Mancow Leaves HBC and Says That James MacDonald, HIs Long Time Friend, Needs to Man Up

In the interest of playing catch up, I thought you might like to listen to this clip by radio personality, Mancow. It was released approximately 5 days ago. Mancow is a long time friend of James MacDonald and a member of HBC (until this week.) He discusses the situation with his typical bluntness. Please be sure to read my last two posts if you are not familiar with this growing controversy.

Comments

Mancow Leaves HBC and Says That James MacDonald, HIs Long Time Friend, Needs to Man Up — 126 Comments

  1. Seriously, though, at least Mancow is honest here. Ironically, he may be showing more love towards Mr MacDonald than all of the latter’s yes-men combined.

  2. Mancow’s comments are mostly spot on. I left Willow Creek after 18 years of significant volunteer time and gift money because of the Bill Hybels issues. Now Harvest is flailing, also, probably due to most of the same bowl of garbage that is happening at Willow. I am also looking for a church as Mancow is in Chicago’s Northwest/West suburbs and finding it a challenge. Why can’t there be just a simple, big, truly spirit lead Christian church that has financial and power integrity, a huge bunch of volunteers doing Jesus centered charity serving and with a Sunday service that includes prayer, Bible reading, music and a 20 minute rememberable/ message?

  3. MacDonald clearly does not see what he is doing as wrong. Like a lot of self-righteous Christians, he’s assuming that what HE wants is what GOD wants, because by golly, it MUST be the Holy Spirit “inspiring” him.

    Reminds me of an old friend of mine, who told me that it was God’s Will that she marry and have a family, even though everyone knew the guy she was marrying was no good. Then, a few years (and a lot of his infidelity) later, she tells me that it was God’s Will that she divorce him.

    I’ve been a Christian my whole life, and have read the Bible cover-to-cover, some parts probably hundreds of times. If there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear throughout, it’s that we have to be VERY careful about assuming we know what is really God’s Will in every particular aspect of our lives. We are not marionettes, He leaves a lot up to us. That’s both wonderful and scary, so let’s approach this life, and our walk with the Lord, with a little more humility.

  4. exharvestmember: Reminds me of an old friend of mine, who told me that it was God’s Will that she marry and have a family, even though everyone knew the guy she was marrying was no good. Then, a few years (and a lot of his infidelity) later, she tells me that it was God’s Will that she divorce him.

    If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and exists everywhere at all times, then His will is whatever actually happens. If that is not true, then we need to add omni-frustration to His divine attributes. So your friend was correct, if not particularly interesting. Your friend was destined to have her character shaped in part by the suffering she experienced through what you consider to have been a foolish marriage. If so she was certainly not the first person to have chosen the hard way to learn something.

  5. hoodaticus,

    How about omni-patience and omni-confidence, stemming from the sure ability to accomplish his good plan without the necessity of meticulously and robotically controlling each element of the plan? The existence of error, suffering and evil does not demand that they themselves were ordained or determined by God. Yet we can believe that even if he chose to allow genuine free choice – and the suffering that ensues – he is patiently and competently overseeing a creation that will one day understand the truth and turn from error, so that there will indeed be no more pain, suffering and death – all without meticulous determination.

  6. hoodaticus: If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and exists everywhere at all times, then His will is whatever actually happens.If that is not true, then we need to add omni-frustration to His divine attributes.So your friend was correct, if not particularly interesting.Your friend was destined to have her character shaped in part by the suffering she experienced through what you consider to have been a foolish marriage.If so she was certainly not the first person to have chosen the hard way to learn something.

    There is a very big difference between in control, and CONTROLLING.
    I believe GOD is always in control, but not always controlling, big distinction. IMHO

  7. hoodaticus: her character shaped in part by the suffering she experienced

    As believers, we sometimes make choices that God would not have us make … but He uses them to conform us to His image anyway.

  8. exharvestmember: it MUST be the Holy Spirit “inspiring” him

    Well, the increasing reports of a minister and ministry gone awry are evidence that JMac has been inspired by a spirit, but not sure how holy it is.

  9. exharvestmember: We are not marionettes, He leaves a lot up to us.

    Not in JMac’s New Calvinist world … everything has been predestined, you know. I truly believe that when these leaders chart a course of action, they believe God’s hand is guiding them … even though they take a dark turn here and there.

  10. Benn: There is a very big difference between in control, and CONTROLLING.
    I believe GOD is always in control, but not always controlling, big distinction. IMHO

    I agree completely.

    The Bible is fairly clear on the point I’m making: God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. This is control, but not controlling, as you said. I firmly believe that what we suffer in this life would not be allowed at all, but would be prevented, if it were not the best.

  11. Nick Bulbeck: Ironically, he may be showing more love towards Mr MacDonald than all of the latter’s yes-men combined.

    Agreed. Yes-men are a dime a dozen; friends who tell you what you need to hear are priceless. Rebuke and correction can be redeeming if you heed it.

  12. Max: As believers, we sometimes make choices that God would not have us make … but He uses them to conform us to His image anyway.

    Completely agree. Since I see God as outside of time I don’t see a distinction here, He created the beginning, middle, and end all at the same extratemporal moment IMO, in such a way that honored the free will of every soul He created at every instant of all of time.

  13. hoodaticus,

    Sorry, but you didn’t really think this thru did you? You just made God the author of sin if His will is everything that actually happens. You didn’t really want to say that, did you?

  14. Eagle’s been covering the HBC story for the past few weeks, ever since the lawsuit broke; his comment threads have been swarmed by HBC Defenders of the Faith under several aliases, including one “Fellow Human” suspected to have been Mancow.

    If “Fellow Human” was Mancow (MOO!), this is quite an about-face.
    Maybe HBC is starting to unravel?

  15. Max: As believers, we sometimes make choices that God would not have us make … but He uses them to conform us to His image anyway.

    I’m sorry Max, but tell that to the little girl who was stabbed 27 times and left for dead by here two “friends”. Can’t God conform someone to His image without putting them through hell?

    The victims of abuse are often shamed because they are told that they made some “choice” that contributed to their own suffering and pain. Statements made here and there about this so called god who controls everything and who’s will is evidenced by everything that happens has his hand squarely placed on the trigger of every gun, the handle of every knife and weapon, and the zipper of every pervert. Little comfort to the victims of this god’s will.

    If we just think thru the consequences of statements like these regarding God’s will, we should be able to see how ridiculous they sound. That is decidedly NOT the God I know.

    But that doesn’t matter to the committed Calvinist now does it?

  16. hoodaticus: then His will is whatever actually happens

    I believe in a God who is so huge that He can allow for a variety of outcomes that will fit into His overall plan. He is far greater than a limited being who must have meticulous controls in order. for the one and only correct outcome to occur. In other words, James MacDonald is not the only answer to His plan.

  17. hoodaticus: I firmly believe that what we suffer in this life would not be allowed at all, but would be prevented, if it were not the best.

    I firmly believe that suffering is brought about by mankind’s Fall. The fact that all tears will be wiped away in heaven means that suffering is not *for the best* or it would continue.
    Max,

    Agreed.

  18. Noevangelical,

    Hoodaticus is a Calvinist and is simply parroting the tribal beliefs. James MacDonald is also a Calvinist. His self assurance is based on his belief that he is one of the chosen elect and his church better listen to him.

    I do not want this post to be subjected to another typical Calvinist tirade.

  19. 1 thing Mancow said that I would like clarification on…

    “I am a Christian that knows how to play Christians” What does this mean. Why add this? Are you playing us right now?

    He called it out.. Not doubt about it..

    But does anyone wonder if he went to James 1 on 1 or with a brother prior to tearing him down publicly?

    He said numerous times that James was like Family…that he loved the guy.. I think these are fair questions to ask.

    The whole thing is just sad.

  20. Noevangelical,

    Abuse is not a choice; being a abuser is. The example you gave is not a choice that young girl made for herself – she was a victim of a bad choice someone else made.

    I’m not a Calvinist – long time readers of TWW know that very well.

  21. Dee: I believe in a God who is so huge that He can allow for a variety of outcomes that will fit into His overall plan. He is far greater than a limited being who must have meticulous controls in order. for the one and only correct outcome to occur. In other words, James MacDonald is not the only answer to His plan.

    If God intended an infinite range of outcomes rather than just one that only multiplies my point times infinity.

  22. Dee: Hoodaticus is a Calvinist and is simply parroting the tribal beliefs.

    I’m a universalist Calvinist. I believe everyone is predestined to salvation from the Devil down to me. But I agree with you, I don’t want this post to degrade into a Calvinist tirade either, since Calvin was a murder and his theology has caused so much harm and abuse.

    We’re on the same page, Dee. I apologize to you sincerely for derailing.

  23. Dee: Hoodaticus is a Calvinist and is simply parroting the tribal beliefs. James MacDonald is also a Calvinist. His self assurance is based on his belief that he is one of the chosen elect and his church better listen to him.
    I do not want this post to be subjected to another typical Calvinist tirade.

    I know I’m in the slow moderation pool now because you’ve labeled me a Calvinist, but I’m a universalist, so most people don’t think I’m Calvinist anymore. This blog is part of the reason I evolved on this issue, it taught me to judge Calvinism by its fruit which is abuse. I also despise Calvin for murdering Christians in his power grab. Sorry if I offended you. You do good work here.

  24. hoodaticus,

    Well, God’s omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience don’t automatically mean we lack free will, bequeathed to us by God. After all, if EVERYTHING that happens is God’s will, then why did Jesus bother to pray “Thy will be done?”

    Plenty of things happen on this flawed Earth that are not God’s will. For example, II Peter 3:9 says that it is not His will that any should perish, but that all would have eternal life. Yet we know that, unfortunately, is not going to be the case. Not by God’s choice, but by our own.

    It brings up a compelling definition of Heaven, provided by Jesus Himself: “Thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven.” In other words, Heaven is that state of existence in which God’s will is ALWAYS done. For me, that means it will no longer be a Sisyphean struggle to be righteous.

  25. exharvestmember: Plenty of things happen on this flawed Earth that are not God’s will. For example, II Peter 3:9 says that it is not His will that any should perish, but that all would have eternal life. Yet we know that, unfortunately, is not going to be the case. Not by God’s choice, but by our own.

    That’s where I disagree. If all are not redeemed then sin wins.

  26. Dee <3 I love you sister. Thank you for all you do here. I want to let everyone know that it was the exposure to the bad fruits of Calvinism here on this blog that led me out of that decrepit theology. I still have a lot of its baggage though so please bear with me as I grow.

  27. hoodaticus: exharvestmember: Plenty of things happen on this flawed Earth that are not God’s will. For example, II Peter 3:9 says that it is not His will that any should perish, but that all would have eternal life. Yet we know that, unfortunately, is not going to be the case. Not by God’s choice, but by our own.
    That’s where I disagree. If all are not redeemed then sin wins.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to have gone from being a Calvinist to a Universalist. That is quite a big difference, but equally bad theology.

  28. To re-rail:

    1. WOW! Mancow is calling MacDonald out. His “friend”. That’s hardcore.

    2. Even Mancow, no respected theologian, is pointing out that the Elder Board who approved the sabbatical is “just you, MacDonald”.

    How done can MacDonald’s turkey get at this point? Who thinks the congregation will put up with this? I think Dee voted no, I’m not sure but precedent says even the congregation won’t stand it (see Driscoll).

  29. hoodaticus,

    It is certainly your right to hold that position, and its appeal is undeniable. I would have it be true. But even just a cursory perusal of Revelation indicates that it is probably not based on Scripture.

    There’s a big space between believing (i) your salvation was preordained by God, and if you happen to be one of the chosen damned, then it sucks to be you; (ii) God will ultimately save everyone regardless of their own decisions.

  30. hoodaticus: Who thinks the congregation will put up with this? I think Dee voted no, I’m not sure but precedent says even the congregation won’t stand it (see Driscoll).

    Thus far, it seems that the congregants who won’t put up with it either have left, or are in the process of leaving. With Driskle’s business, the spark that set off the explosion was the hired elders finally saying “no” to him. As he had no process for dealing with that, he ran away. As the business had no process for doing anything other than saying “yes” to Driskle, it disintegrated. With MacDonald’s business, he’s managed to create the illusion of the elders deciding to move him sideways to Florida, whilst still trampling over and clearing out any opposition. There’s no evidence, IOW, that the board is anything other than a sock-puppet, or that its recent “decision” was anything other than what MacDonald ordered it to decide. So, in summary: my guess is that MacDonald will retain control of his HBF/C business, but probably find other distribution channels and go after a new set of customers.

    However, this is only a hypothesis; it’s just my best-fit guess from the evidence I’m aware of. I may be as woefully wrong as the fictitious Humphrey Belcher, who believed the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron.

  31. ION: Sport

    With the conclusion of the First Test we must move onto other sports (at least until the Second Test starts next week), and where better to go than the Australian Open tennis…

    The Laddies’ Final between Rafa and Novak could be up there among the great epics – or else Djokovic will win a straight-sets fizzle. Personally, I’m cheering for Rafa winning an epic. The Lassies’ Final is an intriguing one, with fairytale-chasing Petra Kvitova seeking to cap her return from a career-threatening knife-attack injury by beating US Open champion Naomi Osaka. Whilst having nothing against Osaka, I’m rooting for Petra’s Fairytale.

  32. Here’s another weird idea out of left field. (I don’t even read spy novels, so I’m no master of twisting plots.) Is there some way in which MacDonald getting ‘kicked out’ of HBC – at his own command – would keep him from going down with the Titanic he cratered? I mean, having the mouthpiece of Mancow open up just at the right time to condemn his buddy – just seems like another amazing coincidence. Could it possibly serve his purposes if all of his Chicago congregants rise up and forbid his return, and he just ‘happens’ to get ‘stuck’ in Naples, with that new church he just hijacked and the lovely new home he is rumored to have procured? Don’t know if anyone could work that angle better, but things are rarely as they seem when it comes to JMac and Harvest.

  33. TS00,

    They shared and attorney and both know how to “play” Christians so nothing is off the table.

    Mancow stopped short of calling him to resign.. He called him to come back..

  34. hoodaticus,

    You were not in slow moderation. You were in “Dee has a bad cold and suddenly fell asleep for two hours and your comment had a spam word in it” moderation. Now a *Calvinist universalist* is a first time term for me. Is there any explanation to which you might direct me?

  35. james:
    TS00,

    They shared and attorney and both know how to “play” Christians so nothing is off the table.

    Mancow stopped short of calling him to resign.. He called him to come back..

    So this is just the next act in the Long Con?

  36. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I really hope not

    Many of us tried to reach out to mancow and warn him that it was starting to appear he was a pawn in James schemes.

    Mancow went from all in to all out more quickly than most.

    The assessment mancow gave on James was as accurate as I’ve heard

    With James nothing is certain. That’s all I’m saying.

    If I could question mancow I would simply ask him if and when he spoke with James and how that conversation went.

    It seems a bit much to turn on The microphone and tear down the man who baptized you months ago.

    That said realizing you’ve been a victim of spiritual abuse can make you do interesting things.

    Couple that with mancows new show after a couple years off yearning to get back on the radio the last thing cow needs is to be associated with a pastor who’s falling hard and has much to hide

    I suppose Time will tell..

  37. Ken P.: Please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to have gone from being a Calvinist to a Universalist.That is quite a big difference, but equally bad theology.

    I don’t know the details of hoodaticus’ journey, but I have the impression that there are not many ways to become an “ex-Calvinist.” One can surrender one’s strong view of God’s comprehensive sovereignty, or one can surrender or in one way or another modulate one’s conception of what happens (within God’s decree) to those who do not exhibit true faith/attain a state of grace before the end of their mortal lives.

    The first route is probably preferred among those at TWW who were never in the Calvinist camp to begin with. I don’t know how common that path is. Hoodaticus has taken the second route, which I also did.

    “bad theology” is pretty strong language, IMO. I’ve come to believe that “post mortem punishments”, which is a hallmark of “good theology” within the Western/Latin theological tradition at least since the time of Augustine, is not plainly taught in Scripture. So I suspect that it is “wrong theology” (though of course it is possible for a theological affirmation to be true, but not discernible from Scripture — sort of an incompleteness problem in theology). Is it “bad”? I don’t see clearly enough to know.

