Dear CRI Partner:
This year has been like no other.
And the fact that I’m around to share my heart with you is near the top of my list of “things to be thankful for.”
But with a tumultuous year soon to be over, permit me to briefly rewind the tape…
You see, when the New Year dawned, I could not have foreseen the extraordinary events that lay ahead. And thankfully so.
In retrospect, I once again see God’s providence and grace in not allowing us to pry into the future but instead granting us the wisdom to gratefully and trustingly take each day as it comes, aware that the ever-present risenness of Christ is our sufficiency in all circumstances.
But to say that this year has been a year of challenges
would be an understatement of historic magnitude.
And without the faithful prayers and support of friends
like you, it would have been downright brutal.
For starters, little could I have foreseen the uproar triggered by my decision to join a local Orthodox body of believers, brothers and sisters deeply committed to biblical faith, renewal, and revival. Although standing resolutely for truth over the years has taught me painful lessons about even implicitly questioning peoples’ deeply entrenched and heavily fortified belief systems, the magnitude of the blowback caught even this seasoned veteran off guard.
After decades of digging deeply into the truths of Scripture and sharing these daily with an international audience on the Bible Answer Man program, headlines quickly howled that “Hank Hanegraaff Leaves the Christian faith.”
Once I had recovered from the shock of disbelief and regained my equilibrium, my pain was twofold:
First, that after striving to live and model biblical truth for years, people could have really known me so little. Second, that in the Body of Christ a deeply engrained denominational and doctrinal tribalism is still so quick to attack any action that threatens a perceived monopoly on truth.
Surprisingly, the immediate aftershocks were even more disruptive than the initial earthquake.
With absolutely no advance notice, the Bible Answer Man broadcast was cancelled abruptly by the network that provided our greatest radio reach.
Although my greatest disappointment initially was the shock and inconvenience to so many of our faithful listeners, we quickly saw God’s hand in this. We had been working diligently to prepare for the day when terrestrial radio would no longer be CRI’s primary outreach, and we were now unceremoniously booted from the nest!
That action mandated a dramatic acceleration of our digital and social media initiatives — initiatives that ultimately will reach a global audience vastly greater than radio ever could.
But on the heels of these aftershocks came another quake:
my diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma.
For those who have not received similar diagnoses, you can trust me:
Mortality as a remote intellectual abstraction
bears little resemblance to its imminent possibility!
It will cause you to promptly do some very deep inventories and clear-eyed assessments of what really matters in life and how you will faithfully steward the balance of your days on planet Earth.
While the prognosis is very good for full remission, what is most remarkable is that I sometimes have to be reminded of my condition! In truth, by God’s grace and the wonders of today’s medical treatments, I haven’t missed a stride, and my energy level and endurance are just short of illegal!
Each and every day I’ve felt positively buoyed by the avalanche of prayers and heartwarming encouragement from ministry partners like you. And my zeal for the mission of CRI has never been more incandescent.
In fact, spurred by an acute awareness of our world’s staggering need
for the gospel — an urgent need unfortunately accompanied by growing skepticism regarding any religious claims to “truth” — CRI is currently in “overdrive.”
The need to equip Christians to think and live Christianly
has arguably never been greater.
And because we now live in an age where the visual has triumphed over the verbal and millions are turning to new sources of media consumption, we have just taken the Bible Answer Man program LIVE via video on Facebook and YouTube.
Why is this significant? Because Facebook alone now has more than two billion monthly users, and this audience will only continue to grow. Add to that the fact that video averages ten times more comments than a normal Facebook post and reaches more people, and you catch just a glimpse of why harnessing these channels is so strategic.
If that weren’t enough, research confirms that 85 percent of Internet users
now watch videos regularly, and 46 percent of people who see
a short online video want to know more.
What could possibly be more attractive to a ministry committed to providing life-changing answers to life’s most important questions?
And that’s where YOU come in.
Because literally none of our work would be possible
without the faithful support of partners like you.
While I’ve said it before and will say it again, December is a vital month in terms of CRI’s financial health. It determines not only how well we end the current year but also the momentum (or lack thereof!) going into a new year.
I won’t be sheepish about asking you to do all you can with a generous gift this month. Without a doubt, especially generous gifts are needed as we head toward year’s end, but literally every gift is important, regardless of size.
Please take just a few seconds to glance at the enclosed card. I’ll ask you to prayerfully consider all that your generosity will mean to so many. Then, simply check the appropriate box and return the card with your tax-deductible gift in the enclosed envelope.
And may God bless you abundantly for the vital role your partnership plays each and every day in equipping believers at home and around the globe to stand for life and truth!
Because Life and Truth matter…
P.S. Because we are relentlessly committed to equipping you and other believers with tools to strengthen your walk and witness, I’ve enclosed a sheet with some handpicked resource selections. Whether for yourself or as Christmas gifts for friends or loved ones, my prayer is that these relevant resources ultimately will bear fruit in many lives!