James MacDonald of The Elephant Room has already taken more than one hit this week, having been pushed to resign from The Gospel Coalition for being unwilling to rescind his invitation to alleged modalist T.D. Jakes.
Dan Phillips of the Pyromaniacs immediately weighed-in with his article, Even better than The Race Card™. Phillips called out MacDonald for implicitly claiming divine authority, and for MacDonald’s accusing The Gospel Coalition’s leadership of sin for disagreeing with him.
Today, MacDonald has given his critics yet more ammunition, even before his conversation with T.D. Jakes.
Chris Rosebrough writes on his Letter of Marque blog:
Today, I traveled to Rowling Meadows, Illinois to attend James MacDonald’s Elephant Room 2 conversations. Upon entering the event venue I was met by a security guard and Jim Rowan, an elder at Harvest Bible Chapel and was promptly told that my entrance to the Elephant Room had been revoked and that I had to immediately leave the premises or I would be arrested for trespassing.
Erin Benziger recounts a similar story on her Do Not Be Surprised blog:
About 45 minutes ago, a friend and I walked through the doors of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, IL. Why? To attend The Elephant Room 2, of course! Upon approaching the registration desk, the volunteers noticed that they could not find my name tag. I was ushered to the side, where I was confronted by Harvest Bible Chapel elder Jim Rowan and told that my registration had been revoked and refunded and that I was to leave the premises immediately. Hm, so now what is the elephant in the room?
This is The Elephant Room’s ‘Purpose Statement’:
The Elephant Room is more than an event. It is the outgrowth of an idea. The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement but in conversation among all kinds of leaders about what the scriptures actually teach. We must insist on the biblical Gospel, right doctrine and practice but not isolate ourselves from relationship even with those who believe much differently.
Why, then, is the Elephant Room turning away at the door and threatening with arrest independent apologists who have pre-registered and travelled to attend? Why do they think fellowship with modalist T.D. Jakes is acceptable, but not that with orthodox Christians contending for the true Gospel and the Faith once delivered?
Chris Rosebrough’s observation is apposite:
Seems to me that the Elephant in the Room is the fact that the ONLY voices that James MacDonald and company are willing to hear are those that agree with them.
The Elephant Room has engaged in absolutely disgraceful, hypocritical and shameful behaviour. Rosebrough and Benziger were not even accorded the basic courtesy of being informed of their disinvitation before they went out of their way to travel to the event.
Why are the organizers of the Elephant Room frightened of independent scrutiny? What are they hiding?
This is one story that isn’t going to go away.
Ken Silva of Apprising.org was speaking to Rosebrough on the phone when Rosebrough was turned away. The details of his account underline the dishonourable conduct of those behind The Elephant Room.
Chris Rosebrough has uploaded a podcast discussing this event.
Chris Rosebrough’s interview with Pastor Todd Wilken of Issues, Etc. (included in the Fighting For The Faith segment) is also available separately.