THE CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE AND ROME
Republished August 1, 2001 (first published March 1, 2000) (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The Christian Research Institute, headed up by Hank Hanegraaff, holds a very dangerous and deeply compromised position toward Roman Catholicism. The following note by Calvary Contender Editor Jerry Huffman summarizes this position:
“Christian Research Institute president Hank Hanegraaff on various Bible Answer Man broadcasts warned against certain Romanist teachings, but also encouraged cooperation with Catholics in many areas. He said Roman Catholicism does not fall within his definition of a cult. He said: ‘We do not classify it as a cult, neither do we just categorically state that people should just get out of it as we would say with Mormonism.’ He added: ‘We can join with Catholics in common cause issues that affect our culture’ [May 1, 1995]. Regarding Pope John Paul II, he said: ‘I don’t see the Pope, particularly this Pope, as the chief enemy of Jesus Christ....[He] stands with us on many common issues’ [June 30, 1995]. Hanegraaff succeeded Dr. Walter Martin as head of CRI and admits to being a Charismatic” (Calvary Contender, December 15, 1995).
“Recently on ‘The Bible Answer Man’ radio program, Norm Geisler declared that the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification by faith was biblical. Luther would be shocked! Christian Research Institute director Hank Hanegraaff (Walter Martin’s successor), who was interviewing Norm, agreed. ... CRI ... has even allowed Scott Hahn (another leading Catholic apologist) on ‘The Bible Answer Man’ to promote Roman Catholicism without offering the slightest rebuttal!” (The Berean Call, April 1992).
In two CRI Perspective sheets, Christian Research Institute President Hank Hanegraaff makes it clear that he does not believe Roman Catholicism is a cult:
“While Protestants continue to disagree over the issue, CRI firmly maintains that Roman Catholicism is a religious system which includes both orthodox biblical Christianity and elements of unbiblical or ‘cultic’ doctrine and practice. ... We acknowledge the presence in Roman Catholicism of many genuine brothers and sisters in the Lord, while also recognizing that many of those within Roman Catholicism worldwide appear to be lost. ... One thing we are unwilling to do is to misrepresent Roman Catholicism or to exaggerate its faults. That would be patently unfair, at CRI we’ve always striven for balance. Well, in spite of the vast differences between Catholics and Evangelicals, I believe our points of agreement provide us with common ground through which we can share and discuss the gospel in love and with understanding.”
The term “cult” is a man-made one; it is thus impossible to reach an absolute definition of the same. One thing we do know: The Roman Catholic Church meets every Bible criteria for apostasy! Its gospel is false and thus is cursed of God (Gal. 1:8). It has exalted its own man-made traditions to the level of Holy Scripture, and thus worships God in vain (Matt. 15:1-9). Its leaders are false prophets; its dogmas are doctrines of devils; its Papacy is antichrist. What does God say regarding an apostate entity? Does He say we should find positive ways to see that entity? Does He say we should try to find common ground through which we can share and discuss the gospel in love and understanding? No, God says, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”! (Rev. 18:4). Paul did not treat the Galatian heretics as the Christian Research Institute treats the Roman heretics. Evangelical leaders will answer to God for their refusal to preach and practice Bible separation.
The following overview of the Christian Research Institute’s relationship with Roman Catholicism is by the respected Baptist researcher Wilson Ewin:
“For ten years as ‘The Bible Answer Man,’ Dr. Walter Martin participated in the Long John Nebel Show—heard in 43 states, six days a week over the NBC radio network. His book on the cults was first published in 1965 and soon became a best seller with 24 printings. The author taught on the fields of Biblical Theology and Comparative Religions at the Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California. ... Because of his tremendous influence upon Evangelicals around the world, Dr. Martin and the Christian Research Institute which he founded must bear major responsibility for today’s wall of neutrality, tolerance and silence that surrounds the exposure of Roman Catholicism as a cult. Dr. Martin died in June 1989.
“Then came 1993 and the C.R.I. moved openly into the ecumenical camp. This was stated in their book entitled The Cult of the Virgin. Sponsored by the Christian Research Institute through its editors Elliot Miller and Ken Samples, the book contains an appendix by a Jesuit named Michael Pacwa. Miller and Samples present him as a ‘Bible-believing Catholic’ with whom they have ‘fellowship in Christ and cooperative efforts in the common cause of Christ’s kingdom’ (p. 161). The book states: “The underlying purpose of this book is ultimately ecumenical rather than anti-ecumenical” (p. 161). [DWC: The editors also claim that priest Pacwa has “a strong personal relationship with Christ” and they enjoyed “positive fellowship in Christ” with him.]
“Dr. Martin was a close friend of Pacwa. The priest is a known apologist and defender of his church. He wrote for the C.R.I. Journal and spoke on Dr. Martin’s The Bible Answer Man program. Martin introduced him to C.R.I.’s contributing editor, Ken Samples.
