I am sure by now you have heard about the lawsuit that was filed by pastor James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel. Ironically, the October 24th Walk in the Word podcast started with James MacDonald stating “Bow and acceptance when God says no. Or bitterness will lead to bad behavior and break down and bankruptcy at every level.”
I say ironic because this was the first sermon I heard after I read the broadcast email sent out by Harvest to its members announcing their decision to do the unthinkable and file a civil lawsuit over a relational issue. Something that James has preached on and made very clear that it goes against God and is sin. Yet James has rationalized it to fit what James wants. You as an elder, pastor, and you as a Harvest Bible Chapel church plant need to understand that if you stand by James Macdonald’s unbiblical actions, you too will be a part of that “break down and bankruptcy at every level”. The chances are very good that this ungodly, prideful and selfish decision will have an impact on your church. If you are an elder and pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, I would suggest you find the strength and moral courage to stand up to James and the wrongdoing his will is imposing. Yes, based on several past incidents, there will more than likely be some backlash and you most certainly will have to endure James’ wrath. But isn’t your job to put what God says and thinks above what James says and thinks? Aren’t you suppose to put your trust in God and not James? This action by itself will lead many to unbelief due to the sheer hypocrisy.
Being Godly men and women, you have to realize the magnitude of James’ and the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel’s actions. You must understand that they have opened Pandora’s box. Not only does their actions directly contradict God’s word, but also directly contradicts James’ teachings. According to James’ letter, he is rationalizing and making excuses for these actions because “man’s law” allows it.
So, because man’s law says it is ok to get a divorce, is Harvest now going to now teach that it is ok to seek a divorce for any reason? Because man’s law says it is ok to have an abortion, will Harvest now teach it is ok for someone to have an abortion? Because man’s law teaches it is ok to live in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, will Harvest now be ok with people openly and freely having sex without being married? These things are exactly what James is conveying to his members and millions who listen to him worldwide.
What about the people who have been on the fence about a lawsuit? People who have chosen not to file a lawsuit because they heard James’ teachings. Is Harvest going to be ok with them now moving forward with a lawsuit that is a relational issue? How many people will this turn away from the church and possibly turn away from God due to the blatant hypocrisy of James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel? The bible warns of this very type of hypocrisy and the consequences that come with it.
Later in that same message mentioned above, James states “I would surrender the whole how, and the whole when, even if you know you are praying for something you know is God’s will, I would let the who and the how and the when be God’s.” Yet James decided to take it upon himself to be God.
Here is a link to that Walk in the Word podcast where James himself is defining his own hypocrisy: Walk in the Word Podcast
Unfortunately, James and the elders have ignored this teaching, and many others. I am sure you are aware and must know that God will not be mocked. The question is, what side of this are you and your church going to be on? God’s side or James’ side? If you are going to mock God, you already know what God is going to do.
Regarding the blog James describes, have you ever read anything on it? The Elephants Debt
I do not know the people behind it, nor do I know anything about the issues and circumstances between them and Harvest Bible Chapel. But I took some time to read the blogs and what I read was nothing like the picture James MacDonald painted. The thoughts and concerns and evidence posted there seem to be an attempt to address the wrongdoings of Harvest Bible Chapel. Sinful wrongdoings that James and the elders have intentionally ignored and tried to coverup. If you have been a part of Harvest for any time, then you know that James has control issues and the elders and church themselves go to great lengths to cover things up. You hear about the numerous stories of members, leaders and elders that have been bullied and abused by James and the elder board. From my time as a member at Harvest I have heard about, and even witnessed for myself the coverups, lies and even defamation that has occurred from Harvest’s own leadership. How they intentionally and systematically coverup wrongdoings that impact and hurt members. Just discarding those members instead of addressing the issues. I have personally witnessed an unfathomable lack of transparency. I am sure there are dozens, maybe even hundreds or maybe thousands of other current or past members who have been steam rolled and bullied by Harvest Bible Chapel in order to coverup various issues that they do not want to address. All you have to do is read the story about how Harvest abused 3 of its elders. If they are doing that to their own elders, you can rest assured they have done that, and continue to do that to its lowly members. This happened just a few short years ago. How many more stories like this are never exposed? Never brought into the light? Here is the article: 3 Excommunicated Elders
Do you have the moral courage to stand up to this sinful act? If you are an elder, pastor or Harvest church plant, I would strongly suggest you stand up for God’s word. James has stated that you are to obey the authority placed over you, unless it is causing you to sin. These actions are sinful. No matter how Harvest tries to spin it.