Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7, KJV)
Ps Benny Hinn recently rejected the essence of what we have come to know as the prosperity teaching on live broadcast and the internet is in turmoil about it. A quick few points here to put things in perspective.
The prosperity gospel is essentially the teaching that encourages believers to give, mainly to the minister preaching, in order to receive some miracle or breakthrough. We know it as “financial seed”. We have heard Ps Benny talk about this over the years but he recently came out and rejected it. It takes guts, humility and surrender to the Spirit to do this on live TV. We thank the Lord for giving him this courage and working on his heart.
The first lesson is that this prosperity gospel is a horrible perversion of the Gospel. The damage that this teaching has caused and is currently causing in the Body of Christ will only be fully known when Jesus returns. This teaching is not wrong because Ps Benny Hinn has now rejected it. It has always been wrong.
The second lesson to take home here is that we must not make a mistake of rejecting the biblical concept of giving with this current prosperity teaching. Giving is biblical and commanded and this still stands. In fact the scriptures uses the analogy of the seed with money! The perversion is not the truth of giving, but the manipulation of vulnerable believers in desperately in search for some breakthrough. As a believer, giving should be ingrained in your character, as it is in God’s. There is an emphasis on giving to meet the needs of the saints in the NT.
The prosperity gospel will die a natural death if we, the believers, were not fueling the greed of its perpetrators. The teaching exist because it still works like magic. I have not seen anything that believers are more willing to obey in scripture like giving money for some miracle. I don’t know why, probably out of desperation for a miracle or greed, but that is the reality. It is this desperation in us that gives the gas for this wrong teaching to keep moving.The worse part about it is that fake teachers, not even saved or sometimes even demonic, have poured into the Church and ravaging the saints as wolves. The only way forward is to have well-grounded and mature believers.
Pastor Benny Hinn is not a false prophet or false teacher. There is a difference between false teaching and the false teachers or prophets mentioned in the Bible. How many of you ministers are sure that your doctrine is 100% accurate even though you are sincere? Did a false teaching or even false word of prophecy or knowledge you gave mean you are a false teacher? If he is a false teacher because of the sin of greed, then if there is any sin we are struggling with in our own life as believers, we are also false brothers or sisters. It seems there are many who were waiting for such a thing to finally say “aha aha, we said it!”. Yes, it is something we should not have done as a Church, and the world has the right to jubilate as they see the light behaving like darkness.
I will end with this point, though there are certainly many left! This one is a hard pill for many of us to swallow, but it is a truth that we must fully embrace especially in these days. Our spiritual fathers can be wrong. Nothing blind our eyes as believers, especially charismatics, as the visible demonstration of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. There is a wave of christians that are coming up who have stretched to the limits the true biblical concept of spiritual fathers. To them, their “man of God” is like a mediator, another sub-mediator after Jesus, between them and God. This does not mean we go around looking for errors. It simply means your pastor is just what he or she is, your pastor, and vulnerable to the flesh as you are. It is your responsibility to make sure no one leads you into error.
I think there will be a seismic wave that running through the Church because of this act of Ps Benny, for the better. We should pray for him, that God will sustain him as he comes under fire and pressure because of this act of obedience. Pray for the Church at large, other ministers, including your own pastor that God will deliver us all from the love of money. Pray for those unsaved souls who have been deeply offended and rejected the Gospel because of this unacceptable financial manipulation they have seen in the Church. Lastly, pray that the Lord will heal thousands of saints whose vulnerability have been, and is still being exploited through this prosperity teaching.