Apprising Ministries has been covering what seems to be a developing story concerning Elephant Room curator James MacDonald and a website called The Elephant’s Debt put up a two former members of his HBC.
Today I was pointed to the following update at TED entitled Recent Developments:
James MacDonald addresses the issue of detractors with HBC congregation. Commenter makes startling claim related to salary.
Last night and earlier this morning, James MacDonald concluded each weekend service by directly speaking to his congregation about the dedicated detractors of his ministry. While he never once mentioned either this website or its authors by name, the timing of his remarks and his repeated references to the issues raised by this website suggest that my co-author and I are the detractors to which he was referring.
In his opening remarks, MacDonald was careful to instruct his congregation not to view his detractors either as enemies or as wolves, but to view us as misguided individuals who will hopefully cease to distribute error when the truth is brought out. The congregation was then instructed to love on detractors and to pray for them. Interestingly, MacDonald also suggested that this was a season of spiritual warfare against the church, which subtly implies that the detractors are sinfully/demonically oppressing his just and right ministry.
As he continued to speak, MacDonald informed the congregation that more than 200 pastors, elders, deacons and spouses had met on Thursday October 11th. He characterized the meeting as being marked by more unity than he has ever experienced in the history of Harvest. He also said that Harvest has never been stronger financially or had better accountability than at the present time.
Finally, as MacDonald brought his remarks to a close, he informed the church that he and his family have been deeply wounded by these events, but that he is determined to respond with the truth and transparency, perhaps as early as later this week through his personal blog.
Following that, the congregation was encouraged by an elder to fully support MacDonald in the same way that the elders had committed themselves to doing.
This statement, as read by MacDonald, raises multiple issues that must be addressed… (source)
The piece concludes with the testimony purported to be from “a long term member of Harvest” who tells us:
Friends, I’m not going to reveal my identity at this point, but in time I may. My heart is grieved beyond measure by all this.
As a long term member of Harvest let me say that I’ve looked into the “facts” presented on this website. Sadly, as I’ve dug for truth I’ve come to discover that the salary figure of $500k per year for Pastor James is, in fact, MUCH LOWER than his actual figure. One man in leadership, who will remain unnamed at this point, told me straight up that James makes OVER $1 MILLION DOLLARS per year from various income streams connected with the church. This is outrageous and sinful! How can a pastor do this?
I am a blue collar worker who has served faithfully in this church for years. With a family of four our family decided to sacrificially give beyond anything we’ve given in the past to support the 5G effort laid out by Pastor James. However, I had no idea we were $65 Million in debt, and I had no idea that Pastor James made so much money! Honestly, I’m pissed and saddened at the same time because I feel like we have been duped!
Pastor James needs to come clean here. He needs to repent of his love of money. Our family will not continue to support this lavish salary any longer. (source)