Why Mike Bickle Used to Preach Against Charismatics

Why Mike Bickle Used to Preach Against Charismatics

Many know Mike Bickle as the founder of the International House of Prayer, a Spirit-empowered, 24-hour prayer movement across the globe. If you listen to any of Mike's sermons, you quickly pick up on his fiery love for Jesus and his passion for the gifts of the Spirit. But what fewer know about Mike is that as a young man, he actually preached against charismatic theology. Listen to this in-depth interview with Mike and Diane Bickle.

31 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Mike Bickle

 

Many know Mike Bickle as the founder of the International House of Prayer, a Spirit-empowered, 24-hour prayer movement across the globe. If you listen to any of Mike's sermons, you quickly pick up on his fiery love for Jesus and his passion for the gifts of the Spirit. But what fewer know about Mike is that as a young man, he actually preached against charismatic theology. Listen to this in-depth interview with Mike and Diane Bickle.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello and welcome to In-Depth with Stephen Strang. This is my new podcast in which we try to go in depth with Christian leaders to find out things that maybe you don't know about them, even if they're fairly prominent in the Christian community. My guest today is my longtime friend, Mike Bickle, who is the founder and the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and who has had enormous influence in the body of Christ. We have reported on Mike many times over the years, including all the latest things that have happened. But today I want to dive in and go deep and go into things that maybe most people don't talk about. In our studio today, we have Mike's lovely wife, Diane, and I invite her to jump in, especially to correct anything Mike might say wrong. Welcome to you, Mike. I've known you since the 1980s. We were both pretty young then. It's been interesting to follow your odyssey. A lot of people kind of don't know where you came from, or your background. So, were you raised in the church?

 

Mike Bickle: Actually, my father, Bobby, was an international boxing champion. He was a boxer for 18 years, amateur and then professional. So, I was raised in a boxing environment. My dad went the Olympics in 1952 and fought professionally for some years. Many of his friends were boxers. And I went to the gym with him and I watched him. I went to the bars with him. I went to the bars on Fridays, and Saturdays. Certainly not every week, but many, many, many times. I mean many times, and so there was no Christianity or religion in my background. I'm one of seven children. There were seven of us in nine years. I was the oldest son. So, my dad, I was his boy, and he was going to train me to be a boxer to go the Olympics like he did. So, I grew up and with no knowledge of Christianity or salvation, or any this kind of stuff. It was just more bar room theology. I picked up what the guys said at the taverns when I was 8,10, 12,14 years old.

 

Some of Mike Bickle’s Books

·         Growing in Prayer: A Real-Life Guide for Talking with God

·         God’s Answer to the Growing Crisis: A Bold Call to Action in the End Times

·         Passion for Jesus: Cultivating Extravagant Love for God

·         Growing in the Prophetic: A Practical Biblical Guide to Dreams, Visions and Spiritual Gifts

·         After God’s Own Heart: The Key to Knowing and Living God’s Passionate Love for You

 

Stephen Strang: So how did you make the transition to becoming a Christian?

 

