TED’s Statement on the Termination of MacDonald

Update Button 13 Febu 2019Seven years ago, we began to publicly air just a few of the stories that former elders and pastors had begun to share with us in private.  While they did not allow us to share many of these stories, we published accounts and documents about finances, power and control as a means of pointing to the much deeper issues that were swirling around MacDonald and Harvest.  As of the end of 2017, we felt that we had said all that we could to warn the people of Harvest about this toxic scenario.

Thankfully, in April of 2018, Julie Roys approached The Elephant’s Debt with a desire to continue her own research into this story.  As she proceeded to write, even amidst the pressures of ongoing litigation, her fresh approach inspired a new wave of witnesses, some of whom spoke with a previously unparalleled boldness.  We are thankful for these folks, particularly Matt Stowell, who spoke with a grace and wisdom that was so needed at that time.  Furthermore, we are also deeply indebted to Eric “Mancow” Muller, who grabbed the mic and took a risk by playing  a toxic, hot-mic audio of James MacDonald on WLS890AM talk radio.  Over the past several weeks, Mr. Muller has displayed a courage that is often profoundly lacking in the evangelical community; and we will always be appreciative of the true leadership he provided in this era.

We recognize that many people at Harvest Bible Chapel are hurting today.  And we are hoping and praying for better days ahead for your community.

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71 thoughts on “TED’s Statement on the Termination of MacDonald

  1. Ex Harvest Member February 15, 2019 — 11:52 am

    I do not want to see all these people have their lives destroyed because their sin in Gods eyes is no worse than my sin and we all deserve the same penalty. However, what I would like to see is the true biblical response to the finality of Matthew 18 being played out upon Harvest.

    1) Those who have sinned publicly need to confess publicly (when you sin against your spouse, friend, etc you go to them and CONFESS). They had no problem publicly humiliating those they had issues with or wanted to “discipline” – their contrition should be done in the same manner.
    2) With Confession comes the ability to show the fruit of that action by their actions which would yield REPENTANCE
    3) After CONFESSION and REPENTANCE then and only then can they seek FORGIVENESS and if possible, RECONCILIATION.

    If this biblical response cannot be done then I would fall in the camp of doubting their faith, having no problem calling them a coward since like all bullies they run instead of facing the music. They do as a result of their actions deserve whatever punishment and earthly repercussion comes with their sin. Sin has consequences, but our faith also tells us that although they will suffer we have the obligation to listen and respond to sincere confession and repentance whether we personally despise these people or not.

  2. I’m thankful to TED for bringing truth to light. There can be no grace without truth and truth should always be shared with grace. You two have displayed both on this site over the years. Now Harvest has a fighting chance. Without TED none of this would be possible.

  3. My family found a church halfway between Elgin and Crystal Lake; Fox Valley E-Free Church in West Dundee. The pastors preach from the Bible, are very strong in proclaiming the gospel, the worship is spirit filled and everyone is welcoming and intentional. Being there is like a breath of fresh air after 13 years at Harvest.

  4. I have been wondering something & hope someone can answer. What about Kathy MacDonald? Is she complicit in all of this? I’ve also wondered as well what was James treatment of his wife? If you verbally abuse people at work and public settings very often the treatment of those at home is far worse. Having come out of an abusive relationship several years ago, I have a heart for those who suffer the same. I’m praying she has not be subject to his abuse.

    1. EX-Member - RM-1990 - 2012 February 15, 2019 — 8:32 am

      So, I am going back a number of years (2000-2012). Can’t remember what year however, James did a message about anger. He used a story about himself and Kathy when they were early in their marrage. He said he had gotten so mad at Kathy that he had to stop himself because she was cowering and shaking in fear.

      Anyone else remember that service?

      1. I do remember that service. I often wonder to what extent she has been brainwashed. Although, money covers a multitude of sin (as witnessed in the behavior of Jeff, Luke, Landon, Abby, Rick, Lynn, Huston and my hand is cramping and there are too many to list).

  5. Something to think about….

    What James MacDonald wanted to do, is a Federal Crime (see 18 US Code 2252, 2252A), each count 5 to 20 years in Federal Prison, as well as being required to be registered as a sex offender. If he works in concert with 3 or more persons to set this up with 3 or more separate felony violations involving more than 1 victim, it constitutes a child sexual exploitation enterprise. Prison term 20 to life.

    Yet people still want to defend him.

  6. Looking elsewhere February 14, 2019 — 8:03 pm

    I know there have been a lot of comments over the past year about other bible churches in the area. Are there any Harvest refugees out there who have decided to make Wheaton Bible Church their church home? I’ve heard good things about the Orchard and Village Church, and I was wondering about the Streamwood Wheaton Bible campus in the Awana building. Any comments are appreciated.

    1. Yes, we have been attending Wheaton Bible Church after hearing the last message from Harvest regarding the “Elders Speaking for God,” It is a solid, Biblically based Church where the Word of God is boldly preached. Highly recommend.

