why Francis Chan is radically wrong


I’m not sure there is anything more “risk-taking” than having 8 of your grandchildren at Hoover Dam at once!

In a recent interview, Francis Chan, favorite pastor to many millennials, was asked to give a “warning to the church.” Echoing his previous teaching that “Christians are making an idol out of the family,” Chan believes too many couples are not taking risks and are endangering the spiritual health of their children by homeschooling or placing their children in Christian schools. He called for parents to “seek first the Kingdom” and practice what he calls “radical, adventurous, Holy-Spirit filled” living.

I have often warned families who are committed to the family integrated church movement’s agenda for family life to not become isolationists and to be careful to not idolize a paradigm. After listening to Chan’s comments, I think many of his ideas are exactly why some homeschooling families have abandoned traditional churches for the family integrated model. Chan has totally missed the mark of what it actually means to be a Christian family! Here is my admonition to Chan and those who found this article appealing:

Scripture tells us that married couples are not free to pursue other ministries in the same way single people do. It is a fact. “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35) Those who feel called to “risk-taking” need to examine whether or not they are actually called to marriage and family life. Raising a family requires commitment and stability.

Reconsider what it means to “be radical” and whether or not Chan’s definition is really a goal we ought to have as Christians. Chan says the church “has almost squashed the desire of young people to be radical.” He then defines radical as going overseas, moving into the inner city, and not “living in a bubble.” In reality, the most radical thing a Christian mother and father can do in the 21st century is to be in a committed, faithful marriage to each other for life and to raise children in an environment that loves and adores children and nurtures them in a Biblical worldview. As we demonstrate the one anothers to those in our homes and then to others we welcome into our family circle, hearts and lives are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Maybe diapers, dishes, and daily devotions aren’t exciting, but, as parents, it is our calling. Living faithfully is the true adventure!

We must identify our true mission field. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He said “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Our commission begins in our “Jerusalem,” in our homes. Jesus also warned us “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) If we have been given children to mentor and disciple, we cannot overlook them in lieu of a different, more action-packed mission field.

Years ago we knew a man whose parents were foreign missionaries. He described how, at the end of each summer, his parents loaded him and his siblings on a boat that traveled up-river to a boarding school. He vividly remembered being a little boy of 5, crying and waving good-bye as his parents told him God had called them to sacrifice their children for the Kingdom, that this separation was God’s will. Decades later, two of those children had committed suicide and the others were not believers. This story has played itself out over and over again as Christians practiced a skewed view of their true mission field.

“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” (Matthew 9:35-38) For parents, the harvest is our precious children who are, in this growing culture of relativism and death, in desperate need of shepherds to watch over them. In this application, the few workers Jesus talks about are the parents who have neglected their first mission field.

God placed us in families. This is one of the most powerful truths we will ever know and experience. Family is the training ground for adult life. Everything important we learn about loving Jesus and loving others we first learned in our homes, for good or for bad. It is to be the place of comfort and rest and sanctuary for each member who struggles. It is where we practice confrontation and argument and debate. It Is where we give and receive forgiveness. It has been God’s design since the Garden and though many social experiments have attempted to replace it, none have been successful. It is God’s first, best plan. Choosing to give it top priority does not make us slackers in the Kingdom, it makes it obedient and faithful stewards of God’s most valuable gifts.

God expects parents to *mentor their own children. The one another verses of Scripture are God’s commands to us in order to build the body of Christ for His glory. It is in the moment by moment of living those verses that we mentor the children God has given to us. The fruits of living faithfully are multiplied exponentially through future generations as our children mature and grow and begin their own family adventures.

Faithful family life opens the door to evangelism. Those who are called to foreign missions and include their children in the work know how powerful their example of family faithfulness can be. One of my missionary friends told me that she is often reticent about meeting new people but that her small son, who is a lively and energetic people person, has opened doors for sharing the Gospel many times. Being the one family on the block where mom and dad are always available and who actually enjoy being with kids will draw neighbor children from near and far! Involving children in service and ministry to others along with us while maintaining the necessary protection they need and deserve prepares them with confidence!

One of the disturbing trends among Christian celebrities is an agenda of challenging others to pursue “more” in their relationship with Jesus. When asked to define “more” it is often described in nebulous ways or nonsensical terms that result in feelings of defeat and inadequacy for those who are already overwhelmed with daily family life. Often they call Christians to be “radical,” but the “radical” stuff is dangerous for children, neglects them, or even expects them to make choices well beyond what should be expected of children. Sometimes “more” is even heretical. But Jesus called us to faithfulness and He is the one who asks “more” of us in the process.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. (Luke 12:28)


*For a more detailed explanation of what family mentoring requires, see Chapter 2 of The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home.

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  1. Melissa says

    I feel like you missed what he was trying to say. He even referenced living within your own subdivision, it wasn’t about everyone going into missions. I felt like his whole point was that when we try to control everything (as a way of protecting our families, but ultimately it is more being guided by fear than faith) and when we spend our lives waiting for the right time to step out in faith, we waste our lives by not letting God be God in our lives. Our children miss the opportunity to SEE God act. Certainly, this isn’t true for everyone, but I think often we are holding so tight to everything, planning for everything, it is easy to step back, let go and say, “It’s ok if I miss something or if something unplanned happens, because God will take care of us. He will protect us and provide for us.” Chan’s words rung true to me as I have been walking through the book of Judges with my children. So many times, God acts and saves and does something miraculous and Israel stands with him. But then life goes on for a while and whole generations are lost. They forget him and things get bad. I think Chan is trying to challenge the Church to let go of their planning and control and leave a margin in their lives for God. Room for him to act. I think many already do this. They leave a job because God is calling them away, but they don’t know where to yet. They take their kids out of school because God pressed it on their hearts, but they have no idea how they will even start on homeschooling. They give to another family’s need, when it stretches their own finances because God is calling them to. Those are all acts of FAITH. It doesn’t take faith to do what is always safe and comfortable. I felt like that was the point he was trying to make.

  2. Bruce says

    Interesting. I read the links you posted and the article itself. I dont see where Chan is calling us to sacrifice our kids. That is not what I am seeing. Anything above Jesus is an idol. Anything. Husband, wife, child. Jesus was clear on this. To the man who was willing to follow but first wanted to bury his dad. “Let the dead bury their own dead.” He said if we dont hate our father, mother, etc. we are not worthy to be his disciple.” Tough words but when we are that radically comitted to our savior, this will model to our kids what it means to follow Christ. I’m not advocating sacrificing our responsibility as parents and neither is Chan. But was Abraham willing to lay his son on the altar? Yes. Why? He could trust God completely and the result was that it was credited to him as righteousness. Thanks for the article. Thought provoking.

  3. Deanna says

    I agree, Karen. I hadn’t seen Chan’s teachings on this yet. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tina H. says

    Bruce – Sending children into the unarguably pagan government schools for 16,000+ hours of their lives – as Chan advocates – IS abdicating our responsibility and calling. Just look at our culture over the last 100 years, since mass institutionalized, government-run schooling has been the norm (because it was instituted by FORCE). Are we a more or less Christ-honoring culture since multiple generations of children from Christian homes have been sacrificed to the system? The answer to that question – which is obvious – says it all. Shame on us as a culture for throwing children to the wolves and shame on Chan for suggesting that those of us who actually understand our first calling are wong.

  5. says

    This article makes me so sad.
    Chan is not condoning the breaking up of families, but rather following God’s leading, AS a family!
    As a parent with grown kids (and 4 grands), but still with littles at home (we have 12, 4 to 26), we have been in both places – playing it safe, and living radically (we hope). And that safeness, gated community, that ‘stability’ that it seems you believe only comes from living in a house, playing it safe because you have kids, and living the ‘american dream’, can send your kids to hell. Chan is spot on when he says that kids will fly that see adventure in scripture,but look around and realize that their ‘christian life’ is just a christian version of the world’s lives. It’s not different, just a few years behind the world.

    Stability comes from a family – not a house, an address, the same schools. For our family, stability means that we travel around the country in our rv doing both touristing, and disaster relief. Our children’s lives are much richer, with an incredible harvest, compared to when we were keeping them ‘safe at home’. God never meant for us to stop our lives to focus on our kids! What does that teach them? The reality is that yes, wiping noses, changing diapers, and incessant laundry are serving the kingdom, but I don’t believe that God intends for us to ignore His promptings because we have littles and we think they need a certain kind of life as defined by our American culture. God intends for us to follow His leading, to keep the great commission, to do His work down here, Mentoring (just as you said we are to) by actions and deeds rather than “one day, do this”(when the reality is that because we played it safe, making excuses, that is what they will do also). Mentoring is not telling, it is teaching, showing by example, working alongside together.

    We lived the safe life when raising our oldest. Biggest regret of our lives. I don’t know that we are ‘living radically’, but we are sure trying, and our kids are reaping the benefits, not being harmed by it. For us, living radically meant heading out on a 1500 mile donation/disaster relief trip because we KNEW that God was calling us there – even tho we did NOT have the funds to do it. Radical was our kids witnessing God provide nearly $3k in fuel money, down to the penny, when we told no-one we did not have the money. Radical is trusting God to keep them safe while they climb under muddy trailers, with snakes and spiders after Louisiana flooding to get the opportunity to witness to homeowners who then really want to know what you know because you already showed them you cared. Living radically means that we trust God to provide for us (often through crazy hard work!) when we have ALREADY started to act on his promptings even tho it doesn’t make sense. Until that is happening in your life, it looks crazy, irresponsible, and yes, radical. But once you’ve been there, it’s almost like a high – you will never want to play it safe again because you know that our Mighty God will do great works through you, your kids, and your grandkids, and you are excited to see His next move! Play it safe, and you steal that from your kids. Why the stability? Is our mighty God not stable enough to satisfy needs no matter where He has called your family, as a family?

  6. stacy says

    Amen! and Amen! Thank you for taking the time to write this. While I am not familiar with Chan, the simple truths you put forth need so badly to be heard. We are made by Him, for His purpose – not our own.
    Thank you again~

  7. M. Joy says

    Yes, Karen. What you said.

    This part:

    “Years ago we knew a man whose parents were foreign missionaries. He described how, at the end of each summer, his parents loaded him and his siblings on a boat that traveled up-river to a boarding school. He vividly remembered being a little boy of 5, crying and waving good-bye as his parents told him God had called them to sacrifice their children for the Kingdom, that this separation was God’s will. Decades later, two of those children had committed suicide and the others were not believers. This story has played itself out over and over again as Christians practiced a skewed view of their true mission field.”

    Breaks my heart. It reminds me of something similar an adult child of missionaries said in the documentary,
    “All God’s Children”.
    He was talking about the separation from his parents and mistreatment many missionary kids experienced in Christian boarding schools in Africa. Having turned away from God as an adult, he asked his parents, “How many African souls were worth sacrificing MY soul?”

    It’s easy for Chan, Platt, Piper, etc to stand behind air conditioned pulpits and preach radicalism to the pew sitters. They don’t have to pick up the pieces of destroyed families in the aftermath.

  8. says

    God bless you for your convictions and action in living them out. I want to suggest however that Chan’s statements do not need to challenge the calling you have received. The thing that does challenge your calling is misuse of scripture. The 1 Corinthians text that you use as a bases to your rebuttal does not in fact support the distraction of marriage. Rather it is an encouragement to believers to strongly consider singleness because of the distraction of relationship. The point is not that the person is not ‘free’ because of heavenly obligation but they are insulated because of worldly obligation.

    This, as in many of Paul’s writings is an opinion portion of the letter to the Corinthians. Paul’s opinion is that marriage and family have the potential to become idealistic slavery. This is the same point Chan is making.

    I am a father. A husband. We plan to homeschool. Let me tell you, I rejoice in the gift of my family. But do I believe the wisdom of Paul’s letter and Chan’s interpretation of it carry much wisdom? Absolutely. Is this convicting to me? Absolutely.

    The division that you have caused with this post is the Spirits cry: “Look within and be humbled.”

    It is a beautiful thing to care about and raise your family as you do. But the defense and disregard of profound scriptural warning and truth lessen your convictions, witness and establishment of the Kingdom of God.

  9. Cindy says

    He has completely forgotten Deut. 6. God specifically calls on parents to remind their children of God’s law and grace when they rise up, all day, and when they lay down at night How do you do that if you aren’t WITH your kids? I went to a secular school and I was the only Christian kid I know who witnessed to other students. But I think today’s environment is much different. Only kids with strong convictions of their own can carry it off. YES, raise your kids to be like that. But realize they need help with many questions about drugs, sex, etc. One of my goals as a parent was to keep my children innocent as long as possible, so I homeschooled my children – when doing so was considered radical! i don’t regret it. Really, people like Chan have never homeschooled and they have NO IDEA of how it works. Our children are not in solitary confinement. They are exposed to a broad spectrum of people, but under supervision. Much better I think. They are away from bad influences and raised to that they will be the good influence. Then when they meet other children on the playground, at church, in schools later they are able to interact on the right basis. They are the mature ones – I have seen it many times.

  10. Marshmallow says

    Is this the same “radical” Chan that sits on the board of Gospel for Asia and stays quiet about that train wreck of a Ministry that rips people off and idolizes it’s founder… is this the same “radical” Chan that agrees with mystics and is overly friendly with Roman Catholicism and it’s teachings? It’s amazing that someone can write a book and that’s enough for most Christians to legitimize everything about their ministry and walk with the Lord. Radical?

  11. says

    Nathan, this paragraph sums up the heart of my message:

    “In reality, the most radical thing a Christian mother and father can do in the 21st century is to be in a committed, faithful marriage to each other for life and to raise children in an environment that loves and adores children and nurtures them in a Biblical worldview. As we demonstrate the one anothers to those in our homes and then to others we welcome into our family circle, hearts and lives are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Maybe diapers, dishes, and daily devotions aren’t exciting, but, as parents, it is our calling. Living faithfully is the true adventure!”

    Once we become parents, our calling is very clear and most certainly is the same for all of us: our ministry is to disciple and mentor and nurture our children in a Biblical worldview and it MUST come before any ministry to anyone else for our season of parenting. And that season is not just until a child leaves the home or turns some particular age. As children become adults and they begin to make all sorts of lifetime choices….who to marry, what job to train for, where to live, what car to buy, when to have children, how to nurture them, etc. Though our roles change to that of trusted (hopefully) advisors and mentors, because God has designed families, our ministry to children continues. This is what faithful parenting looks like. Done well, it will result in a reversal those roles as we age and by our own example of caring for our elderly parents will be our comfort in old age. None of this is “radical” in Chan’s world. But it is reality and it is servanthood and it is for ALL Christians.

    Chan’s comments about homeschooling are the most troubling because homeschooling is not simply a method for educating children, it is a way of life that trains every family in the one anothers. Obviously he does not understand this.

    I read a bio of his life which was very tragic as he grew up, losing first his parents as a child and then caregivers also through tragedy in his teen years. Multi-generational family life has not been part of his own personal experience.

  12. says

    Marshmallow, I didn’t even approach the Chan connection to IHOP and his mysticism, which I referenced in my last paragraph when talking about Christian celebs advocating for “more.” This more than faithful living is not about Jesus first it is about thinking you must pursue mysticism in one form or another in order to live a true Christian life. It is dangerous stuff. Highly recommend perusing the Sola Sisters archive. http://www.solasisters.com

  13. says

  14. Angela Walls says

    I’m thankful for your thoughtful defense of glorifying the Lord while caring for our families, even in the seemingly mundane. I appreciate the verses and responses reminding parents to disciple our children faithfully. I’m afraid he spoke from a very limited point of view. We are a family that chose to move just outside of the city, our house is in a cul-de-sac no less, as we wanted our children to have a little more freedom to ride bicycles, and a little more yard to run around in. Guess what? The biggest problem of mankind is the sin in our hearts. That sinfulness is not confined to neighborhoods and countries that are largely impoverished. Our sweet, Christian family next door moved out, and in moved a woman operating an “afternoon house” of an upscale prostitution ring. Our street was chosen because it was quiet during the day. I cannot begin to tell you the things we have witnessed and endured, with no help from law enforcement. What have we learned, that the Lord has been good to preserve and protect us every day, even as we endure a situation with no end in sight. We eagerly await an opportunity to glorify Him (and possibly, as you stated, living as an intact, Christian family, willing to offer help and hope, is witness enough). There are several other instances I could provide of traumatic instances that resulted from sin and desperation, right here on our street in the short two years we have lived here. So, unless I am directly disobeying the Lord’s call, I will not have false guilt because our family’s experience in seeing the Lord “come through” may look different than Mr. Chan’s.

  15. says

    Granddad, I really appreciate those links. Horton’s thoughts need to be spread far and wide. In this world of Kardashian Christianity, people need to be directed back to the Bible and encouraged to live faithful, Spirit-filled lives. Thanks for posting these.

  16. says

    Angela, I read Chan’s biography of his early life and think much of what he says comes from no experience of or vision for multi-generational faithfulness. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by caregivers, one of them murdering the other while Chan was in his teens. His heart is obviously toward those who are first generation believers.

  17. Lis says

    Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging writing. My highest calling is to raise my children, and I treasure every day. No two days are ever the same, home schooling is a challenge but one He equips me to do. In fact, in this day and age I call being a home schooling mum very radical. It is stepping out beyond the comfort zone, beyond the norm, beyond self-reliance, beyond the security of reliance on two incomes.
    I heard a statement a while back and it came to mind while reading this –
    “The church is the only army that sends its raw recruits to the enemy to be trained.”
    Deuteronomy 6:4-9

  18. AAron says

    The part of the article about the missionaries putting their kids in boarding school was downright horrifying.

    How can you serve others in Christ while you neglect the little miracles that God has given specifically to you?

    How can anything good come from such a backward arrangement? Surely the people these missionaries are serving see the hypocrisy. Surely they are very aware of the willful neglect these missionaries have towards their own flesh and blood.

    Pastors and pastors wives here in the US often show similar neglect to their own kids.

    All day they send their kids to schools with nothing but God-less instruction. When the kids finally get home their parents zip off to choir practice, or to counsel others while their own kids are strangers in their own homes.

    The kids in the pews see this. It makes an very deep impression on them. You and I do such a disservice, on so many levels, when we allow pastors with such backward priorities to lead us.

  19. Patricia says

    Aaron, I am both a pastor’s wife and former missionary’s wife. We served in Mexico for 20 years! I homeschooled my children then. My husband did a lot of work and at times was gone for a week at a time visiting churches, but when he was home he spent time with the kids playing games, going to the park, etc… When we returned for further schooling, we put our kids in a Christian school, that spent time praying for the kids before school as a staff. They have some very fond memories of those days. We then moved to our first church and we homeschooled again our last two and tutored/homeschooled others. When we transferred to another church, we finished the year out and homeschooled one more year before putting them in the public school where I also found employment as we had medical bills that we couldn’t pay off with only one salary as a pastor. My husband also took up bus driving early in the morning before school to help pay the bills. My husband had the occasional night time meeting, but he still found time to help them with math, play games with them, play tennis with them, do puzzles, watch a movie etc… His children are very important to him and he makes time for them. Now we live in another country and our working in another country. Again, he is home most nights, but occasionally has a meeting. The last one began at 9:30pm to accommodate the other fathers who were either at work yet or spent time first with their families. When my kids come home from school with something that their teachers have said that isn’t biblical we talk about it and counter it with the truth from scripture. Homeschooling has been some of the best years for us, but so has attending both the Christian and Public school. We found the many of the teachers in the Public school we attended were believers. It appears to me that you paint all pastors with one brush. While missionaries, we tried to include our kid in the ministry as much as possible, and while he is a pastor, we try to include our children in the hospitality we extend to people who come for a meal, coffee etc.. We try to include them in our work as well as make time for just them. It appears that you also paint all parents who don’t homeschool as less than a homeschool parent.

  20. Anthea says

    Well said, young Karen Campbell — and about time too. I was troubled many years ago by the assumption that to be seen as radical and “doing things for God”, one had to move to a particular postcode. It always made me feel that there was a something simplistic about it. As if the working classes could not build our own churches and community projects. As if those in prosperous areas had no needs. As if raising kids and being a loving spouse is not where the spiritual action is, man.

    How about this for a shock testimony? One of the most culture-changing evangelists and youth workers of 20th century Britain wanted to share the gospel and make a difference. So he devoted himself to the top public (upscale private) schools of the nation — despite knowing how hard a mission field it would be. Mr Eric Nash, known as ‘Basher’, discipled many who went on to be key figures in the spiritual renewal of the Anglican church (which sorely needed the pure gospel).

    From his Wikipedia entry (cos I cannot link to the original magazine article) :

    “Through him many influential people became converted to Christianity, including the clergymen John Stott,[4]:83 David Sheppard,[7] Michael Green[29] John Pollock,[14] Dick Lucas,[20] Bishop Maurice Wood,[10]:20 Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith,[10]:20 Mark Ruston,[10]:20 John Collins,[10]:20 Hugh Palmer,[10]:20 Mark Ashton,[10]:20 Paul Perkins,[10]:20 John Coles,[10]:20 William Taylor,[10]:20 Henry Chadwick,[10]:20 Richard Bewes and David Macinnes.[24] David Watson was invited by David Sheppard and attended thirty-five camps in five years.[30] Sir Fred Catherwood also participated.[6]:142 Among Nash’s other spiritual progeny were several principals of theological colleges, and over 200 clergy.[14] In education there were several head teachers and over 150 teaching staff.[14] In sports, John Dewes and David Sheppard both played cricket for England.[7] In the military, there was Brigadier Ian Dobbie.[4]:67 Recently it has emerged that Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, was also a participant.[10]:18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._J._H._Nash

    This is what John Stott said: “Bash… was a quiet, unassuming clergyman who never sought the limelight, hit the headlines or wanted preferment; and yet whose influence within the Church of England… was probably greater than any of his contemporaries… Those who knew him well, and those who worked with him, never expect to see his like again; for rarely can anyone have meant so much to so many as this quietly spoken, modest and deeply spiritual man.”

