Hank Hanegraaff goes Eastern Orthodox

We all remember Joe Tkach’s buddy Hank Hanegraaff and how the WCG got the backing and support from the bible answer man when they moved towards traditional Christianity.

Well it seems the bible answer man has defected from Protestant evangelical Christianity that he pimped on the public for so many years.  Hank is known for  arguing against cults, heresies, and non-Christian religions. The WCG was at one time on his hit list as a destructive religious cult. That all changed back in the 90’s when Joe Jr. and his buddy Greg Albrecht started their love fest with traditional Christianity.

Keep in mind that brother-man Hank is not without controversy. He has been accused of radio fakery, where he has turned CRI, a once reputable apologetics organization founded by Walter Martin, into his own personal milch cow, which he milked for all it was worth financially, finally leaving Protestantism for Orthodoxy when the Evangelical milk ran dry.

It seems he did learn something from Greg and Lil Joe.

His journey towards Orthodoxy began with a trip to China, when “I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life,” he said.

On the flight back, Hanegraaff wondered if he was even a Christian. “I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

He began to study the work of Watchman Nee and the idea of theosis (the Eastern Orthodox teaching on seeking union with God), which led him back to the early Christian church. (1)

Well at least Hank ‘appears’ to be honest with himself unlike the Armstrongites who consistently push Herbalism even when they know he was a charlatan, a child molester, and a prophetic failure.

The January 21, 2005 Ambassador Watch had this to say:

More Hankie hoo-hah? Hank Hanegraaff is back in the news. The “Bible Answer Man” who cuddled up to WCG reforms and drew his mantle around Joe & Co., has continued to maintain a high profile among WCG members, writing a regular column for The Plain Truth and even making a cameo appearance on the Called to be free DVD, where he again endorsed the leadership’s reforms.

But Hanegraaff has been constantly dogged by controversy. His “takeover” of Walter Martin’s Christian Research Institute has been criticized very publicly by Martin’s family, and his management style has reportedly alienated supporters and employees. Now it seems he’s up to his neck in new allegations about unethical fundraising and fraud.

“This looks like mail fraud to me,” said an investigator familiar with nonprofit prosecutions. “Hank could go to jail for this.”

PTM boss Greg Albrecht has never been afraid to ask hard questions about Benny Hinn and other marginal ministries. We await a similar statement in light of these new concerns about his good buddy, and trust Greg will consider pulling Hank’s column from the magazine. 

A statement on YouTube describes Hank and his rise within Walter Martin’s organization:

Hank Hanegraaff ripped off the good ministry of Walter Martin after Walter died suddenly & unexpectedly on June 26, 1989 while at Walter’s funeral shortly thereafter. Before that Hanegraaff had only been a member of Walter’s ministry for a couple of years & was not knowledgeable in theology, church history, original Biblical languages, cults or much of anything else since he only had a high school diploma to his name. Walter had hired Hanegraaff to be a fund raiser for the Christian Research Institute (CRI). Previously Hanegraaff was fortunate that Dr. James Kennedy did not sue Hanegraaff for plagiarizing Dr. Kennedy’s book, “Evangelism Explosion” in a work Hanegraaff called “Personal Witness Training.”

Of course the Painful Truth does wish Hank well with his battle with cancer. Something he most likely would not wish one of us in a similar situation.

(1) Christianity Today