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Devotionals

James MacDonald Eyeing Ministry Return Through Faux Repentance

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828ministries.com H3'ed 11/22/19
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Now it is sad that when a church has been led by someone who does not actually follow the bible it is inevitable that they do not understand the bible themselves. The verse they use to claim the bible does not teach permanent disqualification is Galatians 6:1, which is NOT dealing with pastoral restoration. It is dealing with the aforementioned personal restoration. I am not saying that someone needs to be permanently exiled but it simply should not be considered for a very long time for the sake of the individual, the sheep and the Gospel. Unfortunately, MacDonald seems to be laying the groundwork for a return by putting out a statement that clearly shows he not only has not repented but he still does not get it. Let us reason together once more and go through his "apology."

"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." -- James MacDonald

Yeah James, no one cares about what you think your lifetime calling is. You spent years igniting the passions of people who disagreed with you by publicly berating and humiliating them. It is not God who appointed your chastening, as if you had nothing to do with it. Your actions are why you are where you are today. MacDonald just does not get it beloved. Harvest Church was not "abrupt" at all. This story has been brewing since 2013 and stories of abusive tactics like using the pictures of elder's wives he did not like as target practice at church events go back to 2009. MacDonald also expanded the board to dissipate their power. Mind you, while a decade MacDonald thinks is abrupt, the "extended time of silence to see the lord's hand and his sin" has been less than a year.

"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." -- James MacDonald

Seriously? Didn't he bother to have someone edit this? You claim to have no excuse in a paragraph where you provide an excuse? I am not going to get into the claim of illegality because it is simply not relevant. MacDonald sounds like he simply mad that he got caught! You do not sound vaguely repentant when in the same sentence you claim you are sorry you immediately deflect to your belief that you should not have been busted. As for this apology campaign for those he has hurt look how he couches it. By stating he was owning what was true and not mentioning what was false he is muddying the waters again to provide the illusion that he is somehow the victim here. He is not. I might add, one of his victims, who he spoke most disgustingly and falsely about is Julie Roys, who was surprised to hear about this apology tour with letters for victims as she has not received one:

"I also don't know of anyone else who's received [a written apology] either, including the more than two dozen sources who went on the record with me with horrific stories about MacDonald," -- Julie Roys

That's some apology tour. Sounds more like MacDonald wanted to get back into the public spotlight, throw some shade at the story that ruined him, and lay the groundwork for a return. This is not repentance beloved. The beautiful thing about repenting is you do not need to write an article about it or shout it from the rooftops to try and convince others. MacDonald's statement continues:

"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." -- James MacDonald

This sounds eerily familiar as Mark Driscoll claimed the same thing when he left Seattle in the middle of the night with his church on fire. That church then disintegrated and the wounded sheep hobbled away. Driscoll was also using the press to spread stories about his great repentance and how he was seeking to reconcile with everyone he hurt. Except there were so many who never received any such outreach that they started their own support group online. Mark Driscoll was not interested in making anything right. If he was he would have stayed in Seattle where he knew he was facing church discipline. Instead, he went into hiding for a couple of months and then appeared at Robert Morris' church before moving onto a Hillsong appearance. Having been welcomed back into the machine, he quickly moved to start a church in Arizona. It seems MacDonald has learned from Driscoll's success but this apology falls flat for its utter disconnect to what he did and why he needs to own it. As the church he founded declared, he has disqualified himself from ministry -- period.

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Submitted on Friday, Nov 22, 2019 at 7:53:25 PM

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