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APOSTATE: “What Max Lucado Says About Max Lucado”

January 17 2004 at 6:37 AM
Gary W. Summers  (no login)
from IP address 64.159.109.17

"What Max Lucado Says About Max Lucado"


Gary W. Summers



"Some brethren are just on a witch hunt," defenders of apostates like Max Lucado affirm. Of course, such a flippant accusation is absurd on the face of it--as if most preachers wouldn't prefer spending time on other areas of endeavor. But even if the charge were true, in this case, we've found one. A witch, that is. Truly, Max has somehow cast a spell over quite a number of brethren.

So what follows is a portion of a speech that he made at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, and, yes, I have a tape of the entire "sermon" in case anyone thinks the transcribed portion below was taken out of context. [Why is it that faithful gospel preachers must be scrupulously careful about documenting one false teacher, but we may be lumped together, indicted wholesale, and summarily dismissed by thoughtless phrases such as witch-hunters (without any evidence whatsoever)?]
    Max Lucado: "But the longer I've been in this battle, I've noticed that there are some curious soldiers who share these foxholes with us. For example: there's an Anglican by the name of C.S. Lewis, whose books put muscle in my faith; a Presbyterian (of all people) by the name of Stephen Brown, formerly of Key Biscayne, Florida (somehow I got on his tape mailing list), and he helped me understand the sovereignty of God; another Presbyterian by the name of Frederick Boettner, who writes books somewhere in Vermont, helped me see the passion of Christ; a former Catholic priest named Brennan Manning convinced me that Jesus is relentlessly tender; a Nazarene by the name of Jim Dobson helped my family skills; a pastor of the Evangelical Free Church named Chuck Swindoll helped my preaching; a Baptist in Miami taught me about grace; a Pentecostal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, helped me understand prayer."

    "Some day, when we all get to heaven, I'm going to finally learn the name of some radio preacher who was on the air in 1978. I was home working in an oil field job, wantin' some extra money. My faith was very fragile. I had more questions than I had answers, and I was literally at a crossroads as to whether or not I was going to believe. While making some deliveries for an oil field company in a pickup truck, I could only pick up one radio station. I don't know if that's because of west Texas or because of the truck, or both. But that one radio station had a radio preacher, and in fifteen minutes, he put the heart and soul of the faith in a little sermon on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. And all of a sudden I realized it wasn't what I knew, it was Who I knew. And I pulled over to the side of the road and rededicated my faith. [It] may have been a Quaker, Methodist, Baptist, or an angel. Or all four!"
Anyone should be able to read these words of Max Lucado's and understand that he accepts all who abide in religious denominations as brethren, Christians. Never mind if they were immersed, sprinkled, or whatever. If they claim to be a Christian, that's good enough for Max. The following observations are in order.

First, does not the Bible teach the grace of God? Who made the Baptists the guardians of this doctrine? In fact, when they teach salvation by grace and faith ALONE, they have perverted the Biblical doctrine. Did Max get his false ideas of salvation from them? Does not the Bible proclaim that God is sovereign? Must we go to Presbyterians to get a clue? Is the Bible so mysterious in its teaching about prayer that we have to import teaching from Brazil? Perhaps if Lucado had spent more time in the Book and less time with popular authors, he might have learned a great deal more than he currently knows.

Second, It's too bad that in all of his gleaning he never found anybody to teach him a love of the TRUTH. Those lacking such a love cannot be saved (2 Thess. 2:10). Since he is so influenced by the writings of men, too bad he never read The Bible Only Makes Christians Only And the Only Christians by brother Thomas B. Warren. In fact, Max did not see fit to credit even one faithful brother with enough knowledge to teach him anything.

Third, the fact that these men have written some helpful things does not make them brethren.

Fourth, it does matter what you know as well as Who you know. Who (Jesus) said it matters what ("If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). [See also Romans 16: 17-18 and 2 John 9-11.]

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "What Max Lucado Says About Max Lucado (1/7/96)."
——————————————————————————————————————————
garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 67.32.207.145 on Jan 17, 2004 11:58 AM


 
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Gary W. Summers
(no login)
67.25.33.223

MAX AS THE EVERYMAN

January 18 2004, 4:05 AM 

MAX AS THE EVERYMAN


GARY W. SUMMERS



In the religious section of the The Dallas Morning News on April 13th of this year [1996] Max Lucado took center stage. The article written by Anne Belli Gesalman (entitled "Jesus as the Everyman") leaves the reader wondering if she is Lucado's publicity agent. Included are several columns of praise for the popular author.

Now certainly she has every right to interview such a well-known personality, and Max undoubtedly appreciates any positive exposure he can get, but somehow between the two of them a tremendous disservice has been done to the Lord and His church.

She begins by describing a sketch of Jesus which hangs in Lucado's office. Perhaps this is not the greatest point in the world, but one wonders who drew it: Peter, James, John? Perhaps Paul doodled it while in his prison cell? Where would one get a picture of the Lord 2,000 years removed from His physical presence? And why doesn't Max know any better? Name anyone else masquerading as a preacher that has a picture of Jesus hanging in his office.

But wait. This sketch is unique. According to Anne, the Jesus in this picture is laughing hysterically. She comments: "But it's the one that Mr. Lucado keeps in mind each time he sits down to pen another chapter in one of his inspirational books," and "Indeed, it's Mr. Lucado's portrayal of Jesus in a relaxed, Everyman sort of way" that has made him so popular (1G).

That's interesting. Did Jesus laugh hysterically?


First of all, the word hysterically does not appear in the Bible; laughing does. Ironically, Jesus is never in the New Testament described as laughing (what would you expect for the "man of sorrows"?); He was, however, laughed at (Luke 8:53). He did make two statements about laughter. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh" (Luke 6:21). "Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep" (Luke 6:25). Perhaps Max has "lightened up" a little too soon and should consider spiritual matters more seriously. Is he making Jesus an "Everyman" or a "common man"? Certainly, his sketch of Jesus laughing hysterically lacks Biblical authority.

Devoutly What?


This mischaracterization of Jesus is prominently displayed at the beginning of Gesalman's article. After the attack on the Lord, His church is the next target. "While Mr. Lucado is devoutly Church of Christ (he's minister of the Oak Hills Church [of Christ] in San Antonio), his books are nondenominational and sometimes include references to principal figures in other Christian denominations" (1 G).

There can be no question that the church of Christ, a name derived from the New Testament (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4, and 5:23), is being equated in this sentence with man-made denominations. This inaccurate usage of the phrase is an insult to Jesus our Lord and a slap in the face of those truly trying to be non-denominational.

The church of Christ, as described in the New Testament, was built by Jesus; He yet remains the head over it. The Lord's church has nothing to do with denominations which are unauthorized by God and established by men. Those who are genuine Christians today have no desire to be part of a denomination and recoil in horror at the thought. We just want to be Christians and are satisfied to be part of the church, the temple, the household of God.

