The Legacy of Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989)


Hank Hanegraaff: A little quick story here, after I did the broadcast last night (June 26, 2017), I did a Bible Answer Man Facebook live broadcast with my daughter Christina. That broadcast went on for about an hour and a half. I was sitting there thinking about the fact that I am doing a broadcast with my daughter and it reminded me — well, I should say probably most correctly, it reminded my wife — of Cindee Martin Morgan, one of the daughters of Walter Martin, who was the founder of this organization. When we got home, we began talking the legacy that Water Martin had left. He has been coronated, he has received many crowns, but his work continues on. He has laid up for himself treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matt. 6:19–21). Twenty-eight years ago, yesterday, June 26, Walter Martin went home to be with the Lord, and I thought it would only be appropriate to have his dear daughter on the broadcast today. She is someone who, by the way, carries on his legacy in so many different ways. She has been one of the staunchest supporters of the pro-life movement through her talent, through her tenacity, and through her commitment. She is a true daughter of Walter Martin. The characteristics that I saw in Walter Martin that attracted me to him are the characteristics that I see in Cindee Martin Morgan, and I am delighted to welcome her to this segment of the Bible Answer Man broadcast. Hi, Cindee.

Cindee Martin Morgan: Hi, Hank. Nice to be with you.

Hank: It is wonderful to have you on the broadcast. Again, I think you hear from the prologue to this broadcast what your dad meant in founding a ministry in 1960. He had a vision. He had a vision of technology, the use of technology, and it is absolutely incredible to see today how his vision has become a reality.

Cindee: It really is. He was not a computer kind of guy, he never really had those skills or abilities, but he sought out those who did, and he informed himself because he had that vision to incorporate it into what would be tools that he would need to spread the gospel using CRI [the Christian Research Institute] all over the world, which was his goal.

Hank: My daughter said on the broadcast yesterday that she was so proud of me as her father, and I can imagine how proud you are to this day of the legacy of your father.

Cindee: Yes. I am very proud of him. In fact, one of the last times I had with him, he had taken us over to that big building that he had gotten for CRI, it was in California, but I cannot remember the town, it might have been Irvine, but he was showing us through this building that they were beginning to set up for CRI over there, and he was just remarking to me, “Cindee, this was my dream, this is my dream, and God has blessed it, and I am just so excited and so thankful to see all that He is doing through me.” You know, not taking the glory for himself, but just recognizing the hand of God on his life, and recognizing that all of this was being raised up through the mighty hand of God, whom he loved so much as his Father, and he was just so excited. To experience that joy with him was something that I would never forget.

Hank: Here we are, twenty-eight years later, and there have been so many people who have joined with us as support team members, as we said on yesterday’s broadcast, they are, as it were, our Special Forces, our Green Berets. Without them, nobody would be hearing our broadcast, our podcasts, or receiving the Christian Research Journal. Talk about how important it is for people to honor your dad’s legacy and the legacy of the ministry of the Christian Research Institute now for fifty-seven years by supporting the ministry prayerfully and financially.

Cindee: Well, I feel that my dad’s calling was of course to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he did it with all his heart, soul, and mind. He wanted to follow the admonition of 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). I really think it was his vision to get the gospel in the hands of those who needed it and to get answers in the hands of those who have not been able to find their way that were in the darkness. I think that we all have to support and do what God puts in our hearts, where the gospel is concerned. That is really critical that we do that and that we rely on the Lord’s direction in our churches, in our lives, and however God guides us and directs us. There is nothing more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important than the souls of men that are lost. We are to be light, and we are to be salt. The gospel should always be on our lips. It should not be an afterthought.

Hank: You have had such an instrumental role not only through prose but also through the lyrics that you have written with respect to the pro-life movement. This is a passion for you, and this needs to remain a passion for Christians. Some Christians suffer from what has often been described as “fetus fatigue.” In other words, we have heard the warnings against abortion, we have heard that abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being, but it has been said so many times in so many different ways we often become anesthetized to one of the greatest, if not the greatest, holocaust that one could possibly imagine in human history.

