Another Side of the Coin
Sample Chapter Excerpts © 1998-2005 Gregg N. Huestis
Chapter 1: Hanegraaffs Cast of Characters & Beyond
Hank Hanegraaff opens his literary exposition on the Word of Faith, Christianity in Crisis, with a reasonably detailed exposι of the Faith teachers with whom he intends to openly expose for promoting unorthodox doctrine. I was shocked by his manner of writing, beginning with him calling them heretics to his denouncing their teachings as cultic: "Twisted text, make-believe miracles, and counterfeit Christs are common denominators of the Faith movements cast of Characters."
HANEGRAAFFS INTEGRITY QUESTIONED IN CHARISMA
Im an avid reader of Charisma magazine, and one day I purchased their May 1995 issue where much to my amazement, I found an article titled, Does the Church Need Heresy Hunters?. The content of this article was so eye opening. and I felt the need to save it. Please read these exerts and decide for yourself what is Mr. Hanegraaffs motivation."
"Charisma talked with people on both sides of this controversy to determine whether there is any hope of resolving it. What we discovered: Many Christian leaders, including some who represent cult-watching organizations, think Hanegraaff is going to far. The people I talk to dont appreciate the way Hank handles the Word-Faith movement, says Robert Bowman, a former CRI researcher who now works with the Atlanta Christian Apologetics Project. I refuse to put [Word-Faith churches] in the cult category. Its ridiculous [for Hanegraaff] to say that all these people are insincere hucksters."
"Ron Enroth, a cult watcher and author of the book Churches That Abuse (Zondervan), takes exception to Hanegraaffs strident tone. Christianity in Crisis is an important book, but I think Hanegraaff has gone too far in some of his statements, Enroth says I consider [Word-Faith] people my brothers and sisters in Christ, so it is difficult for me to put them in the same category as cultists. The Group for CRI Accountability, organized last year, includes some 30 former CRI staff members who are publicly demanding Hanegraaffs resignation. They say Hanegraaff does not have the theological training, the communication skills or the ethical standards to lead CRI."
PROBLEMS WITH ACCOUNTABILITY
"His most vocal critics are former CRI staff members including one who sued him 14 months ago. Brad Sparks says he filed his lawsuit after Hanegraaff refused to agree to Christian arbitration. Sparks claims he was wrongfully terminated from CRI because he spoke out against ethics violations at the ministry. He alleges, among other things, that Hanegraaff receives an excessive six-figure annual income
Sparks believes there is a serious lack of accountability at CRI, especially since 1993 when CRI withdrew from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
Sparks alleges that CRI pulled out of ECFA so the ministry wouldnt have to comply with an ECFA conflict of interest clause, which states that ministry personnel cannot receive royalties from sales of books that are used for fund-raising purposes."
CHRISTS SOLIDER OR ASSASSIN?
"James Spenser, a former Mormon who has written several books on how to share Christ with members of cults, says hes been on the receiving end of that hateful attitude. He thinks cult-watchers like Hanegraaff actually are involved in character assassination. In a book published in 1993, Heresy Hunters: Character Assassination in the Church (Huntington House), Spencer says cult watchers are too zealous. They are on a high and holy crusade to rid the church of heresy, he says. But modern apologists are too recklesstheyre doing their work by fax machine, and theyre not being careful about what they say and write."
STEVEN STRANGS COMMENTS
"In addition, in the August 1993 issue of Charisma, Stephen Strang had a few comments to say about Hanegraaffs assessment of the Faith movement. Ive prayed and worshipped side by side with many of these folks in the Faith movement, and Hanegraaffs depiction of them as heretics flies in the face of what Ive seen with my own eyes
Everyone I know in the Faith movement proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and would die for the fundamentals of the faith listed in the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed. (At Rhema, for example, they affirm the 16 fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God). Interestingly Strang suggests several points to evaluate charges of heresy, among which are: Is the point of the criticism correction or restoration? Or is it to sell books and attract listeners and donors? Has the critic tried to determine what the speaker meant? Or is he quick to attribute beliefs to a fellow Christian that he may not even hold. Has the critic made an effort to confront fellow Christians in love? Or has he alienated his brother with a derisive tone and caustic charges of heresy, blasphemy, scam and worse. Has the critic given his errant brother ample opportunity to change? Or is he in a rush to nail his victim.
CHARISMA ON HANEGRAAFFS LIST!
"Charisma magazine was faced with a rather remarkable opportunity to run an ad submitted by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) in June 1995:
a situation occasionally comes up that seems less than black-and-white. One such incident arose after we ran a news story about the legal battle between Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute and one of his former staff members. Last month we published a feature story about so-called heresy hunters and quoted some of Hanegraaffs critics.
The next thing we knew, we had been added to the list of people and ministries Hanegraaff regularly attacks on his radio program. So you can imagine our surprise when an ad for his ministry arrived via Federal Express! Because Hanegraaff has been no fan of ours, we wondered why he chose to advertise in Charisma. A few skeptics in the office assumed he was setting us upmaybe expecting us to turn down the ad so hed have ammunition with which to attack us. After consulting with several national Christian leaders, we decided to run the ad in this issue
we certainly believe he is part of the Christian community
Besides, we want to make a statement that we are neither for nor against Hanegraaff or his ministry.
Chapter 2: The Force of Faith
Spiritual principles are often times extremely difficult to illustrate, because human language can not properly clarify spiritual understanding. The language of the Holy Spirit (tongues) is the only language capable of verbally expressing the deep and profound revelations of God. However tongues are not understandable without the Anointing or someone with the interpretation. Due to the fact that human language is so limited, many times an alternative style of expression is needed in order to convey Spiritual truth. Therefore I believe this is the main reason Jesus always used parables in order to address the multitudes. He knew that if He wanted to be remotely understood, He would have to relate spiritual truth as compared to the multitudes previous knowledge. Thus Jesus used these earthly comparisons to illustrate the awesome principles of the Kingdom of God. How does this apply to the force of faith? This applies aptly to our topic, because the term the force of faith, is simply an earthly illustration used to describe a Spiritual principle...
Substance: Hanegraaffs Conclusion!
Therefore, according to Faith teaching, the book youre reading is made out of molecules, which in turn are made out of atoms, which are composed of subatomic particles, which are comprised of this thing called faith. According to Faith theology, virtually everything is made out of faith!
Since we have already dealt with this subject previously, we wont take a long time to clarify. Hanegraaff seems to really believe that when a Faith teacher says something like, All material matter was created by the faith of God; that they are actually insinuating that everything is literally made of faith. Then, I bet he thinks they still believe in the tooth fairy as well. Wood is wood, but faith was Gods tool to bring the wood into material existence or reality, everything exists by or because of faith.
Thus, here is where the problem lies. The Faith teachers are not saying that everything is made out of faith. What they are saying, is that faith is the spiritual substance (force) that God used to create all physical matter, and the entire world is held together by the force of faith which God put into motion. This is the Spiritual Law that He set in motion. They are in no way attempting to say that everything is literally made out of faith. But, rather that faith released in Gods words caused everything that we can see to come into material existence. However, this does not mean that these things didnt exist prior to the human eye perceiving them.
In other words, God used faith to bring these unseen things into the realm of the natural, where natural man could see them. The Faith teachers are speaking of spiritual substance, but Hanegraaff, for some reason, keeps hearing natural (physical) substance. Perhaps this why he struggles so to understand the Faith message?
Table Of Contents
A Personal Introduction From The Author
Hanegraaffs Cast of Characters & Beyond
The Force of Faith!
The Formula of Faith?
The Faith of God!
The Hebrews Hall of Fame!
Whos Deifying Man?
How Would Someone Demote God?
Who Has Authority To Demote Christ?
Spiritual Death And The Cross
He Who Knew No Sin Became Sin!
The Firstborn From Among The Dead!
Whos Conforming To Culture?
P.T.L.Pass The Lute?
A Covenant Is A Biblical Contract!
SicknessSuffering, Symptoms; Satan And Sovereignty
Some Closing Remarks
16 Chapters - 330 pages