James MacDonald Issues “My Repentance” on Facebook

By Julie Roys
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Disgraced former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor, James MacDonald, today posted his “repentance” on Facebook, saying he was sorry for “careless and hurtful words that were illegally recorded,” and claiming that he had regressed into “sinful patterns” in late 2016.

The statement also claims MacDonald sent “written apologies where appropriate” considering the vulgar hot mic recording that was aired on Mancow Muller’s Morning show. I have not received one of these written apologies, though MacDonald mocked me repeatedly on the recording and joked about me having an affair with a Christianity Today editor. I also don’t know of anyone else who’s received one either, including the more than two dozen sources who went on the record with me with horrific stories about MacDonald.

MacDonald concludes by saying that he has joined New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park, Chicago. He adds that he is “planning a future focused on preaching and teaching God’s Word, helping pastors preach the Bible more impactfully, living the mandate of Christ’s love, and being free from the weight of large organizational leadership, which was simply too much for me.”

Dear Friends:

I trust this timing finds you well in the Lord and growing in your awareness of how good He truly is. Our efforts to work through existing channels in our former church have reached an unsuccessful end, leading to this release of words we have long sought to express.

Our lifetime calling continues to be “igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.” Yet God, in His sovereignty, appointed for me and Kathy this chastening (Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 12:7-11) and abrupt termination last February from the church we founded and have loved for more than 30 years. It has taken an extended time of silence to see the Lord’s hand, see my sin fully and speak about it non-defensively.

My Repentance
I was, am, and will remain very sorry for the careless and hurtful words that were illegally recorded and publicized. I immediately sent written apologies where appropriate, grieving what it revealed about the state of my heart at the time, as well as the hurt caused to those who trusted us to be a more consistent example of Christlikeness. I have no excuse and am truly sorry.

I confess to all who have followed my ministry, a regression into sinful patterns of fleshly anger and self pity that wounded co-workers and others. These sin issues had been points of growth and victory as expressed through my preaching and writing, but I fell back beginning in late 2016 and have only myself to blame. I wrestled with the stress I felt, the injustice I endured, etc. Yet, over time I have come to see only myself and my own relational failing in the mirror, and with grief and sorrow I ask your forgiveness.

As part of this, I have come to see my sin of handling pressure in a way that got things done, but neglected the priority of love and the presiding humility of serving others first. Letters have been sent to those the Holy Spirit has brought to mind, owning what is true without reference to what is false. We are looking to the Lord to keep my focus here as long as it takes in hopes of reconciliation with every willing heart.

Failed Decision Making
This relational decline led to regrettable decisions, such as Senior Staff transitions with some of our best leaders departing, my reactive resignation from Harvest Bible Fellowship, the fearful and defensive lawsuit, the rapid move of Walk in the Word to digital-only, etc.

All of these big-impact “retreat decisions” were initiated out of the desperation I felt, and from my clearer thinking today, I see how wrong I was. I recognize how these actions undermined team member support for my leadership, eroding the margin of grace between us. I am especially grieved for certain co-leaders who felt wounded by me and deserved better – those who have expressed it and those who have not. We had many moments of joyful partnership, the memories of which I will always treasure. I am deeply and forever sorry to each of you and pray, in God’s timing, for the opportunity to say that personally.

Decisions by the current Elder/staff, along with inaccurate announcements and recent public condemnation, signaled clearly the timing to communicate our message directly. With sadness we accept that no face-to-face confession or truth-advancing interaction will be forthcoming.

The above matters are now in Christian arbitration where impartial believers will hear and give a written, objective ruling. As we cannot give specifics, we are trusting the Lord for truth to be revealed in His time, and we covet your prayers.

2 Corinthians 3:2,5-6
“You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all… Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

After waiting many months in hope of a pathway toward restoration, we have been welcomed into the congregation of New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park, Chicago. A multi-ethnic church under Pastor Wilfredo DeJesus, New Life has embraced us in love, offering us a place to serve and the beginnings of healing community.

Please know that God continues His work in my heart – we have never doubted the Lord or His Word and believe He is not done with us. We are planning a future focused on preaching and teaching God’s Word, helping pastors preach the Bible more impactfully, living the mandate of Christ’s love, and being free from the weight of large organizational leadership, which was simply too much for me. In time we hope you will think of us as serving the Lord with gladness while we enjoy our kids and grandkids, who continue to flourish in local church ministry where God has planted them.

We look forward to more frequent communication with you as the Lord continues giving light to our next steps. Thank you for your interest and prayers.

