Bob Arosen, friend of MacDonald, comments about poker and James MacDonald.

As many of you may be aware, The Elephant’s Debt has raised numerous questions regarding gambling and the ministry of James MacDonald.  Please note that on November 18, 2013, MacDonald preached a message titled “My 5G” wherein he admitted to gambling both in private and in public, meaning casinos. In the comment section of the November 7th update, Bob Arosen, a close of friend of James MacDonald and one-time Director of Walk in the Word ministry, sought to shed light on many of the questions we have raised.  According to Mr. Arosen:

  1. James MacDonald played poker for money with Bob Arosen and his friends in a “home setting.”
  2. James MacDonald has attended a poker tournament in a casino; and subsequently promised his elders that he would not do so again.
  3. Fred Adams has “offered that he will never enter a casino again for the sake of the ministry.”

Given Mr. Arosen’s public testimony, The Elephant Debt would like to ask the following questions:

  1. Did all of the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel know about these poker games and visits to the casinos?
  2. Do the elders of Harvest agree with Mr. Arosen’s contention that playing poker for money is not gambling?
  3. Given many people’s reaction to playing poker for money, is Pastor MacDonald willing to set this practice aside from here forward in the same way that he set aside entering casinos for the sake the preventing someone from “stumbling?”
  4. How is a member of Harvest Bible Chapel intended to understand MacDonald’s previous sermon regarding gambling in the light of his poker activities?
  5. Is Mr. Arosen’s statement a confirmation that the Fred Adams listed on globalpokerindex.com is, in fact, the same Fred Adams who serves as the CFO of Harvest Bible Chapel.  If these are two different men, can Mr. Arosen confirm that?
  6. Should the tithing members of Harvest Bible Chapel consider silence on this matter an acceptable response based upon MacDonald’s recent blog post?
This entry was posted in Gambling. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Bob Arosen, friend of MacDonald, comments about poker and James MacDonald.

  1. T.E.D. says:

    When coming up with solutions or “the next steps”, how do we determine if it’s God-honoring? Yes, of course, look to God’s Word. But how does that look practically in regards to these issues?

    Someone suggested that the people who have the same concerns meet – meet for what reason? If we meet to sort out truth and rumors, and meet to consolidate our voices to demand accountability and transparency – to console and encourage,

    Is there a place big enough to hold everyone who has been affected by this?

    Someone suggested standing (off church property) at a corner but in their line of vision to hold up signs to read T.E.D. or an electronic petition to sign. How about passing printed information at the left hand turn bay before crossing the railroad tracks at RM? What information would we want to pass on to the congregation? What would we put on this electronic petition that people would sign?

    It seems like there is a big enough concern to warrant “the next steps”. But how are “the next steps” to be conducted, in a public forum? Do we meet altogether and decide on a specific date when we all stop tithing collectively, until the leaders of the church address the congregation about these issues? As we all know, we cannot force anyone to genuinely repent – that’s the Holy Spirit’s job.

    Many questions. Just thinking out loud and sorting questions out in my head. I’m sure we’re not the first ones to ask these questions. The list of people on “The Void” probably had a season to think of how best to approach this biblically and attempted to practice Matthew 18 (without any success). Some (current and past) leaders also tried to practice Matthew 18 (including myself) also with no success. So do we, as most have done already, – just move on, “vote with our feet”, find another church and leave HBC to continue in its current direction.

    So…everyone…what’s “the next steps”? I know there are a lot more people reading this that have far better ideas and are much smarter than I am.

  2. Mike Stone says:

    Pride “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”

    https://www.facebook.com/DrJamesMacDonald

    Has anyone looked at the Pastor Jame’s MacDonald’s facebook page? It just seems so so wrong regarding the comments. His followers heap on this ridiculous praise to him. Personally, I would be embarrassed and uncomfortable. I can see how to would stoke his ego. Quite unhealthy!!!

    I put my praise in my Father and Jesus.

  3. Sammy says:

    So do we all agree that something must be done?
    The authors of this site went out of their way and
    Shared documented truth. What should the rest
    If us do? What should the next step by?

    • Seeking Solutions says:

      Maybe we should start a petition that requests the elder board to truly confront the issues at hand.

      Perhaps the petition should not be given to the elders until their are 500 signatures so that the church cannot state these are the actions of 1-2 misguided people.

      Not clear on how to do this but perhaps Ryan and Scott could set up an electronic signature function on this site that would allow for authentic signatures…

    • Peaches says:

      I think that Joe has a very good idea. Most people have no clue of what is going on.

      • Kay says:

        I find it amazing if, indeed, more people do not know. I had concerns before knowing about this website (JM’s bullying — even in the pulpit — , both Elephant Rooms, Steven Furtick preaching at Harvest, JM’s out burst following Winnetka Bible’s vote to not become part of Harvest — a wise move in retrospect) but what really sent my antennae up was the elder update. I thought there were many odd statements there that just didn’t make sense unless something was going on. I should point out that my husband thinks they may have deliberately worded the update that way to stir interest in digging deeper, that and the fact that the update has been left accessible on Harvest website for so long — interesting thought. I simply googled “James MacDonald Harvest.” This website (elephantsdebt.com) was maybe the 4th or 5th entry on the results page. I had to do virtually no digging to find out a lot was going on!

        I think all who have left Harvest for any of the reasons cited on this website should make it a point to let the leadership of Harvest know, in writing! Those who are still there but have concerns should, again in writing, let the leadership know.

        I am a pastor’s kid and fortunately or unfortunately have seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of what can happen or go in a church. When a church or pastor truly lose their way and no longer understands that they exist to serve, it’s the beginning of the end unless they turn back. Unless there is repentance and a change in behavior and attitude, it’s just a matter of time. All pastors have to guard against the evil one who comes in so very many forms, some of which appear to be good. There are so many warning signs in the Harvest situation. Breaks my heart when I see this happen.

  4. Tom says:

    Interestingly enough, several months ago, a friend directed me to another website that I glanced at but dismissed in my busyness. Today, I came across it as I was looking for something totally unrelated. I would encourage those still on staff to consider reading this now.
    http://bit.ly/HiHWeh

    If that intrigues you, then do yourself a favor and read the follow up here:
    http://bit.ly/IHXjqD

    • Sincerely Concerned says:

      Thanks Tom ~ these links are definitely on target when it comes to Harvest. After serving in leadership at HBC for over 10 years, I now see how blinded I was to many of these things for so long. By God’s grace, I have come to see how James and other top leaders take advantage of people and abuse their power. It’s amazing how you get a much clearer perspective once you leave. I am SO thankful to be out of there but my heart breaks for those who still do not see it for what it is. I continue to pray for truth to prevail.

  5. Anonymous Member of HBC-RM says:

    Did everyone see the 5G update? They will be alllowing people who have not yet pledged to the campaign to pledge. (I believe this will occur next week.)

    Don’t you think that people who will potentially be pledging to the 5G should know the whole story? It is so frustrating to know how few people know about this information. We need to try to do something (signs outside Harvest, cards with the site address, other ideas?)

  6. Tom says:

    A retreat is an interesting idea. I hope, I truly hope the elders December report will force the former elders to respond to the cover-up and manipulation of truth. James will work to set the new naive elders to rewrite the history, no doubt casting him (James) in a positive light when he is the primary individual leading HBC where it is today; a real mess of deceit, debt, lies and hypocrisy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I see no mention in these remarks of the fact that the elders are going to be going on a retreat and making a report to the church body in December. Wouldn’t it behoove everyone to wait and see what their response is before jumping ship?

    • Glad to hear they’re putting a report together. Was this announced recently and where? Hope it’s an honest, thorough report that can answer the questions put forth on this site.
      Just a question: why spend money on a retreat to come out with a report that can just as easily be put together during work days at the church?

      • C. Curtis says:

        Who and when and where was it announced? We have no knowledge of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is their regular annual retreat. I am sure they do a lot more at that time than just put together one report. It was announced at the services this weekend.

      • Peaches says:

        This is a very good question. These guys really do act like corrupt business men.

    • Another anonymous says:

      Anonymous, I did hear about the announcement this weekend. It was announced as a blurb that many would’ve missed it. They made a bigger deal out of giving to the 5G campaign in the video announcement than they did with the elder retreat. I wanted to jump up at that point and shout, “Don’t give! Read about the debt, his salary, his mansion, his gambling, his private jets!”

      So we have to wait how many more weeks for this? I’m sure if James wants somthing done right away, everyone would be scrambling to make it happen. He wants an all church meeting to raise money for a campaign? Every member gets a phone call. He wants a meeting with all the men? He gets one in a few days. Why are they waiting so long in responding unless they are guilty and need to come up with a defense?

    • Kay says:

      Communication is definitely not the elders/Harvest’s strong suit. Such poor, poor handling of this situation. There is so much about this situation that is disturbing and nothing the elders/Harvest has done so far says they really, truly understand the magnitude. December is WAY TOO LONG to respond. The serious of all this warrants a special meeting ASAP, As far as I can tell, it’s continued arrogance on their part. Maybe their retreat should be shelved this year and instead they get together to address all this. So disgusted.

    • Jennifer G says:

      Truth is not that complicated. It is what it is. So what is it, Harvest Bible Chapel? Do you really need three weeks to mull it over and then have an elders meeting? Could it be that the elders don’t really know whats going on, or are they trying to figure out how to soften the truth so it doesn’t seem so bad?

    • Anonymous:
      Wait? For what? MacDonald and staff have proven themselves arrogant and not above reproach. Why would anyone “wait and see what their response is before jumping ship?” There is no excuse, or good reason for gambling and/or exorbitant debt in any Church let alone one that “walks in the Word.”

  8. Greg says:

    Earlier this year, my family and I were part of a HBC church plant, so I’ve had firsthand experience with Harvest’s philosophy regarding ‘the business of the church’ and ‘the people.’ I found it to be unsettling, so much so that we are no longer part of the church plant. Bill Molinari, a coach at the Fellowship’s training center, told me directly that “the people don’t have any right to that [financial] information” and “it’s none of their business.” Basically, what I took from my experience was that Harvest asks for money (a lot) and spends that money on various ministry-related needs (some legitimate, some questionable, some just plain unnecessary) and then they want you to shut up because it’s “none of [your] business.” (sorry to be so blunt) I found that mindset to be both disturbing and dangerous.

    • Joe says:

      “The business of the church is not your business.” This is what they tell people. Talk about arrogance. Give us money so that our pastor can make $1Million salary, live in $2Million house, continuously over the years be involved in gambling, and the leaders run the church into $65Million in debt.

      Seriously, are there ANY Godly, brave, bold, courageous men at this church at all? Anywhere? Is there ANYONE who will stand up and be Nathan the prophet calling sin what it is? How long will the charade continue? How long will the weak sheep continue to be taken advantage of?

      Here’s an idea for someone to consider. Someone needs to organize a group of people, who for the next couple of weekends, will stand near the entrances, just off church property at each campus with a large sign that says, “READ THEELEPHANTSDEBT.COM.” That’s it. For several weeks station yourselves just off their property but in eyesight of all those entering and leaving the various campuses.

      Maybe more people will see the light and be helped before they get fleeced.

      • Now that’s a thought, we did this at the hill Cumorah Pageant in 1979. We were witnessing to Mormons attending the reenactment of the fantastical origins of the heresy. Over 50,000 tracts were distributed and many “seekers” found Christ instead of the lie!

      • Michael says:

        I guess you could stand there with a sign Joe. But it sort of depends on what your objective is. If the objective is to inflict the most amount of damage that you can then I guess that makes sense. If, on the other hand, your objective is to be as God honoring as possible through this difficult time then I think you will come to a better conclusion.

        • Joe says:

          “as God honoring as possible?” Are you really serious? Getting the truth to people so that they can no longer be taken advantage of IS God-honoring. Once they see the truth, then they can decide for themselves if they desire to stay or not. The leadership of this church is filled with sycophants who fear man more than God. JM is Biblically disqualified from the office of an Elder, and deep down inside, they all know it. But, they’re afraid to do the Biblical thing because they know that it will all come crashing down without his personality driving the $$$$$$ intake through weekend offerings. Don’t talk to me about God-honoring. If you are a member of this church, then YOU need to do the God-honoring thing and confront this head-on. But then again, we’ll see where this gets you, won’t we? Chances are you’ll be loaded up on the catapult that was built in the parking lot this past summer. You remember that, don’t you? That was quite a “God-honoring” recommendation to make to a room full of 2000 pastors, wasn’t it?

        • Peaches says:

          What would your idea of a “better conclusion” be? This sounds like a great idea. It may force the leadership to answer some questions instead of not returning our telephone calls and using small group leaders as a shield.

        • Anonymous Member of HBC-RM says:

          Michael,

          Can you honestly say that keeping the tithing members of Harvest in the dark about these problems is honoring to God? Are you sure about your statement?

        • The most amount of damage possible has already been inflicted by a Pastor who defies biblical order, correction and mandates. $65 million in debt and gambling by him and his staff? Leadership has dishonored God, God’s money and God’s people; the rest is God’s judgment.

      • Jeffrey Silva says:

        Joe,

        Why don’t you organize it?

        • Joe says:

          I once attended this church regularly. Now I live on the other side of the country. But trust me, if I still lived there I would be GLAD to do it. Do you still attend this church?

        • Jeffrey Silva says:

          Joe,

          You can still come out for a visit, perhaps see some old friends, and also organize this protest event that you are talking about.

        • Joe says:

          Jeffrey Silva, its not a “protest” action. It would be an “informative measure.” A protest sign would say “Stop Going To Church Here.” My idea is NO DIFFERENT than someone putting a link to this website on their personal Facebook page saying “Read This.” Obviously, someone pointed you to this website so that you could read the info and make your own determinations regarding the merits of it. Don’t you think others should be able to do the same?

  9. Peaches says:

    Before I converted to Christianity I would attend motivational/self help speakers events. This church mirrors these people and organizations. This church uses professional marketing to shepherd the flock. As a parent I DO NOT want my children to have tattoos or gamble. I know a few families who know about this but are afraid to speak up. Harvest has a corporate structure that keeps the members from getting one on one face to face answers. It is a rich and powerful corporation with a lot of influence. Example it was just a matter of days when it was exposed the James Macdonald and his wife attended the 35th anniversary of prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes “ministry” in attendance were prosperity t.v. preacher Paula White and many other hustlers and false teachers who have made million dollar empires by manipulating people. Also in attendance was Oprah Winfry. So when this was exposed by a discernment ministry. Chris Fabry on Moody Radio interviewed James Macdonald and he spoke about being being attacked and manipulated thousands of listners. This is my observation. I say it’s time to take a stand as men. Be the spiritual leaders in the house. Time to pull out and join a local church where the members are actually my neighbors.

  10. KP says:

    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”
    That’s all I’m say’in.

  11. Former Attender says:

    I’ve always had an issue with MacDonald and money. I remember looking up WITW’s 990s shortly after I started attending Harvest in late-2001. I wondered what would drive a Christian man who was taking over $200k in salary from a radio ministry — basically repurposing pre-recorded sermons — to continually ask listeners to send in more money. The answer has become increasingly obvious.

    I think some people like the idea of having a “rockstar” pastor. My family and I have chosen a different path.

  12. Anonymous Member of HBC-RM says:

    Josh, please read the accounts and documents of proof on this site. There is a 7 page document describing an attempt to meet with Pastor James. Before commenting and rebuking, please know the facts of what has transpired previously.

  13. Anonymous Member of HBC-RM says:

    Part 2 (I felt my comment was too long, so I started a second.)

    My concerns are where does this behavior lead and where does it stop. Things like this are such a slippery slope. Is it okay for a pastor who, let’s face it, has enormous influence over thousands of people. 15,000 people listen to his weekly sermons at Harvest, 62,527 people follow him on twitter, and numerous others listen to his messages on radio and internet. If you doubt people are listening, look at how many retweets he gets as soon as he posts on twitter. People look to this man as a “person of God” to whom they can get their instruction from God’s word.

    Pastors and elders must be held to higher standards. This is reflected in scripture and has been referenced here many times, so I will not repeat it. Also, all of us, as Christians are to be set apart from the world. Our bodies are to be kept pure as a temple of the holy spirit and out lives should be a living testament to our lives with Jesus Christ. We should not be in the world. People should be able to look at us, as Christians, and say, “wow, there is something different about them.” The light of Christ should be showing through us.

    Now, as a pastor, this should be even more so.
    **So, when I hear of my Pastor in a casino, when I hear about him getting his mark tattooed on his arms, when I hear about others doing this, it saddens me.

    **When we are given a chart in church and “instructed” from his pulpit to determine how much extra we can give to 5G and then go one step MORE (and never told about the debt), this saddens me.

    **When I tithe my hard earned money, and find out it is going to pay off huge amounts of interest that I was never told about, this saddens me.

    **When I find out my contributions are paying for James to live in a 1.9 million dollar home and his mortgage payments + taxes is more than I will ever see, this makes me angry and sad.

    **When a church from Harvest’s own is KICKED out from the Fellowship for PRIVATELY talking to the elders, in favor of TD Jakes, this saddens me.

    **When Mark Driscoll and Steven Furtick are picked to lead us as sheep by James himself, this makes me question.

    **The continued silence from the elders and James’ blog post yesterday “You shut up”, makes me wonder if we will ever hear anything.

    **When Pastor James prefers Noble, Furtick, Driscoll, and Jakes to the point of removing himself from the The gospel coalition and the influence of godly men.

    What can we do? I think that this blog has dramatically increased the number of people who realize that something is going on. But not enough.

    When James addressed the people a month or so ago, Harvest realized at the time that his discussion of it, opened more peoples eyes….people who didn’t know anything. I think they are afraid if they discuss it further, that more people will find out about these true issues. They hope, that by staying silent, these things will blow over.

    For myself, until things are made clear to us, I will no longer be giving my Tithes to Harvest. I will still give my money to God. I can not give my money to Harvest until the elders and James come clean. I believe the only thing that will make Harvest act is if the money coming in decreases.

    I think that most people will be forgiving of Pastor James. We just want to know the truth of what is going on. Please, Pastor James and elders: Tell us the truth. We will forgive. Be honest with us and transparent with us.

    • Kay says:

      Well said. I hope people will forgive because God calls us to. However, James has demonstrated PATTERNS of behavior inconsistent with those that the scriptures describe for pastors. These are not one time incidents and he appears to be very manipulative. At the very least, he needs to step away for a significant period of time and deal with these character issues. I would go so far as to say he should resign.

      • Mike Sagan says:

        He should be removed as an elder. Harvest Bible Chapel was once a strong church. I know. We have attended there for many years. But as the men who restrained James MacDonald and kept him in check began to leave and he assumed more and more power, the church has become weak. He and the elder board are responsible for the devastating direction this once great church has taken. They need to repent, remove MacDonald as an elder, and regroup. There is hope for Harvest and many of us are willing to forgive. There are some good men within the Harvest organization who could easily assume the senior pastor position. I would be grateful to see any of the men listed on “The Void” return and steer us in the right, God honoring direction where we once were.

        • rs says:

          mike you are a little mistaken in that the elders listed on the “void” during the financial loan situation are equally culpable for the debt. One elder does not make the final decision. All agreed and have their name on the apprioval. Therefore all the elders at that time share the blame equally for not doing the right thing. Also, last time
          I looked – someone can ask for a raise but someone has to approve it……in other words the elders. So, again, all the blame is not on one elder but on all of them.

        • rs says:

          I guess a reply will only post if it agrees with your assertions…..I do not want to see any of the men listed on the void who were elders at the time in question regarding the fiscal crisis as they are all equally culpable for the debt. They agreed as one to the debt and as one they are responsbile.

  14. Anonymous Member of HBC-RM says:

    Hello. I would like to start out by saying that I am a long time member of Harvest (before there were multiple campuses). I have been blessed by the ministries at Harvest over the past many years.

    But, my heart grieves over the changes (that I have noticed) over the past two years. Changes, that I fear have been going on a long time. I sat in the chairs week after week and wondered why and if I was the only one. Thanks to the authors of this blog, I know realize that my personal concerns and worries were not unfounded and I am not alone. So thank you Scott and Ryan.

    Bob – I hope you read this. You comparison of Poker and gambling to softball games upset me so much, I could not sleep last night. The memories of my father pitching me balls and playing catch in my backyard as far back as I can remember came back to me. Baseball/softball is a time honored game between father and son and should NEVER be compared to gambling in a casino. If it didn’t upset me so bad, the comparison would almost be laughable. (Scene: A sunny sunday afternoon: Son, it is going to be a beautiful day. I am going to teach you my best poker strategies after church today.) Bob – really? Please, withdraw this comparison. This hurts. Do you know how many people’s lives have been completely ruined over gambling? Bob, where does this start? People do not (generally) go immediately to the high stakes tables. Gambling, like alcoholism, starts small and progresses to life altering disasters.

    Factchecker – I am not using my name, as at this point, am still attending and involved in Harvest. I hope to be able to continue there and am praying that this site can help bring about glorifying changes to Harvest and help it return to the church I loved 10 years ago. If these changes to do not occur and I leave, I will be happy to disclose my identity. I just do not want to be “catapulted” at this point. But, you have questioned the validity of the people listed on the void. I can guarantee that these people know they are listed. I would direct you to a comment that was made by Joe Stowell’s own son-in-law a few months back ( http://bloodstainedink.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/former-pastor-at-harvest-bible-chapel-speaks-out/ )
    He says: There once was a rabbi who was making a hike in the desert up a high mountain.A scorpion confidently asked him, “Rabbi, would you please place me on your shoulder and take me up the mountain?”The rabbi responded,”Why would I do such a thing? You will sting me and I will die.”But the scorpion promised, “I promise to be your friend and never sting you. Please let me ride on your shoulder.”So the rabbi took the scorpion and placed him on his shoulder and began the long trek up the mountain.All went well as the rabbi and the scorpion conversed the whole way.But when they made it to the top, the scorpion took his stinger and sent it deep into the rabbi’s jugular. His poison shot through the rabbi’s bloodstream.As the rabbi lay dying, he said to the scorpion, “You promised to NOT sting me. Why did you do it?”The scorpion responded, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”Rod Van Solkema-Former pastor at HBC

    So tell me, do you really think that the Stowell family and thus others listed do not know about this site. And…if they did not want there names listed they would request to have them removed.

    • Concerned says:

      You are not the only one wondering who else around you feels the same. I’m sticking around to see / wait for full transparency. I won’t stay forever but think it is fair to give this some time. Today’s blog does not look like it is going in the right direction. I stopped my tithes and placing the money in escrow for a future date when I feel more comfortable in giving. The silence will have to end when the money stops flowing.

      • Mary B. says:

        We are also long time members but have stopped giving any money to Harvest until we get a good explanation and James MacDonald repents before our congregation. This is shameful but we are willing to forgive and forget. We further believe that James should be removed as an elder. He is not qualified according to Scripture.

  15. Carol says:

    Let God’s Word speak to these issues with James MacDonald – 2 Peter 2:1b-3a

    Re: Introducing and accepting TD Jakes as Christian Brother in ER2, not condemning anti-Trinitarianism and prosperity gospel, attending and celebrating TD Jakes 35th anniversary in ministry etc.
    “…there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them…”
    ***
    Re: Visiting casinos, playing poker, encouraging staff to go to Las Vegas, get tattoos etc.
    “…Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;”
    ***
    Re: Very large and numerous salaries, $1.9 million home, excessive marketing / merchandising of self with books, tapes, conferences, Vertical Church theme, cross-country bus tours etc.
    “…and in their greed they will exploit you with false words;”
    ***
    Think about it. God’s Word is meant to be applied to real situations. How much more real can it get?

  16. Josh, have you read the case presented on all the pages of this site? If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to do so. I think you’d find the answer to question many times over. The answer to that question is one of the reasons for the unfortunate need for this site.

    • Robert Fritz says:

      Josh,

      James MacDonald’s latest blog post title is “Hey – Shut Your Mouth”. I humbly think any action taken will be the elder’s responsibility alone.
      http://jamesmacdonald.com/blog/

      • Tom says:

        You’re right, Josh, or maybe Josh is really James? Just sayin’.

        This blog (rerun) is a perfect example. One he (James) ran before. It’s not really addressed to leaders addressing their “detractors” it is from his perspective and seems to be actually directed at the “detractors”. Perhaps if he tells them to shut up enough, they’ll listen. Or maybe he tried that with all the people from “the void” and they couldn’t get through to him because he simply won’t listen. Either way, if the people have tried to goto him and been shut down so flippantly, that’s what they are airing here. The Word calls us to go to the man with whom we have a problem. But if the man won’t listen to what is seen as the problem, then what are we to do? Now the problem has changed and James/HBC has problems with others. Is he personally going to those men? If not, why not? What could be of more importance that clearing up the trouble contained herein?

