Mike Bickle's Sexually Charged "Bridal Mysticism" IHOP Teachings
I've been picking through Mike Bickle's teachings on Bridal Mysticism and the Song of Solomon - which Bickle seems to view as allegorical for the end-time relationship of the church (the Bride of Christ) to Jesus. Here are some interesting quotes:
"As women are called to be sons of God who experience His power, so man [sic] are called to be the Bride of Christ who encounters His heart. Both describe a position of great privilege for the redeemed before God, transcending gender."
Women are to become "sons", men are to be the spiritual lovers of Jesus, both "transcending gender". But don't take that too literally:
"The Divine kiss is a metaphor for intimacy with God... The kisses of His mouth speak of the release of the Word of God that tenderizes our hearts in the love of God. We are NOT to think of kissing Jesus on the mouth." [emphasis in the original]
Don't take that too literally except, perhaps, in the case of the "chamber experience":
"She [The Bride of Christ] wants to be with Him [Jesus] wherever He is. She lost the sweetness in her communion with God. She longs for the kisses of His Word and the chamber experiences with the Lord."
In the end, this seems to be about divine pleasure:
"In reality, holiness is a call to pleasure that is perfect and unending. To be holy is to know God and be like Him, and He Himself is the highest pleasure that exists. We cannot experience a more superior pleasure than knowing the God of heaven and sharing in His glory.
God is a lover of fascination and delight, and He formed man in such a way that we would desire these things. His call to holiness is the fulfillment of these desires He has put within us."
In a February 2009 column in Charisma magazine, long considered the flagship publication of the charismatic movement, editor J. Lee Grady observed, "Not long after ecstasy became known as a recreational drug, someone in our movement got the bright idea to promote spiritual ecstasy as a form of legitimate worship." Grady went on to issue the following prophetic warning:
"Recently I told a friend in Pennsylvania that when people get tired of this drug imagery it won't be long before we see some Christians having sexual experiences at the altar. "It's already happening," my friend said. He described a recent "worship concert" in which one of the musicians simulated sex while stroking a microphone and whispering sensual phrases to Jesus. What is next-orgasmic worship? God help us."
To cite a saying often incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, "God helps those who help themselves".
As even committed movement loyalists such as Grady speak out, and apparent fruits of Mike Bickle's unusual theology and worship practices manifest, how long will the evangelical center remain in denial ? Or, as Kansas City pastor Ernie Gruen asked, in 1990 sermon about Mike Bickle's Kansas City Prophets movement and Bickle's Grace Ministries, "How Long Do We Keep Smiling and Say Nothing?"
The clock is ticking.