MAX LUCADO SAYS UNITY CREATES BELIEF AND IS THE KEY TO EVANGELISM
(Friday Church News Notes, November 11, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Church of Christ pastor and best-selling author Max Lucado is calling for Christian unity as the key to evangelistic success. He says, “On the last night of his life Jesus prayed a prayer that stands as a citadel for all Christians [John 17:20-21] … Unity creates belief. How will the world believe that Jesus was sent by God? Not if we agree with each other. Not if we solve every controversy. Not if we are unanimous on each vote. NOT IF WE NEVER MAKE A DOCTRINAL ERROR. But if we love one another. … The world will be won for Christ when the church is one in Christ” (“Max Lucado: Jesus Prayed for Unity,” Christian Post, Nov. 2, 2016). In his book In the Grip of Grace, Lucado thanks God for the Pentecostals, Anglicans, Southern Baptists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. These good-sounding platitudes are so deadly wrong. Lucado is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He would have God’s people ignore false teaching for the sake of unity. He would have them love false teachers more than they love God and truth. We are to mark and avoid false teachers (Rom. 16:17) and avoid those who “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5). We are to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), and it is impossible to earnestly contend for sound doctrine while striving for ecumenical unity at the same time. Paul didn’t seek unity with heretics; he reproved them sharply (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:35-36; Gal. 5:7-10; Col 2:8). Lucado has never renounced Church of Christ heresy and has maintained a close relationship with Pepperdine University and Abeline Christian University, both staunch Church of Christ institutions. 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.” They have added the rite of 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. Elder Jennings told me he does not accept the doctrine of eternal security, while Lucado said this doctrine is not an issue in the church and the people are free to accept it or reject it. This is significant. Those who believe that a born again child of God can lose his salvation do not understand the gospel properly. Lucado is laden down with heresies, including contemplative mysticism and salvation apart from personal faith in Christ. In the book Max on Life the following question is asked: “What about the people who have never heard of God? Will God punish them?” Lucado replies: “No, He will not. Heaven’s population includes throngs of people who learned the name of their Savior when they awoke in their eternal home” (p. 222). No wonder Lucado calls for “unity.” Heretics love ecumenical unity and hate biblical separatism.