Harvest Bible Chapel, James MacDonald, Learn to Discern, Meetings with the Pastor, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Authority

Learn to Discern: Pastor from Harvest Bible Chapel Speaks at Church Meeting – What Do His Words Really Say?

We haven’t done this for a while. Let’s look at the words from a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC), Greg Bradshaw, and discuss them.

As you may recall, senior Pastor James MacDonald is long gone from HBC, and the remaining pastors/elders are trying to salvage what is left.

They recently held a Family Meeting. There is a link to the audio of the meeting in this tweet:

The following was transcribed by Jessica, an ex-HBC member, and tweeted. These are the words from Pastor Greg Bradshaw. I listened to this particular part of the audio and Jessica did a good job transcribing. A few minor filler words were left out, but she got the gist of Bradshaw’s words and his tone. The bolding is done by Jessica. I retyped it further below to make it easier to read.

There are no secrets at Harvest Bible Chapel….Anyone can know anything. If you want to know something, you come and ask me, you come and ask your leaders, we’ll tell you. But not everyone needs to know everything. We’re not opening up a new, like, blog post to say new things so that everybody knows everything. That’s not wise. We want to make sure that we inform you.

But you can know anything you want to know…it’s your church; it’s your money….No one should tell everyone anything. No ONE should tell EVERYONE anything. That’s the role of your leaders. We are entrusted, and we’re going to give an account. You’re not going to give an account. So if you want to learn something, and you want to come in, and I need [to] tell you that Jeff Donaldson got a severance. And you want to blab it out to everyone, you could choose to do that, but that’s not your job. (silence) That’s our job. We believe it’s a thing to do, we should tell you. Bit it’s not yours.

You don’t have to give an account like Dave Learned or John Smith, like Hebrews 13:17 says. They’re gonna give an account by the way they lead you, in the way they shepherd you, and guard you, and guide you. Not the person who decides to go out and tell somebody what’s going on in our church.”

~Greg Bradshaw | HBC RM Family Meeting | May 29, 2019

Ideas for Discussion

What are your observations about Pastor Bradshaw’s words? What is he trying to do?

Are there any problems that you notice?

How do you think the current members of HBC would receive his words?

In your opinion, is Pastor Bradshaw responding Biblically?

11 thoughts on “Learn to Discern: Pastor from Harvest Bible Chapel Speaks at Church Meeting – What Do His Words Really Say?”

  1. First of all, Mr. Bradshaw demonstrates he has no spiritual authority:

    But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written,
    “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
    And every tongue shall give praise to God.”
    So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. (Rom 14:10-12)

    So, “You’re not going to give an account.” is a bald-faced lie. Everyone will give an account. Period.

    So, he is equating “talking” with “giving an account”, which is telling people, shut up, unless you’re a leader. Clearly this is meant to silence people and restore the control of information to those who can “wisely” disseminate it.

    Organizationally, if James MacDonald was narcissistic, then he surely surrounded himself with people who did damage control for his narcissism – meaning they hid the truth from the congregants. If we’re going to talk about “wisdom”, then these men ought to know that the wisest course of action is to free information so that they can be held accountable, not just to God and to their peers (the damage control squad), but to other wise people in the congregation.

    “We are entrusted, and we’re going to give an account.”

    Again, this is poor theology. How did Samuel give an account? Before all of Israel. “Here I am; bear witness against me before the Lord and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.”(1 Sam 12:3)

    These men are afraid to give account before men, how much more so should they be afraid before God to give account. They are not entrusted if they have set themselves up as leaders rather than being chosen by the congregation. It is clear that HBC does not want to follow the Bible in this way:

    Nomination: Thirty-four men were nominated by our Campus Pastors from a list of names submitted by our staff and congregation. Then a former elder from each campus went to their campus’ nominees to answer any initial questions and to deliver the application to the nominees.
    Acceptance of Nomination: Of the thirty-four men nominated, seventeen decided to candidate and complete the application.
    Selection for Interviews: The Selection Committee formed of Pastors, campus representatives (congregants selected by the Campus Pastor), and some former elders met on Tuesday, April 2 to select thirteen of the seventeen nominees to proceed to the interview process. You can see the names of the members of the Selection Committee here.
    Interviews: The thirteen nominees and their wives will be interviewed by the Selection Committee in the next two weeks.
    Final Selection: After interviews are complete, the Selection Committee will select the final nine men to be the new elder board.
    Two Weeks of Consideration: The names of the nine men selected for the new elder board will be made public at this point and allow two weeks for our church to join in prayer and express any concerns to the Selection Committee.
    New Board Established: Once the two weeks of consideration are over, the current interim elder board will meet with the new elder board to establish them as the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a person who formerly, faithfully attended Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows (the main campus), as someone who gave sacrificially in excess of a tithe for a number of years…. I so want to comment thoughtfully on this, but Harvest gives me such a headache and my eyes are burning.