Warmly in Christ our Savior,

James and Kathy MacDonald

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68 thoughts on “James MacDonald Issues “My Repentance” on Facebook”

  1. It’s heartwarming seeing a brood of bitter, unforgiving dried up bones gossip here.
    You’re all a true testament to the Word and all it teaches. I’d have coffee with any of you just to have a good belly laugh at the expense of your victimhood.
    Find a hobby….

  2. Debra: Excellent points !!

    a.) I have wondered about the irregularities and the fact that many buildings were donated literally for FREE, and yet at one point Harvest still had 67 million dollars in debt !! I think it was Jessica H or somebody else on Twitter who pointed out the sad, alarming Stats regarding revenue that Harvest had received over a certain point of time, and yet HBC was still massively in debt while many leaders were well-compensated ( “HBC culture enabled James” ). So reading this on twitter, and hearing about James giving free cars and free motorcycles paid for by tithes and offerings, really alarms me !! How come the federal gov or the state gov does not step in?

    The answer is: the “crimes” ( “irregularities” ) occurred in Chicago-land, and probably still pale in severity to stuff that US Prosecutors are currently working on. If the “financial irregularities” had occurred in a different city..different culture…say oklahoma city or santa fe…perhaps a US Attorney would take notice. I now live in a different state, and some people still think of “Chicago” as mob-controlled and they identify Illinois as the state where both democrat and republican governors go to prison, corrupt, state, US attorneys already have their hands full with corruption in Illinois.

    b.) regarding your well-written 2nd comment: “Disciplining hand of the Lord”………I had several Christian friends tell me that the discernment blogs popping up have served as a “wake-up call” for them to take Holiness more seriously.

    c.) regarding the Jimmy Swaggart, I was a young person at that time and I listened to grown-ups discussing it. When that scandal hit TIME Magazine, I remember non-Christian people were shocked and confused that “people close to the Lord” can be so wicked, so deceitful, so greedy, so money-hungry… and all public knowledge…..now…flash forward 25 years, and the non-Christian culture in USA expect Christian preachers to be hypocritical and wicked. They just yawn at the news of James MacDonald being a ravenous wolf. They now yawn……..whereas 25 years ago…..that particular TV preacher scandal….followed by …..a different TV preacher scandal…..followed by another TV preacher scandal……etc….etc….captivated the Public on a level that has not been duplicated since.

    As a result of scandal and scandal, Christian preachers have lost some credibility.

    I, too, agree that James MacDonald should never be permitted to preach again.

    1. Thank you for the response. I can say with complete certainty that he has been reported to the IRS. I guess maybe the next step is for someone to contact their local representative to initiate an investigation. Or at least the (assistant) states attorney within Kane county might be another route to pursue. but it is utterly bewildering that nothing has happened. Few years ago when Blago got ii , every single company in the entire state underwent an accounting ‘review’/audit. My husband’s company, my brother-in-law and anyone who owned a company got to experience that joy. I bring it up because the state is broke and always looking for opportunities such as this for a little extra income.

  3. For Such A Time As This

    Julie, you nailed it with your comments using James’ own words. Repentance? No, not even close. You can’t “repent” from all your sin out of one side of your mouth, and with the other side “condemn” the Body of Christ for telling the truth about you. When reading your Facebook post, all I heard loud and clear in my spirit was a two-faced liar. I fear what might take place in your life, James, to really turn you back to the Lord. God help you!

  4. Thank you Julie for all your hard work exposing the truth about James MacDonald. I’m saddened by his “my repentance” announcement on Facebook. He lost me at, “the illegally obtained recordings.” His pride was wounded when Harvest announced he was disqualified from ministry the previous day. I see him defending himself, twisting the truth and accusing Harvest. He sounds more like a victim than a godly, repentant man. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jamie…it’s not a dead horse. James is still alive and dangerous. He’s not shutting up but is doing his. “comeback” and people need to be protected from him. He’s as narcissistic as the devil himself. That was one weird apology that even James was too dumb to realize made him look like a petulant toddler.

  6. Only God truly knows James heart. So, regardless of what you think of him, I encourage you to pray for he and Kathy that they will and are indeed drawing nearer to the Lord than ever before (see Matthew 5:44).

  7. From @NealRoys:

    @jamesmacdonald, your 1st mistake is 2nd sentence: “Our efforts to work through existing channels in our former church have reached an unsuccessful end . . .” But DQ letter says, “. . . we remain open to meeting with James.” For a “successful end,” meet and submit to restoration.

    BTW, what were the criteria for reaching a successful end with HBC?

    1. James is too big of a coward to face anybody. I didn’t hear one repentant word that sounded like it came from his heart. What about your former congregation James? You know the ones you stuck it to for millions of dollars. You make me sick “bro”….I was hoping you would stay far away since you never showed true repentance and still have not. You just sounded like you tried to justify all you did wrong. You must think people are too dumb to figure you out but it’s easy when you show your true colors every time you open your mouth. I stood up for you so many times at Harvest even arguments with my dear wife because she was wise to you a very very long time ago and I kept denying it leading to us engaging in battle. I thought you would come around, but with you James it’s I want more more more. I remember vividly you preaching against people who want it all but I guess you don’t follow your own teachings.

  8. I have worked personally worked directly with thousands of people over decades regarding repentance, forgiveness, rebuilding trust, and reconciliation (as well as the countless ways people fail and distort all of these). Over time you it becomes easier to spot those who have mastered the art of taking-responsibility-without-really-taking-responsibility.

    And then there are those who not only do that, but skillfully make things about them, about how they are actually the victims (while still giving lip-service to confessing), while blaming and attacking others. They also make huge promises to change, and to do A, B, and C, but somehow these things never happen, and they often very hard to prove, one way or another. JM has pretty much nailed all of these here. Is it any wonder this has gone on for over 30 years?

    The bigger, less focused on problem in all this, however, are the ENABLERS. The skillful manipulators and abusers are not able to exist, let alone thrive and do more damage, without being enabled by Enablers. Five markers of these are people:

    1. They lack true concern about being objective.
    2. They are willing and eager to attack others for not fully accepting a faulty or fake confession.
    3. They distort forgiveness into a requirement to trust right away, to restore the sinful individual right away, that forgiveness means reconciliation has now taking place, and that rebuilding trust will some how magically happen.
    4. They have a distorted and counterfeit love, especially by thinking loyalty to the Enabled is loving the Harmed-by-Enabling individual, and that defending, minimizing, justifying sin and error is a loving thing to do.
    5. They either have a distorted understanding of how true reconciliation works, or they are willing to make exceptions for their beloved Enabled person, particularly by bypassing the necessary components of reconciliation.

    You can always spot Enablers in comment sections, and in families, but it is sometimes harder to spot them in larger venues, like a church. They are easily discerned here.

  9. Seems James, bearing fruit in keeping with repentance, would be willing to come on your radio program Julie! If he declined… hmmmm

  10. This is classic enabling right here… Blaming a lack of forgiveness (which is inaccurate and false) while redirecting away from the offender, his many egregious offenses, and his weak confession–AND shaming and blaming the victims and those who seek the truth, and true repentance.

  11. If JMac is truly repentant, (1.) follow Zacchaeus’ example and give 1/2 of your wealth to the poor and repay HBC 4Xs what you cheated them leaving the church $40M in debt. (2.) Reveal expenses on the 20% discretionary funds known only to you and senior staff. (3.) Your sins were exposed as far back as October 2012 documented by The Elephant’s Debt; not late 2016. (4.) You lied stating you were fearful about the defensive lawsuit. Yet in Christianity Today, you wrote that you were the one that initiated, was proactive and twisted Scripture to support your argument to sue other believers. (5.) Adhere to your “50 miles radius non-compete clause. (25 miles from HBC RM campus to NLCC in Chicago (Division St.). On the topics of NLCC, hire the FBI and do an in-depth background check. Read all the articles and news on JMac form both secular and Christian sources to form an unbias opinion. Trust that the NLCC Pastoral staff, and church membership are in full agreement without reservation in the hiring of JMac. He has tarnished the name of Christ and His Kingdom throughout the world. I am not a prophet but he will do the same to NLCC.

  12. I want to circle back for a moment and revisit just how the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel crafted their public rebuke of James MacDonald last weekend.

    It read:

    “We want to start by being clear that Harvest Bible Chapel is very thankful for the 30 years of ministry that James MacDonald served this church.”

    Um. What?

    Imagine if a church’s elders’ statement read like this:

    “We want to start by being clear that the Church of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe is very thankful for the 30 years of ministry that an egomaniac spent here as a swindler, abuser, deceiver, mocker, thief, liar, manipulator while he served this church.”

    How odd would that sound?

    Looking forward—For people who continue to be deceived and duped by James MacDonald—If you are truly born again, may the Holy Spirit search your hearts, break your wills, and work in you a deep and true repentance—Repentance for seemingly showing more concern and outrage over people like me sounding the alarm than you have shown for people who profess to be followers of Christ and yet have deceived, duped, and defrauded the Church.

    May some repent for failing to express righteous anger over cons, cheats, and charlatans who have misused funds that were the Lord’s, and yet continue to show contempt toward people like me who would dare rebuke a man whom you say has brought glory to God.

    And may others repent for having more compassion on bullies and browbeaters who continue to mock the ones who lovingly seek to bring those ensnared in sin to a place of repentance than you do on those who were “beaten up” by leaders who should have served more than they led.

