At my former church, I reached the point where I couldnt, in good conscience, stay because of the amount of bull-headed spiritual abuse that was going on combined with covering-up of sexual abuse. Is many people for years have tried to bring things to light privately. We ask Lord that You would raise up another set of men who are willing to take on this challenging, difficult situation here but can do it with hope, with determination, with humility, and with a desire to see Your will accomplished, he asked. *For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. Pray for all the lost and unsaved who are not hearing the Gospel and our testimonies right now from our lips because sin has been made the main thing. It is loving to tell the truth. https://radical.net/sermon/kingdom-community/, https://sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/, Recommended Reads: Relevant Magazine on James MacDonald Allegedly Inappropriately Touching Anne Green. When someone lies with such ease , that is pathological, and they must be removed from their positions!! The resources are pulpit curriculum and bible words to talk about. Although I do not want to be a part of this church any more, I strongly feel that God is directing me to continue to obey his direction in this scripture and take their disobedience to another level. Others had old wounds that had resurfaced and were hurting, having never felt closure to their stories. We are conditioned to believe that leaving silently is whats best for the church and in some cases thats true. Walked out of that service. He just got into the worlds standards for a preacher. Yes, I was there for ex-communication video. The Spirit has shown me that Church, the Body of called out believers are those Christians you meet with. Dont listen to haters. Horrified. That IS A LIE!! <> Thank you for all you do. Yet Jesus was not the mission even though the pastor spoke of Jesus. God has said that those who are give much is required. If they built it, it is theirs to destroy. Is it perfect? I met you when you spoke at Harvest Davenports womens ministry retreat and events many years ago and was challenged and inspired by your teaching. Hi Sally, What you are talking about is protecting abusers at the expense of those they have abused and betrayed which, unfortunately, happens far too often. We did not want to cause a split or damage the cause of Christ, so we quietly left. Its hard to step out alone but God always protects and brings darkness into the light to be seen. I regret staying at Harvest after that meeting with the elders. But wait who is that lurking around the edges, his deeds the center of everyones interest in our church right now, salivating and gleeful that divisiveness and sin is healthy within the body of Christ? All Rights Reserved | Website by M is Good! He stood and told me and my husband he was naive to the Paxton Singer situation. The Scripture that came to me as I read this is I Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. Read the commandment in 1 Timothy 5:19-20 on the correction of Elders who sin, so that other Elders will be afraid to continue sinning against the flock. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Thank God the early Christians stood firm and did not run away from troubles. My heart breaks for the people that have been hurt by this on both sides. And where I live that mostly rules out every English speaking church there is! The Lord knows and he keeps the books. But if they submit to the Healer, they will come out stronger. And still some came because their loved ones and spouses have abandoned the faith completely and now refuse to go to church and they long to understand why. Lina Abujamra who once was the Womens Ministry Director at Rolling Meadows explained how she ran afoul of the elders and why she left in the course of time. I can only hope and pray that those that criticize you for speaking up now are MORE upset about the behavior of the leaders of the church! And even then, it often doesnt work because so many remain enthralled with the narcissist, or have tied their fortunes to them, that they simply cant or wont see the truth. No, I dont as well as many others. Thank you for the courage and humility it takes to write a post like this. Scripture does not say what the mark was, but it was a mark that man knew as a sign to not to kill Cain, as it would end his life, and end the judgement that God had given Cain to live out his life with. I love who you are and what you do. Lina, I know that you did not take writing this lightly, and that it was preceded by much prayer and asking for the Holy Spirits wisdom and guidance in order to strike a balance of truth and grace. Those that havent gone through it ask why would you speak these things? Start praying for Jesus to heal the entire body of which He Alone is the Head. I did not fear God as much as I feared James and longed for his approval. But are they? Many are in or have been in denial. Many people went to leaders and spoke up. 15:58 Therefore, my dear (sister) be steadfast,immovable,always excelling in the Lords work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.. Thank you for your story Dr. Lina, and thank you for shedding light on your fears, and your full confidence in the Lord at the end of the day. Even people who were very close to us turned silent. The only hope is to totally exposed and excise it so that all will not be consumed. Im so sorry, and Im sorry for the comments here that are going to be painful for you. The surprise is not Harvest, but that you publicly hung them. I was so dissappointed to hear that she left. Where there is no vision and freedom the people perish. That is at the root of a serious problem that the Church hardly touches. The evil at Harvest is a nasty stage four cancer yet has invaded the entire body. Stressful on him and his family. Basically hes a figurehead who can be dismissed on the whim of any elder or his wife. Love my bible sisters. I have since moved on and seen God do some pretty amazing God-sized miracles in my life and ministry (evidently, God does work outside of the walls of Harvest Bible Chapel!). The womans bible study lead by two women who referenced Pastor James constantly are still in charge. Nice to hear from you again! I will only say that if it is right and important to address a culture of fear within the church, it is equally important to address the same for our country. Pastor Jared Olivetti has also submitted his resignation, which will be processed through the presbytery over the next couple of weeks., He added that the four issued their resignations very reluctantly.. Read the Old Testament. In my lowly position, I have said, like others, I would have put my head in the sand and continued to do the job God gifted me to do in the interest of the body. The resignations came after the Reformed Presbyterian Church placed Olivetti on leave earlier this month as it investigated the accusations. Dont bad rap other churches? Different situations require different things. It would be endearing to me and honoring to them. Ross, Ross Blomberg, I think that this message has relevance to many situations today, including the present political situation. God is sovereign, He is the Healer, He is the Restorer, He is the Renewer, and He will continue to do what He is doing in order to bring about His will for His people. Jesus desires mercy and not sacrifice. Further, Nellie, I am glad that you missed out on being a victim of the authoritarian rule that grew, without check, in the once fertile soil of a formerly great ministry. As a former Muslim, I grew in my walk with GOD because Pastor James teachings from the GODs Word. Christ followers are saying enough. By the time I left, I had discovered something dark about myself: I was a woman/person ruled by fear. He stomped his questioners. Will this tattoo be their mark of shame? You must not feel sorry for James. This is the mercy and grace of God. It never dawned on me that no one from HBC would reach out. Everything is being talked about at great lengths regarding Harvest except for Who the body of Christ should be praying to, talking about and quoting. I grew up in the Church of Christ. And these things are only the tip of the iceberg. In Jesus precious name. Hearing these stories has helped me to realize I left just when I was supposed to. I also managed to write an apology to James for the pain I had caused him. It truly is the Lords work. Will those men now be known for their mark as sinful followers of James? He was a very good speaker and teacher of the Bible but was forced to resign from our church a few years back. Lean should read it and reply in kind. *Strong Bad: Just for the record, in all kindness Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. He has harmed thousands of people. May the love of Jesus Christ and his peace flood over you this day! Others have gone before you in challenging HBC to help pave the way and have paid the consequences for their courage. However, James is not the same person he was when he began that church and if he was to continue leading it, he would hurt countless others. (Matthew 12:33-37). I hate to be James because God judges leadership harsher than the regular sinner. I am so happy that finally people are standing up and talk about it! When God led me to leave HBC, I remember being so sad and afraid and wondering if I was hearing Him correctly. Not just Harvest Bible Chapel. I will be praying for you. I was just starting out at Harvest in September of 2011. He kept going back to you disobeyed the pastor so youre wrong (me in this case for talking to the youth and his mom about it after it happened).

Douglas Goodin is pastor of Front Range Alliance Church in Colorado Springs, founder and president of the New Covenant School of Theology, and author of Exalted: Putting Jesus in His Place. Your sister in Christ in Auburn, Indiana. Thank you for sharing. The Church of Jesus Christ is not the organization or nonprofits we create, but the men and women that God calls and saves by the sacrifice of His Son. Thank you. The first one is in the magazine Relevant and looks at the allegations of Anne Green being inappropriately touched by James MacDonald. I regret my own weaknesses, my love for the approval of others. This is why NOW. New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw, Ind., says that Lowe, who confessed to adultery years ago with a teenager and publicly informed his congregation last weekend after church leaders confronted him, has resigned. Leaving spiritual abuse is okay, you cant be expected to change it while youre in the midst of it. [] While only a handful showed up, the range of their pain was wide. who we really love. The message we received was they were sorry we felt that way and they were sure it was not his intention. WARSAW, Ind. And, at the same time, I know you to be a humble woman, easily impacted by negative, feedback. I appreciate the Biblical distinction you made Sheila, in relation to the Bible calling us to be good ; which doesnt always mean being kind and nice. endobj This post drips of mercy. But should never be a pastor again!

But your words affirmed what I suspected. New to Harvest and my faith in Christ, I didnt know what was going on and still kinda of unclear of all the details. This pastor couldnt have been more wrong. James could have easily prayed, [] There are a couple of other reads that came to my attention this evening related to Harvest Bible Chapel that I wanted to make people aware. Be blessed dear Sister. 1 Timothy 5:20: But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. Im very certain you do not understand narcissists and how manipulative they are I recommend Dr. Ramani on YouTube as she is a great resource to gain understanding but the only chance to fight their evil is to bring it out into the light, expose them for what they truly are. Its about the hurting. I want to thank you for having the courage to add your testimony to the voices of those who have been abused by HBC. Theres a difference between stirring the pot and exposing false teachers as the Scriptures instruct us to do. This post reminds me of something that happened at my former church. I have always wondered why? She did not claim it was her trurh , but opinion. Ive been where youre at, believing that its godly to keep trying to work it out, like family does. @Ross, Were you able to access it? 35The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. than submission to leaders Lina,

No one seems to be able to discern right from wrong anymore. Others had old wounds that had resurfaced and were hurting, having never felt closure to their stories, Abujamra, a Bible teacher and Moody Radio host, wrote on herblog. The confidence I hang on to today is that whether I am approved or critiqued for this opinion, it is Christs love that will catch me and his arms that will continue to sustain me when I close my eyes at the end of each new day. Thank you for displaying what an honest and vocal Godly woman can look like. You said, out of fear, I complied. I totally agree with you Patti. Those that have gone through it ask themselves, should I speak up?. Good word, my sister. Nellie, Jesus may be truly calling people to stay, and rebuild Harvest Bible Chapel. Sheila, we are not called to be good, we are called to be HOLY! TV stations reported that the Kosciusko County prosecutor is investigating. Please make sure all fields are filled out. Hang in there. Be very careful Azaelea. you felt through James harvest mentality, you would be rebellious against authority if you stood up This is the right time as the judgment of God has come to his people. There is NEVER a healthy or spiritual reason for suppressing truth. A woman who is full of fun loving life. Hmm. God help those who cant see their need to be set free or judge those whove found it in Christ Jesus. Thank you for speaking out, Lina! Lina did try to have a conversation with the Elders before she left Harvest. Oh my how that resonated with me and the experiences my beloved and I have had with churches in the UK. I too visited Harvest. The Jews ebb and flow toward God followed a pattern. (My) fear was in upsetting James U%$tOlcjCO0-d ^9kTuX'xHywMo!%5&U5rx[bx.Co(B&Fz_1GW-Xz3Tvx)d@sr wUdV"PFS*k~2mB[dC,yZpvS[`nr.E MfZ]d] At~o{

