How do you start a true revival with key controversial NAR leaders—ask Francis Chan; he was there. Former pastor Francis Chan, who recently spoke at The Send conference in Florida with numerous NAR leaders such as Benny Hinn, Bill Johnson, Todd White, and Rodney Howard Browne, said in his own defense for sharing such a platform:
There are millions of souls that sit under weak or unorthodox teachings. . . . there are millions who will never hear strong biblical teaching unless teachers are willing to go. (source)
We find Chan’s rationale in these statements erroneous, troubling, and even dangerous.
Willing to Compromise
Chan isn’t the first person to say that his message is so important that he will share a platform with anyone in order to get his message out to the masses. To that frame of mind, we disagree completely. It’s one thing to preach the Gospel to lost souls; but to share a platform with those who are bringing dangerous false teachings into the church is to give credibility to those with the false teachings. From what we have witnessed, many Christian leaders are willing to compromise truth and integrity by giving credence to false teachers so their own messages can be broadcast more fully.
Revival or False Revival
There is a word that is being heralded by many Christian leaders today, and that word is—Revival! Whether its Lou Engle’s The Call, Bethel Church’s offspring Jesus Culture, Benny Hinn’s “prophecy” about revival in America, Rick Warren’s revival of unity, Rodney Howard’s “holy laughter” revival (as addressed in Warren B. Smith’s report False Revival Coming?: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?), or any number of revival calls taking place today within a growing apostate Christianity, the common denominator with most of these so-called revivalists is they are helping to bring in a false revival that is not based on God’s Word but is largely based on numinous experiences, man’s ambition, and Satan’s deception.
Threatening the Critics
Recently, as Lighthouse Trails reported, Francis Chan came out with a sermon where he said that God will destroy (kill) those who criticize or challenge Christian leaders. Our report stated:
Without giving specific names, Chan spoke of those who present any negative criticism of leaders (naming Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, and John Piper as examples of leaders who should not be criticized). Chan took it a step further and described incidents in the Bible where God took people’s lives as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:10) to predict that God will take the lives of those who have negative things to say about the teachings of today’s spiritual leaders.
Perhaps Chan felt the need to say this to clear the way for his own journey into the arms of false teachers. Did he hope to silence critics who would specifically challenge him? It appears so.
A Most Serious Dangerous Implication
Lest some reading this still do not understand what the big deal is, consider this: At The Send conference, Rodney Howard Browne (i.e., “Mr. Holy Laughter”) came on stage and instructed the 40,000+ mostly young people at The Send to place one of their hands on their belly while raising the other in the air. He then called out for “holy” fire and anointing to descend upon all of them.
The Bible warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:4 that there is “another spirit” that is not the Holy Spirit. When you put all the excuses aside, the real question for Francis Chan is—are you comfortable with the fact that many of the people that came to Send 19 because of you suddenly found themselves in the forced position of being experientially led by someone like Rodney Howard Browne on how to activate the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues? What spirit was Browne imparting on these 40,000 people? Is it possible it was the same spirit and the same “anointing” that was present at the Toronto Blessing (which was essentially birthed by Browne with his “transferable anointing”). Mr. Chan, is this your idea of what will bring true revival?
From our perspective, those who attended The Send because of Chan’s appearance were put in serious harm’s way. And we find it audacious that Chan now tries to excuse himself for being there (see the Christianity Today article). We see this as nothing less than a breach of trust that can have significant spiritual repercussions on countless people. Instead of warning Christians about spiritually deceptive teachings and spirits that falsely come in the name of the Lord, Chan has brought them right to the trough to drink these dangerous waters.
The Dark Road to Spiritual Deception
The dark but seemingly bright road into spiritual deception has many dangers and pitfalls. We think of Bunyan’s man Christian from Pilgrim’s Progress who came up against this as he fought Pride, Arrogancy, Self-Deceit, and Worldy Glory. While the hysteria of false revival is mounting up, many Christian leaders are working hard to justify their actions and their lack of spiritual discernment and responsibility and seem to be caving in to the snares that Bunyan’s Christian valiantly overcame.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. (2 Timothy 4:3)
We find it interesting that Francis Chan is insinuating in his statement,
“there are millions who will never hear strong biblical teaching unless teachers are willing to go” that his teachings are superior to the teachings of his co-platform teachers. We doubt that these co-teachers would agree with Chan that their own teachings are not “strong biblical teachings” but Chan’s are. It’s highly unlikely that Benny Hinn, Bill Johnson, Todd White, or Rodney Howard Browne would concede to saying that their teachings aren’t as biblical as Francis Chan’s. While Chan’s statement was an insult to the men who brought him into their fold, if Chan keeps on the path he is going, the difference between he and their teachings may eventually fade, and he may become just like them.
(Drawing is from alamy.com; used with permission)