Francis Chan is a newer preacher out on the scene and growing in popularity, I have seen this book being sold in a Christian bookstore and all over. One thing Francis Chan endorses David Platt:
Remember I posted on David Platt here: "David Platt's Book: "Radical": Programming the Evangelical Churches for Globalism"
Well the other day, I read this book from the library and figure I would post on it here. Some aspects of the book, seem to ring true, who doesn't want to be close to God or seek after His Love or help others? He writes about loving his family and good positive things about God. I found myself even drawn in a bit, as he focused on those who "wanted more Jesus" and spoke of "surrendering yourself to God's purposes", but then I realized the book was going the same exact direction of David Platt's book except perhaps in a more subtle manner.
Chan speaks says in his preface..
"It's exhilarating to be part of a group of believers who are willing to think biblically rather then conventionally, to be part of a body where radical living is the norm."As I have stated when I see the word "radical" it worries me a bit. What is radical living? They never really define the term.
I read this paragraph then:
"God put me in Simi Valley California to lead a church of comfortable people into lives of risk and adventure. I believe he wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them. I believe He wants us to be known for giving-of our time, our money and our abilities- and to start a movement of "giving" churches. In so doing, we can alleviate the suffering in the world and change the reputation of his bride in America."I find myself thinking aren't there enough churches pandering to the more wealthy who want to to carry out the globalist visions instead of helping their neighbors right around them?. Why is his church only for comfortable people? Why aren't there some poor people right in his church or "uncomfortable" folks? Then we have what is basically a summation of the social justice gospel. When one gives, they are not to advertise it to the world seeking to better their own reputation, where does it say in the Bible to do that? I believe the Lord does call us to give to people, money, time, and help to people but it is not supposed to be done being known so the line "I believe He wants us to be known" is wrong..
actually NO, He does not want you to be known......
Mat 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
I see churches here in my community who make a huge show of doing charitable works, a couple even go out way out there and even get the newspaper to report on it with pictures included. To me it is the oddest thing, why the publicity considering what the Bible says? One thing too remember we are having through all the faith based stuff, churches and government grow even more intertwined. It actually in some places will be hard to even get charity, without it being connected to a false church. Many poor will have no other places to go.
Read the faith based link in the paragraph above, and do you notice something?
"Groups are reminded they must keep their religious activities entirely separate in time and location, from the services provided with federal funds"I would take that to mean they plan on making it though you cannot witness to those you help. Yes that is happening.
The social justice stuff, is leading churches to some really weird places. Chan advances the "change the world" social justice stuff the same as Platt. There is still the same condemnation towards Americans and the pressure to go give to the third world not for true missions, or help that way, but to service the wealth distribution mantra of the United Nations and carry out the agenda of the Lausanne influenced World Christian Movement.
It is always ironic to me watching out of touch wealthy pastors, who do not even admit that America is in it's own depression. He writes:
"I think most American churchgoers are the the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns"[p.67]
"Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts and rarely consider trying to give as much to the poor. [snip] Untold number of lukewarm pepople feel "called" to minister to the rich, very few feel "called" to minister to the poor." [p.75]He goes down the list of what he considers to be lukewarm people. It seems to match a lot of Platt's, one line even seems to make one think that being healthy and having a full refrigerator is a sin.
Now do not get me wrong, I believe Christians are NOT to be materialistic, and should help the poor.But understand why people are feeding these lines, they want to guilt the mostly middle-class and beyond classes in America into giving all their wealth away overseas, to not even know about what is happening in their own country and even advance poverty as "being more holy".
The social justice gospel, and false teachings like this have helped the American church sell it's own people down the road and while our economy collapses, we got guys writing stuff like this. Reading this stuff is always weird to me, as I know plenty now having a hard time keeping groceries on the table. God always will provide needs of the believer, how come they never talk about that? How come the stress is always on the DOING and NOT THE BELIEVING?
To be frank, take your average corrupt third world nation, with it's people following the law of the jungle mentality, and I've seen this apply in dangerous inner city areas in America before, their belief in the gospel and being regenerated VIA the Holy Spirit is the only thing that is going to change anything, and the "get yours or else mentality". They will then be transformed into being Christians who help and share with one another, helping to END the CORRUPTION of daily life, poverty and greed. This isn't going to happen via government programs or even if giant bags of money right now were flown over every poor country and emptied out.
Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need.
That said, Jesus also told us the poor would always be with us.
