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Old 09-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

Just finished listing to both portions on the Bible Answer Man. What a snow job.

Take HH around the world. Wine and dine him. Let him speak in your meetings and even speak about quoting the Bible. Get two hours of HH helping you sell your package.

Behind the sceens, quarantine Titus for speaking differently and promoting the Bible. Use lawers, lawsuits and courts to drive out the believers you do not feel are one with the program.

Publicly talk about the seeking of oneness with all the believers.

After what I have passed through this was utterly revolting. I do not like smiley faces; but, if I had one pucking I would use it.

Sorry for my graphic frankness.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:47 PM   #2
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Default Down in Babylon, on the radio...

I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, Norm, but I have to say, this is exactly what I'm expecting when I get to it. I don't know how it could be otherwise.

However, I'll go back to something I said on the other board when I was quite new among this group and several people jumped on my stuff fifty ways from Sunday when I suggested that the LC is more compromising with mainstream Christianity than it used to be.

They were all like, REALLY??? HOW??? I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT!!!

I pointed out then that seeking approval of the Christian publisher's group was some evidence of that. I didn't bother to mention anything about all the academics they'd gathered to say they were kosher. The lawsuit against the cult book this time was pretty much proof of where they stood, I thought, in reading the court pleadings. They are basically espousing the position of being just another denomination and, in truth, that is exactly what they have become. On that basis, I agree with them that they don't belong in a cult book.

But I think this radio broadcast is even stronger evidence of what I previously suggested.

If you make your own bed in Babylon, it would be awful hard to denounce living in Babylon with a straight face, I think...
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
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Just finished listing to both portions on the Bible Answer Man. What a snow job.
I listened to about 20 minutes of the 2nd part. I liked Chris Wilde, excellent PR guy. He ought to be a Press Secretary for Obama's campaign.

What I heard kept referring back to original concepts of WN concerning oneness, and the early concepts of pray-reading. I agree with those concepts as Biblical practices, described in the scriptures, but not necessarily prescribed.

The problem is simple. Nothing I see in LSM remotely corresponds to what they told the Bible Answer Man. In the name of oneness, they are the most exclusive and divisive. In the name of pray-reading, what they really do is PSRP outlines rehashed by BB's of WL crystalization outlines which rehashed Life-Study Outlines of the Bible.

Listening to them speak is about the same as listening to politicians. Just switch your brain off, and it all feels so good.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:46 PM   #4
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Default More Whoppers from Yu and Wilde then Burger King

If I didn't hear this with my own ears I wouldn't believe it....
Here we go...
Word-for-word...directly from the recording...

Mr. Chris Wilde
“…the Lords recovery did not begin,
nor would we say ends, with any particular group
or any particular servant of God”


Mr. Andrew Yu
“…when we say that we are the Lord’s recovery,
it's like when we say we are the church,
we are not saying that we are the only church, we are part of the church,
in the same way when we say we are the Lords recovery
we are not saying that we are the only thing that is being recovered..”


“Anything that is a positive contribution to the body of Christ
is part of the Lord’s recovery”


Hanegraaff:
“...And so you see yourself not as exclusively the church, you don’t see yourself as the only expression of Christianity, you see a broader body of Christ and you desire fellowship and interaction with that larger Body”

Mr. Andrew Yu:
That’s right!

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Old 09-12-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
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Default Politics of Wu and Wilde

Dear brothers and sisters,

Of course, these brothers, Yu and Wilde, are toying with their brothers in Christ. (Wilde, naturally, has no idea what he is doing or saying, "recently" coming from remote locations in the NW - Spokane and Pullman - and landing in Anaheim and doing a job, yes, making money, as an employee for LSM).

(In an email to me in 2003, he said on behalf of Towle and Francis, who I was addressing, ongoing, that all the matters were closed to fellowship concerning our past and that I presented nothing new in my writings. - I don't believe he read ANY writings whatsoever, by me or anyone. He has no experience of the Anaheim saga and travesty and neither has he read writings concerning this.) Chris is a dear brother, but a pawn of LSM!

These two brothers, Yu and Wilde, have received much more revelation than their brother(s) who question them. But these two brothers, who fully believe that they are representatives of God's government on the earth, lie; they lie by not telling what they really think and how they really feel! They are politicians. And, they have their agenda. THEY KNOW HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY, and yes, the so-called Bible Answer Man, as well.

They are not being honest.

More Whoppers than Burger King?! I like this statement, but whether or not there are more Whoppers... it is for sure that what Whoppers they present are SIGNIFICANT to those concerned for the truth, and for the spiritual realm.

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Old 09-12-2008, 05:05 AM   #6
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These statements are obviously at odds with what most of us here already know and can explain about the general and common history and the teachings of this group and its leaders.

But I submit that they really are in the nature of conciliation and compromise rather than falsehoods. I think they may actually aspire now to shake hands across the fences. This is now most clearly the degraded Laodicea. They should feel quite comfortable settling back in amongst all the religious flavors of the rainbow.

(PS - For good measure, I'll also note the veiled reference to "universal church" which implies that they have now rejected a concept of a neo-papacy and seek to embrace the common definition of Protestantism, which I think is likely, since they clearly have no new pope after a decade.)
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:47 AM   #7
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Wilde, naturally, has no idea what he is doing or saying, "recently" coming from remote locations in the NW - Spokane and Pullman - and landing in Anaheim and doing a job, yes, making money, as an employee for LSM. He has no experience of the Anaheim saga and travesty and neither has he read writings concerning this.) Chris is a dear brother, but a pawn of LSM!
Indiana, this is what makes CW so good as a PR person! He doesn't know "all the truth" so he can effectivle face outsiders and "lie with a clear conscience." They do this all the time in politics.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:03 AM   #8
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Since they are now so enlightened, does this mean that the Quarantine is over? Are the lawsuits dropped?

This may be more a way to sell books than a change of heart.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:05 PM   #9
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This may be more a way to sell books than a change of heart.
If you're talking about the brand of Christianity which is the CRI, it fits perfectly as both. If you listen to the podcast, be prepared to fast-forward through some seriously cheesy commercials advertising Hank's L.E.G.A.C.Y. Bible, the CR Journal and other such products for sale at their website...
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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Hello, dear ones. Having listened to both the broadcasted portion and the "extra bonus material", I was so turned off by the whole thing. Many things really grieved me, but I guess what bothered me the most was the smug attitude displayed by brothers Chris and Andrew.

What they basically said was this: "Everyone needs to come to us and apologize, but we have no need to apologize to anybody. Hank needed to apologize, Gretchen needed to apologize, and everyone who ever spoke anything against us needs to apologize. But us? Poor, persecuted, slandered, long-suffering us?! No way! We have never uttered a word that was too strong or too insulting! We have never had a small heart toward other believers! If you would just take the time to learn our vocabulary you would see how right we are about everything! And by the way, all our lawsuits were never, ever, about money or anything like that! All we have ever spoken and all that we have ever done came out of only the purest of motives! What do we have to apologize for?"

Dear Lord, do have mercy on us all!
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:41 AM   #11
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KTS, thanks for the concise reporting. It saves me the time listening to the whole thing.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #12
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I'm wondering, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a Christian who is not in the "proper" church life, and having little or no regard for "The Ministry," and 10 being, well...let's say a Ray Gravier, where does Hank handy graft place, and where does Titus Chu place?

From the Whistler witch trial, it would seem that Titus was nothing short of being in concert with the Devil. Somehow, Hank got ahead of him.

Wonder if ole Hank handy graft would be open to such questions? Nah, I don't think so. There is more to this charade than meets the eye. The Blendeds are using him, and for some reason he seems to need to use them.

Maybe I don't really know enough to comment, but I believe Chris is the official "spokesperson" because of his radio voice.

The saga continues.

Roger

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Old 09-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #13
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Since they are now so enlightened, does this mean that the Quarantine is over? Are the lawsuits dropped?

This may be more a way to sell books than a change of heart.
My, Prayerful, you're starting to look like one of the aging Brethren.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:27 PM   #14
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Mr. Chris Wilde
“…the Lords recovery did not begin,
nor would we say ends, with any particular group
or any particular servant of God”

So Mr. Wilde, since the Lord's recovery did not begin with "any particular group or any particular servant of God"...did the Lord's recovery just fall from a tree, or did it fall off the turnip truck, or did it come out of the woodwork? Really, inquiring minds want to know, because Witness Lee told me exactly when the Lord's recovery started, and who picked it up from there, and so on and so on...until the Lord's recovery kind of just ended with him. (how convenient).

Oh, oh, and speaking of the recovery ending...You say "nor would we say ends"...really? Did you take a trip out to Grace Terrace and somehow speak with Witness Lee about this..cause he kind of, sort of publicly declared that the "recovery" of all the important truths were recovered through him and the religion he founded. And he kind of, sort of said that nothing (much) would be recovered after him. So I was wondering if somehow, some way Witness Lee "took back" what he had been telling us for all those years. Surely you took your digital recorder with you that day so we can all hear for ourselves. Really, Mr. Wilde...a media savvy guy like you would surely of covered his bases and recorded this monumental turn-around in Witness Lee's view of the recovery...right?


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Old 09-14-2008, 07:53 PM   #15
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Mr. Andrew Yu
“…when we say that we are the Lord’s recovery,
it's like when we say we are the church,
we are not saying that we are the only church, we are part of the church,
in the same way when we say we are the Lords recovery
we are not saying that we are the only thing that is being recovered..”

"...We are not saying that we are the only thing that is being recovered"? Mr. Yu, Mr. Yu, Mr Yu!? I spent the better part of a quarter of a century listening to Witness Lee and many "co-workers" like you tell me that the Local Church was "the only thing that is being recovered". So now are you telling me that Lee and you were "just kidding"?


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Old 09-15-2008, 06:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr. Chris Wilde
“…the Lords recovery did not begin,
nor would we say ends, with any particular group
or any particular servant of God”

So Mr. Wilde, since the Lord's recovery did not begin with any particular group or any particular servant of God...did the Lord's recovery just fall from a tree, or did it fall off the turnip truck, or did it come out of the woodwork? Really, inquiring minds want to know, because Witness Lee told me exactly when the Lord's recovery started, and who picked it up from there, and so on and so on...until the Lord's recovery kind of just ended with him. (how convenient).

Oh, oh, and speaking of the recovery ending...You say "nor would we say ends"...really? Did you take a trip out to Grace Terrace and somehow speak with Witness Lee about this..cause he kind of, sort of publicly declared that the "recovery" of all the important truths were recovered through him and the religion he founded. And he kind of, sort of said that nothing (much) would be recovered after him. So I was wondering if somehow, some way Witness Lee "took back" what he had been telling us for all those years. Surely you took your digital recorder with you that day so we can all hear for ourselves. Really, Mr. Wilde...a media savvy guy like you would surely of covered his bases and recorded this monumental turn-around in Witness Lee's view of the recovery...right?


"WORDS...JUST WORDS"

Witness Lee told us that the recovery began with Martin Luther. Hellllooo. These Witness Lee bobble heads have become shameless in their willingness to lie, and twist words. They used to word dance. Now they just come out and lie.

"WORDS...JUST WORDS"

Roger
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:17 AM   #17
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Default Link?

Can someone please post the link to this recording? I can't find it.

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Old 09-15-2008, 08:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
"WORDS...JUST WORDS"

Witness Lee told us that the recovery began with Martin Luther. Hellllooo. These Witness Lee bobble heads have become shameless in their willingness to lie, and twist words. They used to word dance. Now they just come out and lie.

"WORDS...JUST WORDS"

Roger
Roger, I hear what you're saying and you are right and that is exactly what they said, but I don't think that's really what they meant.

What they MEANT is that they do not claim to own "The Lord's Recovery" exclusively, that neither Witness Lee nor Watchman Nee were the founders of it, that the Local Church is not the only denomination subject to it, and that whatever it is exactly, it didn't die with Lee.

It is actually quite telling, however, that they did forget brother Luther at that point. I'd say that proves that they don't even know what "The Recovery" is any more.

I think they're still dancing, just not nearly as well...
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #19
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Can someone please post the link to this recording? I can't find it.
If you go here, the publicly broadcasted part is 9/8
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/B...n/archives.asp

I am not sure where the "bonus hour" part is. Maybe somebody can hunt through equip.org and find it.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:04 AM   #20
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Got it. Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:31 AM   #21
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Default Hank H.

So many thoughts about what I heard - including the thought to meet with him, the brother, HH. Easier for DR to do, who lives nearby him.

My point being, there are levels of understanding in the local churches to consider. HH has no idea, at this point - But if he is a person who declares, "the truth matters", then he needs a session 2 and 3.

Can someone direct me to the bonus time w/Yu & Wilde? I tried to find it but could not.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:07 AM   #22
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Can someone direct me to the bonus time w/Yu & Wilde? I tried to find it but could not.
I found the link in a post on another thread ... which since then has vanished.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:04 AM   #23
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The CRI advertising in the radio program section was really crass and disturbing.

As curious at the LC "leaders" are in their presentations of several points, that whole CRI phenomenon is even more so to my way of thinking.

One thing I thought was really strange was when they began to devolve into a discussion about the economy and government of China.

It sometimes almost sounded like I was listening to a meeting of businessmen talking about a newly expanded overseas market...
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:58 PM   #24
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Default Here is link to the "bonus material" for listening and/or download

The Webmaster of equip.org was kind enough to pass this link along:

Due to the large size of this file (+47mb), it is advisable to right-click on the link below and then choose "save link as"

http://bam.edgeboss.net/download/bam...08-08bonus.mp3

For those who have need to obtain a compressed version (8.8mb) please PM Admin and I can get that to you.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:22 PM   #25
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Default CRI Advertising

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The CRI advertising in the radio program section was really crass and disturbing.
This was also my feeling, dear brother YP0534. First of all, a big percentage of the time is taken up by advertisements (11.5 minutes of advertisements out of a broadcast that was 54 total minutes in length). Secondly, even being as gracious and broad-minded as possible, the advertisements themselves are really hard to take. During the ads, I found myself asking over and over again: "Is this really what LSM wants to be identified with? Do they really want to be assoicated with this?"
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post
This was also my feeling, dear brother YP0534. First of all, a big percentage of the time is taken up by advertisements (11.5 minutes of advertisements out of a broadcast that was 54 total minutes in length). Secondly, even being as gracious and broad-minded as possible, the advertisements themselves are really hard to take. During the ads, I found myself asking over and over again: "Is this really what LSM wants to be identified with? Do they really want to be assoicated with this?"
Brother kisstheson,

I recently had links to these two programs sent to me. The person sending it thought that it would "clarify" some things. Well, it did. It made me clearer than ever that the Living Stream Church has become a denomination, which engages in public relations schemes, and reeks of as much hypocrisy as the biggest and oldest denominations.

You said: "Do they really want to be associated with this?" That really is remarkable, isn't it? Consider all that they are willing to wink at, and swallow, extending the sweet hand of "fellowship" to Hank Hanegraaff, for the purpose of trying to have a shinny, pristine appearance before the public. While at the same time their criteria for fellowship among the longtime members is so strict, and exclusive that a refusal to go along with it in every detail results in "quarantine."

What hypocrisy. It stinks to high heaven.

Roger
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:58 AM   #27
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

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But I submit that they really are in the nature of conciliation and compromise rather than falsehoods.

One might believe that if it weren't for the fact that at the same time they are making this run at compromise, they are excluding long time members and co-workers from the "fellowship" using strict, unbiblical guidelines.

So either they know they are being dishonest, or their consciences are seared to the point that they can't discern the dishonesty. Both possibilities are quite disturbing.

Roger
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:51 AM   #28
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

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One might believe that if it weren't for the fact that at the same time they are making this run at compromise, they are excluding long time members and co-workers from the "fellowship" using strict, unbiblical guidelines.

So either they know they are being dishonest, or their consciences are seared to the point that they can't discern the dishonesty. Both possibilities are quite disturbing.
What appears to be a glaring contradiction of principle to you and I and perhaps most of the greater body of Christ, at the same time seems to be perfectly proper for those blended leaders who were trained directly by WL. The problem lies in their training. God made the conscience to operate according to its training or upbringing, always desiring to do "the right thing." The tragedy occurs when when "the right thing" does not coincide with "what is right" or what is scriptural for us as believers.

