Dr. Ronald Allchin, former Elder of Harvest Bible Chapel, speaks publicly for the first time.

Update (23 Aug 2013)Two weeks ago, on a website entitled James MacDonald Must Resign, a woman by the name of “Lisa M” left a comment under a post of the Marquardt letters.  While her comment was not terribly unique or provocative on its own terms, what it inspired was certainly unexpected and extremely valuable.  We begin with “Lisa’s” comment:

Having been visit my ill parents in CA for most of the summer, I have sure missed being at Harvest.  A close friend texted me a link to this site this morning.  In many ways, I simply could not believe what I was reading.  First – the name of the blog!  Why is it that someone wants to discredit and or destroy the ministry of Pastor James?  My family has been going to Harvest almost 5 years and have been faithfully taught the Word of God.  Second – it just seems like something that should be more private.  If this is an actual letter from Mr. Marquardt to the elders, why is this any of anyone’s business?  Does anyone know how this may have been resolved?  If it is from Mr. Marquardt I’m certainly done buying cars from the man.  I’m really not normally one to post on blogs, but this got me pretty upset.’

As you can clearly see, this comment did not stand out as being substantively different from other like-minded comments that have been posted (on this site) over the past eleven months.  But for some reason, this particular comment elicited a response from Dr. Ronald Allchin Sr., a former 10-year Elder at Harvest Bible Chapel and one of the most influential members of “The Void.”  His response to “Lisa M”reads as follows:

Since you have raised more questions than you are able to answer, perhaps it would be better to find the answers to your questions before you determine your response to Dan Marquardt’s letter rather than respond emotionally.  His letter is so full of truth.  Dan is a man who was not willing to compromise his integrity.  He joins a growing number of men who believe the same.  One more thing: any wise person will continue to buy from a dealership whose leadership is based on a lifestyle of integrity.

Now, having seen Allchin’s statement, two things should be carefully noted.  Firstly, Dr. Ronald Allchin, Sr.,  a man who ministered alongside James MacDonald for many years, believes that Marquardt’s letter is “so full of truth.”

Among the many very particular and pointed concerns that Marquardt raised about MacDonald’s character and behavior, Marquardt seems to summarize them all when he states:

James has repeatedly stated that he is not in a good place and I affirm that.

For Allchin to agree that there is “so much truth” in a letter that is attempting to argue that MacDonald “is not in a good place” is a massive statement that cannot be underestimated.  Moreover, by leaving this comment on a publicly accessible blog, Allchin has apparently come to a place in life whereby he is no longer seemingly content to merely leave his name on “The Void” and to let his silence speak for him.

Secondly, it must also be pointed out that Allchin believes that Marquardt has now joined “a growing number of men who believe the same.”  The question is, who are these men that are swelling in number?  Are these leaders within Harvest Bible Chapel?  Are they former leaders who are preparing to speak publicly?  Or are they simply congregants that have concerns that have gone largely unaddressed by the leadership of Harvest?  As the statement is Allchin’s alone, these are questions that only he can answer with certainty.  But one thing seems clear.  Dr. Allchin appears to believe that there are a growing number of people who are no longer confident in the leadership of James MacDonald.

61 thoughts on “Dr. Ronald Allchin, former Elder of Harvest Bible Chapel, speaks publicly for the first time.

  1. Priorities, we all have them. My Lord comes first, my family second and after that everything else is trivial to me. Some things worthy of pursuing. Somethings maybe not. After much thought and prayer I decided to share a final thought with TED readers. Please do not engage in emotional argument because to use an analogy, it will only pour gasoline onto the fire. Stick with facts and truth. And never judge the hearts of men or their motivations. I know I went there for a brief time when only asking questions about the horrors of the world. But the Lord quickly rebuked me and brought to mind His discourse with Job. So since I cannot bind the chains of Pleiades or loosen Orion’s belt, I confessed my sin long ago and He knows my heart is pure.

    So think before you post, don’t judge the hearts of men, save it for that Great White Throne, we all get justice then.

    Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Rom 15:33

    1. Hearts of all men are not judged by men for they are well known to all men and described by God to all men- Jeremiah 17:9 for example…

  2. Sadanddepressed August 25, 2013 — 3:26 pm

    I attend a Harvest plant. I brought up the issue of JM’s behavior when I first joined and expressed concerns. I was told flat out that our “plant” had “nothing to do” with Harvest Chicago and we were completely autonomous. Two elders told me this. I guess it is not a blatant lie but certainly not entirely truthfull… I also expressed concerns that the lack of transparency regarding salaries was going to hurt rather than help. I was brushed aside with a “this is the way we do things”. Needless to say I haven’t given a penny and won’t until things change or we leave. The plants are no different than the queen bee. Just about done with any hope that things will ever be different.

    To the men of noble character in the HBC “system” who read this. If there are any of you left, please, address this. It is not going to go away. The model is broken. The plants are all infected with the same sickness as the model. This is becoming cultish. Wake up.

    1. You sound intelligent enough to be able to think for yourself. You will be able to come to your own conclusions. I don’t know if this is a site to come to asking these kinds of questions. Work it out.

      “To anybody reading this post I ask you to be very careful in how you respond here. I happened to read Bob Arosen’s letter a little differently than most and something jumped out at me:

      “The longer this continues, I think that you will find more and more people unable to just silently sit by and watch as James and Rick are painted as these awful one dimensional creatures who only care about money and power, and anyone who continues to serve and worship at Harvest are either in “on the take” or lemmings.”

      This post is dripping with emotional content. This person will be able to be just fine just like the rest of us.

      1. What post are you referencing? Doesn’t seem to be a logical response to “Sadanddepressed’s” post which contains no questions.

    2. Dear Sad and Depressed:
      You are not alone in what you are witnessing. There are many within Harvest that agree with what you have stated, even though they are not commenting here. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to know that. Thank you for speaking out.
      Someday, I would love to meet you and others that have commented on this site. But if not in this life, then in Heaven.
      Meanwhile, I am praising God for those eyes he has opened and minds he gave understanding so that many hearts have become burdened with desire for his glory alone.
      I am praying for endurance and hope for you during this difficult time.

    3. Many in the Harvest system were told, “This is a matter for ‘Big Harvest’ to handle and it really isn’t our business. We don’t want to be busybodies, do we?” The only problem is that JM is still somewhat in authority over the entire Harvest Fellowship–his picture is bigger than all the rest on the Fellowship webpage. I do NOT accept that he is an appropriate person to be, in any way, shape or form, over any church that I would attend. I felt I had no other choice but to leave as a way of making my voice heard. I bear him no ill-will, I just do not accept that he is qualified to lead.

  3. In a comment on the previous topic, Chris Trees said something that jumped out at me –

    “Remember, those with whom you disagree just may be right”

    That statement is the most profound thought I’ve read on this blog. It is possible. Not everyone who posts a contrary thought here is on staff or “on the take”. I submit that it is possible to be a rational thinking Spirit filled believer and follow the leadership of James, Rick, the staff, and the Elders at HBC. I understand there at many who feel they cannot, and I respect the decisions they have made. I would hope that those who made that decision would offer us the same consideration.

    I have read many thoughtful and painful posts on here that were written by obviously concerned former members who ache for their church. I have also read posts that are dripping with bitterness and disdain toward James and seem to just want to cause him pain as some kind of payback. The longer this continues, I think that you will find more and more people unable to just silently sit by and watch as James and Rick are painted as these awful one dimensional creatures who only care about money and power, and anyone who continues to serve and worship at Harvest are either in “on the take” or lemmings.

    Remember, those with whom you disagree just may be right.

    1. No doubt James, Rick and others are not one dimensional, static evil characters, and I don’t think this site is trying to make that point. Even people engaged in unspeakably evil acts usually have friends, neighbors and family that are shocked to find out “good, old John” was a deviant criminal. Please don’t misunderstand the point, James and others are not deviant criminals, but because they are (possibly much of the time) nice guys does not mean that they cannot also be falling far short of remaining “above reproach.” And the point is not that “they are sinners like all of us,” but that, at least in James’ case, he has a pattern of behavior that needs to change, the biggest problem being that he won’t own up to the behavior and actually change.

      If James is as good as you have argued here repeatedly then how do you explain Allchin’s statement, Marquardt’s statement, Phelp’s statement, Barry’s statement, Bryant’s statement, Josh Caterer’s statement, Mahoney’s statement, Richardson’s statement, Rice’s statement? And others that have chosen for the time being to speak privately? Isn’t it easier to organize this data with a story that says there is something seriously wrong with James’ leadership even while he is often good to many people rather than believe all is well and there is nothing to be concerned about? It seems to me, and obviously many people, that the theory offered at this site is more plausible than one that suggests all is well, or sufficiently well, at HBC.

    2. Dear Bob,

      The statement by Chris T.quoted by you had its own context and it stood in relationship with it to present completely different meaning from the one presented above… Unfortunately, this type of representation is not helpful and it does something completely different from authorial intent. This type of misreading really reminds me what James MacDonald does with the Scriptures which I dressed previously here regarding his abuse of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 on his recent blog post.

      I have a following statement to make which needs to be read in its proper contexts and when it is it stands even clearer, stronger and louder in the very midst of this situation:

      “Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled INSTEAD to write to encourage you to CONTEND EARNESTLY for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a LICENSE for EVIL and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

      Jude 1:3-4

    3. Bob – you are quite mistaken. The TED supporters here I imagine have no issue with folks who want to continue to worship and call HBC home. You have a false premise. It is a free country. No need to as John so eloquently puts it “why are you all so spun up?”. TED is just bringing out the truth about a televangelist’s lifestyle that does not match up to what he preaches. Pretty basic stuff.

    4. Bob~
      The nature of deception is that those who are being deceived don’t know it. Your argument, though gently put forth, is simple equivocation. Perhaps you would agree that those who follow in the “word of faith” movement, could use your argument just as effectively. Yet in both cases, (JM & WOF) the issue is ‘sin’ at the leadership level. This is not about disagreement over minor doctrinal beliefs or whether anyone should or should not attend HBC.

      It is beyond doubt that those who have walked with Pastor James over the years have seen something questionable in the life this Pastor. For whatever reason IT SEEMS as if there has not been an appropriate / biblical dialogue to address whether or not there is a legitimate claim (clearly made by more than 2-3 people).

      The Apostle Paul tells us that a healthy church will deal with unrepentant pastors.
      1 Timothy 5:19-21 (ESV) – “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”

      As you have rightly noted, many who post on this blog, are truly concerned that there has been ‘enough’ reproach upon the Gospel and a continued lack of repentance such that it should disqualify Pastor James from ministry. Note that according to scripture this ‘disqualification’ would be SO THAT he could be restored, both spiritually and back into the ministry he is gifted for!

      My own experience with another HBF plant was that when the spiritual/physical integrity of the pastor comes into question, HBF works very effectively to circle the wagons and limit/control the volume and content of the dissemination of information.

      Though that could be a good thing, unfortunately in this case, no one really knows (or is saying) whether or not Pastor James has been rebuked in keeping with the items that have been brought into the light. Truly if there is a lack of repentance and ownership of his actions, any chance of restoration to ministry ought to be, at best, limited.

      Clearly the Apostle Paul was aware that Timothy was likely dealing with some Elders who were not “ruling well” and who were apparently “persisting in sin”. I will suggest once again… a HEALTHY church deals with unrepentant pastors. There is nothing malicious or ungracious in that statement but rather in keeping with Acts 20:28.

      For those who are truly concerned about Gospel faithfulness as it relates to Pastor James’ current state; we do not approach this with smug superiority or with false delusions about our own depravity. However the reality is (remember, it is not an office, but simply a gift of the Holy Spirit to be exercised for the edification of the saints) that Pastors do fall into disqualifying sin. They are men who need the grace of Christ. More often than not that grace in the context of sanctification is flowed through human agencies. The fear is that Pastor James sees himself as being above such grace as coming from those whom he began to ‘serve’ 25 years ago.

      The spiral into unrepentance can begin with a bad attitude, discontentment, or the prideful desire to be recognized according to one’s view of self. This is not about the organization of HBF / HBC but about a man.

    5. Dear Bob,

      I don’t have anything against James MacDonald personally. He has not used/abused me or my family (even though I feel compassion for those who have been hurt in that way). But what he does PUBLICLY holds the church up to ridicule–and for that, I believe he has forfeited the privilege of leading God’s people. It is certain that is why the Scriptures are so adamant about the character qualities of the men (and women–look at Titus 2) who should lead. We are told firmly by the risen Christ to cleanse our churches of OPEN wrongdoing (see the letters to the seven churches in Revelation). Yes, we all have our private sins that the Holy Spirit is reproving on a daily basis, but one who leads the church needs to be “above reproach”. No one should be able to make a charge against them–not because those who protest are catapulted from the church as soon as they ask a question, but because there is nothing to point to as evidence of wrongdoing. Pastor James is not just some ordinary attender–he has been entrusted as an overseer. And he is rapidly losing that trust because of what he does (and the truth that he has omitted). It isn’t a matter of how we FEEL about him–it is a matter of what is right and what will benefit the “Bride” who is to be holy–“without spot or wrinkle”. Please take time to pray about this with an open mind and heart. “Remember, those with whom you disagree just may be right.”

