Written by Kyle Mantyla (Right Wing Watch)
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.”
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.