07 March 2012

Third Church Leaves Harvest Bible Fellowship

From the website of Harvest Bible Chapel, New Lenox:
Our church began on January 1, 2003 as "Cornerstone Church" with the purpose to glorify God by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our community. On October 2, 2005, we joined with Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF) and became Harvest Bible Chapel New Lenox (HBCNL). We were excited to be HBF's first "transition church". We have enjoyed many good times of fellowship and growth since our partnership with HBF. God has worked in our midst as we have determined to preach the Word of God, to call men and women to faith and repentance by the enablement of the Holy Spirit, and to trust God to do His work of drawing them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by His grace and for His glory. 
I. Decision to Disassociate with Harvest Bible Chapel Fellowship 
As the Elder Board of HBCNL, we now come to a significant moment of change in regards to our affiliation with HBF. Over the past year and a half the elders of HBCNL have sensed an increasing shift away from the convictions and philosophy of ministry that were in place when we joined HBF in October, 2005. In light of these concerns, we are disassociating from Harvest Bible Fellowship, effective March 31, 2012. We will then assume our previous name (held from January 1, 2003 to October 2, 2005), "Cornerstone Church", and continue to serve the Lord together as an independent church. (Online Source)
HBC New Lenox has offered the following reasons for their withdrawal from Harvest Bible Fellowship.
Harvest Bible Chapel Ministry new distinctives that we oppose-
1. A Growing Personality/Celebrity Pastor Centered Ministry
2. Pastor James MacDonald's associations with "pastors" who hold to errant theologies
3. Lack of Discernment in the Elephant Room Discussions
Their website provides much additional detail and information, and the reader is encouraged to visit there to read further. The statement issued by the elders of this church is thorough and biblically supported. It is clear that this was not a decision that was made lightly. It is also important to note the following statement issued by the elders of HBC New Lenox:
We have addressed our concerns with the leadership of HBF 
We addressed our concerns with Kent Shaw and Bill Molinari on two separate occasions, and also had additional conversations. We expressed to them our deep disappointment with ER2. We repeatedly expressed the clear violation of Scripture that was taking place by giving T.D. Jakes a platform to espouse his errant theology concerning the Trinity and the false gospel and prosperity and empowerment that marks his ministry. During all meetings, both Kent Shaw and Bill Molinari were gracious and brotherly. Although the desire to work out our difficulties with HBF was present, it became clear that we could not continue to partner with HBF as directed by Pastor MacDonald. (Online Source)
The elders of HBC New Lenox clearly and unabashedly stated what was at the heart of their decision:
Jakes' position on the Trinity ultimately is not the issue. Rather, the problem is HBF and Pastor MacDonald's not correcting or rebuking the false teaching presented in ER2. Pastor MacDonald's doctrinal tolerance and leniency before, during, and after the ER2 is at the heart of our departure from HBF. Pastor MacDonald's subsequent defenses of the ER2 on his website and on Moody Radio lead us to conclude that this change in direction established is part of the future ministry of HBF. Grievously, doctrinal leniency and disregard for proper theological examination from the pastors present marked the event. (Online Source, emphasis added)
In January of this year, HBF witnessed its first casualty of the Elephant Room 2 with Harvest Bible Church in Detroit. It was exactly one week ago that this site reported on the disassociation of another church, Harvest Bible Chapel in Prescott, Arizona, from HBF. One must begin to wonder: how many more?

How thankful we are to see the boldness of these men whom God has called to lead this church! May we keep these courageous churches and their leaders in our prayers as they continue to stand boldly for the truth of God's Word. Surely they have chosen the way of the Apostle Paul, seeking to please God rather than man (Galatians 1:10).

HT: Blood Stained Ink

SEE ALSO:
Harvest Bible Fellowship Claims Its Second (known) ER2 Casualty
ER2 Claims First Acts 29 Casualty
Cleaning Up After the Elephants? MacDonald Takes to the Airwaves

15 comments:

  1. They are continuing to pull out as expected. The radio stations that carry Walk In The Word are hereby warned and will continue to be warned as they allow errant theological individuals to participate on their stations. Let me document in this writing that KCBI radio here in Dallas, Texas has been warned of these issues in writing (by USPS mail),approximately 4 weeks ago, and should be held accountable for continuing to promote James MacDonald on their station.
    Kyle

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  2. I am thankful that some churches have discernment enough to sense that something is amiss with Harvest Bible Fellowship.

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  3. The sifting continues. Faithful ones have no choice but jump off the wild wagon of MacDonald who has lost discernment and going down the road chasing the shiny thing.

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  4. As a regular attender of MacDonald's Harvest for 5 years, sadly I have to agree 100% with the elders at Harvest New Lenox. I would highly recommend everyone concerned read their well written statement at www.harvestnewlenox.org.

