Recently, protestant extraordinaire and renowned “Bible Answer Man” Hank (now John) Hanegraff, ceased his protestations and was received into the Orthodox Church, thus ending his search for the truth, as well as the fullness of the Faith.
To be sure, this rankled more than a few feathers, in much the same way the non-Ark dwellers got upset when seven other hardy souls decided to join Noah in his wild and unprecedented floating monolith.
If the typical heterodox onlooker sports a “live and let live” philosophy toward such conversions, the fallout is minimized. But this was not the case for the strident zealots over on the pulpitandpen website, who, after hearing of Hanegraff’s unauthorized conversion, promptly blew their collective polemical gaskets and commenced with their pharisaical Crusade to combat allwhowoulddarebeOrthodox, going so far as to launch an invasion into Hanegraff’s Parish on the night of Christendom’s most high holy day, Pascha.
The nerve of a body like Hank, who would dare abandon the familiar terrain of American protestantism, and align himself with them there picture-kissin,’ idol-worshippin’, incense burnin’ non-Calvinists. Nevermind sitting our judgmental fannies down and actually performing the work(!) of research to see “if these things be true.” No, instead, it’s loading the guns with Bible bullets and heading over to this mysterious Temple which ain’t nothing like ours, because we’re on a god-ordained mission to rescue Hank from the perils of what we’re clueless about, and set him on the foreordained path, where we live with all the other Bible-thumping mockers and scoffers.
It’s classic, really. People generally either mock or at least ignore that which they could understand. But that would take effort, you see, and it might also reveal the bevy of issues which precariously rest upon the sands where we stand, in our military fatigues.
It’s laziness. Far easier to invest our energies in the busybody bidness of Pharisees, Inc. We have the truth, Hanegraff dared veer far from it, and by God, it is our duty to go and drag him back to the pits of protestantism.
The P&P boys are from the Calvinist-wing of their Baptist confession, which means err-body is predestined for heaven or hell, you see. (Including babies.) It’s a confession designed to appeal to men who love Dirty Harry movies, where anybody who ain’t on their side of the theological war gets blown away by their 1611 King James Smith and Wesson, forever doomed to the fires of Gehenna.
For there to be a discovery of truth, at least two things must be present. The first thing is an overwhelming hunger for truth, and the second is a humility which finally admits, “I’m only a human, a sinner who would do well to actually launch an investigation into the pre-Reformation beliefs of the Christian Faith.”
But that’s a tall order for the haughty Pharisee whose mission in life is to force everybody else to believe exactly as they believe, even if that means crashing their Paschal party. Damn the torpedoes, boys! We done found us a non-protestant heathen!
Few things are as dangerous as a Bible in the hands of a man who serves as his own interpreter of same, for he now wields a self-righteous weapon, a battering ram to pummel those who do not believe exactly as he believes, until the prodigal is made to adhere to the same predestined confession the, uh, theological giants over at P&P espouse.
Their shallowness is evident with their juvenile assessments of all-things Orthodox, without any willingness at all to close their Bible-Guns for a season, and actually put forth a modicum of effort into investigating the pillars of the very Faith they malign. Easier to just shoot internet spitwads at their victims, while beating their chests and declaring “I thank God that I am not like these.”
Such folks have their saviour. He is in their mirror.
© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe