Dr. Walter Martin In His Own Words:
Hank Hanegraaff and CRI
Cindee Martin Morgan
The ‘Cornerstone’ of the public accusations against Hank Hanegraaff is the allegation he used deceit to gain his position as President of the Christian Research Institute (CRI). Many assume if Hank could conspire to steal a ministry, he is capable of anything and everything he is accused of.
Rick and I invite you to witness something extraordinary the Lord has done. This miracle shines a glaring light on the false conspiracy theory that is harming the ministry my father, Dr. Walter Martin founded, more than 50 years ago. It exposes one of the greatest spiritual attacks CRI has ever known. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV
In June of 2008, the Lord put it on our hearts to establish a few YouTube channels in the hope of becoming a greater voice for His unborn little ones, threatened by abortion. Much to our surprise, God would also use this effort to bring about the destruction of a weapon formed to destroy CRI. Our YouTube channel, “Mt. Moriah Music”, features our pro-life music. My personal ministry channel, “Cindee Morgan”, is the one I do most of my correspondence from. In an effort to build a broader ministry base on my channel, we began posting Walter Martin video clips that we prayed would be a good witness not only to the body of Christ, but to the world. The response was overwhelming as we immediately began receiving e-mails from people wanting to share with us how my father’s teaching, and CRI, touched their lives.
I was eventually contacted by one of Hank’s enemies, who without realizing it, was being used by the Lord to bring about something only God has the power to do: the impossible. I will refer to this person as “John”. John politely expressed that he used to be a Christian, appreciated my father’s teaching but stated that he is now an atheist. Ironically, John used to work for CRI more than ten years ago. He was candid about his efforts to discredit Hank. He asked if I might be interested in having some of my father’s materials he had possession of. The following is an e-mail I received from John:
“Hi (again) Cindee,
If you’re interested, I have HUNDREDS of Walter’s Bible Class cassettes. I will be more than happy to let you have them all. Just let me know if you’d like them, and we’ll figure out a way to get them to you. I’m still in ———–(Location edited). Feel free to contact me.
Moved by his generosity, we offered to pay for the materials as well as the postage, but John insisted on covering the nearly $100.00 shipping cost. Before long the tapes and videos arrived as promised, in two large cardboard boxes that each stood about three feet high. The boxes contained individual rows of boxes that revealed well organized audio cassettes. Our jaws dropped as we realized we had been given many master copies belonging to CRI. As the Lord would later reveal through another source, this ex-employee had been reproducing and selling Walter Martin materials on the Internet for personal profit. It made us wonder what other Walter Martin material had been stolen from CRI.
By the grace of God John sent us over 600 audio tapes. Had he realized Rick and I support Hank and the ministry of CRI, it is doubtful we would have received them. Of the massive amount of tapes, 7 cassettes were marked to flag Dr. Martin speaking of his plans involving Hank Hanegraaff and the leadership of CRI. It is clear the Lord wanted to get our attention, and get it fast. Discovering these specific tapes ourselves would have been like finding a needle in a haystack had not someone, long ago, taken the time to flag them. We may never know who did this, but know it was part of God’s plan. John had these materials, in his possession, for more than a decade. He could have lost or destroyed them at any time. These tapes might have never seen the light of day had God not moved an enemy’s heart to accomplish His will—the good of CRI. As Joseph told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done….” Genesis 50:20 NIV
CRI is falsely accused of throwing these resources out. It is astounding to witness the Lord use a former CRI employee, turned atheist, to unwittingly unearth this treasure chest of truth that has been buried for more than a decade. As Scripture affirms, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1 NIV We pray the Lord will use this miracle to open John’s eyes and see that the God, whose existence he denies, has indeed used him to protect a ministry He built for His glory. As God’s Word boldly proclaims, “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17 NIV
We invite you to tune in and hear the Lord “turn back time” to the year 1988 as God allows the world to hear from CRI’s founder, Dr. Walter Martin. In his own words, Dr. Martin enthusiastically defines his plans for CRI. Hear the founder, then President of CRI, publicly give his well thought out opinion of Hank Hanegraaff. Learn what he thought of Hank’s credentials and how, for years, he personally researched them before seeking him out. Discover whether or not Dr. Martin considered Hank a friend or merely a casual acquaintance—as some claim. Listen to Dr. Martin clarify the Executive Vice President position he prayed about filling at CRI. Tune in to witness Dr. Martin, twenty years after his death, promoting the man he chose to lead CRI into the future. Hear Dr. Martin introduce the person he prayed about, for two years, who would accept this mantle of leadership. Hank Hanegraaff became the Executive Vice President of CRI before Dr. Martin’s death. Be blessed to hear Dr. Martin’s fierce determination and foresight to leave CRI with a capable leader should God unexpectedly call him home.
Tragically, countless people have been deceived into thinking a conspiracy to take over CRI took place. After Walter Martin died, intense jealousy and selfish ambition reared its ugly head inside the walls of CRI, igniting a firestorm that had a life of its own. “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16 Longtime CRI board member Everett Jacobson, my uncle, assured everyone the board had honorably carried out Walter Martin’s plan for Hank to lead CRI into the future. Everett Jacobson was one of the godliest men we have ever known. My father loved him and referred to him as “the brother I never had.” My uncle faithfully served on CRI’s board for over 40 years and gracefully weathered the storms of controversy with both these men of God.
As the years went by, Christians with no first hand knowledge or connection to CRI joined in the public assault on this ministry. While some claim to be merely ‘indicting’ CRI’s leadership, and not the ministry itself, their methods are like using an iceberg to kill the captain of the Titanic. You cannot attack the captain of the ship in this way without the risk of destroying the entire vessel and harming those on board. This has been an all out attack on the vessel of CRI; It is an attempt to sink this ministry by seeking to destroy its support.
Although some would argue the point, publicly scourging a brother is wrong even when done under the cloak of “accountability”. It is horrifying to witness self-appointed “watchdogs” submit their ‘verdicts’ to the entire world as they wipe their spiritual boots on everyone they have ‘judged’. They wear, as a badge of honor, the fact they have stayed out of an official courtroom, unlike other believers who may have chosen that path to defend themselves from slander. Who among us would want to be handed down a ‘verdict’ from a Kangaroo ‘court’ held in cyber space where anyone’s reputation can literally be destroyed overnight? The “defendant’s” reputation is hauled in front of an online firing squad that fires and reloads with every click of the mouse. Dr. Martin did not engage in these types of practices and they should be condemned.
Openly challenging someone’s theology is Scriptural and is what Dr. Martin did on a regular basis. People either loved him or hated him for this. As stated in his life verse Jude 3, Dr. Martin’s passion was to “earnestly contend for the faith.” Dr. Martin refused to put his brother on ‘trial’ and participate in his ‘execution’—the destruction of his reputation or ministry. He took special care not to slander a brother in Christ. He recognized and respected the authority of the local churches. This kind of authority has never been given to the World Wide Web or any public forum. For Christians to accuse their brother in the ‘court’ of public opinion is to follow the world’s example of dealing with conflict. The use of the Internet, as a courtroom, is evil because it is a form of vigilante justice. God has established local churches as a protection for all believers. It is not, as some may argue, “standing silent in the face of evil” to live within these protections and admonitions. My father’s life helped teach me these principles.
These tapes bear witness to the fact that Dr. Martin did not leave CRI without an anchor. Twenty years ago he was faithful to fulfill his responsibility the Lord had given him, and to this day the anchor holds. Walter Martin successfully navigated the ‘ship’ of CRI and was faithful to protect her until the day God called him home.
“Hank Hanegraaff personifies the next phase of development for CRI and is uniquely equipped through his dynamic leadership abilities, knowledge of God’s Word, and teaching ability to make sound, biblical apologetics a simple yet effective tool in the hands of the laity. His success as a businessman, strategic planner, author, and speaker have equipped him to lead the ministry of the Christian Research Institute aggressively into the future and to build on the work that I by God’s grace began.” Dr. Walter Martin, 1988, Christian Research Newsletter, vol.. 2, no. 5, 6.
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