The slide of the visible church down the slippery slope of compromise continues to gain momentum as ecumenism and syncretism replace sound doctrine and fidelity to the truth. Much of this compromise ultimately leads many back to Rome through such mystical, New Age practices as contemplative prayer as experience triumphs over objective truth. The International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City is one such group that has elevated and encouraged participants to seek mystical experiences with God as validation of one’s faith. This year, IHOP will demonstrate how easily such things align with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, as the annual IHOP Onething Conference promises and boasts of the inclusion of a Catholic track at this year’s gathering.
An announcement on the website of Keith Major reads as follows:
The International House of Prayer is partnering with Steubenville Conferences in the first ever Catholic track at Onething in the Kansas City Convention Center this December 28-31. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Scott Hahn, Ralph Martin, Mike Bickle, Misty Edwards, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad and others will be sharing. Join with over 25,000 attendees as this year’s theme is Encountering Jesus & His Transforming Power through living out the Sermon on the Mount.1
Keith Major is the Coordinator of Marketing at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is a former Protestant who ostensibly found his way back to Rome.2 Prior to his current position, he served on staff at IHOP, working alongside director Mike Bickle.3 Speaking on the EWTN show “The Journey Home,” Major describes how he came to “revert” back to Catholicism, beginning with how God spoke to him late one night while in the prayer room at IHOP.4 Major then explains how Mike Bickle encouraged him to read the works of the Catholic mystics. Says Major:
Being that the Director [Bickle] was a Catholic until he was twenty, he highly recommended people to read Catholic mystics, particularly Bernard of Clairvaux, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Teresa of Lisieux, Francis de Sales, Catherine of Sienna…He would just say if you want to know more about contemplative prayer, these are the people who have mastered it. But when you read it, spit out the bones.5
As CRN has examined, contemplative prayer is a practice akin to Eastern meditation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within. Such mystical practices appear to often lead people toward the Roman Catholic Church, perhaps in part due to the teachings of Roman Catholic mystics such as are mentioned above.
Though IHOP has demonstrated itself to not be an organization or movement with which it is wise to get involved, nevertheless this latest partnering with the Roman Catholic Church reveals the stark reality of the continued compromise of the visible church. Christians must take heed, beware and be wary of such alignments, as the true Gospel of Jesus Christ often is the most wounded victim in such endeavors.