Christian Research Network is a sister work of Apprising Ministries. Today CRN Associate Editor Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised… brings more detail on fallout from the ecumenical Elephant Room II of James MacDonald:

On 9 May 2012, Christian Research Network reported the following:

After speaking to Harvest Bible Chapel Grayslake, Christian Research Network has confirmed that this church has been “removed from Harvest Bible Fellowship by the leadership.” HBC Grayslake declined to provide additional details at this time. Source

HBC Grayslake reportedly shared this information with their congregation in the Sunday service on 6 May, however their statement was not available to the public. The decision by Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF) to remove HBC Grayslake appeared to be a result of discussions surrounding the controversy of the Elephant Room 2 (ER2) conference. Now, HBC Grayslake has provided additional information through the sermon delivered this past Sunday. In the middle of a sermon on 2 Cor. 4:7–15, Senior Pastor Mike Bryant shared the following:

There is hope amidst the suffering. Loved ones, we have hope. And for our church, as I am studying this passage, I am amazed at the pertinence of God’s Word. Can I just tell you that? I am amazed that God sees what we are going through, and a year in advance knew that we would be in this passage. And with the suffering that we are going through as a church – if you were here last week, you heard about the sufferings that our church is enduring. That we have a sign out there that says, Harvest Bible Chapel. And did you know that we are no longer a Harvest Bible Chapel? Because our denomination decided they wanted to kick us out. And why did they want to kick us out? Because they wanted to choose to embrace, to invite and affirm somebody who teaches false doctrines about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the Trinity. And so because of that loved ones, I don’t know about you, but I’m perplexed right now at this situation. I’m confused. I’m discouraged. And I’m grieving over this. I’m perplexed at the reality that the men—for some of us in this room, we’ve served with them for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 plus, I’ve been a part of Harvest Bible Chapel for 23 years now! And guess what, I cannot believe that these men have embraced this false teacher. I can’t understand how they have done that. I’m perplexed about that. And you’re probably perplexed as well, like I am. I’m perplexed about the reality that they would invite and they would affirm this man and they would embrace him and share fellowship with him, while kicking those of us who have been with them and supported them and built God’s Kingdom through the work of Harvest Bible Chapel for 20 plus years, and to kick us to the side. I’m perplexed by that, as I’m sure you are perplexed by that this morning. I’m perplexed that when brothers came, when our elders went to them and spoke truth to them and said, “Hey, the things were seeing, I don’t think this is good.” And when we spoke truth to them and said, “This is wrong according to what Scripture says. Why are we doing this? We need to go in a different way.” And they attacked us instead! I’m perplexed by that. I don’t get that. It discourages my heart and it grieves my heart. ((CRN thanks Scott Bryant of Blood Stained Ink for bringing this to our attention and for providing the transcript. The full sermon may be heard at the website of Harvest Bible Chapel Grayslake. Transcript begins at 35:32.))

It is important to note that Pastor Bryant has been preaching through the book of 2 Corinthians for some time, and the preaching calendar was set well in advance of these recent events. The full sermon was, as intended, an exposition of the text. As such, it cannot be claimed that this sermon was written specifically for the purpose of decrying the behavior of Harvest Bible Fellowship. Rather, Pastor Bryant had the opportunity to use these events as a very relevant illustration.

From the statements made by Pastor Bryant, it seems that the inference can be made that the removal of HBC Grayslake from Harvest Bible Fellowship was due to disagreements surrounding the invitation of prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes to January’s ER2 conference. To date, three additional churches have voluntarily left Harvest Bible Fellowship in the wake of the Elephant Room 2 conference. Harvest Bible Church, Detroit West, Cornerstone Church of Lincolnway (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel New Lenox), and Harvest Bible Church in Prescott, AZ, each decided earlier this year to dissociate from HBF due to concerns surrounding the ER2 event. Statements from each of these three churches are available on their respective websites.


    1. CRN thanks Scott Bryant of Blood Stained Ink for bringing this to our attention and for providing the transcript. The full sermon may be heard at the website of Harvest Bible Chapel Grayslake. Transcript begins at 35:32. 

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