Letter From Hank

Can the lack of truth really rob us of life?

December 2014

HHHS-200rbDear CRI Partner:

I’d like to ask you to consider a truly “transformational” Christmas gift this year.

By transformational I mean a gift that can profoundly change lives.

You’ve no doubt noticed CRI’s slogan “…because Life and Truth matter.” Well, few Christians would deny that, but what many may not fully appreciate is just how tightly life and truth are interwoven. Almost as two vital strands in the same DNA.

Just consider a recent Facebook posting in which I was exhorted by a listener to “keep telling the truth.” This came from a post regarding the consequences of bad theology.

John knows all too well the devastating consequences of people butchering truth.

Why? For starters, John was in a well-known cult in which he was discouraged from pursuing education. His family didn’t encourage education because the church taught that Christ was going to return soon. After all, what was the point of pursuing an education you’d never have time to use?

John said he took certain jobs and declined others because “the end was near.”

But you begin to really sense John’s pain when he shared that he never married. As he had been taught, “taking a wife and having children through the end times would not be wise.” John’s post continued to say, “Now I’m too old for marriage and have led such a reclusive life that I have very poor communication skills and have barely been able to support myself for my education left me with very poor job choices.”

Later in his post, he goes on to say,

“I could go on and on with the repercussions and evil done through this teaching — yes evil.”

No commentary needed. A potentially rich life irrecoverably impoverished by the betrayal of truth.

While I’ve received countless letters over the years that speak to the devastation of lives by cults and their aberrant teachings, this one really hit home. Why? Because as I prepare to celebrate the birth of the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” I realize I will do so as I have joyfully done for many years — with my family…

…With the priceless gifts from our loving Creator of a wife and children that I would never have enjoyed had I been in John’s shoes.

Frankly, John’s story would be heartbreaking even if his was the only one ever told.

But sadly, stories like John’s can be told thousands of times here in the United States, and no doubt by the hundreds of thousands as we look at cults abroad. Especially in developing countries where gnawing spiritual poverty combines with often low levels of education and the lack of sound Christian teaching that could spare these multitudes from the tragedies inflicted by distortions of truth.

And do you want to know what pains me the most about the evils perpetrated on multitudes of people like John by cults and false teachers?

They’re avoidable.

How? By enabling sound biblical teaching like CRI’s to reach farther and deeper, not only here in the States but also into the Global South, where explosive growth in the church is spawning multitudes of new believers who are hungry for truth but too often fed a menu of lies.

And that, quite simply, is my reason for writing to you today.

To ask you to prayerfully consider a generous Christmas gift today. Not to CRI but through CRI to help save multitudes of believers and seekers from the deceit, the distortions, and the devastation wrought either through ignorance or intentional deception for personal gain.

How will your gift help?

  • First and foremost, by “inoculating” Christians at home and abroad with truth so they’ll be immune to the ravages of error. Keep in mind that just like the Ebola virus, error is deadly only when ingested. If millions of people like John had been adequately immunized through a constant diet of truth rather than error, they would be unfazed by the distortions peddled by prosperity preachers and the mongers of millennial madness.
  • Second, by equipping listeners of our broadcasts and readers of our materials to stand effectively as guardians and defenders of truth. Just as key cities and towns in Syria and Iraq have fallen to the Islamic State jihadists because they were simply unable to adequately defend themselves, so too do many Christians (especially new believers) fall to the “evil” John mentioned. They simply aren’t prepared and equipped.

I won’t take time to list all the ways in which your Christmas gift can be truly transformational, but just consider this:

CRI’s mind-changing and life-changing materials — from our Bible Answer Man broadcasts to our decades of CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL articles and our daily e-Truths — are available “24/7” and increasingly on a global basis.

What’s more, in addition to constantly strengthening our ability to be a resource to you and others here on the home front, we’re also actively exploring ways to begin translating key resources from English to Mandarin and Spanish, thus reaching the three largest native language groups — and some of the largest populations — on the planet!

As you know, all of these outreaches entail resources, and that’s why I’m hoping you can help with a generous “transformational” gift this month.

Just taking a moment to re-read John’s story will remind you why, for millions of people, our work is vitally important and, for some, even urgent.

To end this year strong and be positioned well for key initiatives beginning early in 2015, we need to see $450,000 before year-end.

I deeply believe that your generous gift to help transform lives this Christmas will be a triple blessing. First and foremost, it will be a blessing to those we reach because of your partnership, enabling us to seriously shrink the number of people like John, whose lives can be ravaged without truth.

Second, it will be a blessing to those of us here at CRI who are putting the pedal to the metal to equip Christians here and abroad to courageously and effectively stand for truth and to be fruitful kingdom change agents in the process.

Third, I’m confident your gift will be a blessing to you by being a source of deep satisfaction that you’re making a real difference in our world. Simply realizing that lives are being changed and enriched through your partnership is something I wouldn’t want you to miss this Christmas season!

In the hope of hearing from you soon, I’ve provided a link below to enable you to make your gift online.

May you have a richly blessed Christmas and New Year, and may your heart be warmed by knowing that lives are being transformed because you care!

Because Life and Truth really do matter…



P.S. As we celebrate the birth of Christ, it’s worth noting that He remains “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). How instructive that Truth and Life are integral to followers of the Way (Acts 24:14)!

More Questions and Answers with Hank

In the Beginning Was the Word, and Q&A

Q&A with Hank and Dr. Larry Johnston

Discernment, Hermeneutics, and Q&A

Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Q&A

10 Reasons Why Exodus is Appalling, and Q&A

Best of BAM: The Majesty of Incarnation, and Q&A

The Christmas Spirit, and Q&A

Even Santa Can be Saved, and Q&A

Contagious Giving, and Q&A

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusions, and Q&A

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusions, and Q&A

Q&A: Seventh Day Adventism, Prayer, and Faith

Best of BAM: Incarnate Deity, and Q&A

Those in Darkness Saw a Great Light, and Q&A

Q&A: Red Heifer, Secret Societies, and the Stoning of Achan