“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” ― C.S. Lewis
Once again, I find myself over-whelmed with the sheer volume of changing information on two fronts: the SBC and Harvest Bible Chapel. I’m rather glad to be witnessing these changes since most of them are things I’ve written about for years. I’m glad to be alive and still blogging.
The Houston Chronicle report on SBC youth pastors
I have long been concerned about the number of reports about aberrant behavior exhibited by some youth pastors. It is important to understand that predators will go where the prey is gathering. So it is logical to assume that predators who target teens will be found involved in church youth activities. The Houston Chronicle looked at this issue in Preying on teens: More than 100 Southern Baptist youth pastors convicted or charged in sex crimes.
Once again, 2nd Baptist Houston (60,000 members) under Ed Young Sr. has provided an example of what not to do.
Chad Foster, a former firefighter was hired and ordained by 2nd Baptist preached abstinence and urged teens to sign a contract to save themselves for marriage. But he soon targeted underaged girls at the church’s Cypress campus for intimate text messages and physical contact. His brief career as a youth pastor ended in 2013 with guilty pleas to three counts of sexual assault of a child and two of online solicitation of a minor.
A 16-year-old girl with whom he illegally had sex testified at his sentencing.
…Second Baptist quietly fired him in 2010 after receiving complaints about lying and other inappropriate behavior, court records show. Church members and employees were among those who pointed out problems before his dismissal…..But church leaders did not inform youth group members and parents that Foster had been fired or why. Nor did they tell leaders of another church, the Community of Faith Church in Cypress, a non-SBC church that hired Foster to run its youth group in 2011. He found more targets there, court records show.
Second Baptist officials stayed quiet about Foster’s 2010 dismissal, even after Harris County detectives arrested Foster in 2011, investigators say.
…Second Baptist later settled at least two lawsuits filed by two of Foster’s victims.
…Second Baptist officials declined an interview request. But in a statement, the church said that Foster’s termination on Dec. 6, 2010, had “nothing to do with sexual abuse or allegations of sexual abuse.” The church said “Second Baptist was not made aware of any sexual misconduct by Foster until he was arrested in November 2011, almost a year after his termination.”
….The church, however, had received complaints about Foster’s general conduct and about his behavior with an adult girlfriend, court records show. Those complaints included questions about his dishonesty regarding going on a job interview, exceeding time and texting limits on his church-provided cellphone, and sharing a hotel room with his girlfriend on an out-of-town trip.
Regardless, Second Baptist gave Foster a “great reference,” according to testimony from the pastor of the church that later hired Foster, Community of Faith.
In 2013, Foster begged a female Harris County judge for leniency after pleading guilty to five felonies that were uncovered after he had become youth pastor at Community of Faith. Three victims – two who had met him at Second Baptist and one at Community of Faith — requested a long sentence.
The article points out that youth pastors receive little oversight and little to no training. In my former church, Providence Baptist Church, Doug Goodrich was an SEBTS seminary student. I will be telling more of this story in the weeks to come. Because the church did not act on some complaints that I believe they received, this monster went onto molest younger teen boys for another year became he was caught outside the church. He molested over 13 PBC teens and was sent to prison. They claimed he was not an employee but simply a volunteer. They offered weak and lame excuses for a horrific situation.The church allegedly refused to offer counseling to the boys since the families could take care of it.
Goodrich was improperlty supervised by the church which gave him much independence because he was a *seminary student* which probably meant he was thought to be more godly™ than everybody else. He was also at SEBTS, the local home for Reformed Baptist education which means he was really more godly than some. The senior pastor at the time was a Gospel Colaition council member.
Once again, kudos out to Robert Downen.
JD Greear plans to *unfriend* some churches for mishandling sex abuse victims.
Robert Downen, continuing on in his remarkable expose of the SBC reported Southern Baptist head calls for reforms, potential removal of multiple Houston churches. Add the words “Sovereign Grace church” as well.
Greear and Mohler are now dealing with the fact that the SBC looks no different than the RCC which should bring no end of gnashing of teeth. They find themselves with their backs against a wall. There are plenty of members of The Gospel Colaition and affiliated wannabes who are trying to figure out if they, too, have to apologize or can they attempt to grandfather in under Al Mohler’s (aka Papa Bear) Mea Culpa.
Greear realizes that things are not looking good and he is now proposing some things that I have always said they could do if they wanted to do so.
You see, the SBC always found ways to dump churches that had female pastors but claimed they couldn’t do it for the mishandling of child sex abuse because all churches are autonomous. Push came to shove and the Baptists looked really, really bad and voila! A plan was formed.
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention on Monday evening called for a “season of lament, sorrow, and repentance” over a sexual abuse crisis, and provided a list of 10 churches, including Second Baptist Church in Houston, that he said should be scrutinized for their handling of sexual abuses and potentially removed from the nation’s largest Baptist group.
Two of the other 10 churches are in Houston in addition to Second Baptist, a 60,000-member congregation that has long been pastored by former SBC President Ed Young
….Among the actions Greear said he will take: More resources for churches to deal with sexual abuse; more background checks for SBC leadership groups and entities; and changes to the SBC bylaws that would allow for the removal of churches that show a “wanton disregard for sexual abuse.”
The SBC president stressed that “every option is on the table,” including a registry of convicted or credibly accused church leaders and volunteers.
From what I can tell, he can declare that these recalcitrant churches would be “not in friendly cooperation” with the SBC. Essentially, they would be ghosted.
