"Are you gonna attack Mark Driscoll? Are you gonna attack John Piper? Are you gonna attack Mike Bickle? -- Francis Chan
"Are you gonna attack some of these expressions in the body of Christ that may look a little different? I've met these people and I see their hearts and I hang out with people from these different denominations and I'm like 'they love Jesus,' it looks different to me but I can see the spirit in them, so we better be careful." - Francis Chan
These are your words Francis Chan. No one has done more to damage the cause of Christ than Rick Warren through his purpose driven church scheme. He openly advises pastors to not preach the Gospel in Easter so visitors will "have a reason to come back." He may be supernaturally filled as he pursues a one world religion with Rome and Islam but it is not the Holy Spirit of God. Mark Driscoll stole 200,000 dollars in tithe monies to cheat the New York Times Best Seller list and you think he loves Jesus because you have seen his wickedly deceitful heart? No Francis, it does not work like that. Driscoll once mocked all of his victims, calling them a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus he was driving. That is who you have defended. That is who you have endorsed.
"I recognize, now more than ever, that sometimes my participation can give the impression that I align with every other speaker at the event. I'm not sure what to do about that other than to tell you that I don't. Unless the elders of my church direct me differently, I will continue to be found preaching in venues with those I disagree. I will preach in just about any kind of setting if I'm given freedom to preach from any passage of scripture. The elders and I are trying to come up with more safeguards for future events to hopefully prevent misunderstandings. Pray for us. I realize that many will not agree with my decision to speak at certain events. I hope you will at least consider the burden of trying to weigh potential outcomes good and bad. Over the past few years, I have seen many people come to truly follow Jesus, have a deeper love for the scriptures, and a deeper commitment to the great commission. There are millions of souls that sit under weak or unorthodox teachings. It thrills me to think about what the Spirit might do through His Word in those situations. My personal belief is that there are 2-3 million orthodox American Christians who consume all of the same books, blogs, and podcasts. Meanwhile, there are millions who will never hear strong biblical teaching unless teachers are willing to go. I might be fooling myself, but I feel like the Spirit enables me to lovingly confront difficult issues. And I have seen repentance result from it." -- Francis Chan
It kind of sounds like Chan is trying to pass the buck here onto his elders. Now accountability is a great thing and sorely lacking but someone called to minister should have discernment themselves. The issue is not a matter of perfect alignment beloved. I can speak at a conference with someone who believes in a pre-trib rapture for example even if I do not. What I could not do is preach alongside someone who perpetrated the "growing leg trick" as a faux healing like Todd White or someone who claims God let them ride in a golden chariot like Mike Bickle. There is a reason why Paul warned Timothy to guard his life and his doctrine. Let me be clear here. This is not a "misunderstanding." Francis Chan has not only decided it is ok to lead believers into the jowls of wolves but he has openly defended those wolves and threatened those who would correct him as potentially being killed by God:
"And I'm reading this and I'm like 'God, how come more people aren't dead?' And here's what I heard from the Lord: THEY HAVEN'T BEEN WARNED."...And now He says 'you're that temple.' And if anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. You wanna be on the right side of His protection." - Francis Chan
So I hope this does not sound harsh Francis but I will not consider the decision to share the stage with Bill Johnson a burden. He is one of the most obvious wolves on the planet. He believes in mandatory healing, prosperity, false signs and lying wonders, the NAR, gemstones, gold dust, angel feathers, and glory clouds! He operates a school where he teaches you how to fake the gifts of the spirit! For someone as well versed as you are Bill Johnson should be low hanging fruit. The fact that he is not is exactly the problem.
Now, let us reason about the defense presented here that Francis is presenting strong biblical teaching amidst weak or unorthodox teachings. First of all, we are not speaking about weak and unorthodox teachings. We are speaking about false teachings. Teachings that lead people away from Christ and straight to hell. Can a strong biblical message matter? Absolutely. I remember several years ago Matt Chandler agreed to speak at Code Orange, the annual conference for narcissist preacher Steven Furtick. Pastor Furtick is the master of narcigesis, which is to read oneself into the biblical text. Chandler was considered then as Chan once was, a solid biblical teacher. Despite the uproar, Chandler went into the conference and gave a sermon against the dangers of reading yourself into the text when preaching. It was an open rebuke of the man who was running the conference he was attending. Furtick tried to scrub the sermon from the Code Orange website until he got caught and Chandler was never invited back again. That is not what Francis Chan is doing. If Chan went to The Send and denounced Mike Bickle, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, Lou Engle and Todd White then this would be a congratulatory devotional and a victory for the Gospel. The issue is not just that Francis Chan goes to such egregiously false events but that he defends the wolves. He stands next to Mike Bickle at One Thing and positively gushes how much he loves him. Instead of preaching against false doctrine he writes an article threatening anyone who dares to question Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll or Mike Bickle a fiery death from heaven. He refuses to see that even at a bare minimum, those that see him endorse the wolves will think it is safe to be with the wolves and listen to what they have to say as well as if that were sound doctrine. This leads into the other area of relevance.