Christian Research Institute Accused of 'Naïve' Bookkeeping under Hank Hanegraaf

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jesusmyfriend, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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    Christian Research Institute Accused of 'Naïve' Bookkeeping

    Report by whistleblowers to Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability prompts Hank Hanegraaf to pay reimburse funds to Christian Research Institute.
    By Marshall Allen in San Clemente | posted 07/16/2003

    Jen Hubbard said she knew right away that Christian Research Institute (CRI) had spending problems. Committed to working at nonprofit ministries, the 27-year-old was thrilled to be at CRI, where Hendrik (Hank) Hanegraaff hosted the popular Bible Answer Man radio broadcast. But the way Hanegraaff spent money did not seem right, Hubbard told Christianity Today.

    Hubbard's subsequent actions sparked an investigation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and in March, the watchdog agency found CRI had "breached compliance" with key member standards. After further investigation and counsel, CRI employees agreed to pay back significant sums of misused ministry funds and create better accountability systems in the organization.

    Poor internal controls

    CRI hired Hubbard as a donor communications specialist in May 2002. She became alarmed when she saw ministry spending practices and heard employee concerns about the outlays. Meanwhile, she was sending monthly financial appeals to donors, urging them to give generously lest CRI suffer ministry cutbacks. The ministry generated more than $500,000 a month in donations in 2001.

    "It's kind of hard to make those pleas when you see the extravagance from the inside," said Hubbard, who held similar positions with Insight for Living and Joni and Friends.

    One item she was particularly concerned about was CRI's paying $66,000 in July 2002 for a blue Lexus sc, purchased for Hanegraaff's use. That same year former employees said a lull in giving resulted in layoffs at the $9.3 million ministry.

    When her supervisor refused to take her complaint seriously, Hubbard started looking for proof. In December, while doing after-hours overtime work at the Rancho Santa Margarita–based ministry, she quickly grabbed two dozen internal CRI documents—including invoices and receipts—to show her superiors the problems. She had access to some of the material in the normal course of her duties. The rest was in an unlocked file cabinet near her desk.

    When officials found out what she had done, CRI fired her. The same day, January 20, she sent copies to the ECFA.

    Hubbard wasn't the only one concerned. Others included Joshua Scott, 28, a Bible Answer Man call screener, and Thaddeus Williams, 24, a researcher, phone counselor, and writer. Williams became spokesman of a group of concerned employees. On January 20 and 21, he spoke with CRI executives Paul Young and John Stoffel to seek reform and reconciliation. The three concluded that Hanegraaff would sell the sports car, and that Williams would lead an internal accountability board of CRI employees, Williams said. But in early February, CRI fired Williams. The stated reason was excessive tardiness.

    In March the ECFA announced it was conducting a "compliance review" and said CRI had "breached compliance" with three of the watchdog agency's seven standards of member conduct: board governance, financial controls and policies, and use of ministry resources. ECFA noted CRI did not have "adequate systems in place to ensure that expenditures are properly documented in a manner consistent with sound internal control or to substantiate the ministry purpose of disbursements made."

    The ECFA further found that CRI had not addressed "potential conflicts of interest transactions involving related parties" and that "there were not sufficient Board policies or oversight to identify these deficiencies." At one point in the investigation ECFA President Paul Nelson told CT, "They don't have sufficient internal controls in place, so you really don't know what you don't know."

    But ECFA also said it had found no evidence that "the deficiencies were willful on the part of the ministry" or that "the ministry's effectiveness or outreach had been compromised." Nelson characterized CRI's actions as "naïve."

    The ECFA said in mid-June that CRI had become compliant with ECFA standards, but that the compliance review remained open. It said CRI had provided "significant reimbursement for certain disbursements that could not be clearly substantiated as having a ministry-related purpose."

    Problem spending

    Neither CRI nor the ECFA would provide details on repayments to CRI. Hubbard, Williams, and Scott, however, produced receipts from last year that may illustrate some of the problems: CRI paid Kathy Hanegraaff, Hank's wife, $3,141 for miscellaneous personal expenses.

