Hank Hanegraaff Addressing John MacArthur’s Comments about the Eastern Orthodox Church
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Hank Hanegraaff Addressing John MacArthur’s Comments about the Eastern Orthodox Church


Well today I wanted to produce a short
video which responds to someone that I consider a friend, John McArthur. John
said that any deviation from the gospel of grace is a damning lie to be cursed,
and I would agree with him wholeheartedly. But I want to have you
listen to what he has to say, and then let’s make some clarifications. When I heard
this clip, I thought, “You know, I have to do a short video and discuss this clip because, I think it leaves a false impression in the minds of people. Now I take no pleasure in debating John.
He’s a friend. I’ve spent some great days playing golf with him. I’ve
had some very very meaningful discussions over dinner. John is one of
the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and I’ve certainly had him of the Bible
Answer Man broadcast. I considered it an honor to have been asked to speak at the
dedication of MacArthur chapel at Masters seminary. But John’s
misunderstanding, with respect to soteriology, ought to be addressed for
the sake of the gospel. Now let me make just a few preliminary remarks. I mean to
his credit, I should say that John substantially gets the number of
Orthodox Christians right. But those who are familiar with church history are
immediately alerted to the fact that Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism don’t have the exact same doctrine. Not only that, but
there are many significant differences between Roman Catholicism and Eastern
Orthodoxy. For example, Orthodoxy rejects purgatory.
Orthodoxy rejects papal infallibility. Orthodoxy rejects the Immaculate
Conception as it was defined at least by Pope Pius the 9th. And unlike
Protestantism, which shares a common history and geography with Catholicism,
Orthodoxy was not part of the Western narrative. What I mean is they
didn’t have a reformation, they didn’t participate in the selling of
indulgences, and they don’t subscribe to such dogmas as limbo or the
celibacy of the priesthood. And let me also provide a little context for what
MacArthur mistakes as the “rag” infused with life” that was placed on my head.
In reality, no “rag” was ever placed on my head. Instead, during chrismation, or what
is known in the Western churches “confirmation,” a stole – an epitrachelion – part of the ministerial vestment, a symbol to ministers of the body of Christ that
they’re supposed to live and act solely as faithful shepherds of Christ’s flock
was placed on my head, and you’ve got to remember that this is in concert
with what the Apostle Paul said. I think it was Acts chapter 20 where he said, “Keep
watch over yourselves, and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers of these shepherds of the Church of God which he bought with his
own blood because I know that after I leave, savage wolves are gonna come in
among you, and they’re not going to spare the flock. Even from among your own
number of men are going to arise. They will distort truth in order
to draw away disciples after themselves. And so be on your guard, and remember
that for three years I never stop warning each one of you night and day
with tears, and I think that’s what John is doing. I mean he really, really cares
about the gospel, and I’m glad that he does. So let me make a quick comment on his representation of the Orthodox view of faith and works in context he is
quoting an orthodox writing which says, “We believe a man to be not justified
through faith alone, but through faith which works through love.
That is to say through faith and works And that, says John, that is a
false gospel. It is not to be joined, it’s a gospel that must be cursed.
Well what McArthur here is quoting is something that was said by a 17th
century patriarch of Jerusalem who is simply reiterating what James the bread
of our Lord says in Sacred Scripture. Most of you know this text by heart.
Remember James, he says “What use is it my brothers? What use is it if someone
says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or
sister is without clothing, is in need of daily food, and then one of you says to
them, “go in peace, be warmed, and be filled,” and yet you don’t give them what
is necessary for their body, well, what use is that? Even so faith, if
it has no works, is dead. Because faith without works is by itself. But of course someone may counter that saying, “You have faith, and I have works.
Well show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my
works. And then James famously says you believe there’s one God or that God is one? You do well. The demons, of course, also believe that, and they shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is
useless? Was not Abraham our Father justified by works when Abraham offered
up Isaac, his son, on the altar? And so, James goes on to say, “You see that faith
was working with his works and as result of the works, faith was perfected. And the scripture was fulfilled which says – and here James
is quoting for the Old Testament – it says that Abraham believed God, and so it was
reckoned to him as righteousness. And then he was called the “friend of God.” You
see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. Again, that’s not me,
that’s James. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works
when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as
the body without the Spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. Now again I want to emphasize that these are not my words. These are words from
the book of James. I think I’ve quoted them correctly. Now we’ve just passed the
Reformation quincentenary which is the marking of 500 years of debate between
Protestants and Roman Catholics respecting their
dichotomization of faith and works. And this is a debate that would not, could
not, so much as have been imagined in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Indeed, St. Mark the ascetic – he’s a guy that is far beyond me – he is said to have memorized
the whole the scripture is one whose sermons are regarded as preeminent in
the literature of the church. He offers perhaps the clearest statement in early
church literature. It’s back in the 5th century that demonstrates that believers
are not made righteous by good works, rather that true faith will manifest
itself in good works, and that without good works, one does not have genuine
saving faith. He had a treatise; it was titled on those who think they are made
righteous by works and in the treatise he achieves remarkable balance between
Jesus and Paul and James of balance we desperately need. Let me read what he has to say in that treatise he says when Scripture says, “He will reward every man
according to his works,” do not imagine that works in themselves merit either
hell or the kingdom. On the contrary, Christ rewards each man according to
whether his works are done with faith or without faith in himself. He is not a
dealer bound by contract, but God our Creator and Redeemer. So let me make one
more point in all of that. In light of that I should note that the
patriarch of Jerusalem was in the broader context. He was seeking to refute
the patriarch of Constantinople, who was attempting to incorporate Calvinistic
determinism into Orthodox theology. In other words, in the confession
McArthur quotes from the patriarch was concerned with Calvin’s belief – his
belief that God “arranges all things by his sovereign counsel. And he does that
in such a way that individuals are born who are doomed from the womb to certain
death. That some are preordained to eternal life, and others to eternal
damnation. And accordingly, as each has been created for one or the other of
those ends,” says Calvin, “he’s been predestined to life or death.”
And Calvin, of course, famously also said, “God does not only foresee the fall of
the first man and in him the ruin of his posterity, but also at his own pleasure
arranged it.” Now while it would be imprudent for me to inject myself into intramural Calvinist debates, I content myself here to merely remind everyone
watching that God himself says in Sacred Scripture, “I take no pleasure in the
death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their wicked ways and live.” Well I’m gonna leave it at that with a reminder that we should stand together
with Christians around the world, United in the essentials of the historic
Christian faith. In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty, in all things charity.
What CS Lewis talked about when he talked about mere christianity. And I
also want to maybe quote here as well the precious words of Holy Scripture.
these are words that I’ve memorized as a brand new believer and they’re always in
my memory trace. “It is by grace that you have been saved through faith, and this
is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works, so
that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. At the end of
the day, I’m as deeply committed today as I have ever been to memorize the
Scripture. To meditate upon Scripture. and to mine the sacred Scriptures for all
their substantial worth. I will also continue to pray for God’s richest
blessings on John MacArthur. He has a tremendous ministry, and he’s got
wonderful loved ones, and I again continue to keep them in my thoughts and
prayers. I hope we have many, many more years to reach out, as he has so
wonderfully with his teaching, and with his passion. And again as I said at the
very beginning he is just a great guy. I really like John, and sometimes his
bark is worse than his bite. If you ever spend any time with him personally,
you’ll find that he’s a true gentleman. So thanks for listening in to this video.
I want to set the record straight as always. Do remember that this kind of
information you can find on the web at Equip.org, on YouTube, on Facebook, the
Bible Answer Man Facebook page and in many other places I’m sure. Thanks for
listening to my short comments on this very significant issue.

