Gretchen Passantino also supports a Cult of Christianity

Pages In This Entry:
  1. A Formal Response to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
  2. Living Stream Ministry / Local Churches respond to loss of their legal case
  3. U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Local Church Lawsuit against Harvest House
  4. Christian apologists -- Hank Hanegraaff, John Morehead, Gretchen Passantino -- defend a cult of Christianity
  5. Update: Another Local Church appeal rejected
  6. Update: Local Church Petition for Review of Defamation Lawsuit Rejected
  7. Update: Norman Geisler files Amicus Brief in Local Church case
  8. CRI's Hank Hanegraaff Supports a Cult of Christianity
  9. Gretchen Passantino also supports a Cult of Christianity
  10. CRI Statement regarding its support for the Local Church
  11. Is the Local Church a cult of Christianity?
  12. Why the Local Church was included in the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions
  13. Friend of the Court or Friend of the Cult?

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Recently it was reported that Hank Hanegraaff, the controversial president of the Christian Research Institute, supports the Local Church – which theologically is a cult of Christianity – in its legal attacks on Christians. [Details]

Hanegraaff filed an Amicus CuriaePDF file (Friend of the Court brief) on the group’s behalf.

It now turns out that Hanegraaff friend Gretchen Passantino, wife of the late Bob Passantino, filed a shorter but similarly disturbing statementPDF file

Passantino writes:

I fully endorse the conclusions and concerns that my colleague, Mr. Hank Hanegraaff, expressed in his “Brief of Amicus Curiae Hank Hanegraaff in Support of the Petition for Review of The Local Church, Living Stream Ministry, et. Al.” that was previously submitted to the Court on August 7, 2006 in the matter referenced above.

Walter Martin’s Daughter Comments

Jill Martin-Rische, daughter of the late Walter Martin – the founder of the Christian Research Institute which is now headed by Hank Hanegraaff – comments:

In August, 2006, Hank Hanegraaff and Gretchen Passantino filed statements with the Texas Court of Appeals in defense of the Local Church–and consequently–in support of the Local Church’s position in this lawsuit.

In the 1970s my father met with Witness Lee in an effort to discuss the theology of the Local Church before he commented on it publicly. My father felt that the Local Church was dividing the Church of Jesus Christ. They were using methods of evangelizism and biblical interpretation similar to those used by the cults, and my father believed they were in serious error. Bob and Gretchen Passantino did extensive research on Witness Lee and the Local Church at my father’s request. They provided him with the primary documentation he needed to challenge them. As a result of this research, my father gave his lecture on the Local Church:

Today, it seems not much has changed in the methodology and beliefs of the Local Church ( ). CRI must agree that not much has changed ( ) and yet, Hank Hanegraaff and Gretchen Passantino (Christian Apologists) decided to publicly support the Local Church against John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Christian Apologists) and men with a record for a bold defense of the Christian faith.

Why did they do this? Only God, Hank, Gretchen, and the Local Church know the answer to that.
– Source: Jill Martin Rische, Walter Martin Ministries Blog, Oct. 15, 2006 entry


  1. Joshua Scott October 17, 2006
  2. glenn wood January 26, 2009
  3. January 27, 2009
  4. Robert Wayne Wood December 15, 2009

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This post was last updated: Mar. 13, 2011