christian students cult

Is Christians on Campus a Cult? The Bible Answer Man Answers

Hank Hanegraaff, the “Bible Answer Man” and President of the Christian Research Institute, was invited to speak to a group of college students in southern California. Hank describes the Christians on Campus and Christian Students groups as “an expression of authentic New Testament Christianity” and affirms that the club embraces “the essentials of the historic Christian faith”.

Transcript:

Well thank you very much for that warm welcome. I am delighted to be here this afternoon, I didn’t know I would be here three days ago. And I am particularly grateful to the USC Christian Students club for making this arrangement and I find it highly ironic that I am speaking here by their invitation, because it wasn’t all that long ago that we started a primary research project on the Local Churches. And many of those who were involved with USC Christian Students worship with the Local Churches around the world. We thought this group was an aberrant group at best. I met with the leaders back on August 4th, 2003. And they confronted me with their doctrine, suggesting that they did not believe what we had as a primary research organization, said they believed. Which is, that they were the only church. And they said, “No we don’t believe that. We believe that we are only the church.” We thought that they believe that they could become like God is in the Godhead. And they said, “No, we don’t believe that. We believe in deification very much in that sense that Peter taught about deification: becoming partakers of the divine nature through sanctification.” And then, we thought that they were Modalists; that they believed that God revealed Himself in different modes or manifestations. They said “No, we don’t believe that. We are thoroughly Trinitarian. We believe in one God, revealed in three Persons Who are eternally distinct.” Now I was faced with a delimma as President of the Christian Research Institute. What happens when someone looks you in the eye involved in a ministry and tells you point blank, “No, what you say we believe is not really what we believe.”

So we started, 6 years ago, a primary research project and out of that we ended up doing an article in the Christian Research Journal, which ended up encompassing the entirety of the journal. And the words on the cover of the journal were “We Were Wrong.” And the reason that we overtly communicated “We Were Wrong” is because Truth Matters. That’s our monachre, that’s the statement by which we abide, and live and guide our organization: Truth Matters. We are followers of the One Who said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. So again I find it highly ironic that I am here on behalf of USC Christian Students on campus. Many of them have become my dear friends and they are an expression of authentic New Testament Christianity. I have learned to love them and grow with them, have fellowship with them, and sense a oneness with them as we seek to do what we have been commissioned to do. That is, to be salt and light in a lost and searching world.

You are called an ambassador of Christ and most of us are secret agents that have never blown our cover before the unregenerate world. You are called an ambassador. Not just an ambassador for a country, but for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to move through you in the process of giving a lost son or daughter of Adam the bread of life, the water of life.

Let’s pray: “Father we thank You so much for USC Christian Students on campus for sponsoring this event, for their commitment to You and Your kingdom principles. Father thank You that as Christians we stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have embraced the essentials of the historic Christian faith and in unice, we can say in essentials unity, nonessentials liberty, all things charity. Father I pray that You will bless the Christian groups at USC. Father, may they recognize the potency and they dynamism within them to change the world. Not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit.”

Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina based Christian Research Institute. He is also host of the Bible Answer Man radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada – as well as around the world through the Internet at http://www.equip.org

A Brief Affirmation of Living Stream Ministry

The Christian Research Institute’s motto is “Truth matters.”

So they did an extensive research project on Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. The Bible Answer Man himself said that their research brought them to the conclusion that:

We are not only convinced that the Local Churches are not a cult, but we are absolutely convinced by exhaustive research that they have much to offer the Body of Christ through their practice of prayer, praise, and the proclamation of the Word, through the oneness that they manifest, and through the multiplication that they have experienced; particularly in the East where every believer is being equipped to communicate the truth and love and grace that only Jesus Christ brings to the human life.

Watch the following video to hear for yourself.

Hank Hanegraaff says:

“Let’s go back to the phone lines. We’ll talk next to Virginia and Virginia is in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hi Virginia.”

Virginia says:

“Hi, Hank. I would like to know about the Living Stream Ministry and if it is a cult.”

Hank replies:

“Interesting that you should ask that question at this particular juncture in history, because we have just done an exhaustive six-year analysis of the Local Churches and Living Stream Ministry. It was a six year research project that was carried out throughout the world, not just in the U.S. but in far away places like London and Pacific-rim nations like Taiwan and South Korea and China. We are not only convinced that the Local Churches are not a cult, but we are absolutely convinced by exhaustive research that they have much to offer the Body of Christ through their practice of prayer, praise, and the proclamation of the Word, through the oneness that they manifest, and through the multiplication that they have experienced; particularly in the East where every believer is being equipped to communicate the truth and love and grace that only Jesus Christ brings to the human life. So the exhaustive research that I just referenced is codified in the Christian Research Journal, in the current edition, in which we say ‘We Were Wrong’ because at the very beginning of our ministry throughout the seventies the Christian Research Institute participated in a fountainhead of misinformation that led people to think that this group was aberrant and perhaps cultic. And that is absolutely not the case.”

http://www.equip.org/localchurch/

Witness Lee’s Teaching on the Godhead – Shortcomings of an Open Letter (3)

This is the third video in the Christian Research Institute’s series concerning the shortcomings of an Open Letter addressed to Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches regarding their their beliefs.

Elliot comments on Witness Lee’s teachings on deification. He said,

“Witness Lee says, on the one hand, the New Testament reveals that the Godhead is unique and that only God alone who has the Godhead should be worshipped. On the other hand, the New Testament reveals that we believers in Christ have God’s life and nature, that we are becoming God in life and nature but will never have His Godhead.”

Elliot then discusses some of the implications of this statement and concludes,

“They’re talking about things that we ourselves believe in.

 

 

Elliott Miller, Editor in Chief of Christian Research Institute, says:

Let’s understand the context of what they’re teaching. When you get the context of what they’re teaching; for example, Witness Lee says, ‘On the one hand, the New Testament reveals that the Godhead is unique and that, only God who alone has the Godhead, should be worshiped. On the other hand, the New Testament reveals that we, the believers in Christ, have God’s life and nature and that we are becoming God in life and nature, but will never have His Godhead.’ I lay out all of these different quotes in which he teaches that ‘we do not partake in the sovereignty of God, we are not to be worshiped, and furthermore we partake in the deity, not with respect to eternity or the godological nature of God, but with respect to God’s economy: His salvation plan here on the earth, which is a progressive manifestation of God. First through the creation, then through Christ, then through the work of the Holy Spirit, and then through the church. And ultimately, when the church is perfected, our lowly human natures will be conformed into the likeness of His glorious nature. He became man, that we might become like Him and might manifest God as perfectly as He does, that we might have an intimacy with the Triune God that is such that we perfectly represent Him. He prayed, ‘That they might be one even as we are one.’ Okay, this is the kind of thing that the Local Church is talking about. They’re talking about things that we ourselves believe in, they’re just not using the same words for it. They’re not talking about us becoming like God in His eternal nature, becoming objects of worship, having sovereignty, becoming omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient – no, those are incommunicable attributes of God. What they’re talking about is exactly what we believe. That as we are perfected in His image, we will take on His communicable attributes and we will experience an intimacy with Him that is perfect.