Is Francis Chan Right That God Will Destroy Those Who Challenge Christian Leaders?

“Consider if someone teaches that we are all little gods or messiahs, or that Jesus is not God in the flesh, or that there is no Trinity. According to Chan, we have no right to speak on this. Chan calls it gossip and warns you will be judged. In contrast, what does Scripture say about exposing false doctrine and those who spread it?”

(Let Us Reason)  I’m going to use an example of a disturbing sermon from a popular teacher* to show why the church is being misled by false teaching and starving for truth in God’s Word. Recently, Francis Chan spoke to a group at Bethel Church, and using Bible verses, he warned that God will destroy (kill) anyone who questions or opposes the teachings of Christian leaders. He proceeded to name some of those leaders (e.g., Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, etc.) who should not be spoken against.

His main premise: using the Old Testament where God told the people of Israel not to speak or act against God’s temple in which the penalty was death.

In the New Testament, people are now the temple of God. Therefore, we must never speak or act against God’s temple. His basic text: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Chan used the story of Uzza who was struck dead for touching the ark to keep it from falling, saying, “we don’t understand the word sacred.”

He gave other examples of those who were punished, such as Moses. In referring to Moses, Chan recalled the first time he read this and of thinking to himself that God is not going to keep him out of the promised land.

Chan interprets God’s response to Moses as: “Because you didn’t treat me as holy [which fits in the greater context of Chan’s message], I’m not going to let you enter the promised land.” But this is not exactly what happened. In Numbers 20:11-12, Moses was told to speak to the Rock, but he instead “smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly” (Moses was angry at the people). “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Moses was angry with the people which led him to disobey God.

Chan also refers to the story of Saul and Samuel. Samuel is late, and Saul makes the sacrifice; God then says he will tear the kingdom from him.

Chan’s reasoning from the Scriptures goes from bad to worse. I am certainly aware that there is great need for broken relationships to be reconciled, but what Chan is saying is just not accurate in so many ways.

Along the way, he tells us that unity is what gets the world to believe. No, it isn’t. John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  View article →


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