(Series: "Christian Greed")

HOT TOPICS for (TV shows, Internet shows, etc.). These topics are the passion of Bernie Dehler. Please comment and let us know your opinion on these short articles.

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Bernie Dehler is the Executive Director of To learn more about Bernie and the ministry, click here.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Greed: Case Study in Bad: CRI

by Bernie Dehler, 11-11-04


1-21-05 Update: Click here to see this LA Times article for another scandal with CRI (click here for the same story topic from ChristianityToday magazine). An Analysis of the Financial Integrity of the Christian Research Institute (CRI, Hank & Kathy Hanagraaff)

1 Timothy 3:1-3
"Here is a trustworthy saying:
If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he
desires a noble task. Now the overseer must
be above reproach, ... , not a lover of money."

Summary: I very much like the ministry products and services of CRI, especially the interviews with leading authors with Hank on "The Bible Answer Man Show." I am disappointed that there is, in my opinion, a definite case of excessive executive pay and nepotism in the organization. There is also a serious issues as to how book royalties are paid, and to whom. To see the salary info mentioned below (from the actual tax return), click here.


1. I personally think that around $150K is a top limit for a minister to make (more on this later). If Hank Hanegraaff (President) wants to present CRI as a "ministry" to the public, then I think he's a minister. This is especially the case since he ministers on the daily radio show called "The Bible Answer Man." According to the tax return, he is paid $280K per year (almost twice what I would call reasonable). Hank is an ordained minister by Calvary Chapel (a very fine organization), and he receives a minister's "housing allowance" by CRI.

2. It's ok to hire friends and family, as long as they are qualified and paid a salary that is reasonable for the job and their experience. Hank's wife Kathy is the third highest paid employee (Hank is the first), at over $130K per year.

3. The tax form states that both Hank & Kathy work over 50 hrs per week, on average. If you know them, you'll know also that they have a family of eight (1), with some quite young still. Does it add up that Kathy would like to have a large family, and also want to work 50 hours per week at the ministry? Who's raising the kids? I think that Hank would say that she works primarily from home. If so, is this distracted kind of work really worth counting as 50 hours per week? I wonder if she gets a performance review, since her boss is her husband. (I know about large families; I'm #10 of 12!)

4. How does Kathy's work and experience line-up with the other employees? The top researcher and editor only make $52K and $60K, respectively. I would imagine that they are highly trained, maybe even seminary graduates. Kathy makes twice their pay! This would seem very unfair to their employees. How would you like to work at a place like that? One of the workers, Thaddeus Williams, did try to work positively for change, but all he got was fired. Here's the story.

5. Only three employees have an expense account, and Hank and Kathy are two of them. The third person has an expense account 1/5 of Kathy's, and 1/70th of Hanks. (The expense account figures are part of their salary, in my above calculations.) Most other ministries don't even have an "expense account." It's a perk that used to be more common-place, but most companies have dropped. It's not true that it's needed for travel-- other ministries do extensive travel with no such account.

6. Hank has written many books. These books have royalties. Who get's the money? I talked to CRI management, and learned that all royalties from books sold by the ministry go to the ministry, but all books sold outside the ministry (such as by go directly to Hank. How much does Hank get for these royalties? Unknown. They won't report it. I think that is a scandal, because Hank is paid a salary to produce these materials, and he gets free advertising for them by the ministry, yet he personally pockets the royalties. He should have to disclose this, but he doesn't because "he doesn't have to" (legally). If he wanted to be beyond reproach, he would, but he'd like to hide this source of income from the ministry. I think this is obviously why he is now into writing a fictional series, in order to make the kind of money that the "Left Behind" series did.CRI says that they are following the rules, by ECFA. It's what other ministries also do, and that ministries not in ECFA even do much worse (author's get royalties from books even sold directly by the ministry). In summary, their defense is that they are not breaking the "letter of the law" and that other ministries are much worse. Hardly an attempt at being "beyond reproach."

7. Is Hank a lover of money and the "finer things in life?" In July 2002, CRI paid $66,000 for a Lexus company car for Hank. Is that a reasonable use of funds? Did his donors know this when he told them that CRI needs money for meeting their shortfall, that very same year (including layoffs)? Here's the story. (CRI's response is that this story is false; the car was donated, and it was just an "appearance" problem.)

8. Hank took over the ministry after Dr. Martin, the Founder, abruptly died. What does Dr. Martin's family think about this? It's NOT positive (click here to read the article).


1. Why do I refer to CRI also as "Hank and Kathy Hanegraaff?" Because they seem to be making a family living off of the ministry.

2. What do I want to see happen? I'd suggest that Hank get a serious Board of Directors. I suggest Kathy get paid a reasonable amount for the work that she does (it is out of line to pay her twice what the educated and specialized research staff recieves). I suggest Hank lower his salary to something reasonable, $150K per year max (that's $75 per hour). I know Hank says he works 50 hours per week, and he also talks alot about golf, so I guess he does a lot of "work" on the golf course (2) (on the radio he mentions talking about work with his co-author on the golf course regarding the new fiction book series he is developing).

3. Are financial scandal problems at CRI being fixed? It would take a miracle for Hank to repent. He doesn't seem to be learning, since both his and Kathy's salary continue to rise.

(1) "Prayer of Jesus" pg. 19
(2) "Prayer of Jesus" pg. 89


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I personally think that around $150K is a top limit for a minister to make."

I'd say that's pretty excessive. They could live very comfortably off of about half of that even.


8:25 AM  
Blogger said...

Ray, you make a good point.

A Christian student in college, who doesn't have money and really doesn't need too much money, can see the issue of executive compensation one way.

A 40-50 year old with a bunch of kids living in a nice neighborhood in a nice house thinks he needs a lot more, not just to live, but to save for retirement.

It's easy to get calloused as we grow older. I think it's interesting to see how Jesus lived as a role-model. The early disciples didn't have priorities that many "mature" Christians do today (saving for retirement, paying off their houses, taking nice and expensive vacations).

The Bible does teach that we should expect more from Christian teachers and ministers. They are held to a higher standard, because of their influence over others:

James 3:1
"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie I liked the article but it is really sad…

11:17 AM  
Blogger Ray Dehler said...

I think moreover that more important than how much they're making is how they're using it, and that's what your article was mostly about. I found it interesting... but I think it's true for a lot of American Christians.

I think because those individuals are in the spotlight it might matter more, but I've heard some statistics where the average American Christian tithes less than 1% of their income.

4:30 PM  
Blogger said...

Ministers need to be paid an appropriate amount, so it does matter. This is one of the points I'm trying to educate people about. For example, it would be wrong of me to get paid $1 million, even if I give 99% of it away. Instead of paying me $1 million, the ministry should pay me an appropriate amount, then spend the extra money on programs and services. If the organization doesn't need the money, then don't make an appeal for it.

What is an appropriate amount? It's usually easy to see. It's what even the top exec's pay everyone else in the organization. Even the worst ministries that pay their exec's too much, pay everyone else (the little people) correct salaries. It's a simple case of the fox guarding the hen house, and the fox doesn't demonstrate self-control.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shame that Christians misuse money people give them for their own personal gain instead of either spreading the gospel or helping the poor.

Jesus example was one of a sacrificial leadership instead of building a financial power base. This couple may have money now, but their heavenly reward will be jeopardized by this selfishness.


11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for looking so closely at the situation. It's good to know people are still examining this. My name is Jen Hubbard and I was fired a couple weeks before Thaddeus.

Its curious that CRI said (to you?) that the Lexus was a donation, because I still have the documentation that shows an internal e-mail request to cut a check for the local Lexus dealer. Even if someone 'donated' money for Hank to get his sports coupe - channeling the payment through the organization of CRI is a dirty way for them to fudge with numbers/taxes, etc.

(This was one of their main excuses when we were bringing this to the table in 2003 - is that people had donated specifically to Hank's family - and that's why CRI 'appeared' to be paying for everything from the home landscaping to the kid's school books and Mc Donalds on the way home!) As if the salaries weren't enough - right?

It comes to this, Hank won't apologize anytime soon. CRI lives by a strict policy that if you don't talk about it - it will go away.

I think it's pretty funny that if you read Hank's latest appeal - the post office basically has been throwing away the donations that should have been coming to CRI. I say far better lost than used for Hank's gain.

And its so true - having been on the inside, there are some very deserving people there who work for almost nothing. It's one of those top heavy pay scales - where anyone outside of those top 3 is expected to make a sacrifice because the are working for a cause.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me:

Thanks Again:


10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bernie didn't know if you had seen this-- Jan 19th 2005 update about a legal scandal with lies at CRI:


11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 23, 2005
Evangelist Says Offerings Lost in Mail
O.C.'s 'Bible Answer Man' appeals for more funds. Claim is disputed by post office, business.
By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer

A nationally known evangelist based in Orange County has issued an urgent fundraising letter, saying that a "bizarre error" by postal workers caused donations to be thrown away over several months.

But those blamed for the alleged error have challenged the claim, and a critic has complained to postal inspectors about the high-profile ministry's assertion.
In his letter to supporters last week, Hank Hanegraaff, a best-selling Christian author and radio personality known as the "Bible Answer Man," said that for three months, many envelopes addressed to his ministry's post office box in Rancho Santa Margarita were routed to a business. That company, Hanegraaff said, tossed the letters in the trash.

Hanegraaff said that the mix-up may have resulted in the loss of "hundreds of thousands of dollars" because it happened during the last three months of the year, when the ministry traditionally receives 17% of its nearly $8 million in annual donations.

"Our local U.S. post office has accepted full responsibility for this error and has fixed the problem," Hanegraaff wrote. "We bear them no ill will and believe this was an honest mistake by novice postal employees. But much has been lost."

U.S. Postal Service officials said they knew of no major problems with mail delivered to Hanegraaff's Christian Research Institute, and that no manager at the Rancho Santa Margarita branch had spoken with ministry officials or issued an apology.

"Nobody knows about this," said Richard Maher, U.S. Postal Service spokesman for Southern California.

An executive with the company that Hanegraaff said threw away his ministry's donations said the statements in the fundraising letter were exaggerated.

Alan Baron, chief operating officer with On-Target Marketing in Foothill Ranch, said his company received a single tray of the Christian Research Institute's mail and called the ministry the same day to correct the problem. Baron said no mail was thrown in the trash.

"I don't know why this is being blown out of proportion," Baron said. "This was a very limited problem, and it was quickly solved."

This is the second financial controversy to hit Hanegraaff in 18 months. In 2003, officials with the national Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an industry watchdog group, conducted an audit that resulted in what they called a "significant reimbursement" to his ministry, the Christian Research Institute. The source of the reimbursement was not publicly revealed.

Hanegraaff, whose daily show is broadcast on scores of radio stations in the U.S. and abroad, is known as a Christian purist who holds pastors, churches and denominations accountable for teaching Bible-based Christianity.

The current controversy was uncovered by Bill Alnor, a journalism professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and longtime Hanegraaff critic.

Alnor said he was immediately suspicious of the fundraising letter he found Jan. 14 posted on the Christian Research Institute's website.

In the appeal, Hanegraaff asked supporters to make sure their checks had been cashed, and for others to send a "sacrificial gift" to make up for the budget shortfall caused by the post office's mistake.

"Gifts of $50, $100, or $200 are especially needed, but any amount will help," Hanegraaff wrote.

"The letter seemed odd to me from the start," said Alnor, who broke the story last week in the Christian Sentinel, his online magazine.

He said it didn't make sense to him that large volumes of mail would be misdirected for three months. Alnor said he contacted the postmaster and several employees of the Ranch Santa Margarita Post Office branch, all of whom said they knew of no errors in the delivery of the ministry's mail.

On Wednesday,, Alnor said he complained to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Paul Young, executive vice president with the Christian Research Institute, called Alnor's story "a pack of lies."

Young said the ministry noticed in October a "significant" drop in mail volume and began meeting with postal employees to find out why.

The drop-off continued through December, Young said, and stopped only after an On-Target Marketing employee called the Christian Research Institute to report that a tray of the ministry's mail had been delivered to his company.

Young said it was discovered that many letters had already been thrown away at On-Target and that the ministry was able to recover enough envelopes from a trash bin to fill a postal bag.

Post office officials were informed of the misdirected mail and the problem stopped, Young said.

The two On-Target employees whom Young said worked with him to retrieve the mail could not be reached for comment Friday.

Young said he didn't know why the ministry's account differs sharply from those given by Postal Service officials and On-Target executives.

"We feel in good faith that our mail has not been totally delivered to us" since October, Young said.

The Christian Research Institute ran a deficit of $560,000 in 2002, according to the most recent tax records available, and Hanegraaff has been criticized for his spending habits.

He earned $280,000 in salary and allowances in 2002, and his wife, Kathy, received $111,000.

During the 2003 tempest that hit the Christian Research Institute, at least six employees were fired or resigned after complaining about alleged commingling of ministry and personal funds by the Hanegraaffs.

Those employees said the ministry routinely used donations to pay for Hanegraaff's personal expenses and luxury items, including a board-approved 2003 Lexus sports car and smaller items, such as repairs to his children's computers and birthday flowers for his mother.

Hanegraaff denied any misuse of ministry money, but vowed to tighten accounting procedures.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Bruce Bawcom said...

I have always appreciated Hank's radio programs and Internet resources. I am puzzled by this information and not quite ready to pass judgment. Those having first hand accounts seem to be well justified in their concerns, and it would be troubling indeed if there is real greed in Hank's heart at the bottom of this. I suspect these aren't all the facts, and that while some bad choices or decisions have been made, the ministry is not rotten through and through.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Hanegraff ever thinks of what it costs those who are on limited incomes whose hearts are moved to sacrifice in order to donate to ministries like his? That golf club membership is about half of what many Social Security recipients get per year! How can they justify such extravagances?

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Its worse than finances.

Hanegraaff makes his living supposedly fighting cults, but are you aware that he actually defends blasphemous cults?

Check out the Harvest House Christian publishers website and look for Witness Lee and his "Local" Church cult, headquartered in Anaheim, CA as the "Living Stream Ministry."

This cult believes in Mingling, the process by which the believer's soul is totally destroyed, annihilated, wiped out, so that the believer can become God the Father (Luciferianism).

Hanegraaff went on the public record as defending this as "Christian!"

I am quite sure that Hanegraaff is no Christian, but according to this blog he is making at least $500,000.00 a year pretending to be one.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have personally met Hank and Kathy and am very familar with CRI. Unfortunately I believe Hank is merely one more christian leader who has been corrupted by money and power. Does anyone know how many millions Hank makes off his books that are promoted thru CRI? Anytime a minister becomes rich in christianity it is not christianity!

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know how much of this is true article, For quite frankly I do not believe most of what I read on internet and see on tv. But if it is I would not begin to judge anyone. But I would hate to be in their shoes who ever it is that is a farce or a judge. I just pray God have mercy upon us all. This is one of the reasons why I do not buy every book that comes down the pike, or give time or money to people I have questions about.
i think the reason people buy the books out there is everyone wants a quick answer and a quick fix. And this includes me years ago. When I was searching for the answers and I found I had them all the time, and they were in the WORDS OF JESUS. Read John 3.16.
For me the BIBLE reveals my heart
(me), myself, when I read it. And that is why I think I reached for the books other than the BIBLE. I could not stand to see my self in the light of THE WORD OF GOD.
The Bible says that every person will give an account for what they have done in this life.
I have a BIBLE and I read it I do not have need of all the books on the market. The BIBLE has everything we need.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been at this for a long time, confronting the dogma church leadership. God doesn't get any money, they suck out your brains, time and money they lied about it all (so-called christians don't research a matter). They spend your money on lavish lifestyles and you keep giving, like L.A. Times 9/19-20/04 article on TBN and all their articles in archives regarding Benny Hinn (charlatans) contact the Trinity Foundation in Dallas Texas for all the information! You don't question their lack of money to fatherless, widow, orphan, poor, alien, stranger, homeless, single parent (I had my fourth single parent in a church last June kill herself and that's ok?-NOT!). They use the money to molest, rape and sodomize and murder your children and you don't question? That's a satanic organization-type of molech-spiritual abortion. But they want your money they're spiritual vampires and spiritual cannibals. WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE HELP RESPONSIBLE FOR WHERE WE GAVE OUR MONEY. Pagan Christianity-Frank Viola, The Blue Print by Clifford H. James anything by Arthur Katz (all online for free) and by Leonard Ravenhill, DON'T CALL ME BROTHER AND SETTING THE CAPTIVES FREE BY AUSTIN MILES AND SALVATION FOR SALE BY GERARD THOMAS STRAUB; Marjoe Documentary by Marjoe, 10 Lies that the Church Tells Women by J. Lee Grady, Sheep Fold by Frank Lundquist (note page 104, 118 NO HELP FROM THE CHURCH-WE'D Rather you live homeless and die). YOU Don't judge fruit and read your bible, you depend on the spiritual vampire in the pulpit (like the foursquare and Assassin's of God-Assemblies of God you could have spent your entire life birth till death and they would have NEVER gone through the Bible completely once and your content to live like that?-WHATEVER! Christians for the most part are brainwashed idiots that can't think for themselves and they're all going over the cliff and into hell following their hireling/wolf pastor (Jere 23: and Ezek 34: pastorate there). Does your tithe money go to pay for abortions, adulterous affairs, homosexual affairs-it's pretty bad and you don't question that they live the life style and you goo goo gah gah over it, sheep are stupid, yes we are-NO MORE! People don't know what a true church is because they haven't researched a matter and this has all been confronted to church leadership. How would you like to own land in Maui, and Ranches and Nice Cars and Planes, Boats, that's what they're doing with your money-GOD DOES NOT GET ANY MONEY! AG'S AND Foursquare and Victory Outreach are CULTS. I grew up in the first two and they're cults the latter V.O. copied after the Ag's. TALK TO ABUSE SHEEP WHO HAVE LEFT THE MOVEMENTS, LIKE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRTUAL ABUSE BY JOHNSON/VAN VONDERAN AND CHURCHES THAT ABUSE BY RON ENROTH!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

How sad it is when we judge others for simply how much money they make as "ministers." I think we have a terrible double standard for "ministers" vs. laypeople. (We, as Christians, should all view ourselves as ministers.) The real issue should be, is God using Hank Hanegraaff to touch others' lives? The rest is for God to judge.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous 2timoty1.9 said...


I agree wholeheartedly with you. I have read much of the negative and a little of the positive regarding the controversy sorrounding Hank. At times I found myself quite upset and after reading another take on the issue found that it was misinformation or lack of a complete picture.

Needless to say, it is not up to me to say how much money is "enough" for a minister or anyone else to make. Hank has done much good for the faith and it is a really sad that so much controversy is sorrounding him right now. Some of it MAY BE warranted and some probably not so much. Either way, we should pray for lots of peoples heart to be "softened" and forgiveness to take place rather than endlessly point fingers and diminish what the Holy Spirit has accomplished in the body.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect that by your pay standards most ministers in America would have to take a pay cut. I make more than $150K and do far less for the cause of Christ than Hank so I'm less inclided to be so judgemental. Perhaps when you have a family to raise, a mortgage to pay, and the numerous other expenses that come with raising a family (especially in SOCAL where I live and Hank used to live) one can understand better then pay scale. You'd be hard pressed to find a house large enough in SOCAL that could house a family his size for under 1.5M. I am troubled by some of the accusations but coming from a former employeed they could also be "sour grapes" and CRI isn't allowed legally to state the reasoning for for employees termination. However, when you work in an organization the top dog is the top dog and usually make the most money. I make good money because I am a producer (I bring in money for the company)and those that support me don't make near what I earn. Same is likely true for Hank and the support staff and I have no objection.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHat is to much salary and what is too little. Is a cow too much in the third world and 150g's in the US. Salary is relative and God will be the judge not us. We have no clear scripture on it one way or the other. No matter what scripture you quote there will always be another interpretation when it comes to this subject.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Gideon said...

I live in Kenya, Africa and I am a theologian. I have read Hank's books. He has done a great job. However when things begin to sound like this one needs to do alot of self searching. We say in Africa that smoke is a sign of fire. Maybe Hank should resign from CRI and pursue a different line of ministry. On the other hand, this could only be an attack , even from the evil one, to distract all of us from the much needed contributions of great apologists like Hank in this 'error-filled' age. Those who accuse Hank of supporting cults should provide substantilal evidence.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Bernie of said...


Check out my more recent article on Hank Hanegraaff here:


10:58 AM  
Anonymous Gideon said...

You may have a point, and a strong one. Sin must be dealt with, but remember mercy as you do it. Those who stand should watch lest they fall! You see what is really sad is that Hank spends his life pointing out errors and now he is being judged by the same standards. That should come as a warning to you too Bernie. People are watching you. Live your life and conduct your ministry in a way that is beyond reproach. I hope the attitude in all of this is one os great grief as a fellow soldier is wounded, I hope we are not merely shooting out our own wounded. Please pray for such ministers, lets not forget our ultimate enemy, the devil, and our ultimate goal, the glory of God.
Sola gratia

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys I've been reading the comments posted here, and some of what I'm reading is pretty lame. I am a Christian and love the lord too, but when I read comments like "Don't Judge", or the whole "Touch not the Lord's annointed" attitude, this just allows bad behavior to continue.

Matthew 7:1 does say do not judge, but it's speaking on not judging unfairly. Anyway, we are to avoid even the appearance of evil. What Hank has done is pretty shady. Anyway, I will be praying for him


12:34 AM  
Blogger NancLovesYeshua said...

