Three HBC elders, Marquardt, Phelps and Slabaugh, have resigned from the Elder board, and HBC releases a statement.

Update (22 June 2013)

Nine months ago, on the 7th of October, The Elephant’s Debt was launched. Five days after the initial publication, James MacDonald addressed the congregation after the weekend services of 13-14 October 2012. In this address regarding the “detractors of his ministry,” MacDonald informed the congregation that a special gathering of more than 200 pastors, elders, deacons and spouses had met on Thursday October 11th. He characterized the meeting as being marked by more unity than he has ever experienced in the history of Harvest. He also said that Harvest has never been stronger financially or had better accountability than at the present time.

On the heals of this pronouncement of unparalleled unity, the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel published a letter on 19 October 2012. This letter, which was a direct response to the publication of TED, attempted to make ten significant refutations. As a mark of this unparalleled unity It was signed by all the elders that were on the board at that time.

In fact, many of you may recall the special song, authored by James MacDonald himself, that was performed during this season titled, “We’re United.” During this season of controversy this song was used to unite the congregation, becoming the symbol around which the congregation could see these matters in a binary, us-versus-them mentality. Thus, the rhetorical answer to the facts asserted by TED was that the leaders “in the know” were with MacDonald in full, unparalleled unity.

Earlier today, 22 June 2013, an emergency meeting of the Harvest Elders was called. This meeting was necessary to address a new crisis that had emerged from within their own ranks, threatening the unparalleled unity of Harvest. The central issue on the table was the pending resignation of three elders that signed the October 19th letter. These men include: Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt and Barry Slabaugh.

Phelps (grey)Marquardt (Grey)Slabaugh (grey)

According to multiple sources, at least one of these elders, who shall not be identified at this point, resigned due to his ongoing concerns with MacDonald and the handling of the TED controversy. We cannot report the reasons for the other two elder’s resignations, but the timing of these resignations at an emergency meeting leaves reasonable doubt as to whether these mens are resigning with similar concerns of their own.

Should Harvest leadership decide to announce these resignations to you, please take careful note of what they say. If they say anything to the effect that these men cycled off for no extraordinary or controversial reasons, know that you are hearing partial truths at best and in at least one case, you are being lied to.

As per Marc Abbatacola’s letter in the wake of the Roy McCaulley termination, wherein he asked for privacy for Roy, we would ask you to remember that Scott, Dan and Barry “are dearly loved members of Harvest Bible Chapel, and we ask that you not burden them with personal questions during this challenging time.”

Just hours after we published this post, HBC published a statement on their website in response to these resignations.  Their statement was subsequently taken down from their website, and then HBC put it back up on their website approximately a month after deleting it.  The HBC announcement is posted below, or it can be found here.  Also, HBC subsequently released their letter to Phelps and Slabaugh, accepting their resignation, and a copy of that letter can be found here.

The Elders want to thank the church family for their faithful prayers during this past ministry year. As Pastor James heads out on his break, we want to express our appreciation for the humility he has demonstrated, the grace he has given so frequently, and the perseverance he has modeled. The Elders are unanimously satisfied with his response to the criticism received and are working hard behind the scenes during his break to continue the expansion of Elder authority in our church. 

We also want to report our gratitude for the unity that has prevailed among our Elders during this season. God has been gracious to consistently maintain our unity of purpose and spirit. An isolated dissension among three Elders, Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, and Barry Slabaugh, has come to a climax in recent weeks. These men have expressed dissatisfaction over many months with how compensation is set, how elder authority is shared, and whether Pastor James has truly owned his part in past conflict. Though we sought unity with these men over many months, it became increasingly clear that their contrary opinions were unrelenting and separate from the other thirty-two men. With regret, we accept their resignations, not because they raised concerns or disagreed with the majority, but because, in the end, they could not come comfortably under our collective authority. In accepting their resignations, we purpose to continue our progress in unity and focus upon the purposes and priorities of Harvest Bible Chapel. Please be assured of our active oversight in providing meaningful accountability to our Senior Staff.

We solicit your prayers for Pastor James and Kathy and their family as they take a break from weekly pulpit ministry until August. They will spend time in rest and refreshment and work behind the scenes to help prepare for our 25th anniversary year of ministry. We are excited about all that God has done and continues to do for our church.

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36 Responses to Three HBC elders, Marquardt, Phelps and Slabaugh, have resigned from the Elder board, and HBC releases a statement.

  1. Pingback: James MacDonald | The Wartburg Watch 2013

  2. Walk by Faith noy by Sight says:

    I earnestly plead for Believers reading this to Biblically understand that it is a quite serious thing to have three “elders” so apparently deeply concerned with leadership authority to exit Harvest Bible Chapel.

    I must remind those who name the Name of Christ and thus by implication imply to believe and defend Gods WORD… that the official letter from the HBC elders suggests that a rather small matter of dissension was dealt with…and that these were “only” 3 people out of 32 total elders..

    Very dangerous ! I read the official Harvest elders letter as pure damage control…..The official letter is plainly dismissive and marginalizing the three elders leaving Harvest.. The letters’ apparent implication was….its’ not a serious issue if the percentage in disagreement with leadership isnt a LARGE percentage disagreeing with Leadership. . After making that ” marginalizing” effort…the elders letter incredulously then goes on to say that the issue is not a “majority rule” issue…

    Hello……!!!!! ???? (Please Insert astonishing remark here)

    You cant Biblically have it BOTH ways…at least with Biblically Grounded , thinking Christians you cant have it both ways ….I expect that kind of doublespeak from the liberals or media or the Democratic National comittee or The White House press liason or Eric Holder …but not from Born Again Believers in Jesus Christ.

    Folks…this letter is doublespeak at its’ absolute worst.. One must not forget that the majority of the Israeli spies sent out by the desert bound Jewish people (fresh from Egyptian captivity under Pharaoh) were also comissioned to see if the enemy could be spied out and ultimately defeated and vanquished ..the whole number of spies were commisioned and over 80% came back fearfilled with reports of NO WAY…Only 2 spies came back and said.God is with us ..and we will prevail..

    This was a case of the “majority” being fearful and relying on self rather than The God who had delverd them from Pharoahs hand…and the majority were flat wrong. The smaller number (2) Beleived God fully and were True to HIM and His Promise of Victory and took Him at His Word and gave the TRUE report of ultimate Victory, although not supported by the testimony of the majority of spies who went by sight, but NOT by Faith in Gods Omniscient Promise.

    In a world where so many men can be so easily intimidated and made fearful to ever take a STAND,,,there is a danger of ignoring elders who (knowing the gravity and spiritual consequences of their elder position with The Lord) and that by having such a disagreement with a leader has strong spiritual consequence , dare to Take a Stand and openly disagree with the “leader” and his “29 supporter majority” .

    That 3 new elders have challenged Harvest authority yet again… ( only the most recent exodus ) this latest exodus speaks volumes (not short stories) and should be seen in the light of Gods Word and the important Biblical role of elders in a Church. To dare to challenge leadership and elder authority is NO SMALL THING. Nor should it be dismissed as a small “internal” incident. God holds men of this position to a higher responsibility.

    One should NOT so quickly dismiss this ” latest breach ” and sad exodus of these three elders as lightly as the letter from HBC elders apparently has.. Im sure that God does not dismiss this latest exodus and serious issue with such arrogant aplomb and leadership exalting haste.

  3. T.E.D. says:

    When we left HBC last year, one of the reasons was the lack of transparency in the pastors’ and staffs’ income to the congregation. This past June, when our current church had a meeting, they disclosed EVERYTHING to their members – tithes, offerings, where the money was going to, pastor’s salaries and raises for next year, etc

    At first, I was amazed with their openness. After a while, when the financial report was done, the feeling changed to – “this is how it should be”. The person who gave the financial report then ask everyone…”Are there any questions or disagreements?” Then I was astonished. WE CAN ASK QUESTIONS! WE CAN BRING UP DISAGREEMENTS?! Amazing. After a few questions, the church agreed in one accord and passed the upcoming fiscal budget.

    HBC was our first church, so this was very foreign to us. But we’re glad we made the change. So blessed to be in a bible believing church that actually practices what they preach.

    • HBC disgusted says:

      Yes, I would say that HBC is the exact opposite of what you describe. It doesn’t matter who you approach, elders, leadership, etc…you will NEVER get to know those facts. They will tell you point blank that they do not know how they got into such debt and that there is no intention to ever find out or divulge where all that money went. You can ask the NUMBER OF SALARIES that a pastor, elder, or staff member is drawing down from HBC enterprises, but they will never tell you. How could it hurt just to know the NUMBER of salaries that an individual is earning?–unless they are earning SEVERAL? No salary RANGES, no anything. Nothing. WHY ALL THE SECRECY? I think it is obvious to anyone with a brain in their head. You think they are too holy to be fleecing this flock? Do you really?

  4. Ray Ahmed says:

    Harvest belongs to the lord.the lords design for ministry is first winning the lost equipping the believer,and prayer. As believers we we should understand our authority as believers,the greatness of the the name of Jesus and the integrity of the word.nothing great will ever be done for god on this earth by a human being until we realize our inadequacy and gods sufficiency. Harvest you have god the father the son. Please welcome the work of the holy spirit in the service. Your brother in Christ ray.

  5. Carol says:

    The handwriting is on the wall, for all to see and understand if they desire to.

    The Holy Bible is the infallible standard by which all men and women must be measured, and God commands us to look for, or reject, specific character qualities in church leaders.

    James MacDonald displays most of the characteristics of a false teacher [e.g. 1Tim 6:3-10, 2 Peter 2, Jude 1:16-19], and lacks nearly all of the requirements for a righteous elder [e.g. Titus 1]. There are ample witnesses, far more than the two or three required [1 Tim 5:19], and evidence for the worldly and destructive words, actions and philosophy of MacDonald.

    Therefore, there can be no course correction or biblical remedy for Harvest Bible Chapel’s woes, as long as this apparently unsaved man is allowed to wield tyrannical power as the head pastor and a “first among equals” elder.

    A false teacher will not lead the flock in the will of the Lord, but rather in an opposite, harmful direction…although this diversion is usually done in a subtle manner, in order to deceive the trusting fold. (I once was included here too.)

    Let’s pray that the truth will set people free, from the influence and control of this imposter garbed in sheep’s clothing.

  6. Tom says:

    Well, if they are counting they should know that there are hundreds of Harvest members reading this and praying. These issues run so deep and seem impossible to root out, although I know that nothing is impossible with God! I think Walk in the Word is great, but that the book of John had to be stopped once again because no one else could preach on it is ridiculous. Jeff said three times last week….”Pastor James said…..”, well how about sticking to what the Bible says. Honestly this situation is getting worse every week. Be loyal to your friends, but be the most loyal to God and His word. I am kind of on the outside looking in, even though I am a tithing member, and everything seems so enmeshed at Harvest.
    More frightening is that three elders are ousted and then they stand up and say there is unity….KEEP SAYING IT AND MAYBE SOMEONE WILL START TO BELIEVE IT.
    I have really never seen anything quite like this before. They say they have not responded, yet every week there are pointed jabs at what is going on and James or his puppets have responded through the “bully pulpit” almost every week. There has been no high road taken. It is so sad!!!!

  7. T says:

    In the hopes that the Harvest elders and/or Pastor James himself is reading this website, I leave this message: please honestly address the concerns/issues raised on this website. I am a long-time member of Harvest and the information on this website breaks my heart; it confirms what I’ve heard for years but brushed aside as rumor. I don’t feel that Harvest is being honest and transparent with us, the Harvest family. Let’s get it out on the table and into the light: address it. Nothing good is going to come from continued attempts to keep all of this in the dark.

    • Marie says:

      I couldn’t agree with these sentiments more. Since I found out about ER2 well over a year ago, I began researching, listening to James’ sermons, checking and confirming as much online as I possibly could for myself, the issue just kept going from bad to worse. I continued praying for all concerned. When this website came to light, I heaved a sigh of relief that perhaps now, others would also be aware and the deceptions and the unholiness of it all, would have to be dealt with.
      Many who attend Harvest churches are praying and waiting patiently to see what the pastors and elders of all Harvest churches will do (we all have a lot at stake). Will they compromise, or stand faithful in their loyalty to Christ instead of a man, and perhaps as well, what will the Lord do?
      I herald those men and churches that were compelled to do what Scripture says in holding James accountable after ER2, and as a result for their faithfulness to the Lord and His Word, were ‘catapulted’ out of the fellowship.
      I am sure that it has been pointed out before on this site but I reiterate it again, Ephesians 5:6-14 states ‘Let no one decieve you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.’
      I have attended many Harvest chapels in the US and in Canada, although none in Chicago. The gifted preaching of the pastors that I have heard has been incredibly edifying and refreshing in a time when many churches are closing their doors. Harvest Bible Chapels, return to your first Love and let it not be James, but Jesus…

  8. Been praying about this whole situation since I heard about it back in November. I will continue to pray for this situation. I have to agree, God will not be mocked.

  9. mark777 says:

    i have been at harvest for a few years now. what i have seen is biblical statements twisted to mean what JM wants them to mean. i am concerned over his massive salary and rock star image and arrogance. however i have heard alot of good come from JM. i pray this is not just a get JM richer business. i am concerned about his association with TD jakes (prosperity gospel), perry noble, steven furdic (both using nonglorifying secular music in their worship services). i pray that there is Godly change at HBC.

    • Tom says:

      mark777 – the good comes from God, not JM. It should also be noted that not one elder or pastor has denied what this site has brought to their attention. And, they also haven’t changed the way they do things. When one of them (or 3 of them even) try to effect change, what happens? They become dissenters and are unable to be in agreement with the others who refuse to ask the tougher questions, and, as Uncle Si would say, they gone.

      • Murph says:

        The HBC Davenport echoes JM’s problems. When questions about money or authority are asked, one quickly becomes targetted as a dissenter and is brought to the church office to be rebuked by the senior pastor and his puppet. I’ve heard that at the time it happened to my wife and me there had been 40 couples rebuked. And there have been many more since then. These guys are missing the humility that comes from knowing Jesus.

        • Kay says:

          Harvest is missing a great deal more than humility. There are elements of the whole Harvest culture that are cult-like. At the very least, it is toxic. One of the really sad things I have seen happen is some members/congregants in the Harvest community have taken on James’ characteristics and style (abruptness, lack of humility, shutting out anyone who doesn’t agree or dares to disagree openly with them, even people who are long-time friends). People really need to wake-up and take the blinders off; Harvest is scary and the psychology is damaging.

        • doubtful.. says:

          I go to Harvest Davenport and I have never heard of any such thing!

        • J Crane says:

          Dear Doubtful, I believe you have never heard of such a thing… at HBC Davenport. There are many who have STILL not heard of the bad debt, bad doctrine, and bad relationships with previous elders and leaders … even at HBC RM, Niles, North Shore and Chicago. BUT that does NOT mean that what so many have attested to on this website and inquired about in the ‘church office’ is not true. Our family asked about these issues for many months. We were met with planned answers and blame shifting. I hope that when you simply ask about these issues, you will seek truthful and complete answers and not settle for the corporate line.

  10. HBC ANON says:

    What is so hard to believe is the silence of this congragation. Just happy with the product that is being sold I guess. God will not be mocked.

    • DR says:

      If you are find the silence there had to believe, you should consider the silence in the Canadain Churches. Down here he is viewed as almost Holy

  11. J Crane says:

    In order to understand the HBC title of “elder”, you need to understand the HBC definition of “elder”. It is my understanding that HBC separates or tiers the office of an elder. There are a few HBC ‘ruling elders’ and a greater majority of ‘counseling elders’.
    Ruling elders (like JM and RD) are also counseling elders, but counseling elders are not ruling elders and do not carry the same weight of influence. Church matters and issues can be tabled and influenced by the ruling elders and then discussed and voted(?) on if you dare to swim against the tide. The tone is more to just get along and keep moving. There was a story that JM even encouraged the recent board of elders to challenge him after they voted timidly as yes men. (Apparently, that doesn’t go very long if you are a dissenting elder, plant pastor, or member) There is an imaginable awkwardness of being influenced and told how to vote. I can’t find a biblical model for why the position of an elder is divided into ruling and counseling. And I am not saying that each titled elder has the same percentage of the vote. Maybe having this understanding helps others to know that at some level at HBC, a man with the title of elder (counsel) may have an equal vote, but there is a group of elders (ruling) that are steering the issues with a much greater influence and weight in voting.

    If you are seriously asking questions about which version of church elder rule is true, then you may want to factor in HBC’s history and emphasis on numbers and counting. . Just a few weeks prior, JM blamed the (presumed, former) elders for the HBC finance debt. But many of us remember the E3 meeting held for flock and small group leaders that proclaimed JM’s vision of quickly multiplying the number of campuses and HBF locations. No one thought at that time or now that the goal of expanding the number of campuses and plants was from the elders. JM put that vision solely on himself. At first glance, it made sense to expand the number of elders. But when some of the former elders were no longer associating with HBC and questions were asked, we were told about the few number of people that left, but always countered with the many that remained and growing number of sites and testimonies. We have been told about the number of baptisms or decisions for Christ, but the many that have had a change of heart, like the son of the “Sad Mom” (June 22) are ignored. We have been told about how fruitful HBC ministry is, but nothing is said about the many leaders and members that have left HBC in recent months. Thanks to the guys that host this website, we can understand the power motive driving the need to know numbers. It’s probable that HBC leaders are even counting the number of replies and update posts on this website.
    There’s even a strange counting method in the June elder update letter. There is a unanimous decision (voting/consent) as long as the dissenters are removed.

    We resigned our membership because we counted the number of weeks of doctrinal compromise we have witnessed at HBC, the number of half answers (some half truth) to our questions and concerns. We often wish the elders would count the number of people that have been discouraged and hurt. There are many, like our family, who are still adjusting after leaving HBC.

  12. Broken says:

    I agree that this isn’t funny. I attend HBC and have been following this for some time as my family is fairly new to the church- compared to the time frames involved in this discussion. My heart is broken because I would like to see this all come to an end. I would like to see transparancy, repentance, reconciliation. I kept hoping for an answer from the pulpit, from the leaders, that would show errors in these allegations. Instead, I see confirmation time and time again- but then explanation, justification, and even rationalization. Silence is not the answer. Jesus did not leave people in the dark, he spoke truth. That is what I am looking for- the Truth. Sadly, I often seem to find it here and not at my church. If I do not have all of the information it is because my church has chosen to remain silent- like Jesus. I can only pray that they are as innocent.

  13. Feeling Nostalgic says:

    Oh how I miss the old BSI days –circa Spring/Summer 2012 when guys named Luke would stop by and go a couple rounds debating Jmac’s questionable theology, troubling “associations”, congregationalism and unorthodox power structure before ultimately throwing out the old accusation of “judging motive” and fading into the ether –simpler times times indeed. Where did guys like Chris Trees, the intellectual and Rainbowmn, our crazy uncle that claimed JMac was sideways since ’88 go? Now we have T.E.D., alleged employee abuses, the gambling, false rumors being spread, “resignation letters”, false assignment of blame, and the latest elder defections. Innocence lost. This just isn’t that fun(ny) anymore.

    • T.E.D. says:

      Oh I miss the good old days when sound doctrine was preached on a weekend service, followed by continuous obedience and faith during the week. Not like today, where a show is put on for the masses during service followed by a “live like I want during the week” (i.e. lust for money, greed, gambling, living in ($60M) debt, living an extravagant lifestyle while others give sacrificially, etc.). (Matthew 23:27)

      I believe the authors (of this website) had no intentions for this website to be fun(ny). There is a spiritual war going on. War is neither fun nor funny. Do you realize what is at stake is here – for you and your family? Do you know your answer when, one day, when you are standing in front of the throne of God and are asked “How did you stand up and defend MY Kingdom?” during this season? Were you vocal? Or did stay on the sidelines in silence?

    • Chris Trees says:

      Feeling Nostalgic,

      Thanks for your concern. Chris Trees is alive and well and hoping that the leadership of HBC will someday move beyond the pragmatic and address the biblical issues defining this ongoing mess.

      For the most part, Chris has been occupied with occasionally wiping the drool from his chin as he contemplates the tragic silliness that today defines the leadership of HBC.
      In the meantime, I’ll take two cards, see you and raise you $10.00.

      But, seriously, T.E.D. is right in his 6/27 posting; this is a spiritual battle, in which we all already hold cards and will one day each be held to account for our actions (or inaction) in this contest.

      CT

    • Alan F says:

      Yes, I too miss those days. I suspect Luke left after realizing that his arguments rang hollow and thus, he lost the debates.

  14. Lucy says:

    I got a nice email from Walk in the Word today asking me for money . . .
    all I can say is that it is all very sad – what is happening there and what is happening here.

  15. knowonegod says:

    In the first paragraph they declare unanimity… they begin the second declaring unity… then go on to redefine these terms to exclude three of their peers. They mention “an isolated dissention” yet outline that dissention, in broad strokes, as encompassing the very reasons for the existence of TED. As has been pointed out, there seems not to have been any unanimity or unity for at least the “many months” they admit to in this letter. The nature of deception is that one does not know they have been deceived.

    Additionally, and despite the continued twisted view of ‘authority’ that they use, even upon each other when it suits their ecclesiology, the other part that is always disturbing is statements such as “We are excited about all that God has done and continues to do for our church.”

    This is disturbing on two levels – – It puts HBF at the center, and God performing for ‘it’ and it presupposes the ability to look upon the invisible things of God as though they were clearly perceptible in the things that have actually happened.

    It is these very things that Luther countered in the Roman Catholic Church which justified itself by pointing to external, visible signs of success. Such pragmatism is rampant in evangelicalism today and HBC/HBF is leading the pack!

    Luther properly defended that God’s work is a subverting work; overturning pride, shaming human wisdom and often in opposition to human expectation. I suspect if James (and the 32 other elders) were to comprehend the visible and manifest things of God as seen through suffering and the cross (ref. Heidelberg Disputation #20), HBF and many of the mega church operations of today would be so very much diminished.

  16. T.E.D. says:

    Will the three Elders, Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, and Barry Slabaugh obliged us and consider telling their side of this story leading to their resignation in a forum they are comfortable with?

  17. tjchantry says:

    Anytime any group says, “Our leadership is entirely unified! (By the way, three of our leaders just resigned.),” you are in an Orwellian universe.

  18. Donn says:

    “The Elders want to thank the church family for their faithful prayers during this past ministry year. As Pastor James heads out on his break, we want to express our appreciation for the humility he has demonstrated, the grace he has given so frequently, and the perseverance he has modeled. The Elders are unanimously satisfied with his response to the criticism received and are working hard behind the scenes during his break to continue the expansion of Elder authority in our church. ”

    The first paragraph of the Elder’s statement is important because of this line, “The Elders are unanimously satisfied with his response to the criticism received”, which is clearly not true since three of the elders resigned, as you stated, in part because this is exactly what they questioned, JM’s response to critcism. If anything, it should have said “the elders who remain are unanimously satisfied”. To talk first about the unity and then about three leaving makes no sense, just like the continued enabling of JM by these elders makes no sense.

  19. Dave Davis says:

    Whom, was this released to?

    • If you are referring to the Elder’s Update, it was published on Harvest’s website under the button labeled Update From the Elders.

      • HBC ANON says:

        {If you are referring to the Elder’s Update, it was published on Harvest’s website under the button labeled Update From the Elders.}
        Please notice that the “Elder Update” button continues to shrink in size and prominence on the HBC website. Soon one will require a magnifying glass to locate said button…and the information the HBC appears to think unimportant to the congregation.

        • radmission says:

          July 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

          I’m new to this site and actually stumbled upon it while trying to do a paper on congregationalism. I’m sorry this is off topic to the current post, but I couldn’t get it to allow me to post to the older ones.

          I have read with “shock and awe” many of the posts and comments about HBC and have considered myself indebted to some to degree to JM for one of his messages which the Spirit used to turn my life around 180 degrees about 10 years ago while driving down the road while my life and family were crumbling around me. So, it is very sad to see the real truth presented about someone I admired.
          In all of the documentation of extravagance, did anyone post about the “gift” presented to Pastor Rick at Harvest University a couple years ago of a brand new Harley(I’m guessing it was at least 20-25K based on my father in law’s Harley) which JM drove down the aisle of the church at the presentation? I must admit, that I was immediately skeptical(and I have no personal knowledge of the actual source of funding) of what funds might have been used to purchase this bike. After reading everything today, including the Elephant Debt site, I have officially terminated my walk in the word account and financial support. There are too many worthy ministries where I could devote my resources to further the kingdom of Christ. The small group which I lead is currently going through the Vertical Church series, which I must say is quite good, but sadly I don’t think I can ever listen or watch JM again in the same way.

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