Harvest Bible Chapel Won’t Reply to Media Questions During Peacemaking Process

Last week I wrote Harvest Bible Chapel’s spokeswoman Sherri Smith a couple of emails with questions about the firing of former Harvest Bible Chapel-Naples pastor John Secrest. Since I did not get a response, I wrote to ask if HBC planned to respond. In response, Ms. Smith answered this afternoon with the following explanation:

While the peacemaking process is underway, Harvest Bible Chapel does not presently intend to respond to further media inquiries. Our focus remains on seeking the Lord and ministering to our church family.

While I understand the impulse to go quiet, the time to do that is after all action has been taken. HBC told the world James MacDonald was going to take a sabbatical and the leaders planned to engage in peacemaking. Then just a couple of days later, those same leaders fired John Secrest as pastor of the same church James MacDonald was advertised as a speaker.

I asked Ms. Smith if MacDonald was still planning to speak there but didn’t get a response to that question. Julie Roys reported on her blog that the elders of HBC in Elgin, IL confessed to “shortcomings” in their handling of the situation at Naples. According to a source cited by Roys, no mention of Secrest’s firing was made at the Naples’ service.

I don’t see how peacemaking is served by swiftly firing a pastor who expressed dissent as a reflection of care for his congregation. By their own admission, HBC elders and Rev. MacDonald have made numerous mistakes and they are still in place with MacDonald being given a sabbatical. Why didn’t Rev. Secrest get a sabbatical?

Organizations don’t need to comment in order to communicate to the public. HBC is sending messages via their actions and silence about them and they are not about peace. If HBC really wants to make peace, start at the end and work backwards. Start with Rev. Secrest and a public apology and private conference to come to a mutual agreement about the situation there.

7 thoughts on “Harvest Bible Chapel Won’t Reply to Media Questions During Peacemaking Process”

  1. Paul indicates in 2 Thess. 2:3 that before the rise of this man of sin there will be a universal “falling away”. From the original language, it’s apparent that this event will take the form of a great apostasy from within the church. Apostasy is a condition where people who once knew the truth and followed it, suddenly and willfully become followers of false teachings and actually transform into enemies of Christ. It is one of the most heinous sins that a person can commit; after knowing the truth to willfully turn away from it. The Bible likens it to a dog returning to his vomit or a pig going back to wallowing in the mud after having been cleaned up (2 Peter 2:22)
    The prophecies of the end paint a bleak picture of widespread spiritual decadence. An age where the church will become lax toward the truth and the world will try to obliterate any mention of Christianity and eliminate true followers of Christ once and for all.


    Read: “The Book of Revelation Decoded: Your Guide to Understanding the End Times Through the Eyes of the Hebrew Prophets” by Rabbi K.A. Schneider, Mike Bickle

  2. This situation reminds me of more things that happened not so long ago in Seattle with another total jerk narcissist. These men love the public attention through all kinds of media outlets, until some scandal that they been busy trying to hide jumps out into the light of day. Then they all of sudden change their tune and claim that darkness, by not responding to some of the same media people, is “the right thing to do.” Walking in darkness is never the right thing to do and never has been. Had everything been in the light, there would be no controversy for them to work hard ignoring. According to the professionals, there is no treatment for NPD. These guys are just in the game for themselves. Revelation 22:11 “Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done.”

    1. Someone said recently that personality disorders can be hard to discriminate between, but when you find an element of a meticulous public persona and exclusively private abuse, it’s a red flag for NPD.

  3. The restriction of information among the members of the church should signal to the members that they’re expendable and considered to be “less than” in comparison to the leaders. I see it as a form of favoritism and the use of illegitimate power.

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