In the past couple of years, Jen Hatmaker has received quite a bit of attention, not only as a New York Times best-selling author and social media sensation, but also as one of the most high-profile Christians to affirm same-sex marriage. This ignited a controversy that lit up the blogosphere with equal parts disagreement and praise. Despite being given the boot by Southern Baptist retailer LifeWay, her following has slowly gained steam, establishing her as a successful podcaster (her podcast, For The Love! is regularly found in the iTunes top 10 list of its category) and a persuasive voice in the progressive Christian movement.
Her shift on same-sex marriage isn’t the only indicator that her beliefs about Christianity have changed. Since its launch in 2017, Hatmaker’s podcast has been a veritable “who’s who” of progressive Christian leaders such as Sarah Bessey, Rachel Held Evans, Pete Enns, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Richard Rohr, Jeff Chu, Mike McHargue (“Science Mike”), Barbara Brown Taylor, Austin Channing Brown, Lisa Sharon Harper, Rachel Hollis, and Glennon Doyle. As I’ve written about previously, progressive Christianity affirms a different gospel.
Hatmaker has ushered in 2020 with a new podcast series called For the Love of Faith Icons, in which she will interview “our most beloved faith leaders as we ask our deepest questions and hear where they’ve found peace and strength to endure.” Hatmaker notes that each of these leaders “show us that our faith can expand, evolve, and be inclusive while never losing the heart of the Gospel and our belief in a God who is full of grace and mercy.”
The first leader Hatmaker invited was Evangelical pastor Max Lucado, a best-selling author whose books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Beloved by young and old alike, there is almost no conservative or evangelical community that hasn’t been impacted by Lucado’s work.
Lucado began the episode by singing Hatmaker’s praises, indicating that he is a fan of her work and saying, “I think so highly of you. You energize me, to listen to your podcast…you make it so easy and delightful, and yet profound at the same time.”
While Lucado implied that he doesn’t agree with everything Hatmaker teaches, nevertheless he took several opportunities to make the point that unity is paramount. He said, “And so you and I, when it comes to the table, whether literally the Lord’s table, or figuratively the community table, you’re my sister, and I’m your brother.”
He alluded to the idea that it’s important to maintain unity with people who claim the name of Christ as long as they affirm the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. “I think I can find fellowship with Richard Rohr, right?...Even though we come from two entirely different worlds.” This is a troublesome statement because of what Richard Rohr teaches.
The Rohr Factor
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Friar whom Jen Hatmaker considers to be a spiritual father and faith hero. On a recent episode of her podcast, she praised him as “one of our best teachers, hands down.” She promoted his book, “Universal Christ,” and noted that she has followed him for years and has quoted him in several of her books.
Richard Rohr believes Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected. However, Rohr’s views on Jesus, the Bible, and the cross are unorthodox. He separates Jesus and Christ into two separate entities, with Jesus being a “model and exemplar” of the human and divine united in one human body. And in Rohr’s view, Christ is a cosmic reality that is found “whenever the material and the divine co-exist—which is always and everywhere.”
Rohr also believes that all religions share the same core truth and are all paths to truth (perennialism). He denies original sin, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christianity, an orthodox understanding of heaven and hell, and the literal second coming of Christ. He rejects the idea that the entire Bible is the Word of God and encourages readers to disagree with or omit the things they believe are wrong. (He teaches this is what Jesus did.) Hatmaker has brought Rohr’s false gospel to over 700,000 followers on Facebook, and countless more through her books and podcast.
With the most recent guest of Hatmaker’s new podcast series being Andy Stanley, and based on a recent Facebook post, it seems she is trying to bridge the divide between Evangelicals and progressives. On first blush, this could seem like a good thing, because unity is a consistent theme throughout the New Testament. It’s the very thing Jesus prayed for in John 17:22, and what Paul sought to actualize among the first century believers. But is this type of unity biblical, or does the Bible actually warn against being united with everyone who considers themselves to be Christian?
The Apostle Paul taught the Christians in Ephesus to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3). However, he goes on to say we have “one faith” (4:5). So, this is a unity based on our common faith, not separate from it. It’s not unity for the sake of unity.
His comments on unity were actually followed by specific instructions for Christians to reject their old way of life and to pursue holiness and Christlike compassion. Paul warns the readers to avoid even a hint of sexual immorality or greed. He advises them not to partner with anyone who is openly disobedient to Christ but instead to live as children of the light. So, according to Paul, Christian unity can only exist within the framework of God’s holiness.*
Unity with False Teachers?
The Jesus who prayed for unity among believers in John 17 is the same Jesus who writes a letter to the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-28. He reprimands them for tolerating a self-professed prophetess who led God’s people into the practice of sexual immorality. He didn’t command them to remain in unity with her (even though she identified herself as a Christian), but actually rebuked them for tolerating her.
In his epistle, Jude had no interest in keeping unity with false teachers, but instead encouraged the church to identify and remove them. He warned of ungodly people who had crept into the church unnoticed and had turned God’s grace into a license for immorality. He pronounced “woe” on them, and he warned believers to persevere in their faith.
In Titus 1:9, Christian leaders especially are tasked with guarding the church. “[An elder] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” This is followed by an astonishingly pointed remark: “They must be silenced.”
