Deb here with a true story that involves Benny Hinn. While the following account happened around six years ago, I remember it VIVIDLY because it was so shocking! Here it is:
I was facilitating a Beth Moore Bible study called Believing God. There were around 20 ladies participating, and all of us were members of the same conservative Southern Baptist church. I consider the events I am about to describe to be totally providential (orchestrated by Almighty God).
When we were well into the study, one of the ladies informed me that Beth Moore planned to make a guest appearance on James Robison’s broadcast on the Inspirational Network. I never watched INSP, but I wanted to hear what Beth had to say and share it with the group. On the evening she was to be interviewed, I tuned in about 30 minutes before the broadcast to be sure I had the correct channel. Low and behold, there was Benny Hinn! I knew all about Hinn prior to sitting through his shenanigans and then I enjoyed the Robisons interview with Beth Moore.
As only God could arrange it, the very next lesson we were to discuss concerned “Miracles”. In this lesson Beth was describing how some Christians believe that miracles have ceased while others believe it’s all about miracles. I cited examples of each extreme and said that I am squarely in the middle because I have experienced miracles in my life. When I gave an example of someone who believes it’s all about miracles, I mentioned Benny Hinn, whom I had just seen on television.
At the conclusion of the class, everyone left except one lady who was older than I. She approached me and explained that she did not appreciate my criticism of Benny Hinn. Uh oh! She proceeded to tell me that she admired him. I told her that I had absolutely no respect for him or his ministry – that it was all about money. Then she scoffed and said that some could say the same thing about our church. It was a very awkward exchange, and we clearly did no see eye-to-eye. To top it off, this was the lady who told me to watch Beth Moore on the INSP channel. Had she not made the suggestion, I wouldn’t have seen Benny Hinn, and I might not have used him as an example in the Bible study session.
I was terribly upset that an older lady in my church had come under the influence of a charlatan like Benny Hinn! I already owned a copy of Hank Hanegraaff’s book Christianity in Crisis, and I read through it again. I purchased another copy of this book and made an appointment to discuss the matter with my pastor. During our meeting, I explained (just as I have here) what happened and then I gave him Hank’s book, which provides an insightful overview of the Prosperity (Health and Wealth) preachers, including Benny Hinn.
I explained to my pastor that what was most upsetting to me was that this women who defended Benny Hinn was the wife of a deacon at our church! My pastor was empathetic and shared my views regarding these false prophets like Hinn.
As you can probably surmise, I am still EXTREMELY upset by such deception within the Christian community.
For those who are not familiar with Benny Hinn, here’s an overview researched and written by Dee.
Today and tomorrow, our material is taken from the following resources:
The Confusing World of Benny Hinn - G. Richard Fisher and N. Kurt Goedleman
Counterfeit Revival -Hank Hanegraaff
Christianity in Crisis 21st Century - Hank Hanegraaff
The Many Faces of Benny Hinn - Television tapes obtained through The Door
Christian Research Institute
The Alnor Report
The Trinity Foundation (before they got weird)
The Bible Answer Man
Benedictus (Benny ) Hinn was born in Jaffa, Israel on December 3, 1952 to an Arab family. He claimed that his father, Constandi Hinn, was the mayor of Jaffa during Benny’s childhood. Well, this was proven to be one of many lies told by Hinn. When confronted, he claimed he meant his father was the “unofficial” mayor of Jaffa.
In approximately 1968, he moved with his family to Canada. He claims to have graduated in 12th grade from Georges Vanier Secondary School. Well, not exactly. He dropped out after the 11th grade. His conversion to Christ happened sometime between then and 1972, the dates and times of this change in many of his interviews and testimonies. He once claimed he had been saved in Israel.
He claims that he was afflicted with a severe stutter which was cured at, depending on the interview date, the time of his conversion. Those who grew up with him said he never stuttered. He maintains that he has documentation of this problem but has refused to produce such proof.
He asserts he was involved with a youth group in Toronto that met at St. Paul’s Cathedral called The Catacombs. He reports that he became performed as a singer and interpretive dancer. In 1976, he was quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail’s Fanfare that he considered himself a performer.
In that 1974 article, he said he discovered his ability to knock people over (slain in the spirit nonsense) when he preached at Trinity Pentecostal Church in Oshawa. He asserts that he lifted his hand and 100 people fell over. He slowly gained popularity over a period of time, ultimately founding the Orlando Christian Center in Florida.
Hinn has said that Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministry had a significant impact on his life. Some of the facts of her life beat eerie parallels to the discrepancies in his biography. She was a self proclaimed faith healer and prophetess who died in 1975.
