Your session will end in  seconds due to inactivity. Click here to continue using this web page.
Friday, February 07, 2014 | Comments (31)

by Justin Peters

Michael Brown says I owe him an apology and correction.  In my previous post, “Ignorance is not an Option,” I quoted some tweets from Dr. Michael Brown in which he seemed to claim ignorance of the legion of controversies surrounding Benny Hinn as an excuse for recording five shows for Hinn’s This Is Your Day television program (four of which aired January 13-16).  Brown later informed me that before my article was posted he had already apologized for the way he announced that he would appear on Hinn’s program. He acknowledged that it “was not wise & stirred up undue controversy.”

At the time I completed the article I was unaware that Dr. Brown himself had made any kind of apology.  I am not a social media guy and spend zero time on Facebook and Twitter.  So I am sorry I missed the follow-up tweet. I certainly would have cited it had I known it existed.

My complaint, however, had nothing to do with the tone or timing of Dr. Bown’s original announcement. Nor does it ease my concern that he now regrets the announcement of his partnership with Hinn. What troubled me from the beginning (and still does) is the reality of Brown’s partnership with Hinn.

What about the charge that Dr. Brown seemed to be claiming he did not know enough about Hinn to discern whether he was sufficiently sound or truly dangerous? I was by no means the only person who drew that conclusion based on what Dr. Brown wrote. Asked how he could possibly think it might be a good idea to appear on television with Benny Hinn despite the many false claims and bad doctrines Hinn has broadcast over the years, Brown originally said, “We’ve traveled in different circles over the years. Simple. And I don’t watch Christian TV.” (My earlier article quoted that statement.) Dr. Brown also wrote, “While I’m quite aware that some . . . feel he is the ultimate false teacher and charlatan while others believe him to be a wonderful man of God, I have actually not monitored his ministry over the years.” My charge that Dr. Brown was claiming ignorance was based on statements like those.

Dr. Brown later wrote to me saying that he was “fully aware that he [Hinn] is often considered the poster boy for charismatic abuses, frequently accused of: doctrinal error; false healing claims; charismania; financial impropriety (including ungodly fundraising techniques); and moral violations (lavish lifestyle; adultery).  In fact, when people say to me, ‘What about false prophets (or, false teachers, or heretics) like so and so?,’ invariably, they put his name at the beginning of the list.”[1] 

Brown says a graduate of his school of ministry had earnestly assured him that the allegations against Hinn were either exaggerated or inaccurate and that Hinn is truly a man of personal godliness and doctrinal soundness.  Brown goes on to say, “So, the issue was not one of ignorance or lack of awareness; the issue was whether I had been monitoring his ministry.”[2]  In other words, because he had not been monitoring Hinn’s ministry, he believed it was at least possible that Hinn had repented of his past sins.  Says Brown, “To repeat yet again:  I was fully aware of the many charges and controversies regarding Benny Hinn and I made an informed, prayerful decision to appear with him on TV and begin a dialogue with him.” 

So, to be fair and accurate, it appears I was speaking imprecisely (innocently so) when I implied that Brown was claiming ignorance of the many controversies and allegations regarding Hinn.  For that, I unequivocally apologize to Mr. Brown.

Unfortunately, that clarification doesn’t really strengthen Brown’s position.  It actually undermines it—significantly.  Brown says his appearance with Hinn was intended to begin a dialogue with the world’s most famous “healing evangelist.”[3]  He hopes the dialogue will eventually give him an opportunity to ask Hinn about the controversies that swirl around him.  That he desires to do this with Hinn must be taken at face value and, in and of itself, is commendable.  The order of events, however, is not: the public appearances happened before the yet-unrealized confrontation of Benny Hinn. That Brown went on Hinn’s program with full knowledge of these doctrinal and character issues is far worse than if he had done so out of ignorance. Simple ignorance would have been carelessness at worst. Brown seems to have dug his hole only deeper.

Virtually every book in the New Testament warns about false teachers, and Scripture has a great deal to say about how they should be handled by believers.  False teachers[4] are to be marked, avoided, publicly rebuked, and exposed (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Titus 1:9).  The Scriptures are not unclear on this.  False teachers are not to be welcomed into Christian fellowship.  They are not to be given any endorsement.  “Do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 10 ESV). By appearing on Hinn’s program, Dr. Brown gave a public endorsement to him and thus, according to Scripture, participated in his evil deeds (2 John 9-11).  I am not making a judgment one way or the other regarding his intentions of doing so; only that he did. 