  7. Destroyed Christian February 14, 2019 — 6:37 pm

    You do not know the true James. You have followed a evil man!! If you know him personally you would not be able to listen to him teach. James has destroyed families! James has destroyed Christians! He has pushed sinners farther from Jesus!
    You have not been personally destroyed by this man! My family will never be the same.
    Evidence has been presented for years. Everyone looked the other way! Just smooth things over… it will go away.
    James is still in control of Harvest. May God have mercy on his soul.

  8. I’m not the folks posting comments here still supporting James MacDonald! James basically begged you for your hard earned money, strong armed employees for their hard earned money and then lived a rather extravagant life style for a discipline! Do you get it! It would be diffyif the money was well spent in a honest and transparent way but it was not! The public trust has been shattered and unfortunately it cannot be fixed! This is on James! It’s this simple power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. End of story! Pray for James if you must but I’d pray for all the victims if I were you…

  9. I will be forever grateful to James MacDonald for his preaching, which has had such a positive impact on, not only my life, but other friends who I have brought to hear him. They, as I had, have heard many preachers, and none have been able to connect with us as well as James.

    I have never liked the way Harvest has used it’s finances, and because of that have not contributed financially. The behind the scenes problem is a problem for the people behind the scenes, not the general congregation. James yells at people. If you don’t like it, leave. I go to Harvest for the teaching, and I have never heard better.

    You have exalted Mancow, a shock jock who felt it necessary to insult James by playing “James MacDonald has a cult” to the tune of “Old MacDonald had a farm.” He also plays recordings of someone who is supposedly James saying inappropriate things. If it was James did he know he was being recorded? Where’s the love and honesty, my brothers and sisters? Wouldn’t it be “fun” if we could all have secretly recorded conversations being sent out over the air? What would our neighbors think of us (you) if some of the juiciest stuff got out? We all have it and you know it.

    Mancow is happy. Think about how well his ratings have been doing the last few days. Where’s his motivation?

    So, congratulations, you’ve kicked a phenomenal preacher, who has literally helped tens of thousands of people, out of the pulpit. You’ve won your little battle, but how are you helping God’s war? I now expect you to take his place. Go start a church and lead thousands of people to the Lord. And be perfect while you’re doing it. God bless you.

    1. Marty,

      While, I don’t personally know others here at TED, but am quite confident that most here do not take delight in the downfall of James with a vindictive attitude. The sentiment I pick up here is a sense of peace that someone with a history of hurting and intimidating people is now denied the capacity to do so. While you (and many others) attribute James to being a phenomenal preacher who has impacted many lives, to be intellectually honest you have to consider at what cost. The one side of the balance sheet that everyone talks about is all the “lives have been changed” ,the “marriages that have been restored”, and so on. The other side of the balance sheet must also record the many people who have been injured, disillusioned, and secretly feel unsafe in their faith. There have been many casualties along the way. One doesn’t have to look hard to find good people negatively impacted by James and Harvest leadership.

      If, for the sake of science, my mission was to convert as many passionate Christians into resentful, untrusting, and fearful followers, I would follow the exact recipe that played out here. I would find a charismatic speaker who presents well, has a strong command of the English language, and asserts Godly authority. I would have that leader live out a very duplicitous lifestyle and then use tried and true tactics of fear, intimidation and shame against anyone who challenges, or presents any oppositional views. I might need to fill in a few gaps here and there, but this seems to be a sure fire way to annul, or dampen, ones faith It would even turn off potential converts looking in from the outside.

      Outside the holy-huddle, the secular world has good insights on what changes people too. Peter Druker has a great book “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” discussing how the behaviors of an organization are REALLY driven by the culture set by leaders – not some mission statement or “great message”. To that end, I don’t see the culture at Harvest is one that demonstrates true remorse, contrition, and repentance when someone is inured by their church. Perhaps other have a different experience, but I don’t see evidence to support it. In your comments, you seem more concerned about the integrity of Mancow who makes absolutely no claim to be a spiritual leader of any sorts. At the same time, you (from what I can read hear) base the integrity and authority of a good leader pretty much on his or her ability to string words together.

      Yes, I’m being a bit of a cynic here, but I do hope that those who have injured and are challenged in their faith can find a place to be restored. You have your story and world view and we just see it differently. God bless.

    2. That has been Harvest’s excuse all along to any criticism. Hey look at the changed lives – we must be doing something right. I find it interesting that you did not give financially because you did not like how Harvest was using the funds but were OK to stay to listen to James MacDonald. It’s stories like Chantel’s that break my heart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtonwUmZpzo

      1. David thank you for sharing the video. It speaks volumes of the hurt and betrayal thousands are probably feeling right now. These are the people we need to really lift up to the Lord.

    3. Watching and praying February 14, 2019 — 8:08 pm

      Marty, you are mistaken to call James a phenomenal preacher but then excuse his blatantly ungodly character demonstrated over multiple years attested to by hundreds of people.

