Israeli televangelist Benny Hinn, who is well-known for his regular "Miracle Crusades," has now criticized the prosperity gospel and even admitted that he is as guilty about promoting it as many other evangelical figures.
The prosperity theology is a belief that good health and abundant wealth is the will of God, and that positive speech and donations to charitable organizations will only increase one's financial status.
In a Facebook video, Hinn said that people like him often get attacked for teaching prosperity. But he defended himself by saying that everything he taught came from the Bible. However, he acknowledged that there are some pastors who have "gone to the extreme with it, sadly."
"And it's not God's Word what is taught. I think I'm as guilty as others," he continued. "The more you know the Bible, the more you become biblically based and balanced in your opinions and thoughts. Because we're influenced. When I was younger, I was influenced by the preachers who taught whatever they taught. But as I've lived longer, I think, 'Wait a minute. This doesn't really fit totally with the Bible. It doesn't fit with reality.' What is prosperity? No lack."
Hinn said Elijah the prophet did not even own a car, or a bicycle. But he was not lacking for anything. Jesus Himself did not possess great wealth or live in a mansion, but He was not lacking either. The apostles were not left wanting as well, but these days, evangelical figures love to embrace "abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts," said Hinn.
Meanwhile, Pastor John Piper of Desiring God previously shared a few signs on how to spot a prosperity preacher. The most obvious sign is exorbitant wealth. If the pastor is living well above the average person in his parish, then something is wrong.
"Now why might that be?" he said. "And I know that there might be cultural and traditional reasons for it, but are there biblical reasons for it? Try to sniff out. What makes this pastor tick. Why is he so concerned with the clothes he wears and the car he drives and the neighborhood he lives in and the way he travels and the accommodations he gets on his traveling. This doesn't smell like the Jesus who had no place to lay his heads."