One of the hallmarks of true repentance is whether a person volunteers his confession. “Or,” in the words of former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor, James MacDonald, “did he just get caught?” These words of wisdom, which MacDonald uttered in a 2017 sermon, seem ironic given MacDonald’s “Repentance” expressed yesterday in a Facebook post.
MacDonald was fired in February after a vulgar “hot mic” recording of his was aired on Macow Muller’s Chicago radio show. This came after numerous articles alleged that MacDonald bullied his staff, elders and their wives; displayed a pattern of deception; and misused church funds.
MacDonald’s apology came after eight months of silence, which MacDonald said he needed “to see the Lord’s hand, see my sin fully and speak about it non-defensively.”
Below are several clips from MacDonald’s sermon, which have since been removed from the internet.
JAMES MACDONALD: “When the news comes out that Person A has been living differently than everyone thought–they’ve plunged their life and their family into ruin and destruction–this is the first question that everyone wants answered: ‘Now, did she volunteer this? Or did she get found out?'”
JAMES MACDONALD: “Every time they’re like, ‘Did he come forward with this? Or did he get caught?’ Now, the reason why everyone wants to know this is because the river of, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m sorry,’ that your ability to discern whether that is God-honoring, ‘I’m sorry for my sin toward God, I’m sorry for how I’ve affected others.’ That’s hard to discern from, the legit from the, ‘I’m sorry I got caught. I’m sorry, I look bad.’ And a lot of times, when you get to the bottom of it, the person would have kept on forever if there hadn’t been some consequences to it.”
James MacDonald: “And many people here, across our church, have made choices that they regret. But the only reason you regret it is because of the fallout that happened from it.”