Hank Hanegraaff's embrace of Eastern Christianity has, by the looks of my Facebook feed, revealed how sad and pathetic our church divisions are during this sacred week of reentering the mysteries that save the world (in one of those rare years when East and West celebrate Easter/Pascha in the same week).
John Paul II understood that living as a Christian without the Christian East *or* the Christian West is like trying to exercise life-generating faith with only one lung.
As a fourth generation Pentecostal who finds himself worshipping in the Anglican tradition, I would have an impoverished view of Jesus Christ without worship experiences among Orthodox Christians and participation in their wisdom by reading and meditation.
I say this as someone who also cannot if I tried imagine our God without the vision of Jesus Christ that the Evangelical Calvinist T.F. Torrance had, or the Lutheran Robert Jenson taught me, or the Methodist Thomas Oden shared in evening conversations, animated by our mutual passion for the great gift that the whole church offers us when we listen to the whole church.
At present I learn almost weekly from Pentecostals (Chris Green, Cheryl Bridges Johns), Independents (Brian Zahnd, Jeff Turner), Evangelicals (Scot McKnight, Ben Myers, Fred Sanders, Oliver Crisp), Anglicans (Tom Wright, Rowan Williams, Sarah Coakley), Methodists (Jason Micheli, Taylor Mertins, Teer Hardy, Michael Gorman), Baptists (Russell Moore, Al Mohler, Hunter Baker), Roman Catholics (James Martin, Eleanore Stump, Scott Hahn, Benedict XVI, Ilia Delio), Episcopalians (Fleming Rutledge, Marilyn McCord Adams), Anabaptists (Norman Wirzba, Stanley Hauerwas), Reformed (James K.A. Smith, Peter Leithart, Hans Boersma), Mainline (Cornel West, Frederick Buechner), and Orthodox (Brad Jersak, John Behr, Stephen Freeman, David Bentley Hart, Al Kimel) Christians to name a few.
I encourage you to pray with and work with and worship with and befriend Christians of the whole church and from every church. Your life in Christ will grow strong and flourish.
It is my experience that we do not see everything that there is to see about Jesus until and unless we embrace the whole church. It is a curse originating in our pettiness that our view of Jesus is to that extent obstructed by a party spirit, as Paul teaches.
And don't grant much integrity to critics of any part of the church who fail to comprehend that part of the church by knowing and living and working and studying and worshipping with Christians from the church they are critiquing.
Just a word to those who seek wisdom.