95 Comments

  • Kurt Lytle

    Amen! Faith without Works is DEAD. Last August I went to Mexico to build a home with Project Mexico. The first day, Fr. Nicholas said Mission Work without Prayer is merely Social Work. I will never forget this.

  • Fon Hollohan

    Your absolutely right brother. Its both grace and works. When I believed on the lord Jesus that was because of his message of grace that I believed in and my works was my confession of faith. That is both grace and works combined that caused me to become a new creation in Christ Jesus..

  • protochris

    Macarthur went off the deep end in his criticism of the Orthodox faith, almost to the point of heretical arrogance. In my opinion, MacArthur is showing a great deal of spiritual immaturity in the way he interprets orthodox theology.

  • Michael Cobb

    It boggles my mind that Hank Hanegraff joined the Orthodox Church, with it's extra-scriptural practices of the priesthood and praying to our fellow saints in Heaven. That said, I was just as shocked that John MacArthur could find anything wrong with the dogma that he quoted. It was (as Hank pointed out) practically lifted right from the pages of James. I hope that all of my future challenges are as easily responded to as this one was to Hank.

  • Michael Cobb

    Confusion comes in when we forget that the Bible talks of two salvations: One past and one future. The past one–when we respond to God and are regenerated, born again, pulled out of Satan's kingdom–has nothing to do with works. Our future salvation–when we are resurrected and enter into God's still-to-come Kingdom–has much to do with works. Every picture of the Judgment Seat in the New Testament shows us this. (See the goats and sheep in Matthew 25, for one example.) While Ephesians 2:8-10 speaks of initial salvation, James is speaking of future salvation. The gospel of John speaks much of initial salvation, while the other gospels speak almost exclusively of future salvation. There is such a heavy emphasis on works in those gospels that you can't miss the fact that faith without works for salvation had no part in Jesus' theology.

  • huntejt

    Oh the Irony of MacArthur rejecting this formulation of the "gospel". This is, from what I can tell, the exact formulation that MacArthur proposes against Free Grace proponents.

  • James Edward S.

    The thing about works is, if you want other people to think of you as saved, they have to see your works. It's not the works that save you, but the reality is that if you really are saved then the works that accompany salvation will invariably follow. In theory a person could perhaps be saved with only God knowing it, but that would be an exception that proves the rule. Unbelievers might not recognize your works of faith, but if there are any believers around to see it they will recognize that your works are of God if they are godly works, for the most part. And then we must remember that we must obey and please God and not men. It could be our works are of God but the world does not see it. So, whatsoever we do we must do it as unto the Lord, and not as eyeservice as menpleasers.

    Ephesians 6:
    5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters
    according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as
    unto Christ;
    6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of
    Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
    7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to
    men:
    8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same
    shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

  • Jo Shaw

    Dr. MacArthur never said that Catholisism and the Eastern Orthodox church believe the "exact" same thing. So that seems a little misleading. I also don't believe that he is distorting the truth and trying to draw people away from you. I do believe you are both good men who love the Lord. As to works, you are both right. We are indeed saved by faith alone but works are the evidence of true salvation. The Orthodox church say's our salvation comes by faith AND works so I can see why that may alarm some. It doesn't say works are manifest through our faith and salvation.  
    All that being said I can see why you might change denominations. The standard Christian church in the USA has gotten way too familiar with God. If it's the experience of reverence and understanding of holiness and majesty practiced in the Orthodox church I get it. In reality it's what's in each of our hearts that matters not what building we go to (although we should all seek out good teaching). I'm appreciate both of you.

  • Blaize Akpakwu

    Protestants got faith alone wrong. The bible never thought solar scriptura and faith alone. Calvins pre-destination is dangerous view of salvation. The two are misled by their own strange knowledge and not truths.

  • David Yates

    I feel like when it comes down to it scripture gets really confusing because of the division of beliefs. Calvinism and eastern orthodoxy. Because the scriptures explain both beliefs. You can argue both. Romans 9 paints such a clear picture for Calvinism. Many more verses really back up Calvinism. But then why would Paul use warnings like he did. Afters years of being stuck on this I had to stop studying. The holy spirit is supposed to lead us into all truth. But I'm at war with myself now

  • David Yates

    Everyone claims they are keeping the scriptures in context. After years of studying myself I look to men of God for help to understand deeper and thats where all the confusion came in

  • Mike Hein

    There are “good works”…and “dead works”…self righteousness…and humility in Christ.
    “MY sheep hear MY voice…and they follow Me”.
    The Word of God is heard and understood from/by the heart. The humble understated it simply and clearly.

  • johnspartan98

    Jesus, Peter, James, and John preached to the Jews. The Jews rejected their king and rejected the Gospel of the kingdom. God turned his attention to the gentiles and began to withdraw the Gospel of the kingdom in the Book of Acts after the stoning of Stephen. Paul's Gospel is described as a revelation from God, a sacred secret, and a divine mystery that was NOT revealed to Peter, James, and John. Paul had to explain it to them.

    The Gospel to the Jews was faith plus works. That is why James and Hebrews is often quoted by those who believe "works" are part of the Gospel today.
    Paul's Gospel is faith apart from works. See the difference?

    Look at Galatians 2:7-9. There was two Gospels in effect until 70 A.D. or just prior to 70 A.D. Paul's Gospel is all that remains for the Church Age. Paul's Gospel wipes out the dividing lines between Jews and Gentiles that had existed and is described in the Book of Acts. Before Paul's Gospel a Gentile had to become a Jew and practice Jewish law, be circumcised, baptized in water, repent, etc.

    With Paul's Gospel there is no circumcision, no dietary laws, no water baptism, and repentance is the act of believing. The spirit does the work in the believer.

    That is why we are told to follow Paul as he follows Jesus. We do that by comparing instructions in the Bible with Paul's writings in Romans to Philemon. If instructions found in other parts of the Bible agree with Paul, then it applies spiritually to believers today. If a doctrine conflicts with Paul, then it's for the Jews.

  • Thomas Geist

    I just stumbled across a video by Jill Martin Rische regarding Hank's conversion. As most Evangelical commentary it was, in my opinion, arrogant, judgmental and lacking in any real depth. I was born Lutheran, went through fundamentalist Baptist communities, AOG, Messianic Christianity (Christian Zionism) and many lesser sect in between.  

    Something Jill's video did crystalize for me was regarding this notion of Sola Scriptura (I addressed "easy gracism" a long time ago). Sounds wonderful, but as something of an amateur Christian church historian and well aware of the splintering of the Protestant movement into thousands of sects ALL over some unique interpretation of Scripture and squabbling amounts themselves, my question to Evangelicals (a category with absolutely no definition and therefore no real existence) is: "how's that working out for you? How are you doing preserving the American culture – which is Christian or nothing – and how well are you standing as a unified bulwark against moral decay? Poland and Russia, on the other hand, seem to be doing pretty well.

  • Ulster 1690

    1 Timothy 4:1-5 King James Version (KJV)

    4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

    3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

    5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    Hank used to be solo scripture! The point is who decides what is essential? That's the point! Yes indeed we are saved 'TO' Good Works. Not 'BY' Good Works'!

  • Daniel Penn

    Well, guess what boys and girls club. the Calvary chapel pastors will walk away from a person with a question. All tell you. I've been in Las Vegas NV for 32 years. I went to Calvary chapel west side . Pastor John was pastor there at the time. He's with the Lord now. He was teaching on Romans 8:26. After church I asked him to show me what he meant about the verse. I couldn't see his answer from it. Anyway, I asked him, he looked at me and turned around. Walked away. to be honest, I know the truth about the so called praying in unknown tongues. This is another totally false teaching. John MacArthur tries to bring out truth. See, I know a lot about you guys. The carazmatic following was in full swing when Chuck Smith was pastor. And that false teaching was carried through his church. There is no unknown tongues prayer. It's is demonic. Make no mistake. In fact, I will never go to Calvary chapel . Nowhere. I'm for truth. Not lies. Your attitude is not nice either. God bless

  • Miriam Reutter

    I may be ignorant but I am in my middle age and never heard the gospel from the Orthodox Church nor do I ever heard their teaching except seeing them clad in beautiful long robs and glittering Churches. Do they really "go out into the world and preach the gospel" or just wait for the few who are "attracted" to them and join. However, I am confused about Mr. Hangman's defence against MaCArthur because he knows very well being a disciple of Walter Martin the categories applied to faith and works in the Evangelical Churches. Here he sounds Roman Catholic. So John is right since this was the fundamental salvational doctrine that brought about the reformation.

  • RafaelaMoning

    I'm afraid this video is focused on distracting people from doing God's will (telling as many people about the Gospel (Jesus died and rose again to save us from eternal damnation) so their soul can be saved before the final judgement)). My reason for thinking this: the video ignites a debate to determine which Christian movement is the "best". The comments are prove of that. I see people saying "this movement is true", "no, that movement is true", and I wonder, what good comes out of this? Is this why God called us to Him? Is this what will save peoples' souls? Or do you desperately want to prove your religion is the "right" one because deep down you do not really believe you are saved? Are we following Jesus just to save our own soul? Now, how does that make us look?

    (A side note: when we are testing if a pastor is indeed serving the one and only true God in heaven, does the fact that you enjoyed many days playing golf with him really play a role? As far as I know, many people who do not in any way follow Jesus, love playing golf. Is the fact that someone plays golf really proof they are a child of our God in heaven? And, how trustworthy is someone who calls someone "the nicest person you'll meet in the world"? Is that "love"? When you think about how deceivers talk, do they use harsh language to attract people or do they say pretty, seemingly loving and true words?)

    Since when did following Jesus become about Christian movements? Did the first disciples of Jesus debate about their personal Christian current they were into? No, these different currents were invented from the first centuries after Jesus to create division and distraction from our true mission (again: telling people about the Gospel). Furthermore, the movements want to place individuals above God (that's why they're called "CALVINism", "LUTHERianism", "CONSTANTINism", literally named after the individuals that came up with distracting theologies).

    I pray people stop loving religious movements and pastors more than our Father in heaven and Jesus His son. I know, that is a hard thing to hear. But if you feel offended by my last statement, ask yourself why. Where does your priority lie? Is it defending your church, your religious movement? Or are you defending the Gospel and the Lord most high in Heaven? If it's the first, do you in any way think you are idolizing your preferred Christian current? Remember, idolizing means loving something, anything more than our God in heaven. If you say that Jesus is living in your heart, than act like it. Read God's word, trust in Him, do not believe a pastor over God's word.

    Imagine, in the moment that Jesus comes back on earth, you are debating with a (fellow?) Christian that your current is better than his/hers. How will that moment feel? Will Jesus say "well done, my good and faithful child". Will He say "thank you for debating about religious movements all your life, you saved souls with it". Do you honestly, truly believe debating about Christian currents will save souls? If yes, do you really understand what it means to spread the Gospel? If no, is it really worth the precious time God is giving us on this earth?

    The reason I'm saying this is because I feel saddened at reading many comments to this video. I'm saddened out of true love for my brothers and sisters. I'm saddened that people who are calling themselves Christians are debating to determine which current we are supposed to follow instead of using the limited time to tell people about Jesus' love and sacrifice for us. Are we following a religious movement or are we following Jesus the Messiah? If it truly is the last, why does it matter so much to many people which religious social club they are part of? Since when did we stop being one body of Jesus Christ? How can the body of Jesus Christ (that's the church, it never was a physical church building) work together when it is not in union because of constant debating about which church movement to be part of? Please, set your personal debates aside so you can truly serve as a child of God (spreading the Gospel!).