Here's a couple more examples of LC paradoxes. Being plainly taught by the Lord to "judge not," yet being training for decades how to judge ... uhhhh "critique" ... all things Christian. Being taught in plain words not to sue our brothers, yet being trained that lawsuits are "right" for the ministry.

This is why it is impossible to discuss LSM/LC problems using the scripture alone. The "faithful" have all been properly "inoculated." Of course, we never called in "indoctrination," but when "training" conflicts with plain scripture, what else should we call it?

As a "sidebar" here, perhaps the single most despicable and scathing wholesale condemnation upon all "outside" Christians can be found in Genesis Life Study #54, which likens the spiritual birth of all non-denominational, outside Christians, called "free groups," to the incestuous children of Lot. Read that message and you then can begin to understand the BB mindset. It's no wonder any faithful LC brother would lament the return to "denominations and free groups," after finally discovering the LSM way to be so unacceptable.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:30 AM   #29
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Default Re: CRI Advertising

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While at the same time their criteria for fellowship among the longtime members is so strict, and exclusive that a refusal to go along with it in every detail results in "quarantine."
Hi Roger. What would the criteria for fellowship be? Could you be more specific so that the reader might know whether it's anything different than we already know? That is taking only one ministry and one publication.

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Old 01-01-2009, 09:39 AM   #30
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

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So either they know they are being dishonest, or their consciences are seared to the point that they can't discern the dishonesty. Both possibilities are quite disturbing.

Roger
No doubt.
My impression is the latter.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:56 AM   #31
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

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This is why it is impossible to discuss LSM/LC problems using the scripture alone. The "faithful" have all been properly "inoculated." Of course, we never called in "indoctrination," but when "training" conflicts with plain scripture, what else should we call it?
Very good observation. "Indoctrination"...."Brainwashing"... I know, I know, brainwashing is a pretty heavy duty word. How about "Compromised"? In general, many LC'ers have had their hearts and minds compromised - they have been compromised because they take the mere words of a mere man as equal to the Word of God. In some cases they even take the words of this mere man above, or in contradiction to, the Word of God.

This phenomenon of making the words of a man equal to the Word of God should have stood out very prominent to Hank Hanegraaff, Gretchen Passantino and anybody else doing "research" on the Local Church. Of course one must take into account the possibility that Yu, Wilde et al did a very good job of pulling the wool over everybody's eyes. Nevertheless, Hanegraaff and Passantino have stated that they attended several LC meetings, so unless these were "setup" meetings (a distinct possibility) they should have noticed the average member's tendency to quote Witness Lee more then the Bible. Then throw in a heavy dose of the rude and crude judging of other Christians (or critiquing as Ohio says:rollingeyes2, and these folks should have seen right through the smoke and mirrors.

But as the saying goes...sometimes people only see what they want to see.

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Old 01-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #32
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Brother kisstheson,

I recently had links to these two programs sent to me. The person sending it thought that it would "clarify" some things. Well, it did. It made me clearer than ever that the Living Stream Church has become a denomination, which engages in public relations schemes, and reeks of as much hypocrisy as the biggest and oldest denominations.

You said: "Do they really want to be associated with this?" That really is remarkable, isn't it? Consider all that they are willing to wink at, and swallow, extending the sweet hand of "fellowship" to Hank Hanegraaff, for the purpose of trying to have a shinny, pristine appearance before the public. While at the same time their criteria for fellowship among the longtime members is so strict, and exclusive that a refusal to go along with it in every detail results in "quarantine."

What hypocrisy. It stinks to high heaven.

Roger
Amen, dear brother Roger. The original program and the "bonus material" really are painful to listen to. The LC has most definitely become a denomination and this "interview" with HH was a horrible public-relations scheme. When compared to LSM/DCP's recent quarantines and lawsuits in the GLA, this whole "chat" with HH does indeed stink to high heaven.

Really sad stuff. The supposed "openness" to brothers and sisters outside the LC, coupled with the simultaneous exclusivity and strictness being measured out to longtime members, is just too hyprocritical. I am reminded again of the quote about J.N. Darby's successor, William Kelly: "W.K. ever advocated the reception of all godly saints, except of course from other sections of Brethren!"
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:37 PM   #33
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I am reminded again of the quote about J.N. Darby's successor, William Kelly: "W.K. ever advocated the reception of all godly saints, except of course from other sections of Brethren!"
William Kelly corresponds to today's Ron Kangas in so many ways. Kelly learned the art of true exclusivism from "the master." The exclusive Brethren (especially the sisters) would pay any price to gain just one new member regardless of former association, unless, of course, they ever broke bread with that "dreaded" George Muller of Bristol.

Lord Jesus save us from any and all elitist exclusivism!
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:26 PM   #34
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William Kelly corresponds to today's Ron Kangas in so many ways. Kelly learned the art of true exclusivism from "the master." The exclusive Brethren (especially the sisters) would pay any price to gain just one new member regardless of former association, unless, of course, they ever broke bread with that "dreaded" George Muller of Bristol.

Lord Jesus save us from any and all elitist exclusivism!
Dear brother Ohio,

It grieves me to no end that history is so clearly repeating itself. This is sad beyond words.

Amen, to your prayer, dear brother: "Lord Jesus save us from any and all elitiest exclusivism!"
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:39 AM   #35
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Dear ones,

One of the main reasons I was initally attacted to the writings of dear brother Watchmen Nee all those years ago was his repeated speaking regarding our need to learn the lessons of the cross. He had much to say about the ever-present danger of exercising "the arm of the flesh", epscially while engaged in activity for the Lord. This kind of speaking was so healthy and so pure. Of course, I have since found this same kind of speaking in the writings of many other ministers of Christ, but I will forever be grateful for the help I received from WN on this matter.

This is one of the main reasons that the "chat" brother AY and CW had with HH grieves me so much. Brothers AY and CW presented such a sanitized, cleaned-up, view of LSM and the LC to HH and the public which differs so radically from the views spoken during internal LSM conferences/trainings. This was just plain dishonest. How much better it would have been for brothers AY and CW to state exactly who they think they are and what they really think of the rest of Christianity. That at least would have been genuine and honest and would have shown some trust in the Lord to vindicate their speaking. Instead, "the arm of the flesh" was exercised to sway public opinion. Watchman Nee's name was brought up many times to elicit maximum sympathy from HH, but WN's message of the cross was trampled underfoot. This grieves me to no end.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:40 PM   #36
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In the programs CW said he felt the Local Churches has much to learn from the rest of the Body. Andrew was not so absolute in his endorsement of that statement. At any rate, does the Living Stream Church reeeealllly feel that they can learn something from the rest of Christianity? Or, is this just another dishonest statement?

They say they are willing to fellowship with all other Christians, as long as they agree on essentials. Are they really willing to learn from other Christians and have open fellowship with them? Or, do they just want an opportunity to bring other Christians unto themselves? Are they just looking for another opportunity to prove to the rest of Christianity that they are "God's best," and that they "have all the riches?"

Based on their past history and proclamations, I would definitely say the latter. Can any of you imagine people from the Living Stream Church going to a church service in denominational, or even non-denominational, Christianity, and being truly open to learn something? Can they go among a people they formerly called “Poor, poor fallen Christianity,” and “Babylon,” and be open to learn something?

Can you imagine any of them standing in a crowd of charismatic Christians, swaying to the music and speaking in tongues, while they keep their “prayreading” and “calling on the Lord” tucked safely away in their pockets and purses?

Try to imagine a young graduate of the LSM seminary (FTT) sitting humbly, quietly beside a traditional seminary professor, being tutored in theology.

Does anybody really believe that LSM is open to learning anything from the rest of the Body of Christ? If so, I’ve got some nice beachfront property that I’d like to sell you, in the middle of West Texas.

Roger
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:15 PM   #37
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Can any of you imagine people from the Living Stream Church going to a church service in denominational, or even non-denominational, Christianity, and being truly open to learn something?
Roger, the self-proclaimed "recovery" is not what it once was; a local church for the general christian. The LSM church is not for everyone, but those that share the same vision, concepts, and ideals.

In this age a denomination can be a healthier alternative. If there's one lesson that can be learned from denominations, it's working to receive one another. I still meet with a local church, but it's a so-called denomination.

Terry
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:45 AM   #38
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This is one of the main reasons that the "chat" brother AY and CW had with HH grieves me so much. Brothers AY and CW presented such a sanitized, cleaned-up, view of LSM and the LC to HH and the public which differs so radically from the views spoken during internal LSM conferences/trainings. This was just plain dishonest. How much better it would have been for brothers AY and CW to state exactly who they think they are and what they really think of the rest of Christianity. That at least would have been genuine and honest and would have shown some trust in the Lord to vindicate their speaking.
KissTheSon, this quote of yours speaks volumes to me concerning LSM and the so-called "ministry of the age." They have one message for "insiders," and another message for "outsiders." They treat "insiders" one way, and then treat "outsiders" altogether differently. This is more and more disturbing to me. This exposes their motives.

This tells me that LSM leaders really don't believe their own message. Deep down they know that WL conflicts with the Bible, hence they don't have a leg to stand on. The leaders are using "the ministry' for their own selfish gain. They are using "the ministry" to manipulate and control the LC's. If they really "believed" their message, then they would trust the Lord for the results, and trust the Lord to vindicate their message.

Lawsuits and quarantines prove how little LSM believes what they teach.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:40 PM   #39
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KissTheSon, this quote of yours speaks volumes to me concerning LSM and the so-called "ministry of the age." They have one message for "insiders," and another message for "outsiders." They treat "insiders" one way, and then treat "outsiders" altogether differently. This is more and more disturbing to me. This exposes their motives.

This tells me that LSM leaders really don't believe their own message. Deep down they know that WL conflicts with the Bible, hence they don't have a leg to stand on. The leaders are using "the ministry' for their own selfish gain. They are using "the ministry" to manipulate and control the LC's. If they really "believed" their message, then they would trust the Lord for the results, and trust the Lord to vindicate their message.

Lawsuits and quarantines prove how little LSM believes what they teach.
It really is sad, dear brother Ohio. The fact that LSM is employing so many unscriptural means does indeed prove that they do not trust the purity of their teachings. If what they taught was pure and true and fully according to the Word of God, then they would have the full peace to trust God to defend and vindicate His own Word. Instead, they are caught in an ever-increasing downward spiral of fleshy human efforts void of God.

I really grieve for the Blended Brothers. They have become fully persuaded that the most fleshy and worldly means are justified in order carry out their program of continuing WL's ministry. There are so many areas in my life where I desperately need the Lord's shining and purging, so I dare not say too much; but, for the sake of all the confused and befuddled ones stuck in the LC system, I have to declare that LSM is leading the churches into further and further sin and darkness.

O Father God, have mercy on them and have mercy on us all! Yes dear Father, have mercy on us all!
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #40
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Mr. Chris Wilde
“…the Lords recovery did not begin,
nor would we say ends, with any particular group
or any particular servant of God”


Mr. Andrew Yu
“…when we say that we are the Lord’s recovery,
it's like when we say we are the church,
we are not saying that we are the only church, we are part of the church,
in the same way when we say we are the Lords recovery
we are not saying that we are the only thing that is being recovered..”


“Anything that is a positive contribution to the body of Christ
is part of the Lord’s recovery”


----------------------------

Hanegraaff:
“...And so you see yourself not as exclusively the church,
you don’t see yourself as the only expression of Christianity, you see a broader body of Christ
and you desire fellowship and interaction with that larger Body”

Mr. Andrew Yu:
That’s right!





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..this quote of yours speaks volumes to me concerning LSM and the so-called "ministry of the age." They have one message for "insiders," and another message for "outsiders." They treat "insiders" one way, and then treat "outsiders" altogether differently. This is more and more disturbing to me. This exposes their motives.

The Hankster claims that he went to several meetings of the Local Church as part of his "research". It is more then obvious now that these were "setup" meetings...everybody knew he was coming...so they put all their "Christianitly is Christless!" and "denominations are the daughters of the great whore!" smack talk away in the broom closet while the Bible Answer Man was among them. So all Hanegraaff heard was a few "oh Lord, Amen, Hallalujahs" and maybe a "praise the Lord for His Recovery" or two. Of course he would have no idea that when Local Churchers say "His Recovery" they mean THEIR little sect, and their little sect alone. Hank probably thinks since he is making "a positive contribution to the Body of Christ" he is "part of the Recovery" too.


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Old 01-06-2009, 10:12 AM   #41
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KissTheSon, this quote of yours speaks volumes to me concerning LSM and the so-called "ministry of the age." They have one message for "insiders," and another message for "outsiders." They treat "insiders" one way, and then treat "outsiders" altogether differently.
This double standard for treating believers, those in or who were once in and those outside, has become so institutionalize they do it unconsciously. A year or so ago the following happened here. We have a brother who meets with us but whose wife is all out loyal to the LSM. We have saints among us who were once in the LSM/Lc and many who hardly know what it was. A sister, one of the latter, was attempting to show some kindness to the LSM sister. She offered to give her beach home to the sister and her husband for a week. The LSM sister wanted no part of it and was very rude. Our sister asked her why she had such an attitude toward someone whom she had never met. The LSM sister let her know that it was because she had left the ministry. Our sister responded that she was never in the local church and knows very little about it. Suddenly all was well and the sweet spirit that is really the LSM sister began to come out and the two became good friends and the couple took the vacation to the coast.

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:38 PM   #42
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This double standard for treating believers, those in or who were once in and those outside, has become so institutionalize they do it unconsciously.
Hope, I would say the double standard as you say exists, but it is not the norm and when it does happen it's not done unconsciously.
When the double standard does happen it's because:
A Those that left the LSM fellowship are as modern day Benedict Arnold's
B There is a double standard against those that left because of a perception those that left will try to persuade others to leave.

I don't believe either is the case. No one is a traitor and no one is trying to persuade other's to leave.
Hope, what about those still meeting in LSM fellowship that still recieve and accept those that left?
That too wouldn't be considered the norm, but it does happen.

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Old 01-07-2009, 08:38 AM   #43
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Terry,

I believe your two points are probably correct. I being a Benedict Arnold, and fairly well known, get the automatic institutional emphatic rejection. And I could be also accused of being a persuader to leave. (Of course, I prefer to be considered as a herald of truth but I suppose we cannot get what we would like.) Rather, I have been accused of “leading the rebellion in the Southeast.” Is it not strange, how just recognizing sin as sin and division as division and the usurping of the Headship of Christ can get you such a reputation. Until my involvement on the forums, I kept a very low profile. But any associated with me also gets you the automatic heave ho. So I suppose you could say it is all my fault. I have caused dear ones in the LSM/LC to give an institutional reaction to saints with whom I fellowship.

When the brothers in the GLA started reaching out four years ago, they invited the church in Raleigh to attend a conference in Cleveland. The invitation came to the church but was sans Don Rutledge. They specifically disinvited me. Dear brother John Meyer had the kindness to give me a call. He explained that they feared if I was there that the LSM/BBs would be able to accuse Titus of having “a coordination of dissension.” Whatever that means??? Keeping me at a safe distance did not seem to help as they were quarantined anyway.



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Old 01-07-2009, 04:15 PM   #44
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When the brothers in the GLA started reaching out four years ago, they invited the church in Raleigh to attend a conference in Cleveland. The invitation came to the church but was sans Don Rutledge. They specifically disinvited me. Dear brother John Meyer had the kindness to give me a call. He explained that they feared if I was there that the LSM/BBs would be able to accuse Titus of having “a coordination of dissension.” Whatever that means??? Keeping me at a safe distance did not seem to help as they were quarantined anyway.
Hope, the real reason you were not invited to Ohio is because they knew you secretly were a Longhorns fan. You know ... we gots to keep our priorities straight.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:56 PM   #45
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Rather, I have been accused of “leading the rebellion in the Southeast.” Is it not strange, how just recognizing sin as sin and division as division and the usurping of the Headship of Christ can get you such a reputation. Until my involvement on the forums, I kept a very low profile. But any associated with me also gets you the automatic heave ho. So I suppose you could say it is all my fault. I have caused dear ones in the LSM/LC to give an institutional reaction to saints with whom I fellowship.
Don,
How was it you were accused of "leading the rebellion in the Southeast"? Just because you did not want to go along with what was happening across the recovery?
My view of you for years had been a leading brother who wasn't named as one of the quarantined brothers, and since you could not go long with it, the Lord led you out of the recovery. As had been the case with other brothers. Personally, I'd rather have you speaking than to remain silent.

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:54 PM   #46
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Don,
How was it you were accused of "leading the rebellion in the Southeast"? Just because you did not want to go along with what was happening across the recovery?
My view of you for years had been a leading brother who wasn't named as one of the quarantined brothers, and since you could not go long with it, the Lord led you out of the recovery. As had been the case with other brothers. Personally, I'd rather have you speaking than to remain silent.

Terry
Terry,

It beats me how I got that moniker. “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast.”

Well, let me see now. I invited John Ingalls to hold a conference in NC at the same time WL was holding a conference in Cleveland. When John could not come due to the turmoil in Anaheim, I gave most of the conference. This was seen as a competitive move against WL. My oh my!

In the conference, I spoke from the book of Ruth. WL had yet to give a training on this book so I must have been doing my own thing and bringing the Southeast into another flow. During the conference, I shared how Ruth was excited about what she had gleaned. I applied that to helping young believers get something from the Word for themselves and openly said it is best not to quote footnotes but rather the pure word and your own personal labor. At that time, there was a contagion of declaring "I have a footnote" or "I enjoyed a footnote" etc.

I was pulled aside twice and informed that I was violating the direction of the ministry by giving messages rather than just repeating a WL message or "allowing" the saints to recite a message and several were very unhappy with me for the statement about the footnotes.

In addition several from Atlanta and Florida asked me in personal fellowship if I was happy with what the office and the new way implementers were doing. I did not lie but told it like it was. Just the unvarnished truth.

There were some LSM would be missionaries who had come to the Southeast. Brother did they not like me!! I guess I did not show enough respect. (That is hard for an old country boy from the woods of Arkansas to do.) I did not cheerlead for them and I suppose that weakened their ability to ramrod the LSM program down the brothers and sisters throats.

I suppose this is part of where that label came from.

I know my dear brother and good friend Witness Lee had hopes that I would be recovered and he charged Benson to come and see me and to help me to return. This may have been part of the reason I was not put with Mallon, Ingalls and So. Bless their hearts; they took most of the heat. Yet I was with them in nearly all of their fellowships regarding the problems. In fact, I was very guilty of stirring up Bill and John.

I did talk to the brothers in Raleigh and told them I would no longer support the LSM office and what they were doing. In addition, I informed them that I had learned of immoral conduct on the part of Phillip Lee and would not be associated with anything he was working on.

I was invited to NY City and spent a week-end with the elders there. I was very open with them regarding my reservations and they too, especially James Chu, were very concerned about the direction coming from WL and the office.

There are other instances where I did not support the office or the new way. I guess if you put it all together the future BBs in their paranoia had to come up with a leader of the rebellion in the southeast.

Hope, Don Rutledge
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:18 PM   #47
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It beats me how I got that moniker. “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast.” ... I guess if you put it all together the future BBs in their paranoia had to come up with a leader of the rebellion in the southeast.
I never heard this information about Brother Hope. We in Greater Ohio were informed by LSM publications that the real “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast” was Bill Mallon. Because of his subversive activities in cahoots with John Ingalls, he was rightly quarantined. Recently I was informed again of the "tactics" which Bill Mallon employed, such as returning to the "pure word" of God.

The official line on Hope which I was told was that he moved to NC and got "swallowed up by the world," thus leaving the door open for this "backslider" to repent and be restored.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:48 PM   #48
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I never heard this information about Brother Hope. We in Greater Ohio were informed by LSM publications that the real “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast” was Bill Mallon. Because of his subversive activities in cahoots with John Ingalls, he was rightly quarantined. Recently I was informed again of the "tactics" which Bill Mallon employed, such as returning to the "pure word" of God.

The official line on Hope which I was told was that he moved to NC and got "swallowed up by the world," thus leaving the door open for this "backslider" to repent and be restored.
Ohio,

This is quite a surprise to me. If I had only gone into the world, why no contact? Why was I excluded from the invitation to the conference for fear that the BBs would have grounds to accuse Titus of "a conspiracy of dissension?" I was recently told that Titus warned the co-workers in 1989 regarding WL's ugly outburst in Atlanta that it was directed at me and they all needed to be careful for I had been much liked by WL in the past.

Yes, dear old Brother Mallon was the whipping boy for the Southeast. In the winter of 1988 in Irving, Bill and I confronted WL in a private meeting witnessed by a few of the BBs. WL seemed to take it from me but was very upset with Bill Mallon.

After the spring of 1989, I was never contacted by any of my old friends in Texas or by any of the brothers in the LSM loyal churches in the Southeast. One brother from Tennessee who attended the conference in 1989 where I spoke told me to his great surprise he had gotten life. He had been told I was in rebellion. Two young co-workers from the west coast where in Irving in the early 90s and took hospitality with couple in Arlington. Somehow my name came up and they gave the couple the title of "Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast." They rebuked these co-workers and showed them pictures of our children on their refrigerator.

Frank Corley's father informed me that he was told by brothers in Irving that I was "the leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast."

These are some of the sources where I picked this up.

By the way, how could someone in Ohio know if I had been "swallowed up by the world?" Who gave you that piece of gossip?


Hope, Don Rutledge
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:23 AM   #49
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It beats me how I got that moniker. “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast.”

...

In fact, I was very guilty of stirring up Bill and John.

...

Huh.

Sounds pretty obvious to me, there, Hope...
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:39 AM   #50
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I never heard this information about Brother Hope. We in Greater Ohio were informed by LSM publications that the real “Leader of the Rebellion in the Southeast” was Bill Mallon. Because of his subversive activities in cahoots with John Ingalls, he was rightly quarantined. Recently I was informed again of the "tactics" which Bill Mallon employed, such as returning to the "pure word" of God.

The official line on Hope which I was told was that he moved to NC and got "swallowed up by the world," thus leaving the door open for this "backslider" to repent and be restored.
Brother Hope,

This post of mine above was never intended to correct or dispute anything you have written, rather it was posted to provide you with the kinds of misinformation which floated around the LC's in the aftermath of the first quarantine. If I heard it, then others did too. I heard it from the local elder. In those days we were encouraged to believe the worst about anyone who left.

Things have changed over time. Perhaps the coveted "leadership" role passed from Bill Mallon to you. Perhaps some in SoCal initially had the impression that he was the "leader" because he was a SE regional worker before you moved there. Perhaps you inherited the title after the Texas folks took over LSM. Perhaps ... perhaps ...

I do find it a little troubling that Cleveland would invite your church and specifically disinvite you in the invitation. To cite ongoing regional tensions and suspicions is somewhat absurd. If they were worried about that, there's a thousand other things they would never have done. Cleveland always prided itself as those in the Recovery free from politicking, but ... then again ... so did Anaheim.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:02 AM   #51
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

Dear Brother Ohio,

In my view that sometimes label (leader of rebellion) put on me was just the LSM way to discredit someone. I was also described by Phil Delp as having been brought into deep darkness by Bill Mallon, John Ingalls, John So and the brothers in Raleigh. Poor me.

You introduced me to a new label with the GLA label of going into the world. I did need to earn a living! I had three children who wanted to attend college. Times were tough and I did need to work a lot to make ends meet. But I never asked anyone for money while I was in the lc or after I left the LSM/LC. Working for a living? Maybe that means I was worldly?

I wonder where your elder got his information. Was it just his imagination? Did he add up 2 and 2 and get 17? If you picked up some irritation in my earlier post, you got it right. I get very riled by rumor mongering and gossip. We Christians need to be straightforward and let our yes be yes and our no be no. And yes, political moves are disgusting and pure flesh. What we try to hide will eventually be shouted from the housetop.

I have no problem with you but I just like to get to the bottom of some things and to create a record. The brothers who invented or spread rumors about others need to have some soul searching and effective repentance.

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:57 PM   #52
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You introduced me to a new label with the GLA label of going into the world. I did need to earn a living! I had three children who wanted to attend college. Times were tough and I did need to work a lot to make ends meet. But I never asked anyone for money while I was in the lc or after I left the LSM/LC. Working for a living? Maybe that means I was worldly?

I wonder where your elder got his information. Was it just his imagination? Did he add up 2 and 2 and get 17? If you picked up some irritation in my earlier post, you got it right. I get very riled by rumor mongering and gossip. We Christians need to be straightforward and let our yes be yes and our no be no. And yes, political moves are disgusting and pure flesh. What we try to hide will eventually be shouted from the housetop.
Brother Hope, I understand your irritation, but the event was as simple as this: One day I inquired of our elder, "what ever happened to Hope?" he replied something like, "I heard he moved to NC and got swallowed up selling NSA." He was just repeating what he had heard, in Cleveland I presume. I guess this occurred some 10-15 years ago.

I understand it is now more "honorable" to be called "leader of the rebellion" in the SE.

Sounds like 2+2 equals 282.

Imagine what they have said about me. The GLA rumor mill can be just as nasty as the LSM machinery.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #53
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Brother Hope, I understand your irritation, but the event was as simple as this: One day I inquired of our elder, "what ever happened to Hope?" he replied something like, "I heard he moved to NC and got swallowed up selling NSA." He was just repeating what he had heard, in Cleveland I presume. I guess this occurred some 10-15 years ago.

I understand it is now more "honorable" to be called "leader of the rebellion" in the SE.

Sounds like 2+2 equals 282.

Imagine what they have said about me. The GLA rumor mill can be just as nasty as the LSM machinery.
There is nothing honorable about leading a rebellion in the SE. I would say that was a riduculous charge. Bill Mallon did a lot more than I to fellowship with others. He mainly fellowshiped with brothers in Georgia and Florida. What little sphere I had if any in the Southeast was pretty much confined to NC. After moving here my main thrust was to stay out of the flows from Anaheim. I actually desired to be out of all the stuff going on. I avoided LSM activities and never went to any of the Taipei stuff. I had more contact with Europe than with Georgia or Florida. The stories about my being some kind of leader of a rebellion came from Irving Texas.

Of course I was not only not in the LSM flow but rather in fellowship with the rebellious brothers. Now I learn that I was also "swallowed up by selling NSA."

Southern California brothers were very guilty of being tale bearers. Texas brothers were deep into slander. It appears that you GLA brethern also knew how to spread tales. All spoke about things they did not know about.

It would be good for the brothers in the GLA to consider 2 Cor 7:11, For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.NKJV

Are the brothers in the GLA really clear in the matter of taking what WL and the LSM did to many saints in 1988-89.

Hope, Don Rutledge
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:29 PM   #54
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Southern California brothers were very guilty of being tale bearers. Texas brothers were deep into slander. It appears that you GLA brethern also knew how to spread tales. All spoke about things they did not know about.

Are the brothers in the GLA really clear in the matter of taking what WL and the LSM did to many saints in 1988-89.
1. Is this what it means to remain faithful to the vision through Living Stream Ministry as the Lord's move on the earth?

2. Not just the great lakes area, but many responsible brothers nationwide and worldwide are not clear in this matter.

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:10 PM   #55
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Southern California brothers were very guilty of being tale bearers. Texas brothers were deep into slander. It appears that you GLA brethern also knew how to spread tales. All spoke about things they did not know about.

It would be good for the brothers in the GLA to consider 2 Cor 7:11, For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. NKJV

Are the brothers in the GLA really clear in the matter of taking what WL and the LSM did to many saints in 1988-89.
Last year I heard a story that made me sick. Brothers spreading rumors about brothers supposedly spreading rumors. It's so sad how religious zeal and man-pleasing forces precious brothers to play the "blame game." Face-saving and rapport with headquarters will subtly coerce some to betray even their comrades. Let's be honest here. "The work" still oversees and rules the churches. Many brothers still feel responsible to "the work" concerning the churches they serve. When things go sour, how much easier it becomes to find local scapegoats than it is to take ownership.

Your question about whether "the GLA is really clear in the matter of taking what WL and the LSM did to many saints in 1988-89," is surprising. I have not seen nor heard anything which would indicate this. GLA authors place the blame squarely on the BB's. Unofficially, they might now receive these quarantined brothers and you into fellowship, but that is a far cry from publicly owning any and all irresponsible actions from that time period.

Here's two verses which seems to govern GLA actions, 2 Tim 3.14, "Knowing from whom you have learned them" and 1 Co 4.15, "You do not have many fathers." I have heard these verses mentioned by some who have switched their allegiances from Anaheim to Cleveland. The point is simple, these ones who are our "father," from whom we have learned, we take note. "Fathers," like our human fathers, don't have to be perfect, so we cover them, we learn from them, we honor them, we protect them. Right or wrong is not ours to judge. This is the same mindset which governs the BB's, and which gave so much license to WL.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #56
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Your question about whether "the GLA is really clear in the matter of taking what WL and the LSM did to many saints in 1988-89," is surprising. I have not seen nor heard anything which would indicate this. GLA authors place the blame squarely on the BB's. Unofficially, they might now receive these quarantined brothers and you into fellowship, but that is a far cry from publicly owning any and all irresponsible actions from that time period.

Here's two verses which seems to govern GLA actions, 2 Tim 3.14, "Knowing from whom you have learned them" and 1 Co 4.15, "You do not have many fathers." I have heard these verses mentioned by some who have switched their allegiances from Anaheim to Cleveland. The point is simple, these ones who are our "father," from whom we have learned, we take note. "Fathers," like our human fathers, don't have to be perfect, so we cover them, we learn from them, we honor them, we protect them. Right or wrong is not ours to judge. This is the same mindset which governs the BB's, and which gave so much license to WL.
Ohio, we each have our responsiblity and accountablility. Whatever region brothers are from, they cannot play the blame game because LSM told untruths or white lies. If brothers are not clear on the matter, there is heavy searching to be done until these brothers are clear. If a brother is clear with what LSM relased concerning so-called "rebellious" or "ambitious" brothers, Amen.

The one who is our father is only one; Christ Jesus. It was Jesus who was crucified for me. It is Jesus whose name I was baptized in. I have had many instructors in Christ, but only one spiritual father. To cover brothers because there is a percieved spiritual obligation is absurd. I am thankful for instruction I have received, but by no way do I feel obligated to cover or protect.

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Old 01-28-2009, 02:28 PM   #57
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Default Testimonies Are Not Enough: CRI, Answers in Action, and the Local Churches

"In the meantime, however, Passantino Coburn would do well to desist
from asking us to trust her judgment in the matter.
Gretchen, we’re interested in your research, not your résumé."


Testimonies Are Not Enough: CRI, Answers in Action, and the Local Churches


Posted by: Rob Bowman in apologetics

According to an article posted online two days ago at Christianity Today, “Two notable critics have changed their minds on the controversial ‘local churches’ movement that follow the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.” The two critics are Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute (CRI), and Gretchen Passantino Coburn, director of Answers in Action (AIA). The article refers to a booklet to which Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn contributed and that the Defense and Confirmation Project, a pro-Local Churches group, published in November 2007. Entitled The Local Churches: “Genuine Believers and Fellow Members of the Body of Christ”, the booklet includes “Testimonies” (as the title page quite correctly calls them) from Hanegraaff, Passantino Coburn, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Fuller’s contribution is a statement representing the assessment of Richard Mouw, the school’s president, and two other Fuller professors.

I have been quite reluctant to enter the fray of this debate, which has actually been going on for several years, but have decided now to say something.

An Aside about Past Associations
Before I begin, in the interests of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that I have a past history with all three of these organizations (which will explain my reluctance). I graduated from Fuller Seminary with a Master’s in biblical studies and theology in 1981. Mouw was not the president at the time, and I have met him only once, when I talked with him later in his president’s office at the seminary. In 1984, I went to work at CRI under Walter Martin, and continued on staff after Martin’s passing and his succession by Hanegraaff in 1989. In January 1992, CRI terminated my employment, fraudulently claiming they were laying me off. (In truth, they got rid of me after I quietly protested Hanegraaff’s attempts to have me ghostwrite books for him.) Over the next several years, I participated in efforts to bring various accountability issues to the attention of CRI and its board, including playing a leading role in an ad hoc group of former employees and volunteers called the Group for CRI Accountability. In 1996, Gretchen Passantino (now Coburn, having remarried after the passing of her first husband in 2003) posted an article on the AIA web site (no longer there) that accused me, among others, of having made “false accusations” against Hanegraaff and of being a deceiver whom other Christians should avoid. The Passantinos never identified what these allegedly false accusations were and never retracted their statement (although they did eventually remove the offending web page). My last communication with both Hanegraaff and Passantino took place in June 2001, when I wrote letters to them (to which neither ever responded) regarding their public statements concerning D. James Kennedy and Hanegraaff’s plagiarism of Kennedy’s famous manual Evangelism Explosion. Those letters were also the last time I have written or said anything publicly concerning Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn, until now.

None of this has anything to do with the Local Churches. However, if anyone is inclined to dismiss what I have to say here in an ad hominem fashion, there is plenty of grist for that mill.

Recent Events Concerning the Local Churches
The main point of the Christianity Today article (“Cult Watchers Reconsider: Former detractors of Nee and Lee now endorse ‘local churches’”) is that the November 2008 booklet marks a recent change in the view taken by Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn of the Local Churches. It asserts that Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn “each published their new support in a November booklet by the Defense and Confirmation Project, founded to rebut criticism of Nee and Lee.” However, the article’s claim that this is a new position is false. Two and a half years earlier, in August 2006, Hanegraaff filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the Local Churches in its failed attempt to sue Harvest House for $136 million over the inclusion of the Local Churches in its book The Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. Gretchen Passantino also filed a letter to the court supporting Hanegraaff’s brief. Although the Christia

Numerous evangelical scholars and countercult ministry workers were appalled. In January 2007, over 60 such scholars and ministry leaders signed an “Open Letter” asking the Local Churches to demonstrate their theological orthodoxy by specifically retracting or disavowing various statements in the published writings of Witness Lee. The Open Letter also asked the Local Churches to agree to stop using litigation to silence theological criticism from Christian writers and publishers. The signatories to this letter included the presidents or deans of eight evangelical seminaries, IRR’s Luke Wilson, former CRI researchers Craig Hawkins and Paul Carden, other countercult scholars and leaders such as James Bjornstad and Don Veinot, and E. Calvin Beisner—another former CRI researcher who also happens to be Gretchen Passantino’s brother. The following month, in February 2007—almost two years ago—Passantino posted an article on her web site saying much the same thing as her testimony in the November 2008 booklet. The article, “Apologetics Conclusions Reconsidered . . . . A Case in Point: The Local Churches & Living Stream Ministry,” announced that Passantino and Hanegraaff had completed a three-year reassessment of the Local Churches and concluded they were theologically orthodox. Passantino neither acknowledged nor attempted to address any of the criticisms of her support for the Local Churches’ lawsuit or the issues raised in the Open Letter.

With this background in place, I want to offer a response to the DCP booklet, focusing on the contribution of Passantino Coburn. (All parenthetical page references are to this booklet.) Let me make clear that my focus here is not on the salvation, spiritual condition, or even the theological orthodoxy of the people in the Local Churches. I am responding to the “testimonies” of the authors as they appear in the booklet. I am quite open to new information and reasoned reassessments of old conclusions. Unfortunately, the testimonies of Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn offered neither new information nor reasoned reassessments.

Should We Trust Passantino Coburn?
Hanegraaff’s piece is essentially, as he rightly calls it, a “preface” to the lengthy testimony of Gretchen Passantino Coburn. According to Hanegraaff, “Gretchen is the quintessential example of a brilliant yet humble servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (9). This is the sort of effusive praise of a fellow believer in Christ with which I am loathe to disagree publicly, no matter what the evidence. I could and ordinarily would simply let it pass, but Passantino Coburn herself insists on making her résumé and her personal story and values an issue.

Passantino Coburn devotes several pages to her own spiritual journey and credentials (13-18). She declares, “Over the last 37 years I have become one of the leading Christian evangelical apologists determining whether spiritual movements that claim to represent biblical Christianity are orthodox or heretical” (14). Speaking of her conversion to the Christian faith, she reports, “My professors were profoundly disappointed that one of their brightest, most articulate young scholars had thrown her mind away on hysterical religion” (15). Her career path in apologetics, she says, “paired my voracious thirst for knowledge with my deep devotion to Christian truth” (16). “Over the years,” she tells us, she and her first husband Bob “became trusted as well-reasoned, empathetic, accurate, theologically conservative Christian apologists” (17). In her concluding “About the Author” she claims that AIA is “one of the oldest and most respected apologetics organizations” and that she “is a respected author of books and articles on apologetics, world religions, and theology” (28).

Her lack of humility aside, Passantino Coburn’s point in offering these self-descriptions is to encourage the reader to trust her judgment on the question of the orthodoxy and soundness of the Local Churches. Ironically, this is precisely what a good apologist and trustworthy scholar never does. The job of an apologist and scholar is to present the facts, along with a reasoned interpretation of those facts, to support the conclusion. Our job is to share the evidence with others in such a way that they are equipped to reach that same conclusion, not based on our trustworthiness or integrity or years of experience or brilliance or devotion to truth, but based on their own perception of the evidence and their own grasp of the arguments. Apologists gain respect not by asserting their reliability or assuring us they are respected but by doing reliable work that deserves respect. When an apologist says, “Trust me,” that apologist has just lost the argument.

Passantino Coburn claims that she has performed a much more thorough, complete, and cogent assessment of the Local Churches than the one she and Bob Passantino did in the 1970s, and therefore that we should accept her current assessment in place of her earlier work:
“Other apologetics colleagues continue to insist that the teachings and practices of the local churches are heretical and outside Christian orthodoxy. Surprisingly, they base their insistence on the very same incomplete work Bob and I produced between 1975 and 1980, despite the fact that I can demonstrate the insufficiency in breadth, depth, and analysis of that former research base. My current assessment should carry much greater weight than did that first endeavor. Unless and until any of my dissenting colleagues are willing to engage in the much larger body of documentation—enhanced by a much deeper application of the study of the wider Christian church not only in its diversity around the world, but also in its diversity through the centuries, and augmented by a much greater number of personal interactions and direct conversations with leading and ordinary members—their continuing denunciation is untenable.”

The problem here is twofold. First, not everyone who thinks the Local Churches are heretical base their view on the Passantinos’ earlier work. At least some of the critics of the Local Churches have done their own research, reading primary sources and talking directly to members in the Local Churches.

Second, in reality Passantino Coburn is asking her readers to accept her current testimony over the evidence she had earlier documented. She asserts that she “can demonstrate the insufficiency in breadth, depth, and analysis of that former research base.” Unfortunately, up to now she has not offered any such demonstration. She also claims that her new assessment is based on a “much larger body of documentation,” but so far—two years after first announcing her reassessment—she has not presented any of this alleged documentation. In the case of the earlier work, the Passantinos backed up their conclusions regarding the Local Churches with a heavily documented analysis of the movement’s teachings from its primary sources. Their appendix “The Local Church of Witness Lee” in the book The New Cults (by Walter Martin with Gretchen Passantino [Santa Ana, CA: Vision House, 1980], 379-406) contained quotation after quotation from Witness Lee and other Local Church publications to document the assessment offered there. Although the number of citations does not tell the whole story (quality of selection and interpretation is at least as important as quantity), it is worth observing that the 1980 appendix contained 56 endnotes, 43 of which referred to Living Stream publications. The body of the appendix included well over a hundred sentences of direct quotations from Living Streams publications that the reader could read for himself and from which he could reach an informed opinion as to the soundness of the Passantinos’ critical assessment of the Local Churches’ teachings. By contrast, Passantino Coburn’s 16-page testimony in the 2008 DCP booklet contains not a single sentence from any Living Stream publication, not a single sentence from Witness Lee, and not a single footnote, endnote, or other citation. In place of such documented evidence, she merely asks readers to trust her new assessment.

In her concluding “About the Author,” Passantino Coburn states that she is contributing to a forthcoming “multi-part reevaluation of local churches’ teachings and practices for The Christian Research Journal” (28). Apparently this reevaluation has been in the works for some time. In her February 2007 web article announcing her new assessment of the Local Churches as completely orthodox, she had likewise referred to such a forthcoming article: “AIA & CRI will publish their analysis of local church teachings in the Christian Research Journal later this year.” Two years later, the article has yet to appear. If and when it does, evangelical apologists should carefully and fairly consider whatever substantive arguments the publication presents for its reassessment of the Local Churches. In the meantime, however, Passantino Coburn would do well to desist from asking us to trust her judgment in the matter. Gretchen, we’re interested in your research, not your résumé.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #58
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Default Who is the real "Cultic movement within Christianity"?

I received the following email (errr...spam) from Hank Hanegraaff and CRI. (Quite a while back I tried to get in contact with Hank about why he has never made even the slightest attempt to interview ex Local Church members before he gave his knee-jerk "endorsement" of The LC/LSM. Instead of a thoughtful reply, I got a "form letter" from one of his flunkies, and then I got put on his spam list) So now, several times a week it seems, I get pleas for donations and/or to buy one of Hank's books. Usually I just delete them, but I'm glad I took a closer look at this one.

So Mr. Hank, let me get this straight. You wanna tell the world that the Local Church of Witness Lee is nothing close to a cult (not theologically or socially), and that the teachings of Lee are orthodox and in line with the historical Christian faith.... Yet you wanna tell us that Paula White, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, Joel Osteen and "a cast of characters" are "a cultic movement within Christianity that threatens to undermine the very foundation of the faith once for all delivered to the saints"?

Hank, your credibility (what little is left) is leaking like a sieve. Far be it from me to come to the rescue of the likes of Paula White, TD Jakes and the others listed here... but you're going to slap the "cultic movement" tag on these guys, all the while singing the praises and yukking it up with some people who tell their members that "the process of sanctification" is only taking place in their tiny little sect
? Did Yu or Wilde get around to the part where they tell you that "James was devoid of the divine revelation"? Were you in the little boys room when they covered the part about "Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic and Christianity is Christless"?

Really Hank... You're "research" is leaving a lot to be desired.


Quote:
Dear Partner in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
In the twenty-first century a host of prosperity preachers ranging from Paula White to T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer have created a crisis in Christianity and the culture that I could scarcely have imagined two decades ago.
And that is precisely why I have decided to launch a major new release titled Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century.
Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century unmasks the fatal flaws of a cultic movement within Christianity that threatens to undermine the very foundation of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”
It provides comprehensive information as well as biblical evaluation of the newest luminaries in the Faith constellation—virtual rock stars who command the attention of Presidential candidates and media moguls.
It exposes a cast of characters who uniformly traffic in make-believe miracles, urban legends, counterfeit Christs, and twisted theological pretexts including:
“God cannot do anything in this earth realm unless we give Him permission.”
“Keep saying it—‘I have equality with God’—talk yourself into it.”
“Being poor is a sin.”
“There is no sickness for the saint of God…not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache—nothing!”
Televangelist John Hagee goes so far as to shamelessly promote the pretext of a prosperous Jesus—who lives in a “big house” and wears “designer” clothes—and brazenly depicts a sectarian Christ who “refused to be Messiah to the Jews.”
The progression from bad to worse continues with the pretexts of prosperity preachers ranging from Benny Hinn to Creflo Dollar.
This modern-day crisis continues to deepen as an ever-increasing number of such prosperity preachers convince devotees that what happens in their lives—whether good or bad—is a direct result of what they say. If you, like they, are healthy and prosperous, words created your reality. Conversely, if your baby dies or your wife contracts cancer, you are the prime suspect.
Says Joel Osteen, “The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works whether what you are saying is good or bad, positive or negative.”
Osteen’s words are eerily reminiscent of those of New Thought practitioner Joe Vitale—contributor to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. When asked by Larry King whether a nine-year old Florida girl who was brutally raped and murdered attracted this horror to herself, Vitale responded, “We are attracting everything to ourselves and there is no exception.”
While Osteen and Vitale have noteworthy differences, they are united in the belief that the force of faith is so powerful that even God (however you define him) is bound by its irrevocable reality.
My heart aches for the parent who put his dead baby on ice and in the midst of tears and desperation drove three hundred and fifty miles to a counterfeit revival center because he trusted the testimonies of Faith preachers who were touting resurrections from the dead.
I equally grieve the millions who have left Faith churches in the midst of failed faith formulas. Some conclude that God must not love them; others question the integrity of the whole Christian enterprise.
The tragedy is that all too often they have been deluded into looking for God in all the wrong places. The real experience is not found in counterfeit formulas but in Christian fundamentals.
Thousands have been helped out of the Faith movement by the Christian Research Institute, but many more must be rescued. Your gift today is not just to the Christian Research Institute and the Bible Answer Man broadcast—you are giving through CRI and touching the lives of men, women, and children— the majority of whom we will never know this side of eternity.
P.S.- For your gift of $250 or more I will sign a copy for you. And for your gift of $500 or more I will personalize a leather-bound, numbered, limited edition of Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century. Considering the ferocity of the battle and what is at stake, please send your most generous gift to keep the Bible Answer Man broadcast on the air, and CRI standing strong.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:31 AM   #59
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Default Re: Who is the real "Cultic movement within Christianity"?

Don't know any names in the email so I can't talk about them. So anyway

Quote:
P.S.- For your gift of $250 or more I will sign a copy for you. And for your gift of $500 or more I will personalize a leather-bound, numbered, limited edition of Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century. Considering the ferocity of the battle and what is at stake, please send your most generous gift to keep the Bible Answer Man broadcast on the air, and CRI standing strong.
This was seriously in Chris's email. Your not just funning. That was one of the things which bothered me right before leaving. I just couldn't see how a group who you consider to be Christless, synagogues of satan, degraded, and whatever, and you publicly state as such from the podium could give such a glowing endorsement towards you, maybe a grudging acceptance that you actually aren't the spawn of satan, but their almost certainly going to have a bit of a problem with you.

I'm wondering whether this quote could have something to do with the change of heart. At this point I don't really have a reason to think the brothers would actually bribe someone to endorse them. That said I now have reason to believe they did alot of things I didn't think they would do.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:20 AM   #60
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Default Re: Who is the real "Cultic movement within Christianity"?

Ole Hankey boy rails against the "prosperity gospel" and then wraps up his letter with a plea for an enhancement of his own prosperity (considering his checkered history of dealing with funds).

Oooh, a "personalized, leather-bound, numbered, limited edition of Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century." Gotta have one of them. Let me see, I'll go to Joel Olsteen and find out how to prosper to the tune of $500.00, then I'll be able to afford such a luxury.

Hank handy-graft is knee slapping, drop dead funny.

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:13 AM   #61
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Default Hankee-Pankee

is well known as 'The BIBLE ANSWER MAN'. Yeppers...he has 'all the answers'....

In the 80's and 90's, I listened to Hank on the radio almost religiously. He was very 'intelligent'...and appeared very 'learned'. I even caught 2 programs when he criticized the local church, calling it a cult back then !! He advised the caller to stay away from the LC. But true to his 'position', he criticized just about everyone who wasn't 'by the book', that is HIS BOOK.

I eventually stopped listening to him..simply because he was on when I couldn't listen to him. A couple of years ago, I picked him up on the radio again but this man's ego had grown to the size of a watermelon,imho! And his views on what I consider fundamental teachings of the Faith were beginning to change. I believe I heard him talk about the LC too and that their doctrine on the Triune God was sound. I can't remember what else he said about the LC. My concern was the way he was twisting things because of his 'intellectualism'.

I have seen a few of the LSM videos where the head honchos are speaking. And I can 'see' why they are getting along. There is a lot of 'intellectualism' floating around the LSM leaders. So it is the meeting of the 'MINDS' coming together in agreement.

Sadly...it is not the MIND OF CHRIST bringing Hank and the LSM together.

I am quite aware of the criticizisms TD JAKES, Paula White, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and many others have received from Hankee boy.
These people receive a LOT of criticism from many, many people in the Christian world as well.
I've listened to all of them and more not mentioned in this list for I want to be able to discern for myself with the Holy Spirit's leading who is credible and who is not. I don't want to criticize just because someone is turned off by them..or had a bad experience with a particular ministry.

Some ARE very credible..but a person has to know the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit AND the Word of God..to have spiritual discernment.

Eventually God is going to expose every single person who is a charleaton. It ain't gonna be pretty.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:00 AM   #62
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Default Re: Who is the real "Cultic movement within Christianity"?

IDon'tKnow you astutely address the hypocrisy that is the glowing trademark of LSM. Sure they'll play to their audience and lecture other Christians about "Christianity" calling us whores, etc. But when it suits their purposes they'll change hats and cozy up with Christianity and run around town trying to find some that will endorse them. What does that say about them and what does it say about those who endorse them? Peel back a few layers and religion is a dirty and nasty business.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #63
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Default Re: Who is the real "Cultic movement within Christianity"?

Worse than that, they'll sue your pants off if you call them half the awful names they call the rest of Christianity.

Somehow I thought that the core commandment of Christianity was love -- love for both God and your fellow man. I guess the problem with the LC is that they refuse to be commanded to do anything except buy more LSM books.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #64
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

An email from CRI peddling luxury cruise trip


Dear ******,
The Christian Research Institute has an incredible opportunity to share with our valued ministry partners.
Alaska...
We're thrilled at the opportunity to cruise the pristine and majestic Alaska coastline, and we're hoping you'll make the voyage all the more enjoyable by coming along with us!
We set sail on June 3, 2011 aboard the five-star Celebrity Millennium from lovely Vancouver, BC, bound for Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier and Ketchikan. And if you take advantage of placing your deposit before August 31st, 2010, you can experience this incredible adventure for as low as $796.00 plus taxes and fees.
Our cruise conferences have exceeded expectations in every possible way, and we anticipate even greater adventures ahead. Enjoy smooth sailing and gorgeous scenery along Alaska's beautiful Inside Passage. Invigorate relationships, old or new, as you refresh your spirit and strengthen your faith on this journey.
As you relax and marvel at the magnificence of God's creation, you'll also learn about some new exciting apologetic tools to defend your faith. Our teaching staff will be captained by the Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff who will lead a team consisting of the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL editor-in-chief, Elliot Miller, and Grammy Award Winning Christian musician Steve Camp. Our team of scholars are preparing original material to share with you, messages sure to equip and inspire you. We'll also take some time to celebrate and remember God's faithfulness for 50 years of equipping and empowering the saints.
Won't you consider joining us in Alaska this June? If so, then take advantage of the incredible savings by registering before August 31st.
Registering for the cruise conference is easy. We' working again with our partners Sovereign Cruises and Events, and you can sign up via our website at www.equip.org or call 877-768-2784 ext. 101. Simply indicate your interest in the Christian Research Institute cruise, and their friendly staff will guide you each step of the way.
We look forward to seeing you in Alaska this coming June!
EQUIP.ORG 877-768-2784 ext. 101
*All bookings must be made through Sovereign Cruises and Events LLC to participate in the event.
================================

Thankfully there are still man-eating grizzly bears in Alaska, (the Exxon-Valdez slick didn't wipe them out?). oh Lord, send one to feast on HH as he takes a dip in the ocean. amen.

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Old 08-24-2010, 03:12 AM   #65
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

I listened to (yawn) the one hour HH-CW-AY broadcast of September 2008 last night, but I didn't catch the "whoppers from Burger King" part. I think I need to listen to the bonus hour for that. I can't find it on equip.org. Can someone please post a relevant up to date link to hear them whoppers for real.

Trekkies for Christ!!

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Old 10-17-2010, 09:18 PM   #66
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11of101 View Post
I listened to (yawn) the one hour HH-CW-AY broadcast of September 2008 last night, but I didn't catch the "whoppers from Burger King" part. I think I need to listen to the bonus hour for that. I can't find it on equip.org. Can someone please post a relevant up to date link to hear them whoppers for real.

Trekkies for Christ!!

11of101
I would also like to hear this HH broadcast for the first time.

Can anyone supply an active link?

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #67
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Default Re: Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde interviewed by Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraa

Better Call Saul

One of the things I find most distasteful about the LSM/CRI thing; if LSM were truly sincere in eleviating saints' fears about LR's cultlike image, they should have offered the "We were Wrong" article for free.

I wonder if LSM's legal counsel is like this guy, Saul Goodman...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiLvZJb7jcg

Yes, I'm a huge fan of the other BBs : Breaking Bad.

Resistance is not futile - Vive La Resistance mon freres!!!

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Old 02-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #68
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

"Some of our readers may recall that The Local Church of Witness Lee had filed suit against Harvest House Publishers, John Ankerberg and John Weldon for their inclusion in the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. To the surprise of most missions for cults and New Religions movements and discernment ministries, CRI had come out positively for the Local Church and against Harvest House Publishers, John Ankerberg and John Weldon. Near the end of the litigation, “More than 70 evangelical Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations have signed an unprecedented open letter to the leadership of the “local churches” and Living Stream Ministry.” This week, Apologetics Index uploaded Five Christian apologists evaluate the teachings of Witness Lee and The Local Church. There is also a synopsis of this situation on this page and other links and evaluations. The dilemma we face is how to view CRI in its present incarnation. Over the years CRI has produced some of the leading researchers, writers and scholars in the area of missions to cults and New Religious Movements, training and equipping the Body of Christ in discernment and evangelism. Names like Dr. Ron Rhodes, Rich Poll, Paul Carden, Dr. Craig Hawkins, Rob Bowman, William Alnor and many others whom we respect and in many cases are now friends, began at what once was a fine institution. That was under the era of Dr. Walter Martin.

I have given this piece a great deal of thought. Apologists are often characterized at fighting at the drop of a hat (and they will drop the hat) and eating their own. Sometimes one or both are true but as a rule what we are concerned about it what is true as being more important than who is our friend. We are very concerned about fidelity to God and His word ahead of whether or not we are hurting someone’s feelings. Many in the body of Christ today are more worried about hurt feelings than about truth and as a result any discussion in this vein is viewed as mean spirited and divisive. It may be divisive but as Dr. Norman Geisler points out, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The example he gives is that when he married his wife, Barb, he promised to divide from all other women. No one at the wedding thought that was a bad thing. Sometimes making division is necessary. Having said that I am not calling for divisions here but rather am asking questions. CRI doesn’t play well with the rest of the discernment ministries. They sort of have their own sand box if you will and don’t invite cooperation with others. As I have thought about this it occurs to me that the current state of affairs happened after the passing of Dr. Martin and the installation of Hank Hanegraaff. I don’t know Hank well. We have met a few times and shared meals and discussion together. I will reserve personal comment and observations at this time.

One of the questions I have is, is “The Bible Answer Man” program more about equipping and encouraging the saints to defend the faith or is it more of a nightly infomercial selling Hank Hanegraaff’s book? The CRI Journal has traditionally been a good scholarly publication but has it become more of a promotional piece about Hank Hanegraaff? Some or even many are concerned about Hank’s support of what they see as a cult of Christianity. Is his use of litigation against other believers in opposition to sound biblical teaching. While it is true that the Defamation lawsuit filed by Hank Hanegraaff thrown out of court that doesn’t seem to answer the biblical question on this issue. There have been accusations of “extensive plagiarism” which seem to have merit. I have had several ministries contact me to research and perhaps assist in bringing about accountability to CRI. There are a few problems with this. The first is one of resources (time and treasures). Something of which MCOI is sorely short. Another is the question of would Hank submit to repentance and correction if it was demonstrated that such was necessary? Based on several conversations I have had with Dr. Norman Geisler, it does not seem so. Dr. Geisler has been Hank’s advocate and defender and as he says he “has the scars to prove it.” However, when Dr. Geisler began raising issues Hank simply cut him off. So, at this point it seems proper to raise questions but I probably cannot go beyond that. I certainly don’t know Hank’s heart and cannot discern his motives. I understand a book is in the works taking a more in-depth look at Hank and his tenure as president of CRI. I suppose what brings this to mind for me at this time was news that the CRI Journal will soon be coming out with a new puff piece promoting the Local Church. I wonder, will they soon endorse the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society or the LDS as being truly Christian?"

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/the-d...d-cri#more-157
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #69
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Default Local Churches Win Some Allies Among Fomer Critics

http://www.equip.org/PDF/JAL076.pdf


This article first appeared in the News Watch column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 30, number 3 (2007).
For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org


The four-decade relationship between American evangelicals and Witness Lee’s local churches/Living Stream Ministry1 has not been one of abundant harmony or trust. Considering the local churches’ belief that the Christian church ought to be one body in every city, rather than a plethora of denominations, the past four decades were marked by moving away from, rather than toward, that ideal. Because of a lawsuit filed in November 1980 against the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, and another filed against Thomas Nelson Publishers in the same year, the local churches must contend to this day—at least among their strongest critics—with an image of being litigious. The lawsuits challenged the contents of two books that left lasting impressions among evangelicals: The God-Men: An Inquiry Into Witness Lee and the Local Church by Neil T. Duddy and the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (InterVarsity Press, 1981) and The Mindbenders: A Look at Current Cults by Jack T. Sparks (Thomas Nelson, 1977). The local churches prevailed in both cases. Thomas Nelson agreed to a settlement and published a retraction in 18 major newspapers in April 1983. In the suit against Duddy, Judge Leon Seyranian of the California Superior Court issued a withering opinion in June 1985. He awarded $3.4 million in punitive damages to Witness Lee, the Church in Anaheim, and William T. Freeman, a local churches leader who has since left the movement. The Spiritual Counterfeits Project declared bankruptcy just before the ruling but survived as
an institution. Witness Lee died in 1997.

In the past two years, the local churches have made a few significant strides toward changing their reputation from “See you in court” to “To know us is to love us.” Since January 2006, three evangelical institutions—Fuller Theological Seminary, Answers in Action, and the Christian Research Institute (publisher of CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL)—have expressed trust in the local churches’ orthodoxy. Fuller Seminary expressed that trust first, in a two-page statement released on January 5, 2006. “In regard to their teaching and testimony concerning God, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, the Bible, salvation, and the oneness and unity of the Church, the Body of Christ, we found them to be unequivocally orthodox,” the Fuller statement said. “Furthermore, we found their profession of faith to be consistent with the major creeds, even though their profession is not creedal in format. Moreover, we can also say with certainty that no evidence of cultic or cult-like attributes [has] been found by us among the leaders of the ministry or the members of the local churches who adhere to the teachings represented in the publications of Living Stream Ministry. Consequently, we are easily and comfortably able to
receive them as genuine believers and fellow members of the Body of Christ, and we unreservedly recommend that all Christian believers
likewise extend to them the right hand of fellowship.”

CRI and Answers in Action—the apologetics ministry founded by Bob and Gretchen Passantino—expressed their trust in the form of legal briefs supporting the local churches in another lawsuit involving another book: The Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Harvest House, 1999). The local churches filed suit in December 2001, in response to Harvest House’s request for a
declaratory judgment that the encyclopedia was not defamatory. A flood of attorneys’ letters from both sides of the case preceded Harvest House’s request. Hank Hanegraaff, CRI’s president and chairman of the board, filed an amicus curiae brief on August 7, 2006. “From my own direct study of and extensive interaction with the Local Church and Living Stream Ministry, I have concluded that the word ‘cult’ does not apply to the Local Church either sociologically or theologically,” Hanegraaff said in his brief. “While I disagree with Local Church leaders, as well as many other Christian leaders, on secondary theological issues such as eschatology and ecclesiology, these are issues Christians can and do debate vigorously without dividing over them.” In a brief filed 11 days later, Gretchen Passantino wrote that she fully supported the concerns and conclusions expressed in Hanegraaff’s brief. (Both briefs are asking the supreme court of Texas to revisit its ruling that threw out a judgment in favor of the local churches. Both the local churches and Harvest House have indicated a willingness to appeal the case as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, so it could easily drag on for another year or more.) The two briefs represented a considerable change from a CRI position paper that the Passantinos and Gretchen Passantino’s brother, theologian E. Calvin Beisner, prepared in 1978 and updated in 1996. In that paper, the authors referred to the teachings of Lee and the local churches as heretical and dangerous, linking Lee’s teaching on the Trinity with the ancient heresy of Sabellianistic modalism. Modalists teach that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three temporal manifestations, or “modes,” of the one God, rather than three distinct persons of the one God. The local churches have argued vigorously and at length that Lee was not a modalist, and that only a selective reading of his many published sermons could lead to a different conclusion. The local churches say that Lee’s teachings represented an effort to avoid the extremes of modalism, on one hand, and tritheism on the other.
In a brief entry on tritheism for the New Dictionary of Theology (InterVarsity Press, 1988), Gerald L. Bray writes, “Tritheism has never been the official teaching of any church. It is at best an error which some Christians may have fallen into in their attempts to explain the Trinity.…Christians today are sometimes accused of tritheism by Jews, and particularly by Muslims, and also by such sects as Jehovah’s Witnesses, though the accusation has always been strenuously denied and does not in fact reflect anymajor strand in Christian theology.”
“[Lee] was thoroughly Trinitarian—I mean thoroughly,” said Chris Wilde of Living Stream Ministry, in an interview with the JOURNAL. “The way that these things are sometimes clipped together, yes, you couldmake him look like a modalist.”

Wilde says the local churches’ previously icy relationship with CRI and Answers in Action began thawing after attorney and literary agent Sealy Yates—a friend to both the local churches and CRI—arranged a meeting a few years ago at CRI’s headquarters. The meeting included Hanegraaff, Gretchen Passantino of Answers in Action, and Elliot Miller, editor of the JOURNAL, along with several local churches leaders.
Wilde compares the meeting with the changes made by the Worldwide Church of God through dialogue with CRI. The difference, Wilde says, is that the local churches did not have to repudiate any teaching of Lee’s to persuade CRI that they affirmed the essential doctrines of orthodox Christianity. “We believe what the Lord has given us is accurate. That doesn’t mean our application of it is flawless,” Wilde said. “I’m just grateful for how the relationship has been healed.” The dialogue has progressed with several intensive theological discussions between Wilde, other local churches leaders, Miller, and Passantino, with the intention that Miller will eventually write an in-depth evaluation of the local churches for the JOURNAL, similar in approach to his previous evaluation of Theophostic Prayer Ministries (see vol. 29, nos. 2 and 3).
Wilde grew up in a nominal Mormon home and went through a phase as a student radical during the 1970s. “I was a nonbeliever in every sense of the word,” he said. He came to faith through a local church in Spokane, Washington, and says that the first book he read by a Christian was The Normal Christian Life by Lee’s mentor, Watchman Nee, who died in 1972, while imprisoned by the communist rulers of China.
“I had a very deep sense of the Lord’s infilling,” Wilde says. Wilde, a veteran of radio broadcasting, joined Living Streams’ new broadcast division in 1996. He is the director of the organization’s broadcast operation and an elder of the Church in Mission Viejo, California.
Gretchen Passantino told the JOURNAL that the first meeting with local churches leaders left her “absolutely confident that they were our brothers in Christ and we believed the same thing.” She was less certain that they had always believed this way, and it took about 18 months of more research—and interviews with leaders and members of the local churches—to convince her of that. “The theology they are clarifying is
what they have always believed,” she said. “What they’re having to distance themselves from is theology they never believed.” Passantino says that local church leaders, like the early church father Irenaeus, did not have the luxury of theological precision when speculating about the persons of the Trinity and their relation to one another. The Christian church in China was robbed of two generations of mature leadership by persecution and martyrdom at the hands of Chinese Communists, she said. Gretchen Passantino’s brother, E. Calvin Beisner, is not persuaded that the local churches have been misunderstood or that they should be declared part of the evangelical mainstream without repudiating any of Lee’s remarks. Beisner, an associate professor of historical theology and social ethics at Knox Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is one of more than 60 theologians who signed a Web-based “Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the ‘Local Churches’” (www.open-letter.org). The open letter includes some passages from Lee’s works that suggest why some critics of the local churches have suspicions about Lee’s understanding of the Trinity. Here’s a passage from Lee’s Life Messages (Living Stream Ministry,1979):

The traditional explanation of the Trinity is grossly inadequate and borders on tritheism. When the Spirit of God is joined with us, God is not left behind, nor does Christ remain on the throne. This is the impression Christianity gives. They think of the Father as one Person, sending the Son, another Person, to accomplish redemption, after which the Son sends the Spirit, yet another Person. The Spirit, in traditional thinking, comes into the believers, while the Father and Son are left on the throne. When believers pray, they are taught to bow before the Father and pray in the name of the Son. To split the Godhead into these separate Persons is not the revelation of the Bible.