      What about 1 Corinthians 13:1?
      “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
      James had a silver tongue in the pulpit, but recordings this week reveal he was foul mouthed and mean off stage. GOD (not me, TED, Roys, or Mancow) calls such a person a clanging cymbal.

      You said, “The behind the scenes problem is a problem for the people behind the scenes, not the general congregation. James yells at people. If you don’t like it, leave.”

      You may not care what happens off the “stage” but God cares:
      Romans 2:21 1 “you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?”
      (to elders) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2-3
      “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” I Tim 3:2,3,7

      Character issues are big deal to God, more important that how good someone behaves on stage.

      “What is valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:15
      God does not value stage shows, slick bands or celebrity preachers with great oratory skills. God values humility, love, kindness, patience, goodness, holiness… And before you pull the “no one’s perfect” card just stop. That’s just a tool used by people who want to control others while excusing their own bad behavior. There are many godly Christian servant leaders around the world who prove one doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good leader worth following as they follow Christ.

      1. This.

        And there was a culture problem at Harvest. We went, heard a few decent JMac sermons (and we didn’t know about his celebrity), but there was a weird vibe.

        Many lovely people, but some very odd, aggressive moments. Things I told family members about at the time, and reminded them of this week.

        We stopped attending quickly.

    4. Oh how I agree with you!

    5. James go golfing or buy a yacht, you don’t need to post here anymore. Soon we’ll all forget about you.

    6. I worked in the sound booth and Walk In The Word and recorded many live sermons. I listened to James voice with headphones on for quite more many years. I can tell you for certain, the recording is non but James Macdonald.

  10. Church recommendation:

    For those looking for a new church home around the Deerfield campus, I highly recommend North Suburban Free Church.
    My wife and I have attended there almost 5 years now. The church has open books, is truly elder led by men of high character who are easily accessible and honest. The worship involves hymns, light liturgy, real people using their gifts, led by a humble worship leader who would rather be in the background helping others glorify God. The preaching is rock solid Bible based and challenges you to grow in your faith, while providing a loving reminder to look at Jesus.

    1. Apathetic, when you find the perfect church, let me know. Until then, at every other imperfect church you attend, be sure you point out every flaw to the entire congregation, and ridicule the pastor on the radio, so that it can be destroyed as well. I believe there are better ways to handle things. You are loved.

      1. Marty, keeping in mind the history of repeated and unrepentant behavior, corruption, and everything else exposed about who James is offstage… how might you have handled things? How would you have dealt with all of this?

  11. Calling All Harvest Bible Chapel XLT Men and Remaining Elders to Resign Soon and Swiftly.

    Men—Perhaps you should have pledged your unconditional support to Jesus and not to James.

    Perhaps you should have exposed evil, protected the innocent and abused, fought for the weak and wounded rather than cover up and be complicit in wrongdoing.

    Perhaps you would have heard more clearly from God if you had only read your Bibles and not expected to hear from God without opening His word.

    Perhaps if you had not lied to the congregation, your flock, over and over again, partaking in Harvest’s unquenchable thirst to control the masses, people might not be so right to question if they can ever trust you again.

    Perhaps if you weren’t partakers in Harvest’s unending desire to do damage control and engage in spin rather than truth-telling, people wouldn’t be so quick to agree that it’s time, once and for all, these men fear God and do what’s right.

    Campus pastors you too must step down immediately. You arguably have been no less complicit and duplicit in all of your dealings as well, placing your concern more onto elevating Harvest’s image than on to the glory of our great God.

    In the meantime, I will not stop sounding the alarm and confronting evil in the house of the Lord.

    Leaders of Harvest, I challenge you to do as Jeff Donaldson did last night to Dan Keller in Elgin and escort me off of Harvest property this weekend.

    I plan on being there, not to draw attention to myself or stir up controversy, but as a voice of reason. You have given people virtually no forum for getting their questions answered and have not allowed space for their concerns to be addressed.

    I am calling on all ex-Harvesters to continue to sound the alarm and let their voices be heard. Rolling Meadows. Saturday. 5pm.

    Mike Medow
    Former HBC Member (1999 – 2011)

    1. I pray that you and all the rest of the flock will speak the truth in love to the elders and XLT, and that they will listen and do what needs to be done – resign and turn the church over to new leadership.

      They should be given the chance to do the right thing. If they do, we should all support them on their way to being a healthy church. If they will not, I hope you and all the other congregants will do the right thing and move on to a healthy church.

      They didn’t do anything until the recordings became public and forced their hand. Hopefully now they are ready to change, but if they aren’t, maybe their hands will need to be forced again. We can all pray not.

  12. Can someone please tell us what Rick Donald, Jeff Donaldson and all of the Elders and Harvest leaders were doing while all of this was going on? Where was the leadership? The Whole Leadership team and elders need to be replaced. How can anyone trust those still in place of leadership when they knowingly allowed James MacDonald to rule the church instead of Christ? As a former member of Harvest this is heartbreaking for those He has led astray.

    1. Beverly,
      Thank you for your post. I can tell you my take on why Rick and Jeff and CFO and Elders are still around:

      1) The church is lead by a whole bunch of cowards who are not willing to make decisions that God honoring but worry about their salaries (for pastors) and their personal glory and position (elders). MANY of the elders also do not see their personal responsibilities of what has happened due to their hardness of hearts and said “we are just volunteers” without remembering they TOOK THE VOW of overseeing and protecting the sheep.

      2) They haven’t yet felt the sting of banks calling the loan or church giving down to $0 yet because, trust me, there are many people at Harvest still giving and loyal, saying “how can you throw the stone at your pastor?” or “I dont want to incur wrath of God by not tithing!” – but without understanding you are also being a poor steward of God’s money by tithing at harvest at this point until I can trust the money is going to the right place.

      3) People like you and me calling for IMMEDIATE resignation of leaders are not loud enough because we either not sure about our own thoughts (as being acceptable) OR the other camp of people who thinks “Let’s restore the church now (and skip over the judgement and consequences)” are just as loud. This website has many purposes of its existence in God’s calendar – and I truly believe that one of them is to be able to get voices like this heard, in a loving manner, and confirmed. Here, I affirm your view point, and please know that you are NOT alone of having these sentiments,

      4) Ultimately, the Lord wants their inactions!!!! In keep with what James himself taught “whatever happens is whatever the Lord wills”. All I can guess, in my feeble mind, is the Lord is not done with Harvest, in terms of judgment. In God’s mercy, He has let Mancow’s clip of James only fall into a small groups hands, and for the most part unless you looked for it, you would not be able to hear the clip in major media.

      One more thing I want to express here (in relate to #4) is that James’ biggest vice is not (only) his foul language, but his love of money (root of all evil). Think with me on this: $600,000 a year salary with a church of $35M a year giving also means 17% of ALL YOUR TITHE sponsors Macdonald’s 10 car garage mansion. Not to mention his access to unlimited expense account, his misappropriation of funds that is a federal offense that can put him to jail, CFO to jail and all the accomplices —- I mentioned all this just to illustrate: God hasn’t publicly exposed that yet because of his mercy. But I think the elders and the pastors have one last chance to repent and leave before the Lord is forced to release that piece to the public – then the destruction will likely be complete and irreversible. By then I am not sure the banks will loan Harvest any more money: with loans maturing based on the financial statements, and people like us ticked off and leaving, I am just not sure there will even be Harvest any more.

      Like I have been calling out in another post yesterday: If you are an elder or pastor, PLEASE STEP DOWN for the sake of love for Jesus’ Church. Put aside your personal pride and greed. Yes, it will be rocky with everyone gone at the same time…but didn’t willow survive it??? so what’s the problem?

      Also – stop calling for prayer meetings: Its action time. More prayers at this point is insulting the intelligence of the congregation. Just repent already!

      1. Telling people to “stop praying”???
        Really?
        You don’t know what are in people’s hearts! Some here may be calling out for more blood; you think everyone’s ONLY praying for solutions?
        Some of us are actually hurting and we go to these prayer meetings to mourn together and pray for the Lord to comfort us. Some, like myself, would just find solace hearing someone else read scripture over us (even through choked up tears).

        So, please. If you know and follow the same Jesus that we know, please exercise mercy in your words to those of us who are already wounded and downtrodden. THAT, my friend, is the same way Jesus has been ministering to us in those prayer meetings. But then again, how would you know, right?
        #praymuch?

    2. Beverly

      good question – but IMO, here is what I am thinking and let me know if you agree:

      1) The church is lead by a whole bunch of men who are not willing to make decisions that are God honoring but worry about their salaries (for pastors) and their personal glory and position (elders). MANY of the elders also do not see their personal responsibilities of what has happened due to their hardness of hearts and said “we are just volunteers” without remembering they TOOK THE VOW of overseeing and protecting the sheep, which they epic-ly failed.

      2) They haven’t yet felt the sting of banks calling the loan or church giving down to $0 yet because, trust me, there are many people at Harvest still giving and loyal, saying “how can you throw the stone at your pastor?” or “I dont want to incur wrath of God by not tithing!” – but without realizing you are also being a poor steward of God’s money by tithing at harvest at this point and there is not clarity if there is any severance or pensions or anything still going to James. Tithe here at Harvest, however, if the Lord is telling you to…end of day, somebody has to if it were to survive.

      3) People like you and me calling for immediate resignation of leaders are not loud enough because we either not sure about our own thoughts as being acceptable/righteous OR the other camp of people who thinks “Let’s restore the church now (and skip over the judgement and consequences)” is more God pleasing. This website has many purposes of its existence in God’s calendar IMO – and I truly believe that one of them is to let voices like this heard in a public forum, in a loving manner. Here, I affirm your view point, and please know that you are NOT alone and it is not ungodly to have these feelings.

