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. Although a complete audio file of Bryant’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15 can be found and downloaded at the church’s website, the relevant portion of the message has been transcribed for your convenience. It begins at the 35:33 mark.
“… There is hope amidst the suffering. Loved ones, we have hope. And for our church, as I am studying the passage, I am amazed at the pertinence of God’s Word. Can I just tell you that? I am amazed that God sees what we are going through, and a year in advance knew that we would be in this passage. And with the suffering that we are going through as a church – if you were here last week, you heard about the sufferings that our church is enduring. That we have a sign out there that says: “Harvest Bible Chapel.” And did you know that we are no longer a Harvest Bible Chapel? Because our denomination decided they wanted to kick us out. And why did they want to kick us out? Because they wanted to choose to embrace, to invite and affirm somebody who teaches false doctrines about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the Trinity. And so because of that loved ones, I don’t know about you, but I’m perplexed right now at this situation. I’m confused. I’m discouraged. And I’m grieving over this. I’m perplexed at the reality that the men — for some of us in this room, we served with them for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 plus, I’ve been a part of Harvest Bible Chapel for 23 years now! – and guess what, I cannot believe that these men have embraced this false teacher. I can’t understand how they have done that. I’m perplexed about that. And you’re probably perplexed as well, like I am. I’m perplexed about the reality that they would invite and they would affirm this man and they would embrace him and share fellowship with him, while kicking those of us who have been with them and supported them and built God’s Kingdom through the work of Harvest Bible Chapel for 20 plus years – and to kick us to the side. I’m perplexed by that, as I’m sure you are perplexed by that this morning. I’m perplexed that when brothers came – when our elders went to them and spoke truth to them and said ‘Hey, the things were seeing, I don’t think this is good.’ And when we spoke truth to them and said, ‘This is wrong according to what Scripture says. Why are we doing this? We need to go in a different way.’ And they attacked us instead! I’m perplexed by that. I don’t get that. It discourages my heart and it grieves my heart.”
If we are to take Mike Bryant’s statement at face value, it would appear that Harvest Bible Church was, as has previously been reported, kicked out the Fellowship for privately challenging the leadership of the Fellowship over their decision to “embrace, to invite and affirm somebody who teaches false doctrines.”
Interestingly enough, three days after Harvest Bible Church first received the news that they were being removed from the Fellowship, James MacDonald had this to say to a group of pastors:
“I secretly wish that these two verses were my elders’ favorite verses. They’re not my life’s verse, but I wish that my elders had these two verses for their favorites. One’s from the pastoral epistles where it says: ‘Reject a factious man after the second admonition.’ I wish that was my elders’ life verse … Now reject him doesn’t mean he has to sit halfway back. Okay. Reject him means you can’t come here any more. ‘Well, I’m sorry.’ Okay, that means you get to go to a different church. Reject! Do I need to spell that out? ‘Why, why, why? That’s so cold.’ It’s so wise … And I wish [my elders’] other life verse from Proverbs was: “Cast out the scoffer and the strife will cease.”
While it is somewhat telling to hear MacDonald list these passages as the two verses that he wished his elders held as their personal favorites, even more telling were these comments from the same message:
“A factious man is a danger to the church and you are released by Scripture to release him. And I am releasing you to a take a small portion of your church’s budget, build a catapult, put it in the church parking lot and load it regularly. ‘I think we can shoot this one right out of our county.’”
So, three days after the Fellowship kicked out Harvest Bible Church of Grayslake for privately expressing their concerns regarding the Elephant Room 2, MacDonald was seen standing in front of a room full of pastors, sarcastically and enthusiastically exhorting them to handle dissent by launching the dissenters right out of the church’s life.
Given that, one has to wonder: are the senior staff and elders of Harvest Bible Chapel and the members of the Fellowship truly “unified?” Or are they merely fearful of what might come if they dare to express their own concerns?
 Titus 3:10.
 Proverbs 22:10.
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