Francis Chan

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by AnnaBanana, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Hey Friends,

    I was listening to a Youtube video that just came out from Francis Chan and his wife- Marriage Night, and I really enjoyed it. I am just seeing what your thoughts are on him?

    This is a total side note but: is it okay for me to listen to (not always) youtube/podcasts on marriage if I am not yet married or even in a relationship? I am in a season of sadness as I see many around me enjoying their relationships with their wife/husband/children - even though I am SO happy and joyful for their union together!- the thought still remains within me.. that I am alone. I know the Lord is with me, and HE IS ENOUGH.. but, the physical comfort of having someone to go home to and walk in the Lord with - gosh, I have been truly desiring that. If you have a spare moment- please say a prayer for me. That my heart would be content with where the Lord has me. Believe me, the Lord has blessed me in tremendous ways, not saying that at all,... I hope it doesn't come across as I am ungrateful. I am debating deleting social media... as I believe the majority of sadness comes from seeing the beautiful families online and reminding me that at this moment, I do not have one. Does that make sense?
  2. LadyCalvinist

    LadyCalvinist Puritan Board Junior

    Praying, I know how you feel. I am in my 50's never married, and I very much desired a family. I do not think there is anything wrong with watching videos about marriage as long as it does not creates envy/covetousness in your heart. Hold onto the Lord as He is everything.
  3. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

  4. RJ Spencer

    RJ Spencer Puritan Board Freshman

    Even before all of these issues with him associating with false prophets in the charismania movement, I never cared for Chan. His preaching was never expository, he just told stories. I pray that he returns to his reformed roots, but he seems to be more interested with the opinions of men rather than the opinion of God. Men pleasers can be good for nothing.
    When my brother came to Christ he listened to Chan quite often and started to follow Chan to the charismatic crowd... I'm so glad that he had enough biblical knowledge that it was fairly easy to point out the mistakes of the charismatic movement and bring him back to orthodoxy.
  5. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    I think meditating on the Lord's truth regarding marriage is a very good thing. There is nothing wrong with you desiring this at all - it is not good for man (or woman!) to be alone. I would encourage all godly singles who desire marriage to learn all they can. If you find that it produces discontentment and more heartache, well, take a break and focus on something else.

    I remember hating being single. Even though I was married at age 24 it still felt too long to wait lol. So I have compassion on you and other godly singles who desire marriage and the internal conflict that comes with not having that desire fulfilled. What you desire is a good thing.

    I don't have much more to offer other than words of encouragement and prayer. Hang in there.
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  6. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    I completely feel for you as I am in the same boat!
    We have to keep trusting. There is nothing wrong at all with learning about what you might want for the future. Otherwise, what would be the point for moving from one job to another?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  7. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    There is nothing wrong in desiring marriage and a family. But in the mean time, see to it that the sweet spirit of devout resignation to God's will that is found in this hymn, be found in you...

    Whate'er my God ordains is right:
    Holy his will abideth;
    I will be still whate'er he doth;
    And follow where he guideth:
    He is my God: though dark my road,
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    Wherefore to him I leave it all.

    Whate'er my God ordains is right:
    He never will deceive me;
    He leads me by the proper path;
    I know he will not leave me:
    I take, content, what he hath sent;
    His hand can turn my griefs away,
    And patiently I wait his day.

    Whate'er my God ordains is right:
    Though now this cup, in drinking,
    May bitter seem to my faint heart,
    I take it, all unshrinking:
    My God is true; each morn anew
    Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
    And pain and sorrow shall depart.

    Whate'er my God ordains is right:
    Here shall my stand be taken;
    Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
    Yet am I not forsaken;
    My Father's care is round me there;
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    And so to him I leave it all.

    —Samuel Rodigast, 1675
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  8. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Lest I brought about any confusion I changed my wording, I hope the context was clear enough to mean that I meant "I feel" as opposed to fell. Apparently, autocorrect turned itself back on.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  9. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    We observers were paying close attention. Now we are sorely disappointed.
  10. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes I understood, :)
  11. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Just a word of encouragement. It seems that the Lord brought my wife and I together when we were both content in our singleness. I've heard the same from others as well. The desire is good, but find all your contentment in God. He will bless you with what's best.
  12. CovenantWord

