How solid is Francis Chan?

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
This is not necessarily true. My former church showed a video of FC making the case that satan makes people sin, with no further explanation, just leaving it there. I am aware of his MANY failings concerning sound teaching and Biblical discernment, but if he doesn't understand Bible 101, I can not expect him to understand anything which requires a deeper relationship and revelation from God.

Simply put-this man is a wolf, through and through
I can only speak to what I've heard from Chan directly. I've heard several of his sermons, and there was no ambiguity. His understanding of judgement and the fate of the unsaved are in line with my own.

I haven't seen the video you're referencing and can't comment on it. However, I will say calling a pastor a wolf is about as serious a charge as you can make. As near as I can tell, Chan is sincere in his desire to win souls for Christ.
 

jcgss77

Well-Known Member
I can only speak to what I've heard from Chan directly. I've heard several of his sermons, and there was no ambiguity. His understanding of judgement and the fate of the unsaved are in line with my own.

I haven't seen the video you're referencing and can't comment on it. However, I will say calling a pastor a wolf is about as serious a charge as you can make. As near as I can tell, Chan is sincere in his desire to win souls for Christ.
He may have been solid at some point, but he is far from solid now.

Speaking at Bethel "Church"-this alone is enough for me pin someone as a wolf.

Speaking at IHOP-also enough for me to mark someone as a false teacher.

He has spoken at Passion Conference, where he shared in the lineup of Marco Giglio, Beth Moore, Hillsong(any/all of them). If any of this means nothing to you, watch this video:

So at least, he is guilty of violating 2 John 1:7-11. But when you start getting into his teachings, you can't shake that feeling that his interpretation leaves much to be desired, and he is very good at being mostly right, and some of the time almost right. But as I said, he got it completely wrong when he said that satan makes us sin.

Here is an excerpt, in FC's own words, about why he left Cornerstone Church where he was head pastor:
(Link to the whole article)
https://www.christianpost.com/amp/f...ployees-on-why-he-left-his-megachurch-190136/

But Chan felt the megachurch he founded was not as God intended it to be.

“I got frustrated at a point, just biblically,” Chan said during a talk in Facebook headquarters in California last Thursday. “I’m going wait a second. According to the Bible, every single one of these people has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!”

“So I’m wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they’re just sitting there quietly. … [T]hey just sit there and listen to me.”

Moreover, he felt the church wasn’t following God’s command to love one another — attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and mainly hang out in cliques once a week.

“I was like, ‘God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We’re a body. I’m one member, maybe I’m the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that’s working and … I’m trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …”

Yes, that was him throwing the church he was head pastor of, with the Biblical authority to change whatever was the issue. Yet, he said that God was "taking him into another direction", but one which was not revealed to him. What I hear is an excuse to leave a church which he did not want to invest any more effort, but YMMV.
 
I agree. He is about as solid as a house made out of nothing but carboard. Years ago, I think some of his wrtings were ok, but he seems to have lost his way, almost as if his sudden fame went to his head.
While I don't adhere to Protestantism, I have to say that, from the videos I've watched online, Francis Chan seems to be a very humble preacher. What gave you the impression that the fame went to his head, if you don't mind my asking?
 

ItsNotAboutTheDonkey

Well-Known Member
A newbie chiming in, so I may be off base - but I did find Erasing Hell to be a useful and sound exploration of the (uncomfortable) doctrine of hell, something we often would rather avoid thinking or talking about, particularly with unsaved people who (if we believe Jesus) are facing eternity there. Shudder. I cannot vouch for Francis Chan beyond that.
 

maranatha14

Well-Known Member
I lived in Simi Valley, CA when Chan took over the Crossroads church. At the time, he was solid. He teachings were great, and as a result, the church grew. Then, he left, wanting to do more of a "global" ministry. (I couldn't understand exactly what he had in mind...) Like all churches when their Pastor leaves, Crossroads suffered. I have not heard his teachings since, but the fact he aligns himself with Todd White is a huge concern. I try very hard NOT to judge men (White, Chan, Olsteen, Warren, any of them) but we are to judge doctrines. We must be discerning! We certainly we need to keep Chan in prayer. Never too late to return to a solid teaching of Christ.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Here's a few links in regards to the seeming detour to false teaching that Mr. Chan has taken. I agree with praying for him (and others who've gone astray) in the meantime it's best to avoid their slippery, ear tickling false teachings. :sad There used to be a saying that one wouldn't want to eat a chocolate muffin with a bit of doo doo in it (i.e. false teaching) just as it's not good to take in good teaching that's got a sliver of false teaching within.

Well, today it's not a chocolate muffin with a little bit of false teaching. It's a HUGE false teaching muffin with a sliver of poisonous fake chocolate within. As a result one has to be very alert and very familiar with the bible (seeking God and praying) to recognize and avoid spiritually toxic muffins running around.

So, here's a toxic muffin to avoid at this time:

https://www.raptureforums.com/forum...c-says-holy-spirit-doesnt-want-him-to.147851/

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=29833

https://www.raptureforums.com/forum...eretics-inc-todd-white.143635/#post-842760203
 

PhilR

Well-Known Member
Francis Chan is Lordship salvation, running the treadmill of works to get to heaven.
 
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sawas

Well-Known Member
Coincidentally, this morning I finished writing a draft (version #5) of a still-to-be-sent letter to my brother on the subject of Francis Chan and Lordship Salvation (LS). He's a big fan of Chan (as are several family members) and, in a prior discussion, has endorsed the following quote of Chan's - from his book "Crazy Love", interpreted by many to be an LS treatise.

Quote: “Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’ (John 14:15). And our question quickly becomes even more unthinkable: Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus? I don’t see anywhere in Scripture how the answer to that question could be yes.”

My brother considers it to be "hair splitting" to suggest that an authentic (or "true") believer could somehow fail to love Jesus, skirting the issue of how that love might develop over time. Of course, I'm persuaded that the assurance of my salvation comes 100% from Jesus "truly and faithfully loving me", rather than the other way around. My best efforts towards obedience count for nothing (in regards to my assurance of salvation).

Chan, as others have already noted, can be very appealing and likeable. Likewise, I find much of his message to be sound, given a very cursory examination. I'm certain a Venn diagram showing a great deal of common beliefs might be constructed with nearly every Christian heretic who ever lived. This is precisely how they (who might be wolves in sheep's clothing) are able to thrive. I'm not prepared to judge Chan in regard to his motives... might even prefer to believe that they are genuine. Still, I feel that he errs on some very basic, very fundamental points of what I believe to be the essence or core of sound doctrine.

Edit: This too - Chan (as I seem to recall) is a graduate of MacArthur's Master's Seminary. In the material that I've reviewed, I've found some indirect (but few direct) references to Calvinist doctrines. That said, Lordship Salvation is thought by many to reflect a Calvinist belief system and, well, MacArthur is one of it's principle proponents. For what its worth, our little local church recently hired another Masters Seminary graduate and, from personal experience, I can tell you that there are many of what I would call "stealth Calvinists" in circulation.
 
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Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
I used to listen to MacArthur and I just kept hearing things, frankly, mostly contradictions (it seems Calvinists like to call them "friends") and I had to tune out. Contradictions aren't friends and the type of theology that is on that kind of shaky ground gives me far too much pause to keep on the trek.

Sproul prayed this and I've never forgotten it:

"But one thing I know for sure—if I do, if I’ve deceived myself all these years, and if I’m one who says, “Lord, Lord, didn’t I do this and didn’t I do that,” and He looks at me and says, “Please leave. I don’t know you,” and He sends me to hell—one thing I can promise you is that I’ll be a weeper, not a gnasher. Because if I know anything about theology, I know that if He sent me to hell tonight, I could make no just complaint against Him.

I’ve been guilty of treason—cosmic treason. Every time I have sinned, I’ve asserted my will over the will of my Creator. I have declared that I am sovereign, not the Lord God. I’ve worked against His kingdom, not for it. I’ve sinned against the holy and infinitely righteous being who owes me nothing. And if I wake up in hell, I will realize I’ve only received what my life has merited: not cruelty, not injustice, but perfect justice."


I'm sorry, I can't think of a bigger blasphemy (the last part of the first paragraph) of the Cross than that, apart from outright rejecting its salvific ministry, which is exactly what that does. How can you believe in the blood and reject its power to remove you from the second death? They-the Calvinists - take sovereignty to such a self-refuting extreme, I cannot entertain it. That prayer boasts no assurance of salvation, at all. Calvinism gets right under my skin. I loathe it. God help me, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm open to it. I rather adhere to an uncomfortable truth, in any case, than believe in honeyed words.

I add nothing to the Blood. God help me if I ever try.
 

ByGod'sGrace

under His wings - Psalm 91:4
I used to listen to MacArthur and I just kept hearing things, frankly, mostly contradictions (it seems Calvinists like to call them "friends") and I had to tune out. Contradictions aren't friends and the type of theology that is on that kind of shaky ground gives me far too much pause to keep on the trek.

Sproul prayed this and I've never forgotten it:

"But one thing I know for sure—if I do, if I’ve deceived myself all these years, and if I’m one who says, “Lord, Lord, didn’t I do this and didn’t I do that,” and He looks at me and says, “Please leave. I don’t know you,” and He sends me to hell—one thing I can promise you is that I’ll be a weeper, not a gnasher. Because if I know anything about theology, I know that if He sent me to hell tonight, I could make no just complaint against Him.

I’ve been guilty of treason—cosmic treason. Every time I have sinned, I’ve asserted my will over the will of my Creator. I have declared that I am sovereign, not the Lord God. I’ve worked against His kingdom, not for it. I’ve sinned against the holy and infinitely righteous being who owes me nothing. And if I wake up in hell, I will realize I’ve only received what my life has merited: not cruelty, not injustice, but perfect justice."


I'm sorry, I can't think of a bigger blasphemy (the last part of the first paragraph) of the Cross than that, apart from outright rejecting its salvific ministry, which is exactly what that does. How can you believe in the blood and reject its power to remove you from the second death? They-the Calvinists - take sovereignty to such a self-refuting extreme, I cannot entertain it. That prayer boasts no assurance of salvation, at all. Calvinism gets right under my skin. I loathe it. God help me, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm open to it. I rather adhere to an uncomfortable truth, in any case, than believe in honeyed words.

I add nothing to the Blood. God help me if I ever try.
When I was at UCLA, I went to Grace Church and listened to John MacArthur every Sunday morning, then went to the College Group sermons after the main service, plus Sunday night service, plus Friday night Grace on Campus at UCLA, plus a small group Bible study every Wednesday. It was 2 years of rampant legalism that really messed up my perception of God and His love for me. However, that whole time, something about the teaching at that church put such a burden on my heart and I felt like a ton of weight on my shoulders--I had no joy and felt even more guilty that I had no joy or peace. The college group ministry at Grace Church really liked Chan and we used his books for small group, but I never liked the books. They seemed too self-congratulatory with false modesty and emotionalism of self. It was a confusing time, and I praise God that He set me free from the twisting of scripture. Those two years taught me to listen to my gut and search the scripture on my own, and to be wary of any man or preacher that is put on a pedestal, as if their words are more important than God's Word. God doesn't love me for what I do for Him; He loves me because of what He has done for me!! That type of love is life-changing.
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
It was 2 years of rampant legalism that really messed up my perception of God and His love for me. However, that whole time, something about the teaching at that church put such a burden on my heart and I felt like a ton of weight on my shoulders--I had no joy and felt even more guilty that I had no joy or peace.
ByGod'sGrace, the very same thing happened to me when I was caught up in John MacArthur's Lordship Salvation teaching. He was my favorite writer & preacher for over thirty years. I was saved in my 30's & felt peaceful and joyful, knowing I'd been forgiven. Then . . .
A dear friend (from California), recommended J. MacA to me. Another dear friend loaned me a set of his audio tapes. All of this was within the first year or two of being a Christian. Well, after steady listening to Dr. MacA, and reading books he either mentioned in a sermon or had written himself, my joy and peace faded away, & I wasn't sure anymore about being saved. I became discouraged & was tempted by Satan to walk away from Christianity altogether. I literally fought these temptations & cried out to Jesus to intercede for me. Then, something wonderful happened. The Lord led me to the grace-filled teachings of Dr. Andy Woods at Sugarland Bible Church in Texas. I don't live in TX, but the Lord led me to Dr. Woods online. For quite awhile, I listened to his sermons on the gospel of John. What a breath of fresh air! To this day, I still go online and listen to Dr. Woods. Another good grace-filled (not legalistic) author is Charles Bing. I don't listen to Dr. MacA anymore, even while driving my car. I listen to a CD filled with hymns rather than risk getting caught up in false teaching from a radio minister that I know nothing about ever again.
 

ByGod'sGrace

under His wings - Psalm 91:4
ByGod'sGrace, the very same thing happened to me when I was caught up in John MacArthur's Lordship Salvation teaching. He was my favorite writer & preacher for over thirty years. I was saved in my 30's & felt peaceful and joyful, knowing I'd been forgiven. Then . . .
A dear friend (from California), recommended J. MacA to me. Another dear friend loaned me a set of his audio tapes. All of this was within the first year or two of being a Christian. Well, after steady listening to Dr. MacA, and reading books he either mentioned in a sermon or had written himself, my joy and peace faded away, & I wasn't sure anymore about being saved. I became discouraged & was tempted by Satan to walk away from Christianity altogether. I literally fought these temptations & cried out to Jesus to intercede for me. Then, something wonderful happened. The Lord led me to the grace-filled teachings of Dr. Andy Woods at Sugarland Bible Church in Texas. I don't live in TX, but the Lord led me to Dr. Woods online. For quite awhile, I listened to his sermons on the gospel of John. What a breath of fresh air! To this day, I still go online and listen to Dr. Woods. Another good grace-filled (not legalistic) author is Charles Bing. I don't listen to Dr. MacA anymore, even while driving my car. I listen to a CD filled with hymns rather than risk getting caught up in false teaching from a radio minister that I know nothing about ever again.
Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your experience and I cried reading. I am so glad you were set free into the grace and love of God! My pastor in Redding, Bill Giovannetti, was the first pastor I heard to teach me about the grace of God and His love for me. It still overwhelms me when I think about it, how much God loves each of us, and knows each of us down to the number of hairs on our heads. He knows our hearts, our desires, our thoughts! And we get to pray to Him! <3 I've never heard Charles Bing! I will check him out. Thank you!
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
I've never heard Charles Bing! I will check him out. Thank you
Charles C. Bing wrote a book that you might be interested in.
Lordship Salvation, a Biblical Evaluation and Response. I haven't read it, but I do have another one by him on my kindle, 'Simply by Grace'. A proper understanding of God's grace automatically leads us to the joyful peace that He wants us to experience, as two of the Fruit of the Spirit.
 

sawas

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry, I can't think of a bigger blasphemy (the last part of the first paragraph) of the Cross than that, apart from outright rejecting its salvific ministry, which is exactly what that does. How can you believe in the blood and reject its power to remove you from the second death? They-the Calvinists - take sovereignty to such a self-refuting extreme, I cannot entertain it. That prayer boasts no assurance of salvation, at all. Calvinism gets right under my skin. I loathe it. God help me, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm open to it. I rather adhere to an uncomfortable truth, in any case, than believe in honeyed words.

I add nothing to the Blood. God help me if I ever try.
I could not agree more. TULIP turns God into a liar and the Gospel message into a lie. I find it ironic that Sproul was referencing Matthew 7:21-23, which - in my opinion - is pointed at exactly the sort of Pharisaical nonsense that Calvinists spout. Just as ironic as MacArthur's "Grace to You" ministry. I'd like to see some evidence of that grace. The hypocritical works-based religiosity of the Pharisees was soundly rejected by my savior.
 

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
I could not agree more. TULIP turns God into a liar and the Gospel message into a lie. I find it ironic that Sproul was referencing Matthew 7:21-23, which - in my opinion - is pointed at exactly the sort of Pharisaical nonsense that Calvinists spout. Just as ironic as MacArthur's "Grace to You" ministry. I'd like to see some evidence of that grace. The hypocritical works-based religiosity of the Pharisees was soundly rejected by my savior.
Amen and amen, sawas!
 

sawas

Well-Known Member
I could not agree more. TULIP turns God into a liar and the Gospel message into a lie. I find it ironic that Sproul was referencing Matthew 7:21-23, which - in my opinion - is pointed at exactly the sort of Pharisaical nonsense that Calvinists spout. Just as ironic as MacArthur's "Grace to You" ministry. I'd like to see some evidence of that grace. The hypocritical works-based religiosity of the Pharisees was soundly rejected by my savior.
So, I'd intended to expand on this before, but didn't have the time. My younger brother, in hopes of defending Chan's statements (cited in Post #30 above) actually resorted to this same passage in Matt 7, suggesting that those whom Christ "never knew" were those who didn't "love and obey Christ" as Chan was asserting.

I've been working for a while now (given Coronavirus interruptions) on several drafts of a response to his argument, hoping to demonstrate that Christ was actually addressing the man-made religious imperatives of the Pharisees. Arguably, the whole of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) was intended to draw a clear distinction between the Pharisaical (man-made) traditions of salvation by works and the true gospel of God's grace.

In one sense, of course, Chan is sort-of right, in that it is a matter that pertains to the heart of the believer. Where he (and all Lordship Salvation adherents) get it wrong is that they equate (and measure) that changed heart solely on external behaviors (works and/or fruit) and insist that absent those visible signs, salvation itself is absent. In my humble opinion, this is a huge mistake and a continuation of the Pharisaical tradition. How did they get it so wrong? By focusing on those outward signs.

I'm reminded of several scriptural admonitions against believers who insist on making their good works visible to others. (Matthew 23:27-28 for example) Our teachers must take great care to ensure that we properly understand how/why the fruits of the spirit might be expected to manifest and that none of these count towards or ensure our justification. When they fail to do this, I fear, they lay themselves bare to the (Eight Woes) judgements outlined in Matt 23:13-36.
 
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