In recent years, some within charismatic circles have asserted that Benny Hinn has repented of some, if not most, of his more brazen heresies and outlandish claims.  Before we examine the question of Benedictus “Benny” Hinn’s repentance, or lack thereof, allow me to provide a (very) brief sketch.

Hinn says his call to ministry came when he was a young man attending a Kathryn Khulman[5] crusade.  He reports, “I went back to Canada and thought about it. ‘I’m going to try this,’ I said.”[6]

In my previous post, I listed a small sampling of some of Hinn’s heresies, false prophecies, and outlandish claims spanning almost four decades.  Here are a few of the highlights, along with some new ones:

  • Claims he and a Catholic priest channeled the power of God to heal practically every patient at a hospital in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada.[7]
  • Claimed to have video of Jesus walking around in one of his meetings.  When asked to show the video, his staff said it had been “misplaced.”[8]
  • On Dec. 31, 1989, Hinn went into a trance and said God was giving him (in real time) prophecies about major events that would occur before the end of the next decade. Hinn predicted the total collapse of the American economy within a decade. He declared that during the 1990s the East Coast would be be ravaged by earthquakes; a female would be elected as president; Fidel Castro would die in office; a “short man dictator” would arise; the rapture of the church would occur; and the homosexual community of America would be destroyed by fire “in ’94 or ’95, no later than that.”[9]
  • Claimed God told him by divine revelation that there are nine members in the Godhead.[10]
  • Claimed that as a young man he was in his room talking to the Holy Spirit.  When called to supper by the “woman of the house,” he said, “as I was about to leave, I felt someone take my hand and say, ‘Five more minutes.  Just five more minutes.’  The Holy Spirit longed for my fellowship.”[12]
  • Claimed that an image of Jesus appeared on the wall of his church and “stayed for eight weeks.”  Hinn says, “Even the people who studied the Shroud of Turin came to see this image. …the mouth [of Jesus] would move, the Lord’s mouth would move…but His mouth would only move as I was preaching.”[13]
  • Claimed (repeatedly) that he once saw a man raised from the dead on the platform on which he was standing.  When later questioned by a reporter about the incident he said, “I did not see it.  In that one case we did hear about it.”[14]
  • Regularly “slays in the Spirit” people who get up on stage by touching them on the forehead or cheeks, waving his coat at them, or yelling, “Fire!”  Once he even managed to slay himself!  This practice has not one shred of biblical support.[15]
  • Claimed to have a department that verifies all his healings.[16] I have spoken with a former employee of Hinn who says not only that the healings are not verified but that such a department does not even exist.
  • Seed-faith theology is a staple in Hinn’s teaching. He promises people that if they “sow a seed” (translated, give him money), God will give them a “harvest.”
  • Teaches that “if the preaching of the gospel lacks signs and wonders, it’s an empty shell.”[17]
  • Claimed the Holy Spirit told him women were originally intended to give birth out of their sides.[11]

It is said by some that Benny Hinn repented of some of his more brazen heresies and outlandish claims.  For example, some point to interviews he did with Christianity Today in 1991 and Charisma magazine (which to this day promotes and carries advertisements for some of the worst of the word-faith heretics) in 1993 in which he said that he no longer believed in many of the doctrines of the word-faith movement.[18] His disavowal of word-faith teaching was predictably short lived.  Within months of those interviews he was teaching the exact same things he had supposedly renounced.

While it is true that Hinn is no longer teaching a nine-member Godhead[19] or that Jesus had “union with the Satanic nature” or that women were intended to give birth out of their sides, here’s the rub: for all those teachings, Hinn originally claimed divine-revelation-knowledge as his source.  He insisted God told him those things.  He furthermore claimed God was the source of all the false prophecies he has uttered.  Having claimed divine authority for these pronouncements, he should not now get a pass just because he is no longer repeating the falsehoods. He needs to address the issue squarely and confess to his followers that he was not speaking the truth when he claimed God was the source of such “revelations.”

There are only three possibilities with Hinn’s false teachings, failed prophecies, and bogus claims: 

  1. He is lying.
  2. He is up to his eyeballs in demonic deception.
  3. Both A & B

Michael Brown suggested in an email that charismatics sometimes simply imagine they have “heard God’s voice, received a revelation, or even seen something in the Spirit when it was actually their own imagination”—as if Benny Hinn’s false prophecies could be written off as the innocuous products of an overactive faculty in his brain. But as any parent of an imaginative child will affirm, someone who repeatedly and compulsively reports things he imagined as if they were factual is in fact a pathological liar. Whatever is behind Benny Hinn’s fanciful claims, there is simply no reasonable way to write it all off as innocent. Someone as intelligent as Michael Brown ought to be able to see that. The fact that he will not acknowledge the gravity of so many false claims undermines Dr. Brown’s credibility.