We do not have a denominational structure, national conventions, or policy making boards. We are autonomous and subject only to the Scriptures, which are God's revelation to man. We believe that the Scriptures are inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and that they alone authorize what we do and what we teach (Col. 3:17).

To say that someone is "Church of Christ" (and shamefully some brethren do it) is the equivalent form of saying that someone is Methodist or Presbyterian. Such terminology implies that the Lord's church is a man-made denomination, which in turn casts a poor reflection upon our Savior.

In the second place, Max Lucado is not devoutly "Church of Christ" in any sense. He certainly is not a devout member of the Lord's church, as described in the pages of the New Testament. He fellowships those who teach doctrinal error, something that Jesus did not do (Matt. 15:12-14, Matt. 23), nor Paul (Rom. 16:17-18, 1 Tim. 1:18-20, 2 Tim. 2:16-18), nor Peter (2 Peter 2:18-22), nor John (1 John 4:1, 2 John 9-11), nor Jude (vs. 3-4). Max speaks to various denominational groups and praises what they are doing. He treats all who have never been baptized for the forgiveness of sins as brethren--because he thinks they are! So he is not a devout member of the Lord's church.

But if he thinks the church of Christ is the same as a man-made denomination (and he most assuredly does), then he is still not very devout, because he fellowships indiscriminately all the other denominations--scarcely the philosophy of a "devout" partisan. If the reporter wanted to characterize accurately Max' relationship with the church of Christ, she might be surprised to learn that true brethren do not fellowship him because of his unrepented heresies. As people bought by the blood of Christ and instructed by the New Testament concerning genuine fellowship, we find it impossible to abide by the Word and fellowship one who blatantly transgresses it.

How ironic that the reporter calls his books "non-denominational" (which they are not; if anything, they are inter-denominational) and then treats the genuinely non-denominational church of Christ as though it were one.

The Secret Identity


Consider some of the final comments recorded in this article from Julie Mantai, the manager of a large "Christian" bookstore in The Woodlands, just north of Houston. "Lucado books don't stay on the shelves very long. Christians of all sorts buy them" (4G). What does she mean by "Christians of all sorts"? Tall ones, short ones, male, female? No, she means denominational "Christians."

She goes on to say: "I don't think anyone knows he's Church of Christ. I'm Episcopalian, and my priest quotes him in at least two or three sermons a month" (4G). [That's scary--to think that Lucado's literary placebos are put on a par with the Scriptures.] Here, once again, the Lord's church is treated as a mere denomination. No doubt, those who admit to being members of one would like to think that every other religious group is the same as they are, but such is not the case among those who respect the truth.

There is a reason that many people do not know Max' religious background. For one, it never shows. Who could ever read anything by Max Lucado and find anything in it that would connect him with the Lord's church? Certainly, he never teaches anyone about how to be saved. What book has he written in which he discusses baptism for the remission of sins, as Peter did on the day of Pentecost? He doesn't even believe it himself ("devout" person that he is), and we know that he does not believe it because he counts nearly anybody as a Christian (except perhaps some of his "legalistic" brethren). It matters not to him if they were sprinkled as children or just prayed the "sinner's prayer." They are all Christians to him because he abides not in New Testament teaching. No, no one would identify Max as one of us--because he is not one of us.

Lucado does not teach (and therefore does not believe) that one must (after repenting of sins) be baptized in water by the authority of Jesus in order that they might be forgiven; he does not teach that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins when we are baptized (Acts 2:38); he will not affirm that the Lord adds us to His church (Acts 2:47); nor will anyone ever hear him say that there is but one church (Eph. 4:4). And what has he written about the Lord's Supper, correct worship, etc.?

Members of the Lord's church are quite happy that Max has maintained a secret identity. The less association with us, the better. Max has opted for popularity and what he calls "unity." He has, however, union at best; true unity would involve all of us coming together and abiding by the doctrine of the New Testament. Agreeing to ignore Biblical teaching, if it can be called unity, is the Babel kind.

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "MAX AS THE EVERYMAN (5/19/96)."

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garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 67.32.207.145 on Jan 18, 2004 8:28 AM


 
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Gary W. Summers
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67.25.34.199

"A Vision of Max Writing"

January 22 2004, 2:47 AM 

"A Vision of Max Writing"


Gary W. Summers



A few weeks ago in the early morning hours, between unconsciousness and dawn, I had a vision. Of Max Lucado. He was meditating diligently over what to write in his next denominationally-endorsed, best-selling book.

The first problem was finding a catchy title. Readers respond to creativeness. Should it evoke wondrous anticipation (When God Whispers Your Name) or describe God in seemingly conflicting terms (Gentle Thunder)? For a moment, Demanding Grace appealed to him as a title, but then he remembered that he didn't believe there were any conditions placed upon grace. Which is what made him so popular in the first place.

"Oh, well," he sighed, "I don't really need to have a title or a theme yet. Maybe it'll come to me after I write a few chapters." He pulled out a file filled with illustrations that he had accumulated since he completed his last book. Some were anecdotal stories involving his kids. Others were Bible stories he had made modern equivalents out of. Hey! There's a thought. "If I do this often enough, some day I can publish the Modern Equivalent Bible. It would be a little like the Cotton Patch, only better, since I'm writing it."

Then he pulled out his "testimonial" file. These consisted of comments from people who had abundantly praised him for his words of wisdom at workshops or who had written letters to share with him some of their difficult struggles. Or to thank him for helping them to overcome them. As he shuffled through some of these, one in particular caught his attention. It was written in "graceful" handwriting. By one who'd seen the light.
    "Brother Lucado, I used to be so legalistic, but after reading your books, I feel truly liberated. How could I have been so deluded to think that obedience had anything to do with my salvation? For years I told my denominational brethren that they needed to be baptized to have forgiveness of sins. they needed to be baptized to have forgiveness of sins. Needless to say, they didn't like me very much. But now that I've discovered that Acts 2:38 doesn't matter any more and that we're all guests on board the same Fellow-Ship, I'm really enjoying Christianity. After all, if they say God is their Father, that's good enough for me. Oh, and guess what? All those people who used to hide when they saw me coming like me now. This is so much better than being rejected all the time. It feels good to have so many brethren now. Thanks so much for opening my eyes."
Letters like these sure compensated for the petty criticisms he received from his legalistic detractors. "I suppose every age must be cursed with a few Pharisees," he chuckled to himself. Then he made a note to fit into this book a few choice words about Pharisees.

After several minutes of sorting through the files, MA$ had jotted down some notes. "That ought to do for an outline--20 chapters with 20 simple points. Best to stick to the formula. No need to confuse the reader with logical arguments or cumbersome details that might stretch their mental capabilities. Why give them filet mignon when they can only handle strained applesauce?"

Then came the hardest part of all--reading the Bible to find Scriptures to fit the stories. Fortunately, intense study was not necessary for simple points.

(In connection to this article, please read, "Poetic License Gone To Seed".)

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "A Vision of Max Writing (1/12/97)."

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garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 68.154.187.161 on Jan 22, 2004 8:11 AM


 
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Estill
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67.32.213.223

Re: &quote;A Vision of Max Writing&quote;

January 23 2004, 5:54 AM 

Mr. Summers,

Your use of sarcasm and conjecture are pretty clear here.

Your points might be more well taken as a Christian if you just stick to and present the facts.

Estill B.

 
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Donnie Cruz
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67.25.33.170

Re: Sarcasm and Conjecture

January 23 2004, 5:27 PM 

Estill,

Have you allowed the use of sarcasm and conjecture [your own assessment] to override Mr. Summers’ message? Please re-read the paragraph quoted and highlighted in blue. The scriptural purpose of baptism in Acts 2:38 is no longer being taught by Max. The last time I checked the Scripture, it’s evident that the unconverted who obeys the gospel must be buried with Christ in baptism in order to have his sins remitted and is risen with Christ to begin newness of life. You very well know that one is not baptized because his sins have already been forgiven—which baptism serves no purpose as an after-the-fact occurrence. From many of the articles posted on this board related to Max, it is evident that he has compromised the truth and has become adept at twisting the truth. Mr. Summers did just fine in presenting the facts!

Donnie Cruz


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 68.154.171.63 on Jan 23, 2004 9:45 PM


 
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Estill B.
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67.32.213.223

Re: Re: Sarcasm and Conjecture

January 24 2004, 7:07 AM 

D.C.: "Have you allowed the use of sarcasm and conjecture [your own assessment] to override Mr. Summers’ message?"

If you'll notice closely, I had nothing to say about Mr. Summers' other posts. The one I commented on used CONJECTURE to "make up" what Max was "probably" thinking when we was going to write his new "best-seller."

Donnie, I didn't say I disagreed with the WHAT so much as the HOW. Have you become so enamoured with some of the regular posters here that you'd defend any method of criticism they might employ? Can you not at least lend a little credence to what I'm saying?

Estill

 
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Marvin L. Weir
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67.25.39.185

OAK HILLS AND MAX LUCADO DROPPED CHRIST LONG AGO

January 28 2004, 7:36 AM 

OAK HILLS AND MAX LUCADO DROPPED CHRIST LONG AGO


Marvin L. Weir



Christ promises that He will not “fail” or “forsake” a child of God (Heb. 13:5), but a Christian can “fail” and “forsake” the Lord! Max Lucado and his apostate followers at the Oak Hills church in San Antonio, Texas, have just recently officially dropped the name “church of Christ.” Those faithful to the Lord and His church have known for years that Max Lucado is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ. Lisa Harrison Rivas, staff writer for the San Antonio Express-News writes in the Saturday, September 6, 2003 paper these words: “Max Lucado hopes renaming his church, opening new campuses and adding musical instruments to the worship service will help bring more people to Christ.”

The staff writer is correct in calling the congregation “his” or Max's church because any group who spurns the Word of God certainly does not belong to Christ! One is reminded of the Lord saying, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).

The report continues with the staff writer saying, “Oak Hills Church of Christ is now Oak Hills Church, and although the name has changed, Lucado said the church's core values will not.” Lucado is quoted as follows: “When it comes to strategy, when it comes to approach, we want to do whatever seems most effective at the time ... That's what these initiatives are: changes of strategy, not changes to doctrine or core values” (emph. MLW).

Lucado abandoned most of the Lord's teaching or doctrine (cf. 2 John 9-11) long ago. His statement, however, of “these initiatives” not being “changes to doctrine” reveals his disdain for the Lord authorizing singing as an act of worship. Max has successfully convinced his loyal followers that instrumental music is an option or expedient and not a doctrinal matter. The Lord teaches otherwise (Matt. 26:30; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2;12; James 5:13), and Max's church was singing until the pied piper convinced them to change by adding the instrument. It is a tragedy that “about 4,000 worshippers each Sunday” are content to follow Max down the broad way that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:14). The Lord has commanded His followers to “sing” -- not “play” or “make music.”

Vic King, minister of missions at Oak Hills, “said the staff doesn't expect a lot of members to leave over the changes.” Neither do I! Isn't it sad that it is so very difficult to convince brethren with the Word of God that they are in full-blown apostasy? King goes on to say, “It's the sign that we are changing...We are changing to a sign that more accurately reflects who we are.” This is only doubletalk from those who cannot bring themselves to be honest false teachers! At least Lucado tells the truth in saying that “some find the Church of Christ name to be an insurmountable barrier.” He continues saying, “A common comment from new members is this: ‘We would have come sooner, but we had to get over the name of the church'.”

What a sordid mess and a stench in the Lord's nostrils! How it must grieve the Savior to have traitors boast of loving Him while changing the sign because some are embarrassed by the name church of Christ. Who died for the church? Was it Max? I think not (Acts 20:28)! Who is the head of the church? Is it Max? No, it is the Lord (Eph. 1:22-23)! Since Christ purchased His church of which He is head with His blood, why would it be an “insurmountable barrier” for folks to attend a congregation that wears His name? Mark it down, and mark it down well. Those who must “get over” a congregation wearing the Lord's name have never genuinely obeyed the Gospel and been converted to Christ.

The staff writer continues, saying, “Most Churches of Christ feature only a cappella singing, a tradition King says is based on the absence of the use of instruments in the New Testament churches. But for the first time, Oak Hills will add instruments to a new Sunday evening service, which will be geared toward young adults and will begin early next year” (emph. MLW).

A cappella singing is not some man-made tradition. It is a God-given command! It is true that Max and Oak Hills are adding to the worship -- something God has forbidden man to do (Rev. 22:18-19). Their motive is crystal clear -- the attraction of “young adults.” It is a pity that so many today are more interested in attraction than conversion.

The article ends noting that Lucado is asking the “members to spend the next 40 days praying about these and other initiatives.” It would be much better if all of Lucado's followers could spend the next three days in the belly of a great fish so they might be convinced to repent and come to their spiritual senses (Jonah 1:17-2:10).

Our prayer is for more members of the body who truly love the Lord and have no desire to drop Him from His church!

5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 68.19.205.168 on Jan 28, 2004 9:38 AM


 
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Steve Miller
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67.25.35.195

Lucado's Sectarian Connection

February 8 2004, 3:03 AM 

Lucado's Sectarian Connection


Steve Miller



Being one of the most popular devotional writers in the denominational world is no small feat. To head the best-seller list, one would have to write in such a way as to not offend, or convict anyone of sin. Basically, all one would have to hold is a belief in God and in Jesus. A church affiliation might disturb some and keep them from laying down the cash to purchase your books. So, one would never write in such a narrow fashion as to teach that there is only one true church; one baptism; that church membership is essential to salvation; that the New Testament is the pattern; and most of all, one would never write the Bible only, makes Christians only, and the only Christians.

Max Lucado, preacher at the Oak Hills Church [of Christ] in San Antonio, Texas, does not recognize the lines of fellowship that God has drawn in the Bible. After all, when one denies the Bible as the pattern, certainly, one can adjust the lines to suit himself. Brother Lucado endorses the sectarians. He has done so for quite a while.


WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH


Toward the end of his article in Wineskins, entitled, "A Dream Worth Keeping Alive, Liking the Fruit But Not the Orchard" (January/February, 1993. p. 17-20), Max Lucado reveals to his readers that he has preached at the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Max describes this church as "an immense non-denominational fellowship." Brother Lucado describes his experience with them as follows: "Each evening before the assembly a group of elders would meet to pray with me. I asked the elders to tell me about themselves. 'I used to be a Baptist, but now I'm just a Christian,' one shared. 'I grew up a Methodist,' stated another, 'but now I'm simply a believer.' 'I was Dutch-Reformed,' said a third, 'but now I just follow Jesus.' And this went on around the table. Both nights. And both nights I thought to myself, 'That's our line!' That's what we in churches of Christ are supposed to say. What I heard in Chicago must have been akin to what early restorationists heard all around the country: 'We aren't the only Christians, but we are Christians only.' How about that for "unity in diversity?"

It is rather interesting that brother Lucado tells us that he met with the elders of the Willow Creek Community Church and prayed with them before he spoke. We wonder if there were any women elders present in these meetings? According to Willow Creek's leading preacher, Bill Hybels, "my daughter is 11 years old, and it's great for her to see women role models in the church. It's important to me that she knows there can be a place for her in church leadership some day, somewhere" (Daily Herald, Suburban Living, Wednesday, May 18, 1988). The same newspaper article reveals "another striking feature about Willow Creek is that women are in positions of power. Three of the eight church elders are women." Brother Max, did a woman elder lead a prayer for you? Do you also accept women in positions of power, or did you try to teach them out of their errors?


DENOMINATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


Brother Lucado seems to have no problem with preaching for and fellowshipping denominations. He has spoken at St. John Neumann Church, Trinity Church Family Center, First Presbyterian Church (See Behold The Pattern, Goebel Music. p. 113-127), and the Willow Creek Community Church.


UNITY DAY WITH THE BAPTIST CHURCH


Brother Lucado continues his associations with the denominational world. In the March 25, 1995, issue of the San Antonio Express-News, was an article announcing a "Unity day" on April 2, 1995. This event was a pulpit swap between Max Lucado and Rev. Buckner Fanning, the preacher at Trinity Baptist Church. It transpired as planned. Brother Darrell Conley referred to this event as a "Tragedy in San Antonio," and rightly so! Elder Benjamin Franklin spoke of the sinfulness of exchanging pulpits with denominationalists, giving the example between a gospel preacher and a Roman priest.
    The book of God forbids the saints from keeping company with such a man, or eating with him, or to bid him God-speed. We can meet a Romish priest and treat him as a citizen, if he is one, a neighbor, or gentleman, but we do not know him as a preacher of Jesus, or as a teacher of saints, or as a Christian. He bears no such relations as these to us, and we recognize him in none of these relations. (A Book Of Gems, p. 209)
Brother Franklin viewed the sectarians correctly, non-Christians! To engage in fellowship with them, is having fellowship with the "unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11).

Cases of joint fellowship with the sectarians by apostates have taken place over the years in various locations. Now that many brethren have rejected the Bible as a pattern, they have lost sight of the distinctiveness of the church of Christ. With no guide from heaven, no lines of distinction, and no Bible authority, men will seek fellowship with anyone who claims to believe in God.

We cannot endorse Max Lucado because the Bible forbids fellowship with false teachers (Titus 3:10). Christians must oppose heretics and their influence. Lucado works through his books, his speeches, and his association with various denominations. He has his own Max Lucado video series and is even getting into congregations via the video series "Raising Faithful Kids in a Fast-Paced World" by Paul Faulkner. Departing from the faith happens over a period of time, and faithful brethren have seen it coming for years. Many bright, talented gospel preachers leave the faith once delivered to the saints and embrace modernism and liberalism. These factors have contributed to the reality that the churches of Christ are experiencing a major division within her ranks.


13 Preston Estates
Paintsville, KY 41240


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 68.154.178.7 on Feb 8, 2004 2:02 PM


 
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JD
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66.76.52.34

Why do you CARE so much?

February 10 2004, 10:11 PM 

Oak Hills has dropped the name Church of Christ...OK!

So why do you still rail against him and Oak Hills Church? Oh...I see...you have nothing better to do. Why didn't you just say that to begin with.

JD

 
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Anthony Crowell
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64.159.109.76

THANKS MAX

February 12 2004, 7:14 AM 

THANKS MAX


Anthony Crowell



A week or so ago, I received an e-mail from my dad with Oak Hill church's Mission Statement for 2003 attached. It would seem that Max Lucado has had a “vision” (page 2, paragraph 2).
    “As the details of this vision crystallized for me, I shared them with our elders. They prayed, pondered, and tested the ideas and, ultimately saw them as God's will for Oak Hills.” (page 2, paragraph 3)

    “We call you to dedicate the next forty days (August 31 to October 9) to prayer, asking God to give us all strength to obey his call. Like the Apostle Paul, we desire to say, 'I obeyed this vision from heaven.' (Acts 26:19 CEV)” (page 2, latter part of paragraph 3)

    “Another major initiative is excellent pastoral care. Our elders are facing their privilege with renewed vigor. They are re-evaluating and re-organizing, seeking to shepherd the church through Life Groups.” (page 4, last paragraph)
This document continues on with the different changes to the various worship services that Oak Hills will provide. But the most notable change is the following:
    “Let's seek to remove any barrier that would hinder a person from hearing the Gospel. Our seventh initiative calls for an alteration of our name. We can reach more souls by modifying “Oak Hills Church of Christ” to Oak Hills Church”. We do this for two reasons:

      To follow the New Testament example: New Testament churches employed a variety of names, never clustering under a common banner other than Jesus Christ (See addendum)

      To reach more souls for Christ. While we deeply appreciate our heritage in the Churches of Christ, we recognize the hindrance the name creates for some. A common comment from new members is this: “We would have come sooner, but we had to get over the name of the church.” This is a barrier that need not be.

