Bethel's Kris Vallotton apologises for Mike Bickle comments

Kris Vallotton is the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church and cofounder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.(Photo: YouTube/Bethel)

(CP) Kris Vallotton, senior associate leader of Bethel Church in California, has apologised to victims of abuse and sexual misconduct in the Church after offering support in a sermon Sunday to International House of Prayer Kansas City founder Mike Bickle, who faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.

"On February 18, 2024, I shared a message regarding the need for accountability, transparency, and true repentance from leaders, especially in the Church. The intention of my message was to share the critical need and call for greater levels of health, purity, and accountability for leaders," Vallotton, who also co-founded Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, said in a statement shared on Facebook.

"However, I realize now that I did not express compassion for or address the need for the protection of all victims of abuse and sexual misconduct that I see in and out of the Church. This is and has always been my priority in these situations."

Vallotton states that his "omission" has "hurt many in the Body who are processing hurt concerning the heartbreaking situations unfolding at IHOPKC and elsewhere." 

"This is my mistake, and I am deeply sorry," he concluded. "I ask for forgiveness for the people whom I have hurt with this omission."

In the sermon, Vallotton lamented what he called a "culture of justice" in the Church that makes it difficult for religious leaders struggling with sin to "tell someone they're struggling."

"I want to point out that fallen leaders aren't entertainment to watch. They're a tragedy to intercede for. ... It's not a movie where you get to know all the details because you have to know all the details. It's important that we know all the details. Why?" he asked.

"We watch a fallen leader like we're watching a movie. We cry out for all the details, tell us all the details and let's put it on the internet so the world can see how our fallen leaders are dealt with. And I'd like to point out that that's a culture of justice, and we need justice, but we need reconciliation," Vallotton argued prior to mentioning Bickle.

"Watching what's happening with IHOP — and by the way, I want to say publicly, I love Mike Bickle — I don't know what the outcome will be, but it won't change the fact that I love him. That's right, he's my brother. It won't change the fact that he's my brother," he insisted.

The pastor said that about two days before his sermon, someone reached out to him on social media about why he hadn't said anything publicly about the situation at IHOPKC.

"They said, 'Oh you haven't said anything about, you know, [the] IHOP situation, so you obviously are part of the problem.'"

"I replied, I wrote, 'You're an idiot.' But then I realized that I was an idiot for calling him an idiot, and I had just answered a fool according to his foolishness and became a fool right with him. So, I immediately took it down," Vallotton said.

"This is not entertainment. This is tragedy. I'm not going to play out on social media to let you all know, 'Well, you know, I believe that Mike Bickle should do this, and this is the way it should happen. I just want everybody know I'm against it, too.'"

"Listen, if you can't look at my life and know where I stand, I guess I don't have much of a life. My goal for Mike Bickle and IHOP and everyone else who's struggling, including the Bethel struggles we have, is that we would reconcile and that we would see righteousness grow out of it, not another documentary."

On Monday, Cindy Jacobs, a popular self-professed prophet and author, said she was "deeply grieved" as allegations of spiritual and sexual misconduct continue to mount against Bickle.

"As a leader in the prayer movement, I am deeply grieved at the sexual misconduct of Mike Bickle," Jacobs wrote in a statement on X Monday night. "There are many pure and wonderful people who love 24/7 prayer, and I am praying that their intercession will not be lessened. I am also praying for IHOP and the victims."

Her comments came less than two weeks after Lou Engle, a co-founder of IHOPKC who currently leads Lou Engle Ministries and founded TheCall prayer movement, expressed grief over the allegations against Bickle. Engle said he is praying that Bickle will come forward with "a full confession of all that is hidden."

For months, IHOPKC and a group of former leaders known as the advocate group have butted heads over an investigation into allegations of abuse against Bickle since they were made public last October.

A petition launched last November, which has more than 4,400 signatures, calls on IHOPKC "to conduct a true third-party investigation into the sexual abuse allegations and the systemic environment at IHOPKC in order to protect the interests of the alleged victims and current congregants."

The two sides never agreed on a third-party investigator, and IHOPKC hired independent investigator and attorney Rosalee McNamara to review the allegations against Bickle. She presented the findings in a seven-page document on Jan. 31.

Since the publication of McNamara's report, another woman, Tammy Woods, alleged that Bickle groomed and sexually abused her in the 1980s when she was 14.

Another woman, identified as "TH," alleged in an interview with The Roys Report this month that Bickle began grooming and sexually abusing her when she was 15 and he was a 20-year-old church intern in the mid-1970s.

In his sermon on Sunday, Vallotton said this "culture of justice" and "shame" being used to hold Christian leaders accountable isn't going to make fallen leaders willingly come forward.

He cited Scripture like Mark 16 and suggested that when the Apostle Peter had fallen in the Bible by denying Christ, he was ostracized by the other apostles of Jesus.

"In Mark chapter 16 verses 5 through I think 7, Mary runs into the tomb and she sees the angel. You know the story. And the angel says to her, 'Go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus rose from the dead.' 'Go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus rose from the dead.' Why did the angel say 'and Peter?' Because the other disciples had already excommunicated him because he had a fall," Vallotton argued.

"I'm pointing out that if you treat people who've had a fall or are dealing with temptation like somebody who can't come in the camp anymore and then wonder why so many people fall, I'm pointing out that unless you have a culture where people can tell you about their struggles, you're not going to have a culture of accountability," he said, noting that leaders in the business world can have falls and remain leaders.

"I understand religious leaders should be under stricter judgment. According to James, a teacher should be under stricter judgment. I'm not saying we should be all equal. I'm pointing out that if I'm a CEO of a company, I don't have the challenge of having to go tell someone because I'm going to lose my job," he said.

"If I'm a religious leader and I have a struggle and I tell someone I'm likely going to be sat down or maybe even excommunicated," he said.

Vallotton used the narratives of Peter and Judas from the Bible to suggest that if fallen leaders are treated differently, the Church can have better outcomes when it comes to accountability and repentance.

"How many understand that Peter and Judas both failed?" he asked his congregation. "Peter became the head of the church and Judas hung himself."

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