      4) Ultimately, the Lord wants their INactions!!!! In keep with what James himself taught “whatever happens is whatever the Lord wills”. In God’s mercy, He has let Mancow’s clip of James only fall into a small groups hands, and for the most part unless you looked for it, you would not be able to hear the clip in major media. you can’t even do a search on Mancow’s site to find James’ clip!! All I can guess, in my feeble mind, is the Lord is not done with Harvest, in terms of judgment. There is a lot more coming.

      One more thing I want to express here (in relate to #4) is that James’ biggest vice is not (only) his foul language, but his love of money (root of all evil). Think with me on this: $600,000 a year salary with a church of $35M a year giving also means 17% of ALL YOUR TITHE sponsors Macdonald’s 10 car garage mansion. Not to mention his access to unlimited expense account, his misappropriation of funds that is a federal offense that can put him to jail, CFO to jail and all the accomplices —- I mentioned all this just to illustrate one thing: God hasn’t publicly exposed that yet because of his mercy and is trying to give the elders and pastors one last chance before the full force of wrath falls on the church that I love. You bet God is angry! He hates sins, He is not mocked, and He has been mocked for the last 16 years by the leadership.

      Like I have been calling out in another post yesterday: If you are an elder or pastor, PLEASE STEP DOWN for the sake of love for Jesus’ Church. Put aside your personal pride and greed. Yes, it will be rocky with everyone gone at the same time…but didn’t willow survive it??? so what’s the problem? Also – stop calling for prayer meetings: Its action time. More prayers at this point is insulting the intelligence of the congregation and it is hypocritical on your part…nothing different from the pharisees praying in the cross roads. Just repent already and step down!

    3. Either turning a blind eye, or helping to suppress the opposition.

  13. I completely understand Maggie. Some of the comments throughout various posts on this blog have been outrageous. Calling Pastor James a satanic cult leader, a con-man, wishing for him to be jailed, etc. James is a brother in Chirst. His sons are brothers in Christ. All of them are gifted teachers. James is an exceptionally gifted Bible teacher. I’m disappointed and saddened by many of the revelations brought to light, but heartbroken and angry when I read these comments. My walk with Christ is stronger than ever because of Harvest and James. Often times this blog has been much closer to a den of vipers than it has been to the righteous correcting a brother.

    1. Except that he is actually a con man: “a man who cheats or tricks someone by gaining their trust and persuading them to believe something that is not true”.

      1. And he may actually go to jail for breaking the law.

        1. The Least Of These February 14, 2019 — 11:36 pm

          If he did, and we know he did, God will make the discipline appropriate for the crime. Exceedingly and abundantly above our expectations.

    2. He is actually a terrible Bible teacher, Biblically unsound. You apparently have not been around good, solid , correct Bible exegesis. Once you hear good preaching you would never go back.

      1. My shelves are filled with books from Tony Evens, Erwin Lutzer, Grant Jeffery, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah…I could go on. James is a gifted and sound Bible teacher. If you want to pile on, go ahead. Your comment is an example for what my original post was referencing. The pride and hubris of your comment, implying that you have learned from sound Bible teachers, but ignorant me hasn’t. James is a brother in Christ. Period.

  14. Maggie, you sincerely must have a mental problem.

    1. Hey lostsheep72 –
      I understand your anger and frustration. when I first read Maggie’s comment, I was uneasy about it…(you can check out my comment previously and other thread to understand my heart) – but in this ever watchful world in public, I would like to encourage each of us to be tolerant of other sheep’s opinion and handle comments like Maggie with love and forbearance; not because you agree with her, but because you understand we are all hurting…and hurting people say things that they regret and don’t mean..that includes you and me and Maggie and many more. Express your opinion,exhort and affirm when you feel lead. But let’s be loving and kind! Lostsheep72 – I feel lost myself and hurting…been at harvest for 16 years…hope you hear my heart and not judgment! 🙂

      1. Thank you Connie for your kind and loving words. You are correct! My concern is with anyone who willing blindly denies these actions from James and his leaders that they are the victims. They very well have known exactly what they were doing and felt they Were Too Big To fail. The day of redemption has come. They have oppressed, used and abused many. God has stepped in to reveal the truth of this situation to set free the captives. This sadly is an example to everyone on what happens when sin continues.
        They have reaped what they sown! Jesus said the truth sets us free. Indeed it does!

  15. Maggie,
    I am hurting for you today. There is no joy (or there shouldn’t be) for anyone in all of this. The “other side” did not “win”. So much has been said about James and his faults. I would say that you might consider the failures of the Executive Leadership to enforce the discipline that was needed many years ago. They are complicit in all of this. They were the handpicked men who protected James. He could not have done it alone. Instead of the problems being handled within the church by the Elders, it has embarrassing spilled into the public arena.

