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Author Topic: Hank Hanegraff (The Bible Answer Man)  (Read 2193 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bono Vox
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« on: February 15, 2004, 10:41:21 PM »

I have just read an article from the Christian Research Institute (Perhaps the most famous protestant apologetics organization) about Orthodoxy. It was completely negative, of course, however, there were a few historical/ecclisial points that I didn't understand (I am still a new convert and have a lot to learn).

I was hoping that some of you advanced Orthodox could read the article and give a response. I think that it would help us new Orthodox out a lot.

The article is only readable in an acrobat reader format.

Here is the link

http://www.equip.org/free/DE177.pdf

I look forward to your responses

Thanks

Orthodox Bagpiper
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 10:55:51 PM »

I tried to read the thing but could not get past page 1 . . . literally.

The succeeding pages just would not come up on my computer, and my computer is brand new and pretty decent, too.

My impression from reading the first page, however, is that Negrut is looking at polity rather than doctrine when he asserts that the Orthodox Church is not one, but diverse. As I said, I wasn't able to read the rest of the article, but I also suspect he was about to lump groups among the Orthodox that are not truly Orthodox in the fullest sense of the word.

Wish I could say more. Maybe I'll try to bring the thing up again later.

If I were you, I would avoid Crank Heresygraph's web site.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2004, 04:39:55 PM »

I didn't have time to read the whole thing, but this critic seems to perform some real slight-of-hand.  First, he takes the linguistic superficiality of the shared term, "Orthodox," used by both Chalcedonian ("Eastern O.") and non-Chalcedonian ("Oriental O.") Christians to argue that Orthodoxy is disunited.  To do so, he ignores the fact that Eastern Orthodox have historically regard themselves as the Church of Christ in a uniquely valid sense, and, with relatively few exceptions (and those of very recent vintage), have not accorded that identity to the non-Chalcedonian churches.

The Protestant critic's argument that Orthodox do not, in fact, agree that our Church is uniquely apostolic can be made only by making much of a few, again later-day, theologians who are heavily invested in the ecumenical movement, and who form a small minority within Orthodox attitudes toward those Christians with whom we are not in communion.

My $.02 worth, anyway.
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2004, 09:22:29 PM »

Hank Hanegraff is a shameless self promoter.  I listen to Christian radio all the time and his show is the ONLY one I cannot stomach.  I'd rather watch hours of TBN then listen to 10 minutes of his show.  All he ever talks about is  - in MY[/i] book . . . I[/i] talk about . . . .  I[/i] show . . . . and on and on and on.  

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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2004, 10:35:17 PM »

I don't think I'll bother to listen to him ever.  Brother Max, if you'd rather watch TBN for hours rather than listen to him, that's saying a lot.  To me, listening to hours of TBN would be absolute torture.
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2004, 01:18:54 AM »

katherine: alteast I could laugh at TBN  Hank makes me angry
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"Where I live in Manhattan and where I work at ABC, people say 'conservative' the way people say 'child molester.' Leftist thinking is just the culture that I live in and the culture the reporters who populate the mainstream media
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2004, 01:05:56 PM »

Hi.  I just want to offer my two pence.

I read this same article at apologeticsindex.com

I am a recent convert with a strong background as a Protestant, namely, I grew up in Baptist and Assemblies of God missionary churches abroad.  I have a solid grounding in sola scriptura as a result.

This article speaks to only one thing:  A Protestant trying desperately to hang on to all the "traditions" he has been taught.  This is a case of :  a person who simply can't face facts, because this would require a response, a real response on his part, that is to say: an admission of "guilt".  Guilt?  Yes, "guilty" in that they have been "wrong" for all these years.  When faced with the historical truth of Orthodoxy it is very difficult for some Protestants to "let go and let God".  Amazing?  Not really.  It is very difficult for people to admit they have been decieved.  I should know because in addition to my Protestant background, I also drifted from that and spent quite a bit of time wallowing around in the muck of the "New Age".   Therefore, I know well how painful it is to come nakedly to the Truth.  It requires an abundance of God's Grace that I could never in a million years have mustered by myself, given my sins of pride and "know it all-ism".....  It's important to treat people like Mr. Negrut with a great deal of love and kindness, because of this.