But the best one for many of us was that Sovereign Grace Louisville is included in this list. Yep-the home of CJ Mahaney himself.
In a rater amusing response, the family members (CJ and his his family make up 4 out of 7 pastors) and a few hangers on declared that CJ is awesome. Have they realized that CJ has been thrown under the bus yet?
As pastors who have known and worked with C.J.—most of us for decades—we unreservedly commend his character and support him in his role as a pastor. He is a man of personal integrity who is unswervingly committed to the gospel of Christ, and we are honored to serve with him.
Prediction: Given that the SBC is going after Mahaney and Ed Young of 2nd Baptist Houston, fireworks are sure to be on the horizon. Prepare for mudslinging. Some of these folks know where the bodies are buried…
Harvest Bible Chapel: MacDonald’s sons *resign* and a church employee claims that James MacDonald almost touched her crotch on a private jet.
Julie Roys posted Mancow Interview: Former Worship Leader at Harvest Accuses James MacDonald of Inappropriately Touching Her on Private Plane
This morning on Mancow Muller’s radio show on WLS/AM 890, Anne Green, a former worship leader at Harvest Bible Chapel, accused Harvest founder and senior pastor, James MacDonald, of touching her leg near her crotch during a trip on a private plane in 2005. The plane reportedly was one that MacDonald formerly shared with Bill Hybels, the founder of Willow Creek Community Church who recently stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Green said she responded by saying loudly, “You can’t touch me there!.” She said MacDonald laughed and replied, “I never would’ve thought Anne Green would be the one to bring down my ministry!”
Anne actually told me this story months ago, but I haven’t reported it because I’ve been seeking to get corroboration for her story. I’ll be publishing her complete story soon, including the testimony of others who were on staff at Harvest at the time.
Julie Roys also posted James MacDonald’s Sons Resign As Shakeup at Harvest Continues
The boys are distressed because they claim they wanted to stay at the church forever. Luke claimed he wanted to be the Senior pastor one day but was told to move along.
In his resignation letter, Lead Pastor Luke MacDonald said his “professional dream” had been “to one day grow to be the Senior Pastor of the church.” But he added that “conversations with elders and staff” had made it clear that he “should move forward to whatever God has next.”
Landon said he planned to work and die there.
Landon MacDonald, executive pastor of student ministries, said he “always thought that something like that would be said at my funeral having served at Harvest my whole life.” Landon said his years at Harvest have been wonderful and that teaching the students at Harvest has been “a dream come true.” But he expressed that the the past few months have been “painful and heavy in ways I didn’t think possible.”
Both of them appear to believe they had a sinecure due to their last name. My guess is the church is saving good money which can be thrown at The Elephant Debt (I couldn’t resist.)
Final thoughts: When I first started blogging, I remembered hoping that there would be enough material for regular blog posts. I’m so glad I stuck around to observe these last two weeks. It’s a great time to be a blogger focusing on the evangelical church.
Last night, my husband and I looked at this clip from Naked Gun and had a good laugh. I’ve posted it a few times and it seems appropriate to use now.
1 Batta BOOM
I wonder if the average pew – sitter will care? Not me, not my kids.
While googling earlier today in anticipation of Dee’s post, I came across this recent item at SBCvoices:
The last paragraph strikes me as a bit shocking. The writer seems to be less upset at the underlying story than at who is getting credit for drawing attention to it.
Are you saying you don’t care about sexual abuse or am I missing something?
It would be helpful to know who, what, when and where Greear knew. This has the whiff of CMA.
Also worth reading is Julie Roy’s blog article (below) about the new interim pastor at Harvest Naples who told the Naples congregation last Sunday that church leaders must never allow problems to be shared outside the elder board. Apparently not even when sin is involved. Can it be any more clear that these people are all about controlling everyone else?
They were the Heirs to Daddy’s Iron Throne.
I think he’s speaking in the voice of an HBC pew-warmer/tithing unit/sucker.
Doesn’t hurt them directly, their kid wasn’t molested, and they’re still getting that Dopamine Surge from the Worship Fix.
JMJ/Christian Monist related that he grew up in a Fundy church where one of the staff (Ass’t Pastor? Worship Leader?) was a pedo. It was an open secret; the Respectable Pillars of the Church would even steer new members with kids to Pastor Pedo so he would rape THEIR kids, not MINE.
Is this the same Ed Young of “Seven-Day Christian Sex Challenge” fame?
i.e. “NOT OUR FAULT! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
The fluid status between “employee”, “independent contractor”, and “volunteer” can be very convenient when it comes to responsibility and liability…
Video of Greear and Moore answering Houston Chronicle reporter Robert Downen’s question, whether the Second Baptist of Houston inquiry will include the coverup of Paul Pressler’s assaults on young men:
Clay Crouch, if it isn’t me, or my kids, or people they know kids, it is someone else’s prblem, not mine. I’ve seen it in church, in the school system…To a number of Baptists, only 700? Not enough of a percentage for me to be concerned, or involved.
Steve Bradley was an assistant pastor at Second Baptist of Houston for many years before becoming pastor in 1993 of Woodlands Parkway Baptist (now rebranded ‘Stonebridge’) Church, where he presided over the Andy Savage debacle.
well, that was a lotta nothin!
sure took lots and lots of words, nodding of heads, and grave facial expressions to say nothin.
“The plane reportedly was one that MacDonald formerly shared with Bill Hybels…”
Seems that they had a lot to share. I suspect that they also shared “How To” notes … how to become mega through stealth and deception … how to use and abuse your elder board … how to take the church for a ride to stuff your pockets … how to write books without living the words you give to others … how to become BIG in the Christian Industrial Complex and form a buddy-network that will protect you … how to receive the applause of men while doing church without God.
“Luke claimed he wanted to be the Senior pastor one day but was told to move along … Landon said he planned to work and die there.”
The MacDonald boys seemed more concerned about losing their jobs than the fact that their father “poured scorn on the Son of God, treated like dirt the blood of the agreement, and insulted the very Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10). Indeed, throughout all this mess, there has not been much mention of Jesus … not from the MacDonalds, HBC elders, HBC members. Just sad testimonies of deception, personal loss, and impacts on the church. Jesus is lost in the narrative. Such is the cult of personality.
In the Christian Industrial Complex, there is no fear of God … nil … zero … none … zilch.
No, this is his father, the pastor of “the monstrosity on Woodway” as I used to say every time I’d go by when I lived in Houston during the late 1980s. For the record, Homer Edwin Young is 82 years old, while Edwin Barry Young is 57.
As far as that whole “don’t wash the church’s dirty laundry in public or we’ll fire you” attitude from the elders of HBC Naples, I’d just like to point out that this is the sort of thing that allows *real crimes*, you know actions that can lead to hard times in barry places to occur. These elders should be *afraid* to take that much authority on themselves. And, yes, obviously, in light of the other subject we’re discussing here (coverups of child sexual abuse) this is exactly the WRONG lesson being demonstrated by the HBC Naples elder board.
Does anyone know where exactly the C.S. Lewis quote about the painfulness of the best is from? Just for my own purposes, I’d like to read the context of that one. Thanks!
“In humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
JD Greear might just be painting himself into a corner . Notice his wording “provided a list of 10 churches, including Second Baptist Church in Houston, that he said should be scrutinized for their handling of sexual abuses and potentially removed from the nation’s largest Baptist group.” The words “should and potentially” have specific meaning. Doesn’t mean he will or does have the authority to do this .
Now look at this other statement
“….Among the actions Greear said he will take: More resources for churches to deal with sexual abuse; more background checks for SBC leadership groups and entities; and changes to the SBC bylaws that would allow for the removal of churches that show a “wanton disregard for sexual abuse.”
The SBC president stressed that “every option is on the table,” including a registry of convicted or credibly accused church leaders and volunteers.”
The words “HE will “ and “ change SBC bylaws that would allow the removal of churches that show wanton disregard for sexual abuse”is also very interesting to note. It appears that at this point the bylaws MUST be changed in order to have the right to remove Second Baptist of Houston and Soverign Grace from SBC.
Words have meanings people. Greear’s words are carefully worded so don’t be surprised if nothing is done with these churches but the embarrassment of having their sinful behavior published for all to see. Those individual churches can say we have learned from these past errors and now have all polices in place to prevent this from happening again.
I am afraid if Greear does not act this time on these pastors and huge cash cow organizations many will be more disappointed and integrity completely thrown out the door. Time will tell .
If the SBC actually goes through and starts dismissing these churches, you can stick a fork in the SBC as a whole. Ed the Bed will pull his church out (not that it’s much more than a shell of its former self, anyone who was anyone moved to Gateway years ago) and probably a lot more megachurches (e.g. Prestonwood, maybe?) will decide they don’t need the SBC as much as the SBC needs them, and decide to go non-denominational.
The only churches left will be the small ones that are already dying out, but they will be easy pickings for Deformed theologians to take over.
Letters of C.S. Lewis (29 April 1959), para. 1, p. 285
(source: “The Quotable Lewis”, by Martindale and Root)
Unfortunately, the audio was not that clear. I could see by the body language that they were uncomfortable and unhappy. They did not seem prepared to answer tough questions. When you start naming names then you have to show that real action is taking place. You are exposed for the world to see.
Is there some hope they won’t bother? In my region, when another denomination had a schism, most of the fights happened in the churches with big congregations, historic properties, or other valuables. Maybe the “reformers” will leave the humble little SBC churches alone.
Doubt it. They see small churches as having the possibility of becoming big ones. And smaller churches tend to be easier to take over. They definitely took over all the small churches are SEBTS.
Plus, even small churches have voting rights at convention.
Thank you very much!
Dee et al.,
Go easy on Luke and Landon. I agree that they were acting entitled and needed to be dismissed, and by no means am I excusing their misbehavior. But let’s remember, they grew up in that warped environment. This is literally all they’ve ever known. How many of us would have done better?
They are now paying the due penalty for their father’s sins, as well as their own. That’s as Biblical as it gets. I just pray that they come out of this stronger and wiser. At least there’s still hope for them. Not so sure about their Old Man…
Deformed Theology believes it and it alone is the only true interpretation of Christianity (and remember, Calvin had no qualms killing his opponents).
And ishy is right; they can see small churches becoming big ones (Village Church had barely 200 members when Chandler took over). Plus like with Village, the big church can take over smaller ones, turn them into Deformed plants, then spin them off (like they did with their Denton campus and are trying to do with their Plano and Dallas Northway campuses).
Also with most other denominations, the properties themselves were owned by the denomination. Not the case in the SBC barring some deed restriction in the property which requires the congregation to remain SBC or forfeit their property (I know one church that has such a restriction–it’s Deformed SBC so it’s in no danger).
