JULIE ROYS — Former celebrity pastor, James MacDonald, has been fired. His sins have been splashed on national headlines. Every elder and senior leader at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) has resigned. And the church is scrambling to stay afloat.
But it all could have been prevented.
That’s according Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant, authors of The Elephant’s Debt (TED), a blog critical of Harvest and MacDonald.
The two revealed on my radio show last Saturday that in 2012, when they launched TED, they sent emails to prominent evangelical leaders and pastors, urging the leaders to visit TED and then use their influence to expose wrongdoing at Harvest.
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Only two leaders responded to the email (posted below). One was Matt Chandler, lead pastor at The Village Church and president of the Acts 29 Network. Instead of offering help, Chandler said he would do all he could to oppose what Mahoney and Bryant were doing.
“I might not agree with decisions made by James or the elders at HBC,” Chandler wrote, “but I have no intention of drawing any attention to your blog and if I can in any way deflect others from giving it ‘coverage’ I will use my influence to that end.” Chandler said he believed the blog was “unhelpful and maybe even harmful,” and added, “This will not lead to repentance, this will only serve to push people to the fringes where helpful discourse is impossible and ignorance and aggression will take over the conversation.”