As previously reported (here and here), Hank Hanegraaff shocked many in the evangelical community by converting to Greek Orthodoxy. When the news hit, Jeff Maples wrote a piece for Pulpit & Pen entitled “The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, Leaves the Christian Faith?” Not surprisingly, Hank’s fans were put out with Maples for suggesting that he had left the faith. Following is Maple’s response to his critics:
In the recent controversy surrounding Hank Hanegraaff, the ‘Bible Answer Man,’ and his conversion to Greek Orthodoxy, I received numerous, literally hundreds upon hundreds, of emails and messages, asking me to retract my claim that Hanegraaff has departed the Christian faith and telling me that I went too far by saying this. Pulpit & Pen has been accused of being “always cantankerous” to “using a bazooka” against Hanegraaff and “judging his heart.”
The issue here, however, is not of judging Hanegraaff’s heart. This is not something we, as Christians, can do. We can, however, judge them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16-20), and this is what we have done.
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. –2 Corinthians 4:1-2