15 May 2012

HBC Grayslake Says "We Spoke Truth to [Harvest Bible Fellowship]"

Though HBC Grayslake has yet to release an official statement regarding their removal from Harvest Bible Fellowship by the leadership of HBF, some details did come forth in this past Sunday's sermon.

The following transcript was provided by Scott Bryant of Blood Stained Ink:
There is hope amidst the suffering. Loved ones, we have hope. And for our church, as I am studying this passage, I am amazed at the pertinence of God’s Word. Can I just tell you that? I am amazed that God sees what we are going through, and a year in advance knew that we would be in this passage. And with the suffering that we are going through as a church – if you were here last week, you heard about the sufferings that our church is enduring. That we have a sign out there that says, Harvest Bible Chapel. And did you know that we are no longer a Harvest Bible Chapel? Because our denomination decided they wanted to kick us out. And why did they want to kick us out? Because they wanted to choose to embrace, to invite and affirm somebody who teaches false doctrines about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the Trinity. And so because of that loved ones, I don’t know about you, but I’m perplexed right now at this situation. I’m confused. I’m discouraged. And I’m grieving over this. I’m perplexed at the reality that the men—for some of us in this room, we’ve served with them for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 plus, I’ve been a part of Harvest Bible Chapel for 23 years now! And guess what, I cannot believe that these men have embraced this false teacher. I can’t understand how they have done that. I’m perplexed about that. And you’re probably perplexed as well, like I am. I’m perplexed about the reality that they would invite and they would affirm this man and they would embrace him and share fellowship with him, while kicking those of us who have been with them and supported them and built God’s Kingdom through the work of Harvest Bible Chapel for 20 plus years, and to kick us to the side. I’m perplexed by that, as I’m sure you are perplexed by that this morning. I’m perplexed that when brothers came, when our elders went to them and spoke truth to them and said, “Hey, the things were seeing, I don’t think this is good.” And when we spoke truth to them and said, “This is wrong according to what Scripture says. Why are we doing this? We need to go in a different way.” And they attacked us instead! I’m perplexed by that. I don’t get that. It discourages my heart and it grieves my heart. (Source)
As Christian Research Network has reported:
It is important to note that Pastor Bryant has been preaching through the book of 2 Corinthians for some time, and the preaching calendar was set well in advance of these recent events. The full sermon was, as intended, an exposition of the text. As such, it cannot be claimed that this sermon was written specifically for the purpose of decrying the behavior of Harvest Bible Fellowship. Rather, Pastor Bryant had the opportunity to use these events as a very relevant illustration. (Source)
Let us continue to pray for churches like HBC Grayslake, who have been faithful to speak up in the face of controversy and compromise.

**Note: I'd like to thank Scott Bryant of Blood Stained Ink for bringing this sermon to my attention. Bryant has provided some additional thoughts here.

Church "Removed" From Harvest Bible Fellowship
Harvest Bible Fellowship Claims Second (Known) ER2 CasualtyThird Church Leaves Harvest Bible Fellowship


  1. Punitive pastors silencing opposition... hmm I am seeing a pattern emerge here....

  2. The video of James MacDonald speaking to the pastors on the Blood Stained website that accompanies the post is frightening. Is MacDonald becoming a madman or just being unmasked for what he has always been???

    1. What is even more frightening is to hear all these laughs from these pastors listening to MacDonald's spin and doing that in moments when they should not laugh at all but call out MacDonald on his insane führerprinzip twisting...

  3. As a former attendee of HBC Rolling Meadows, I heard 100's of messages from James MacDonald (in person). Several times he freely told of the early beginnings of HBC and a specific crisis which he described.

    When the church was still small, one of the founding elders confronted James regarding how he had deceptively represented himself on some thing to the elders who called him as a pastor. The elder said (quoting how James described it) "you lied to me". And the church subsequently split, with many leaving HBC along with the elder in question. James gave the impression that it was just a misunderstanding that resulted in a major crisis.

    Now, after all that has transpired in the last year or so (ER1, ER2, TD Jakes etc), I believe that that elder was very wise at the time and had the foresight to see what would be the outcome for HBC under deceptive leadership. That man, whoever he is, has now been completely vindicated in my opinion.

  4. For what it's worth, I was never an attendee at Harvest Bible Chapel, but I did work for a Christian radio station (WYLL) that aired his program, "Walk in the Word." As such, I heard hundreds of his messages (even edited a few), and I never heard anything unorthodox (this was in the late 1990s, mind you).

    With regard to HBC Grayslake, I taught in that vicinity once-upon-a-time, at the College of Lake County (though we had other names for that particular institution). Anyway, this has certainly been a trip down memory lane for me.

    Press on!

  5. Dear Father-in-heavens,

    We lay all the issues that were/ are being brought up to Your attention. We know in parts but You know the whole and hold the Master plan. You also know the hearts of Man best.

    May You continue to break up our unplowed ground and we earnestly seek You until You come and shower righteousness on us. We thank You for we can stand righteous before You because of Jesus in us. Hear our prayer, LORD.

    Give us wisdom and the ability to discern the spirits at work in Your Church and in our hearts. Most important of all, please give us Your compassion and heart for people, so that we'll continue to do what pleases You. Help us to see through Jesus' eyes. Help us to response through Jesus' compassion - His ways.