You mean all this time they were not allowed to read the Bible for themselves? I can understand as children, they had to do what JMacD and his wife told them to do, but when they became adults they couldn’t decide to do ministry elsewhere? And if they did decide that would cause the church to collapse?
I know Gateway is not a great example to use on this board, but two of Morris’ three children either are or will be moving out of the area to start their own churches (Josh in Austin, Elaine in Houston). Only James is left and I’ve never heard him preach on the platform (maybe once if I really search through all the old videos?) Yet they’re not collapsing as a result of the kids going elsewhere.
What an excellent CS Lewis quote at the top of the post!
Diabolical Daliberati : “The Inside Is Now The Outside, Perhaps?”
“Among the actions Greear said he will take: More resources for churches to deal with sexual abuse; more background checks for SBC leadership groups and entities; and changes to the SBC bylaws that would allow for the removal of churches that show a ‘wanton disregard for sexual abuse. ‘ ”
…and changes to the SBC bylaws that would allow for the removal of churches that show a “wanton disregard for simple ‘common sense’…” ?
♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…We’re gonna dump Mahaney, we simply can’t wait for June…
Cuz, every buddy’s gone 501c3 surfing, dumpin’ SBC… (1)
Illustrious Doctor Al Mohler, we’re surfing…
I always wondered about the Harvest bible church which we attended briefly-the senior pastor(who had a affair)remarked from the pulpit that the refuges (that the church helped) did not have the same teachings as the United States and did not understand that their children needed not to roam and should be around their parents for their physical protection.I wondered what happened as years ago I ran across a ad in the personal column of our Craiglist that warned parents to stay away from Harvest because the pastor allowed a child abuser to operate their and did nothing about it.Then their was the incident were the husband let our kids to go on a youth sleepover (over my protest) and we got jacked up in front of the church because one of them was playing on his phone which I allowed him to take it to call
his sister( who also went).What kind of church tells kids not to take their phones so they can be in touch with their parents in this day and age.They stated that they could have called us if needed -yeah right !
That’s super creepy!
I listened to the interview with Anne Green. How sad. I really hope her story is unusual, and that more women weren’t assaulted by JMac. But, this type of behavior usually seems to be a pattern.
If there are more stories, they need to come out. JMac needs to experience consequences.
And, mental note. Never get on Mancow’s bad side. I wasn’t sure about him, since he’s a former JMac buddy, and generally a rascal. But he seems to be the conduit for many of the consequences that JMac is experiencing.
I was reading churchleaders.com. [I really need a hobby.] They had an article called, ”
Mega Pastoral Vacancies in Mega-Churches.” It seems that so many of these older preachers are retiring, and it’s hard to find younger replacements. Hopefully, some of the unhealthiness of the mega-church bubble is beginning to burst.
Isn’t perfect for this situation?
One of the few things I don’t question was our rejection of sleepovers for our kids – even at a friend’s. Sorry, one simply has no idea of what a child might be exposed to from a husband, cousin, brother, friend of brother, etc. I’m pretty sure their lives were not ruined by not experiencing sleepovers. Thanks to growing up in a very small church (my family essentially WAS the youth group), I was never immersed in the ‘youth group’ culture, and never thought a bunch of under-supervised immature kids was such a great idea.
I know that they were not well liked by many people. I have a rule. Pastor’s family members are off limits UNLESS they go into the ministry or some parachurch deal. These men are no longer boys. They should have the basic intellectual capacity to evaluate alternatives.
Take MacDonald’s anger. I grew up in a home in which my Russian father would have concerning outbursts of anger. I had a few friends whose fathers (and mothers) were similar. As a child, then a teen, I knew that his anger was inappropriate. I entered my adult years being very cautious about expressions of anger since I knew my father handled this inappropriately.
All this to say…they, as rational adults supposedly directed by the Holy Spirit, knew what was going on and knew it was inappropriate UNLESS they have ASD or have a mental illness.
So I’m glad they are gone and hope this is a wake up call to deal with their issues now. that they are men and not boys.
Sorta my thinking as well. For all we know, he could erase any evidence of either his or his friends’ complicity from the tapes he selectively exhibits. I can’t escape the feeling of a game of chicken being played between Mancow and the JMac mafia. ‘If you don’t do XYZ, then I will reveal a little more . . .’ If one was about exposing the lies, wouldn’t one share all one knows and let th chips fall where they ought?
Our society used to have expectations for families caught up in scandal. They were supposed to show integrity by taking themselves out of polite society. Nowadays we associate that with 1950s-style banishment of girls who got pregnant, but something more lofty was often at play. An innocent executive caught up in a company’s financial scandal would take his family and go live in obscurity.
Long ago I knew a couple who came from riches and prominence. When their family experienced shame, they moved to a tiny bungalow and started completely over. They did not expect jobs, acceptance, understanding, or forgiveness—let alone prominence and admiration for making a comeback. Among other things, obscurity freed their children from any appearance of hypocrisy.
This was certainly not a perfect system, but it did incorporate humility as a virtue for the rich and powerful.
Agreed. I suffered a great deal of anger and emotional abuse from my father, and when I had a family of my own I sought very prayerfully to treat them with gentleness and respect. And though our contact was limited, I sought to protect my kids from my father, though I knew he intended them no harm. He simply did not grasp how inappropriate and damaging his speech was, at least in my opinion. His favorite way to greet my mother was ‘Hey, fatso.’ When he was younger, my oldest son used to hide in his room when my father was visiting. He is now old enough to talk about it, and how uncomfortable my father’s ‘teasing’ made him.
