And then they interrogated Micah, the person who had been charged with guarding me during one of my periods of isolation from the group. During questioning, he broke down and confessed that he had suffocated Bethany. He later said Tyler had told him to commit the murder, saying he “had it in him to do it.” The next day—the day of Bethany’s funeral in Arlington, Texas—he drove to the police station and turned himself in. There, he told a lurid tale: He and other men in the group had sexual relationships with Tyler, and together, they had ritually assaulted Bethany. She had been killed, Micah said, because they were afraid she would tell her therapist about the assaults.
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?"
" ... This is IHOP's most alluring tenet: God needs IHOPers to effect the Tribulation and bring Christ back to Earth. "The church causes the Great Tribulation," Bickle has preached. Before founding IHOP, he argued that "God intends us to be like gods. God has conceived in his heart of a plan to make a race of men that would live like gods on Earth." Bickle sometimes affects to know God as he would a peer. "I heard what I call the internal audible voice of the Lord," he has said. He claims that he visited heaven one night at 2:16 a.m., and the Lord charged him with preparing for an End Times ministry and seated him in a golden chariot that lifted off into the empyrean. At IHOP, where prophetic experiences are endemic, the mortal and divine commingle liberally.
The vanguard of God's End Times army, according to Bickle, will be made up of young people, or "forerunners," seers specially attuned to the will of the Lord, "the best of all the generations that have ever been seen on the face of the Earth." For seven years of Tribulation, they will battle the Antichrist. When Christ returns, he will slaughter by sword in a single day the unsaved, and his warriors will rule heaven and Earth forevermore."
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