  38. TS00: Is there some way in which MacDonald getting ‘kicked out’ of HBC – at his own command – would keep him from going down with the Titanic he cratered?

    Well, stranger things have happened in the New Calvinist movement. It is replete with a cast of characters who long ago failed to surprise any of us with their escapades.

  39. I thought this comment that Joe D. left about Mancow’s statement on Julie Roy’s blog when she posted about Mancow has a lot of points:

    Joe D.
    January 19, 2019 at 10:59 am Reply
    Forgive me for being so cynical, but I’ve read the transcript and listened to the actual dialogue. Something seems very “scripted” here. Most especially when you listen too it.

    It’s almost, nay, it’s *very* much as if the sally-girl spineless sychophant “elders” wrote this whole script for Mancow.

    Please allow me to translate the forthcoming spin: “See, told ya!, okay okay, yes, agreed, MacDonald maybe has a “little” but certainly not disqualifying! fault or two, but, c’mon, listen to Mancow!, everyone just “loves” and adores our (fat ignorant slob) teddy bear so he needs to ‘man up’ (cause that’s what really cool “pastors” do with fake repentance written by attorneys and PR firms that would gag even a catholic priest) and come back! — yes, ha ha, we were busted about the whole fake highly-paid, already-planned-vacation, fire-current-Naples-Pastor “sabbatical” thing, ha ha..— and strap on his 6XL leather jacket (you biggg bad boy biker you!) and get back behind the pulpit and kick off (be forewarned widows and orphans!) – yet **another** – capital campaign!! We love James, and never ever forget, “You, even you you little schmuck, are Loved!”

  40. exharvestmember:
    TS00,

    A useful rule of thumb: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

    I believe that in reformed circles, this might be considered a form of “the judgment of charity”

    🙂

  41. “There are no elders. He is the elders.” (Mancow)

    Absolute power ________ ___________. (fill in the blanks)

  42. Melb,

    Because the mega church model is utterly man made— by men who crave power and influence and accolades from fawning, but distant masses. Seriously, they are a Petri dish for vanity and hubris. I urge you to find a small church led by a Godly no-name pastor who is known to all his flock. God does the growing.

  43. Max,

    Max, I know where you come from. However, in the Slenderman case, there were comments made that she “chose” her friends and therefore was partly to blame for her suffering which “god allowed” to glorify himself.

    This was common group-think at our old “church”, a good old fashioned bible church that was taken over by the Calvinists. In their view there are no victims.

    Anyway, sorry for my reaction.

  44. Noevangelical: group-think … Calvinists … there are no victims

    Another reason why 90+% of Christendom worldwide have rejected Calvinism, particularly its hyper “God ordained everything” form.

  45. james,

    Thanks for the background. I didn’t realize he was newly baptized. Has it made a difference in his public presentation?

  46. dee: When Calvinists take over a church, they become very militaristic.

    Countless SBC traditional (non-Calvinist) churches have found this out the hard way. A young reformer lies his way around a pastor search committee about his theological leaning, and then by stealth and deception moves the church from congregational governance to elder-rule. He then puts hand-picked yes-men elders (usually buds from his past) in place who help him indoctrinate the pew in reformed theology. This usually results in a church split in which the new reformers take over the church building and its assets … with long-established traditional members resorting to starting another church from scratch. Yep, the New Calvinists are militaristic, aggressive and arrogant. I have yet to hear of any of them be accused as Christlike.

  47. Gratus,

    Gratis:
    Agree on the ‘big’ – I just need a welcoming, ‘wise/smart’ and vibrant church community. So many smaller churches have semi comatose and high school clique-ee attenders. And boring, short or long ‘sermons with 1950’s too much liturgy.’ Hybels and JMac, and most of the visiting speakers, delivered rich messages. Usually too long, however. Mystifies me why the ‘heart’ of worship, the speaker’s message, is rarely succinct, rememberable, not ‘preachy’ as well as deep/thoughtful/applicable to current life.

  48. Steve240: Please allow me to translate the forthcoming spin: “See, told ya!, okay okay, yes, agreed, MacDonald maybe has a “little” but certainly not disqualifying! fault or two, but, c’mon, listen to Mancow!, everyone just “loves” and adores our (fat ignorant slob) teddy bear so he needs to ‘man up’ (cause that’s what really cool “pastors” do with fake repentance written by attorneys and PR firms that would gag even a catholic priest) and come back! — yes, ha ha, we were busted about the whole fake highly-paid, already-planned-vacation, fire-current-Naples-Pastor “sabbatical” thing, ha ha..— and strap on his 6XL leather jacket (you biggg bad boy biker you!) and get back behind the pulpit and kick off (be forewarned widows and orphans!) – yet **another** – capital campaign!! We love James, and never ever forget, “You, even you you little schmuck, are Loved!”

    That’s sort of what you get with a lot of media types – message control, limited hangouts, etc. If Mancow takes the mike, as he appears to be doing, he will be able to ‘control’ the message, even ‘dictate’ the path forward. Again, not saying I ‘know’ what’s going on – I don’t. But I have for some time studied how information is spread and manipulated, and controlled dissent is as old as the playbook.

    It was interesting to watch, for instance, enlightened government authorities do a 180 from calling ‘Fake News’ a tinfoil hat c*nspiracy to co-opting it for their own purposes. Not too long ago, anyone in government would suggest those who spoke of ‘Fake News’ should maybe get their meds adjusted – and now the word is thrown around by the leaders of nations across the globe. We live in interesting times.

  49. Lisa,

    Lisa
    Agree with you mostly. There has to be ‘bigger’ churches that have humble, wise, true Jesus centered ministries. Even smaller, declining churches are often led by ‘power’ focused ministers. I read recently research has hinted that the brains of people in power actually change to where they loose the ability to be empathetic – like a narcissist. (Please see my reply to Gratus.)

  50. Mars Hill/HBC. Gospel Coalition. Elephant Rooms. Strange Fire. Numerous Former Elders. Mefford/Roys.
    Petry/Meyer/Smith. Phelps/Slabaugh/Marquardt. Acts29/HBF. Tripp and/or MacDonald/Mancow? Scottsdale/Naples.

  51. Max: Countless SBC traditional (non-Calvinist) churches have found this out the hard way. A young reformer lies his way around a pastor search committee about his theological leaning, and then by stealth and deception moves the church from congregational governance to elder-rule. He then puts hand-picked yes-men elders (usually buds from his past) in place who help him indoctrinate the pew in reformed theology. This usually results in a church split in which the new reformers take over the church building and its assets … with long-established traditional members resorting to starting another church from scratch. Yep, the New Calvinists are militaristic, aggressive and arrogant. I have yet to hear of any of them be accused as Christlike.

    When I was first stumbling out of the Calvinist camp, dazed and wounded, I came across guarded, and a few more direct accusations of this type concerning Calvinist takeovers of unsuspecting churches. Back then, as little regard as I had for their theology, I had my doubts as to the validity of such accusations.

    Years later, I not only believe, but have seen this very thing in action, in more than one church. I will even add that it is so common and effective because the ‘aggressors’ do not view themselves as such, but as ‘winning the battle’ for Christ and building his kingdom. What objective people might see as stealth and deception, the men leading this charge see themselves as God’s soldiers.

    I can only guess what these young pastors are being taught in seminary. A newly-converted-to-Calvinism nephew, now at one of their seminaries, recently stated that he didn’t want to go to Calvinist churches, but wanted to ‘win’ non-Calvinist churches (such as the one he grew up in) to the true faith. Sound familiar? And yet, they would be genuinely shocked that you and I thought they were being sneaky, immoral and destructive in taking over unsuspecting churches. They are just ‘building the kingdom’.

  52. David: Which then can lead into a cult formation

    Most of these churches just end up being fundamentally boring fundamental places where the pew is continually hammered by the pulpit. But, if they are misfortunate enough to have a “pastor” with a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, a gimmick, and a dangerous working knowledge of the Bible, they become a cult of personality.

  53. Lisa:
    “Absolutely. If you miss church, the church should miss you. If they don’t, find another church.”

    Good thought. Every church should ‘lead’ current members with that message. Actually, rigorously champion that feeling throughout the church community. And it takes just one caring person to Shepard a new attender.

  54. dee:
    hoodaticus,

    You were not in slow moderation. You were in “Dee has a bad cold and suddenly fell asleep for two hours and your comment had SPAM trigger in it” moderation. Now a *Calvinist universalist* is a first time term for me. Is there any explanation to which you might direct me?

    Dee,

    “Calvinist Universalism” is a different take on unconditional election. Traditional Calvinists believe that God’s “unconditional election” of whom he will save is selective (that is, he elects some but not others). A “Calvinist Universalist” believes God unconditionally elects all to salvation.

    Both Calvinists and Universalists find the genesis of their doctrines in Origen of Alexandria. Origen taught the doctrine of the “apokatastasis” or the ultimate redemption of all creation, even the devil. His thought process here is more complex than what meets the surface, but Origen committed himself to saying that what God is is identical to what God does. For Origen, that entailed an eternal creation, and would ultimately imply its complete redemption, only to fall again.

    Both Calvinists and Universalists hold to an “irresistible grace” that overcomes the elect. In this, both are modern versions of an ancient christological heresy called Monophysitism. Neither is able to see the connection. Hope this helps.

    Jim G.

  55. TS00: I will even add that it is so common and effective because the ‘aggressors’ do not view themselves as such, but as ‘winning the battle’ for Christ and building his kingdom. What objective people might see as stealth and deception, the men leading this charge see themselves as God’s soldiers.

    Oh yes, the new reformers sincerely believe they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the rest of the church has lost. They are passionate, but it is a misplaced passion. The are sincere, but sincerely wrong. It’s sad to see so many young folks fall victim to the aberrations of New Calvinism. When their bubble breaks (and it will), most will never try church again. Whose scheme would that be?

  56. Let’s be careful who we choose to champion the Faith or our Church. While I am well aware of the Harvest mess, I am a long time member there, I have read many comments touting Mancow and his coming out about James. And while I agree with much said, I am also aware of Mancow having heard his show in the past at work. And after this all went down listening to a few hours of him on WLS AM. I will say his show is cleaner than it was in the past, but I have heard him mention his old girlfriend Linda Blair from the Exorcist and how when they would make the Beast with 2 backs he was afraid something would happen. Or when talking about pies, and someone mentioning boston Creme or something along that line him saying well my wife had Boston Creme all over her face last nite. And today he made a joke about happy endings in massage parlors. This is not the conversation someone who claims the name of Christ should be having. Mancow has been toying with Christianity of a decade or so that I’m aware of. We must if anything be faithful in our personal lives as well as our public or work lives. Now if he is a new believer then I would say welcome brother, but also admonish him to clean up your own failings as we all should. If you are going to name the name Of Jesus then live it on the air, put away as it says in Ephesians let their be no filthiness, or foolish talk or crude jokes. Yeah it may affect the pocketbook but isn’t that one of the complaints against the staff at harvest and why they dont speak up. If this has done anything it has made me as well as many I know, look inward and ask what is separating me from Gods full fellowship , where do I need to repent. I would encourage Mancow to do the same.

