"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. - Matthew 18:15-17 (ESV)
As the world is now aware, there are serious allegations pending against the founder of the International House of Prayer, Mike Bickle. This announcement stunned many in the Charismatic movement who are blinded to the rampant false teaching and cult like behavior within the apostate church they serve. Those with discernment have known for many, many years that IHOP was a cult, pure and simple. Those who survived and came out of IHOP tried to tell us all that for many, many years. When Bethany Deaton's lifeless body was discovered in 2012 there was obviously something rotten in Kansas City. One of her IHOP housemates confessed to murdering her at her husband's direction but later recanted saying it arose from an exorcism. Even though local authorities would dismiss the charges and rule the death a suicide, it remains murky at best and even if that was what happened, the reasons for the suicide/homicide rested squarely with the cult they belonged to. Survivors have testified to false manifestations, Brownsville like spasmodic movements being passed off as worship, other spoke of IHOP not allowing them to leave IHOP premises without permission, sleep deprivation disguised as supporting the 24-7 prayer schtick, and severe disciplinary processes.
Behind the scenes, Mike Bickle ran a tight ship. He was venerated as leader, pastor, and prophet. IHOP embraced the horribly heretical Bridal Paradigm, and their in-house worship music was primarily the "Jesus is my lover" type. So is it any wonder that it now comes out that over the past 4 + decades, Mike Bickle was abusing his authority to sexually abuse his sheep, and possibly one when she was still a minor. For all of the defenders, sycophants and protectors of the evangelical industrial complex, who keep insisting that "if" the charges are true, keep in mind what it takes for a cult leader's direct reports to turn on him. There is not just smoke, it is a three-alarm fire and the only true purpose for people insisting on the still vagueness of the charges is to minimize what happened and we will not allow that. Over this past weekend, the leadership of IHOP put out a statement regarding the charges and that is what we will respond to today. My allegiance is not to Bickle, who remains a horrific wolf, regardless of these charges. It is to the victims of IHOP. It is to those the escaped and to the memory of Bethany Deaton, who did not survive. So, let us reason once more together.
"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." - IHOP Leadership
Let me speak to the length because this highlights the cult like nature of IHOP. Now, the purpose driven church model creates these cult of personality pastors across this country, but IHOP took it to a new level. I refuse to believe that nobody had even a vague clue over 40 + years. We saw this recently with Ravi Zacarias, who was far more credible than Bickle. After is death it was revealed that Ravi lived a life opposite of his public pious persona, including networks of sex workers and massage parlors across the globe. One of the primary characteristics of a cult is the inability of anyone to challenge the grand leader. New students to IHOP were required to watch 12 hours of Bickle teachings and the infamous Kansas City prophets which rode him into town all those decades ago. It reminds me of the leaked materials used in children's ministries at Elevation Church that teaches kids about "Pastor Steven's" vision given to him by God. This is not meaningless beloved. This is dangerous, dangerous stuff. It is the same stuff that led to Jonestown and Waco.
Also, here we should remind everyone that these allegations have already been vetted by those who were closest to Bickle. Sure, we want a full investigation but enough of the knee jerk "if" statements. Someone said to me yesterday in a Facebook thread that "now we have to investigate these women." Absolutely disgusting. Bickle's right hand men and women have already said the allegations are credible and based upon collective and corroborating testimony of several victims. We need to drop the pretense of "if" and focus on what the extent is.
"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