Mike Bickle: I used to love to go out at night when I was 10,12, 13,14 years old, and sleep in my backyard by myself and look at the stars. I loved the stars. I was looking at them. So, I went to my dad when I was 14 years old and I said, Dad, I look at the stars all these nights in the summer, there's got to be a God up there. I want to join a religion. And my dad, my boxer tavern dad said, well, that's good. That's good. And I said, how do you how can I join a religion? He says, Well, you should be either Jewish or Catholic. I said, OK. I go, why? He goes, well, again, in this barroom theology. … He goes well, the Jewish people have more money but the Catholics are bigger. They have more power. I said huh. I didn't know that. That was my goal. I said I think I'll be Jewish. He said that's a good choice. So, he said, why don't you go down to the synagogue, walk in … and again, he's an international boxing international champion so he has this big thing of macho confidence. He said, put your hand out, look them right in the eye, don't bat an eye, be confident and say hello, my name is Mike Bickle. I'm 14 years old. I want to be a Jew. Just walk straight in the synagogue and tell him that. So, I did it. I went to the guy, walked in, put my hand out, my name is Mike Bickle. I want to be a Jew. The guy looked at me and said, what? It didn't work. That's all I can say. So, I decided to be Catholic. The next week, my dad says go to the Catholic church and do the same thing. I didn't realize the Catholics, because I've never been in the Catholic Church, they have the railing and you don't go beyond the railing up front where the priest is. But at the end of the service, I thought it was kind of neat because they gave a little snack at the end. They gave you a little little cracker, little juice or something. I went up and got it like a free snack. I thought that was amazing. I didn't know what communion was. Then afterwards the priest was leaving and I go, sir, sir. I walk right up and wave at him and I walked right past those railings up there. And, and you know, some of the ladies in the church were a aghast. I didn't know that was the rule until later. I said my name is Mike Bickle. I'm 14 years old. I want to be a Catholic. The guy said, that's wonderful, and this Catholic priest put his arm around me and he said, son, I'd be happy to help you know God. He met with me every Saturday afternoon for nine months, at two o'clock every Saturday afternoon. I’m sure I missed one or two, but mostly I didn't and he taught me about Jesus and the Bible and then I got baptized as a Catholic. I was so excited. Now I’m 15. So, I went to the bars and with my dad and my dad would say hey Bill, Tom, Orville, my boy is a Catholic. A lot of these guys are Italian because they were in the mafia oriented. I hate to say it that way, but a number of them were … Anyway, I'm getting too much. ….

 

But I wasn't born again till the next year. I went to a sports camp, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Roger Staubach, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl MVP, he gets up and he tells his story about a relationship with God. I'm so blown away. I can't believe it, a relationship with God. I don't understand. That night I went out in the field at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp and said, Jesus, if this is like a live in my heart relationship, this is real … I like what John Wesley said. I'd love to borrow his phrase that my heart was strangely warmed. I came home from that camp and I was on fire. My dad wasn’t so happy about quote, born-again Christianity. He liked me being Jewish Catholic. He didn't like born again stuff. Dad, I'm born again. I still went to the bar, but then I told the guys at the bar those next couple times about heaven and hell and repenting, and my dad said, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're not doing this. You've been in this for a month and we’re not ready for this. By the grace of God, I just stayed with it, and that was in 1971.

 

Mike Bickle on Charisma

·         Mike Bickle: 40 Years Ago, I Would Have Doubted an Angel Who Told Me This

·         Mike Bickle: We Believe Part of This Bob Jones Prophecy Will Come to Pass This Week

·         Mike Bickle: 4 Prophetic Challenges the End-Times Church Must Face

 

Stephen Strang: Now, that would have been the era of what we now call or maybe what we would call the Jesus Movement. It was working across America. Didn’t that influence you?

 

Mike Bickle: What I didn't know is that there was a grace of God moving on the young people across America. This was happening all over California, the east coast, west coast, millions were getting saved. I didn't know that. There was a sweet grace of God happening because now I'm 15 years old. I'm at my high school. I'm sure this isn't exactly true. But it seems like I led someone to the Lord nearly every day. Everybody was doing that, leading people to the Lord. It was only some years later that I realized how special of a season that was where you just sat it in the lunchroom and people bowed and prayed to receive Christ. My football teammates did and it was happening everywhere. I just thought that was normal. I didn't realize it was a season of heightened grace for evangelism across America at that time. It always works to share your faith,  but there was something really easy in the early 1970s. You remember that time, don't you Steve? And my wife, Diane, you got saved about that time, right?

 

Diane Bickle: I did and my whole family did within an 18-month period of time, which I thought that was just kind of normal. I thought that happened in every family born and raised Catholic.

 

Mike Bickle: And so seven out of seven of you get born again in a one-year period of everybody witnessing It was only later that we found out how special those years were.

 

Stephen Strang: So how did you meet Diane?

 

Mike Bickle: At a Bible study. I was preaching at a Bible study. We were both 21. She was in the Bible study and I met her afterwards. And while the rest is history.

 

Stephen Strang: How did you end up in the ministry?

 

Mike Bickle: Well, strangely enough, my desire, my passion was to be a medical doctor. I got accepted to med school actually. I was on my way, and because Jay Hudson Taylor, the great English missionary to China in the 1850s, I read three of his biographies when I was in high school, after I got gave my life to the Lord. I said, I want to be a doctor like jay Jason Taylor and go to China. Then later I shifted and said I'm gonna go to Mexico as a medical doctor. So, I studied hard, got accepted to med school. Some man after I got accepted, some old guy in his forties … I'm only like 20 something, early 20s … he said have you asked the Lord if it was his will that you go to med school. I said, I got accepted, the odds are hard to get accepted. I'm sure it's his will. And he said, ask Him. So, I asked the Lord. So, I gave the Lord of really difficult fleece. And I said, if you don't want me to go to med school, and I'm sure you do, and because the med school situation I was accepted in was like 100 to one odds … there are like 7,000 to 8,000 applicants and only 75 got in. I thought, 100 to one odds, that is God. And this guy said, no, ask the Lord. So, I made it really hard on the Lord. I said, Lord, OK, if my unbelieving father tells me not to go to med school, which he really wanted me to because that was his passion, then I will go into ministry. My dad was adamant about me not going into the ministry. He was really adamant about it. So, I gave the Lord a fleece. I didn't tell anybody, and the day before the final day where you signed the paper and you get the loan … I don't know the real number, but the $100,000 loan … I told the Lord, if the date was May 1, the night before, my father called me on the phone and said, Hey, Mike, is that med school thing, is that deadline tomorrow? I go, yeah, it is. He’s an unbeliever, he wants me to be a doctor. He does not want me in the ministry at all. He said, no son of mine will go to the ministry. It's such a waste of time because he thought preachers were con men. They were liars and tricksters and all that stuff.

 

So the day before, like May 1, whatever the day was, the night before he called me and said, I have this strange feeling. I go, yes. … He goes, I don't have peace about you going to med school. I couldn't believe my ears. My dad hadn't used the word peace one time in his life to my knowledge. I said, what? So, I turned it down. And even the med school called me back and said, Mike, this is a great opportunity. You really need to take this opportunity. The money's going to work. It's all in place. I said no, I'm going to turn it down. I didn't tell my dad why. I didn't tell anybody why. But I turned it down. And then from there, I set my heart to go into the ministry.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Mike Bickle, please visit cpnshows.com.

Connect with Mike Bickle

·         On Facebook

·         At IHOPKC.org

·         On Twitter

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Mike Bickle

 

Many know Mike Bickle as the founder of the International House of Prayer, a Spirit-empowered, 24-hour prayer movement across the globe. If you listen to any of Mike's sermons, you quickly pick up on his fiery love for Jesus and his passion for the gifts of the Spirit. But what fewer know about Mike is that as a young man, he actually preached against charismatic theology. Listen to this in-depth interview with Mike and Diane Bickle.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello and welcome to In-Depth with Stephen Strang. This is my new podcast in which we try to go in depth with Christian leaders to find out things that maybe you don't know about them, even if they're fairly prominent in the Christian community. My guest today is my longtime friend, Mike Bickle, who is the founder and the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and who has had enormous influence in the body of Christ. We have reported on Mike many times over the years, including all the latest things that have happened. But today I want to dive in and go deep and go into things that maybe most people don't talk about. In our studio today, we have Mike's lovely wife, Diane, and I invite her to jump in, especially to correct anything Mike might say wrong. Welcome to you, Mike. I've known you since the 1980s. We were both pretty young then. It's been interesting to follow your odyssey. A lot of people kind of don't know where you came from, or your background. So, were you raised in the church?

 

Mike Bickle: Actually, my father, Bobby, was an international boxing champion. He was a boxer for 18 years, amateur and then professional. So, I was raised in a boxing environment. My dad went the Olympics in 1952 and fought professionally for some years. Many of his friends were boxers. And I went to the gym with him and I watched him. I went to the bars with him. I went to the bars on Fridays, and Saturdays. Certainly not every week, but many, many, many times. I mean many times, and so there was no Christianity or religion in my background. I'm one of seven children. There were seven of us in nine years. I was the oldest son. So, my dad, I was his boy, and he was going to train me to be a boxer to go the Olympics like he did. So, I grew up and with no knowledge of Christianity or salvation, or any this kind of stuff. It was just more bar room theology. I picked up what the guys said at the taverns when I was 8,10, 12,14 years old.

 

Some of Mike Bickle’s Books

·         Growing in Prayer: A Real-Life Guide for Talking with God

·         God’s Answer to the Growing Crisis: A Bold Call to Action in the End Times

·         Passion for Jesus: Cultivating Extravagant Love for God

·         Growing in the Prophetic: A Practical Biblical Guide to Dreams, Visions and Spiritual Gifts

·         After God’s Own Heart: The Key to Knowing and Living God’s Passionate Love for You

 

Stephen Strang: So how did you make the transition to becoming a Christian?

 

Mike Bickle: I used to love to go out at night when I was 10,12, 13,14 years old, and sleep in my backyard by myself and look at the stars. I loved the stars. I was looking at them. So, I went to my dad when I was 14 years old and I said, Dad, I look at the stars all these nights in the summer, there's got to be a God up there. I want to join a religion. And my dad, my boxer tavern dad said, well, that's good. That's good. And I said, how do you how can I join a religion? He says, Well, you should be either Jewish or Catholic. I said, OK. I go, why? He goes, well, again, in this barroom theology. … He goes well, the Jewish people have more money but the Catholics are bigger. They have more power. I said huh. I didn't know that. That was my goal. I said I think I'll be Jewish. He said that's a good choice. So, he said, why don't you go down to the synagogue, walk in … and again, he's an international boxing international champion so he has this big thing of macho confidence. He said, put your hand out, look them right in the eye, don't bat an eye, be confident and say hello, my name is Mike Bickle. I'm 14 years old. I want to be a Jew. Just walk straight in the synagogue and tell him that. So, I did it. I went to the guy, walked in, put my hand out, my name is Mike Bickle. I want to be a Jew. The guy looked at me and said, what? It didn't work. That's all I can say. So, I decided to be Catholic. The next week, my dad says go to the Catholic church and do the same thing. I didn't realize the Catholics, because I've never been in the Catholic Church, they have the railing and you don't go beyond the railing up front where the priest is. But at the end of the service, I thought it was kind of neat because they gave a little snack at the end. They gave you a little little cracker, little juice or something. I went up and got it like a free snack. I thought that was amazing. I didn't know what communion was. Then afterwards the priest was leaving and I go, sir, sir. I walk right up and wave at him and I walked right past those railings up there. And, and you know, some of the ladies in the church were a aghast. I didn't know that was the rule until later. I said my name is Mike Bickle. I'm 14 years old. I want to be a Catholic. The guy said, that's wonderful, and this Catholic priest put his arm around me and he said, son, I'd be happy to help you know God. He met with me every Saturday afternoon for nine months, at two o'clock every Saturday afternoon. I’m sure I missed one or two, but mostly I didn't and he taught me about Jesus and the Bible and then I got baptized as a Catholic. I was so excited. Now I’m 15. So, I went to the bars and with my dad and my dad would say hey Bill, Tom, Orville, my boy is a Catholic. A lot of these guys are Italian because they were in the mafia oriented. I hate to say it that way, but a number of them were … Anyway, I'm getting too much. ….

 

But I wasn't born again till the next year. I went to a sports camp, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Roger Staubach, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl MVP, he gets up and he tells his story about a relationship with God. I'm so blown away. I can't believe it, a relationship with God. I don't understand. That night I went out in the field at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp and said, Jesus, if this is like a live in my heart relationship, this is real … I like what John Wesley said. I'd love to borrow his phrase that my heart was strangely warmed. I came home from that camp and I was on fire. My dad wasn’t so happy about quote, born-again Christianity. He liked me being Jewish Catholic. He didn't like born again stuff. Dad, I'm born again. I still went to the bar, but then I told the guys at the bar those next couple times about heaven and hell and repenting, and my dad said, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're not doing this. You've been in this for a month and we’re not ready for this. By the grace of God, I just stayed with it, and that was in 1971.