    We recognize the emotional struggle this decision spawns for some. Please know this choice came after careful, extended prayer and thought.” (pages 11 & 12)
I would like to express my appreciation to Max for finally dis-associating himself from the church of Christ. Now maybe the brotherhood can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing Max Lucado has finally shown his true self to the world.

Thanks Max.


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 67.32.210.12 on Feb 12, 2004 9:01 AM


 
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Kenneth Sublett
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63.84.81.22

no thanks

February 12 2004, 10:37 AM 

I suppose the new VISION of the bible allows you and max to KEEP the property?

Max is in gross error about the name of the church. It has always been

the Church of Christ (since He bought it and it is his body)

Or the church of God IN CHRIST

Or the church in AN AREA which was in Christ.

The church has been known as the church of Christ consistently down through the ages.

http://www.piney.com/ChofChristName.html

Max is totally ignorant about the Bible, or consistent with KICKING Christ of the sign, is with his friend Rubel Shelly "working out" their NEW version of Scripture for OUR CULTURE (which they are alert enough to know "has changed.")

As "believeth not" meant "baptizeth not" Max's REPUDIATION of what Jesus, Peter, Paul and church history said until 1525, Max calls a holy God a liar!

http://www.piney.com/Lucado.Index.html

Max and the group are ignorant about MUSIC which when attached to religion always meant "women or effeminate males." It is the MARK of CAIN whose name means "a musical note."

As the new MOTHER CHURCH using DISCIPLING or SHEPHERDING is a PK spin off of the old Crossroads or boston movement which intends to get everyone under the thumb of the CORE LEADERSHIP of professionals all utterly condemned by Jesus, Paul and church history.

A "minimally ethical person" would have declared HIS new loss of faith and left the church. Do you subscribe to the idea that it is ok to STEAL THE CHURCH HOUSES OF WIDOWS in the name of supporting "rhetoricians, sOPHISts (serpents), singers and musicians all known as sorcerers and therefore PARASITES who will go back into hell if John in Revelation 18 is correct?

Jesus built a SCHOOL where He would teach through His word where TWO OR THREE gather or synagogue. You are defending a most pagan, ignorant and superstitious form of religion prophesied as that of the Babylon Whore.

Do you believe in JUST JESUS? If so then you agree to the wholesale repudiation of what JESUS TAUGHT and inspired.

http://www.piney.com/Dennis.Downing.html

Here is where the cults are going:

http://www.cephas-library.com/purposedriven/purposedriven_shepherding_movement_comes_of_age.html

Ken


    
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Laurel Walker
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24.117.186.191

Don't Miss the Point

March 10 2004, 1:31 AM 

How much good will all of your bickering do? Rather than spending your time criticising those who are actively pursuing their Lord (And they do so with all of their hearts for the Lover of their souls), try spending your time encouraging and building others up. Church of Christ members seem to have a difficult time doing that. Max Lucado loves the Lord. I see no fault in him, but I am not the judge, and neither are you. I trust with all of my heart that my Lord and Savior, the One I love, will grant all of the grace needed to cover any wrongdoing of those who truly love and pursue him. But if you know everything, and all of your doctrine is right, yet you don't love the Lord passionately, what have you to show that will put a smile on His face. And yes sir, by the way, my Jesus does smile. He laughs hysterically. He WAS a man of sorrow. But he has set His kids free. NOW, He is the Father of joy. And my Father at that, my Dad. He delights in us and calls us "beloved". He dances, he sings. He is madly, crazy, passionately in love with us. That is the point. Your "knowledge puffs up, but love builds up".

 
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Donnie Cruz
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64.159.108.185

Re: Don't Miss the Point (by Laurel Walker, March 10 2004, 1:31 AM)

March 11 2004, 7:48 AM 

Laurel,

I’m reminded of a pop song, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” the chorus of which says: “I've been thinking of a new direction, but I have to say I've been thinking about my own protection.” I envision Max as smiling and laughing when he sings a similar song.

It takes more than the kind of “love” which, by your definition of the word, is something that many of those even outside of Christ also have or do. It would be presumptuous to think that anyone who exposes someone else’s doctrinal errors does not have love. To the knowledge of many in the brotherhood, Max Lucado has gone way BEYOND “thinking of a new direction” while STILL “thinking about [his] own protection.” Aren’t you aware that Max has been going with the Baptist flow and denominationalism, which translates to virtually leaving the church on his own volition? What we wish for Max is for him to return to his love for the church and love of the truth—instead of being ashamed of the church that bears the name of Christ by not defending its cause and instead of compromising the truth to gain the support of the denominational world.

There’s no bickering going on—you see, we can’t even get Max’s attention. Let’s not get that confused with our “contending for the faith” or “mark[ing] them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid[ing] them” (Romans 16:17).

Donnie Cruz


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 67.32.199.67 on Mar 11, 2004 8:07 AM


 
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Dan Goddard
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64.159.109.5

FALSE TEACHER "MAX LUCADO" TO SPEAK AT TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH

March 19 2004, 1:52 AM 

FALSE TEACHER "MAX LUCADO" TO SPEAK AT TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH


Dan Goddard



No faithful eldership or faithful college president would allow such a false teacher as Max Lucado to appear on any program sponsored by them.


The following article appeared in the Observer and Eccentric a local newspaper for the Detroit, Michigan area. The Temple Baptist Church located in Livonia, MI; a suburb of Detroit, will host a Leadership Conference in April of 1999. Max Lucado will be one of the featured speakers. The article states: "Lucado senior pastor of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas, has authored such books as 'Six Hours One Friday' and 'A Gentle Thunder.' Max is a pastor and an extremely well-known author."

Now that Max has long since shown his true colors, will members of the churches of Christ keep inviting him to speak on their lectureships, hold gospel meetings and appear on their college campuses? Will "we" keep on buying his books, which will in part produce money for his works of error? It is true that in some places we are no longer a people of the Book. No faithful eldership or faithful college president would allow such a false teacher as Max Lucado to appear on any program sponsored by them. If they did they would be in violation of such passages as 2 John 9-11. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

One wonders what good if any it does nowadays to warn members of the Lord's church of such things. It seems to me that so few are listening to any such warning because Max and others like him keep on appearing on church of Christ sponsored events. These fellows like Max want to hold on to Jesus with one hand and the Devil with the other. They want the endorsement of our Lord Jesus Christ while at the same time wanting the endorsement of the denominational world. You can't have both. Not according to Matthew 7:21-23, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Paul was one who believed in warning people of the dangers coming on the Lord's church in the first century as he would try to warn the elders in Acts 20:28-31, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

Can we do no less?

