MY STORY — WHY I LEFT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS
**UPDATED FRIDAY 3-7-14 ** ADDED EXCELLENT ARTICLE ‘SPIRITUAL ABUSE – WHEN IS IT TIME TO LEAVE’ BY RICK THOMAS – SEE BELOW UNDER ‘FURTHER READING’
**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 10/9/13 SEE BELOW** — ANOTHER FORMER HARVEST MEMBER — MIKE MEADOW — SPEAKS OUT AND WARNS THOSE OF YOU AT HARVEST TO PRAYERFULLY AND CAREFULLY CONSIDER JAMES MACDONALD’S CHARACTER IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE — DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED
**UPDATED MONDAY 10/7/13 ** SEE BELOW — DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED
UPDATED SUNDAY 6/30/13 2:19p.m.** SEE BELOW — DATE HIGHLIGHTED IN RED
**UPDATED TUESDAY 6/25/13** IN LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, I WILL BE BRIEFLY UPDATING THIS POST (LORD WILLING) TOMORROW, WITH NEW INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF. UNTIL THEN, I ASK THAT YOU EARNESTLY PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT CONCERNING WHAT YOU ARE BEING TOLD AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, AND LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE TO SEE IF ANY VALID QUESTIONS COME TO MIND. THINK FOR YOURSELVES!
PRAYING FOR ALL OF YOU.
**UPDATED 4/07/13** ADDED ‘WRETCHED RADIO’ VIDEOS I JUST FOUND CONCERNING ‘T D JAKES AND ER2,’ AS WELL AS ’5th CHURCH SEPARATES FROM HARVEST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP’ (SEE BELOW)
If it wasn’t for the serious concerns I have — along with many other people — about some of the choices that Founding And Senior Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows has been making over the past few years or so — which led me to finally leave at the end of January 2012 –I could be saying, ‘I have been attending Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows for 15 years now.’ But sadly, I am unable to do so.
For many years I was deeply blessed by James MacDonald’s solid Biblical teachings that flowed from a heart of love for God and His Word. There was such a passion in his preaching that I had only heard in a few other preachers in the 17 years that I had been a Christian at that point in my life when I first started attending Harvest. And because of his firm stand against false teachers and how he clearly preached against the ‘prosperity gospel,’ I saw James MacDonald as a man who would never stray from Biblical truth…
I guess the saying is true, “Never say, “Never.” Sadly, now James MacDonald is involved with some of the very types of preachers he once strongly spoke out against…
SOME OF WHAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH IN THE PAST THAT GOD USED TO TEACH ME THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DISCERNMENT, AND THE NEED TO TEST EVERYTHING THAT IS SAID AND DONE IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE
When I first started attending Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows near the end of June of 1997, I had just left an Assembly of God church that I had been attending for over 16 1/2 years, because the pastor began to get involved with the Pensacola “revival’ that started at the Brownsville Assembly of God church in Pensacola, Florida. Unbiblical manifestations were taking place at this church, and my former pastor took time off to go there in hopes of bringing this so-called ‘revival’ back to our church…
He begins talking about the Pensacola ‘revival’ at 6:23…
I gave audio tapes to my former pastor that were not only filled with comments made by pastors who called a Christian radio program to express their serious concerns about this ‘revival,’ but also comments made by those who had been emotionally and spiritually devastated by what they had experienced at the ‘Pensacola revival.’ I also gave my former pastors a letter I wrote that was filled with Scriptures – as well as my valid concerns about this ‘revival’ — believing that God would certainly use His Word – as well as all the information– to open their eyes so they could see that what was taking place at this revival was not of God. However, things don’t always turn out the way we pray and believe they will turn out. Instead, I was told that ‘if I did not agree with the direction the church was going in, then I could leave.’
One of my friends was the only other person I was aware of who realized the unbiblical nature of this revival, and she had expressed her valid concerns in written form — along with many Scriptures — and gave her letters to the pastors as well. We were then told that we could not tell the women in our Bible study (that she led, and I helped lead in the final year we were there) that we were leaving, or why. But you can be sure that I made the most of the time in our last Bible Study together with those women! Without coming out and telling them that the direction the pastor was heading in was unbiblical, I did the next best thing and played audio recordings of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Morris Cerillo – and more – speaking the many heretical things they teach, telling them beforehand how important it is to pray for discernment, and how we always need to test the teachings of those who claim to speak for God, against the truth of God’s Word. (Acts 17:11) (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22)
Many people at my former church followed these preachers, which was another reason why I chose to play those tapes for them. Sadly, one woman (who attended my former church) had a three year old daughter who was dying from a brain tumor. She would go to the hospital every day and pray for her daughter, pray Scripture over her daughter, and play Christian music in her daughter’s room; everything that a loving and desperate mom would do for her daughter was done in hopes that God would heal her. She died a year or so later, and some people at the church told this woman that her daughter died because she didn’t have enough faith to believe for her daughter’s healing! There is so much abuse, deception, and heartbreak going on in churches today, mainly because people lack discernment and they do not read and study God’s Word to know what the truth is concerning many important issues !
As the women in our Bible study listened to the tape that I played for them, the looks on their faces almost made me laugh. I saw at least one woman’s jaw drop in disbelief as she heard Benny Hinn say some of the things he teaches! And I would have laughed, if it wasn’t for the fact of how so many people are being deceived by pastors who not only preach the ‘prosperity gospel,’ but also by those who are speaking the delusions of their own minds (Psalm 4:2, Jeremiah 14:14, Jeremiah 23:26) instead of first testing their ideas against the truth of God’s Word. It’s one thing to tell someone that a certain pastor’s teachings are unbiblical, but if you truly know God’s Word, you can’t deny the truth when you hear these types of things coming from their own lips –unless of course, someone chooses to reject the truth that God is trying to reveal to them.
When time allows, please consider listening to the following video series. You will hear some of the unbiblical — and even outlandish – teachings of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and many other t.v. preachers. It makes you realize just how important it is to test the teachings of men against Scripture, and the warning Jesus gave us in Luke 21:8… “Watch out that you are not deceived.”
So, as you can now imagine, when I first began attending Harvest Bible Chapel I was extremely cautious, and listened very carefully to everything James MacDonald said and did, and tested everything against Scripture as we are all told to do in God’s Word. (Acts 17:11) (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
During the week I would also listen to James preach on the radio. I sensed such a witness in my spirit that he was Biblically solid: his preaching pointed us to Christ, he clearly and powerfully proclaimed the gospel, he spoke of repentance from sin, and he clearly spoke against those who preach a false gospel that focuses on ‘manifestations’ and ‘the blessings of God,’ instead of on the true gospel that sets men free from sin and fills them with a desire to turn from sin and live a life that is fully surrendered to Christ. I was so thankful to my friend– who had left my former church with me – for telling me about Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows!
In 1999, God used the Scriptural truths James MacDonald presented in his series, ‘I Really Want To Change…So Help Me God,’ to convict me and make me realize that I had to finally deal with certain matters that I knew I had to make right with God –and I did. There is true freedom and peace when we submit to God; then worry and fear can no longer have a hold on us.
For many years, all was well — or so I thought. I grew in my commitment to Christ under James MacDonald’s teachings every Sunday as he led us verse by verse through many books of the Bible, and I met many warm and wonderful people. And yet, every now and then during all that time, something would happen that would cause me to be concerned. First it was noticing that the women’s ‘Bible studies’ were mostly based on books written by man, instead of being on different books of the Bible. Many of the books were written by Beth Moore, which is cause for alarm all by itself, as EBenz of Do Not Be Surprised makes us realize through the information she posts on her website.
Below I have listed some of the many other concerns I had as time went by. Lord willing, when time allows, I will elaborate on them, add more concerns, and add more links to information.
(Added 7/16/12) In 2004 — if I remember correctly — James MacDonald reveals to us that we will all be seated in church divided into ‘flocks’ according to age groups, and each ‘flock’ will have its own ’flock leader.’ Though this plan was presented to us, it never came to pass –much to my relief! Do any of you remember that??
(Added 10/14/12 On April 25, 2010, James, preaching through the Book of Revelation, shared how a Jehovah’s Witness man rang his door bell as he was preparing for his sermon on Chapter 14 — which ironically(?) speaks of the 144,000. He shared with us how he chose to chase the Jehovah’s Witness man and his son away from his home, and away from his neighborhood. I remember being deeply grieved at the thought of him passing up an opportunity to share the gospel with them, and also grieved when many people in church responded by choosing to laugh at what James chose to do, instead of being stunned into silence at his lack of compassion and desire to share the gospel with these sincere, but sincerely deceived people. If you’d like, you can listen to this sermon here> MAKING THE GOSPEL MY OWN
Elephant Room Conference 1 - March 31, 2011
April 2nd and 3rd 2011 Mark Driscoll is guest speaker at Harvest **(UPDATED 7/15/12) When I first heard that James was getting involved with Mark Driscoll, I wanted to find some information about him to know just what he stood for, and this is what I found that filled me with concern… SBC CONVENTION – FIVE MOTIONS INVOLVE MARK DRISCOLL and this… FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE BLOG – Mark Driscoll IS A Contemplative Proponent, (ADDED 7/24/12)>> MARK DRISCOLL RECOMMENDS MANY BOOKS PROMOTING CONTEMPLATIVE/CENTERING PRAYER
May 22, 2011 Pastor James gives an altar call…to join the church
August 14th 2011 - Steven Furtick is the guest speaker at Harvest
January 22, 2012 - James preaches at Steven Furtick’s Code Orange Revival
January 25th 2012 - Elephant Room 2 T D Jakes, presently known by many to be a Modalist, is one of the guest speakers
Wayne Cordeiro, who wrote The Dream Releasers is one of the guest speakers at the Elephant Room 2 Conference
Learning last year that the book, ’Experiencing God: Knowing And Doing The Will Of God,’ by Henry Blackaby that was used for a ‘Bible’ study at Harvest that I was part of in 1998, is unbiblical.
GOD CONFIRMS MY CONCERNS
On August 14th 2011, while James MacDonald was on his summer break — to rest and to seek God in the direction he was to lead his congregation when he returned — Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina was the guest speaker at Harvest Rolling Meadows. I put aside all I had heard about him and the impression I received of him by watching the videos posted below, and prayed for God to give me discernment as he spoke.
I sat in my usual spot in church – which was the third row from the front – so I definitely was able to clearly hear everything he said. He began by praising James MacDonald and telling us how blessed we were to have him as our pastor, and continued until he had many people at Harvest loudly cheering. All around me people stood to their feet and clapped to express their thanks to James, and they filled the church sanctuary with loud cheers and thunderous applause.
Even though I deeply appreciated James MacDonald’s ministry for many years, I chose to remain seated because I was no longer in agreement with the direction he seemed to be going in — and leading us in as well; I would not allow myself to be pressured into standing along with everyone else and applauding. It was a matter of principle, no matter what others may have thought of me because I chose not to stand.
As I looked all around, the only other people that I could see who remained seated were two people who sat in front of me. Even my friends joined in the somewhat chaotic goings on! I must admit the verses in Acts 12:21-23 about ‘Herod not giving praise to God and how he was struck down by an angel and eaten by worms and died’ came to mind. That’s how out of control it was for at least 30 seconds — although it seemed much longer. Only God deserves that level of praise!
Then I was shocked as Steven Furtick began to judge our hearts by loudly and arrogantly telling us that we were judging him because of how he was dressed and because he was so young! I wasn’t thinking anything like that, and I am sure no one else was either! We were there hoping to hear God’s Word preached! Something we really didn’t hear, to be honest with you. His message was based on 1 Samuel 14:1-7, which was taken out of context and he seemed to be using it to promote the message in his book, ‘SUN STAND STILL.’
He ended his message by telling us to send James a text message saying, “I am with you heart and soul.” (1 Samuel 14:7) I came home feeling shocked, sad, disgusted, discouraged, and so alone! I couldn’t understand how James could have first allowed Mark Driscoll –and now Steven Furtick – to take his place and ‘preach’ to us when he is supposed to watch over us and protect us from those who twist and distort God’s Word! (Acts 20:28-30) ( (Lord willing, I will add more information to prove my valid concerns about Steven Furtick and Mark Driscoll in the near future. (Added information on M D above, under ‘Red Flags’). In the mean time, watch the videos posted above on Steven Furtick, and please be sure to listen to the shocking things that Mark Driscoll says on the video posted at the link below, entitled ‘MARK DRISCOLL ADDRESSING A GROUP OF ACTS 29 PASTORS’ ).
Hoping to find some more information on Steven Furtick, I went online and did a ‘search’ using ‘Harvest Bible Chapel Steven Furtick,’ and found this: “THE STEVEN FURTICK SHOW” NOW PLAYING AT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL I found encouragement and comfort from EBenz, (as do all who have been devastated by what is happening at Harvest — and other churches, as well – when they find their way to her blog) and her Biblical analysis of Steven Furtick’s sermon (in which EBenz heard by going to the Harvest Bible Chapel she once regularly attended) confirmed my thoughts as well. Since I have nothing to hide, I will tell you that I posted under the name of ‘No Longer Alone.’
REASONS WHY I LEFT HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL
In the final year or so before leaving, I noticed a difference in how James MacDonald was preaching that filled me with concern. It seemed as if he was using passages of Scripture to work in what he was really trying to say to us. Pray for discernment, listen to the following sermon that James preached on May 6th 2012, and see what your conclusions are…
Through many of the sermons James preached in 2011, I felt as if he was trying to manipulate us and use fear tactics to silence us into submission and make us think that any serious concern we had was actually rebellion. Was I the only one sensing that? None of my friends expressed any concern. I was very close to leaving but chose first to sincerely pray for James, and I even took time many Sundays after church to pray for him. I didn’t share any of the details with my friends, but simply told them ‘I was going to stay for a while and pray for Pastor James.’
Depending upon what happened during the Elephant Room Conference 2 on January 25, 2012 — concerning T D Jakes and his Modalistic beliefs and the ‘prosperity gospel’ he preaches — would determine if I would stay or leave. Would T D Jakes be questioned about his beliefs on the Trinity? Would they use Scripture to try to help him see the truth concerning the Trinity? Because even though the word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, and it is completely impossible to fully comprehend this truth with our human minds, the concept is clearly presented in Scripture and it is one of the basic doctrines of Orthodox Christianity. Would they lovingly confront him concerning the ‘prosperity gospel’ he preaches?
Sadly, in spite of the fact that Mark Driscoll did question T D Jakes about his beliefs and asked him to explain how he now understood the Trinity, it is clear to hear by listening to many videos of the conversations with T D Jakes during E R 2, that at the end of the night he was declared as having embraced the Biblical understanding of the Trinity, in spite of the fact that he continued to use Modalistic language as he explained what he now believes. (Please consider listening to the videos below and reading the information at the links below, as well).
Upon learning what happened — or should I say what didn’t happen — concerning T D Jakes, I decided not to return to Harvest. These Scriptures in 3 John 1:3,4 spoke to me loud and clear…
“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
In spite of the fact that I had no idea what church I would now go to, and the sadness I felt from leaving after so many years, and the close friends I would have to leave behind, I made the decision to leave and honor God by ‘walking in the truth. ‘
Even though it has been over five months since I left Harvest, I still pray for James, all those in leadership — as well as for all the people who attend Harvest – and I will continue to do so.
I would like to sincerely say thank you and express my deep appreciation to the pastors who boldly took a stand for Biblical truth and disassociated from Harvest. (See information posted below, under ‘SOME DEVASTATION CAUSED BY E R2′) May God richly bless each of you and your ministries. You acted in a Biblical manner by first going to him and personally expressing your concerns to James MacDonald and the elders, as well as warning James about the choices he has been making. What a godly example each of you are to the people at your church as being a shepherd who watches over your flock and protects them from deception, false doctrine, and false teachers, (Acts 20:26-31) and who ‘earnestly contends for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.’ (Jude 3) Each of you will definitely hear Jesus say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) Something that all of us — who follow Jesus and have learned the importance of ‘contending for the faith,’ — long to hear one day.
