Before I continue this blog, let me just call out the elephant in the room. A few weeks ago I started this new blog, at first because I knew I was going to write about IHOPKC, and I needed a neutral forum in which to do so. Search engines do not index my blog. That simply means it does not show up in a Google search result, but it is still public. That keeps away the spam from places that just use key words. That’s why I was rather stunned by the thousands of people who read the IHOP blog—and still are, it seems. To be sure, there is a reality to reaching the world with a click of a button. Nations I didn’t know existed saw that blog—and it was all from organic sharing, not search engines. And that’s the elephant in the room because now I am returning to writing about my regular old spiritual life, but I don’t want to pretend that blog wasn’t in the middle of it. So let me throw out a few comments to end that chapter:
I didn’t write the IHOPKC blog to start a blog about it, nor did I write it to debate. I settled that debate in my heart before I wrote it. I did not approve any comments that rehashed the debate or argued, not because I am afraid of those views but because those views are indexed by search engines, and my blog isn’t intended to debate or create a forum for such things. If you want other opinions, they are plentiful and Google will lead you to them. My blog is not the place for debate–those debates, in my belief, do not glorify Jesus, and that is my heart with what I write and do. I have taken two years to hash it out in my heart, and the last nine months coming to terms with what I believe and feel. I said everything I need to say. I wanted to say that because I want you to understand why those comments do not appear. I almost approved them simply because I am not afraid of them, but I ultimately decided against it since they were a rehashing of what is out there already, and they are not fruitful for anyone.
While I am at it, I want to say a few other things. I have received many comments, some private, as well as emails and messages, thanking me for helping others articulate what they felt. Many people were (are) hurting deeply from the accusations and, sometimes, what they see as betrayal. It’s been touching to me to read these heartfelt comments. I am grateful for how the Lord has used this.
A couple other thoughts: I have discovered that when people really want to know something, they will read as many words as it takes. Due to the unique nature of my involvement with IHOPKC, and my need to contextualize situations, as well as make it accessible to those unfamiliar with the ministry, those who reviewed the blog for copy editing suggested I not cut anything because as those unfamiliar with the intricacies, they needed it to understand. I specifically asked them what I could cut and keep the meaning. This may be an SMS culture that lives to tweet and text, but when it matters, people will read. This encourages me, and I hope we will do it for all the things that matter—most of them matter a lot more than this: the Bible, news stories that may affect our lives, even long emails from people we love who need to share their heart. Reading isn’t dead. That blog was one of the longest pieces of work I’ve written, but it’s also the most read. I’m surprised, but pleasantly so. I shared it exactly once on my Facebook, and on my Twitter (where that page is private and only reached 45 people at the time). The rest was organic sharing from people who cared to know.
Finally, since I am making a comment on this, I want to make something clear in case I hurt you. In the rough couple years I had, I sent my FB through some metamorphoses. Without detailing what occurred, I felt like I needed to remove everyone from FB who 1) I didn’t actually know, and 2) that I had not had any interaction with in a year or so. This happened in two phases. I found out through publishing this blog that I hurt some feelings that way. For that I apologize. I was coping with my own issues and they were deeply painful at the time. I had been burned through “behind the scenes” Facebook talk and no longer felt safe with random strangers on my Facebook. A year later, the things I wrote about RAD and the close friends that didn’t comment or respond exacerbated this to my over-magnifying heart. Now I would not take that personally, but at the time I was just in a hard place and figured they didn’t “want” that part of me—and I figured that because so many had said as much to me directly. Many people have re-friended me, and I accepted gladly. If you happen to see this and were hurt, please forgive me. This was a lot more to deal with my own pain than any comment against you. I sincerely apologize.
I wasn’t going to comment anymore at all on the blog because I wanted it to be a one-and-done, a saying of my peace. I don’t want to use it to gain some readership or ministry platform. This is not an IHOPKC blog. I have no ministry, and I am not looking for one; if God leads me to ministry again, my guess is it won’t be one focused on blogging about another ministry! I am loosely considering opening the blog to search engines, since apparently it’s helping people to read, but apart from that, the purpose of it all along was to details what I know firsthand and to offer another take on the situation which has been maligned by sensationalism and misinformation.
I hold no grudges. I am not angry. I love the ministry, and my friends who remain there. I feel deeply for those who were in the real cult that came to IHOPKC and continue to suffer. And I continue to pray for their healing. I do not deny their pain or victimization in the slightest. I just think that many used that to make IHOPKC something it was not. And as my email and responses have indicated, that was hurting many innocent people.
I encourage you, again, to not make a blanket judgment, especially if you know nothing firsthand, and to remain listening until the other side of the story is revealed. Sometimes there is more to perceived “silence” than you know. You’re going to have to take my word on that one (or not, but I do mean it with concrete reasons, not speculation). And above all, I encourage you to pray. Clearly there is much pain from what has happened. That’s legitimate. People need to experience the love of Jesus—especially those victimized by the cult happenings—and everyone in pain needs healing. We would do well to pray every time we heard anything related to it, no matter which side we are on. Virtually everyone on both sides claims to love Jesus and be a Christian. Our duty, then, is to be a light to other Christians and to the world.
Now, with all that said, I am going to resume blogging about my spiritual journey, insights, etc. I am afraid some you may be bored if you followed my blog, but you are welcome to read! I just want to talk about Jesus and what He is doing in my life, and so my awesome April 4 blog is coming later. I just felt odd not discussing the elephant before I segued into my personal stories and insights again.
Thank you for reading; thank you for your personal comments to me; I tried to honor all the requests on my blog that asked me to not post the comment publicly; I don’t believe I missed any. Of all the comments I received, only three were negative. I’m sure there is a lot I didn’t hear, but the weight of that showed me the need for people to hear another side too–and it showed me the pain in many who have been silently grieved by the bad comments that have been the focus. I believe there will be more revelations of good, of fruit, of commitment to Jesus. Don’t throw anything aside yet.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14 (NASB)