 

Mike Bickle on Charisma

·         Mike Bickle: 40 Years Ago, I Would Have Doubted an Angel Who Told Me This

·         Mike Bickle: We Believe Part of This Bob Jones Prophecy Will Come to Pass This Week

·         Mike Bickle: 4 Prophetic Challenges the End-Times Church Must Face

 

Stephen Strang: Now, that would have been the era of what we now call or maybe what we would call the Jesus Movement. It was working across America. Didn’t that influence you?

 

Mike Bickle: What I didn't know is that there was a grace of God moving on the young people across America. This was happening all over California, the east coast, west coast, millions were getting saved. I didn't know that. There was a sweet grace of God happening because now I'm 15 years old. I'm at my high school. I'm sure this isn't exactly true. But it seems like I led someone to the Lord nearly every day. Everybody was doing that, leading people to the Lord. It was only some years later that I realized how special of a season that was where you just sat it in the lunchroom and people bowed and prayed to receive Christ. My football teammates did and it was happening everywhere. I just thought that was normal. I didn't realize it was a season of heightened grace for evangelism across America at that time. It always works to share your faith,  but there was something really easy in the early 1970s. You remember that time, don't you Steve? And my wife, Diane, you got saved about that time, right?

 

Diane Bickle: I did and my whole family did within an 18-month period of time, which I thought that was just kind of normal. I thought that happened in every family born and raised Catholic.

 

Mike Bickle: And so seven out of seven of you get born again in a one-year period of everybody witnessing It was only later that we found out how special those years were.

 

Stephen Strang: So how did you meet Diane?

 

Mike Bickle: At a Bible study. I was preaching at a Bible study. We were both 21. She was in the Bible study and I met her afterwards. And while the rest is history.

 

Stephen Strang: How did you end up in the ministry?

 

Mike Bickle: Well, strangely enough, my desire, my passion was to be a medical doctor. I got accepted to med school actually. I was on my way, and because Jay Hudson Taylor, the great English missionary to China in the 1850s, I read three of his biographies when I was in high school, after I got gave my life to the Lord. I said, I want to be a doctor like jay Jason Taylor and go to China. Then later I shifted and said I'm gonna go to Mexico as a medical doctor. So, I studied hard, got accepted to med school. Some man after I got accepted, some old guy in his forties … I'm only like 20 something, early 20s … he said have you asked the Lord if it was his will that you go to med school. I said, I got accepted, the odds are hard to get accepted. I'm sure it's his will. And he said, ask Him. So, I asked the Lord. So, I gave the Lord of really difficult fleece. And I said, if you don't want me to go to med school, and I'm sure you do, and because the med school situation I was accepted in was like 100 to one odds … there are like 7,000 to 8,000 applicants and only 75 got in. I thought, 100 to one odds, that is God. And this guy said, no, ask the Lord. So, I made it really hard on the Lord. I said, Lord, OK, if my unbelieving father tells me not to go to med school, which he really wanted me to because that was his passion, then I will go into ministry. My dad was adamant about me not going into the ministry. He was really adamant about it. So, I gave the Lord a fleece. I didn't tell anybody, and the day before the final day where you signed the paper and you get the loan … I don't know the real number, but the $100,000 loan … I told the Lord, if the date was May 1, the night before, my father called me on the phone and said, Hey, Mike, is that med school thing, is that deadline tomorrow? I go, yeah, it is. He’s an unbeliever, he wants me to be a doctor. He does not want me in the ministry at all. He said, no son of mine will go to the ministry. It's such a waste of time because he thought preachers were con men. They were liars and tricksters and all that stuff.

 

So the day before, like May 1, whatever the day was, the night before he called me and said, I have this strange feeling. I go, yes. … He goes, I don't have peace about you going to med school. I couldn't believe my ears. My dad hadn't used the word peace one time in his life to my knowledge. I said, what? So, I turned it down. And even the med school called me back and said, Mike, this is a great opportunity. You really need to take this opportunity. The money's going to work. It's all in place. I said no, I'm going to turn it down. I didn't tell my dad why. I didn't tell anybody why. But I turned it down. And then from there, I set my heart to go into the ministry.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Mike Bickle, please visit cpnshows.com.

Connect with Mike Bickle

·         On Facebook

·         At IHOPKC.org

·         On Twitter

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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Why Mike Bickle Used to Preach Against Charismatics