Nowhere in the Bible is it acceptable for a church leader to turn a blind eye to a false teacher or embrace that false teacher in unity. In fact, Paul took it a step further and named names. He specifically mentioned Alexander, Hymenaeus, and Philetus, who had left the faith of other Christians “overthrown” and “shipwrecked.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18; 1 Timothy 1:19-20)
We live in a culture of tolerance where words like “inclusion” and “affirmation” have become non-negotiable tenets. Thus, it can be tempting to view any display of disunity as divisive.
But we would do good to remember that the Bible places the blame for divisions on the ones bringing in the false doctrine, not on those who call it out. Paul writes in Romans 16:17: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Notice that it was the false teachers who Paul criticizes for being divisive, not the believers.
But we are not encountering anything new. Every generation of Christians has been tasked with the command to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
In a recent briefing, Al Mohler noted that when we look at the history of the mainline denominations being lost to liberal theology, it wasn’t because the liberals outnumbered everyone else. Rather, “In almost every case it’s the muddy middle that ends up ensuring the liberal future of the church, because those moderates are unwilling to draw clear doctrinal and moral boundaries and to make them stick. They are far more concerned with holding the denomination, the institution, or the congregation together than they are with keeping a very clear commitment to the historic Christian faith and to its central doctrines and moral teachings.”
It's our Turn
Much like the liberals who began working their way through the mainline denominations in the early 20th century, progressive Christianity is infiltrating and swallowing up the Evangelical church. If we’ve learned anything from church history, now is the time to address it. It’s not time to appear on their podcasts with the vague hope of establishing unity.
Jesus compared false prophets to wolves in Matthew 7:15. Can you imagine a shepherd trying to “build a bridge” or “sit at the same table” with a wolf? When a wolf comes after the sheep, the shepherd has one job. Protect the sheep. Not the wolf.
We don’t get a pass because our current cultural climate would label us as disruptive or unloving. It’s because of our love for Jesus and out of protection for his bride that we must find the courage to do what is right.
It’s possible that Max Lucado is unaware of how unorthodox the teachings of Jen Hatmaker and Richard Rohr are. I pray that is the case. But Christian leaders cannot afford to brush aside the danger of these unbiblical alliances under the guise of promoting unity. The Bible simply doesn’t give them that option.
The gospel is worth fighting for. The church is worth protecting. It’s this generation’s turn to do the hard things, and I pray God will give our Christian leaders the courage and unflinching loyalty to the sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures not only to discern the deceptions, but also to speak God’s truth clearly to those who are being misled.
After all, “What fellowship has light with darkness?”
* God’s holiness means he cannot be in unity with sin. This is bad news for us because we are all sinners. But the heart of the gospel is that Christ died in our place, taking the punishment for our sin upon himself. He defeated the power of sin and death so that we could be brought into unity with God. This doesn’t mean we never sin anymore, but that we pursue holiness because God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Thus, as we acknowledge and repent of our own sin, we are continually transformed by the renewing of our minds which makes us able to discern God’s will (Romans 12:2)
1/14/2020 06:05:22 pm
I agree with most of your content. However, I think it would be wise and even helpful if you posted or blogged about a conversation with Max Lucado. From what you said toward the end of your blog, it sounds like you’re not sure whether or not he understands Hatmaker‘s stance. And because most of your blog is written about him teaming/supporting or sharing the stage with Hatmaker, leads the rest of us to now view him in the camp of false teachers.
1/14/2020 07:19:39 pm
I would agree. This is frustrating. He in no way endorsed Jen Hatmaker in their discussion. He said repeatedly that we as Christians need to meet at the table of the Lord and the table of the community and search scripture together. To then let the Holy Spirit work. Makes me SO sad his name is getting drug thru the mud .. this article was shared 27 times on Facebook. Tragic. How this must grieve the Lord !
1/15/2020 07:51:29 pm
I agree. It is best to represent the whole situation/person and also not to assume anything. Do we seek to judge others when we did not clearly hear of someone’s opinion or stance? Be careful to not place judgment on others.
In this day in age, when there are so many wolves within the Church, it seems only wise of Max Lucado to have done his due diligence in researching Jen Hatmaker before agreeing to be interviewed by her IF he wasn't familiar with her background.
1/16/2020 08:08:41 am
Max Lucado is responsible to know the teaching of anyone he publicly endorses. If he did not know, he is now responsible to issue a retraction. Nobody gets a pass on this just because they are a famous and beloved writer. Paul did not exclude himself in Galatians 1:8 "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." That is strong language. It's very serious. Max Lucado has a large following and can influence many people. It seems some who have commented on this blog have been led astray. This is a very timely article. Thank you for having the courage to say the unpopular.
1/16/2020 10:54:06 am
I would gently say to Glenda that when a well-known person participates with a false teacher, the very participation is -- at least to some degree -- an affirmation of agreement with the false teacher.
1/18/2020 10:46:04 pm
I’m sure if he watches her podcasts he understands her stance. Lucado is wrong and has lost my support.
1/20/2020 12:09:07 pm
I agree. Even though I am a strong conservative, this feels like gossip about Max Lucado without him being able to give his thoughts and point of view about it. Please do so immediately and give us the interview.
1/21/2020 09:08:36 am
Max said himself that he is a fig fan of her podcast. He is very familiar with her unbiblical stance toward sexual sin.
4/28/2020 07:03:51 pm
Good word sister!
7/6/2020 03:05:30 am
I'm not crazy about Max Lucado nor am I crazy about Andy Stanley
5/19/2021 12:23:38 am
Agreed! Lax knows exactly what he is doing . He doesn’t get a pass for not recognizing a wolf or compromiser
7/26/2021 10:46:59 pm
I am one of those who shared this on FB and for a reason. Progressive Christianity is not Christianity and we must expose it for what it is and expose those who support it. Max Lucado is stepping way out of bounds by endorsing Jen Hatmaker and her guru in any fashion. She is preaching a false gospel! That is what grieves Christ.
11/16/2021 10:09:16 am
Max Lucado regardless if he had false doctrine is to be labeled with the false teachers and viewed as receiving the same rebuke and same judgment!
3/5/2022 08:40:11 am
Totally agree with you
1/22/2020 02:17:03 pm
I would like to hear from Max on what exactly he was trying to communicate by being on her podcast. People are putting their own spin on what he said...I would like to hear from him what he meant. We don't know his heart and to make judgments about what he is or what he believes is unfair. I hope he will speak to this soon!
2/8/2020 07:14:47 pm
Paul, a very cryptic comment. My understanding of Al Mohler is he is pretty conservative. Is there something specific you have a concern about? If so, please be specific.Otherwise you cast a shadow without a specific claim, and that is harmful to everyone
1/25/2021 02:59:53 pm
This comment is for Tessa. I would check out Capstone Report, which has a lot of information on how Dr. Mohler publicly says one thing (now in an attempt to become the next Southern Baptist Convention President) while doing something totally different. And none of what Capstone says has been successfully refuted.
2/1/2021 05:01:43 pm
Guest speakers like Robert Morrison, Jen Hatmaker, William P. Young (Talking about The Shack), the Happy Atheist being interviewed during worship service were a few of the reasons why I left Oak Hills Church (Max Lucado's). I never heard repentance once being preached.
1/24/2020 06:45:51 am
If Richard Rohr is a false teacher or false prophet, so is St Francis, then. Would you say so? After all, Francis actually sat at the table of a « wolf » and talked to him and loved him in a Christlike way. And I don’t even talk about the mythical (?) wolf of Gubbio, mind you.
1/24/2020 09:57:41 am
Lionel, can you lay out for us what an ADULT way of reading Scripture looks like? Are you also saying that two opposite interpretations of a passage from the Bible can be true at the same time?
1/28/2020 05:19:23 pm
You really need to read the scriptures. We do not base interpretation of scripture on anything other than Scripture. We are warned not to fellowship with the wolves in the flock, told not to be partakes in others false doctrine, and that light and dark cannot coexist in the Church. It is not immature to stay clear of damnable theology And this my dear friend is one of those doctrines.
4/26/2020 04:29:43 pm
It would seem evident that Lionel is a follower of Rohr, and this article touched a nerve. For him to come here in attack mode, with no backing of his claims, there is really no point it giving him further thought.
10/4/2020 02:14:57 am
Thank you Lionel. I agree with your viewpoint.
11/13/2021 06:43:33 am
She sure did!!!
1/13/2020 05:23:13 pm
I have come to look forward to your blogs, and particularly your strong stand against the evils of progressive Christianity. And make no mistake, there is evil in it, characterized by a shift from objective truth to secular feel-good-ism, and away from the relational truth of humankind's sin and God's provision of redemption through Jesus' atonement on the cross. Thank you for your diligence in staying on top of this unfortunate societal trend. You fill a vital spiritual need in this era of spiritual warfare.
1/18/2020 05:16:48 pm
This is the very reason I don't follow big name preachers. We as Christian's are to be like the Berians, checking scripture for what is said by man to see if it in fact TRUTH as defined by God's Word. The Holy Spirit is the only One who has total authority to teach All Truth. I am skeptical of most in the limelight of "Christianity". That's not to say all are teaching falsehood. It is clear in Scripture that we are to be able to handle The Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15
2/7/2020 02:02:16 pm
I agree. We need to know the word of God, line upon line, precept upon precept. That's why I study Precept Bible studies so I learn what the whole word of God say.
4/1/2020 04:35:49 am
1/13/2020 05:24:07 pm
Thank you for your faithful words. You pointed to Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17. There, as I'm sure you know, he said, "Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth." We can't be sanctified - brought to faith, kept in faith, grown in faith - without the unadulterated truth.
1/16/2020 07:56:06 pm
Yes! Well said. I, too, yearn for unity in The Body! I pray for it. But unity can not mean compromising the Word of God.
1/18/2020 10:48:08 pm
1/13/2020 05:30:01 pm
My goodness this was hard to read-- not because it's not absolutely true but because it hits so close to my heart. We recently left our longtime church home for reasons almost identical to what's transpired here. What is worse, is that it transpired not during one podcast but three, involving three separate pastors from our church. When brought to their attention it was disregarded and our leaving was considered a "blessed subtraction." It hurts my heart so much to see such a blindness in our leadership. They need our prayers! But also, these things need to be brought to the light because evil loves the darkness and is counting on a timid response from believers-- or none at all. We are called to have unity in Spirit -- and that Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Thank you so much for speaking truth in a loving and yet bold way.
1/15/2020 09:19:33 am
"blessed subtraction" ? What a sad phrase. Sorry you were labeled that way.
1/25/2021 03:03:50 pm
I've heard the phrase before. Today it goes under a different title: the person who left (or was forced out -- as in my case) "didn't 'catch the vision' of what our church was doing".
11/15/2021 04:33:44 pm
Alisa and Teasi recently shared their story of spiritual abuse, especially Teasi. I think you would really relate to their story, if you haven’t heard it already.
