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Old 03-19-2020, 06:51 AM   #1
theLCfurry
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Default "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

Hey guys,

My mom made me read the report from CRI (I think it might be a shortened version) about the LC from Hank Hanegraaff (to try to convince me to stay within the LC because long story short, she said so and thinks im being scammed away from the LC through criticism about it🤦*♂️). I thought it was bad because I saw some arguments and criticisms about it, and I can clearly see that they pretty much ignored the criticisms about the emotional abuse and storms going on within the LC. However, the report said that one of the reporters who made a conclusion that the LC was a cult back in the 80s was considering revisiting and look at their previous conclusion around the late 90s or early 2000s, which threw me off. What do you guys think about the "we were wrong report"? Are they just ignoring the emotional abuse going on and is there some shady affairs behind closed doors within and BETWEEN CRI, Hank, and LC that led to the report?
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"......... not really though(?)

This link is to a response to the CRI's "We Were Wrong" article, and should help out with your discussion with your mom. However, it's much more. It's a personal account of the way LC leadership treats the members who disagree with them, and how the LC Leadership refuses to resolve conflict biblically.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...23&postcount=1

There is an attached .pdf which you can download and print for others to read. This open letter is huge, long (62 pages) and is meticulously documented. I recommend you check the Works Cited section first in order to appreciate the scope of this response. Some of the links are likely broken since the Letter was published May 2, 2010. It's an amazing record.

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Old 03-19-2020, 08:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"......... not really though(?)

theLCfurry,

You should be advised that Hank Hanegraaff and CRI (Christian Research Institute) have very little credibility among the vast majority of orthodox, evangelical Christian teachers, scholars and apologists. At one time CRI was actually at the forefront in exposing Witness Lee and the teachings and practices of the Local Church. Unfortunately, the founder of CRI, Dr. Walter Martin, passed away in 1989 at the young age of 60. That is when Hanegraaff seized full control of CRI and began to operate the ministry in a way that was neither approved nor promoted by Dr. Martin. Eventually Hanegraaff began to "undue" all the vital critical apologetic works against many Christian cults. One such Christian cult was the Local Church of Witness Lee, or the Lord's Recovery movement. Hank Hanegraaff's motivations for undoing Martin's work is very suspect, and there is great evidence that he had a financial conflict of interest. It is a demonstrable fact that Martin did not seek to interview or consult with any former Local Church member. In fact, a number of former members reached out to him while he was conducting his "re-evaluation" and he chose to ignore them all.

There is lots more to say regarding the "relationship" between the Local Church/Living Stream Ministry and Hank Hanegraaff/CRI, but you can search the forum for more detailed information. Maybe some other members can point you towards the relevant threads.

In the meantime, I will post an open letter entitled:

A Response to the Christian Research Journal’s Recent Defense of the “Local Church” Movement Norm Geisler and Ron Rhodes
Here is a link to the PDF version of this open letter:
http://www.open-letter.org/pdf/Geisl...nse_to_CRI.pdf
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"......... not really though(?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
This link is to a response to the CRI's "We Were Wrong" article, and should help out with your discussion with your mom. However, it's much more. It's a personal account of the way LC leadership treats the members who disagree with them, and how the LC Leadership refuses to resolve conflict biblically.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...23&postcount=1

There is an attached .pdf which you can download and print for others to read. This open letter is huge, long (62 pages) and is meticulously documented. I recommend you check the Works Cited section first in order to appreciate the scope of this response. Some of the links are likely broken since the Letter was published May 2, 2010. It's an amazing record.

Nell
If the average believer in the LC were privy to just that portion of this letter (pages 16-17) revealing the oath of allegiance 400 some elders pledged to Witness Lee in 1986......I believe many of their minds would be changed.

Why on earth are any christians being required to kneel at the feet of Lee, subsuming their allegiance to Jesus......?

I feel if I had only known this small factor of the REAL LC, I would have run, not walked for the nearest exit.

WILL THE REAL LC PLEASE STAND UP?!
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"......... not really though(?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
If the average believer in the LC were privy to just that portion of this letter (pages 16-17) revealing the oath of allegiance 400 some elders pledged to Witness Lee in 1986......I believe many of their minds would be changed.

Why on earth are any christians being required to kneel at the feet of Lee, subsuming their allegiance to Jesus......?

I feel if I had only known this small factor of the REAL LC, I would have run, not walked for the nearest exit.

WILL THE REAL LC PLEASE STAND UP?!
BHM,

I think most LC’ers know about the letter, they know who signed it and signing the letter became a point of pride. No one ran for the door. Most if not all probably would have signed it too, given the opportunity.

I guess the “real LC” stood up and saluted the MOTA. Pretty bad, huh?

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Old 03-20-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

You should also know that Hank Hanegraaff was so impressed with the Local Church that he converted to the Eastern Orthodox religion.

Read about it here:
http://www.religiousresearcher.org/2...ern-orthodoxy/

Forum discussion:
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...91&postcount=1

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Old 03-20-2020, 02:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"......... not really though(?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I think most LC’ers know about the letter, they know who signed it and signing the letter became a point of pride. No one ran for the door. Most if not all probably would have signed it too, given the opportunity.
Yes, that is sad....my naivety hangs onto me yet. I was always one of the outsiders of the group, I now know. So I was not brought into their inner circle, things were not disclosed to me, generally speaking. If you are right, they knew about this signed oath.....and that did not wave a red flag for the group.....this is very sad.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

I wouldn't put much stock in Miller's piece.

1 The piece reads like an A&C piece, which Miller apparently drew from. In some sections he cites quotes from Lee that are supposed to vindicate Lee, but actually substantiate the charge. For example, on mingling he cites a passage from Lee that says we share God's essence, when the entire argument Miller was putting forward was that this was something Lee denied and was a misconstrual.

2. Miller had no accredited degrees, which is why he never left CRI. He had nowhere he could go, unlike the other researchers who were forced out by Hanegraaff after Hank's coup. What is more, Miller had no real competence in Trinitarian theology. His area of specialization was the New Age Movement.

3. Gretchen Passantino was one of the previous researchers under Martin who helped put together the chapter in Martin's book, The New Cults, on the Local Church. She claimed she changed her mind but she never produced anything substantial that showed where she was wrong. She left that to Miller.

Here are somethings you should know. Bob and Gretchen Passantino ran their own little apologetics business out of their house. Consequently, they were always pretty poor. They lived out of the house reserved for the Lutheran clergy on church property. They did piecemeal work for Hank over the years, because Hank has no degrees in any field.

After Bob died, Gretchen remarried and then her second husband also died a number of years later.

In the 1990's I discussed the situation about Hank with both Bob and Gretchen in person. When I pointed out that they were helping someone who was corrupt, a fraud and who abused his employees, Gretchen stormed out of the room and Bob made excuses that they had to make ends meet somehow. I told Bob that these were the same excuses that ppl made for supporting the Word Faith teachers and other heretical groups.

In any case, Gretchen to my knowledge never produced a substantial piece showing where she was wrong.

4. Hank is now a member of the Orthodox church, of which I am also a member. Hank's own church doesn't even recognize the LC as a church at all since it lacks apostolic succession through bishops and because it lacks Orthodox teaching. So by Hank's own church's criteria, one should reject the Local Church as heterodox. The LC and the Orthodox can't both be right.

And yet the LC and Hank still support each other.

5. As I noted above, Hank has no expertise in any field. He has no earned degrees. He also has material written for him from a few underlings who have some formal degrees. Hank lives in a 3 million dollar mansion on a golf course estate. So basically he took over CRI to milk it for cash and become a millionaire.

You can see some documentation here.

https://energeticprocession.wordpres...ankadox-files/
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

Here's what I had to say about it....

E08 - The CRI Still Got it Wrong

Examining the Christian Research Institute's (CRI) flawed defense of the "The Lord's Recovery."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2l4B1-NnK4
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:19 PM   #10
UntoHim
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Default Re: "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

theLCfurry,

You should know that CRI's "We Were Wrong" does not actually address any of the many theological errors of Witness Lee originally exposed by Walter Martin and CRI back in the 1970s. I can tell you with great assurance that Dr. Martin would NEVER have approved of, much less written such an article undermining and turning back from the original assessment - That the Local Church was theologically aberrant at best, and at worst should be considered a dangerous cult of Christianity. There are many former Local Church members that will tell you that the movement falls under the latter category.

theLCfurry, I think you are very astute in bringing up the issue of "ignoring the emotional abuse going on". I think this issue hits upon much of the problems facing young people such as yourself, as well as many who have been raised in the Local Church movement. Because neither Hank Hanegraaff, nor any of his staff did any significant research into this aspect, it left a gaping hole in this so-called "reassessment ". Additionally, and of the upmost concern, is the fact that CRI made no attempt to do any in-depth interviews of any of the former Local Church members, including and especially, in-depth, comprehensive interviews of so many of the sisters/women who spent significant time in the movement. Hanegraaff and his CRI staff, of all people, should have known that the red lights of warning would mostly come from former members. Shame on them for dropping the ball.

I am quite certain that your mother loves you and is seeking the best for you. Please do not take the criticisms and warnings you see here on LCD to mean that you should disrespect your parents in any way, shape or form! Yet I must tell you that God would never put you in a position where you have to chose between the Truth of the Gospel and the Word of God, and your love and respect for your Mother.

May the Lord bless and honor your desire to seek, love and serve him with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:01 PM   #11
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5nVlwdOGoE

A free transcript of this video is available at https://media-cloud.sermonaudio.com/t.... Free transcripts of this video are available in 20 languages at https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninf.... 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).

Presented by Larry Wessels, director of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater; YouTube channel CAnswersTV (which stands for "Christian Answers Television) with over 750 uploaded videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/CAnswersTV; see also our ministry websites: http://www.BibleQuery.org, http://www.HistoryCart.com, & http://www.MuslimHope.com . The material presented here goes according to the following time markers:

00:00 to 12:54 - Biblical parallels between Hank Hanegraaff (HH) & Judas Iscariot.

12:55 to 15:35 - Opening credits & HH asks for your money.

15:36 to 24:23 - 1. Was HH really Walter Martin's handpicked successor? 2. Why does HH make over $250,000 a year while Walter Martin only made $40,000 a year? 3. Why did HH fire so many of Walter Martin's handpicked & key people after HH took over CRI in 1989? 4. Why did CRI buy HH a $66,000 Lexus sports car in 2004? 5. Is HH's "Personal Witness Training" a plagiarism of Dr. D. James Kennedy's book "Evangelism Explosion"?

24:24 to 32:24 - HH attacks the Genesis record & Biblical accounts by inserting Darwinian geological & astronomical evolution religion into the Bible by cultic eisegesis.

32:25 to 35:44 - Thanks to Jay Howard, author & researcher for the book "Hard Questions for the Bible Answer Man," Paul Vendredi & Perry Robinson (former CRI employee) for their contributions to this video.

35:45 to 1:13:24 - Paul Vendredi's full interview with Jay Howard.

1:13:25 to 1:21:23 - Jay Howard's full interview with Dr. D. James Kennedy concerning HH's plagiarism of Kennedy's book "Evangelism Explosion."

1:21:24 to 1:47:37 - Paul Vendredi interviews former Hanegraaff CRI employee Perry Robinson about what went on behind the scenes at CRI. Perry reveals the numerous tricks HH used to deceive the public during his "Bible Answer Man" broadcasts. Perry also reveals other very questionable activities going on with HH.

1:47:38 to 2:11:22 - HH & Robert Morey on the "Bible Answer Man" show. HH greatly endorses Morey's "Islamic Invasion" book. Morey says Christians are very gullible. Did Morey read every book on Islam as found in the Library of Congress? Is Morey a scholar or not? Was Morey attacked by 400 Muslims in a riot on a university campus? Can Morey really read 25 books an hour?

2:11:23 to 2:25:21 - HH defends Gregory Boyd as he promotes Boyd's book "Oneness Pentecostals & the Trinity." Gregory Boyd is an open theism heretic. Open theism is a direct attack on the omniscience of God - that God has infinite knowledge.

2:25:22 to 2:44:06 - Waleed Nassar's critique of Morey's "Islamic Invasion" which was endorsed by HH. Short clip from Morey's debate with Muslim lawyer Khalid Al-Mansour.

2:44:07 to 3:00:01 - HH covers for various false heretical cults such as the Witness Lee & the Local Church cult.

3:00:02 to 3:08:38 - HH attacks the book "The Agony of Deceit" which contained one of Walter Martin's final written works before his death called, "Ye Shall Be As Gods." HH attacked the book & would not endorse it because it exposed Pat Robertson as a phony TV preacher even though Walter Martin endorsed the book.

3:08:39 to 3:16:02 - HH hides from the public that Walter Martin had written a booklet called "The Roman Catholic Church in History" (published in 1960) which stated on page 39 that Roman Catholicism nullifies the gospel according to Mark 7:8.

3:16:03 to 3:23:57 - HH's lawsuits against other Christians & other lawsuit settlements.

3:23:58 to 3:25:06 - Walter Martin's family urges HH to step down as head of CRI.

3:25:07 to 3:51:17 - HH changes the CRI doctrinal statement to a C.S. Lewis gospel of "Mere Christianity" & away from a Biblical gospel thus violating Galatians 1:6-9 which threatens the divine curse of God.

3:51:18 to 4:08:26 - HH removes the original CRI doctrinal statement which said that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. Thus the major doctrines of the Protestant Reformation are removed as unnecessary.

4:08:27 to 5:29:45 - Verbal & visual reading of Jay Howard's book called "Hard Questions for the Bible Answer Man - Hank Hanegraaff's Takeover of the Christian Research Institute."

5:29:46 to 5:33:34 - Conclusion.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:58 PM   #12
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Question Re: "We Were Wrong"....not really though(?)

Hey guys,

I read a bit of We Were Wrong with my mom. I feel like its convincing, but I also considered that it was probably used by the LC to make a hard stop on research for those who are curious. Do you think the LC and BBs influenced the article, and can someone send a link to the original open letter that many have signed that the CRI responded to?

Also, did you guys read the report, and how did you feel when compared to your personal experience in the LC?
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