Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mike Bickle on Contemplative Prayer

   Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, and a well-known leader in the Prophetic Movement, claims that God is restoring contemplative prayer to the church. He goes on to claim that contemplative prayer is a God ordained means of entering into the fullness of God, and that the brightest lights in church history have been Roman Catholic mystics who lived during the dark ages. He went on to say the western church had much to learn from these mystics.

Anti-evangelical propaganda is prominent throughout his message. He informs his followers that they are constantly being put on the defensive by, and apologizing to, evangelical Christians for their intensity toward God by saying “Other Christians force us to hide our intensity—to wear a façade. “…even believers in Jesus…are made uncomfortable and intimidated by our spiritual intensity.”

However, he comforts them with the good news that they don’t “have to wear any façade” when they got together in little oasis’ “like this” (meaning his and other prophetic meetings). He continued his barrage against evangelicals by saying, “They don’t grasp it at all—being introduced into the deep realms of love.”

He claims the church of the western world has abandoned its inheritance to have the fullness of God (through contemplative prayer).

Bickle freely admits to pursuing eastern religious philosophies and had nothing but criticism for the Western Evangelical Church.

According to him, evangelical Christians are a pathetic and ignorant bunch. He says of us:
  •  “The Protestant wing of the western church, which is a tiny percentage of the Body of Christ…, is nearly completely (98%) unaware that the Holy Spirit is restoring contemplative prayer—center stage—to the church… The Holy Spirit is restoring this precious jewel (contemplative prayer) to the body of Christ. This is the God ordained means of attaining the fullness of God.” audio message Comtempolative Prayer pt1 by Mike Bickle

He quotes from the contemplatives (his word for mystics) and announces that he will be teaching from the Sacred Pathways (which promotes the carrying of symbols or icons, choosing a mantra and visualizing God). Each one of these things is contradictory to the Word of God, which forbids imagery and vain repetitions in prayer.

He insists we need to study the lives and writings of the Roman Catholic mystics, and because the bookstore chain of Barnes and Nobles has carried so many books in this regard, he says (in all earnestness) that B & N is prophesying to the church that we need the mystics, and he wants to know why the church isn’t picking up on the fact that God is calling the entire Body of Christ to live lifestyles of contemplative prayer?

Below are quotes from Mike Bickle about contemplative prayer:
  • “Every one in the Body Of Christ is called to live lives of contemplative prayer...”
  • “Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle. Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! That’s one of the great strongholds we have to overcome (resistance to contemplative prayer).
  • “…contemplative prayer, you gotta get over that hurdle! Barnes & Noble is prophesying it! 
  • Hurtle one we gotta understand it’s for everybody! Everybody is called to the fullness (contemplative prayer). We’re all going to go into this thing!”audio message Comtempolative Prayer pt1 by Mike Bickle

Another hindrance to contemplative prayer, says Bickle, is that we need to dismantle (“we” meaning evangelical Christianity) the idea that church history began with Martin Luther (I wasn’t aware we had that idea until he informed me of it).

Bickle says the most inspiring light in all of Christianity came from the Roman Catholic mystics during the dark ages. Below are quotes from Bickle on the mystics:
  • “mystics is a legitimate term...  I don’t want to fight the war…so I’m just saying contemplative prayer, but I mean the mystics—even here at IHOP I say, lets just stay with contemplatives …I don’t have time to argue… so I call them  the contemplatives…. I don’t want to go into the semantics, the debates…so, I’m calling it the contemplatives… I don’t have time to argue… but I need the mystics.”
  • “[They are] Some of the brightest lights in all of history… there has been the brightest lights in all history for men and women of abandonment in the dark ages… somewhere we have to say the dark ages were the luminaries in the grace of God…they were Catholic priests.”
  • “…a study of the lives of the mystics, the contemplatives, through history, and clearly the most inspiring, compelling examples of history, in my world, have come out of the Catholic dark ages. I can’t find anything like it in modern times, in America, in the protestant world.”
  • “…we need a little Holy Spirit catalytic jump start. We need to see where a few have gone before us, and say if they did we can, and we can go further… and if you’re going to go deep into that well, I’m sad to say, the vast majority of them are going to have Catholic roots in history.”audio message Contemplative Prayer part 1 by Mike Bickle

Bickle minimized the violence of middle age Roman Catholicism by saying, “But didn’t Catholics do some funny things…? Well, when you stand before the Lord you’ll find out you did some funny things too.”

Bickle heavily promotes Bernard Clairvou (who he claims was a just a quiet little monk who only wanted to stay in his hermitage, praying and reading The Song of Solomon). He is clearly impressed with Clairvou’s healing ministry, but leaves out the part where Clairvou traveled extensively as a major instigator of the second crusade. He says, “Bernard Clairvou became my most inspiring life outside the Bible.”

The writings of Father Thomas Keating (the modern day Father of contemplative prayer) are also promoted.

Bickle says these two mean are examples, for us, of,  “a way to a deeper life in God.” He went on to say, “The protestant world is in great need of examples (like these) that will beckon us to the fullness of God.” --audio message Contemplative Prayer, part 1, by Mike Bickle

Mike Bickle is telling the Body of Christ that we are woefully deficient in having lost God’s fullness and need to look to New Age, Eastern philosophy and to Roman Catholic mystics as examples in how to restore it!

And his advice to questioning, spiritually languishing and anguishing souls (who didn’t know their real problem was that they wanted more of God—until he told them so) is this, “Don’t evaluate yourself, don’t evaluate others. Just keep going after it.” audio message Contemplative Prayer, part 1, by Mike Bickle

In plain language that means don’t read or listen to anything discerningly or analytically. Don’t question anything or anybody—not even yourself (except evangelicals of course). Just go with what feels right.

How does that jive with search my heart O God and test my thoughts…? How about this one, “There is a way that seems right…?”

Bickle Quotes are taken from the audio teachings of Mike Bickle on Contemplative Prayer at:

For a Biblical view of contemplative prayer see:

Mike Bickle Defines Contemplative Prayer

Mike Bickle, one of the Kansas City Prophets and a proponent of introducing Christians to what he refers to as, "CP" (contemplative prayer), says the following of contemplative prayer:

“… this is an imperfect science… it (the term CP) is not a term that is a biblical term… it’s an idea.  … there’s no place where Paul the apostle said the term CP means this… different ones throughout church history define it differently… I  have 30, 40, 50 titles on CP in my home… any book on CP, I just buy em… at first it confused me because one person talked about it so different from another person it took me a few of years to figure it out that there is no clear infallible definition…” --Mike Bickle in his audio message “Contemplative Prayer part 2”

What Bickle is saying in the above quotes, is that:
  • CP is an evolving thing
  • Contemplative prayer cannot be found in the Bible
  • To one it means one thing to another, it means something else
  • He will read anything on CP, regardless of who writes it
  • CP cannot be defined (This, as we will show, is not true)
The following is another Mike Bickle recommendation on pursuing CP:

You’re gonna need resources to do it (to go into the deep waters of God). The Protestant world is really really narrow on the resources of contemplative prayer.”

    There is reason the Protestant world is really narrow on resources of contemplative prayer. It is not found in the Bible!
    During the protestant reformation, people rightly claimed the Bible alone tells us everything we need to know about life and godliness. They form their theology from the Bible and rightly rejected extra-scriptural revelation that did not line up with what had already been written.
    Contemplative prayer is not found in the Bible--except to forbid it. Yet proponents of it, go right on assuring their followers that it is perfectly OK to pursue an unbiblical spiritual activity.
   It is not perfectly all right, neither is it safe.
   If it is an unbiblical spiritual activity, what does that make it?
   The Holy Spirit certainly cannot be a part of any spiritual activity that is unbiblical. So, what spirit is behind it? There are only have two choices on this one.
  As for Bickle's statement about Protestants lacking resources. It is a blatant lie. Christians are not lacking in resources to help us understand more about relationship with our God. The written word of God, the Holy Spirit of God, and the ministry gifts provided by our Creator give the Child of God all they need to walk in the fullness of God.
    It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
    There are no gifts like HIS gifts. Don’t fall for cheap, soul stealing, counterfeits.
    Heed the words of the apostle: "I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3)