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  #1  
Old 03-17-2003, 01:42 PM
Steven m. Steven m. is offline
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MAX LUCADO'S ECUMENICAL CONFUSION


Max Lucado is one of the prominent and influential evangelical leaders on
the scene today. His positive-oriented books and tapes are sold in most
Christian bookstores; and he is a popular speaker at a wide range of
conferences, including Promise Keepers, National Religious Broadcasters,
National Association of Evangelicals, Moody Bible Institute, and Jerry
Falwell's 1992 National Youth Workers Convention.

Lucado is pastor of the Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas.
In June 1997 I talked with Lucado on the phone as well as with Elder Doyle
Jennings of the Oak Hills Church. Both stated that they believe that
baptism is necessary for salvation, but they do not believe in "baptismal
regeneration." Thus we see that they have added baptism to the grace of
Christ for salvation. This is standard Church of Christ error, and it is a
very serious matter for it constitutes a false gospel. That Max Lucado is
committed to Church of Christ doctrine is evident by his close relationship
with Pepperdine University and Abeline Christian University, both staunch
Church of Christ institutions. A Pepperdine spokesman told Dennis Costella,
editor of Foundation magazine, that Lucado has been featured seven times at
Pepperdine lectureships (Foundation, March-April 2000). Costella is in a
unique position to judge these things because he grew up in the Church of
Christ and graduated from Pepperdine.

Elder Jennings said he does not accept the doctrine of eternal security,
while Lucado said this doctrine is not an issue in the church and elders
and people are free to accept it or reject it. This is very telling since a
proper understanding of salvation leads to eternal security for the
believer. Those who believe a born again child of God can lose his
salvation simply do not understand the gospel.

In my phone conversation with Max Lucado and with Elder Jennings, I got the
distinct impression that doctrine was not very important to them. After I
hung up the phone from talking with Lucado I wrote the following summary of
my observations:

"Lucado said he represents a 'movement of grace' in the Churches of Christ,
'a move away from legalism.' I sense that we are seeing a movement away
from the older rigid doctrinal positions of the various denominations by
the younger men who have taken charge. I saw another example of this in a
recent article in Charisma magazine about the United Pentecostal Church. It
said some of the younger men are not satisfied with the past legalism and
are willing to modify some of the finer points of their doctrinal position
for the sake of ecumenism. Even the cults are joining in this movement,
represented by the Worldwide Church of God. These new leaders are
ecumenical and make no issue of doctrine. Finer points of doctrine are
absolutely meaningless. That is why something as important as eternal
security is a non-issue with them. It is becoming increasingly more
difficult to pinpoint the heresy of heretical churches. The easy-going,
doctrinally-generic church is becoming the norm" (Dave Cloud, June 9, 1997).

Lucado holds an unscriptural view of Christian unity which is helping to
break down the walls of separation between truth and error and which is
preparing the way for the building of a one-world apostate "church." Lucado
helped organize an ecumenical alliance of pastors in his home town, which
has grown to more than 100. The pastors are learning to "put away
differences" in order to deepen personal relationships. It includes women
pastors, Charismatics, and others. Cindy Daniel, for example, is co-pastor
with her husband of Expect a Miracle Church. Newman Dollar, pastor of City
View Christian Fellowship, who, with Lucado, was one of the founders of
this ecumenical fellowship, told the San Antonio Express-News (Feb. 19,
2000) that he wants to see more pastors from Catholic churches participating.

Lucado was a signer of the deceptive "The Gift of Salvation" declaration
between evangelicals and Catholics in November 1997. This declaration was
also known as "Evangelicals and Catholics Together II." We exposed the
danger and error of this statement in the article "Evangelicals and
Catholics Confusing the Gift of Salvation," which was published December 7,
1997. We noted that "The Gift of Salvation" is a bland and, in the
ecumenical context, insufficient affirmation of the doctrine of biblical
justification. In typical New Evangelical fashion, the evangelical authors
and signers omitted many things that are necessary to properly delineate
the true Bible Gospel from the false Roman Catholic one. For the most part,
what they stated about justification is not inherently unscriptural; THE
MOST SERIOUS PROBLEM LIES IN WHAT THEY FAILED TO STATE. This, of course, is
the root error of New Evangelicalism.

Lucado's unscriptural view of unity was also evident when he spoke at the
1996 Promise Keepers Clergy Conference for Men in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Promise Keeper leader Dale Schlafer, priests, bishops and
pastors were present from every denomination in America.

Lucado's message at the Clergy Conference dealt with "Denominational
Harmony: From Bondage to Freedom." Lucado said, "I submit myself to the
Word and there are core beliefs. However, for too long we have allowed our
differences to divide us instead of our agreements to unite us." He urged
the men to subscribe to the premise, "In essentials unity--in
non-essentials charity."

