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Devotionals    H3'ed 7/9/24

It May Be Difficult, but Admitting You Were Spiritually Duped at IHOP Is Best

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For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. - Matthew 24:24 (KJV)

It was only a matter of time. It is now being reported that two former pastors of IHOP's Forerunner Church along with the former President of IHOPKC's University, are opening a new church to replace the disgraced one, disgustingly called, Sanctuary Church. The pitiful irony that escapes these three is that IHOP was the exact opposite of a sanctuary. Instead, it was a cesspool for false teaching, fake prophecies, and sexual exploitation. It is important to realize that this was the plan all along.

The Bickle story broke in October. Initially, no one could believe it in the industry because he was such a cult of personality pastor. Dr. Michael Brown has been fond of writing recently that we should not deify our pastors and exalt them. Is he kidding himself I wonder. The only people who were doing that was Dr. Brown and the Charismaniacs he defends. Just watch the American Gospel roundtable with Justin Peters. Both Brown and Sam Storms gushed about Bickle and how he was so much above reproach. They were genuinely offended at the notion that he was even NAR, let alone a sexual predator for forty years and a serial liar about hearing from God. It was obvious from the start of the scandal that IHOP leadership had absolutely no intention of conducting and impartial investigation. They eventually disassociated themselves from the victim's group and their advocates. Charisma News and the Charismaniacal machine went into CYA mode and soon all we heard from people like Steven Strang was that the advocates were trying to stage a coup and that this was all just a nasty church fight. The machine smeared the victims saying they were being used by the devil to stop a work of God. Misty Edwards claimed they were not even victims. That she was the real victim.

Then the allegations involved someone who was 14 years old, when Bickle was a 20-something intern. Then another victim emerged that was 15 when Bickle was a little older and married. At this point, everyone except Strang abandoned Bickle and began trying to save the brand. Article after article tried to separate out the 24-7 prayer model, which we now know to be totally faked and demonic, from the sexual predator who started it. We now know that it was not of God and never was. Thus, God did not use it and was not vaguely involved in it growing. Nonetheless, they have been trying to salvage it ever since. The most common argument lifted from folks like Dr. Brown is that you do not throw away what God has done because of the sins of man. This is to say the least, missing the point. The assumption made is that just because people were sincere in their involvement in the ungodly prayer movement that God himself somehow ignored the egregious sins and lies it was built upon. That is not the God I read in the bible.

Let's take it out of Charismania for a minute. I am sure we all know very nice, well intended Mormons. That does not change that we fundamentally believe that Mormonism is a satanic cult. Why? Because it was built upon the lies of the bigamist, pedophile, Joseph Smith. It was based upon false prophecies he spewed and bogus angelic visitations. Sound familiar? Now, if there was a similar major sex scandal that prompted the closure of the Mormon Church, would you recommend that the former leaders, who may not have been directly involved in the scandal itself, merely reopen a new church with new branding? Or would you be advising those that escaped to realize that they had been duped. That they had sat under a church model not based upon the bible but based upon the lies and false prophecies of a sexual predator. That they may very well have been totally sincere in their prayers and their worship but that it was not Jesus they were worshipping. The key verse reminds us that there are false christs. Other verses teach there are false gospels. I understand it may be difficult to have this conversation with those who were duped but repackaging the IHOP brand with new marketing a shiny new voice is just putting lipstick on a sexual predator and pretending that there is nothing to see here.

Except there is something to see. Mike Bickle was not a good pastor who fell into sin. He was a voracious wolf who has done nothing but prey on young women in Kansas City for four decades. This was not an oopsie. During those four decades he manipulated women, elders and the church. He lied about hearing from God. The entire premise upon which he built IHOP was a lie and that includes Forerunner Church and the ungodly 24-7 prayer model. I know it stings but better to have the honest conversation with people who actually need to hear the real gospel and not cheap knock off of Mike Bickle, under the guise of "Sanctuary Church."

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Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2024 at 2:41:20 PM

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