Recently, Mancow played the following recording on his show. It is my understanding that a number of listeners recorded the broadcast. One of those alert readers thought I, along with TWW readers, might be interested in listening to the show. I miss the show and jumped at the chance.
Warning: this recording is disturbing on a number of levels and will reveal the *man behind the scenes.” I wanted to get this recording up so readers can begin to listen to it. I will be posting a number of my comments about this recording shortly.
Here is a list of the people you will hear or will hear mentioned in the program. Mancow and Julie Roys discuss and introduce the recording.
Who is on the recording?
- James MacDonald
- Johnnie Moore (PR guy): Johnnie is on the speaker phone with James MacDonald while Wayne Shepherd and others listen in.
- Wayne Shepherd (Walk in the Word host) (It sounds like him but not sure)
- Jeremy Weber who appears later in the audio is the deputy managing editor of Christianity Today (CT)
Who is mentioned by MacDonald and Moore in the recording?
- Jeremy Weber, deputy managing editor of Christianity Today (CT)
- Harold Smith, President and CEO of CT
- Ed Stetzer, contributing editor of CT, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, and Moody Radio host
- Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of CT
- Julie Roys, journalist and former Moody Radio host who’s working on an investigative story on Harvest for WORLD Magazine (at the time of this audio)
Who is Johnnie Moore?
- Member of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board
- President of the KAIROS Company
- Board member of the National Association of Evangelicals
- Hired by James MacDonald to guide him through PR regarding Julie Roys’ investigation for WORLD Magazine and the lawsuit he filed against Roys and The Elephant’s Debt bloggers and their wives.
What is the timing of this recording?
Christianity Today had just published James MacDonald Sues Harvest Bible Chapel Critics for Libel, Oct. 30, 2018, and MacDonald. is displeased. MacDonald wants CT to post an article written by him, explaining his *side of the story.* Surprisingly, CT decides to go ahead and give MacDonald carte blanch (in my opinion) to write an Op -Ed. James MacDonald: Why Suing is Sometimes the Biblical Choice,” Nov. 2, 2018 (just s few days later!)
It appears that Moore is advising MacDonald on how to manipulate CT so they’ll change how the portray MacDonald and allow MacDonald publish an op-ed (in other words- written by him.). Then, MacDonald takes a call by Jeremy Weber (CT.)
Some comments to think about.
I wonder if CT would let me do an Op-Ed on this situation?
–(Moore) I’ve worked with JEREMY a long time. He will change things. He will adjust things. He’ll respond.”
–(Moore) Let’s see if JEREMY changes it. And if JEREMY . . . either way you call HAROLD. But first, you know, you see if JEREMY . . .
–(MacDonald) Do you know MARK GALLI MARK GALLI is a certifiable prick.
–(Moore) Yeah, I agree with that.
-(MacDonald) Oh yeah, so I’m suggesting the following. Um,
“HAROLD SMITH Exposes Himself During CT Mishandling of Scandal”
“MARK GALLI Acknowledges Ongoing Tension Re: Affair With JULIE ROYS”
And, “ED STETZER Fails To Stop Unwanted Erection of CHRISTIANITY TODAY Tabloid”
JULIE ROYS is going to be riding around with a midget on her shoulders and CHRISTIANITY TODAY’s going to be saying she’s awesome.
–(Moore) if JEREMY doesn’t change it, then it’s a different conversation.
–(MacDonald) I will call off the plan to put, uh, child porn on HAROLD’s, uh, computer.
–(MacDonald): I also told ED that he had to let me do a guest, a guest spot on his blog. So, um, we’ll see what he says. He’s very, very loathe to do anything that, you know, um. I’m also am working on an article, “BRIAN McCLAREN, ROB BELL and OTHER APOSTATES Endorsed By CT.”
J Mac the meekest man on earth
(JMac) No. Johnnie trust me, trust me. People have no idea. If, if meekness is power under control, I am the meekest man on the face of the Earth. I have taken no retaliatory action toward all of these people for six years. And I have only with great reluctance filed a lawsuit with a very measured and reasoned explanation. I talked to ten or fifteen Christian leaders to get their advice, including you, on what to do, how to do it. I’ve done everything by the book. You know. It’s only my thought life that’s breaking bad, not my actions.
J Mac discussing who allegedly supported his lawsuit
So the decision, uh, to go and take the bloggers to court is a very, very measured, thought-through, I mean from RAVI ZACHARIAS to JACK GRAHAM, if I listed you the number of people, GENE GETZ (Sr. Pastor Fellowship Bible Church North in Dallas, TX, and former board member at Moody Bible Institute). (ed. note: Jack Graham is the head pastor of the ginormous Prestonwood Baptist Church)
J Mac who claims the following folks helped him realize that he didn’t need to turn the cheek any longer.
I just became convinced through talking to people, and this is, WAYNE GRUDEM (prominent evangelical theologian & professor at Phoenix Seminary) is a part of it, and you guys do reference that. But he would be one of many people, GENE GETZ just changed his Bible, his, uh, uh, Study Bible. The ESV study bible, I’m very good friends with JUSTIN TAYLOR (exec. VP Crossway Publishing), and the ESV Study Bible just changed their position on it, that First Corinthians six is about individual brothers.
J Mac’s bizarre claim about Julie Roys.
Seriously? Julie Roys is running around to homes of victims, yelling that there’s a cover up at Harvest?
I don’t hate any of these people. JULIE ROYS, you should know again, a little background. JULIE ROYS was last week approaching the houses of people who are victims in a DCFS investigation and shouting out front with another person who used to attend our church, um, “There’s a cover-up at Harvest! There’s a cover-up!” Ya know, and just, it’s—it’s just insanity. It’s like they’re gonna be—I said to my buddy, I said, they’re gonna be, she’s going to be like riding a tricycle with a midget on her shoulders in another 30 days. And you people should hear us, I have no joy in saying this, like she’s off the rails. And um, it’s unfortunate. I think she’s been really wounded by the thing with Moody. When we cancelled her for speaking with us, we met with her. We had three ladies meet with her—our elder board chairman’s wife and our director of women’s ministry. We gave her her honorarium anyway. We’ve never been anything but unkind to her. And um, so, anything but kind to her. And uh, but, but um, again—ya. So, I, I’m happy to—you guys should be very cautious.
Jeremy Weber seems to go along with the Op-Ed thing when asked by MacDonald.
Hey Jeremy, can I do one, too?
(Weber) Yeah, so, um, yeah, no def (uninterpreted) on my list, I couldn’t get a hold of you, what I was going to say was, um, it did sound like your, um, initial narrative to me, right, that you were feeling a lot of um, uh, misunderstood criticism of the choice to sue as either a theological matter or a strategic matter. So, yeah, I was going to say to you, um, if you wanted to write on that, you know, essentially like an Op/Ed on that argument, yeah, I’d be happy to, uh, publish that.‘Cause, yeah, I think the deeper idea here, that I think, uh, essentially those, um, what I think is the constructive thing for others to ponder, and then again, because of HARVEST’S, like, size, (uninterpreted) people are truly going to be interested in the, like, outcome, how it might either, you know, reshape the landscape, or at least, um, uh, you know. The people of good will, cause them to rethink their position on this. So, um, it sounds like you both have some, you know, examples of others shifting on it . . . the ESV Study Bible change. Um, obviously you’ve done your own reflection. Um, so yeah, I was going to say, I would happily publish a, uh, Op/Ed where you make that, ah, that case.
…You have a chance to address some of the um, again, like theological criticism, um, which I feel like our readers would be fairly neutral and curious on, um, again, the story wasn’t, uh, yeah, from our perspective, uh, critiquing that strategy. But, um, yeah, I would happily, yeah, give you an Op/Ed on that. Um, really length does not matter.I mean, obviously, you’re going to have to structure your graphs well.
J Mac insults CT after being given what he wanted.
CT is ANGLICAN, pseudo-dignity, high church, symphony adoring, pipe-organ protecting, musty, mild smell of urine, blue-hair METHODIST loving, MAINLINE dying, WOMEN PREACHER championing, EMERGING CHURCH adoring, almost good with all GAYS, and closet PALESTINE promoting Christianity, so of course they attacked me.”
The laughing in the background
How does this reflect on the men who surround J Mac? How could these men sit their and laugh at some of this wretched stuff? Do they read their Bibles?
Let’s end this with a question. Does this sound like the conversation of a deeply committed Christian pastor?
Sorry about the confusion. All’s well now.
When all the James MacDonald stuff settles down, can someone please look into Johnnie Moore? This is an NAE Board Member who cheerleads Trump, travels to Saudi Arabia for grip and grin sessions with that nation’s leaders, and then laughs along with James MacDonald’s penis jokes.
Listening to the audio bit by bit:
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A MANCOW DUPED!
Just in the first few minutes:
* “Boot Parties” where JMac would send goons to “rough up” his critics.
* How since JMac left, “all his goons” are trying to suck up to Mancow — “they want to know what I have [on them], so now they’re getting all lovey-dovey”.
* “The government needs to get involved in this.” — Mancow
* “The campus in Florida — the one we/they just stole.” — Mancow
* “All MacDonald’s goons have to go!” — Mancow
Folks, this audio is a glimpse at what goes on behind closed doors wherever a cult of personality resides. The whole thing reminds me of Ezekiel 8:
“Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark … For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has abandoned the land’ … Do you see this, son of man? Is it too slight a thing for the house of Judah to commit the repulsive acts which they have committed here, that they have repeatedly provoked Me to anger?”
There obviously was no fear of God in the leadership ranks at Harvest Bible Chapel … the only good guys in the bunch were the elders who stood to voice concerns a few years ago and were excommunicated. If MacDonald launches a comeback, those who come alongside him are fools indeed.
Thank you for preserving this evidence. James MacDonald is already hard at work launching a new network.
I listened for 40 minutes and stopped. I don’t know how much longer it went on.
James MacDonald is a complete narcissist, class A manipulator to the point of trying to convince everyone that he and Harvest are the victims of evil bloggers and reporters. He either has no self awareness of what he is doing or he is a purposeful evil person.
I’m grateful for what Julie Roy’s is doing in exposing the wrongdoings of James MacDonald and his minions.
One thing hard for me is when Julie exposes someone like James MacDonald yet, at the same time, lifts up a Franklin Graham who takes huge salaries from the nonprofits he leads and supports abusers.
I’m certainly not impressed with Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board choice of Johnnie Moore, yet I’m not surprised that this is the sort of man Trump would in fact choose behind the scenes.
Jack Graham is also mentioned in the recordings
JAMES MACDONALD, his Sons, and Elders all need to be riding through the Loop on tricycles with midgets on their shoulders. Covered live by Mancow.
Never mind Ezekiel 8.
What about Luke 12:3?
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
And now Mancow is shouting it from the rooftops.
All over Chi-town.
Quick Draw McGraw does it again.
Titanium for Potter?
I can’t get this to play.
Celebrity preachers hate “housetops” … there are too many eyes looking at them in the blogosphere. If their elders won’t hold them accountable, cyberspace will!
Hypocrisy can only be brought to light when someone opens the door to view. Thus Mancow.
At first I was shocked and disappointed then I remember we all have free will. Somewhere along life MacDonald sold God out for himself, and patronage for his goons and family. Fatal choice.
His recovery process will not be easy but he’s like all of us, Jesus died for reformation. It doesn’t mean MacDonald returns at all.
Fool me once stupid me Fool me twice stupid you.
Forgiveness doesn’t result in acceptance.
It’s playing fine for me.
The saddest thing here?
My gut response when I read that was:
So, a christian, then.
I remember him!
I think Julie Roys is getting an indoctrination in the wider evangelical church. She’s willing to learn just like she did with the Jonathan Leeman situation.
Johnnie Moore, Johnnie Moore … Wait, would this be the very same Johnnie Moore PR guy who just this past week put a positive spin on Gospel For Asia’s recent 37 million dollar settlement?
It appears so. Julie Roys most recent blog article about GFA says:
“According to a CBN News report, which quoted spin-doctor Johnnie Moore at length, the settlement is reason to rejoice for a ministry that finally can put ugly allegations of wrongdoing behind it.” (http://julieroys.com/soft-media-coverage-gospel-asias-37-million-settlement-shows-need-hard-hitting-blogs/)
Ugly allegations? Nay dear friends. Ugly is when these men shall stand before the living God, into whose hands we are told “It is a dreadful thing to fall into.”
Mancow makes it difficult to listen to this. His constant interruption and interjection over the others in the room make it frustrating. I’m 30 minutes in and not sure how much longer I can last. haha.
“what a piece of work McDonald is”….
Sad that it is to be hit with the reality; I hope she can deal with the ugly she finds.
Excommunicated elders, the Elephant’s Debt, and numerous Christian bloggers presented concerns about MacDonald long before Mancow packaged them in a way that got the world’s attention.
Jesus died for redemption – to redeem ALL lost souls who turn to Him in believing faith. “Reformation” is a popular word used by New Calvinists like MacDonald in which they preach an exclusive gospel which is not “good news that will cause great joy for ALL people” (Luke 2:10).
These days, that’s the same as saying “Jesus Died for Calvinism”.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.” Psalm 133.
Perhaps some have lost their way, as brothers and sisters.
I sure am starting to think that Mancow’s conversion wasn’t just a load of manure. The guy seems to be acting like the real deal. Mac likely thought he could use the fellow for more fame and exposure. But he’s not as smart as he thinks he is, and nothing in the world is less clever than one who thinks they’re clever when they’re not. Looks like God Himself may have used Mancow to end this farce.
Don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone less funny than MacDonald. He is the epitome of one who’s had yes men surround him for years laughing at the lamest “jokes” imaginable. In some ways, MacDonald is like an infant sheltered from the world, he is clueless.
Good job Dee. Glad this garbage is coming out but sad at the same time. I hope that the Lord will strengthen Mancow’s faith…. not sure what his real name is. It is a miracle that he has any faith left. God will judge these men harshly.
Simultaneously sad and disgusting.
God bless you, Dee. God bless you all here.
James MacDonald is
A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,…
who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.
Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. Proverbs 6:12-15 (NIV)
Any more info on this new network and who he’s talking to?
I’m thinking about getting a group of you all to be my laugh track. I am accepting applications. I do not demand but hope to see totally voluntary and yet somehow noticeable love offerings!
Not yet but people are keeping me posted and I will let you know when I hear.
Yessir, pastor; take my firstborn, anything, just don’t excommunicate me.
His comments about changes to the ESV study Bible, I wonder where this will lead to?
I think James MacDonald may have one upped Elmer Gantry . . .
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Ezek 8; Luke; and John 3:21… God’s way is in the light, so it can be clearly seen… the enemy’s way is in the dark… out of fear of evil deeds being exposed!
Appropriate . . .
“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster,” James Baldwin
Thank you so much for publicizing this. People need to know who the real MacDonald is so that can run far from this charlatan. So many former HBC (not to mention those who remain) are so wounded by this man and the heinous vertical church system he had created. Many have fled the faith.
How about L Ron Hubbard?
You know what, I don’t even have words for this level of corruption.
Nice to know Machiavelli is in charge of Bible translation now, too.
“So the decision, uh, to go and take the bloggers to court is a very, very measured, thought-through,…
…GENE GETZ just changed his Bible, his, uh, uh, Study Bible. …and the ESV Study Bible just changed their position on it,…”
he changed his bible.
The Gene Getz Bible. imagine that — reducing a collection of ancient writings down to his own line of celebrity merchandise. Can we get the Gene Getz lunchbox, too??!
and the ESV changed theirs, as well. well, isn’t that convenient.
The Ministers of Propaganda for Jesus!
gawwwwwd, i feel sick.
Yup, real “kingdom talk” going on there……A while ago I decided I did not want to be known as an “Envangelical” …… the “behavoir” of these “Evangelical leaders” further confirms my decision…
It is ironic MacDonall talking about circus characters…. a “Freudian slip?”
I read somewhere that “the works of the flesh are manifest”.
Not eager to listen to this.
Mancow said that Deep Throat sent 100 hours of MacDonald on tape.
I hope his new project is an endeavor totally outside the Christian arena.
I am not going to answer who sent my the audio because there seems to be lots of people who made copies of that Mancow show. Harvest people are very interested in any media involving their church. So, they recorded the show. This sort of thing happens frequently.
I am not going to take questions on who sent me the audio so I didn’t. approve those two comments. Given MacDonald’s *meek* behavior in the past, it seems like the right thing to do.
Not yet. Hopefully never!
dee, Not sure if this comment is in response to my question or someone else. But, my question was not who recorded Mancow’s tape/show; but, who taped it initially such that Mancow received the tape?
The whole thing sounds like a recording of corrupt politicians, or like a recording law enforcement would get from a sting on gang or mob functionaries planning something.
