Oh, it is getting ugly down in Kansas City. Yesterday, Dr. Michael Brown withdrew from being connected with IHOP and the investigation. Of course, he offered up lame excuses like traveling hardships, but the timing seems obvious because it was right after IHOP changed their mind about hiring an outside firm to investigate the decades long, multiple women allegations of sexual abuse against the founder of IHOP. Brown had correctly said initially that they needed to hire such an entity for transparency's sake. When asked about it yesterday he stammered out something about IHOP previously saying they were open to it. We all know that the gatekeeper, Brown, will never say a disparaging word about any charismatic preacher, let alone someone he considered a friend. The above link is to a new statement from the current leadership at IHOP. Now, stay with me because the web gets confusing sometimes.
The initial statement was signed by three former IHOP leadership team and IHOP board members, including a former pastor of their Forerunner Church. This statement included the following:
"A few days ago, we made the leadership team of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC) aware of serious allegations spanning several decades concerning its founder, Mike Bickle. Without going into details to protect the privacy of the victims' identities, we have found these allegations of clergy sexual abuse by Mike Bickle to be credible and long-standing. The credibility of these allegations is not based on any one experience or any one victim, but on the collective and corroborating testimony of the experiences of several victims."
"Prior to meeting with the leadership team of IHOP, we attempted to bring the allegations and
the testimony of one of the victims directly to Mike Bickle in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-17. How- ever, we were repeatedly rebuffed by Mike Bickle and we were refused any sort of meeting. Instead, Mike used manipulating and intimidating tactics towards the victims to isolate them and discredit them. To avoid further wounding of victims, we met with several members of IHOPKC's Executive Leadership Team. There, we shared testimonies of these victims of Mike's inappropriate words and actions."
"The Scriptures inform us that leaders in the church, especially those who teach the Word of God, are held to a higher standard and stricter judgment. We believe that Mike Bickle's actions were not above reproach and fall short of biblical standards for leaders in the church. To be clear, the allegations made about Mike Bickle's misconduct were sexual in nature where the marriage covenant was not honored. Furthermore, the allegations made also reveal that Mike Bickle used his position of spiritual authority over the victims to manipulate them."
So, the accusations were from many women, investigated, and based upon collected and corroborating experiences of the victims. When these folks, who had previously worked closely with Bickle approached him in the spirit (although misapplied) of Matthew 18, Bickle rebuffed them and refused to meet with them, you know, like innocent people do, right? They also stated that Bickle used manipulating and intimidating tactics towards the victims! They further concluded that Bickle had used his position of spiritual authority to manipulate them. Let us not lose sight of these founding facts. These three people were highly respected members of IHOP. Mike Bickle was their spiritual father and friend. Now fast forward a week or so and under mounting pressure, the current IHOP leadership states they will hire an outside firm, known as GRACE, to investigate.