Benny Hinn’s Holy Lotto

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the world’s leading prosperity guru sets a new record for audacity. According to South Africa’s News 24, at a “Miracle Crusade” near Johannesburg, millionaire mega-preacher Binny Hinn and his latest sidekick, Pastor Todd Koontz, offered a ‘one time’ special deal to the attendees; over the next 24 hours God would bestow some exceptional blessings (of over a million dollars each) on some of the folks who donated at least $1,000. But you had better act now because “this blessing would be poured out for only the next two minutes.”

According to an upset witness, Pastor Tommie Ferreira of the AGS Church in Johannesburg ;

“He said the service would yield millionaires and billionaires within 24 hours.Everyone had to donate $1 000 because an exceptional blessing rested on $1 000.”

“People stormed to the front – poor people, rich people, people from all sections of our society. He (Koontz) said God would bless the people’s credit cards and they would be able to rule over South Africa with their money. Eventually there were no fewer than 1,000 people who made such donations.”

As people scrambled to get in on the divine action, Hinn was ready with his staff manning numerous credit card machines. Talk about an altar call. Just do the math; 1,000 people times 1,000 dollars equals one million dollars in bets donations in just two minutes. Heck, that even rivals the take at the Preakness. And this is on top of what the Crusade normally takes in the way of ‘general donations’.

Of course, when Pastor Ferreira later inquired with Hinn’s organization as to how many millionaire God made that day he ran up against the proverbial stone wall. But they did say that they were currently feeding 1,000 South African children a day and they planned to build an orphanage. Good deeds, indeed. But when does the ends justify the means? And how much is staying in the pockets of Hinn and Koontz.

Lately I’ve heard some Christians say that it’s time to stop putting the critical spotlight on people like Benny HInn; we’ve already established that their Christian bona fides are suspect, why waste our time. I disagree. I think Christians in particular should expose these charlatans for who they are. It’s already difficult, with over 1,000 sub-religions, to determine what we mean by the ‘Church’. Many ‘mainstream’ religious leaders are already riding on the Prosperity Gospel gravy train. People like Hinn, although flamboyant and over the top, are just the tip of the ice burg. If we don’t hold these prominent “Christians” to at least the same standards that we expect of Las Vegas then we may as well shut down all those well meaning evangelical magazines, radio and TV stations. Because why should anyone believe it?

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