The Bible is clear that there will be many false teachers leading people astray in the final years, and many professing Christians will be part of this final apostasy. It also tells us we should avoid anyone who teaches a gospel contrary to the Bible’s teaching. But Paul also tells us to bear with one another as believers; standing up for truth, but also not allowing insignificant divisions to cause problems. The problem is that we are not always clear about what is a significant or insignificant division within Christianity.
Francis Chan has been on a very interesting journey over the past few years. He resigned as pastor of the mega-church he founded and went on a personal sabbatical. He has returned and finds himself in a growing controversy surrounding his criticism of American Christianity as well as his recent appearances at IHOP and alongside Todd White and Benny Hinn. Really?
So where does Chan really stand on doctrine? Mike, David, and Crash look at the controversy and discuss the difficulties in being discerning Christians without jumping to conclusions or branding those we disagree with a “heretic” or “apostate.”
Chan has responded to concerns surrounding photographs that recently surfaced with Todd White and Benny Hinn at “The Send,” whose practices and teachings are at odds with biblical orthodoxy. Chan advised that he will still attend “certain events” with the intention of being the “most effective” in bringing Bible teaching where it is lacking, but now with prior research and safeguards. However, Chan did not specify exactly how he plans to “warn and separate from” false teachers as noted in his response, or to “mark and avoid” them in accordance with the Scriptures, and what impact it will have, if any, on speaking at events where others preach another Christ and another gospel.
Todd White, who endorses Kenneth Copeland and the prosperity gospel, as well as uniting with the Roman Catholic Church, wrote in part in sharing the photograph on social media: “A lover of God and devoted son. Francis Chan is an incredible man of God—loved his prayer over me at The Send,”
“You know what, we can change…We’ve got to give God the glory he deserves and we’ve got to be willing to suffer whatever we need to suffer to walk away from our sin, to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, because we believe what the disciples did – that Jesus rose from the dead,” he urged.
“We’ve go to become people who don’t just love it when a person preaches in a way that they like, we are to be people of the Book,” Chan said, Bible in hand.
I am concerned about how often he overstates his case. Chan consistently states the problem and his solution with far too much force and far too little nuance. His book is packed full of hyperbolic statements about the woes of the American church and the superiority of house church. Some of these are uncharitable while others tip into the absurd.
I have a lot of respect for Francis Chan. There is no doubt he is a man who has strong convictions and who lives by them. There is no doubt that he has an extraordinary measure of zeal, and we need zealous people like him to help us identify our apathy and to challenge us to address it. But just as this book displays so many of the strengths that come with zeal, it also displays so many of the weaknesses. It is not a bad book, but a book that lacks the nuance and balance that could have made it much better.
A prominent North Carolina pastor who is stepping down from a mega-church he oversaw is sharing his doubts about the multi-site church model.
David Chadwick, 69, has resigned as pastor of the 4,000-member Forest Hill Church in Charlotte after leading the congregation for 40 years. The church has grown from a 180-member church to a six-campus ministry.