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Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby Si » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:46 pm

Hank Hanegraaff has converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. There have been some uncharitable articles claiming Hank has "left the Christian faith", but I figured the best source would be the man himself, from April 10's Bible Answer Man broadcast:

http://www.equip.org/broadcast/islamic- ... stians-qa/

I am thrilled that Hank says he is more in love with Jesus Christ today than he has ever been. My prayers are with him and his family through this time of change, and I hope his ministry continues blessing the body of Christ the world over, I know it has been a blessing for me.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby TK » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:41 pm

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/102618.htm

I am now a member of an Orthodox Church, but nothing has changed in my faith. I have been attending an Orthodox church for a long time—for over two years, really, as a result of what happened when I went to China, many years ago. I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life. And so I learned that while truth matters, life matters more, and I remember flying back from China after spending time with just common people who had a deep, intense love for the Lord, and wondering, “Was I even a Christian?”

I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ… One man, by the way, said to me, truth matters but life matters more. In other words, it is not just knowing about Jesus Christ, it is experiencing the Resurrected Christ. As a result of that I started studying what was communicated by the progeny of Watchman Nee with respect to theosis and that drove me back to the early Christian Church.

And I suppose over that period of time I have fallen ever more in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s sort of like my wife—I have never been more in love with my wife than I am today, and I’ve never been more in love with my Lord Jesus Christ than I am today. I’ve been impacted by the whole idea of knowing Jesus Christ, experiencing Jesus Christ, and partaking of the graces of Jesus Christ through the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. And that has become so central in my life, but as far as the statement that you mentioned, that I’ve left the Christian faith—nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact I believe what I have always believed, as codified in the Nicene Creed, and as championed by mere Christianity.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby TruthInLove » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:52 pm

Thanks for sharing these sources Si and TK.

In many ways, I was surprised by this turn of events but in other ways, I wasn't. Hank has been referencing the importance of partaking of the uncreated energy of the Eucharist and the other means of grace during the broadcast much more in recent years. I'm not exactly sure when this started. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I don't recall him ever making such statements in his earlier years. I haven't been a consistent listener though so I may have missed them. Surprising as it may be, I also continue to wish him, his family and his ministry well. He's been a true blessing in my life.

It was he who introduced me to Preterism and the concepts of apocalyptic language and typology. Those contributions alone have completely changed my walk with Christ and I'm eternally thankful for that. His research consultants also helped me a great deal in appreciating that man's consciousness/spirit is something that can't be accounted for by philosophical naturalism alone. And I'm indebted to him for helping me make sense of some of the most difficult prophecies to interpret in terms of Preterism. I also have Hank to thank for introducing me to Steve's ministry through some articles I found on equip.org. While I don't find Hank's radio show to be as edifying as it used to be, with all his repetitive catch phrases, canned answers and acronyms, I understand why he takes such an approach and I think it's edifying for others who are where I was in my faith not more than a decade ago. Despite this, I have to say that Christ has used him marvelously in my life and I would not be where I am today without his work. I pray that he can continue that work for others as well.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:01 am

Can anyone in a reasonably short paragraph explain the difference between the RC church and the Greek Orthodox? Is the Greek Orthodox Church under the Pope?

Is their theology similar (transubstantiation, veneration of Mary and the saints) or is there more of a significant difference?

I guess I'd be pretty concerned if Hank converted to RC but I'm not sure if this news is concerning as well.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby TruthInLove » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:53 am

Hi TK,

Comparison between Orthodoxy, Protestantism & Roman Catholicism is a good, concise summary of the Orthodox distinctives from Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

Regarding the authority of the Pope, this page states that the Orthodox church believes that:

As the Bishop of Rome, he has a primacy of honour when Orthodox, not of jurisdiction. At present, his primacy is not effective as the papacy needs to be reformed in accordance with Orthodoxy. His authority is thus no greater or lesser than any of his fellow Bishops in the church.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:08 am

Here are a few dozen paragraphs, haha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_O ... ifferences

This was seems a bit more concise (emphasis on 'a bit')
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html

In ignorance, I would shorten the differences to say that the Eastern Orthodox Church puts less emphasis on human depravity, more emphasis on the Spirit, and has a more optimistic view of salvation (emphasis on us partaking in divine nature and, perhaps, universal reconciliation since God is present even in hell).
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:09 am

TruthInLove wrote:Hi TK,

Comparison between Orthodoxy, Protestantism & Roman Catholicism is a good, concise summary of the Orthodox distinctives from Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

Regarding the authority of the Pope, this page states that the Orthodox church believes that:

As the Bishop of Rome, he has a primacy of honour when Orthodox, not of jurisdiction. At present, his primacy is not effective as the papacy needs to be reformed in accordance with Orthodoxy. His authority is thus no greater or lesser than any of his fellow Bishops in the church.


Looks like you found a simpler comparison, thanks :)
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:25 am

So I guess the question being begged is whether Hank has gone off the deep end. It doesn't seem like it from what he has written.

I can sympathize to some degree with his desire for the liturgy. Being involved in only non-liturgical churches and several that are perhaps too informal, I sometimes appreciate being in a more formal or serene service.
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Re: Hank Hanegraaff converts to Orthodoxy

Postby mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:29 am

I'm part of the Wesleyan denomination and Wesley himself seems to have been heavily influenced by the Eastern church fathers. Because of this, I am probably more influenced by them too (even than I realize). I don't see Hank's transition as a negative thing at all. I sort of doubt he agrees with every single doctrinal point of eastern orthodoxy (I'm assuming they only require agreement with creedal stuff for membership).
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