The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, Leaves the Christian Faith?
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons… –1 Timothy 4:1
There are numerous reports that Hank Hanegraaff, the well-known talk show host, and evangelical apologist known as “The Bible Answer Man,” has left the biblical Christian faith for Greek Orthodox tradition.
On Palm Sunday, April 9th, 2017, Hanegraaff was apparently received into the Greek Orthodox church through a rite known as Chrismation, at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. A well-known Orthodox priest, Thomas Soroka, from St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, PA, stated on his Facebook page,
“Many years to Hank Hanegraff (aka “The Bible Answer Man”) and his wife Kathy, newly Chrismated Orthodox Christians as of this morning in Charlotte, NC.”
It is also reported that Hanegraaff hinted at his possible conversion while defending the Orthodox tradition on his radio program a few weeks ago.
The Orthodox Church is a false expression of Christianity, much like the Roman Catholic Church, that is highly driven by graven images and denies the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and instead, trusts in meritorious works and a sacramental system for salvation. This flies in the face of Ephesians 2:8-9, which states,
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
So what is the significance of this? This should be a testimony of the dismal state of the evangelical church in our modern day. There is a sure lack of biblical truth and doctrinal stability to which many can be left wandering. Hanegraaff, through his numerous resources, speaking engagements, and conference connections, is in a prime spot to lead people away from the truth. Because of him, people will be “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Eph 4:14)”
Should this really come as a surprise? If these reports are accurate, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t be (a picture speaks a thousand words), then this is merely an example of what happens when professing Christians elevate something other than Scripture as the final authority on all things. In an article by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis titled Hank Hanegraaff’s Abuse of Biblical Truth, Ham denounces Hanegraaff’s non-authoritative interpretation of Scripture where he even denies the biblical account of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. –1 Corinthians 2:14
Hanegraaff is the current president of the apologetics ministry, Christian Research Institute, and was a regular speaker at the National Apologetics Conference put on by Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, a popular conference among Southern Baptists churches.
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]