I read this article when I was in my "initial investigation" stage.  It did not sway me one whit.  Rather, it reinforced to me the notion that in the main, western Christianity has always had a "skewed" view of itself, and that in order to maintain it's dominance in the West, it must shun any and all things "eastern".  Additionally, the article clearly presents a paranoid view of things "eastern".  Given the influx into the west, of "eastern thought" into Christianity ("Christian yoga", "Christian meditation", "Christian" martial arts) I almost can't blame these conservative Protestants for their paranoia.  The problem is, it becomes "denial".

Of all the pages in this article, one sentence leaped out at me:  "...Rather than sorting through its heritage, the Orthodox church has preferred to hide behind the claim that the Holy Spirit guards it from errors."
This statement borders on blasphemy in my opinion, since it denies the Power of the Holy Spirit to do exactly what the author himself states:  guard the Church from error.  Logically and rationally speaking:  Protestant churches do exactly this: trust the Holy Spirit to guide them and no one else, since they recognize no outside "authority".  

These types of cheap shots may only be explained by the overwhelming burden that the Protestant churches operate under.  They are faced with unbelievable heresies daily (witchcraft has crept in under "the prayer of Jabez", among other things) and they have no solid historical foundation other than the one they create as they go along.   I sincerely hope that the author is treated with more charity than he has given in this article.

History is repeating itself:  Luther over-reacted in response to the abuses of the Roman church, causing the Reformation.  In today's world, his descendants, Protestant pastors, are over-reacting to the legitimate abuses of "mysticism" in their own parishes and have gone over the line and now actually begun to accuse Orthodoxy of heresy simply because it is "eastern".  Weird!




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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2004, 03:03:45 PM »

Excellent post, Suzannah. Your perspective will help me in my dealings recently with Assembly of God folks here who have recently taken me to task. Of course when I began to make some meaningful headway, they disappeared; but I'm certain to engage them, with love as you say, again.
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2004, 05:25:19 PM »

Hi Demitri!

 Smiley
I am so happy that this helps you!  The AofG congregation that my mother currently attends is "not happy" with me at all.  The pastor doesn't seem to mind much, and is actually a very "cool" guy.  But a couple of the women in my mother's Bible Study have actually asked if they could help her "confront me".....(My mother is totally supportive of me ....she has no problem with it at all.)   I have also "lost" a very good friend, a Baptist,  over my conversion.

Here's what I've noticed:  most people aren't scholars, so they're not going to raise the objections which Mr. Negrut presents in his article.  It's been my experience that most Protestants and specifically AG's,  get upset over the following :

Theosis
Intercession of Saints
Mary's prominent role
"meditative practices" (remember the paranoia about "eastern" or "mysticism" here.)
"canned prayers"

Here's how I have had to explain these and I hope these simplistic statements help anyone else:

Theosis:  well, God has to have some purpose in mind.  If we stay "human" in heaven, it would be an extraordinary waste of everyone's time and opportunity.  This does not mean we become gods.  It means that by His Grace, we can participate in divinity and fully glorify Him.

Intercession of saints:  What are we supposed to do in Heaven, but pray???  
If my mother died tomorrow, there is no doubt in my mind, she is going straight to Heaven.... I would have absolutely no problem sitting at her grave, pouring out my problems and asking her to pray to God for me, since she's already in God's presence and is physically closer to him than I am, on earth.
Also, Protestantism has lost it's "Heroes".  In this day and age of falsity, falsehood, blatant lies, immorality, disgustingly secularization, etc., the Saints present for us, a wonderful "blue print" of how to live a Christian life.  The Protestants actually have done the same thing to a lesser degree with it's Christian writers.  Christianity needs heroes for its people to follow and emulate...or would you rather we all start following Barry Bonds or Darryl Strawberry???  How 'bout Janet Jackson as a role model for your daughters???

Mysticism and "eastern" things:  If they deny the reality of mystical Christianity, as found in Orthodoxy, they are in effect condemning every Christian in history, peasant or royal or inbetween, to hell.  Does that make any sense???  Nobody was "saved" until the Reformation?Huh
"Eastern" religions have stolen many things from Orthodoxy: prostration, meditative prayer, and so on.

"Canned" prayers:  They're only canned if you think they are, and who the heck are "you" to decide that another's prayers are "meaningless"Huh?

Anyway, these are just my own worthless thoughts....sometimes they helped to explain my thoughts about Orthodoxy and other times, they're probably just drivel.....
But we all have to do the best we can....


The friend that decided she couldn't be friends with me anymore asked me this:
"Even if all this is true, why do you have to convert???  Why do you have to do this?  Can't you just keep it to yourself so we can stay friends?"

My answer was:  Of course, I can keep it to myself.  I haven't asked you to convert also.  But you have hinged our friendship on my decision.  
(then she asked again why I had to convert).

My final answer was:  Because I believe that the whole of my Christian expereince has led me to this and it requires a response from me.  Also, and I know this sounds a little crazy, but my cells remember Orthodoxy.  My physical existence, my teeth, my hair, my eyes, my nose, all the things that make my physical body have retained a "memory" of this.  This is the faith of my ancestors and I can literally feel it.
Besides, it's just plain true, historically, objectively, and logically.

She wasn't happy one bit and decided on her part to give up the friendship.  Very sad.   Embarrassed


Sorry for rambling and possibly hijacking this thread. Tongue

 
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2004, 05:39:12 PM »

Wow! You've given me much to digest. I'll respond here or in private when I take this all in. I so glad you are here.

Demetri
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2004, 06:27:37 PM »

Susannah, I was Baptist before my conversion, but had friends of different Evangelical/Charismatic denominations.  I lost some of those friends when I became Orthodox.  Many of them think that Orthodoxy is a cult.  I have a friend that comes with me to Vespers sometimes and comes to class when Fr. comes up here (I attend a mission without a resident priest) to teach.  She has made the remark to me that *if* she converted to Orthodoxy, that she would lose all of her friends in the non-denominational *care* group she belongs too.  After my experience, I can't disabuse her of that.  She very well could.  I have lost more friends who tend to belong to the Charismatic groups than I have my Baptist friends (though I lost a couple of them too).  I didn't say anything about it.  I do know that to be Orthodox has been worth losing a few *friends* (if you can really call them that).  I just pray for my friend that she will follow God's will, whatever that is.  If it is to become Orthodox, then I hope she will follow His will and do it.  If it is not His will that she become Orthodox, then I hope she will follow His will and go where He wants her to.
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2004, 08:39:53 PM »

Suzannah,

"My final answer was:  Because I believe that the whole of my Christian expereince has led me to this and it requires a response from me.  Also, and I know this sounds a little crazy, but my cells remember Orthodoxy.  My physical existence, my teeth, my hair, my eyes, my nose, all the things that make my physical body have retained a "memory" of this.  This is the faith of my ancestors and I can literally feel it.
Besides, it's just plain true, historically, objectively, and logically."

THANK YOU a thousand times for that statement.

This is exactly how I felt upon encountering Orthodoxy for the first time and I *always* feel this way in Church and in prayer.  I have never been able to put it into words other than saying "it just feels right" and tearing up.

thank you thank you
-L
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2004, 11:07:46 AM »

My .02?

One sided, poorly researched and misguided.
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2004, 02:26:17 PM »

Here are two websites replying to the Negrut article:

Karl Jalvesmaki:
http://students.cua.edu/16kalvesmaki/CRJ.htm

Orchid Land Publications:
http://orlapubs.com/AR/R272.html

I am only an inquirer to Orthodoxy and cannot speak to the validity of any or all of the things these authors say.
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