Some of you may have read Christian Research Institute (CRI) articles about the Ezzos' ministry. Hank Hanegraaff is the president of CRI. Hanegraaff assumed the position at CRI after the death of Walter Martin, the well-respected founder of the organization and the original "Bible Answer Man." Walter Martin's teaching legacy continues through a family website
Hanegraaff's qualifications for his position and his right to assume it have been the subject of some controversy over the years, most notably from the family of Dr. Walter Martin. Mr. Hanegraaff does not have any formal training in the Bible, nor does he have a degree in theology. There have been many critical postings
by the Martin family on the Internet about Mr. Hanegraaff and his association with CRI. If you decide to read these postings, please do so after prayer and use discernment in your evaluation.
Hanegraaff's criticisms of the Ezzo ministry are totally unfounded. The Ezzos have posted an official Response to CRI
(a 17 page pdf file) which can be found on this site. This document thoroughly answers the majority of the issues brought forth in the CRI article.
What is puzzling to those who have followed this story is this question: Why would Mr. Hanegraaff invite a known critic (Kathleen Terner) of a major Christian ministry (GFI), who had no formal journalistic credentials nor formal theological training to co-author an "objective" ariticle in his ministry's publication? This would seem to be a lack of good judgement, to say the least, as impartiality cannot be attained when one of the authors has been so overtly biased in past writings on the subject. It has been reported that Mr. Hanegraaff and Kathleen Terner shared the same pediatrician, Dr. William Sears, who is considered the founder of the current Attachment Parenting
movement. Perhaps this can be of some value in trying to make some sense from his actions.
In a recorded radio show from a listener who disagreed with Mr. Hanegraaff's negative assessment of the Ezzos teachings (just one of many who called into his show), Hank promised that he would be accountable for any errors in reporting on the Ezzos that were made on his radio show or in the articles written by Kathleen Terner
. The Ezzos' staff responded by letter
to Mr. Hanegraaff and his staff (see pages 17 & 18 at end of article), trying on multiple occasions to set up a meeting to prove the many errors that were reported on the radio show and in the articles. Hearing out another person is at least a courtesy in the secular world, but it is a responsibility and essential to the Christian witness for one Brother to be able to confront another when there is a disagreement. This is especially important when the people involved have high profiles in the Christian community. The Ezzos' attempts were rebuffed each time by Mr. Hanegraaff and his staff, and it was clear that such a meeting would not take place.
We have documentation of the radio show transcript and the multiple letters to and from CRI. We believe there is a serious breech of biblical ethics on Mr. Hanegraaff's part and we call on him to be accountable for his words.
Many others, including pastors, have similar concerns about Mr. Hanegraaff. One pastor wrote this in response to a letter from a woman (not a member of his congregation), who was crusading to keep GFI classes from being taught at his church and others:
"...Most critics have relied on the findings of others, most notably Hank Hanegraaff and the Christian Research Journal. Regarding Mr. Hanegraaff, I have not found him or his publication to be particularly credible or accurate in what he says or writes. He never publishes counter-point positions to his own, and refuses to engage in either debate, mediation, or arbitration with the Christian organizations he has attacked. He makes pronouncements ex cathedra and that should trouble every thinking Christian..."
Read the pastor's full letter here