Prosperity Gospel is not so much a problem with one’s gospel but with one’s eschatology. Let me explain before you stone me. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: T.D. Jakes
At the Saturday night service and the two Sunday services, MacDonald read a prepared statement after the message. Please click here for updates to The Elephant’s Debt regarding his comments.
In the absence of a public statement being issued either by Harvest Bible Fellowship or by Harvest Bible Church (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel) of Grayslake, IL, those that are attempting to document the fallout from the Elephant Room 2 are left with the unenviable task of sifting through the available data in an attempt to piece together the developing story.
Yesterday morning, that task became somewhat lighter as Senior Pastor Mike Bryant [no relation to this author] lent credibility to emerging reports, when he addressed the matter in his weekly sermon. Read the rest of this entry »
Just over three months ago, James MacDonald, Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, made a decision. Against the timely and judicious counsel of certain “influential leaders” within The Gospel Coalition, he decided to proceed with the theological circus known as the Elephant Room 2. At the time, he apparently believed that the opportunity to engage Bishop T.D. Jakes in a public conversation was of such paramount importance that it was worth severing his official ties to The Gospel Coalition. To no one’s surprise, not everyone agreed with his assessment. Read the rest of this entry »
The shadow cast off by the Elephant Room 2 is beginning to expand as Harvest Bible Chapel – New Lenox has just announced its decision to publicly become the third church to officially separate from the Harvest Bible Fellowship. As you may recall, back in January of 2012, Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel and Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church hosted a gathering of pastors that included the well-known and controversial Bishop T.D. Jakes. While some have applauded the efforts of the two hosts, others seem to be deeply concerned by their failure to fully and publicly address Bishop Jakes’ unconventional theology. To date the following churches have left the hosts’ respective church planting ministries:
Acts 29 Network:
Harvest Bible Fellowship:
Harvest Bible Church (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel – Detroit, MI)
Harvest Bible Chapel – Prescott, AZ
Harvest Bible Chapel – New Lenox, IL (soon to revert back to its intial name, Cornerstone Church)
So the question we must now begin to ask is this: are we looking at a few statistical outliers amongst the 70+ churches planted by Harvest Bible Fellowship, or are we witnessing a snowball near the top of a mountain as it is starting to pick up speed?
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Additional resources on James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel and the Elephant Room 2 can be found at:
Earlier this week, Chris Fabry of Moody Bible Radio, hosted an interview with Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel. Given all of the controversy that has surrounded MacDonald’s interaction with T.D. Jakes at the Elephant Room, Moody graciously saw fit to offer MacDonald an opportunity to clear the air and really speak into the issues at hand. Read the rest of this entry »
Late last week, I posted an article entitled, “The Descent: James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel and the Blurry Road to the Prosperity Gospel.” Since that time, the storm that has threatened to envelope the evangelical world has only intensified as more and more people have begun to rightfully react to MacDonald’s highly questionable decision to bring Jakes into the Elephant Room, and his even poorer handling of the actual exchange itself.
Today, I want to respond to a round table discussion that Pastor MacDonald has filmed and posted on his blog. Why? Because aspects of this discussion further inflame and ultimately confuse the issue by giving voice to racially-insensitive, ad hominem attacks. I am, of course, referring to the words spoken by the African-American Pastor Bryan Loritts of Fellowship Memphis.
“Some of the strongest reactions of people were African Americans in the blogosphere. And I’ll just go ahead and say it, who strike me as wanting so bad to be in the white theological world. And to take a little bit of a tangent here, and I’ll get back. The loudest voices in the conservative, evangelical world, in my estimation right now, are your older white reformed voices. And so that implicitly sends the message that mature Christianity in the conservative evangelical world is older white. And you’ve got some African Americans who so idolize that – its what some people would call white idolization – that they then feel is if they’ve got to be the voice for black culture to speak against people like T.D. Jakes. So what happens is you kind of prop them up … My concern is: African Americans, a small minority, speaking against Jakes, and then leveraging that in the white theological world, for some of these older white theologians … to fit into their circles. We want to be in their circles. And so we’ll allow ourselves to be used as a puppet.”
Now stop and think about what Pastor Loritts has just said. Without personally knowing the character of all of the various African American critics of this debacle, Loritts feels free to dismiss them, in an ad hominem attack, as “puppets,” who are simply trying “to fit into [the white theological world].”
And where is James MacDonald when Loritts is voicing these patently unfair, unwise and dangerous derisions? He is once again opting to say absolutely nothing. He doesn’t put a stop to it. He doesn’t shake his head in disagreement. He doesn’t even ask a counter-question to force Loritts to consider the gravity of what he has just said. Instead, he allows for Loritts to use racially inflammatory rhetoric to condescendingly dismiss the African American critics of the Elephant Room 2 and then dares to conclude the session by offering these thoughts:
“One of my main take-aways is that if you discount relationship, you misunderstand a lot. If we hadn’t reached out to Bishop Jakes in relationship, we would have misunderstood his theology.”
So apparently, certain African American pastors and theologians were wrong to voice their concerns over T.D. Jakes because they lacked the necessary relationship with him to question his theology. But as for Bryan Loritts, he is perfectly justified in dismissing African American critics as sycophantic “puppets” without having personally reached out to each and every one of them.
The longer this goes on, the more troubling it becomes.
 The round table discussion was broken into two parts. The first part can be found at:
, while the second portion of the discussion can be found at:
There is a heated controversy brewing in the evangelical world – one that has the power to fundamentally alter the shape of one of the most influential churches in the Chicagoland area. The roots of the controversy stretch back to 2011 and the birth of an idea called The Elephant Room. Put simply, the premise behind this event was to gather various leaders both from within the church and from outside of it to discuss “the most Christ honoring ways of building a church.” The event was recorded, simulcast and eventually sold in the interest of reaching and influencing the widest possible array of Christian leaders around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »