James MacDonald is finally fired!!
Well, he finally did enough damage that even his elders cannot cover this up. James MacDonald was caught saying despicable and cruel things on a recording which was aired by Chicago-area radio personality and former Harvest Bible Chapel congregant, “Mancow” Muller on
WLS/AM 890. And he was fired!
Brandon Showalter of The Christian Post reported about the audio:
Among the things said in the audio is MacDonald talking about planting child pornography on Christianity Today CEO’s Harold Smith’s computer, crude remarks about Julie Roys — including joking that she had an affair with CT Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli — and a vulgar reference to Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.
This was a shocking audio. I listened to it yesterday. It most definitely sounds like James MacDonald – you cannot miss his unique voice. What we know about narcissists is they immediately attack those who are threatening them. Yes, Christianity Today and Julie Roys were a threat to James MacDonald’s reputation, and they were sharing the truth. But James MacDonald could not let it go. He had to attack those who were exposing the truth!
Can you imagine what could have happened if Harold Smith’s computer was found to have child porn on it? That could have been a prison sentence for him, loss of employment, time away from his family, etc. That is unbelievably cruel. Additionally, every time an image of child porn is passed along, it is another abuse to the children who were harmed in the making of the porn. This is clearly evil. James MacDonald will likely become very familiar with the millstone verse.
Mancow Muller still has much more audio to listen to, so I’m sure there will be more coming out, but thank God it was enough for the elders to do what should have been done years ago. Here is the announcement posted at HBC website from the HBC elders:
Message to Harvest Bible Chapel Members from the Elders
Dear Harvest Bible Chapel Family:
It is with great sadness that we as the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel wish to convey to you a very recent development that has caused us to take immediate action regarding our Senior Pastor, Dr. James MacDonald.
Following a lengthy season of review, reflection, and prayerful discussion, the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel had determined that Pastor MacDonald should be removed from his role of Senior Pastor. That timeline accelerated, when on Tuesday morning highly inappropriate recorded comments made by Pastor MacDonald were given to media and reported. Given that and other conduct under consideration, in accordance with the procedures in our Bylaws, Pastor MacDonald was removed as Senior Pastor and as an Elder of the church for engaging in conduct that the Elders believe is contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church. His employment has been terminated from Harvest Bible Chapel, effective today, February 12, 2019. This decision was made with heavy hearts and much time spent in earnest prayer, followed by input from various trusted outside advisors.
Our Elders and Staff are committed to fulfilling our fiduciary duty as the leadership of this congregation, knowing that at times the outcome may be misunderstood or emotionally painful. A more detailed communication regarding next steps for our church will take place in our weekend services.
We sincerely thank you for your prayers, your support, and your patience as we work together to restore a trust in leadership, a humility to surrender to biblical authority, and a firm resolve to move forward as a church family. Please continue to uphold our church, the Elder Board, staff, and the MacDonald family in prayer at this time.
– The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel
In addition to being fired, Lifeway Publishing informed Julie Roys that they will no longer be publishing his books:
Others Have Had Enough of MacDonald, Too
Harmed: The Good-Hearted People Looking for Christ
WhatMancow Muller gets it in this tweet. This is the heart of the matter – the many, many families who have been harmed by bully, James MacDonald:
Keep in mind there are people at Harvest Bible Chapel who will still defend James MacDonald despite the recent developments. This is what happens when you have a charismatic leader in charge. People are reluctant to throw in the towel on their beloved leader.
But let’s take a look at some of James MacDonald’s ordinary behavior. I find this behavior shocking, but for those who have been around a bully for a while, it’s easy to get numb to their bully ways.
Act Like Men Event and Publicly Shaming Men Who Are Late
A couple of summers at Palooza, there was a men’s gathering/conference, called “Act Like Men.” Take a look at what was posted by the ActLikeMen Instagram account. They want men to be at the event before 6:00 pm. If men arrived late, they were paraded to the front of the group wearing a pink shirt that said, “I was late.”
That is ridiculous. There could be many legitimate reasons why a man might arrive late, but instead of being gracious and kind, James MacDonald and his cohorts act like bullies to the men who were late. Even if the men didn’t have an excuse, there is still no reason to treat people like this.
The idea of the men wearing a pink t-shirt is troubling to me as well. I happen to love seeing guys wearing pink. My boys look great in the color. But in this case, I suspect it was deliberately chosen because pink is seen as a feminine color. [My legalistic ex-pastor who sued me told us that men should never wear pink – it’s for women only. Apparently he and James MacDonald went to the same school of thought.] So, parading tardy men to the front of a mens’ event wearing pink shirts is not acting like men, so is the implication that they are acting like women? I think so.
A post shared by Act Like Men (@actlikemen) on Jun 6, 2017 at 3:16pm PDT
Anne Frers shared her personal experience with Harvest Bible Chapel on Twitter. It’s important to note that when there is an evil man at the top of the food chain, the people beneath him usually act like bullies, too. What this woman went through is unfathomable:
Anne’s Personal Story
Chantel Shares Her Heart to James MacDonald
And finally, the following is a YouTube video of a woman from Harvest Bible Chapel. This woman probably represents the majority of congregants who have been harmed, but don’t have “big” stories like Anne’s above. But the pain is real. It is deep. And as she says in the video, it makes it very difficult for her to step in a church again. I’m glad Chantel has spoken out.