So this is more guilt at the behest of the "end poverty now" UN campaigns rather then preaching the gospel and realizing how people would be changed in helping not only themselves but fellow Christians around them.
"They don't depend on God on a daily basis--their refrigerators are full, and for the most part they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God"
Well I hate to tell Chan, but not everyone in America's refrigerator is full. I have posted many times on this blog, articles and links that speak of the economic collapse in America and the now one in every 7 person's on food stamps in our own country. Even the food banks have reported severe shortages.
Shocking Charts And Statistics That Prove That America Is No Longer A Wealthy Nation
Tens Of Millions Of American Families Are Living On The Edge Of Desperation - And The Economy Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse
Right now I am praying for two friends on the cusp of homelessness. One homeless friend her family got her an apartment and another couple are house-sitting to stay off the streets. God has provided for those people I have prayed for in other ways. Chan does not represent my world.
We get the whole United Nations spiel, out of touch, 'Americans are too rich' spiel just like David Platt from Francis Chan, on page 89
"If one hundred people represented the world's population, fifty three of those would live on less then $2 dollars a day. Do you realize that if you make $4,000 a month, you automatically make one hundred times more then the average person on this planet? Simply by purchasing this book you spent what a majority of people in the world will make in a week's time.
What is more messed up--that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich; that on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy Rich."Do you feel guilty yet about this matter? Sorry I do not. You wonder if any poor people may get a copy of this book, who are unemployed or down or out and will say, "hey my husband can't afford a needed surgery and they just denied me unemployment but thanks Francis Chan for saying I am "filthy rich"?. What universe is this guy living in?
One thing a lot of the rest of the world is not based on a consumerist economy where they have to spend money to acquire everything. Many still grow their own food, and know, how to hunt, fish and forage, but we will not hear those facts. We will be told that Americans because of their well now "past" wealth are the reason for all the world's problems and the reason why everyone else is poor. Why don't they go write one of these books for China, who has 4 times the number of people and now a larger economy then our own? Anyhow, even there everything is judged by the cash that is involved.
This reminds me of what the UUs [Unitarian-Universalists] told me, the EXACT same spiel. During my UU years is when I faced some of my worse poverty as an adult. I remember those people collecting monies to help revolution in Bali or to keep recycling going and actually quoting UN millennium goals though Francis Chan does not go that far, but ignoring the poverty right within the community that surrounded them.
Is it too far out for me to write that one of my theories is that these false preachers have signed up to help the new world order with the global money clean out of America and to keep the wealthy churches from helping the poor here in our country? The New World Order wants America out of the way, and it's being implemented on many different levels.
The drumbeat goes on through this book, that people are not helping the poor enough [see page 95] and while Francis Chan keeps repeating he supports the gospel of grace, to try ameliorate this, it fails. He assures his reader:
"Perhaps it sounds as though I believe you have to work your way to Jesus. I don't. I fully believe that we are saved by grace through faith..."
He quotes mysticist Heenri Nouwen on page 95 [that is an issue of concern in itself] and then continues:
"Let's begin this book by gazing at God in silence. What I want you to do right now is go online and look at the "Awe Factor" video at www.crazylovebook.com to get a taste of the awe factor of our God. Seriously-go do it".
Ok I'll be honest here, I haven't gone to see this video yet, and am going to go watch it as I write here. But here is my first question before I go do that, how does one GAZE at God in silence? Can someone explain that to me? If memory serves me correctly, the Bible speaks of people being unable to even look at God. Looks like I was right.
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
well I went to the video...
How does exploring how big the universe is or God's creation the same as "gazing" at God? I felt like I was along on the ride with Carl Sagan who would use the bigness of the universe in his case to deny God and to speak of our "interconnectedness" and to advance the idea of the possibility of lien civilizations. Maybe as a kid I saw too many episodes of his show.
Now I can understand point to the creation to speak of God's greatness and majesty, but I felt Chan was leading me down a weird road.
He writes on page 26
"When I first saw those images, I had to worship. I didn't want to share to or share it with anyone. I just wanted to sit quietly and admire the Creator."
Ok maybe I am a nit-picker, but want to say to Francis Chan, God's Creation is NOT HIM.
God is even more then some rocks, blazing stars and galaxies which ironically seem aligned almost as smaller forms like the human nervous system denoting His design.
He goes on to write to ask "Why did God create so many galaxies?" And that is something interesting to think about but why all the writing about "gazing at God"? When I was UU, they told us essentially that "universe" was "God", I heard that one more times then I want to count, one pastor even had us recite a poem where it said "we were stardust".