This was a confirmation to something I recently read about the magazine. I watched a PBS story on Rev. Hagee, and found all kinds of interesting posts about people that claim to be Christains, while doing a goggle search on Rev. Hagee. Chapter seven of Matthew says that not everyone that claims to be a Christian (even doing things IN THE NAME OF JESUS) is really a child of God. We need to pray for discernment - cause anyone can say anything...but do they have the fruit of the spirit in Gal. chapter five? Honestly the only ministries I have any peace about anymore are and Dave Hunt's ministries. I hope I neve hear this kind of report about them. Joel Osteen came to New York (where I live) and I was unable to attend because they charged to hear him speak. I never wanted anything to do with his ministry after that (seems like positive thinking secular message anyway, but said to be in the name of Jesus...) - the gospel is not for profit in the body of Christ - but for greedy people it is. I never read any of those magazines anymore - most are in the ecum movement now, and I personally believe of the apostate church. I do not judge people, but I judge their works/ministry - if it be of God or not. Check this out...
I had a bad feeling when I watched the show. God says to go into all the world and preach the gospel and to love our why would God lead a man like Rev. Hagee to tell our government to bomb Iran? God have mercy on these people, doing things in the flesh (or false prophets lead by demons) - saying they are lead by God. If God wants to have mercy on is up to HIM. Thanks for all you shared on the internet...I have been reading a lot of your stuff in here today. As far as Hank and Kathy..NOTHING is done in secret and the bible says in Rev., that liars will not go to heaven (practicing liars, as there is forgivness for sin) and if she claims she works those many hours and does not..she is a liar and God sees that. I have heard they support cult (Romanism) is that true? The Roman Catholic Church...which is very much like Islam according to the pope/s that say they serve the SAME GOD. I guess that is the anti-christ. I will read some more...thanks and God bless. What I think is so evil is that some of these people take from people that have very litte TO LIVE THEIR HIGH LIFESTYLE..and look they do not even pay their employees what they CLAIM is wages deserved? This is not Christian, the gospel is not for PROFIT, it is actually free. Cover your costs and enough for needs like everyone else. God is not a respector of persons -and greed is a sin isn't it? Now it is a beautiful day and I planned on going out; however, I got to study the WORD instead as I read a lot (the bible) as I read all this stuff. Amen. :)

1:08 PM  
Blogger Leanord said...

Hank picked up the ball he had and ran with it. He took over CRI in a coup when Walter Martin unexpectedly passed away.

Martin had his own issues with his first wife fleeing to divorce, citing his profound abuse. There are records of excommunication from his Baptist church as a result.

Years later, Martin was outed, when it was discovered that the bulk of his theological degree claims were fabricated.

His usurpous successor Hank Hannagraaff is brilliant on air, but an entire organization of former CRI members has formed up, dedicated to ending his abuse, foul language, fraud and misuse of finances and ministry resources.

All in all, CRI and it's earlier incarnations have spent 50+ years under the leadership of men who have defrauded and wounded others under the guise of building God's kingdom.

It seems to be a common thread among ministries who invest much of their Gospel teaching with division and adversity.

Bill Keller of Live Prayer in Tampa defrauded countless people in a security fraud scheme. Now, he overtly enjoys and instructs how to experience tremendous personal satisfaction in the pursuit of degrading and assassinating the spiritual character of Christians and others who aren't fundamentalist.

Johnny Lee Clary operates a similar ministry. Instead of focusing on the Good News of Salvation through Christ, he instructs Christians to despise what the Lord despises and presents them with several targets upon which they can share Gods wrath.

Johnny Lee Clary openly admits the pain and suffering he caused as a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan. He now targets his victims based on faith instead of color, with the claim that the Gospel of Adversity is provided by God this time.

It was the Gospel of Jesus Christ that led me to Jesus. When I was Born Again, 30+ years ago, I wasn't led to Christ by learning to hate those who weren't saved or those who were but disagreed with me on what certain bible passages meant.

When a pastor taught a class on how God despises this faith or that one, I never felt the spirit. Hank Hanagraaf and so many others divide Christians. I know it can feel powerful to be built up by lessening others, but there isn't anything in Jesus's ministry that reflected that.

Consequently, I've remember fraud or deceit from the men who focused on Salvation and Grace as the way to God.

It just seems that abuse, fraud and contention always seem to be a step apart, that those who tear down others in Gods name ultimately are doing it for their own gain and gratification.


3:33 PM  

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