        I would venture a guess, that James has not, and will not for the foreseeable future, personally work to reconcile with anyone on that list. Why? These are the questions the Elders should be dealing with. Or, here’s a suggestion, if you’ve never had a more unified group of leaders than you have now, take the paid staff who are also elders out of the room. Let the unpaid elders, men who have no financial gain at risk, have a meeting for as long as it takes. Then, let them voice their findings, and commentary, and final decisions to the congregation without James’ review first. The church would hopefully see that if the conclusion is James’ removal for a while, or even for good , is not the end of the church. Maybe the end of Harvest as we know it but maybe that’s not so bad.

  17. Ema says:

    Hello Josh,
    Did you ever tried to approach pastor James?
    Until you try you cannot ask this questions .
    Pastor James will spit you out of his mouth in a second !
    Just go and try to ask him accountability questions !

  18. Jeffrey Silva says:

    What concerns me is the fact these poker sites have listed the winnings. Question – how much did Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Jenkins lose playing poker? These is quite problematic since these folks are responsible for using our tithes and offerings in a God honoring way.

  19. Kay says:

    This situation just continues to deteriorate.

    Mr. Arosen, I think you should have disclosed early on in your posts that you are professionally involved in an industry of which gambling (betting) is an inherent part. Given that, your views cannot not be considered unbiased. You compromised your credibility here by not doing so until someone brought this to light.

    Jackie Alfirevic’s post states that 3 of those mentioned under “The Void” have confirmed to her in writing that they have continued concerns about HBC. There has been no one (James or any of the elders) to step up and deny any of the issues put forth. In fact, there seems to be an arrogance that, at least thus far, they don’t have to answer or explain any of these issues.

    There is so much I could add about the dynamics of this situation but I would sum the situation at Harvest in one word —- toxic. The longer James and the elders of Harvest wait to address all these things, the worse it will be. So sad.

  20. Ema says:

    Why do people are thinking that we are slamming and denigrating pastor James? Since when speaking in truth is called that? Aren’t we called to judge all things and reveal the truth? Since when behaving otherwise is commendable? God is a God if truth and honor. Nobody comes to make up all this stories . We all are under the authority of our Lord and Savior and pastor James is guilty even if remotely he gave the opportunity to all this stories to exist! Commendable behavior ! That’s what pastor James are missing .

    Mr. Hartwell said :If God requires faithfulness and supplies the grace to follow His commands then there is no excuse for not following good business practices with church finances. Pastors only need to be faithful in the small things to avoid church scandal around financial wrongdoing

    In Demons in the Sanctuary there are many reports indicating how a Pastor Rutherford bent the financial rules and was not diligent in avoiding the appearance of conflict of interest and nepotism. As I read the book it looks more and more that these moves are not just sloppiness; they are self-serving. Also, they are not just slip ups; they are his standard practice. Isn’t this applying to pastor James macdonald also?
    Give me neither poverty nor riches — feed me with the food allotted to me.
    Proverbs 30:8b

    How far a pastor behavior has to go to be considered bad? And in the eyes of ignorant people what bad is bad enough? When did we start accepting this behavior in a church and how did we forget that pastor James is Lord’s anointed one so his behavior cannot give reason for such a scandal… But sadly it does! Pastor Jeremiah said:A wise man in the Old Testament, Agur (Proverbs 30:1), prayed that God would bless him with just the right amount — not so much that he forgot to acknowledge God as the source and not too little that he might steal to get more (Proverbs 30:9). It would have been Agur’s responsibility, of course, to honor God in the midst of much and refuse the temptation to steal in times of want. That was the perspective Paul took — he said he had learned to be content in times of plenty and want (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s entire life was in service to Christ and so he trusted God to provide what he needed.
    Contentment — trusting God for daily bread, as Jesus taught the disciples to pray (Matthew 6:11) — is the best way to be reminded daily that God is the source of everything.

    Contentment is an inexhaustible treasure that is taken away by absolute power and lack of accountability. And this is what pastor James is missing !

Comments are closed.