Francis Chan is a superstar pastor who has a franchise called Crazy Love™. There is a Crazy Love book, study guide, website, ministries (plural) and store where you can “shop now” for all of Chan’s books. Like all superstars, he also has a church planting network. We used to call them denominations. His is called We Are Church. He is pretty cool.
Anyway, he is also a board member of Gospel for Asia. That has always confused me because GFA hasn’t had such a cool recent history. But Francis Chan thinks everything is fine. In fact, he is out saying that GFA hasn’t done anything wrong, telling Christian Post that he researched the matter with a trusted friend and found nothing wrong with GFA’s finances.
I have written Francis Chan in the past and he first had his Crazy Love assistant Chaz answer me. When Chaz didn’t actually answer the question I asked, I wrote back but Crazy Love stopped responding.
In response to Francis Chan’s statement about GFA, I still have some questions. Maybe someone at We Are Church or Crazy Love will tell someone who will tell someone who can ask Francis Chan about it.
Dear Francis Chan:
One, if there were no financial problems at GFA, then why did Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability take the rare step of evicting the organization from membership? In case you didn’t read the report, you can read all about it here. Chaz can print out a copy for you.
Two, why did a federal judge appoint a special master to oversee GFA during Murphy v. GFA? I think you know the answer. GFA couldn’t verify their expenses and the judge had given the leaders months to do so. Being sanctioned by a federal judge isn’t a sign of an honest broker.
Three, why does His Eminence The Most Reverence Metropolitan Dr. K.P. Yohannan need to have a personal fortune when he is the supreme Metropolitan of Believers’ Church in Asia? You looked at his tax returns in the U.S. but did you consider the vast wealth of Believers’ Church in Asia? How does being the patron of a state of the art medical center and medical college in India figure into one’s empire? Why does the church need a soccer team? What needs or wants are not met when the church supplies everything due to your position as supreme temporal and spiritual authority?
Four, why did GFA cover up the transfer of $20-million from Canada to India to the U.S. for the completion of the Texas headquarters? I assume you’ve been to the compound. I hear it is pretty nice. You probably wouldn’t need a big income if you have everything you need provided for you by donors who think their money is going to evangelism and poor children in Asia.
Five, why hasn’t GFA told donors that Believers’ Church and GFA lost registration as a charity in India? When Compassion International lost their registration, it made the New York Times. When it happened to GFA, GFA told several different false stories. It still isn’t clear how funds are getting into India, if they are getting in at all.
I have more questions but that should do for now. As a board member, you will be busy meeting your two new colleagues, Garland Murphy and whoever he helps chose to take Gisela’s place. Also, you all are going to have to raise the $37-million for the settlement. Since a lien will be on the Texas headquarters, you will be really busy raising money to pay the $11-million you can’t get from “the field.” Probably, raising $11-million to pay a court settlement is really going to keep the board busy. Donors might be a little skeptical of an organization raising money to pay former donors who settled a RICO suit.
Love, The Blogger
P.S. In case you haven’t read the Murphy v. GFA settlement, it is here.
28 thoughts on “Questions for Superstar Francis Chan About Gospel for Asia”
I’m curious why the prosecution or accusers agreed to let them state that all the money actually went to the field. Clearly it didn’t.
I’m really amazed how quickly Francis Chan is losing credibility recently. It’s like he’s trying to lose favor with those that used to defend him in favor of all the big cults and scam artists lately.
GFA is not the only example of Chan supporting the crooked.
See this recent blog post about him being chummy with Todd White and Benny Hinn:
Chan has been enchanted by the one who has traded truth for a lie.
That is some world class smartassery right there. I would not expect any cooperation.
I do not.
A little bird tells me that I will not be invited to any of their celebratory events.