    What is now needed will be the broken hearts of God’s people kneeling before Him in humble adoration. It will take people like you … not running away because you are mad … or running away because you are embarrassed. It will take you putting your arms around your brothers and sisters in comfort and encouragement. There is purpose in all of this. God has not left your fellowship. Praying for you all today.

  16. All Harvest Bible Chapel XLT men and remaining elders must resign soon and swiftly.

    Perhaps you should have pledged your unconditional support to Jesus and not to James.

    Perhaps you should have exposed evil, protected the innocent and abused, fought for the weak and wounded rather than cover up and be complicit in wrongdoing.

    Perhaps you would have heard more clearly from God if you had only read your Bibles and not expected to hear from God without opening His word.

    Perhaps if you had not lied to the congregation, your flock over and over again, partaking in Harvest’s unquenchable thirst to control the masses, people might not be so right to question if they can ever trust you again.

    Perhaps if you weren’t partakers in Harvest’s unending desire to do damage control and engage in spin rather than truth-telling, people wouldn’t be so quick to agree it’s time, once and for all, to fear God and do what’s right.

    Campus pastors you too must step down immediately. You have arguably been no less complicit and duplicit in all of your dealings as well, placing your concern more onto elevating Harvest’s image than the glory of our great God.

    In the meantime, I will not stop sounding the alarm and confronting evil in the house of the Lord.

    Leaders of Harvest, I challenge you to do you like Jeff Donaldson did last night to Dan Keller in Elgin and escort me off Harvest property this weekend.

    I plan on being there, not to draw attention to myself or stir up controversy, but as a voice of reason. And I am calling on all ex-Harvesters to do the same.

    Mike Medow
    Former HBC Member (1999 – 2011)

  17. My two most favorite preachers on TV are Pastor James MacDonald, and Jentzen Franklin. They both seem perfect for the age we live in now and tell it how it is. Hearing this news of Pastor MacDonald is heartbreaking and what they say about him hasn’t been proven yet. Someone that sounded like him supposedly said these wrong things? I will wait and see before I judge. If he’s done all that they say he did, it will sadden so many people; I hope and pray it’s not true.

    1. Dorothy, I’m sorry to say the elders affirmed last night that it was James (on that recording) when they fired him. Mancow said “sounds like james” to cover himself in case of lawsuit.

  18. Thank you to both of you (and your wives 😉). You gave us a voice.

  19. Do none of you have faults? I think it is strange that you are all so willing to be calling out Pastor James’, but none of you are calling out any of yours. He without sin cast the first stone. If you all really are Christians you should be lifting each other up and not tearing others down. So disappointed and disgusted in all of your comments and being so committed to destroying someone.

    1. Read 1 Timothy 5:19-21.

    2. It is this type of thought that has been one of the major enablers of abusive church leaders. The apostle Paul said for leaders like MacDonald who continue in sin to be rebuked in the presence of all. Bullying leaders promote your type of thought.

    3. Agreed! It is clear that Pastor James has some level of fault here, but it is sick to see the attacks and slander and gossip from so many Christians.

    4. Maggie, it appears you’re doing the same thing you are objecting to. Doesn’t sound like you’re lifting the commenters up but are tearing them down.

    5. Maggie that may be, however, we are not pastors or elders, just common everyday Christians depending on the Lord. Gods word says that church leaders are be above reproach. I am not above reproach, God has not given me the grace for that. However, the expectation of church leaders, based on the word of God, is that they are to be. The list is long and very specific.
      What is disappointing is James did not even embrace the sin, he said and I quote, something “that can only be called sin.” That is keeping it at arms length.
      James should have been the one reaching out, James is the one who should have showed the courage to repent, leading the way. James is supposed to be like Jesus. Jesus was bruised and smitten, He who knew no sin became sin for us. James is supposed to be like Jesus.
      Where is his humility in all of this?
      One simply doesn’t go from saying “chose to sin chose to suffer” to, hey, let’s do something completely illegal on another guys computer. James violates several things right there they would not expect a church leader to engage. First, he’s breaking the law, second God says “vengeance is mine”, secondly, where is the attitude of forgiveness if he’s been violated? Doesn’t God call us to love others? My bible doesn’t say we can do that. God’s word also says, “much is said in jest”. Who would even go to where he’s at? This is beyond locker room talk.
      Maggie my hope and prayer is for you and others to love God above all else, removing idols and barriers. Yes, think and consider others more highly than yourself, even James in his sermons (I saw hundreds of them over 21 years) says don’t idolize others.
      I hope HBC can heal from all of this, it’s going to be a painful process.
      God Bless!

    6. Thank you Maggie. Exactly. I had put my trust on our Lord and do not regret any donation I made to Harvest. It is Christ that I follow. It is so painful to know that all the new souls that were making breakthrough or had just started to come to Harvest, will now be more than likely lost. Pastors may loose their jobs. Many churches and pastors exist because of Harvest. With little regard to the members of Harvest, these folks decided to be judges, self righteous,destroy a brother in Christ and destroy a church. I’ve read everything and there is not one ounce of care for the sheep. Our Lord will be their judge and I bow before our Lord and place this disaster at his feet.

    7. Maggie, dear sister, James MacDonald has destroyed himself. Only now is he being held to account. This has been many years and much heartache coming. And he is STILL unrepentant.

    8. I couldn’t agree with this more. Truly heartbreaking how fast people have turned on James. He has preached in that pulpit time and time again, bringing sinners to Christ. At what point will people realize he is HUMAN? We are ALL sinners. Quit with the self righteous comments and examine yourselves. Destroying someone’s life is not winning and it sure isn’t bringing glory to the kingdom. Empathetically put yourself in the MacDonalds position. Could you imagine reading all this hate? James is a good man, who loves the lord. Bottom line. The fact that Julie Roys and Mancow are “heartened” about “winning” is disgusting.

      1. The Least Of Yhese. February 14, 2019 — 11:48 pm

        OK, so all people being equal, if what James did was against the law, would you not expect him to go to court and jail if convicted? Or would the judge be considered self righteous as well?

      2. Sorry AB but you couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone sins, we all are guilty of that. But a consistent, ongoing, unrepentant pattern of sin by a Leader off a church who has refused for years now after being confronted time and time again, and warned , has to be addressed. So many people have been hurt, reputations scorched, attempts at ruining careers and relationships, that the only recourse has been to bring this all to the forefront. James and the Elders could. Have dealt with this pattern years ago but were weak and choose not to. Please everyone stop saying we are all human, we all know this. If left to you this abuse, financial impropriety , lying to the members, covering up, hurting other believers, etc, etc, would still be continuing and your safe little world wouldnt have been turned upside down.

    9. Maggie, please know we are not happy about any of this. I have been a change partner with WITW for 2+ years. I feel betrayed that the money I contributed was more than likely not used as promised. But I blame myself as well for not diligently researching before deciding to give. Being in a different state I didn’t see first hand the issues and just in the past month became aware of what was happening. My prayer is that my contribution did somehow bring someone to the Lord or helped correct an area of sin in their life. There has been more than once that a sermon by Pastor James corrected sin in my life. I’m saddened that his words it didn’t seem to have an effect on his life.

      My heart is breaking for all who attend HBC, who are facing uncertainty, feelings of hurt & betrayal. Same for all those change partners out there as well. I am praying for you all, I’m praying for Pastor James & his family as well. I’m praying that in the end, whatever it takes that God will be glorified. May God bless you and give you peace.

    10. This stuns me…..l have been writing a blog for five years. I have written about the Evangelical Free Church of America, Acts 29, Sojourn Network, etc…. James MacDonald is the first person l have come across that allegedly wanted to plant child pornography on a computer. And you say do none of you have faults? Is behavior like that normal or “healthy?” No. Harvest Bible Chapel is a sick system. The fact that someone like Jmac was enabled for such a long period of time shows that there are systemic issues. The system can’t correct itself. If it could Jmac would have been removed a long time ago.

    11. At risk of being a bit of provocateur I’ll remind you the same type of a defense for a great leader a few decades ago. The followers were enamored by the leader’s charisma, were touched by his life-changing message that came from the bible, and they berated anyone who would dare question their leader. Eventually, most of them regretted their trip to Jonestown. In fairness, what we have going on here does not even remotely resemble the atrocities of Jim Jones, so I’m not going there. The basic theme of not being able to question leadership is troubling though.
      I’ll be the first to tell you that, hell yes, I am indeed a sinner. I’m imperfect, and depending on how the traffic lights are timed tomorrow morning I’ll likely chalk up a few more sins before 6AM. No problem owning that. This, however, doesn’t mean I don’t lack the cognitive ability to judge or question what I see. In fairness to what you’re getting at, it’s not good for anyone to make things personal. To call out questionable behavior and practices is part of a healthy organization. I read about a guy in history who nailed his objections to a door, and that turned out pretty well. If leaders aren’t challenged, we’d still be teaching a sun-centered universe. As posted in my other comments, it’s not my belief (for what it’s worth) that people posting to this blog want to do anything out of spite to HBT leadership. The passion to run on the 1000 watt spot light, I believe, comes from the desire to see an end to (what is believed to be) people being hurt and taken advantage of.

  20. I also accepted the LORD as my personal Savior 19 years ago at Harvest. My husband I supported all the drives for money for church planting and gave our tithes faithfully to God’s church at Harvest. We saw so many good and honest Christians forced out, or just disappeared. We had volunteered for WITW and got some hints of issues. I am not joyful over what has taken place at Harvest. We left there years ago when MacDonald’s debt and spending seemed like it was unwise for a church. I always said Pastor James would be at Harvest until God was done using him. I think Harvest needs to be investigated concerning the books.
    I personally believe the MacDonald family will continue to be wealthy. I followed my husband as an obedient wife when he left this church. We were deeply wounded and I realize so many wonderful people are going to need prayers as they come to grip with all that has transpired. I am grateful to be a Christ follower, not a Pastor James follower. Again, my heart goes out to the church body, I empathize with them and am praying for them.