It’s clear that this is about power, keeping power, and staying at the top of the heap.
They way of Jesus is nowhere to be found in this crowd.
Newsflash J Mac, you are NOT the ‘meekest man on the planet.’ Only Jesus can make that claim and be completely accurate and truthful about it: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” –Matthew 11:29.
On the other hand, Mr. MacDonald, you are an arrogant, self-absorbed, disgusting counterfeit of what a believer ought to be. Perhaps you could benefit by learning from the One who is truly ‘meek and lowly in heart’…and so could I!
…by selling time shares, Amway, or maybe even used cars!
“Take my firstborn” as in Pass him/her Through the Fire as an Offering to PASTOR Moloch?
Bah. I’m the meekest man on this planet. Anybody who thinks they’re meeker than me is rubbish.
Actually, you’re all rubbish.
I think Pastor Nick Bulbeck is the meekest man on the planet. His ministry has powerfully blessed me and transformed my life to follow Jesus, so more people should buy his books.
God told me to say that and I’m not connected to Pastor Nick Bulbeck in any way.
Only to find “Hell Hath No Fury like a Mancow Who Found Out He Was Being Used”.
Just as Cee Jay was The Most HUMBLE Man on the Planet.
(All bend the knee and burn the pinch of incense on the altar of His HUMBLEness…)
Or the Brooklyn Bridge.
Too Beneath His Dignity — JMac’s been in the Jesus Racket all his life; I don’t know if he even knows how to do anything else.
Only new project that makes sense is to go the Aum Shinriko or Elron Hubbard route.
“Writing for a penny a word is stupid. If you want to make a million dollars, start your own religion!”
— L Ron Hubbard
“You know. It’s only my thought life that’s breaking bad, not my actions.”
“Only my thought life?” There’s this sermon on a mount that describes some issues with that.
“The ESV study bible, I’m very good friends with JUSTIN TAYLOR (exec. VP Crossway Publishing), and the ESV Study Bible just changed their position on it, that First Corinthians six is about individual brothers.”
A ‘study Bible’ changing its position on something! Can he not see what he’s saying?
From MacDonald’s Op-ed: “In a culture that is far too litigious, Christ followers should be loath to go into civil court for any reason. 1 Corinthians 6:1-9 pleads for caution: “Can we not judge ourselves?” “This before unbelievers,” “Law suits among you means that you have been completely defeated,” “Why not rather be wronged?” and “This is shame to you.” It’s such a clear teaching—but not the totality of biblical teaching that some try to make it.
“What if allowing “yourself to be wronged” is a greater wrong because of the many others that would be wronged? What if that matter is not a “trivial case,” as in 1 Corinthians 6? What if the brothers are from different churches, one of which refuses to bring significant detrimental behavior into line? What if the matter is demonstrably illegal and would bring immense suffering to your family?”
So…. where was the application of this when it came to abuse victims who were proof-texted this to shut them up and let things be handled internally? It’s interesting that a leader sssking to sue sheep (sic) is when a fresh look at 1 Cor. 6 gets high-profile printing.
Courtiers laugh when the King laughs.
Like a scene early in the movie version of A Man for All Seasons:
King Henry VIII is sailing up the Thames on the Royal Barge with several of his court. The barge puts into shore at a point on the riverbank (no piers or quays) and King Henry (in his younger days quite a man of action) jumps out. And sinks almost up to his knees in the mud of the riverbank.
All those still aboard the Royal Barge watch in silence for most of a minute, then King Henry starts laughing at his predicament (and the guy can laugh LOUD); after a moment, he abruptly stops laughing and points his Royal finger at the Royal Barge.
All the courtiers aboard the Royal Barge immediately (if not instantly) start laughing out loud. All of them.
“I am the meekest man on the face of the Earth” (James MacDonald)
That’s something someone else says about you, by observing meekness in your life. I don’t recall anyone describing MacDonald that way … arrogant is the first word that usually pops up.
“I’ve done everything by the book.” (James MacDonald)
Ahhh, that’s the problem … MacDonald has been reading the wrong book!
Gee whiz, and here I thought the ESV was supposed to have their own ‘Permanent Text Edition’ that was allegedly perfect and not in any need of further revision! Perhaps it’s not as ‘permanent’ as we think!
Thanks, but I’ll stick with what Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 (I even quoted it in ESV, so they can understand it!) 🙂
And given this:
–(Moore) if JEREMY doesn’t change it, then it’s a different conversation.
–(MacDonald) I will call off the plan to put, uh, child porn on HAROLD’s, uh, computer.
You’d better have good security on your system AND a contingency plan (including lawyers & authorities like Mancow was advised) in case child porn magically appears on your system. (Just ahead of the Concerned Citizen tip to your local cops.)
From the Mancow tapes, JMac is A Vengeful Being.
Roger, (aka ‘Nick’, ‘Samantha’, ‘god’, etc.) that’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. Thanks! 🙂
Remember the Roaring Twenties, when first Torrio then Capone had the cops and judges in his pocket?
(And Mancow said that JMac/HBC hires a lot of cops; we’ve seen this pattern before.)
And it wasn’t just the Chicago Outfit — bought-and-paid-for politicians and authorities were an old old tradition in Chi-town. Including such colorful characters as Bathhouse John Coughlin and Hinky-Dink McKenna.
Even the local cab companies — Yellow Cab and Checker Cab — had a piece of the action; while Capone’s men were shooting it out with Mora’sn in the Beer Wars, Yellow and Checker were shooting it out with each other in the Cab Wars. Even occasionally hiring Mob muscle to Do The Big Job. One crazy town, eh?
“BUT EVERYTING WE DID WAS LEGAL!”