Cindee: Yes, that is what we are facing, and we do get kind of dulled. Our senses do get kind of dulled because you are always up against the issue and it is like we get human fatigue. You know, we just put it on the back burner. I think that happens to all of us in every area. This area in particular is one that is quite serious. What we always have to remember that there are people that are depending on us being a voice for them and speaking when they cannot speak. Speaking up for them when they cannot speak for themselves. Their very lives do hang in the balance. I think that it is filling yourselves with the Word of God daily, like you do as a Christian, and it is coming before the Lord and it is just asking Him to give you remembrance of what is the most pressing and most important thing that He wants you to do that day and then doing those things that He puts your heart and hand to. It is also remembering that there are constants out there, like the unborn, where God constantly wants us to be praying for their good, to be seeking their good, to be speaking up and helping others to realize that these are people that deserve life just as much you and I do. God is the giver and taker of life  — not us. I think that we just have to just keep renewing our minds; I think that’s what it comes down to. You know, we do not fortunately all get fatigued at the same time, and I think that when we notice each other is getting kind of away from an issue you know that is really critical like this one, that we can nudge one another, encourage one another, and build and lift one another up in this area so that it spurs. We can spur each other on to those good works for the unborn little by little and help each other along the way to make a difference for time and for all eternity.

Hank: Talking to Cindee Martin Morgan. She is the daughter of Walter Martin, who of course is the founder of the Christian Research Institute, who had a vision for this ministry, a discernment ministry. He was oftentimes referred to as father of the counter-cult movement, and the impact that he made while he was alive was monumental. That impact continues on today. Cindee, if you were someone that was passing Walter’s car while he was driving the streets of Southern California, you would have seen a license plate that said Jude 3. That verse, of course: “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (NASB). That was his life verse. He displayed it everywhere, even as I said on his license plate, but that is the verse he lived by.

Cindee: It is. It is the verse he lived by. You know my dad was a mentor for me. We often took walks together, and he would talk to me about what God was doing in his life, and he would be so excited about it. That just really rubbed off on me because it made God real to me in every step that I took, and I will be forever grateful to my dad for bringing the Lord into my presence, in a sense you know, just making God seen as He really is. One thing he said when we would take walks is he would remind me, “Look, you need to keep a journal, and you need to keep track of God. Write down what your prayer request are to the Lord, and remember to come back in and fill in those answers,” and he said when you get discouraged, you take out that book, and you remind yourself about the goodness of God. Read through what you have asked Him, and read through what He told you, and be refreshed and remember that He is with you. I will tell you that has really stayed with me my whole life, just that idea of Yes, God loves me, God cares about every detail of my life, God is with me, and to keep track of God in such a way that I never forget His goodness to me.

Hank: This is, as I mentioned at the outset, this is the twenty-eighth year that we remember your dad’s coronation. We know that he is in the presence of God. Anything that you can add to the discussion as we think about your dad, his legacy, and how his legacy might be an encouragement for us to order our life around the divine to work not for the city of man but, as it were, for the city of God.

Cindee: Well, I would encourage people. A hymn comes to mind when you were talking. I love hymns, and my father did too. The hymn [In the Garden]: “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own.” Those words were going through my mind as you were speaking, and I just think that we all need to cry out to God, to give us a vision, you give to us a vision of what He wants, not a real vision, but you know what I mean, give us that heartfelt purpose and show us what our calling is and show us what our gifts are so that we can use them the most for His glory. I think that was so interesting about my dad, because not everybody seems as driven as that, I have not really known people like him, quite frankly. Now, he was so driven, but he knew his purpose. He knew what God had put in his hands to do, and he knew he could do nothing else. He was driven to serve the Lord with all of his heart and to raise up a ministry that God had put on his heart to reach those around him for His kingdom that needed answers to the questions that they were not necessarily finding in churches. A lot of times the cults like Mormonism were a really big issue during his lifetime, and he just wanted to give, he wanted to kind of pull the lid off of these cults and help the church to understand and know this is not the same Jesus we are talking about. They may have all the same terms, but we are not talking about the same Jesus. It was really important to my dad to help people understand the true Jesus, the true gospel.

Hank: Cindee Martin Morgan, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the Bible Answer Man broadcast remembering your dad, his legacy, and I can tell you just as you are proud of your dad, I am quite certain that he is proud of you.

Cindee: Thank you so much, Hank, for those kind words. God bless you, dear brother.

Hank: Thank you, Cindee, for spending this time with our audience right here on the Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Adapted from the June 27, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.

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