Encouraging Sunday Video, 12.21.08

A friend of mine gave me the book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan and it was a tremendous exhortation that I desperately needed. I see the hand of God as He is raising servants in this day for His glory. Pastor Chan is one of those whom God has gifted to speak a specific message to the church in America. His message of avoiding a lukewarm Christian life and being totally wrapped up in love for God is backed by his sacrificial life and the sacrifices to which he calls his church.

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5 comments so far

  1. Kent Brandenburg on

    DT or TJ,

    It is easy to figure out why he would be more popular than Jesus Christ, why his church would be bigger than Jesus Christ. Almost everything about the presentation as I watch it fits with the modern pop culture that is immersed in me. Christianity has become about me, about the consumer, consumerism. You see it with his rock trap set, his casual shirt, and his hip method of presentation. Jesus was hated. People don’t hate the pop Jesus today. He isn’t the same Jesus. I think it is admirable that he pulled away and looked at his church to see if it would fit into what Scripture taught. His conclusion: No. So what are the changes? We have a church like his just across the street from us. It is going gangbusters with numerical growth. They have the rock band, the casual style dude, and everything is about modernity and the me generation. It’s not about the nature of God and representing the image of God on earth, His attributes. So they are filled up with an unbelieving crowd that in many cases think that they’re saved. I was careful not to use the word “converted.”

  2. DT on

    I really think you’ve missed the whole point. I was there once. Thank God He’s set me free from that kind of thinking.

  3. Kent on

    I think I got the point, DT. He went on a sabbatical, even doubting his own salvation. He knew he was playing a role. He read the Bible and he figured that if Jesus or Paul had a church, it would be smaller than his and his would take members from theirs. He talks as though he would like that to change. Well, don’t make what you do about the people and make it about Christ. Represent Him. Christ is holy, separate, different, not profane. I’m about ready to publish my fourth in a series on the culture over at my blog, and I think that it nails what church has become.

    I had no problem with his lack of emphasis on building. I’ve never emphasized building. Take care of what you’ve got, but building is not a method, not anywhere in Scripture. From what he says here, living the Christian life is giving up 50% of your income to give to homeless people. I live in the homeless capital of the world and have talked to hundreds of them. They like being homeless. Sure you’ll get them to show up on that grass you plant if you feed them. Isn’t that missing the point of John 6? Jesus didn’t feed the 5,000 to teach us to feed the homeless. Paul said that if they won’t work, they shouldn’t eat. And how will they work if they don’t have the Holy Spirit to change them into the image of Christ? We should preach the gospel and we don’t need to look like’em to win’em. We’re casual and hip is all over what he says, DT. That is killing the church.

    Chan is worldly. Anyone can see it. As I was watching your youtube deal above, my 8 year old daughter walked by and I stopped it, and said, “What do you think?” She said, What’s the rock band thing in the back? I haven’t said anything about that to her. She knows what rock music associates with. It’s worldly. Christ didn’t save us to be worldly.

  4. DT on

    I respectfully disagree with you, Kent. I’ll argue with you about things like textual criticism, but I don’t think I want to argue about this. Here you have a man who, unlike so many preachers today, is able to be brutally honest in front of a huge crowd – that’s not even his church! He’s poring out his heart telling them of his own personal shortcomings, and gives an amazing testimony of how God revealed to him some of those things and how he can be more God-focused in his ministry. I know of no other church giving away that much income. I know of no other church refusing to build a multi million dollar sanctuary (the IFB pinnacle of success) so that they can be more modest. I believe this man is pointing us to what real faith in Christ is. I praise the Lord for this. If you disagree with his choice of music, so be it. But I can’t help you if that’s the thing you focus on rather than the big picture.

  5. Kent on

    What is the big picture? Christ. In Adam we all die, in Christ we’re all made alive. I can admire his willingness to admit he has been self-centered. That’s a good thing. Worship isn’t “our choice.” We give God what He wants and He’s very picky. Everyone needs to know that what we give God isn’t based on how we feel or what we like. That contradicts the message that Chan says was challenging him. Maybe what he said is hard preaching for evangelicalism. I could see how that is the case.


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