    The ministry paid nearly $8,000 in flooring for Hanegraaff's home office.

    CRI paid two months of dues, totaling $3,100, at the country club in the gated community of Coto de Caza, where the Hanegraaffs and their nine children live.

    CRI paid for Hank Hanegraaff's vitamins and for flowers he sent to his mother.

    The ministry paid maintenance bills for Hanegraaff's children's computers in the amounts of $400, $300 (twice), and $200.

    Paul Young, CRI's executive vice president and a board member, declined to comment on the misuse of tax-exempt money.

    Employees were also concerned about Hanegraaff's salary. According to publicly available financial disclosure forms, CRI paid Hank Hanegraaff $251,886 in 2001 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). This represents an increase of $52,886 (26.5%) over the previous year. Kathy Hanegraaff received a salary of $87,600 as CRI's director of planning.

    Young, who keeps the ministry's books and earned $130,475 in 2001, told CT he could not remember the amount of Hanegraaff's raise.

    Board issues

    The ECFA announced in June that CRI had implemented stronger internal controls to track spending. Formerly, the five-member CRI board wasn't adequately monitoring spending, Nelson said. The current board includes Hank Hanegraaff (the board's president), Young, longtime board member Everett Jacobson, Lewis Neely, and Chuck Merritt.

    The ECFA said, "CRI is actively seeking to increase the size of its Board, as well as the diversity of professional disciplines represented on the Board."

    Nelson declined to provide specifics concerning transactions involving potential conflicts of interest with related parties. But he acknowledged ECFA looked into the actions of Chuck Merritt, who has been an unpaid member of the board since 1999.

    Merritt was senior vice president at Dallas-based KMA Communications, responsible for overall business development. Financial disclosure documents show that in the past three years, CRI paid KMA $868,811 for development and fundraising services, including $386,943 in 2001. In June, ECFA decided the Merritt connection was not a conflict of interest, because in "recent months" Merritt had changed his status with KMA, becoming a consultant, Nelson said.

    But Michael Barrick, spokesman for Wall Watchers, a ministry monitoring agency, said the board link between CRI and KMA at least gives the "appearance of impropriety."

    "They're spending 19 percent of their income on fundraising, where the industry average is 7 percent," Barrick said. "That does raise a question in my mind regarding that KMA connection."

    Merritt declined to comment.

    Still wounded

    Hubbard, who is still unemployed, told CT she knew she might lose her job by contacting the ECFA, but she still feels wounded by how she was treated.

    "We're really happy to hear they're willing to make the changes," Hubbard said from her home in San Clemente. "That was our goal. But it does put a stinger in your heart to know that this reconciliation isn't complete."

    ECFA didn't promise Hubbard any protection for blowing the whistle, but Nelson says the investigation would not have happened without her, and CRI is a better organization now than it was before the investigation.

    Said Young of CRI, "This is a not-for-profit organization under good watch-care, and we've done what was required to do." CRI welcomed the ECFA investigation "with open arms. ... If there's deficiencies, we want to improve them, because we want to be squeaky clean."

    In Defense of Benny Hinn

    http://www.geocities.com/bennyhinnpages/benny_hinn.html
     
  2. Don

    Don
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    How can you claim to be a Baptist in your profile, but provide links that support Benny Hinn?

    Methinks you're here to undermine Baptist beliefs....
     
  3. Terry_Herrington

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    Jesusmyfriend,

    You have a website named, "Discerning False Prophets and Christ's" and yet you defend Benny Hinn? This must be a joke.

    In spite of the problems with CRI, Hanegraaff has not done one percent of the damage that Hinn has done. His WoF (Word of Fake) doctrine is not even alluded to in Scripture. How can you possibly defend him?
     
  4. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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    Don,

    What does that have to do with the thread. I am a Charismatic Baptist. I once was a non - Charismatic Baptist. Did you read the site defending Benny Hinn?

    How about the website defending King David for murder and lust.

    How about the website defending Moses for murder, drunkeness and striking the rock.

    How about the website defending Noah for having sex with his daughters.

    How about the website defending Isaiah for walking naked for 3 years proclaiming God word.