We wonder if Lucado considers the gospel itself "essential"? If so, how can
he yoke together with Roman Catholics who add sacraments to Christ's
salvation? The phrase "in essentials unity--in non-essentials charity" is a
smokescreen for disobedience to biblical separation. While not every
teaching of scripture is of equal importance, the Bible does not divide
doctrine into essential and non-essential. Timothy's job in Ephesus was to
make certain that NO OTHER DOCTRINE be allowed (1 Timothy 1:3). There is no
hint here that some portions of apostolic truth are "non-essential." Paul
labored to preach THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD (Acts 20:27). The man who
strives to be faithful to every detail of New Testament truth will find it
impossible to be comfortable in an ecumenical Promise Keepers-type
environment. As one wise man observed, "You will have a limited fellowship,
or you will have a limited message."

Lucado then had the 40,000 men shout the names of their denominations all
at once. The result was confusion, of course. Lucado then asked the crowd
to state who was the Messiah. The ensuing response, "Jesus," was heard
plainly. The evident goal of this clever little exercise was to demonstrate
the beauty and simplicity of ecumenical unity.

In Atlanta, Lucado even claimed that "the sin of disunity causes people to
go to Hell!"

He then stated: "The step to unity is acceptance and no longer to speak
evil of one another. WOULD IT NOT BE WONDERFUL NOT TO BE KNOWN AS EITHER
PROTESTANT OR CATHOLIC? This is a God-sized dream and no one in our
generation has ever seen the Church united."

This is not a God-sized dream; it is the vision of the Harlot that John
recorded in Revelation 17. Promise Keepers is confused about the church. It
certainly is not all the alleged Christian denominations. The focus on the
New Testament Scriptures is upon the church as a local body of baptized
believers organized according to the apostolic pattern for the fulfillment
of the Great Commission. This is the church which is the pillar and ground
of the truth (1 Timothy 3). To define the "church" as the denominations and
to call for this hodgepodge of doctrinal and moral confusion "to stand
together" is utter confusion. The denominations today are more akin to the
Harlot of Revelation 17 than to the church of Jesus Christ.

According to eyewitness reporter Dr. Ralph Colas, "LUCADO THEN PLED THAT
EVERY CLERGYMAN WHO HAD EVER SPOKEN AGAINST ANOTHER GROUP OR DENOMINATION,
FIND A MEMBER OF THAT GROUP AND APOLOGIZE. Contemporary Christian singer
Steve Green then belted out repeatedly 'Let the Walls Come Down.' The
40,000 ministers shouted, whistled, clapped, and cheered as they worked to
a higher and higher pitch of emotion" (Colas, An Eyewitness Report on the
1996 Clergy Conference for Men, Atlanta, Georgia, February 13-15, 1996).

We are to apologize for warning people of false gospels and false baptisms
and false spirits and false Christs and false sacraments and false
mediators and false views of the church and false views of Scripture? We
are to apologize for warning of sin and worldliness and compromise? I have
spoken against many Christian groups and denominations, because God
commands me to preach the truth AND to expose error (2 Timothy 4:1-6). I
refuse to apologize for striving to obey God. By God's grace I am going to
keep on exposing error until the Lord takes me to Glory. And by God's grace
I am going to name names and be specific about the error and the sin.

May God help us have the courage in these evil hours to honor and obey Him
rather than man.

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common
salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye
should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the
saints" (Jude 3).

Maranatha.
  #2  
Old 03-17-2003, 02:57 PM
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Johnv Johnv is offline
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Having read a few of Max Lucado's books, I have found nothing in his writings where he calls for baptism as a requirement for salvation, only that faith in Christ alone is required for salvation.
  #3  
Old 03-17-2003, 03:33 PM
All about Grace All about Grace is offline
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Typical anti-Lucado (or anyone different than me) gibberish that has as much credibility as its original author.

Lucado is filling a needed role in the broader body. He is writing evangelical material at a layperson's level. Press on Max.
  #4  
Old 03-17-2003, 04:42 PM
Steven m. Steven m. is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnv:
Having read a few of Max Lucado's books, I have found nothing in his writings where he calls for baptism as a requirement for salvation, only that faith in Christ alone is required for salvation.
Sorry you are blinded by the cover of the books of Max Lucado that you read.He does not believe that you can be saved without water baptism.

Maranatha.
  #5  
Old 03-17-2003, 04:46 PM
Steven m. Steven m. is offline
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Max Lucado
Max Lucado is pulpit minister of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas, and the author of 11 books. His popularity as an author is evidenced by the fact that at one time he had three top ten best-sellers simultaneously. In addition, all 11 of his books have simultaneously appeared on the Christian Booksellers Association hardcover, paperback, and children's best-seller lists. Lucado has won six Gold Medallion Awards, and served as general editor of the recently released New Century Version The Inspirational Study Bible, a so-called "everyday language" version.

