Saturday, September 7, 2019 8:55 pm
Benin Hinn, the US based televangelist, is not a stranger to Nigeria. In April 2005, he held a crusade in this country where the local organizing committee promised him that six million people would attend. Each night, 300,000 people on the average, attended, making the aggregate attendance for the three-day event to be less than one million.
Whatever disappointment he felt on the first and second days of the miracle crusade, Hinn kept to himself – but he, according to the report Shola Odunfa wrote for BBC, opened up with anger on the final day. “Four million dollars down the drain,” he shouted into the microphone from the huge rostrum.
The televangelist is in the news again. He has told everyone who cares to listen that he is throwing overboard his former belief in prosperity preaching, popularized by many suave and corporate pastorpreneurs.
“Am sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy and I’m correcting my own theology and you need to all know it because when I read the Bible now, I don’t see Bible with the same eyes I saw it 20years ago,” Hinn was quoted by Christiantoday.com.
He continued: “I think it is an offence to the Lord to say ‘give a thousand dollars’. I think it is an offence to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it, I will never again ask you to give a thousand or whatever because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.
“I think it hurts the Gospel. So, I’m making these statements for the first time in my life and frankly, I don’t care what people think about me anymore.
“I had a guy(Dan Willis), he said, “don’t you dare preach that message again, I don’t want to be part of it”. So, I know when they invite me to telephones, I think they won’t like me anymore. Because if you look at the word of God…(I don’t want to get into it now).
“If I hear one more time “break the back of debt with a thousand dollars”, I’m going to rebuke them. I think that’s buying the Gospel, buying the blessing, that’s grieving the Holy Spirit. That’s about all I will say! If you are not giving because you love Jesus, don’t bother giving. I think giving has become such a gimmick, it’s making me sick to my stomach and I’ve been sick for a while now and couldn’t say it.
“You know why? I don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked. I think it is time we say like it is, “the Gospel is not for sale” and “the blessings of God are not for sale” and “miracles are not for sale” and “prosperity is not for sale”.
In his reaction to the issue, Olugbenga Osinaike, a preacher too who is the Editor-In-Chief of Church Times in Nigeria wrote a piece, entitled:
“Not about Benny Hinn
When the news first filtered in about the celebrated confession of Evangelist Benny Hinn, I was not too excited. First, I thought it was one old news that was revived by some online folks.
Hinn had once made similar confession in the past. But he did not walk his talk. But then this new confession came differently. By the time I listened to him again and again, I have this conviction that this evangelist might have found the light truly.
I am using my words decidedly because I appreciate that we are humans and capable of changing depending on the wind that blows on us.
But then, as I meditated on the recent confession, I stumbled on his interview with Stephen Strang of Charisma Magazine published on Friday in the podcast of Charisma Magazine. The audio interview which I took time to transcribe finally gave me some clue about what must have informed Hinn’s decision and why he perhaps did not walk his talk after the first confession.
Two things come out clear from the interview Hinn had with Strang. One, many church leaders find it difficult to manage success. It is not their fault. Success has a way of beclouding one’s ability to think straight and look at things objectively. Many successful church leaders are in a mess today not because they do not know the truth but because truth sometimes wears a different garment in the place of comfort. Hinn confirms this when he said he got distracted along the way when his ministry began to expand. The number two thing is that scripture loses its grip on us when we stay away from it. It does not matter how anointed we are. The moment we are far from the word of God, we are bound to fall. The Psalmist says “thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee”. It is not surprising that Hinn found the truth when he began to study the Bible again in the last two years.
So, in the real sense, the confession of Hinn as regards the evil of the prosperity message is really not about him. It is about the general mess that the church in the last few decades have found itself.
My worry is no longer Hinn. My worry; and I think what should be the worry of many is the army of prosperity purveyors that have dotted our landscape. Many in the Church have gone too far in manipulation that sometimes I wonder: Where do we start from? I have often maintained that we don’t need to manipulate people to get money from them.
What is wrong in stating our needs as a church and call for support? Why tell church members if they don’t give they will not be blessed? Why ask them to seal their prayers with a fat offering? Why initiate a thanksgiving service for the purpose of raising funds? Why ask people to come and do thanksgiving where they have to give something substantial to God, when you should simply tell them the needs of the church and ask for their support as they are being blessed?
Why ask them to sow a money seed and tie their blessings to it? Why call out people who want to give for special prayers while those who don’t give are stigmatized? Why recognize only those who give cash while those who come to sweep the church and render other services are not recognized?
Of a truth the church is not as bad as being projected. I have met many church leaders that are doing it right. But a few folks with big names are messing the church up and these people need to borrow a cue from Benny Hinn and repent.
It is heartwarming that Hinn said he did not make the recent decision because of his critics but that he was being led by the Lord to make the decision. Our big pastors need to come down from their esteemed positions. We all need to repent and stop worshiping mammon. Money is important for the running of activities in the church. But we don’t need to use gimmick and manipulation to get money from people. Let worshippers decide on what to give to support church projects. If God will not touch the hearts of people to fund His work, it is better we allow the work remain undone. You can’t be wiser than the owner of the work.”
The Man Benin Hinn
Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn (born 3 December 1952) is an Israeli televangelist, best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades”—revival meeting or faith healingsummits that are usually held in stadiums in major cities, which, according to reports written on him and compiled by Wikipedia, are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, This Is Your Day.[
‘Hinn was born in Jaffa, in 1952, in the then newly established state of Israel to parents born in Palestine with Greek, Palestinian and Armenian heritage. He was raised within the Eastern Orthodox tradition.
Soon after the 1967 Arab–Israeli War (“The Six-Day War”), Hinn’s family emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he attended the Georges Vanier Secondary School. He did not graduate. In his books, Hinn states that his father was the mayor of Jaffa at the time of his birth and that he was socially isolated as a child and was handicapped by a severe stutter, but that he was nonetheless a first-class student. These claims, however, have been disputed by critics of Hinn. As a teenager in Toronto, Hinn converted from Greek Orthodoxyto Pentecostalism, eventually joining a singing troupe made up of young evangelicals. According to a 2004 CBC report on Hinn, his newfound religious devotion during this period became so intense that his family became concerned that he was turning into a religious fanatic. Hinn was taught the Bible and was mentored by Dr. Winston I. Nunes of Broadview Faith Temple in Toronto.
Hinn has written that on 21 December 1973, he traveled by charter bus from Toronto to Pittsburgh to attend a “miracle service” conducted by evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. Although he never met her personally, he often attended her “healing services” and has often cited her as an influence in his life.
On moving to the United States, Hinn traveled to Orlando, Florida, where he founded the Orlando Christian Center in 1983. Eventually, he began claiming that God was using him as a conduit for healings, and began holding healing services in his church. These new “Miracle Crusades” were soon held at large stadiums and auditoriums across the United States and the world, the first nationally televised service being held in Flint, Michigan, in 1989.’