  57. Rich: If this has done anything it has made me as well as many I know, look inward and ask what is separating me from God’s full fellowship , where do I need to repent.

    If our journey through the American church – in its various manifestations – end with this, then Praise God! If we have to travel full-circle to end where we began – alone before Christ, in humility and prayer, repenting of ‘our’ failings and not ensnared by the sins of others … then the trip ended well. I pray that the days ahead will be better for you and yours, Rich.

  58. Rich,

    We must also consider who has been leading him these past 3 years.

    Pastor James has played a game with Mancow’s fame and faith.

    Calls to clean up his program should have been coming from James all along.

    Mancow is just another sinner that has discerned the lie. Bigger platform but same sinner as you and me.

    Im praying The Cow finds healing in a new Church home

  59. Samuel Conner: I’ve come to believe that “post mortem punishments”, which is a hallmark of “good theology” within the Western/Latin theological tradition at least since the time of Augustine, is not plainly taught in Scripture.

    And yet they (fundagelical sects and some mainline denominations) will claim that the Abraham and Lazarus vignette is ‘proof’ positive that unless you (generic you) ‘know the Lord’ your consignment to flames of woe is sealed.

  60. Rich,

    We must also consider who has been leading him these past 3 years.

    Pastor James has played a game with Mancow’s fame and faith.

    Calls to clean up his program should have been coming from James all along.

    Mancow is just another sinner that has discerned the lie. Bigger platform but same sinner as you and me.

    Im praying The Cow finds healing in a new Church home
    dee,

  61. dee,

    I don’t listen to his show much.. I tuned in this morning and listened to some political talk.. It was slightly edgy, funny in a way but not overly raunchy.

    You’d have to ask some1 that listens all day to get an accurate answer

  62. Rich,

    Good points. We need to constantly keep engaged with ideas, and not make the same mistake of submitting to the aura of authority or celebrity.

    This is simply the common sense application of ‘Don’t believe everything you hear’. The gatekeepers of information, whether in religion, business, media, sc*ence, entertainment, g*vernment or social media have two important jobs to do. 1)They must convince people that they are trustworthy and 2)They must ‘sell’ whatever pieces of information they desire to, or have been assigned to, sell.

    We all recognize this in advertising, as beloved athletes or other celebrities are engaged to persuade us to buy someone’s beer, insurance or deodorant. The same thing takes place in organizations. Whether a CEO wants to sell his plan or a Mega-pastor wants to sell his church planting strategy, the first thing they must do is establish trust, authority, believability. This may take years, in some cases, as with people running for public office.

    Anyone who is selling an idea, whatever their motives, must establish believability, and this requires doing and saying things that they know will do that. They must be good at winning trust, or they are never going to get very far.

    All that to say, we are naive when we look at anyone – and I mean anyone – and say, ‘Ah, now here is someone I can trust’, meaning, I will believe anything they say.

    Even people with the best of character and motives can be sincerely wrong. We must be constantly evaluating the content of all information, and verifying the facts, the logic and the conclusions, rather than jumping from one trusted authority to the next to tell us what to believe and how to act. Dare I say that even goes for discernment blogs. 😉 Because true discernment requires never failing to think, question and do your own homework.

  63. Rich,

    Cow is a sinner. Just like you and I.

    James played a game with this man’s faith and fame.

    Cow has a platform to sound a louder alarm but at the end of the day the messanger is not important.

    Some of us have been warning for years..

    Some for decades..

    When the spiritually decieved and abused prayerfully look inward…You know what the Lord reveals to many of us? The need to show boldness and call out the Wolf so that the spirit of fear is broken and others may be spared similar evil.

    Mancow joins the list of Biblical Justice Warriors. Sinners that have had enough of fake pastors using God’s name in vain.

    Pray for all of us naming the lies in Church leadership as we pray for those of you who remain a part of it.

  64. james: Mancow joins the list of Biblical Justice Warriors. Sinners that have had enough of fake pastors using God’s name in vain.

    Knowing nothing about Mancow except what I read on TWW, I am wondering if he is some kind of Christian shock-jock. If so, I’d be concerned about sin leveling. We’re all sinners, but there’s a difference between saying “you look great in those jeans” and robbing a bank.

  65. Friend,

    Who robbed the bank in your analogy?

    And for the record…Robbing a bank is wrong but you’d have a bigger problem with me if you made a crude commented about my wife’s figure.

  66. Melb,

    We are aiming to grow to 50 adult small groups, pledging to serve 50,000 hours of community service in the NW Suburbs of Chicago and beyond and donate $500,000 to local missions over the next three years as we seek to ignite spiritual transformation in advance of our 50th anniversary at our church in Palatine. Or check out our Partner church out in the Lakewood/Crystal Lake area if a little further NW. http://poppalatine.org. Love to see and meet you and anyone that wants to stop by.

  67. james,

    Sorry, poorly worded, rushed comment. I was referring to the gotcha question”do these jeans make my butt look big?”