    6. Bob, as a reader of this site, and also a “nameless, faceless person” who used to attend Harvest, I have to say something to the recent comment you posted. Like you, I’ve read heart wrenching testimonies of hurt and abuse, and I’ve also seen the seed of bitterness take root in some of them. I know many families who have left, I know many families and those in ministry who have stayed. I see avid supporters of James MacDonald who can do no wrong in their eyes, and I see those who are demanding he repent and step down from the pulpit. As I have been silently watching and praying over this, I began to see quite a comparison to our government. We are all aware of the numerous scandals that stream through our television sets and grace our headlines. The democrats blame the conservatives, the President is to blame, the tea party is wreaking havoc…..and on and on. Our country is divided. There is a pattern of secrecy, lack of accountability, comical cover-ups, and blatant refusal to answer any questions that might expose what they have desperately tried to keep hidden. That’s the state of our government, our country, and our world.
      Harvest is divided. There is a pattern of secrecy, lack of accountability, cover-up, and refusal to answer any questions that might expose the sin that is trying to remain hidden. Harvest is looking a lot like the world right now, and the Father is grieving.
      “And Jesus called them to him and said to them,” You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45
      I think for many of us, we read the words that Jesus gave his disciples and we then try to justify why we aren’t following the pattern that he gave us for his Body. So we discredit the words of our Head, so that we can follow a pattern of man, and we wonder why we are in the mess we are in.
      Bob, I understand your loyalty to a man you have known for many years. I want nothing but restoration and wholeness for James and for Harvest as Christ’s Body. But that will not happen if the words that Jesus gave are not given full attention and application. When the Body is divided, we are no longer a body of priests,a body holy and sanctified, set apart for his purposes.
      There is nothing wrong for the Body to be asking their “leaders” for answers to valid questions that don’t seem to be getting any answers. At best they are generic and over simplified. Why aren’t questions being answered? Why the secrecy? Why does a website have to provide more info than the church? Why has our pastor become a “Head”, rather than a servant? Why such exorbitant lifestyles when there is so much need? And a hundred more whys can be added. Until there is transparency and unity within the Body, Harvest will stand divided. How long? Only the Father knows. But just like our country, it is crumbling apart,it will not stand on divided soil.
      James, Rick, leaders of Harvest, heed Yeshua’s words. Keep him as the Head. Be content to be a humble servant. Give the body of Messiah the answers they are seeking. Do not “lord” your “authority” over anyone, for their is no hierarchy of power other than that which comes from our Savior.

      1. A great letter, Dawn. Wise words that we should all take to heart. May Yeshua ha Maschiach bless you and bring you peace.

    7. Oh, Bob, you’re so ironic and you don’t even know it.

      We just may be right. Have you considered that? Or the growing number of witnesses against James and HBC? Funny you should ask us to consider the other side but it appears you’ve not done so yourself.

      You trot out the same tired lines again and again. The issue isn’t you, Bob, or the fact you and others continue attending HBC. The issue is James, the leadership, and their questionable practices. You KNOW that’s the issue, and yet you won’t address these directly. Please do us all a favor and refrain from responding until you can keep on point and actually say something of substance about the real matters at hand.

    8. To the contrary, for some reason some of the people’s comments who come here to post on behalf of Harvest have gone from the most offensive and accusatory I’ve ever read (please read “Sincerely or ‘McShauno’ on the Big House post for good examples of “posts dripping with bitterness” as you say), to more tempered, and even more friendly now. One might even say complimentary. There are many more examples of this on other posts throughout. All in about a week.

      But Bob, even though I like you because you always have the most tempered and disciplined approach, I must call you out because spin is well, spin. I also respect you for using your real name. Thank you. Although you propose several emotional arguments that are tasty morsels just begging to be decimated by subjective debate, I will not engage myself in them. In my short stay here I have been confronted with name calling and others who have presumed to know the depths of my heart. Looking at what you have written what I do not understand is why you would choose to come to a site such as this. This is a free country and I do not see anybody directing you or other HBC members to it. So I respect your decision to stay at HBC and anyone else who chooses to worship there. I also respect your decision to come here or not.

      Which brings me to a question. What is the agenda here? Now I do not know you and I do not want to be presumptuous here, but I have read in other posts that you are personal friends with JMac. I have never seen you refute this. I will tell you my agenda though. I saw on this blog since it’s virtual inception certain individuals using false names trying to control what people may read here. People coming here maybe for the first time after finding out something is wrong at Harvest. I myself come here to learn about things like truth and facts. I do not like emotional spin and redirected argumentation. So my agenda is simply this. Make sure people find the truth. That is all.

      So seeing that nobody is making you read this, and considering possible agenda here, (I say possible agenda because only God knows our hearts and true intentions) I must say that this post while claiming to have concern for people here is a propaganda post. Turn the argument around, put it back in the box, back where Harvest can control the argument again. But just so there are no hard feelings after that hard truth I have said, I would like to part company with a profound thought of my own. I see that you like profound thoughts, and this one I had just a couple of mornings ago. “Those who flatter and compliment you would not always make for a good friend.” I have just finished reading Psalm 23 though and I have one really good friend.

  4. Imagine the courage it took for Ron Allchin to comment in a blog about HBC. Very few in the Void have. I think Ron really respects Dan Marquardt and so came to his defense.

    HBC still has not addressed financial transparency. Using tithes to pay for creature comforts – see the Big House – instead of say helping the poor living right in Rolling Meadows is criminal. We have JMacs $600,000 salary (what does it really add up to with all the income streams???), the $1.8 mil house, Jaguar, Land Rover, luxury Big House, what else is out there. All courtesy of the tithes and offerings of a mostly lower middle class community.

    1. It saddens me to no end when i think about lower middle class families, that I know personally, who give up basic pleasures to give sacrificially to Harvest. How do James and Kathy sleep at night?

      1. Very comfortably.

  5. Here is a link to the August HBC Elder Update with new Elder board structure approved by the HBC Elder board this week


    EDITOR’S NOTE: We are not taking comments regarding this hyperlink at this time.

    1. I am a SG leader in Elgin. i have wanted accountability and transparency too. What i cannot help wondering is what really does this chart show us? It says a lot but says nothing at the same time. This is frustrating as this literally looks like it took no time at all to put this together. HBC please tell me that there is more to this and that this is not the final result of what took so long to put together. I don’t want to get angry, but seriously…this is it? This?

      To those who read and answer from both sides…Assuming that I do go to these meetings, what really will be answered? What is a truly legitimate question that can and will be answered regarding the elder structure and accountability? And if I do question the lack of clarity what can I except to happen to me or my family?

      1. I thought the same thing when I saw the flow chart. I also often have the same thought when I hear an elder update in the service. Like a politician that says something but really says nothing. However, as it is right now my church home I am honestly hoping and praying that this website is fascilitating changes and maybe they will begin on Sunday.

      2. Dear Wondering,

        “what can I except to happen to me or my family?”

        The exodus from HBC campuses has been so great in recent months, that many families have left after serving, and tithing and loving others… and calling HBC our home… WITHOUT any concern from staff who remain in position and remain loyal to Pastor James. You will get the same corporate line of you are now un-loved answers. “Pastor James is being attacked”, “You don’t know the whole story”, “Maybe Harvest is not for you”.

        When you read the many accounts on this site of the former staff and pastors and leaders who were members, you find behind the anger and hurt and frustration, that many of us are left with a feeling that we were used/abused. You will wonder if giving up valued relationships is worth walking away. You will wonder if other leaders and elders will confront Pastor James and Pastor Rick, but you will most likely be met with patient disappointment. You will wonder if you will have a place to serve God’s people in a new church. You will wonder if you will find a healthy church with godly leaders and members. Don’t worry about walking away. Run.

        Most of us are on a journey of healing and we are not all at the same stage. Some have healed faster. You will heal, too.

        1. Ex - Member of HBC-RM August 24, 2013 — 1:36 am

          Thank you for your comment. It helps. My experience is similar to yours. After serving and then leaving, I got the same response, maybe even less.

          HBC does not really care about you as the person. I would recommend to anyone reading this — get in a church where the pastor and leadership know and care for you. Since leaving HBC, we have found such a place, and we can not even begin to explain the difference.

          There was a lot of guilt/fear initially, but I would encourage you to find a place where you are “truly loved”.

  6. I think we, as the people of God, must accept some of the blame for the excesses of James MacDonald (as well as those of other “celebrity pastors”) because it seems we have been infected with the spirit of the age, in chasing after the rich and famous. It seems that we want to be like the world and have our own version of a king. The early Christians “…did not have stately buildings and yet, they set the world on fire” in the words of the late pastor, Leonard Ravenhill). All this present emphasis on the materialism of today’s megachurches, in my opinion, serves to demote Jesus as our King.

    This is nothing new, of course. The Israelites argued with God (through Samuel) about wanting to have a king (like the pagans around them). I suspect that the Israelites thought, “Our king will be noble and protect us and bless us. He won’t be like the corrupt judges–even Samuel’s sons are greedy and accept bribes and pervert justice.” (see 1Samuel 8) They were warned by God of the consequences of concentrating power in the hands of one man–that his greed and harshness would overwhelm them. They said, “Nevertheless, we still want a king…we want to be like the nations around us…” (and I’m paraphrasing, here) “A king would govern efficiently and lead us into battle.” (1 Sm. 8:20) The real problem is that they were rejecting Jehovah as their King (1 Sm. 8:6) and the underlying cause was idolatry (vs. 8). Accepting unbridled greed in Christian leaders points to there being a problem in us.

  7. I just want to thank Dan Marquardt for having the moral fortitude to finally speak out against the reprehensible and odious behavior of Harvest. It must have been a heart wrenching but very necessary decision to make. I also want to thank others who have found their moral compass; Dr. Allchin, the Richardsons, Daryl Rice, Mike Bryant, Josh Caterer, and Mike Mahoney, whose own decisions were no less difficult.

