FIGHTING IN THE CHURCH: James MacDonald Resigns from ‘The Gospel Coalition’ after Refusing to ‘Pull the Plug’ on T.D. Jakes Conference Invite
by EEW Magazine News & Entertainment Editors
Dr. James MacDonald, one of the Council members of a group known as “The Gospel Coalition,”—a reformed group of about 50 pastors he has fellowshipped with for the past few years—has resigned. The shakeup has been connected to MacDonald’s refusal to cancel an appearance by Bishop T.D. Jakes at a conference. Apparently, Jakes’ doctrine did not pass the group’s “litmus test” of sound doctrinal teaching according to the Christian Post.
The conference in question called “The Elephant Room” is described on its website as a format that “features blunt conversations between seven influential pastors who take differing approaches to ministry. No keynotes. No canned messages. These are ‘the conversations you never thought you’d hear.’”
Well, some of the influential pastors in the group felt the Dallas megapastor of The Potter’s House was not worthy to contribute to the conversation—something that was revealed in a letter from Kent C. Shaw, the executive director at Harvest Bible Fellowship.
According to Shaw, “They were asking that he pull the plug on Bishop Jakes coming to the Elephant Room (ER) conference. Their reasons are rooted in weak evidence of Jakes’ current doctrine and infighting among the black members of the Gospel Coalition who have deep seeded resentments.”
But instead of "pulling the plug" on Jakes' appearance, MacDonald boldly and courageously opted to pull the plug on his membership of the group. “I have very different views on how to relate to the broader church and how the gospel must impact every relationship,” he wrote on his blog. “I don’t want my minor role on the Council to hinder their work as a whole or to give the impression they agree with all God has called me to do.”
Good for MacDonald.
This antipathy toward other leaders who don’t meet The Gospel Coalition’s requirements can be a hindrance to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. It is easy for leaders to get puffed up, and feel they have a patent on how the Gospel should be preached and shared with the world.
And that is not a biblical ideology. In fact, it is rooted in pride, which God hates.
All this fighting in the church needs to stop.
It is counterproductive.
It seems to EEW Magazine that The Gospel Coalition needs to collectively read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 and get it together.