only had it self to blame for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 because the country rejected God and His protection:

In our gathering in Dallas, we realized there are three primary things in Scripture that are so disheartening to God that they cause Him to be ill, and they ultimately cause His presence to depart from His people:

1. Ritual or temple prostitution

2. The shedding of innocent blood on the altar

3. Licentiousness or moral looseness to the degree that it is “in your face,” including homosexuality



Immediately after the tragedy of 9/11, I was contacted by national media who asked me if I thought this was a judgment of God. Along with Anne Graham Lotz, I stated:

“WE ASKED GOD NOT TO BE IN OUR SCHOOLS, NOT TO BE IN OUR PUBLIC VENUES, NOT TO BE THE LORD OF OUR LIVES ANY MORE EXCEPT IN IMAGE. YET WE WANT TO BLAME GOD WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN?

“IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN BY ‘JUDGMENT’ OF GOD. IF YOU’RE SAYING GOD’S NOT PRESENT SO JUDGMENT COMES, THEN THE ANSWER IS YES. BUT THE BIBLE SAYS SIN PRODUCES DEATH. IT WAS OUR CHOICE TO ASK GOD NOT TO BE IN OUR EVERY DAY LIVES AND NOT TO BE PRESENT IN OUR LAND. THIS IS NOT AN ACT OF JUDGMENT, IT’S A WAKE-UP CALL. GOD IS LONGING TO BE IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE AGAIN.”

When I asked my friend David Ravenhill to address a gathering of pastors in Houston, he challenged us with this question: “Are you asking God to come as invited guest or as an inhabitant?”

I have many close friends who will invite me into their houses and tell me to make myself at home. While there, I know I can help myself to the kitchen, get up or go to bed when I want to, borrow a book from a bookshelf. But what would my friends think if I began painting the walls, changing out the furniture, or redecorating the living room to fit my own tastes?

This is, sadly, what we do with God. We want Him around, but only as our invited guest rather than One who has the right to create an atmosphere or an environment in which He wants to dwell.

My spiritual grandfather, Leonard Ravenhill, used to say, “Is the life you’re living worth Christ dying for?” We cannot live the kind of life worth the price our Savior paid unless we allow God in, not as a guest but as an inhabitant. We must open our hearts, our churches, and our public venues as dwelling places and allow Him to conform them to fit His preferences instead of our own. That is the difference between institutional Christianity and impartational relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.

The Response Spokesman Says Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Is Meant To Convert People To Christianity

When Texas Governor Rick Perry and the ultraconservative American Family Association announced a massive prayer rally, The Response, with the help of figures from the International House of Prayer and right-wing pastors Jim Garlow and John Hagee, the governor’s office denied that their ultraconservative views would be incorporated into the August 6th event. The governor’s spokesperson said that Perry’s “priority with this event is bringing people together.”

But during an interview with the AFA’s American Family Radio, The Response spokesman Eric Bearse said that the main objective of the prayer rally was to bring people to Christianity. Bearse, who was previously Rick Perry’s Director of Communications, claimed that people “regardless of their faith tradition or background” are invited to The Response to “seek out the living Christ” and feel the presence of Jesus:

Bearse: A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths. But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ. And that’s the message we want to spread on August 6th.

Rick Perry Teams Up With AFA For Call-Like Prayer Rally

Reuters reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry has teamed up with the American Family Association to launch his own Lou Engle-like all day prayer rally:

Saying "there is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees," Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited other governors to join him in a "solemn gathering of prayer and fasting" in August in Houston, according to the event's website.

Perry, who said recently he is considering a run for the Republican nomination to contest the presidency in 2012 against Barack Obama, has frequently made calls for prayer while governor.

"I sincerely hope you'll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking for God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision," Perry wrote in materials promoting the event, called "The Response, a Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis."

A message on the event's website says it is in response to a historic crisis and calls it "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," with the goal "to rise up and make a sound that will be heard in heaven."

The site says Perry "has invited all US governors as well as many other national and Christian political leaders."

"Right now, America is in crisis," Perry says in a message on the site. "We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together, and call upon Jesus to guide us..."

Perry's spokeswoman could not be reached for comment on the August event on Sunday.

Eric Bearse, a spokesman for The Response, said on Sunday: "The governor told the American Family Association about a month ago that we need to call Americans together for a time of prayer."

Bearse said the Mississippi-based American Family Association, a conservative Christian activist group, is paying for the event, and admission will not be charged.

