Finding a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church – WOW is that Possible?

We at the Christian Research Institute realize this difficulty and the criticality of knowing exactly what to look for in order to find it. Hank Hanegraaff has come up with a video series outlining a three-step process called WOW, which will help you find a healthy, well-balanced church in three easy steps.

Our WOW video series is posted on YouTube. Here is what you will get:

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Introduction

Hank gives an overview of the WOW Hankronym for finding a healthy, well-balanced church.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 1 Worship

The first “W” in WOW stands for worship. Hank explains why we need to find a church to worship God in prayer, praise, and proclamation of God’s Word.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 2 Oneness

The “O” in WOW stands for oneness. Hank explains why we need to be a part of a community of Christians because God has made us in such a way that we have something to contribute to the body of Christ and the rest of the body of Christ has something to contribute to us.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 3 Witness

The second “W” in WOW stands for witness. Every healthy, well-balanced church equips their members to go out and impact the world. It is more than just evangelism; it is also equipping people to evangelize.

Hank’s memorable three-step method to finding a healthy, well-balanced church will help you make a well-reasoned decision that will benefit you for now as well as for eternity.

— Warren Nozaki


Which Church Denominations Show the Way?

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Church Denominations and the Way“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).*

Q: I was raised Baptist but currently attend a non-denominational church. I’m puzzled with the question: Which denominations are right? What is the truth? There’s so many different ones out there? Over the past two-thousand years, things got twisted a bit, and I’m just not exactly clear on what is the truth?

Hank Hanegraaff: First, you have to have to understand essential Christian doctrine. All genuine Christians—whether Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Baptist—all genuine Christians believe in the essentials of the Christian faith.

Essential Christian doctrine starts with the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and ends with salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. It’s not what we do but what Jesus Christ has done for us. Jesus paid it all through his passion on the cross. Essential Christian doctrine becomes the core of what it means to become a Christian.

Now as a Christian there are various ways in which we see church government, that’s called ecclesiology, and you can differ over that without dividing over that.

Q: How does one respond to somebody who professes to be Roman Catholic but insists that Jesus is not the only way to heaven, there are other ways to get to heaven, there’s other religions out there, they are just different versions to the same thing?

If Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6) and someone says, “You know there are many roads that lead to God,” well, it doesn’t matter what brand they call themselves—Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.—they are not a believer in the essentials of the Christian faith that codify what it means to be a Christian.

“There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end,” the Bible says, “it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We can’t say, “This seems right to me.” What we have to do is take our opinions and test them in light of the final court of arbitration, which again in a biblical worldview is the Word of God. The essentials that I’ve talked about are so plain in the Bible that a child can understand them.

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

The Essentials of Christianity (Hank Hanegraaff)

What is a Cult? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Perspicuity of Scripture (Hank Hanegraaff)

Heresy and Aberration — What’s the Difference? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Is Jesus the Only Way? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What Denomination Should I Join? (John M. Frame)

Is Jesus the Only Savior? The Answer to Religious Pluralism (Ronald H. Nash)

Is Belief in Jesus Necessary? The Answer to Religious Inclusivism (Ronald H. Nash)

Is There Salvation After Death? The Answer to Postmortem Evangelism (Ronald H. Nash)

Are All Religions the Same at Their Core? (Winfried Corduan)

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984).

Blog adapted from “Which denomination has the correct teaching?

Journal Topics

What are the dangers of virtual church?

I was on a program on the BBC about a year and a half ago where one of the founders of something called Saint Pixels was holding forth, and Saint Pixels is a virtual church. You take on a character called an avatar and you go into a virtual church space and worship, pray, sing etc. My point was how could you possibly do that when you’re not truly there? Moreover, how do we know people are being honest, when they’re taking on a character, they’re taking on a persona? And this person assured me that people were very authentic and very genuine and I said how could you ever really know that unless you knew the person outside of the virtual world? We believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God believes in the goodness of matter. He created it. And the Word took on human form. We know that from John 1. He was full of grace and truth. And you think of the activities of the church in terms of things like the right hand of fellowship, or baptism, or passing the peace, and so on. These are embodied activities where we are with people and we don’t want to try to simulate that. Whatever that is, it’s not the same as real koinonia or real worship that we read about in the New Testament.

-Provided by Douglas Groothuis, professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary