In the fall of 2018 James MacDonald posed as a homeless man outside two of his campuses at Harvest Bible Chapel. He claimed he wanted to test people and see if they can respond in love. The controversial pastor then gave a talk on loving those around you, even those who oppose you. Shortly after that talk James MacDonald then fired off a lawsuit against the writers of The Elephant’s Debt, their wives and Julie Roys. This is an article reminding people at Harvest that in understanding MacDonald his actions speak louder than words as he is a narcissist.
“Do you know that your father in Heaven is giving the same graces to the person that is hardest for you to love? He is giving it. He doesn’t play favorites. He is giving the grace to everyone. If we are going to love like our father in Heaven loves, we don’t get to play favorites. By favorites I mean, so often we love the people when there is some benefit in it for us.”
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Matthew 5:45 NLT
This is a post that I have been wanting to do for a while. Its stuck in my mind. As the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal grows the question should be asked, how should James MacDonald’s teaching or promises be viewed? Before I get into what James MacDonald did let me make clear my past experience with the homeless in Washington, D.C.
A Note About the Homeless
In the Washington, D.C. area I was involved in two ministries that helped the homeless. I was a part of Mark Batterson’s National Community Church (NCC) which fed the homeless around Union Station in Washington, D.C. This was in when the church met in the movie theaters at that location. I spent time hanging out with the homeless. Giving them food, talking with them and sharing. I remember one time hugging someone who was schizophrenic who had mucous pouring out of his nose. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I did, but he asked for a hug and I did it. At NCC the homeless would come into church sometimes high or and they would snore in the service. I thought it beautiful that they could hang out as they were – mentally ill, addicted to a substance or more. One of the homeless people who I used to give a ride to was an alcoholic who destroyed a marriage due to alcohol. She actually drunk herself out of a job, family, and to death. I learned last year that she died. That saddened me. There was one person who I used to give a ride to at a homeless shelter. I fell out of touch when I had a faith crisis and I desperately tried to find her to ask for forgiveness for letting her down. You can read that in, “An Open Letter to Susan (Last Name Unknown…)” I also worked with the homeless through Fairfax Community Church and spent an occasional Saturday befriending and hanging out with them. Sometimes I also had homelessness and pleas for help invade my life. That happened in the Washington, D.C. area once at a Dunkin Donuts and I wrote about it in, “When Other People’s Suffering Invades Your World.” Please note I am not trying to brag on what I have done in the past. I am just sharing my past experience with helping the homeless. I do this because of what I am about to say in regards to James MacDonald. The point of this post is to compare what James MacDonald teaches versus how he lives and what he does. Actions and words are two very different things.
A Test and a Lesson from James MacDonald
In the fall of 2018 James MacDonald posed as a homeless person and hung outside two of his campuses at Harvest Bible Chapel. The goal that he had is to test their love and generosity. He hung outside the door dressed in shoddy clothing, woolen hat and beard. You can see him in the video up above. Then James walks into the service with his shopping cart and takes off the disguise before the congregation. He gave a talk called, “When it is Hardest to Love.” He spoke about loving people who hate you, and those who are hardest to love. It got the attention of the evangelical world and James MacDonald wrote an article about it for Newsmax which you can see here. In addition you can read about it on Church Leaders. And you can also read about what MacDonald did in the Christian Post here. The act happened right before the Closer campaign which also is key.
Looking at What MacDonald Says versus How He Acts Some Examples
Its this blog’s belief that James MacDonald is a fraud. Its pretty cut and dry. James MacDonald’s sermon on love was really good. He said the right thing in his talk. He discussed the importance of love, loving those who don’t love you and more. But what happened after James MacDonald preached and taught that? What did he do? He launched a lawsuit against The Elephant’s Debt. He went after Scott Bryant and Ryan Mahoney. He also went after the wives of both Scott and Ryan. James MacDonald also included a journalist Julie Roys in the lawsuit. How does a pastor go from talking about loving people, to shortly thereafter firing off a lawsuit? This is actually a pattern inside Harvest Bible Chapel. After the lawsuit was dropped there was supposed to be a sabbatical and a season of peace and reconciliation. What happened after that season of peace was commenced? John Secrest in Naples was fired. How does a church go from declaring they want peace to then firing a pastor and disrupting his family life?
Harvest Ignore the Talk, Watch how James MacDonald Acts
James MacDonald can sound slick, and he can speak and preach well. He can capture the masses with his talking. If you doubt me watch the video clip that is the introduction to this post. But here is the problem for James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel. What James teaches in his sermons he doesn’t believe he should follow. James believes that he is exempt from what is proclaimed. During this season of conflict and problems what happens when good declarations are made? When James or his elder board makes a statement? Should you accept what is said? No. James MacDonald has proven himself to be a liar and a narcissist. You can’t trust a narcissist at all. Narcissists believe that they are above the rules and the standards they impose on others. Harvest if you trust James MacDonald you are going to be let down majorly. When James opens his mouth or writes something you are to immediately be cynical. This blog will make you a promise that after James says something in a week or three James will retract, change, insult or do something different. That is how these types of individuals are so known for their questionable behavior. Harvest don’t be fooled. Listen to the people who left, as they understand the circus and the ringmaster that is James MacDonald.