ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Authoritative Preaching, Clergy Misconduct, Crazy Things Church Leaders Say & Do, Dictators, Harvest Bible Chapel, James MacDonald, Narcissistic Pastors, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Bullies

Pastor James MacDonald: Video and Transcript of MacDonald Bullying a Harvest Christian Academy High School Student in Front of His Peers

James MacDonald spiritually bully
YouTube

Renown educator Haim Ginott wrote:

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather . . . I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.

In light of the above quote on how a teacher’s approach makes the climate, take a look at Pastor James MacDonald when he taught at Harvest Christian Academy in early 2017.

Evidently there was another incident on video that was referenced by blogger and journalist, Julie Roys. I didn’t look for that one, but this one fell into my lap on Twitter. Here is the transcript and video of a bully. How this man remained pastor for so long is beyond me. Well . . . I take that back . . .but it still astonishes me how much abuse people will absorb before they finally say, “Enough is enough!” The video is only 26 seconds long.


It never fails – whenever I listen to sermons of dethroned pastors, I find sermons they had preached in which the content was wholly disregarded personally. Case in point – when I grabbed the screenshot of the image at the top of this article, I hit the play button and heard the following (he’s talking about prayer and how people are not faithful in praying):

This isn’t going to be fun [to say], but. The fact of the matter is –  is there are not going to be any breakthroughs without honesty. Sometimes you have to tear down the façade to get to the fault in the foundation. Make sense? So I just want to say I love you dearly, and I want to be faithful to my responsibilities.

Practice what you preach, right?

26 thoughts on “Pastor James MacDonald: Video and Transcript of MacDonald Bullying a Harvest Christian Academy High School Student in Front of His Peers”

  1. This reminds me of the time I attended his conference at SEBTS–when he humiliated a mother whose infant was crying. When she got up, to take the infant out, he said: “Good! Because that was distracting me.” Really? He needed to call her out when she was in the midst of trying to make a situation better? As if his message was so dire, so God-ordained, that the slightest hint of interruption from the Master Orator was offensive to the holiness and sovereignty of God. I’ve never forgotten that; it spoke volumes about his character.

    #LifeWithoutJames
    #Winning

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The extreme incident at Harvest Christian Academy (HCA), which was mentioned in Julie Roy’s article published in World magazine, was originally professionally video-taped. The incident was allegedly so abusive that the Harvest videographer who filmed it resigned the next day. According to statements on Twitter that I’ve seen, it is generally believed that the revealing video of the entire incident was destroyed by an executive elder or staff member (presumably to protect James MacDonald). However, there were many witnesses to the event.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I fully believe there is another video and it sounds horrible for the students there. This one, I must say is strict but not anything outrageous if it weren’t in the context of our current society where it’s unacceptable to touch students.

    My parents had their knuckles slapped with a ruler if the weren’t paying attention let alone sleeping.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This reminds me of the time I attended his conference at SEBTS–when he humiliated a mother whose infant was crying. When she got up, to take the infant out, he said: “Good! Because that was distracting me.” Really?

    And in decades of attending Mass, I have NEVER seen a priest act like that to a woman with a crying child — not even when the kid cuts loose during the Consecration and Elevation (the most sacred time of the liturgy).

    Closest I’ve seen was when a cellphone went off at full volume around that point in the liturgy and the smartphone zombie took the call in front of everyone. (Crying kids are just one of those incidents, but grown-ups are supposed to know better.)

    Maybe this is Too Romish(TM) for God’s Real True Anointed like JMac, but my church has “cry rooms” for just such incidents. (Never seen an RCC church without them.) Positioned at the back of the main assembly hall (what Prots call the Sanctuary), cry rooms are mostly soundproofed but have windows and a sound system. You can see out, you can hear what’s going on outside, but the crying/fussing sounds stay in the cry room.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I thinks a bit snowflakish for anyone to get that upset over this. This was at school not Sunday school. The kid is there to get an education and was dozing off. I can’t say James was being “ abusive “ here.

    I went to a Christian school for 4 years and frankly this is very, very tame compared to what we saw and experienced daily.

