I found myself watching a lot of Francis Chan videos today. I watched the first 5 videos of his Crazy Love accompaniment series, his intro on Erasing Hell, and I am currently listening to his Passion 2013 preaching.
I admire this man for his passion and being very God-centered whenever he preaches. He’s also one of the few pastors I know who actually practice what they preach. (You can easily Google him if you want to know more about his ministry. He also has a website.) My favorite anecdote of him, however, is related to his Rob Bell encounter. No, I was not amused with the mere thought of having them together in one photo (well, I admit, I sorta did get aww-faced). What’s interesting is this story about how Francis made some statements directed at Rob during Exponential in 2011. No, it was not the fact that he made a few sarcastic comments that amused me. Apparently, during the event, a friend of Rob’s was in the audience and he relays this to us (and I quote):
So as soon as the first session was over, I went directly to Francis Chan and confronted him. I shared with him my disappointment and the hurt that had been caused by “off the cuff” jokes, and that perhaps there were a more healthy platform from which to communicate our differences.
Francis Chan looked me (vein pulsing in forehead), and I about melted in fear. Who am I to question this prophet of the Lord? I’m just a spiritually-limping, recovering Pharisee. I apologized if there was no truth in my claim, but exhorted him to do an inventory of his soul and question his motivation.
Francis Chan began to weep. Tears began to fall as he received my humble, sloppy words. He thanked me for confronting him, and admitted that he felt convicted by the Holy Spirit for taking a cheap shot at another brother.He also added his deep angst over the recent work of Rob Bell, and that it could be very confusing to the emerging generation. “But I promise you,” he said..”I will personally call Rob, and we will talk privately about our differences!”
A few minutes later, Francis Chan opened his 2nd session with a lengthy apology to Rob Bell. And the twitter generation responded accordingly.
I have not seen Rob since this incident, but I did follow up to see if Francis Chan had followed through with his promise. Yes! Indeed, two of the most beloved voices in our generation had talked privately about their (clear) differences, and have agreed to disagree ~ under the banner of Christ’s greatest commandment. Love.
I stumbled into this picture, and wept.
Kudos to Francis and Rob for this. I can only imagine the amount of meekness needed to be able to acknowledge one’s fault and to actually go & apologize to those who was hurt. I can only imagine the amount of humility needed to accept the apology gracefully, too. But then, when I realize that Christ was able to be meek and humble for us, then I find myself not surprised at all that Francis and Rob are able to live peacefully amidst their differences.
I can somewhat relate to Francis. Because of my utmost passion, I find myself offending some people along the way. I have recently learned how to admit my mistakes and apologize–something that’s hard to do because of my utmost pride, but something that’s possible through Christ’s help.
Awesome example. Passion that’s still aligned with His Word.
Today’s TGIF piece talked about Proverbs 17:17, a verse that we probably have already memorized.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
The material ends by asking if we have any friends who would drop what they’re doing to help us, and if we can do the same for other friends. It’s quite comforting to know that I do have friends whom I know will be there through thick and thin. Yet, it was disturbing for me to realize that I haven’t offered the same level of commitment to most of them.
I always go emo and have a dramatic spiel about not having super kaduper best friends but now, I have realized that maybe it’s just time for me to actually BE A FRIEND to others rather than focusing on myself.
Cool reflection item for today. Who needs a friend? :)