On 3 August 2012, the blog of James MacDonald, who pastors Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) in the Chicagoland area, posted this excerpt from MacDonald’s book, Vertical Church:
Nothing cheapens the message of eternal salvation in Christ more than telling people it comes with a new car. We should be deeply offended by anyone who claims to be a minister of the gospel promising people things God doesn’t promise them. Even where “health wealth” has not invaded the church, we can slip into a more subtle version of this error. Jesus Christ promises us a cross to carry, a sword in place of peace, and an exacting accountability for those who claim Him as Lord. Any assuring people of benefits Jesus doesn’t promise or hiding the cost of following Him is a total break with the kind of gospel work revealed in the Gospels themselves.
Interestingly, this post appeared nearly one year after it was announced that prosperity-preaching Oneness Pentecostal T.D. Jakes would be appearing at the Elephant Room 2 event, hosted by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. When MacDonald received pushback from his peers regarding this invitation, the blog post entitled, “Association vs. Discernment and Is James MacDonald Changing?” appeared on MacDonald’s blog in defense of his decision. It has since been removed from that website, but has been archived for continued reference. In that blog post, MacDonald stated, almost in passing,
I am also excited to hear him [T.D. Jakes] state his views on money, which may be closer to Scripture than the monasticism currently touring reformed world.