    I was especially encouraged by their recognition that multisite (campus) churches are not modeled in scripture and that Harvest is a personality driven church.

    I would just add a couple of points:

    1. It is disappointing for MacDonald and his Harvest church to be associated with Mark Driscoll, a "pastor" that has a shady reputation and is pre-occupied with bedroom matters. To have Driscoll in the pulpit at Harvest was just as bad as having Furtick in the pulpit imho.

    2. MacDonald has not only associated and embraced "word of faith"/prosperity preachers but he himself to some extent has twisted scripture such as Malachi 3:10 in pressuring his congregation to give $$$ to his church. Twisting of scripture like this has been documented in various blogs here -- for example "Code Orange" Speaker James MacDonald" at http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2012/01/code-orange-speaker-james-macdonald.html

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  5. The Elders have made the right choice. It's just so sad that MacDonald doesn't see the damage he's done to the body of Christ but continues to side with heretic TD Jakes.

    I pray MacDonald repents

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  6. Pruning for reason:

    "Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God."

    ~ 2 John 1:9

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  7. All the men (all 6 campuses) at HBC met Sunday night 3/11 at the Rolling Meadows campus. Pastor James, categorically, had 10 things to say to the men of the church. After that meeting, I felt : (

    Sorry, I can't elaborate any further. It was just : (

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    1. Sorry-I meant my comment for this comment. I am a single mother and so was very curious to know what was so important. Please elaborate... Also, I believe that the Bible does support secondary separation--the idea that if you associate with someone that teaches error, then I will not associate with you. ESPECIALLY when it comes to a TEACHER or PASTOR that is teaching error. I think the unspoken (but obvious to those of us that are paying attention)analogy between what happened between Paul and John Mark and the current flap about TD Jakes is not a good one. The Bible doesn't say (that I read) WHY they separated, except that Mark left the work and Paul wasn't willing to have him along again. We expect separation from TD Jakes BECAUSE OF HIS ERROR, Heresy, grave sin--whatever you call it... It is very different...People that know what is going on can see how James tries to address the issues through his messages. He should just TEACH what is written in the Bible there...There should also be AT LEAST some statement from the elders about all this. Come on.

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  8. Is secondary separation biblical?

    At the 33:15 mark of Pastor James message last weekend 3/10-3/11 he says there is no biblical support for secondary separation. Is that true?

    I have researched this and there is plenty of evidence this is biblical. Can I get your opinion on this?

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  9. Sounds like you didn't pay attention when you attended HBC. Not once has HBC pressured the congregation into giving money. Campaigns are optional as the spirit leads. If you don't want to give money, they don't knock on your door. Their entire budget is based on faith based giving. I'm sure Mark Driscoll and Steven Furtick know a bit more about the bible than you do. Finally, I love how you quote a BLOG to support your argument about how Pastor Macdonald twists scripture. If you 100% agree with New Lenox, I 100% agree that you're an idiot.

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  10. "I 100% agree that you're an idiot."

    Wow, HBC member. Thanks for displaying some of that spectacular Harvest fruit!

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  11. Anonymous at 11:39,

    I'm sorry to hear that the meeting made you :(. I don't have any additional details, so before anyone asks, I don't know what was said!

    Anonymous at 2:21,
    I think the bigger problem (with Harvest at least) would be determining what is a "secondary" issue. If it's the Trinity or the prosperity gospel (just 2 random examples...), then it becomes a primary issue because the nature of God, or the GOSPEL is being compromised, respectively.

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  12. I agree with New Lenox

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  13. I am a content Elgin Harvest member. I love pastor James and his fantastic wife Kathy. After reading many comments may I remind (to whom it may concern), that the Lord rebukes those that He loves maybe some of us need to take up another hobby. Also I think some people would be better off keeping thier noses in "His Book" and spreading That Word ! instead of things that we only know half the story or little at all.(nor do we need too) The world is in sad disaray--spend time to glorify HIM not tearing down your brother.

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  14. I've been attending the Harvest mother ship church in Rolling Meadows for 4+ years. During that time I have seen a shift in James MacDonald's preaching. I second the comment above regarding the twisting of Malachi 3:10 during the 5G capital campaign. The small group "Bible study" curriculum which went with the campaign was a poor excuse for a "study". The conclusions were already drawn - give money and be blessed. Give more money and be more blessed. Maybe it won't be wealth, but God will respond - try him, test him, and see. Oh, and give the money to Harvest. James knows what to do with it. (Mostly building projects and expansion.)

    I am thankful he has encountered pushback. I respect the New Lenox church and agree with their conclusions. May James be brought back to earth gently but firmly; may he be humble and have a teachable heart; and may others have the courage to speak truth into his life - no matter what the personal cost to them.

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