“Not fond of sordid gain”- One of the requirements for deacons at a Harvest Bible Chapel
Update to post 7:40 PM
FYI: the PaP airport reopened on February 17, 2010. The crusade that I am referring to was held on the one year anniversary of the earthquake January 12, 2011! The airport was not only open AA airlines has 5 flights a day from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Delta flies from NY and Atlanta. There are and were on the day of the one year anniversary plenty of flights with open seats for these men that knew of the crusade over 6 months in advance. Did I tell you they arrived with body guards? Imagine how that makes me, a lowly woman, feel. After all I raised my four children in Haiti, two of them were born here. I have never carried a gun or had a body guard. I have prayed a lot and learned to depend 100% upon the Lord not only for my physical protection but for my financial support.
This will make sense after you read the post and comments.
Over the weekend, I received an email from Yvonne Trimble who is with the mission group “Haiti for Christ.” Last January, we did a post Mark Driscoll/Acts 29: Haiti Relief Denied Because of a Woman Preacher Link. Here is a short synopsis of her encounter with Mark Driscoll.
"My husband and I are missionary evangelists and have lived in Haiti since 1975. Two of our four children and one of our nine grandchildren were born there. We host Haiti’s most popular TV show that features the beauty of Haiti with a gospel message. Currently we are aired in 13 US Haitian markets and over 100 TV stations in Haiti. We do not pay for airtime as our content is in such demand.Over 2 million Haitians, all age groups and economic strata, view our show.
We came in contact with Mark Driscoll shortly after the quake I had posted a comment on an Act 29 blog. Mark Driscoll via Acts 29 gave to the one-year anniversary which we organized and hosted. 100K Haitians answered our call to worship in front of the ruined Palais Nationale.
Driscoll arrived in a private plane, I picked him up and he wanted to leave when the crowd was peaking. I sent a Haitian driver to take him back to the airport as I was not leaving the outpouring of God’s Spirit.
Not long after that Driscoll flew us to Orlando he wanted us to head up their Acts 29 mission work in Haiti since they had no experienced missionaries and we are experienced soul winners. Right before we were “signed on” to their 400 supporting churches, something we really could use. I said, “Wait I preach. I planted an English worship service in my living room for missionaries and business people.” That brought a icy response from Grudem, Mark’s right hand man, and it was the last we heard from them.
They needed us in Haiti but when they realized we were egalitarian they dropped us like a hot potato! We were crushed: innocent and in need of the fellowship and financial support. “
I found myself irritated at Driscoll. At the time, every pastor and famous actor (or are they one and the same?) made the obligatory trip to Haiti to show “compassion” for the destitute in that devastated country.
Just as Driscoll was about throw some Acts29 money in their direction, the brakes were put on because Yvonne, who has given her life in service to the people of Haiti, made the “heretical” mistake of preaching. Please read the full story in which we share our thoughts on the matter.
However, there was more to this story. Here is the email that Yvonne sent to me yesterday. I have the distinct feeling that we are not the only ones to be made aware of the following wretched event. This will not sell well in the court of public opinion.
"My husband Joel and I are missionaries in Port Au Prince Haiti. We have served here as soul winning missionary evangelists since 1975. We produce, direct and host a Creole Christian TV show that proclaims the uncompromising word of God to 2,000,000 viewers daily. After the 2010 earthquake that brought Haiti to international attention, I posted a comment on a Churches Helping Churches blog.
Months later a CHC representative Tom Kim contacted me that he would be in Haiti and wanted to meet us. The short of this story is that CHC funded a city-wide crusade organized by my husband Joel Trimble. NPR reporters estimated the attendance at 100,000 Haitians.
Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald flew into Port au Prince the morning of the event on Bob Coy’s, Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, private jet. I picked them up at the airport. They traveled with body guards, film crews were already on site. They spoke for 15 minutes each and left the crusade before the crowd peaked. I sent a driver to return them to the airport.
In the months following the historic crusade Mark Driscoll flew us to a Resurgence Conference in Orlando where Elliot Grudem was assigned to sign us on as Acts 29 missionaries in Haiti. Please note we never received any personal support or remuneration from either of these men or their organizations. All systems were go until I told him, “I preach.” The pushback was confounding for men with no mission experience and no evident burden for the lost. Uncompromisingly complementarian and unashamed filthy lucre."
Here is her devastating assessment of James MacDonald and his participation in this event.
