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Bethel Leader Kris Vallotton Apologizes for Comments on Mike Bickle in Recent Sermon

kris vallotten
Screenshot from YouTube / @ibetheltv

After a Feb. 18 sermon in which he expressed brotherly love for embattled church leader Mike Bickle, Bethel’s Kris Vallotton posted an apology on Facebook. Vallotton, who said in his sermon that fallen pastors are “not entertainment,” added that he loves Mike Bickle, who’s “my brother” no matter what transpires.

Four days later, Vallotton, senior associate leader at California-based Bethel Church, asked for forgiveness for not expressing compassion for abuse victims or for emphasizing their need for protection. “Victims receiving healing and wholeness should be our priority,” he wrote on Feb. 22.

RELATED: Mike Bickle Agrees to Indefinite Ministry Leave As IHOPKC Releases New Statement

Last October, Bickle, founder of International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC), stepped away from ministry due to “credible and long-standing” allegations of sexual abuse. The church, calling the situation a “crisis,” cut ties with Bickle last December over “inappropriate behavior.”

Although Bickle has acknowledged “moral failures,” he hasn’t addressed allegations of abuse involving minors.

Kris Vallotton’s Sermon Calls for Reconciliation

During his sermon, Vallotton decried the fact that church leaders are unable to “tell someone they’re struggling” with sin. Business leaders who struggle don’t have to fear losing their jobs, he noted, while pastors are under threat of being “excommunicated.”

Church leaders who fall “aren’t entertainment to watch” but “a tragedy to intercede for,” Vallotton said, and the resulting drama is “not a movie where you get to know all the details.”

Bickle’s situation requires justice as well as reconciliation, Vallotton added. “My goal for Mike Bickle and IHOP and every 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.”

Pointing to Scripture, Vallotton noted that the other disciples treated Peter differently after he denied Jesus. In Mark 16, “Mary runs into the tomb and she sees the angel. You know the story,” Vallotton said. “And the angel says to her, ‘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.”