I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. -- Galatians 1: 6-8 (ESV)
The utter collapse of Francis Chan over the past several years has been both profoundly sad and a hard reminder from God to always walk out your salvation with fear and trembling. As he was nearing his end, the Apostle Paul referred to himself as having finished the race. Nothing is sadder than watching a former evangelical darling fall so short of the finish line. Chan was a household name for those seeking sound doctrine that did not compromise for many years. Then something funny happened on his way and he found himself at the One Thing Conference in 2013. This annual conference was held at IHOP and organized by renowned heretic and false prophet Mike Bickle. The Charismatic world went apoplectic and begged Chan to reconsider. When speaking at One Thing, Chan admitted that friends and family had advised him to not go but in the end he declared on stage that he "loved Mike Bickle." The downward slide had begun. He appeared at another One Thing Conference and through the years showed less and less discernment regarding false teachers. He openly defended some of the most voracious wolves of our time and belittled anyone who would seek to speak the truth. Then this year the straw the broke the back for many of his defenders was when he was announced as a speaker at The Send, organized by the NAR's own Lou Engle. Chan shared the stage with a gaggle of the worst false teachers and prophets on the planet, including Todd White, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, Shawn Bolz, and General Cindy Jacobs. Apparently enough people have become outraged because Chan has written the above linked explanation to try and extinguish this dumpster fire he has created. Within this explanation there are four questions he tries to answer. Two of them are not relevant for this examination.
The first is in relation to what Chan believes about the prosperity gospel. I encourage you to read it so you can see why so many are so disappointed in Chan. He has such a firm grasp on doctrine that it only makes it that much more disappointing to see him share his credibility with such obvious hucksters and shills. His answer on the prosperity gospel is solid but what he fails to realize is why people are asking him that. It is not because of what he preaches but whom he endorses. If you preach the solid Gospel at a conference and everyone else does not, you have endorsed the false to the point that your sliver of truth is rendered meaningless. In this defense, Chan reveals that when people ask him to take pictures with them he doesn't want to be rude but fails to see why so many of the false teachers want a photo opportunity with him! It is an instant shot of biblical credibility to be photographed with someone widely considered a solid teacher. Maybe if you were not at the singular event of the year for false teaching, you wouldn't find yourself needing to be rude to so many wolves. The fourth question in this defense is simply about why he waited so long to answer his critics. That is neither here nor there for me. I assume he waited until the outcry was too shrill and decided to try and put out the fire. I do not begrudge that but he could have done himself a bigger favor by being more open far earlier. That leaves two questions for us to examine beloved. Let us reason once again.
Why do you sometimes accept speaking engagements in places that tolerate theology that is different from yours?
"I speak at events almost every week of the year. Often times, it's more than one event a week. I don't really enjoy it--I hate the travel, but try not to complain about it. Despite the toll it can take on myself and the family, it is always an honor to preach the Word. I believe it is my calling. Some question my choice to speak so often, but my best discernment and the discernment of the elders of our church is that it is still a part of my calling in this season. I am asked to speak at approximately 500 events a year. I decline approximately 90% of the requests. It's a difficult thing to do. Often times, I decline because other speakers will be at the event who believe almost exactly what I believe. My reasoning is that it may be a waste of Kingdom resources for all of us to be there, speaking largely to people who already agree with us. It seems more effective to speak where there is less Bible teaching. It has not been my practice to ask who will share the platform with me and to research the other speakers. While some may be dear friends, there are many that I know little about. This current experience has caused me to consider exercising more caution and to develop a team to help me research. That being said, I speak in many places where I am not in alignment theologically. I actually believe that is where I can be most effective, as long as they give me freedom to address anything I believe the Lord wants me to address." -- Francis Chan
Never a good sign to try and play the victim/martyr card right out of the gate. No offense Francis but no one wants to hear how rough a life you have traveling the world to speak. No one is questioning the amount of speaking you do or the fact that you feel it is part of your calling. You are a gifted orator to be sure. The issue is what speaking venues you accept and who you seemingly do not mind to share the same stage with. Your assertion that you decline some engagements because there will be others who believe what you do is simply asinine. There is only one Gospel Francis. Read the key verses carefully. If anyone brings a different gospel let them be accursed! You should want to share the stage with people who likewise bring the true Gospel. The notion that preaching the Gospel would be a waste of kingdom resources is ludicrous. Then we come to a startling admission. Francis Chan does not bother to find out who he will be sharing the stage with and may consider being more discerning in these matters. While if true, this would be most welcome news it does not remove the following quotes from history:
"Are you gonna bash Rick Warren? Are you crazy? This is a guy who loves the Lord. You may not agree with everything he does, but man I'm telling you he loves Jesus-everything I can tell, a supernaturally spirit-filled man." - Francis Chan