Popular Israeli televangelist, Benny Hinn, has faulted pastors, whose sermons only focus on prosperity and living ostentatiously.
The 65 years old globe-trotting evangelist made this shocking revelation in a Facebook Live broadcast on February 21, while reflecting on the legacy of legendary American preacher and fellow clergy Billy Graham’s death.
The clergyman says the focus of Christianity today is wrong. He called on preachers of the gospel to stop living extravagant lives and start living according to God’s instruction.
“Today, many Christians are not truly Christians. Their Christianity has become deluded. 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.”
Hinn said that with age and developing greater understanding, he realised that unbiblical interpretations of scripture influenced his teaching. That believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the ‘sowing of seeds’ through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings is one of those things.
“The more you know the Bible the more you become biblically based and more balanced in your opinions and your thoughts because we are influenced. 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.
“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.”
Mimically, he dismissed rumours that he lives a lavish life and flies private jets, saying he has not flown privately in years.
“I mean forgive me. People have accused me of things that aren’t even real. One guy wrote a comment ‘Oh he’s worth 40 million.’ Oh, how I wish. I would give it all to the Kingdom before God Almighty.“Well, he flies private jets.’ No, I don’t. I have not flown private in dear God years. I fly commercial just like anyone else.’
Prosperity theology has been described as affirming that Christians are automatically entitled to financial and health blessings. The sexagenarian, who has repeatedly been branded a Prosperity Gospel preacher, said he was “as guilty as others” is now calling his fellow clerics to be about the bible and Jesus, not materialism.
“We all sadly make the mistake of thinking that this is what God wants and God says ‘No, that’s not what I want.’ It’s time to live biblically. You know it all comes down to one thing. Do we love Jesus, yes or no? If we love Jesus then it’s all about Jesus. If we don’t love Jesus then it’s about other things.’
Hinn was one of six televangelists, who were investigated by US politicians on the Senate Committee on Finance in 2007, an enquiry that raised questions about the personal use of church-owned aeroplanes, luxury homes and credit cards by pastors and their families, and expressed concerns about the lack of oversight of finances by boards often packed with the televangelists’ relatives and friends. The probe, which concluded four years later, issued no punishment to Benny Hinn Ministries, nor did it conclude that the organisation was guilty of any wrongdoing.
Anyhow, Benny is one of the last people we had ever expect to hear criticizing the prosperity gospel the idea that God wants you to be rich. Him and many other preachers from all over the globe, Zimbabwe included, are known for touching people on the forehead until they fall backwards from the force of God, and they are making a lot of money convincing gullible Christians that they are a stop on their path to salvation.
Now, hearing him say this is actually a miracle revelation of its own. Our hope is that more preachers could denounce such a misinformed teaching and encourage more transparency in their personal expenditures.
Check out Benny’s video here or below: