Benny Hinn and Money

The ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Scam

Benny Hinn’s reliance on Word-Faith theology — also known as ‘Word of Faith’ or simply the ‘Faith message’ — naturally includes promotion of that movement’s so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel‘.

The prosperity teaching works like this: a proponent will tell you that if you want God to bless you (with money, of course), you will first have to ‘sow a seed of faith’ (translation: send money to the prosperity teacher). God will then (have to, according to some of these cons) send you as much as a hundred-fold in return. Alternatively, or in addition, God will also owe you physical healing…

Of course this begs a question: If you can get money – up to a hundred-fold of what you give to someone else, why do prosperity teachers always ask for more money? If a prosperity teacher puts his money where his mouth is, he would be sending you money.

But there is a variation to the scam. The bottom line of Word-Faith theology is that if you want something, you have to speak or ‘proclaim’ it. According to Word-Faith teachers, Christians are not just God’s children — but have by accepting Jesus Christ become like Adam who, af all, was created in God’s likeness and was to have dominion over the earth.

In other words, according to this teaching, they have become ‘little gods,’ and just like God Himself they should now be able to speak things into existence. (Those who teach this also warn that speaking things into existence can be dangerous. In Word-Faith circles, saying that you have a headache is consider to be a ‘negative confession.’ In order to get what you want, you must make a ‘positive confession.’)

Again, if this trick really worked, those who teach it should never again have to ask for money.



Here’s how Benny Hinn puts it:

Christians are ‘Little Messiah’s’ and ‘little gods’ on the earth. Thus [Encouraging the audience]…say I am a God-man… This spirit-man within me is a God-man, say I’m born of heaven a God-man. I’m a God man. I am a sample of Jesus. I’m a super being. Say it! Say it! Who’s a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. Say it!…You want to prosper? Money will be falling on you from left, right and centre. God will begin to prosper you; for money always follows righteousness….Say after me, everything I ever want is in me already.
– Source: Benny Hinn, on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Dec. 6, 1990

Benny Hinn Ministries secretive about its finances

The Fifth Estate, Canada’s premier investigative documentary program, has done a program on Benny Hinn:

Benny Hinn is also a proponent of the Prosperity Gospel or the Word of Faith movement. As is implied by the name “Prosperity Gospel” the supporters believe that faith works as a mighty power or force. That it is through their faith that they can obtain anything they want – such as health, wealth, or any form of personal success. However, this force is only released through their faith. According to Pastor Benny if a person expresses their faith by sowing a sufficient monetary seed into his ministry – that person will be granted divine physical healing.
[…]

Benny Hinn is also a proponent of the Prosperity Gospel or the Word of Faith movement. As is implied by the name “Prosperity Gospel” the supporters believe that faith works as a mighty power or force. That it is through their faith that they can obtain anything they want – such as health, wealth, or any form of personal success. However, this force is only released through their faith. According to Pastor Benny if a person expresses their faith by sowing a sufficient monetary seed into his ministry – that person will be granted divine physical healing.

Under U.S. tax laws the Hinn Ministry is not legally obligated to makes its finances public because it is a religious organization.

Although most major American churches and ministries release financial information voluntarily there are no public records for how much the Hinn ministry makes or how that money is spent.

Benny Hinn insists that every penny is spent on God’s work. But the fifth estate obtained confidential financial records from inside the Hinn ministry. These documents were provided by individuals who say they want the public to know how Benny Hinn spends the money entrusted to him.

The fifth estate asked Roddy Allan, a forensic accountant, to review the minstry’s expense and travel records. He says, “I’m a mere bean counter, but it would be hard to persuade me that you had to incur that kind of expense in order to accomplish a business objective.”
– Source: Do You Believe In Miracles? CBC News, The Fifth Estate, November 3, 2004

MinistryWatch recommends: Withhold donations

MinistryWatch, a watchdog organization with an online database of profiles on more than 400 of the largest church and parachurch ministries in the United States, wrote:

Fundraising material is one item that Benny Hinn Ministries is quick to produce and send in mass. Benny Hinn Ministries produces at least two lengthy written fundraising appeals a month. Fundraising material is generally spiritually/emotionally charged.

Fundraising speeches are also prominent in the healing crusades. For many people the healing crusade becomes an all day event, with the televised portion lasting up to three hours. Because of the lengthy performance, multiple offerings are easily taken for the same event. Cash offerings are sometimes followed-up with credit card offering envelopes. While the offering baskets are going around, emotionally led music is performed, with Benny Hinn sometimes admonishing his audience repeat phrases like, “this is my day to be healed”, and then talking of sowing and reaping in financial and health areas. Sometimes the offerings have a flare and feel of a healing lottery ticket.
– Source: Ministrywatch summary on Benny Hinn Ministries / World Outreach Church, last accessed March 2, 2005

To this date, the organization notes that

Benny Hinn Ministries has chosen not to be open and transparent with MinistryWatch.com. As a result it is difficult to understand all aspects of its ministry.
– Source: MinistryWatch entry on Benny Hinn Ministries / World Outreach Church/ World Healing Center Church, last accessed Monday, June 26, 2017

In fact, MinistryWatch recommends that donors withhold giving to Benny Hinn Ministries:

MinistryWatch.com calls upon donors to prayerfully consider withholding contributions to Benny Hinn Ministries/World Outreach Church (BHM) in response to facts and allegations regarding reports that Hinn:

• Lives a lavish lifestyle with funds intended for charitable purposes;
• Preaches a self-serving prosperity theology message;
• Manipulates individuals at “healing crusades” for personal gain;
• Makes unsubstantiated claims of healings;
• Is nontransparent and lacks independent board oversight

These facts, aired in March on NBC DATELINE – coupled with MinistryWatch.com’s previously stated concerns about Hinn espousing the selfserving “prosperity theology” message – has caused MinistryWatch.com to recommend that donors consider redirecting their gifts to one of the many biblically-based ministries that are not only more transparent in their dealings with the public but also treat donor’s funds as a sacred trust dedicated exclusively for the Lord’s work.
– Source: MinistryWatch.com Recommends that Donors Withhold Giving to Benny Hinn Ministries, 2005

Read the organization’s detailed analysis of the DATELINE program in its article, “Not a Preacher’s Life.”

Read also: Benny Hinn has millions of believers and millions in donations — But where does the money go?

April 2017: IRS Raid

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This post was last updated: Jun. 27, 2017    
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