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  6. Scott, this is only one that was caught on camera. As oliviamae2 commented, there is another video that was far worse. But it does give a taste of his character, and we already know from many people who he treated staff/elders/students.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yes, it does speak to his character, for sure. I just don’t find it over the top or abuse . That being said, just Iike the teachers in the Christian school I went too, I wouldn’t trust him with a kid for 5 seconds. What I don’t understand is how church people allow other adults to treat their kids horribly “ because it’s the church. “ How they ignore all the signs or give the adult a pass. In some cases supporting the teacher because they don’t want the kid to get an attitude.

    My nephew had a teacher last year that would say all sorts of improper stuff to the little boys in her class. I gave him a old micro cassette recorder I had to catch her on tape. When confronted , she lied and then my sister n law knew she was dealing with nutjob and someone willing to lie.

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  8. Scott1253 – It’s comments like yours which have kept me away from “the church” and those who still ‘attend’ them. I was and continue to exist in a very emotionally abusive situation with the man I married, many family and extended family members. Nothing I say is taken seriously.
    Only a very select few Christian friends who have also had to leave the organized church scene and secular friends have been used of the Lord in my life.

    Thank you JulieAnne for this post. It reveals the true character of James MacDonald and God will use this for His glory. God is revealing the sins which can not be hidden.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. When someone feels entitled to impose their will on someone in a public setting, especially using physical means, it raises the question of what sort of abuse they are guilty of in private.

    IT does, doesn’t it.

    Children and teenagers are vulnerable to the adults in their lives. They are also in a situation at school where being dressed down in front of peers can be absolutely devastating, and sometimes lead to bullying. For the adults to treat them this way in front of everyone is terribly sad.

    And students fall asleep. Sometimes there is a very good reason. Teachers can deal with it without blowing a gasket.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. @JulieAnne:

    I’m scratching my head that Scott thinks this is not over the top.

    Depends on what he’s been raised and catechized to believe is Normal(TM).

    Remember all the stories of kids who were born deaf or legally blind (or were hellaciously abused) who didn’t think anything was amiss because they thought everybody heard or saw (or were raised) like that?

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  11. @LivingLiminal:

    He obviously considers himself to be so important that he’s entitled to not only dictate the posture of others, but even physically enforce his commands. What an arrogant @#$%*

    Touch Not GAWD’s Anointed, remember.

    Not only does he have Friends in High Places (like that Bokor in The Princess and the Frog), but is Friend is in the Highest Place of All.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. @LivingLiminal:

    He obviously considers himself to be so important that he’s entitled to not only dictate the posture of others, but even physically enforce his commands. What an arrogant @#$%*

    Remember those Dos Equis beer commercials about “The Most Interesting Man in the World”?

    Well, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE WORLD.
    (At least in his own mind.)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Are y’all kidding me? This is abusive behavior?
    He was teaching this young man a life lesson. If that was my son I would have thanked him and then my son and I would have had another discussion when he got home. If you want ppl to stop being snowflakes this is the kind of training they need! I have 3 sons, young men need love and discipline. Stop being offended everyone. I do not know James Mcdonald nor have I never met him. But I have ZERO problem with this !!

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  14. How dare you make this public! Ha ha!

    Thing that kills me, I mean just would be side-splittingly funny if it weren’t so downright tragic is all these people who claim to follow Christ out of one side of their mouth but then try to quote the Bible to shut anyone down who dares tell the truth about their heroes out of the other side. Jesus always seemed to be revealing the dark stuff about religious leaders on public fora. And when the fanboys of the leaders hissed at Him and tried to shut Him down, He called them hypocrites and talked about whispers in inner rooms being shouted from rooftops. He just wouldn’t stop already, and finally, they killed Him.

    But of course, that wasn’t the end of the story. But when these people who claim to follow Jesus just want to shut everything down, the truth and all, just likes the ones who killed Jesus over His refusal to stop speaking the truth about them and their earthly religious heroes, wonder if they’d even know Jesus if He walked up to them and gave them a big hug? You just have to question what spirit they really have.

    One bit of encouragement to you, JA. Right after Jesus hammered those people who tried to stifle the truth with His talk of rooftop shouting (which probably contributed to the sentiment that He had to be murdered and soon), He told His disciples: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

    These people who rage at you on Twitter and elsewhere, let them rage, because you sure can’t please both them and the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Scott1253: “I went to a Christian school for 4 years and frankly this is very, very tame compared to what we saw and experienced daily.”

