According to an article by Erik Eckholm in New York Times, July 8, Bickle is “a self-trained evangelical pastor, with a group of 20. The International House of Prayer, in a former strip mall, now draws tens of thousands of worshipers to its revival meetings. A wholly devoted cadre of 1,000 staff members, labeled missionaries, have given up careers to move here, living off donations and spending several hours a day in the prayer hall to revel in what they describe as direct communication with God. Another thousand students attend the adjacent Bible college, preparing to spread this fervent brand of Christianity.”
Bickle is scheduled to appear in Houston, Texas in August. He will participate in Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer. Only God's true Christians are invited. Slick Rick, the Texas Prophet, has suddenly evolved into a devout Christian. He recently asked Texans to pray for rain due to the long drought. He even had prayer about the economic recession. He is now praying that God will lay hands on him and make him president.
Bickle, in a attention getting video, went on a “The Harlot Babylon” rant in which he called international talk show host and self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey the forerunner of the Anti-Christ! He is not the first publicity seeker to try and take a bite out of Winfrey.
"The Harlot Babylon is preparing the nations to receive the Antichrist. The Harlot Babylon will be a religion of affirmation, toleration, no absolutes, a counterfeit justice movement. They will feed the poor, have humanitarian projects, inspire acts of compassion for all the wrong reasons. They won’t know it, beloved, they will be sincere, many of them, but their sincerity will not in any way lessen the impact of their deception.
“The fact that they are sincere does not make their deception less damaging. I believe that one of the main pastors, as a forerunner to the Harlot movement, it’s not the Harlot movement yet, is Oprah. She is winsome, she is kind, she is reasonable, she is utterly deceived, utterly deceived. A classy woman, a cool woman, a charming woman, but has a spirit of deception and she is one of the clear pastors, forerunners to the Harlot movement," writes Eckholm.
Is Bickle jealous because Oprah Winfrey earned her money the hard way through hard work and talent, and not foolishly making mega-donation to his ministries? Winfrey has a strong belief in God, who she credits for her good fortune. She says it all the time. Bickle, on the other hands, depends on private donations, book sales, videos.
“Some former students have complained that the sensory overload and isolation had left them unable to think for themselves, and that some leaders had urged them to avoid contact with skeptical parents,” Eckholm wrote.
It sounds like Bickle is the taskmaster of a growing "Christian" cult that can be a strong attraction for confused young people trying to find their place in the world.
IHOP, the diner, is suing Bickle for using its trademark name. Some people are already associating the restaurant with the likes of Bickle. That association can hurt IHOP's business financially if they start losing customers due to Bickle stealing the copyrighted name for his personal use. Maybe God told him to disregard the "thou shall not steal" commandment. He also lied about Oprah Winfrey, breaking another commandment.