Benny Hinn: Man & Freakshow
Updated: May 8
Full disclosure: My faith is extravagant enough to believe in the healing power of God. Signs, wonders, and miracles accompany the preaching of the gospel in Scripture and should do so among Christians today (see Mk. 16:15-18). What Jesus Christ demonstrated, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father, is not impossible for us (see Jn. 14:12-14). Yet, we must strive to be biblically sound and spiritually accurate.
It is God's sovereign will to work with our faith and natural limitations to advance His supernatural kingdom. In essence, a miracle is God (eternal) overpowering time, space, and matter (temporal) to restore His original design and intent to that thing we prayed for. And since He is infinitely wise and perfectly righteous in judgment, we should accept that not every (selfish) prayer will be answered and before there is a harvest, the seed (I mean the flesh) must die.
Benny Hinn's "anointing"
The best music, brightest lights, and charismatic flair I've ever seen. No, I've never been to a Hinn crusade, but I've watched them, and I've heard firsthand accounts. One such testimony was that of a dear acquaintance who found herself, and one other person, still standing after a "fresh wave of the Spirit" swept through the crowd (no less at Hinn's command). In that moment, she said she wondered if something was wrong with her for not falling over - I firmly disagreed with that notion.
If Hinn started out legit with healing in his hands, it bears no relevance to the freakshow he's put on over the years. From swinging suit jackets to eccentric choir directing to shouting, "Take it, take it!"- the man is a bona fide ringmaster disguised as a preacher. After hearing his messages (that lack spiritual and theological substance to qualify as a sermon), I can only conclude Hinn's telling of dreams and visions, along with his grandiose prayers DEMANDING healing to manifest, were birthed in the heart of a man who clearly missed a call into the field of dramatic arts...or politics.
Of course, all this means nothing if someone were truly healed in one of his crusades or received a supernatural dividend after "sewing a seed" into his ministry. I suppose, if God can use a donkey to deliver a warning (see Num. 22), He can touch the one with genuine faith who finds themselves waiting in line to "receive the anointing!" I cannot confirm or deny whether miracles take place when Hinn is in a room. But I can say, I sincerely feel this man has done his absolute best to make a mockery of the power of the Holy Ghost.
I don't wholeheartedly agree with faith-healing critics
The most severe critiques and criticisms of faith-healing I've encountered originates with reformed theologists (RT). To my understanding, this Christian sect at large holds a belief that none of the Holy Spirit's gifts are for today. No tongues, no prophetic words, and no miracles outside that of a regenerated human spirit, accompanied by an irresistible grace that keeps them saved forever. Also, because the 12 apostles successfully spread the gospel throughout the known world, and we have a complete canon of Scripture, RTs have deduced charismatic folks to little more than emotional heretics. It's not hard to see why.
I will concede fakes and phonies are a dime a dozen in Pentecostal denominations the same as they are among RTs and Evangelicals. The sad truth is humans are messed up enough to lie about God saying and doing something He never said or did - and they'll take your money while they're at it! Still, a few false prophets and false miracle-workers haven't convinced me to exchange a genuine move of God for a predictable religious experience. Rather, Joel's prophesy (see Joel 2), preached by Peter at Pentecost (see Acts 2), remains relevant and active for present generations.
So, I reckon, if you're searching out the most theologically perfect explanation for everything under the sun, then RTs (who've qualified themselves as the best and truest interpreters of New Testament doctrine) are the ones to go to. But should you find yourself in a bind, facing a terminal diagnosis, encountering demonic forces, or you're on the verge of losing everything you've worked for - and a miracle is your only option - then, look for a gathering of wild ones who'll lay hands on you and come into agreement with all that's written in God's word!
Watch how the Healer did it
First, Jesus waited 30 years before He performed any signs or wonders among the Jews; essentially, He lived amidst broken, crippled, and dying people for decades and did nothing miraculous about it. Second, after John's baptism and the Spirit's anointing, Jesus still did not heal or materially bless EVERY person He came in contact with. And as for raising the dead, that miracle was so rare that Jesus only did it three times (see Mk. 5:35-43; Lk. 7:11-15; Jn. 11)!
I believe miracles are for today...but I also believe Pentecostals should observe when and why the Lord chooses to do miraculous things. If we want to be biblically sound and spiritually accurate, then we'll watch how often Jesus admonished people to keep quiet about physical healing while sending those delivered from spiritual bondage into regions to share their testimony. Simply stated we should put emphasis where He put emphasis and that is on preaching and teaching the gospel (see Mk. 1:35-39).
Mark 16:15-18 says, signs and wonders will follow believers - thus, Christians are merely anointed to be conduits; we are not the source of supernatural power. The Lord wills the miraculous to be visible, but it's not the main attraction. God's power on display is not for show and tell, and it certainly isn't for sale. Of course, Jesus is the original wild one! He used His saliva to make mud and opened blind eyes, stuck His fingers into deaf ears, cast demons into pigs, calmed raging storms with a few syllables! So, if you need a miracle, you should certainly ask God, trust in His will, and don't be too dignified about how it's done!