He does go on to discuss more of God's creation into the next chapter and celebrating it. Yes, God's handiwork does speak of Him but this ending paragraph bothered me too.
"Go read and reread the last two paragraphs. Go to the Website www.crazylovebook.com and watch the "Just Stop and Think" fifteen minute video. Close this book if you need to and meditate on the almighty One who dwells in unapproachable light, the glorious One""Glorious One"? I went to go look up if that is a title for God in the Bible, do not think so. Correct me if I am wrong. God is owed all glory, but I remember this too. Narnia uses it which doesn't make me feel better about it. It's been used in false religions like Buddhism. Hey God is glorious and the unapproachable light thing is scriptural [1 Tim 6:16] but sometimes you have to wonder. When I read these type of books, I do not only ask how come they never put the two words Jesus Christ together but why I see 'new terms' for God, that were not traditionally used before.
In the book he goes on to talk about things about God and about lukewarm people. His definition of lukewarm people seems to center on people not "doing enough", advancing more of the social gospel stuff. This kind of message actually can lead people away from the Lord in despair, even if he claims grace, how many people out there are just trying to survive themselves and feeling guilt over not being able to do enough for others? I left the whole "earn" your way into heaven stuff in the Catholic church, while we are to obey God as Christians and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, works based stuff leads many away from God.
He writes on page 95,
'The lives of many people who call themselves "Christians" in America lack manifestations of a vital and active faith."
Why do Americans get specially pointed out? American's are not more evil the other people in the world. There are other wealthy countries on the globe and wickedness is something that applies to all humans until they are born again. One thing church apostasy is not just an American phenomenon, it is spreading globe-wide along with the one world church.
"How many of us would really leave our families, our jobs, our education, our connections, our familiar surroundings and our homes if Jesus asked us too?"
I find myself thinking Yes, God may ask many things of people but where is he going with this? More of the demands to go service the third world while America collapses? The Bible also states those who do not support their families [if they have children and a wife] are worse then an infidel. What if someone is needed at home to take care of a mother with Alzheimer's or a disabled spouse?
He goes on to write: [p.97]
"But we need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him."The book is a song and dance show of this, where he advances the gospel of grace but then tells his reader what a "bad" Christian they are, and how "lukewarm" they are. He almost seems obsessed with money too, there are other ways to serve the Lord, besides writing a check and mailing it off somewhere. What about praying for others, or serving them, or BEING with them?
The lukewarmness has nothing to do with what the Bible warns about but usually is pertaining to be a failed ambassador for the millennium goals of the United Nations in the third world. Like Platt, this guy decries people for being "comfortable". Hate to tell you, but why these types glamorize poverty it is not fun and games, people sicken and die from lack of medical care even in America, lack of "comfort" destroys many lives, including people's emotional and physical well-beings. Lowering one people will not raise another. Something I wish these proto-world socialists would get.
Why all the focus on leaving home otherwise? I found it actually kind of depressing as he fills page after page with the basica message of "you are not doing enough". Fear and guilt permeate through the pages but then he does odd turn arounds to assure all is not lost.
I found the writing kind of duplicitous, back and forth like a see-saw, it took me a couple weeks to even write this blog entry on and off. I felt called to warn about this book but it was a very difficult read. It is not a heavy tome, and the writing is simple but the back and forth quality stood out. It was like the faux Christian literary equivalent of nails going across a chalkboard that set your teeth on edge. I'll continue with more examples:
On page 101:
"My fears in writing the previous chapter is that it only evokes in you fear and guilt. Personal experiences has taught me that actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living."On page 116
"Christians today like to play it safe. We want to put ourselves in situations where we are safe "even if there is no God." But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more then worth it in eternity"
He goes on to tell us about how God wants us to help the poor and to love your neighbor as yourself and these things are TRUE, but the manipulation is so intense. This line offended me bringing Jesus up as starving. This borders on blasphemous as Jesus Christ fed a crowd of 5 thousand with an individual's simple lunch:
"Ask yourself this: If you actually saw Jesus starving, what would you do for Him? [p119]
"The gap is so extreme in our world that we have to lightly passages such as Luke 12:33: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor." How else can I walk out of a mud shack and back into my two-thousand square foot house without doing anything? The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly unheard of. We either close the gap or don't take the words of the Bible literally."You see what I am talking about via the manipulation?
