The prosperity gospel impoverishes the people it promises to prosper. It kills the people it promises to heal. The prosperity gospel is not the gospel—though millions of vulnerable people across the world believe it is.
But for many of us, the prosperity gospel isn’t relevant anymore. We don’t seem nearly as concerned about it like we used to be. And that is perhaps why some prominent Reformed Christians have recently shared platforms with prosperity gospel preachers.
These prosperity preachers include Jenn Johnson, Bill Johnson, Todd White, and Benny Hinn.
Earlier this year, Francis Chan wrote an article in response to concerns over his speaking engagements alongside prosperity preachers like Benny Hinn. In the article, Chan wrote, “I still strive to boldly call out false teachers, but I have found it hard to collect accurate data.“
Benny Hinn is one of the most popular prosperity preachers in the world. His influence is noticeable all over the world. In fact, his books (and his theology) were sold at all the prosperity gospel churches I used to go to every Sunday morning in Ghana and Canada. His book, Good Morning, Holy Spirit is one of the most widely-read books in Pentecostal and prosperity gospel churches.
If we believe we do not have accurate data on Benny Hinn, then we cannot believe we have accurate data on the prosperity gospel. Benny Hinn is an apostle of the prosperity gospel. He is one of the false prophets of the false gospel, and no one knows that better than his nephew, Costi Hinn.
Costi Hinn is the author of the new book, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel. The book is about how the Hinn family became involved in the prosperity gospel and why Costi abandoned his family’s ministry and immense wealth for Christ.
The book is half biographical and half theological, and it’s structured that way to appeal to people who believe in the prosperity gospel and others who want to bring their loved ones out of the false gospel.
In the book, Costi writes, “I’m on a rescue operation. There are millions of people who need to be saved from the prosperity gospel deception like I was. I’m trying to reach them, while at the same time inspiring other people to reach them too. I want people to see that the prosperity gospel is damning and abusive. It exploits the poor and ruins the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel does a wonderful job explaining that prosperity preachers are more motivated by greed than the gospel. Costi Hinn’s account of his experiences in his uncle’s ministry and the Bible’s account on the gospel, wealth, and the sovereignty of God reveal the inconsistencies and false teaching within the prosperity gospel.
The book is slightly less explosive than one might imagine. And I think that’s actually a good thing. In many ways, the book is less about Benny Hinn’s fraudulent ministry and more about Costi Hinn’s faith in God.
For that reason, one of the best sections of the entire book is when Costi writes:
“Faith isn’t giving money to get his love. Faith isn’t paying a fee for his saving grace. Faith isn’t going broke to get healed. Faith isn’t travelling to a special service to get [God’s anointing]. Faith is repenting of your sins and turning to him, believing that he is the son of God.”
Ultimately, faith is trusting in God, not Benny Hinn and prosperity preachers. If you want accurate data on Benny Hinn and the prosperity gospel, get your copy of God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel.