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When Respected Leaders Fail Part 4 - Disqualified!

Updated: 14 hours ago


Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?

 

Jeremiah 8 verse 22

 

So far I’ve written probably 7 or 8 entries in this series. I’ve thrown out several and am debating whether I will post any of further posts on this. I find myself empathizing deeply with the victims and those who are struggling with their faith as they process the feelings of disillusionment with people they highly respected.

 

Today let’s talk about the Pastor or leader who abuses. In the last year as the claims of sexual and spiritual abuse grew against IHOPKC and Mike Bickle there has been a number of high profile leaders from inside the organization and outside as well who have spoken out in support of “forgiveness”, “grace” and “restoration” of Mike Bickle. One such example is Kris Vallottons recent tweet on X as follows:

 

“Redemption is not just for victims, it’s also for the victimizers!  The Lord doesn’t just restore the innocent; He restores the guilty. The woman caught in adultery, wasn’t a person having sex outside of marriage, but a woman cheating on her husband or having sex with a husband that belongs to another wife. She is not a victim, she is a victimizer. The message of the gospel is not just for those sinned against, but for the sinner. If justice in Christ means the sinner gets what he deserves, then the gospel is only for victims; the innocent, the already righteous. Innocent victims; children, the weak, the broken, the aged and so on; must first and foremost be protected from victimizers, and their restoration must be prioritized when they are sinned against. You don’t have to be a Christian to call for justice for victims. But to call for and long for redemption for the guilty; that’s a Christlike attribute. It’s important to remember that everyone in the world who is a victim of a crime is also a victimizer in life that needs redemption from sin and forgiveness from Christ.”

 

What an awful, twisted statement this is. While Kris appears correct on the surface as he twists scripture that states that God does want ALL to come to repentance, including the abuser… biblically we can see God’s heart is always inclined towards the victims of narcissistic abuse. Whenever we see sweeping judgement there is a preceding atmosphere of abuse and violence prior to that judgement. Kris’s statement here shows an utter lack of empathy or compassion for the journey to wholeness of the victims and a complete ignorance of the power dynamic that a spiritual leader possesses in sexual or spiritual abuse cases. So many passages in the Bible show Gods heart for justice for the abused.

 

Why the hurry to restore someone who has so destroyed trust in the body of Christ? Why is there a rush to provide a new platform for someone who appears to be a repeated narcissistic predator? Why not… as Christ did show empathy to the victims and restore them as a first response?

 

I don’t understand why some segments of the Church allow abuse scandals to live in the shadows when often vilified "worldly" corporations do not. Should there not be a higher standard within the Church? Is the Church now embracing the values of the progressive far left in their handling of justice?

 

In a recent interview on the “Wake up and Win” podcast with former IHOPKC leader Elisabeth Herder revealed that the entire leadership team knew that Mike Bickle had regular locked door hours long meetings with the wife of another leader. Honor Culture, this warped idea that leaders are not to be questioned even if it is clear something is wrong blinded the leadership and prevented them from asking important questions and wrecking the lives of several families in the process.

 

As I see it, if a Pastor or leader is caught in an affair with one of the people they are called to lead, they should be disqualified from public ministry leadership... forever. Now, to be clear they should have the opportunity to eventually rejoin community with some boundaries and guidelines... and only after a period of genuine repentance. Such a leader should never again be in a position where they can abuse or have power over another person. Their restoration to community should only be after they can apologize without a hint of blame shifting, a classic narcissistic trait. Even then… public ministry and any place where they can abuse again should be prohibited.


Paul, in his admonition to Timothy says of men that abuse their power for self gratification "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.“

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3‬:‭2‬-‭5‬

 

What about someone who has been abused and ends up in a life controlling addictive cycle? This is different than the abuse mentioned previously. In the IHOPKC Church debacle we have numerous situations like this where damage has been done through abuse and then the abused has made bad life choices because of the shame cycle they are in. In an honor culture setting like IHOPKC where abuse is ignored or "protected" under the guise of grace or protecting the organization... the wounded become the wounders.

 

Recently Julie Roy of the Roy’s Report published an article about the years long affair between Misty Edwards and Kevin Prosch. Reading this I could not help but see how everyone who should have been there for Misty was not… it is evident that Misty is a victim at some level. Victims of sexual abuse spend a lot of time in a shame cycle where they blame themselves and are terrified of their secret coming out. This is why the average age for coming forward with sexual abuse allegations is over 50 years old… it takes that long to work through healing inside and break free from that shame cycle.

 

Kevin Prosch played perfectly when he needed to perform for worship settings… all the while it appeared as if he manipulated and blackmailed Misty, threatening to expose her secrets if she was not compliant.


Those who have studied or been directly exposed to deeply narcissistic people will immediately see how damaging this was. I would venture to say Misty was not thinking clearly… being immersed in this shame cycle. While this doesn’t excuse her behaviour it is not even close to the level of abusive sin involved with gasliting and “forcing” someone to do something out of their will by threatening to expose the victims secrets.

 

A “break” from leading public worship is certainly called for in regards to Misty’s failures here… but for Kevin, who appears to have a long track record of sexual misconduct and manipulative abuse there should be a prohibition from leadership for good. The crimes are not the same… one appears to be premeditated slavery and the other is survival.

 

I quoted Isaiah 58 in a recent post. In this passage we see the heart of God… who sees the role of His people to be one of acting as a lighthouse in a culture absolutely soaked in narcissism. Here are a few excerpts from this chapter again:

 

“Yet on the day of your fasting you do as you please and exploit all your workers”

 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

 

to loose the chains of injustice

    and untie the cords of the yoke,

 

to set the oppressed free

    

and break every yoke?

 

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

   

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

 

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

 

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

 

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”

 

Gods heart is evident here. How does God feel about those who experience abuse and trauma? We see the picture come into increasing clarity again in these passages from Matthew 7:

 

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.”

 

“He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

 

Then in Isaiah 61 we read this passage which Jesus quoted when He began His ministry in Nazareth:

 

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion - to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”

 

I could find many other scriptures to portray how God views the abused and those who are victimized… as well as how He viewed the abusers. The calling on the Church is to lift up the broken, to act as a lighthouse to PREVENT shipwrecks… a city on a hill to provide safety and peace to a world in desperate need of real justice.

 

We cannot provide such light if we do not remove the abusers from our midst. Men or women who abuse their position of power to intentionally manipulate, abuse or coerce those who have place trust in them should absolutely be disqualified for leadership ministry.


In the letter to Sardis in Revelations we read this:


”“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin.“ Revelation‬ ‭2‬:‭14‬ ‭NLT‬‬



 

 

 

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