Why Publish the Dean Butters Statement in Its Entirety?

This is a brief post explaining why I published the Dean Butters statement on James MacDonald. I was asked to publish it and agreed after some thought and negotiation. This explains the reasons why I took this course of action. 

“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

Albert Einstein

“Always do right – this will gratify some and astonish the rest.”

Mark Twain 

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 

James 5:13:14 ESV

Last Saturday on March 9, 2019 I attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows as I was in the Chicago area. You can read about that in, “The Wondering Eagle Visits Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows.” Before I attended Rolling Meadows I met with someone at a local restaurant in Palatine, Illinois. It was a man who spent a good amount of time in Harvest Bible Chapel. He is one of the many amazing individuals that I met, who is loving, kind and nice. He is a good husband, father and attends faithfully to his wife. He explained to me the long commutes he has on Metra to downtown Chicago. And outside of work he spent a lot of time in Harvest. In one year alone he and his wife gave close to $90,000 to Harvest Bible Chapel. He did this while trying to raise a family. When Harvest Bible Chapel practiced the controversial 2013 church discipline act on three elders this individual was horrified. He knew one of the people who were affected and that led him to leave Harvest Bible Chapel. I have also interacted with another man who I deeply respect. He is kind, generous and caring. A few weeks back in a phone conversation he explained to me his history with Harvest Bible Chapel. He keeps telling me about the “wounded sheep” coming out of Harvest Bible Chapel. In one phone call he told me that over a four to five year period he and his wife gave close to $250,000 to Harvest Bible Chapel. Then there was the time I spent on the phone with a mother. Her son stayed in Paxton Singer’s cabin at Camp Harvest, and she told me about how she asked her son a lot of questions to see if he was groomed for sexual abuse. She wrote the following post. “Guest Post: An Open Letter from a Concerned Mother Disheartened About how Harvest Bible Chapel Mishandled Paxton Singer’s Arrest.

All of those above mentioned people I respect, admire and love. All of those people are demanding that Harvest come clean. That they come clean on their financial issues or the Paxton Singer situation.  That is why I published, “The Wondering Eagle Exclusive: Dean Butters Statement.” Harvest Bible Chapel needs to come clean on its issues. It can’t have a little but come out by Julie Roys and then Steve Houston resigns. It can’t say its wanting to do the right thing and then hire Lawrence Swicegood from Gateway Church down in Dallas, Texas. The days of the Evangelical Industrial Complex need to come to a close. I was asked to publish Dean Butters statement and after some thought and discussing it agreed to do so. This was sad to read, and in my view very damning on James MacDonald. Its also damning on Fred Adams as well. But if these people did their jobs and took the right course of action then these issues would not be happening today. Lives are fragile and this is not how you run a church. Likewise I also believe that people should be able to read Dean Butters statement in its entirety. It should be made available to those who attended Harvest. How anyone can attend Harvest Bible Chapel after reading that letter is beyond me. But for those who gave their time and life at Harvest who are devastated, its time for Harvest to open up the black budget and do a full accounting. Let an outside, independent, secular accounting firm outside the Evangelical Industrial Complex that doesn’t have Lawrence Swicegood’s tentacles on it do the audit.   Those who gave their money need to know how it was used. Harvest is a story of waste and abuse. Is it too much to ask Harvest Bible Chapel and its leadership to practice ethics? Do they really know what ethics means? It’s time for Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago to step up and do the right thing. 

15 thoughts on “Why Publish the Dean Butters Statement in Its Entirety?

  1. I thank you so much for publishing This. Dean i know it’s hard but I so thank you for writing this and all the you didn’t want it published I think. It soo needs to! This extends way beyond Harvest for every pastor to look at themselves every elder to look at themselves every Christian to wake up and double check that they aren’t being swindled and that they aren’t loving a church a brand a pastor more than God. My heart hurts for you but I hope in your full experience being told you will actually find freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These days when it comes to churches, YOU HAVE TO ASSUME CORRUPTION UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE. It’s the only way to be safe.

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      • That’s not biblical nor godly. I’m truly sorry that some of the high profile megachurches and their leaders have led to the scandals and sin that are being shown as prevalent. However, their are many small and unknown churches where god’s people really want to be the reflection of the body of Jesus to the world and serve those who are part of the church family. I realize that after focusing on scandals in the mega churches that it is easy to become cynical — and that is a heart issue. God’s best to you.