1/13/2020 05:35:44 pm
Thanks for sticking up for Biblical truth and for speaking it so clearly and winsomely. Your podcast is very helpful.
James J Molberg
1/13/2020 05:40:26 pm
Progressive Christianity is a contradiction in terms.
Mary Lea Tucker
1/13/2020 05:55:48 pm
Is Max Lucado unaware of how unorthodox the teachings of Jen Hatmaker and Richard Rohr are?
1/14/2020 07:13:05 pm
I have always loved Max Lucados books and teachings. However, I was concerned when he was throwing any Christian who voted for Trump under the bus. I ask. Whom did he vote for. Many Christians did not like the things Trump had done personally but just like Jesus choosing folks to do his will that did not seem the best choice, I think God has used Trump mightily.
1/16/2020 02:49:52 pm
Thank you for saying that about Trump! He’s done more for our country and our religious freedoms in three years than anyone I’m the last three decades. God is using him mightily!
3/11/2020 10:47:02 pm
Trump knows how to play their game and still get the job done! While “they” are going from one media uproar to another media uproar, he just keeps weaving his way through the whole mess .........doing what he said he would do! 👍😇
4/1/2020 04:42:31 am
Learning doesn't seem to be the problem...
1/21/2020 01:12:38 pm
Patrick, I would agree that Western Christianity has its weaknesses (surely something is lost every time there is a schism). However, the often floated notion that Western Christianity has completely missed the boat on this or that major issue is overblown. Can we stand to learn from other Christian traditions past and present? Sure. But the whole "well that's just a Western thing" can also be an excuse to depart from doctrines that we find personally or culturally distasteful.
1/22/2020 03:42:30 pm
1/25/2020 09:35:01 pm
We still need more unpacking.
1/25/2021 03:06:53 pm
He's gone a complete 180 from his beginnings as a Church of Christ preacher. For those unfamiliar, CofC believes that baptism "for the remission of sins" is mandatory for salvation (and that phrase is critical: if it wasn't said or understood at your baptism -- for example, if you were baptized at a Baptist or Assembly of God church -- then your baptism isn't valid and you will go to Hell unless you get rebaptized in THEIR church).
1/13/2020 06:11:15 pm
1/13/2020 06:12:22 pm
Thank you for standing up for the truth. You will probably face opposition but I want to encourage you to stand firm. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1/13/2020 06:26:10 pm
1/13/2020 07:44:36 pm
Brittany, it saddens me that you think you're not in a place to warn people about this heresy and share the gospel.
1/21/2020 09:48:11 am
What is ppl
1/25/2021 03:07:57 pm
ppl--shorthand for "people", often used on Twitter when it had its 140-character limit
4/1/2020 04:59:52 am
5/28/2020 12:20:49 pm
3/5/2021 11:31:12 pm
Brian C Pace
1/13/2020 06:32:34 pm
Unity for the sake of unity is a Satanic temptation in every age. Paul declared he was in danger in
1/13/2020 06:41:37 pm
Alisa, thank you for so clearly speaking the truth in love. You make difficult topics easy to take in and digest. I appreciate your depth of thought so aptly expressed in winsome writings. Keep up the good work!
1/13/2020 06:42:28 pm
Alisa, Thank you for your words of truth, wisdom and an incredible example of one who contends for the faith.
1/13/2020 07:13:20 pm
When I was on the pastoral staff of a pro-LGBTQ church in the early 1980's, we prayed for the day Evangelicals would minimize their theological differences with us, and commune "at the table" with gay Christians. Now, 36 years after my own repentance, it's awfully hurtful to see that prayer being answered, though surely not by God.
2/9/2020 10:50:53 pm
I have to say, Joe, of all the comments I read (though many very good) yours is by far said the most with the fewest words. God bless you, sir!
5/14/2020 10:28:50 am
True, Barb!! Thanx, Joe, for your honesty and straight forwardness!! AMEN!!
Mark A Burge
1/13/2020 07:16:16 pm
Thanks for being a voice of truth!
1/13/2020 07:32:11 pm
*mic drop* Thank you! I appreciate you and your God-given wisdom tremendously! ❤
1/13/2020 07:52:21 pm
Thanks for posting this! (You don't need to post my comment, mostly commenting to ask you a question.
5/28/2020 06:53:55 am
1/13/2020 09:42:24 pm
Once again, you hit it out of the park Alisa. One by one it seems like my "go to's" are falling into progressive ideology and it is so grievous. It's individuals and organizations! Thank you for standing firm and not compromising. Don't stop!
1/13/2020 10:33:16 pm
Thank you again Alisa for another word of Biblical clarity. It has become such a travesty what the progressives have done to tweak the Truth of God's Word upon the alter of Cultural Acceptance. I do also hope that Max has not fallen prey as some others have begun within the SBC. Thank you for faithfulness as a Watchman.
1/13/2020 10:35:04 pm
Alisa Childers, thank you tremendously for this highly cautionary and justly critical podcast regarding some specific voices of "progressive Christianity" and that movement as a whole, harking back to important instructions from the true, earliest Apostles.