All that to say, my father’s bullying led me to be a defender of bullies, rather than an imitator. We all have choices to make, and people who have been traumatized and abused are NOT condemned to mirroring the behavior of their abusers.
Oops, should read ‘a defender of those bullied, rather than an imitator of the bully’
I feel differently.
Luke MacDonald and Landon MacDonald are both grown, educated men in their thirties. They also held executive/high level positions within the huge Harvest organization, and had authority over many people including vulnerable students. They are fully responsible for their attitudes, actions and consequences.
People (like myself) who’ve had a disordered, unethical, abusive, controlling parent always have a choice… do they live with integrity, compassion, different values and accept the rejection of the disordered parent… or do they degrade themselves with the craving for approval, wealth and privileges that their disordered parent can give them?
This terrible dynamic happens in numerous families. Yes, there is a great deal of trauma experienced by a child of an abusive, manipulative parent. But that doesn’t mean the child’s integrity is destroyed. To say “how many of us would do better?” is hurtful to me. A lot of us do better, far better. Every generation has a choice.
Always Expanding — both the definition of Empire and the philosophy of the cancer cell.
I’m with you Song of Joy. I come from a non-Christian verbally abusive family going back at least three generations that I know of. Then I met the Living God, Jesus who says he has the right to be called Lord of our life. I took that seriously and submitted my whole life to Him – I read the entire Bible year and after and practiced it. Obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit. Gave up my rights to serve others. 35 years later here I am- no verbal abuse in my marriage, increasingly patient, full of compassion for others and intentionally kind when I’m angry. I thought that’s what the Christian life was all about- transformation in this life and joy eternal when we die. Landon and Luke could have chosen the same. It was right there in the Bible they quoted to people every week. They still can choose. With Jesus, none of us need be bound by our past.
While no one can judge someone all in all, saying they know they’d have done better given their nature and nurture and circumstances, one can say that you’re not doomed to follow in the sins of your parents. Look at the Bible, the back-and-forth, where one generation does good in the sight of the Lord, then the next one tears it all down, then the next builds it up, and so on. So these guys, being adults, are responsible for their actions 100%.
My wife had a rough upbringing. Parents were divorced when she was 6. She went to 12 different schools in 13 years. Mother married and divorced 3 times. Abuse from step-sibling. She graduated first in her high school class went to college on a scholarship, graduate degree in the hard sciences, now a faculty member in higher ed and we’ve been married 30 years. You do not get a pass because your parents are messed up.
I can personally testify that the small churches are very much on their radar! Our church was nearly destroyed by a fresh-faced, 30-something YRR “reformer” straight from Southern Seminary. I think they will try to take anything they can get. However, he found out that the ‘sheep’ at a small church can bite back hard!
i.e. a Calvin Youth who had just graduated into the Truly Reformed SS.
“But the hearts of Men are easily corrupted; and a Ring of POWER has a Will of its own.”
I’m glad they’re gone too. Now they’ll likely have to stand on their own two feet, with their surname a hindrance rather than a wheel-greaser. Problem is, they probably don’t have much of a skill set beyond the pulpit, so going out and getting a real job might not be an option.
But it’s not so easy to outgrow one’s upbringing. For example, I have a lot of issues with how I was raised, and I’m trying very hard to not be my father. Even so, it’s difficult, especially in moments of weakness. Whether Luke and Landon have been trying is unclear, but they’d be well advised to start now.
I’m sorry to have caused you hurt, but I stand by that question. It’s a fair one.
Sounds like my father.
And I dealt with it as a kid most of the time by going back to my room and spending a lot of time alone.
To this day I don’t think my Dad grasps that repeatedly running down other people verbally (and being constantly negative and complaining) is not cute, funny, or acceptable.
He doesn’t recognize it as harmful or as being verbal abuse.
I kind of agree with you, but when I was growing up with a hyper critical father who was verbally abusive (and my sister takes after him), I did’t realize in the front of my mind that such behavior was abusive until I got into adulthood.
I think when I was a kid and teen I suspected it was wrong, but when you grow up, that is the only example you get, so you accept abusive behavior as being normal.
I, however, did not like it, so I didn’t go around verbally abusing other people. But I didn’t know just how wrong it was or that it was abuse until middle age.
When you marinate in abuse while you’re growing up, you come to assume that negative behavior is normal and that everybody else’s fathers act just like yours.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
It’s absolutely ridiculous. As a Youth Team Manager who has both paid staff & volunteers under my remit I can say that the buck stops with me for both sets, as to their safe behaviour around children & young people.
I’m a Safeguarding Lead for my whole organisation too, much bigger than just my wing & I can confidently say that Child Safeguarding is everyone’s business, as is the care & safeguarding of anyone vulnerable our organisation comes across, as well as the behaviour anyone who interacts with them in our name, paid or not.
SBCExplainer is “taking a break” from Twitter after characterizing TWW and similar voices as “particularly aggressive” and “at times vicious”. In a series of since-deleted tweets, he excused Southern Baptist ignorance of evidence provided here: people might see critiques of complementarianism and of church covenant contracts, that makes this site off-limits.
Different subject but somehow similar as far as denominations splittings are concerned. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in St.louis this weekend at a special called General Assembly within the United Methodist Church reguarding it’s handeling of the homosexual issues that continue to come up within that (my own) particular church. Seems that the top leadership would like to remove any negative references toward homosexuality from the Methodist Book of Discipline and allow the ordaining of practiceing homosexuals to the ministry and also allow same sex marriage in churches that agree to it. Currently the Book of Discipline labels the homosexual lifestyle as not consistent with Christian teaching. There is strong opposition from the other side but my own guess is that some form of ruling advancing the LGBT cause will be adopted. Look out for a major split within Methodism to come out of this. Neither side will take no for an answer so it’s going to hit the fan I’m afraid.