According to the event website, the prayer rally will take place at Reliant Stadium in Houston and last from 10 am to 5 pm and will feature Don Wildmon and Buddy Smith of the American Family Association, Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leadership, David Lane, who was involved in the effort to remove the Supreme Court Justices in Iowa and is behind the various "Restoration Project" events across America, former Congressmen Bob McEwen, as well as several leaders associated with Lou Engle and/or the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.

Lou Engle's War on the Supreme Court

Last week, the International House of Prayer hosted a four-day conference called "One Thing" during which Lou Engle explained that he is leading a spiritual war against the Supreme Court to get abortion outlawed in America and that because of the efforts of his team of prayer warriors, Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated and confirmed and the efforts to filibuster President Bush's judges failed ... and that now they are asking God to visit Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy with dreams and revelation:

IHOP Drops Suits Against IHOP

In September, the International House of Pancakes sued Kansas City's International House of Prayer for trademark dilution and infringement.

But last week, the pancake chain decided to drop its suit and attempt to resolve the conflict out of court:

The International House of Pancakes has dropped its trademark infringement lawsuit against a church, agreeing to resolve its dispute with the International House of Prayer out of court.

On Dec. 21, the restaurant chain dismissed its case against the church, with its lawyers citing "ongoing mediation with the defendants," according to documents filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The restaurant chain sued the church in September, alleging it misappropriated IHOP trademarks with its website, ihop.org, and in signs and events at its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and California ministries. The church also has affiliates in San Jose, Santa Maria, Calif., and Dublin, Calif.

When the lawsuit was filed, restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow said the church's use of IHOP and related phrases confused customers, undermined trademarked uses and risked publicly linking the chain of 1,500 restaurants with a particular faith or church.

...

Lenow, a spokesman with IHOP parent company DineEquity Inc., declined to discuss the company's expected remedies for the six claims of trademark infringement, or a timeline, for the matter to be resolved.

"We have agreed with House of Prayer not to publicly discuss the case," Lenow said in an e-mail.

Beck Cites OH House of Prayer As Key To Saving America

Glenn Beck took his program (and self-aggrandizement) to Wilmington, OH yesterday and while he was there he reportedly experienced “four miracles," with one of them being the Wilmington House of Prayer:

The mobile stage was located along the Mulberry Street edge of the downtown Main Street block where the General Denver Hotel and the Samuel Walker’s Memorial Building are historical bookends. Nearby is a community prayer room that occupies the building that has a farmers market mural on an exterior wall. Called Burn 24/7 in reference to building a “firewall” of prayer, the prayer room is a ministry of the Wilmington House of Prayer and a dozen Wilmington churches.

Remarkably, it is open around-the-clock and usually has at least one person inside praying for local people.

Pointing to the place, Beck said he believes with his entire being in the prayer room, and it is that sort of thing that can change America.

This sounds a lot like the International House of Prayer out of which Lou Engle operates that is, as we recently noted, dedicated to preparing students for the End Times.

You know, if someone were to give me a chalkboard and the show on Fox, I could easily spin this out into a huge conspiracy theory about how Beck is secretly planning to bring about the end of the world.

IHOP: Preparing Thousands of Students For the End of the World

We've written about the International House of Prayer a few times before, noting that it is the center of what amounts to a 24/7 Call-type rally where prayer and music and worship are underway, literally, at all times.

We knew that IHOP was founded and is overseen by Mike Bickle, and that Lou Engle has close ties to both Bickle and the institution he started, but we didn't realize until reading this profile in Charisma was just how large the organization had become and that it was expanding at an astonishing pace

As regimented as that structure may sound to those who thrive on spontaneous worship and prayer, it’s integral to what happens in the prayer room—which, in turn, is the heart of everything IHOP is and does. The ministry includes 1,000 full-time staff and 1,000 full-time students at the university, IHOPU, yet each person’s role, function and purpose at IHOP begins entirely in the prayer room, where adoring Jesus is blended with rending the heavens on behalf of everything from abortion to Israel to revival on college campuses.

...

Such a prayer-saturated climate undoubtedly factored into the student “awakening” that erupted out of a 9 a.m. Bible class last November and continued first as nightly, then weekend meetings through early October. The move of the Holy Spirit drew thousands, many of whom reported physical and emotional healings. Broadcast globally on God TV, the awakening not only introduced IHOPU to a new audience, but also played a part in a surge of incoming students that includes those from abroad. This fall the university began accepting overseas applications for the first time, and leaders say they have more than 5,000 international students waiting to enroll.

