Benny Hinn says his heart is changing. Benny, who is now 67 years old, has been a popular televangelist for many years, and for most of his ministry, he’s been well-known for his teaching on prosperity. But now Benny is blatantly rejecting the extreme prosperity Gospel, even calling it an “offense to the Holy Spirit.”
Last year, Benny stirred up controversy in the Pentecostal community by announcing that his understanding of biblical prosperity was beginning to change. Charisma even published an article in the August 2018 issue about how Benny’s views were starting to morph.
But now, Benny isn’t holding back. Yesterday, Charisma News reported that he preached on Monday about the dangers of the extreme prosperity gospel, saying it made him “sick to [his] stomach.”
“I believe it’s an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say, ‘Give $1,000,'” he says in a video posted Sept. 3. “I think it’s an offense to the Holy Spirit to put a price on the gospel. I’m done with it. I will never again ask you to give $1,000 or whatever amount, because I believe the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.”
I’ve known Benny for many years. Our friendship reaches back to before I founded Charisma magazine in 1975, and I was even in his wedding. So he was gracious enough to join me on my “Strang Report” podcast to discuss his changing views on the prosperity gospel and why he’s deciding to come out strongly against it now.
Benny tells me he wants to make one thing clear: He is not changing his views on prosperity because of his critics. As a controversial evangelist, Benny has had plenty of critics over the years, including his own nephew, who spoke out last year against his uncle’s Word of Faith theology.
Instead, Benny’s change of heart came from hours of studying the Word of God day and night as well as deep reflection and prayer. He tells me he initially went into ministry out of a love for his Master, Jesus, but as his ministry grew in fame, he became distracted.
“My love never changed,” he tells me. “I just became distracted. … Today, I’m 67 years old, and I thinking about ‘How am I going to finish? What will I leave behind for the next generation? How will they view me?’ I want them to view me as one who preaches the cross. I do not want to be known prosperity. I want to be known for someone who preached the cross of Jesus—salvation.”
Benny says that in the past, many ministries used him to raise money for their causes. He says he would watch people come down to the front in response to his message on giving, but the things these ministries would tell them were not biblical.
“I did not, at that time, have the boldness or courage to say, ‘Look, stop that,'” he says. “Today, I’m sorry, I cannot allow that. Nor will I ever allow that. … It’s manipulation. It’s gimmickry to tell someone, ‘You give $1,000, you’re going to get a hundredfold.’ What if they don’t get a hundredfold? And most do not. What happens to their walk with the Lord and their faith?”
I think Benny is putting his finger on the heart of the problem with extreme prosperity teaching. Certain charismatic and Pentecostal preachers have certainly fallen into excess with this theology.
But that doesn’t mean that prosperity in and of itself is unbiblical.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Charisma News