    I pray God will open the eyes of your heart to see what mission He truly has for you. God bless!

  • D D Shug

    John was absolutely right about grace alone saves, but he also teaches the lie that if you take the mark of the beast you can still be saved.

  • Ryan Schulz

    The righteousness of God is faith in Jesus Christ which saves us. Romans 3:22 and Romans 10:3. We can not earn righteous by works but only by placing our faith in Christ. If we could work our way to Gods righteous standard in order to be justified in His sight then that means that Christ died for nothing because that would mean that we can make it to heaven on our own which we know is heresy. We broke Gods moral law. Jesus paid our fine. Trust in the finished work on the cross for righteousness, not what you do according to Ephesians 2:8-9 and Philippians 3:5-9. James is speaking about how we can test our faith is genuine by seeing if we are producing fruit (works) but we are not saved by our works because our good deeds could never earn our way to Heaven. The punishment for sin is Hell and only Jesus death on the cross satisfies as atonement for sin. By His Blood we are saved!!!

  • David Romisch

    This man is correct..
    Paul talks about "the faith of Christ" (Gal 2.20, Phil 3.9)..
    Christ's faith didn't stand alone. His FAITH initiated the greatest WORK of all..

    Christ's FAITH caused Him to step down from heaven and accomplish the greatest WORK of all..

    Christ understood 'faith without works is dead'…

  • Raul Mesa

    With all respect and lovingly in our Messiah Jesus and only by his grace I wonder: Abraham was born again before believing in YHWH? What work can I do to be born again? Which of my works proves that I was born again? If Abraham had been born again, why did he have to be circumcised?
    If faith is the proof of what can not be seen, how do I pretend to demonstrate it with what is seen as the works are?

  • Bill Sterling

    Just explore the scriptures and discover how many times Jesus makes reference to "your works." Then decide.

  • Mister Wiggy

    "John MacArthur is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet." Probably true, at least in his relations with other celebrities. I'm sure he's a fun golf partner when he thinks he may be able to derive some benefit from camaraderie with an influential person. Don't be persuaded by flattery, Hank. Niceness is not a fruit of the Spirit, kindness is. You need to look into the manner in which he treats those beneath him, not those from whom he thinks his relationship will give him a personal benefit. The way he treats those beneath him, e.g., students and faculty at TMS, should be the judge of MacArthur. Look into what the regional accrediting body, an independent source, says of that before you consider MacArthur a friend or a brother.

  • Truth Lover

    A Faith that saves will work. But if we can add anything to "Faith" to earn or deserve salvation, it is no LONGER Faith. Our faith and confidence is in Christ's WORK not our own. Very important distinctions.

  • Bob Dobric

    Paul the apostle spent many years in Greece teaching them as much as he could , the Greeks have a Christian advantage over other nations as they not only have the bible but they own scriptures that was not permitted in the 1611 bible the one we all read.
    Every year for Easter and passover in Jerusalem a miracle happens where the holy fire is lit without any human interferance this fire is then carried around too worshippers if the Greek Orthodox domination was practicing its denomination incorrectly why does God perform this miracle every year for the Greek priests performing the service.

    If i wanted to become a Hindu i wouldnt go looking for answers in Sweden would i , i would go to India , just like Christianity i would turn too the Greeks even though i am not one myself they met Paul the apostle spoke with Paul and were blessed by Paul .

  • Richy Rich

    There's no Christian who's religion is more full of error than a modern Protestant. Becoming Orthodox is the best thing that can happen to a Christian other than becoming Catholic.

    I used to be an Evangelical Christian, I thank God that he opened my eyes to the errors I was taught and brought me to the ancient faith he gave to the Apostles.

    I pray that Christ will open the eyes of the Protestants to their error, and that he will bring unity to all Christians East and West.

  • Richy Rich

    James 2:24 "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone".

    According to John MacArthur, Saint James believed in a false Christianity.

    John MacArthur teaches a lot of things that are completely false and easily shown to be so, the man is not very smart.

  • Richy Rich

    Hank gets a few things wrong about the Orthodox Church

    1. Celibacy is required to be a Bishop, it is also required if you enter the priesthood unmarried. Furthermore, it has always been the tradition of the church that priests if married abstain from marital relations. This tradition is almost impossible to enforce, so in the 12th century the western church required all priests to be unmarried.

    2. They believe in the immaculate conception they just don't like the terminology Immaculate Conception, they believe like the Catholic Church that the Mother of God was sinless.

    3. They do believe in ecclesiastical infallibility, which is how papal infallibility is practiced. They just don't like the terminology because they reject the ecclesiastical authority of the chair of Peter, they see it as first in honor only.

  • Darryl

    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Which one is ture?

  • Abraham Philip

    Gospel of leavens in the name of Grace
    .Protestantism out of a rebellion , even a royal harlotry, has as it's fundamental Error the leaven of "Only" added to FAITH, not giving unto God what is to God Negating James (one of the three constituting the inner circle of Jesus Christ that Luther dated to call "Straw" cause it did not fit his kind of philosophy ) amounts to misinterpreting Paul cause they cannot contradict each other.
    Jesus came & took up man's sibs how then can ones individual sins be imputed upon him.without EQUATING with him.on the cross other than through Faith to which are works ,Jame's :Faith without works is dead " through keeping the two Commsndments in the spirit & truth of it, amounts to picking up ones cross daily to following him as commanded results in Daily Sacrifices which daily sacrifices would be TAKEN AWAY to the prophecy of Daniel come through the protestant philosophy in the leaves of the Faith , for faith leavened is faith corrupted to No Faith , theologically to a salvation by grace minus faith but to the Occult denotes Gnosticism Martin Luther himself off the Augustinian Order echoes St.Augustines earlier belief of Gnosticism though in the abstract reveals EGYPT unto the proohecy of spiritually Sodom & Egypt.
    Even as the errant philosophy. entering the Catholic Church, the smoke of Satan , as the trojan horse off late through the lines of Swiss based Gallen gang, .leading to the prophesied Apostasy.
    To this the ex-cimmunucatiin.of QE1 by Pope St.Pius V prophetic to the source of the falling away from the faith causing tbe Apostasy .
    Again the appearance of Our Lady at Medjuorge specifically at St.Jamea Church concerns the said Apostasy through violation of the book of James.

  • Geary Burch

    Catholicism does not subscribe to such "dogmas as limbo and celibacy." We should understand each other and their positions clearly so that we are not guilty of misrepresenting the other.

  • Julia Cobo

    Has Mr Hanegraff ever read the Catechism of the Catholic church? Protestants get justification, redemption and sanctification confused. I would love to see him debate Jimmy Aiken- all the heresies in the early church originated in the Eastern church- Rome had the final say to define dogma and to clarify authentic Christian belief. I used to listen to the "Bible answer man" before I came home to Rome. It's so good to be home!

  • Terry Duvall

    Wow, faith without works is dead, so If you say you have faith, and don't live or try to live a Holly life as Jesus did, then your faith is dead, pointless !! I don't know you, but Macarthur has fallen away !! I won't even mention the false teachers he shares platforms with, but why don't you ask him, how or what injected into his mind that , if someone takes the mark of the beast, they can still be saved according to him ?? on or approx 10-10-2014, but I'm sure can probably google if I got date wrong

  • IamDoogy

    I think I come down more, doctrinally, on the side of John MacArthur but I appreciate your humble and heartfelt response, brother to brother.

    This is the way we should discuss our differences. Thank you for providing your good example, brother Hank.

  • Veiled Heat

    So you did convert to Orthodoxy? AND you reject faith alone? Sorry but John is right. That is not the gospel. James is not answering the question of justification but HOW WE can KNOW if someone is justified. You're offering the same arguments from James and others that Rome offers. Yes, it is from James and yes you quoted it correctly, but you have not interpreted it correctly. James is trying to answer a different question than Paul is. James is answering the question of HOW WE CAN KNOW if someone is justified. The answer is if someone is truly justified we can see the fruits or works. I would read RC Sproul's "Faith Alone" for a scholarly treatment. Very disappointed to find this out about CRI.

  • Carl Campbell

    You guys know as well as I do a true Christian who has been saved from condemnation of sin by the shed blood of the cross of Christ still has free choice in life. He is free to join any church he wishes (or none at all) even if it is filled with heresies, doctrines of men and the devil. Heck if you have looked around you know people that have actually found true salvation, forgiveness of sins by Christ in spite of exposure to a abhorrent religion or quasi Christian cult; a virtual miracle. The important fact is that the anointing of God for a preacher is granted by God (not man) and is subject to revocation by God. Find this in the bible: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". Never forget so-called "priests" and "preachers" are only flawed sinful men like you and I.

  • Dorwin Tompkins

    Seventh-day Adventist for 30 year- out of confusion and at peace in the church Christ built – my new medicine- the one holy catholic apostolic church- Holy Orthodox Church against which the gates of hell cannot prevail!

  • Sean Peacock

    I’d love for someone to show me where placing a cloth on the head for confirmation is in the Bible?
    If it isn’t, then it is prescribed by man and should be abandoned

  • Nick L.

    I truly appreciate this video Hank. There’s nothing like hearing about an issue straight from the source. That was wrong for John to call you out like he did. He should’ve reached out to you instead for insight and clarity. Thanks for demonstrating what a Christ-like attitude really is. ❤️

  • george liavas

    This terrible debate only happens in protestant circles. Trying to reduce salvation into formulas. Salvation is a mystery. This Obsessiveness with doing the bare minimum to "get in" to heaven Like it's another earthly examination we're just trying to hit the 51% mark. Drowning in our sins, we claim to have faith. Glory to your forebearance Lord! Return to the Orthodox Church so you may be healed.

