Author and pastor Francis Chan believes the so-called “LGBT agenda” could threaten the financial autonomy of the Christian church in the United States.
Speaking with the U.K.-based outlet Premier, the “Crazy Love” author said the work of pro-LGBTQ activists could put churches’ tax breaks from the IRS in jeopardy, which would — by his estimation — make expensive services run by numerous megachurches around the country untenable.
“Do you realize how volatile our system is of our church gatherings? How much money it requires?” Chan asked. “All it takes is one law that changes the tax breaks that we get and so many churches would have to shut their doors.“
He continued, “When you look at the LGBT agenda, and whatever else is going on in the government, you just think: ‘How can I continue with this system that is so dependent on so much money and so many breaks from the government?’”
Megachurches, the 51-year-old minister said, “can’t be the future” because “too much has changed,” referring to the cultural landscape in the U.S. and abroad. Chan noted that persecution in the West hasn’t happened yet, but warned “it certainly seems like it’s headed in that direction.”
What is Chan’s solution?
Chan has been arguing against megachurches for years, ever since he stepped down in 2010 as the lead pastor of the Simi Valley church he and his wife, Lisa, founded in 1994.
In his new book, “Letters to the Church,” Chan makes the case for smaller congregations and house churches. Talking about the new title, Chan said last year he “got tired of hearing my own voice.”
“I felt like people relied on my voice too much and they weren’t getting in the Word for themselves, that they weren’t seeking God on their own,” he added during a discussion with Relevant.
He told Premier the Christian movement and the Gospel message advance best not with one person “preaching to thousands but by mobilizing hundreds and thousands of believers to trust the word of God and trust the Holy Spirit.”
The best way to lead people to Christ and help them encounter the Holy Spirit, Chan explained, is “in smaller expressions” instead of through megachurches where one person is teaching when “there’s 1,000 people in the room.”