Francis Chan Talks Speaking in Tongues, Virgin Mary, Calvinism, Transubstantiation, and John Piper Endorsing a Heretic

In a recent interview with Remnant Radio, Francis Chan, once a Master’s Seminary grad and now a spiritually squirrely scoundrel who was last seen healing an entire village without the Holy Spirit, butchering church history, and speaking at a Roman Catholic conference, covered a whole gamut of topics in an exquisitely interesting interview, demonstrating that he is confused, unmoored, and uncertain about what he believes, tossed to and fro yet touted as a highly sought after leader. Here are a few nuggets from the program.

John Piper says Mike Bickle loves Jesus 

I got so much hate mail, that I remember asking John Piper where I go, ‘man, what do you know about Mike Bickle?’ Like I’m getting so many people angry, you know, and kinda asking his permission almost. He goes ‘Francis, if you’re asking me if I’m mad at you because you’re going to speak for Mike Bickle,’ he goes, ‘no, I’m not. I tell you he loves Jesus.’ He goes, ‘I don’t know all his theology and I think we differ some on eschatological things,’ he goes ‘but he loves Jesus.’  And that’s exactly what I found in Mike – ah the man loves Jesus. 

Speaking in tongues 

Now I will say in the last two years, it was during a conversation with Sam Storms, and I was speaking with him on the phone about that very issue, I believe I began to speak in tongues, (apparently, N.T. Wright and Max Lucado also speak in tongues) and it was kind of a shock to me, and then it wasn’t until a trip to Burma a little over a year ago that I experienced healing and miracles.  I believed they could happen but I never sought and never was the vehicle in which it came, but then it happened.

Meeting Roman Catholic Matt Maher and an analogy comparing meeting the Virgin Mary to meeting known heretics.

And so I’m meeting these people (Roman Catholics) and they have such a character and love for Jesus and their understanding of justification by faith sure sounds a lot like I was told. 

And so I don’t know man, I’m trying to do my best but I have this fear, and I think it’s a right fear that if I believe I see the Holy Spirit in a person’s life, based upon what they say about the blood of Christ, based upon the fruit of the spirit I see in their life, based upon the power I see in them, their love for the word of God, I’m going, ‘gosh this person sure acts a lot like Jesus, speaks a lot like Jesus, sure seems to have the Holy Spirit in them,’ I have a hard time like just…saying anything irreverent about them.

Or not that I don’t question their theology, because I do, but I have a reverence. I tell people it’s like the Virgin Mary.  Like if I lived in that day and I knew the Virgin Mary was carrying my savior, that Jesus was really in her womb, how would I treat Mary, Ok? She could throw a rock at me And I’ll be like, okay, but Jesus is in you.  My point is if Jesus is in her I’m gonna be really, really reverent with her. Honor her. And so if I believe the Holy Spirit of God is in you, I’m just not so quick to say anything like strongly against you.  

 The hosts get sloppy

What we all agree on is that we can’t save ourselves, Jesus stepped in, and Jesus saved us.  Now the mechanics of that and how that works out are Arminianism and Calvinism and Molinism and all the other isms, but what we’re agreeing on is the essential piece, right? The essential piece is the Trinity. The essential piece is the virgin birth. The essential piece is gospel that saves men by grace through faith. Right, like those are the essential pieces.

[Editor’s note: No, the essential piece is that gospel that saves men is by grace ALONE, through faith ALONE, in Christ’s work ALONE.  This clarity matters in light of the way Francis is obfuscating justification with the papists.]

On whether or not he is still a Calvinist

I’m like…can you be like 50 percent? And I’m not even saying like 4.3.5. I’m like… I’m like….yeah 60%.  Like I used to be so 100% sure of everything and the more I listen I’m going, ‘gosh, it’s not that easy.’

Transubstantiation and the Real Prescence

I was always just told it is just a symbol, and so if you believe it’s anything other than that it’s wrong and you’re Catholic. Now I just assumed that’s what even Protestants have always believed…I really didn’t understand my church history, I didn’t understand… I never studied the first 300 years of church history deeply and that’s what I was challenged to do.  And I started reading more and more of the ancient fathers.  And again, I’m not a brilliant scholar, I’m just reading going wow, this seemed like the common view. It seemed like no one really saw it as just a symbol with no Real Presence until about 500 years ago, so I’m like gosh you know, the best I can there’s something. Now does that mean it turns into the literal body and blood of Jesus at this time, I don’t…I don’t think so, but it’s…it’s, to me my best understanding is there’s more to it than just anything…

Where I land specifically I’m still not sure. I just know I have a much higher reverence for it.

Part 2 coming soon.

3 thoughts on “Francis Chan Talks Speaking in Tongues, Virgin Mary, Calvinism, Transubstantiation, and John Piper Endorsing a Heretic

  1. Francis needs a biblically sound pastor in his life. Which means he needs to let the Lord lead him to a sound church where he can ask his questions and get biblical answers. He was trained, apparently, to preach and start mega churches, but not to be doctrinally sound. He, like so many, was ordained as a novice, and is being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
    We all need to be in solid bible-believing, Word-preaching churches. Things are only going to get more wacky in this world as time goes on, and the church “is the pillar and ground of the truth.”

    May God help Francis, and those who follow him.

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