    CovenantWord Puritan Board Freshman

    Dear Anna,
    Please do not be offended by my reciting the following. Whatever you already know, just take as affirmation of your belief and practice.
    -- The estate of celibacy is in no way inferior to the estate of marriage (1 Cor. 7:8). In fact, Paul points out that remaining single offers some distinct advantages unto the Kingdom (1 Cor. 7:28, 31b-35).
    -- We Christians are, of course, to set aside anything, no matter how good in itself, that distracts us from spirituality (Matt. 18:8), including social media. However, this need not necessarily be permanent. It is not an uncommon blessing to be able to exercise better self-control when one sets aside a portion of the supply of Providence. This is one of the fruits of fasting.
    -- It is good stewardship to use those tools that God makes available to us -- even the Internet, which can be of assistance in situations such as yours, when used judiciously. Should you choose to stay on, or return to, FaceBook, I have heard good things about Reformed Harmony, which emphasizes that friendship should be prior to romance:
    -- Keep praying (Gal. 6:5). The spiritual strength that you develop in so doing will prove a great blessing to yourself and to others as well.
    -- Pray regularly with a godly, experienced, loving woman friend (Gal. 6:2). This opportunity of mutual encouragement is as beautiful as it is rare.
    Anna, you are beloved of our tender and gracious Lord. Never forget that.

    Peace, Steven Anderson
  13. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    A most suggestive name. :stirpot:
  14. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    On a more serious note, I would advise the author of the OP to ignore most of the pious advice that will inevitably be proffered by those who wish to heal wounds lightly. Singleness, for someone who does not want to be single, is an awful affliction. Anyone who does not understand this point knows nothing of human experience.

    Indeed, I have often noticed that those who make these sort of trite observations are usually those who had it dead easy themselves by getting married in their early twenties with no major problems along the way. They often make no effort to deal empathetically with those who have not had it as easy as they have.

    Before anyone says, "If you have the Lord, you have all that you need" remember that God himself said after creating Adam that "It is not good for man to be alone." Keep in mind that God said that before the Fall. If it was true prior to the entrance of sin into the world, then how much more is it true in a fallen world?
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  15. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Anna, I totally understand your OP. Social media is indeed a big problem, because it portrays people only on their good days. Think about it, have you ever seen someone post on facebook "had a crappy day today, my wife and I had a giant argument and the kids fought all day"...yet, these are real life things. Facebook and twitter can literally cause you to be envious of an alternate "reality" that really isn't even real.

    My encouragement to you is to keep praying. Tell God exactly how you feel. Last May I thought I blew it with a girl I really liked. Then I met someone else and....I was married 3 weeks ago to the most wonderful girl in the world. Things can happy very, very quickly. Take heart!
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  16. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    It is important to study God's word regarding all the normative stages of life. Without doing so, it's difficult to have the objective perspective necessary when planning a funeral, expecting a baby, or going all googly-eyed over a fella. Knowing God's word first is critical when the emotions take over.

    One of my favorite hymns in all of life's seasons!
  17. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Amen, amen, amen. I was single for a while and was terribly lonely. I always scoffed at the "gift of singleness" stuff that I heard. It was the most undesirable gift of all time for me.
  18. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

  19. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I think a lot of people who talk in this manner do not understand what is meant by the gift of singleness. The Westminster Larger Catechism defines it as "the gift of continency" and argues that those who do not have this gift are obliged to pursue marriage (WLC 138).
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  20. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    Anna, I read this in my regular course of Scripture reading today and thought of you:

    Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how
    the matter will fall.—Ruth 3:18
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  21. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    As to your initial question about whether or not it's wrong to watch marriage videos and listen to podcasts about marriage... It probably would be bad if it made you bitter or depressed, or if you had turned your desire for marriage into an idol and those videos and podcasts were how you worship your idol.

    So, is your focus on marriage an act of idolatry or self-pummeling, or is it a part of your life of faith? Only you can know for sure (and it may be some mixture). But from the way you are reminding yourself that Christ is your true hope and joy, it sounds to me like your sadness is still leading you into faith—at least some of the time. When you take your sadness and frustrations and desires and even your budding idolatries, and you daily lay them before God, you are doing the life of faith correctly. As long as this is a part of your struggle, I don't think you are harming yourself or sinning if you dream of a good thing even though God has so far not seen fit to give it to you.

    I'll even go a step further: If you want to, I think you can pray daily for a husband, faithfully study ahead of time to prepare to be a godly wife, let it be known far and wide that you desire marriage, talk freely about your loneliness and sadness, and get out to meet people with shameless intentionality. Just don't leave God out of the process! At some point, he may make it clear that this is not his direction for your life. But don't assume that has happened yet.
  22. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  23. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Greetings all,

    I am totally new to this thread and have not read most of it yet. But I'm not new to marriage. Mary and I have been married for 45 years, and we adore each other. But I often tell her that she has some serious competition because I am married first to Another. He never lets me down. And bless his name the past three or four years with Him who loves me have been better than the 40 or so years before.

