IHOPKC's Executive Leadership Team. There, we shared testimonies of these victims of Mike's inappropriate words and actions." - IHOP Leadership
I have made the cited Matthew verses the key verses listed above because so many misapply these verses. This deals with one brother sinning against another - not a Pastor sexually abusing his sheep! Are you kidding me! So, what if Bickle "listened" as the verses state? What if he said, yeah, I did that. Have you "gained a brother?" No! You have gained an admitted criminal! We have to stop abusing scripture to make excuses. I might add that Bickle not only rebuffed and denied any meeting, but it was discovered that Bickle used manipulation and intimidating tactics towards his victims - sheep who had been entrusted to him! He tried to isolate them! He tried to discredit them! So, if you are really following Matthew 18, where is the treatment of Bickle as a Gentile and tax collector? Think for a moment what that means. treating him as a Gentile would mean that we acknowledge he is not saved and never was. That he is a hell-bound reprobate. God also said to treat him as a tax collector. We know that tax collectors were reviled by the Jewish people. They were HATED because they took advantage of people, they claimed lineage with. Are you seeing the correlation yet? Do we see that now towards Bickle? NO! They are still saying they are concerned about Bickle, I have even heard some already talking about his ministerial restoration! Mark Driscoll stole $200,000 in tithe monies to cheat the NY Times Best Seller List, bullied everyone on his staff, and ran away in the night to avoid church discipline yet today he comfortably pastors another church in a different state. Years ago, Ted Haggard was the head of the Nation Association of Evangelicals and pastor of a Colorado church of 12,000 people. Despite being a rabid anti-homosexual preacher, he was caught having a 20-year sexual relationship with a male prostitute who he did crustal meth with. Today? He is comfortably pastoring a different church in Colorado. Instead of focusing on the wrong verses in Matthew we should focus on the verses that spell out the qualifications to be a pastor. Driscoll and Haggard disqualified themselves from the office. The same goes for Greg Locke today who lectures believers on moral issues while leading his church with his adulteress that wrecked his first marriage. God was not suggesting these qualifications. Mike Bickle was disqualified based on his false teachings years ago but now? 40+ years of sexual abuse?
"When these allegations were brought to our attention, we were shocked. We could never have imagined that inappropriate conduct with women as something we would ever need to be concerned about. The allegations seemed out of character to the man we thought we knew, but they were so serious we could not ignore them." - IHOP Leadership
Now granted, people can be very adept at hiding their true selves. Isn't it telling however that no one ever seems to know when these things happen? Wasn't the selling point Bickle had for starting IHOP based on multiple prophets? So, we are supposed to believe that multiple people who hear from God directly, had no clue that this man was a serial sexual abuser for decades? I remember after the independent investigation regarding Zacarias, that there had been a long history of signs, warnings and red flags that were ignored. He would routinely take a female masseuse with him on long "ministry" trips. With Bickle, he created an atmosphere of manipulation. I found a sermon from 2020 he gave about entertaining false accusations! C'mon. In order for this statement to be true, all leadership, apostles, prophets, and laypersons would all be duped. It is time we grow up and admit that we wanted to be duped. No one wants to believe the worst of someone who claims the mantle of Christ in a pastoral or leadership role but to pretend now that this just dropped out of the sky is disingenuous at best.
"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." - IHOP Leadership
Yeah, while this is all good, it is all very, very late. Another pause here to consider this point they keep emphasizing that it was "misconduct" sexual in nature that did not honor the marriage contract. Intended or not, this is not the time to sanitize the truth. The first real truth here is that this was not merely misconduct. If I tear the tags off my mattress that is misconduct. If my kid cuts out of school, that is misconduct. If a pastor violates his office by having sex with the sheep entrusted to him, manipulates them, marginalizes them, revictimizes them, and tries to discredit them, that is a smidge higher than "misconduct." Falls short of biblical standards? It falls short of basic human decency standards. I know it hurts for those who were truly deceived by this man, but Mike Bickle was not only teaching you false doctrine for decades, but he was a predator in his own church. He was a wolf in the sheep pen devouring whatever sheep he felt like and when they tried to fight back, he used his ministerial authority to intimidate and manipulate them. Stop whitewashing this.
"We do not share this process to fill in salacious details, but to protect the integrity of the victims and their experiences that were shared. We appeal to you to refrain from using names of any victims. These are women who have always been viewed as credible, trustworthy, and coura- geous. None of these victims had any intention to punish Mike Bickle and they had nothing to
gain by sharing their experiences except the pursuit of truth, repentance, mercy, and grace." - IHOP Leadership
Please. Statements like these are not to protect the victims but rather the victimizer. IHOP leadership could easily provide the details without compromising the identity of anyone. The details are the point. Perhaps people would stop idolizing this false teacher if they knew the details. It sure helped with the Ravi Zacarias case. Imagine if all we ever heard was pious blather and protecting the victims mantra. Instead, the independent investigation uncovered that from Malaysia to Thailand to South Korea, Ravi sexually abused multiple women over many years. He would import overseas masseuses, use ministry funds to support them, or take some American masseuse with him on overseas ministry trips. He would groom them as a father figure, provide them with needed money and then demand sex for the money including forcing them to pray with him to thank God for the opportunity they both received. He referred to these women as his reward for living life of service to God pointing out that many godly men in the bible had multiple wives. He chastised one that if she ever told, she would be responsible for millions of souls who would lose their salvation if his reputation was ever damaged. Those that tried to question the bringing of female masseuses on trips were branded as engaging in satanic-type slander. Are these details salacious? No beloved. The word salacious means an inappropriate interest in sexual matters. There is nothing inappropriate with the findings regarding Ravi Zacarias and there would be none for Mike Bickle either. We are adults and can handle the truth. Anything short of an independent investigation by an outside entity will seem clumsy and designed to cover up the truth and the victims, which includes all of the IHOP family, deserve better.