Lucado has a touchy-feely writing style that appears to be an attempt to get the reader to identify with the human side of Jesus. The result, however, is heresy at best and blasphemy at worst. In his book, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Lucado blasphemes the Lord Jesus Christ with the following statement (pp 131-132):

"Look closely through the shadowy foliage. See that person? See that solitary figure? What's he doing? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding on the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Is that blood on his forehead? That's Jesus. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. ... Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus in the palm of God? Hardly. We see an agonizing, straining and struggling Jesus. We see a 'man of sorrows.' We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief." (Emphasis added.)

What we see is blasphemy (defined as the intentional defamation of the person or nature of God)! It appears that in Lucado's attempt to help us identify with the "human side" of Jesus, he has engaged in gross speculation, in effect rewriting the Bible's account of Jesus time in the Garden, and thereby, he portrays a different Jesus -- a sinful One!

The Bible tells us not to fear, but to trust God. The Bible tells us that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. The Bible tells us that perfect love drives out fear. If Jesus agonized, strained, struggled, wrestled, and yearned as Lucado speculates, particularly if he fell into a stupor of fear as Lucado contends, then Jesus would have sinned and could not possibly have been the God and Savior He claimed to be -- and that's blasphemy!

Lucado is now working on a novel, based on the fictional account of Jesus life as if He were born in the South in the United States today. Lucado says he's thinking of titling it The Gospel According to Manny (Manny being short for Immanuel). Lucado's only concern for this title is that "Manny doesn't sound like a Southern name" (June/July 1995, Release).

[Editor's Note: The interviewer of the Release article suggested to Lucado that he might want to change the title of The Gospel According to Manny to The Gospel According to Manny Joe-Bob, in order to better reflect Jesus's fictitious Southern heritage. Lucado said he liked that idea.]





Maranatha.
  #6  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:08 PM
All about Grace All about Grace is offline
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Quote:
Lucado has a touchy-feely writing style that appears to be an attempt to get the reader to identify with the human side of Jesus. The result, however, is heresy at best and blasphemy at worst.



If Max Lucado is on the fundamentalist hit-list, fundamentalism has gone further off the isolationist deep end than I originally imagined.
  #7  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:16 PM
rufus rufus is offline
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Steven m, thanks for the post and warning!! Keep on exposing darkness.

rufus [img]graemlins/thumbs.gif[/img]
  #8  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:39 PM
Molly Molly is offline
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He has some neat stories that he tells in his books,which is his strength....not very bold theologically,nor does he stand firm on many issues....my husband said he was kinda wishy washy(striving not to be too offensive) on Larry King Live...not to our suprise. John Mac was the bold,biblical standing one out of the 4.
  #9  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:42 PM
Loren B Loren B is offline
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Great Post Steven m.!

Keep up the good work. Many on this board don't realize that ecumenism is not a good thing.

I have read a couple of Max Lucado's books and they are mostly fluff. Sound Doctrine is the least of his concerns. Selling books seems to be the order of the day.
  #10  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:44 PM
Mike McK Mike McK is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steven m.:
In his book, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Lucado blasphemes the Lord Jesus Christ with the following statement (pp 131-132):

"Look closely through the shadowy foliage. See that person? See that solitary figure? What's he doing? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding on the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Is that blood on his forehead? That's Jesus. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. ... Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus in the palm of God? Hardly. We see an agonizing, straining and struggling Jesus. We see a 'man of sorrows.' We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief." (Emphasis added.)

What we see is blasphemy (defined as the intentional defamation of the person or nature of God)!
How is this blasphemy?

Quote:
It appears that in Lucado's attempt to help us identify with the "human side" of Jesus, he has engaged in gross speculation, in effect rewriting the Bible's account of Jesus time in the Garden, and thereby, he portrays a different Jesus -- a sinful One!
Please explain how he has done this.

Quote:
The Bible tells us not to fear, but to trust God. The Bible tells us that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. The Bible tells us that perfect love drives out fear. If Jesus agonized, strained, struggled, wrestled, and yearned as Lucado speculates, particularly if he fell into a stupor of fear as Lucado contends, then Jesus would have sinned and could not possibly have been the God and Savior He claimed to be -- and that's blasphemy!
Faith in God is not to be without fear or not to agonize over such a gut wrenching decision as Christ faced in the garden.

Faith in God is to follow God's will in spite of these things.

If anything, that Jesus was able to say, "Nevertheless, not My will but Thy will be done" and go to the cross in spite of His fear, showed an amazing faith in God the Father.

Quote:
Lucado is now working on a novel, based on the fictional account of Jesus life as if He were born in the South in the United States today. Lucado says he's thinking of titling it The Gospel According to Manny (Manny being short for Immanuel). Lucado's only concern for this title is that "Manny doesn't sound like a Southern name" (June/July 1995, Release).
An excellent idea, but it's been done to death. I'd be curious to see Lucado's take on it but, since this is eight years old, I doubt we will.
 

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