    May You touch our lips with coal as You did with Isaiah, as each of us Your children are called to be the light and salt for the World. May You continue to purify and guard our hearts too.

    Help all your servants - the sheperds, LORD.

    May You continue to guide them in every steps.
    May You continue to give them the strength and courage to do what pleases You in fulfilling the Great Commission.
    Draw each of them, like a deer panteth for the water, to be really yoked with You LORD
    so that they can be at rest in You as they do the work of the LORD.
    May You raise up Your Joseph and Daniel for Your Church too.
    We ask for the "awakening" in churches in America and the World.
    Not by might, nor by power, only by the Holy Spirit.
    In Jesus' name,

  6. This was my first and last time to listen to J-MacD. Overall, he was seeking to set himself up as the supreme leader of whomever would be a "yes" man and do as they were told.
    #5 Here he excuses bad theology and tells his "flock" that they should not question him no matter how bad he gets-I'm the pastor, you are not, so you don't have a right to question me. By all means do not touch God's anointed. Are't you glad Paul did not feel this way?
    #4 Feel sorry for me, cause you are such a terrible burden on me. "You are making your pastor." What? And here all along we were lead to believe that you have been anointed by God to be a pastor and now you tell us that we are responsible for you. Wow, guess we'd better do a good job, 'cause we realy need to have our ears scratched every Sunday morning.
    #3 Don't speak to me unless I say it's okay (Tues. Wed. & Thurs. only or it's the catapult for you). Wait, weren't you anointed to lead us? Maybe it's only good for three days a week. What if God were approachable during business hours only?
    #2 I'm always right, so if you disagree with me you should just leave. There can be no Bereans here-I'm the head cheese.
    #1 It's all about who? We like unity in our church, so agree with me even when you think I'm wrong, 'cause I'm the educated and anointed one here-not you.
    #0 J-MacD is setting himself up as infallible head of his church and if he could HBF also. The two verses he used were mis-applied. They speak to those in opposition to God and His Gospel, NOT some self appointed "preacher". Only those elders who rule the church well should receive double honor. This man rules so poorly that he deserves NONE. Nothing that he said can be supported by Scripture, therefore all of what he said belongs in the trash heap.


  7. On MacDonald's führerprinzip: Power corrupts and "absolute" power corrupts absolutely... The descend of James MacDonald is and should be a lesson to us all. James Macdonald would do well to actually use Proverbs properly and not twist them for defense of his ego as he does in the video. Proverbs 16:18 should be before MacDonald's eyes now to humble himself in repentance and to admit and renounce his errors and pride before his church, its elders and broader church. If he would just do he would come out a stronger and even more respected leader. If he will not he will fail... and perhaps the fall already started as repentance and humbling himself in not on James MacDonald radar at all.

    1. I'm on the same page with you brother. before I even read where you put Pr.16:18, I was thinking of the exact same verse. Personally I think he's going through some kind of midlife crisis. I was listening to Ken Silva and was stunned when he said the same thing. Wow something is going on with James..

      And you know God disciplines and rebukes those he loves. Sometimes God's children can fall into sin for a season but God will NOT let that child continue if he is truly SAVED.

      With power comes much responsibility

      "Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom"-Pr.17:16.

      "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."-1 Timothy 6:10.

      Out of all the damage and destruction James Mac has done, I hope and pray that James is granted the Fear of the LORD to repentance~ For God's grace is beyond all our sin and shame

  8. Regarding to the statements and attitude displayed by James MacDonald on that linked video; especially the application of the “catapult” to deal with people who are trying to address issues with him (notice that he makes it clear he thinks his elder board is way too patient in dealing with these matters).
    Is he displaying the following attributes that are required for pastors according to God’s Word?
    He fails miserably on a number of these virtues:
    “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach… temperate, prudent… not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable…” (For full context- 1 Timothy 3:1-7)
    Tem•per•ate: moderate or self-restrained; not extreme in opinion, statement, etc.
    Pru•dent: wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect; sober.
    Gen•tle: kindly; amiable: a gentle manner, not severe, rough, or violent; mild.
    Peace•a•ble: inclined or disposed to avoid strife or dissension; not argumentative or hostile.
    NOT Pug•na•cious: inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.

  9. The video in "A Sendoff for Hungry Shepherds" brought up some questions:


    At the 10:25 mark of the video - Does the pastor really make the church? OR maybe God has a part in making the church too? I think...

    At the 16:15 mark of the video - I was (and still am) fearfully expecting to see a catapult in every parking lot of every HBC last weekend. It so hard to accept the (future) pastors of HBC laughing at this.

    At the 22:40 mark of the video - A line pulled from Steven Furtick message when he was at HBC last year. http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2011/08/steven-furtick-show-now-playing-at.html

    1. Good and helpful observations, Anonymous. Thank you.

  10. James MacDonald is not a pastor. He is a businessman. His actions are consistent with what he is.

  11. Have I been censored out with my last comment?:)

    1. Hey Despeville,
      Well, it was a mildly amusing comment :) but I've noticed that this particular post has brought out some...righteous anger...and rightly so.
      Nevertheless, I'd like to keep the comment string as "snark free" as possible.


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