Article Summary:

Hank Hanegraaff, President of Christian Research Institute; Elliot Miller, Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal, and Gretchen Passantino, director of Answers in Action talk about their conclusions after a six-year primary research project into the teachings of Witness Lee and the practice of the local churches.

Research Conclusions

Excerpts from Bible Answer Man Radio Broadcasts Concerning the Teaching and Practice of Witness Lee and the Local Churches

The following excerpts from the Bible Answer Man radio broadcast hosted by Hank Hanegraaff speak to the scope of the team’s research and the basic conclusions they reached:

The dialogue between the local churches and CRI began in 2003 when Hank Hanegraaff, Gretchen Passantino, and Elliot Miller sat down with representatives of Living Stream Ministry (LSM), which publishes the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and of the local churches. The meeting began with the representatives of LSM and the local churches presenting what they preach and teach as the common faith. On his January 5, 2010, broadcast, Hank Hanegraaff testified of the “stirring affirmations” of orthodox Christian teaching that they heard in this first meeting. He also described the extent of CRI’s research leading to their reassessment and publication of the “We Were Wrong” issue of the Christian Research Journal.

In the same broadcast Hank Hanegraaff testified that in his visits to local churches in various parts of the world, he saw “authentic New Testament Christianity in action.”

Beginning in the early 1970s Gretchen Passantino was one of the early critics of the local churches and of Witness Lee. On the June 12, 2007, Bible Answer Man broadcast, Gretchen spoke about the CRI research team’s reassessment of the teaching of Witness Lee and the local churches, concluding that it is “well within Christian orthodoxy” and that the members of the churches are “our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

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