It’s called “Born to the Purple” or “Born to the Throne”.
Exactly. I appreciate what Mancow is doing, and “enjoy” the irony of it all. But I don’t trust anyone named “Mancow,” and it’s completely possible that he would use the leverage of the unplayed “tapes” for his own advantage.
My guess is that the MacDonald boys will find a church job somewhere. Unless they’ve been building some skills in their spare time, to misquote Mohler, “Where else are they gonna go?” It’s a great opportunity for them to find out who they are as individuals, apart from Daddy’s shadow.
No sympathy. These two men in their thirties, probably college educated, should thank their lucky stars for the low unemployment rate. They can even humble themselves and find work outside their chosen field, like millions of other people. One of them worked maintenance and security at Harvest… plenty of jobs there.
Definitely. I sincerely believe they take on small traditional SBC churches as a test to show the big boys that they can “reform” a congregation and add them as their own jewel to the New Calvinist treasury. Somehow in their warped spiritual minds, they justify stealth and deception to accomplish that mission for the good of the overall movement. They will have hell to pay for such behavior … using the name of Jesus and abusing the office of pastor to takeover and split churches.
After a mediocre career as a lawyer and a six-year interlude in tech sales which was lucrative for a time but fell apart after the Tech Bust and 9/11, in my mid-30s I had to reset my career, got into teaching at a small college (making beans at first), then picked up a second grad degree part time, going into debt, and finally got into full time teaching at a university making a wage that could support my family. It wasn’t easy, had a to sacrifice a lot. But careers can be reset when you’re in your 30s—or older.
I doubt James’ and Kathy’s parents were exactly paragons of virtue either, based on the people they raised.
That said, Luke’s development is very stunted; as demonstrated in this comment from Julie Roys’s blog:
Reaping the Harvest
February 20, 2019 at 6:15 am Reply
“Glad to see Luke go. He was only a shade away from his father. I’ve been a witness to more bullying, belittling, and obscene behaviour from Luke Macdonald than James. Shouting, swearing, demeaning and cruel things said to and about students in the ministry. When I was an intern for student min he used to pee in cups in the office during meetings. Lots of strange behavior like this no doubt led to the Paxton Singer situation and subsequent cover up.”
What secular institution would allow this kind of behavior? And what church allows this in God’s house?
I’m sorry, but there is no evidence in the young MacDonalds’ resignation letters and HBC member testimonies about them that they are spiritual men. They both need a career reset, rather than looking for ministry employment elsewhere.
I did something very similar. I don’t really feel sorry for anyone who has a cushy high paying job because of who they are related to.
I do agree with this, though. If I only had their resignation letters to judge their fitness for ministry, I would say they are not qualified. They were both clearly much more concerned about themselves than who they were ministering to.
As usual, I agree with you. They likely aren’t fit for any role within the church, given what they’ve enabled and encouraged and given the way they apparently are stuck on self. I might take it farther. I think christendom would be a better place if every single church leader in the world were to step down tomorrow and tell the people in the pews, “Let’s just try to make this work out together and all of us be parts of the Body of Christ, but without a head, because Jesus is the head, and none of us it fit to be that, and let’s do this without leaders as the world knows them, but let’s let the leaders rise up naturally, they’ll be the ones who serve people the most, sacrifice the most, and make themselves the lowest of all.”
I once knew a pastor who’d served decades in China who claimed Chairman Mao was the greatest revivalist in the history of the world, because he shut down the formal churches and imprisoned all the pastors.
Daisy, you are absolutely right, and the same thing happened to me (as a young person not being consciously aware that it’s pervasive abuse, and not achieving full understanding of the trauma until middle-age).
Lab Corp? 😉
That reminds me of the drug screen I had to pass in order to obtain my current job.
In addition, I had to pass a comprehensive background check. I suspect neither was required at some of the churches we’ve been recently discussing.
Yes, a Methodist pastor friend told me that she (very sadly) anticipates the “United Methodist Church” becoming the “Disjointed Methodist Church” after the conference.
She added that she hopes the church will recall that it is the church of God Himself…not the church of any other person or cause.
“She added that she hopes the church will recall that it is the church of God Himself…not the church of any other person or cause.”
i don’t see how this can possibly be a true statement.
the church of God Himself means whatever “I and my group” think concerning God.
That IS weird. Sort of a “Look what I can get away with” kind of thing.
I’m old enough to remember when preachers of the Gospel weren’t in it for the remuneration! In the good ole days before mega and mega-maniacs, men felt called into the ministry and left their compensation up to God – no questions asked. In rural America, some received chickens and produce from the farm community, an occasional side of beef, pickup trucks of firewood, and other practical things of that sort … living in parsonages provided by the church, rather than mansions. But, boy, could they preach!!
I suspect you’ve just described the true Church at the end of time, when desperation causes the Body of Christ to become one, when pulpiteer fame and fortune is no more, when the pew prays as it ought and does the work of the ministry themselves to reach lost souls.
Oh so sad … these boys were having such a great time at church! While Daddy was shooting at pics of elders with his little pellet pistol and hitting on worship leaders on his jet. HBC was great family-fun time for the whole bunch!! The joy ride is over – now what will they do?
An article (https://baptistnews.com/article/1990s-documentary-about-sbc-battle-over-women-in-ministry-now-online-for-free/) at Baptist News Global tells me that a 1997 PBS documentary entitled “Battle for the Minds” has become available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuFFRx8Bj30&t=2s.
These parts description of the documentary are why I think it will be of interest to fellow Wartburgers:
Max: Oh so sad … these boys were having such a great time at church!While Daddy was shooting at pics of elders with his little pellet pistol and hitting on worship leaders on his jet.HBC was great family-fun time for the whole bunch!!The joy ride is over – now what will they do?
Sadly, probably move to Naples and find a new church for their family-fun time and new sheep to fleece for money. Also, Luke’s time is far too important to be wasted on bathroom time like the rest of us, there’s always go$pel work to be done, after all, time is money!
Well, after all the bad press about the MacDonald clan, if the good people of Naples take them on, they deserve each other. “Church” is anything but that in many places in America … Naples might as well get a dose of that culturally-relevant stuff, too.
Yeah, this is the same guy who a few years before this was OPPOSING an SBC Resolution against female pastors that was pushed through by the Fundamentalists:
“In the wake of the recent Southern Baptist Convention resolution on women, we, the undersigned members of Louisville area Southern Baptist Churches, express our disapproval of this action…we affirm equal participation of women and men in the life and work of the church; and…we affirm traditional Baptist polity which recognizes the autonomous character of each local Baptist church, and allows for no institution, individual, or convention to speak for Southern Baptists.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Mary Kahler Mohler
R. Albert Mohler
Roy L. Honeycutt
#NoHope4Escape: “The most-recognized and popular face of neo-Calvinism is now once again in decline & retrograde?”
“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.” Jeremiah 6:14
Let’s step back a bit, shall we?
With former President C. J. Mahaney’s heavy handed spiritual oversight within ‘Sovereign Grace Ministries’ churches (now known as ‘Sovereign Grace Churches’) there was always this group ‘cultic’ type veiled threat of making individual or private family details public, as this widely documented group prided itself upon profusely identifying, exposing and examining the perceived sin in their fellow parishioners. As one can assume, as this questionable behavior progressed, only to become a highly dangerous and toxic closed culture, with its profuse painfully negative dramatic out-workings at every level.
The whistle blower:
A class-action lawsuit filed Oct. 17, 2012
New Calvinists leaders cut their losses:
A Must Read: “Al Mohler’s Incomplete Apology: My Story” by …
Where’s there’s smoke there’s fire?
—> Kind Folks are hurting out there, ya think? how much proverbial smoke do you persuasively need?
“The only hope for SGM (ed. now SGC) is keeping their parishoners in the dark and providing them a profound denial and misinformation. That has been their agenda from the very beginning. The only problem is that the God of light is committed to expose their deeds of darkness. By various forms of media, and personal victim, and eye witness testimony, more and more keeps coming out and more and more churches and the beleaguered parishioners within them are bound to leave…” -Bret Detweiler.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” -Ephesians 5:8-11
‘The gates O’ Hell, shall not prevail…’
♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…“When trouble fills my world
You bring me peace
You calm me down
You’re my release
When walls come crashing around my feet
You light my way, sweet Jesus…“
AKA “Because I Can. I’m Pastor’s Son & Heir to the Pulpit.”
Daddy really should have named him “Joffrey”.
“I suspect you’ve just described the true Church at the end of time, when desperation causes the Body of Christ to become one, when pulpiteer fame and fortune is no more, when the pew prays as it ought and does the work of the ministry themselves to reach lost souls.”
when a disaster strikes (natural, whatever), people are stripped of everything except their humanity.
the ostentatious crowns of the christian servant-leader, church members-only jackets, headscarves, veils, & all manner of religious garb tumble and tatter away.
political labels and enmity flake off in the wind.
similarly, sexuality labels and prejudices crumble.
when things get dire enough, everyone helps everyone. everyone needs & depends on everyone.
it would be neat if this could happen without catastrophe.
The Church has always been at its best during times of persecution, adversity, war, economic depression, natural disasters, etc. In the good times, most church folks forget about God and play religious games. He told Israel not to do that; It’s not any different for Christendom. I don’t see the American church flushing all the stuff and seeking God with all their heart until the bad times come.
Well, New Calvinists and Southern Baptists ought to be choking on it by now! There’s been plenty to go round.
Sopy, you have documented the handwriting on the wall well. The watchblogs have tried for years to interpret the scribbles for religious folks, but they were too enamored with their heroes of the faith (which turned out to be bad-boys disguised as preachers).
You get the prize for putting us back on topic!
As to Harvest, one of the things I am not seeing addressed is the enormity of comments about the culture of fear. I have seen these on TED comments, published articles, youtube videos and individual tweets.
It is a very important thing to address the financial shenanigans, and the fraud that appears to have taken place. But IMO, even more important is the spiritual abuse and manipulation that has been systemic. And the high-placed figures who have, almost without doubt, been witness to it, including elders, pastors, big name connections at Moody, CT, SBC, TGC, etc.
Individuals have used words and phrases like ‘threats’, ‘violence’ and ‘watch your back’, all of which are extremely concerning and out of place for any so-called ‘church’. Just what were the tactics used, or threats made that kept so many mouths shut, even of the many, many who left?