  • Joyce Farber

    You must be born again!!!!! No one can enter the kingdom unless they are born of God. (The Holy Spirit) No Holy Spirit, no salvation. You cannot be born again without it. That is the new life in Christ. The old life passes away.

  • Visibility Point

    Thank you, Hank. Great explanation of the age old debate between Faith vs Works and great illustration of love towards another of the body of Christ.

  • Chris V. Noire.

    Come on Hank, don't pussyfoot around this bully because in some meaningful respects that's what he is. If John's ministry is calling the 300 million strong orthodox to be cursed not joined. If his extreme Calvinistic views are preaching a God who creates automatons who he then blesses or dooms to everlasting destruction for his own "pleasure" with the majority of them being in the latter, then don't soft punch back or butter him up. Call a spade a spade and who cares if he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet.

  • Julie Nichols

    John MacAuthur is not a humble man. He has come out with a slew of onslaughts against the Real Presence Doctrine of the Eucharist and doctrines which were part of the early Church from the earliest days of Christianity. Hank Hanegraeff on the other hand is a humble godly man and a well-learned man at that. He returned home to the ancient Christian faith as I did a year ago when I converted to Catholicism. No Protestant would have a Bible without the Catholic/Orthodox Church who canonized it. So those Protestants who want to carry on about how they are right, and Catholics and Orthodox Christians are wrong, read the Church Fathers and secular sources which tell who started the Catholic/Orthodox Church, Jesus and His Original Apostles

  • Tee

    MacArthur is always demonizing a religion he doesn't believe in. He claims Muslims want to slaughter all Christians on the arrival of the Mahdi. I have never read this in the Koran or heard it said by a Muslim.

  • Coleen Alexander

    I was in the EOC for a good number of years. Do you Hank, tell people the teaching of EOC that after death a person must pass a 'test' at various 'toll booths' in order to actually get to heaven? Sure, you can honestly say that the EOC doesn't teach purgatory, but there's absolutely NO DIFFERENCE when they are teaching 'toll booths ' nonsense. I was never so relieved as when I got out of the EOC and back to Bible-believing Protestantism. I'm praying that your eyes will be opened.

  • Michael Gilbert

    It doesn't matter what so-called religion or so-called denomination one belongs to. There are rituals. There are "public demonstrations" of the respective faith one adheres to. I am a born-again follower of Jesus. I can do without rituals and idolatry

  • Ray Sauter

    Hank, I believe I am speaking for many here when I respectfully request that you please clarify your present position on “Faith and Works” in light of your conversion to the Eastern Orthodox Church!

    In every Chrismation account I have found (where a Protestant Evangelical Christian is converting to the EOC), the convert is asked whether they recant (renounce) the “solas” of the Protestant Reformation (Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Gloria Deo) so I am confident you were asked as well during your Chrismation?

    Hank, I would like your response here as to how I (as an Evangelical Christian) am wrong in continuing to affirm these “solas” and why you now believe the EOC has the correct position on this matter?

  • Deuce

    There is room within the church for disagreement on doctrine. There is not room to judge the heart, motives, and salvation of others. Satan does his best work sowing division within the company of believers.

  • Mairice Wilson

    All of this all of this could be avoided if multitudes knew who their Apostle is to the church, the body of Christ and that would be the Apostle Paul. 2nd Timothy 2:15, Paul wrote 13 Epistles to the Gentiles the church the body of Christ.

  • Mairice Wilson

    All of this religious activity is it what Paul gave to the Christians or the inventions of men? Here's a thought James writing to the 12 tribes of Israel, the Apostle Paul writing to the Gentiles Roman fourth chapter.

  • Travelin' Shepherd

    Keep up the good work. It's been awhile since I've looked you up, happy to see you looking healthy and continuing to share orthodox truth in a loving manner. Continued blessings

  • CyprusHot

    874 dislikes from ignorant Protestants who dislike orthodoxy. Yet it was us who spread the gospel and preserved it. It’s the Protestants who make Muslims laugh at Christians because they aren’t united and have over 3,000 different denominations.

  • Daughter of Tryggvi

    Daughter of Tryggvi
    I’m shocked at John MacArthur’s complete and total ignorance on the Orthodox Church and its beliefs. For someone who calls himself a theologian, his ignorance of the ancient church is embarrassing…for him.
    Hank’s response was done out of love, grace and class. God bless you Hank, from one convert to another 😃

  • Sherry Arehart

    If decree 13 is so. Please explain the thief on the cross who, in Luke 23:42-43 says, "Jesus, remember me when you come into thy kindom". Jesus without hesitation replied, "Amen, I say to you this day, you will be with me in paradise". The man believed, and had faith in Jesus, but did not have any works. Nor had he ever taken sacraments.