I also want to personally express my thanks to some of the many in Christian ministry who have openly taken a stand for Biblical truth and continue to voice their concerns about what happened during E R 2: Thabiti Anyabwile, SENIOR PASTOR OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, GRAND CAYMAN, James White of ALPHA AND OMEGA MINISTRIES, Carl Trueman, A CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN AND DEPARTMENTAL CHAIR OF CHURCH HISTORY AT WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Voddie Baucham, PASTOR OF GRACE FAMILY BAPTIST CHURCH who was invited to be a part of E R 2, but turned down his invitation after being invited when it was made known that Mark Dever, SENIOR PASTOR OF CAPITAL HILL BAPTIST CHURCH chose to pull out of E R 2 shortly after it was announced that T D Jakes would also be a participant, .
Many thanks also to EBenz of DO NOT BE SURPRISED and CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK, Ken Silva of APPRISING MINISTRIES and CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK, and Chris Rosebrough of FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH. God bless all of you and your ministries, as you continue to take a stand for Biblical truth and use Scripture to expose the deception and chaos that is taking place in the church in so many ways today!
**UPDATED 10/13/12 ** Many thanks also to Scott William Bryant for his blog, BLOOD STAINED INK, where he has written and posted numerous articles shedding light on the valid reasons that many have because of the unbiblical direction that James MacDonald seems to be heading in. In doing so, Scott has given many devastated attendees and members of Harvest Bible Chapel not only an opportunity to openly express their hurt and concerns, but also he has given them an opportunity to interact with, and to encourage one another, as well.
By now many of you are probably aware of the new website that was set up by Scott William Bryant, as well as by Ryan Mahoney, (who now also writes for ‘BLOOD STAINED INK’), called THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT. Both of these men and their families formerly attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows.
Briefly, here is part of the reason for their website… “The Elephant’s Debt is a website dedicated to exploring some of the underlying reasons why many people have recently begun to both privately and publicly question the ministry of Pastor James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel of Rolling Meadows, Illinois.” SOURCE
I will not be commenting or writing about this. I will, however, ask you to please pray for Scott, Ryan, and for their families, as well as discernment, wisdom, and courage for the many families who still attend Harvest. I also would like to ask you to please earnestly pray for Pastor James –as well as for all the other pastors and elders at this time — for God to have His way in their hearts.
For those of you who have left a church – or who have been ‘catapulted out’ because you chose to take a stand for Biblical truth by expressing your concerns to those in leadership — this video is for you…
YOU MAY BE WONDERING
Some of you may be wondering what my purpose is in writing and posting all of this, or if I have talked to any of the elders or pastors at Harvest about my concerns before leaving. So to answer those who may have those questions, I will tell you…
My main purpose in writing this is to take a stand for Biblical truth; to ‘earnestly contend for the faith’ (Jude 3) in a day when spiritual deception is increasingly invading many churches. And sadly, many Christians are unaware of what is taking place right before their eyes! We trust those in leadership, and many of us would never even consider the possibility that we could be led astray by any of them! All of us need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. We are never to think so highly of a pastor or a preacher that we find ourselves at the point of thinking that their words can be completely trusted and that there is no need to test their words and actions in light of Scripture. Remember the Bereans tested the words of Paul the apostle daily against Scripture to see if what he said was true, and God used him to record His words in most of the New Testament! How much more then should we now test the words of men in a day when so much spiritual deception is taking place, to see if these things be so!
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11) (Emphasis is mine).
I urge you to test every sermon that James MacDonald preaches, as well as the messages of pastors that James MacDonald associates with, endorses, or allows to preach from his pulpit, and any other pastor or teacher you may listen to. Read along in your Bible to make sure that the verses their sermons are based on are really saying what you are told they are saying. Read the verses in context; you get a full understanding of the meaning of the verse by reading the surrounding verses. Above all, pray for discernment! There is so much spiritual deception entering churches everywhere today because people fail to test things in light of Scripture! (Read the information at the links I added to the ‘INTRODUCTION’ of my poem, AN ANCHOR FOR MY SOUL, to learn more).
Another purpose I have for writing this, is I am hoping that those of you who have serious concerns about the things that are happening at Harvest Bible Chapel — or any other church you may be attending – may be led here – as well as to many other sites where people stand for Biblical truth and express their valid concerns about what is happening there and elsewhere – so that you may have your thoughts and valid concerns confirmed by information and Scriptures.
There was a time when I thought that I was the only one who had concerns about the direction that James MacDonald was going in. That is, until I found comments on videos and other blogs that made me realize there were many others at Harvest who had concerns as well. There was comfort in knowing that I was not alone as I sought God for wisdom to confirm my concerns and to reveal to me through the truth of His Word what He wanted me to do. So now I am hoping that those of you who may feel sad, disconnected, confused, and alone – and can’t understand why no one else is concerned like you are – may be led here, as you pray and seek God concerning what He would have you to do. I pray you will find comfort in knowing that you are definitely not alone.
And yes, I did express my concerns to someone at Harvest, Rolling Meadows. When I received a form email that they send out to those who have not been in attendance for over a month — for one reason or another – I decided to reply. I told them the reason why it had been over a month since I last attended, was due to the fact that I am no longer attending Harvest. I explained some of the reasons why I left, but first I made sure they knew how blessed I was by the sermons that James MacDonald preached for many years since I first started attending.
I would have talked with an elder or a pastor in person before I left, but to be honest with you, I didn’t think there was anyone there who would take my concerns seriously. And sadly, the replies I received from the email I sent expressing my concerns, clearly confirmed that.
My prayer for James MacDonald is – and will continue to be – for God to open his eyes and make him finally realize just how far he has drifted away from being the man he once was; a man who stood strong for Biblical truth and would never compromise. I pray he will go back to focusing on preaching the gospel in all its beauty and simplicity. The gospel was – and always will be — the power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16) We need no new plans or methods to grow the church. God alone is the one who will do that, as we are faithful to preach His Word and pray…”They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved. (Acts 2:42,47) (Emphasis is mine)
SCRIPTURES TO REFLECT ON
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
“Watch your doctrine and your life closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
“A man of many companions may come to ruin.” (Proverbs 18:24)
“Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:1-17)
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
“Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:26-31)
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE
THABITI ANYABWILE, SENIOR PASTOR OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRAND CAYMAN AND A COUNCIL MEMBER WITH THE GOSPEL COALITION SHARES HIS THOUGHTS WITH US CONCERNING T D JAKES AND THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE
JAMES WHITE – REVIEWING T D JAKES’ COMMENTS IN THE ELEPHANT ROOM
JAMES WHITE ‘THE FORGOTTEN TRINITY’
**(ADDED 4/07/13)**JUST FOUND THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD, T D JAKES, AND ‘ELEPHANT ROOM 2′ Todd Friel points out the fact that James MacDonald is not the same, and plays clips of James at E R 2 to demonstrate how he no longer takes a firm stand on the importance of doctrine. Sadly, there are many of us who strongly agree. :(
PART 1 OF 3
‘JAMES MACDONALD IS DEFENDING T D JAKE. BAD NEWS’
‘IS T D JAKES ORTHODOX OR ANOTHER EVASIVE MODALIST?’ YOU BE THE JUDGE
‘HAS T D JAKES BROUGHT THE WORD OF FAITH INTO ORTHODOXY?’
‘WAITING FOR PUBLIC REPENTANCE FROM T D JAKES’
**4/7/13** FOUND THIS ON THE ‘GRACE TO YOU’ BLOG THE ELEPHANT IN THE ELEPHANT ROOM
SOME DEVASTATION CAUSED BY THE ELEPHANT ROOM 2 CONFERENCE CONCERNING T D JAKES
BE A BEREAN (ACTS 17:11) AND TEST THESE FOLLOWING MESSAGES IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE
2)CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE APRIL 25th 2012′s FULL VERSION OF >>PASTOR JAMES MACDONALD SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF PASTORS AT HARVEST U<< His message is entitled, ‘FIVE THINGS YOUR PASTOR WANTS YOU TO KNOW BUT CAN’T TELL YOU’ This message is a ‘must listen to’ for all who attend Harvest and have not yet heard this!
Now please consider going to the following link and listen to a well done Biblical analysis by Chris Rosebrough that he did on May 16th 2012 of the above message by James MacDonald. Again, pray for discernment, and test everything that is said– by both Chris, as well as James — in light of Scripture… HERESY IS THE NEW ORTHODOXY
SOME FINAL QUESTIONS AND TIME TO USE OUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
In the ‘Purpose Statement’ for the E R, it says…
“The Elephant Room is more than an event. It is the outgrowth of an idea. The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement but in conversation of all kinds of leaders about what the Scriptures actually teach. We must insist on the Biblical Gospel, right doctrine and practice but not isolate ourselves from relationship even with those who believe much differently.
These are conversations about the most Christ honoring ways of building a church. Our goal is unity, however a true unity cannot be fashioned in pretense or denial of truth nor can it be won among those who prefer sectarianism to the unity Jesus prayed for. To advance Christ’s call to unity we must do what men have always done, we must push and prod and challenge and sharpen each other’s beliefs and methods. Fidelity and fruitfulness, both matter. No one has a corner on the truth and methods must do more than ‘work.’ (SOURCE) (Emphasis is mine).
Knowing that we will all stand before God one day and give an account for the things we have done with our time, will James MacDonald be able to confidently stand before God and say that he ‘earnestly contended for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,’ (Jude 3) concerning the time he spent in the E R with T D Jakes?
Can James MacDonald confidently say that he is watching over the people who have been entrusted to his care at Harvest, when he is clearly blurring the line between truth and error by declaring T D Jakes as now having an Orthodox view of the Trinity, when so many Biblical scholars who have analyzed what T D Jakes said during the ‘Elephant Room Conference’ disagree?
If, as the E R ‘purpose statement’ clearly states, “We must insist on the Biblical Gospel, right doctrine and practice,” why then was T D Jakes not confronted on the ‘prosperity gospel’ that he preaches?
Why wasn’t T D Jakes asked more direct questions concerning his belief on the Trinity?
If T D Jakes no longer holds to the Modalistic view of the Trinity, why then has he not openly repented and made it clear verbally and in writing that he no longer holds to that view but now embraces the Biblical view of the Trinity?
Since God’s Word clearly shows us in 1 Peter 5:8 that ‘the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,’ could it be possible that the ‘Elephant Room Conference’ — an idea that started out with so much potential for God to use James MacDonald to firmly but lovingly use Scripture in order to expose error in certain pastor’s ministries, and to encourage certain pastors to ‘insist on the Biblical Gospel’ — is now being used by Satan to distract and deceive James MacDonald in order to lead him astray?
Knowing that God’s Word tells us that ‘the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it,’ (Jer. 17:9) how can James MacDonald be certain that the idea for the Elephant Room Conference was from God?
If he will say it was not specifically an idea from God but just his own idea, does he not realize that he is still accountable to God for what he allows to take place in the E R?
Does he not realize he is still responsible for the information he presents to the people at these conferences that will also be recorded on DVD’s for people to purchase and listen to?
Knowing that we are to confront those who teach error, can James MacDonald really say that God is pleased with him when he failed to confront T D Jakes concerning his prosperity teachings; teachings that he once strongly spoke out against?
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Knowing that God’s Word says in Ephesians 6:10-17, that we are to put on the full armor of God so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes, and that we are fighting not against flesh and blood, but rather against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,’ could it be possible that Satan is using some of the pastors that James MacDonald is now involved with in order to silence or destroy his ability to discern truth from error?
Knowing that God has used James and his ministry in powerful ways for so many years to reveal the true Gospel to many seeking truth, and leading a person to a true understanding that ‘if the Gospel message hasn’t changed you, then it hasn’t saved you,’ and again remembering that ‘the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,’ — could it be possible that Satan is leading James MacDonald astray in an attempt to destroy not only his ministry but also James himself?
Don’t ever give up or allow anyone to shut down the ability that God has given you to discern truth from error; don’t ever allow anyone to lead you to believe that what you may hear being said or what you see happening (in a church or elsewhere) that is giving you a strong sense of concern because it seems unbiblical — is actually rebellion. If something does not line up with Scripture, you can be sure that it is God’s Holy Spirit revealing truth to you through God’s Word to expose errors and to protect you from being deceived.
I assure you that my motive is not to tear down Pastor James MacDonald, his ministry, those in leadership at Harvest Bible Chapel, or any pastor he chooses to involve himself with. I am not judging James MacDonald’s heart or his intentions, for God’s Word clearly says that He will be the one to do that (John 12:48, Hebrews 4:13, 2 Peter 3:9-14) My intent clearly is to make believers alert and aware of what is happening in many churches today, and the importance of praying for discernment and testing everything in light of Scripture, (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22), so that you will not be deceived by anyone.
All of us need to be reminded that Jesus warns us many times in Scripture that spiritual deception will take place in the last days (Matthew 24, Luke 21). One has only to look at the condition that our world is in today, and it won’t take long to realize that we are indeed living in the last days: same sex marriage being made legal, gender confusion, abortion, the destruction of the family as we once knew it, increase in the divorce rate even among Christian couples, famines, the increase and intensity of earthquakes worldwide, the attempt to destroy the nation of Israel, denial of Biblical truth as well as the many attempts to destroy Biblical truth and to reinvent Christianity. Sadly, many Christians are being led into deception and even ‘departing from the faith’ by accepting ‘doctrines of demons’ ; they are deceived into embracing unbiblical ‘new age’ practices, simply because they are ‘Christianized’ by being introduced now as ‘Contemplative Prayer,’ ‘Lectio Divina,’ ‘Ignatian practices,’ and ‘Christoga’ – an attempt to merge yoga, (a practice that seeks to yoke a person with the Hindu God Brahma) with Christianity, and still claim that it is an exercise). I could go on and on.
Please consider doing a ‘search’ on the above terms on some of the many Christian websites that seek to ‘contend for the faith’ and expose spiritual deception with solid Biblical truth, such as: APPRISING MINISTRIES, CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK, DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH, DO NOT BE SURPRISED, LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH, and SOUTHERN VIEW CHAPEL for detailed information on these unbiblical practices.
(ADDED 7/16/12) Here’s a link to some very good information by Gary Gilley, to start you off on your search for truth and help you realize how some people can use the reading of Scriptures — something that seems innocent and wonderful – to actually lead you into an unbiblical and dangerous occultic practice know as SACRED READING (LECTIO DIVINA) Is this happening at your church? Please don’t allow yourself to be deceived!
Spiritual deception in different forms has been entering churches for a long time now, and many are being led into deception. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived; pray for wisdom and discernment, read and study God’s Word, and be sure to test everything in light of Scripture. Daily choose to walk in truth, and follow and obey Jesus and Him alone!
I could say so much more, but will allow the thoughts in my following poem that came together out of a heart filled with concern over what is happening at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows speak for me. May God give you eyes to see and ears to hear what He is revealing to you, and wisdom and courage to know and to do what He is showing you to do.
Please pray with me that God will give wisdom and a strong sense of discernment to James MacDonald, those in leadership at Harvest, and especially to the people who attend Harvest — and other churches – where the slow drift from Biblical truth to compromise is taking place. Pray that God will give James MacDonald a heart of true repentance and that he would return to having his main focus be on preaching the gospel as he once did — in truth, in power, and without apology.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
Lord willing, I will be updating this post with more Scriptures, more for you to think about, and more information as well, when time allows.
**UPDATED 10/24/12** IS IT BIBLICAL WHEN A PASTOR ‘CASTS A VISION’ FOR HIS CHURCH? CHRIS ROSEBROUGH FROM ‘FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH‘ /LETTER OF MARQUE GIVES US A BIBLICAL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IN HIS HOUR LONG INTERVIEW ON THE ’ISSUES ETC.’ RADIO PROGRAM>>‘IS VISION CASTING BIBLICAL?’ CONSIDER ALSO LISTENING TO THE VIDEO THAT FOLLOWS, WHERE CHRIS ANSWERS A LISTENER’S EMAIL CONCERNING VISION CASTING
**UPDATED 6/30/13** (Few final thoughts added).
By now I am sure that at least some of you are aware of the fact that three Elders have recently resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows: Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, and Barry Slabaugh. According to the Elders Update on Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows website, this is what they say:
“Cue the music. It’s time to sing, “We’re United.”
The point I was going to make — and still will make — is this: How can the writer of this ‘update’ speak so often of ‘unity’ when three — not just one Elder– has had concerns? Or in their words, “These men have expressed dissatisfaction over many months with how compensation is set, how elder authority is shared, and whether Pastor James has truly owned his part in past conflict.” If there was just one Elder who had concerns — as valid as they could still be — it wouldn’t clearly signal a problem. However, three elders in ‘unity’ over concerns/’dissatisfaction over many months’ is something that should not be overlooked.
How also can they continue to speak of ‘unity’ knowing full well of the many — who attend, or who are members of Harvest — who have expressed their sadness and concerns to some of the Elders about the direction that James is now going in, only to have their concerns be ignored? Or worse yet, how can they speak so much about ‘unity’ when some of these Elders — or even Pastors — have belittled, ridiculed, or even ‘catapulted’ some of these people out of Harvest?!
How can they continue to speak of ‘unity’ when they are aware of the many who have left Harvest; some sharing their valid reasons for doing so, some choosing to let their absence speak for them instead of their words, letting Harvest leadership know that they are not ‘united’ with James and the direction he is leading the church?
They continue to speak of ‘unity’ and yet so many people at Harvest are discouraged and running out of hope after praying and waiting for many years (just as I did before finally leaving) believing that James will repent and return to focusing on preaching the gospel, and that he would also distance himself from certain pastors who many of us have valid reasons to be concerned about.
The writer of this ‘Elders Update’ begins by saying “The Elders are unanimously satisfied with his (James’) response to the criticism received,” and in doing so, they seem to downplay and disregard the fact that three Elders are not satisfied. They report their “gratitude for the “unity” that has prevailed among our Elders during this season,” and speak of ‘God being gracious to consistently’ “maintain our unity of purpose and spirit,” and then this person seems to just simply and casually interject and — dare I say — even tries to hide or blend into this update the most important statement that clearly shows the truth that there is disunity among the Elders, by then following with, “An isolated dissension among three elders, Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, and Barry Slabaugh, has come to a climax in recent weeks. These men have expressed dissatisfaction over many months…” Note that they have been expressing their dissatisfaction over many months, and that these are not recent concerns they have had. Concerns that must be so significant to them that they chose to stand strong and not ‘come comfortably under their collective authority,’ (as mentioned in the update) but chose instead to resign. Let’s be in prayer for these men and their families.
Many other questions come to mind when reading that update. The most important one being that one is left to wonder –just how many other Elders might possibly have valid concerns, yet stay silent because of fear of losing their jobs?
Continue to pray, Harvesters. Pray especially for discernment. Continue to pray for James, Rick, the campus pastors and the Elders, and for those who attend and are members of Harvest. Study and search the Scriptures, and think carefully about all that you are told from the pulpit.
Please know that I am praying for all of you. God bless you.
For those of you who have been wondering about Dave Corning, and why it is that no one has seen him around Harvest Bible Chapel for such a very long time, you don’t need to wonder any longer. He has decided to come forward and release his statement concerning why he and his wife Betsy left Harvest so that he can not only address the character of James MacDonald, but also so he can defend the character of the two elders, Scott Phelps and Barry Slabaugh, who were the focus of a video played for the entire congregation during their church service (which you can hopefully still see >HERE<
In this video the people of Harvest Bible Chapel were told by HBC Elders, Paul Inserra, Steve Huston, Randy Williams, and Jamie Harrison to: “separate themselves from these false messengers,” — meaning, Scott and Barry — and to “avoid these former Harvest elders at all cost…”
Scott and Barry were also accused by these elders when they stated: “Their goal is to discredit our pastor and divide this church.”
One of the most disturbing things that those at Harvest Bible Chapel heard were the words spoken by James MacDonald right before the video was played. And his words were:
“I just want to remind you that God has entrusted spiritual authority to the local church. And every local church has an authority under God and we believe that the Bible teaches that the authority of the church is invested in the elders. And that when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God to our church.”
When I heard him say those words, it was as if I was “catapulted” (sorry for using that word in light of what many of us know concerning HBC) back in time to when I was a Roman Catholic. Catholics are told that when the pope speaks “ex cathedra” (Literally “from the chair.” When the pope speaks in matters of faith and doctrine, he is said to speak infallibly; speaking the very words of God, and therefore all Catholics must believe what he says.) then they are to believe his words without question, because he is speaking directly from God. So for James MacDonald to tell those at Harvest that “when the elders speak collectively in agreement they speak for God,”basically many who have their total trust in the leadership at Harvest may not pray for discernment and may not use the ability that God has given them to carefully think about what is being said and some may even choose not to test what is being said in light of Scripture as God’s Word clearly shows us we are to do in Acts 17:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
“Test all things; hold fast to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”
With so much spiritual deception entering the church today, we must fix out eyes on Christ alone and never think so highly of a pastor or his ministry that we would think that there is no need to see if what they say or do lines up with Scripture. There are devastating consequences, spiritually and emotionally, for all who choose to ignore the many warnings given in Scripture about false teachers and spiritual deception. I pray you will not be one of the many who have been deeply hurt in these ways. Please study God’s Word and be a Berean; test all that you hear and see in light of Scripture so that if something unbiblical is ever said or done you will be able to detect it immediately and not be led astray.
