"The lid is off," says Benny Hinn. The televangelist says he's been sick of the prosperity gospel for a while, and now he's speaking out about it.
A video posted Sept. 3 shows the preacher denouncing the prosperity gospel as "an offense to the Holy Spirit."
"I'm sorry to say prosperity has gone a little crazy," Hinn says. "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 it with the same eyes I saw it 20 years ago."
Hinn says Charisma CEO Stephen Strang asked him last year if he wanted to go public with it, but Hinn initially told him, "Not totally, because I don't want to hurt my friends and my love, who believe things I don't believe in."
But now Hinn isn't holding back.
"I believe it's an offense to the Lord, it's an offense to say, 'Give $1,000,'" he says. "I think it's an offense to the Holy Spirit to put 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 believe the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it."
Hinn says this theology hurts the gospel.
"I'm making this statement for the first time in my life, and frankly, I don't care what people think of me anymore," he says.
Hinn says he rebuked Pastor Dan Willis of Lighthouse Church of All Nations for teaching the prosperity gospel, telling him to "never preach that message again." Hinn told Willis he no longer wanted any part of that theology.
"If I hear one more time, 'Break the back of debt with $1,000,' I'm going to rebuke them," he says. "I think that's buying the gospel. That's buying the blessing. That's grieving the Holy Spirit. That's about all I will say. 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."
Although Hinn used to be an outspoken advocate for the prosperity gospel, he caused major waves last year when he apologized for his teaching, saying it didn't line up with the biblical definition of prosperity. Hinn announced his change of heart the same day the famed evangelist Billy Graham died.
Around that time, Hinn opened up to Charisma magazine about how he was changing his theology on that matter. He said he still believed in prosperity but was beginning to realize the Bible defines true prosperity as "no lack."
"In the book of Acts, we read that the New Testament church had no lack," he told Charisma. "Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Luke specifically wrote, 'Nor was there anyone among them who lacked.' Obviously, from time to time, there were people in the early church who had needs while others were blessed more abundantly, but because of the faithfulness of God's people, the saints who 'had lack' immediately had their needs met and experienced no lack."
Above all, Hinn said, prosperity is found through abiding in the presence of Jesus.
Since last year, though, Hinn seems to be strengthening his stance against the prosperity gospel. Watch the recent video to hear his latest thoughts.
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