James MacDonald & Target of His Alleged Murder Plot Make Video Espousing Love; More Disturbing Stories

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The alleged murder plot by disgraced celebrity pastor, James MacDonald, just got stranger.

Earlier this week, I reported allegations that MacDonald plotted to kill his former son-in-law, Tony Groves, in 2015. I also reported allegations that MacDonald directed two former employees to spy on Groves.

Now MacDonald, who hasn’t spoken publicly since Harvest Bible Chapel fired him in February, has released a video of him and Groves espousing their love for each other.

In the video, MacDonald concedes that he and Groves have “been through some things,” but adds that the two have “always stayed friends” and that Groves has given him “one of the best grandsons we have.”

Groves replies, “That’s true. Like you said, we’ve always been friends, but overall, we’re family.”

 

Yet, in a report released yesterday by police in Wilmette, Illinois, a target of one of MacDonald’s alleged murder plots told police that he had “heard MacDonald talk about harming people he didn’t like in the past,” so “he was not surprised” by reports that MacDonald sought to kill him.

“(A) target of one of MacDonald’s alleged murder plots told police that he had ‘heard MacDonald talk about harming people he didn’t like in the past,’ so ‘he was not surprised’ by reports that MacDonald sought to kill him.”

The report redacted the name of the alleged target. However, Groves is the only person who’s been named as a potential target in the alleged murder plots involving MacDonald. Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller, who alleged that MacDonald asked him for the name of a hitman at least twice in 2018, said he didn’t know the person MacDonald sought to kill.

However, Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, a former bodyguard of MacDonald’s, said MacDonald specifically asked him to kill Groves during a three-day motorcycle trip in 2015. Bucur said MacDonald wanted Groves dead because Groves had cheated on his daughter, Abby MacDonald, multiple times. Bucur also said MacDonald believed that Groves had made an explicit video of his daughter and Groves, which MacDonald feared Groves might post online. (Bucur said he never saw any evidence that this video existed.)

The alleged target in the report also states that MacDonald had called him “before the police made contact.” He added that MacDonald told him that “the rumors that he wanted (name redacted) killed were untrue.”

I repeatedly called and texted MacDonald for comment, but he did not respond.

Police Report Reveals Other Troubling Details

In addition to testimony by Groves, and also by Muller and Bucur, the Wilmette police report also included the testimony of a former unnamed employee at Harvest. This former employee alleged that MacDonald once “pointed a rifle” at a contractor who demanded payment for work he had done on MacDonald’s house and “pushed him down some steps.”

The former employee also stated that on his last day at Harvest, MacDonald—who he said was six-foot, four-inches tall and over 300 pounds— “was very upset and physically intimidating. He yelled and slammed doors.”

“This former employee alleged that MacDonald once ‘pointed a rifle’ at a contractor who demanded payment for work he had done on MacDonald’s house and ‘pushed him down some steps.’”

In addition, the former employee stated that MacDonald had visited his new home unannounced. The former employee said he was not home when MacDonald visited, but MacDonald had called and told the former employee that he had stopped by his house. The former employee said he then went to police, who issued MacDonald a formal no trespassing order.

The former employee said in the report that MacDonald is “always armed” and added that he “is afraid of MacDonald.”

Wilmette police stated in the report that their investigation found “no chargeable criminal offenses within Wilmette’s jurisdiction.” However, the report added that the case has been referred to an unnamed jurisdiction for “potential further criminal investigation,” and that the investigation is ongoing.

“Paranoid and in need of serious help”

James MacDonald is “paranoid and in need of serious help.” That’s according to Paul Gracey, a former elder at Harvest who also served as Harvest special counsel to the senior pastor and chief administrative officer from January 2018 to August 2018. Gracey said he couldn’t comment on his time working at Harvest but described two incidents that occurred prior to his employment. Gracey said both incidents occurred on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Paul Gracey

At the time, Gracey was working as chief administrative officer at Calvary Chapel Las Vegas, and MacDonald had flown out to speak at the Sunday services at the church. Gracey said that after the services, he said he drove MacDonald to Shadow Creek Golf Course about 10 miles north of Las Vegas. Gracey said that while on deserted roads within three to four miles of the course, MacDonald turned to him and accused Gracey of taking driving him out there to kill him.

Gracey said he was shocked and pointed to the GPS, which showed the route to the golf course and said, “James, we’re going to the golf course. What are you talking about?”

At the time, Gracey said he wasn’t sure if MacDonald was serious or not, but added, “Why would you joke about that?”

“Gracey said that while on deserted roads within three to four miles of the course, MacDonald turned to him and accused Gracey of taking driving him out there to kill him.”

That same evening, Gracey said he and his wife, Colleen, took James to an upscale steak house in Vegas. Gracey said the three of them were seated at the back of the restaurant and MacDonald was sitting with his back to the wall.

Gracey said early in the meal, the waiter went behind MacDonald unobtrusively to serve him bread or water. Gracey said this caused MacDonald to reprimand the waiter, telling him to never go behind him and sneak up on him again. However, Gracey said later in the meal, a different waiter went behind MacDonald, startling him, and causing MacDonald to loudly reprimand the waiter, causing a scene.

Gracey said at the time, that was the only paranoid behavior he had witnessed in MacDonald, so he shrugged it off. However, he said now he feels quite differently.

MacDonald allegedly takes bat & ski mask to find daughter

Another former Harvest employee told me an additional disturbing story that occurred about 15 years ago, when MacDonald’s daughter, Abby, was in high school.

According to Dan Plantz, former youth pastor and director of Camp Harvest, MacDonald was distressed that Abby was hanging out with people MacDonald didn’t like. One day, MacDonald called and asked Plantz to meet MacDonald in a parking lot in Rolling Meadows to go “find Abby.”

Dan Plantz

Plantz did as requested. And Plantz reported that MacDonald arrived wearing all black, holding a ski mask and baseball bat. Plantz said he was stunned and asked MacDonald what kind of mission he had in mind, but MacDonald didn’t reply.

Plantz said MacDonald got in his car and Plantz told MacDonald to put the mask in the back seat. He said the two then drove to a few places MacDonald suspected Abby might be, but they never found her and went home.

Plantz said he also once witnessed MacDonald repeatedly stab a picture of a former Harvest pastor with a butter knife. I described this incident in my December WORLD Magazine article. At the time of the article, Plantz was willing to confirm the story as an anonymous source but didn’t want to speak on the record.

However, this week, Plantz told me more about the story, which allegedly took place in the Camp Harvest dining hall after a meal. Plantz said MacDonald called him over and requested that Plantz remove a picture of a former Harvest pastor, Josh Weidmann, which was hanging on the wall. Plantz said he’d take care of it and then left the building to take care of something else.

“Plantz said MacDonald then repeatedly stabbed the face of the picture and it fell to the floor. Plantz said that none of the men seated at the table said anything, and several had grins on their faces, looking ‘like they enjoyed it.’”

Plantz said when he returned, MacDonald called him over and told him in front of a table of several Harvest executive leadership team members that when he asks Plantz to do something, he wants Plantz to do it immediately. Plantz said MacDonald then repeatedly stabbed the face of the picture and it fell to the floor.

Plantz said that none of the men seated at the table said anything, and several had grins on their faces, looking “like they enjoyed it.” Plantz said the incident “wrecked” him. He said that day MacDonald ceased to be his pastor and he was infuriated with other men in the room.

Plantz said MacDonald was upset with the pastor, Josh Weidmann, because Weidmann had learned personal information about Abby as her youth pastor, which Weidmann refused to tell MacDonald.

I called Weidmann and he said it’s never been his policy to withhold information from a parent. He said MacDonald was simply upset that Abby had shared confidential, and potentially embarrassing, information with Weidmann. Weidmann said the incident that made MacDonald especially upset was when he gave Abby a table of his that she had requested. Weidmann said Abby was moving out of her house and the table was for her new apartment.

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82 thoughts on “James MacDonald & Target of His Alleged Murder Plot Make Video Espousing Love; More Disturbing Stories”

  1. The Best Actor and Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series goes to……….JMac should be Father of the Year w/ his insight and wisdom in allowing and officiating his daughter’s wedding to such a godly man as Tony Grove. Both he and Kathy are tremendous roles models to their children and church in what a committed marriage is all about. JMac’s pastoral ministry extends his love to support and protect both the adulterer as well as himself. Even tho his daughter was the victim; he has thrown her under the JMac bus. May this 25 second video be living proof that JMac’s shortcomings is not that person the entire world and universe claims to be. (JMac, plz remit to me cash only [no counterfeit currency like your character] in small bills for this glowing commentary the identical amount that Tony was compensated for this video; Thank You in advance.)

  2. 2 Timothy 3:1-9
    But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people. For among them are those who worm their way into households and deceive gullible women overwhelmed by sins and led astray by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres.
    2 Timothy 3:1-9

  3. Julie: thanks for reporting on this!

    Mancow: this is not much of a nuclear option because this is hearsay and legally police would not do anything unless there are hard proof. As much as people believe you and I believe you, James has already sunk to the bottom due to his own doing. No need to tie another rock around his neck. Just move on from here, warn the flock when possible, forgive JMac even tho he is criminal and a despicable hypocrite

    Manny: You are an idiot! You held on to this for years, and now you are talking? It is ASTOUNDING that you want to be JMac’s groupie even though you knew back then he was a murderer – that actually reveals your heart and your character (and lack thereof). And now you are a deacon of an organization that’s trying to get back on its feet? YOU NEED TO REPENT AND RESIGN! How the heck no one point that out? I suspect a lot of people just want to hear sensational stories, seek personal vengeance against James. Shame on you!

    Existing congregants: Do not hold on to bitterness for your own sake. Harvest is trying to get back on its feet: keep your eyes open by all means with help fo good truthful reporting. But God gave you guys wisdom to see what’s right and what’s wrong. Also, there will NEVER be 100% justice on this earth. God will seek ultimate vengeance for you. James is NOT going to get away with this. Move on. Battle is the Lord’s and not yours! Continue to worship God. Yes, your current leadership team is not perfect, (e.g. you have idiots like Manny serving as Deacon who has PROVED to be self serving) and still God is IN CONTROL! You can’t guarantee “better” leadership somewhere else. it is a lessons learned after dust settled that God is the only one worthy of our worship and not a pastor. Praying for my church family that God will heal this church and bring back the pure bride that He intended.

    1. Juju, you are correct to chastise Manny. As a former Marine, he is a disgrace to those that have served our country honorably. He does not exemplify the Semper Fidelis code and would have been dishonorable discharged if he was still on active duty. Now he serves as a deacon in God’s Church? He is an embarrassment to all Americans, armed forces personnel and believers at HBC and in the world to allow sin and JMac to flourish.

  4. Boy! Thanks for your courage, Julie and Mancow. The axe is falling here, and God is refining his Church.
    If James only believed what he said: “You are Loved”, and that the Father loves him, even with that whatever wicked stuff he did…Christ could change him, heal him in an instant.
    “You are loved.”
    Well?
    As believers we NEED to know that. Believe it.
    Intercessors who are praying for HBC and people affected by this- keep praying.

  5. Was James holding a gun to Tony just out of the camera frame? “Better be convincing, Tony!” Seriously though, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tony was threatened, bribed, or somehow coerced to make that weird video. And Abby’s new husband-to-be is either really stupid or really brave.

  6. nolongerattendinf

    Ah, now I see why Harvest can never open the books. They have either been destroyed or their contents are so horrible that current revelations will look tame. In fact, if they open the books no sane person would stay. They have to ride this one out and hope the current congregants are naive and undiscerning enough to continue to support this “ministry”.

    My sincere apologies to the former staff that I have previously judged for speaking out. This article combined with Dave Corning’s letter, Shaun McDonnell’s Twitter post, and Lindsay McCaul’s Facebook post have made me realize the position you were in. If you spoke out, you and your family would have to live in fear of Pastor James, who has no limits on what he will do.

    Julie, Ryan, Jessica, Manny, Mancow and others I have failed to name – I have a new appreciation for your courage and determination to speak the truth no matter the cost. May God bless and protect you through this dark journey.

    1. Jessica Hockett

      Much love to you, friend, and thank you for speaking here. When it comes to James Macdonald and Harvest Bible Chapel, many of us once were blind, but now we see. God is holy and gracious. May He lead you to a life-giving church very soon, if He hasn’t already. Take care.

      1. Jessica, where is your Twitter? It seems all your posts are gone. You always have super info with details and evidence. But now I can’t find your name or posts, on anything.

        1. Jessica Hockett

          Hi Friend. I deactivated my account to take a break. :) I might reactivate in a few weeks. In that case, all previous tweets would reappear.

    2. So current congregants MUST be naive or undiscerning to still be there, right? No other reason? You know for a fact that is the why every single person staying at Harvest is there? This is one of the reasons why so many are turned off by those posting on blogs and social media. The holier than thou, I can see clearly and you can’t, I listen to the Holy Spirit and you don’t, I’m a true believer (even though I am not speaking like one) and you aren’t attitude is getting old. I’m not saying you are behaving this way, but many that are do not speak truth in love but rather sound condescending and hateful.

