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Responding to Our Detractors

This is the statement read in our church this weekend. Later this week our elders as a whole will respond.


As we approach the Lord’s table today, let me say that we are back to reality. After 40 cities and almost 80 thousand people ministered to on the Vertical Church tour, we are gladly back to our church family—but also to the reminder that spiritual warfare is real, and that I have some pretty dedicated detractors.  


I call them detractors, not enemies, not wolves, because I’m maintaining the hope that—though I believe they are misguided—I’m maintaining the hope that they do desire God’s best for our church. God knows the hearts of these detractors and I pray that when the truth is brought out they will relent in the distribution of error and adjust their opinions to fit the record of what has actually happened.  


Regardless of what they choose to do, as we’re reminded today, we are following Jesus who taught us how to respond to those who oppose us. We are to love our detractors, we are to pray for them, and we are to seek to do them good. Now if Christ could do this while 100% innocent, then surely we can love and pray and do good to those whose criticism of us is certainly not entirely without merit.


This past Thursday night more than 200 of our Elders/Deacons/Pastors and spouses met together with more unity and mutual love than I have known in the history of our church. Our church has never been stronger—not financially, not in systems of accountability—our church has never been stronger in our commitment to obey the Scriptures and to make disciples for Christ. So it grieves me deeply that our church family is being subjected to attacks on me personally and upon our Elder board. Thankfully, our detractors are mainly outside of our church and entirely, totally outside our church’s leadership. 


Your trust in Harvest Bible Chapel is well placed, and when the facts are brought out I believe anyone who has been caused to doubt will have renewed confidence. I wish I could share the missing facts now, but I have to wait and go over all of this with our Elders, which we are doing at our monthly, regularly-scheduled meeting this Tuesday night.  


Later this week, maybe on my blog, we will acknowledge again what we should have done better in 2007-2009. We’re going to supply the background needed for you to feel truly confident about existing structures for accountability and fiscal integrity.  


I would appreciate your prayers for me and my family. I know from a distance I can appear to have very thick skin, but these kind of things wound me and my family very deeply, and your prayers for our faithful and Christlike response are needed and deeply appreciated.  


A couple of times in our past we have endured seasons of opposition resulting in greater fruitfulness and joy in service to Christ together. And I am believing God for that same result as we respond with truth and humility and transparency. This we are determined to do.  


More to follow.

FG_AUTHORS: James MacDonald

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