There are quite a few Evangelicals of my generation, or older, who have been impacted somehow and some way by Hank Hannegraaf.
I would certainly say he helped to perk my personal interests in apocalyptic scripture in the early 1990’s.
The articles below explain a little more about him. He recently joined a Greek Orthodox church in North Carolina.
He is cited as saying,
“The richness of Orthodox theology and worship is incomparable, sedimenting love for Christ into my bones.”
While I will not argue the merits of that, I have actually heard people through the years say similar things when they leave a mainline denomination and join an independent Bible church or when someone leaves a Baptist church or a far left liberalized denomination to join a more orthodox wing of Presbyterian or Anglican churches.
But Hannegraaf, a Dutch born former Presbyterian, has a new Pastor in the Greek Orthodox Church who is on point concerning the broader and general current condition of the Protestant denominations, which are particularly manifest in the “orthodox” branches of the Presbyterian and Anglican churches.
Despite all the “missions” hoopla one can expect to find in these shrinking and dying systems, there is significant corruption taking place at the top levels of these churches and denominations, unrelated to liberalization of the theology, that will soon expose these Protestant groups as frauds.
That is a comment intended to be a sobering statement.
I’m speaking here about systemic generalizations about how these organizations are organizing to live out their particular version of Christianity.
Those in power of these camps are keenly atuned to loyalists (certain church members), and they are the ones really sustaining these churches. The political maneuvering is overlooked and accepted by, not just those in power, but, the loyal members (who hold some power too) as well. The rest of the crowd merely provides an asthetic legitimacy for the organization.
Do not be deceived that there is this inherent burning desire to reach out or to be a refelction of Christ to the world outside the walls of their buildings. If there was, the false humility and power grabbing would not be at the high levels to the extent that they are in these movements.
I believe these often subtle behaviors are actually more apparent than most Christians would admit.
But there is telling evidence of non-distinct lifelessness to the social environment.
You can be quite rest assured, that for every Protestant or Baptist church building you see in America, 20% or less of the congregation is actually sustaining the ministry.
On top of this, about 200 churches in America close each week.
All of this should seriously cause you to question what you devote your money and time to for various churches or “church” causes (I am in no way, however, discouraging you from the practice of giving to God and his people or those serving him).
Back to Hannegraaf and his new church home. His Pastor, Rev. Father Patrick Cardine, explains:
“(Protestantism) is actually much more philosophical and abstract and adheres to theological systems created by men, which tries to take the Scriptures as proof texts to prove those teachings.”
And a compounding death nail:
“The Scriptures say all kinds of things that Protestants don’t really like or believe.”
These comments are so astute on the current climate of Protestantism, even though they have been widely practiced for decades, that if any Christian is out there feeling like something is missing in your Christian journey, consider these words above.
While the Greek Orthodox Church may be a great new home for Hannegraaf, finding a more real and sincere expression of Christianity can be found in many different churches, and these sort of shifts into the greater depths and truths never should hinge on the faith community you join.
Becoming more real in Christianity always begins with you taking personal responsibility for yourself and directly connecting with Jesus Christ, the source of all life. Most Protestant churches are filled with frauds and you will have to contend with this if you join one.
I wish Hannegraaf and his Pastor all the best, and may many people outside the walls of their church be blessed because of their deep faith in God.
Very rarely, I come across a gem or hear about a really “good” one. But it is rare.
A sign of our times.