Church that mishandled its finances needs prayer … and more cash

Church that mishandled its finances needs prayer … and more cash March 17, 2019
Pastor James MaDonald. Images via and YouTube

Chicago’s troubled Harvest Bible Chapel, which financed the lavish spending of its former senior pastor James MacDonald – an utterly contemptible creep who spent some of the money on shooting animals in the wild  – now wants followers to cough up more cash to help it out of a financial hole.

Earlier this month Harvest leaders reported the resignation of its entire elder board and a “significant strain” on church finances. Tithes and offerings were down 40 percent.

The megachurch’s new team said:

We know trust is earned over time, and we are working diligently to take actions and to communicate in ways that begin restoring trust. We also face the reality of our expenses and declined giving. If you call Harvest your church home, if this is where God is calling you to be, yet you have stopped giving your tithes, we are asking you to seek the Lord about restarting your giving.

This rebuilding of trust, unity, and health as a Christ-honoring church is hard. We cannot do it alone. We need your prayers and your willingness to embrace this new journey together.

They were responding to the church’s latest blow, the indefinite suspension this week of its accreditation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

ECFA President Dan Busby said:

During the indefinite suspension, the church may not represent that they are an ECFA member or display ECFA’s membership seal. Harvest used to display ECFA’s seal prominently on its online giving page.

Image via TED Talk

Coincidentally, prominent Nigerian humanist and human rights campaigner Leo Igwe, above, today addressed the issue of the “commercialisation of religion” in an excellent op-ed entitled “How can we determine what qualifies people as bogus pastors when so many mainstream religious beliefs are bogus to begin with?”

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  • TheBookOfDavid

    Seems like Harvest Bible Chapel is having trouble holding the middlemen accountable, and needs a higher power to intervene. The obvious solution is for members to hold on to their tithing cash and pray for the church’s financial woes to disappear, or tell God to personally withdraw as much from personal bank accounts as he needs.

  • Anri

    “Why does god need an AMEX?”

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Sending thoughts and prayers…

  • Neal Allen Stone

    I hope they financially buckle and go under. So tired of the commercial product religion has become. How insulting to ask for money after they let it squander so much money carelessly and without check or accountability to begin with. You don’t go that deep into debt without someone noticing that could’ve done something, in other words they were part of the problem.

  • ClanSutherland

    “We need your prayers and your willingness to embrace this new journey together.”

    But mostly, we need your money.

  • swbarnes2

    ECFA said that Harvest was in good standing 3 months ago. They are sincerely claiming that Harvest went from ethically compliant to grossly irresponsible that fast?

  • HematitePersuasion

    Church squanders money, begs victims members for yet more cash — News at 11!