In BREAKING THE SILENCE, Elliot Miller provides clear and compelling answers to the false allegations against Hank Hanegraaff and CRI.
Elliot Miller is the Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal.
Breaking the Silence: Abuse of Funds?
On his Web site Bill Alnor urges Christians "NOT to contribute financially to CRI" and comments that Hank "has pretty much ruined [CRI] by making it a money machine." In the July 2003 issue of The Christian Sentinel E-Update Alnor reported that CRI was undergoing a compliance review by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) that had uncovered problems with the CRI board and also with expenditures.
Alnor's report contains both false and misleading statements, partly due to a premature and inappropriate public statement ECFA made that they later corrected. In the end, ECFA issued a public statement that should be reassuring to CRI's donors. It affirmed that ECFA had closely monitored CRI's response to their requirements and they were satisfied CRI was now in full compliance with their standards. They also clarified that "the deficiencies in compliance with ECFA Standards found at CRI were not willful on the part of the ministry, nor was the ministry's accomplishment of mission objectives, consistent with donor expectations, negatively impacted."
There are two major reasons why many Christian organizations decide not to apply for membership in ECFA. First, ECFA sets limits to the salaries that can be paid to members of an organization so that they are reasonably proportionate to the income generated by that organization. Second, ECFA prohibits principals of the organization from receiving the profits of any books or other materials they have written that are sold by the organization for promotional purposes. ECFA was established to address abuses in these areas, and supporters of a ministry can be reasonably assured that if that ministry is a member in good standing with ECFA its salaries and fund-raising practices are consistent with its nonprofit purposes. The truth is that CRI not only meets but exceeds ECFA standards because whenever CRI sells a book by Hank or any other CRI author, all of the profits go back to the ministry regardless of whether the book was used for promotional purposes.
One would think Alnor must be the standard-bearer of financial integrity in light of the way he so self-righteously goes after other Christians. He neglects to mention that EChO/Christian Sentinel is not and never has been a member of ECFA, even though they do sell their products online on their "Christian Sentinel Store" page. Furthermore, he has given no indication whatsoever that he operates by ECFA (or any other) financial ethics standards. Considering that he has on many occasions concluded that Hank and CRI are guilty of misdeeds on the basis of mere hearsay, Alnor cannot survive scrutiny by his own standard. As far back as 1996 both EMNR and CRI were contacted by former staff people of Alnor's EChO, alleging that they had witnessed Alnor abuse EChO and EMNR funds and lie to staff, supporters, and leaders of his church on several occasions.
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