1/13/2020 11:28:49 pm
Spot on, Alisa. I'm thinking of these words of Jesus that are often forgotten: "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" (Luke 12:51)
1/14/2020 08:48:26 am
wow! Thank you for speaking the truth in love! In today's society, we MUST stay close to Jesus and His word and watch out for our insecurities----the need to be loved and accepted by others, which can and has led many to seriously consider other's false understandings and explanations of the gospel. Our loyalty is to Jesus first and foremost and what the Word of God says in it's entirety. Never thought I'd see the day when the literal fulfillment of the passage "the great falling away" would come but here it is, not only on our doorstep but in some cases in our own homes!
1/14/2020 09:04:59 am
All excellent points. You bring a balanced argument that is gentle and yet firm. Well done!
1/14/2020 10:01:48 am
Outstanding article! I will be sharing it.
1/14/2020 10:23:35 am
I think what I’ve come to believe is that the lines are much blurrier than anyone cares to recognize. I was in your camp most of my life. And, hear me... I’m not saying you’re wrong and I’ve figured it out. What worries me is who’s to say what is false teaching?
1/14/2020 01:09:24 pm
Good points. We have to be careful and continue to have open dialogue while constantly praying about these matters.
1/14/2020 01:38:40 pm
Yes. This comment says well what is also on my heart as I read this article. Thank you, Shane, for expressing this point of view. Let us seek Truth, and know the Bible does NOT change but our understanding of it does. When people have what you consider are heretical beliefs, engage with them yes! But do not condemn them. Be quick to listen, slow to speak. But as the Bible says LISTEN and try to understand first. Then speak. You might never agree, and they might indeed have a speck in their eye, but beware as we just as often have a plank in ours.
1/14/2020 06:56:09 pm
1/14/2020 07:00:36 pm
Shane, I think you would be helped by this article from Don Carson, “That’s just your interpretation“. The dangerous aspect of your argument is that somehow we can’t know things unless we know them 100%. But of course that can’t be true. If someone asked me if my wife was a Russian spy, I would say that she surely isn’t. But they might reply that I can’t be 100% sure, and yet I can truly know that she is not a Russian spy. We know that Jesus is God come in the flesh, even though some members of various cults would disagree. And the teaching on sexuality in the Bible is also very clear, and all non Christian scholars of God’s word would say that both the Old and New Testament’s would say homosexuality is wrong. Take a look at this article below...
1/15/2020 05:44:46 pm
Your comment does not apply to the distinction between the author of this article and the people she is challenging. Here's why: Jen Hatmaker does NOT interpret the Bible, but rather simply ignores or dismisses any part of the Bible with which she disagrees. Furthermore there are good rules of interpretation laid down by men like Gordon Fee (on the NT) and Doug Stuart (on the OT) so that person studying Scripture may understand and interpret passages in the way they were intended by both the human author and the Holy Spirit. There aren't that many "unclear" passages, but there a lot of passages that are crystal clear which liberal Christians and unbelievers just don't like and therefore dismiss and revile. There's no interpretive method from the Mad Hatmaker nor from Richard Rohr nor from .Sara Bessey or Rachel Held Evans (ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!). ....I just needed that moment...... Bottom line: You are not talking about genuine Biblical exegesis and follow the laws of hermeneutics when you say "interpretation," but you are clearly only talking about opinions. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but you are NOT entitled by Scripture to view all Biblical interpretation as opinion.....and that is what you have done.
Thank you, Shane. You clearly, kindly and with respect pointed out the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
1/17/2020 05:09:15 am
I think Shane has a valid point. What are the odds that all of those praising this author have all of the same beliefs? From reading most of the comments, it's zero. Clearly there are both Catholics and evangelicals. Those two groups believe very divergent things, and both groups believe they are correct. Then among the evangelicals, there are no doubt that some believe that you must be immersed/ baptized before you can be saved. Others believe that you just need to accept Jesus into your heart. Same as the nature vs nurture debate in behavioral science, each person think a certain way based on how they were raised, what they were taught, the culture of the society in which the live, etc. We study, we discuss, and we think we're getting it too. Of course that means other"denominations", who believe differently, mist be wrong. Yes there are absolutes, but without reading the Bible in its original language, and living at the time that it was written, so as to know context, absolutes can be slippery.
1/16/2020 12:08:22 pm
Yes. Thank you Shane for this comment, it is just what I wanted to say here. Spot. On.
1/17/2020 09:26:11 am
SHANE, Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking. If our focus is to be "Jesus" like and increase His kingdom, we need to love people where they are, who they are and let the Holy Spirit work on their hearts in however way that individual needs. If all we do is see what separates us we will never be able to be inviting and loving enough to make ALL comfortable to hear what we have to say.
2/7/2021 08:22:10 am
Shane I agree with you. There are many voices and each has something worthwhile to say. Instead of who is right or wrong love justice for all regardless of what or who we perceive them to be. If we can do one simple thing Love our neighbors as we love God and ourselves all this back and forth about who is right and who is wrong woul be nul and void.when we can see Christ in every living soul then and only then have we earned the right to judge. Christ is bigger than anyone of us. He is only calling us to love. Love with our differences and love beyond our difference.
2/24/2022 01:02:27 pm
I agree with everything you say. That is my position too? who is to say what is a false teaching really? you are right, their are thousands of interpretations to the bible and who is to say who is correct?
1/14/2020 11:31:10 am
1/14/2020 12:26:47 pm
Conservatives are losing the likes of Lucado and Stanley (and countless lay people) because the theological, political, and social demands of fundamentalism are too extreme for an increasing number of Christians today. Expect this trend only to continue. The kind of extreme conservatism this site advocates is a dying worldview that will never completely disappear but will become irrelevant.
1/14/2020 07:55:58 pm
I believe you are right Aaron. There is a huge push toward ecumenism. The only way that can be achieved, within the christian denominations, is through eroding the evangelical foundations beginning with the scriptures. And ... if the scriptures can’t be reduced to simply historical “narratives” composed through culturally sensitized human emotions ... then the movement must find fault with those individuals who have errant interpretations. Either way, nobody can know anything.
1/25/2021 03:15:40 pm
It is sad that many of the doctrinal epistles are being ignored.
1/14/2020 12:58:44 pm
Thank you for speaking and standing in God’s truth!!
1/14/2020 01:24:43 pm
I think your points are valid, but I feel like there must be a warning to every Christian to avoid making people enemies through labels. Our fights are spiritual and not physical or social. We should be praying in the spirit and not creating villains in liberals, evangelicals, progressives, etc. That's too slippery of a slope that has become dangerous to many people and distracts us from the real enemy.
1/15/2020 12:26:48 pm
Agreed. Thank you.
1/16/2020 12:34:39 pm
All of this. Especially this "the Gospel can fight for itself." If it is true, I have no reason to fear it might be diluted or stomped on, and I believe it is true. I echo your prayer - may we learn true faith, may we stay in prayer not in corners, may we rely on Holy Spirit to help us determine what is cultural and what is Christian, may we live out our faith without fear and the things that come with fear (control, striving, grasping), may we love Him above everything else and may we love others the way He has loved us (while we were still sinners He loved us and submitted Himself to a life on earth for us, and died for us.) In Jesus' name.
1/14/2020 02:11:22 pm
Rohr says: Many Christians have a very limited understanding of Jesus’ historical or social message, and almost no understanding of the Cosmic Christ—even though it is taught clearly in Scripture (see John 1, Colossians 1, Ephesians 1, 1 John 1, Hebrews 1:1).
1/14/2020 03:36:17 pm
Excellent article. Richard Rohr pretends to speak for the Catholic Church, but he is an apostate. “Progressive” Catholics and others who want to remake Church teaching to their own tastes love to quote him. Unfortunately he is not condemned by our current pope who, himself, is attempting to destroy he traditional faith.
1/14/2020 05:17:21 pm
Alisa, I too count on your blog to know more specifically what is going on in “the body.” Being raised in an extremely liberal church and coming out of it in college, I am the opposite of about 90% of these progressives. When questioning where this false teaching began, I realized, of course, in Genesis 3. The difficult aspect for me is that these people did come out of solid homes, found “their own way” and now........ Just praying for our 4 adult children to know that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory...”. We can not separate The Word from The Word.
1/14/2020 07:05:16 pm
I think this is a much broader problem then most people realize. I would say whether it is Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Catholicism, Protestant, Charismatic, or any other non-denominational group or sect that is out there, it is the adding, taking away, or flat out denial of Scripture and its relevance is to when Scripture applies or does not apply in an individual's life as a Christian.
1/16/2020 11:28:42 am
You nailed it! Don’t follow anyone but the Lord!
1/15/2020 07:16:13 am
“ If we walk in the Light, as He is in the light we have Fellowship...” (John
1/15/2020 01:19:55 pm
Please, please share this post with Max Lucado if you haven't already, and invite him to discuss it with you if he'd like. I think his heart's in the right place, but he obviously misunderstands the theology of unity. This post is a wonderful and compelling correction!!
1/15/2020 01:40:49 pm
I 2nd that suggestion!
1/15/2020 06:40:38 pm
This is your key statement, “But we would do good to remember that the Bible places the blame for divisions on the ones bringing in the false doctrine, not on those who call it out.“
1/16/2020 08:23:29 am
"Unity which is obtained by the sacrifice of truth is worth nothing. It is not the unity which pleases God."-J.C. Ryle
1/16/2020 08:41:45 am
I use to attend Oakhills and Max has a liberal leaning on certain issues.
1/16/2020 09:55:05 am
One thing that hasn't been mentioned (apologies if I missed someones comment on this already) was at the 8:45 (approx.) mark of the podcast when Max Lucado refers to the Holy Spirit as being masculine or feminine, "however you want to call it". Thoughts on that?
Laura R Simmons
1/16/2020 09:58:40 am
Oh my goodness, yes! I forgot about that but did read it and could not believe it! What??????????????
1/16/2020 10:57:45 am
Ugh, another 'gem' from Max:
1/16/2020 10:44:44 am
Thank you for taking the time to write about the tension between two *seemingly* different gospels. However, I believe you have severely missed the mark on your analysis of Rohr's teachings. It is tiresome in his books/podcasts/teachings how often he has to defend an orthodox view of Jesus (both God and man).
1/16/2020 12:26:33 pm
From what I gather he’s not preaching the Christ Paul preached.
1/16/2020 12:45:34 pm
I agree with your main point, but pay attention to the context of that verse. It isn't talking about what translation of the Bible you use. Its the motives for why you are preaching the Gospel. Are you preaching for self-fame or are you preaching so that you are making disciples of Christ?
1/22/2020 09:23:02 pm
Brady, do you not find it dubious that Rohr has to constantly say things like "don't worry, this is orthodox" or "I bet you think I'm a New Ager, but I'm not"? Notice he usually offers little to substantiate those claims, and when he does, it's usually vague. If he was actually biblical and orthodox, he wouldn't have to constantly make disarming statements in order to convince his listeners and readers about that.
1/16/2020 10:55:21 am
Thank you for writing such a careful, discerning, and helpful article on this very important topic.
1/16/2020 12:09:20 pm
It's interesting how Max Lucado's view on same-sex marriage seems to have softened over the years. If you check out the comments he had in an article from 2004 and compare it to what he is saying (by implication) here, it's pretty troubling:
Delwyn X Campbell
1/16/2020 01:31:45 pm
As a called and ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod, I understand the travails of pulpit and altar fellowship. For example, unless the rest of you confess the Book of Concord in all of its particulars, you and I do not share Pulpit and Altar Fellowship. I would not say that you aren't a Christian, but I cannot say that we are in fellowship. If you are a Calvinist or an Arminian, you do not walk in full fellowship with a Confessional Evangelical - AKA Lutheran - Christian.
"Rohr denies the exclusivity of Christianity, and encourages readers to disagree with or omit the things they believe are wrong with the Bible."
1/16/2020 02:46:59 pm
This is nothing new with Lucado. Look up his 9/11 prayer where he speaks positively of Christians praying with Jews. He has long espoused the "doctrine divides" creed.It is laced throughout his writings. This is exactly backwards in that it is only doctrine that unites. As Luther said, doctrine is like a golden chain and once one link is broken it is much easier for others to fall, which is what has happened with Lucado and many other evangelicals.
1/17/2020 09:50:52 am
Thank you for saying the hard things that need to be said. Christian leaders will be and are held to a higher standard. Yes, there can be some misunderstanding of ones views, but when you are publicly making statements about "unity" you need to know for sure who you are uniting with. We are living in the times of "muddy waters" and political correctness. Christians are not to hang out there. We are to stand in the light and lovingly share His Truth. It is the only truth that matters.
1/18/2020 01:53:53 am
I doubt this will be approved, but here is hoping!
1/18/2020 10:50:37 am
Michael, I also come from the churches of Christ, and while I am glad our tradition is beginning to look beyond itself and find communion with other Christians, I believe that embracing Rohr and others of his ilk is unwise.
1/19/2020 06:03:42 am
If we can just go one idea at a time, Jesus did contradict scripture, edit scripture, and omit parts of passages.
1/19/2020 11:38:38 pm
Michael, if you will read that entire chapter, Matthew 5, you will find the following:
Ricardo J Johnson
1/18/2020 02:02:14 am
Great article! Sad to say but i believe many more people who have professed christianity will fall away from the true faith. But the ones who are for real will shine brighter and brighter in the last days!!! Remember its never the crowd.
1/21/2020 09:45:25 pm
This was excellent. I agree 100%. I found this by accident, but was compelled by the intellectual and biblical consistency. I love scholarly, Conservative Christianity.
1/24/2020 03:37:30 pm
I think the problem nowadays is our culture does not like moral absolutes and exclusionary systems. But Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light; and there is no other way to the Father except through the Son. People have a problem with that.
1/30/2020 03:35:39 pm
Thanks so much for your words (and work)!
2/1/2020 12:36:46 am
Sad to hear when rich and famous followers fall. Vanity and riches are satan's favorite tools to work with. Is being rich a sin? No, but I don't envy rich people because it is much harder for them to have a clear mind of the Truth. There's something I'd like to share with Christians out there...please remember to be very careful and cautious and be in prayer continually. Satan is like a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour. He is more powerful than us (alone) that's why we need Christ at our forefront constantly, everyday, reading the Bible, praying without ceasing. Satan knows he only has a short time. He's not going to hell alone, he's going to take everyone he can get his hands on. Satan's side is more seductive and alluring, but make no mistake-he hates his children. And even though our lives here are hard, we at least know how much God loves us and is waiting patiently in heaven for us. Keep His word clear in your hearts.
3/9/2020 03:28:00 pm
Thanks for your work, Alisa. I've greatly benefited from it. I'm a Christian writer, and two years ago I went to a (supposed) Christian writers' conference. What I didn't know was that most of the leading voices in the PC movement spoke there. AT the time, something didn't seem right but i couldn't put my finger on it.
4/8/2020 11:40:56 am
Wow!! My own Mom shared to me 10 years ago that she tried to miscarry me when she realized the type of man my Dad was. She was 18 and not a believer until she was 38. Then 2 years ago, she shared how she tried to have me aborted.
4/11/2020 11:07:29 am
4/12/2020 10:35:36 am
Thanx, Michael! Truly, He has risen!! From living a life of rejection to finally walk in a life of acceptance IS FULLY AMAZING!! Shame traps us so deeply!! It seems that it is not addressed enough for people to walk into Truth....
3/21/2020 01:00:24 pm
It seems I may be a little late to the 'table' which I was not aware of until today. There are too many to reply to directly; but I want to list my agreement with: Richard, Mike, Dawn, Jennifer, Paul, David, Eric, Sharon, RebbecaLynn, Martha, Ginger, Brian. The last several decades of leftward/liberalism in evangelical leadership, authors, pulpits, Bible colleges, and seminaries has created a big tent of heresy and outright apostasy in the (former) evangelical churches and denominations. This commentary cannot cover the past 15 years of deep research I, and several dozen others have done on this subject. Suffice it to say, the problem is much greater than these few specifics.
4/8/2020 11:48:17 am
Thanx, Dick, for standing up to all that U said!! Read the comment that I wrote Michael Green when it gets posted! Had a heavy thing to share!
Nebyou Yohannes Merhatsid
6/27/2020 08:54:02 am
Hi Alisa ,
6/27/2020 07:53:11 pm
I yearn for the simple truth of a simple Christian life. The evil we see in the world today is the degradation of mankind from Eden and we are not surprised.
7/19/2020 07:29:31 pm
I have liked your podcast, especially in regards to homosexuality conversations but I see many of your followers are using your voice to justify judgement and hate towards others. Sad.
7/20/2020 09:25:09 am
8/16/2020 01:14:42 pm
It's so true that the Gospel is worth fighting for. "If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all." (Isaiah 7:9). Once the Gospel is compromised in the church, liberalism takes over. Unfortunately, this is what's eating churches alive.
2/13/2021 07:09:34 pm
Lucado has become a "people pleaser". He apologizes for this and for that, he seems to be ashamed of the gospel! Has he turned to be a double-minded man?
5/1/2021 06:34:44 pm
Hi Alisa, thanks so much for writing this I recently was invited by friend to read Brian Zahnd’s book ‘sinners in the hands of a loving God’ and was appalled by what I read. I kinda get the feeling that that Universalist teaching like Shane Willard’s is endorsed by other people who are looked up to by ecangelicals and pentecostals alike. I completely agree with you, it is false teaching and should be rejected, wholesale.
5/11/2021 07:16:20 pm
Max Lucado continues to leave behind the true gospel. I was just watching him teach in Joel Osteen’s church (December 2020).
5/12/2021 11:07:21 am
I MUST keep this article. Great truths - written plain. I especially like this statement: "But we would do good to remember that the Bible places the blame for divisions on the ones bringing in the false doctrine, not on those who call it out. " Thank you for saying it exactly as we believe and helping us to defend against false teaching.
8/6/2021 01:59:58 pm
Great job as usual Alisa. I particularly liked the insight you shared about how the Apostles put the blame for causing division on those who teach false doctrine, not those who stand for the true faith. I had never quite heard it put that way and I think it is extremely helpful.
8/7/2021 10:17:10 am
Why not ask Max on your show and discuss it?
8/24/2021 04:18:03 pm
Alisa, you are spot on as usual.
8/26/2021 11:39:03 am
I would love to see you bring in Max Lucado and then Andy Stanley to discuss with you how to stay TRUE to the gospel while dialoguing and discussing scripture with those who are progressive or mainline. Somehow we need to bring the wanderers back to orthodox Christianity. My heart is grieved for Jen and the left turn she took on marriage and the Bible. And more grieved for those she led astray. Praying for the church global today. 🙏🙏
11/29/2021 11:19:10 am
Hi Alisa, I feel the strain of a million thoughts right now. But I want to start with thank you for writing this. I've been listening to podcasts from Glennon Doyle, looking up new content from Hatmaker, etc., and as of Sunday (yesterday), I noticed that it's wrong. Psalm 101:3 was preached and it felt like a knife to my heart (in a good way). I come from a background of LGBT struggles. When I came to Christ, the trust in his authority over me as something good and not inherently dangerous or scary was a huge river to cross. I valued so much people who would tell me the truth and be plain and not bend things to be what they thought I wanted to hear. Honesty felt like respect. The lies I was living in were full of death. And hearing the church echo these "for my sake" and call them love was disorienting and scary. And yet, all this time later, false teachers are a siren call in my life. I am continuously pulled to listen to them. I tell myself that it's for the sake of "understanding" - of tracking with this moment in time and what my community is hearing. But the reality is - it's a false peace that I can feel drunk on. And I know it's not neutral when I drink this in. I feel lost at sea sometimes as I see believers I might trust make room at the table. I need a rope to grab onto on a hard day, not bigger waves crashing at me. I am grieved (immensely grieved) at the following that these false teachers have - the sheer scope of their influence. But that's small compared to the way I wince when I see someone like Lucado throw his name behind them. (And to think of this as "love" or kindness!!) It means the world to see someone be able & willing to hold a line and say hard truths. I am so grateful. And last - If my persecuted brothers and sisters can die for his Name, I can certainly die to myself in areas of identity or what I feel entitled to. Lord I want a church that's willing to tell me that. Thank you for being brave and being trustworthy. I don't have words for the gratitude I have.
Larry D Hampton
11/30/2021 07:38:08 am
Many of these comments verify the point you made about our unwillingness to stand for the truth at any cost. Jesus did not hesitate to condemn the religious leaders of His day for their departure from the truth. He would not fit in well with today's leaders who do not want to offend anyone.
1/26/2022 03:11:16 pm
This is a very informative—edifying article to all. Thanks a lot! Continue to post!
6/28/2022 08:01:34 pm
I am a little surprised some of these pastors are talking about these issues. I thinks it’s a no win for them because how far left progressive Christian’s are. believe that most pastors today deal in numbers—how many members do they have, how many people tithe and how much, how many people are listening to my podcast, how many people are watching my mega church show on tv, how many people are buying my books. It all boils down to numbers which means $$$. For that reason a lot of pastors have stayed away from issues like abortion and homosexuality. The country is so divided and they don’t want to lose members, listeners, tithers and book sales. They risk losing those who don’t agree. But most of these mega pastors will speak out because they’ve already made a lot of $$ and aren’t afraid to say they have crossed over to the progressive side. Maybe they were always liberal/progressive but didn’t state it for reasons above.
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