Dear Francis Chan,
I watched your address at the OneThing 2015 Conference. Audrey Assad sang a beautiful song about loving Jesus “even unto death,” and you spoke about Christians having an attitude of joy towards suffering and persecution. The implication seemed to be that Catholics were part of the Body of Christ because they were willing to suffer and die for the Lord. It’s very reasonable to think that any person carrying the name of Jesus who is willing to die for him is pleasing to God, but martyrdom is not an indicator of salvation.
Even though we may want to honor the passion our Catholic friends have toward Jesus, we still have to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Paul spoke of those who were so ardent that they were willing to give their body to be burned, but he wasn’t afraid to tell them their martyrdom may profit them nothing.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; KJV)
One aspect of the love we have is that of love toward our neighbor, and Paul lists several ways to love people as the chapter continues, but another aspect of love is our love toward God. This is the greatest love we could ever have.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39; KJV)
This is our FIRST LOVE. But Jesus told the church at Ephesus that he would remove their candlestick because they had left their first love.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:4; KJV)
You could make the claim that the Catholic attendees love God. They sing about it in their songs and they teach about connecting to God through intensive prayer, yet Jesus told us that those who worship God must worship him in the Holy Spirit and in Truth. He said these are the characteristics of TRUE WORSHIPERS.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 14:23-24; KJV)
It’s possible to be a FALSE WORSHIPER. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” is a true worshiper. The obvious concern of many Christians who think what you and Mike Bickle have done by blending with Catholics at IHOP is that you are promoting false Catholic doctrine, but true worshipers must worship in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.
How is it possible for you and Mike to blend with Catholics when their doctrines are at odds with TRUTH? The priesthood, celibacy (a false doctrine whose consequences were exposed in the Oscar-nominated movie Spotlight),
purgatory, the Eucharist, indulgences, mystical union, asceticism, and other doctrines are all based on sources and teachings outside of the canon of scripture. These were battles that were fought already during the Reformation! Christians were even burned and tortured by the Catholic inquisitors in order to oppose them and stand for TRUTH.
Yet you seem to be willing to align yourselves with them because they sing love songs and pursue God in a “deeper” way. I would argue that these are seductions. After a while Amos said that God didn’t even want to hear the worship music of the Israelites because they were no longer faithful to him. (Amos 5:8) How long would you be impressed by the romantic gestures someone you’re engaged to if you knew she had other lovers? So even if Catholics produce beautiful worship music, that doesn’t mean they have a heart toward God. (Even Satan led the worship in heaven.) No. The thing that pleases God is purity and holiness toward the TRUTH. We are saved because we believe the truth.
because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (2 Thessalonians 2:13; KJV)
The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Holiness. This is another concern that I have. The conference you spoke at was named OneThing. Everywhere I turn I see the word “ONE.” This can be a very deceptive word because it is being used by every group or person that is trying to develop strength and power through unity. The “spirit of oneness” tries to unite things that are different, but the Holy Spirit unites things that are whole and uncorrupted. “Oneness”is a false spirit masquerading as the Holy Spirit!
Yes, Jesus prayed in John 17:21 that the church would be ONE, but he also prayed that the church would be sanctified by the TRUTH (John 17:17). We can’t be unified with those who haven’t been sanctified (set apart) by the truth. Catholicism is corrupted by man-made traditions and Greek philosophy. They are defiled by falsehood. Again, we have to rightly divide the Word of Truth!
Even you recognize that part of your mind must compromise in order to blend with the Catholics. You admitted that when you preached. But you have to love the Lord with ALL your mind. You can’t keep back a part of your mind and make justifications for people no matter how much you feel love for them. Your love for them doesn’t make them a part of Christ’s body, the belief of the TRUTH makes them part of the Body of Christ.
You know we are commanded to SPEAK THE TRUTH in love. It isn’t true love to pat Catholics on the back and act like they’re your brother or sister while they’re actually perishing. True love will tell the Catholics to come out of their falsehood and come into the truth of the Gospel. If their hearts truly love Jesus, why would they remain in their rebellion and deception? Why would they stay in a church that demands the celibacy of their priests? Why would they even have priests? These aren’t biblical doctrines, but they remain part of Catholic doctrine. And as long as these and other false teachings remain we can’t join with them.
When you compromise the truth you betray Jesus who is THE TRUTH. You cause his death and others who died on behalf of the truth to have died in vain. When you (or Mike Bickle) join with the Catholic mystics (who were promoted by Dan Burke at the OneThing conference) you say the way to God is no longer the blood of Jesus alone. It’s now the blood of Jesus PLUS sacrificial ascetic activity. This is worse than Nadab and Abihu who merely added incense to the blood sacrifice.
Catholic mysticism is strange fire. It makes the presence of God something we need to press into–but have you forgotten that as a result of the Cross THE VEIL WAS TORN? Have you also forgotten that Teresa of Avila, the great Catholic mystic who was honored at OneThing, opposed the Reformation? She even levitated while she was in one of her mystical states.
Catholic mysticism is also spiritual fornication because it’s the attempt to attain divine union before the marriage of the Lamb has occurred. It’s the ministry of Jezebel of Thyatira–that unfaithful spiritual fornicator.We aren’t married yet! We’re still engaged.
I ask you to reconsider your involvement with Mike Bickle and OneThing. Oppose the “Major Change” Bickle is trying to bring to the church. I have great concerns that the change that’s coming is the Great Apostasy.
As I watch evangelicals such as James Robison, Joel Osteen, John Arnott, Kenneth Copeland, and other leaders meet with Pope Francis, I can’t help but be grieved. Where is their heart toward God? Where is their faithfulness to their “first love?”
When they betray the TRUTH they betray God. They betray the Spirit of HOLINESS. They follow in the shoes of Lucifer, the ancient Israelites who worshiped Baal, Judas, and all those who questioned God’s Word and loved other gods.
Will you also join with Babylon? If you join with the Catholic church, will you be joining with Pope Francis, who has now called Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews children of God?
Do you agree with this message? If not, how can two walk together except they be agreed?
I could write so much more about this, but I will leave you with 2 scriptures to remind you that TRUTH is important to God. If we don’t love the truth we’ll be given over to a strong delusion and we will be in union with the Father of Lies, but we can’t drink of the cup of God and the cup of demons! If we do these things we “provoke the Lord to jealousy.” (1 Cor. 10:22)
While it may seem like your position is one of “crazy love,” won’t you remember your FIRST LOVE and be faithful to His heart? You see, God has a heart too. And he’s searching for a pure Bride that shares his heart and values–one with whom he can share eternity.
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. (Psalm 145:18; KJV)
O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. (Jeremiah 5:3; KJV)
Sincerely and Faithfully,
Greg and Diana Lesperance
Seems right-on to me! Thanks for being willing to question the “mainstream” preaching about unity. The enemy will even deceive the “elect”. (Mark 13:22). Francis is blending truth with error.
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Now I see that Francis Chan is going to be a speaker at “Together 2016” in Washington, D.C. on July 16th, and Pope Francis will be sharing a message with the evangelicals in attendance. Will they swoon over the attention he gives to them? We’ll see.
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It’s tragic that the author doesn’t consider how she’s exposed her own hypocrisy in being quick to criticize IHOP without serious participating to see if her grossly bogus accusations have any foundation in reality, which as a 30+ year veteran I can assure you they don’t (blessed by dear Mike Bicle for decades), as she sadly deceives the gullible, like the above commenters she’s sadly fooled with lies for which God will hold her accountable, even if she’s ignorant that they ARE lies as an agent for the accuser of the brothers, Revelation 12.
“It’s possible to be a FALSE WORSHIPER. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” is a true worshiper.
Sad she’s likely too proud and vain and Biblically and historically illiterate to receive such correction. God save us all.
What lies have I told?
Well, I don’t think the author lies at all. But she may well know the false doctrines of Catholicism better than most, and she sure knows her Bible or she wouldn’t have such good discernment. I for one really appreciate her loving attitude shown to all, even the deceived who disagree with her stand on the Bible. There is no excuse for Bible believers being unequally yoked together with those that twist the Scriptures as much as Catholicism does. If you join with the Catholics you’re agreeing with their false doctrines. I think Mike Bickle, along with many other Charismania leaders, are more or less in all this unity for fame and fortune, which is unfortunate. God will hold these proud men accountable for their actions one day. And I do believe we’re living in the end times, and the age of great apostasy.
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acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, …
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved….
i dont think peter, whom you are not nearly equal to in authority, understanding or revelation, placed the qualifiers on salvation that you do…
your pride to condemn is a stumblingblock, and moreover no man on earth has perfect doctrine, so if you fellowship with anyone, which we are commanded to do, you by definition are “blending” yourself with error of one sort or another sister.
the catholic faith may be wrong about some important issues, but i find as a whole they love people better than evangelicals do by far, and did you not quote that without love you are wasting your time. let me ask you, is pride and walking on your own self righteousness ever considered love by Jesus? no. how about you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and leave the greater issues to those who have been given the voice to speak into it? if i speak truth without love, i am as proverbs 12 describes, a false witness.
12:17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword (truth without love): but the tongue of the wise is health.
19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Richard…you said, “the catholic faith may be wrong about some important issues…”Those important issues are the Doctrines of God, and we are warned to know the difference between those and the “Doctrines of Devils” (1 Timothy 4:1…look at the list). I may enjoy someone’s ‘love’ but if they’re worshiping doctrines of devils, I won’t fellowship with them, and will warn them to get their doctrines (truths) lined up with God’s so they’ll be believing truth instead of lies.
Catholic doctrines are so off the mark it’s hard to know where to start. But it grieves me to see my Catholic friends praying to Mary, and one even has a statue of Mary in her living room. No doubt who her god is. The Catholic church gives Mary the same Divine attributes of Jesus…perfection (Immaculate Conception), Co-Redemptrix (Savior), etc, etc, etc…too many to mention here. It’s probably Catholicism’s worst heresy as it encourages people to worship and serve a creature more than the Creator (Romans 1:25).
We are not to be joined together with unbelievers, either in marriage or in our worship. And that is why it’s a real sign of the apostasy of these end times that so many ‘Christian’ organizations are signing on with Catholicism.
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I was just reading a biography of William Tyndale today, and how he was called a heretic by the Catholics — and then hanged and burned — on a stake that looked like a cross.
Praise God for the courage and faithfulness of our forefathers. It saddens me to see that Protestants would give in to false doctrines in the name of “LOVE.” Evangelicals are being seduced in the same way that teenage girls are seduced by the word “love.” Not everyone who uses the word “love” has pure motives.
Also … we can’t use our emotions to gauge the truth of something. We can’t say we believe something is true because “we could feel it in our spirit.” We have to have the plumb line of Amos. We have to be Bereans and measure everything against the truth of the Word.
The Lord is coming for a Bride that he can be equally yoked with. How can there ever be peace in heaven if His church refuses to submit to His truth?
Oh precious little lambs! Love the truth. Seek the truth. Honor the truth. Abhor false doctrine. Don’t you want to have the same heart as the Lord? Don’t compromise! It will be your downfall.
If “lying lips are abomination to the Lord” then how can you support the willingness of Mike Bickle and Francis Chan to join themselves with Catholicism?
Catholics are not calling upon the name of the true Lord Jesus…they’re calling upon the name of “another Jesus” and “another Gospel.”
If it wasn’t possible to call upon a false Jesus, then why did Paul warn us about it?
Please love the truth because it’s by loving the truth (the true Jesus) that we are saved.
” . . . because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thes. 2:9)
I have learned to not only do what God commands me to do but to also refrain from doing what God says not to do. I would simply suggest you perform even a minor search of God’s Word on that topic. Also, your words are, from another viewpoint, very encouraging. Any true work of God will be met with resistance from the religious, just as was the works of our King, Jesus. I’ll tell you what I tell people from all walks of life when speaking of eternity with or without the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: we all encounter people way smarter than you or me–some who believe, some who don’t. Conversely, we all know of people perhaps not so bright–some who believe and some who don’t. Ask the Father what is real and He will show you. For, if a man can talk you into it, another can talk you out. I’ve asked and my God has assured me beyond doubt the veracity of Mike Bickle’s ministry. Conversely, he’s warned me explicitly concerning ever-present nay-sayers.
How did God assure you of the “veracity” of Mike Bickle’s ministry?
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Wow. Though I fear your predetermined resistance will preclude your ability to understand my plea to and for you, I would but point you to Proverbs 6:16-19 and the 7th thing that, arguably, God deems most detestable. Moreover, I would that you, as do I, seek God’s opinion on this matter through prayer for the same enlightenment from Him that brought you to the knowledge of the Truth that is Christ Jesus and eternal life; seek that which transcends all earthly understanding, doing so in love and forgiveness rather than out of fear and distrust. For God has not given you a spirit of fear but of love, power, and of a sound mind.
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
So am I understanding you to say that God finds me detestable because I defend the truth of the Word, rather than being “enlightened” about God’s opinion of something through praying?
I would argue that Mike Bickle and Francis Chan and the Catholics are false witnesses who are sowing discord among the brethren because they aren’t adhering to the Word of truth. THEY are false witnesses who have left the way.
The Catholics add nonsense to God’s Word…and we are commanded to have no fellowship with them if they do this. They’re false teachers who lead the flock astray. The flock needs to be warned.
I hope you will be open to the Word of God and not some sort of revelation you received through praying. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13) He would not lead you to something that conflicts with the true Jesus found in the Word of God.
Blessings and hope that God would keep us all in his truth,
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I came to faith by hearing (reading) the Word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
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Thank you Diana for your stand for the truth of God’s Word. We live in Italy and we never cease to be amazed how gullible many Americans are about the Catholic Church and it’s terrible hold it has over the conscience and souls of millions of people.
We see every day close-up this reality here in the heartland of the Catholic Church and the terrible ignorance and crushing guilt that plague the Italian people who daily go to Church pleading God to “say just the word and we will be saved” and returning home convinced that their sins have NOT been forgiven and must of necessity return again. It is for this reason that most Catholics in our city where we live have no faith in Jesus and call daily upon their saints and the “Madonna” in the vain hope that one of them will go to Jesus who in turn will go to the Father (a being who is to them unreachable because of their sense of overwhelming guilt) and present their requests to Him.
However, the greatest proof of the need to speak the truth in love to Catholics as you are doing is evident when you attend a prayer meeting here of those whose eyes have been opened by the grace of God and who have placed all their trust in Jesus – and in Jesus alone – for the salvation of their souls. Come to Italy and listen to their testimonies of how they lived in anguish and darkness, wracked by doubts and fear and reflect on how they have found the peace that passes all understanding and have thrown away their idols and false gods to dedicate their lives to Jesus, the one and only Mediator between man and God.
We do no service to Catholics when we preach a watered down gospel and indulge them in their idolatry and this is borne out by the testimonies of those here in our city who have embraced the gospel and renounced their life of spiritual rebellion and fornication
David e Giovanna
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Your description of Catholics still under bondage is heart breaking. May God richly bless your group of believers who have seen truth. I am in America and an American Christian and admire you immensely.