While speaking at a conference last week, author and protestant pastor Francis Chan called attention to the number of high-profile Christian figures who have either walked away from their faith or who have begun to publicly deconstruct their faith in Christ.
Speaking at the Exponential Reset Summit, Chan cautioned, "I am seeing so many people, friends of mine who were in ministry, who are just saying they don't believe, or they're walking away." He added, "And I just think that's crazy. We're seeing people that we look up to, leaders fall. We're seeing the world look at evangelical Christianity as an absolute joke right now."
"Every day," he continued, "you can just jump on Instagram … and someone is saying, 'I'm not a Christian anymore.'"
Most recently, as Christian Headlines reported, DC Talk's Kevin Max deemed himself an "exvangelical", sharing that he has been "deconstructing" his faith "for decades."
As to why this is happening, Chan argued that people are not having true encounters with Christ. According to Church Leaders, Chan referenced Isaiah 29: 13, which says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught."
"In other words," Chan went on to explain, "it wasn't an encounter [with God]." He added that true faith cannot be sustained by merely listening to a sermon, asserting that intentional, quiet time with God is essential.
"Don't get away from your own encounter with God. We have to make sure we get people to encounter Him, and that their fear of God is not just a commandment that was taught to them by us," Chan asserted.
"This is a new season. And all of this, people walking away and fighting and angry about everything and so opinionated, is because they've spent too much time in our presence, and in our evangelical talk, talk, talk, talk presence and not enough time before a Holy God and sacred and reverent, silence and awe and just recognizing their oneness with Him," Chan said, according to The Christian Post.
The Crazy Love author then asserted that Christians must strengthen their relationships with God amid rising persecution around the world. "The world is going to get worse; persecution is going to get worse. And when they're alone with Him, is there enough of this awe and enjoyment of Him, and a fear of Him that they can survive anything?" Chan asked.
"I think this pandemic showed us that there's just way too much of this horizontal going on. And now we're trying to keep these people with us, and it's more like we have to direct people to Him. We have to do a better job of bringing sacredness back into our worship."
In 2019, Chan announced that he and his family would be moving to Hong Kong to pursue ministry opportunities. In early 2021, however, Chan was forced to return to the United States when his visa was rejected.
Photo courtesy: Francis Chan BR Ministries
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.