Given that our city is already known as a bastion of tolerance, open-mindedness, and advancement of new theories, what the place really needs is a hefty dose of good ol’ fundamentalism. Wait, what’s that? We’re actually looked upon as Midwestern rubes devoted to social conservatism and farming? Huh. Oh, well: let’s add the crazy fundamentalism anyway. Look no further than the “International House of Prayer,” a kindasorta church type thing in south KC, where believers use the usual tricks of the trade — rock music, allegedly hip youth pastors, and plain old hellfire and damnation — to con Kansas City simpletons into thinking the end is near. From the Star‘s profile:
The digital signal from the International House of Prayer in south Kansas City makes its way via Washington, D.C., to Jerusalem, where it streams live on God TV for broadcast all over the world.
This … never … stops.
Two in the morning, 8 at night, dusk and dawn. Holidays and ice storms. Time doesn’t matter because these young worshippers are more concerned with the “End Times.” The signs are here. The Messiah is near.
So they’ve come here for the last 10 years, by the hundreds — thousands — for what perhaps is Kansas City’s biggest religious phenomenon in a century.
Oh, great. This will help our city achieve its goal of becoming a leader in life sciences. Don’t fear, though. IHOP’s con man zealot in chief, Mike Bickle, seems like a reasonable enough gentl — oh, wait.
Bickle says he’s heard God’s voice. And that he’s been to heaven. Twice….
In a recent post about a prophetic dream about war between Satan and Michael the archangel, Bickle wrote that he saw “large snakes, over 100 feet long and 50 feet thick, each having a huge head that looked like a dragon, and many of them were coming from the sky down to the earth.”
When Jesus returns to make war against his enemies and marches into Jerusalem, Bickle preaches, “untold millions will die in the wake of his righteous, loving judgments.”
That last sentence seems a bit contradictory, no?
So what is this place? Well… this seems simple. It’s ostensibly a headquarters for constant worship, but also a place that happens to offer education at — seriously — IHOP University (!) for the very low price of, um, $4,900. Hmm, what would J.C. think of that? (Speaketh an IHOP exec: “We believe in a God that provides financing.” Nice.) They’re expanding into the reaches of Grandview, and have plans to build some kind of hotel/office tower complex. And a Wal-Mart. Yes, the lord did always love synergistic developments.
More importantly, it’s a place where prayer is always going on. Always. Every hour of every day. People are moving here to live as a part of the IHOP community. The group supports Israel — not as a show of international solidarity, mind you, but because it’s an integral part of the end times plan. The lesson? The malleability of the religious mind never fails to amaze.