An Open Letter to Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant (Thoughts on Your Blog and Preserving The Elephant’s Debt Longterm)

An open letter to the writers of The Elephant’s Debt. This letter is to encourage them as they continue to write about James MacDoanld and Harvest Bible Chapel. Its my hope that this post will also start discussions about preserving The Elephant’s Debt long term so that this record of fraud and abuse at Harvest Bible Chapel is safeguarded longterm. This must occur especially if James MacDonald flees and tries to restart ministry elsewhere or for the historians who will one day write about all this scandal in the history books of tomorrow. 

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

Yehuda Berg

“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.”

John C Maxwell

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[a] Be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT


Dear Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant-

This is another item on my list of articles to write about Harvest Bible Chapel and the issues that surround it. So now I can scratch this topic off. I want to let both of you know how impressed I am with the blog you both have written. You are dealing with a very difficult subject – that of James MacDonald. And hands down both of you have done a fantastic job in researching and writing about the issues of Harvest Bible Chapel. In my mind your blog stands out from so many others because of your focus, and sticking with the topic long term. It also has played a significant role in educating people on the issues with Harvest Bible Chapel. Your intelligence and sources are good and that is what makes your blog stand out. It takes talent to write one long term and be read. You both know, as do I, that writing blogs takes a lot of time and effort. 

What also gives your blog credibility is something that I wish didn’t happen to either of you . You faced a lawsuit, as did your wives. That no doubt was an intimidating and difficult thing to do. But you guys faced that fear and held your ground. That lawsuit is what led me to write about Harvest Bible Chapel. I was stunned by what I saw and read about and wanted to do analysis on this topic. My bread and butter is the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) but I put that aside for a brief time to try and come along side both of you and help write about this problem. With the exception of a blogger in Jacksonville, Florida you are the only blog that I know about that was sued. There is another one in Oregon that faced a lawsuit but I believe that was over a negative Google review. 

As the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal unfolds I wanted to take some time and say kudos to the hard work you have done. Please keep on it and stay the course all the way until the end. However there is another reason that I am writing this letter. I want to raise an issue not only with you but your readers. There have been many good blogs over the years that have written about their topics and then they disappeared. Evidence and stories have vanished. This has happened already with Mars Hill and Sovereign Grace Ministries. A couple of times I have tried to preserve some of the evidence so that it does not disappear. Here you can find the letter that was written to Paul Petry and Bent Meyer by a large number of former elders at Mars Hill. Then there are also the comments. In the Sovereign Grace scandal there was a writer named Jim  who wrote a blog called SGM Refuge. I used to read it and spoke with Jim once when I was dealing with my mess from a Sovereign Grace church. When the blog disappeared and Jim stopped writing it a lot of information was lost. One of the stories that was lost was one that shocked me. It was the story of Esther of Sovereign Grace Chesapeake, Virginia. A Sovereign Grace church forced a woman in a domestic battery situation to go back to her husband. Divorce was a sin, but beating the wife had to be forgiven by her. It was a horrific situation. Its loss was felt by many people who used to deal with that issue. And no doubt Sovereign Grace Churches now in Louisville, Kentucky was delighted that a major critic is gone. 

I would like to raise the issue with Ryan and Scott but also your readers. How is all this information you put together on Harvest Bible Chapel at The Elephant’s Debt going to be preserved. When Harvest Chicago implodes and closes and James MacDonald flees all of this information should be preserved so that others in Florida or else where can be warned to stay away. At that point you may be tired and want to move on in your life. I am raising this now so that a person some readers can come together and carry and preserve your blog. Then there is another factor to consider. What about the historians? Historians are analyzing and writing about Mar Hill Seattle. One day Harvest Bible Chapel will also be written about and studied. Preserving The Elephant’s Debt long term is important and needs to take place. 

Keep up the good work and I hope this will start discussions about the preservation of The Elephant’s Debt long term. Its not an issue now but one day it will. I want to help guide and find a way to preserve you guys long term. James MacDonald wants nothing more than for you to disappear and we can’t allow that to happen. 

Please take care of yourself, 

Very Respectfully, 

David Bonner 


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