    The other unfinished thought was about embracing sin as virtue. A hypothetical Christian shock jock might expand notions of what is acceptable to say on the air. In my analogy, the bank robber is bragging that robbing banks is fine if you’re a True Christian.

    Again, apologies. Still rushing.

  68. Jim G.,

    First of all, you were not in moderation. I was on the phone with a victim for 1 1/2 hours and didn’t have time to approve your comment.
    Secondly, we have a policy to not discuss moderation which threw this comment into moderation.
    Thirdly, if the guy behind the curtain sees my comment, he’s going to be mad at me because I agreed that I would not discuss moderation.

  69. The phrase “Man Up” is troubling–Does that mean that women aren’t able to be courageous?
    But it does seem to fit in with the Mancow/ MacDonald mindset

  70. hoodaticus,

    This is the sweetest thing someone could have said. I know you weren’t talking to me specifically – or really at all – but this moved me. I just wanted you to know.

  71. Rich,

    “Let’s be careful who we choose to champion the Faith or our Church.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    really don’t think anyone is looking to Mancow as a champion of the Faith or any church.

    it’s simply news of significance. James MacDonald’s inner circle is talking candidly. rather than enabling him.

    it’s a given we all do wrong. one is not required by any standard to broadcast one’s ‘sin laundry list’ as a prerequisite for publicly standing up for what is right.

  72. MacDonald sure didn’t mind using Mancow as a local celebrity buddy to promote things like “Act Like Men.” Now he’s getting nailed hard by Mancow’s unique megaphone.

    I just don’t see how the MacDonalds, or HBC, survive this. If the church weren’t so deep in debt, there’s probably enough loyalists who would continue to support them that they’d muddle along. But it’s doubtful that the ‘true believers’ would be enough to meet financial obligations of that magnitude.

    It drives me nuts when churches get underwater like that. What an embarrassment to Christianity.

  73. Iowa Steve:
    Thephrase “Man Up” is troubling–Does that mean that women aren’t able to be courageous?
    But it does seem to fit in with the Mancow/ MacDonald mindset

    I guess you will have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it,
    Do you see what I just did there..

  74. exharvestmember: What an embarrassment to Christianity.

    It gives the world another opportunity to say “See, there’s nothing to it.” The enemy gains ground when ministers and ministries stumble. There seems to be no fear of God these days, nor respect of the office of pastor, that would cause these men to walk with integrity before Him.

  75. Max:He then puts hand-picked yes-men elders (usually buds from his past) in place who help him indoctrinate the pew in reformed theology.

    When an “old buddy” of the new pastor comes from far off to lead up the “new and improved” elder team the pastors springs on the church while still in the honeymoon period, that’s when you start setting off the alarms. Happened in my neocal church. The pastor would have the old buddy/head elder preach from time-to-time, typically on topics such as why we needed to submit more thoroughly to God’s chosen man of wisdom for our congregation: of course, pastor. Interestingly, in time old buddy and pastor started going after each other and eventually, as people watched this comedy/tragedy playing out before their eyes, attendance dwindled as the control from the top and confusion grew, and the entire church imploded.

  76. Moderation Rules

    Don’t discuss it in comments.

    If you have a question about moderation contact us via the menu option at the top of each page.

    Anyone can be moderated. Even Dee and I at times. (Yes, it can be frustrating when we put up a comment and don’t notice it got caught.) We tend to be overly cautious with our rules to keep out SPAM and rude people.

    Attempting to bypass our moderation with cute spellings and “*” and such WILL result in someone being moderated with little hope of getting out.

    Arguing with us about what comments are OK and which are not can quickly resulting in similar results.

    And yes I did remove 2 comments about moderation which did not advance the conversation on this post.

    Please don’t reply to this.

    GBTC

  77. Law Prof: When an “old buddy” of the new pastor comes from far off to lead up the “new and improved” elder team the pastors springs on the church while still in the honeymoon period, that’s when you start setting off the alarms. Happened in my neocal church.

    It’s a common tactic in New Calvinist takeover of non-Calvinist churches – bring in a bud to help indoctrinate the pew into reformed theology. It must be in a “how to” book that’s passed secretly through the ranks in a brown paper bag.

  78. james,

    James I dont agree completely. I think the messenger does matter. As followers of Christ we have to be different. We are supposed to live holy, righteous lives. Stand out from the rest of the world, live in it but not be of it.Yes we fail, we sin, but always growing. If the Holy Spirit lives in us , we know whats right, we know if we are sinning. This disconnect from a private life to a public on air persona is disturbing. And then to call out another believer publically, even though its needed, strikes me as hypocritical.

  79. patriot134,

    “We are supposed to live holy, righteous lives….And then to call out another believer publically, even though its needed, strikes me as hypocritical.”
    ++++++++++++++

    what is holy and righteous is largely a cultural thing. unfortunately, it is more about tone and style and other cosmetic/surface things than it is honesty, integrity, etc.

    i promise you a holy, righteous life looks different in Brooklyn than it does in Nashville than it does in London than it does in Berkeley.

    there is nor more God-loving person than my mother-in-law in a different country. due to many cultural differences, she probably wouldn’t pass the litmus test in Mobile, AL, unless you really sat down and talked with her.

    It’s always the right time to stand up for what’s right. no matter the window dressing, no matter the rough edges, no matter the lack of perfection (which is subjective anyway)

  80. patriot134,

    What if this is what sanctification looks like for Mancow.

    Turning away from deceitful pastor and towards Christ boldly sharing truth in hopes others would be warned and James would wake up..

    Sanctification may often look like hypocrisy along the way to holy and blameless.

