Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Unfortunately, I have to write an update on the Hanegraaff/Passantino/Local Church debacle (disaster, catastrophe--you pick). I'm no longer classifying it as CRI and the Local Church as I consider CRI an innocent victim.

Hank and Gretchen have decided they need to explain their indefensible defense of the Local Church, and Gretchen (probably) has written a lengthy, painfully wordy piece of what can only be called--well--rubbish (garbage, trash, dopey hyperbole).

According to Hank and Gretchen:

"We believe the court’s dismissal to which this appeal is being made was a dangerous, precedent-setting decision that greatly interferes with our First Amendment rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion. Furthermore, this precedent sets a lower standard for religious publishing than for secular publishing and demeans commitment to truth. Finally, we believe the consequences of the court’s decision are life- and liberty-threatening to Christians living under repressive, religiously persecuting regimes."

They seem to think that by throwing around big words and phrases like "First Amendment rights" and "dangerous precedent setting decision" that this somehow justifies their sneaky behavior. Uh, uh (wags finger) no, no . . . it does not. I just happen to think they're silly now as well as sneaky.

First, they advocate Christians suing Christians--because it protects free speech and free exercise of religion.

My response to this is . . . huh??

Second, they accuse Harvest House of lowering the standard for religious publishing, which is hilarious in a bizarre kind of way as I thought Hank's plagiarism did that. As for commitment to truth . . . (wait--I have to get my inhaler).

My response: People in glass houses . . .

Third, they drag in the great saints of God from across the seas--people living through hell every day of their lives for the glory of God--and say that they (Hank and Gretchen) are supporting the Local Church for their sakes!

My response: Have they lost their minds?? How can this egocentric lawsuit set any precedent in the U.S. or overseas? Sorry Hank and Gretchen, it's just not that important.

I could go on and on (and believe me I'm tempted) but frankly, this mumbo jumbo is not worth the time. The only redeeming quality of Gretchen's endless monologue is that it's so excruciatingly boring most people won't read it. Thank God.


Hank and Gretchen are scrambling to fix a public relations nightmare. That's right, my friends, your voices are being heard, and they are on the hot seat. Good work!

Want to get involved? Tell people how you feel!

The Local Church

John Ankerberg

Gretchen Passantino

Hank Hanegraaff


Dwayna Litz said...

I don't think they are in any position to speak about commitment to truth, and they are certainly not in any position to point fingers at anyone for lowering standards, as it is clear in the Bible that God does not want us to sue other Christians! This sort of hypocrisy must really hurt the Lord, as He sees people gaining power and His name, while hurting Him. All of this is done in the name of "God's work"...
while the "Bible Answer Man" is not obeying the Bible. What kind of "Bible Answer Man" is that?

The spirit at work is not at all holy, despite all the "Christian" phrasing. Now, more than ever, we need to be following Jesus and measuring all things against the Bible, instead of following teachers.

Hank and Gretchen give "Christian" and "Research" a new meaning in this dance. You are right, it is quite silly, but it has to be taken seriously due to Hank's audience of "followers." I pray the people follow the Lord and not Hank.

I am thankful for the example of your dad, and I treasure every single sermon. I love the way he was truly a missionary to the cultists and would even do street ministry to reach them, praying for the salvation of lost souls, battling demons (instead of defending them!), and truly fighting the GOOD fight. Hank is certainly no Walter Martin.

Your dad was a threat to the cultists. These days the cultists love the "Christians" like Hank and Gretchen and feel comfortable around them and the only people offended by these "new kind of Christians" are the old-fashioned Christians who love the Bible. My, how things have changed.

12:20 AM  
Jackie Alnor said...

You're right Jill - Gretchen's defense is insane. She is saying that by trying to stop the freedom of speech and freedom of the press she is helping preserve our first amendment rights? Isn't that double-speak? This is a pitiful attempt by two discredited meglomaniacs at trying to rescue their tainted names in the field
of apologetics by trying to kill off who they see as competition. Infantile and immature, really! I'm just so glad that the masks are off.

Even if the Local Church has, since CRI's updated negative statement in 1996, come closer to orthodoxy according to CRI's latest "3-year investigation" (yeah, sure), wasn't Ankerberg and Weldon's book published around the same time as CRI's negative assessment? So why should CRI agree that they should be penalized and CRI not be - since at least they were in agreement with the Encyclopedia at the time of its release? Something to ponder.

3:23 PM  
Marc Hamer said...

I must confess that I used to be a huge fan of Hank and Gretchen. But one thing I began to notice back in the late 90's was that Hank never missed an opportunity to plug one of his books when someone would ask a question even remotely relating to it. It seems as the years have gone by his skill as a businessman seems to be taking prescedence over his passion for apologetic ministry. This is really sad because I think he has a real gift for making some of the most complicated theological issues easy to understand to the average lay person. As far as Gretchen, you hit the nail on the head. I couldn't even get through her statement as boring isn't a strong enough word to describe it. Sometimes she comes accross as being a bit too enamered with her own intellect and thus leads many into trees which are so dense we all have a hard time seeing the forrest. Sorry for the cliche

2:37 PM  

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