Max Lucado and the Church of Christ

Bobbi

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know anything about the church of Christ? Max Lucado is a pastor of Oak hills Chruch formally the Oak Hills church of christ. We are looking for a new pastor and one of the men who applied says Max Lucado has been most influential in his spiritual development. So I am looking for help on the chruch of christ because I have heard not so good things about their doctrines. Thanks,
 

ShilohRose

Well-Known Member
It is my understanding that the Church of Christ believes in a works-based salvation, and people must be baptized to be saved. You believe on Jesus to be saved, but you can lose your salvation if you don't behave yourself. It always sounded kind of Catholic to me because I was told that you need to be sure you had all of your sin confessed before you died or you would go to hell.

I don't know about Max Lucado's personal church, but the Church of Christ in my home town does not allow any musical instruments in their building.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, the Church of Christ is somewhat legalistic. They believe that it is important to obey Christ, that obedience to Him is a sign of salvation ... and to that extent they are correct. Christ Himself said that it is the one who is obedient that is His. ( John 8:31) Therefore they believe that to refuse to be baptized is disobedience and indicates you are not really saved. Where they get carried away is in determining that it is in the baptism that one is saved. (I know there is a verse that would seem to indicate that, but you need to take all of the verses on baptism together.) They are not alone in this: strict Lutheran doctrine teaches the same thing.

The thing about obedience is that it is a sign of salvation, not a cause of it. The one thing we must obey to be saved is to recognize ourselves as sinners, repent of that sin, believe that Christ is our only hope, and accept Him as our Savior. There are no works that we do that can assist in that. The work was done by Christ alone, once and for all time. All we do is exercise faith in that. And once we do that, we are born again (1 Peter 1:3,23) ... we are made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) ... we are new beings (Colossians 3:9-11) ... we have a new life (Colossians 1:3). And just as the nature of the old life was to please self, the nature of the new life is to please Christ and others. It is the very nature of Christ that now dwells within us. And thus we will do works, we will see the fruit of the Spirit produced in us ... sooner or later ... and in direct relation to how much we are willing to surrender ourselves to Him. The problem is that the Churches of Christ, like all legalists, tend to get the cart before the horse and demand actions that can only properly flow from the work of the Holy Spirit within.

As to the matter of music, their ban on musical instruments comes from an inane interpretation of Ephesians 5:19. It is silly, and many members will agree with you about that, but it is their tradition and they feel comfortable with it. I will say this, it does eliminate the fleshly and superficially emotional component that sometimes instruments can bring to worship. But in doing so they give up the genuinely emotional component that instruments bring to worship, something that God has given man and is praised in the Old Testament. Of course the Cof C erroneously teaches that all use of instrumental music went out with the OT! Silly.

Having said all this, if there is no good non-emergent church in your area, you could do a lot worse than a Church of Christ. They love the Lord and try very hard to worship scripturally as the original New Testament church did. Therefore they study the practices of that church and try to emulate them today. Their hearts mean well; their practices veer into error ... as happens with any person or group that adds works to faith. True godly works are produced by the Holy Spirit within and are the product—the gradually increasing result—of saving faith. They are not the cause of it.
 
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ShilohRose

Well-Known Member
"Where they get carried away is in determining that it is in the baptism that one is saved. (I know there is a verse that would seem to indicate that, but you need to take all of the verses on baptism together.) They are not alone in this: strict Baptist doctrine teaches the same thing."

I did not know that was strict Baptist doctrine, and my father is a retired Baptist minister. I don't know that I've ever heard that preached in a Baptist pulpit, but it may be the older, and as you say, "strict" Baptist doctrine. I have always heard that salvation is by grace, not by any other means, including baptism, and baptism was always portrayed as a symbol of what had already happened to the person being baptized.

One would have to be very careful about attending a legalistic church or he might find himself caught in their chains.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
"Where they get carried away is in determining that it is in the baptism that one is saved. (I know there is a verse that would seem to indicate that, but you need to take all of the verses on baptism together.) They are not alone in this: strict Baptist doctrine teaches the same thing."

I did not know that was strict Baptist doctrine, and my father is a retired Baptist minister. I don't know that I've ever heard that preached in a Baptist pulpit, but it may be the older, and as you say, "strict" Baptist doctrine. I have always heard that salvation is by grace, not by any other means, including baptism, and baptism was always portrayed as a symbol of what had already happened to the person being baptized.