      1. Jessica Hockett

        Lisa, I’m not sure, but I think you are replying to me.

        I was responding directly to “nolongerattending” – not making a proclamation or judgment about everyone who still attends or ever attended Harvest. Yes, thousands are still “turned off” by (or to) the information on Julie’s blog, on Twitter & Facebook, and The Elephant’s Debt, in the Daily Herald & Chicago Tribune, on The Christian Post, etc. Thousands more are not.

        We were Harvest members for 12 years before resigning in November 2017. I believe anyone can see plainly was has happened and is happening at Harvest by reading critically both Harvest’s own communications and external publications. It’s not a special dispensation for a certain group, or even only to believers.

        You can “see” and choose to stay. I defend your right to do so as an American citizen and free-thinking Christian. I also defend my right to express the opinion that it would be wise to leave, which is not to say that you are a “fool” if you stay. If we disagree, then we disagree. But we don’t need to engage in personal attacks, question one another’s motives, or circumvent the issues to level baseless criticisms.

        FWIW, here are 4 things that seem important for Congregants to be pressing the new Elders about, even if they are choosing to stay at HBC:

        1) The church’s flawed/dishonest timeline regarding the church’s handling of the Paxton Singer child case, published on the HBC site on 5/9/19, including their silence since Julie Roys provided ample evidence that they are not telling the truth.

        2) The Elders’ choice to enter arbitration with James MacDonald. (My reading of the church bylaws indicates that they are not bound to do so with him. Yet, they are.) I’d also be wondering who the corporate officers are, i.e., if any of the previous Elders are still corporate officers, or on any committees like the Finance Committee.

        3) The church’s now-5 consecutive days of failing to issue any kind of public statement since Julie Roys (& other media sources) have reported credible allegations regarding James MacDonald seeking to engage contract killers to murder at least 1 (likely 2) people, including his former son-in-law.

        4) The church’s refusal to order a true, far-reaching, in-depth forensic accounting audit

        5) The status and viability of the 7-campus model–especially with $39 million in mortgage debt, declined weekly giving/attendance, and nebulous plans for a senior pastor search

        I’m sure you have additional concerns, being there week to week.

      2. You may want to put down the cool aid and run, not walk, away from HBCorp. There is no fixing it. It’s a non biblical model to begin with.

  7. Gone and forgotten

    I agree how the heck does Manny run around patting himself on the back calling himself a protector of the people.
    He tells us how he knew Jmac so much better than the rest of us mere humans. Yes you knew he was trying to kill Tony, but you followed him around like a magnet. You need to repent!
    I applaud you Julie for staying on task, not easy. Mancow great job exposing the sin around Jmac. Remember there were many who found out the truth and called his son out, but Jmac was too powerful and they were silenced. One by one alone they called out what they saw and were punished for it. Small group leaders, volunteers, staff members and church members, they are the hero’s because they never got to publish on a blog, they just suffered on their own! God bless you who stood against the sin early and often. This truly was a group project.

  8. People stay at Harvest because Harvest is filled with people they love and are doing life with. They are committed to one another. Just because the false shepherd abused them doesn’t mean they shouldn’t find comfort in each other. Let the people of Harvest love on each other. If they want to remain and continue to gather together more power to them. They will have to clean up the money mess for sure. So many loving and caring believers at Harvest. They shouldn’t be demonized or punished for the sin of a few. They were busy serving, dropping off kids and keeping the ministry going.

  9. To those who are staying at Harvest because they want to be with their friends, I say this. Harvest has covered up for a sexual predator, bullied people for decades to the point of fear for their lives, broken every rule of fiduciary duty, and embezzled millions of dollars. Any elders who challenged any of James’ ideas or practices either left due to conscience or were forced out. The remaining old guard of yes men appear to be the ones selecting the new elders, and the finance guys are not being replaced. Harvest is a disgrace to Christianity and has dishonored Christ in a major way.

    “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.'” (1 Cor 5:12-13)

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26)

    If you and your friends want to rise up and insist that godly leaders with no connection to the old leaders are appointed, report on this blog how it went. Otherwise, you have no biblical basis for supporting this corrupt institution any longer, no matter how many friends you have there.

    1. Joe thank you, this was the very reason my husband and I had to leave Willow Creek last year. Not only is the institution filled with corruption, only a tiny percentage of the congregants stood up to say *anything* about said corruption. We loved many of the people, but realized even they were fearful sheep who aided in the continuing victimization of Hybels’ victims. We could not stay in that toxic environment, no matter how “loving” it seemed.

    2. JB—It’s hard to argue with you. I sincerely hope people at Harvest consider what you’ve said, albeit what you’ve written about is only a fraction of what’s wrong at Harvest.

    3. You have some great points. Why do people really want to stay there after all the facts and testimonies of witnesses who saw first hand what was going on? It is not just James who was corrupt, it takes an army of enablers to make this happen for years. No one wants this to be true of a place they called their church home, made friends and take their kids to school,but it is. At what point do you accept God’s warning and put him first? The truth is that I don’t see any evidence of Godly leadership in the past and many still in leadership were part of the past and are corrupt. As a person who had been there for many years, I have met many wonderful Godly people there who thought it was a Christ centered church just like I did. Ignoring the truth does not change the facts. Praying God will help all of us affected by this ongoing tradgedy.

  10. NOT ONE BRICK WILL REMAIN STANDING

    I don’t know you Joe Blow but the Holy Spirit indwelling in me
    immediately confirms to my spirit that you are a Child of God and a fellow brother in Christ!

    1 Corinthians 5:11
    But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    Even jwac, a master of disguise and deceit , was constantly showing his true nature and everyone close to him consciously chose to ignore it.

    Seems that none of them views their respective actions as disqualifying them from office either.

    I pray that some one with computer skills starts a site that tracks all the creatures past & present, in

    charge of the house they built with jwac, as to where they go to continue their assault on the body of

    Christ!

    1. Yes ! to the above by Joe and One Brick, I think the title of our new movie ( video) should be called
      Wicked Complicity subtitled – You are lying by omission – The harvest saga

      Yeshua said clearly… IF you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS or in other words .. do MY Word

      To quote from an above comment :
      Just because the false shepherd abused them doesn’t mean they shouldn’t find comfort in each other. Let the people of Harvest love on each other. If they want to remain and continue to gather together more power to them.

      What about finding comfort and love knowing that you are being OBEDIENT to HIS HOLY WORD in coming out and being separate 2 Cor 6:17-18 ,meeting in homes where EVERYONE is equal AND contributing with no titles, big names or graven images but rather humility , thankfulness and gratitude that you had the opportunity to escape the mammon system that tried to kill you if not physically but spiritually by sinning which SEPARATES YOU NOW from the One you you went to worship, talk about DECEPTION.
      ALL ONE NEEDS IS FAITH TO STEP OUT OF THE BOAT AND DO IT!
      By the way , WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN Rom 14:23 so I would suggest that if we are gathering together because we are finding comfort in one another , well … there is possibly really not any faith involved in that is there…. because the vehicle one is using to comfort one another is actually
      corrupt and OUT OF ORDER meaning not Gods order of His things.
      Also try singing a NEW SONG from YOUR heart NOT an old song from someone else, this works really great in homes not so much in a building with a million watts.
      GOD is a Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

  11. Question for the decision makers at Moody Radio. We know that the hard investigative work of TED and Julie Roys is and was the main force exposing the evil at Harvest. But, months ago Julie Roys was terminated (i.e. fired), from her contract with Moody. Why was she fired? Was it because Moody sided with James and, perhaps, saw Julie’s investigative work exposing the sins of James as some sort of lie against their favorite son?

    How is it that Moody fired Julie when she was uncovering the sins of James and Harvest? Why has Moody never apologized on air to Julie? Moody fired Julie without cause. God hasn’t moved. Shame on Moody Radio.

    1. Jessica Hockett

      Pete, you pose excellent questions here. Allow me to share an excerpt from the transcript of talk that James MacDonald gave on January 27, 2013, at a Harvest Bible Fellowship retreat in Orlando. Here, MacDonald is talking about former Elders (likely those that he and the Elder Board had unbiblically “ex-communicated”).

      **Begin transcript excerpt***

      JAMES MACDONALD: So, a couple of these former elders have actually been pretty bad. For example, there was a phone call that was made to our friends at Moody Bible Institute. There was a pastor from out-of-state that called Moody and said, “I’m not going to speak at Founders’ Week if James is speaking at Founders’ Week.” There were a group of people that kept calling Moody over and over and saying, “You need to take him off the radio.” That was hard. So, we went with Bill Molinari and two or three of our main elders and met with Paul Nyquist, the president of Moody, and Greg Thornton, the head of Moody Publishers, and Gene Getz, a former board member and professor at Moody. We sat across the table from the people at Moody and we just opened our hearts and said, “Here’s what’s true. Here are the financial records from our church. Here’s the Auditor’s Statements. Here it all is.” I wasn’t even home yet from the half-hour drive when we were in Bill’s car in the driveway when the phone rang. It was Paul Nyquist. It was like, “You know, I’m sorry we even had to have you do that. I’m sorry that that happened. Here is a statement that you can give anyone.” And they wrote out a… I didn’t circulate it. I’m just not like that. But they wrote out a whole statement and said, “You can show this to anyone. We have met with you. We have reviewed these charges. We plan no changes in our ministry partnership with James or with Harvest. We stand behind you in your ministry one hundred percent.”

      **End transcript excerpt**

      Let’s pretend for a second that every word of what MacDonald says here is true (which I admit is difficult to do, given what we have learned about MacDonald).

      Here are some things I’m wondering:

      1. Who was the “pastor from out-of-state” who wouldn’t speak at Founder’s Week if James MacDonald was speaking as well? How did Moody respond to him?

      2. How many people called Moody radio asking for WITW to be pulled? What was Moody’s response to those people?

      3. Which HBC Elders met w/Moody leaders? What financial records were shown? (It’s unlikely that they showed them anything more than what Harvest made public on its website.)

      4. Did Paul Nyquist give a statement of “approval” to for James to circulate? Is a copy available?

      5. Why was Moody radio so quick to believe James MacDonald and Harvest? What else was discussed at that meeting?

      As you said, Pete, Moody was quick to fire Julie Roys but gave James MacDonald a pass (for YEARS). #epicdiscernmentfail

      It wouldn’t have anything to do with the money that James MacDonald was generating for Moody Radio and Moody Publishers…would it?

  12. This story is so sad….and scary. I think of all the Christians along the way who could have stopped James from continuing his evil ways and continuing to minister and raise money on his radio program. We need more courage and discernment in our lives and less glorification of people who can draw a crowd and produce income. I pray this tragic story with many victims will wake us up.

  13. To the CBS’s Mary Carlvi. Otis Livingston and Cindy Hsu was talking about Mary Calvi private life, they set you up!

  14. It is a sad affair to see a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, felt. It is even more so when that person is in a leadership role. Sadder still is to see the many who decided to walk away when a leader failed! Oh, I get it. Our disappointment is great when the people we trusted failed us! But, why do we question those who want to stay? Why there are such abundant of condemnation and fear? Why so many ‘Christian’ readily jumped on the ‘tell it all’ wagon? Why …? The people who decided to stay are the ones who deserve to be applauded! Perhaps, as Christian, we need to be honest with ourselves as to our motives and what’s the source of our beliefs. Did we attend church to worship the pastor? Was what the pastor/leader speak scripture? Did we make God conform to our pastors’ image? Did we spend more time reading what the pastor wrote rather than reading the scripture? Were our lives changed because of the pastors/leaders or because of the power of the Word? Who’s the author of our faith? Jesus or the pastors/leaders? How often do we do what we’re commanded, which is to pray for our leaders, regardless of whether we like them or not?

    I am asking all this NOT because I agree/condone to the drama that is unfolding. I am also NOT saying that we should hide from the world what’s happening. I am simply asking Christians to remember the grace that was extended to us while we were sinners (Eph 2:4,5). Jesus loves us not because we’re lovely. We all are saved by grace. The scripture is very clear that all sins are the same in God’s eyes (Gal 5:16-21). One sin is not greater than the others. What James/the leaders committed is just one in the list. I am not exempt. Are you? The real question is whether we choose to continue to live this way. Are we ready to be God who’s able to judge a person’s heart? I’ve listened (radio/podcast) to James MacDonald sermons for over a dozen years. He’s one of the few that dare to boldly proclaim God word against the current culture. He was God’s anointed and the Holy Spirit spoke mightily through him. Why? I don’t know. But, I do recollect the stories of Samson, Moses, Solomon, and David (a man after God own heart!). I do know that each one of us is accountable to God (Rom 14:12, Matt 12:36,37), especially those who teach (James 3:1). Moreover, I know that Jesus is the same today as yesterday just as the scripture that was given to us. To those who lives fell apart because of these events, perhaps you’ve been building your house on the wrong foundation (Matt 7:24-27)? To some others, would you instead consider and think on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, … excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8) so we can show some kindness (Col 3:12-14). To those who believe in the message, there’s a greater cause at stake! Please pray for repentance, forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation in the body of Christ. That “… we may be one, … so that the world may believe …” (John 17:20,21). Remember also 1John 4:18.

    1. Jasmine,

      The world isn’t fooled, nor are the thousands who have left Harvest by how corrupt HBC was and still is.

      I can’t mask my surprise how people like yourself found James MacDonald to be a good preacher or teacher of the Bible.

      In essence, the following thoughts are just as much an indictment on his faithful and fanciful fans as it is on MacDonald himself.

      After hearing 100s of his messages while a member at Harvest (1999-2011), I can honestly say a “typical” MacDonald message consisted of not much more than the following:

      * Story Time. A message of MacDonald’s wasn’t complete without him sharing some sort of boneheaded antic from his week. More often than not, these stories tended to take people’s gaze off Christ and onto one big buffoon.

      * The Big Time. MacDonald regularly dropped the names of other well-known popular Christians or dignitaries he rubbed shoulders with. He went to great lengths to ensure others knew just how important and influential MacDonald had become. Once again, MacDonald was very skilled at making much of himself.

      * Rant Time. More weeks than not, MacDonald would go on a rant over something that especially irked him during the week. And if he failed to take the opportunity to unload on a Sunday morning, fear not, there was a time when you could regularly read about his ramblings on his blog.

      * Confession Time. From time to time, MacDonald shared from the pulpit how he had blown out or fractured one relationship or another. After 30 years in the ministry, I’m pretty sure that number exceeded 70 x 7.

      * Gospel-Law Time. Instead of sharing Law BEFORE Gospel (as Jesus did), MacDonald regularly confused his congregation by presenting the Gospel and THEN Law, putting a burden or yoke upon believers they were never meant to carry.

      * Hypocrisy Time. MacDonald rarely withheld the opportunity to preach to himself. For all intents and purposes, each week it was obviously apparent MacDonald’s lifestyle didn’t square with the Scriptures he memorized. The words he preached to others were a fitting condemnation of self. It’s strange to think that the Scriptures he taught to others were like arrows aimed inward toward a conscience seared long ago.

      * Offensive Time. The Cross is offensive to the pride of every unregenerate, self-righteous heart. Unfortunately, MacDonald rarely missed an opportunity to add to the offense of the cross due to his harshness and arrogance while in and out of the pulpit.

      * Waste of Time. Many of MacDonald’s messages ended with some form of a manipulative, spirit-void, formulaic, decisional regeneration altar-call demonstrating his lack of trust in the power of the Gospel and of the Holy Spirit to awaken a sinner from death unto life. Apparently, MacDonald felt the need to help what was lacking in God‘s Word, God’s Gospel, and God’s Spirit.

      * Time’s Up. Arguably the one verse MacDonald shared as much as any other, Numbers 32:23 was prophetically proper and pertinent for such a phony pretender as MacDonald was. Plain and simple, James MacDonald used religion and the gospel as the vehicle to power up on people and live a lavish lifestyle. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      * Time’s Up? How long will it take before current HBC leadership and the congregation realize the church’s DNA really hasn’t changed much, if at all since MacDonald’s departure.

      What can be said about folks who ‘feel led’ [by God, presumably] to stay at Harvest?

      I’ve heard it said, “But our friends are at Harvest!” Hmm. Are you fearful your friends won’t join you if you decide to leave Harvest? Do you not believe you will find fellowship and friends in another church?

      By deciding to stay, in essence, you are supporting an organization that is continuing to drag Christ’s name through the mud each and every day its doors remain open.

      The world isn’t fooled, nor are the thousands who have left Harvest, by HBC’s insatiable ongoing campaign to be far more concerned with its image, self-preservation, and protecting wrongdoers rather than desiring purity, integrity, and charity in all its ways. Harvest would do well to align itself with the Lord’s will for the church, Instead, to this day, Harvest and its leaders continue to cover up lies and deceit, further bringing shame to Christ’s name.

      It’s shocking how many people think it’s a godly thing to keep quiet in the face of evil. In doing so, we just give Christianity a bigger black eye.

      I am more concerned over people who are not expressing righteous anger over what has become of Harvest Bible Chapel and who tell others, “Judge not…” and who think it’s a godly thing to remain quiet in the face of evil.

      Should we sit idle and not warn others and expose works of darkness? Oh wait. We Christians aren’t supposed to hate, right?

      Hatred is not necessarily the opposite of love. Because we love therefore we must hate, that is hate the things the Lord hates.

      Because I love Jesus, therefore I must despise what He despises.

      I am far more concerned over people who aren’t concerned about these matters and instead have chosen to turn a blind eye to injustice.

