James MacDonald: "for me it’s over. No more fixing people—I resign"

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Mark_Smith's picture

I admit it. I know little to next to nothing about MacDonald. Is he stopping individual counseling at his church? Or is this simply hyperbole for turning things over to the Lord in these situations?

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

I admit it. I know little to next to nothing about MacDonald. Is he stopping individual counseling at his church? Or is this simply hyperbole for turning things over to the Lord in these situations?

I read it twice and I'm not sure

Wayne Wilson's picture

It sort of sounds like he almost got the message about his pontificating and his anger problems.  Sort of.

I have accepted, even solicited, and been blessed by the critical feedback of friends, and picked diligently through the rubbish of those who sought my ruin to great advantage. But I have erred in thinking those who dish it out can take it, and had to learn that when you want it for people more than they want it for themselves, it won’t end well.

That comes off sounding quite arrogant.  It could be he's the only one who accepts criticism in the right spirit, but I suspect he still hasn't learned to correct others with compassion.

Brenda T's picture

But fixing people individually? I’m done!

 

Did he actually think he was the one fixing people?

Jay's picture

Given the amount of feedback he got on the disaster that was Elephant Room 2, I can't really say that I'm surprised.  I'm not sure if I should be sad about it or not - he had some real differences with me in doctrine, and I don't think he should have been pastoring.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jim's picture

I don't think he is really resigning because he says: "Praying? For sure! Preaching? Always and with increased power"

Rather he is going to stop getting involved in minutiae and hand-holding of people.

At least that's how I read it (it came across and kind of a rant!)

 

Ed Vasicek's picture

Weird article.  Sounds like an over-reaction.  If he is saying he is a control freak and is going to stop, good luck.  Control freaks pre-plan every detail of their funeral.

"The Midrash Detective"

Mark_Smith's picture

I think he is saying he is going to end his self-confessed (in the article) ways...perhaps a bit of an over-reaction.

 

I struggle myself with yelling at bad drivers!

DHarry's picture

 

 

Did he actually think he was the one fixing people?

[/quote]

Maybe that explains why he felt like that part of ministry was a failure. 

Isaiah 64:8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

TimNT's picture

Why this obsession with writing these "confessionals"?  Methinks thou thinkest too much of thyself brother James.

D.Hazen87's picture

So, I can't be too sure.  I know little of J. Mac - mainly from the elephant room, where he may have come across arrogant to some and as a strong leader in charge of an event he arranged to others.  I known there was some noise (although it seemed short lived) about ER2, but I didn't bother watching it.  

But I think he's trying.  Maybe a little bit too hard.  But it sounds like maybe he's realized that he has fallen into a trap a lot of pastors (or Christians) fall into, believing that it's our job to fix people.  Of course, most reformed believers wouldn't admit to it, and hopefully fewer would do it consciously, but's a subtle form of pride that we try to let the Lord "use us to bring people to where we are in our walk with God."  In other words - be like me.  I know I can struggle with this often.  So maybe it's something he's seen in his own life, and he wanted to be open and honest, and a little funny about it too.  

Maybe it's something he sees in his people, too, and is hoping taking a light look at it might cause others to reflect some too.  That might seem a little...hypocritical (telling people you're done fixing them to get them to stop fixing people??), but it might have been his goal, I don't know.  

I don't know that it was particularly a wise thing for him to do.  Seems like a lot of people might be confused, and others might just find it a little bit...self-aggrandizing.  But I don't think we should jump on a brother and judge his motives when we're clearly on the outside looking in.  If someone follows his blog regularly, attends his church, or has a good handle on why he might have said this or how he might have meant it, I'd love to hear.  But otherwise, I'm going to take it as a gentle reminder to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to work in myself, and others, and not worry about it too much.  

 

Anyway, no one asked.  But that's my two cents.  And in some strange way...my way of trying to fix all of you ;) 

Lee's picture

The problem with blogging on a schedule is the same problem music publishers face--ya gotta produce something even if you don't have a truly "inspired" thought at the time, so you wind up saying or publishing something that is really odd.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one and credit it to blogging with nothing really to say. 

 

At least it is not like some of the music published that somebody feels compelled to sing as a special.  Now that is a truly disturbing experience.

Lee

Andrew Henderson's picture

It is interesting that he quoted Galatians 6:2 and being willing, when asked, to bear one another's burdens but completely ignored Galatians 6:1 - if a brother is overtaken in a fault seek to restore him. That sounds an awful lot like seeking to help people get fixed. I don't know. Maybe I am missing something. 

Andrew Henderson

DLCreed's picture

I'm just relieved that everyone else appears to be as confused about it as I was.  I thought I was losing my mind for a while.

dmyers's picture

Perhaps McDonald is saying something similar to what Steve Brown has written and said a number of times:  He used to think it was part of his job description as a pastor to keep people from sinning, and he was continually frustrated; he'd stand at the edge of the cliff and warn people away; they'd thank him for his concern; they'd look over the edge with him and agree with him that others who'd jumped were down at the bottom broken and bloody; and then they'd jump anyway; and he'd too often find himself jumping too.  Because sin was pleasurable, etc., at least in the short term.  Eventually he realized it was much less frustrating and more effective to concentrate on pointing people to Jesus.  (I'm paraphrasing from memory, so apologies to Steve Brown if I've mangled this.)

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Ed Vasicek wrote:

Weird article.  Sounds like an over-reaction.  If he is saying he is a control freak and is going to stop, good luck.  Control freaks pre-plan every detail of their funeral.

You mean not everybody does that?

Anne Sokol's picture

sympathize with the guy.

Vitaliy has had to become interim pastor of our church here, and he was just telling me yesterday, after counseling a couple with fairly large issues, that he had wrong assumptions about church people. He assumed they all had the goal to grow and mature in Christ.

Now, after being pastor for a yr or two, he has seen that quite a lot of people in the church really don't have this goal at all.

I don't think he's ever taken it on himself to fix everyone though, He's a low-key personality Wink