why Francis Chan is radically wrong

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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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Comments

  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”.
    http://www.allgodschildrenthefilm.com/
    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
    http://bible.com/1588/1jn.2.26-27.AMP

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