      When Jesus saw what was going on in the temple of God in His day, he didn’t turn a blind eye to what was going on, but rather He overturned the tables and drove out all who were making it into a den of thieves.

      So if you think it’s unlike Jesus and His followers to express righteous anger over the things that anger the Lord, perhaps we should become more acquainted with what God says in his Word rather than scold those who would speak out against Harvest’s never-ending campaign to continuously cover up wrongdoing and attribute all that is positive to the work of the Lord and all that’s negative to the work of the evil one. Be careful Greg Bradshaw, that borders on blasphemy. I will say it again. Attributing all that is positive to the work of the Lord and all that’s negative to the work of the evil one borders on blasphemy.

      Should we not applaud those who expose evil and hypocrisy in the Church?

      Greg, perhaps if the leaders of HBC had not lied to the congregation over and over again in its unquenchable thirst to control the masses, people might not be so right to question if they can ever trust you or the leadership at Harvest ever again.

      If Harvest would stop playing games in its unending desire to do damage control and engage in spin rather than truth-telling, people wouldn’t be so quick to call out campus pastors and leaders like yourself who have shown more concern for elevating Harvest’s image than on the glory of God.

      Despite what people were told up front (i.e. there would be truth and transparency), one thing that continues to be clear is how Harvest continues to miss the mark to bring clarity, confession, and contrition to the congregation.

      In sum, here are just a few observations of what’s wrong at Harvest:

      * Harvest’s insatiable need to elevate and inflate its image via damage control and suppressing truth through silencing its critics, inside and outside the walls of Harvest

      * Harvest’s desire for self-preservation at all costs

      * Harvest’s egregious misuse and abuse of church finances

      * Harvest’s propagation of evil by shielding abusive leaders while failing to serve and protect the most vulnerable of its flock

      * Harvest’s harsh, authoritarian style of leadership

      * Harvest’s awful track record communicating to its fellowship. I recently read someone’s account how 80% of HBC’s communication is simply telling its congregation how they intend to get better at communicating and the other 20% is useless words.

      * Harvest’s problems stand in stark contrast to churches where Christ is exalted and purity, integrity, and charity are prized.

      Harvesters, flee and find fellowship with believers elsewhere. And in doing so, you may be surprised to consider how God can be glorified.

      * Healing of past hurts at the hands of Harvest head honchos can happen

      * Happiness can be found in a church home where holiness and healthiness are reoccurring fruit borne in the hearts of those who are heralding the gospel

      * Hucksters, hustlers, and heretics will be watched, warned, and made weary in churches of tomorrow where pastors and overseers forgo their responsibilities to the Lord and fail to care for, and fleece their flocks.

      Go ahead people, it’s time to have the funeral for Harvest.

      Signed,
      A Former Member Who Hasn’t Yet Stopped Warning Folks Night and Day to Flee Harvest

  15. Susan Vonder Heide

    I understand the power of habit and the desire to stay with the familiar even when the familiar becomes ever more obviously problematic, but staying with the familiar is not a virtue when God is calling one elsewhere. If a church friendship cannot survive a person deciding to attend another church, the friendship was probably more of an acquaintanceship than a friendship. It is following God that is important.

      1. Susan Vonder Heide

        Quite obviously, that is not what I was referring to. I was referring to comfortable familiar day to day habits which we all have whether we recognize them or not.

  16. This is beyond ridiculous at this point. You couldn’t write a more complete script filled with stupidity, corruption, arrogance, foolishness, self-absorbed idiocy if you tried. Hey J-Mac just GO AWAY!

  17. Julie, in my opinion it is in very bad taste to drag JMACs daughter into this discussion, because by doing so you are exposing her personal life, her hardships, and her apparent sin without her permission to others including strangers and potential criminals.
    Julie, I know you have sons and a daughter-in-law. If any of your now-adult children’s younger lives were exposed as you have chosen to do to Abby, how would you react? Maybe you son was into drugs, or a photo of him having sex in a public place was shown on-line, or your daughter-in-law’s illegitimate baby was exposed..What would you do? How would you feel? You are completely out of bounds and engaging in your own sinful behavior of malicious gossip.
    Also, the entire incident accusing JAMC of murder-for-hire has been thrown out by the police and the FBI as “baseless”. As a Christian, don’t you owe James an apology and shouldn’t you publicly retract, update and apologize for your baseless article?

    I am very disappointed that you have called yourself a Christian investigative reporter. You may be a reporter, but in having no heart, you are no Christian.

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