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