September 08, 2019 - Sunday 4:09 AM by JD Vergara
A lot of you may not know him but he is a popular televangelist in America and, according to reports, is very rich. He is one of several popular preachers in the US who preach what is known as prosperity gospel. The latter is a teaching that promises God’s blessings like health and wealth for those who give their tithes and donations faithfully to the ministry, that is, the ministries of these prosperity gospel preachers. They also teach the concept of “seed faith” which means that if you give P1,000 to God you will receive P100,000 or more. As preached, God then becomes obligated to bless you because you are obeying this law on tithing and giving.
There is no doubt that this teaching has destroyed countless churches, lives of believers, and has maligned the name of Christ. These prosperity preachers themselves allegedly live lavish lifestyles complete with limousines and private jets to traverse their ministry routes. In America there have been attempts to investigate these preachers for tax evasion. This teaching is not unique in America we can find it also here in Davao City. My previous church, so called The Jesus Fellowship preached this kind of teaching before it finally swallowed another false teaching hook line and sinker. It finally went down the tubes thereafter.
So now Benny Hinn is renouncing this teaching, the one which he preached to his followers for a very, very long time. He said, “I’m 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 the Bible in the same eyes I saw 20 years ago…I think it’s an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say give $1,000. I think it’s an offense to the Holy Spirit to place 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 think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.” With these words, his followers cheered him on.
Personally, I was a bit glad the first time I read this news on Facebook. In repentance there is healing, the bible tells us. But is Benny Hinn genuinely repenting? Some people do not think so. The report says that Hinn’s outright rejection of this teaching came just two months after his nephew, Costi Hinn, revealed in his book, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies, how Benny Hinn exploited millions around the world with his teachings. This may be a preemptive attempt on Benny’s part to cushion the impact of this book. If so, then the whole renouncing thing is just another lie.
I think one evidence of true repentance is restitution. When Zacchaeus believed in Jesus, he gave half of his wealth to the poor, vowing to give more to those he defrauded in their taxes. With this gesture, Jesus said that salvation has come to Zacchaeus’ house that day. If Benny Hinn truly repented, he would have at least done something that Zacchaeus did, or there must be at least a show of physical renunciation of material possessions. Someone asked, “to whom will he be donating his plundered loot?” Until this part is seen, I’ll just keep my distance from this seemingly good news.
Ironically, the New Testament gave us strong warnings against pursuing wealth and loving money:
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
These are unmistakable words against greed and loving money. There’s no way we can miss these words except by deliberate intent. Benny Hinn says that prosperity teaching is selling down the gospel and the Holy Spirit hates it and he discovers this after at least 20 years and coincidentally, just before an exposé from within his own family is coming out.
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