ONE of the world’s most notorious hucksters, prosperity preacher Benny ‘The Hair’ Hinn, told a congregation this week that he will no longer be travelling the world to plunder people’s pockets.
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.
He was met by applause when he said that the “Holy Ghost is just fed up with it” and that the Gospel is “not for sale”.
I think it’s an offence to the Lord, it’s an offence to say give $1,000. I think it’s 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 $1,000 or whatever amount, because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.
He went on to say that such teaching “hurts the Gospel” and that he was even going to “rebuke” other pastors who teach people that they will be blessed if they give large sums of money.
I think it hurts the Gospel, so I’m making this statement for the first time in my life and frankly, I don’t care what people think about me anymore. When they invite me to telethons I think they will not like me anymore. Because when you look at the word of God … if I hear one more time, break the back of debt with $1,000, I’m gonna rebuke them.I think that’s buying the Gospel. That’s buying the blessing. That’s grieving the Holy Spirit. … 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.
In a Facebook live broadcast last year, Hinn said that his interpretation of Scripture was changing with age.
We get attacked for preaching prosperity, well it’s in the Bible. But I think some have gone to the extreme with it sadly, and it’s not God’s word what is taught, and I think I’m as guilty as others. Sometimes you go a little farther than you really need to go and then God brings you back to normality and reality.
When I was younger I was influenced by the preachers who taught whatever they taught. But as I’ve lived longer, I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute, you know this doesn’t fit totally with the Bible and it doesn’t fit with the reality.’ So what is prosperity? No lack. I’ve said this before.
He went on:
Did Elijah the prophet have a car? No. Did not even have a bicycle. He had no lack … Did Jesus drive a car or live in a mansion? No. He had no lack. How about the apostles? None lacked among them. Today, the idea is abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts. The focus is wrong … It’s so wrong.
Costi has published a book God, Greed and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies, in which he says that his family peddled the false promise of wealth and success in exchange for money.