Stumbled on Youtube and found these clips dealing with CRI (Christian Research Institute) President Hank Hanegraaf in controversy. Actually this is old news but former WCG bloggers like Aggie and Gavin Rumney are the biggest “non-fans” of Hank since the beginning. I have always admired Hank’s stand to make a clear distinction between the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of the Cults (where some more liberal humanists would blur the lines and believe in a group hug no matter what wrong doctrine it is). I met Hank at The People’s Church in Toronto in 1999 and found him very cordial in person. He was nice enough to autograph my own copy of Christianity In Crisis. Though I may not agree with every word with some Sabbatarian Christians, I still to this day defend their right to observe a day for God, I had no use for Hank’s caricature of them doing so. I knew for some time that his predecessor’s (Walter Martin) family has some conflicts (and they sound legitimate) with Hank to this very day. It is my hope that Hank, if he is sincere and the allegations proven substantially true will make peace and reconciliation in the spirit of Matthew 5:23.
Yes, you’ve heard it! Christian Research Institute President Hank Hanegraaf is entering the world of blogdom and the blog is simply named “Hank Hanegraaf” talking about the various cults and false doctrines that our out there affecting the Christian church. While support Aggie’s comments below in my Intelligent Quote of the Day section, I do have mixed feelings about Hank. I met him here in Toronto back in ’99 at The People’s Church,a very cordial gentleman who was kind enough to sign one of two books I have authored from him, the book he signed was Christianity In Crisis which was a thorough critique on The Word of Faith movement which preaches a “health-wealth” prosperity gospel. His critiques with the modern charismatic movement make sense to me. It irritates to me to no end that the attitude is that we should “love everybody” and “not worry about doctrine”—which I find not only softheaded and softhearted naivity at it’s best—but spiritually dangerous and a hyper-casual attitude (at it’s worst)that is creeping in many Christian fellowships and churches. Frankly, it is not “love” but “sentimentality” and trust me there is a difference. So I respect the fact that somebody is standing up to something that is not right. On the other hand, Hank is not without his skeletons. When his predecessor, Walter Martin passed away in 1989, it is alleged from the Martin family that he was not a handpicked successor but succeeded Martin in an aggressive takeover. You can read their take on Hank and his financial dealings and leadership of CRI here. I also on J’s Shadows of WCG message board had also a strident opinion on HOW Hank transitioned the WCG. Here’s an excerpt of what I said:
Frankly Aggie I am with Doug Ward (of Grace and Knowledge magazine fame) that WCG could went into another direction like Doug’s group which he now goes to which is Church of Messiah (a Messianic Jewish/Hebraic roots congregation). I was for Worldwide getting rid of the silly rules, I strongly supported it’s move to orthodoxy (the trinity and grace) but to screw with the heads of people of getting rid of every single tradition to mimic the evangelical culture, I still have hard time letting go. You do bring up a point about Hank Hanegraaf…It was like he went into someone’s home and threw out the furniture and told them he is going to redecorate and funish the house the way he likes it. Hank would be a not great member of any Star Trek crew(if it existed of course). Captain Picard in the series (TNG) had a policy of not interferring with other civilization’s cultures. Hank just couldn’t follow that policy and would give his own personal opinion of how Klingons and Vulcans should live.
You might want to go my old blog and look at Anne Hanna’s posts (especially the one’s discussing her view on the leadership of Joe Jr.) to get a clearer view. As I said, Hank Hanegraaf’s bold stances against the excesses of the charismatic movement, against wacky ideas coming from churches which were thought to be in the pale of orthodoxy, against spiritually dangerous cults (and for anyone who wants to be softheadedly politically correct to assert that cults are not dangerous but misguided is making an idiotic assertion of their lifetime) and other false doctrines I must respect and support Hank’s stances unilaterally. I even listened to his Friday’s edition of The Bible Answer Man. Again the program in itself made (and still makes) sense to me. I know Gavin would not touch equip.org with a ten foot pole but I say you gotta listen to every angle and make your own decision.
Enough of my monologue and let me give you his blogsite right here. You might not agree with everything he says, but I am sure you can learn the reason about why Christianity sees the importance of protecting itself from heretical doctrine. It is not for the sadistic joy of picking on religions they hate, it is protecting the true image of the Godhead and the Church.