Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flashback: Lou Engle at the Prayer & Prophetic Conference

Recently, Right Wing Watch took note of Lou Engle's talk at a Prayer and Prophetic Conference hosted by the International House of Prayer (IHOP). While a date was not provided, the talk's content suggests that this was likely the 2010 Prayer and Prophetic Conference. Right Wing Watch noted Engle's comparison of modern America and Nazi Germany in a talk entitled "The Prophet's Responsibility for the Nation," which can be seen at the 6:31 mark here

"Can a homosexual have civil rights in America? They might, but it is not their right given by God. Their right is to repent and stand until Jesus delivers, and then the Church must go into war for them and get them free. Brothers and sisters, we made it two spheres: government has a sphere and God has a sphere. That’s what they did in Hitler’s day. They voted for money in economic crisis, and they sacrificed the sanctity of life of the Jews. We do the same thing in America."
As if the Nazi reference weren't brazen enough, his words suggest that LGBT rights are not sanctioned by God, and that LGBT people must repent until delivered by God. The video below shows the except in question. (Click here if you're having trouble viewing the video.)

My curiosity aroused, I went to the GOD TV website and watched videos of Engle's larger talk. Engle, a magnetic preacher from the New Apostolic Reformation, never fails to provide controversial comments in his talks, and I'd like to share some excepts here. Abortion, homosexuality, Islam, and demons are recurring themes, as they have been in his previous talks.

At the 0:08 mark of part 4, Engle scoffs at "political correctness," urging listeners to raise their voices in the public square. He denies that his fellow believers are "haters", given that they have allegedly shown love for babies and homosexuals. The fact that many LGBT people might feel otherwise is not considered.

"We've got to stand for truth, sola scriptura. We've got to be a voice in the public realm. We've got to take a stand and not be cowed by political correctness ... We have got to be a justice-people so when they accuse us of being haters, we have loved every child. We've taken the homosexual into our house and we bled and wept with them and we've prayed."
At the 17:53 mark of part 3, Engle warns listeners of the alleged encroachment of Islam on the U.S. and Europe. He frames Islam as a religious competitor that Christianity must contend with.
"Brothers and sisters, we're going the way of Europe. I don't want to go that way. Oh, I pray that Europe will arise and see the greatest revivals in its history, but right now, they are in a place that they're saying, even with their population, within ten, twenty years, these nations are going to be Muslim nations. I'm saying, God, no, not here ... Muslims are saying by the year 2050, America is going to be [an] Islamic nation. Something in my spirit says that is not an empty statement. It's actually a statement of spiritual intent. The church must raise up a house of prayer to contend with Islam."
On a political note, Engle notes that evangelicals and charismatic Christians are likely to form alliances.  I was intrigued by this comment, since the two camps already seem to have done so on certain issues. At the 24:13 mark of part 3, in reference to a prayer meeting with Shirley Dobson, he had this to say.

"Evangelicals and charismatics are going to become real good friends, because our enemies are far greater than our differences."
At multiple points in his talk, Engle made references to demons at work in the world. Engle claimed that demons are behind sinful ideologies, and that a "boasting" demon oversees a new abortion clinic in Houston. This is not unusual among New Apostolic Reformation preachers, but it still reveals much about their worldview.

11:40, part 4: "Holy spirit, I pray,  raise up activists for abortion. God, I am asking to you raise up, God, No Not This One* at every crisis pregnancy center in America. Raise up intercessors for every baby. Father, I am praying, God, that you would raise up intercessors who will take a stand at that seven-story abortion clinic. God, I see a demon power over that clinic. I see a boasting demonic power. Oh God, give us Davids to challenge it in the spirit."

11:10, part 3: "Every ideology is driven by demons, and only the church can deal with those demons. Politicians can't deal with them, educators can't deal with them. Yes, they've got to speak truth, but we are the people that can actually move like Daniels, fasting and prayer. We can move the heavens so that the Earth can begin to be moved."

23:27, part 3: "I am not going to stand by and let the demonic powers gain thirty yards at a time without anybody trying to stick 'em. We need linebackers in the spirit to say no!"
In short, this presentation featured many of the usual themes found in Engle's talks: abortion, homosexuality, Islam, supernatural forces, and the cosmic power of intercessory prayer. By casting these issues as cosmic struggles and framing opposing forces as demonic, Engle endows modern-day social issues with powerful spiritual significance for his listeners.

To listen to the speech in its entirety, visit the following links.

Part 1 (music and prayer)
Part 2 (beginning of Engle's talk)
Part 3 
Part 4

* = A reference to an anti-abortion ministry called No Not This One.


  1. Perhaps the ultimate evil is demonstrating hatred and calling it love.

    Engle's brand of "love" calls to mind the Mormon historical doctrine of Blood Atonement - that taught that killing certain sinners (particularly apostates) was the only way to ensure their salvation. The killing had to be done in a certain way, typically slitting the so-called sinners' throats then disemboweling them. Up until the early 1990's, Mormons covenanted in their temples to submit to that type of killing if they did not keep their covenants.

  2. Pretty scary. It's this kind of rhetoric that can encourage unbalanced people to commit violent acts.

  3. Cognitive Dissenter -- I've heard a little about blood atonement, but I didn't realize that the vow continued into modern times (early 1990s). Thanks for enlightening me. Why did the LDS eventually remove that vow in their covenants? Bad for PR?

    I agree -- promoting hatred while calling it love IS evil.

    Donna -- Your concern is a valid one. I too worry about what ramifications this rhetoric could have on vulnerable listeners.

  4. "Why did the LDS eventually remove that vow in their covenants? Bad for PR?"

    Exactly, Ahab. Besides the fact that it scared converts, it made the newly initiated life-long members feel incredibly uncomfortable.

  5. It's pretty Orwellian for him to claim that the US is like Nazi Germany because a disliked minority group is being afforded rights. It's also typical of RRRW Christians to engage in BlackWhite thinking and speaking.

  6. Buffy -- Ain't that the truth. Black-and-white thinking is a quintessential fundamentalist trait.


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