  21. I feel for the authentic Christians at HBC that were deceived by MacDonald and HBC Leadership. On the other hand what do you expect when you see the nepotism going on including MacDonald having his two sons on staff. It looked like more of a family business vs. a church.

    I have shared this other places but we should be sad just like Samuel was after he declared to Saul that God had rejected Saul as king. God even had to ask Samuel how long would he be mourning over Saul and then instructed Samuel to anoint David as the new king.

    HBC may have become so not of God that there may be no saving it.

    1. If you take a look at other Harvest churches you will see the same nepotism both in the US and Canada – James taught the pastors that the church was a CEO led organization.

  22. Thank you TED for exposing the lies and deceit. As much as this is a hard day for a lot of my friends and church members, this is much needed for the Church to be effective in preaching the gospel going forward. After all, we cannot preach the Word to the doubting world when we (and our leaders) are not walking in the Word (no pun intended).

    HOWEVER, I will stress this: termination of the people on the leadership team is far from being over. The entire leadership team, elders included,(and FOR SURE the CFO) failed us. They failed us miserably. Not only were they asleep at the switch and let the sheep get preyed on by the offending shepherd, some even stood by the offender and rejoiced in it (partake in cruel jokes, even wrote checks to James to partake on expenses that he has not business spending the church money on). If any senior level pastors or elders say “I dont know about this at all” – they are either lying or being willfully negligence or just being a coward and didn’t want to do the right thing, or all of the above.

    Even if, honest to God, they really did not know what happened to Sr Pastors’ behavior, the handling of the church crisis in the past month was pitiful at best! MANY people were hurt unnecessarily, by the delay of announcements. We all read what’s on the internet, and we all knew about (at that time) “rumors” but I just cannot understand the non-communication. When I confronted one of the elders about their silence, all I got was “we are trying to find the best ways to announce the news”. In my mind, if among 30 elders and paid pastors (and paid VERY well) , cannot even find a SINGLE person among them who is competent enough to draft up a sound, factual, but palatable message, to control the damage and restore faith, what good is this leadership all all? I am here, calling for stepping down of all elders, CFO, the remaining MacDonalds, and key pastors for the sake of the healing and church unity, It is only when the entire corruption of the leadership has been dealt with can healing truly start. Yes, some of these people *may* be innocent, but right now, to restore faith, and to keep people from leaving our church (which will lead to further financial distress), the “very appearance of evil” will need to be decimated, completely.

    If you are fellow harvester and disagree with me, I am totally open to dialogue. And if I have sinned in my above opinion, I will gladly apologize. But IMO, anything less than what Willow has done after Bill’s resignation is just not enough given we are currently in a much worst place than Bill’s scandal!

    1. I agree with your comments completely. I would add just one thing to start the healing process and restore confidence Harvest is moving in the right direction. And that is to reinstate John Seacrest as pastor in the Naples FL. congregation and allow them self governance from HBC.

    2. Amen! I am as sickened by all the “brave” people speaking out about James who should be “bravely” acknowledging their sin, their culpability in the abuse and asking for forgiveness! And, I am speaking about many people who have statements posted on this site!!! Time for people who were in leadership positions to acknowledge the damage *they* did. Way past time, actually!

    3. I am a current member and agree with almost of everything you have said, I feel the elders, Rick, and Jeff have to go immediately. I do not think I could ever listen to a sermon from them and feel moved by it. Do not get me wrong, I love Pastor James and these guys and I feel they have led a lot of people to Christ however the trust has been lost. We need new leadership right away. Harvest is not a cult, I hate that people are using that term, thousands of devoted Christians attend and serve Christ at harvest. The leadership has a culture that makes you think of a cult however we are still serving the lord. Christ is in control. My heart is broken, I have attend harvest on and off for 25 years and full time for the last 6 years.

      For the most part almost everyone I have talked to in my small groups have shared similar feelings. I pray for my church everyday and just feel broken . I dont want to switch to a different church I love my Church family.

      Sorry about the grammar I wrote this quickly on my phone to get it off my chest.

      1. PleAse know Brian there are people praying for you. I can’t imagine the hurt you are all feeling. Seek God during this trial, His wisdom will guide you. May God bless you and all who attend HBC.

      2. Well thankful at least you can share anything in your small group without being reprimanded.

  23. The Elephant Titus site is down. Pray for the Bartholomews too.

    1. funyun, what site is that?

      1. Doug Bartholomew, owner of the Naples building, set up a blog. It was rather a nasty piece of work, showing how much he condescends to any fellow believer with questions, including his own wife. I hope he has repented of it.

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