One would have to be very careful about attending a legalistic church or he might find himselfcaught in their chains.
Sorry, my error. (Comes from typing before I'm fully awake.:lol:) I had baptism on my mind, so "Bpatist" came out. I meant to type " Lutheran"... strict Lutheran doctrine teaches baptismal regeneration. Not Baptist. My bad. (I have gone back and corrected my post.)
 

ShilohRose

Well-Known Member
I can understand not being fully awake!:lol: I'm pretty useless until I get some cocoa in the mornings.

I was really confused by that statement about Baptists. :scratch: Thank you for clearing that up.
 

DanLW

Well-Known Member
Be careful lumping all "Church of Christ" churches into one group who all believe the same thing. Many "Church of Christ" churches are acapella. But I went to a Church of Christ church which had instruments to include electric guitars. And this particular Church of Christ was just down the road from an acapella Church of Christ. In a broader sense, geographic location can play a role. If you go to a "Christian Church" in the western US, and you move to the eastern US, you will want to find a "Church of Christ", and vice versa. But like I said a few sentences ago, it's not a hard fast rule.

I don't get why people believe that if a church believes baptism is a requirement of salvation, they are hard-core legalist. In my experience, the reverse is true. Most of the churches I've gone to believe baptism is a requirement, although some believe it is a proper response or a sign that one is saved. None of them were what I would describe as legalistic. As a matter of fact, the most legalistic church I've gone to (with a friend, not as a regular attendee) was Cornerstone Baptist Church. I know they don't believe that baptism is a requirement of salvation, but if you're a girl and you don't wear a dress to church... or if you don't read out of the King James version ONLY... or if you get up in the middle of the sermon to use the restroom...

Out of curiosity, since "Church of Christ" earned itself a spot in the "occult/errant religion" section of this forum, what is the "authorized denomination" of this forum?
 

arapahoepark

Well-Known Member
I have also read that they are predominately postmillenialists and amillenialists.....

By the way one of our presidents, Garfield (1881), used to be a minister in that denomination? Though I think things may have changed in that denomination since then.
 

Bobbi

Well-Known Member
What I was looking for is what the Chruch of Christ doctrine is. When I looked it up on line below is what I found. Max Lucado's church says the following about what their beliefs are:

We are the Body of Christ called to be Jesus in every neighborhood in San Antonio and beyond.

Our Vision and Beliefs
God’s story is a story of love and redemption. The story or message that most clearly shows this redemptive love is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (I John 3:16). Paul says this message is of “first importance” (I Corinthians 15:3). As God reveals his nature through the stories of the Bible, the following teachings emerge as the central core doctrines. These teachings form the core of our beliefs here at Oak Hills.

God
There is one true God, eternally existing in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These are equal and are one God. God created the world out of nothing and by his power he sustains all he has created. (Romans 8:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14).

Jesus Christ
Jesus was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35) and became flesh and blood (John 1:1-16; 29-34) without ceasing to be God. He lived a sinless life and performed many miracles to confirm his divinity. He died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice, paying the debt for our sins (Mark 10:45). On the third day after his death he arose from the dead showing his victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He appeared to his disciples and then ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God serving as our mediator.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. He makes people aware of their need for Christ (John 16:8-11, 2 Corinthians 6:11). He indwells and empowers the believer (I John 4:13; Galatians. 5:16-26). His presence in our life is a seal and guarantee that we are God’s children (2 Corinthians 1: 21-22). The Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts (talents or abilities) (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Romans 12:4-8) to be used to help others.

Baptism Download Baptism: A Demonstration of Devotion (.pdf)

Bible
The Bible is the inspired word of God and is the final authority in life and doctrine (2 Timothy 3: 16).

Salvation
Salvation is a free gift of God. The death of Christ on the cross is the only sufficient payment for our sins. All have sinned, but all can be saved. This salvation is available for any who put their trust in Christ as Savior (Romans 3:23, 6:23; John 3:16). Those trusting Christ should repent of sin, confess their faith, and be baptized (Romans 10:9; Acts 2:38).

Church
The church is the body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue the task of reaching the lost and discipling the saved, helping them become fully devoted followers of Christ (Ephesians 4: 1-16).

Christ’s Return
Christ will one day return and judge all people (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). Unbelievers will be separated from God’s presence in Hell and believers will be welcomed in God’s presence in Heaven.

