No one knows exactly what salary evangelist Benny Hinn pays himself annually from his ministry’s funds, but a decade ago he stated it was more than $500,000.
Since then sources say Hinn has apparently quadrupled his take to somewhere around $2 million per annum.
How is it that this oily preacher manages to haul in so much cash?
Has everyone forgotten the televangelist scandals of the 1980s, which landed PTL Club founder Jim Bakker in prison and his wife Tammy Faye in divorce court?
Now incredibly even Bakker is back in business, plying his trade again by using virtually the same pitch.
Perhaps given such a startling reversal, it’s not hard to understand the continuing success of Benny Hinn, the peripatetic “prophet,” who hops around on a Gulfstream jet, stays overnight in presidential hotel suites and maintains a fleet of luxury cars.
After all, Hinn’s multi-million dollar so-called California “parsonage” has parking for ten.
Maybe a borrowed donkey and night sleeping under the stars was good enough for Jesus, but doesn’t this 21st Century “Man of God” deserve more consideration?
Meanwhile, Iowa senator and Baptist Charles Grassley doen’t seem much impressed by Hinn’s supposed spiritual authority. Grassley is currently investigating the minister’s finances and wants some detailed disclosure.
But Pastor Benny apparently thinks that opening up his books may be “sinful” or even “satanic.”
The evangelist envoked the Constitutional doctrine of church and state, hoping to hide behind what has been called the “wall of separation,” for his salvation.
But does making money in the “name of God,” mean special treatment when it comes to the tax code?
In a recent visit to Brisbane Pastor Benny drew audiences in the thousands. One night Hinn cooked up quite a convenient revelation. “This is a prophecy,” he said. “You are about to see the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. You are going to see prosperity like you never dreamed of. Money is being transferred from sinners to the righteous.”
“Are you righteous?” Hinn asked the crowd.
Of course those assembled answered in the affirmative, anxious to get their slice of the heavenly kingdom.
But to get what they want from God, according to Benny, believers first need to put up some earnest money.
He explained, “The Jews were taught by God how to give. When they brought their gifts to the Lord, it was only the best…God deserves the best. You give God the best and you’ll get the best from him. Are you here for God’s blessing? What are you going to give the Lord tonight?”
By “the Lord,” what Hinn really means for practical purposes, is himself.
So “sowing the seed” with “God,” literally means giving your money to Benny Hinn.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald Hinn hauled in about $800,000, through just three performances.
Benny Hinn would make the fictional “Elmer Gantry” blush.
After all, in the end Gantry appears to have a conscience, but Benny Hinn does not.
Preying upon people that are sick and suffering by telling them that they must pay to receive God’s blessings, sounds more like blackmail than preaching the Gospel.
CultNews receives regular emails from Benny Hinn supporters, who say that criticiszing him is tantamount to “coming against God.”
This self-proclaimed prophet is supposedly an “annointed” hero, and not a huckster.
CultNews has also been told that it’s a plan of the “devil,” to raise questions about Benny Hinn, which could incur God’s holy wrath.
But Jesus answered questions and advised his followers to “love” their “enemies.”
And critically evaluating leaders is certainly well-within the parameters of the New Testament. In Galatians Paul quite harshly criticized and then condemned corrupt leaders.
And as recorded in Acts Peter didn’t automatically rebuke Paul’s critique of his teachings. Instead, Peter slept on it and subsequently realized that Paul was right.
So should Pastor Benny receive any more consideration than Jesus or the apostles?
Charles Grassley certainly doesn’t seem to think so. And it probably didn’t take a “prophecy” to prompt the Iowa senator’s concern about Pastor Hinn’s finances.