  81. elastigirl: there is nor more God-loving person than my mother-in-law in a different country. due to many cultural differences, she probably wouldn’t pass the litmus test in Mobile, AL, unless you really sat down and talked with her.

    It’s always the right time to stand up for what’s right. no matter the window dressing, no matter the rough edges, no matter the lack of perfection (which is subjective anyway)

    It really is a subjective thing.
    And here’s my subjective two-farthings:

    By being a Mensch (Yiddish for a person of integrity and honor) and not doing the kinds of things to others I wouldn’t want done to myself, I have all the righteous holiness the Almighty expects of me.

  82. patriot134: And then to call out another believer publically, even though its needed, strikes me as hypocritical.

    If we all thought like this we would need to keep our mouths shut and never stand up for anything evil or wrong. You say yourself, ‘it’s needed!’ If it’s needed it’s needed(.) We can’t wait until we’re perfect to do what’s right.

  83. Personality religious cult HBC Chicago has become subject to real attrition and the formulation of a debt crisis due in part by unending pulpit and leadership abusive decisions and practices.

  84. Bridget,

    I know it’s rough on his fans, who have cut their teeth on the contemporary style of good bands and entertainship, but does anyone really think of MacDonald as a ‘believer’ at this point? What, exactly, do they propose he believes in, minus honesty, integrity and love for others? So he has a talent for putting on a good show – he should have taken it to a different stage.

  85. TS00:
    Satin,

    Please elaborate.

    There are many similarities between the paths of MacDonald and his friend Driscoll. So it’s likely, as increasing empty pews and plates force action over the next few weeks, MacDonald will tear it all apart rather than submit to any sort of restoration, reconciliation, or resignation– just as Drscoll did at Mars Hill.

  86. Max: As you note, hopefully this is a step in the right direction

    It would be too much to hope for the next step in the right direction– an article by Keller or Carson saying “When we started out, we partnered with at least two domineering bullies, MD and JMac, because we thought they get the gospel right. We were wrong. They don’t.”

  87. HBC Chicago, is known for an alarming, increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the HBC Chicago community, (- certainly increasing the abuse of unsuspecting Divine worshipers ) – having the gradual effect of taking their generous tithe offerings under false pretenses, and making the parishomners, among other things, anxious, confused, and less able to trust and rely on Jesus.

  88. Satin,

    “It would be too much to hope for the next step in the right direction– an article by Keller or Carson saying “When we started out, we partnered with at least two domineering bullies, MD and JMac, because we thought they get the gospel right. We were wrong.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Tim Keller and Don Carson have too much to lose to be honest and forthright.

    yes, it is too much to hope for.

  89. funyun,

    Tried CCC St Charles and volunteered there…not a fan of the long messages. Just don’t understand why so many words, other than it must be speaker ego food or a diligent speaker belief that more words means greater kingdom impact. Reminds me of the Mark Twain quote: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

  90. Melb: not a fan of the long messages

    “A man with a great deal of well-prepared matter will probably not exceed forty minutes; when he has less to say he will go on for fifty minutes, and when he has absolutely nothing he will need an hour to say it in” (Charles Spurgeon)

  91. I remember when Mancow was a radio personality in my area & got his hair cut on the Bay Bridge tying up traffic.

  92. Melb,

    It’s why I do like attending mass from time to time. Short, pithy homilies. Eucharist taken seriously (though I don’t partake, as I’m not a received RC.)

    The associate pastor at CCC has smart, engaging sermons, and is very open and friendly. The senior pastor does tend to go on, and is a little too self-help for my liking. But they encourage Bible reading and service, and that is a good deal. Also, we met wonderful people there during our time. We attended for a year after having attended HBC for a short period.

  93. Satin: “When we started out, we partnered with at least two domineering bullies, MD and JMac, because we thought they get the gospel right. We were wrong. They don’t.”

    Funny that, the correlation between their ‘gospel’ and domineering bullying. Purely coincidental, I’m sure.

  94. Donna D.: I remember when Mancow was a radio personality in my area & got his hair cut on the Bay Bridge tying up traffic.

    Was that before or after he attended JMac’s “Act Like Men” conference?

  95. Max,

    Here is another one from Spurgeon:
    “It should be brief: if lengthy, it will steep
    Our hearts in apathy, our eyes in sleep.
    The dull will yawn, the chapel lounger doze,
    Attention flag, and memory’s portals close.”
    Much of what I have read on sermon length is from preachers who cite seminary textbooks. Many say the length should not be a fixed time and the subject dictates the length. Not sure on that. No question attention spans have decreased for most people in this faster paced culture. To me, it is what I take home and apply to daily life. Often, just a short Bible verse and brief comments about it becomes sticky and for me wanting more. Conversely, long, dragged out analysis dries up future desire as well as buries the central message under a mountain of words.

  96. Lisa,

    Yes. Don’t look for a Big Church, look for The Church. Not one with a professional band to please you, but one that sings praises to God. And not one with “A Pastor” but one with servant leaders and ministers.

  97. Lisa,

    Yes. Don’t look for a Big Church, look for The Church. Not one with a professional band to please you, but one that sings praises to God. And not one with “A Pastor” but one with servant leaders and ministers.

  98. Leroy:
    Beware multi-campus churches. The bigness can create a power trip for the leaders.

    Especially since they’re never honest enough to call them “parishes within MY denomination”.
    Not even “honestly dishonest” like George Plunkett of Tammany or Hinky-Dink McKenna of old Chicago.