But, thats my opinion. Wake up this tragedy has been in the works a long time. The environment is as ahw stated, fear James, make James happy The only thing I liked about that church was the worship, which was glorifying to the Lord. It was simply not possible. The church is to be a living organism for the cause of Christ and no other. I dont know why, except that I just really wasnt getting the Word of God from the stage and I do mean stage. Until recently, I was 8 year member of HBC and I feel so sad, confused, betrayed. Anointing: Every believer is a priest in the new covenant. I didnt want to risk any negative impacts on my own growing ministry. But often they require speaking up when injustice is done. Although there are no criminal charges filed against the pastor and three elders, ecclesiastical charges are pending against them amid regional and national investigations within the denomination, according to the Indy Star. Structure: the structure of My Dream Church is based on the New Testament Body Of Christ Agreed Sheila. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt! Fear is a stupid liar and I praise God that Hes given us a spirit of a sound mind and Love!!! Its by an unbeliever, but wow, is it eye-opening. Because ultimately what God wants is not a huge army of women who are nice. Opt out of mega church? Thank you for your thoughts and strong, encouraging words. Thank goodness God is still God! No one knows why. Still, even I knew when enough was enough. Its hard no impossible- to do everything with the right motivation. It is important to bring light to this matter, help yourself and others heal and put a new song of praise and trust in Our God. If Harvest and James can answer that, without focusing merely upon what they do, it would be helpful. []. Others wised up and slowly left. The people of the church are those we feel we can trust and love. God bless. Thats the point and issue with what was and is going on at Harvest. Thank you for taking the time to nurture the HBC flock that Pastor James never cared about! Were you bullied by those elders named? Now its a big business with Harvest all over the states. What blessings are flowing at Harvest for those who stand firm! I am delighted to hear that. These being the facts of my simple, uncomplicated, and naive experience as an attendee and member of Harvest, the last several weeks of revelations, discoveries, denial, anger, grief, victims, conjecture, embarrassment, hurt, stories, gossip, cover-ups, accusations, defensiveness, lawsuits, maliciousness, divisiveness, blame, threats, and even some name-calling as of late I have begun to realize that those of us who are just the congregation, the blessed and appreciative recipients of the God-given talents of all those involved in running and ministering Harvest, we are now in the painful position reminiscent of children involved in the divorce of parents, both(ALL!) Do you see any fruit from him of what God speaks of? I hadnt realized that James had gotten a tattoo that week. WHY NOW??? Churches should switch to a different model that is biblically aligned. My father went through prostate cancer. Im about to lead a teaching tomorrow night about the mark God placed on Cain after he killed his brother Abel. To heal enough to communicate and receiving shaming comments like yours. Thank you for your honest post. There are people there I thought were my friend and as soon as my life takes a left turn and happens out of order (first came baby then came marriage and then another baby) I get ousted out and judged and hurt. for what its worth, the timing of the writing is His perfect timing. Thank you Lina for your honesty and boldness and ultimately helping me put words to what I have been experiencing through the preaching of James. Sheesh. For me, it is because it is time for truth. 1 0 obj I committed the adultery. After leaving Harvest no one from the church reached out to me to see how I was doing, to ask why I left. Also I Cor.

What would Jesus do? For a different church model, see My Dream Church https://sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/. You are courageous and your words bring healing. Lina you were humble and owned more than most. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';fnames[3]='MMERGE3';ftypes[3]='text';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Copyright 2021 Living With Power. 37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Lowe, 65, told church members Sunday that he had committed adultery and wanted their forgiveness. Like in Ezekiel, many people are trying to sound the trumpet of warning!! Because TRANSPARENCY is neededand now ahe may be starting to feel safe. The fallout has only just begun. Amen to that. How should people of faith worldwide respond to the Dobbs decision? When we try to protect those in power instead of those who are hurting, we are not doing the work of God. Olivetti and the session leaders were alleged to have tried to hide the allegations from church members and denominational leaders for roughly four months.

It was 27 years ago, not 20. These are the same elders that signed off on James filing the law suit against the Ryan Mahoney and his wife, Scott Bryant and his wife, and Julie Roys! I can think of hundreds of small things, and some rather large ones, that Ive compromised myself for. Praying for you, many blessings for all you do. I speak as one who has gone thru it, like you. I stay with confidence that God will not be mocked, he knows the perfect balance of justice and mercy, he will redeem this pain and we will witness HIS power in HIS church. Just pray in a prayer closet to be still in the presence of Jesus. She approached this with sensitivity, wisdom and grace. Its where I was led to Christ. I do not think the solution is replacing the pastor and associates with a new administration. By the time I left, I had discovered something dark about myself: I was a woman ruled by fear. Do you think God approves of pastors who deliberately scam their congregation for years, use his name for money and abuse people for the Almighty Dollar?

How dare you question her about why? Why? This is why Jesus did not come to this present church environment. I just want you to know that what you did at HBC mattered, and your presence is greatly missed. Amen. That is who God truly cares about. I kept thinking people would wake up and see the truth and understand that my leaving was not a betrayal to James but a stance against his leadership style, and the leadership style of the XLT, and James sons, and most of the remaining elders. Fear is why leaders did not speak up until now. The elders were given a paper that laid out their duties, that mostly consisted of protecting, encouraging, and blessing the senior pastor. You are speaking the minds of the many who did not stand up to James as they felt at the time, based on fear of public shame, and damage to career, to stick their heads in the sand and not speak up. Most of my friends as well. Torn between right and wrong. The small church that I and my family left was a textbook case in spiritual abuse. Go figure..Disappointed, Searching for a new study close by. God IS in control and knows what he is doing. I have or attend 3 or more small groups a week now and feel alive. Well said Lina. Unreal as I went to Harvest for over 7 yrs and this whole situation has hurt so many people. Thank you for sharing your story and for doing so in the right spirit. Implying that the information on TED was lies.

I no longer help lead a larger mens ministry. Ken Morgan so you continue to deny the evidence for a creator by your superior intellect ? Ross, Ross, 33Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. The newspapers December investigation revealed that the abuse happened at the Immanuel church location, and abuse also occurred away from the church grounds from spring 2019 to March 2020. I wont make that mistake again. Life goes on people repent and grace is for everyone. From elders (Dave Corning, Jon Gaus, The Elephant Debt etc) to nobodies one by one we were all ignored and in many cases bullied. Others, too, could see the attitude. It is a biblical teaching that unrepentant public sin in a public representative of God ((ie, pastors and elders) must be publicly rebuked for the sake of the church as a whole. Doesnt matter how long ago it happened either. You are open to correction, feeling hurt when it comes. Did you see the link to my web page. None of the perpetrators of hate and satanism have fully repented, including James, his despicable henchmen and the elders.

We left a church where the pastor specifically told me, I am in charge! He said this while glaring at me and enunciating each word. We dont know each other, but I found this via Julie Roys Twitter. I also dont know why it took me five years to leave, but now Ive been at a true Bible preaching, Jesus exulting church, not too far from the RM campus. Really? I attended Harvest for five years, and left five years ago. We are to fear God not man. Fear can lead to many sins. Im far removed from this situation, but saddened by it nonetheless. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

8. It seems that was true at Harvest, just as it is at many local churches. Thank you. Mike was genuinely shocked when we told him our son had Paxton as a camp counselor for whole week at Camp Harvest and we never received notice as HBC falsely told Daily Herald. When I left my job I stayed at HBC for about another year before leaving entirely. In good conscience we walked away too knowing it was the right thing before God.So now I get your story, you were a favorite of Kathy and James so I am sure to take a stand against the injustice at Harvest was not at all an easy decision.So many other godly people got pushed out for speaking up about the entitlement and harshness of James and other Pastors and Elders.So very sad somewhere along the way they just forgot they are supposed to be shepherds and servant and not the guards defending the many sin issues at Harvest. Even before the Garden of Eden seduction, he foresaw the need for The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Your leaving (however late you feel it was) was His provision for others, much like Joseph sent ahead to Egypt years ahead of his brothers and father. I am staying because with all the faults in the organization, the people of Harvest are my family. Wake up and take some serious deep reflection you follow a man not Jesus that is extremely dangerous my suggestion to you.., workout your salvation with fear and trembling my sister in Christ. Whats also sad is that old witness accounts go to show how truly far reaching and how long this behavior has been going on. Its been over a year and a lot has changed at Harvest and a lot sill needs to change. We are currently experiencing similar tragedy at HBC-Naples. So your opinion is to fire everybody? is it the pastors doing? The church said leaders confronted Lowe recently after the woman told others about a long-held secret. The church said the sexual conduct continued into her 20s.



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