Prosperity Preacher Says He’ll Stop
From the evangelical CP: “Benny Hinn renounces prosperity gospel, says ‘Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.’” From more mainstream RNS: “Is televangelist Benny Hinn renouncing the prosperity gospel?” Benny Hinn has been grifting with the Prosperity Gospel for about 40 years. He claims he just discovered that it contradicts Jesus – he’d been listening to other prosperity preachers all these years, and just got the word from the Holy Ghost.
On one hand, Hinn says: “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.” But apparently he’s not through asking for money. He also says: “If you are not giving because you love Jesus, don’t bother giving.”
Hinn has received a great deal of criticism. RNS notes: “Hinn’s ministries have been the subject of investigations over the years, including by the Internal Revenue Service in 2017 and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who concluded a three-year inquiry of alleged lavish spending by six prominent broadcast ministries in 2011.” The Bush administration persuaded Grassley to drop his investigation. Under Trump, the IRS has all but ended investigations of the rich, let alone rich evangelicals.
More importantly, Hinn’s nephew recently blew the whistle on him: “I grew up in the prosperity gospel. I lived it, believed it and bankrolled it. My family was at the center of it, with Uncle Benny leading the charge, until eventually my eyes opened to the exploitation and abuse of it… prosperity preachers who exploit the poor and target sick people in Third World countries have a scary reality awaiting them in the next life if they don’t make things right in this one.”
Grifts don’t last forever; 40 years is a very long time. I suspect the well was running dry, and Hinn decided a change was needed. Grifters grift. I suspect Hinn already has a new one. Evangelicals specialize in wishful thinking; they’ve always been easy marks.