Ecclesiastical Wrongdoing

Lately, there seems to be growing (public) exposure of what I’d call ‘ecclesiastical wrongdoing’… What else can we call it…?

ecclesiastical: Of or relating to a church, especially as an organized institution.

wrongdoing: Evil or wicked behavior or action.

Alistair Begg’s initial / double / triple down on advising a grandmother attend her grandson’s ‘transgender [so-called] wedding,’ including bringing a gift, is one recent incendiary example. Other examples include names like; Bill Hybels, Carl Lentz, Dallas Jenkins, Francis Chan, Hank Hanegraaff, James MacDonald, Jonathan Roumie, Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll, Ravi Zacharias, and Rick Warren.

IHOPKC’s Mike Bickle is one of the latest and perhaps most high profile instances episodes… Arguably the most grievous aspect of these episodes is the ‘tone deaf’ (unrepentant) nature of them. Some understand this more clearly than others…123

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, – Hebrews 10:26 NASB95

Clinical Response

Listen as Eric Volz, managing director of The David House Agency – which he formed “following his wrongful conviction for the November 2006 rape and murder of ex-girlfriend Doris Ivania Jiménez in San Juan del Sur”4 – offers up ‘crisis-speak’ in response to the (latest) IHOPKC / Mike Bickle controversy:

Healing and Hope in Crisis: Our Response to the McNamara Report – International House of Prayer (Jan 31, 2024)

He uses the term “stakeholders” [ca. 4:12] as if this is some administrative foreign policy issue. Even the video description language is disingenuous at best, and downright dishonest at worst:

“As our community marks 100 days since the onset of this crisis…”

CORRECTION: As [y]our community marks 100 days since the public exposure of this crisis… Just mad y’all got caught, or what…? This sleight of hand plays even more like the Streisand effect when one considers Volz is the founder of The David House Agency – “a Los Angeles-based international crisis resource agency.”5 You’d think he would have made sure the language he represents is completely forthcoming – or, maybe not. Come to think of it – who decided a man like Volz, with his controversial conflicted past, would be the best spokesperson to speak on this most sensitive issue…? Talk about insensitive…

An overseer, then, must be above reproach… – 1 Timothy 3:2 NASB95

Abstain from all appearance of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV

What’s Missing…?

Speaking of “stakeholders” (and ‘spiritual abuse’)… Pastor Tony Wood of Mission Bible Church in Costa Mesa, CA summed up the modern emotion/experience-centered McChurch carnival very well [ca. 13:36–14:30]:

“That’s the primary way that the mega-church has failed the last 30 years. They stopped teaching. You go to a ‘church,’ and you’ve got a 40-minute laser light show… and then a bunch of songs about yourself… and a sloppy wet kiss, and all that stuff… and then a guy gets up, and he does a 15-minute TED Talk… Then they send you on your way, ‘happy and healthy and whole’… to struggle throughout your week, unholy… It’s run by administrators. It’s a ‘non-church’. It’s all about the creativity, and about the show… It’s run by UCI businessmen, and then former Broadway stars… That’s a non-church, because they don’t teach the Word of God…”

Spiritually Abusive Pastors (1 Pet. 5:1-4) – Mission Bible Church (Aug 28, 2022)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; – 2 Timothy 4:3 KJV

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. – Jeremiah 23:1 KJV

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. – John 21:17 KJV

Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. [There is] swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. – Hosea 4:1-2 NASB95

In Hosea 4:1-2 we read that “the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land” – in other words, they are all without excuse. In revealing his displeasure, the Lord dresses down the chain of command. The sons of Israel were entrusted with the oracles of God (Rom 3:1-2) and were therefore responsible for disseminating the oracles of God throughout the land, in which they had clearly failed, and not without consequence. The land is filled with violence, “swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.” I wonder how many see the clear parallel to today’s America…? I wonder how far, in God’s eyes, we are from Gen 6:5, 11, 13…?

In the context of this missive, those charged with disseminating the oracles of God throughout the land of America are the Christian Church. Like the sons of Israel in Hosea, it seems very evident we are derelict in our duty.

What Constitutes ‘Spiritual Abuse’ And What Is The Remedy…?

Wikipedia describes ‘religious abuse’ a.k.a. ‘spiritual abuse’ as:

“abuse administered through religion, including harassment or humiliation that may result in psychological trauma. Religious abuse may also include the misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends, such as the abuse of a clerical position. … Religious abuse can have serious and long-lasting effects on individuals and communities, including trauma, emotional distress, loss of faith, and even physical harm.”6

To learn more about ‘spiritual abuse’ listen to Pastor Tony Wood, beginning at the 2:35 mark, explain in the video above (“Spiritually Abusive Pastors (1 Pet. 5:1-4)”). In this segment, he broadly characterizes an organization of this nature as having ‘an untouchable holy man, a wizard behind the curtain, whom you can’t talk to, and if you cross him, his followers or bodyguards, you’ll be kicked out of the church’. Pastor Wood identifies three things that ‘fit inside this term,’ as he puts it:

  1. A general power positioning. (e.g. why that leader is in charge, and you need to follow him)
  2. Unrivaled authority. (e.g. questioning pastor or group is considered ‘rebellion’)
  3. A secretive atmosphere. (e.g. staff ‘siloed up’ into component pieces, nobody has all info, no financial accountability to congregation, questions are ignored)

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a cult to me…!