    And above all, may folks repent for maligning the name of Christ and the word of Christ by defending and adoring men like James MacDonald and his antics which are antithetical to and an anathema to Christ.

    May true believers in Christ show proper fear of the Lord by continuing to expose James MacDonald, publicly rebuking him for his ongoing sin which has clearly and undeniably disqualified him from ministry until he repents. That is, repents unto salvation. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

  13. Interesting you groupies love to putting Julie Roys on a pious pedestal but my defense of Pastor James is out of line?….
    You wanted him out of hbc.
    Mission accomplished.
    You wanted him humiliated.
    Mission accomplished.
    You opined about repentance.
    He repented.
    Now he didn’t word it to your liking.
    You have a very concerning fascination with Pastor James and give him waaay too much power over your thought life.
    If only everyone were as active in the church as here, what a different world it could be.
    Tsk tsk….
    All I’m saying is he will answer to God for a genuine repentance or not so genuine repentance.
    Not you. Not HBC. Not Julie Roys.
    (Sipping tea)
    ‘Night…😁

    1. Scott Strange:

      You have managed to utter 2 very “strange” posts on the same thread. Fits your last name quite well.

      We need “Celebrity Pastor devotees” like you in order to continue to drive up the ALEXA website rankings for julieroys.com

      Scott:

      “Celebrity Pastor devout followers” like you have much difficulty understanding complex concepts like 1 Timothy and Titus qualifications for Elders and Preachers. That is way too deep for you to understand. And on a personal level, I really do not blame you. I have experienced that with many self-professing Christians, and so this is not a personal issue between me and you. I really believe that so-called “American Christian culture” has lowered the bar extremely low with the sad effect of relegating Holiness and proper conduct to be deemed out-of-place and out-of-discussion for today.

      why don’t you keep returning to this website that you already professed much love and much affection for? I have a Deal for you right now. How about you ( a Celebrity Pastor devoted fan and earnest follower of James MacDonald ) and me ( a poor middle class, former HBC member who hates getting his wallet fleeced by Wolves ) continue to come here and direct Internet Traffic here so that Julie Roy’s Alexa rankings can continue to climb ?

      How about it ?

      You see, the MORE julieroys.com Alexa rankings continue to Soar, that only means the MORE an unbelieving, dying world realizes that there are Christians left who refuse to be silent in the midst of abuse, lies, greed, corruption, ethical misconduct, bullying, and flat-out un-biblical Idolatry .

    2. Scott, Before you blame others on JMac’s demise, understand that he did it to himself. He thought that he was above God;s law and used the church to further his own interest while HBC was left with over $40M in debt. But worst is the stain that he exhibits to an outside dying world as a true hypocrite manifest in the flesh. Following are some Bible verses to illuminate your eyes, mind, heart and soul as you defend this pastor and mighty man of God. Who comes to mind when you read this verse: ” People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive…”, 2 Timothy 3:2. JMac’s version on 1 Timothy 6:10 would be …the LACK of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10 Does he exemplify the pastoral duties found in 1 Peter 5? “2. Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example”. Please be careful as you sip your tea; Jim Jones got his followers to drink cool-aid.

  14. I continue to be amazed at people like Jamie and others who come here and attempt to blow off the two witnesses who have plainly stated that JMac was actively seeking men who would kill his enemies for money. It is no big deal… its only attempted murder! Give us a break. Take your wretched sin leveling and stop making absurd comments and by all means repent for sticking this son of a devil up on a pedestal so high that nothing he does matters. The man is a psychopath for the love of God! What else do you need? An actual dead body to wash up? This is so wickedly absurd. It is worse than extreme political bickering where nothing your party does matters…

  15. So now James suddenly is “above reproach” even though the Harvest Elders have said he is disqualified currently from ministry? There aren’t many professions (law, medicine, professional sports, etc.) where the disgraced or disciplined violator decides unilaterally when he can “practice” again.

    1. Who else could more or less would go full-TILT Snidely Whiplash on account of JMac? Sure it’s him. Twirling his beard over a chai latte. At this point the man sounds like demonaic.

  16. So let me get this straight..JimmyMac posts a lame “Repentance letter”–jeez guys ya caught me but hey it WAS an ILLEGALLY taped recording anyway so no harm no foul…and I did a few bad things (nothing ever specific) so we anyways we are all good and I’m a gonna relaunch a NEW ministry so THERE!!! Not one mention of the millions that he put Harvest in debt. Nor the millions that he took in. Can’t this mofo just fall back in the woodwork and disappear??? Hasn’t he done enough for the Kingdom???

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