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Francis Chan Says He Was ‘Too Quick to Label People as False Teachers’ in the Past, Calls Christians to Unity

Francis Chan
Screengrab via YouTube.

The last two years in America have been marked by deep division on a number of different fronts, including mask and vaccine mandates, Critical Race Theory, election integrity, and voting rights. These divisions that have characterized the nation have unfortunately been almost equally present within the walls of the church. 

It is at this cultural moment that Francis Chan has an important message for Christians: church unity is not optional.

“The people who call themselves the followers of Jesus Christ are currently the most divided faith group on earth,” Chan said in a YouTube video. “And what’s crazy and terrible about this is that Jesus Christ Himself prayed that we would become perfectly one.” 

As someone who founded one of the largest churches in Ventura County, CA, has authored multiple books, and is a sought after speaker, Chan is no stranger to the intramural disputes that often occur among fellow evangelicals. Nevertheless, Chan is convinced that Christian unity is more than a quaint idea. 

“We worship a God who desires unity with His children and between His children,” Chan recently wrote in an article for Relevant. “As a father of seven, it would crush me to see any of my children rejected and separated from the others. It would anger me to see any of my children being divisive.”

RELATED: Francis Chan: What Is the Key to Unity in the Church?

Noting that “discord among brothers” is called an “abomination” in Proverbs 6:16-19, Chan said, “That should stop you dead in your tracks. You should be examining your own life right now to see if you are guilty of something that Almighty God hates so much.”

But far from pointing fingers, Chan set himself up as an example of someone who has fallen short.

“I am guilty of having sowed discord. Even now, as I study all these passages about division, I am embarrassed by my lack of remorse,” Chan said. “I have spent most of my Christian life wishing that certain pockets of Christians did not exist. I even had the audacity to pray for the deaths of certain people because I thought their removal would benefit His Kingdom on earth.” 

“I was not just a run-of-the-mill arrogant person,” Chan continued. “That’s next-level stuff! Think about the pride it requires to come before an omniscient God to share that kind of idea…I was too quick to label people as false teachers, warning believers to keep their distance from them.”

“While there is a time to warn others about false teachers, there is also a time to do your homework,” Chan continued, clarifying that he isn’t relaxing his commitment to sound doctrine. “By being too quick to judge, I have made costly mistakes. I jumped on bandwagons that were popular in my theological circle, attacking men and women whom I now know to be God’s beloved children.”