The Internet has been ablaze with the news that Hank Hanegraaff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man”, has been confirmed to be a newly minted member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. I don’t desire to come across as arrogant, but the development hasn’t surprised me much – and such news doesn’t surprise Biblical Christians much either. I’ll explain why.
A faithful follower of Christ takes God at His Word. Since the Bible clearly states that apostasy would increase during the end times, seeing that many, including “figureheads”, abandon the Christianity of the Bible doesn’t cause Biblical Christians to shriek in horror and to be paralyzed with angst over this being evidence of the continual shrinking of Christianity. (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Peter 2:20-22 & Hebrews 6:4-8)
Therein lies the essential points I will attempt to make throughout the ensuing lines. The main narratives that will emanate from this incident are that traditional Christianity is suffering calamitous loses in the West from which it might not recuperate and that many are waking up to the supposed fact that “catholic” forms of Christianity are more profound and less corrupt that what sociologists and pollsters have termed Evangelicalism.
Firstly, even if it were true that Scriptural Christianity is experiencing supposedly devastating losses, Christ makes it clear that his flock was always going to be a numerically small group. Take your pick: Jesus classifies his followers as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32), warns that the gate that leads to life is narrow and that “few” find it (Matthew 7:13-14), states that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers few (Matthew 9:37-38) and that only a quarter of those to whom the Gospel is preached accept it and give fruit at differing levels (Matthew 13:1-23).
Although many may follow Hanegraaff’s departure from the faith – because they are indeed followers of men and not of Christ – true believers are not worried that the singular event is a microcosm of a so-called religious suicide. Christianity’s strength is not in numbers but in the power of God through His Gospel. (Romans 1:16) Besides, Jesus did tell us that not even Hades’ gates will prevail against His Church. (Matthew 16:18) Therefore, the Body of Christ will be fine without Hanegraaff and his fake intellectualist radio voice.
Secondly, it is important to note that the Vatican has historically sought the destruction of the true Church. It’s constant war against Biblical Christianity via torture, infiltration and outright genocide, commissioned and endorsed by the popes, is well documented. Part of the effort has been to use seditious propaganda against Christians, including the promotion of the idea that the Evangelical church is replete with heretics and ignoramuses and that Catholicism, primarily, and its offspring religions (Anglicanism, Episcopalism, Lutheranism, Eastern Orthodox, etc.) offer a more robust, sincere and purer version of Christianity.
(It must also be highlighted that many are desiring to participate in purely external religious experiences, complete with rituals and rites, but devoid of any commitment to Christ and his Gospel which false religions like Catholicism and its offshoots offer.)
Many in the modern age have come to believe this lie and even heretical talking heads themselves (Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Tony Campolo and the like) have sought to follow the new ecumenism that is being led by persons like Jorge Mario Bergoglio (aka Pope Francis). No doubt, Hanegraaff and his disciples are a part of the group who have succumbed to this subversive propaganda. Yet, these folks never stop to inquire as to the Catholic Church’s innumerable wrongs before making such a “transition”.
Although it may be redundant to some, it’s important to reemphasize Catholicism’s pervasive war against Biblical Christianity. Consider too that as an institution they intentionally misinterpret and misrepresent sound doctrine, advancing dogmas which are contrarian to Scriptural teaching such as Mary being a co-redeemer of humanity, the infallibility of the popes, the creation of the unbiblical position of the “Vicar of Christ”, transubstantiation, purgatory, human confessionals, infant baptism, indulgences and so many more.
Do apostates like Hanegraaff ever consider these things before deciding against Christ? (Ironic, considering Hanegraaff is the “Bible Answer Man”.) Besides, the Bible has warned us of false teachers being in our midst. Just because imposters are around and about, such a thing has no bearing on the truthfulness of Biblical Christianity, as the Catholics would have humanity believe. This is in contrast to Catholicism, which from its beginnings was and continues to be a heretical and corrupt organization.
I know many will rebuff what I’ve written here by claiming that the Orthodox Church shares no similarity with Catholicism and is more in line with Evangelical Christianity. Anyone who declares this is obviously ignorant of what Orthodox “Christianity” holds dear.
The Eastern Orthodox Church claims to be the “universal”, mother church of all churches. (Sound familiar?) They hold Mary in high esteem by calling her “Mother of God” and claim that she held on to her virginity perpetually, even though the New Testament writers beg to differ. (Acts 1:14, Luke 8:19-21) They perform infant baptisms, “venerate icons”, demand the celibacy of bishops, practice monasticism and asceticism, endorse priestly confessionals, believe in transubstantiation, teach that Hell is a figurative place and that all souls will eventually be in God’s presence in the end, a false doctrine known as universalism. Pardon me if I don’t see any daylight between the Orthodox Church and Catholicism!
I ask my fellow believers to pray for those who have historically followed Hanegraaff, so they may resist the urge to trail their “leader” into that which pretends to be Biblical Christianity and that they may henceforth place their complete trust and confidence in the Bible’s Author and his Word.