    I am a praying man and but I am also very analytical. When I first noticed the manipulations of scripture and other manipulative orchestrations at Harvest my family did not want to hear the Truth. Deciding instead to follow a mere man that had become an idol to them and drinking weekly from his powerful elixir. But it was not until Mr. Marquardt decided that he had enough that my family finally decided that they had had enough. There were eight nameless faceless families all together with only one left now. Only half of the 12 or 14 families that were mentioned as not being cared about in Mr. Marquardt’s letter that some people still call ‘pastor’. So you Mr. Marquardt were the catalyst for that Truth and I thank you again.

    Last but certainly not least I want to thank my Lord who has heard my prayers and who now comes to dispense Justice for His Church. So as I read the words of the apologists who plead and beg for mercy, and for this site to stop, the only scripture that comes to my mind is this:

    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31

    Manipulate that scripture!

    1. Gary (and Dan M.), thank you for those words; it really puts things into perspective and refocuses everything back (as Despeville says) on the Gospel and who we worship.

      1. We are in agreement, Epaenetus.

    2. Amen, Gary.

  8. Praying for the church at this time

    1. Amen.

  9. There is an All Campus Leadingship Gathering for anyone serving at Harvest on Sunday night. I wonder if anything will addressed then.

  10. Eliane Kuykendall August 22, 2013 — 4:15 pm

    My family and I left HBC about a year ago, our church was absorbed by HBC, about nine years ago. My concern at first were subtle red flags I would sense during sermons that had to do with James’ demeanor and tone, Now I am not talking about speaking the Word with authority and proclaiming it boldly, and it was something I would pray about every Sunday so that I would not become critical in spirit. Therefore I tolerated condescending tones and attitudes. As time went on I began to take a closer look at some of the pastors James associated with and would do ministry with, such as Driscoll, Furtick, Warren and the like…not to mention what took place at the ER. I was concerned at how these associations would influence our pastor and his already inflated ego.

    Matthew 23:7-12 comes to mind here. I have feared that James has, in associating and working with these men, established himself as a celebrity pastor who enjoys the power and prestige that it brings, even though he has preached against that (Matt. 23:3). In Matthew 23:8 Jesus tells us that we are to call each other brothers and servants in the ministry, but how much more for an elder to humble himself to take on that title and role. From where I stand it appears that James is on a slippery slope and I am praying for him. On a more positive note, I always enjoyed his sermons because he did not mince words and was true to scripture, as far as my discernment level was. He does have the gift of teaching but if he continues to lean toward these kinds of leaders in evangelicalism I fear that he will lack discernment and integrity in staying true to the Word of God.

    But who am I, but a lowly congregate.

  11. If I recall, it was not really public why hi was dismissed but it likely had something to do with him telling Garrett Higby (sp?) what he was getting himself into before signing on as a counsellor. I don’t think the Sr. Pastor approved or appreciated that.

    1. Since you seem to know so much, Sincerely, perhaps you can tell us why Dr. Allchin felt the need to warn Garett Higbee?

  12. I met with Dr. Allchin for an hour in the early part of this year (2013) to address many concerns that I had about HBC leadership and my pastor, Dr. James MacDonald. My interest was to get first hand rather than third party information and ultimately be in a position to piece together a real picture of truth. I also met or contacted and conversed with ex-staff and ex-elders. To temper the pool of information I sought meetings with then current elders (3 of those 5 men are no longer elders) as well as then current staff members. Rick Donald and I had two 100+ minute meetings, along with my advocate to establish every word, and I would have to say that, as Rick told me, “I don’t think anyone has had as many meetings with as many people as you have Scott”, this website (TED) is just starting to plumb the depths of this VERY sad subject.
    I would encourage each person to ask questions and ask multiple sources. I was in ministry serving (6+ yrs.), in a small group, tithing faithfully, and attending almost perfectly every year for almost 9 years. I have seen and heard things which gave me pause and ultimately led to my seeking after several of the men listed here on “The Void”.
    Bottom line, I have not read anything here that I have not either personally experienced or vetted and verified from another reliable first hand source.

    1. Scott,

      Are you saying that you went to those meetings with your lawyer as in “… along with my advocate to establish every word…”?

      1. Lawyer? Really? No.
        I knew that those meetings would consist of at least two HBC elders. I chose to include a second person to be my advocate and afford a biblical model should I need one in keeping with Matt. 18:16.
        I should also point out that I forgot about two additional men, one elder and one deacon. So the number of then current leaders I met with was actually seven.
        Six elders and one deacon. Sorry, I had several meetings/conversations during those months. I erred on the conservative side.

        1. Thanks. Sounds good and prudent. You did it right and thanks for the stance.

        2. You did the right thing, Scott. May God bless you abundantly for your stand for His honor and justice. I have prayed for you and will continue to do so in the months ahead.

    2. Thank you too, Scott! May God bless all of your endeavors.

  13. T.E.D. (Not The Elephant's Debt) August 22, 2013 — 11:49 am

    I agree with Quinn. I would like to remind everyone to stay on point. This is not about Dr. Ronald Allchin or Dave Corning. This is not about the money. This is not about the debt. – but about the character of a man.

    This is about the hope that James MacDonald would come to see what many others are worried about in him – the appearance of a perpetual quest for both money and power. Another reminder – we are hopeful that the congregations that gather under the banner of Harvest Bible Chapel and the congregations in the greater universal church at large would take seriously the need for transparency amongst church leaders. Please read “The Hope” on this website.

    1. T.E.D. (Not The Elephant's Debt) August 22, 2013 — 1:36 pm

      For the record, so any confusion may be cleared up, I am not speaking for The Elephant’s Debt authors or a representative of this website. My name just happens to be the website’s acronym. : )

      1. Maybe you could change your user id or you’ll probably have to issue this disclaimer with ever post you make. I have to admit I was confused by your name. Thank you for pointing out that you are not associated with the website.

    2. I thought it was about the Gospel.

  14. Does the fact that Ron Allchin was dismissed from leadership at Harvest by Dave Corning and several other members of the void merit mentioning here?

    1. Why was he dismissed, do you know?

    2. Nice drive-by Sean. Trying to deflect the discussion away from JMac by discrediting Ron. With the level of blow back from HBC right now you have to wonder how much cash is at stake??? On Luke MacDonald’s fb page there is an over the top tribute to his Dad. Interesting timing. Question – what is Luke’s salary at HBC???

      1. Jeff, we’re all asking questions. I see no issue with Sean’s question. Many of us feel sensory overload with all the information we’re receiving and we’re doing our best to know the truth. God help us all.

  15. A lot of these postings have a “see what we’re saying, there’s problems at HBC”….To me, that has been established a long time ago….I’m not writing to slam James because honestly, those posts are just as off-putting to me. However, I’m posting as a guy who was wrapped up in sin and had his sin “find him out”…. Initially, I tried to stand on deflecting and protecting myself with half truths. The person we deceive the most is ourselves.
    But in the end, God said I want it all brought into the light. I long for this now and think the majority of us do. Oh for the day when a politician stands before the country and says, “this is really bad and I’m gonna try my best, but can’t guarantee anything”….. I would vote for, support, and sit under the teaching of anyone who will let the world know what a wretch they are and what God has done for them.

    1. I’m sorry ‘Quinn’ but I’m just not seeing the same thing that you are. I have read every post on this site and what I see are good Christian people who are suffering from spiritual abuse at the hands of Harvest. People who were viciously catapulted out of the ‘church’ after they started asking the so called ‘leadership’ uncomfortable questions. Sure, I’ve read a couple of comments that had an agenda against HBC but they were very, very few.

      On the contrary, what I have noticed are sophisticated propaganda techniques on behalf of the HBC apologists who come to this site because any thinking person with even a slight grasp of the issues here knows that this sin that is now Harvest cannot be defended any longer in the Court of Jesus Christ…or any other court. Yes, yes, we all sin here. Very reasonable approach ‘Quinn’ but I must ask you how much abuse does Jesus take? How long do we drag His good name through the mudd? Do we let Harvest crucify Him over and over again? The HBC apologists come here and accuse this site of sinful behavior when in reality it is only their futile attempts at deflecting attention away from their own sin.

      1. I would agree, Gary. When a leader shows defiant behavior that stands in opposition to what the Bible insists needs to be present or absent in an Elder’s character, then something needs to be done. Yes, many other megachurch pastors are likely guilty of the same “making merchandise of God’s people” and abusing their pastoral authority (and much has been said about this in the Christian media) but we have some ability to make our protests heard in our own portion of the Harvest system. And we must if we are to avoid the sin of keeping silent when we could, collectively, make a difference. Who knows how many have been discouraged from seeking the Truth when they see a lack of godly character in church leaders? This should not be.

      2. My point was simply, the Holy Spirit works through us as Christians…..I’m fully aware of what’s going on, as I stated above….But there are certain posts, like yours, that when you read them, they seeth with anger, self-righteousness and Pride. Why pride? Jesus doesn’t need OUR anger on His behalf. His plan for Harvest will play out no matter how many “we’re mad and we’re not taking it anymore” Christians think they are the ones changing anything. HE does the changing. “Yes, yes, we all sin here”….that’s it?? I could have a blog about what a sinner I am too. But God had/has plans for me, no matter what direction I think I’m going…and He does for all of us.
        Lastly, is my name in quotes supposed to mean I’m a HBC employee or something? Actually, I will be walking through the Harvest doors tomorrow at 7am to meet with my small group to discuss our future and to let everyone know I’m leaving Harvest. May our Lord have mercy on us all, including James….bringing forth James into restoration and healing. Ask yourself when you post something- Do I love James and Harvest and want their healing, or want to bring them down in flames?
        I actually have no desire to have a debate blog here, just want to see the Love and healing of Christ manifest in this blog and our lives….all of us.

