Evangelist Benny Hinn says in a new interview that he began changing his views on the prosperity gospel several years ago and was “troubled” by the number of people it negatively affected.
He also says his recent viral comments – where he disavowed the prosperity gospel – weren’t his first public comments on the subject.
“What I said a few days ago, I have said before, but nobody seemed to hear it,” Hinn told David Diga Hernandez in a new interview.
A clip showing Hinn renouncing the prosperity gospel went viral this month, as Christian Headlines previously reported.
“This is nothing new in my heart,” Hinn told Hernandez. “This has been going on for two years, maybe more. The Lord has been dealing with me personally … As we grow, we see things differently.”
Hinn was impacted, he said, by the testimonies of people who heard his previous messages and told him they never received the promised blessing – such as a “100-fold return” on a monetary gift.
“I've had people come to me and say, ‘Please, don't say it again. It's not working in my life.’ And you know, sometimes you dismiss it,” he said. “Other times, you just don't know what to say or do. But it has damaged a lot of people.”
Hinn said he can no longer remain silent on the issue.
“I'm thinking about that wonderful Christian sitting there [watching television],” Hinn said. “What if that 100-fold never came back? What does it do to their faith? What does it do to his future and her future? Let’s be honest: How many do you know that ever got the 100-fold return?”
Hinn said he wants to “get back to the Bible” and preach the gospel – not prosperity.
“Our giving has to be out of a heart of love for the Lord, for the gospel,” he said.
Referencing what the Bible teaches about wealth, Hill added, “Our Lord Jesus himself was not wealthy, but he had no lack. The apostles were not wealthy. They had no lack. … Paul made it very clear in Timothy, that those who have been blessed, should do good and should be givers.”
Asked to define “gospel,” Hinn answered, “The gospel is Jesus, the Son of God, [who] came to earth, lived a sinless life, proved to be the Son of God, by the miracles, and by death and resurrection. And we have to preach Jesus, crucified, and Jesus resurrected. And to point people to the cross. Because the cross is life. The cross is what brings change to their life.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Encounter TV
Video courtesy: Encounter TV
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.