sanctified through suffering

i am a chan fan.   when i hear/read francis chan, i am attracted and repulsed simultaneously. and not just chan, but there are several fresh voices (david platt, c.j. mahaney, matt chandler, and others) who preach a message that exhorts christians to “live biblically.”  my theology has changed drastically over the last couple of years, largely due to the challenge laid down by these godly men.  i want to pursue god recklessly.

several days ago on out of ur, chan was interviewed (on video) by mark driscoll and josh harris about his reasons for leaving cornerstone church.  it’s a compelling interview and you should take a fifteen minutes and watch it.

in the interview, driscoll asked chan a question that startled me, and i would really like my brilliant readers to weigh in on it.  i had to run it back and listen to it again.  driscoll asked (and i paraphrase), “you seem to believe that sanctification happens through poverty, suffering, and simplicity.  what do you do when god blesses?  what if god wants to sanctify you not through poverty, but generosity?  and not through suffering, but blessing?  and not through simplicity, but complexity?

it seems to me that driscoll was asking, “were you feeling spiritually uncomfortable because your church was growing and you were selling lots of books?  is that why you left your church?”

so what so you think, scholarly friends?

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5 thoughts on “sanctified through suffering

  1. Wow, what an amazing interview. I think I might respect him more now that I have heard his thought process and reasoning behind what he is doing. He seems to be carefully guarding himself against self-righteousness that comes in the form of both erroneous doctrines, poverty and prosperity. I have not had much opportunity to indulge in prosperity-driven self-righteousness, but I have had plenty of opportunities to sling stones at people that haven’t “sacrificed” as much as I have (which is ridiculous, of course). He serves as a thoughtful, humble example against that.

    Watching that sort of reminded me of looking in on a small group, rather than listening to an interview. Pretty cool.

    • great to hear from you, web…i miss you. i get the sense that there is a depth to this conversation that is yet to unfold. can’t wait.

      • I miss you too, my friend. Thanks for calling last week when my dad died. I appreciate your friendship. Watching Harris, Chan, and Driscoll sit around a table asking tough questions of each other reminds me of Thursday mornings with you–though none of us was rejoicing in the ability to write out a check for a hospital, or even to a hospital, for that matter.

        Say “hi” to the guys for me. Ask them some tough questions!

  2. Not sure how brilliant I am but I do want to comment on a couple of things I noticed in the interview….to answer the question posed…I believe God can use what ever “method of growth” he chooses to sanctify us…wealth or poverty. I wonder how many of us would be able to write a check for a hospital if we ditched our preconceived ideas about wealth and poverty and simply lived flat out for God?
    Chan seems to want to do just that. He referenced convictions and beliefs he has had since high school that he is now wanting to begin to live out. Driscoll’s remark to Chan’s beliefs almost seemed flippant to me….”the prophetic dreamer is just who you are”. It seemed to me Driscoll was passing off Chan’s beliefs and convictions and the desires to llve them out as an excuse to not live passionately for God. I wonder if the level of commitment and devotion we see in Chan isn’t where we are all supposed to be living…perhaps he is holding true to beliefs of presenting a true picture of a new testament believer and we are uncomfortable with that and we just pass it off as a gifting some people have and not others. Just wondering….
    Also, I have to admire Chan for having the guts, if you will, to leave Simi Valley and work on the other location in LA to show Simi Valley a truer version of the new testament church. Would be that many more leaders had fortitude enough to stay connected(noticed Chan is a lay elder at Simi now…interesting) to a less functional model of the new testament church and live out what God is calling them to. I admire Chan’s humility to simply want to live his life as He feels God is leading. He is trusting God to handle all the details. It appears to me he knows his true role and place as a follower of God…not the creator of a church…
    Sorry to divert from the question of sanctification…

  3. I too am equal parts repulsed and drawn too the words of F. Chan. But I must say, I came away from this having more respect for Driscoll. I used to just like Mark because he occasionally used profanity during sermons but I have really fallen in love with his knowledge of the Bible.

    It’s actually easier just to side with Chan because he seems to living more like Paul and Silas. But there is something to be said for a pastor that builds and church and sticks with it till death does them part.

    It’s called plodding. It’s a great trait.

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