FAQs and Controversies (incl. Affirmations and Denials)

Press Center » FAQs and Controversies (incl. Affirmations and Denials)

Can evangelical believers fellowship with other Christian traditions such as Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern, and Coptic?

Several IHOPKC leaders recently participated in an event hosted by United in Christ called Kairos 17. IHOPKC helped the United in Christ team by letting them use IHOPKC’s building. The purpose of this event was to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 40th anniversary of the Kansas City Charismatic Conference with a summit of different leaders from different traditions and denominations in the Body of Christ.

The glorious destiny of the Bride of Christ is a sign and wonder; that the mature and unified Church would be presented to Jesus “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27) is certainly something to marvel at when you consider that the history of the church is oftentimes a history of broken men and women with wrong ideas about each other and more importantly about God. Yet we believe that the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17 that the church would be perfect in unity will come to pass before the return of Jesus.

While the history of all church traditions is a history of schisms and divisions, we still believe that there are born-again believers in Jesus in widely diverse traditions such as the Eastern Church, the Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church and the Catholic Church. We value the friendship and fellowship of all born-again believers that love Jesus, seek to obey his leadership, honor the Bible as authoritative in matters of faith and ethics, and value the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the fellowship of believers.

In embracing believers from different traditions we want to emphasize that in doing so we are not embracing or endorsing the religious institutions and authority structures of any of these traditions or denominations. We recognize that in many of these traditions doctrines and practices have been promoted which we would firmly reject as unbiblical such as prayer to the saints, etc. In fellowshipping with believers from different Christian traditions we are not ignoring these doctrinal differences, but we do recognize that unity of the faith is not necessarily unity of doctrine. At the same time we celebrate statements such as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between Lutherans and Catholics and Pope Francis’ affirming statements of Martin Luther’s reforms concerning justification by faith which was the initial impetus for the Reformation 500 years ago.

We invite you to watch this video of Mike Bickle recounting his experience of meeting the Pope: