Mancow Muller Speaks About MacDonald and Harvest on his WLS Radio Show

update button 19 jan 2019Matthew Erich “Mancow” Muller is a radio and television personality.  Long considered a shock jock, his career has been well known for controversy and clashes with the Federal Communication Commission. He is best known for Mancow’s Morning Madhouse, a Chicago-based syndicated radio show that aired on Q101 in the 1990s, and The Mancow Radio Experience, both of which have been nationally distributed by Talk Radio Network.  Mancow Muller recently launched a new show on WLS/AM890, airing from 6:00 to 9:00 in the morning. [1]

As some of you may know, Mancow is friends with James MacDonald; and was even baptized by MacDonald in the Jordan River on their most recent trip to Israel.  Up until very recently, Mancow was a member of Harvest Bible Chapel.

Early this morning, Mancow spoke about MacDonald on his radio show.  The podcast of the show is called “Code of Silence.”  Shortly thereafter, The Elephant’s Debt reached out to Mr. Muller for a statement.  He was kind enough to give us exactly what we asked for.  Here is the transcript of the show:

mancow radio broadcast wls transcription (1 of 3) copy

mancow radio broadcast wls transcription (2 of 3) copymancow radio broadcast wls transcription (3 of 3) copyWhile exhibiting Christian charity and hopeful grace, Mancow’s radio statements and comment to us serve as a warning for HBC. First, this is a man who loves Pastor James, and yet, according to his on-air comments, is unwilling to attend Harvest Bible Chapel any longer.  He maintains that MacDonald is the only elder of significance, and that the rest of the elders are lacking authority to provide proper “oversight.”  He calls the entire thing a “scam,” even as he goes on to call MacDonald a “hypocrite.”  These are not insignificant assessments of either the institution or the man.

As for the statement that Mr. Muller gave to The Elephant’s Debt on a private Twitter direct message exchange, it reads as follows:

Let it be known you all reached out to me and I responded. I love Pastor James. That is the FIRST thing I hope everybody knows. I repeat: I love my pastor. I want the best for him and his family. I also am a guy that gives away 10% of my salary to various charities including Harvest. I think some of the questions being asked are fair otherwise why the various statements from the church? “Where’s there’s smoke…” Harvest is ONLY James MacDonald. I don’t believe it could exist without him. So I want him to be restored . I think he has done endless great things for the body of Christ. But everyone knows there is no one REALLY calling the shots but Pastor James. So when I read that his long planned vacation is suddenly being called a “sabbatical” it’s just pure nonsense. Proverbs 27:17. I believe HE would want me to say this. How about that? He has always encouraged me to tell it like it is. I’m shocked that none of my other brothers in Christ at Harvest have had the gumption to step up. But then again I’m not on the payroll. We are taught to be men of Christ and take a stand by Pastor James himself ! I want him to man up and do what HE would tell US to do. That’s all. I want him to come to HIS church and tell us the truth? What is the sin he mentions? What is he repenting from? Are we sheeple or men of Christ as he himself instructs? So much has been mischaracterized about our church and our pastor. I just pray that people don’t lose sight of how much great this man has done for the kingdom. I’ve witnessed him saving marriages and keeping people out of hell and I could go on and on… What a gift! Is there any other preacher on the planet that can deliver a message like Pastor James McDonald? I don’t think so! He needs to be restored in my opinion. But not through the spin and malarkey that’s being floated by “the church” that’s so obvious it’s insulting. By breaking ranks I realize that this will be of great cost to my family. I have young daughters that love and admire Pastor James . He’s family! I have a Catholic wife that has been reluctant to pursue the evangelical/ born-again experience with me. This is just so devastating to so many. I have been attacked (as has pastor James) for our friendship by these modern Pharisees that seem to have all the answers but yet have never run a church before like he has. And who exactly did Jesus hang out with? Perfect Christians? Nope taxpayers and sailors etc. Somehow these folks characterize me as a a man not worthy to love Jesus or be loved. Sickening. I hope Pastor James doesn’t regret our friendship. I’m heartsick over this situation. But as a minor public figure I felt I must say something. He taught me to do exactly what I’m doing RIGHT NOW. (Maybe this was his plan for me all along.) He always thanked me for telling him what those on the payroll wouldn’t. He is a very complicated conflicted human being. Very smart. He does take everyone’s pain seriously. He’s not some cold heartless guy. And it’s not too late for him to step up! He’s worthy of redemption and our forgiveness WHEN he does what he himself preaches. I just fell on the sword for that ideal! I kept waiting and praying for someone else to do it and it just hasn’t happened. Please pray for Pastor James! I believe he will still prove himself to be an epic hero for Christ when all is said and done. Psalms 25:11

Finally, on an editorial note, the authors wish to remark that in our Twitter Direct Message exchange with Mr. Muller, we found him to be nothing less than fair and even.  And on a more personal note, we think he has a few things to say to all of us.


[1] This mini-bio has been adapted from Mancow’s Wikipedia page.


58 thoughts on “Mancow Muller Speaks About MacDonald and Harvest on his WLS Radio Show

  1. I was so burdened last week when all the HBC news broke. As I researched more and more stories of abuse, secrecy, and financial questions about the church – I was so stunned, that I am still trying to absorb it all. I had always found a lot of support from Harvest, prayer support, guidance, and truly amazing bible based teaching. However, I too was once in a horrible work environment, so to hear the stories of HBC employees who tried to address concerns to only find themselves “strong armed” out of the church, broke my heart and sickened me. When the e-mail announcement from Pastor James was first sent out, I read it, then I had to read it again, I was trying to make sense of it. What could possibly cause this man, such a dynamic bible teacher to just through up his hands and walk away? Obviously now I have a better understanding as to why.
    I did go to church last Sunday, to find out what would be said – if there were anymore answers that could be found. The elder board did come to the stage to deliver a message of failure, humbleness, regret, restructure with the assistance of an outside committee, and finally with a commitment to the original Harvest Five Pillars:
    1) Proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology
    “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2
    2) Lifting high the name of Jesus through worship
    “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
    3) Believing firmly in the power of prayer
    “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
    4) Sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness
    “And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”Ephesians 6:19-20
    5) Enduring in love as the foundation of all relationship
    “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

    I walked away that day with two thoughts:
    1) Even with the commitment to correct mistakes and make changes to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again – I thought, “How can the congregation know if something has been fixed when we still have no complete truth to all that caused this?”
    2) The last Pillar #5 “Enduring in love as the foundation of all relationship” – this is the one that HBC ultimately truly failed in. Dedicated members, staff, and whole families put down and pushed out for only doing what they believed was the responsible thing by asking questions for the greater good of the church as a whole. I completely understand how they walked away hurt and disillusioned.
    I agree with Mancow – I wanted and needed, and truly expected for Pastor James step up and lay it all out, rip off the bandage and agree to fix this, but sadly nothing.
    I respected and spoke very highly of Pastor James – the man can preach and has truly reached so many people for Christ – but sadly no one is going to hear you if they cant trust you.
    HBC is now a fractured church – obviously it had been for a while, but the masses just didn’t know, including me. The ripple effects of this are so far reaching – not only in the hearts and minds of congregation – but also to those people in our lives that we reach out to encourage to come to church, to get to know Jesus. The day the story broke, I had many text messages from non-believers who asked if I had seen the HBC story? I explained that I was going to find out all that I could, that I wasn’t going to just jump ship – as the people at Harvest had always show me a lot of love and support. I will continue to show my love and support for the members of HBC, but it will be through prayer only, as I have decided to move on. I certainly understand the importance of a church home, Harvest had become my home, but this journey is about living for Jesus, not living in fear, mistrust and doubt – and that is what it is there for me now. I agree that there are many great churches out there, and the Lord will show me where to go.
    One last thing, I am keeping Pastor James and his family in my prayers – after all back to Pillar #5
    “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
    Thanks for listening.

  2. NeverRegrettedLeaving January 20, 2019 — 9:24 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is really shocking to hear that the abuse exists for the Harvest youth as well. Let this site be validation to you that none of it was your fault. May God bless your future.

  3. Being new to this area, and as a Christian, it saddens me to see how successful Satan has been with all this discord…it is great PR for Satan’s

  4. Hope-after-Harvest January 19, 2019 — 3:16 pm

    Our family started when the new Rolling Meadows facility was purchased. We have served in significant ways for many, many years. Like so many others, we could not interact with the pastor any longer, nor could we watch our hard earned money be wasted. The entire elder board and leadership needs to go, no question. We left about 7 years ago, with a very wounded spirit, so we feel for all the hurt ex-HBC people. BUT, there is so much life out there and God is at work in churches and ministries all over. You don’t have to suffer through church, not at all! Life is way to short to be burdened by bad church leadership, go out and find a new place where you can grow and be fired up for Christ again! The blessings are endless after you get out…best decision we made!

  5. Think about this…In Job 42:6, Job says, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” James says, I’ll continue on a pre-planned vacation and add some personal reflection it.

    1. Ex-Member 1999 -2012 January 19, 2019 — 1:24 pm

      Today’s devotional is timely.. Last sentenance in last paragraph James needs to read it and apply it. “Repentance is easy for those who haven’t tried it!”

      The Natural Inclination Of Your Heart
      By Colin Smith, Jan 19, 2019
      “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.” Isaiah 57:17

      The natural inclination of the human heart is not to come to God, but to hide from him. That goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where you find God coming into the garden to enjoy fellowship with Eve and with Adam—and where are they? Hiding among the trees! Why? Because they are ashamed (Gen. 3:8).

      We like to think of ourselves as sincere seekers after God. But the truth is that by nature, we hide from God even when we pretend to be seeking him. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Rom. 3:10–11).

      Some of us were brought up with teaching that majored on a contrite heart. It sounded easy: If you want to draw near to God, all you have to do is have a contrite heart. You’ve got to be sorry—really sorry for your sins. You’ve got to hate your sins and love Jesus.

      The message sounded easy, but the reality was harder. You found that you loved yourself more than you loved God. Your love for sin was stronger than you thought. You found that even when you were sorry, you went back and did the same things again. You found that your own heart was more stubborn than you thought. Repentance is easy for those who haven’t tried it!

      Where have you seen signs that the inclination of your heart is to hide from God, even while pretending to seek him?

  6. Step 1 Pray
    Step 2 Attend another Church
    Step 3 Pray

    Repeat until The Lord makes clear where HE wants you.

    Don’t make any decision because I said so. Seek The Lord and do as HE commands you to…through prayer and most importantly scripture.

    Whatever you do…Please entertain my advice to attend another local church to gain perspective..

    Harvest was very self impressed and, as I recall, they worked hard to keep our eyes on Harvest by annointing vertical church over all…

    In multiple messages around the fellowship debacle, we heard this lie from the pulpit.

    “Changing Churches will hurt your walk with Christ”

    This is a flat out LIE!

    It is not a sin to visit other churches. As a brother who knows where you are it.. I pray you will consider this advice from a root of compassion and a desire to support.

    God Bless

    1. The hardest part is I have kids involved. My 11 year old loves their youth group and wants to go. He asks every Sunday if he can go. Of course I say yes. I have two others in Sunday School. I mentioned we are going to a different church this week. They got upset and want to go back to “our” church. As an adult I can adjust to this disappointment. The kids? They just want the normalcy of one church every week

      1. As a 23 year old who grew up attending harvest youth group: please make the decision to bring your kids to a healthy church. My experience at harvest (and with the MacDonald family) has left me a jaded view of the church, painful memories (and probably some trust issues).

        Teach your children what GODLY leadership (aka: Jesus) looks like. And bring them to a community that looks more like Christ than James. Talk to them honestly and with humble solidarity about the faults of the Church at their comprehension level- you’d be amazed at what they can understand. Tell them that the church may be fun, and the band might be great, but that when people forget that Jesus is the more important than emotions and experiences, it’s hard to hear his voice. And being close to Jesus is different than saying you are.

        Do not be deceived: Harvest has a culture issue that seeps into its children’s ministry. My experience would not allow me to dismiss anything shared on TED. But as I have followed this blog over the years, it has pained me that we often forget to mention the generation of children who grew up at harvest. These are the future of the church and the ramifications of the corruption they witness in the body of Christ will have lasting effects. I pray my generation of Christians, who are seeing the rotten core of commodified Christianity, will be given the strength to resist and redirect the body as the Spirit leads.

        I have long debated telling more of my story- my experience being screamed at by Luke and another pastor to get in a car over packed with students so that we could go get ice cream, eating at James’s dinner table where he yelled at us for not having our notebooks out because we had the awesome opportunity to “sit at his feet” and hear his wisdom, hearing Luke berate the volunteers and students who were “awkward and weird” and being ignored when I stood up to him, hearing James angrily regret having employed a woman prior to her baptism in front of her daughter and peers, and on and on….

        The funny thing is the reason I have waited, the reason I almost made this post anonymous, the reason I feel ashamed of these stories is this: my experience with Harvest was so hurtful and formative that 7 years later I still second guess my stories and wonder if I was actually at fault. This is the power of a manipulative church culture. This is the hurt and pain that stems from toxic leadership. This is why your child needs a new church home.

        Mom and Dad: The honesty and concern for the church that you shared with me (incrementally) throughout my childhood is a major reason I choose to stay with the church. Despite consistent disappointment. Thank you for your support.

        1. Proud of you. Just regret not leaving sooner when we saw how you were treated. Thankful you didn’t give up on Jesus. He has great plans for you.

        2. NeverRegrettedLeaving January 20, 2019 — 9:23 pm

          Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is really shocking to hear that the abuse exists for the Harvest youth as well. Let this site be validation to you that none of it was your fault. May God bless your future.

      2. Kids will adjust faster than you think! Please don’t submit them to the toxic atmosphere for another week. I bet they will see some friends at whatever church you attend! 🙂

  7. Both Naples church members and Chicago-area church members may do well to look into the musts for non-profit charitable organizations, and, hire a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. The lawyer should be asked to assess the current situation, given info such as what is written in this blog. Look for someone who will be thorough. More may be relevant, more may be at stake, than meets the eye.

  8. So, Harvest Bible Chapel fires Naples pastor John Secrest because they see him as insubordinate for disagreeing to have MacDonald preach there for three months. James MacDonald won’t preach this Sunday there, but he is there for the next three months. He also requested revocation of the ministry partnership with HBC. That’s considered insubordinate and Chicago turfed him
    Perhaps Secrest was naive, and busy in his own bubble: he acknowledges he was unaware of the lawsuit etc. Naivety isn’t a sin. Disagreement isn’t subordination – so much for repentance and reconciliation at the mothership.

