CAROL STREAM (IL)
Nov. 5, 2019
By Kate Shellnutt
The elders of Harvest Bible Chapel have concluded that their former pastor James MacDonald is biblically disqualified from ministry and can never return to leadership at their congregation.
A church investigation into charges against MacDonald—who was fired in February— found he failed to meet the elder qualifications laid out in Scripture. They attested he instead “had a pattern of being disruptive,” “insulting, belittling, and verbally bullying others,” “improperly exercising positional and spiritual authority,” and “extravagant spending utilizing church resources resulting in personal benefit,” according to a statement released Sunday.
The announcement said while the Bible doesn’t teach that disqualification from ministry is permanent, his damage to Harvest would prevent him from serving again as an elder or pastor there.
“We believe James could be restored to ministry someday, but in order for that day to come, the fruits of repentance must be evident. Based on Harvest Bible Chapel’s interpretation of the Scripture, we have not yet seen evidence of this,” wrote the eight-member elder board (all of whom assumed their positions earlier this year, when the elders who served during MacDonald’s leadership stepped down).
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