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 DiscussionsTheir 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
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