(Updated this post to better reflect my feelings on the video, so if you read it earlier, you might have the wrong impression. Sorry about that.)
What do you think of this new Francis Chan video?
I think Chan is right on one level. We should see our possessions as gifts from God given to us for His purpose, and for His glory. We need not worry about hoarding possessions, though we should certainly be wise and prepared for the future.
On another level, and maybe its tone, but Francis always comes across to me as feeling really guilty about his financial status in life. He seems to me to feel guilty that he is fed, housed, and clothed. If this is true, then I’m not sure he is viewing God’s blessing as blessing, but maybe as a curse. What do you think?
Some have criticized this video because of Chan’s age. They felt that he isn’t old enough to say some of these things. My feeling is that truth is truth. Just because a guy hasn’t experienced what you’ve experienced doesn’t mean he can’t identify areas that need correcting.
I have another problem with the video though. It seems to me that Chan’s style is to apply pressure and guilt on people in a pietistic, world denying way. I get the feeling that Chan would probably rather be a monk living in a desert somewhere, and I’m certain that type of pietism seems to ignore the goodness of God’s gifts in this world.
Lastly, and I speak here from my own experience and observation, I don’t see that many “selfish” retirees. In fact, some of the busiest, most serving people in my church are those who are retired. I have found them to be indispensable partners in ministry. In my experience, I don’t see unconcerned or selfish retirees. I do sometimes see some tired folks who deserve a rest. So, I think it might be a little over the top to impugn an entire generation over this.
That said, I really like Chan. He’s a guy I could hang out with, and he always speaks with earnest. I do respect that even if it gives me pause.