“I am not surprised that James MacDonald is a money man sidling up to TDJakes.
True Pharisees strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, thus MacDonald arrives in the world’s poorest country aboard a private jet yet disdains the 35 year soul-winning service of a woman who obeys God’s written word to preach the gospel to the poor.
Egalitarianism will not put you in hell but the love of money will! Complementarianism is not scripturally or biblically supported. It is American culture; as is the prosperity gospel to which MacDonald gravitates. As Jesus Christ healed on the wrong day for the Pharisees, I have obeyed and preached from the wrong gender. Beware the leaven of the Pharisees!”
Note how she perceives MacDonald and Driscoll. These are rich men who arrive in a private jet, complete with body guards and film crews. They spoke for a whopping 15 minutes each and then took off back to their aircraft.
She had served these men, picking them up at the airport and arranging for others to take them back when they needed to leave after speaking for 30 minutes. They had apparently offered some potential financial help which was withdrawn since a woman, who has sacrificed herself by living in the poverty of Haiti, just like her Savior chose to live among the poor, had the audacity to preach.
I wonder. Could they have possibly decreased their entourage by one person and thrown a little money in her direction as a taxi tip? Women can drive taxis, can't they?
MacDonald teaches on money
In the meantime, it is business as usual at Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF). MacDonald, emerging from his lovely mansion, decided to give his people some tips on money management.
I took a look through the extensive online website of Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF). Lo and behold, on October 15, 2012, MacDonald has made a resource available on how to be “wise” with your money. Please visit the following link in which you can listen to MacDonald talking about the dangers of money. Could he be talking from experience?
Here is the synopsis on WISE UP ABOUT MONEY – PART 1
“Money — blessing or curse? Check out what the book of Proverbs says about money and how you should handle it. James MacDonald teaches on this important subject area with candor and practical insights that can transform your family.
When every voice in this crazy world wants to push you into its pattern, the Bible tells you the truth . . . about what brings satisfaction, about the power of friendship, about the allure of money, about what will enslave you. Come study the book of Proverbs with James MacDonald and learn how to make the choices that will make you wise.”
Is MacDonald the permanent man in charge at HBF, no matter what?
Is MacDonald being questioned by his elder board? It seems like some have left the church. Could it be due to statements like the following? At the following website, Barkma link, I found a report of this unbelievable comment. (MacDonald sounds a lot like his buddy Driscoll. )
MacDonald said to the elder board in a meeting:
“If you want to remove me, you’re going to have to sue me to get me out of here. And gentlemen, I have two things you don’t have: control of the pulpit and the control of the money. So good luck.”
There seems to be some monetary needs at HBF.
At this link on the financial needs of HBF, we learn that money is a bit tight.
"We have prayed, consulted with leaders, selected and prayed some more about what and how to share these needs with you. We have reached capacity in regards to budget, so(to) pursue these things right in front of us, we need help. We are passionately pursuing Christ's promise to build His church and pursuing qualified opportunities to support new church planters, help existing churches and provide more resources to our pastors."
A suggestion for those in churches with globe trotting, high living pastors.
Jesus modeled true leadership. He was the suffering servant who drew people to him by His alternative lifestyle. This servant had no place to lay his head. He could have traveled Israel on the wings of angels and built Himself a mansion like never seen. Yet, He chose to live life amongst His people, the poor, the outcast and the noninfluential. He didn’t seem to have much regard for those who reveled in their wealth.
Frankly, I am tired of the stories of some pastors and their access to private planes, million dollar homes, expensive clothes, and entourages consisting of body-guards and film crews.
I anticipate the “my super rich friend donated his jet for my personal use” response. Think about it. Why didn’t Jesus take advantage of all the riches available to Him? He could have. It seems like He declined a whole bunch of comfort.
Read your Bible and take a look at the lifestyle of Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc. Then take a look at the lifestyle of your pastor. Do not be deceived when he says that he does not believe in the prosperity gospel. Instead look at his life. Does he live way above the median income of those in your church? I mean a rich lifestyle-million dollar homes, gated communities and really expensive cars.
Could it be that we misunderstand when some pastors call themselves servant leaders? Could it be that some of you are being used for something more than promulgating the “gospel?” For a possible explanation, I take you to a 5 minute clip from my favorite Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man.” Think about it.
Lydia's Corner: Exodus 37:1-38:31 Matthew 28:1-20 Psalm 34:11-22 Proverbs 9:9-10