Monday, June 19, 2017

HT Warren Throckmorton, The Elephant's Debt is back up online, revisiting the time James MacDonald was with Mark Driscoll when Driscoll decided to crash the Strange Fire conference.

from the executive summary of TED:

The Elephant’s Debt is a website dedicated to exposing some of the underlying reasons why many people have both privately and publicly questioned the character of Pastor James MacDonald and his lack of qualifications for being an elder and pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel of Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

By the close of 2010, Harvest’s balance sheet revealed that the church, while under the pastoral leadership of James MacDonald, had amassed approximately $65 million of debt, and in the midst of addressing the issues raised by this website, HBC Elders informed the congregation that the debt had been as high as $70 million.  While this number in and of itself is shocking, what makes it worse is that some elders and much of the congregation had no knowledge of the extent of the debt.  The rapid expansion of MacDonald’s ministry, for reasons of ego as much as concern for the Kingdom, was the cause for the sudden and surprising accumulation of debt.  The point in raising the surprisingly accumulation of debt is not to question the current financial stability of the institution, but it is put forth as an example of the underlying character issues of MacDonald that many people are now expressing publicly.

MacDonald was a guy whom Mark Driscoll described as having the spiritual gift of real estate acquisition at one point a few years ago.  Of course real estate always costs something and keeping it always costs something, too. 

Throckmorton also notes the following update:

So ... off the cuff, it's hard not to get a sense of echoes of another resignation on the part of some other guy who was supposed to be held accountable by MacDonald at one point when JM was on the BoAA.  Of course MacDonald was with Mark Driscoll when Mark Driscoll decided to crash the Strange Fire conference a few years ago.

Given that some folks could regard James MacDonald as having been an abject failure at holding Mark Driscoll accountable on matters of doctrine or character it's hardly a surprise if it turned out he came to a conclusion that ... maybe he wasn't the best sort of person to be on a committee that is claimed to have some advisory role to Trump. 

The details of the resignation and so on are admittedly academic here at Wenatchee The Hatchet.  This post is more or less an FYI.  It's of some interest to keep tabs on MacDonald's goings on in as much as he was at one point claimed as a friend and associate of Mark Driscoll.  Whether or not Mark Driscoll has said even one sentence to James MacDonald since his 2014 resignation is impossible to verify on this end but perhaps, if he were asked, MacDonald could clarify if he's stayed in touch with Driscoll since he bailed on the BoAA that let Mark Driscoll become a kind of 21st century Richard Nixon of megachurch pastors.


PNWGuy said...

Speaking of Driscoll and MacDonald, whatever happened to that joint venture of theirs, Churches Helping Churches? I know it got some promotion back in 2010 after the Haiti earthquake, but it seems to have fizzled since then - the website account has expired so there's nothing there anymore. Suppose it may have been a Haiti-only thing.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

if memory serves it seemed like it was a Haiti only thing at the time. If that wasn't the case perhaps someone who can verify what the formal mission was can establish that. In lieu of robots.txt the old websites could be plugged into The Wayback Machine and if there were any captures that might elucidate some stuff. The captures may not have happened, though, and if there "are" robots.txt in place tools like The Wayback Machine won't work.

stixtwirly said...

One of these guys is still going strong. And he's the one with no multi-site. ;)