What's wrong with Francis Chan?

Starting at 4:30

After he reads a passage on hell, he says

“that’s what burns in me.  It is no secret that I am a terrible counselor.  People might come in and say I want to talk about my marriage, I want to talk about this hurts me, that hurts me.  I looked at guy this week and said ‘honestly, I really don’t care that you and your wife aren’t getting along.  That stuff doesn’t matter to me.  So what, you fight for the next 5-10 years.  This life is so short.  I am worried about what comes after that.  The bigger problem here is that neither of you have submitted yourself to the kingship of Jesus Christ.  Neither of you look at him and say he is Lord.  Because the truth is that if you said we will do whatever Jesus wants us to do, your not going to fight.

1. I want a Christianity that does care about about this life.  I want one that says my marriage, my relationships matter, not just as a tool for bringing others to Christ but because I believe it is bringing a little bit of the rules of heaven to earth.  I believe that the kingdom of God has come near (Luke 10:9).  I am not waiting to die to be saved from Hell, my salvation has already taken root, it is already saved and redeemed me, and the power of God is changing the world now to be more like heaven, and he uses you and me.

2.  We have no promise that “if you said we will do whatever Jesus wants us to do, your not going to fight.”  We know this because Jesus fought.  We know this because it isn’t in the bible.  He seems to have this false view of Christianity, that if we really submit, we won’t have any problems.  We will get along with people and everything will work out.  The biblical example seems to be the opposite.

3. In another video

Luke 6.  Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

He thinks he is saying this because he speaks the harsh truths that make people confront their sin.  I would say the opposite.  That is exactly what makes him popular.  And not just him.  Many popular preachers of today, whether it be John Piper or Mark Driscoll, have gained a lot of popularity by being tough and confronting people with their sin.  But people love it.  They love it because it is easy to believe we are bad.  I think it is much harder to believe the good stuff.  If you want to be hated today, speak about how great God made us all. You will be called a compromiser, maybe even a heretic (see Bell, Rob).  What is amazing is that Mr. Chan used this verse to push his argument that pastors need to speak harshly  with their congregations when the very next verse says “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”  If you don’t want everyone to speak well of you, preach love.  We have already seen how that went for Jesus.

What I really believe is wrong with Francis Chan is that too often when he looks at all of us he sees what is wrong, not the glory of God inside of us.  I want a new experience of God, grounded in the renewing of us not by effort, but by a miracle promised by God.


Lent is Over!

I have never been as focused on Lent as I have this year, and it has been an amazing spiritual experience for me.  Not only did I stay away from lots of things (espn, video games, fast food) but I added a lot of spiritual media into my life, reading a lot of books and other things and intentionally thinking about God in new ways.

The Passion week was especially meaningful.  I followed the excellent blog http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/  who showed what Jesus did every day during that week.  By Thursday I was really getting into the emotions of Jesus and what it would be to be a follower of him at the time.  On good Friday, someone from the church had a campfire, sang songs, and made 3 crosses.  It was a great time of reflection.  I decided to fast from Jesus’ death till Easter morning, and failed miserably, eating Lasagna on Saturday night.  I felt terrible, but then I realized how similar I felt to how many of the disciples, including Peter would have felt, but they would have felt their failure and hopelessness so much more.  Easter came to me this year as an end of my failure and an entering into the Hope that the resurrection brought.