Here they come beloved. We should have expected it. The powers that be who exist to protect the purpose driven industrial complex are starting a backlash campaign against the Mike Bickle allegations. They distort reality with false piety filling their lying mouths. I responded yesterday to Dr. Michael Brown, who continues to plague the church with daily words that he fancies as encouragement, and I am sure they are for Mike Bickle. Now the latest is Steven Strang whose latest attempt at salvaging Bickle and IHOP is linked above. Just remember these two men and the countless others who will pay meaningless words to the victims while talking out of both sides of their mouths. Whenever this investigation runs its course, remember who stood up for Christ and who stood up for Mike Bickle and the apostate church. For now, let us reason once more through Strang's tortured reasoning and deceptive excuses.
Some leaders at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City have called for an independent, third-party investigation into charges of "clergy sexual abuse" brought last week against Mike Bickle who founded the ministry. I wholeheartedly agree with the need for an independent investigation because the truth must come out, and often it's hard to find the truth when those investigating have a vested interest in the outcome. Mike Bickle and IHOPKC have stood for holiness and seemed to be a paragon of virtue in a culture (and church) that has seen too much compromise. The charges seem serious, yet at least two, who were originally thought to be "victims," say it isn't true. While I am not doing an investigation and I'm certainly not judge and jury, I hope what I've found so far will at least show there is "another side" and urge Christians not to rush to judgment. By no means am I seeking to hurt, victimize or minimize those who have come forward. Rather I am seeking to provide some personal context and insight into a very emotional and confusing moment for so many.
The fact that Strang would cite people who have a vested interest in the outcome is hysterical since that directly represents himself. What however is he inferring? Is he seriously suggesting now that the leadership of IHOP is investigating for ulterior motives? These people were friends with Mike Bickle! They worked with him! They respected him! They bought into the sham he was selling just like Strang did! Mike Bickle has been a paragon of virtue? He stood for holiness? Let me give you another name who was renowned for his holiness focus and preaching - Ravi Zacharias. So much so that Dr. Brown mentioned how much he adored his focus on holiness. Well, that is until it was discovered that for years he had created a web of international sex workers for him to visit when he was abroad, paid American masseuses to travel with him, spiritually manipulated them into having sex with him, and then threatened them spiritually to keep silent. Yeah, he preached so great on holiness. You want another name? Ted Haggard once preached relentlessly about holiness by condemning homosexuality daily as the head of the National Association of Evangelicals. Well, until it was revealed that he was in the middle of a 20-year relationship with a male hooker he liked to do crystal meth with but man he could preach the holiness off the walls. Do you get the point Steven? HE WASN'T A PARAGON OF VIRTUE! That is the point!
Now, onto the slick deception Strang will engage in throughout this article. The names of the victims were never released. Steven Strang has zero idea who they are and rightly so. Notice the clever wording. Two of the eight women "originally thought" to be among the victims are now saying it is untrue. Not two of the actually confirmed eight. Two of the assumed eight. It is a classic disinformation tool too poison the well by floating out names of people not among the victims, let them deny it, and then you can pretend as Strang does here that there is "another side." Reporting the facts is not rushing to judgment. The facts are three of IHOP's leadership team, who are not against Mike Bickle, have already investigated preliminarily. They have discovered long term, credible allegations, corroborated against other witnesses, and said that Bickle not only refused to answer questions but that he engaged in manipulation and targeting of the victims to discredit them. So, stop minimizing and deflecting like Dr. Brown. The remaining issue to investigate is the scope, not the overall verity. To continue to pretend otherwise is revictimizing the victims. It is cruel and callous. It is certainly not Christian.
I have known Mike Bickle and his wife Diane since the 1980s and we have become friends. I am also his publisher. The first thing I thought was "oh no, not again, and not Mike, too."
Emotionally I've been numb, not wanting to believe this is true of such a respected friend. I immediately reached out to Mike via email but I'm not surprised he hasn't responded because he has a policy of not defending himself. He's been criticized many times, the most recent in a documentary called "Cessationist." But while others in the movie defended their beliefs publicly, Mike refused to do so. I know Mike as a humble man who lives a modest lifestyle and didn't take royalties on his teaching or make money like some Christian leaders do who have big followings. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but Mike said early in his career he should avoid even the appearance of evil regarding money.