    Chan’s idea of what counts as radical is rather narrow, I think. Faithfully sowing into the lives of a few people in the place where you are, can be culture-shaking, as Basher Nash demonstrated.

    Besides, it has come to a pretty pass when caring for the children entrusted to you, and raising them to the best of your ability, is seen as some sort of anti-social idolatry. Really? Mothering is now on a level with ancestor worship and occultism? Well, slap the handcuffs on me forthwith — I’m guilty, Your Honour.

    BTW, it’s not an accident that I wrote “mothering”. Apparently, raising children is never as sexy and cutting edge as what the kewl, mostly male, Christian commentators are doing.

    PS Before anyone has a pop at me for being cheeky — I’m English. We all have Sarcasm as a second language.

  21. Anthea says

    P.S . Very tired of preachers pontificating about how we should put our children in state schools to ‘change the world’. Go in yourselves, if you think your’e hard enough! (Footnote: Between us, Husband and I have 30 years’ experience working with children and youth. I did 12 years of secondary school teaching.) The adults send the *child* to school then congratulate *themselves* on a job well done — the mere act of signing an enrollment form. I wish these pastors would go in themselves, instead of sending a boy to do a man’s job. I got saved, from an unchurched home, as the result of faithful *adults* sowing into my life, at school and a church youth group.

  22. says

    Karen, I so appreciate your article here. Being a faithful Christian family is such a radical idea today. It never ceases to amaze me how people react when they find out my husband and I want more than two children. Both Christians and unsaved alike think we are trying to get our own TLC special! Merely having children at all is radical in today’s eyes. Let alone the idea of mom staying home to teach and grow them into adults before they reach the age of 30!

    Let’s be radical Christians. Let’s be faithful to the Lord faithful to our spouses. Faithful to our Children. This is the most radical thing we can do in a world that call evil good and good evil.

    Thank you for your encouragement!

  23. Jerry Chase says

    It is very sad that Kathryn Crow receives so much negativity toward her and her husband’s plan to have more than two children. There is a strong decidedly ‘anti-children’ attitude in this world now. These negative people have even coined a phrase, “militant fecundity”, to describe those who don’t agree with them. The reason why altogether too many folks “simply go along” without thinking…. is that television is used to teach people what and how to think.
    TV is dreadfully subtle, and it’s used all the time to ‘sell various agendas’. I’m proud to say that such doesn’t happen in my house, because we haven’t have a TV set in our house for 35 years last February—-and that will not change!

    No entity will ever teach me or our children what or how to think. That’s MY prerogative and duty. Those who might object to this are conniving rats, IMO.

  24. Becky says

    Francis Chan is a Charlatan as are many others. They don’t practice sound doctrine.
    Psalm 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”
    Romans 16:17-18 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    2 Timothy 4:3-4 “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; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
    1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

  25. Scott says

    You make some valid points, and I can relate to both experiences. I certainly like your use of scripture to inform readers on your convictions. However, I think you miss the points Chan is trying to make. Chan, along with a few others like David Platt and John Piper, are absolutely correct about the American Church and the family. If you listen and really research some of hos writings, you will understand what Chan’s call to be radical really means. He makes it very clear that it is NOT intended for everyone to respond to the call in the same way, and that includes schooling your children.
    I think it reckless to throw out labels on Chan and some of the others as reckless teachers and not sound in their doctrine. As it is, no one here is the ultimate authority.

  26. says

    Scott, I am curious What teachings on the family and the American church by Platt, Piper, and Chan are you referring to? Links?

  27. Missy G says

    It seems you have completely misunderstood Francis Chan. This article doesn’t make sense, because it is arguing against things that were not said. This whole thing saddens me.

  28. Irene says

    After reading through everything, I come to the conclusion that

    1. Nathan Hopping (never heard of him before) seems to be the only one who focuses on what the Bible says without twisting the words. The rest seems to be either twisting scripture (as the author obviously does), twisting what others say or arguing against what others does not say (as the author does), focusing on his/her own self righteousness (as the author does), or focusing on what Chan etc says and his righeousness. Thank you, Nathan.

    2. The lady who shared her own experience about both playing it safe and doing it radically shares an interesting experience. Thank you.

    3. The one who says Piper, Chan, and Platt preaches about radicalism on a pewter in air conditioning makes a very strong point. I especially feel this about Platt. Platt considers his 15-day mission as a mission that stands with brothers who are suffering in a war zone and being a true brother while others who provide relief are nothing. Somehow Platt’s adding some religious ingredients to his life is always portrayed as the ultimate golden standard of devotion and radical. Chan went on mission for a year and then said God called him back to San Francisco. But didn’t he question others about claiming it is God’s will that the live in California when it is actually they themselves who want that. So why is it when others do, they are lying about God’s calling. But when he does leave the mission field to return to his fame, popularity, comfort and income security in US, it is indeed God’s calling? …

    4. Humility, love your neighbours as yourself (with the good Samaritan example), what good is it if you only love those who love you (ur family) for even the pagan does the same, whatever u do to the least of these ypu do it to me, to love each other (disciples) as Jesus has lived us etc,… all these teachings should be the most important (as one of the only 2 commandments). But nobody seems to prioritize these here.

    I really don’t know what or who to believe…is the Christian God real?

  29. L says

    I am sad to see that you have completely misunderstood Francis Chan. I challenge you to look as his life, his sacrifices, his choices and then come back and update your post.

  30. Royce says

    I’m just wondering in all that verbosity and talking about God and Scripture how it is you completely missed 1st Tim. 2:11-12 and the passages that talk about those who rail upon God’s leaders?

  31. ANGELA Williams says

    As others have stated, you have missed the mark on Chan’s premise in “You and Me Forever.” Have you read the book? If so, have you checked your heart before the Holy God before, during, and after you PUBLICLY admonished His child and your brother in Christ? I hope that before this reflective and lengthy article, you labored even more with long, sincere, and Christ-seeking prayers. I ask you, do your words cause another child of God’s Kingdom to build-up or break-down? Where was your love for the Lord and siblings to grow in this article? This article seems to unveil a side to your heart more than what you deem a wrong in Chan’s devotion to God’s Kingdom. This is truly so sad that you felt the need to publicly offer a lengthy rebuke to your brother in Christ. I pray that your heart be right with the Lord in this forum. I’m praying that God checks my heart as I respond. We got good work to do…

  32. says

    Angela, as I said to Royce, it is unfortunate that you chose to not engage with the content of my article and the concerns I expressed as well as the scripture I shared. I hope you will reconsider.

  33. Jerry Kemp says

    While it is important to be as the Bereans, searching the scriptures to make certain interpretations, it becomes even more important to hear Holy Spirit.

