Mancow Muller in the Daily Herald referred to James MacDonald as being a personality cult. This is an article that looks at what a personality cult is. It also explains why Harvest Bible Chapel is the personality cult of James MacDonald and as such Harvest Bible Chapel can not be reformed or corrected. It is the belief of The Wondering Eagle that Harvest Bible Chapel needs to close. Let James MacDonald’s empire join the Soviet Union in the dust bin of history.
“The cult of personality acquired such monstrous dimensions mainly because Stalin himself, using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person.… One of the most characteristic examples of Stalin’s self-glorification and of his lack of even elementary modesty is the edition of his Short Biography, which was published in 1948. This book is an expression of the most unrestrained flattery, an example of making a man into a god, of transforming him into an infallible sage, “the greatest leader,” “sublime strategist of all times and nations.” Ultimately, no more words could be found with which to praise Stalin up to the heavens. We need not give here examples of the loathsome adulation filling this book. All we need to add is that they all were approved and edited by Stalin personally and some of them were added in his own handwriting to the draft text of the book. (Khrushchev 1989)”
What Nikita Khrushchev said as he rebuked the Joseph Stalin personality cult before the 20th party Congress in 1956.
“The cult of personality phenomenon refers to the idealized, even god-like, public image of an individual consciously shaped and molded through constant propaganda and media exposure. As a result, one is able to manipulate others based entirely on the influence of public personality…the cult of personality perspective focuses on the often shallow, external images that many public figures cultivate to create an idealized and heroic image.”
Thomas A Wright on the personality cult.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1 -3 NLT
The Dear Leader of North Korea
James MacDonald, I mean Kim Jung Un
This post is going to look at one thing that come up recently in the Daily Herald that I want to focus on. This is a post that I have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks.
Mancow Muller on the James MacDonald Cult of Personality
In the Daily Herald on January 25, 2019 Mancow Muller wrote an open letter to James MacDonald. Mancow was once very close but it appears as if he had a change of heart on James MacDonald. This blog encourages Mancow to speak out and is glad that he turned the corner. There is one item in the open letter in the Herald that stuck with me and its the following.
For a great many, it’s time for the cult of personality of James MacDonald at Harvest chapter to close and the actual Bible to be opened again.
And with that Mancow identified something that this blog and others have been writing about. The cult of personality that James MacDonald promotes.
What is a Cult of Personality?
The cult of personality is a movement that rallies around a person in power. It can happen in all kinds of societies but tends to happen with authoritarian governments and totalitarian states. A personality cult shares the following characteristics. A cult of personality is a situation where power is concentrated in a single charismatic leader in a totalitarian state. The individual is near deified in material or propaganda from the organization. Totalitarian regimes use the controlled media to defend, up-hold and cultivate a larger than life individual. In some ways this person can also be sold as the”father figure.” Usually the personality cult is male and manhood or being a man is strongly affirmed. Leaders in this context of the personality cult are believed to hold extraordinary knowledge, are special, very courageous, or any other superhuman quality. The cult of personality is used to keep the person in power. And the cult of personality is designed to discourage questioning, opposition, and justify any behavior by the leader no matter how outrageous or wrong it can be. This is how re-education camps are supported in North Korea. Its the reason why Joseph Stalin was able to send 10 million Soviets to the Gulag between 1933 and 1947. The personality cult is very different from hero worship. Personality cult you find in totalitarian regimes.
Examples of people who led personality cults include Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jung Un, Fidel Castro, Francisco Franco, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein. A female leader of a personality cult can be Eva Peron from Argentina.
Why Harvest Bible Chapel Can’t be Fixed and Needs to be Dismantled
This is not the first time I have addressed the personality cult inside evangelicalism. I wrote about the John Piper personality cult in, “The Little Red Book…of John Piper?” Here is the deal and its the blunt assessment of Harvest Bible Chapel. Harvest can not be reformed or changed. It needs to be entirely dismantled and scraped. It very much can be the mini version of North Korea with the head of state front and center. When James MacDonald built Harvest Bible Chapel he built it around himself. All glory, honor and praise would be bestowed upon James. He would have all the attention, focus, and the platform. James drove off anyone who challenged or was perceived to be a threat. James will destroy anyone, any reputation and do what it takes to “win.” James is the kind of narcissist who will drag down an entire organization if he can’t have it.
Harvest Bible Chapel is the personality cult of James MacDonald. The evidence and damage over the years is the proof. People have walked away and fled because its James’ show and he will not submit to authority. How many here remember that Sylvester Stallone movie called Judge Dredd? There is a scene in that where Stallone says, “I am the law!” James MacDonald like any personality cult believes that he is above the law and the rules do not apply to him. If James MacDonald could kill a million people like Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong and bury the bodies in mass graves at Rolling Meadows or Elgin he would. Then you have the efforts to control what people read, and how they think. Trying to control the masses through the state propaganda. That is what those Elder updates are about. Propaganda and spin.
Harvest Bible Chapel can not be reformed because it is a personality cult of James MacDonald. When James will leave it will result in Harvest experiencing a slow implosion. I don’t think it will be immediately like Mars Hill in Seattle but I believe Harvest Bible Chapel in the course of time will share a similar fate. Even if you took out James MacDonald, the elder board who enabled him for years, and the mid level management the culture of James MacDonald will still exist. Why? Because it is the DNA of the organization. The celebrity pastor model is a fatal flaw in evangelicalism. From Harvest Bible Chapel to nearby Willowcreek . Then you consider other examples like C.J. Mahaney at Sovereign Grace, or Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill in Seattle now at Trinity Grace Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Wondering Eagle is calling for Harvest Bible Chapel to be permanently closed. That is the only way this problem will be resolved. The mega church model is a failure and to be rejected. The choice is up to those in the Chicago area. I can only write and point out the issues. You need to take the information and act on it. You have been informed and I have done my job in writing post like this one. But Harvest Bible Chapel is a personality cult of James MacDonald. As such it needs to close.