Over at Roll to Disbelieve, an atheist blog, they have a good discussion and article about authoritarianism. In light of the authoritarian issues inside Harvest Bible Chapel, Sovereign Grace and the late Mars Hill this article I believe is a good read. It will give a psychological understanding on James MacDonald’s behavior.
“Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people.”
“Dictators are allergic to reform, and they are cunning survivors. They will do whatever it takes to preserve their power and wealth, no matter how much blood ends up on their hands. They are master deceivers and talented manipulators who cannot be trusted to change.”
Matthew 20:27-28 ESV
C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace
Inside the Neo-Calvinist movement there is a massive problem with authoritarianism. The abuse of power by people like James MacDonald, C.J. Mahaney or Mark Driscoll is sickening. You can go from Harvest Bible Chapel to the late Mars Hill to Sovereign Grace and the issues duplicate themselves. In Mars Hill Joanna Petry wrote that if Mark Driscoll could have murdered her husband he would have. James MacDonald, according to Julie Roys used elders wives pictures for target practice and stabbed another one in a rage with a butter knife. C.J. Mahaney smiled and was known for his “humility.” While being humble he casually blackmailed people and led a corrupt theological empire. He exerted people to “give until it hurts.” While people in Sovereign Grace gave sacrificially and often ate oatmeal for dinner Mahaney lived well off the backs of people who gave. He has no remorse for his behavior as I interpret this situation.
Authoritarianism is a major issue in evangelicalism. Its also an issue in our culture. Outside the Neo-Calvinist camp I have also written about traditional evangelical culture warriors who also exhibit this issue. Over at the atheist blog Roll to Disbelieve they have a solid article about authoritarians like James MacDonald. Captain Cassidy writes about the history of authoritarianism. After World War II psychologists studied what attracted people to Nazism in Germany. Some people pull ahead as leaders and others are followers. Many authoritarians exploit fear, they escape their fear by gaining power. I would strongly encourage this read as it gives a psychological aspect on James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel. You can read the article in, “Authoritarians, Fear, and the Culture Wars.”