Hinn declares he has visions of her visiting him, hears her talking to him, and regularly visits her grave where he claims to have been physically healed by her. Interestingly, her father was a mayor, she grew up with a stutter which she said the Lord healed, she wore white at all of her services (as does Hinn) and she was known for slaying people in the spirit and holy laughter (both are practiced by Hinn).
In one of his books he discusses his reaction when he saw her for the first time. “I had been in the ministry for three months and I had never seen anything like it…I went back to Canada and thought about it. I am going to try this, he said.” (p. 127-The Confusing World of Benny Hinn).
Hinn’s theology is questionable. He has the unique capacity for making false proclamations of Scriptural truth. When confronted by these errors, he often apologizes but quickly comes up with a new theological controversy. Although ordained by the Assemblies of God early on in his career, he was asked by the AOG to give up his membership which he did.
Perhaps his statement, “may we not be distracted by doctrines and influential men and women” best defines his theological viewpoints. With this attitude, he is free to pursue unorthodox views of Christianity. Here are six examples.
1. “I found that God is a real person-He has a body, soul, and spirit. It’s also true of Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Three separate persons, each with a body soul and spirit.” (ibid 184). He has since said that he was joking but the recordings of this message do not reveal any laughter.
2. “I feel revelation knowledge coming on me…you say ‘I never heard of that.’ Well. Do you think you’re in church to hear things you’ve heard in the last 50 years?” He then went on to make the remarks in statement 1.
3. He claims that Ephesians 5:23 reads, “He himself being the savior of my body” instead of the words “of the body.” He further claims that if Jesus is the savior of the body then your body ought to be made whole.” He makes a whole theology out of this belief. He claims that at the time of the rapture” there will not be a single sick saint raptured because all saint would have been healed by this time. On TBN with Paul Crouch, he said he was seeing a vision that soon people would not have to be taken to an undertaker when they died. Instead they would be taken to their living rooms and have their lifeless hands held up to the television for healing.”(audio recording of Bible Answer Man 9/2000).
4. He believes that we must command God to act on our behalf. “And the Spirit of the Lord said to me, ‘Words activate heaven. It is God’s will to heal…but…we as believers must claim the promises….People are tired of hearing, Maybe. They want to hear the positive. God will do it no matter what the devil does’… “ (Ibid. p.154-155)
5. He has repeatedly claimed that the Trinity has a body. Also, he claims to have visions of the clothes that Jesus wears.
6. He believes in the prosperity gospel. “And I am sick and tired of hearing about the streets of gold in heaven. I’ve got to have it now.” “Poverty is a demon.” He said that the poverty demon appeared in his bedroom and God told Him to rebuke it. He says that you have to believe that you will be out of debt in one year and you will be since it says that in the Bible. (Ibid. pp.99,100,137).
Finally there is absolute proof that Benny Hinn is a false prophet. How? He has prophesied things that have not come true. When a Christian says that he is speaking for the Lord, he better be sure that he is. When he says “the Lord told me”, what he says must be true and without error. Why? The Lord does not make mistakes. Hinn, has made all sorts of prophecies that are untrue.
One can listen to the recordings in which he says the following statements at the Christian Research Institute. The great thing about Hank Hanegraaff is that he has absolute proof that Hinn is saying these things because they are captured on an audio recording.
1. He says the Spirit of the Lord told him that all homosexuals would be destroyed be the mid 90s. Sadly, one can hear loud clapping in the background. Not only was this prophecy false but are we not supposed to weep for the condemned?
2. He said the Lord told him that Fidel Castro would die of physical causes by the end of the 1990s.
3. He said that the Spirit of the Lord told him that Jesus would physically appear with Hinn during a crusade in Kenya. That did not happen. However, during Hinn’s appearance, several people were hurt when people rushed the stage to be there when Jesus was supposed to appear. Two children died because their families took them out of the hospital to go to be healed by Jesus.
4. Hinn also claims that there was a demon being brought into the United States by Haitians and illegal immigrants. He also reports that he has had a number of strange visitors. These include Kathryn Kuhlman, little angels and Elijah. He says that Kuhlman’s tomb has a special anointing and that people can be healed by visiting it. He also says this of the tomb of Aimee Semple McPherson another self-proclaimed prophetess.
It is painfully obvious that there are significant problems with Benny Hinn. The number of people who follow him astonishes us. In a previous church, a number of folks told us that they believed that Benny Hinn was a healer and a good man. When a pastor was told about this, he shrugged his shoulders and said that he didn’t feel the need to teach specifically about people like Hinn. He said his Bible teaching should be enough. Well, it isn’t and we believe that many pastors are guilty for not speaking out against this obvious false prophet.
We plan to look closer at the supposed “healing ministry” of Hinn tomorrow.