By Roelf L. Ruffner
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” ( Luke 6:26).
March 5, 2016
Abilene Christian University
To Whom It May Concern:
I read in the Winter-Spring issue of ACU Today that ACU will be adding the papers of Max Lucado to an honored place in the Milliken Special Collections and Archives of the Brown Library. As a Christian, a preacher of the Gospel, a student of Restoration history and an ACU alumnus (’76) I wish to express my profound disappointment in the University’s decision.
It is an undeniable fact that Max is a very popular religious writer who has sold millions of books and influenced millions. I have no qualms with a writer being successful, but at what a price? For example, the other day a Lutheran friend of mine told me that his “pastor” has started using one of Max’s books in his Bible class. With sadness and disgust I told him that Max was no longer affiliated with the churches of Christ and even the church he serves in San Antonio (Oak Hills) has removed of Christ from their sign. Max Lucado is a false teacher, no longer a brother-in-Christ, and has been marked by faithful members of Christ’s body for a long time (cf. Rom. 16:17,18). He no longer writes, teaches, or preaches the truth of the Gospel (John 8:31,32) as did those who took part in the Restoration or even the founders of ACU.
I have noticed that Max strives to offend no one, in tune with the religious pluralism of our age. You might call his message “cotton candy religion”—all fluffy sweetness yet nothing in the middle. Sin is rarely condemned in his books. I remember seeing him on the Larry King Show a few years ago. He would not condemn the sin of homosexual behavior as the Holy Bible does, in spite of Larry’s many attempts to get him to do so. The gospel Max teaches is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:9).
Max also downgrades or does not mention the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins for salvation (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Rom. 6:1–6) in his writings. When he does mention it in his books he seems to agree with Baptist false doctrine that a sinner is saved before he is baptized. I attempted to correspond with Max a couple of years ago about this (cf. Mat. 18:15) but all I got was a terse four word reply and a referral to one of his aides. Would any of the Restoration preachers have agreed with Max about baptism? History says no!
Max also has problems with Christian fellowship: he fellowships those not in fellowship with Jesus and His church (Eph. 5:11; 2 John 9–11). He has fellowshipped Roman Catholic priests which none of the Restorers or the founders ACU would have done. Would Max debate Baptist preachers, Presbyterian preachers, and Roman Catholic Church officials as Alexander Campbell and others did? Would he confront anyone about their religious error? Why then does his “collection” deserve to be in the same room as their works?
I imagine my letter will be tossed into your round file after reading. But I would hate to stand before the Lord on the Judgment Day with Max Lucado’s record of apostasy (Mat. 7:21–23). As an alumnus I request you remove his collection from the Milliken Special Collections and Archives. Please show some respect for those brave men who risked all for the Cause of Christ and the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Please recall the history of Abilene Christian University and how the founders of ACU in 1906 clave to the Lord and His word rather than the Digressives and their man-made additions to the worship of God. Max Lucado does not deserve to be mentioned in their company.
Roelf L. Ruffner
By Roelf L. Ruffner