— LA law firm who got disbarred en masse several years ago for running an OSHA-compliance protection racket
Of all the adjectives in the English language, I’m thinkin’ ‘meek’ is not one many have used to describe MacDonald. Are you sure he didn’t say ‘mean’?
“If, if meekness is power under control, I am the meekest man on the face of the Earth”
It’s my observation he was using meek to mean he was controlling himself. Which…yeah, he’s still wrong. Because he obviously couldn’t. HIs own words condemn him in multiple ways.
Further, it sounds so much like Don Corleone complaining that he can’t work with someone.
It really does seem like Mancow may be/is a true convert, and he’s a bit miffed at the snakes in his Savior’s house. Probably not what JimmyMac was expecting.
The whole thing just continues to show what a horrible deal the Christian Evangelical Industrial Complex is.
To this day it’s still as violent and bloody as Scorsese’s flick Gangs of New York.
James MacDonald a full narcissist is quite true and even worse is the leaders around MacDonald enabled this and allowed MacDonald to become much worse that if he had been kept in check.
When I see actions like this of leaders I am always baffled how they like to quote the Hebrews passage on submission but their actions show they really don’t believe that they will one day have to give an account.
The leaders of Sovereign Grace were quite upset when their emails became public for anyone who wanted to read. If that think that is bad what about one day when they will have to give an account to God for what they have done. The same thing goes for James MacDonald.
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.“. I Cor 4:5
Sadly too many of these leaders think that the end justifies the means or that their group is so “called” of God that even ungodly action is justified to protect their ministry. With Jame MacDonald I think it was more of a family business disguised as a church.
Which was inspired by a Herbert Asbury nonfiction book of the same name.
Which in turn had a companion volume Gangs of Chicago (originally Gem of the Prairie), covering the Chi-town underworld from the founding in a swamp up to the fall of Al Capone.
The Cause so Righteous it justifies Any Means Whatsoever.
Like today’s more-Islamic-than-Mohmammed Jihadi Islam.
And its secular counterpart of the two centuries prior, French-style Revolutions from Paris to Phnom Penh, from the original in 1789 up until Gorbachev’s Fire Sale of 1989.
Merchandising the gospel … six-figure salaries, mansions, vacation homes, traveling in a private jet. Not exactly sacrificing for the cause of the Gospel.
And Mancow ISN’T the Meek and Submissive Christian who whimpers pious platitudes (“They will have to stand before the Living God SOMEDAY”), but more of a man of action. (Like that Rabbi from Nazareth flipping out and trashing the moneychangers’ tables…)
It’s important that (at least some of) these guys like JMac be seen to NOT “get away with it.” Otherwise all our talk about Judgment Day and “God Will Hold Them Accountable” sounds like mealy-mouthing pious platitudes while sitting quietly with folded hands.
Like the preacher in the old Wobbly march song:
“In the Sweet By-and-By,
You’ll get Pie in the Sky when you Die…”
Contrasted with my reply, a line from Babylon-5:
“We also have a saying:
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!”
We must back up Talk with Action, and Mancow is taking Action.
Meh. This does not surprise me at all. It probably goes on in many churches.
And until christians of all stripes stop supporting it, it will continue to happen.
If Driscoll could make a go of it and find followers, then this clown will.
He’s already got a back door and (no doubt) a bag of loot in Florida.
He’s an embarrassment to Canadians.
The Didache describes it as “making traffic of Christ.” It’s a very old problem.
Don’t forget that MacDonald had his two sons as pastors and even his wife on payroll.
“In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”. 2 Peter 4:3
That sure sounds like MacDonald.
What is even worse is that MacDonald hasn’t shown his face or made a statement etc. ever since he was fired. That sure sounds quite cowardly to me.
If the transcript is an exact word for word of the recording, they sound like a group of imbeciles who can’t speak a coherent thought!!
This is the sound of people who think they are way smarter than they actually are. This syndrome is rife in evangelism today.
It is rather pathetic, but it’s ruining lives, and turning people from Christ.
The name Johnnie Moore rang a bell with me. He was on staff at Liberty University and lead convocation at LU! My kids attended LU. That’s how I remembered him. One of my kids considered doing an internship at his PR firm!!!
I like the way the Amplified version puts that verse:
“And in their greed they will exploit you with false arguments and twisted doctrine.” (2 Peter 2:3)
This whole thing started coming unglued when MacDonald twisted doctrine to present a false argument that it was OK to sue other Christians … those who were exposing his schemes in the blogosphere.
His sons are responsible for their actions now they are adults. But, what was their home life like? Were they adversely affected by their father? How did JMac treat his wife at home?
Yes, but if W A Y N E G R U U U D E M says it, GOD has spoken.
IMO they don’t believe in God; it’s just the means to power and wealth.
Well, maybe they did, but then they realised they didn’t quite interpret it correctly the first time around.
Sounds like that other Mac, MacArthur, who at The Master’s Seminary and using university funds, directed a contract (that, of course, should’ve been a competitive bid) to his son-in-law that amounted to about $700,000 a year. According to accounts, the son-in-law and daughter pocketed around $250,000 a year. This is one of the factors that caused TMS and TMU to be put on probation by the regional accrediting body.
Can be lucrative to have an authoritarian cult leader in the family!
If the sons had a difficult upbringing, they have a duty to repair themselves or stay out of the ministry. Sure, they would deserve compassion, but there is no excuse for married middle-aged fathers and career men to be unaware of any childhood damage that affects people in their lives today.
I don’t know anything about their upbringing, so this is a rhetorical answer. I have met a recovering alcoholic who no longer works in a bar…
No “real”christian would have any idea of how to put child porn on a computer nor would they even upload it knowing that the very act of being a consumer(?) of such is fueling and taken part in a crime against the helpless babes and society !!!!!!!!
