Mike Bickle is an Evangelical leader who is well known as the founder of the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC).
He now stands accused by multiple people of sexual abuse over many decades.
Before we get into the details of that, let’s first lay out who he is and how much power and influence he accumulated.
Who is Mike Bickle?
Back in 1982 he founded what was then known as the Kansas City Fellowship which was located in … well yes, the clue is perhaps in the name.
In 1990 that initial nebulas merged with John Wimber‘s Association of Vineyard Churches and the new organization was re-branded as Metro Vineyard Christian Fellowship. In those days Bickle not only played the role of pastor but also that of a “prophet”, and so he hung around with other “prophets” such as the discredited Bob Jones. Bickle claimed that he not only directly heard the voice of God speaking to him, but that he also was taken to heaven … twice.
His theology was all end-times stuff. A core belief was that Jesus was coming any day now and that they needed to speed all that up by obedience to God … decades ago … so clearly Jesus is, as is now the well established tradition, rather late to the party. It all leaned rather heavily, as such stuff usually does, upon the last book of the bible, Revelation. For those unfamiliar with it, this is the ultimate religious Rorschach test. It is so filled with poetical symbolism that those that believe can interpret it in almost any mystical manner that fits almost any purpose. In other words, they had joined the “My Interpretation is the right one and all the others are wrong” battle that has been raging over that text for a very very long time. As is common, the message came with whatever spin needed to attract the young and instil them with fanatical passion.
It was in 1999 that Bickle dropped the role of Metro Christian Fellowship pastor, which by then had grown into a megachurch, and setup the International House of Prayer (a.k.a. IHOPKC) where they commenced their continuous 24 hours a day, 365 days a year non-stop worship and prayer to supposedly help speed up Jesus coming back. Associated with all this was a training program that become known as the International House of Prayer University.
Er … well yes, no accreditation of course, just indoctrination into their specific strand of beliefs.
They basically got into the right social grove. It gave a modern meaning and purpose that had been bathed within their specific mystical and supernatural beliefs, and so it gained traction and grew and grew. Back in 2010 they were claiming 1,500 full-time staff members, students, and interns. Today that is estimated to be just over 2,000.
On Oct 28th former IHOPKC leaders issued a formal statement. They are not defending him, but instead explain that the allegations spanning several decades are both credible and long-standing. They state that multiple victims have confirmed the details.
They attempted to meet with Bickle but he has refused any sort of meeting.
They go on to express their shock. Honestly, when it comes to this specific “revelation” they are the only ones in shock. When wider society hears that yet another prominent Evangelical is a screaming hypocrite and sexual abuser, then that quite frankly is no longer a shock, but instead a common and almost daily reoccurring theme.
They make the observation that his conduct was … “so serious we could not ignore them“.
What they don’t do is go into any specifics, but they do advise that his …
“misconduct were sexual in nature where the marriage covenant was not honoured. Furthermore, the allegations made also reveal that Mike Bickle used his position of spiritual authority over the victims to manipulate them.“
Bickle has known that this was coming so he has already been putting in place a defence. As reported by Christianity Today, he was preparing for the incoming storm during his sermon last sunday …
In the sermon, he discussed how, per Revelation 12:10, “Satan’s most effective weapon in the end times is accusation” and he turns “whispered innuendoes into hostile accusations that destroy lives and relationships,” according to sermon notes linked by The Roys Report.
That’s about as much as we know at this point.
One Final Thought
Bickle is basically a fringe far-right figure that has repeatedly preached that Donald Trump was personally anointed by God to save America. It would appear that he is indeed very much like Trump in one other way as well, both he and the felon-in-chief are sexual abusers.
If indeed a God decides to “save America” (whatever that means), then what is becoming increasingly clear is that America needs to be saved from sexual abusers like Trump and also Bickle.
Oh yes, and for the record … Not a Drag Queen.