Saturday, June 29, 2013

Re: A Call to Unity

A few days ago, I got into a Twitter conversation with one Dakota Hermes on Twitter, who had posted this regarding the International House of Prayer:

I took the chance to begin conversation, and offer Mr. Hermes to interact with what I had written on the subject. This offer was initially refused:

This continued into a short conversation between us. The main contention from Mr. Hermes was that I was not showing "love" for all of God's church:

Soon after this conversation ended, Mr. Hermes made a post on his blog. The post is entitled "A Call to Unity" and can be found here. I decided to offer a response to it, since I think it was partially influenced by myself, and is related to what has been written or said in regards to IHOP-KC. It also presents some common arguments made by those who defend IHOP-KC and its sister movements, so it's well worth the review.

The blog post begins with this section (I have put his writings in purple, to help the reader differentiate between where I am quoting him and where I am quoting other sources):
This post is prompted by some strong convictions I’ve had for about a year now. Recently, while reading one of those hate blogs targeted at IHOP-KC (hate when I do that, it only causes anger to spring up in me), I decided it may be beneficial to post about a topic I think is at the forefront of Jesus’ church today. Unity. [emphasis in original]
Note firstly the use of the term "hate blogs." It might have served well if some examples had been given - is my blog a "hate blog"? And what constitutes a "hate blog"? From past experience, the term "hate" usually translates into "offers criticism and discernment." The goal here, however, is not one of hate. I don't want Mike Bickle and his whole family to die in a fire. I don't get hot under the collar every time I encounter someone who goes to IHOP-KC. In fact, those who have read enough of my posts or listened to my podcasts on the subject will know that I often pray for the people there, and exhort them, in as kind words as possible, for them to leave IHOP-KC. The reason I do what I do is because of love for God's truth and a desire to "save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh" (Jude 1:23). I am certain many of those who criticize and warn others about IHOP-KC have similar motivations.

Therefore, this idea of "hate blogs" is simply an emotional straw man. If any "hate" is being shown, then examples should be given and the use of the word should be demonstrated. Otherwise, it is again, as I have demonstrated here, a straw man, and individuals should stop using the term entirely.

Our author continues, going into his topic of "unity":
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

1st Corinthians 1:10-13

Upon reading this scripture, I think it’s very obvious that Jesus wants His church to be united in both mind and judgement. I have seen many take the phrase “unity in the church” vastly out of context and say that it refers to unity within their church. For instance, I go to so and so church here in Normal, and we strive for unity within our church. That is a great idea, to be united to others in your church, and Jesus would love for that to happen, but it cannot be forgotten that we are ALL His church. Everyone who is born again is a part of Christ’s church. It doesn’t matter who your pastor is, who baptized you, or what theologian you agree with. Christ is not divided.

In biblical times, the church was separated by city. The church of Ephesus, the church of Corinth, etc. Obviously, now, that is not the case. It is my conviction that the reason for this is that we are all human and all interpret the scripture incorrectly sometimes, causing division and denominations to rise. however, this does not mean that we have to hate the other denominations. It is so important to embrace all Christ loving churches with love! I can’t stress this enough.
I think the author would be surprised to find out that I actually agree. I am personally a Reformed Baptist, but it is not my opinion that those who do not adhere to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith are going to hell. I can consider my orthodox Lutheran and Presbyterian peers to be brothers in Christ even if we disagree on the nonessentials. I agree likewise that it does not matter "who your pastor is, who baptized you, or what theologian you agree with."

However, here is an important question: should we sacrifice sound doctrine for the sake of personal unity?

The fact is, if a person thinks that the only thing the Bible says on the subject of unity is we should all get along despite any differences, then they are simply mistaken. Scripture is full of calls to avoid false teaching and doctrine, or simply speaking harsh words against it. For example, the apostle Paul says to the Roman Christians:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. [Romans 16:17]
If you encounter a church body or a leader who is creating obstacles contrary to the sound teachings of historical Christianity, then they are to be avoided. The concept here is that you are not to permit any form of fellowship between yourself and the others who adhere to this erroneous doctrine.

In his epistle to the Galatians, the apostle Paul wrote:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. [Galatians 1:6-9]
Remember that this letter was being written because of the problem of the Judaizers, who were members of the church and teachers in it. The apostle Paul, however, branches the problem out by saying that if anyone teaches a different gospel - whether an apostolic authority or an angel from heaven - they are to be accursed...that is, kicked out of the church and excommunicated.

On the issue of the Judaizers and their false gospel, Paul even went so far as to confront the apostle Peter about it:
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” [Galatians 2:11-14]
Paul confronted Peter (and before everyone else, not privately) and spoke up against him for the way he was becoming friendly with the "circumcision party" (that is, the Judaizers) and ignoring his Gentile brethren. The apostle Peter was clearly desiring to maintain some form of "unity" with the Judaizers, and yet the apostle Paul would not have it. Was Paul breaking the concept of "unity"? Was Paul showing "hate" to Peter in his day? Heck, was Paul showing "hate" to the Judaizers?

The apostle John likewise wrote, regarding those who denied the incarnation of Christ (which some believe to be an early form of the Gnostics):
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. [2 John 1:10-11]
Forget church hospitality - we are told here not to even let the upholder of erroneous doctrine into our house! We are not even to give them "any greeting" (the "greeting" referring to how Christians address one another). Clearly, John was showing "hate" for these individuals.

So is Christianity a religion that tells all believers to get along with one another? Yes and no. We're obviously commanded to love one another (Jn 13:34-35), but as we've seen here, we're also called to be discerning, and to avoid not only false teaching but likewise those who teach it. On the other hand, we are told by our author: "It is so important to embrace all Christ loving churches with love!" And yet I am certain, if you had gone back in time, and had asked the Judaizers, Gnostics, and others, if they loved Christ, they would have readily told you, "Oh yes! We love Christ!" Yet it is not enough to simply say you love Christ and act in his name - Christ made that clear:
"On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'" [Matthew 7:22-23]
These people did works in Christ's name, and call him "Lord, Lord" (the double use of the name showing the intensity of their belief in said name), and yet Christ says, "I never knew you." It is clear that merely having Jesus on your Statement of Faith, or mentioning Jesus and his love a lot during sermons, does not alone make you a "Jesus loving church."

It does not stop here, of course. The apostle Paul warned Christians about those who teach on "another Jesus."
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4]
The apostle warns against "a different gospel" (similar to the passage in Galatians), but he likewise warns against "a different spirit" and "another Jesus." It is clear, then, that it is possible for someone to claim to be in the spirit, or claim to know Jesus, and yet not be saved, or true believers. There are many, many places and organizations operating under the names "church" and "ministry," and yet the Jesus they preach is a different Jesus entirely.

The apostle Jude likewise wrote on the false teachers in his day:
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. [Jude 1:4]
Remember, Jude is not talking about unbelievers, but about those leaders and teachers within the church - those who would have called themselves Christians - and he accuses them of "denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." Why? Because, as we said, anyone who preaches a Christ (or spirit or gospel) not like that found in scripture, or as has been understood by the Christian churches for the past 2000 years, is teaching a different Christ entirely. Such churches and ministries should be avoided.

Our author continues his post, bringing in his life story:
Time for a little back story. Upon being saved, I was going to a reformed church. Looking back, I am filled with joy at the people who were around me in that church, and I still love each of them. If it weren’t for that church, and Jesus working through them, I would not be who I am today. I went hard in reformed theology, and loved debating and finding where I stand on issues such as “once saved always saved” or Calvinism vs. Arminianism. I really fell in love with the theology and the fact that God chose me simply because of His love.

Then, I began going to a more charismatic gathering of young people. At first, I was a little out of my element. So much there was different from what I was used to, and my first reaction was to become offended because it was, simply, a little strange. Thankfully, the apparent love for Jesus that I found in this gathering brought me back a couple more times.

