We have read them several times over the years. We have all scratched our heads, and, at times, wondered aloud, “is that the whole story?” Yes, I’m speaking of those now gag-inducing resignation letters HBC puts up on its site.
Why do they do that? Because years ago this blog began taking note of senior staff and elders who left without a word. It looked horrible. We knew it, and HBC knew it. Well, MacDonald has never met a problem he didn’t at least try to solve with money.
Introducing the NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) and a pocketful of money, not just for your silence, but for a glowing testimonial on your way out. Unfortunately for Higbee, who is by no means the lone nor the worst example, we now have several pieces of evidence that we can look at together side by side. Let’s begin with this resignation letter he wrote.
So, Higbee moved to Indiana to be closer to family, and he is fond of James MacDonald. “No issues to report here TED!” However, The Wartburg Watch yesterday published a letter Higbee wrote to the elder board in January 2019 to have MacDonald removed as Senior Pastor. Let’s take a look at the rest of the story, shall we? Click here to give it a read, and note the difference.
Some of us are more visual creatures, so let me make the point more succinctly and visually.
For years people have assumed that I was angry or hurt by James MacDonald. As I watched him dissolve into a raging mess in the pulpit in the fall of 2009 I didn’t know what was wrong, but it was clear to me something had dramatically changed. I was not privy to any insider stories or behind-the-scene glances. Nor, did I possess a Psy.D. from the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology. I just saw a man who yelled more and more loudly the less he knew what he was talking about. Our family left, and did so without a ruckus.
It was only two years later when one former elder and staff member started privately emailing me the real story. Scott Bryant and I began talking with other former staff and elders and documenting their stories. After many of these conversations, I was enraged. Not so much at MacDonald, all though there were moments aimed toward him. My rage was for all the so-called “leaders” who left, knowing extensive details, and said not a word of warning to all the rest of the suckers handing over our time and money to this diseased, rotting institution. Some of them still owe an apology to the people and a work of love to fix it.
If you hear rage on Twitter, if you are offended by someone’s comment that is over the line, pause just for a moment, and ask yourself something. Ask yourself, “Why is this person so angry?” And, then reflect back on all these men and women who had not one ounce of courage or concern for the people. The people who made HBC worth saving. People who just love Jesus and one another. How dare you. How dare you just leave and and sing MacDonald’s praises out the door. How dare you go on to pretend to be a leader in other “ministries.” We can’t trust you. We can’t trust these polished, smiling videos HBC continues to produce telling us all is well. All is far from well.
Moments after posting this piece HBC Elders posted an update regarding the Dan George resignation letter. Thanks for making my point better than I could. All is not well. Read it here.