  • paul cummings

    fairly certain John Mac doesn't really like anyone but John Mac, and no one lines up with John's doctrine but John and his disciples.

  • rxtsec1

    John mcarthur is a great man and I've learned just as much from him as Hank however I have to disagree with him on this one.

  • M. Rizzy

    Hate to say it but this is a battle of theologically/doctrinally smart people. I'm just a lowly simple Christian that loves Christ and understand the magnitude and implications of what Christ did on the cross.

  • commentator

    Hank, it is a sad day to hear that you have shifted from Protestantism or Evangelicalism to Eastern Orthodoxy. Maybe you were never truly Protestant in the first place. Also, you may think that you're just changing to a different denomination. But to a lot of us it seems you have stepped back from the truth for a ritualistic religion. This decision suggests that you were missing something in the Evangelical Gospel preached by MacArthur and others. You know, "by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone". That apparently was not enough. Have you found that missing part in Eastern Orthodoxy? Maybe an addition of some sacred rituals and actions, or dare I say 'works,' might help to fill the void. But I think not. Have you not considered the possibility you may have been confusing sanctification with justification or vice versa? These are salvation concepts all of us need to mature in and understand at a deeper level. And it may be the case that this will always be a growing and maturing process for all of us who are saved in Christ Jesus. That is till we get to Heaven. The only other possibility is what the Apostle Paul would probably lovingly say to all of us in the Professing Church. And that is: "to examine ourselves and see if we be in the Faith" once delivered to all the saints.

  • EggRollex :D

    I think a key point is that our faith is more than a confession of lips, our Lord Jesus Christ affirms this. But that our works mean nothing outside of faith, and even then we should obey the words of christ in the gospel of luke, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ " Works outflowing from faith are no something to brag about but simply expected.

  • Kris Price

    MacArthur is accurate. I don't doubt the salvation of anyone in Eastern Orthodox, only God knows their heart. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Ones works should be a by-product of their salvation, a fruit coming from that salvation if you will. Calvin doesn't say they are doomed from the womb, he holds to the fact of the sovereignty of God that God knows a persons future decisions before that person makes them.

  • JoJo Wallace

    Hi Hank. I am so thankful for your vlog. I am drawn to Eastern Orthodoxy and am going to the local Orthodox Church this week. I was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist home and became Catholic before my marriage. I have been disappointed in the Catholic Church with regard to the sex scandals and feel Eastern Orthodoxy offers us more of a mystical experience of Christ. Would you agree with this? Thanks!🧚‍♀️

  • shaun humphreys

    'believers are not made righteous by good works, rather that true faith will manifest itself in good works.and that without good works, one does not have a genuine saving faith.' from a 5th century christian treaty That is exactly what the reformation taught, and exactly what i have always believed about the relationships between faith and works. that proves that the controversy between calvinists and arminianists is really an argument about semantics. Because i completely agree with your statement.True saving faith is always accompanied by works Someone who claims to be a believer but doesnt pass john's first epistle test of living righteously and loving the brethren does not have saving faith-i.e. is not born again. Jesus is the shepherd, he promised to not lose even one of all those the father gives him, that not one will perish, and he will raise them up on the last day. and jesus explained that those who did not believe in him, did not because the father had not enabled them. which means there were many there who did not believe in him, because they were not enabled by the father to. and that christ chooses us, not us chooses christ. when we see someone apparently losing their salvation, what we are really seeing is someone who did not have true saving faith depart, for as john writes in his epistle, those who went away from us did not really belong with us. other than that, I would be very happy to join the eastern orthodox church, and my slight difference in seeing things would not be a problem as in the early church there was variety of perspectives on these complex theological matters. the orthodox church it is as you say the only church that has an uninterrupted link back to the first bishops installed by the apostles. thats the church i want to be in, i want to live those traditions. i dont want to be in a church that is historically isolated and whose theological leanings on independent of history. im interested in joining the russian orthodox church, as i read russian and have studied it for over ten years. calvin's determinism is one way of seeing salvation. but some things are just mysterious. there is a determinism in salvation, there is also a free will. but i do find that the them of god's sovereignty is emphasised in the bible over human free will overal.

  • Bob Bryans

    Hank, I'm disappointed. You said, you quoted, Scripture that really gets to the heart of the matter, but you didn't address JM's criticism of the Orthodox church. So is it faith alone that saves, or is it faith plus works? JM clearly understands when James speaks of works as the outpouring and evidence of true faith. But James does NOT say that works contribute to ones salvation. So, what say you? What say the Otthodox church?

  • Jonathan Williams

    I'm a Protestant that feels drawn toward Orthodoxy however Orthodox teaching on Mary and prayer to saints drives me away each time I get too close
    Though I hope what I read on the OCA website is wrong because if they teach that Mary could sin but chose not to then that is Pelagianism

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