Eric Metaxas used to be someone who, while not completely devoted to sound doctrine, his version of “mere Christianity” at least fell somewhere between the bounds of orthodoxy–even if grazing the very edge of it. In recent years, however, that can no longer be the case. Like Max Lucado, Metaxas has traded the gospel for politics like Francis Chan, for an extra-biblical experiential high.
Metaxas is well known for his talk show where he discusses a broad range of topics typically around politics in both the culture and the Church. Metaxas holds to a conservative political worldview–and that’s where this author’s common ground with Metaxas ends.
It started becoming clear that Metaxas had no real doctrinal standards when, in 2019, he affirmed the false gospel of well-known prosperity gospel heretic, Joel Osteen. During an interview with Osteen’s wife, Victoria, Metaxas stated, “I got very angry at people who criticize your husband…there are people out there who are just vicious or angry, I don’t know what it is…because I was there, I can say categorically that that’s a lot of nonsense.”
Metaxas went on to affirm a type of name-it-and-claim-it view of the gospel, stating, “You’re not actually just saying like Jesus’ destiny for us is financial victory or whatever. What you’re trying to say is that when we focus on him…it’s a different kind of victory, and it starts with our minds. We choose to believe one thing or the other. And if we choose to believe what the bible says about who we are, it actually changes everything.”
Of course, anyone who actually believes the gospel understands that it doesn’t start with our mind, it starts at the cross. This false gospel of believing that we can create our own existence through our faith is heretical.
But it isn’t just the prosperity gospel that Metaxas has now laid claim to. He’s also joined Francis Chan in embracing a Catholic-inclusive ecumenical version of charismaticism–one that denies the clear teachings of Scripture for what it means to be saved by Christ.
In April of 2021, Metaxas re-told and affirmed a bizarre story of a vision his sister-in-law had about how her non-born again Roman Catholic mother was going to heaven despite the fact that she rejected Jesus as she passed away the night before. He retells the story this way:
This is what my sister-in-law Joanne told my wife. Last night at 2:53 AM, just a few hours ago, she was in bed and she said ‘I didn’t know if I was dreaming or awake, I don’t even know. But the Lord gave me a vision.’
Now, how many people here have had a bona fide vision from God? I’m curious. Oh yeah, this is Bethel Church, I get it…Well, let me tell you, when you get a vision from God, you know it’s a vision from God. This is not daydreaming or something, it’s kind of like a TV screen comes on and it’s something else.
So Joanne says at 2:53 AM she wakes up and she has this vision and in this vision, she walks into her mother’s bedroom–my incredibly sweet mother-in-law was 96–and Joanne says she walked in the bedroom, she says ‘I took mom’s hand, and I said to her, mom, it’s Joanne.’ And she said, ‘I’m here with Jesus, do you see him?’ And mom said ‘yes.’
Now, Susanne’s mother was not a born-again believer, you know? She was a Catholic, she believed but she didn’t talk about it. She’s not like us Jesus freaks talking about it all the time and annoying people at every restaurant. She was a normal person. But she believed. Right? So Joanne says, ‘I’m here with Jesus, do you see him?’ ‘Yes.’ Joanne didn’t see him, but she said ‘I’m here with Jesus, do you see him?’ ‘Yes.’ Then she says something like…’I’m giving you to him, he will guide you. Is that okay?’ … and she says, ‘yes. Bye.‘
This bizarre story should give anyone who believes the gospel serious pause about Metaxas. If this is what Metaxas actually believes–that you don’t have to be born again to go to Heaven–then Metaxas is a false prophet and an enemy of God. Jesus is clear in John 3:3 when he said “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Eric Metaxas, while he may be right about some political issues, should not be regarded as a reliable source for theological input by any Christian, pastor, or Church. He should be, in fact, marked and avoided as Romans 16:17-18 calls us to do.