___________________________________
29511 Bock St.
Garden City, MI 48135

“Seek the Old Paths,” Vol. 10, No. 4


    
This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address 68.19.193.173 on Mar 19, 2004 8:11 AM


 
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Gary W. Summers
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166.90.116.237

MAX PASTOR

March 25 2004, 6:22 AM 

MAX PASTOR


GARY W. SUMMERS




The kingdom of Israel had been divided for more than 75 years. Those who ruled over the northern kingdom all walked in the ways of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel commit a great sin (2 Kings 17:21). The kings of Judah, at first, tended to be obedient to God. Jehoshaphat began his reign very well, until "by marriage he allied himself with Ahab" (2 Chron. 18:1). What sadness the reader experiences, therefore, to discover that, when a good king over a faithful kingdom went to visit one of the most wicked kings ever, he said, "I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in war" (2 Chron. 18:3).

The only appropriate response seems to be to scream, "Jehoshaphat! No! What are you doing?" God, through the prophet Jehu, did rebuke the king of Judah: "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you" (2 Chron. 19:2). To draw the contrast even more sharply, someone might have pointed out to Jehoshaphat the following facts: "We in the southern kingdom have tried to please Jehovah. We have not set up idols--golden calves-- as they have in the north. We still have priests from the tribe of Levi, as Moses commanded, instead of from every tribe of Israel. Our worship is centered in Jerusalem, as it is supposed to be, not in Dan or Bethel, as in the north (see 1 Kings 12:25-33). We have clung to the truth in these matters for generations. We have told the Israelites over and over that they are not walking or worshiping according to the will of God. And now, O king, you visit the wicked Ahab and say that we are as they are. Aarrgghh!! How can the truth mean so little and your compromising be so great?"

Anyone who can understand that situation should be able to understand the problem that members of the churches of Christ have with Max Lucado, as it relates to his guest appearance on the 700 Club with Pat Robertson on Monday, April 2nd. This program for years has been the epitome of false religion. Its hosts not only ascribe various types of behavior erroneously to the Holy Spirit, but they also deny the fundamental and plain teaching of the New Testament concerning the role of baptism in salvation.

So imagine how faithful members of the Lord's church feel when Max Lucado claims to be one of us and compromises everywhere he possibly can. As the interview came to an end, Pat Robertson said: "Max, it's a joy to have you. We just thank God for the gift He's given you, my brother." Max replied: "I thank God for you. I sure do." This mutual love fest occurred while they were shaking hands. Should Max love those who hate the Lord? [Of course, no faithful preacher of the Gospel would ever be invited to appear on the 700 Club.] But Max is now a pastor, also. We have no way of knowing if he has been appointed as an elder (pastor, bishop), but he did claim to be one in the denominational sense of the term. One of the first questions Robertson asked was: "Are, are you pastoring at all? " Max responded eagerly: "I am. I am. I'm a full time [pastor] at the Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas." This information was purposely elicited, despite the fact that it was in the form of a question. It had already been flashed on the screen: "Max Lucado: Author/Pastor." How embarrassing for true Christians. As we all wished to admonish Jehoshaphat, one can envision preachers everywhere yelling at Max, "Do you know how many times we have had to explain that we are preachers and not pastors? How can you identify yourself as one of us and claim to be pastoring a church of Christ?" Of course, what could be expected from someone who has already given up the Bible's teaching on salvation and worship? Max apparently delights in perpetuating ignorance of the Truth.

Max Theologian


Max presented an interesting, if erroneous view of Colossians 2. Following is the conversation that occurred on this same program.
    The gospels don't refer to the nails, but Paul, in the epistle Colossians, chapter two and fourteen, says that Jesus canceled the debt that held the charges against us. He took it and nailed it to Christ's cross. And so the picture there, you know, Pat, is so powerful. The, the, the list of my sins and your sins has been nailed to the cross, and and the blood of Christ has blotted out, the Bible says, covered all of those mistakes. What a powerful image that is.
It is true that Jesus took our sins upon Him and paid the price for them, but that is not what this verse says. First of all, the subject of the verb is God, not Jesus. God (the Father) is the one in verse 13 who made us alive together with Christ; He is also the one who wiped out the handwriting of ordinances.
This handwriting of requirements (ordinances, KJV) is not a list of our sins. The Pulpit Commentary states: "This bond (with its decrees can be nothing other than 'the law' (Eph. ii. 14-16; Acts xii. 38,39; Rom. iii. 20; vii. 25; Gal. iii. 21, 22, etc.)...Ó (20:4:89). Strangely, after citing all of these verses that pertain to the Law of Moses, this commentary then says that they do not refer to that law; but they obviously do. The correct view is stated in the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries:
    The cancellation of the bond was effected by Christ's death. Thus it is pictured as being nailed once and for all...to the cross. Hence, the cross which meant the death of Christ meant also the death of the law which ceased to have its power over the people of God. Because Christ not only perfectly fulfilled the law, but also stood in the sinner's place and accepted in His own Person the penalty due to the one who breaks the law, the very bond itself has been cancelled (70).
Daniel Denham, in his chapter, "Holding Fast the Head," provided the following research for Studies in Philippians and Colossians, edited by Dub McClish:
    William Hendriksen properly observes that "in the clearly parallel passage (Eph. 2:15) what has been abolished through the cross is not 'a certificate of indebtedness with our signature on it' but 'the law of commandments with its requirements'." Hen-driksen, quoting F. W. Beare, adds, "It represents simply the law as a written code.?" The Judaizers, who had heavily influenced the Colossians, had brought them into bondage of the law of Moses and, thus, Paul sought to impress upon the minds of his readers the fact that the law was no longer extant as the rule of faith and practice for anyone, let alone the Gentiles! The word rendered "ordinances" refers to the "decrees" and commands of that document. These were "against us" and "contrary to us" in that the law "condemned, but could not save" (247).
It is not the list of our sins, therefore, that was nailed to the cross; it is the law itself.

Max Pentecostal


Max tries to blend in wherever he goes (like a chameleon); so we should probably not be surprised by the following comments designed to support the charismatic movement:
    I was really struck by the symbolism of, you know, when Christ's side was pierced by the sword, blood and water came forth.
At this point Pat Robertson chimed in, "Right." Apparently, neither of them knows that Jesus' side was pierced with a spear. The Greek word translated "spear" appears only once in the New Testament--in John 19:34. Thayer says that the Greek word refers to "the iron point or head of a spear; a lance or spear." The word translated "sword" appears 29 times in the New Testament; it is used four times in Matthew 26, thrice in Mark 14, four times in Luke 22, and twice in John 18. The two words are not the same, nor are they defined the same. Max continued:
    And you know, throughout the New Testament water represents the power of the Holy Spirit, and the blood represents, of course, the redemption that we have. And they come together, you know, as a picture of what God wants to give you and gives, gives me. And that is, forgiveness and power. But not forgiveness with no power, not power with no forgiveness; but they come at the same time.
What? One wonders if Max has any clue as to what he is saying. Water represents the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament? What does that make John 3:5 say? Must one be born of the Spirit and the Spirit? When John was baptizing in water, was he really baptizing in the Holy Spirit? When Peter asked of Cornelius and those with him, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" was he advocating that those who had received the Holy Spirit should be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:47)? To what does "the washing of regeneration" refer, which is linked with the renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)?

