I came across this story online several weeks ago. It shocked me a bit. Normally, these stories don’t bother me, but this one did. If you haven’t heard, IHOP has been under a lot of pressure lately due to a murder investigation. If you haven’t heard the details of the murder of Bethany Deaton it’s a bit unbelievable. You can read about it here.
I don’t know why this particular story bothered me so much, but it did. Maybe it’s actually having a daughter, maybe it’s that I’m tired of Christians being pegged as the crazy ones so often. Maybe I’m just tired of seeing women being abused.
I looked Bethany up, and found this tribute to her. It makes me sad thinking that her life went away like it did. She looked so full of life, and looked so in love with Jesus. I think the worst part is that she married a man, whose sole purpose, it seems, was to abuse and murder her. As a husband who loves his wife, as a dad who loves his daughter, this is unthinkable. Especially since he was someone who presented himself as a spiritual leader. The term the bible uses for these people is wolf.
As a pastor, this is the reason I hate wolves. I mean, I hate them. Wolves are things you shoot, not things you love and try to turn into sheep. If you don’t, they eat sheep. Cults form, people are mislead, abused…murdered.
If you have any affiliation with a church you know who I’m talking about. No, not the nice charismaniac with the tambourine and the doyley on her head and 15 kids. Cause at least she shows up consistently and is trying to be helpful and doesn’t cause a huge mess. (You know, besides having the tambourine) She’s usually not crazy. No, I’m talking about those guys that show up and sit on the fringe and begin to pull others from the fringe into a group they’ve decided to make, without talking to anyone in leadership or giving the idea to anyone helping actually lead the church. I’m talking about those guys who have leadership gifting, but don’t want to actually be lead and so they go another route. At best, they’re using their leadership ability to take energy away from where the church is trying to actually go. At worst, they’re a wolf forming a meal, i mean cult, out of a bunch of sheep whose lives they will later rip to shreds. There’s obviously a lot in between those two extremes but that’s what’s going on, and as a pastor who loves his church I’ve seen it too many times to be comfortable with it anymore.
I think what I’m trying to say is that we’re not all crazy. Mike Bickle, not crazy from what I can tell. He just has a large ministry that people like to attack and it is learning some hard lessons from these events. Me, just a husband, dad, and friend; who loves Jesus. I’m not crazy, at least not more than the next person. We’re not all crazy. Most of us really want to love people, and believe in a God who really does also. If you aren’t a person who actually loves people. If you have proclivities that would hurt people, my request to you is that you would get some help. I mean seriously, just stop. Stop trying to lead, get in community with some people who will ask the hard questions. Place yourself under the authority of some people who love you and care for you. You aren’t helping anyone by hiding and letting things spiral out of control in your life. No one wants to end up with this story as the mark of their lives.
No, we’re not all crazy. Most of us are normal people, who actually care and want to make the world better. No, we’re not all crazy.