Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, is one of the most popular authors and speakers within the evangelical church today. He has been the subject of a number of Lighthouse Trails articles based on his ecumenical activities as well as statements he made threatening that God will destroy those who challenge Christian leaders. Last week, Chan gave a sermon promoting the Catholic view of communion (i.e., the Eucharist), which led to several online responses, one of which was a Catholic priest who weighed in with a YouTube video* expressing his zeal and belief that Chan is about to convert to the Catholic faith.
For those who may not know what communion means according to Catholic doctrine, it is the belief that the bread in communion actually is transformed (by a priest) into the literal body and presence of Jesus Christ. Roger Oakland, author of Another Jesus: the eucharistic christ and the new evangelization, explains:
[T]he Catholic Church’s doctrine of the Eucharist is based on the concept of transubstantiation, a belief that the Catholic priest has the power to turn a wafer of bread into the actual body, soul and divinity of Jesus. [This is] the very foundation of the Catholic faith. (p. 23)
As Oakland documents in his book, the Catholic Church stands so strongly on the Eucharist that The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent states that anyone who denies this view is anathema (cursed) (1978, p. 79, Canon 1). The Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterates:
If anyone says that Christ received in the Eucharist is received spiritually only and not also sacramentally and really, let him be anathema. (Canon 8)
With such strong admonitions from Catholic doctrine, it’s easy to see why a Catholic priest would believe Francis Chan’s sermon heavily promoting eucharistic communion indicates Chan is about to convert to Catholicism. In his view, the only way to receive this transformed bread and wine is through a Catholic priest performing “transubstantiation.”
Be that as it may, a growing number of evangelicals (such as Joseph Prince and Bill Johnson) are beginning to explore and even embrace the Catholic view of the “literal” body, blood, and presence of Christ in communion—priest or no priest. Roger Oakland explains how dangerous this is and how it is helping to bring about a one-world religion that worships a false christ. He exhorts Christians to ask the question, “Is there a difference between the Catholic (Eucharistic) Christ and the Jesus of the Bible?” We believe emphatically that there is, as Oakland documents in his book and his article “Why the Catholic (and Emerging Church) “Eucharist” Does Not Line Up With Scripture.”
Whether Francis Chan is going to become Catholic or not, only time will tell. But two things we know for sure: the Catholic Church uses, as its strongest means, the eucharist as an “evangelistic” tool to “bring back the lost brethren (the Protestants) into the “Mother Church”; and second, even if Francis Chan himself does not convert, he is opening the door and showing the way for his followers to enter the Roman Catholic Church, and no doubt, many will as they seek to experience this eucharistic christ who will ultimately put them into the arms of Rome.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
YouTube Video on Francis Chan by “Father Kyle Manno”:
Resources from Lighthouse Trails on the Roman Catholic Church (Note: If you know someone who is Catholic or who is considering becoming Catholic, we urge you to give that person one of our books or booklets from our resource list. If you cannot afford to get one of these resources for your friend, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you a resource for free.)
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)