Archive for the ‘Benny Hinn’ Category

As I watch celebrity “Christians” I’ve noticed a few patterns that may help you if you want to have a TV ministry too.

Rabbit Trail… during my interview with the session of the church I eventually began to pastor in 1998, the interim asked me if I have any desire to be on TV.  I laughed.

1. Call yourself a “life coach”.  This the popular new tag used by Paula White and Joel Osteen (see his 60 Minutes interview).  This relieves you from actually talking about the gospel and focusing on how you can help people make their lives “better”.  This is not to be confused with godly.  It is about being happy and successful.  Nothing wrong with those, but God has some bigger plans for His people.

2. Lift lots of weight.  In the 60 Minutes interview I discovered Joel can bench press 300 pounds, double his weight.  Pat Robertson claims to be able to leg press 2,000 pounds.  I’ve seen Paula on TV interviewing her personal trainer while she was in tight gym garb, so she pumps some iron too.  Never hurts to have big muscles to pad your resume and impress your viewers.

3. Don’t talk about anything negative.  Who cares if the Bible consistently addresses sin issues!  Apparently we are not self-deceived like Jeremiah says, and already know where we err.  Don’t bore people with talk about repentance- remind them how good they are and how successful they can be.  This way… when people criticize the fact you don’t speak honestly about who we are, they come off as being mean people, like Michael Horton.

4. Please, don’t ever mention that we need Jesus to make us holy and righteous.  If you really have to talk about Jesus, and Joel has shown you really don’t have to if you don’t want to, focus on how he died to make you healthy and prosperous.  Remember, that’s American religion.

5. Use lots of hair spray.  You have to, those lights make you sweat and your hair has to stay in place.

6. Don’t really answer any tough questions.  Deflect and talk about how judgmental the other person is.  Or, just demonize them and wish you had Benny Hinn’s holy spirit machine gun.

7. Hire most of your family to work for you.  Blood AND money creates a tight bond.

8. You must be willing to buy a multi-million dollar home and numerous expensive cars.  If you want to really hit it big- you gotta buy a jet.  Remember, this is what Jesus would do.  He wants you to live well, off room service.

9. Don’t, repeat, don’t go to a reputable seminary.

10. Produce lots of ‘feel-good’ tapes & books about what people must do to be successful.  No traditional theological categories- we’re talking self-help.

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While I was in Tampa last night I passed Church Without Walls International, home of TV Personality/Pastor Paula White.  It certainly is in an area that seriously needs the gospel.  Around the corner there are a ton of strip clubs (a common problem in Tampa which is part of why I can’t stand Tampa, the utter spiritual darkness there).

On a whim I Yahooed her and found her MySpace site.  Here is how she is described:

” Paula White is a Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Preacher, Author, Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Teacher, TV Personality, Wife and Mother. Beneath her unassuming beauty, lies a gentle and girlish charm. In talking with her it becomes apparent that she understands, shes been there, and she knows how to get out! Her story is one of tragedy and triumph, poverty and prosperity. She has been called a Phoenix, having risen up from the ashes of tumultuous early years to dedicate her life to pulling others out of their circumstances so that they can focus in on Gods unique plan of destiny for their lives.
“Today, Paula White is an inspiration to millions around the world who seek Gods love. She co-pastors the 22,000-member Without Walls International Church in Tampa with her husband Randy, hosts an international television program, spearheads humanitarian efforts worldwide, all while traveling the world fulfilling her mission and call to Transform Lives, Heal Hearts and Win Souls. ”

The site is chock full of pictures of her posing and lots of quotes by her.  I just found it odd.  But then again…

There was this article from the Tampa Tribune on the pastoral pair.  He’s the bishop, but she seems to be the one who is front and center.  This photo is interesting as well.  He’s got a priest’s garb, and she’s wearing a tailored coat & skirt.  An odd juxaposition.

Ministry has been very, very good to them.  The Tribune reports, “They travel in a $1.9 million business jet. They own a home they purchased for $2.1 million on Bayshore Boulevard and a $3.5 million Trump Tower condo in New York. Randy rents a waterfront villa in Malibu, Calif. ”

The last section alludes to the increasingly distant relationship the two have.  They spend little to no time together.  They seem to be going in two different directions.  He’s been looking into “purchasing a ministry”, yes, simony still exists!   

The husband of the 41 year-old grandmother admits they both had plastic surgery.  This is apparently a new status symbol among the health & wealth set.  So much for the outer man wasting away while the inner man grows… people are being completely sucked in to the culture and its corrupt values.

It is quite the sad and frightening article.  I’m not sure what people find so appealing about all this.  It sounded similar to my experience at Benny Hinn’s church one Wednesday evening when he was still in Orlando.  There were 3 offerings in 90 minutes, and no sermon yet.  I left, I had to study… they may still be taking offerings.  It was part of an assignment to attend a worship service out of my comfort zone.  This scene remains outside of my comfort zone.  It seems so out of touch with Scripture, and people continue to support their extravagent lifestyles.  May God have mercy on us.

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Fun With Benny

You might think it is Benny Hill, but it is Benny Hinn.

Okay… some guys had some fun with editing, sound effects and music.


It even uses the Benny Hill music.

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

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I’m in Jeremiah these days.  A tough book to read at times because it seems so applicable (making epochal adjustments) to today’s church.

Judah was filled with false prophets proclaiming peace and blessing though the people had been chasing other gods and not listening to God.  The American Church is largely occupied with thoughts of political power, material prosperity and avoiding suffering.  We don’t want to listen when God tells us that the Gospel changes people so they care about personal holiness and social justice (they are not at odds with one another in the Bible).

Here was Jeremiah, proclaiming that God was weary with his adulterous people who spread ’em (and worse) before every Tom, Dick & Harry (yes, God uses graphic language to describe their actions- read Ray Ortland Jr.’s Whoredom: God’s Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology if you can find it- excellent book).

Then we find these words:  11 Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”  (Jeremiah 14- NIV)

God told his prophet to stop praying for them.  That is scary!  God is telling Jeremiah, it is a done deal.  Though some people may repent, Jerusalem will be flattened like a pancake.


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I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated with Benny Hinn.  Kind of like how I am simultaneously drawn to and repelled by snakes (no, it isn’t the really bad comb over).  Justin Taylor has some links to (yet another) expose on Benny, this time by Dateline (or just look below).

There is just so much I cannot fathom.  The deceit, the greed, the hypocrisy seem so clear.  Am I missing something, or is it the hordes who shower him with money and more that miss it?  I wonder why Jesus puts up with this, ah, stuff while faithful Christians suffer or can’t find anyone who doesn’t want their ears tickled.

There is a whole group of evangelical superstars about whom this will be said:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7, NIV)

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