        1. Quinn, I truly appreciate your comment, especially the tone and heart you show for James and HBC. I agree that the anger on both sides of this issue has been a distraction for some readers, and it is ugly to see. However, be careful not to judge people’s hearts. Anger is not a sin in and of itself, and there is a such a thing as righteous anger. If all this is true of James, and maybe more, then people should be angry, and their hurt inevitably will be expressed as anger. There is nothing wrong with that so long as they do not stay in that place but seek healing, forgiveness and release. Remember, we at Harvest have been conditioned to tie our spirituality to a man, and some fell deep into that practice. So coming out of that practice will feel emotionally violent for many.

          Also, you do create a false dichotomy, I think, between God’s plan and human action. God has almost always elected to use human action to unfold his plan. We have been called to speak and act when power and authority are being abused, especially in the name of Jesus. So we must act and simply trust God for the result. I am thankful to courageous men like Dan Marquardt that have spoken boldly and lovingly, and we now trust that God will have his way, either through James’ repentance or removal.

          Thanks again, brother. Peace to you.

        2. Quinn,

          Since you’ve announced your intentions to leave HBC on this forum, and since you’ve very clearly and articulately gone on record with your concerns, don’t be too surprised if you have a visitor at your small group tomorrow to either monitor what you say, or to stop you from attending the meeting altogether. It’s been done before. I hope it doesn’t happen to you, and perhaps, because I’ve posted a warning that many in HBC and beyond may read, it won’t, but be prepared for this possibility and leave gracefully whatever the outcome.

          And before anyone asks, yes I’ve seen this happens first hand, and it’s not hearsay or gossip; just a factual statement of what’s been done in the past.

        3. Nor do I wish to volley back and forth so this will be my final say on this matter. You accuse me of many things and presume to know the depths of my heart without even knowing me. I assure you that I have prayed through this matter EXTENSIVELY with no repentance from ‘leadership’ at HBC. Only one revelation of wrongdoing after another after yet another. I have been on TED since it’s inception and in my initial anger I have wanted to post comments much earlier than now. Much, much earlier. But I prayed through the anger and the Lord told me the time wasn’t right. I have never posted comments until the Big House post. I’m a praying man, the time is now for the Lord to use my gifts for Him. By the way, your name in quotes means I’m tired of seeing HBC apologists using false monikers. If you have noticed I am not anonymous here. I feel as though if you wish to defend (let me put this very delicately for you) what is happening there then why not make yourself known?

          I don’t buy the argument you posit of grace and mercy. There was a time for grace and mercy yes. But that time has long passed. Why has it passed? Because ‘leadership’ has refused to show grace and mercy to others and has stiffened their necks instead of asking for forgiveness. And even at this late stage there still may be room for reconciliation and forgiveness but to be honest with you with all of the damage I have seen only God Himself will know the answer to that. Finally, you ask this: “Do I love James and Harvest and want their healing, or want to bring them down in flames?” Searching MY heart again and trying to deflect attention away from the real issues? I hate no one and only the Lord, and now the world can see that. How dare you presume yourself to be prescient enough to even propose such a question?

          But I will address the issue of wanting to bring down Harvest in flames or along with ‘rbren123’ below who accuses people here of wanting to close the doors of Harvest. Turn the argument around, put it back in the box, back where you can try to control it again. If the doors of Harvest close then it is only because of the obstinacy of it’s so called ‘leadership’ who refused to listen to the warnings of their Lord when He called them. By the way ‘rbren123’, calling me names such as Pharisee, militant, angry and so forth will never chase me out of here. I’m wise to that too, pummel your opponent into submission with name calling in the hope of capitulation, nor am I baited that easily. See, I have a ghost writer… the Holy Ghost.

          A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. Jer 3:21

        4. Quinn and Chris Trees, I was thinking the exact thing. That has happened in our family with small group and ministry obligations. I would recommend you have a written statement. I didn’t feel monitored at that time. But later, it was twisted to others as they were told that we just parted HBC amicably, even though the leaders knew our contention of doctrine and association and hypocrisy. Unfortunately, there will be some in your small group that will not understand or agree with your reasons for leaving. Peace.

        5. Ex - Member of HBC-RM August 24, 2013 — 1:37 am

          Quinn – I hope that tomorrow goes well. I would definitely document everything. Please let us know how it goes.

  16. A man of more noble character than is apparent in James MacDonald would have resigned long ago in order to spare the Harvest churches this present agony.

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