Were there actual physical threats, as the word ‘violence’ suggests? Was blackmail used, by getting ‘the goods’ on others? Is that why tapes exist, that expose not only MacDonald but others who witnessed his unacceptable speech? Some have hinted at fear that their careers (preaching, recording, worship leadership, etc.) would be ended if they spoke up against MacDonald.
Is it possible that it is much more than NDA’s, but that people were genuinely afraid of what MacDonald can and will do to them? And if so, does such a culture of fear exist elsewhere, at other Mega-churches or religious organizations? It seems to me that former pastors, worship leaders, elders and other staff need to be questioned to see what was behind the culture of fear at Harvest.
This is fairly common in the New Calvinist movement; it’s not confined to mega only. There are lots of stories within SBC of new reformers taking over SBC traditional churches by stealth, deception, manipulation and intimidation … their modus operandi. The Houston Chronicle could write a whole new series on this form of abuse!
Luke clearly thought he was entitled to inherit the family business. I attended Harvest RM until the revelations of the Elephant’s Debt shined light on the sickness of HBC and the MacDonald family. I have heard Luke sing and preach, and he has a knack for neither. I have also heard stories of how terribly he has treated volunteers. One mild-mannered family friend had to stop himself from punching Luke in the face over his terrible treatment of those who selflessly served at the church.
I hope Luke saved some of that 200k+ salary. If I were him I would downsize my lifestyle and go back to school to learn a new skillset. Ironically, I once attended a Connect (HBC young adults group) that was run by Luke during or shortly after the recession. During the event he made jokes about all the people in the room that chose impractical majors and could not find jobs, unlike himself. It definitely rubbed a few of us the wrong way considering he did not attain his position based on merit. For the record, I only attended Connect once…
With leadership like that, it sounded more like DisConnect … disconnected from the Father who expects better from those who represent Him.
‘There’s so much more than this…’
if ya just wake up!
♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…Wa aa Oh at Oh Oh… 🙂
The culture of fear is how dictators and autocrats keep order (their own) and aggrandize themselves.
It’s as old as the Pharaohs and knows no religious or secular boundaries.
Bob Woodward wrote an excellent book on the culture of fear (released on 11 Sept. 2018).
“And if so, does such a culture of fear exist elsewhere, at other Mega-churches or religious organizations?”
Carl Trueman wrote of attacks/threats Todd Pruitt received for challenging the doctrine of powerful men. that benefits them with more power & on which they’ve staked their careers, reputations, and revenue streams.
i bring this one up again in a hope of somehow chiseling away at these professional christian men without a conscience who hide behind Jesus Christ.
“The Big Eva world is indeed run as the personal fiefdom of a few,…
But cross those few, or touch their dogmatic golden calves, and you can expect the fight back to be dirty, relentless, increasingly dangerous, and by and large hidden from the watching world
When Todd told me of the vicious attacks he was receiving yesterday, I was shocked to know the name of the person involved. But then again I was not shocked at all — such vile attacks are part of the culture.
And that’s why Todd pulled his original post about Burk’s article: the relentless behind-the-scenes attacks are tiring and discouraging,”
And leave Lifestyles of the Rich, Famous, and Holy to which he is accustomed?
HE’S A MACDONALD! SON OF A SUPERAPOSTLE!
Like child pornography magically appearing on your computer?
(Just before the anonymous tip to the police.)
“Bright, Bright Sòn Shiny Day, Perhaps?”
I’ve been liking yòuze ‘scribblés’ bedda…
– = –
The two year time frame for implementing the SBC plan is another two years of molested children. Predators know that if they still have time, they will continue to offend.
The whole facade of Harvest needs to be pulled down, and its real workings revealed, once and for all. Money issues, fired staff, staff who chose to leave, members who were shown the door, shady deals that enrich a few while leaving the members with an extraordinary load of debt, and so much more. It is time to shine the light and expose all of the cockroaches.
It is not enough to say ‘Oh sorry, I guess we were a little naughty.’ All of these elders need to make detailed confessions, then be dismissed. No one who has been a part of the machine can possibly be healthy, objective and discerning. Then, once the personnel are dealt with, the structures need to be examined; for few of those are healthy enough to be retained either. A few band-aids are not going to be enough to treat this stage IV cancer.
Mars Hill found that task impossible after Driscoll’s exit. The disease had metastasized to all 13 campuses; too many Driscollites to put band-aids on. The potty-mouth’s DNA was all over them. Within 6 months, Mars Hill was disbanded then dissolved. When ministries are built around a cult of personality – rather than the person of Christ – they’re done when the Man is done. I truly grieve for the good people of Harvest Bible Chapel, but can the destiny of MacDonald’s ministry be any different than Driscoll’s former haunts?
Sounds like a modern-day revival (in the theatrical context, not the religious one) of Eli and his sons.
Has anyone else wondered how many of the commenters at Julie Roys’ blog have the last name MacDonald?
No. They are writing of Ed Young Sr. The son of this liberal pastor is even further from the truth.
These two are products of the SBC. Doesn’t say much for their discernment, does it?
I hope everyone here feels good making comment and then gets on their knees to pray for our churches. The Holy Spirit is cleansing the church of the demonic and sin that has creeped in. We need the Holy Spirit now more than ever to fill us and cleanse us. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.(Mt 5). I believe a great revival is coming to bring in the lost . Are we ready?
I suspect that most TWW commenters do just that. None of us like making comments about the condition of the American church … but without watchmen on the wall, who would inform and warn the Body of Christ of these things.
For those who aren’t, here’s how you get there:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)