Six: Why does Francis Chan have to answer Warren Throckmorton? Not to be disrespectful to the Writer, but who is Warren Throckmorton to Francis Chan? Throckmorton likely has never personally met Chan. It’s not like Chan owes Throckmorton a response. Chan is likely a very busy individual. Throckmorton has never given to GFA. Throckmorton and his followers are biased against GFA. If I were in Chan’s shoes, I would likely do the same. Like it or not, the matter has been resolved by the $37 million settlement. GFA will now have to abide by certain criteria for 3 years. The court, the plantiffs, and GFA have reached an agreement. Why not give this some time and see how it works out? My wife and I once supported GFA but no longer do. I chose not to put my name in for the Class Action lawsuit although I gave over $50,000 to GFA through the years. GFA’s penalty has been set, rules and guidelines are in place for 3 years. I think Jesus would have us pursue peace with all men and seek to forgive one another. I’m not sure what GFA operations are like. I know the Lord gave us peace when my wife and I chose to cease supporting over these allegations and our concern over the new theological direction they have set on. We were specifically led by passages such as this: 1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. And Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. I am at peace with our decision. It grieves me to read some of the posts here calling for GFA’s demise, KP’s demise, for disaster to strike him, or for his wife to leave him. The Jesus I serve would surely NEVER respond this way.
This settlement has resolved absolutely nothing except ending one particular court case. It doesn’t in any way explain why GFA was accumulating massive cash reserves while continuing to send out appeals for urgent needs. It doesn’t explain how funds are still going into India when GFA is (apparently) no longer recognized as a charity in India. It doesn’t have anything to do with the other 4 (non-financial and arguably more concerning) issues identified by former members (and confirmed by former board member Gayle Irwin) at gfadiaspora.com.
We supported GFA and promoted its ministry in our church, to our extended family and to others in our circle of influence for almost 30 years, so don’t characterize us as “biased against GFA”. You are correct that some of the responses are over the top and not honouring to our Lord. However, asking for Francis Chan as a board member to address the questions outlined above is perfectly reasonable – it is an opportunity he should seize eagerly. He knows very well who Warren Throckmorton is … no one closely involved with GFA over the last 4 years or so can possibly not know. As a board member, this blog would be an excellent tool for him to use to set the record straight if he feels that false information is being propagated. The argument that he is a very busy man just doesn’t cut it … if he is too busy to take an hour to write a response answering even some of the questions Warren is raising then he should not be serving as a GFA board member.
I did not mean to upset you with my reply. I supported Gospel for Asia for 30 years (since 1982) and gave well over $50,000 during those years. I also brought dozens and dozens, perhaps over one hundred, of donors to GFA. I know Gayle Erwin well enough he would know me by name if he saw me. I also know a couple who left GFA. They are quite angry and bitter. We may never know or have answers to the other three points you mention. I’m not sure the Leadership at Gospel for Asia sees anything wrong with how they operate. I am sure they don’t see anything wrong with their new found doctrine. I did and I was concerned with some of the financial shenanigans happening in GFA. It’s why I stopped supporting them and switched to SIM and a few other local ministries. I also was not saying Mr. Throckmorton does not have a right to ask a question of Francis Chan. My point was Mr. Chan doesn’t know him and there’s no need for him to answer. In regards to the settlement, $37 million is a lot of money to dole out to donors, but $37 million divided by 200,000 donors is piddly little amount of nothing given back to donors. I and my wife felt the Scriptures were clear to us. We were to walk away in peace. I’ve read these blogs infrequently and skipped over comments especially when they are nasty. I feel pursuing this further is wasted energy. My wife and I are blessed to be able to give. We now rejoice in what God is doing through those we now support. We choose not to live in bitterness or anger toward what happened in the past. God’s blessing to you Mr. Unruh.
In rereading my message I realize I could have toned it down some .. my apologies if I over-reacted. It sounds like our families have both had a very similar journey as it relates to GFA.
Serve India Ministries is every bit as corrupt. Two of the GFA diaspora worked there and left because they were lying about 100 percent going to the mission field. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Giving money has become the definition of “charity” in this modern world. I am very convinced this is not what God ever intended, nor was it what Jesus died for. There is a big difference between loving people and throwing money at a problem to some middle man that you do not know if you can trust. I have worked in two international Christian charities. At this point I would not recommend to anyone that they give money to overseas work, but rather of themselves. In the US we are drowning in money but our true spiritual nature is poor and wretched. Love and Mammon should never be confused with each other.
This is a perfect example of why I have grown to despise the Christian Celebrity Cult status over recent years. Guys like Chan are either total and complete fools or their corrupt as the Devil himself. These guys do not fear the Lord and they in no way deserve to be put onto pedestals or have a bunch of Mammon thrown at them for their crappy books. They look absolutely nothing like Jesus for Jesus does not whitewash issues as clear as this. The real Jesus is still slapping around the religious hypocrites just like He did two millennia ago. His nature does not change, nor do His Words.
#1 – I’ve never heard of this Francis Chan before. He sounds like the perfect guest for Trinity Broadcasting’s “Praise the Lord” show. Or “The Jim Bakker Show”. Or “The 700 Club”.
#2 – If Chaz happens to read this comments section: “Hey there, Chaz!”
Can’t another classaction lawsuit be started by another group in another location? Do you think this is the end or only the beginning of legal action? Since the lawyers did pretty well I am sure there would be interest in keeping this going until the money is mostly gone.
No, the settlement means this issue is resolved for these defendants. The only way someone could file a new lawsuit is if they excluded themselves from the class. A lawyer might take on the case of a large-scale individual donor, but another class action lawsuit on this issue will go nowhere.
I am saddened to read this scandal was ‘settled’ without the truth coming out. If GFA were truly innocent, why not go to trial and clear your name? They would not need to pay $37 MILLION. Furthermore if they were proven innocent, they would not have to pay a penny and in fact, could ask for their attorney fees to be paid by the litigator.
In 2013, someone who comes from the same town in Kerala as KP Yohanan told me that GFA was buying up a number of rubber estates as ‘investment’.
Looks like Superstar Chan is after cash. A nice lump-sum here lending his good name while whitewashing the board of GFA. Some more over there, having sold out to the dark, money-grubbing Prosperity Gospel of “former addict” Todd White:
More Grfter$ for Je$u$!
I am utterly amazed at the duplicity of these organizations and people in leadership on boards. People on boards should be the first to call the organization to task. They must know and inform themselves about every aspect. What is needed in vast supply is real accountability, a confession of sin, and real repentance. Your questions are fair and deserve an answer. What is it about transparency that these folks do not understand. Criticism should be welcomed, listened to and acted upon in a transparent organization. These are people running from the truth when they pretend to teach the truth.
If he only looked at the US tax returns he probably only got a small peek at his assets. I believe Yohannan is a non-resident alien under US tax law and as such only has to declare US income (US citizens and resident aliens have to declare and pay tax on worldwide income).
KP is a duel citizen. He has no need for an income, since the church lavishly provides for him without a salary (they just pay for everything). He may not be paid hundreds of thousands, but somehow he still flies first class everywhere.
As I understand it, India does not have dual citizenship except in certain cases for children who must decide which citizenship to keep when they turn 18.
If KP is considered a U.S. taxpayer (a U.S. citizen or resident alien), he has to report everything to the IRS and pay U.S. taxes even if he lives in India (yes, the U.S. is very unusual in taxing overseas citizens, and yes, this is highly unfair). Even if he has assets structured so that he doesn’t own them but still has signing authority over bank accounts, he still needs to report that.
But he lies constantly. We all know that. Perhaps the US taxman can clip his wings…
If he lies to the IRS, if he’s a U.S. taxpayer, the IRS still has ways of finding out what he owns overseas. Look up FATCA. If he’s a U.S. taxpayer his bank will know, and his bank will have to talk to the IRS or face major penalties on all dealings with the U.S.
Some foreign banks no longer take U.S. citizens as customers because they just don’t want the hassle of dealing with it.
After listening to the Mancow recordings with James McDonald and the higher ups of CT and their power brokering, I can can only question that CP maybe doing the same thing here. AND after viewing Francis Chan’s video of his new book Letters to the Church stating how importing that these thoughts are SO IMPORTANT to the church… he has to charge $13.00 for it. Like this whole thing… there’s not much to stand on here… anywhere.
Still looks like Tridentine High Mass with hoodie vestments.
And again, all Clergy, no Laity.
Just the fact that GFA seems to have become Rome East should make board members think about where funds go. All the ecclesiastical trappings need to be costing His Holiness Yohannon a pretty penny.
Care to speculate on my Chan is still supporting GFA?
Does he get financial support or what?
The generous answer is gullibility. Chances are pretty good it’s the right answer.
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