You can read Dave Corning’s statement at the link below, along with the other statements that were all originally posted on: THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT
JIM JODREY, FORMER HBC ELDER NOW COMES FORWARD TO GIVE HIS STATEMENT AND CAN BE READ AT THE LINK BELOW:
NOW ANOTHER RECENT ELDER, FRED AGASE, HAS LEFT THE ELDER BOARD, AND YOU CAN READ HIS STATEMENT BELOW:
**10/9/13**MIKE MEDOWS, FORMER HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL MEMBER, URGES THOSE AT HARVEST TO PRAYERFULLY AND CAREFULLY ASK THEMSELVES AN HONEST QUESTION. AND YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT THAT QUESTION IS AT THE LINK BELOW:
10/7/13 Ugh! I wrote SO much more on this update, but Firefox crashed and I lost hours of writing! :( I will try again when time allows. Next time I update a post I will have to hit the ‘Update’ button every few minutes so I don’t lose hours of writing again!
**UPDATE 10/7/13** 8:46 p.m. I took some time to add most of the thoughts I wrote but lost earlier, and will add some more when time allows.
**ADDED 3-7-14** SPIRITUAL ABUSE — WHEN IS IT TIME TO LEAVE – BY RICK THOMAS
Feel free to comment and to express your sorrow over what you may have gone through — and your concerns as well – but do not use your comments to attack one another or James MacDonald, etc.
Comments based on facts will be posted, and comments that seek to expose error, as well, but make a ‘righteous judgment.’ (John 7:24)
When necessary, cite Scriptures to back up your reasons for what you choose to say, and keep your focus on the subject matter at hand.
Any comments seeking only to draw people to your own site by using links, will not be published.
As much as I would like to, I may not be able to reply to each comment, but I appreciate every one of you who may choose to take the time to make one.
If you would like to make a comment, but do not want to reveal your identity, consider choosing a different name to post your comment under, or post your comment including the fact that you do not want your comment to be posted, and I will respect your request and not post your comment, but will respond to you directly.
Express yourself respectfully to me and to one another.
Keep in mind that comments using profanity will not be published.
**(ADDED 7/24/12) QUESTIONS FOR YOU
Do you firmly believe that all is well at Harvest, and there’s no need for concern?
If not, what have you observed at Harvest that is causing you to be concerned?
Have you tried to express your concerns to someone in leadership at Harvest?
If so, what was their response to you?
How many years have you been attending Harvest?
How long have you been concerned about what is happening at Harvest?
Would you all consider gathering together as a group and expressing your concerns to an elder or pastor?
What would be the ‘last straw’ so-to-speak, that would cause you to leave?
Are you at least warning your children and friends of your valid concerns based on Scripture; not to be divisive, but to protect them from being deceived?
If you are attending a church other than Harvest, and are strongly considering leaving, what is happening there that is causing you to be so concerned?
I hope to hear from some of you.
God bless you, and thank you very much for stopping by and thank you very much for taking time to read my poems.
WARNING YOU WITH TEARS
He once stood strong and never wavered from all that’s Biblical and true,
But now my pastor’s slow drift to compromise has caused him to do things I never
thought he’d do,
So now I look around my church and wonder, as my eyes fill up with tears,
Lord, is it now time for me to leave, after all these years?
Who will warn them if I go, this concern weighs on my heart,
But I will choose to trust You, Lord, and ask that discernment to them You will impart,
Twice now, men were placed in the pulpit, who told stories and twisted Your Word,
They led many people to erupt with cheers and thunderous applause in thanks
for my pastor, but a Biblical teaching was never given; never heard,
When following the crowd it’s so easy to be misled,
What we need to do is pray and be discerning, and think critically instead,
So many lack discernment, for they place their trust in these hi-profiled
They neglect to test these pastors words against Your Word, time and time again,
How could he have allowed those certain men to take his place and ‘preach’
on days when he wasn’t here,
If these men reflect what my pastor now believes, the time for me to leave
indeed is near,
There was a time when I left my church but came back and continued to pray
for him to change,
Yet my pastor now seems to prefer having ‘conversations’ discussing the ‘elephant
in the room,’ and my concern heightens over things that sound quite strange…
Most pastors beckon people forward to repent and follow Christ, just as Jesus said,
“Repent” and “Follow Me,”
Yet my pastor once urged people to ‘come forward to become a member of the
church,’ and many came forward, how could this be?
I am warning you with tears, don’t be so quick to believe and respond to all
you are told and told to do,
Don’t allow emotions to rule and mislead you, only respond to things that are Biblical
Be alert and aware and be sure to compare the words of men with the truth of God’s
For the time is now here, and I warn you with tears, manipulation mixed with truth
is now heard,
Do not be deceived, only God’s Word must be believed, no matter what others may
Discernment He will give you, and wisdom to know what is true, if you choose to
seek God and earnestly pray,
The lines have been blurred between truth and error, by what he has done
and continues to do,
But we must take time to examine the Scriptures, and in context see if what is being
said is really true,
Will you listen to God’s Spirit as He opens your ears and eyes,
To lead you into all His truth and out of confusion and compromise?
Deep in your heart some of you know the time has come, to take a stand for truth
and finally leave,
But first please express your valid concerns, even though their response to you may
cause you to grieve,
The time has come for all of us to follow Christ, and Christ alone,
To test the words of everyone, and by His Spirit His truth we will be shown,
Will you respond to His call and choose to walk in truth, just as we are clearly
told to do?
Or will you stay and ignore God’s leading, and this prayerful, tear-filled pleading,
the choice is now completely up to you.
Copyright© 2012 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on Living4HisGlory’s Blog without expressed permission by this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links to information may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory’s Blog, as well as the author of any of the information at any of the links posted, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Photo obtained from Photobucket – Tears- 2-1
Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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