The third or fourth time I went back, God wrecked me with His love. The only way to describe what happened is to look at Acts 2 and at Pentecost (here I go being all controversial). I have never been the same since this event, nor do I want to return to where I was before it. Many, many, people, whom I love dearly, came to me, after I told some whom I was close to about this, with concern. “I think that is demonic, Dakota, you should really be careful.” I want to make this clear, I absolutely love their concern for me, and to this day appreciate that they encouraged the testing of every Spirit (1st John 4:1). Upon testing, I have found a God who is more jealous for me than I would have ever imagined. I have been so blessed by Him, and I only pray that He would pour out His Spirit on His whole church in this way, too. So, yes, this means I believe the gifts are still present today (as is clear biblically), and to get even more controversial, yes, I speak in tongues (a lot). haha.
Our friend says that he fulfilled the command by 1 John 4:1 to "test the spirits," but in what manner did he do so? I would be very curious, as both on Twitter and this blog post he has been rather vague, and at face value it sounds like he simply had an emotional experience, and this alone satisfied him.

It seems he is always talking about how God "is more jealous for him" or how he feels "so blessed by IHOP-KC." We don't hear anything such as, "I reviewed what scripture said, held Mike Bickle and IHOP-KC up to scripture, and found them both to be in accordance with one another." We must remember that "being blessed" does not necessarily mean spirits have been tested. I know people who call themselves "blessed" and yet belong to Islam, apostate churches, or any other false religion. When the apostles told us to be discerning, they did not mean we should hold our emotional experiences as the standard.

In fact, to be perfectly honest, I've rarely heard a testimony shared by those who went to IHOP-KC that involves them being convicted by scripture: usually it is always something superficial or emotional that brings them into IHOP-KC - the scriptural part comes later. The problem is that in such a situation, the Bible is not made our presupposition, but is used to confirm our presupposition. In such a case, the Bible is not our standard, but our personal experiences are.

Our author continues:
The reason I give this history is because I want you all to know that I have been on both sides of the coin. I have been reformed, and would now consider my theology more ‘charismatic’ although I do not like that term (because many think ‘chaotic’ when hearing it). And I love both sides of the coin, as well. That all being said…

This is my offense. I am absolutely, positively, fed up with the separation in the Church today. And I believe Jesus is, as well.

Guys, this is His bride we’re talking about. This is His beloved, whom He is coming back to dwell with forever.

It is not okay for us to have thoughts in our heart that our negative toward our brothers and sisters only because we see certain things a bit differently. [emphasis in original]
Then was Paul in error for calling the Judaizers "dogs" (Php 3:2)? Was it wrong for the apostle Paul to say the Judaizers who saw "things a bit differently" than him to be anathema (Ga 1:6-9)? Was it wrong for Paul to call the Galatian Christians "foolish" for having pursued another gospel (Ga 3:1)? Was it wrong for Jude to compare false teachers with Cain, Balaam and Korah (Jude 1:11)? Again, we would both agree that we shouldn't insult, belittle, or deride our brothers and sisters in Christ, but there is a difference between derision and discernment, and it is dangerous to confuse the two. It is like liberals and post-moderns who misquote Matthew 7:1 and confuse acceptance with tolerance.

Let me go a step further, and venture from the time of the Bible into church history. Let me ask our author if he would be "fed up with the separation in the Church" in other time periods? For example, when Athanasius, Ambrose, Hilary of Poiters, and many other men standing up against the Arians (who practically ran the fourth century church) were accused of being divisive, would our author have been right alongside the Arians shouting "Amen!" Athanasius was removed from his bishop position five times because he refused to agree with what a large majority of the church wanted, and it was because of his conviction by sacred scripture.

Let me ask our author if he would be "fed up with the separation in the Church" when Martin Luther and others stood up against the Papists, and attacked their doctrines of justification, salvation, and the like? Would he have been like Desiderius Erasmus, who wanted Luther to forgo doctrinal clarity for the sake of superficial unity? What would he have said to John Knox, who opposed Queen Mary and refused to bow down to Catholic principles when they were being forced upon Scotland? Would he have called Knox to recant of his ways and show more "love" for the church? Would our author have gone to Jan Hus and told him to show more "love" to those preaching false doctrines, and to give up his passion for God's word and his concepts of justification?

