Harvest Bible Chapel needs to own their mistakes. Individuals like Talbott Behnken, Jeff Donaldson and others need to admit they were wrong. For the hurt and pain they have caused they need to repent and own what they did to others and accept the consequences. This blog heard the other day that Harvest Christian Academy will be hit by the financial scandal and won’t likely last beyond the end of this school year. Either way individuals like the Haskells, Maldeners, Ferraros, the Secrests and others need an apology and to see some action behind the words. In the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal this blog will push for that action.
“You will only fail to learn if you do not learn from failing.”
“Good people are good because they have come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success.”
It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.
Proverbs 11:12 NLT
Dan Haskell with his precious wife.
I want this post to address a very specific issue. There are so many topics to write about but this is one that I think is one of the most important aspects. Its necessary for people’s mental health and well being. And this blog is going to push this issue until Harvest Bible Chapel does the right thing.
I Want Harvest Bible Chapel to be the First….
This blog has written about the dark side of evangelicalism around the United States. From a rogue Evangelical Free Church in Pennsylvania, to others Evangelical Free that occasionally have problems. I have also written about abusive and questionable Acts 29 churches in Memphis, Tennessee to Richmond, Virginia and elsewhere. I have written about mega churches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Seattle, Washington. I have written about local churches in the Washington, D.C. area. Do you want to know what ties all of them together? Despite some being a part of 9 Marks, or boasting of how healthy they are there is one common denominator that unites them all.
Despite all the talks about repentance, and doing the right thing and owning a person’s mistakes when nearly all of those churches made a mistake or error and were in the wrong – not one went back to the people that were hurt or wounded and repented and apologized and worked long term to fix the pain that they caused. The biggest reason in my analysis why much of evangelical Christianity is so sick is because evangelical Christians don’t admit their mistakes. They never ask for forgiveness and own their errors. They don’t repent and take feedback as to how their actions hurt them. I wrote a post a couple of years back about this very topic. You can read that in, “How Mistakes are Opportunities…Why Don’t Evangelical Christians Say they are Sorry? Why Don’t Evangelicals Repent and Own their Mistakes Today?”
What this blog wants is for Harvest Bible Chapel to be the first evangelical Christian church in memory that does the right thing and owns its mistakes. This blog wants Harvest Bible Chapel to do the right thing.
The Secrest family
Why the Haskells, Secrests, Maldaners and Countless Others Need an Apology
Writing about Harvest Bible Chapel has been hard and difficult. There has been so much time spent on the phone listening to people and talking with them. Its led to a lot of late nights of researching, composing and working on new posts. But all of the people that I spoke with, those who I have not, and those who I have read about who are wounded are hurt. They all need an apology and some action to back it up. Harvest Bible Church actually needs to repent. Now when I say that I don’t mean a sensational like Jimmy Swaggert did in 1988. I am not asking for Talbott Behnken to go before the crowd at Elgin and cry saying, ” I have sinned against you my Lord…” I am not asking for anything cheesy.
I am asking for Harvest Bible Chapel players and people to go back and approach those that they have hurt. This blog wants Talbott Behnken to contact the Maldaners and Haskells and to admit his error. He wants him to listen from both parties about how RT and Dan were hurt by his actions. Talbott needs to listen, apologize and work with both people to meet their needs and help them after what he did to them. Talbott Behnken needs to understand how this affected both families. Talbott needs to comprehend how this affected Dan and Kate and their children. In each way they should do the right thing. And it should not stop there Talbott should know the other people who have been mistreated and he should reach out to them. The other day in talking with my sources I heard that Harvest Christian Academy is in a precarious financial position. Due to the financial crisis Harvest Bible Chapel is experiencing after all its what $42 million dollars in debt, Harvest Christian Academy doesn’t have the funds to get beyond the end of this school year. So if Talbott is going to be looking for another job this blog recommends he do the right thing and atone for the way he mistreated people. A good suggestion would be letting RT Maldaner preaching one night at Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin. I can’t imagine Rt saying no to that if I am going to be honest with you.
But so many people need an apology. Another one that comes to mind is the Secrest family down in Naples, Florida. Look at what they were put through, the wrongful termination and misleading of John Secrest. This blog wants to have the Secrests healed and helped long term from this mess that James MacDonald created. The same applies to the Ferraros. Harvest Bible Chapel has been a wrecking ball on their faith. What if Jeff Donaldson sat down in front of Mike and Chantel Ferraro and sat there and listened to what Chantel had to say about their time in Harvest Bible Chapel.
This Blog is Pushing for Harvest to Do the Right Thing
Having said all that above I want to add something to the narrative I am writing. Consider this aspect, there are a number of atheists and secular humanists that practice forgiveness. They do it for psychological reasons because they understand how important closure and healing is. Now stop and think about this…if Talbott Behnken or Jeff Donaldson or anyone else from Harvest Bible Chapel can’t do that but atheists can; what does it mean about Talbott Behnken or Jeff Donaldson. If any atheist can practice forgiveness but a person in leadership at Harvest can’t that speaks volumes. Honestly I don’t care about how many verses that Talbott Behnken can state. If Jeff Donaldson speaks about how much he studies his ESV, reads Wayne Grudem or anyone else but he can’t what does it say?
In the end what this is all about is not saying the right thing but doing the right thing. Talbott Behnken and Jeff Donaldson should be measured by what they do and not what they say. Talk is cheap but actions speak volumes. Its time for Harvest Bible Chapel to do the right thing. This writer understands how psychologically taxing spiritual abuse can be. And this needs to be corrected for the psychological well being of of the people hurt. For example if Jeff Donaldson approached Chantel Ferraro and he listened to her perspective and as a result she learned to slowly trust again? Or take Dan Haskell what if Talbott Behnken does the right thing and own his mistakes and work things out. As a result what if Dan and Kate lived out their life in peace and harmony. So that five decades from now at 85 Dan is at peace with his life because he has closure. He has closure that Talbott and Harvest did the right thing. He has a joy about life in a fresh way that can allow him to enjoy his grand kids and more. What I learned from my mess with someone from Sovereign Grace now Acts 29 Redeemer Arlington here in the Washington, D.C. area is that the cruelest thing you can do to people is deny them peace. To leave them psychologically stuck where this hangs over their life. This blog wants Harvest Bible Chapel to own its mistakes and make things right. I will be pushing this until that happens.