By Donald P. Ames
Max Lucado is supposedly a gospel preacher, and also a prolific writer. I fear his desires to be successful in the latter have colored his thinking so he can no longer espouse the former. From several sources quotes are appearing showing he is now openly espousing Baptist doctrine. Consider with me his comments taken from God’s Inspirational Promise Book (Word Publishing, 1996, 35). After Quoting Ephesians 2:8-9 and Hebrews 4:15, he adds the following note:
You may be decent. You may pay taxes and kiss your kids and sleep with a clean conscience. But apart from Christ you aren’t holy. So how can you go to heaven?
Only believe. Accept the work already done, the work of Jesus on the cross.
Accept the goodness of Jesus Christ. Abandon your own works and accept his. Abandon your own decency and accept his. Stand before God in his name, not yours.
It’s that easy? There was nothing easy about it at all. The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so he paid it for us. Call it simple. Call it a gift. But don’t call it easy.
Call it what it is. Call it grace. That was all he had to say about what you must do to go to heaven. As a gospel preacher, he should be well aware of the fact salvation is to those who obey Christ (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21-23). Jesus spelled out his terms very clearly in Mark 16:16, when he said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” The same was taught by the apostles in Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6: 3-7; 1 Peter 3:21; etc. Does he refer to any of these passages? No! Instead he calls for one to take on the personal righteousness of Christ in place of our own obedience. Christ made the perfect sacrifice in that it was without sin (Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22). And while that sacrifice takes away our sins upon obedience, we must still answer for unrepented sins we commit (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 John 1:5-10). Christ’s personal righteousness is not transferable! So where does he place baptism? Does he believe it is necessary? Not from the above quote he doesn’t. So let’s turn a little further into the book (49) and see what he has to say about obedience to God. He points out that we don’t have do much, but we have to do something. He then proceeds to list some suggestions of things we could do:
• Write a letter
• Ask forgiveness
• Call a counselor
• Call mom
• Visit a doctor
• Be baptized
• Feed a hungry person
• Do something that demonstrates faith
In other words, he believes that being baptized is about essential as a visit to a doctor or writing a letter. It is something you do to let others know you are saved, not something essential for the remission of sins! What proof does he offer that it is unessential? None! Like Baptists, he practices the “pass over” on that topic!
Max Lucado is still widely used by liberals as a gospel preacher, and some are proud “we have such a prolific writer amongst us,” but from what he has written, and the deception he has spread, he needs to be exposed for what he is: a false teacher who has espoused Baptist doctrine. I do not claim him as a brother in Christ unless he turns back in repentance, and those buying his books are merely helping his cause. Instead, we need to “spread the word” so others may be pre-warned!