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  2. You did the right thing by publishing the letter in it’s entirety.

    The community has a right to know the level of deceit & abuse that James MacDonald & company have inflicted on others.

    Thanks for being courageous.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree! Thank you for your courage to shed a light on this horrendous evil going on for so long. What is more shocking is that is seems James Macdonald isn’t saved at all. Just a con man with a degree in Theology who’s success grew him into a repulsive beast. He does not fear God or respect the very bible he dared used for his financial gain. God will deal with him, wherever this Coward who thinks he is man is hiding.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. James MacDonald. Has he gone THE WAY OF CAIN? Hard to argue he hasn’t. In short, can it be any clearer he has?!? Sobering.

    “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.” – Genesis 4:16

    “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”
    – I John 3:12

    “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”
    – Jude 11

    As “the way of Cain” is spoken of by the apostle Jude, as specially the way of the last days, let us inquire what it was. It was evil, not good. He is an open and defiant sinner; and in him sin takes its full swing. He is the first child of the fall, and the offspring of the fallen; he is no common transgressor; he runs no ordinary career of wickedness; he rushes to the extremity of evil. He is given as a beacon, yet as a true specimen of man, of the human heart even in the most favorable circumstances. He came into the world, not like Adam, full-grown, but a child, and therefore with the least possible amount of evil. He is the child of believing parents; for Adam showed his faith by calling his wife, and Eve showed hers by the way in which she received her first-born. He had a most godly brother, and was one of a pious household; brought up within sight of Paradise, and from childhood taught the knowledge of the true God, and the woman’s seed.

    He was exposed to no outward temptation; he had no companion in sin; he walked the broad way alone. He was warned, no doubt, against the serpent and his seed. He was more than once spoken to directly by God. He had every possible advantage, in the absence of evil and the presence of good. Much might have been expected from him; yet he turns his back on God, on Paradise, on the altar, on the sacrifice, on all that is good and blessed. But let us see more specially what the apostle calls “the way of Cain.”

    I. It is the way of UNBELIEF. Cain is the first specimen of an unbelieving man. His parents were sinners, but they believed. His brother was a sinner, but he believed. Cain is not an atheist, nor an altogether irreligious man. He owns a God, and brings his fruits to the altar. But he brings no lamb, no blood, nothing that speaks of death. He comes with no confession, no cry for mercy. He sees no need of the woman’s seed, no danger from the serpent; no preciousness, and perhaps no truth, in the promise of the 28 serpent’s crushed head or Messiah’s bruised heel. He takes Satan’s side against God, not God’s against Satan; for all unbelief is a siding with Satan against God. God is not to him the God of grace, nor the woman’s seed the Savior of the lost. He has a religion, but it is self-made, a human religion, something of his own; without Christ, or blood, or pardon. The love of God is to him mere indifference to sin. Rejection of God’s religion, and of His Messiah– this is “the way of Cain.”

    II. It is the way of APOSTASY. He turns his back on God, and will have none of Him. He is not like one of our dark heathen, ignorant of the true God. He knows Jehovah, and has heard His voice; but he turns away. He is an apostate (the first apostate) from the religion of his father; a scorner of the Messiah; he needs a Messiah of his own– “a Christ that is to be”; not God’s Christ, but man’s. From what small beginnings apostasy springs.

    III. It is the way of WORLDLINESS. Having forsaken his father’s God, he makes a god to himself; that god is the world. He goes far from Paradise, builds a city, becomes a thorough man of the world; becomes the father of the inventors of all curious instruments, leads the ever-swelling crowd in its race of worldliness and vanity– with the cry, Onward, onward; progress, progress. They eat and drink, marry, and are given in marriage. All about Cain is of this present evil world. In our age what a spirit of worldliness is abroad; often not open wickedness, but simply worldliness, so absorbing the soul as to draw it quite down from the region of “the world to come.”

    IV. It is the way of HATRED. He begins with envy of his brother; goes on to hatred; ends in murder. He is specially jealous of his brother’s having found favor with God. Yes, strange, though he would have none of God for himself, he cannot bear that his brother should have it. Not the love of man or woman, but of God is the cause of the first jealousy and the first murder. He hates God, and all the more for loving his brother. He hates Abel, and all the more for being loved of God. He cannot lay hands on God, as he sincerely would do, but he lays hands on His favorite, and so takes his revenge. Yes, the way of Cain is the way of envy, jealousy, hatred, murder!

    V. The way of GOD-DEFIANCE. He dissembles; he wipes his bloody weapon and his bloody hands, saying, What have I done? He lies; he pretends; he would hide his doings from God. He has beguiled his brother into a lonely field and slain him, thinking that none would rescue, and none see. He acts as the liar and the hypocrite in the very presence of God. The way of Cain is the way of hypocrisy, falsehood, and defiance of God. God asks him of his brother; his answer is not only a lie, but a brazen-faced piece of impiety: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Thus he mocks God; utters the language of irreverence and defiance:– “He is your favorite, why do you not keep him? I never pretended to keep him.” Here mingled fear, shame, audacity, defiance are manifested. He would sincerely deny the deed, but dares not. He trembles, and would sincerely conceal it. He puts on a defiant air and attitude, as if to brave it out before the all-seeing One! Such is the way of Cain!

    MARK HIS DOOM.
    1. DESPAIR. No cry for mercy, but merely, My punishment is greater than I can bear. So is it in other ages. The sinner’s despair of mercy, or complaint against God for making his punishment so heavy, is the repetition of Cain’s offence and his doom. Why should a sinner despair on this side of hell? There is forgiveness to the uttermost; grace reaching far beyond the extremity of human guilt.

    2. BANISHMENT FROM GOD. He goes out from the presence of God, as if he could no longer bear that. He must away from Paradise, the birthplace of the race, the old seat of worship. But what is this to the eternal banishment? Cain has no rest, moving to and fro without hope or aim, a fugitive and vagabond, seeking rest, finding none. Sad curse! yet nothing to the eternal wandering!

    3. DISAPPOINTMENT. He himself was his mother’s disappointment, for she thought she had gotten the man-child. So is he a disappointment to himself. From first to last we see in him a disappointed man, trying everything, succeeding in nothing; building cities, roaming from place to place, to soothe his conscience, and fill up his heart’s void. But in vain!

    4. FRUITLESS WORLDLINESS. He is the heir of a barren world; for the whole world is his. He is possessor of a soil made unfruitful by a brother’s blood; tilling and sowing, yet not reaping. A weary man, toiling for that which is not bread; trying to wring water out of the world’s dry sands and broken cisterns. Such is the career of thousands. Fruitless worldliness. A life of vanity; a soul utterly void; a being wholly wasted.

    GraceGems.org

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  4. I find it sinister that Kathy MacDonald would disclose a private conversation with Dean’s wife in a small group setting and then share that discussion with her husband James. Sinister. Kathy MacDonald is not to be trusted. She is hip deep in the Harvest crime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy MacDonald is a Good Widdle Wifey of Great Megapastor, enjoying the wealth, position, and perks that come with that Title of Nobility. And NOBODY stands in the way of that Godly Gravy Train.

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  5. Thank you for publishing the letter. And for being a warrior, along with TED and Julie Roy’s in fighting the godless, barbaric, and perverted soul-crushing money-grubbing machine that shamelessly calls itself Harvest Bible Chapel.

    May God have mercy on those very many spineless eunuch’d MacDonald sycophants (past and present- Collett, Bradshaw, and several others still bizarrely remain). I cannot imagine the terror and fear that someone feels while sinking to the bottom of a very deep and dark sea with a millstone tightly chained around one’s neck…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. While it is obvious that James MacDonald is a total disgrace and a thief and should be investigated for stealing Harvest funds for his personal pleasures, let’s not overlook Kathy MacDonald’s role in this. She,too,has been an accomplice to her husband and should be investigated as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The broader Christian community needs to know Dean’s story, so thank you Wondering eagle for having the courage to do what others have hidden for the past month.

    Like

  8. Pingback: Analysis of the Dean Butters Statement. What are the Lessons Learned? | Wondering Eagle

  9. Pingback: When the EFCA is Tone Deaf to Evangelical Scandals? Why is Ed Stetzer Speaking at EFCA One in Chicago? | Wondering Eagle

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