Paul's Passing Thoughts

From April 2017: The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff Chooses Different Authority for Salvation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 21, 2021

Apparently, the Bible answer man, Hank Hanegraaff, has converted from mainline Protestantism to the Greek Orthodox church. How could someone so immersed in the Protestant tradition for so many years switch to another religious system? The answer is simple: it’s all the gospel of authority ice cream—different flavors. One is saved by displaying humbleness in submitting to “the authority of godly men.” When it gets right down to it the only cardinal sin is thinking for yourself and being accountable to God as an individual.

Nevertheless, what is more evident than the fact that we will all be accountable to God as individuals anyway? Yet, as one example in volumes of Protestant cognitive dissonance, the church demands that we give up individual discernment and submit to its authority while assuming that Christ is in total agreement because they say He is. And oh, by the way, you are charged a temple tax for all of this as well.

According to an article posted on Pulpit and Pen,

The Orthodox Church is a false expression of Christianity, much like the Roman Catholic Church, that is highly driven by graven images and denies the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and instead, trusts in meritorious works and a sacramental system for salvation. This flies in the face of Ephesians 2:8-9, which states,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Um, excuse me, BOTH Protestantism and the Orthodox Church hold to progressive salvation. Although Protestantism excludes graven images of people in exchange for graven images of crosses everywhere you look, BOTH have sacrificial systems that maintain salvation. While more ambiguous than Mass, the Protestant “means of grace” [viz, means of salvation] are the Lord’s Table, church membership, prayer, sitting under formal preaching, and a perpetual return to the same gospel that originally saved us through “a lifestyle of repentance” or “deep repentance.” What Protestantism calls “faith alone” really includes works to maintain salvation that are classified as faith alone works. Preaching the gospel to yourself every day is obviously a work, but since the gospel is by faith alone anything that is a gospel work or the “obedience of faith” isn’t really a work. Right.

In contrast, the real gospel ends works under the law because the law is ended and interprets all good works via the motive of love. If one is still under the law all works must be categorized by church orthodoxy as faith alone works or work works with each claiming the others as heresy because of how they categorize the works and other issues. For example, people raising their arms to a huge cross behind a praise band isn’t idol worship. Right. Being faithful to the “means of grace salvation” isn’t really a “means” of salvation either. Right. I guess it depends on what “means” means.

Whether Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, or whatever, it’s all the pot calling the kettle black. And it’s all a morass of contradiction scripted in a soap opera on steroids. Examples are found by poking the institutional church’s Jabba the Hutt body anywhere you choose while blindfolded. According to Pulpit and Pen this is just another example of the great falling away that we should expect in the last days while the Neo-Protestant movement lays claim to a great “Resurgence” expressed in viral conferences attended by thousands, a plethora of dynamic teachers hanging on trees everywhere you look, and thousands of megachurch campuses located in every American city. Yes indeed, a great revival during a great falling away. I remind you that Christ asked if He would find any faith at all when He returns. In addition, Pulpit and Pen decries…

… this is merely an example of what happens when professing Christians elevate something other than Scripture as the final authority on all things.

Right, we can tell that the Bible is an evangelical authority by the massive volume of books about the Bible that have all but totally replaced individual Bible study. Yet, after 500 years and oceans of Protestant ink, Pulpit and Pen bemoans the following,

So what is the significance of this? This should be a testimony of the dismal state of the evangelical church in our modern day. There is a sure lack of biblical truth and doctrinal stability to which many can be left wandering.

Dismal state? Again, the Neo-Protestant movement is defined by billions of incoming dollars and thousands of splendid megachurch temples with huge infrastructure budgets. Yet, Protestant teachers effectively pull on the heartstrings of their followers while picturing the movement as a destitute few huddled together in the wilderness suffering for Christ…while sitting in a multimillion dollar sanctuary.

Trust me folks, there is nothing more willingly ignorant than a Protestant.

As history moves forward, all of these religions will come together as one because they are all predicated on progressive justification and positional justification apart from the new birth. What is the element of progressive justification that will bring them all together?

Only time will tell.

paul

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