One might make a case for "the rivers of living water" representing the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-38), but certainly water does not stand for the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament. The word translated "water" is found 79 times; perhaps Max could write a book about all those alleged times water stands for the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, when the disciples were on the sea of Galilee, Jesus came walking to them on the Holy Spirit. Are we to give a cup of the Holy Spirit in the Lord's name (Mark 9:41)? Is it the Holy Spirit who is raging in Luke 8:24, and the Lord rebuked Him? When the disciples went into Jerusalem to prepare the Passover, did they really find a man carrying a pitcher of the Holy Spirit (Luke 22:10)? Did Jesus turn the Holy Spirit into wine (John 2)? Did Jesus meet the Samaritan woman by a well that contained the Holy Spirit (John 4)? Let Max prove conclusively that water refers to the Holy Spirit even 5 of the 79 times. Water can have an occasional symbolic meaning--but certainly not enough to substantiate Max's extravagant claim.

Not only does the water that comes from the side of Jesus in John 19:34 represent the Spirit, according to Max (and virtually no commentator agrees with him, the Holy Spirit in turn stands for power (the blood standing for forgiveness). So we are given forgiveness and power together, he claims. So, the Holy Spirit does not just indwell us; he gives us some sort of power. Max did not elaborate as to the kind of power that is. Is it direct Spirit-on-spirit power? Or is it the power to work "miracles" or "speak in tongues"? Or does he mean that we have the power to overcome sin?

Max Broadcaster


Pat Robertson was delighted to inform his viewing audience that the 700 Club would be replaced by a special program on "Good Friday," April 13th. He asked Max to say something about it.
    It's a He Chose the Nails [his bestselling book of last year, gws] television special. It's Jesus, Pat, from beginning to end. It's all about Christ, and some powerful music, some heart-changing music, uh, some of the the best artists in America, like Twila Paris and Wes King, some of them have written songs to go along with this. It presents the cross of Christ from beginning to end.
Needless to say, some members of the church who are Max's devoted fans will be shocked that he would use instrumental music to accompany this "special," but it will scarcely be news to anyone who has been paying attention to his past compromises.

Yes, Pastor Max has chosen to fight on the side of the spiritual Ahabs of the day. He delights in being in their midst and fellowshiping with them. Surely he does not mind all the honors he receives, either. As Jesus might say, "Assuredly, I say to you, he has his reward."

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "MAX PASTOR (4/15/01)."

———————————————————————————————————————————
garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org


    
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Robert Dodson
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65.135.141.30

LUCADO PUTS NEW FACE ON CHURCHES OF CHRIST

June 7 2004, 1:44 AM 

[The following article is cited from POWER, a monthly publication of the church of Christ in Southaven, MS. Emph. by D.C.]



LUCADO PUTS NEW FACE ON CHURCHES OF CHRIST


By Robert Dodson



This is the subtitle of an article on the front page of the religious section in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, November 21, 1998, by staff writer, Paul R. Buckley. Newspaper stories sometimes don’t get the story right. But this one is right on the mark! It begins by telling us that Max Lucado has heard the old joke about the church of Christ thinking they are the only ones going to heaven, but that he believes there really are Baptist, Methodists, and Catholics there. The article says "that more and more church of Christ members are thinking what he’s thinking." Lucado says:
    People in the pews, even many preachers, have begun to regard professing Christians at the church down the street as the real thing. Even if they sing their hymns with organs. Even if they take communion quarterly rather than weekly, even if they are sprinkled rather than dipped.
In the article, Lucado makes a telling confession, saying "I don’t think that a lot of the more strict teachings ever became a part of my DNA." According to the article, one of those "strict teachings" was the belief that baptism is "by immersion and for the forgiveness of sins." If Lucado never accepted this, was he ever one of us? To hear Lucado tell it, he was saved ten years after his baptism by listening to a denominational preacher on the radio.

Lucado says, "We are saved by grace. Baptism is a response to God’s gift, not a way to earn God’s gift." Apparently, Lucado believes that if baptism is a condition that one must comply with in order to be saved (as the scriptures teach—-Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21), then salvation is earned and cannot be of grace. However, "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Yet, all men are not saved; only those who obey the gospel of Jesus Christ will be saved (2 Thess. 1:7-10; Hebrews 5:8-9; Romans 6:17).

The article further states that Lucado is pleased that the churches of Christ are changing. The Oak Hills church where Lucado is minister uses mechanical instruments during some weeknight services, according to the article.

The article is also accurate in identifying the position of several other preachers among us. First, it points out how that Robert Oglesby (minister at Waterview church of Christ in Richardson) believes that baptism is commanded for the forgiveness of sins, but will not go so far as to mark Max Lucado as a false teacher. Why won’t he? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to warn others about such wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; Romans 16:17-19; 2 John 9-11)? Unfortunately, many preachers are as silent as a tomb about what’s going on in the brotherhood of Christ.

F. LaGard Smith (law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California) is also mentioned in the article. Reference is made to his book entitled "Who Is My Brother?" in which he suggests "Mr. Lucado is unwittingly leading his readers astray." The article perceptively points out that though LaGard "cannot easily regard [denominationalists] as Christians" that "he acknowledges God has the prerogative to do as He wishes on Judgment Day." Yet, God has already told us what He is going to do on Judgment Day and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)!

The article does a fine job in describing the churches of Christ as "A brotherhood of independent congregations that claim no authority but the Bible…nothing more or less than the church of the New Testament founded by Jesus." But, then there is C. Leonard Allen who says "It’s not so simple as all that." Allen taught theology at Abilene Christian University for 15 years. His attitude about the church is well characterized. According to Dr. Allen, "its founding fathers were swayed not just by the Apostle Paul but also by the philosopher John Locke, among others. The result: a tradition that stumbles along with an Enlightenment hangover, claiming all the while to be nothing but a first-century church."

The article further states that Allen and Lucado like to think they are a part of restoring "a more ecumenically minded" tradition. It’s sad that a newswriter seems to know more about what’s going on in the church of Christ than we do. Many brethren will not heed the warning cries of faithful gospel preachers. Perhaps, they will listen to the newspaper.

 
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Lowell Blasingame
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65.1.108.61

Instrumental Worship: Isolated or Key Trend?

August 2 2004, 2:33 AM 

Instrumental Worship: Isolated or Key Trend?


By Lowell Blasingame



This is the headline for an article carried in The Christian Chronicle, Vol.60, No.10, October, 2003. This issue also contained an announcement that the Oak Hills church (formerly "of Christ") has made the decision to include in its worship services, one service that incorporates the use of mechanical instruments to accompany the singing. This article’s writer goes on to point out that in doing this, the Oak Hills church is following the lead of four other of the largest churches of Christ in the U.S. who have made the same decision since 2001.

Max Lucado has been "pulpit minister" of the Oak Hills church for 15 years, and his association with denominations is legendary. He has exchanged pulpits with the First Baptist Church preacher in San Antonio, been a featured speaker at Promise Keepers meetings, and not long ago engineered for the Oak Hill church a lecture program featuring speakers from different denominations in the area. Lucado is on record as believing salvation is by "faith only" and stating that baptism is an act of obedience that transpires after one has been saved, not in order to be saved.

I have a preacher friend in Arkansas, who like me, grew up on a farm before the day of tractors and farm herbicides. In his homespun wisdom, he made the observation that nothing broadens one's outlook on life so much as watching the sun rise over the back end of a mule as he follows a plow up and down cotton rows. The gem of wisdom that he passed along to me was, "When you quit plowing, that’s when the weeds and grass take over." The point that I'm trying to make in telling you this is, that Oak Hills hasn't been plowed for 15 years! That's why the weeds and grass are taking over.

The writer of the Christian Chronicle article took the pulse of some whom I suppose he regards to be leading figures in the brotherhood to get their take or reaction on these large churches introducing instrumental music in the worship.
  • Flavil Yeakley sees it as “five isolated tragedies."

  • John Ellas sees "a small trend related to music tied to a larger trend,” that being the willingness to reevaluate previous theological positions, “with many coming to different conclusions.”

  • Mac Lynn sees the shift in attitude about the instrument as being only one indicator and says, "Many churches are less concerned with markers that historically distinguished Churches of Christ." He lists among these "historic markers," (Mac needs to learn the difference between what is historic and what is Scriptural) singing, baptism for remission of sins, weekly communion, church organization, and men in church leadership roles. He concludes that, "Most of the markers are still in place, but the attitude toward their essentiality has changed." What he overlooked is the fact that apostasy begins with an attitude of disrespect for the authority of the Scriptures (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).

  • Earl Edwards says that the instrument seems to have been added on the premise that "anything not expressly condemned in Scripture is acceptable---and since instrumental music is not specifically condemned, it is OK. Such reasoning assumes that all silence is permissive (never prohibitive)." He then makes the observation, "If that were true, infant baptism and many other things would be OK as well." Edwards is correct, for there are no passages expressly forbidding sprinkling for baptism, counting beads while praying, or substituting ham for the bread in the communion service. The Hebrew writer (Hebrews 7:14) argued that silence is prohibitive, not permissive.

  • Rubel Shelly says that he is "deeply committed to a cappella music," that he would "oppose anyone's effort to introduce it into our congregational worship at Woodmont Hills," and that he is "not about to champion instrumental music for the Church of Christ."

    However, if you think Rubel is going to be an outspoken opponent against its use in worship, forget it. Hear him, "But when someone wants me to go further and to condemn to hell someone who doesn't agree with my view, or to criticize congregations that choose to use instruments because they believe it will assist their outreach in a community different from mine, I have no interest in pursuing the discussion." Rubel concludes, "Instrumental music and the atonement are not of the same status or consequence to the human soul and its eternal welfare."

    When it comes to determining what is Scriptural and what isn't, why does Rubel make the difference "a community different from mine" and his? Could it be that his community, Nashville, is where they conducted the Clubb-Boles and Hardemen-Boswell debates that sounded death blows to the music question, and that too many memories of it remain there for him to get on the bandwagon at this time?

    And how did he arrive at the conclusion that the atonement and instrumental music aren't "of the same status or consequence?" The atonement came by the blood of Christ (Romans 3:24-27; Ephesians 1:7), and we receive it by "walking in the light" (1 John 1:7), which equals obeying the "law of faith" of Romans 3:27. Since there is no divine authorization for instrumental music in worship, one cannot use it and walk in the light, and when he ceases to do so, he is no longer cleansed by the blood that is essential to atonement; so how does he arrive at the conclusion that they aren't of equal importance? One thing is certain, he didn't use the Scriptures.
The remainder of the Christian Chronicle article cites reasons given by churches that have introduced the instrument into at least one of their services. The article’s author concludes, "The churches that have added instrumental services cite a common motivation--evangelism and outreach. All report increases in attendance since the switch." This is what happens when we measure growth in numbers. We cease to be interested in a "thus saith the Lord" and become more concerned about what packs the pews.

. . .

_______________________

Link to the entire article: http://www.knollwoodchurch.org/yr2004/d03_instrumental.html

 
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grace hendrickson
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216.221.111.240

so sad What Max says about Max

September 20 2004, 8:48 PM 

I used to love to read Max's books now i wouldn't buy one for the world, it is so sad to see strong brethren bite into the idea that anything goes in the spiritual world. I have a daughter who turned this way and they have four children, baptism can wait and it is so fun to go where the music is hep and fun. Makes a mother sad to see and we need to pray for the church but the faithful who care what God wants will not be turned away. He is still in control and Max is just a man who most likely got too big for his britches and feels important. To stay humble is a big job in this world but i hate to tell Max he no longer sounds humble to me and for the people he turns astray he will be responsible for along with their own selves. We can't look to man for our answers and that is what so many do. Prayers are so needed these days, i knew Ira North and i know he would be very sad to see what he started turn out to be so worldly. Man have numbers there but not saved people. God help us all. Love in Him, Grace

 
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Donnie Cruz
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65.1.109.171

Re: so sad What Max says about Max

September 22 2004, 4:28 AM 

Grace,

Thanks for posting. I was just wondering when you finally realized that marks of apostasy were evident in Max’s teachings and writings.

Max is still a strong individual … but for the wrong reason and purpose. In case you haven’t read it yet, there’s another thread that deals with Max’s view of baptism—“Trans-Baptist Max Lucado/Oak Hills Church—Baptism…”

Donnie

 
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Tim
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67.140.120.136

You guys need to get a Nintendo

January 11 2005, 5:20 PM 

Max is one of the most Godly men I have ever met. You guys remind me of the firing squad standing in a circle with the convicted man in the middle. You are doing youselves more harm than the one you are shooting at. Like a friend told me after my sixth child was born "you need to get a Nintendo."
Tim Farmer
Dalton Ga

 
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...........................THE BOOK

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?


There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

To even start to understand whats happening here, you must read the background materials in the first of the book.

This is only the first edition, and not the end. New editions will be printed as needed. To keep abreast of current changes, please visit our web site; http://www.concernedmembers.com/madison

Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)
 

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