He goes on to write about this guy:
"After hearing this truth preached, a guy at my church donated his house to the church and moved in with his parents. He told me he will have a better house in heaven and that it doesn't really matter where he lives during this lifetime. He is living like he believes."This one kind of made me laugh, I guess the man living in his parent's basement for free, can show any reluctant parents, this book too. If that man has a family he is not providing for them in the proper way. Also a grown man unless he is ill himself, living with parents should be taking care of them or equally contributing to the household.
Chan then on page 122 promotes a group called "Aspiring to the Median" where people commit to living below the median income [he quotes it as $46,000 in America] and give the rest away. Sorry for my reaction to this, in that many people I personally know make way UNDER $46,000 a year and would consider themselves well-off at that amount especially in this economy. As I write this blog entry, notice the focus on money and WHAT is done with it. One thing ironic about the Aspiring To the Median website, is it quotes Mother Teresa and Augustine in helping the cause.
I am not sure how to convey how patronizing I find these messages or manipulative. Yes I do agree that Christians are to help the poor. Help people in your community, give food away, don't just write a check to some charity who will give it to the mega-bucks administrator, but help those God leads you to! God will tell you when you are to help someone and there will be times you will have to sacrifice or let go of things but this guy is manipulating people for another cause. Remember I am not saying it is wrong for Christians to help the poor, God may lead you all sorts of ways maybe even to another part of the world, but preachers like Platt and Chan, well they are doing what I wrote about on this blog entry:
Liberation Theology: Exploiting the Poor For Power and The Globalist UN Driven "Church"
The book, is full of a lot of condemnation for those who do not "do" enough. Reading this book will make anyone who doesn't have tens of thousands of dollars to pass out to their choice of a third world nation, guilty and like they are failed "Christian". Chan's advancing a works based gospel while assuring the reader he supports the gospel of grace, really falls flat. Chan goes on to put down people he labels as those "not obsessed with Jesus" but "obsessed" in general. Chan seems to advance the Catholic thing here too, where one is to live in a dirt hut and pass out every penny to pass the Christian "litmus" test.
On p133, we see the Dominionist, UN: kingdom of this earth, forwarded:
"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth more then than their own lives being shielded from pain and distress."Did you read that part "Care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth"?
Remember it's the Dominionists and others believing human beings are supposed to do that, building their own Tower of Babel.
On p. 135 He writes:
"People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him [1 John 2;4-6; Matt 16:24-26]"Actually I am going to go out on a limb here, I believe the poor were important to Jesus, but MONEY? Nope. Money was a tool to be used not abused, not the be all and end all. God's Word warns about money and the love of it and the abuses. We are told in God's Word not to even worry about the clothes we will wear or food we will eat. I had my times where I've had to trust in God, where nothing seemed to be forthcoming but if you are a believer God will provide your needs.
Now thinking about Platt and Chan's messages here, ponder this verse.
Mat 17:24 ¶ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute [money] came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
Mat 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Mat 17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Who are these preachers serving? Why do they want strangers to give all their money away to other strangers? Do they want money used to help bring people to the Lord, for true missions or are they helping with the UN money-clean out, tugging on heart strings in a spirit of manipulation? I understand the verse above Jesus has the disciples pay the tax to avoid offense, but it is interesting the line about kings desiring wealth and tribute from strangers.
Why is the "giving" impersonal now, always to "those" tens of thousands of miles away instead of right in the community or among people that others know? Think about that now. Understand what I am saying here. Where does all the money REALLY go? Have any of you wondered why all these guys have to travel 10s of thousands of miles to find someone to help? I can walk out my door, and find a few right there. Ever wonder about that?
I think it's better if you got something to give to be personally INVOLVED with the people you are helping, then you can witness to them as well. You do it because you care and love them for real not for any other "agendas", or to advance certain political ideals or wannabe Tower of Babel United Nations Utopias. It is pride that gets human beings thinking that they are going to solve every one of the world's problems.
Now if the Lord sends you overseas and there will be people He does send, those who are following God will not be patronizing the poor folks. They will realize often corruption rules in these parts of the world. This corruption impacts everything including the infrastructure, how funds are handed out and resources that are available. Unless you are going to help someone DIRECTLY, a war lord or village chieftain is probably going to get the cash, or the bag of rice. Does that sound cynical? I have talked with a couple missionaries, and well things are very rough out there.
You know I think thinking about the poor and being led to help them is important too. The whole thing is weird where these jet setting preachers who have thousands of dollars to travel to Africa [he mentions his trips too] and then lament over poverty as they go and advance themselves worldwide and the global money transfer and turn around and tell their congregants to sell their house to donate more money.
Page after page follows demanding more action and DOING:, "people who are obsessed with Jesus do not not consider service a burden.." and giving MONEY away to the poor, "many of them are sick and dying in households we would not consider good enough for our household pets", "He is asking you to love as you would want to be loved if it were your child was blind from contaminated water, or love the way you would want to be loved if you were the homeless women sitting outside the cafe', to love as though it were your family living in the shack slapped together from cardboard and scrap metal.", "how much of your money is spent on yourself and how much is directed towards God's kingdom?"
There are truths mixed in this book, which makes the message so tricky, think of eternity, love God and neighbor, be concerned more with character more then comfort, be faithful to God, and this is one reason, the implicit social justice gospel stuff and other deceptions are easier to pass off as legitimate!
In Chapter 9, Chan then provides examples of who actually lives the way, he is promoting in this book. Many of these folks are well-meaning people, they help poor people all through out the world. One guy he mentions is Nathan Barlow who helped people who got the disease of mossy foot, in Ethiopia, his group Mossy Foot Project is a United Nations NGO, by the way. This is a bad disease, and I am glad people are getting help, but what is Chan's message, that to be decent Christians, we all have to form a NGO?
He lists other people along this same line, who left to third world nations and formed Christian charities and NGOs to help with various causes, with the exception of one who helped Navajos in the US, a family that gives away money and food during the holidays, and a homeless man who helps buy food for other homeless people in his Southern California neighborhood. Another opens her door to prostitutes. One lady adopts an African baby who was born to a HIV mother, but thankfully ended up HIV negative and one travels to Uganda to do women conferences. One translates a Bible into a foreign tongue, another example is a 19th century figure who opened orphanages in England.
Now many of these things are fine and good in themselves. Surely even Christians reading my blog here, have helped and shared things with others. But what we need to pay attention to do is analyze what is Chan's message and then ask what does it have to do with the gospel?
Chan asks "Should you put your house on the market today and downsize? Should you quit your job?" [That is an odd question considering many without a needed job] "Maybe. Or perhaps God wants you to work harder at your job and be His witness there. Does He want you to move to another city or another country? Perhaps He wants you to stay put and open your eyes to the needs of your neighbors..."
"The point is there is another path, an alternative to the individualism, selfishness and materialism of the American Dream [even the so called Christian version.]"
One of the last points he makes is..
"What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God's work and glory through you? And even more important how will you answer the King when He says, "What did you do with what I gave you?"I saw this book as more of the same, this one being more subtle presentation of what David Platt wanted to advance. Lot's of works based demands, manipulation for the global agenda, using the compassion of well meaning Christians to divert them. This including even a rather sickening story, of a missionary who allowed all his teeth to be pulled so he would not be taken from the mission field. To me this smacked of the 'save your self by suffering' Catholic ethos. That was actually self abuse in my book and set the man up for worse health in helping the mission. This book was disturbing to me, in the way it used gospel truths, and the things of God, to divert people into a morass of GUILT and false paths. It was no different then the message of Catholicism, work, work, work to prove yourself a worthy "Christian" while selling the same nauseating globalism and patronizing and naive attitude towards the poor or what it means to be poor.
Trying to complement Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E plan and Bono's End Poverty Now Campaigns using guilt, and fear on Christians not "doing" enough for God, to me is pretty low. The obsession with money and what is done with it, also spoke for itself. I worry for the Christians, average people who may read this book and just be ordinary people themselves, who may just have enough to feed their own children and go to work and pay the rent and no extra disposable income for third world poverty safaris who will read this book and feel condemned for "not doing enough" and being called "lukewarm" [a term Chan uses over and over]. The constant cheerleading of "go be radical" are empty words.
The focus needs to be on BELIEVING not DOING, and what Jesus Christ did for us. Anything else is filthy rags.
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
If your preacher is guilting you to go on a 'save the world' campaign, stop and step back and pray....
Like David Platt's, Francis Chan's church, Cornerstone has the "global" focus with the usual global "Christianity" partnerships many connected to Lausanne and other groups. [examples YWAM, The US Center for World Mission] The church website includes a link to a global petition that encompasses many of the organizations and global endeavors. Wake up and realize how so many are being manipulated.