Let me ask our author if he would have opposed J. Gresham Machen when he opposed liberalism as it was seeping into the church in the early 20th century. Would he have asked Machen not to be so vehement about it, and to stop his divisive tactics which existed "only because we see certain things a bit differently"? Should Machen have permitted the liberals to grow in number and let their doctrines sink into the church for the sake of unity?

With this I have been belaboring, I know, but it is only to ask the question: where is the dividing line, and where do we stop? Where does unity end and doctrinal purity begin? When do we hold up our Bibles and say, "Those who speak against this, we shall have nothing to do with"? What is the dividing line when it comes to when a body is and isn't a church, and when we can and can't have fellowship? Is it whether or not they preach a false gospel, as we find in Roman Catholicism or the Prosperity Gospel? Is it whether or not they do away with important moral teachings from scripture, as we're finding in the Episcopal, Presbyterian USA, and United Methodist churches? When do we tell ourselves "No fellowship, no way"? When do we finally say we can't go any further?

Here I will pause, and I will admit that by this point I have withheld any direct criticism of IHOP-KC, or reference to her doctrines. Now, however, I think would be a good time to bring them up. Our author says that we shouldn't be negative towards anyone "only because we see certain things a bit differently." Is this the case with IHOP-KC? Is it only a matter of "seeing certain things a bit differently"? Let's review the teachings of IHOP-KC:
  • Mike Bickle claims God personally gave him the command to begin IHOP-KC (source1; source2). Even the acronym IHOP, which had been trademarked by a major restaurant since the 1970's, was given to them by God (source).
  • Mike Bickle claims that it's OK for prophets to be wrong (source).
  • On top of this last point, Mike Bickle also says it's OK for leaders to not be morally perfect (even if they've sexually abused women) or doctrinally sound (even if they believe they're an angel). (source)
  • Mike Bickle teaches all Christians are supposed to prophesy, contrary to the clear teaching of scripture (source1; source 2).
  • IHOP-KC claims that it's their prayers - and not God's sovereign will - that brings about the Holy Spirit's power and revival (source).
  • IHOP-KC claims that God has commanded them to raise up an army of people who will prophesy and assist the church in the end times - in fact, the church will need them in the end times (source).
  • IHOP-KC and its leaders have spoken in praise of false teachers such as Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn (source1; source2).
  • Mike Bickle, and the leaders of IHOP-KC and its related movements (Bethel Church, TheCall, etc.), do not truly honor sola scriptura (source). If you want examples of where they've abused or twisted the meaning of scripture, just look at any of my blog posts or listen to any of podcasts on the subject.
Folks, we aren't dealing with whether your church meets at ten o'clock or eleven o'clock. We're not talking about whether or not Paul wrote the epistle to the Hebrews. We're not talking about how many magi there were. We're not talking about whether you use wine or grape juice for communion. We're not talking about classical versus contemporary worship music. We're talking about seriously heretical doctrine, and great disrespect for the word of God in favor of dreams and visions held by its leaders. They have much more in common with Roman Catholicism (with their mystics and extravagant hagiographies) or cults like Mormonism (with a reliance upon the revelation given to their leaders) than they do orthodox Protestantism.

I have to ask our author, when he says he discerned the spirits, if he bothered to test scripture against any of this? Did he truly hold scripture as his standard, and review IHOP-KC that way, rather than simply take what IHOP-KC said and run to see if there was anything vaguely similar to it in scripture? I could go to a plethora of examples where IHOP-KC's leaders have abused scripture and greatly mishandled it - so many that I cannot understand how anyone can say they speak in line with the word of God unless they are either oblivious of what the Bible says or are intentionally letting IHOP-KC lead them astray and please their itching ears.

