Sunday, December 14, 2008

You just don't "get it."

With the advent of IHOP's "onething 08" conference, Mike Bickle is recruiting followers for his elite band of believers. Quoting Bickle:

There is a dire need to call forth and train a generation of forerunners who have clarity as to what the Holy Spirit is saying, but also the boldness to confront and expose the lies that many leaders in the Body of Christ, even those with a 5-fold ministry calling, are attributing to the Holy Spirit.

Recall that back in the early 90's, a pastor named Ernie Gruen exposed Bickle and his elitism. After a major confrontation, involving leaders from all over the country, Bickle finally repented. In 1993, Charisma magazine reported that Bickle said:

We had an elite spirit. That's become more and more real to me - it's so repulsive.

Fast forward to December 2008. Here's Mike Bickle again:

I feel like the shepherds in the body of Christ are lying on so many levels - they're lies- and I don't mean that there insidious lies where they're in backrooms thinking it through and coming out saying "I'm going to lie to people." I mean there's lies at so many levels, there's lies about how to get saved, there's lies about what the mandate of the kingdom is, there's lies about how the kingdom is supposed to be built, there's lies about what God wants to do with the generation that's emerging. Video.

Calling a brother or sister in the body of Christ a liar is a serious thing. Here's what God has to say about liars:

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8).

As I mentioned, Ernie Gruen, in his report charged that Bickle & Company had an elite spirit, and that they were part of the Latter Rain Heresy. According to Don Clasen in his treatise on Kansas City, a critical part of Latter Rain is the "idea that the Church is founded upon modern-day apostles and prophets , and the belief the denominational system will be destroyed before the Second Coming and be replaced by a whole new Church structure governed over by these apostles and prophets."

So when Bickle states that "shepherds in the body of Christ are lying on so many levels" he is enticing young people to follow his special elite band of forerunners- (a.k.a. "new breed" or ""elected seed") - the ones who "get it." And the ones with a plan not to overcome the world, but to overtake the church.

It seems to me that Bickle just cannot change. Perhaps one cannot teach on a "new breed" and an "elected seed" without sounding (and being) elitist. If that's the case, why the faux-repentence? I'm sorry, but this just isn't right.


  1. I had to stop listening to the video at the point the young man stated that Mike was not given to 'hype." After having been involved in IHOP and FSM for over two years I just couldn't take hearing that.
    There is so much to comment on here. I can't tell you how many times a prayer meeting or conference or a teaching Mike was going to do was "hyped" up as being something you just had to attend and could not miss if you wanted to know what the Holy Spirit was saying to the church. I am not kidding. Same with the taking of offerings.
    I think Mike has a grandiose vision which needs a lot of people who will work for free (they do get to raise their own support and wear a badge!} and a lot of money to keep operating. They figured out a few years ago that they bring in the most money through conferences, they sell a lot of materials and take offerings. And they bamboozle a lot of people to pack it up and move to KC to be a forerunner involved in the most important thing a person can do with their life.
    You are right in pointing out the elitism that still exists and propels this movement.

  2. I took the time and listened to the video podcasts by Mike and friends.
    Years ago MB used to state that you had to teach on end-times to fuel the prayer movement. What he is promoting is so much worse than before. It is unreal.
    If it wasn't so dangerous in its effect upon people it would be absurdly humorous.
    I truly pray the Lord Jesus has compassion on those involved with MB and IHOP and sets them free from him and his delusional teachings. I fear for them.

  3. Coming from a Pentecostal background I can attest to the spiritual elite complex. It is quite easy for believers at IHOP (or other fired up places) to feel that they are the remnant of God. While I don't agree with them, I do understand where they are coming from. It is easy to look at "dead" churches around you and not see any passion for prayer, for the gifts of the Spirit, for the manifested presence of Christ, etc. and become judgmental. Again, while I don't agree I do see how easy it would be.

    Let us pray for humility for IHOP and its leadership.

  4. Bill,

    I went to onething 08, I must say with the utmost skepticism, however I discerned that what God is doing there is genuine. I suggest you stop trying to bash IHOP they really have seemed to reformed. It has been over a week since I have been back and I still have a fire from what I experienced. Was it hype or the Holy Ghost, I suggest you go there yourself to see before you criticize. FYI out of all the speakers there Mike Bickel ministered to me and my friend who was with me the least. We did not care for his ministry and even skipped a couple of the sessions that we knew he would be speaking. I was very impressed with the other ministers who were very authentic.



  5. I'm glad you had a good time in the Lord, Daniel. I'm not trying to "bash" IHOP or Mr. Bickle. If I have misquoted him, please let my know. As to making a distinction between IHOP and Bickle, you cannot do so.

    Regarding eschatology, Bickle himself said (at the conference) "Ideas have consequences." I agree.

    I take exception to him calling other pastors and leaders liars. Based on his notes, it now seems likely that he was referring to pastors who teach a pre-trib rapture. Bickle states "The weakness of this (pre-trib) view is its error that Jesus will rapture the Church before the Tribulation. It is a dangerous deception that hinders the effectiveness of the gospel in several ways."

    I think that this idea of Bickle's will have some very bad consequences and I think its worthy of discussion among the body at large. Thanks for chiming in.


  6. ickle states "The weakness of this (pre-trib) view is its error that Jesus will rapture the Church before the Tribulation. It is a dangerous deception that hinders the effectiveness of the gospel in several ways."

    This a little over the top coming from someone who believes in shutting up folks 24-7 in a prayer room, and holding prophetic conferences and the like for his followers, instead of focusing on actually getting out the gospel message to the folks outside his ministry who really need to hear it.

    But more telling than that, It's his own over-emphasis on eschatology via the Bridal Paradigm that makes that a case of the pot calling the kettle black.


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