    All churches should operate with fully transparent, honest, careful stewardship and dealings. The New Testament churches operated this way, with people informed of how their gifts were being used, and what was going on. Christians are all equal in Christ, and as co-heirs, deserve to be fully informed of the goals, activities and finances of the church they identify with and support.

    It is controlling and sinful (even diabolical) for Harvest leadership to demand that concerned people come to the them individually for specific information… for they know this makes asking extremely difficult, logistically impossible for everyone to do, and each person can be intimidated, or told something different. The secretive HBC leaders remain in the control and the people are gaslighted.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such contradictory statements here:

    There are no secrets…..but not everyone needs to know everything.

    You should know whatever you want to know…..but you can’t talk about it to just anyone.

    You should know everything….but it’s the leader’s job to provide the information. Which means, the leaders ultimately choose what you should know.

    This is abuse of authority. This is not the way of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not biblical at all, how can he say in one breath this is your money you can know anything and then in the next breath say not one person is going to know everything? He has the perfect teachings for a cult. He is literally saying we have your money, but you have zero right to know everything cause we are the leaders and you are the sheep. That they will be Held to a higher judgement by God so the sheep should butt out.

    Oh my gosh so crazy!! Excuse me but I thought we are all sheep including pastors?? Then he literally makes a big hoorah speech over less than 10% of 3.6 million dollars raised that will be used for “outreach.” Where is the repentance for terrible financial practices that’s put that church in terrible debt that 3.6 million was raised to pay off debt, but they only used 50% to address debt, foolishly used money for the Naples campus that they lost, Nd used money for UPGRADES when in debt and less than 10% is left which he sees as God’s provision to jump start something HUGE God is going to do in the fall.

    That’s scraps, scraps of 3.6 million dollars for reaching souls. He thinks God is pleased with that?? He also fails to mention what the HUGE thing is that God is going to do this fall even though he claims God told him it’s happening CoNDITIONALLY iF they take it easy this summer and rest and laugh! Hey can I work in a church where every Friday afternoon off? Can I work in a church where I get what were they called growth days or something like that and Greg has his two coming because he works so he’s and he didn’t use his solitude growth days with God?? And people pay harvest staff for these types of schedules and applaud them for taking time off, spending time with family and laughing?? Where is the big R for repentance, at minimum for money mismanagement? Where is the big R do misrepresentation of who James Macdonald was? Oh let’s not forget Greg’s double talk to where he says you gotta work through the season but then basically tells them all move on now or else your being bitter and now are in sin! This poor guy is so brain washed he doesn’t even know the twisted thinking process he is promoting !


  5. There are no secrets at Harvest but you may not talk about what happens here… lol

    When they are this paranoid about information getting out, you have to assume that information must be of a nature that would make them look look pretty bad. So what else is going on at HBC??

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just another way of using the old “gossip” and “slander” teaching as a way for leaders to control information except calling it something else. They try and make members feel guilty for sharing.

    As Shy1 stated there certainly must be something pretty bad that leaders want to hide or they wouldn’t resort to tactics like this.

    My guess is eventually HBC is going to implode under all the debt they have. Maybe it is God’s will that HBC close.


  7. @Kathi:

    Such contradictory statements here:

    Doublethink, Comrades, Doublethink.

    “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.

    “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”


  8. Doublethink, Comrades, Doublethink.

    Bradshaw reminded me of the character John Wither in “That Hideous Strength”, by C.S. Lewis. Wither constantly shifts what he’s talking about, and what he expects of people, and he insists on “elasticity” rather than hard-and-fast facts.

    Creepy as all get out.


  9. __

    Blatant Bungled Comfort: “Thou Shall Lead Me By Streams Of Living Waters, Perhaps?”


    Unfortunately authentic biblical eldership of leading, shepherding, guarding, and guiding at HBC, has apparently become a perpetrated distanced lie and a discomforting false 501c3 effort for quite some time.


    Time, facility, resources, and a certain amount of honor appears to have been abused and abundantly squandered.


    And they know it.


    These HBC elders discussed here have apparently not lived honorably, but with dishonesty, enclosed treachery, and a blatant lack of transparent disclosure.


    —> Who would biblically follow such a lot?


    IMHO No one.

    Let the blind guides follow the blindly dishonest. Jesus’ sheep should no longer follow such individuals, for their own safe sanctuary.

    Surely goodness and mercy should follow those who place their devoted trust in Thee, Lord Jesus’.

    Deliver those that are Yours O’Lord, for Your Name sake, Amen!



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