  9. @Ken Welter you are not alone. This entire debacle at HBC is causing so much pain. I want to leave HBC, my husband does not. It is causing tremendous friction in our marriage. HBC is the only church my children have known, oldest son was baptized there. It is painful to see James unraveling as we speak and to hear these horrific stories of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of James. I wish we had left in 2013 when TED exposed James wrongdoings. I pray for my husband’s eyes to be opened. But HBC changed him. Made him better. Too bad James is not reading his own sermons. I don’t think HBC will survive this anyway. Between the bad press, the nepotism, the $160 million debt, and James’ scorched earth tactics, the end is coming. Try Bridge community church. It’s similar to what HBC used to be and no drama. Good teaching, great fellowship, warm and loving. Loves the Lord. I will pray for you my friend. I understand how badly this hurts.

    1. Anonymous, respectfully, this is yet another heart-wrenching comment, but HBC did not change your husband, the Lord did. And the Lord is with many many other God-fearing churches that don’t have these issues. I’m at the point where I can say only that the Gospel was preached at Harvest and even if from bad motives we can rejoice that it was preached. And that’s it. Nowhere else do I see more clearly the end times Revelation prediction that even the elect could be deceived by this sort of thing. The choices are pretty clear to me. You stay and endure the Chapter 7 that is inevitably coming and hope they come out of it with all new leadership or you cut losses and RUN. We left our plant that was a chip off the old block 4 years ago. We just ran. God forgive me for ever having a part of any of this.

  10. So where do we go from here? My wife and our 4 married children and their spouses and our 9 grandchildren have been attending (some off and on) for 21 years. I played on the worship team for 4 years early on, 14 years on the benevolence team and the past few years on the security team. My wife has been doing children’s Sunday school for about 15 years. One of our sons worked for Harvest in Elgin for 5 years. Some of our grandchildren are still in AWANA. We have been baptized at Harvest. This hurts! This didn’t need to happen! We are praying for James, Kathy and their family during this difficult time and know that God has a plan in all of this.

    1. We left 5 years ago and we have no regrets. The Church is bigger than James Macdonald. You have brothers and sisters waiting to welcome you in so many different church bodies. I will pray for you to be lead to the place He has for you to heal.

      1. Finding another church would be the easy part. Leaving the people we worship and serve with each week would be very difficult and I hope the allegations are dealt with soon before leaving the church becomes the only option!

        1. Praying for you Ken – and your family. These are hard times, to be sure.

    2. You need to demand the XLT team resigns! Everyone one of them! Stop tithing until they do. Then put the good men in your church like Greg Bradshaw in real positions of authority.

    3. Brother, I hear you. We were at Niles for 12 years and finally had to leave last year after lie upon lie upon lie.

      Consider this: At MINIMUM, the church that you are giving/tithing to is not stewarding well (at all) the money you’ve entrusted to them. $42 million in mortgage debt w/no refinance yet on the biggest loan; $50,000 to Mark Driscoll’s church, at least ~$100,000 to a deer farm; $270,000 allegedly embezzled by an employee, at least $25,000 to prep the Naples campus for James’ arrival; more $$$ going to Naples campus (Luke announced last week). And I’m just getting started.

      You & I are accountable for stewarding what the LORD has entrusted to us. If we continue giving to a church that we know is corrupt, then it’s OUR poor stewardship.

      God does have a plan. You don’t need to ask, “God, should we leave?” It’s more like, “God, are you who you say you are? Is what you say true?” If so, the time has come–and maybe is long overdue–to treat James (& his “Elders”) as an unbelievers. We can love James & HBC well by saying NO.

      1. Harvest gave money to Mark Driscoll’s “church” ?

    4. We left the Davenport HBC plant in 2011 after 7.5 years of faithfully serving there. We have not looked back either. Other than to watch the debacle unfold – not gleefully but as affirmations we weren’t crazy. So much pain at the time. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Abuse, manipulation, lies and rejection. You were a backslider, dissenter, a gossip… you name it. Cultish at its worst and consumer driven at its best.
      BUT GOD… I can breathe! He restored my soul. He showed me the truth of the gospel and we have been welcomed elsewhere – struggles, questions and all. I thank God for doing a new thing. He will do it for you! He will NOT share His glory with another! Putting a pastor, a church, ministries or friends in the place of God is idolatry! Your identity as a believer is found in Jesus Christ alone. Turning a blind eye to dishonesty and corruption is sin. Renaming, rebranding or relocating a church or pastor doesn’t change/remove the sin… only God can do that in the hearts of men and women. Faith and true repentance.
      Trust God – move on! You will be set free! Breathe in the goodness of God!

  11. The bible warned us about these people who if it were possible would deceive the very elect. Jesus warned us about this, and so it is. Does anyone remember what happened to People in the bible who lie to Gods church? They dont last long folks. I am in fear of the judgement coming.

  12. James isn’t going anywhere until he decides otherwise, so he thinks. He is a master of deceit. Didn’t our Lord tell us in the last days, these false teachers if possible could deceive the very elect? That is the truth to set us free. I am so sad, so many good Godly people he rolled over. Stand back and fear the LORD as he has had enough.

  13. It Mangos did in fact say what is said in this transcript, with friends like him, Pastor James doesn’t need enemies.

    1. Michele, what are you talking about ?

      “Mangos” Muller 😉 is simply being a Christian brother… talking to a man that he considers his Christian brother.

      Asking him.. practically begging him… to repent, and to do so, in a meaningful way.

      I certainly would appreciate a good friend to point out my wrong-doings in a similar, respectful manner.

      It’s called tough love. But it’s still a reflection of God’s love, as JMac often preached in his sermons. Now it’s well past time, for him to truly practice what he preaches.

  14. When Mancow greeted me on the way in to Act Like Men Palooza, I was pissed. I was 99% sure that Cow had not gone to the minimum required ALM nights as set forth by James. We had recently asked if an exception could be made for a struggling member of our group to attend the retreat. The answer was no exceptions period. We excepted the answer and moved on. Then there stood the COW. Right at the entrance. What kind of sh%t was this.? Special exception for the Pastor’s buddy? Cmon.. Men do hard things, right pastor? Sacrifice required.. rIght James?

    Not for COW. His was James special guest.

    To be clear, I wasn’t mad at Mancow. He is a sinful man as I am. No better. No worse.

    I was mad at James. He played us all. Requiring everyone to play by his rules except James himself. What kind of servant leader gives himself special privileges? The kind I’m not interested in following.

    Mancow, If I can speak to you directly.. James is a user. End of story. He used me.. He used others.. And he used you.. Your special access.. The golf cart.. The elder campsite. The front row.. All of it to let the rest of know who was in charge. All of it to show who was boss. All of it to feed his ego.. All of it to assert rules did not apply to the Founding Pastor. The skirt steak at our campsite.. that was made with love…Ha!

    Im thankful that the grown up saved version of a shock jock who I’ve laughed at since I was a bar fighting punk has seen the lie and inserted the truth “as best you can” regarding brother James hypocrisy.

    As a man who vocally stood against James Macdonald’s schemes a year ago and as your brother in Christ, I have been praying for you. Those prayers will continue.

    Rest easy tonight. You did the right thing today.

    The Call to ACT LIKE MEN is legit, even when the Author of a book by the same title is not.

    It’s legit because it’s God’s Word. Period…End of Story!

    1. James E, I attended Act Like Men for the past 3 years, since its inception in 2016. It has had a *profoundly* positive & motivational impact on me.

      If it hasn’t done that for someone who has attended it.. all I can say is, you only *get* what you put *into* it !

      And anyone could see that it took a *tremendous* effort & incredible inspiration from JMac to get such a large project off the ground & running pretty smoothly.

      700+ men in 2016..

      1,400+ men in 2017 (practically doubled)..

      And 1,000+ in 2018.

      That’s ALOT of guys, from ALL walks of life, humbling themselves & sharing their faith. And in a somewhat brutal camping environment (little sleep in cold, cramped, uncomfortable tents)… at least for most of us “soft” older suburbanites LOL (Notice that I didn’t say we were OLD… just OLD-ER 😉

      The huge responsibilities on the shoulders of Pastor JMac.. you & I can’t even imagine.

      So I can more easily forgive him for using a golf cart, while the rest of us trudged up sandy hills in hot, sweaty weather. (I don’t resent that. At all.)

      And for enjoying the company of charismatic & fun celebrities. Including Mancow Muller & Jim Peterik (of “Ides Of March” band), who performed at the last ALM.

      And let me point out that for the last *2* of the 3 years, I did *not* attend all of the previous Sunday night ALM “prep” meetings. People get sick… too tired… issues come up… bad timing.

      There *were* — officially — *2* allowable exceptions that could be made to allow attendance to ALM.

      It could be waived, based on the input of your ALM table leader. (Note that I’m not part of a “privileged” group.)

      *OR* if you read & completed a “book report” on the ALM book written by Pastor JMac. (I read the book, but I didn’t submit a report.)

      Whoever told you “no exceptions, period” either was not well-informed… OR had an agenda of their own. Possibly even against that very individual that you were appealing for.

      Also, at first glance, I was confused, because you seem to disregard Mancow as just a “shock-jock” and kept emphasizing “COW”.

      But upon re-reading what you wrote, you are actually giving him credit !

      Well, I happen to also agree with Muller, who has attended at least *2* Act Like Men retreats.

      Knowing only what he wrote here, I believe has become born-again, via the preaching of Pastor James. This is a *tremendous* change from the decadent lifestyle that he lived before !

      Despite his silly radio name & “shock-jock” reputation, I have almost always respected Mancow’s search for truth, over the 20+ years of his broadcasting history.

      And I believe that it *did* take courage to speak out as he did.

      He had to overcome the same fear as many of us Harvest attendees have — of looking like a fool, for supporting a now-dethroned leader & someone who we *publicly* admired as a strong role-model.

      And BTW…
      I *want* Pastor James to come back to ministry !

      JMac is not “pure evil”, as some of you strongly suggest.

      His biblical knowledge & wisdom… his emotional intensity… were unmatched !

      Even his *spoken* humility while preaching over the last few years.. it really *was* heart-touching.

      From the pulpit, he gave necessary “tough love”, as well as the message of God’s (and Harvest church’s) unconditional love.

      Many were turned off by that “tough love”, and preferred the “coddling” messages preached by other churches.. i.e., nearly entirely focused on perfect grace & unconditional love.

      Note that I *do* listen to those “coddling” sermons, as well.. but prefer a balance 🙂

      Now… if only JMac practiced this delicate balance in those controversial incidents that are now public knowledge — towards himself (too *little* toughness) as well as towards others involved (too *much* toughness).

      There’s alot to address before he can be respected as a leader again.

      As Mancow suggests, “Man up, James” !

      And this is what JMac himself would admonish one of *us* to do, if roles were reversed.

      That also goes for those elders who were selfish & sycophantic, as well. (Please look up the definition of that word, to more fully understand their weakness.)

      It’s possible that they were not *all* this way, but… it’s time to separate the weeds from the wheat.

      1. The Least Of These January 21, 2019 — 10:53 pm

        One thing I understand about the ALM weekend, you certainly could tell who the elite, upper eschelon society was from the regular joe attenders. 4wheelers, big RVs, lavish “camping” setups… really? That’s humbling? That’s getting closer to God? No, that’s a caste system. That’s not what the weekend is supposed to be about. If you’re truly humbling yourself before the Lord, give up that RV and 4wheeker to someone who can’t afford it and yet is to physically unhealthy (injured. Copd, heart issues, allergies, whatever) and you go sleep in the rough.

        And why did attendance drop off from year 2 to year 3 by 400 ish people? Things to consider…

  15. Ken and Marianne Shovan January 18, 2019 — 4:47 pm

    May God grant to the Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Board courage like this to proclaim the truth .

    1. No XLT team and all the elders who have no real authority anyway need to resign!

  16. Praise the Lord that someone with a platform is taking a stance and calling him out.

  17. This Quote from Mancow should shame all who have had a church relationship with Harvest!
    ‘I’m shocked that none of my other brothers in Christ at Harvest have had the gumption to step up. But then again I’m not on the payroll.’ 

    Who among us can say they are not familiar with this verse?
    15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
    Matthew 18:15-20English Standard Version (ESV)

    Calling out james is a biblical mandate by God. our attitudes/feeling and rationalizations are not relevant to what the church is ordered to do when someone no matter what their title becomes a ‘backslidder.’ How could anyone allow him to continue ‘preaching & teaching all these years?

    People at harvest are declaring their complicity in these broadening scandals by rationalizing the importance of one man who has let his love of money and things destroy him.

    2000 years ago when Pilate offered the Jews a choice between Jesus and Barabbas they said “give us Barabbas.’
    Today it is a choice between Jesus and james. I say give us Jesus as our teacher and preacher,
    not a self dishonoring, unrepentant, back sliding jimmy mac.

    We need to shun him either by locking him out or leaving in mass. The only valiant brothers in this whole thing are the one’s sued by jimmy and Harvest. God stepped in and protected them.

    Now if all the current members leave, the back sliders ( elders staff and jimmy and family) can go back to court where they are comfortable and this time file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because that is their just rewards.

    How appropriate that God is using THE ELEPHANT”S DEBT to chastise the ELEPHANTS!


    1. One thing that needs to happen is for people to stop giving to HBC. In my opinion the only thing that will get their attention is the contributions not coming in.

    2. Well said!! Now if only all the harvest people would join you!

    3. Pasquale, I am not sure that you understand the depth of the complicity that other leaders have had in Harvest. I spoke up many times. One time I wrote an email directly to James with my concerns. About a week later I received a call from my campus pastor saying that he wanted me to meet with him and an elder to discuss the email I wrote to James. I was aghast, but agreed to meet with them. I was told that I was in a very bad place. I couldn’t believe that they were the ones that called me about a private message between myself and my pastor. They explained to me that Rick Donald filters the emails and informs the campus pastors when they need to get involved. I asked them what about Matt. 18, but they told me 1. James did not sin and 2. Even if he had, since the offenses I accused him of (arrogance, deception and greed) were not specifically against me, therefore Matt. 18 did not apply and it was not my place to confront him. I had many more conversations with them, and kept telling them that I wasn’t going anywhere and they had to deal with me and my wife. During one conversation where my wife couldn’t understand why church funds were not given to the church food pantry but were given to frivolous things, they accused her of wanting her own agenda. She responded by saying,”God knows my heart”, to which one elder replied, “The heart is desperately wicked”. This kind of confrontation went on for a couple more months, until we finally decided it was absurd to stay. We have found another church where the pastors are kind, friendly, humble and preach the Bible with authority and without ulterior motives. My only regret is that we stayed so long.

      1. Karl I thank you for your reply.
        What a great testimony and insight you have given to everyone who is or was a member of Harvest on how a few control the many.

        John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

        I believe God,through His Holy spirit, is speaking through your experiences and response here.

        You have eloquently put into perspective the scheme harvest created using so called ‘campus pastors’ who are merely spies, to roam the campus lobbies identifying God’s children who dare to ask questions about the corruption being perpetrated and covered up, reporting the names of those truth seekers to rick donald and ricky in turn assigns fake elders to eliminate the threat one way or the other.

        The things tricky ricky and the fake elders said to you and your wife are ungodly and speak to the lost condition of their souls. A born again child of God could never do what these evil men have done and continue to do!

        If they pick and choose how to define a principle in the bible the Holy Spirit will immediately tell you if it is false…………….

        I’m starting to understand that by their actions/fruits none of them are saved.

        Perhaps this is the genius of jimmy and ricky. Talk the Talk but Fill the place with secular minds, promote the secular minds to some fake authority, and when necessary hid behind biblical charity.

        Interestingly, as we all read about the instant firing of the original Pastor of Naples Fla we learn rick donald is down there too. It would be fascinating to learn how this pastor wrote a letter and was fired in a split second! I hope his fellow believers hold their church service with him leading, on the beach Sunday!

        It’s time to call out rick donald perhaps even more than his boss jimmy mac. You see for many many years we in chicago have had a name for the enablers, protectors of the top boss.
        rick donald is nothing more than a high paid ‘bag man.’
        the ‘fake elders’ are nothing more than a ‘rubber stamp.’

        May be a solution is to let jimmy and ricky and their minions, all of them, and any one who wants to be counted in their ranks have one building (1) where they can all germinate!
        Then at least we will know where all the rats are congregating to split up their ill-gotten gain.Of course the’ll have to sign an agreement that they will stop planting ‘fake churches.’

        You may think that I am being judgmental and using a poor choice of adjectives but I am feeling very convicted for standing aside while all this is happening. I pray that because I have been ‘lukewarm’ Jesus will not spit me out. Father God I am sorry for sinning against you in the things I have done and in the things I have not done.

        I pray that God will force jimmy and ricky and all who are guilty participants in this un-biblical scheme to their knees and may they weep tears of repentance. The bible say God chastises a son. But if they aren’t sons then they need to be shunned.

        1. I was once in a small group at Elgin, with one of the p. astors as our group leader. This group was supposedly handpicked in order to become disciples for the church. I had connected with this pastor as I was going through a divorce and sought his biblical perspective and support. One Saturday morning he invited our men’s group to attend a prayer session in meadows the following evening. The next day a group text goes out to all of us reminding us of the time. One guybin our group said that his child was ill and that he might be late. The pastor told us we better not be late because the doors will be locked. I replied with a friendly, haha. He replied, “I’m serious, pastor James locks the door and won’t let anyone in once he starts.” I replied that I really hoped he was kidding and asked him if he was ok with a door being locked, by the head pastor, on those pursuing Christ. He replied, just be on time.

          I chose not to go that night. Sometime later I texted out a prayer request to everyone that I know that professes to be a follower of Christ. I was asking for prayers in regards to my daughter and stated that in the text. I was blessed by many many signs of love and support.

          No one from my previous small group replied. In fact only one person from Harvest even responded…He was a wonderful brother of Christ who I had literally only met twice.

          I share the story because the entire leadership at Harvest is misguided. Never lose faith in Christ though. If we can always remember the true savior, all these other events in our lives are opportunities to focus on Him.

        2. M –
          I know what you’re talking about, regarding both the locking of doors promptly at 9 PM on the Sunday night Act Like Men meeting nights..and the non-response of Harvest small group members.

          However, Pastor JMac mentioned that this locking of doors rule was to enforce discipline, that was part of being a responsible person / man. Equivalent to not being late for work, or a court appointment, etc.

          I arrived a couple of times between 5 & 15 minutes late over the past 3 years that I’ve been supporting Act Like Men initiative. And couldn’t get in. Frustrating. But the next time, I made sure to get there earlier !

          I do have sympathy for late arrivers, and would support a 10-15 minute window, to allow for traffic & other unforeseen events.

          As for others not replying to your heartfelt request.. not everyone enjoys texting, especially older people (esp over 50 😉

          And some issues are much better discussed over the phone or in-person rather than via text.

          Plus, many don’t even know how to respond, since they don’t have a solution to your issue.

          THAT SAID…
          Someone could have at least texted that they’re praying for you.

          And the pastor could have offered to talk with you.

          BTW.. I’m in a VERY responsive small group at Harvest, with a leader who is happy to take the time out of his busy life to talk & pray with any one of us.

          I think that’s the norm, and unfortunately, your group might have been an exception.

        3. ChicagoB,

          I will look elsewhere for teachings on discipline from someone other than the self serving jmac. And the harvest small group texts for prayer were on a text thread started by the small group leader who is a pastor at the church.

          The point of my post was not to find ways to defend the actions of harvest leadership but to point out that the tree is rotted from within its roots. I choose to surround myself w truely God fearing and honoring people. Jesus Christ is the one and only savior. Not jmac or lmac, or rdonald, or any of the other people who seem to have forgotten Gods word. I just wonder how many have they led astray? I pray that people honor God and stay steadfast to His love.

  18. Praise the Lord! Some brutal honesty from James MacDonald’s close friend. I bet it strokes both their egos to be around one another. Mancow calls it like he sees it – Harvest IS James MacDonald. More importantly Mancow knows full well that James MacDonald is a grifter and a complete hypocrite.

    How many of those Closer funds are getting siphoned off to Naples???

  19. To Mancow…thanks for standing up like a real man and telling it like it really is! Bless you!

  20. This is an interesting post by Mancow. There is wisdom in some of it. Some of it….not so much.

    I would take issue with his statement that “Harvest is ONLY James MacDonald. I don’t believe it could exist without him.” It is this type of thinking that got Harvest into this mess. No true church belongs to a human being and no truly godly pastor would want his church to collapse if he left, died or whatever.When the pastor becomes the focus and idolized, all kinds of bad things begin to happen and we’re seeing that at Harvest. Love and respect your pastor, treat him well and pay him a good salary but don’t be deluded into thinking the church is all about him. The pastor saves no one. That’s God’s job; we’re his instruments.

    James needs help. Thus far, he has just played a big game of manipulation and lies, and the elders/XLT has let him get away with it. Shame on them. They all, James included, need to be kicked out.

    1. But James did change the Elder bylaws though so that they cannot do anything to him! He has all the say. In that sense, James did change it around so that Harvest is ONLY James. Sure, get some elders around to give the appearance of oversight to quell any worries, but they are only for show.

    2. I’m done with this circus, 18 yrs at Harvest and completely disgusted. All the Macdonalds and the entire Elder board needs to go now!,. No more embarrassing circus sideshow. We are children of the Living God, lets act like it and take back his Church. Not a dime until this farce is ended, you want to change this, cut off the flow of money, you’ll have the power back in a week. Then let’s get Godly men back into leadership, and move forward. He can take his train wreck elsewhere.

    3. I’m done with this circus, 18 yrs at Harvest and completely disgusted. All the Macdonalds and the entire Elder board needs to go now!,. No more embarrassing circus sideshow. We are children of the Living God, lets act like it and take back his Church. Not a dime until this farce is ended, you want to change this, cut off the flow of money, you’ll have the power back in a week. Then let’s get Godly men back into leadership, and move forward. He can take his train wreck elsewhere.

  21. Drew, I’m with you. I think MacDonald’s stance is, “If I’m going down, I’m taking everyone down with me.” It’s all been somewhat surreal watching it unfold.

  22. Hey Elephant guys. I believe the final nail in the coffin just happened. Please post about how Harvest Bible Chapel just FIRED Secrest because he asked for his church back. I have NEVER in my life, seen this kind of thing from a supposed “church”. I can’t find language for it. I just…find myself grasping for words. This is unbelievable. I suppose it isn’t surprising but it reads like something out of a Hollywood Mafia movie script. I just can’t… godly people of Harvest, if there are any left, if you haven’t left, you need out NOW. This is absolutely outrageous.

    1. Some sabbatical!! Some time of rest!! It was hardly 24 hours! I wish Jmac would just give it a rest. I have been writing about him at my blog and I wrote several articles about Harvest Naples. The firing of Seacrest is just sick. My weekend is going to be busy writing about the Mcmafia and it’s turf war in Florida.

      1. Debra Szemplinski January 18, 2019 — 9:17 pm

        My family and I will be in Naples come Sunday morning at the 11 o’clock service to stage a walk out . Of course the Coward won’t be there he sent his toady to do the dirty work . I can truly say in all my years on this planet I have never in my life seen anyone within My Circle, Christian or non-Christian behave in such a despicable manner . I have not met Pastor Secrest nor has he met me but as a fellow Christ follower my family and I will support him .

        1. Another Ex-harvest memeber (RM) January 19, 2019 — 1:06 am

          Stage a walkout, and have Secrest outside and have him leed you all somewhere for a worship time together. #leaveharvesrreturntosecrest

        2. The Least Of These January 20, 2019 — 12:24 pm

          What was attendance like at Naples? How were you treated? Was Pastor Seacrest there and/or did you get s chance to speak with him and pray?

    2. Wow the poor guy. The Naples church was duped. I wonder if Naples has any legal recourse to get out from Harvest. I hope their congregation boycotts MacDonald.

    3. Fired without the Elder’s knowledge or consent (talking greater elder board here, not the executive board).

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