“I would not be able to say the local church has changed until it is willing to publicly renounce the sort of things Witness Lee said that we quoted in our open letter,” Beisner told the JOURNAL. “It’s going to have to clearly reject some of the things that Witness Lee himself said.”
Beisner said he has read many essays in Living Stream Ministry’s journal, Affirmation & Critique, that offer thorough explanations of Lee’s teachings. Those essays have not convinced him that Lee’s teachings have been taken out of context or that Lee was a thoroughgoing Trinitarian. “They can make all the orthodox-sounding statements that they want, but if they don’t deny the truth of contrary statements, we don’t know what they believe,” Beisner said. He hopes the leaders of the local churches will take a lesson from the leaders of the Worldwide Church of God. “Its leaders had the courage and the integrity to say that Herbert W. Armstrong was, frankly, wrong.” Beisner is familiar with the local churches’ call for firsthand conversation with their leaders, but he’s skeptical that it would achieve anything. “I don’t think face-to-face conversation would be fruitful untilthey are prepared to say that, on the sort of things we quoted in the open letter, Lee was wrong.” R. Philip Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, showed openness to meeting with members of local churches, provided that signers of the open letter “aren’t eventually going to be dragged into a lawsuit,” he told the JOURNAL. “Our concern is to express our theological differences openly and clearly.” Members of the local churches and Living Stream Ministry provided what they called a brief initial response—at nearly 4,300 words—to the open letter, and promised to address its concerns at greater
length. Addressing the concern raised by Roberts, the reply states:

The open letter implies that LSM and the local churches repeatedly resort to litigation to silence critics of their doctrines and teachings. This simply is not true. In our 45-year history in this country, we have appealed to the courts for relief from accusations that were false and defamatory three times. In each case, our appeal had nothing to do with answering criticism concerning doctrinal issues; in each case, at issue were false charges of immoral, illegal, or anti-social behaviors. In each case, we made repeated attempts to deal with matters directly with the other party based on the principles in Matthew 18. And in each case, the other party rebuffed those attempts. Only when all other alternatives were exhausted did we appeal to the secular authorities, as Paul did three times in Acts (22:25; 24:10; 25:11) to preserve his ministry for the Lord. The two previous cases resulted in a settlement with a retraction and a default judgment in our favor. Regarding the present litigation with Harvest House and its authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon, it is important to understand the events that preceded legal action. After becoming aware of the publication of the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (ECNR), representatives of LSM and the local churches tried repeatedly, over the course of an entire year, to meet with them for face-to-face dialogue, appealing to them each time on the basis of Matthew 18. Ultimately, while we were still seeking to resolve the conflict through dialogue, Harvest House took the initiative to sue one of the local churches—thrusting the matter into the courts. Our suit was filed after Harvest House had already sued us and was our protective response to their taking us to court. On another of the open letter’s chief concerns, the local churches wrote:

Concerning the Divine Trinity, we hold to the eternal distinctiveness of the three of the Godhead, but…in every manifest and distinct action of each, all three operate inseparably (yet still distinctly). The reality in the Godhead that accounts for this is what theologians have termed coinherence. On the one hand, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit coexist “simultaneously” from eternity to eternity (Isa. 9:6b; Heb. 1:12; 7:3; 9:14) and are each fully God (1 Pet. 1:2a; Heb. 1:8; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4). On the other hand, as three yet one, They coinhere; that is, They mutually indwell one another (John 10:38; 14:10, 20; 17:21, 23); and by virtue of that coinherence each operates distinctly in the
manifest action of any one of Them to some identifiable degree. While we adamantly maintain that the three persons of the Divine Trinity exist eternally and are eternally distinct, we also recognize that a proper biblical view of the relationships among the three must account for the fact that in the Bible the Son is somehow called the Eternal Father, that in the Bible He is somehow said to have become a life-giving Spirit, and that in the Bible the Lord Christ is somehow said to be the Spirit. As for renouncing any teachings by Lee that the open letter cites as objectionable, the local churches remain committed to Lee:

The open letter of evangelical leaders presents Witness Lee’s statements without the biblical texts on which they are based, without his exposition of those texts, and without any balancing context found in his writings. Therefore, they do not fairly present his teaching on these important points of truth.We commend the signers of the open letter for their concern for the truth of the gospel, and we invite them or any others to join us in genuine and substantive dialogue concerning the great truths of the faith and particularly our understanding thereof. However, we would hope that in such dialogue their treatment of us would be according to how they themselves would like others to treat
them, which is, by our Lord’s teaching, the second great commandment (Matt. 7:12; 22:39). Unless our understanding of Scripture can be demonstrated to be in error, we would consider ourselves unfaithful to disavow any point of truth that the Lord has shown us from His Word.
For her part, Passantino worries that evangelicals may be setting up an impossible standard, considering that local churches leaders are convinced that they have never believed what they are accused of believing. She hopes that both sides’ willingness to forgive each other, and to ask forgiveness of each other, is a path more evangelicals will consider. “I hope our colleagues will join us for the investigation,” she told the JOURNAL. “They may not join us in the conclusions, but if they join us in the investigation, we’ll all be better for it.”
— Douglas LeBlanc

NOTES
1. Although many evangelical critiques refer to the Local Church, this article uses the movement’s preferred designation of “local
churches,” or refers to its publishing arm, Living Stream Ministry, except in direct quotations. Here is how one movementWeb
site explains the preference: “The term ‘local church’ is not a name; it is a description of the local nature and expression of the
church, that is, the church in a locality. To print the words ‘local church’ with capital letters is a serious mistake, for this gives the
impression that our name is ‘local church.’ Just as the moon is simply the moon regardless of the locality over which it is seen, so
the church is simply the church regardless of the locality in which it is established”; http://localchurches.org/beliefs/faq.html.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #70
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Default Testimonies Are Not Enough: CRI, Answers in Action and the Local Churches

The Following article is by Robert Bowman

According to an article posted online two days ago at Christianity Today, “Two notable critics have changed their minds on the controversial ‘local churches’ movement that follow the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.” The two critics are Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute (CRI), and Gretchen Passantino Coburn, director of Answers in Action (AIA). The article refers to a booklet to which Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn contributed and that the Defense and Confirmation Project, a pro-Local Churches group, published in November 2007. Entitled The Local Churches: “Genuine Believers and Fellow Members of the Body of Christ”, the booklet includes “Testimonies” (as the title page quite correctly calls them) from Hanegraaff, Passantino Coburn, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Fuller’s contribution is a statement representing the assessment of Richard Mouw, the school’s president, and two other Fuller professors.

I have been quite reluctant to enter the fray of this debate, which has actually been going on for several years, but have decided now to say something.

An Aside about Past Associations

Before I begin, in the interests of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that I have a past history with all three of these organizations (which will explain my reluctance). I graduated from Fuller Seminary with a Master’s in biblical studies and theology in 1981. Mouw was not the president at the time, and I have met him only once, when I talked with him later in his president’s office at the seminary. In 1984, I went to work at CRI under Walter Martin, and continued on staff after Martin’s passing and his succession by Hanegraaff in 1989. In January 1992, CRI terminated my employment, fraudulently claiming they were laying me off. (In truth, they got rid of me after I quietly protested Hanegraaff’s attempts to have me ghostwrite books for him.) Over the next several years, I participated in efforts to bring various accountability issues to the attention of CRI and its board, including playing a leading role in an ad hoc group of former employees and volunteers called the Group for CRI Accountability. In 1996, Gretchen Passantino (now Coburn, having remarried after the passing of her first husband in 2003) posted an article on the AIA web site (no longer there) that accused me, among others, of having made “false accusations” against Hanegraaff and of being a deceiver whom other Christians should avoid. The Passantinos never identified what these allegedly false accusations were and never retracted their statement (although they did eventually remove the offending web page). My last communication with both Hanegraaff and Passantino took place in June 2001, when I wrote letters to them (to which neither ever responded) regarding their public statements concerning D. James Kennedy and Hanegraaff’s plagiarism of Kennedy’s famous manual Evangelism Explosion. Those letters were also the last time I have written or said anything publicly concerning Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn, until now.

None of this has anything to do with the Local Churches. However, if anyone is inclined to dismiss what I have to say here in an ad hominem fashion, there is plenty of grist for that mill.

Recent Events Concerning the Local Churches

The main point of the Christianity Today article (“Cult Watchers Reconsider: Former detractors of Nee and Lee now endorse ‘local churches’”) is that the November 2008 booklet marks a recent change in the view taken by Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn of the Local Churches. It asserts that Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn “each published their new support in a November booklet by the Defense and Confirmation Project, founded to rebut criticism of Nee and Lee.” However, the article’s claim that this is a new position is false. Two and a half years earlier, in August 2006, Hanegraaff filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the Local Churches in its failed attempt to sue Harvest House for $136 million over the inclusion of the Local Churches in its book The Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. Gretchen Passantino also filed a letter to the court supporting Hanegraaff’s brief. Although the Christianity Today article mentions the lawsuit, it neglects to mention the role that Hanegraaff and Passantino played in it in 2006.

Numerous evangelical scholars and countercult ministry workers were appalled. In January 2007, over 60 such scholars and ministry leaders signed an “Open Letter” asking the Local Churches to demonstrate their theological orthodoxy by specifically retracting or disavowing various statements in the published writings of Witness Lee. The Open Letter also asked the Local Churches to agree to stop using litigation to silence theological criticism from Christian writers and publishers. The signatories to this letter included the presidents or deans of eight evangelical seminaries, IRR’s Luke Wilson, former CRI researchers Craig Hawkins and Paul Carden, other countercult scholars and leaders such as James Bjornstad and Don Veinot, and E. Calvin Beisner—another former CRI researcher who also happens to be Gretchen Passantino’s brother. The following month, in February 2007—almost two years ago—Passantino posted an article on her web site saying much the same thing as her testimony in the November 2008 booklet. The article, “Apologetics Conclusions Reconsidered . . . . A Case in Point: The Local Churches & Living Stream Ministry,” announced that Passantino and Hanegraaff had completed a three-year reassessment of the Local Churches and concluded they were theologically orthodox. Passantino neither acknowledged nor attempted to address any of the criticisms of her support for the Local Churches’ lawsuit or the issues raised in the Open Letter.

With this background in place, I want to offer a response to the DCP booklet, focusing on the contribution of Passantino Coburn. (All parenthetical page references are to this booklet.) Let me make clear that my focus here is not on the salvation, spiritual condition, or even the theological orthodoxy of the people in the Local Churches. I am responding to the “testimonies” of the authors as they appear in the booklet. I am quite open to new information and reasoned reassessments of old conclusions. Unfortunately, the testimonies of Hanegraaff and Passantino Coburn offered neither new information nor reasoned reassessments.

Should We Trust Passantino Coburn?

Hanegraaff’s piece is essentially, as he rightly calls it, a “preface” to the lengthy testimony of Gretchen Passantino Coburn. According to Hanegraaff, “Gretchen is the quintessential example of a brilliant yet humble servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (9). This is the sort of effusive praise of a fellow believer in Christ with which I am loathe to disagree publicly, no matter what the evidence. I could and ordinarily would simply let it pass, but Passantino Coburn herself insists on making her résumé and her personal story and values an issue.

Passantino Coburn devotes several pages to her own spiritual journey and credentials (13-18). She declares, “Over the last 37 years I have become one of the leading Christian evangelical apologists determining whether spiritual movements that claim to represent biblical Christianity are orthodox or heretical” (14). Speaking of her conversion to the Christian faith, she reports, “My professors were profoundly disappointed that one of their brightest, most articulate young scholars had thrown her mind away on hysterical religion” (15). Her career path in apologetics, she says, “paired my voracious thirst for knowledge with my deep devotion to Christian truth” (16). “Over the years,” she tells us, she and her first husband Bob “became trusted as well-reasoned, empathetic, accurate, theologically conservative Christian apologists” (17). In her concluding “About the Author” she claims that AIA is “one of the oldest and most respected apologetics organizations” and that she “is a respected author of books and articles on apologetics, world religions, and theology” (28).

Her lack of humility aside, Passantino Coburn’s point in offering these self-descriptions is to encourage the reader to trust her judgment on the question of the orthodoxy and soundness of the Local Churches. Ironically, this is precisely what a good apologist and trustworthy scholar never does. The job of an apologist and scholar is to present the facts, along with a reasoned interpretation of those facts, to support the conclusion. Our job is to share the evidence with others in such a way that they are equipped to reach that same conclusion, not based on our trustworthiness or integrity or years of experience or brilliance or devotion to truth, but based on their own perception of the evidence and their own grasp of the arguments. Apologists gain respect not by asserting their reliability or assuring us they are respected but by doing reliable work that deserves respect. When an apologist says, “Trust me,” that apologist has just lost the argument.

Passantino Coburn claims that she has performed a much more thorough, complete, and cogent assessment of the Local Churches than the one she and Bob Passantino did in the 1970s, and therefore that we should accept her current assessment in place of her earlier work:

“Other apologetics colleagues continue to insist that the teachings and practices of the local churches are heretical and outside Christian orthodoxy. Surprisingly, they base their insistence on the very same incomplete work Bob and I produced between 1975 and 1980, despite the fact that I can demonstrate the insufficiency in breadth, depth, and analysis of that former research base. My current assessment should carry much greater weight than did that first endeavor. Unless and until any of my dissenting colleagues are willing to engage in the much larger body of documentation—enhanced by a much deeper application of the study of the wider Christian church not only in its diversity around the world, but also in its diversity through the centuries, and augmented by a much greater number of personal interactions and direct conversations with leading and ordinary members—their continuing denunciation is untenable.”

The problem here is twofold. First, not everyone who thinks the Local Churches are heretical base their view on the Passantinos’ earlier work. At least some of the critics of the Local Churches have done their own research, reading primary sources and talking directly to members in the Local Churches.

Second, in reality Passantino Coburn is asking her readers to accept her current testimony over the evidence she had earlier documented. She asserts that she “can demonstrate the insufficiency in breadth, depth, and analysis of that former research base.” Unfortunately, up to now she has not offered any such demonstration. She also claims that her new assessment is based on a “much larger body of documentation,” but so far—two years after first announcing her reassessment—she has not presented any of this alleged documentation. In the case of the earlier work, the Passantinos backed up their conclusions regarding the Local Churches with a heavily documented analysis of the movement’s teachings from its primary sources. Their appendix “The Local Church of Witness Lee” in the book The New Cults (by Walter Martin with Gretchen Passantino [Santa Ana, CA: Vision House, 1980], 379-406) contained quotation after quotation from Witness Lee and other Local Church publications to document the assessment offered there. Although the number of citations does not tell the whole story (quality of selection and interpretation is at least as important as quantity), it is worth observing that the 1980 appendix contained 56 endnotes, 43 of which referred to Living Stream publications. The body of the appendix included well over a hundred sentences of direct quotations from Living Streams publications that the reader could read for himself and from which he could reach an informed opinion as to the soundness of the Passantinos’ critical assessment of the Local Churches’ teachings. By contrast, Passantino Coburn’s 16-page testimony in the 2008 DCP booklet contains not a single sentence from any Living Stream publication, not a single sentence from Witness Lee, and not a single footnote, endnote, or other citation. In place of such documented evidence, she merely asks readers to trust her new assessment.

In her concluding “About the Author,” Passantino Coburn states that she is contributing to a forthcoming “multi-part reevaluation of local churches’ teachings and practices for The Christian Research Journal” (28). Apparently this reevaluation has been in the works for some time. In her February 2007 web article announcing her new assessment of the Local Churches as completely orthodox, she had likewise referred to such a forthcoming article: “AIA & CRI will publish their analysis of local church teachings in the Christian Research Journal later this year.” Two years later, the article has yet to appear. If and when it does, evangelical apologists should carefully and fairly consider whatever substantive arguments the publication presents for its reassessment of the Local Churches. In the meantime, however, Passantino Coburn would do well to desist from asking us to trust her judgment in the matter. Gretchen, we’re interested in your research, not your résumé.

http://www.religiousresearcher.org/2...ocal-churches/
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:21 PM   #71
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Default Re: Local Churches Win Some Allies Among Fomer Critics

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Wilde said. “I’m just grateful for how the relationship has been healed.”
Healing of a relationship. That's well and fine, however would the relationship with CRI had the healing if Elliot Miller raised the unanswered questions from the article William Alnor wrote for the 1988 Fall issue of Christian Research Journal?
What about healing of relationships between brothers and sisters who have remained meeting in the local churches and those who had left?
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #72
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Default The Credibility of the Christian Research Institute under Hank Hanegraaff

The following article was taken from "Exit and Support Network" - aiding the "spiritually abused from the World-Wide Church of God, the Philadelphia Church of God, and all off-shoots".... Think, "Local Church Discussions" for recovering WCGers.

Read this, and tell me if history did not repeat itself.



Letters to Hank Hanegraaff

Hank Hanegraaff was instrumental in helping the WCG (now known as Grace Communion International) become accepted in the eyes of mainstream Christianity, calling it a "transformation that may well be without precedent in church history."1 He said that Joseph Tkach, Jr. and other leaders of the WCG "expressed their gratitude for CRI's support and encouragement in their transition from cultism to Christianity."

NOTE: For much more info on corruption exposure in Christian Research Institute and Hank Hanegraaff and Worldwide Church of God, see: The CRI Story" in OIU Newsletter, Volume 1, Part 1 and this part in OIU 4, Pt. 3. (Also see links at bottom of this page.)

UPDATE: Christian Research Institute is also known as Christian Research International. They re-located to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2005, with an affiliate (CRI Canada) in Calgary, Alberta.

Why did Hank Hanegraaff have to have a "fee" for his appearance with the WCG leaders? Was he in need of funds for CRI and a bargain was struck? Hanegraaff is alleged to have taken a bribe from Phil Aguilar's Set-Free cult in the past to cease exposing the darker side of Aguilar's ministry (part of a 400+ page investigative report on Hanegraaff that the ESN compiled from various documents and testimonies, especially from the Group for CRI Accountability). Could Hank possibly have done the same with the WCG leaders? When author Janis Hutchinson met with WCG leaders in Portland, Oregon, she asked them about this and was told Hank "received a fee" for his appearance. (Read the excerpt from her letter mailed to former members of Worldwide Church of God.)

Hank continues: "I will be so bold as to say that what you and I are now witnessing in the Worldwide Church of God is only a faint foreshadowing of what God is going to do in the days ahead IN CULT EVANGELISM AROUND THE WORLD." (Ibid.)

At the September 26, 1995 memorial services of Joseph Tkach, Sr. Hank was there--offering condolences to Tkach, Jr. A picture of the two together with arms touching was printed in the January 2, 1996 Worldwide News with this caption: "Kindling Friendship--A meaningful moment between Joseph Tkach, Jr. and Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute."

In an October 1995 co-laborer letter Hank says that the WCG leaders "met privately with me, behind closed doors..." (Read parts from the letter.)
In this same letter Hank goes on to give credit to CRI for the WCG's change: "God has sovereignly brought the sacrifices, the obedience, and the generosity of so many CRI partners to fruition in the extraordinary transformation of a major cultic movement."

Hank continues to say that the WCG was: "a contemporary cult willing to lay it all on the line for truth as revealed in God's word." He also praised the late Joseph Tkach, Sr., labeling him "a man who risked losing his reputation, his livelihood, his career, and world respect in his all-out devotion to finding and proclaiming the truth." [October 6,1995 co-laborer in Christ letter]

Has Worldwide Church of God leaders really "laid it all on the line" for the truth?

What in the World is Worldwide Church of God Doing Now? (Includes WCG selling the copyrights to HWA's literature to a totalistic, apocalyptic WCG offshoot for $3 million!)
MORE ON HANEGRAAFF:

The alleged financial and ethical improprieties of Hank Hanegraaff and letters from the group for CRI Accountability have been compiled in a 400+ page investigative report. One of the accusations against him is that he had his hired staff write large portions of his book Christianity in Crisis without crediting or adequately compensating them. He is also alleged to have plagiarized writings by other well-known fundamentalist writers like D. James Kennedy.2

Info about the CRI Accountability Report compiled by twenty-four past employees of CRI.

Letter to ESN concerning Hanegraaff's ethics.
Hanegraaff blames cultists for being deceived. CRI wrote an article3 that sincere cultists are lost (although there is "an occasional exception") and that they were "not really seeking God" but "seeking anything other than God" when they went into the cult. The article further maintains that "it is possible for sincere people, even people who were a part of the fellowship of true Christians, to be deceived into following "another Jesus." But the cultists are "to blame" and are "guilty of sin."
CRI Never Answered Any Letters from Exiters:

Following are three letters out of many that pleaded with and tried to warn Hanegraaff about the duplicity involved concerning the Worldwide Church of God changes. (All emphasis is ours.)

Letter #1

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
April, 1994

Dear CRI:

Recently I heard a "Bible Answer Man" broadcast in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, and was quite disturbed about your comments on the Worldwide Church of God. You mentioned that historically, they are looked upon as a cult by mainstream Christianity, but recently have become more Orthodox in their beliefs. They are now considered Brothers and Sisters in the faith.

Well this letter is to inform you that I do not believe that this is so. I was a member of the WCG for six years, and I finally woke up to their insidious tactics. They are stating one thing to the Christian community and another to the local membership. I would appreciate it very much, if you people could get to the bottom of this. I must tell you that they're still very much a cult, and their mainstream beliefs are only to bring more people into their organization.
Sincerely,
[name removed]
Letter #2:

April 15, 1994
Dear Mr. Hanegraaff,

I was disturbed to hear you say on 4-14-94 that the Worldwide Church of God needs to be applauded for moving closer to orthodox Christianity and is no longer holding to such doctrines as Sabbath keeping, etc. for salvation.

I can say, with very good evidence, that the WCG is telling the media one thing and telling its members something else in order to no longer be considered a cult!

I am enclosing a copy of part of a letter I received from Jim Baldwin of Charlestown, NH, who was a former elder in the WCG, showing why he believes the WCG is still a cult. I am also enclosing a copy of a letter I received from Watchman Fellowship (a Christian research and apologetic ministry) showing how the members are not being made aware of all the changes.

I just exited this last week. Within the last few months I have heard many comments by our ministers telling us that there is only one true Church of God and if we have any doubts, we need to prove it. We have also been told that, "If we don't keep the Sabbath, we will begin to be put in a spiritual death that will eventually put us outside the body of Christ," "If we don't tithe, we are stealing from God!" We were also told recently that the Old Testament Feast days are from God and commanded to be kept.
Since our local congregation is having an "open house" in May for subscribers to The Plain Truth in this area, we have been instructed for two months on how to "recruit" them. We were told a list of dos and don'ts to say to them, including, "Don't reveal all our doctrines." I could no longer stand everything they are planning on doing to these new people to get them to join the WCG under the guise of "accepting Christ."
There is still the fear, guilt, authority, control, and disfellowshipping-fellowshipping going on if there are any divisions. Our minister even stated recently, "I don't want to hear of any dichotomies in this church or I won't say what I will do, or more so what God will do!" The members are still living by grace plus works and the freedom in Christ is not experienced or known in this church.

Please warn people that the WCG is still a cult! Thank you for your ministry. It was through some related WCG material you sent, leading me to investigate the WCG further, that I began my journey out of confusion and darkness to freedom!
Sincerely,
[name removed]
Letter #3:

Dear Mr. Hanegraaff,

This is my second letter to you on the subject of the Worldwide Church of God and how the members are not receiving all the new information the leadership is giving to the media.

On May 5 on The Bible Answer Man, it was either you or Ron Rhodes that stated there was cause for rejoicing in the Christian circles because the WCG had now announced that the Holy Spirit is a person. And yes, I agree with you, it is important the WCG accept the doctrine of the trinity. You also stated that the Holy Spirit is working with the WCG and this is total repentance. I am going to have to take exception with your saying this is "total repentance."

However, and I think that this is a very important fact, the WCG is still employing abusive practices with its members-disfellowshipping, control, guilt, etc. To cite one example: Our 19 year old son, who hadn't been attending the church in several months, was recently invited to the church's youth prom by a girl from [a nearby WCG church]. When they showed up, he was approached by the associate pastor and an elder who told him, "You are not a part of this church, so you will have to leave." He left and came back at the end of the prom to pick up the girl and take her home.
The leadership does believe that most of what Herbert W. Armstrong taught was wrong, but they have not told the members everything and the ministers are not preaching all the new truth. The changes that they are making are being done in stages so as not to cause confusion and discouragement among the members, especially the old-timers. Some of these changes could take years, as they are so radical as to what was formerly taught. They are just being introduced gradually as "new understanding" in how the doctrines of the church are expressed.
If you really want there to be total repentance, then pray that the MEMBERS can be told the truth and set free from all the lies that have been perpetuated on them all these years by HWA. The Holy Spirit is working with the people and cares for them. He has been helping some of them to receive the message of grace and freedom from the law (weekly and annual Sabbaths, tithing, etc.) But how long are the rest going to have to wait to hear this?
Thank you for your radio program. It has helped me to understand the truths of the Bible clearly and is helping to free me from the false doctrines of the WCG that I have held for many years!
Sincerely,
[name removed]
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #73
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

Anyone investing credibility in Hank Hanegraaff is a fool. Hank has become a cult enabler ... for a fee. He's a whore for mammon ...
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #74
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

I want to know who made Hank the barometer of cults or the barometer of acceptable "churches"?

There may be books and opinions that define what a cult is and what religious institutions are considered cults.

Ultimately each born again believer needs to develop an intimate relationship with their Creator. The true mature believers should be responsible in nurturing, teaching and praying with new or young, immature believers. We (non LC as well as LRC) are leaving the pulpit preachers or Lee's messages to "teach" them. Most want their membership and $$$.

If we would ALL do our part in praying, asking God the Holy Spirit to reveal and give us understanding of the Living and Glorious Word of God -Jesus-, He would be more than Happy to guide us and lead us in Truth.

Sadly the church as a whole is so divided among the protestants, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Catholics because people do not take the time to study the Scriptures for themselves.

One thing I credit the LC for, is pointing to me there were no denominations or non denominations in the Bible. I do not remember if they ever pointed the divisions in the church and mistakes made, evidenced in the book of Acts but God's plan was never to have the church divided.

The majority of the church is lazy or zealous to become something in the eyes of the world or the church. I confess to being lazy and I do not know why. I love the Word of God. I love talking about Him and His things. I love leading people to Christ, encouraging them, yet shame on me!!! I have not yet read the entire Old Testament!!! It is part of the Bible. So now the forum knows something about me you all did not know.

I have read Revelation several times and discovered in chapter 1 vs 3 that those who read the prophesy (of Revelation) are blessed. :-)

I do study topics of the Bible and to the Credit of the Holy Spirit have received much revelation and understanding!

If we read the Word prayerfully, ask the Lord to give us understanding and revelation, study the scriptures, fellowship with each other, God is not going to allow us to be deceived. He will not permit us to start our own "church"...or a new church.

And if Lee truly knew and understood the Word as he claimed, the local church would not have gone the way of another denomination, sect or cult.

God have mercy on us all!!!... Especially ME!!!

Blessings to all,

Carol G
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:41 PM   #75
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Anyone investing credibility in Hank Hanegraaff is a fool. Hank has become a cult enabler ... for a fee. He's a whore for mammon ...
Here is another article, taken from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/...gy/cri/law.htm

Christian Research Institute (CRI)
Hank Hanegraaff Lawsuit*

Christian Research Institute's Hank Hanegraaff had been accused of financial fraud and other criminal activities.A lawsuit was filed ("wrongful termination suit") on March 7, 1994, in Orange County Superior Court, California. The suit alleged that Hendrik (Hank) Hanegraaff, president of CRI, was guilty of numerous ethical lapses, financial theft, tax fraud, and a shocking list of other criminal activities and deceptive practices. The plaintiffs also charged CRI and its president and officers with violation of the federal racketeering act, defined as a criminal conspiracy or a "combination." Some of the details of this suit follow:
1. Brad Sparks, formerly a top researcher on the staff of CRI (from 1992-1994) and assistant to Hanegraaff, stated in the suit that Hanegraaff and his wife, Kathy, had pocketed over $750,000 in bloated "salaries and benefits." This while CRI's rank and file employees "typically earn[ed] poverty-level income of approximately $13,000 per year!"

2. Sparks, who left CRI in "good standing" in 3/94, according to a CRI exit counseling form (included as documentation in papers filed), noted that CRI enjoys non-profit organization status by the IRS, but had fraudulently used its tax exemption privileges to provide tax exempt "cover" for the Hanegraaffs' own personal, profit-making business, Memory Dynamics, Inc., a Georgia corporation, which was conducted out of the couple's home. Sparks' suit charged that the Hanegraaffs had repeatedly bled the ministry's bank accounts to feather their own nests. For example, "defendant Hanegraaffs have sought to conceal their total six figure income by the device of separating out major categories of personal expense such as the estimated $50,000 per year 'pastor's housing allowance.'" [Hanegraaff reportedly lived in a $730,000 house in an exclusive gated community in Orange County, California; CRI's board allegedly loaned Hanegraaff the $100,000 down payment.] The financial details provided by Sparks to support his lawsuit were convincingly documented. Some 14 pages of fine print were contained in the lawsuit.

3. According to Sparks, CRI even leased two automobiles for the Hanegraaffs, almost entirely for their personal use, unrelated to ministry business. One of the most unsavory charges of corruption detailed by Sparks was that CRI deceptively claimed to be a "church" merely to deceive the IRS and state taxing authorities, as well as mislead those who donated money for its activities. (Hanegraaff told Charisma magazine in early 1994 that he considers himself a charismatic and holds ministerial credentials with Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel denomination.)

4. The suit claimed that Hanegraaff was personally paid by Harvest House approximately $500,000 in royalties for the book Christianity in Crisis even though "the book was researched, edited, and partly written by two full-time CRI staff members (including plaintiff Brad Sparks) and several part-time members." Additional allegations stated that Mr. Hanegraaff's own, for profit company, Memory Dynamics, Inc., then turned around and sold huge quantities of that same book to CRI for a handsome gain for Hanegraaff.

5. The court suit further alleged that the Hanegraaffs "have used full-time CRI employees to support and conduct the Memory Dynamics business, including mailings and manning of sales booths." The Hanegraaffs were also said to have used CRI vehicles to transport Memory Dynamics' personnel and materials. When CRI's shipping department supervisor, Mary Cook, protested, she was fired on 7/6/93. Sparks also alleged Hanegraaff used CRI's confidential donor mailing list for his own private business, and that CRI lied to donors by continuing to promise that their names and other personal information remained confidential.

6. Craig Nelson, CRI's Director of Broadcast Media, "was fired in retaliation" for making complaints against Mr. Hanegraaff, specifically relating to Hanegraaff's use of free radio advertising for his personal gain on CRI's Bible Answerman program. The suit also named many of the employees and staffers said to have been "wrongfully terminated" because they challenged Hanegraaff's unethical conduct. They included former research director Dan Schlesinger (who reportedly accused Mr. Hanegraaff of "mixing private business with CRI ministry"), Jerry Kissler, Mark Hoover, Craig Hawkins, Michael Buesing, Perry Robinson, Dennis Green (former marketing director), and Anthony Horpel (former seminar director). The court pleading also said that Rob Bowman, a former CRI senior researcher, was terminated after "he refused to let Mr. Hanegraaff plagiarize Bowman's work to publish two books under Hanegraaff's name."

7. The lies and deceit alleged in the suit were of monumental proportions, considering the fact that CRI is a section 501C(3), tax-exempt, non-profit "church" and ministry, which was at the time of the alleged infractions a member of the National Religious Broadcasters' Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). ECFA members are required to maintain a high ethical standard of conduct.

8. To avoid the strict financial ethical standards of the ECFA (specifically the conflict of interest clause -- see #4 above), CRI resigned from the organization. The suit contended that CRI then lied to its donors and radio listeners by claiming that it was still a member of the industry group. CRI was also said to have continued its use of the ECFA's seal of approval on its catalogs, order forms, and other materials to solicit contributions.

9. Other serious charges leveled in the lawsuit included assertions of "racketeering." One violation claimed was that the organization "solicited and misappropriated charitable contributions across state lines and international boundaries." Mail fraud and wire fraud were said to be involved, including the illegal interception and seizure of fax telephone communications intended for others.

10. It was also alleged that Mr. Hanegraaff misled CRI donors into contributing money which may have ended up in the coffers of Hanegraaff's profit-making company. Also, the court suit claimed that Mr. Hanegraaff's own wife, Kathy Hanegraaff, was paid a generous salary by the ministry as a full-time "CRI Director of Marketing" when, in fact, her job primarily was "a cover for conduct of personal business ..."
Could the long list of crimes and dishonest conduct alleged by Brad Sparks be corroborated by others? A 6/6/94 letter from John Wanvig (a Christian attorney) to Hanegraaff was signed by 24 former staff members. The letter also asked Hanegraaff to meet with them. Hanegraaff refused to meet and, instead, counter-sued Sparks for libel. In addition, the Group for CRI Accountability was organized in 1994 and included some 35 former CRI staff members who publicly demanded Hanegraaff's resignation. They said that Hanegraaff did not have the theological training, the communication skills, nor the ethical standards to lead CRI. The suit against Hanegraaff was scheduled for trial in July 1995, but was "settled" (see 9/95 Update below).

[Most of the information in this report was derived from articles in The Christian News and Flashpoint.]
[9/95 Update: The 9/11/95 Christianity Today reported that the CRI lawsuit was concluded following Christian mediation in July, 1995. The parties signed a statement, which said, in part, "The parties acknowledged that the allegations were based on misunderstandings as well as incomplete information. ... It was determined that there is no liability on the part of CRI, Mr. Hanegraaff, or Mr. Sparks for any wrongdoing." Both parties dropped their legal actions against each other, and CRI agreed to pay about $20,000 of Sparks legal expenses. However, the ad hoc Group for CRI Accountability (see above) continued to press its concerns; according to its spokes-person Rob Bowman, "Most of our concerns are too well documented not to be true ..." Privately, Sparks was reported to tell friends that it was either settle, or be spent into bankruptcy by Hanegraaff and CRI.]
[4/96 Update: Brad Sparks Response to the Passantinos -- The following are excerpts from a letter by Brad Sparks, former CRI Researcher and plaintiff to the above detailed lawsuit. It is a reprint of an open letter responding to a 2/16/96 statement released by Bob and Gretchen Passantino.]
This is an interested observer's reply to the Passantinos' belated February 16, 1996, attack on the first three issues of On The Edge (OTE) published in September, October, and November 1995. I do not know who the journalist-author(s) of OTE are, but I think it is quite understandable that they choose to remain anonymous to avoid taking $400,000 worth of abuse from CRI. I should know because I, along with my wife and children, were punished for publicly speaking out. We suffered from Hank Hanegraaff's $400,000 of harassment from an international secular law firm (Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher) (according to figures given in CRI's audited annual financial statement for June 30, 1995), as well as from an unknown amount CRI spent for a private detective agency (Allied Management Resources), which was conveniently withheld from the audit report.

That was approximately how much CRI donor money was spent by Hank without the donors' knowledge or approval of such shocking amounts (roughly 10% of the CRI budget), all to protect Hank from accountability for his use of CRI money and resources for his books and seminars in the first place. It apparently does not even include an unknown amount of money spent on Hank's and CRI's countersuit against me [Brad Sparks] (undertaken without even a pretense of Matt. 18 action), which the audit report also conveniently failed to mention. And it doesn't include any amounts spent in July 1995 after the cutoff date of the audit (such as the $20,000 settlement).

I was forced to settle my case because of the abuse and vicious tactics engaged in by Hanegraaff and CRI -- such as bringing up the murder of my mother to shock and degrade me. CRI has certainly taught the cults a thing or two using all this CRI donor money to frustrate and harass me with high-priced lawyers and private detectives. If my case was so "baseless" and "frivolous," as Hank and his minions claim, then how come with all these hundreds of thousands of "ministry" dollars to pay $200- to $300-per-hour attorneys, they still couldn't even prove it "baseless" in a court of law? How come Superior Court Judge Richard Luesebrink flatly refused to throw out even a single portion of my case on January 13, 1995, when CRI attorneys from two separate law firms presented two motions to have it thrown out and failed? Did you ever hear Hank admit that on the radio? No, instead Hank falsely claimed on the radio October 18, 1994, "this groundless lawsuit has long ago been set aside by the courts," and he continued to echo this bizarre, twilight-zone claim in fund raising appeals for months afterward until the two sides settled it -- it was never "set aside by the courts" as "groundless" at any time.

When I read the Passantinos' Internet statement someone faxed me, I was surprised to read that according to them, these OTE articles were journalistic atrocities, "worthless," and reflecting "absolutely no journalistic responsibility or evidentiary substantiation" whatsoever, filled only with anonymous "vitriol, gossip, innuendo, and bitterness," slanderous, and "replete with unnamed [sic] sources, supposition, and allegations, none of which are substantiated by any named, identified, or evidenced material." Whew! That's a pretty heavy load of allegations in a statement that itself is "replete with un[n]amed sources" used by the Passantinos, betraying just a wee bit of the same things on their own parts, methinks. I wondered if I had read the same articles they claimed to have read. So I went back to those first three issues of OTE and here is what I found:

Instead of the anonymous slander in OTE claimed by the Passantinos, I found six named sources (three from Hank's side, including Hank and his attorney) and what seem to be only two unnamed sources, both reportedly connected with CRI and Hank Hanegraaff -- unless we are to count every change of wording describing these two sources as separate individuals. In that case, do the Passantinos really wish to contend that OTE has as many as 10 anonymous CRI sources? Do they want to concede there are that many "moles" inside CRI who are so outraged at Hanegraaff that they supply inside scoops to publications such as OTE? I didn't think so. But it's a ticklish dilemma they will have to resolve.

Moreover, I found these first three OTE issues made specific reference to 15 different books and articles, gave 43 specific page number citations, plus quotes and references by date to four Bible Answerman (BAM) shows. All this in just 9 pages of OTE articles! If anything, this seems to represent quite a lot more documentation than I usually see in popular writing. What popular newspaper or magazine have you ever read with that many bibliographic references in just 6,600 words or so of main text altogether?

The succeeding issues of OTE, in February and March 1996, made reference to eight named sources (five of whom are on Hank's side), one of whom was an unnamed source at Word Publishing in the February issue, but was named in the March issue (this was Jennifer Haney of Word 's Publicity Dept. who had said that Hanegraaff's books were on indefinite hold while his contracts were reviewed). There may be about four new unnamed sources in addition to the two CRI sources from previous issues, depending on whether or not some descriptions refer to these existing sources or not: (1) "independent reliable source"; (2) "member of a radio management team"; (3) "additional source inside Word"; (4) "Southern California-based ministry source." These new issues of OTE reference 12 books and articles and two more dated BAM broadcasts.

Speaking of "unnamed sources," the Passantinos themselves repeatedly refer to and rely on numerous UNNAMED SOURCES in their own statement, perhaps 12 or more unidentified sources altogether:
(a) Passantinos' UNNAMED Word Books editorial sources (plural means two or more). As to the "falsity" of OTE's "charges" about Hanegraaff's book projects (which they leave nebulous so that you won't know that OTE reported that a Word source said Hank's books were on hold or canceled), they refer to "our own editorial contacts with Word Books," who are left unnamed, unidentified, and conveniently anonymous.
(b) Passantinos' UNNAMED Board member/ex-CRI employee (one). Another charge of "falsity" they level against OTE is "the presence on our own organization's Board of Directors of a former CRI employee listed in this publication (against her knowledge or will)," another unnamed, unidentified and conveniently anonymous person.
At least OTE named this person (whoever she is) in its name list of 105 CRI employees who have been churned out under Hanegraaff through massive and traumatic "attrition" and "turnover." Does she deny that she left CRI or not? Does she deny that at least 105 CRI employees have left under Hanegraaff under either favorable or unfavorable terms? Does she deny that a major subset of these 105 or more CRI employees were fired or forced to resign after pointing out ethical issues, or not?
(c) Passantinos' UNNAMED "any and all" CRI-employee sources who supposedly cleared Hank (two or more?). Did they actually contact any? Or did they just have "access" to them?
(d) Passantinos' UNNAMED "hostile ex-employees" they imply they contacted as sources who purportedly vindicated Hank (two or more?). But maybe they didn't actually contact any such "hostile ex-employees" and only wanted to lead readers into thinking from their weasel-wording that they did because they had such glorious "freedom to contact." So who are they?
(e) Passantinos' UNNAMED sources who are "attackers" of Hank, but who allegedly cleared Hank (two or more?). Same thing. Maybe they only want you to think they contacted such persons, but they didn't really because they know full well that some or all of the charges are true and they can't stand to face the truth-tellers.
(f) Passantinos' UNNAMED "variety of sources" defending Hank (a "variety" must mean three or more?). Since their set-up EMNR Board meeting on Easter weekend, April 15, 1995, the Passantinos say "we have continued to collect information and evidence from a variety of sources regarding those and other charges against Hank." Well, who constitutes this unnamed "variety of sources"?
The Passantinos say that in "authentic journalism, anonymous attributions are rarely used." What does that say about their own statement?
The Passantinos completely misunderstand the settlement of the two lawsuits: (1) the countersuit by Hank and CRI against me, which they omit to mention, and (2) my lawsuit.
The joint settlement statement says in the first three sentences [that] there was a "mediation process" between the two sides and issues were discussed. As a result, "the allegations" or issues discussed in the mediation just mentioned were found to be based on "misunderstandings and incomplete information." Nowhere does this document say that ALL allegations or issues had been "cleared up" as based on misunderstanding or incomplete info, nor is there any listing of resolved charges and/or the explanations as to how they were resolved. The settlement agreed there was no legal liability for any wrongdoing (i.e., likelihood of winning the case) by me, or Hank, or CRI, but it doesn't say how this was determined, and it is a conclusion that obviously applies to both sides.
As a matter of fact, the only such charges I am aware of which were resolved in that fashion were three misunderstandings on Hank's part about my role as some kind of conspiratorial mastermind, as listed below. (Remember, Hank slammed me and the Group for CRI Accountability in his October 17 and 27, 1994, CRI fund-raising letters as "the forces of darkness," "a group of accomplices," "diabolical," etc. By the way, how much money did Hank make off of these hysterical, Robert Tilton-like, demonize-the-enemy fund raising tactics?):
(1) I knew nothing in advance about Christianity Today's August 15, 1994 cover story on Christian radio which recounted the charges against Hanegraaff. I had not been interviewed for it; I did not initiate contact with CT in the first place; and CT had last contacted me in March 1994 when the suit was filed, but never contacted me again (until after the settlement in 1995 of course).
(2) I never had any contact whatsoever with [Flashpoint] by phone, mail, or otherwise (that remains true to this day). The quotes that [Flashpoint] used in [its] July 1994 newsletter to sound like [it] had interviewed me had actually been taken from a newsletter I had written and attached as an exhibit to my lawsuit. I have never been interviewed by [Flashpoint].
(3) I have never put anything about CRI or Hank on the Internet or any other computer network (and that's true to this day, but I will now have to try to get this copy posted on Internet), if for no other reason than that I have never been on Internet ever, because the phone wiring in my office at home shorted out in March 1993 and ruined my modem. I have not been on-line anywhere since that time.
In conclusion, the Passantinos must be reading documents from another universe. What they're talking about in connection with the OTE newsletters and my lawsuit does not resemble reality as I know it and see it.

Brad Sparks
April 22, 1996
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:44 AM   #76
UntoHim
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Default This may be the Missing Link between CRI and the Local Church

I received the following from CRI (I got put on their spam list after writing a personal letter to Hank Hanegraaff.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------
December 29, 2012

Did you know that you are an important part of God’s plan for the Bible Answer Man broadcast and the Christian Research Institute? CRI is entirely supported by people like you who share our mission to equip all Christians to give an answer for the hope we have. So every life-changing broadcast and resource is made possible by your prayers and gifts.

Your tax-deductible gift today will help CRI end the year strong—and prepared for even greater ministry in 2013. To give, please go online now to http://www.equip.org/donate/ or call 888-7000-CRI. Thank you!

Faithfully,
Paul Young
Chief Operating Officer

--------------------------------------------------------------

Is THIS Paul Young the same Paul Young that is in this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxCLk4unxPQ

If it is, then I think we have our missing link between CRI and the Local Church. So, as of about 4 or 5 years ago Mr. Young entered "the churchlife"....mmmm...and he is the Chief Operation Officer of CRI.....mmmmm...and when was it that CRI, Hank et al did their about face on the Local Church of Witness Lee?....mmmm....inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #77
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Default Re: This may be the Missing Link between CRI and the Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Is THIS Paul Young the same Paul Young that is in this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxCLk4unxPQ

If it is, then I think we have our missing link between CRI and the Local Church. So, as of about 4 or 5 years ago Mr. Young entered "the churchlife"....mmmm...and he is the Chief Operation Officer of CRI.....mmmmm...and when was it that CRI, Hank et al did their about face on the Local Church of Witness Lee?....mmmm....inquiring minds want to know!
Hank Hanegraaff began his dialogue with LC leaders in 2003. Paul Young came into the LC in 2007. And, yes, that is the same Paul Young.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #78
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

Testing123,
So good to hear from you! If only I would have known that it was posting something like that would get you to come out of the woodwork, I would have posted it long ago! Hope all has been well with you and yours.

Thanks for the confirmation. I saw this video last year but did not link it to the same Paul Young. How long has he been the COO of CRI? I find this situation extremely "interesting". I would assume Mr. Young has considerable influence over Hank Hanegraaff (and probably Gretchen P. as well), so I am now more than a little curious about the timing of CRI's "We Were Wrong" publication.

Again, thanks for popping by and don't make yourself so scarce!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #79
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Default Re: Politics of Wu and Wilde

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
Dear brothers and sisters,

Of course, these brothers, Yu and Wilde, are toying with their brothers in Christ. (Wilde, naturally, has no idea what he is doing or saying, "recently" coming from remote locations in the NW - Spokane and Pullman - and landing in Anaheim and doing a job, yes, making money, as an employee for LSM).

(In an email to me in 2003, he said on behalf of Towle and Francis, who I was addressing, ongoing, that all the matters were closed to fellowship concerning our past and that I presented nothing new in my writings. - I don't believe he read ANY writings whatsoever, by me or anyone. He has no experience of the Anaheim saga and travesty and neither has he read writings concerning this.) Chris is a dear brother, but a pawn of LSM!

These two brothers, Yu and Wilde, have received much more revelation than their brother(s) who question them. But these two brothers, who fully believe that they are representatives of God's government on the earth, lie; they lie by not telling what they really think and how they really feel! They are politicians. And, they have their agenda. THEY KNOW HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY, and yes, the so-called Bible Answer Man, as well.

They are not being honest.

More Whoppers than Burger King?! I like this statement, but whether or not there are more Whoppers... it is for sure that what Whoppers they present are SIGNIFICANT to those concerned for the truth, and for the spiritual realm.
People lie all the time. But it makes me so sad that these two brothers lied and didn't mean what they really hold on to. Let the polititians be in politics. The deception is so grand...
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:42 PM   #80
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Default Re: Politics of Wu and Wilde

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
People lie all the time. But it makes me so sad that these two brothers lied and didn't mean what they really hold on to. Let the polititians be in politics. The deception is so grand...
What is appalling is lying to brothers and sisters in the local churches and expecting the lies to be held as truth.
The reverence for Witness Lee is so high and so grand, brothers will withhold the truth and put brothers out of the churches who tell the politically incorrect truth. Image is everything to LSM.
LSM likely endorsed how Obama administration handled Benghazi. A page out of the LSM manual.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:11 AM   #81
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

More excellent information/posts on CRI and Hank Hanegraaff. Some of the links are broken but not all. Well worth a review.

Interesting that Hank also reversed his stance on the World-Wide Church of God in a similar manner as the LC, where former members input was also excluded from his "research". Post 72:

"Why did Hank Hanegraaff have to have a "fee" for his appearance with the WCG leaders? Was he in need of funds for CRI and a bargain was struck? Hanegraaff is alleged to have taken a bribe from Phil Aguilar's Set-Free cult in the past to cease exposing the darker side of Aguilar's ministry (part of a 400+ page investigative report on Hanegraaff that the ESN compiled from various documents and testimonies, especially from the Group for CRI Accountability). Could Hank possibly have done the same with the WCG leaders? When author Janis Hutchinson met with WCG leaders in Portland, Oregon, she asked them about this and was told Hank "received a fee" for his appearance. (Read the excerpt from her letter mailed to former members of Worldwide Church of God.)"

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