Evidently not so much that they were willing to join him in “ministry” and reap six-figure salaries. JMac’s influence on his sons is reflected in their self-centered “What about me?!” entitlement resignation letters.
Don’t forget the private jets and “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?????” attitudes.
That’s pronounced “WAYNE GRUDEM GO WAYNE GRUDEM!!!!!”
And his current political connections makes me wonder if JMac is grooming Friends in High Places. Mancow spoke about “getting the Feds involved”; nice to have a Friend in High Places who can kill any investigation by Executive Order…
Isn’t a full third of the Didache about how to recognize a con man in the pulpit?
I think one really gets to no someone when they are under pressure. For example, I often say I want to slap someone upside the head. It would never occur to me to think about putting child porn on someone computer. Which makes me wonder about MacDonald. Why does he think about this stuff? Has it been part of his life so it gets brought up almost subconsciously when he is angry? I don’t know but is downright weird.
“Son of man, do you see what they’re doing? Outrageous obscenities! And doing them right here! It’s enough to drive me right out of my own Temple.” (Ezekiel 8)
It is more than weird… it is downright depraved……and I have grave doubts about anyone that can support a “leader” that talks like that….
The engineer who recorded the hot mic needs to be on Time magazine as the Man of the Year. It might be the guy who recently left WitW after 6 1/2 years in December. Unless it was the engineer who took his place. He did the right thing. It must have crushed his soul having to listen to James off mic and then air the on mic fake James.
Hmm. Well, that makes My life complicated.
Nobody tells Me nuthin’…
Muse: “Pass Da Bait, Perhaps?”
“The leaders of Sovereign Grace were quite upset when their emails became public for anyone who wanted to read them. https://www.scribd.com/user/86813507/sgmwikileaks If they think that is bad what about one day when they will have to ‘give an account’ to God for what they have done.” -Steve240
And to think SGM/SGC ‘giving account’ began with a simple innocuous Mass avenue Washington D.C. Tuesday night (TAG, ‘Take And Give’) come as you are local hour and a half ‘bible study fellowship’…
The road to 501c3 religious abuse is paved with such ‘good’ intentions, ya think?
Lilliana de los Reyes: “Can’t Find My Way Home” (Cover) – Blind Faith
Led Zeppelin : “When The Levee Breaks” by Zepparella
Missed It By …’That Much’ : “Ignorance Is Expensive?”
The broadening documented Reverend James MacDonald latest toxic religious wittiness effecting potentially the personal, relational, and spiritual harm of some 13,000 Chicago 501c3 congregants and now many even beyond that, should be under thoughtful continued in-depth investigation? By whom?
Melbourne Ska Orchestra – ‘Get Smart theme’
Dave Brubeck – “Take Five”
so many of these guys seem to have the Scientology playbook on “fair gaming” that they’re working from.
That sounds about right. One of the big problems with the “sola scriptura” emphasis is it can leave us open to making old mistakes. If we disconnect ourselves from church history we disconnect ourselves from good solutions to problems that may be much older than we are aware.
Thanks Debbie. From the link you provided, it appears that we’ve had an outbreak of “Malignant Narcissists” in the American church, particularly in mega-mania. From the article:
“The intentional destruction of others while pathologically loving self … Family, co-workers, employees, and others in their lives often have to walk on eggshells to appease a fragile ego and minimize the occurrence of their unstable, impulsive, or aggressive behaviors … will become angered if their lies are challenged with truth or facts … not uncommon for others to feel anxious, intimidated by, and fearful of people with this condition … They want to land on top, even when pretending to be altruistic or engaging in an activity that should not be “all about them.””
This, obviously, should not be the profile of anyone who calls himself “pastor.”
Great point. We don’t want to be mired in bad traditions, but constant reinvention of the wheel doesn’t help either. Deliberate isolation from experiences outside a (new) church can play into the hands of a person who cares more about power than wisdom.
Interesting, isn’t it? I’ve learned a lot about JMac and Harvest these past few months. But, this and the other article on Narcissism describe him to a “t.” Very puzzling how he managed to go as long as he did. I think what is even more striking about his behaviour is the vindictiveness and need to get even…possibly where the malignant in malignant narcissism comes in. Sad on so many levels…and I’ll bet his wife and kids are the the first line of fire.
In addition to being a text book narcissist, the likelihood is high that he’s also a sociopath.
I’ll get my coat.
Instead of: “Let there be no more resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self-assertiveness … Be kind to each other, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
What continues to strike me is that HBC elders allowed this behaviour to go unchecked for so long … but mega-church elders of personality cults are typically yes-men to powermongers.
I’m listening to the audio of the Mancow program, and it’s very sad…but the “stable genius” quote from Nick Bulbeck got me thinking…(with all of my apologies to Mr. Ed-I never missed his show!).
Either way, his actions prove he has quite evil intents. Evil genius or evil narcissist doesn’t much matter.
I have yet to see a genius of any sort in New Calvinist ranks … sly yes, but genius no. Some, like Mohler, have a bigger stack of books than the rest but that doesn’t make him a genius either. These guys are slick and crafty, but not of superior intellect. I mean look at these situations; they continue to be out-smarted by just regular folks who expose them and bring their shenanigans to an ed.
That should read “bring their shenanigans to an end.”
No genius. A certain low cunning, but that’s about it.