“Was Martin a double agent and guilty of deception regarding his views of Roman Catholicism? The claim he made in the opening statement of his book on the cults is at variance with the testimony given by Ken Samples. The contradiction is recorded on cassette. Editor Samples stated this:
“‘The position that I hold on Catholicism ... was greatly influenced by Dr. Martin ... (he) held the very same position, in fact the statements that I wrote to represent our organization, Dr. Martin read and agreed with ... Dr. Martin agreed absolutely with our position on Catholicism, because quite frankly he helped shape my own view of Catholicism.’
“A lengthy article in four parts began to appear in the Winter 1993 issue of the C.R.I. Journal. Entitled ‘What Think Ye of Rome?—An Evangelical Appraisal of Contemporary Catholicism,’ the Journal strongly opposes calling the papal church a cult. It states, ‘Catholicism affirms most of what the cults deny and possesses an orthodox foundation which all cult groups lack.’
“A Vatican ecumenist could not have improved on the image of Popery created by the C.R.I. Journal. The Winter 1993 (Part One) issue states, ‘From the fourth century to the present, Roman Catholic thought has had a momentous influence ... The Church has wielded great power over the centuries, often spreading enlightenment and benevolence among humanity.’
“The Part II section in the Spring 1993 issue credits Catholicism with ‘almost a two-thousand-year history (it has historical continuity with apostolic, first-century Christianity), and is the ecclesiastical tree from which Protestantism originally splintered.’
“The lengthy C.R.I. Journal’s presentation of Popery is a flow of half truths, distortion, falsehood and deceit, all staged with the obvious purpose of altering the accusing facts of history” (Wilson Ewin, Today’s Evangelicals Embracing the World’s Deadliest Cult, Quebec Baptist Missions, Box 113, Compton, Quebec, Canada J0B 1L0, 1994, pp. 59-61).
The book EVANGELICALS AND ROME: THE ECUMENICAL ONE-WORLD “CHURCH” (D.W. CLOUD) [ISBN 1-58318-058-3] is a diligently researched volume which traces the journey to Rome by Evangelical Christianity. Nothing more plainly demonstrates the ongoing fulfillment of prophecies pertaining to end-time apostasy and the formation of a world-world harlot “church.” The Introduction extensively documents the history and apostasy of Evangelicalism since the 1940s. Part 1 answers the question “Is the Roman Catholic Church Changing?” It includes a study from official Vatican II documents as well as from the New Catholic Catechism proving that the RCC has not changed its heretical position on such things as the mass, the papacy, Mary, purgatory, the priesthood, prayers to the dead, and the sacraments. The author also shows that Vatican II and the New Catechism affirm the blasphemous declarations of the Council of Trent. Part II covers “Billy Graham and Rome,” documenting Billy Graham's relationship with the Roman Catholic Church from 1950 to present. Part III covers “Other Influential Evangelical Leaders and Organizations and Rome,” documenting dozens of popular evangelical leaders and organizations, including Bill Bright and Campus Crusade, Tony Campolo, Christianity Today, Christian Research Institute, James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Elizabeth Elliot, Jerry Falwell, Fuller Seminary, Franklin Graham, Carl Henry, Bill Hybels, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, D. James Kennedy, J.I. Packer, Luis Palau, Robert Schuller, John R. Stott, Thomas Nelson, United Bible Societies, Jack Van Impe, Wheaton College, World Magazine, World Vision, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Youth for Christ. Part IV deals with “The Southern Baptist Convention and Rome.” Part V deals with “The Charismatics and Rome.” Dozens of influential Charismatic leaders and organizations are documented, including 100 Huntley Street, 700 Club, AGLOW, Assemblies of God, Jamie Buckingham, Morris Cerullo, David Yonggi Cho, Paul Crouch, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, Kenneth Hagin, Michael Harper, Jack Hayford, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Rex Humbard, Kathryn Kuhlman, David Mainse, Melodyland Christian Center, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, James Robison, Vinson Synan, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ralph Wilkerson, John Wimber, and Youth with a Mission. Part VI deals with “Promise Keepers and Rome.” Part VII deals with “Contemporary Christian Music and Rome.” Part VIII deals with the subject of “Evangelical Catholics.” This section looks at the phenomenon of so-called evangelical Catholicism and charismatic Catholics. The book “Evangelical Catholics” by Keith Fournier (foreword by Chuck Colson) is reviewed and refuted from Scripture. Part IX looks at the many ways “Rome Denies Salvation by Grace Alone.” Part X deals with the recent agreement between “Lutherans and Catholics on the Doctrine of Salvation by Grace.” Part XI looks at Evangelicals and Catholics Together II. Part XII answers the question “Was Mother Teresa a True Christian?” Did she teach the people under her care the true Gospel? This study contains an interview with a nun who works with Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity. Read this amazing interview and learn what this Calcutta-trained nun does to prepare Hindus for death. Part XIII examines the charge that we don’t understand the Catholic Church. 352 pages, 7X8, perfect bound. $19.95 + $4 S/H.
THE CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE AND ROME