Well-known author and preacher Francis Chan is challenging churches to stop sugarcoating the gospel.
In a recent talk at a Q Commons event, Chan joined author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell, and author Rebekah Lyons to “educate Christians on how they can bring hope and leadership to their communities in a critical cultural moment.”
Chan, a notable international preacher, talked about a controversial and convicting topic: churches sugarcoating the gospel to get more people in the doors.
“Why didn’t Jesus do that?” Chan would ask later.
“Jesus had no problem losing the crowds,” Chan declared at the event, sharing an excerpt from 2 Corinthians 4:2-4.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.2 Corinthians 4:2-4
Chan pointed out that he himself struggles with the passage.
He pointed out that the Bible calls Christians to be outright in their beliefs and convictions, yet “in this day in age, You want me to just say it directly, rather than nuance it carefully?”
“Paul had no problem with just saying ‘I’m just going to lay it all out because if you don’t get it, it’s because the god of this world is blinding your minds,’” Chan added.
The “Crazy Love” author explained that it’s on churches in the United States to teach what it is to have “the fear of God,” what the end times are, and other difficult topics that churches tend to shy away from.
“There is a judgment that’s coming,” Chan pointed out, adding that the Bible is “so much about the judgment of God.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to not talk about a fear of God, not to talk about His holiness, and just kind of slowly talk to them about their needs, their hurts, their feelings?” he asked rhetorically.
He pointed out that many churches in America leave the hard topics regarding the wrath of God “for later” but consequently never end up preaching on the topics.
“Jesus had no problem losing the crowds. We’re infatuated with numbers. Jesus wasn’t.”
“God wants His church to be pure,” Chan added.
Pulling from her own personal experience, Chan explained how he left his own megachurch to start a smaller church because of a call he had to do so. He went from pastoring thousands to only a few, which was perceived failure by many.
“It doesn’t work, not in America,” he explained. “Your definition of work is that you have the same number of people that you used to have when you did it the other way. No, I don’t.”
“It was thousands and now its hundreds, barely. But is it closer to what I see in [the Bible], is the love for one another closer to what I see described in [the Bible]? Are people using their gifts? Is it a hundred times closer to what I believe Jesus asked for? Absolutely.”
Chan is part of a nationwide tour, in which Q Commons is focused on creating a better community and a better future for citizens.
Interested in learning more about Q Commons? Find out more here.