Competing Analysis on Dan George’s Statement of Repentance

Dan George became the first person in leadership from Harvest Bible Chapel to issue a statement of repentance. This post examines the issue from competing sides. Should Dan George’s statement of repentance be accepted or should it be rejected? 

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Mark Twain 

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Louis Smedes 

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

1 John 3:18 NLT 

This post is going to be different than the usual comments about this topic. I noticed on Twitter how many people responded warmly to Dan George, and even Julie Roys wrote about this as well. What I am going to do is look at the statement of reconciliation from two angles and explain why it should be accepted or rejected. For those of you who do not know Dan George is an elder from Rolling Meadows. On February 22, 2019 Dan George released a statement of repentance

 

Why Dan George’s Statement of Repentance Should be Accepted

People need healing and closure and one of the important steps in that direction is by those who have committed the wrong to own it and admit their error. Dan George as an elder helped enable James MacDonald who abused people in his position. For Dan George to ask to be forgiven shows that he understands the problem. After all in his statement of repentance he admits the following:

  1. For not listening. 
  2. For vilifying people outside Harvest Bible Chapel. 
  3. For agreeing to place three fellow elders under church discipline in 2013. 
  4. For signing a statement of “unconditional support” of James MacDonald in December of 2018
  5. For not holding James MacDonald accountable. 

This all sounds like Dan George understands the issues at Harvest and it must be pointed out that he is the first person in leadership from Harvest Bible Chapel who has taken this action. That should be commendable. This was a good precedent and can pave the way for other people to step forward and follow suit. After all if people such as Sam Booras or John Dierker also do this then Dan George deserves respect for stepping out and taking the right course of action. This blog supports people taking the right course of action. Not long ago I wrote about it in, “Why Harvest Bible Chapel Needs to Repent to the Haskells, Maldeners, Ferraros, Secrests and Countless Others. The Blog Wants Harvest to Own its Abuse Admit its Errors and Misconduct so that People Will Have Peace and Closure.” That is one perspective of why Dan George’s statement of repentance should be accepted.

 

 

Why Dan George’s Statement of Repentance Should be Rejected 

Here is the counter argument to what I have said previously. It is convenient for Dan George to be speaking out now. James MacDonald is out of the picture. This is the church organization that held its “Act Like Men” conferences. What did Dan George do? He spoke up after James MacDonald left. Is that how a man acts or responds? It can be said that this statement by Dan George is opportunistic. Many evangelical Christians sadly are gullible. Many Christians abuse reconciliation and forgiveness and have poor judgement in how to accept or practice it. If Dan George had spoken up in December 2018 or in the 2013 time frame then one could not question Dan George’s motivation. Its easy to speak up like this now when there are not many repercussions. When one considers the timing, and more it raises questions about its legitimacy. 

 

People From Harvest Bible Chapel Need to Decide

The goal of this post is to get people to think. Sometimes people say reconciliation and people jump at the topic. While its necessary and important the fact of the matter is that its very much misunderstood. Many people at Harvest Bible Chapel have already been manipulated for years and made a number of bad decisions. Are they making another one in regards to Dan George? That is an issue that the people of Harvest Bible Chapel will need to decide for themselves. A couple of years ago I wrote a detailed post on the topic of repentance. That might be helpful for people. You can read that post in, “A Primer on Repentance: What are Indicators that Repentance Has Occurred?I do not know the issue, however I am presenting both sides of the topic. 

 

6 thoughts on “Competing Analysis on Dan George’s Statement of Repentance

  1. This is a decent first step but, in itself, doesn’t go nearly far enough to do what can be done to right the wrongs as much as is possible at this point in time.

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  2. When an evangelical church leader is caught in wrongdoing that they can no longer weasel out of, then their next move us usually to make a big public tear-filled apology. Or, as I like to think of it, they “have to sing the very sorry song”:

    There’s several things in George’s statement that fit right in with the typical apology. He uses a christianese phrase, “I am convicted…” He throws in some bible verses and references to prayer to remind us of how strong a member of the tribe he is. And he makes repeated requests for people to forgive him.

    The standard in authoritarian evangelical churches is that when somebody asks for forgiveness, it’s supposed to be granted immediately, and then everybody is supposed to act like the offense never happened. But that’s a recipe for abusive situations like the one at Harvest. Forgiveness should not be granted just because somebody says they are sorry and asks for it. Forgiveness needs to be earned. The apology needs to be followed up with actual atonement, or it’s meaningless.

    So I think a good response to George’s statement could be “We accept your apology. But we are not ready to forgive you yet. And we are not ready to trust you again yet. You need to put as much effort into fixing the harm you did as you put into causing the harm in the first place. You need to show us your regret with your actions and not just your words. When you have really made a serious long-term effort to repair the harm that you did, then we’ll consider forgiving you, but not before.”

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    • When an evangelical church leader is caught in wrongdoing that they can no longer weasel out of, then their next move us usually to make a big public tear-filled apology.

      Including crying on cue.

      Liked by 2 people

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