James MacDonald, mega-church pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago suburbs, publicly announced his resignation as a council member of The Gospel Coalition on Tuesday due to his “methodological convictions.”
“I have very different views on how to relate to the broader church and how the gospel must impact every relationship,” he revealed on his blog, providing a brief explanation of his reason for leaving.
MacDonald was one of the founding members of TGC, “a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing [their] faith in the gospel of Christ and…reforming ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.”
Apprising Ministries revealed soon after, however, that there was more to MacDonald’s resignation than mentioned in the blog. The ministry received an email from Kent C. Shaw, the executive director at Harvest Bible Fellowship, which it posted online.
“Last week James was put under a lot of pressure from leaders of The Gospel Coalition, a reformed group of about 50 pastors he has fellowshipped with for the past few years,” the email reads. “They were asking that he pull the plug on Bishop Jakes coming to the Elephant Room (ER) conference.”
The Elephant Room conference is an event that features pastors from diverse backgrounds meeting face to face to “push and prod and challenge and sharpen each other’s beliefs and methods,” conversing “bluntly” about the “most Christ honoring ways of building a church.”
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