Beginning at 37:42, Pastor Wood discusses the fact that “The Only Authority That a Pastor Has Is the Word of God.” In all matters of this, and really any nature, it is important to keep in mind two things:

  1. First and foremost, above all else; We wrestle not against flesh and blood… (Eph 6:12)
  2. The two-part question: Who’s in charge; who decides…? (i.e. man → Satan, or God Almighty viz. the Holy Spirit) Which is akin to Commandment Numero Uno… (Exo 20:3)

There are plenty of instances in the Bible where we might conjure up some self-serving eisegetical extrapolation, when we should most likely stick to a more strict exegetical interpretation. But, there are also plenty of examples of God’s people demonstrating His character of long-suffering, for instance; Noah, Moses, Sarah, Jacob, Rebekah, Rachel, Joseph, Job, David, Hosea, and of course, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The main issue is in always putting God first, imploring the Holy Spirit (1Co 2:10-16) for guidance in all matters, and in so doing – whether shepherd or sheep – we can never go wrong. The recipe for a life marked by peace and joy in all circumstances is to trust completely in Christ the Lord…

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27 KJV

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. – Romans 15:13 KJV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

  1. Please Understand. It does not matter what happens to Mike Bickle now. MB overruled the Bible’s TERRIFYING warnings against false prophets/prophecy for his hearers, blotting them out. He said, “Never mind the Word of God. Do NOT discern; false is fine.” Now his teaching has spread as Leaven throughout the global church and MILLIONS of believers and their UNfaithful shepherds have been effectively disarmed, every gate left open. His teaching (Growing in the Prophetic: Receive from Any Spirit) reached from Grandview to Wycliffe to the interior of Asia to your ears. It cannot be put back in the box. MB will be nothing compared to the wolves that will rise up EVERYWHERE to devour the sheep now that they have been prepped for the slaughter. The devil doesn’t need him anymore: the damage is done. The sexual abuse of a few is just a tiny picture of what’s to come. #ihopkc @BethCavete 7:41 AM Jan 31, 2024 

  2. This is the 💔💔💔 Among that group are true believers. But they truly believe (and teach) both truth and lies. And while I believe there is some brokenness in some, I have yet to hear even the beginnings of examination of their own teachings. If any of them repent truly, we will know it. If they actually see what they’ve ushered into God’s church, they’ll renounce the false prophecy and teaching they spread to the degree they spread it. This kind of repentance is the Martin Luther kind. It doesn’t happen all at once, but it starts with a revelation of the Gospel. For Luther, it was “The Just shall live by faith,” and with that bit of repentance he confronted his own religion, pulled the string, and to his horror, watched the doctrinal structure of the whole thing (the church of Rome, at the time) unravel. He didn’t see all the falseness at once. But he saw the Gospel cut across his twisted spirituality, and thus began something that would change the whole world. To my mind, for these men, this kind of repentance would be the one possible avenue to seeing the renewal/revival they have longed for. But such global self-humbling is almost never is seen in prominent people over a certain age. Too much loss. Benny Hinn tried a little bit ago, but soon went back to his old tricks. @BethCavete 12:09 PM Jan 31, 2024 

  3. I walked that road. For me, my baby Gospel revelation had to do with spirits. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.” I watched a spirit’s “outpouring” in my family and life. I knew the fruit of the Word applied (righteousness peace and joy), and then knew the fruit of “outpouring,” “revival,” and “prophets.” In my own life, in my family, in my father, in the church he led, and then climactically, in the devasted and horrifying community I witnessed at IHOPKC. Everything people are bringing out into the open now on social media was plain as day all along. The poverty, the sexual immorality, the insanity (not being hyperbolic, truly insane people treated as tho they were spiritual), the striving that results in nothing but more bondage…even Misty’s celebrity sorrow. It was the opposite of righteousness peace or joy, and I had to face my questions with Scripture. I had a HERO HUSBAND who was NOT from my deceived background and was able to lead me as he walked around IHOPKC going WITW is going on here…WITW did Allen Hood just teach…What in the world is shaking those people’s bodies in convulsions and WHO WOULD CALL THAT THE SPIRIT?? (We were in the area in 09 during the “awakening”). He led me to truth, and I have to say I didn’t always make it easy. At one point as I was questioning, my sister suggested I could be blaspheming the Holy Spirit (reprobate). I actually was grateful to her, bc it was like the spirit of fear that patrols these movements, not even allowing one’s mind to think, showed itself. I began to pull the thread. And just like I read about in Martin Luther’s life, all hell broke loose against us. I would lose everything in order to repent. PRAISE GOD!!! Righteousness, peace and joy. What wouldn’t you give to live in righteousness, peace, and joy??? Worth it all. #ihopkc @BethCavete 12:24 PM Jan 31, 2024 

  4. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, January 22). Eric Volz. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:57 UTC, February 1, 2024, from 

  5. Wikipedia contributors. (2023, April 13). The David House Agency. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:26 UTC, February 2, 2024, from 

  6. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, January 29). Religious abuse. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:44 UTC, February 2, 2024, from