At Oak Hills we sincerely try to follow the Bible and its teachings. However, our ability to logically figure everything out is not the basis for our acceptability before God. Our salvation is based on what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. What we must be right about is the fact that we cannot be right about everything and are therefore completely dependent on God’s graciousness and mercy.

I went under the pdf file for baptism and found this statement in the last paragraph:

In baptism God signs and seals our conversion
to him. For all we may not understand about
baptism, we can be sure of one thing—it is a holy
moment.

Also they state that you cannot be a member of that church without being baptised.

Other things that I read about the Chruch of Christs doctrines that I have a problem with are:

They teach Baptismal Regeneration - Salvation by Water Baptism
They refer to Christians who are not members of "Their" Church as "Unsaved"
They reject fellowship and ministry cooperation with other local "Non Church of Christ" churches
They teach that they are the ONLY ones who can be and are saved in Jesus Christ
They believe that they are the ONLY true "Church"
They publish and distribute large volumes of literature promoting their doctrine
They reject the idea that they are a "Denomination"
They outwardly preach universal unity among churches - (but, premised on the fact that all other churches conform to "ALL" of their teachings and practices including revision of their church name to "Church of Christ")

They teach that the "Lord's Supper" MUST be observed each Sunday
They FORBID worship of the Lord with any kind of instrumental music
They emphasize the study of the Book of Acts to an extreme over the rest of the Bible
They reject the reference to their Church as a "Denomination"
They claim the "Entire" Word of God as their Doctrinal Creed
They teach that prophecies in the book of Revelation are not future, but past tense - (Preterist View)
They teach that a Christian's salvation in Christ can be Lost
They do not believe that man is Born a Sinner
They reject the doctrine concerning "The Rapture of The Church
The Old Testament Prophecies concerning Israel have become null and void. That is, God is through with Israel and He will not gather them from among the nation, sanctify them, and be glorified through them.

These are the good things they believe that I would agree with:

They recognize Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, the Savior of all mankind
They profess Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation
They observe the ordinance of "The Lord's Supper"
They worship the Lord with singing
They acknowledge the Bible as the Word of God
They "Forsake Not the Assembling of Themselves" weekly
They teach about the Love of Jesus Christ
They support many orphan homes
They believe in the Great Commission
They practice water baptism by immersion
They reject charismatic phenomena "Gifts of the Spirit" - Speaking in Tongues, Healings, etc.

While I was attending a Church in Minnesota our Pastor told us to be careful with Max Lucado. So I guess what I am wondering is, is this really what the Chruch of Christ believe and teaches as their doctrine, are these the things Lucado endorses also?

The reason I am asking is because we are looking for a new pastor and a man who applied says along with other books that Max Lucado's many works and the prayer of Jabez have strongly influenced him in his life and I thought that it was strange that a Baptist preacher would site Max Lucado's works and the prayer of Jabez as strong influences in his life.

I am familiar with Lucado's work and he is a good author, but wouldn't his doctrines be woven into his writings?

Anyway thanks for all your info and putting up with my question. Also I put his under this heading because I didn't know where else to put it. So if I upset someone with putting it here I am sorry.
 

billiefan2000

Well-Known Member
I have also read that they are predominately postmillenialists and amillenialists.....

By the way one of our presidents, Garfield (1881), used to be a minister in that denomination? Though I think things may have changed in that denomination since then.



I am somewhat a member of a COC church and they are mostly postmillenialists and amillenialists

I believe in a pre-trib rapture btw


the one I go to sometimes on sunday mornings does allow instruments to be played.

some COC do, and some dont.
 

DanLW

Well-Known Member
Other things that I read about the Chruch of Christs doctrines that I have a problem with are:

They teach Baptismal Regeneration - Salvation by Water Baptism
They refer to Christians who are not members of "Their" Church as "Unsaved"
They reject fellowship and ministry cooperation with other local "Non Church of Christ" churches
They teach that they are the ONLY ones who can be and are saved in Jesus Christ
They believe that they are the ONLY true "Church"
They publish and distribute large volumes of literature promoting their doctrine
They reject the idea that they are a "Denomination"
They outwardly preach universal unity among churches - (but, premised on the fact that all other churches conform to "ALL" of their teachings and practices including revision of their church name to "Church of Christ")

They teach that the "Lord's Supper" MUST be observed each Sunday
They FORBID worship of the Lord with any kind of instrumental music
They emphasize the study of the Book of Acts to an extreme over the rest of the Bible
They reject the reference to their Church as a "Denomination"
They claim the "Entire" Word of God as their Doctrinal Creed
They teach that prophecies in the book of Revelation are not future, but past tense - (Preterist View)
They teach that a Christian's salvation in Christ can be Lost
They do not believe that man is Born a Sinner
They reject the doctrine concerning "The Rapture of The Church
The Old Testament Prophecies concerning Israel have become null and void. That is, God is through with Israel and He will not gather them from among the nation, sanctify them, and be glorified through them.

I think you need to figure out what your prospective minister believes as an individual in regards to what you believe are 1) Salvation issues, and 2) Important, but not quite salvation issues.

As far as Max Lucado believes, you should really go off the material you cited from HIS church website. The second list you posted (what was your source?) looks like a giant straw man argument put together by somebody with an agenda.

The error you are making is in assuming that all Church of Christ churches believe the same thing. They do not. By and large, Church of Christ churches are INDEPENDENT churches, and therefore do not all agree. Same goes for independent "Christian", "Baptist", "Evangelical", "Bible", etc. churches. (If you want to know about the "UNITED Church of Christ", that's a different story.)

I was going to go through line by line, but having done that, I'll spare you by saying that almost all of those were not believed by the Church of Christs which I went to, and the ones that could be applicable depend on the reasoning behind the statement. For example, the statement "They do not believe that man is born a Sinner". I believe that when a baby/young child dies, they go to heaven. Does that mean I do not believe that man is born a sinner?

The point I'm trying to make is that while with major UNITED national denominations (Catholics, Latter Day Saints, Jehova's Witnesses, United ________ (fill in the blank), you can usually find a universally held list of beliefs, it is folly to try to attribute a blanket statement of beliefs to any independent church body.

I have moved around a lot, and have researched dozens of churches.
There are "Christian" churches that I would go to, and ones I would not go to.
There are "Baptist" churches I would go to, and ones I would not go to.
There are "Church of Christ" churches I would go to, and ones I would not go to.

What it comes down to is with any independent church, you have to figure out what that particular church believes. Or in your case, you have to find out what your prospective minister believes as an individual.
 

Bobbi

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your reply. I don't have any hard core beliefs about the Chruch of Christ and the information I found was just somethin I found and I had no idea if the Chruch of Christ as a hole believed this or not and that is exactly what I was asking. Thank you again for taking the time to explain to me something I didn't understand. I greatly appreciate it.
 

arapahoepark

Well-Known Member
If that is true they sound like a cult saying they are the only true church.....
any so called denomination that says that is a cult, period.

Obviously, Protestantism is really the only way to interpret the Bible and such but it also doesn't mean we are the only ones, there are some catholic and orthodox that are true born again Christians, but certainly not all of them or the teachings themselves are Christian...and also not all protestants are born again either....so yeah I am not sure where I am going with this...
 

DanLW

Well-Known Member
When they say they are the only true denomination, clarification is needed.

If somebody says that about the "Christian Church" at large, I would agree. "Christian" being a term applied to a follower of Christ, and Christ said that he is the only way, so yes, Christianity is the only church that is saved.

If somebody says that abut their church in particular, that's a problem. None of the churches I have attended as a member, Christian, Church of Christ, or otherwise, have made that claim. However, I have never been a member of an "Acapella" Church of Christ, but I have had passing experience with them, and they do lean more towards legalism.

Now, as far as claiming to be the only "correct" church, I am sure that there are extreme examples in any denomination. It all goes back to figuring out exactly what a particular church says about themselves. It may well be true that some Church of Christs believe that. I know that there are also some Baptist churches that believe that. When we moved to Germany, we came across a Baptist congregation that requires a letter of reference from a US Baptist church to become a member. A friend of mine gave me several audio sermons from Dr. Phil Kidd, and he made a big deal about the importance of rejecting baptism from non-baptist churches. (From the sermon "How Do You Like Your Steak") So there are definitely extremes all across the spectrum.
 

micah719

an adopted son of The Most High God John 6:37-40
The thief on the cross. Saved or not?

Sampson. Saved, or not?

Abraham. Saved, or not?

Mark 16:16
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

What is the determining factor of damnation in the preceding verse?

Acts 8:36-38
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Since salvation is by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, was the eunuch saved before he got out of the chariot, or after he got out of the water?
 

IamPJ

Well-Known Member
I was raised in a conservative Church of Christ without musical instruments. And yes not all Church of Christs are the same. My entire family are still members of the Church of Christ. They all believe in the rapture. They do believe it is necessary to be baptized. But they try their best to go strictly by the Bible...at least the ones I attended did. I myself switched to non-denominational in my forties. I like the musical instruments!
 

IamPJ

Well-Known Member
I liked Max Lucado and Beth Moore, but they have recently appeared on a DVD (Be Still and Know That I Am God) the promotes contemplative prayer. I was really disappointed to hear that...
 

micah719

an adopted son of The Most High God John 6:37-40
The thief on the cross. Saved or not?

Saved. The Lord said so. No time for Baptism, the thief was dead shortly after. Saved by grace, through faith. His voice and example rings out across the ages.

Sampson. Saved, or not?

Saved. Says so in Hebews 11:32, the Honour Roll of Faith. Brother Sampson's walk was, shall we say, a little fleshy; and his exit brought the house down. Some religious folks maintain Bro Sam went to hell for suicide....but if you look at the Biblical Facts you'll notice The Lord granted him one last gift of strength and the opportunity to avenge his eyes on the Palestinians, and remove them from further Roadmap to Peace negotiations. Now, this is not to excuse sin.....try Bro Sam's walk, pushing the enemy's grist mill and remembering what it was like to see, once. Or, you can repent speedily when The Lord convicts you of your sin, and get back to fellowship. The Lord doesn't burn his children forever in the wrath of hellfire.....but He spanks hard and even promotes them home when they stay stubborn too long or get too naughty. Uzziah would testify to that , and so would Ananias and Sapphira. David was a man after God's own heart.....read Psalm 51, I mean, if you can repent and come to The Lord for grace and forgieness after murdering one of your best and most loyal Godly soldiers and stealing his wife, now that's faith.

Abraham. Saved, or not?

Saved. Read Romans chapter 4, the whole chapter explains in marvellous detail the imputation of righteousness by faith. Abraham, saved by grace, through faith, before circumcision, no Baptism mentioned. May I add here, we are all saved by grace, through faith. Adam was the first: he named his wife Eve (Mother of the Living) after the protoevangelium in Genesis 3. Why would he call her that if he didn't believe The Lord's promise? He accepted The Lord's garment of grace, which involved the shedding of blood. Dispense all you will, it is always grace by faith.

Mark 16:16
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

What is the determining factor of damnation in the preceding verse?

Unbelief. Hence, salvation is by grace, through faith, because faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God. Many are called, few are chosen. His sheep hear His voice. They believe in Him, believe His Word, come to Him in repentance and receive forgiveness, and go get baptised as a witness to the world, the angels holy and unholy, and his own conscience that he has been buried with The Lord and risen with Him. He also commemorates this, and The Lord's return, by partaking in The Lord's supper with his fellow believers.

Acts 8:36-38
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Since salvation is by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, was the eunuch saved before he got out of the chariot, or after he got out of the water?

Saved, before exiting his chariot. If he had slipped and fallen to his death on the way out of the chariot he would have gone straight to The Lord (absence from the body is to be present with Him...Paul said so, he experienced it when he was stoned to death Acts 14:8-20, 2 Cor 12:1-10 2 Cor 5:6-8). Look up Lydia's example of salvation by faith and her response of baptism, and notice the order of events and how her heart was opened (and by Whom).


The reason I went through all that was because in your first post you stated the requirements for salvation include baptism and works. You may be proud of CoC, but it is in fact a descendant of Rome, and probably on its way back there. It is a denomination by definition, by what you have said. Repent and come out and trust The Lord to find you a healthy fellowship. His yoke is light and He will give you rest.
 
Don't know where you got your information on the Church of Christ, but it is 95 percent wrong. And as for instruments, my Church of Christ has piano, organ, 4 guitars, drums, harmonica and keyboard.

I have read so many remarks on this forum that are in error, that it would take me forever to answer all of them, but just wanted the people who are interested to know that you should ask a Church of Christ member, before believing the false remarks printed by members of other churches. If anyone wants to ask me questions about the true beliefs, you mail email and I will be glad to answer.

And PLEASE be aware that the the Church of Christ DOES have instruments. There is a small segment of them that don't but the majority do. Our church has a piano, organ, 4 guitars, harmonica, drums, and a keyboard. Our music is mixed. One service has the older music and one service has contemporary.
 
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