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