    How about macho Peter saying he would never deny Jesus but did three times when put to the test.

    Ok so they did not have websites back then, but the facts are still true and God defended and corrected all of those mentioned above in his mercy and love. So will God do for Benny Hinn.

    The page defending Benny Hinn is more about God's right to increase grace to whomever he wills, this includes Hank even after his lastest series of sins.

    Undermine Baptist beliefs? I thought Baptists believe in the gift of God which none of us deserve. Don, the last time you looked at a woman who was dressed skimpy, did you look too long? If that was not it did you lose your temper? If thats not it then tell us what it was because it's the same 9 inch nail either way. It still put Jesus to death.

    Don, give Benny Hinn grace and God will continue to give you grace. Pray for Benny's correction in love and pray for Hank in the same way. Think about it, did Jesus die for Hank and Benny at the cross, or just for Hank?

    Jesus is Love just as he is judge.

    Oh Jesus really is my friend.
     
  5. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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    No it's not my website, but I do agree with it. You should read that page, it's really good if you are serious about descerning.

    Sin is sin, whether Benny's or Hank's they must come under the blood or it off to Hell.

    To say Hank has done less sin than Benny depends on you prespective of what is the true Gospel verses the false Gospel Paul warned about. Since the disciples all preached miracles and since they were with Jesus for the purpose of being witnesses to that' Gospel. Then I have to assume the real Gospel is what the disciples believed about God's power as well as miracles. So from my point of view Hank is preaching another Gospel regardless of what he may have gotten correct about Benny's past mistakes.

    Lastly, Benny hinn has not made a serious prophetic mistake since the cuba and homosexual thing 10 years ago. Maybe God already fixed it long ago. But those with hardened hearts towards Benny and unforgiveness never find out anything because God will not touch them because the refuse to forgive Benny. Even though God already has.

    Think about it and save yourself from another moment of foolish hate and pride.
     
  6. HeDied4U

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    taken from the defense of benny hinn website....

    Hmmmmm, last time I checked, miracles DO NOT equal charismatic gifts.

    Right off the bat, that site lost its credibly with me with just that one statement. I wonder how many more errors are located there.

    God Bless!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    p.s. and just for the record, I am not charismatic, and I believe that God still performs miracles. He performs a miracle each time someone is born again. please don't try to tell me that someone being born again is a charismatic gift, cause I ain't buying it.
     
  7. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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    To Adam,

    Ah, born again ............... Flesh and Blood cannot enter into heaven. So Adam your no longer flesh and blood right? What is born again (from above) mean? Born in the flesh, or born of the spirit?

    Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit of course, so has the born again spirit of God ceased? The spirit given to you at salvation is a charismatic gift in itself, whereas Jesus gave his body for your salvation. This so he could anoint you with his Holy Spirit.

    Adam how do you suppose your are going to get heaven after you die, in your mortal body. NO, flesh and blood cannot into enter the kingdom of heaven. Corruption must put on incorruption as Paul taught. Now you will have a new uncorrupted body someday that will be able to manifest in the flesh as Jesus did, but you will also be able to do what Jesus did as well. Walk through walls, walk on water accend into (fly) heaven and so forth. But its not like the earth suit clay jar your walking in now.

    Adam salvation is the greatest of spiritual gifts one can receive from God, so how is it the lesser gifts have ceased when the greatest one is still proclaimed by you? Here is a page you might want to read before responding.

    http://www.geocities.com/restingkey/miracle.html

    .
     
  8. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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  9. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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  10. Jesusmyfriend

    Jesusmyfriend
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    So back to the topic, what should God do to Hank for his gross and greedy sins? I vote to forgive him. And if he does it agian I vote to forgive him agian. If he does it again then mabey it's time for Hank to get on dad's lap face down butt up. After that forgiveness again. You see I can hate the sin and love the sinner with God's help. This does not mean I like Hank, but I do love him.

    To be honest I don't like Benny all the time either, but I love him as a brother in the Lord.

    Praise Jesus for his mercy and grace upon us all.

    AND I MEAN ALL AND I MEAN DAILY ...............

    .
     
  11. Grasshopper

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  12. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    More to the point, how can you be a Christian and support Benny Hinn, given that no less an authority than Jesus Christ, Himself, said that in supporting false teachers, you "become a partaker with them in their evil deeds".

    Ding! Ding! Ding!...You win the prize. I believe this is the sameguy who pots as "Frederick" on Strang.com

    If so, that's precisely why he's here.
     
  13. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    The controversy surrounding Hinn has nothing to do with "imparting grace", but about his false teachings and our culpability in allowing them into the church.

    What does the Bible say about what our reaction to false teachers, whom Jesus described as "ravening wolves"? Does it say that we are to impart grace to them or does it say that we are to mark them and consider them to be anathema?

    Please show me one - just one - verse from scripture that says we are supposed to defend or "impart grace to false teachers".

    I can show you dozens that condemn them.

    We should pray for him but we should not tolerate his "evil deeds" and we certainly shouldn't defend them as you are doing.

    Please give one example from scripture that tells us that false teaching and false prophecies are "under the blood". If you would read your Bible, you'd see that just the opposite is true. False teaching and false teachers are unequivocally condemned by Jesus, Paul and every one in between.

    Jesus said, "If you love Me, you'll keep my commands". If Jesus is your friend, why don't you keep His commands?
     
  14. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    The problem here is that, however distasteful we may find Hannegraaf's actions, they were done within the by-laws of CRI and approved by the Board of Trustees, so there's no real indication that he did anything "sinful".

    Please support this from scripture.

    Then it sounds like you're pouring your own meaning into the Gospel, rather than letting scripture speak for itself.

    To charge him with preaching another Gospel is a serious charge.

    For you to charge anyone with preaching a false Gospel at the same time you defend a man

    [*]teaches that Jesus was a sinner who had to suffer in Hell to earn His own salvation before He could pay for ours [/*]

    [*]that the atonement was earned in Hell, rather than on the cross, as the Bible teaches [/*]

    [*]that there are nine pesrons in the Godhead [/*]

    [*]that we are "little gods" [/*]

    [*]that we are to call him "Benny Jehovah" [/*]

    [*]who practices necromancy by hanging out at the graves of Katherine Khulman and Amiee Semple Macpherson, hoping that their annointing will rub off on him (which begs the question, if you were trying to get somebody's annointing to "rub off on you", why in the world would you pick these two heretics?) [/*]

    is just bizzare.

    A "prophetic mistake"? How Clintonesque.

    Nowhere in the Bible are false prophecies called "mistakes". They're called false prophecies and those who give them are called false prophets. Do you not know that just one false prophecy (even out of 1000 correct ones) disqualifes him as being a prophet of God?

    How can Benny be forgiven when he hasn't repented? How can he be forgiven when he persists in his sin?
     
  15. Jesusmyfriend

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  16. Mike McK

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    Then why did you bring it up?

    If you're so convinced that this is the right way to go, why run away when questioned?

    Is this your way of telling us that you know Hinn is indefensible?
     
  17. Pete

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    C.R.I. Accused of 'Naïve' Bookkeeping under Hank Hanegraaf...

    Maybe Hinn's book-keeping style rubbed off onto poor Hank :( ;)

    But seriously...I haven't heard Hank's show, but do a bit of reading through articles on CRI's equip.org site. It is a shame to see an otherwise spot-on ministry knock itself down in the way described here. There is no defense for those activities.

    That said, there can also be no attempt to defend Benny Hinn's rantings and actions over the years either.

    Jesusmyfriend, it seems you have started a few topics on BB pointing out problems with Hank & CRI. Have you emailed them about it? For the record, I emailed Benny's outfit a couple of times a few months ago with some comments on the 'slain in the spirit' practice. Never got a reply, but felt better myself for sending the mail [​IMG] Reminds me, will have to try that mail one last time...Optimistic little fella aren't I? [​IMG]

    A couple of dozen "Amens" to Mike McK's posts this thread.

    I'll keep praying for both Hank and Benny...I think there is more chance of improvement from Hank though ;)

    Pete
     

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