Apologetics Index

Gretchen Passantino also supports a Cult of Christianity

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.

– Article continues after this advertisement –

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 (http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/lc.html#easy ). CRI must agree that not much has changed (http://localchurch.8m.com/cri-dl-075.html ) 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

Article details

Category: Living Stream Ministry, Local Church, Lord's Recovery
Related topic(s): , , ,

First published (or major update) on Tuesday, October 17, 2006.
Last updated on March 13, 2011.

Original content is © Copyright Apologetics Index. All Rights Reserved. For usage guidelines see link at the bottom.
- Advertisement -
Apologetics Index: Research resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues



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

Leave a Reply...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This comment form is enhanced by Jetpack. By posting a comment you indicate that you have read, understood, and agree to our Privacy Policy. Jetpack describes which information is used, tracked and synced.
Our website includes some affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Apologetics Index earns from qualifying purchases. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates. Details.