I had a somewhat similar experience long ago; but, on a much smaller scale. The pastor was eventually banned from the denomination from preaching. And…guess what he did? Yup! Started his own church!?!? Never admitted to any wrongdoing and he hurt a lot of people. Took a long time to process and “get over”. But, he and JMac will never admit to wrongdoing or have genuine contrition…I mean genuine contrition…and just go on using people. It’s very confusing…especially if you’re young in the faith and idealistic, etc. to experience something like this. One thinks of all the verses that mitigate against their persona and behaviour. And just like one of those articles…you scratch your head about their salvation…I know I did. Sort of made my peace with it; but cannot say for 100% that I would wish him well and that’s what the Lord would want.
Very true. I was hoping to find a time when Church got it right, as if there was some kind of golden age of Christianity. Instead I found that the Church has always been messed up in one way or another. That is one of the reasons for the early ecumenical councils. They had major problems to work through and the councils were very messy. Still, they sorted out a lot of things that remain common to Christians up till now. Many of the issues facing Christianity today are recycled from centuries ago.
Debbie J Gowtham,
“but cannot say for 100% that I would wish him well and that’s what the Lord would want.”
not so sure. i think a response of “i wish him nothing” is compatible with God.
Heard this podcast today and it’s very applicable to this situation. It’s an interview of Wade Mullen who wrote his dissertation on the ways evangelical churches and organizations try to cover up abuse and try to protect their image. I don’t necessarily agree with everything the host, Almost Heretical, speaks to on their site but this interview was extremely interesting.
Wade Mullen interview who wrote his dissertation on abuse and ways churches try to cover it up to protect their identity.
It looks like IL is not a one party consent state. This feels a little odd. Do you have any thoughts about legality of any recordings?
I would be embarrassed to talk that way about people the way these people do, another reason I am not part of the truly reformed. Thank God.
Maybe because it all comes from the same spirit
I see what you did there 😀
Specifically, I got my <blockquote> tags in a mess…
Jim Bakker 2.0
James Macdonald must have studied the playbook from Jim Bakker, prior fallen televangelist. Google Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and how he was convicted of 24 counts of fraud, went to prison and NOW has a church in Branson Missouri. Wow! I will bet anything James MacDonald is going to come back somewhere.
Where/when was this recording made? Did JSM run the tape with Mr. Moore on speaker phone…so he KNEW he was being recorded. At the 36:44 minute mark, it sounds like Mr. Moore said he was in Singapore. How did this recording get in the hands of anyone else besides JSM? Just curious.
OK, this comment early in the thread has been bothering me a lot. So, what should MacDonald be doing right now? A once mega-great, a key player in the new reformation, with countless thousands of New Calvinists following his every tweet, buying his books, attending his conferences … who was exposed as a charlatan and fell with a loud thud heard throughout Christendom? Should he be in sackcloth and ashes somewhere crying out and repenting before Holy God … or working hard to launch a new network?! Where is Jesus in all this madness?
This was played on one of Mancow’s broadcasts. People were recording the show. You will need to ask Mancow who apparently received these recordings. I have no idea about the origination of the audio. Please let me know if you find out.
Does anyone know who is the author of the blog…Harvest Bible Chapel Fraud? Somewhat funny (not funny) entry of the analogy to the Mafia.
Yes he says Singapore.
You are presupposing JM authorized the recording.
This does not sound like a hot mike. And even if it was, that presupposes conferences took place before/after recording sessions.
The easy answer is someone has a phone in their pocket. @34:00-34:15 I think someone is getting tired of the conferance. They either scratch their nose or breath in. If the phone was in a breast pocket that would explain it. I don’t think the device is on the conferance table.
It appears that IL is a -two-party consent state. The Federal law allows for one-party consent. I’m not sure which would prevail in a court.
And there’s more coming out. Eagle (remember him?) is also on top of the story; here’s his latest:
My simplistic pop culture understanding leads me to assume this may be wiretapping. Assuming Mr. Morre is in Singapore, the recording took place in Il. Therefore, Il law applies and prior all party consent is pertinent.
I don’t think Mr. Morre would willingly consent to a potentially uncomfortable recording, given the nature of his livelihood.
Assuming IL is two-party consent (which I’ll take your word for it), then there could be a cause of action against the one doing the recording. Of course, that has no bearing whatsoever upon what I think about MacDonald, who I now think (and have thought for years) is a narcissist and a charlatan.
My wife had a pastor when she was young who allegedly was caught with his hand in the till embezzling from church funds at a church called Brandon Tabernacle in the Tamba Bay area of Florida. Name’s Lonnie Langston. Good friend of Bennie Hinn. Rather than repenting in sackcloth and ashes, I was told he just kept on going and caused a massive church split. He now is the dean or president of some sort of “seminary” which appears for all the world to me to be a bona fide diploma mill. These people are just not about repentance.
They will cry out some day, but not be heard.
“Certainly, the hand of the Lord is not so short that it cannot save, nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)
I didn’t know The Lord died for hyphotetical and conditional salvation. McDonald was as much Calvinist as JB Pritzker was ballerino.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Falling Up: “In Better Need Of An 501c3 Exit Strategy, Perhaps?”
Q. When are kind folks gonna understand that established U.S. non-profit 501c3 organizations are not ‘legally bound‘ to biblical morality?
♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…”Oh, where have you been, my hazel-eyed Sòpy?
And where have you been, my darling God’s sparrow?
I’ve stumbled down the sidewalk of several loud fog machine equipped churches…”
“I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth! You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked…” – Jesus
♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…“It’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard proverbial ‘rain’ gonna fall…”
P.S. “Better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, for the 501c3 church times —they are a chaingin’…”
Whoa! The depth of sin within HBC leadership ranks is incomprehensible. These are Christians?!!
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” -I Timothy 4:1-2
Yep, their consciences are totally seared, and they are wicked to the core. As awful as this is, though, we should not be surprised. However, WE need to set the example just as Paul later exhorts Timothy to do in that same chapter:
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
I may not be a ‘youth’ anymore, but God can still use me to be an example of His godliness and goodness in this ever-darkening world of evil charlatans and snake-oil salesmen!
Let us be encouraged by these words from the Master:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Why is Evangelical Protestant culture so obsessed with virginity?
You forgot sociopath too.
Not sure myself, though growing up I did absorb a LOT of the tropes of Christianese Purity Culture — including a strong case of Virgin/Whore Dichotomy. (Kicker is, I was NOT raised in Christianese Purity Culture — far from it. The only overlap I can see is a strong “Mythic 1950s culture” mores and tropes.)
I think a major factor is a 180 flip reaction to the Sexual Revolution of the Sixties. The Other does X, so we must be as Not-X as possible. Communism begets Objectivism.
And I long ago concluded that Christians are just as messed-up sexually as everyone else, they just show it differently. And it’s been that way for a LONG time.
“Beam Me Up, Scotty! There’s No Intelligent Life Here!” is a possible explanation.
But then, that Rabbi from Nazareth had a way of snubbing the Righteous God Squadders and hanging out with freaks and losers.
The three often go together.
Well, the Harvestgate tapes confirmed your suspicions! For the life of me, I still can’t understand why otherwise intelligent people followed the guy. Moral of the story: beware of preachers in black leather jackets who confessed both privately and publicly that he had a problem with gambling …. uhhh, that’s your money that he spent, church!
Speaking of Christianity Today (perhaps some of you have seen this already), Scot McKnight said that a former student of his wrote the following to CT in response to James MacDonald’s op-ed justifying his lawsuit.
CT didn’t publish it, so here it is: https://theelephantsdebt.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/is-it-biblical-to-sue-another-christian.pdf
Or could it be residual Romanism?
Before the Reformation we Catholics were no slouches in the “obsessed with virginity” department either. Exaltation of St Mary, reciting of St Paul, clerical celibacy as a practical matter to prevent “keep it in the family” Clerical Dynasties, one-eighty flip from the Roman Empire’s sexual mores, St Augustine’s personal baggage…
As I said above, Christians have been screwed-up sexually for a LONG time.
Sooo … does anybody know where MacDonald actually is these days and what he is up to?
Read today about James today.
So in 2015, James MacDonald went on an overseas missions trip to Israel, Malaysia, Nepal, Kenya, and Haiti.
Then because the trip was “stressful” he then needed an overseas vacation (an African safari) costing $5000.
But that wasn’t enough because he wanted to shoot a “high value” animal that would cost $15-20, 000?
And this is paid from people giving ten percent of their salaries?
And people think this is normal?
Next preachers will be wanting private jets…
MacDonald shared one with that other Chicagoland mega-success who became a mega-failure, Bill Hybels.
That explains the target practice in his garage where he used a pellet pistol on photos of HBC elders and their wives. He was simply getting ready for his big-game safari, no harm intended.
More on James MacDonald from Christianity Today (12 March 2019):
“The $5,000 vacation was for an African safari in 2015 and MacDonald reportedly thought the amount was too small as he wanted to shoot a high-value animal, ‘a sable to be specific, which cost $15,000 to $20,000’ … three- to four-day stay at a resort in the Dominican Republic … $40,000 expense for a fence for a deer herd at Camp Harvest in Michigan … in 2009, MacDonald was making a combined $550,000 from both the church and Walk in the Word … the church had paid $50,000 to help MacDonald move and store his personal belongings … MacDonald used church funds to purchase over $500 worth of cigars … gave a waitress a $400 tip with church funds … demanded his office be renovated in 2013, which cost $150,000, while all senior and middle management, and their direct reports, had their pay reduced by 10 percent”
Life in mega-mania is good! No wonder pastor-wannabes fresh out of seminary want to bypass those little ole churches in the valley and go mega as soon as possible! There’s gold in them hills!!
Assuming a customary 20% tip, does that mean he dropped $2,000 on a meal?! Perhaps an outing with his staff, while members ate finger food at the church social? Mega pastors and their yes-men eat good!
Whoops, that should read “Christian Post”
I have no problem with people tipping big and living extravagantly – IF they earned it.
Isn’t it terrible that two or three people could have felt guilty and then finally paid their tithes. Thinking it will be used for “God’s glory and the extension of His Kingdom” and the other things people say when taking up offerings.
Only for it to be blown like that.
Of course the waitress would have been happy. Maybe she joined his church. And started tithing.
So for Jimbo, it’s great. He seems generous, it wasn’t his money, and money it will result in thousands of dollars for him and his family.
Exactly. And sorry, I know people have different beliefs – but tithing leads to bad things in Chrsitianity.
TIthing that must go to a local church leads to exactly what you said Max. Hence, everyone wants to start churches in fast growing suburbs, and cities.
“Forced” tithing required by a membership contract strips a believer’s right to give as God leads him. Quite frankly, I see parachurch ministries doing more good for the Kingdom of God than institutional churches these days. Look for where God is working and join Him there with your spiritual gifts and your money. If that’s the church you belong to, great … if not, pray about where to give and don’t be forced to drop it all in the church offering plate. I believe God looks at our “tithes and offerings” a whole lot differently than what the local church teaches. The “storehouse” is much larger than we are led to believe.
“Former Harvest Bible Chapel Members Want $72,000 In Donations Refunded, After Pastor James MacDonald Fired”
Another sad story coming from the JMac mess.
Moral of the story: Be careful what kingdom you sow into! If the “pastor” is drawing a 6-figure income, living in a mansion, flying in a private jet, with rumors aplenty about his bad-boy behavior, you might consider using a little discernment (or common sense) before opening your pocketbook.
“Evangelical Financial Group Suspends Harvest Bible Chapel’s Accreditation”