If anyone truly has discerned their teachings and believe them to be completely in line with God's word, please, please bring forward what you have. Let us examine from the scriptures if they be true. If you cannot defend your beliefs by sacred scripture, then your beliefs have no soil to take root in, and they are simply withered grass. If this is the case, why are you involved with this movement?
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Cor. 13:12

None of us have perfect theology. We are all wrong in one place or another, because we simply can’t fully comprehend God’s heart in our flesh. Yes, some people in the church practice things that are clearly a bit off, I would agree. But I don’t think that is cause to have pride in our hearts that “our way is better” or “they really don’t know Jesus”. It’s such a dangerous place to be, when we are looking at God’s children and judging them because they are a little different from us.

We are called to love our brothers and sisters, and that is what we must do.
It is true that, as Paul points out, no one can know everything fully. However, as we've seen before, and as anyone who has studied the Pauline epistles or read through the book of Acts would be able to tell, it was quite clear that the apostle Paul did not equate full intellectual knowledge with doctrinal surety. Paul didn't write to the Galatians, "You all get along now, because, after all, we can't fully comprehend God's heart in our flesh." Paul clearly believed that we could rightly and honestly discern many doctrines of scripture, otherwise he would not have said that scripture can make a man of God "complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Ti 3:17).

It is likewise worthy to bring up that, even if at times we cannot give affirmations, we can give negations. For example, if I'm wondering what the weather is like outside, and the curtains are over the curtains but I can't hear thunder, then what I can safely assume that, while I don't know if it's sunny or cloudy outside, I do know that it can't be thundering. In the same manner, there are many times in scripture where, while we may not have a clear picture of certain things, scripture tells us enough that we can negate other claims made. For example, while we cannot fathom the inner mysteries of God and how He is designed, we can negate things such as polytheism, tritheism, and the like, because of what scripture does say about God. Therefore, even in the absence of full intellectual knowledge, we can still find incomplete or partly satisfied intellectual knowledge.

Also note the straw men here: "I don't think that is cause to have pride in our hearts that 'our way is better' or 'they don't really know Jesus'. It's such a dangerous place to be, when we are looking at God's children and judging them because they are a little different from us." Two responses to this:

Firstly, if the author's contention is that we shouldn't accuse other people of not really knowing Christ, then he is at odds with scripture - in particularly the apostle John, whose epistles are full of examples where he gave signs on whether or not someone really knows Christ. Several examples:
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. [1 John 1:6]

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [1 John 1:10]

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him [1 John 2:4]

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. [1 John 2:9]

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. [1 John 2:19]

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. [1 John 3:6]

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. [1 John 3:9-10]

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. [1 John 3:15]

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. [1 John 4:20]
It is clear, from this smattering of examples, that it is possible to discern whether or not someone is a true believer. Now, I'm not saying we should expect the Spanish Inquisition (because no one does), but the idea that no one is able to discern someone's life, beliefs, and the like and say whether or not they are truly saved is simply false.

Secondly, no one is arguing "our way is better"; rather, we are reviewing IHOP-KC's teachings to the word of God, and seeing if it speaks true to it. If they not only speak against it, but misuse and distort it, they cannot be of God. God the Holy Spirit would not abuse His text in such a manner.

Our author continues:
I am convinced that God wants to accomplish great things in His church in these last days (look at me, being so controversial), and our separation is making it very difficult. Just imagine if we could unite the way Jesus wants us to. Entire cities gathering together to pray and worship, and minister to the poor. This, I believe is what we are going to start seeing, as long as we can all get over our slight differences and embrace the body of Christ as a whole. [emphasis in original]
As we saw before, these aren't "slight differences" that we just need to "get over" - these are seriously erroneous doctrines. Again I ask: what is the dividing line for our author on when we can question unity and fellowship? As it stands, given IHOP-KC's gross doctrinal errors and their abuse of scripture, as well as Paul's command in Romans 16:17, I have absolutely no reason to unite and find fellowship with IHOP-KC, and neither does any Christian who loves their God and His word.

Note also the IHOP-KC language here: "in these last days," "God wants to accomplish great things in His church," etc. Most of this stems, as its source, not from scripture but from the personal revelations given to Bickle, Engle, and others who came out of the prophetic movement in the 1980's. Let me reiterate that everything involved at IHOP-KC happened because, according to its founders and leaders, God directly ordered it. What does this mean? Again, let's not mince words here...this means my writing all this means I am opposing God Himself. As I've said many times before, there is no gray area for "thus says the Lord." If God really spoke to Mike Bickle in Cairo, Egypt, then there is no room for differences, and those who oppose Bickle & Co. are opposing Christ. If we are consistent, this should be the real rallying cry for unity by those who belong to IHOP-KC.

Our author continues:
If you are a little thrown off with the whole “charismatic” movement, people, or church… or even me, I definitely invite you to shoot me an email or ask me to meet up with you and I would love to work through some of the stuff I believe with you in the word. I really don’t want to be the cause for any separation anywhere, and would love to try my best to be completely transparent with my beliefs.
I have likewise invited this individual to email me or respond to specific posts on my blog, as shown in the Twitter pic below:

I always encourage people to respond to my blog in regards to IHOP-KC and its affiliated movements. Unlike IHOP-KC itself, I'm not afraid to answer questions or concerns, and I desire that more and more people within the movement begin to ask themselves if it is truly a biblical one.

Our author continues:
So, all that being said, I think our reaction is simple. We need to stop the gossip, secrets, judging, and hating on other churches that are a part of Christ’s bride. We need to embrace both the body and truth, and work together to become a church that is united under the banner of the cross. This might mean some sacrifice. It might mean that I don’t speaking in tongues when I go to a reformed bible study. It might mean that we don’t talk about controversial subjects around people we know will disagree. But we can find unity in the fact that Jesus died on the cross for us, and that, really, is all that matters.
Again, note the straw man: "gossip, secrets, judging, and hating on other churches." Where is the gossip? Where are the secrets? Where is the judging? Where is the hating? Can we please have some examples so that readers are able to differentiate between the two?

The fact is, I haven't gossiped - nothing I've written or said about IHOP-KC has been conjecture, but has been an analysis of what they're leaders have publicly said and written - even providing sources for my listeners and readers, so that they can go and listen or read for themselves. If I presented false information, or even misinformation, I welcome a demonstration and correction.

The fact is, there are no secrets - I've done everything openly, and have permitted my conclusions to be reviewed publicly. The only "secrets" I'm encountering are from IHOP-KC's end, when they refuse to answer basic questions or emails sent to them, delete tweets they make to critics, and choose to handle various affairs (like the trademark lawsuits from the International House of Pancakes) behind closed doors.

The fact is, there is no judging - at least from my own authority. I am not writing or declaring, "Thus says Tony-Allen, you are all heretics" - I have only said: "Thus says scripture, you have been found wanting." If the scriptural analysis of IHOP-KC is wrong, demonstrate it.

The fact is, there is no hating. I've already explained that at the beginning of this post. I don't have a picture of Mike Bickle on the wall that I throw darts at. I don't hire hitmen to kill his pets. I don't hope him and his whole family die in a family. If Mike Bickle were to come out right now and say, "I repent of my misdeeds, and ask others to follow in my lead," I would embrace him and say, "Christ died for your sins - welcome to the flock, brother." The issue here is not me versus Mike Bickle and IHOP-KC - or anyone versus Mike Bickle and IHOP-KC for that matter - the issue here is biblical doctrine versus false doctrine.

As I've said to others, so too I repeat here: review what has been written on IHOP-KC here. Review what I've said on my podcasts. Examine the scriptures. Keep them as your standard, not how the dreams and visions of Misty Edwards, Lou Engle, and others interpret them. Throw out your emotional experiences and ask yourself: am I living in line with God? The question is not whether or not a movement makes you feel blessed, but whether or not you guard your ways according to God's holy word (cf. Ps 119:9). God bless.