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Devotionals    H3'ed 11/11/23

This week in the Bickle Scandal and Dr. Brown - Stating Facts is not "Sinful"

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pray without ceasing, - 1Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)

Beloved there are no winners in this ongoing spectacle from IHOP Kansas City, but Dr. Michael Brown continues to soft peddle nonsense that must be answered for people genuinely seeking direction and clarity. He quite comedically posted this week on Facebook that God has never asked for his opinion. While true, all Brown does is give his opinion! That is what he does for a living! That is all his radio show is! That is all his writing has become! So please, stop the nonsense. It remains clear that Dr. Brown intends to continue to serve two primary purposes here. The first is to provide some cover for his admitted friend of many decades, Mike Bickle. Secondly, his intent is on preserving the IHOP cancer on Christendom, regardless of how the Bickle investigation ends up. I and many others have been very clear. Even if somehow, Mike Bickle was cleared of everything, IHOP needs to go. IHOP is not false because of the allegations against Mike Bickle. It is false specifically because of Mike Bickle. The alleged prophecies upon which he founded it were false. The construction of it was false. The theology of it is false. Dr. Brown brags about the performative 24-7 prayer/worship model the same way he brags about the Brownsville demonic outpouring. All he sees is the furtherance of his Charismaniacal model. Forcing kids to pray until 3 AM? No worries from Dr. Brown. Bridal paradigm and Jesus is my lover music? No worries. The murder of Bethany Deaton? Who cares? The IHOP staff person allowed to minister even though they were formerly a sexual abuser of teenagers? Hey, he did 18 months of restoration! Every person who has managed to escape IHOP details horrific cult like behaviors - don't gossip! The problem remains that Dr. Brown thinks all of this is happenstance or peripheral instead of being the embodiment of what IHOP is, regardless of Mike Bickle. Brown preached this past Sunday at IHOP Forerunner Church, where he gave the game away with this statement:

"You may want to show how prophetic you are, and you're figuring it out. Grow up. This is not the time to be doing that." - Dr. Michael Brown

Huh? Wait a second Doc. I thought prophets hear directly from God? So, someone claiming to have a direct word from the Lord needs to grow up if they dare think they should share it? What this clearly reveals is that Dr. Brown knows the prophecy garbage in the NAR apostate church is not actually from the Lord. Brown also said that if people had opinions, they ought to keep them to themselves. This is another deception Brown loves to traffic in regarding this story. Everyone has an opinion. Dr. Brown pays lips service to both sides. His boss, Steven Strang is on record as saying he stands with Mike Bickle, which by default means he stands against the accusers. These are all opinions. The deceit here is in inferring that any legitimate reporting of facts is somehow opinion. I have stated very clearly my opinion regarding the theological cesspool known as IHOP. I stated this prior to any accusation coming out against Bickle. These accusations only lend more credibility to the prevailing discernment opinion that IHOP has always been a cult. As to the allegations, I have only stated what has already been reported. The leadership team, which is partial to Mike Bickle obviously thought the allegations were credible enough - after they investigated, to remove Mike Bickle from leadership. Interestingly, they came out this week and started downplaying this by saying only one accusation, from 26 years ago was credible but the others have been more difficult to ascertain because they were represented by third parties. Yet what was missing from their admission this week was their initial comment that when they tried to confront Bickle, he refused to cooperate. They also found that he had engaged in spiritual manipulation and tried to discredit the victims. These are not opinions Dr. Brown - they are stated facts. With that as a backdrop, let us quickly look at more from Dr. Brown this past weekend:

"We also have to understand that human nature is very complex, and we can struggle between serving the Lord and yielding to the flesh or between faith and doubt. That means that someone can write a beautiful song of praise to the Lord in the midst of a protracted struggle with doubt. They emerge from a season of doubt with beautiful words of adoration and worship, only to fall back into doubt again. But that worship song was real, and we can sing it to the Lord even if the writer ultimately fell away. The same thing could hold true with a leader struggling with sexual sin (or gambling or drinking). They download porn, they weep in repentance, then they get up and preach a powerful message, expositing the Scriptures with accuracy. That message still stands and inspires even if the person who delivered it fell short (or if their repentance was only short-lived).

I guess this is an interesting debate. Let us take some recent examples. Hillsong/Planet Shakers singer Michael Guglielmucci wrote a beautiful worship song called "Healer" in 2008. I know the song. I loved the song and worshipped to it in my church at the time. It quickly became one of the most popular worship songs of its time. The back story was moving, as Guglielmucci claimed to have written the song because of a battle with cancer. The outpouring of sympathy and money was amazing. Then it was revealed that he did not actually have cancer. He had a pornography addiction that was manifesting in physical symptoms and when questioned about it he made up the cancer diagnosis. Oops. Now, does this change the fact that God is our healer? Absolutely not but that does not mean the song needs to sung ever again. It was created out of a horrible, sinful lie. Can't we sing a different song about healing? Another example is Israel Houghton who divorced his first wife of twenty years and admitted to not only being unfaithful but to have fathered two children outside of the marriage. At the same time, he was writing internationally renowned songs such as "Friend of God." Now, churches should not sing this horrible song to begin with but now that we know it was written by an active adulterer and not actually someone who was a friend of God shouldn't we cringe if we hear it in a church ever again?

So back to Dr. Brown's assertion here. There is a vast difference between someone who simply is having doubt and someone faking cancer or fathering two children out of wedlock. The preaching example is pretty egregious. Even if you stand by sermons delivered by porn addicted pastors, can we at least admit that once it is revealed, we should not be seeking more sermons from them? More importantly, if the sermon was about the very thing they were preaching against, can we at least admit that whether it "inspired me" is completely irrelevant? Brown recently said he loved Ravi Zacharias' ministry focus on holiness. He said the same thing about Bickle. Doesn't it matter that they were utter hypocrites while giving these teachings? Brown also stated:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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