Self Professing Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Wife (or had her killed) – Also: Christian Group IHOP Sexualizes Jesus Christ and God

Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Wife (or had her killed)

Another splendid example of why Christian single women are just as well off dating and marrying Non Christians guys as they are Christian males.

    Disclaimer: I am not suggesting by posting such stories that ALL Christian males are closeted homosexuals, abusive, killers, perverts, crack pots, or weirdos, but enough of them are in the news stories I see to have convinced me by now that Non Christian males are no more a risk to date or marry.

Found via “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group:

(Link): Love and Death In the House of Prayer

    Tyler Deaton, a self-appointed apostle in one of the fastest-growing evangelical movements, loved Jesus, Harry Potter and, much to his dismay, other men. When his wife turned up dead, the secrets began to spill out

According to this article from Rolling Stone, Deaton became a member of something called IHOP (International House of Prayer) founded by another guy who sounds equally crack-potish, Bickle. The article described some of the group’s beliefs – many of which are nutty and have zero biblical support.

The following is from page two, referring to the girl (Bethany) who this Tyler person later married and, according to the article, either killed or had killed:

    She [Bethany] could also be lavishly, almost immoderately romantic. She imagined herself as a novelist and professor at a small university, living in a cottage in the woods. “The dream of her heart was to be married,” Herrington recalls. “We used to stay up late talking about it, night after night. She had been praying for her husband since she was a teenager. She had written him letters, before they even met.” She found herself “fiercely attracted” to Deaton and was convinced that God had ordained their union. She was aware of his struggles with homosexuality but believed that God would use her to heal his heart.

There you have it, Christian ladies: you can pray and rely on God to send you a spouse – as so many Christian leaders, dating books, and preachers advise – and end up marrying an apparently violent, psychotic, closeted homosexual, instead of the hetero, Christian White Knight on a Steed you were hoping for and expecting.

One wonders why God, if he exists, would allow a Christian young woman, who was trusting him in this area of her life, (and as Christian girls are heavily encouraged to do by leaders and parents), only for God to let her down in such a spectacular fashion?

The founder of the IHOP group to which Deaton belonged appears to have sexualized Jesus Christ, and the relationships Christians have with him, though he claims this is not so:

    One July day in 1988, Mike Bickle was sitting in his office, reading a wedding card inscribed with a verse from the Song of Solomon.

    “Jesus, seal my heart with your seal of love,” Bickle spontaneously prayed. Unaccountably, he began to weep. The phone rang. A prophet had heard the “audible voice of the Lord” for Bickle: The Song of Solomon, a dialogue between King Solomon and his beloved, should become a focus of Bickle’s ministry.

    It eventually came to Bickle that true believers must see Jesus “through the eyes of a bride with loyal, devoted love” – they must “feel loved and in love” with Christ. Without this intimacy in worship, Christ would not return to Earth.

    But the Song of Solomon is a paean to sexual desire. “Let the king bring me into his chambers” and “kiss me with the kisses­ of his mouth,” the beloved says. “His fruit” is “sweet to my taste.” IHOP’s website states that one of its prayer guides, Bridal Intercession, “presents prayer as the joyful and romantic communion between the lover and his beloved. . . . Readers will find themselves . . . eager to encounter this lovely Lord who is their bridegroom.”

    Many critics, observing that IHOP recruits post-pubescent youth, have wondered where, if they are to approach their Lord as Solomon’s beloved approaches Solomon, their imaginations are supposed to go. “[Jesus] is not coming until the people of God are crying out globally in intercession with a bridal identity,” Bickle has preached.

    If the Second Coming depends upon “romantic communion” with Christ, and the alternative is satanic hegemony, then any error in worship should be made on the side of erotic intimacy – to lust and repent is surely better than abandoning Jesus in his hour of need.

    Bickle makes a point of warning his followers that bridal theology is not sexual. To IHOP’s detractors, though, the introduction of any suggestion of sensuality into worship invites transgression.

    Aggravating the libidinal diciness, they argue, is the nature of that worship. IHOPers spend 20, 30 or more hours every week in the prayer room, often for three or four hours at a time.

    Across the IHOP complex, in cafeterias, hallways and the prayer room, music composed to enhance the ecstatic experience is “omnipresent,” according to an ex-member.

    Among the lyrics to two popular songs: “God is a lover looking for a lover/So he fashioned me” and “Do you understand what you do to me? . . . How you ravish my heart with just one glance?”

    Some former IHOPers have talked of being addicted to it – they become nervous and irritable when they turn it off. Another IHOPer has written about addiction to the sedative atmosphere of the prayer room itself: “A common refrain around anxious, discouraged IHOPers is, ‘I just gotta get to the prayer room.'”

    “Very quickly, there were sensual escapades with God,” a former intern says, meaning that some people’s private imaginings turned explicit after exposure to IHOP’s “bridegroom” Christ. She says that an instructor told her, “God is using his word to kiss you.”

    The intern heard stories of IHOPers fantasizing about having “orgies with Jesus” and “sex with God.” [ 😯 ]

    At Southwestern, Deaton often played IHOP music when he presided over worship, and the members referred to Christ as “the bridegroom” and to themselves as his “brides.”

    For most, the worship experience was spiritual, not sensual, but Deaton and at least one other person were “really into the bridegroom stuff,” according to an ex-member. Deaton pressed people to enter a prayerful state and “cuddle with Jesus,” says an ex-member.

    But anything beyond holding hands was judged to be iniquitous. “Marriage prophecies” determined dating partners. According to members, such prophecies were explicitly discouraged by IHOP, but they cropped up in the group not long after IHOP theology sank in.

    … Deaton seldom matched people romantically interested in one another. It was more often to the unsuited that hesaid, “God told me that you two are destined for marriage.”

    The practice created a “horrendous atmosphere,” says one former member.

    Deaton involved himself in nearly every relationship.

    He might find two people he’d matched spiritually unready, and break them up. “You are idolizing your future spouse and putting him before God,” he might say.

    Sometimes people were ordered to avoid one another completely. Flirtation might be punished by a ban on all contact with the opposite sex for a week or more.

    Deaton himself did not date, which was taken as a sign of his commitment to God. “He’s so focused on the Lord, dating only distracts him,” people said.

    Deaton involuntarily exerted a strong attraction on many of the women in the group.

    Most liked him at some point, and when he became aware of their feelings, he tended to treat them coldly. As the group grew, maxing out at about 25, knowledge of his homosexuality remained in his inner circle.

    …In platonic relationships, Deaton urged prolonged, affectionate contact, particularly among men, because, he said, they had been wrongly socialized to resist it.

    They should hug, cuddle, give one another massages.

    If you were uncomfortable with loving touch, you had “a wall in your heart” and were “only experiencing part of God’s love.” “You can’t function as a Christian that way,” he said.

    This disconcerted many of the men, but they accepted that spiritual growth might entail discomfort.

    Deaton might encourage two guys to cuddle on the floor while the rest “dog piled” on top of them, in the words of an ex-member. These were innocent activities for most of the men.

    Deaton, though, according to Herrington, “spent hours cuddling with Justin on the futon in their dorm.”

    Justin, who was not gay, eventually became uncomfortable with Deaton’s affections.

    Problematically for Deaton, the social world he had fashioned normalized his own desires while repressing everyone else’s.

    In chapel, Jesus was a “ravishing” bridegroom, a perfect male form; under Deaton’s supervision, heterosexual relationships had become unworkable, unmoored from romantic desire and skirted­ by Deaton himself with a justification of piety; and he had bound together godliness and homoeroticism.

    One former group member, thinking about the events of the past fall and the manner of Bethany’s death, recently said, “I just don’t get it. Why couldn’t Tyler be gay? Why couldn’t he just go find a guy and be happy?”

One of the things I wonder after having read all this is where the hell the parents were.

Skipping forward in the story, Tyler (who has homosexual attractions) none the less claims to find Bethany attractive, and they begin dating. The story continues:

    Later that summer, more group members moved to Grandview, and the men and women settled into their respective houses.

    Whatever passions Deaton’s epiphany might have released, his relationship with Bethany appeared staged to some members of the group.

    They went on a date every Tuesday between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and spent Friday evenings baking bread together.

    Anything more, Deaton said, would mean subordinating the needs of the group to their own needs. He discouraged Bethany from physical displays of affection.

    They would not kiss until their engagement, two and a half years later. About a year after they began formally dating, Deaton convened the core group members for a “leader’s conference.”

    They took turns describing their visions of the future. When it was Bethany’s turn, she got “really scared,” Herrington says.

    She turned to Deaton and said, “Sometimes all I want to do is live in a house with you, and a baby, and maybe some chickens!” Deaton called her “selfish” and told her to stop elevating her own desires over those of the “community.” “You need to put away your personal longings and connect with the goals of this movement,” he said.

    “I’m sorry for being selfish and idolizing Tyler,” she said.

I find this interesting for several reasons, one of which is that Bethany is being shamed by this Tyler guy (who claimed to be a Christian) for a perfectly normal hope and dream in life that many women have: to get married.

A lot of your less-nutty evangelicals, Baptists, fundamentalists, and Reformed are just as guilty: they will shame adult singles who desire marriage. They will tell singles who desire marriage, “you have turned marriage into an idol; be content in your singleness.”

I think there is something anti-biblical and sinister afoot in Christianity when normal, God- (if there is a God) given desires and ambitions, such as wanting to flirt, date, or get married, are basically labelled ‘selfish,’ ‘idolatrous,’ or ‘evil’.

Wanting to do things like get married, buy one’s own home, attend college, start one’s own business, go on a trip overseas, and so forth, are all perfectly valid lifestyle choices and options, not idolatry.

Being a Christian does not have to mean thinking religious thoughts all day, or thinking about Jesus round the clock, or serving as a missionary in Africa.

You can be a follower of Christ AND pursue marriage.
You can be a follower of Christ AND pursue a career.
You can be a follower of Christ AND pursue a college degree.
You can be a follower of Christ AND pursue knitting as a hobby.

By the way, the seeker friendly, evangelical, and/or Baptist mega church pastors need to shut up to their congregations and the rest of Christendom about “having visions” and “doing great things for God.”

I listen to sermons reviews of seeker-friendly sermons, and I also read reviews of books by such preachers, and in many of them, these preachers shame and scold Christians for living everyday, plain lives, for having a 9 to 5 job, or weeding the garden, or taking the dog for a walk (ie, doing ordinary stuff).

Such preachers tell you that you must “make your life count,” or you must have “audacious faith” or “be radical for Jesus.” That is all a bunch of legalistic hogwash; the Bible does not teach it. Even Apostle Paul made a tent once in a while.

More from the article:

    Once a week, the men and women held “accountability” meetings in their respective houses, reviewing the dynamics within the group and searching out sin. When men shared feelings of desire toward the women, Deaton might embarrass them by unilaterally informing the women.

    Even as Deaton strategically strained relationships, he condemned noncommunal activities as “un-relational.” “If we noticed a lack of heterosexual love occurring within the group, that was ‘OK’ because, Tyler reminded us, Jesus said people ‘neither marry nor are married in heaven,'” a former member recalls.

It is true that Jesus said that people will not marry in the afterlife, which marriage-obsessed evangelical culture needs to remember (they idolize marriage), but it’s just as wrong for self professing Christians to shame Christians for wanting to get married or for seeking it.

Regarding false teachers, from 1 Timothy 4:3

    They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

Another excerpt from the article:

    Healthy heterosexual intimacy, Deaton posited, depended on prior comfort with same-sex intimacy.

    Rooming with Justin would allow him to “experience what it’s like to be intimate with a guy in preparation for being intimate with Bethany.”

Really?

Where in the Bible does it instruct people to bang someone of the same sex to prepare for hetero marriage? I must have skipped that part in my Bible.

What insanity is this?

    Another member later told detectives that after he’d arrived in Grandview, Deaton had slipped into his room while he was in bed, laid down beside him and held him.

    He said that he later realized Deaton was priming him for sexual intimacy.

    One morning that summer, as the group was getting ready to go on a hiking trip, Herrington says he asked Deaton why he looked so tired.

    Deaton confided that he’d only gotten 20 minutes of sleep the night before because he’d had an extended “therapy session” with Evan.

    They had engaged in a kind of spiritual “wrestling” – “lying together in Tyler’s bed all night in a largely undressed state,” in Herrington’s words – that resulted in “massive healing” for Evan and a “massive breakthrough in his masculinity.”

    Deaton’s relationship with Bethany remained as it was: a weekly three-hour school-night date and bread baking on Fridays.

Weird.

Continuing:

    Deaton and Bethany spent most of their three-week honeymoon in Costa Rica. Deaton had mischievously kept the destination from Bethany until they were on their way to the airport. That may have been the final romantic flourish of the relationship.

    In an e-mail to one of her roommates, Bethany described a difficult situation. “It makes me scared to get married,” her roommate told the other women in the house.

    In a statement to detectives, one of Deaton’s roommates said Deaton “confided” to the other men that he was “frustrated after his recent marriage [because] he couldn’t get an erection.”

    … During this time [of their marital problems], according to the statements Deaton’s roommates made to detectives, Deaton was pursuing “sexual relationships” with three of the men in the group.

    Moore recently told someone close to him that he too had been sexually involved with Deaton. “It was a skillfully orchestrated system of debauchery that shattered the wills of the boys under Tyler’s care and crushed their spirits,” says Herrington.

    … According to Moore’s confession, the drugging and sexual assaults began not long after Bethany returned from Costa Rica. Moore did not implicate Deaton in the assaults, but if they did happen, multiple ex-group members say, they could not have occurred without his blessing

I suppose one moral of the story for the single Christian ladies: don’t trust God for a Christian spouse.

Update:
“What Rolling Stone Didn’t Tell You About Tyler Deaton”
thecosmiccathedral.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/what-rolling-stone-didnt-tell-you-about-tyler-deaton/

(Link): Police: Bizarre Confession About Perverted Sex and Murder of Young Wife

Excerpt:

    Nov 2012

    But according to her admitted killer, 23-year-old Micah Moore, it was all a cover-up to keep Deaton quiet.

    The statement said witnesses told detectives they were a part of a “religious community” where they had sex with each other. Witnesses told detectives Deaton’s husband, Tyler Deaton, was the leader.

    In the statement, Moore told detectives Bethany Deaton was being sexually assaulted by him, and several men at a home in Grandview. That is how Moore said he knew Deaton and her husband.

    Deaton said they became afraid she would tell her therapist about the abuse, so Moore was told by someone whose name was blacked out in the probable cause statement, to kill her.

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Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Sexualization of God and Jesus

(Link): Example of How Christian Teaching About Sex, Marriage, and Gender Creates Hang Ups and Entitlements Among Christians

(Link): The New Homophiles: A Closer Look (article) Re: Christian Homosexual Celibates and Christian Homosexual Virgins

(Link): New website launched to help Christians experiencing same-sex attraction / Editorial about Celibacy by Ed Shaw

(Link): Why Do Christians Ask if Homosexuals Can Change Their Orientation – Why Not Explain that Celibacy is an Option?

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link): Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships