"Strang noted an exception with Bickle, in his stance over a number of years of not defending himself if some matter arose. Strang's discussion revolves around the spiritual restoration that needs to take place on both sides of the investigation. Citing Galatians 6:1, he argues that individuals caught in transgressions can be restored with a spirit of meekness. Drawing from his roots in the Assemblies of God, Strang pointed to examples of other leaders such as Jim Bakker and Ted Haggard, who went through periods of restoration after public scandals. "I believe that the apostle Paul writing to the Galatians said very clearly that people can be restored. I come from a denominational background that has a path to restoration for ministers who are repentant, and to their credit have always stood for righteousness. And they're very quick if somebody messes up to deal with it, unlike some groups where it seems almost anything goes. But they also have a way that people can be restored," Strang says." - Charisma News
Mike Bickle has been given legal advice since one of the alleged charges might include illegal activities, for which there is no statute of limitations. So, his stance of not defending himself is self-serving and should not be trumpeted as pious, as Strang indicates here. That aside, let us first deal with his two examples. Jim Bakker was a fraud from the beginning so it is unclear why we should be gleeful that he was able to resurrect his ministry career. Granted he went from being the prominent televangelist to hocking nuclear war supplies of food buckets but hey, you have to make a buck, right? The Ted Haggard case however is a far more egregious example, and it simply shows the disconnect people like Steven Strang live under. In 2006 Ted Haggard was the king of Evangelicalism. He was the President of the National Association of Evangelicals and worked with the Bush Administration at the time. His Colorado church had in excess of 14,000 members who would pack in every Sunday to hear Haggard feed them a steady diet of how homosexuals were ruining everything in the world. Haggard was also pushing a Colorado ban on same sex marriages at that time. Then a male prostitute named Mike Jones came forward to say that Haggard had been availing himself of Jones's services for 20 years and liked to do crystal meth at the same time. Oops. Haggard at first lied vehemently and was backed by fellow political hack James Dobson, who claimed this was irresponsible journalism to take the word of one man. Haggard said at the time:
"I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver... I am steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife." Haggard also said, "I have never done drugs - ever. Not even in high school. I didn't smoke pot. I didn't do anything like that. I'm not a drug man. We're not a drinking family. I don't smoke cigarettes. I don't socially drink. We don't socially drink. We don't have wine in our house. We don't do that kind of thing." - Ted Haggard
Then Jones released an audio of a message Haggard left for him asking for the Meth. Oops again. Haggard then employed the Bill Clinton defense by saying he did buy the drugs but didn't use them. Eventually his church would part ways with him and say that Haggard admitted to much of what was being alleged by the male prostitute. His church did however give him a generous severance package lasting through 2007, at the expense of the sheep of course. By April of 2007, just a few months after being removed, and only three weeks of "intensive counseling" a pastor on his restoration team declared that Haggard was 100% heterosexual. Yeah, right. After bumbling around for a couple of years, even selling life insurance, Haggard declared that his homosexual feelings had miraculously disappeared and in late 2009 he announced he would start holding church services out of his barn, with himself as the lead pastor. This grew into St James Church, which he pastored until he sold the property for almost two million dollars in 2022, after new allegations arose regarding him being sexually inappropriate with boys in his church and more drug allegations as well. So, this is the fantastic example Strang wants to bring up? Haggard's "period of restoration" was three weeks. He was out of work for about three years, one of which was still paid by his former church. Then he decided to start a new church. On his own. He did not ask anyone for permission and no permission was given. He was not "restored."
Let's deal with being restored though as we see in the key verses from Galatians. Paul is writing clearly that BROTHERS can be restored in their WALK. There are two things wrong with applying this here. First of all, the guy railing against homosexuality from the pulpit while doing crustal meth with a male prostitute for 20 years? Yeah, that's not my brother. That is a wolf. The same can be said in the Bickle situation. He has lied to everyone for four decades. He is not a brother. He is a wolf. He is a hireling. He should be treated as such. The other point is Paul is speaking about our walk, not our ministry. No one is rooting against Mike Bickle truly finding Christ and walking right with the Lord. There is no restoration to the pulpit however because he has disqualified himself from ministry according to the bible. Again, do not be deceived. If someone messes up, has an affair, and is repentant - can they be restored to their walk. Absolutely!
"There's other examples that I could cite, including my own mentor and longtime friend Jamie Buckingham, who died in 1992," shares Strang. "Jaime had two, kind of crash and burns, both of them affairs. He, in two different churches, he was run out of town both times. He's written about this, in several of his books, and all this happened before I knew him. It was a real crushing season for him, he described himself as being a very prideful Baptist preacher. And, and he was totally humiliated. But it was through that crushing that he became open to the Holy Spirit in 1967." - Charisma News
Maybe we should consider that someone who has multiple affairs may not be fit for ministry. Unless he is saying that the man was not saved until 1967, which would be a different story. I also think we should pause here and recognize that Strang always seems very concerned for the offenders and not so much for the actual victims. It was a crushing season for the man who had the two affairs? Pardon me while I really do not care so much because I would be far more concerned for his wife, and the two women, whose lives he probably destroyed. That is also the application in IHOPKC. Strang is very concerned about restoring Mike Bickle but what about the woman whose life he nearly destroyed? How many other victims have had their faith shipwrecked? This is another reason why people like Strang have zero credibility.
"Strang raises questions about the validity of the accusations against Bickle, emphasizing the need to consider the perspectives of all parties involved. He references a statement from Jane Doe's, published by Misty Edwards on X, who claim they were involuntarily labeled and had narratives constructed by others. Strang urges a careful examination of the entire situation, questioning why some Jane Doe's are believed while others are not." - Charisma News