Monday, September 9, 2019

Confession of a Charlatan?

Photo by Sergi Viladesau on Unsplash
Having watched the recent Benny Hinn video “confession,” here are a few thoughts on the matter.
But before we begin, even more than perpetrators like Benny Hinn, their enablers ought to be held accountable (e.g., the Trinity Broadcast Network). Mr. Hinn’s “repentance” is being trumpeted far and wide by the editors of Charisma Magazine, yet this “Christian” publication has been a platform for prosperity preachers for decades, and this now includes their ideological descendants who are running the contemporary “prophetic movement” (e.g., the New Apostolic Reformation, Bethel, IHOP).
Despite last week’s interview, just today, Charisma published a piece by Ron Allen calling Christians to join with Kenneth Copeland and Lou Engle to seek revival. Arguably, Kenneth Copeland is the worst of the prosperity gospel gang.
On the positive side, the enthusiastic reaction of many Christians to Mr. Hinn’s repentance is encouraging; perhaps this indicates that many Christians either never bought into this scam or have grown weary of it.
On the less than positive side, largely missing from the interview was repentance for or admission of guilt to the thousands of victims of Mr. Hinn’s “ministry,” both those who were scammed out of money and those who had their high hopes for healing shattered. Perhaps Mr. Hinn will offer to expend his fortune to assist his victims or, at least, help support the preaching of the true gospel. Time will tell. But are we not summoned to demonstrate the “fruits of repentance?”
By his own "admission" (well, maybe - see below), Mr. Hinn has been preaching a false gospel for decades. Should he not withdraw from the ministry, at least for a period of reassessment and reflection? Do we know if he even understands what the real gospel is? If he has been preaching “a different gospel” and “another Jesus” all these years, why do we still refer to him as “Pastor”? If he has been a false teacher, then God never called him to the ministry.
Yes, welcome him with open arms into the fold, but this man is no shepherd of the sheep. Meanwhile, thousands of unknown but faithful men and women continue to labor around the world for the gospel, their efforts unsung and unacknowledged, at least in this life, and not a few have suffered persecution for the kingdom.
Have we heard Mr. Hinn’s confession accurately?  His complaint is that Prosperity preachers have taken this message to “extremes.” Is he rejecting the basic idea of giving to God so you can get stuff in return, or is he objecting only to going too far with it?
I hope for his sake that Mr. Hinn is sincere and that he is working to turn his life around. But this not the first time he
has done this or voiced disagreement with some aspects of the Prosperity gospel (which is not the same thing as rejecting it outright). He voiced a similar confession in 2018.

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