By Bob Allen
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd led 15,000 young adults in a prayer for spiritual awakening at a charismatic gathering Dec. 28 in Kansas City, Mo.
“I’m not here tonight to highlight our theological differences, but to bend my knee, next to yours, and to ask God to have mercy on America,” Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, said at the Dec. 28-31 Onething 2015 conference sponsored by the International House of Prayer.
According to Charisma magazine, International House of Prayer Director Mike Bickle said he invited Floyd after hearing him urge Baptist leaders to pray and fast.
Bickle is a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation, a designation coined by theologian and missiologist Peter Wagner for a movement within Pentecostal and charismatic churches that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the End Times and the return of Jesus. The leaders are considered apostles, an office that most Christians believe ended when the New Testament was being written, and prophets, which for orthodox Christians is included in biblical titles of evangelist, pastor and teacher.
The group has been criticized for its influence on laws criminalizing homosexuality in Uganda and observed for its growing influence in U.S. politics evidenced by a 2011 prayer rally for Texas Gov. Rick Perry where apostles and prophets from around the nation spoke or appeared onstage.
Floyd told the IHOPKC audience that his presence was neither an endorsement of their theology nor their endorsement of his.
“I did not get asked to this gathering tonight because the leaders agree with all of my theological convictions,” he said. “In fact, if we’re totally honest with one another, we know that thousands of us who are filling this convention center and thousands more who are streaming live around the world, we’re not in total agreement about a lot of the secondary matters of life, ministry, and even the Bible. Yet my being here is a clear indication that these are times when people must come together and pray.”
Floyd said he accepted the speaking invitation because he feels “a great burden for where we are as a nation.”
“We’re living in a time in American history where the ship feels like it might be sinking, and it’s a time where prayer is needed more than ever, ever before,” Floyd said. “When the ship feels like it might be sinking, everyone needs to grab a bucket.”
This month Floyd’s church, formerly known as First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., is setting aside 21 days for members to fast and pray “about my own personal life, our church, and our nation.”