    So I decided that it might be helpful to listen to Francis Chan to see what he's all about. So I started with his first of three (I think) in his series on marriage. So I listened to the first 10 or 12 minutes of his presentation with his wife and had to fast forward it a couple of times because I hadn't heard him say much yet. I finally gave up because I really didn't hear him say much of anything except for what he stressed and restressed what I mention below. Well, that's my 20-minute critique of his first series on marriage. Maybe when I have like nothing to do, I will give him another chance at least to see if he has anything else to say.

    Just my two cents. Now I've got to get to reading a little more of this thread.

    What Chan did say in his introduction that was very true was that our Christian Life is much bigger than marriage. Below is one of my very favorite songs of all. I try to make this song the theme of my life.

    It's called Above Everything Else by Rend Collective. Here are the simple lyrics and a link to the song.

    "Above Everything Else"

    You rule over distant seas over every part of me
    You raise the day from night and the song inside of me
    You watch all the planets spin and my eyelids flickering

    Beyond everything else You are, You are
    Above everything else You are

    Greater than life itself
    More precious than perfect health
    Finer than friendship or romance
    More needed than oxygen
    More pleasing than thrill or fame
    Stronger than death or gravity

    You speak and the waves obey, but You whisper peace to me
    You hold the skies in their place and my past and destiny
    You reign over war-torn lands, over famine, fear and kings

    King Jesus You are victorious, You are
    King Jesus You are victorious​
  24. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you, thank you and thank you for all the wisdom that was shown in this thread.
    I truly cherish each and every reply (and read through them atleast three times to make sure I truly understand, lol).
  25. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Anna (and others)

    I don’t have any the to say about Chan’s videos. I’ve never seen them.

    On marriage and singleness, I think Daniel had it right that well meaning folks tend to heal wounds lightly on this subject. I don’t want to do that.

    As being relatively late to the marriage party, age 35, I went a long time not knowing. Mercifully, the Lord has seen fit over the years to reveal why it took so long and I’m grateful now for his timing. We will celebrate 10 years next month.

    Elisabeth Elliot’s writings were consoling to me during my premarital years. She’s one of the few female Christian authors that I’ve found helpful. Elliot spoke a lot of God’s portioning out His provision. God won’t give you enough to wait for years or months this day. Only the grace to obey now, today will be given today. Tomorrow’s will be given tomorrow.
  26. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    It is useful for making friends and helping with the loneliness somewhat. However, there are a lot of crazy things on there, so (at this time anyway; the membership is continually changing as more are added or leave) I wouldn't recommend a Reformed person get their hopes up about finding a spouse on there, unless they disagreed with the Confession on things like the regulative principle and no recreations on the Sabbath. There are some good people on there though, so sometimes things can happen (both friendship-wise and otherwise)! Lots of people from NC too, if one is looking for friends in the area.

    NAPARC Singles is another option, although there are some strange folk on there too, and it is not as active as Reformed Harmony and is smaller. Singles of NAPARC is an alternative (though also small).
  27. Tyro

    Tyro Puritan Board Freshman

    To the OP. I remember excitedly getting my copy of Chan's Crazy Love back before I knew much about anything, but had heard all the buzz about the book. I remember a distinct, churning nausea as I read through it. I felt that I had been gazumped by the title. I assumed the book would be an exposition and proclamation of the love of God as revealed and promised in the gospel. But it was something else, something akin to much of David Platt's writings about radical Christian living and the like. The titular "crazy love" wasn't at all what I thought it would be. That's not to say the book is damaging or dangerous or even bad. It just wasn't what I thought it would be. It wasn't about Christ; it was about me. Disappointed, I never went back to Chan. That makes me decidedly inexpert on him as a teacher.

    However, on the issue of a single, unattached and unbetrothed person (all of which I am) studying biblical teaching on marriage, I may have a thought or two. When it comes to certain places, biblically speaking, say Song of Songs or Ephesians 5 and so on, we are confronted with what Paul calls a "profound mystery, which refers to Christ and the church" - i.e., the imaging in human marriage of the union between believer and Christ. There are riches to be mined there which I wouldn't want us to pass over due to a belief that as single people those passages aren't meant for our consideration. They most certainly are. Right?
  28. Reformed Apologist

    Reformed Apologist Puritan Board Freshman

    To be honest, I have not heard enough of Mr. Chan's teachings to come down on him either way. I will say, I am highly concerned over who he chooses to keep company with and because of that, I can't recommend his teaching to others.
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