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Mike Bickle. Photo: Wikicommons.

‘I sinned:” IHOPKC founder Mike Bickle admits to “inappropriate behavior”

Mike Bickle, the founder of the International House of Prayer, on Tuesday admitted to past sins and misconduct that caused “pain, confusion and division in the body of Christ.” The statement can be read HERE.

“With a very heavy heart, I want to express how deeply grieved I am that my past sins have led to so much pain, confusion and division in the body of Christ in this hour,” he wrote in an online statement. “I sadly admit that 20-plus years ago, I sinned by engaging in inappropriate behavior — my moral failures were real.”

In late October, former leaders of IHOPKC publicly accused Bickle of clergy sexual misconduct, based on allegations from several women about misconduct that allegedly went on for decades. Last month, current IHOP leaders released a report of an internal investigation, which they said cast doubt on the credibility of the allegations against Bickle. They also resisted calls for an independent investigation.

In his statement, Bickle gave few details and said many of the allegations against him were false. He also said he was not confessing to “the more intense sexual activities” he had been accused of. “There are many misrepresentations of my words and actions in these communications, including statements that are out of context, greatly exaggerated or blatantly false,” he wrote.

On Sunday, leaders of IHOPKC announced they had brought on crisis manager Eric Volz to serve as the organization’s spokesman. He detailed some of the conflicts between IHOPKC leaders and what he called “the advocate group” — a group of former leaders, alleged victims of abuse and their supporters. He also said the timeframe of the investigation would depend on whether the women who made the allegations and their supporters participate.

“Honestly, the length of time it takes depends on several factors,” he said. “But the main one is going to be whether or not the alleged victims and the parties involved in representing them are willing to participate. We hope they will participate so the truth can be brought to light quickly.”

In an update posted on social media, Volz said Bickle’s statement was “a step in the right direction” and said there are now two competing narratives about the alleged abuse. He again called on advocates and alleged victims to participate in the investigation into the allegations against Bickle.

Bickle concluded his confession by saying he would take an extended break from public ministry, including on social media. “I will look to other leaders to determine how long this season will last — it may be long and it may even be permanent,” he wrote. “I will only reengage in my public preaching ministry if God confirms it through others. I am at peace with whatever he wants.”

Critics have taken to social media saying the letter falls short of an apology to the subjects of his conduct.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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