Sunday, August 12, 2012

How IHOP-KC is defended

About a year ago, a Facebook friend had quoted from and referred to my post regarding Mike Bickle's minimizing of Biblical standards of discernment. Some of his friends, who participated with or supported IHOP-KC's ministry, began to respond. My friend tagged me to suggest I come in and join the discussion. I obliged, linking to the blog post to permit people to read it and respond.

A supporter of IHOP-KC joined the conversation, but did so without responding to anything I or anyone else had said or written, whether in the original article or in the Facebook. Instead, he began with a long response that was as follows. I've changed the gentleman's name (along with the name of my friend) because his personal identity is not important - what is important is what he said.
As for Tony and Joe...Neither one of you know Mike Bickle or have a relationship with him. You dont listen to anything he teaches with a heart that is impartial, discerning, or longing to learn more about God...instead you listen with judgement and pre-conceived ideas about who he is and what IHOP is all about...your voices whimsically fade into the clutter of the voices of all the other pharisees and self-proclaimed theologians of our generation who seek to contend with Mike Bickle and the House of Prayer...stepping out in a faith and missing it sometimes when it comes to the prophetic doesnt make someone a false prophet and looking at examples of what Paul teaches in the new testament concerning false prophets doesnt condemn mike or anyone in the kc leadership at ihop. You pronounce judgement on a man who has walked faithfully with the Lord in ministry for over 35 years and whose ministry has lead thousands to Christ and whose fruit has been consistent and awesome for many years now....Try walking in the prophetic and excercising a little bit of faith in your walk before you go around in what i perceive to be ignorance because you obviously dont know any better and render judgements and statements filled with condemnation on men who could easily sit with you and in less than 5 minutes dismantle every bitter and evil judgement coming from your mouth with his understanding of the Word of God which Mike has spent the great majority of his life studying...Repent for the arrogance and the evil in your heart that has brought you to a place where you feel okay about using a public forum like facebook to accuse and a slander a mans name...which is libelous and wrong anyway. I think that if either of you had to stand before the King of Kings today you might be surprised as to what he would say to you about the condition of your own hearts...Live to show mercy instead of rendering judgement so that you yourselves may know His mercy...Shame on either of you for using this forum to create more confusion in the body of Christ than there already expect God to bless your ministries or lives while you sow seeds of discension and confusion in the lives of others...not gonna happen. Where is the humility in your hearts? The same humility that is seen in fullness in the life of the Lord Jesus which you both so adamantly proclaim to know...My heart in saying this is that you would consider with the fear of the Lord what you say and do especially when it comes to speaking about other believers particularly leaders in the body of pronouncing judgments of this magnitude on someone you then invite the same magnitude of judgement into your own life. Consider what you have said and honestly find something better to do with your time then camp out on facebook to have virtual arguments about theology with people you feel intellectually and spiritually superior too...Lets just say for the conversation sake that Mike Bickle is a poor prophet and he has missed a few things along the way...I would rather be a poor prophet than a pharisee any day of the week...On the list of all the needs in the church right now what you two have chosen to do here is not found there and its sad that you find satisfaction or fulfillment in accusing leaders like Mike Bickle.The spirit in which your operating in is not of God...its of the Devil himself and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for what you have said here. I dont take everything that comes from Mike's mouth and just believe it nor do i actually agree with 100 % of everything he has ever taught but i do not go around publicly accusing him of being a false prophet because thats not my place or position. I pray that in reading this your hearts would turn...that you would delete what you have posted and publicly withdraw your accusations lest the judgments that flow from your hearts turn back on you more than they have already begun too...Come on guys...There are so many other things to do with your time that would be so beneficial to the Church than this...You both have been given spiritual gifts and talents...Now go out and use them to bring life to the body and not breathe death as so many others around us choose to do. Grace and Peace from the Lord Jesus be with you today my friends.
I simply replied:
Bob, with all due respect, your argument is entirely emotional, and - once again - avoids everything that has been discussed. It's the classic "you're being a jerk!" fallacy combined with the "don't judge ever ever ever!" fallacy.

The fact is, I have not gone from second-hand sources. I went directly to Bickle's work. I read what he wrote. I listened to his sermons. I took notes on what he taught. I studied his history and what he had done previously. I then compared it to the word of God, and what I found is that Bickle distorted the word of God and taught falsely. These are not the signs of a Christian, let alone a Christian leader.

God does not want us to forgo discernment for superficial peace. That's what the devil wants. I can now see why there was Athanasius contra mundum - because the world ("mundum") is so easily swayed towards false teachings in the name of superficial peace, cooperation, and grace.
He replied:
I dont really wanna post another long paragraph...i forgot about how much guys like joe and tony get-off on people arguing with them. Your both pharisees and legalist lovers of judgment and wrath...What you sow will be returned to you in time i promise...If you ever are given a platform other than facebook in life it will not be one given to you by the Father but rather your father the devil who is using you to launch loads of accusations into the body of Christ...You are a brood of vipers and your hearts are malicious and evil...You do not seek unity or peace but rather satisfaction that comes from correcting and accusing people...I pray sincerely that neither one of you are ever promoted to a place where you have the attention of large groups of people that you can poison with your words. You say my argument is emotional...thats the zeal of the Lord in my heart that comes out when it sees to young intellectual bullies on facebook trying to force their misguided religious agendas down others throats...young men like yourselves have been part of the problem in church decades and will co ntinue to be until you recognize the error of your ways...In 20 years when the church is experiencing great revival and refreshment you will be the ones sitting on the side-line in your pathetic apologetics groups criticizing God's great move because it simply didnt happen through your dead and cold leadership in whatever denomination you so proudly claim or cling too...i dont answer most of your questions because i dont let you steer the conversation with all your religious jargon that your so proud of not gonna answer joe's question because its irrelevant...using the rape illustration to bring about the conviction and the bloodshed your so hungry for isnt going to get me to join you in what your doing...if either of you are living in lakeland and helping to contribute to the problems we have here with the religious system then please pack up today and move as far away as possible...we dont need any more voices of accusation running around here...GO! Yea im emotional...Im passionate about the restoration of His bride and seeing the church walk in fullness and in the power of the Holy Spirit. If you think the height of your calling in this life is judgment then you have missed it completely anyway....learn to love first...and then when you have learned to love we shall see if the Father releases you to walk around doing what you feel justified in doing...NO. It saddens my heart to see that the enemy has gotten a hold of 2 more bright and gifted minds and is using them to attack God's i said earlier...repent or reap the consequences of what your doing.
I replied:
Bob, again, with all due respect, that is sheer emotionalism. You haven't responded to anything anyone's said. You're putting up the blinders and throwing the Pharisee card. A person who is unable to answer a direct question and launches into imaginary ad hominems is not speaking from a heart for God. That is the clearest sign of a deceived heart. Your love is not for God, but for a group of men.
He replied:
im not out to prove you wrong...time will surely do that...God is emotional. He is not dead or stoic as you would have others believe. Yes i love God and yes i love men like Mike Bickle who have the tenacity and great heart to teach God's people with an open and humble heart.

Go to kansas city and accuse him yourselves or ask him whatever questions you have...Mike Bickle will be teaching at the onething regional conference in orlando on january 27th-29th...during that time he had Q and A sessions where you can say anything you if your so confident in the accusations you have made then at least have the integrity and courage to go ask him yourselves...if your not willing to do that then shutup are being given advance notice so find time off from work and gas money? i will fill your tank off here...hav a nice day
I responded:
"if your not willing to do that then shutup"

Thank you for showing me what God's grace looks like. However, I pray someday you will realize there is nothing Pharisaical about discernment, and the goal of Joe and I is not to look for arguments and attack others, but to warn the people of God about false teachers. We do what we do BECAUSE we love the people of God, not against it. We have used nothing but scriptural truths to verify what we have said. You have used character attacks. I pray you will realize there is no dawn for your position, because it is bent on defending men and their doctrines rather than God.
He replied:
im not attacking character tony...suggesting you shutup if your not willing to confront the accused in person with the claims you so boldly post facebook is quite alright in my is right joe...i dont know why we do this but one thing is clear...ihop's ministry continues to be blessed by God and continues to consistently produce fruit that brings glory to the Name of Jesus and His Kingdom...i dont have to defend that...bless you guys
I replied:
Any "fruit" IHOP-KC produced is IN SPITE of its leaders, not because of them, or because God has particularly blessed them. God saved thousands of people by permitting Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery - that doesn't mean Joseph's brothers had any kind of special anointing. As I brought up in my article (which has yet to be responded to, at all), that God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick brings no glory to the crooked stick itself.

As it stands, you have yet to respond to anything the opposite side is saying. You're character attacking, whether you like to admit it or not (and accusing people of trying to look good on Facebook or being Pharisees is, indeed, character attacking); you're refusing to respond to direct questions and arguments; you are refusing to deal with points made by the opposite side; you are telling people to "shut up." None of this shows a love for God - it shows the signs of cultic mentality.

Like it or not, Mike Bickle and his ilk are teaching false doctrine. They've been recorded doing so for the past 20-years. I don't have to go ask him personally about it - it's all in writing, and oftentimes in his own writing. I've presented a case against him. You have yet to respond to it, and again I pray that God will lift the shadow from your eyes to see that what you are doing is defending wolves masquerading as sheep.
At this point the gentleman said he refused to respond because I was a "coward," and the conversation here ended. Cowardice, however, is not placing your arguments in public settings and permitting them to be reviewed - even encouraging review. Cowardice is name-calling, lambasting, character attacking, and using red herrings while all the while refusing to respond to your opposition, and constantly backing out when you are pressed to do so. That is the highest form of intellectual cowardice.

I decided to post this in the hope of permitting others to see this conversation. I hope they see that when IHOP-KC's supporters are pressed to answer direct questions, they are unable - even unwilling - to do so. I hope they see that IHOP-KC's supporters will accuse their opposition of working against God, despite the fact that their opposition are the only ones using scripture. I hope they see that in the face of sound and reasonable criticism, IHOP-KC's supporters are only able to launch into accusations of ambition and Pharisaical tendencies. I hope they see that when faced with the truth of scripture, IHOP-KC's supporters will jump to unscriptural conditions and fallacious arguments such as "Don't knock it until you've tried it," or "Don't judge until you know them personally," or "Don't criticize them until you've met them." According to such standards, Christian heroes such as Athanasius, Martin Luther, John Owen and J. Gresham Machen were all wicked men.

From the blog post to this conversation, I accused Mike Bickle of being under the influence of Satan because he is teaching contrary to the word of God. IHOP-KC's supporters accuse me of being under the influence of Satan because I am teaching contrary to the word of Mike Bickle. I hope and pray that God will open their eyes to see what that truly means.

As I said before in the conversation, this is not the mentality of Christianity - this is the mentality of a cult.