James MacDonald allegedly made an explicit video inside Harvest Bible Chapel that was very sexual in nature. According to a statement by Dean Butters Rick Donald allegedly enjoyed the video and requested it be played frequently. Also, this blog briefly looks at the time Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Stephen Stewart advertised her daughter’s virginity in Christianity Today in 2016. There are many similarities in this situation to the radical Islamic purity culture in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan.
“It was a feeling of loyalty to our own sex and an enthusiasm to have every degradation that was put upon our sex removed.”
“Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software.”
Arthur C Clarke
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Isiah 25:1 ESV
Speaking of tapes, this is from Chevy Chase’s European Vacation and this scene is dedicated to Rick Donald.
It was bound to happen and I wondered when more would come out in the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal. There was already some disturbing stuff about James MacDonald that has come out previously. There was the audio tape played on Mancow Muller of someone who sounded like James MacDonald saying that he wanted to plant child pornography on the computer of the CEO of Christianity Today. You can read that in, “Mancow Muller Produces an Audiotape of James MacDonald Allegedly Wanting to Plant Child Pornography on a “Critic’s” Computer. Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Board Promptly Fires Him.” Then there was the allegation by Anne Green that James MacDonald inappropriately touched her on a private jet. You can read that in, “Anne Green Explains how James MacDonald Inappropriately Touched her on a Flight to California on the Mancow Muller Show. What About Female Worship Leaders Such as Lindsay McCaul, Meredith Andrews and Others? Did They Deal with Sexual Misconduct?“
Well James MacDonald was close to Mark Driscoll who led Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Driscoll was known for being very explicit about sex. For example he once taught in a sermon that a repentant women who has found Jesus gets down on her knees and gives her husband a “Gospel Centered” blow job. This is how part of the sermon was given.
She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help.
Then of course there was the time Mark Driscoll taught that women were penis homes. You can read about that in this New York Daily News article. So when was more explicit information about James MacDonald going to come forward? That changed this afternoon.
Did James MacDonald Create an Explicit Video Tape that Rick Donald Enjoyed?
I saw talk on Twitter and then Ryan Mahoney wrote about this topic at The Elephant’s Debt. Allegedly Dean Butters gave a statement in the run up of Harvest Bible Chapel firing James MacDonald. In the statement James MacDonald allegedly created an audio tape of a celebrity Christian woman. In the tape MacDonald equated her first sexual experience with meeting the Holy Spirit. There were very graphic sexual sounds made which made it explicit. It was shared regularly inside Harvest Bible Chapel among the pastoral staff. Rick Donald loved the tape and asked that it be re-played repeatedly. Having explained all that is this the statement that Dean Butters gave which contained the discussion of the explicit audio tape.
[MacDonald] mocked a well-known Christian woman when she got engaged [TED edit of identifying information] after  being single and chaste. He made a video likening her first sexual experience to the Holy Spirit coming upon her (with very graphic and disturbing audio). This video was circulated to James’ pastor friends and he read us comments about it that he claimed were from [two well-known pastors]. This video was a favorite of Pastor Rick’s and he regularly asked James to play it, often to the groans and chagrin of the others present.
The information raises the question as to why Rick Donald was even a pastor inside Harvest Bible Chapel. Ryan Mahoney wrote a good post about this which you can read in, “Why Rick Donald Cannot Return to HBC as a Pastor or Elder.”
The Double Standard of Evangelical Christians and Sex
Here is the irony as I reflected on this tape. How many men have beat themselves up on the topic of pornography, dating, sex, and other like minded issues. How many evangelicals believe that being human is a crime? That sexuality is a crime? Then you have conferences like Act Like Men which hammer guys. And this all happens while there is an explicit video tape that is made and shared inside Harvest Bible Chapel. Honestly? If you are not enraged about that, then you should be. Evangelical Christians hammer sex and honestly many do not know what healthy sexuality is. Then you have the obsession with accountability. Recently I wrote a post asking the question if evangelical Christian culture contributes to pornography. You can read that in, “Does Evangelical Culture Contribute to Pornography? Plus the Torment Accountability has Left in My Life.”
When Elgin Elder Stephen Stewart Advertised his 25 Year Old Daughter’s Virginity in Christianity Today
There was another situation that garnered a lot of attention that also should be raised as well. In 2016 Stephen Stewart was one of the Elders at the Elgin location at Harvest Bible Chapel. In Christianity Today he advertised his 25 year old virgin daughter for marriage. Yes you read that correct. This happened in the Chicago suburbs. Stewart created this advertisement without her daughter’s knowledge. This is how the advertisement read.
“Her: godly, gorgeous, athletic, educated, careered, humorous, traveled, bilingual, 26-year-old virgin,” the ad said. “You: unworthy, though becoming less so daily.”
The advertisement slipped through the censors at Christianity Today where it showed up in the classifieds for employment opportunities. It led to Mark Galli issuing a statement about the advertisement process for Christianity Today. Galli said the following. “We want everything in our magazine to reflect beautiful orthodoxy, and this ad did not,” the editor in chief, Mark Galli, wrote. “We have taken a hard look at our ad review process, made some changes, and we can assure our readers that no ad like this will appear again.” This story first got the attention of The Daily Beast which you can read here. Then it was covered in the Christian Post.
That situation also showed how unhealthy evangelical Christian culture can be. What does it say when it stresses sexual purity to such an extreme? But what also bothers me to is that his behavior reminds me more of Sunni Islam. A woman would be advertised in a tribe in Pakistan. The Taliban in Afghanistan viewed women in a similar context. And then there is Stephen Stewart from Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin who was pretty close. If Harvest is going to imitate Islamic extremist culture then this blogger is nervous about what else can be duplicated? All I will say is that I do not want to be in a skyscraper in Chicago or any other American city. Well that is it for the day.