mike bickle

25 Aug 2008

An Open Letter to Mike Bickle, Allen Hood and Lou Engle

in alcohol, allen hood, consecration, drinking, holiness, IHOP, lou engle, mike bickle, Nazarite, open letter, thecall, vow

This will probably be a disappointment if it was discovered in a Google search for heresies or some-such nonsense. This is a real letter, edited a bit for the blog-viewing audience. I came to this decision by way of a great conversations with Therese Engle and Dustin Bocks, and a bit of prayer and a dose of humility. In providing this, I in no way intent to place my conclusions upon anyone else. To each his own accountable to the Lord. Perhaps this will provide food for thought primarily in the exercise of the liberty in the spirit in contrast to the strengthening of those "soul rights" which are contrary to the things of the spirit.

Dear Mike Bickle and Allen Hood, and Lou Engle,

I wanted to write and thank you for your strong stand regarding social drinking in our community from today's All-Staff meeting. I felt that it was necessary for me to make a decisive statement of agreement and submission, mostly for my own sake. I felt that this email was necessary for the confirming of my commitment before the Lord on this matter.

I have been attempting to walk in the letter of the law (instead of the spirit of the law) on this issue to excuse my taste for specialty beer and fine wine. I've had dinner parties where everyone was over 21, and only those not on [IHOP KC] staff were allowed to have a glass of wine. I've relished the thought of trips to Canada where I could have a beer because it was "outside the country" or drinking by myself in my own home because it wasn't technically "social" drinking.

But despite all of my attempts, I have at times still been party to, or witnessed the consumption of alcohol in settings that were not appropriate. The Lord has been showing me that there has been a resistance in my heart to simply give up alcohol, and that is the greater vice and hindrance. My stubborn insistence of my "rights" has been my indiscretion.

When I read the New Testament, I see Paul's willingness to lay down his rights and give up meat lest anyone take offense. In comparison to his humility, I see the disparity in my own unwillingness to give up the little thing of an occasional Boulevard wheat and Pinot Noir. Avoiding alcohol is a pruning of my soul, and I am more aware now than ever of how needed that pruning is! Not that I need alcohol or drink it often, but that I have enjoyed the "right" to do so. Such "rights" are the exercise of a soul realm whose increasing strength has dulled my spirit.

I must also take into account that although I want to live like an established adult, play house, have dinner parties, enjoy my Pinor Noir, I cannot but recognize what I really am, which is a young single female in a community of primarily single young adults. For all of us in this situation, the renunciation of alcohol will only be a benefit to our reputation, conduct and heart before the Lord. I do not want to kick against the goads, but want to walk not just in the letter of the law, but in the spirit as well.

Thank you for your Leadership,

Joanna Reyburn

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