    I think that’s the key. I was raised in an abusive home, but because I had no idea what life was like for other kids, I didn’t really have any idea it was abusive. In fact, many people complimented my parents on us being well-behaved, so I assumed they were doing a good job.

    I went to public school, and even “way back when” the teachers were not allowed to physically discipline students unless there was a safety issue. The principal could still paddle students at that point.

    I knew some Christian school teachers later on and they told about the things they did to maintain discipline, and even though it wasn’t physical, it was primarily about humiliating students in front of their peers.

    That’s what bothers me more about the interaction. Obviously grabbing the student’s arm to wake him up is over the line, but then continuing to nitpick and badger him while all the other students are watching is completely humiliating.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. If you want ppl to stop being snowflakes

    Is there some reason ‘stop being snowflakes’ is your goal rather than, say, raising decent well-adjusted and compassionate human beings who have empathy for other people? Because I think that’s probably a better goal.

    There is nothing wrong with their being repercussions for bad behavior, but there is also no reason for those repercussion to involve belittling in front of peers.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. “Are y’all kidding me? This is abusive behavior?”

    Yes it is. He’s humiliating a student in front of his peers, and he does it multiple times – first to wake him up, second to tell him to get his arms off the chairs, third to tell him that any further behavior will result in his being kicked out, and then fourth to force him to say “yes sir”.

    So, basically, you’re going to thank this guy for making your boys feel like dirt in front of all of their friends? And that’s a good life lesson? To punish your boys for things that aren’t even inappropriate in our society? Sleeping? Putting an arm on a chair next to you when no one is sitting there? Responding to a question?

    So, you want to sacrifice your boys so that some guy with major ego problems can feel self-important?

    I can tell you that the result of that is not pretty. If feeling that you should deserve respect is being a snowflake, then, not surprisingly, you’re probably a snowflake parent who wants to raise non-snowflake kids. Do you see the irony in that? My own father didn’t. He could treat us like garbage all day long, and if we ever dared to “backtalk” it was a painful proposition.

    And, I’m thankful that seemingly the vast majority of public school teachers where I’m from understand that respect is a two-way street. I pity the teacher who ever tries that on one of my kids. First, they’ll get it from my kid, then if it’s not over, they’ll get it from me in the principal’s office.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. BRYAN
    March 22, 2019 at 5:47 AM
    Are y’all kidding me? This is abusive behavior?
    He was teaching this young man a life lesson. If that was my son I would have thanked him and then my son and I would have had another discussion when he got home. If you want ppl to stop being snowflakes this is the kind of training they need! I have 3 sons, young men need love and discipline. Stop being offended everyone. I do not know James Mcdonald nor have I never met him. But I have ZERO problem with this !!

    Oh NO, Now you will read all about how you were raised in an abusive environment and thus don’t understand abuse. All this from people who have never met you. Then will come the ” I don’t go to church anymore because of comments like that”. Lastly you will be accused of it being a “triggering post” that could destroy people’s chance of recovery. Whatever that is. I guess if you choose to stay in an abusive marriage, church or other relationship you are still a ” victim” for life and the whole world is expected to be your enabler by refraining from pointing about that you have a choice in the matter. People can move beyond their past, regardless of how horrible it was / is but it takes hard work and effort. Many appear to be very comfortable in the PERMANENT role of victim and really don’t want to move forward if it deprives them of never ending sympathy.

    Was Macdonald an abusive pastor, yes. Was he dishonest, yes.

    Is every adult that continued to attend there a victim after this became readily apparent many, many times over ? NO, There comes a point where you are responsible for what you allow to be done to you. If you can’t defend yourself you can ask for help. Call the police, retain an attorney or contact legal aid. Obviously you can leave an abusive church. Is it always easy, no.

    When your pastor puts a picture of someone’s wife up at a church camping trip and starts shooting it YOU SHOULD KNOW it’s time to immediately leave that church. If he did that at the NRA range he would be banned. It’s not allowed and considered pretty much nuts. What are firearms doing at a church event anyway. I shoot weekly and own a huge collection but would never allow that to happen on the line if I’m there. The range officer would be notified and the idiot would be booted. Frankly if my pastor started shooting at people’s pictures I would know he is unbalanced then and there and leave.

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  19. Scott, I think the problem here is normalization. When people accept a certain level of abuse, a skilled abuser often escalates… to the point that otherwise normal people accept. So, often, an outside observer like you can objectively look at the situation and say, “if I were that person, I’d leave in a heartbeat.” Well, maybe you would if that was the ONLY abuse you accepted. Here’s an example of how normalization works: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924198/

    “Toughenlng chlldren up
    Many inner-city parents seek to guard their children from future perils through beatings. Life in the inner-city is violent. As they grow, children need to be prepared for violence from peers, violence associated with illicit street industries (i.e., drug sales, sex work, and robbery), potentially violent interactions with police, and violence associated with serving time. In this manner, violent experiences within the home can be viewed as effectively preparing inner-city youths for their lives ahead. Conversely, it also helps assure that inner-city life will remain violent by reifying subcultural norms. The ecological violence these youths face provides subcultural legitimacy to expressions such as, “I beat you because I love you,” “If I didn’t love you I would not care what you do,” and “It hurts me more than it hurts you.” Within this subcultural experience, physical assault not only serves as a punishment, but also further acts to toughen children providing them with the discipline they will need in their futures.

    Harriet (black female born in 1962): We had, she would, every time she would beat me, and her thing was man, she would beat you, she would like, shut-up, smile, you know (laughs loudly). You never, you better not cry, and the more you cry, you know, the more I would cry, the more she would hit me. So, it was like, you know, I couldn’t understand, you know, she was like if you don’t shut up, I’m, I’m gonna beat you again. And my thing was if you would stop beatin’ me, maybe I would stop cryin’. But, you know, to her it was like, didn’t I say shut up? And still hittin’ me. And then, she, oh, oh, you want something to cry for.

    Often the beatings were severe. As indicated here however, Harriet like others learned to accept violence, to take it, to allow it to happen, and to “keep quiet about what is taking place.” She has to receive it and keep going as if it does not matter and or is not taking place. She learned to ignore the pain.”

    This is “snowflake” argument – the parent toughening up his kids to take abuse without complaint.

    And, yes, perhaps you’re right that our response to abuse is our sin, but I find it interesting that humans have similar response to abuse to other animals. For example, contrast how the church deals with abuse victims (i.e. snowflakes) vs. how people are supposed to treat abused animals: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/03/30/abused-animals.aspx

    “Here are some general guidelines for creating a safe environment for a previously abused pet:
    -Make him feel loved and needed; communicate clearly with him
    -Do not force anything on him under any circumstances – allow him to adapt to his new family and life at his own pace. Provide him with his own safe place where he can be alone when he feels like it
    -Protect him from whatever he fears
    -Create opportunities for him to be successful and build confidence”

    Seems like the opposite of what the church recommends:
    – make him feel like an outsider and not a vital part of the church
    – force him into the church’s role for recovering victims – make him forgive his abuser on the church’s schedule, tell him that he is no longer able to be called a victim, tell him that he’s responsible for his abuse because ‘a normal person wouldn’t accept that sort of abuse’
    – force him into counseling with his abuser
    – continue to shove his lack of confidence, sense of worthlessness and distrust in his face, and instead accuse him of wallowing in self-pity and playing the victim card.

    Also, last time I checked, this was about a MINOR being abused. The boy in this video probably had zero choice in the matter, whether or not his abusive teacher shot at pictures of his wife.

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  20. When your pastor puts a picture of someone’s wife up at a church camping trip and starts shooting it

    Wait, scott, WHAT?? This is a thing that happened???

    I can’t imagine a decent person doing this, ever. It’s absolutely disgusting.

    Like

  21. Wait, scott, WHAT?? This is a thing that happened???

    Yeah, Lea, sorry to say. It was Julie Roys who first brought that little fact into the light of day, in her big expose of Harvest. You can read about here, under the section titled, “Passion and Intensity”.

    https://world.wng.org/2018/12/hard_times_at_harvest

    I think MacDonald’s contempt for the young men (in this video) is similar to that for his own elders’ wives. And both are likely just instances of his general contempt for anyone that isn’t himself.

    Like

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