Early this afternoon, shortly after we published our response to MacDonald’s “indefinite sabbatical,” Dallas Jenkins, a former member of the Executive Leadership Team (XLT) at Harvest Bible Chapel posted the following statement on his Facebook page. Mr. Jenkins is probably the second most high profile figure at HBC in recent years, due primarily to his work in the film industry. He resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel at the end of 2017, at the height of HBC severing its ties with Harvest Bible Fellowship (now known as the Great Commission Collective).
While we would disagree with certain aspects of Mr. Jenkin’s assessment of the unfolding events at HBC earlier this morning, it is strong statement and worth considering particularly in light of MacDonald’s confession today and the mixed signals beings sent by the HBC Elders.
“Because I worked at Harvest for 8 years and was on the executive leadership team my last couple years, I’ve obviously been paying close attention to the chaos of these last few months. I still have close friends there, and all four of my kids attend the school, so it’s been quite a back and forth journey with God to know if I should say anything publicly (I want to watch my son graduate). Many of us who’ve left Harvest have moved between the “guilt of wanting to speak up” and the “wisdom of remaining silent.” I’ve tried to let God be my guide in it, but I’m sure I’ve been wrong as often as I’ve been right. Harvest has released this statement below about their next steps. I believe their statement is true, and most of the actions being taken are healthy. One of them is that outside “conciliators and organizational consultants will guide us through an objective and comprehensive review process.” I believe this is a healthy step that could potentially bring about the healing and restoration they are seeking.
However, James included this sentence in his own statement: “I am grieved that people I love have been hurt by me in ways they felt they could not express to me directly and have not been able to resolve.” Because this statement is public, I feel a public response is fair, especially because it refers to many people, including me. Many people, including myself, HAVE in fact expressed their hurt, concern, and disapproval directly to James and to elders. And not only have countless people been hurt, many have expressed seriously damage from verbal and emotional abuse. The fact that “they have not been able to resolve it” is because it has continued. For so many of us, it’s not a matter of “personal grievance” that can be resolved by a meeting or apology. It’s a matter of wanting to stop what we contend is a habitual pattern of abuse and manipulation that has existed for decades.
I’ve experienced God’s redeeming power in my own life and heart—His extraordinary and limitless grace that breaks us down and corrects us first, then faithfully and beautifully puts us back together, making us more like Him and glorifying Himself in the process. That is the gospel we preach, and I believe Harvest is taking a strong step in that direction.”