    Looking at the lives of all the people writing the comments, I’m certain it’s safe to say that our lives, our countries, our cultures, and our upbringings are very different. Because they are diverse, our lives reflects. our Father’s view of the world. He has placed each and every one of us in places, cultures, and families where He sees His work best accomplished. Not all of us were raised in Christian homes. I, for instance, was raised in foster care. Many of the homes I was placed in were not Christian or even Christ like. Unfortunately, many of the homes were in it for the money. But the last foster home I was placed in was truly a God fearing one.

    This was a couple who stood out, though, like Bash, never made a name for themselves. They only served teenage boys, whom most foster couples would not even consider. 97 boys went through their care after 30 years of foster care. The boys came from all walks of the inner city. Drug dealers, gangs, homosexuals, molesters, etc. The home was set up to take 8 boys at a time. Think about that for a moment.

    The point I’m making here is that our Heavenly Father did not pick a one size fits all lifestyle of the Christian life. Some are called to the mission field, while others are called to live, as Paul put it, to live quietly and peaceably among all men. Many wife and I look at our lives more like Aquila and Priscilla life. We have a business and work quietly and as Holy Spirit leads us we share and give.

    This is why Holy Spirit is vital to our lives. He will guide you into ALL TRUTH.

    “These things I have written to you with reference to those who are trying to deceive you [seducing you and leading you away from the truth and sound doctrine]. As for you, the anointing [the special gift, the preparation] which you received from Him remains [permanently] in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But just as His anointing teaches you [giving you insight through the presence of the Holy Spirit] about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as His anointing has taught you, you must remain in Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him].”
    1 JOHN 2:26‭-‬27 AMP

  34. patricia says

    Just stopped in for a peek; I didn`t read all the links to Chan`s articles although I have heard other pastors make the argument that its isolationist to send your kids to Christian schools or homeschool and that they should be in public schools. I think that thinking ignores reality or perhaps it would be better to say that it needs to include understanding of child development and be really qualified and clarified. It really isn`t any different than sending your children to an idol`s temple all day for five days a week and then expecting one hour of sunday school a week and bedtime prayers to combat hours and hours of influence. Now, perhaps forty years ago or more, when schools were more about the three R`s and respect for God, country and neighbor and when it was acceptable to pray the Lord`s prayer and read a bible verse at the start of the school day, , when there was some manner of discipline and expected standards of conduct, and most parents were reasonable well brought human beings, that might be a more valid viewpoint.

    But I wonder how parents who work all day, and then who come home perhaps tired, or perhaps they are overscheduled like many families, can expect to combat five or six hours daily of exposure to a school environment that is government controlled, politically driven by people with an increasingly anti God agenda, who promote immorality and openly mock the idea that there is a God and there is absolute truth. One hour in children`s church which is often really just craft and coloring time with a song and a verse, cannot possibly reverse hours and hours of negative spiritual influence and hostility to the gospel.

    I mean, does it make sense, when most ADULT believers would find it challenging to stand for Christ in an environment that is not friendly to the gospel and honoring of Jesus, to expect a small child to be able to do so, esp. when they are so trusting, so vulernable to threatening behaviour and disapproval, so unformed and so easily influenced and led, as well as crushed and intimidated? Don`t get me wrong .I believe children can have real, vital radical faith in the Lord Jesus. And I do believe a child can share Jesus. I do believe Jesus is OF COURSe able to sustain such a child. But it takes some development and spiritual and emotional solidity to be able to do that. I would not put very young children in an anti God, hostile environment. An older child whose faith is real and solid and who has been prepared spiritually and emotionally for rejection, hostility, disagreement and even at times, persecution, perhaps. But to say because you are a Christian therefore your child should go to public school without gauging whether each invidual child`s faith is real and strong enough to handle that is blind idealism with potentially great cost. Doesn`t scripture say bad company corrupts good morals?

  35. Kyle B says


    Good grief, you have missed what he actually said, judged him and put words in his mouth. He has many children and him and Lisa are wonderful, Godly parents.

    He said, don’t ignore your responsibility to serve the Lordin totality because you have a family! Please relisten to what the message was and considering giving up blogging since it’s a disaster based on this one post at least.

  36. Mike Borden says

    Lots of people are referring to the 1 Cor 7 passage, and rightly so but three main points are being consistently missed:

    1) There is marriage teaching in the mix but the main thrust of Paul’s point (repeated multiple times throughout the chapter) is for folks to remain in the situation in which the Lord called them; whether married, single, slave, circumcised, etc. This should be the main principle applied to the topic under discussion by Chan and ourselves. A family called in a particular situation should remain there until receiving new orders. It is good for preachers like Chan to exhort and challenge because the body of Christ needs such but to imply that family devotion is an idol is to bypass the main point. If God has called you to family life then anything else would be the idol. If you are called to stay at home and raise a family, live a quiet life, and work with your hands so that you can be generous then you are pleasing the Lord. Don’t be deceived; “ministry” can be an idol, too and there is much ministry colored distraction in the church. It’s part of how the church has been tainted by the world.

    2) The ability to remain single is a gift of grace given by the Holy Spirit for the service of the gospel and not everyone has it. Those without this gift will be subject to all manner of temptation and the option of marriage is the way out that God has promised to provide. In fact, marriage is the intended norm of creation and singleness is a special dispensation created because this broken world needs the gospel. Before sin and all the ensuing calamity, when everything was still “very good” God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”. Please do not ever feel, if you are married, that you are somehow wrong or of lesser value in service or in the kingdom.

    3) Paul opens his specific teaching on marriage and singleness in this passage with the caveat that it is not from the Lord but is his opinion. Granted his opinion carries very significant weight, but he felt it important enough to make sure we knew it was his opinion and so we should take it as such and weigh his opinion against the overarching principle of the passage that I touched on in point one.

    Remember also, we can learn a lot from the enemy. Family is under an all fronts, no holds barred, well planned, and long term attack in our culture orchestrated by the prince of the power of the air, who is the ruler of this dark age. All this effort expended to undermine family is more than noteworthy. In this culture, littered with so many broken, dysfunctional families and all the casualties thereof, imagine what a beacon of light and hope is to be found in a quiet, steadfast, local family living in their community with Christ at center, as the head, as Savior, Lord, and God. The people around us rarely, if ever, see such a thing. Many churches, God have mercy on us all, offer and encourage participation in so many different “ministries” that it can actually serve to fracture rather than build up and strengthen the family.

    We should make sure of our calling, courageously do what we are called to do guilt free, and stop critiquing everybody else’s calling. Let’s help, encourage, and pray for each other instead.

  37. Rebecca says

    I really appreciate you bringing this issue out. There is a lot of pressure to serve in the church. I have always felt if I did, my family would suffer. Recently, we found out that the director of children’s ministries at our church is going to be divorced from her husband. She has dedicated her life to serving the church. Her husband and children have taken a back seat for years… One day, her husband informed her that he didn’t want to be married to her anymore. I was so sad… Why did the church not see that their marriage would head for this?

  38. Katie says

    I think the points in your post are valid and true. However, I don’t think Chan was suggesting parents abandon their children and I don’t see the extremes that he talks about as unscriptural. Every person must stand before God and answer for their life…and so we are all called to know what He has called us to. Taking up our Cross may mean different things but if we are truly walking with Him…we will have the assurance of how we live.

    Chan often talks about his children and wife’s involvement in the ministry but I have also heard his wife speak about how the call of Christ is more important than her marriage…and as a result…her marriage and home life becomes balanced as they all put Jesus first. So much of Christian life is caught up in our feelings or opinions of what our spouse does or doesn’t do. Divorce is just as rampant in the church and among people who trying to put their marriage and family first. When we seek the Kingdom first all is added to us for the purpose of the Kingdom. There becomes only what God has said and one’s children come under that covering. Most of the Christians I know are completely caught up in their home lives. Their lives are spent at Disneyworld, their child’s next activity, and preparations for how they can attain a life on this earth that is stable. They go to church on Sunday. Go to youth group. But, it doesn’t fix problems. Kids leave. I dealt with my own child coming home from church saying, ‘I don’t know if I believe anymore. I just don’t see anyone really following Jesus, Mom. Why is that?” I had to tell him he was free to make that choice…but I would not be able to go there with him. As a result it strengthened him. He needed to see someone who was willing to lose…for the sake of Christ. I was willing to lose my son. I wasn’t going to beg him. I wasn’t going to follow him where he wanted to go. I told him I needed to follow Jesus because we have nothing else in this life. And his spirit responded to that. He has started being bold about his faith and is not ashamed to tell others. But…I had to be willing to lose him. The world gives good things to their children…Scripture says, how much more does God?

    Many unsaved families seem well put together. But Jesus often divides families. One gets born again and the rest cast him out. One answers the call, the others don’t understand it and feel rejected etc…I have seen Christian families work so hard to stay unified in the name of Jesus…only to have a son that commits suicide, or the daughter that goes off and abandons her faith. Ezekiel says that the children will no longer eat sour grapes. The sins of the father will not count against the son and the sins of the son will no longer count against the father…but now every man will have his own iniquity before God. When our children becomes of age to choose God or not…they are now accountable before God. I agree, that leaving a 5 year old so that you can do missions is not Biblical. If they were truly radical…they would have taken him along…but it seems as though they were trying to ‘save’ his life by leaving him in a protected environment. Maybe where they were going was dangerous and so they were trying to ‘spare’ their son, but lost him in the end. Or maybe they were too caught up in themselves to love their own house to the Lord. “As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord.” Who knows… But all of these choice indicate a heart condition that was not right before God. No matter what God calls us too…He wants the heart. A better missionary example would be a family that was called to Somalia. All children went, but they lost one while there. He died from an asthma attack due to the environment they were living in. People back in their home church said, “You shouldn’t have gone…you would still have “James” if you had stayed and just served here in your church.” I think this is what Chan is addressing…will you stay to save your children and play church…after God called you out somewhere else? In losing their son…didn’t they actually gain him? His soul is with Jesus. Obedience is better than all the sacrifices they could have made staying home at church.

    If God called a person to raise up 10 kids and foster others and be a light to their community…then its best to pick up that cross…so you won’t lose in the end. But it’s determining what Cross you are to bear. That will require intimate prayer time with Jesus. Fasting. Travailing in Spirit that the God of heaven will lead us in the Way we should go. A person, in right relationship with God, who is prayerfully seeking His will…will know and have the assurance of what He has called them to. If he called a person to homeschool…then in that they will be required to give up their lives. If He called them to foster other children…then they will be giving up their lives doing that and taking risks. But He will increasingly lead you into more. He gives the faith we need to accomplish what He is asking of us. But we are in a serious crisis within the church of seeing people profess Christ…but live defeated lives and countless children are being lost as a result.

    I think Chan is saying, “Look…Jesus is all there is. You are trying to protect your house from Him? Stop it!” Saving family will not save anyone and some of these same people, who devoted so much of their time to their children…are left with dead children or lost children. God is still merciful to bring prodigals home but the Scriptures call people to lost their lives. My testimony is one of giving up in order to gain and so I can testify to what Chan says…that as I leave all for Christ…I actually gain my own children and see them yield spiritually to the Lord. But they don’t belong to me. They belong to God and my mother’s heart of fear can manipulate how I view His Word, tempt me to justify compromise, and cause me to hold my children away from God and what He may call them to…even as I encourage them in Jesus! But those maternal desires that sometimes overflow…can be yielded to Jesus and my love poured out at His feet. Chan is not wrong. This post is not wrong. But the question remains for the individual: What has God called YOU to bear? How has He called YOU to lose your life? Because you will lose it…if you try to save it. You will lose your son, if you try to save him. These require prayer. Jesus spoke in parables deliberately because only some would have a seeking heart. Why spill good seed on the ground that will not produce any life? But the ones that desire to produce life…will come after Jesus and understand.

    When Jesus called the man out and told him, “let the dead bury the dead.” I believe the context was that this man’s family were spiritually dead. The God of heaven knew they were not willing. Yet this man, perhaps in order to find life needed to seek Jesus in this way. The same was spoken to the rich young ruler. Scripture says Jesus loved him and asked him to sell all that he had…but this man couldn’t do it.

    I heartily agree that God calls us to faithful living…faithful to Jesus. He will answer each of us concerning how we are to obey Him. Jesus was very clear about what it would cost to follow Him. The men and women who sought God often gave up all for His sake. I can’t imagine what Mary, the mother of Jesus experienced. She didn’t understand yet what was happening. But, we do! Sometimes losing our lives…means we have to let our children go and do what God has called them too. Or let them go…so that we can serve Jesus and give an example for our children to follow after.

    A person can take any Scripture and turn it into something its not. There are people who refuse to treat their children or take them to the doctor because they believe that “faith heals”. Therefore their child suffers. I recount a story I heard of a Christian group that refused to treat a child with a broken arm because ‘faith heals.” Jesus always addressed the condition of the heart. If you are living against His will…you will not have rest or assurance. But if you are losing your life for Him…you will gain it!

  39. Alysha Pozik says

    Having a family does not exempt you from the rest of what the Bible says about how we should live. When Paul talks about married people being concerned with the things of the world (pleasing their spouse) that doesn’t mean that it is what they are SUPPOSED to be concerning themselves with. Paul was stating the tendency for couples to serve God less because they are distracted. This is NOT true for all couples (ex. the Chans) Just the same, not all couples feel lead by the Lord to do what the Chans are doing (ex. You and your family) I do however feel that your title about him being “radically wrong” – and writing an article like this could easily do more damage to the Kingdom of God. You are causing division. You are judging what one family was called to do, based on the fact that in your opinion, they are not doing what you think they should be doing- or not doing things the way you think they should be done. By no means does the Bible teach that only singles- or couples without children should travel to foreign countries and take radical risks for the Kingdom of God. In fact, ALL who are born again are called to -Go and teach ALL nations… and to make disciples. Francis Chan and His wife are not neglecting their children to serve overseas. They are not sacrificing their children’s lives, or health, or well-being like the people in the example you mentioned above. All I see in this article is differing opinions that both have merit, but expressed wrongfully can divide Christians- when the goal should be to unify believers because we are all part of the global church- the body of Christ- and individually, we will all be lead by the Holy Spirit in different ways.

  40. Mark says

    I believe both to be true, in balance and according to the Holy Spirits promoting through prayer and fasting.

  41. Jess says

    While I agree and disagree with different points in what you have written there are two things I’d like to point out, the first being that God calls each of us to serve Him in different ways. He is not prescriptive in that there is only ONE WAY to serve. He allows us to serve Him in ways that reach people of all different walks of life. I absolutely respect those who choose to homeschool and decide that is the best thing for their family, but if we all were to homeschool, who would serve God in our schools? And if we were all to work with the poor who would be Jesus to business men and women. This is a part of a Christian life that I imagine many of us are aware of, it isn’t new information I have just given. It is important to my second comment, which is that it saddens me to read the title of this article. As Christians we have many many people tearing us down, trying (and succeeding) in causing division, and encouraging our walking away from God. You have a platform and a voice which reaches people, I am praying that you use it to build and encourage others, support others, challenge thinking, but above all, imitate Christ in love. When I observe Francis Chan in his writing and actions I see a man who is doing his best to imitate Christ, share Him and serve Him. Maybe instead of using your platform for this pointed disagreement and discussion, pray for him instead, that he may use his platform for the service of God.

  42. Ricky says

    You are deceived and are trapped in American cultural traditions and expectations. Your views and twisted interpretation of the Word have given you a false sense of justification for your children idols. And, shame on you for calling out a pastor by name with an accusation that he is ‘radically’ wrong. On the contrary, you are radically wrong. Francis actually focuses on putting marriage first which flows down blessings to the children. I’m thinking you probably put your children first, above your husband. You would probably choose your children over your husband, am I right? If so, again, you are deceived. I highly recommend the next time you disagree with someone, rather than calling them out by name as you did here, you simply write an article based on solely your beliefs and leave them out of it. Francis is a good man and has made a profound impact in my life through his teaching. And I am not a millennial.

  43. Lynn says

    Maybe I’m in the minority to see it this way, but I find here a very valuable conversation. For that reason, if no other, I’m glad Francis Chan stirred things up. I have encountered christians all over the map on this very issue, and some of them are quite conflicted (e.g., one young man told me he had a definite call to the mission field but claimed he couldn’t go because of his many children–I couldn’t see why not). Could it not be that some are indeed called to live as the Chans, and others to homeschool, and still others to send their kids to christian school? I see reasons for all three (I homeschooled mine, and it was a mixed blessing). Personally, I was fine growing up in public elementary school, thrived in christian middle school, and went through hell in public high school. I tried to correct what my upbringing lacked by homeschooling, but it was far from perfect, even though I put everything into it. I have also seen many examples of what Rebecca mentioned (and my own christian father was an extreme workaholic who was rarely home), while other christian families I have known barely ever left their houses out of fear of the WORLD. I happen to think there are godly christian parents in many kinds of scenarios, and also there are some christians who are damaging their families without realizing it. Couldn’t it be that the Spirit needs to lead each of us, and it will look somewhat different for each family? And couldn’t it be that God’s grace will cover where we have erred??

  44. Shay says

    Going back to the story of the missionary family that was shipped off to boarding school. I know many examples of home schooled children who couldn’t deal with society since they were so sheltered. Many are not Christians anymore and have similar mental issues. My husband’s mom homeschooled them and his brother has left the church and can’t complete a degree.
    The point is every parent should choose how to raise their kid with God’s guidance. We should stop yelling people which way is better. Some parents want their kids exposed to the world so they kids can strengthened their faith. There is a chance that in the process, the world might look more appealing. Others want to homeschooled their children so they can teach them without the world’s influence. There is still the tv and internet and the church that can entice them anywhere.

  45. Sally says

    Francis Chan is teaching the Word of God, not his own views. He’s describing how God wants us to serve Him, not that we can’t serve Him with a family but we will be distracted. If we serve and our children are sick, we are called to put Christ first, even before our children and parents. God’s words not mine or Francis Chan.
    Before we go off putting Dow a true servant of God (who has lime 7 kids and a wife) read God’s Holy Word for yourself. God called Francis to spread His Word in a unique way, the truth and nothing but the truth. Churches want us to leave feeling good, nice message, and it brings in money. But God wants us to know the truth, how and why we should live a certain way.
    I think of all the priests who make a vow of celibacy and then have sexual improprieties. The Bible says that some are Eunics for the glory of God. God says that, not Francis Chan.

  46. Morgan says

    I may not have the place to speak as a single woman but I think there something that being missed and there is middlegroumd to this. I grew up homeschooled and was taught family was very important. And yes, I do think that a parent’s mission is to raise their children in a God-center home but I think where he’s coming from is that parents have to remember to live by example and not fall into the trap of the world versus them. We are to being in the world not of it and part that is serving and witnessing. Now does mean parent should send their kids to boarding school or public school so they can focus on their own personal mission. Heavens no. Ministry is something that should be served as family. Wheather be in the USA or oversee, we need to be Christian family to be a reflection of Christ in world full of broken families. And it’s hard! I see it first hand with my parents. As for the question of forsaking family I believe this more touching on young people Choicing to stay close to home rather than peruse God’s will for their life. Family is a wonderful gift but it is temporary. And I love my parent but they’re still human and fear can be a controlling thing that can be a roadblock for both young adult and parent alike. So to wrap it up. Family is an important mission field and for season it should be our focus but it is also something that is temporary and is used as a tool to spread the love of Christ. Balance but that just a single woman’s prespective.

  47. Vicki e says

    Maybe the missionaries mistake was trying to protect their children by sending them off to boarding school rather than allowing them to minister with them?

  48. says

    Yes!!! I have seen way too many families place their child on the altar in the name of ministry. Our kids are our ministry. Period.

  49. Elizabeth says

    I have an 18 year old daughter and I am a single parent and have been her entire life. We live in a small community in Alabama and we have friends with both Public and Homeschooled children. This is what I have seen. My daughter has been a missionary since she was 3 years old – whatever she learned in our home about Jesus, she shared with her peers at school. She has been praying for and with other children since she was 5. When she was 6 she began taking snacks and lunches for kids who were hungry. She has truly LIVED as a Christian her entire life. It is a part of every aspect of her life and because she went to public school she was able to minister to the lost and hungry and hurt. Did she also experience what it was to exist in a community which was not Christ led? Absolutely – which caused her to turn to her Bible again and again to see what truth was in any situation. It made her faith stronger because it was a tested faith and it made her more compassionate because she saw the pain and despair of a life without Christ. She was in the world and not of the world. Was it hard? Yes – when you are a Christian then you aren’t going to be included in some things. I’m so glad that she learned this as a child and had the opportunity to grow past this. What I have seen with Homschool children is that their faith is selfish and self-focused. They know nothing of praying with another person who is not a Christian, they know nothing of being led by the spirit to reach out to someone. And their education is focused only on what their parents value – if a subject makes them uncomfortable, they don’t teach it. You can see the effects of this in the rise of the Nazi party, as well as White Supremist groups. Government could never take God out of schools – but Christian parents are doing that just fine because they have decided that their children are their mission – this is not true. Your mission is to tell others about the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And you can’t do that while you are existing in your own family bubble. God is a powerful, almighty God. And your Homeschool belies that – it says that you don’t truly trust God to take care of your child. It says that you don’t think that your child has a mission and purpose in God’s kingdom. And my question to you is, “How can you tell non-believers to trust Christ if you aren’t willing to?” I worked 10 hour days and came home to cook supper and take care of the house and also to love on my daughter and to teach her the Bible and the love of the Lord. She has been serving Him her whole life. None of this exempts me from the commission of sharing the truth of Jesus. You have made an idol out of your family. You need to stop and watch what the Lord will do, the powerful harvest of teaching your children about Christ and then watching them go out into the world and share that love. The fields are white for the harvest now.

  50. Tammy says

    Thank you so much! This post has been both reassuring and a bleasing to me. I started to read ‘Crazy Love’ , not knowing anything about the author (the book was given to me)…and am horrified even though I only made it through a few chapters. How do people live that way?!

  51. PMJ says

    I think neither view is balanced or healthy. Insulating kids requires the privilege of time or/and money. Of course, creating an unstable environment for children defeats the purpose of parents. What happened to prayer for the safety and spiritual growth for our kids. These over insulated Christian homes sometime leave no room for the Holy Spirit to move in the lives of kids. A gospel that can’t not be substain anywhere is hardly a gospel that is God filled. Public school is a mission field and some Christain child have to attend. As a first generation believer, I have grown weary of the values of multigenerational believers who leave no room for the experiences of others and little room for their children to have their own relationship with Jesus. This is such a privilege driven form of Christianity.
    On the other hand, the mystic filled fantasy Christian faith is utterly irresponsible and it attracts the unstable make believers who will mistreat and neglect children. God gave us a mind and mystics don’t like to use it. They use Ministry as a way to cover their pain instead of sitting still and allowing the Lord to growth them in a spiritually healthy way.

  52. Patti Snee says

    Great comment by Katie – so powerful and well said. Francis is speaking truth straight from the Bible – Christianity is not easy, that’s why it’s called “taking up your cross and following Him”. Many turn away in sadness because they don’t have the Heart for it or maybe just not yet in their lives – they will hopefully come to it later in their lives. I’m really so sad when I read the above comment by Tammy that she was horrified after reading Crazy Love and this article was very comforting to her. Is the author comfortable with that response from a reader? To me that seems to say your article caused someone who was very uncomfortable after reading Crazy Love because perhaps the Holy Spirit was calling to them and causing them to awaken spiritually and this article put them back into a comfortable sleep – telling them you’re fine, you don’t really need to sacrifice that much for God – “did God really say …….???? Ring any bells. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things shall be added unto you. Just as when Jesus was teaching in parables – not everyone has a heart to really hear and understand and respond – they would rather justify their lives than challenge themselves to live more radically for God.

  53. Debra says

    Wow! I can’t tell you how much this means to me to hear this. It is crazy how people have followed his rhetoric
    despite the ungodly way he treats his wife and children, exposing them to things no child should ever have to see.
    It goes against what God says about family, church, and godly living. Well done! can’t wait to buy your book.

  54. Real Prophet says

    What I find odd is how some in the west, with two thousand years of rich Christian history, feel the need to go to some lowlife like Francis, who teaches eastern mantras and philosophies mixed with the bible.

    He should not be teaching anybody, but he ought to humble himself, renounce his eastern culture and people, to take on the full culture and people of Judeo-Christianity, which he has not done at all.

    He is totally false, and you are totally right to call him out on his bullshit.
    His wife is no better, who should have known better than to marry a lowlife like him.

  55. Real Prophet says

    I also want to commend you on identifying the Patriarchy as the model to follow, which is radical enough in the modern day.
    Simple faithfulness in the day to day chores of life, Faithful Parents raising good children in the fear of the Lord and modelling the Patriarchy to them is what pleases the Lord, not the radical rebellion Francis is promoting.
    And these children will grow up to be the Great and Godly Men and Women of Classical Christianity found in Classical Europe.

    Francis is teaching women to rebel against man in a round-about way, and seeking to hijack an entire generation of children for his new age false church agenda.

    Children who are not grounded in Orthodox Judeo-Christian culture, the culture of the West for the past two thousand years, are easily swayed in their minds, allowing the devils of the east to capture an entire generation of the good children of the west.

    Be warned and Take Heed, and Take Care.

  56. Breanna says

    Looks like this is an old article but I agree with those above that you missed the point Chan was trying to make. Also, when Paul says married people are concerned about their marriage, he’s not saying you have to make sure you’re doing every ministry along with your spouse. He’s saying that it’s easier when single to focus on the Lord because the distractions of spouse and children are not relevant in a single person’s life.

  57. laurette fox says

    I believe both are correct. God wants you to seek Him first. Francis Chan was walking with the Lord and has a heart for missions and evangelization. If you´re tight with God, he might steer you in the same direction .What I see he was saying is Choose God first and let him lead you. Itś easy to want to get married and then we get distracted with children and making our relationships work and stop putting God first.
    I´ve seen too many control freak, bossy homesschool moms who think they are doing God´s will and quote scriptures to back it up..rather than lliving a Spirit filled life. Remember, satan knows scripture too and can use it to thwart God´s plan for your family´s life.

  58. Marcin Farris says

    You took the time and effort to write this? About what exactly? This is not a doctrinal theological issue. Chan believes in the Jesus, we believe in Jesus, the rest is open for discussion. People do what is appropriate to them and their circumstance.

    This post is what I would call ridiculously wrong for wasting my time!

  59. Jon says

    Real Prophet? You are embarrassing yourself anonymously and are in danger of divisiveness, which the Bible condemns. You are an example of mono thought which this author may be as well. We homeschooled our children too, but it’s not a one size fits all. There are many factors that can’t be addressed here properly. I am saddened by the negative approach and condemnation of a good man. Not everyone agrees with each other and we have some flexibility on many issues raising children. Insulation is dangerous when it keeps us from loving our neighbor.

  60. Ashley says

    I think people that are against Francis Chan want to live a comfortable life. I have Foster kids and that is too radical for some. I consider it ordinary obedience. The way Francis lives is ordinary obedience but some consider it radical because it scares them. When I hear Francis speak, it motivates me. Let’s not tear each other down, let’s love one another even if they seem too radical to us. I don’t fit in with a lot of Christians in the church because they look at me as being different. I try to love them anyway and keep living how I feel Christ has called me. Francis is preaching the Gospel, we should rejoice in that and live how God is leading us.

  61. Jeremiah says

    this is a divisive blog post, and a misrepresentation of Chan’s entire approach to life in Christ. Isolationism and the worship of family over Jesus and the lead of the Holy Spirit is such a massive problem in the church. You don’t have to feel insecure in your own life, family or calling because someone else has a different one. Sadly that Christian isolationism is still such a problem in the Christian homeschooling community.

  62. Ruth says

    Very sad this interpretation of what actually Chan said. If you want to find blame in someone just for the fun of division among people you will find it. People, even ministers are not perfectly right. You could put in words your own ideas about what God is calling you without dragging someone’s name through the mud.

  63. Xosé D French Diéguez says

    From Argentina, Soutnh America, where we don’t have many churches as you have in the States. You think that if you have homeschooling your children are not exposed to the world. They have the world in their hearts becasuse they are sinners. You must expose your life in the wild world, not in the buble where you pretent to live. Your children must know how to defend thier faith in the real world. God will take care of them. I have 3 beatiful girls. And we left the institutional churches too to protect our faith.

  64. says

    I wonder if sometimes we are looking for formulas rather than seeking God’s will for our individual families. Each family should be worshipping our Savior and not an ideal. We homeschool because for now we believe this is God’s calling for us right now. Should He tel is differently I pray we would be willing and able to obey.


  1. […] Why Francis Chan is radically wrong Continues in a similar vein to Nick’s article above. You don’t need to accept the whole Family Integrated Church Movement’s ideas to agree with many of these points. […]

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