"We also know that people can operate in supernatural power while living in sin, like Samson when he uprooted the city gates of Gaza on his shoulders and carried them off shortly after sleeping with a Philistine prostitute (see Judges 16). As stated in a different context, the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). Perhaps the prophecies, visions, and words were real, even if the human vessel was falling short." - Dr. Michael Brown
Not sure if Samson proves that. He did end up with his eyes gouged out and a slave before God allowed him one last victory before death. It seems the lesson here is there are the consequences for repeated sin rather than the notion that you can still be "supernatural." For prophecies and visions to be true, they must have been imparted by God. So, Dr. Brown is stating that he believes God will still give such words to someone living in sin? I don't think so. Again, we are not talking about doubt but outright sinful lifestyles. He needs to make this point because if the Bickle allegations are true, then that pretty much disproves the entire IHOP experiment as having come from God. We of course know it did not. God did not demand 24-7 worship. Mike Bickle did. I am not saying the folks engaged in it were not sincere, but it took on a life of its own at some point. The reports from those who were in it reveals cultish behavior, eastern mysticism, and transcendental meditation being passed off as "prayer." The Apostle Paul outlines guidelines for church service very meticulously. That is God giving us direction and nowhere does it even hint at the need for 24-7 prayer.
That brings us to the key verse for today, which most will recognize. This verse does not literally mean we should always be praying. It means we should have a biblical consciousness about our lives. While there are certainly times for focused extended prayer that is not what we see at IHOP. They engage in institutional prayer, not individual prayer. If the church merely encouraged people to always have a God consciousness and be in communication with the Lord throughout our day, checking with His word on all matters of our lives, I would hold little objection. This was about the prayer room, more than the prayer life. It became performance, as so much does in Charismania. Listen beloved, we are in for the long haul with the Mike Bickle scandal. IHOP has hired an outside law firm specializing in representing such victims and I say kudos to that. I also agree that we need to wait and hear the full results of the investigation. That said, there is nothing wrong with stating the facts that are known now. That is not sinful, as Dr. Brown accuses. What is sinful is secretly or otherwise, trying to smooth this over so it eases the blow to someone you considered your friend or to try and preserve a horrifically heretic outfit like IHOP. If you genuinely cared about the community, you would be finding them real churches that preach the real gospel. Replacing Mike Bickle when this is over and trying to rebuild on such a rotten theological foundation is worse than singing songs about healing when you lied about having cancer to cover up a porn addiction or being a friend of God while fathering two children out of wedlock.
Reverend Anthony Wade - November 11, 2023