The article also notes that one of Bickle's main areas of concern is the End Times and that, to some extent, the purpose of IHOP's prayer and activism is to prepare the world for that event:

One of those messages has actually become Bickle’s calling card in recent years and furthered the controversy that, for reasons beyond his control, surrounds him. Mention Mike Bickle’s name to most charismatic believers and, aside from prayer or passion for Jesus, they’ll automatically think of the end times. Indeed, Bickle has developed a unique twofold emphasis of the praying church’s call to deeply love Jesus as “friends of the bridegroom” and its role in the end times as forerunners.

As was the case with the Song of Solomon, the latter wasn’t a message he’d planned to give. Bickle calls his end-times thrust a “sovereign accident” that began with a challenge from his staff to do a 10-week series on the book of Revelation. That series turned into a seven-year sermon during which he would preach on Saturday nights and meet with a group of 20 leaders the following day to poke holes in his teaching.

“It ended up becoming a laboratory for understanding,” he says, adding that often the greatest course-changers would come from young students who were out to “prove the old man wrong.” Through this process, Bickle has landed upon teaching historic premillennialism with the added dimension of a victorious church walking in New Testament power, purity and unity.

For all Bickle’s passion to unlock in others the revelation of a loving God, he is equally as zealous to stir up a sense of immediacy and understanding among those who disregard the Bible’s specific, copious directions for the end times, which he personally believes will be seen by a generation already born.

“My generation is profoundly ignorant of what the Bible says about the end times,” he admits. “How can we go decade after decade and continue to be ignorant? Somewhere we’ve got to get intentional about getting somebody understanding it so that in the future they’ll be ready to train the kids who are currently 10 and 20. Who I’m aiming for is my children and their children—and even their children.”

That long-term generational target is also one of the driving forces behind IHOP’s recently expanded vision to combine 24/7 prayers for justice with 24/7 works of justice until Christ’s return. Of the 75 departments that make up IHOP, more than three-fourths are dedicated to action outside the prayer room—everything from orphan care to crisis response to inner-city ministry to training marketplace leaders. This is in addition to a thriving worship label, music school, conference ministry, media institute, Israel initiative, children’s and high school ministries, and an ever-increasing list of other ministries making their mark.

I guess that helps to explain why Bickle is hosting a "Korean Pastors End Times Conference" in February and an "Israel and the Church in the End Times" conference in May.

Engle: Dreams Are The Word Of God

The more I pay attention to Lou Engle and watch his speeches and read his books, the more I have come to realize just what a central role dreams play in his activism.  In fact, the messages he receives from God in his dreams appear, in large part, to drive his political and anti-abortion efforts. 

Last month, the International House of Prayer hosted a "Prayer and Prophetic Conference," at which Engle spoke for an hour and a half straight on the dangers of ignoring or trivializing the messages that God speaks through dreams, warning that prophets cannot be concerned with appearing "fanatical" or "out of our minds," declaring that everything he has done in twenty-five years of ministry has been "founded on the word of God" that has been "delivered through the prophetic ministry of divine ideas, thoughts, intentions, and directions, and by the grace of God, we have picked up most of those seed-thoughts that have come from the Heavenly mind-realm ... and I have found that those dreams were not just tickling fancies, they were the word of God and they have created movements that shake nations":

IHOP Sues IHOP

We have written about the International House of Prayer, the campus in Kansas City, MO where Lou Engle's Call-like prayer sessions go on 24/7 and which, last year, had to cancel classes because the Holy Spirit had invaded, several times before.

And now we are wrtiing about them again because this IHOP is being sued by the more famous IHOP - the International House of Pancakes:

IHOP (pancake), based in Glendale, Calif., has sued IHOP (prayer), based in Kansas City, for trademark dilution and infringement. The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, essentially said there was room for only one IHOP and that would be the restaurant chain that has been using the initials since 1973.

The religious group drawing thousands from around the world to south Kansas City to prepare for “end times” was started just 10 years ago.

...

[T]the chain, which has 1,476 restaurants across the country, claims it has six registered trademarks with the IHOP acronym and that the religious group’s use of the same four-letter logo causes, according to the lawsuit, “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public.”

The lawsuit further accuses the church mission of adopting the name International House of Prayer knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP — the intent being to misappropriate fame and notoriety of the food chain.

On Tuesday, IHOP (pancake) spokesman Patrick Lenow said the suit was filed only after the church mission refused repeated requests to stop using the trademark.

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International House of Prayer Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 01/06/2012, 3:30pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/03/2012, 2:30pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/24/2011, 1:12pm
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... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/14/2011, 4:37pm
The Los Angeles Times profiles the International House of Prayer.   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."   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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 3:42pm
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... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/20/2011, 12:19pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/06/2011, 11:01am
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/23/2011, 12:22pm
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... MORE >