If Benny Hinn genuinely wants to repent of his past teachings, false prophecies, and general ministerial malfeasance, he would need to do the following:

  1. Admit publicly that when he said God was speaking to him, he was making a false claim.
  2. Admit publicly that he has lied about major events in his own life story (clearing out that hospital, for example).[20]
  3. Admit publicly to his numerous false prophecies.[21]
  4. Admit publicly that he has repeatedly proclaimed people healed who were not, in fact, healed.
  5. Stop teaching that if people will give money to him God will bring them a financial windfall and heal their bodies or those of their sick children.  He also needs to apologize to everyone he has scammed and exploited by his seed-faith theology.
  6. Stop teaching that it is always God’s will to be physically healed, thereby putting undue guilt on the person who is sick.
  7. End his public teaching ministry, take down his ministry website and the false teaching it contains, and pull his false books off the shelves.

I’m not talking about a private admission of guilt and regret, followed by a brief respite from public ministry. I’m talking about Zaccheus-level repentance—the kind wherein he exhausts himself and his personal fortune to set right all the wrongs he’s committed.

My earnest wish is that Benny Hinn would genuinely repent—that God would graciously grant him repentance (cf. Acts 5:30-31; 11:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).  There is of course the sobering possibility that Hinn is one of those whom Jude spoke about who have been “long beforehand marked out for this condemnation” (1:4) and, therefore, he is beyond repentance. Either way, the time will certainly come when Benny Hinn will regret having played fast and loose with truth in the name of God.

One thing is clear: Benny Hinn’s conversations with Michael Brown did not provoke him to sober self-examination and repentance. On January 17, the day after Michael Brown’s last show was aired, Hinn’s special guest was Steve Munsey, pastor of Family Christian Center in Munster, Indiana.  Steve Munsey and Todd Coontz (another frequent guest of Hinn) are two of the worst deceivers in the dark realm of charismatic shills and charlatans–bottom-feeders in the word-faith movement/prosperity gospel.[22]  Or, switching metaphors, they are theological snake-oil salesmen. (My sincere apologies to all snake-oil salesmen.) During the broadcast, Munsey claimed to hear the voice of Jesus in real time, promising Hinn’s viewers that if they would call in and sow $250 that they would receive a twelve-fold return, and God would heal them of any sickness.

(Why $250? You ask. Well, that’s a reference to the boy who gave Jesus two fish and five loaves of bread.  “2” fish and “5” loaves, and add a “0” for good measure. Total seed: $250. And the promised twelve-fold return for your $250?  That’s because there were twelve baskets of fragments left over! Hermeneutics is not really a precise discipline among prosperity preachers.)

As I wrote my first draft of this blogpost on the morning of February 3, 2014, at 10:38 a.m, I checked Benny Hinn’s website.  Under the headline “Activating God’s Favor with Your Faith,”[23] Hinn had written:

If you want favor in your home, your job, your family situations, even opportunities and inheritances that will arise in 2014, you must begin planting now. Harvest and favor always follow seedtime. Without planting, there is no harvest!

Step out in faith now and send your most generous offering, and then begin expecting your own unprecedented miracle. Remember the promise in God’s Word:

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10).

God will multiply your seed-gift as you sow it toward the spreading of the Gospel.

Increase your seed level to increase your harvest level, because that’s what releases the anointing for favor. Every level of giving releases your faith. You must release greater seed in order to release a greater harvest. It is impossible to see a greater harvest if you are content to give sparingly.[24]

Has Benny Hinn repented?  If you think he has, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

For more from Justin Peters, visit www.justinpeters.org.

[1] Brown, email to me dated January 13, 2014.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Healing evangelist” is how Hinn is described on the back cover of his own book, He Touched Me (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999).

[4] I stand by my statement that I made to Dr. Brown on his radio program and in my first post that Hinn is a false teacher and is not a Christian.  Brown played clips from Hinn that sounded orthodox in their content.  That Hinn makes orthodox statements and, on occasion, can even rightly present the gospel is not the issue.  Balaam spoke truth as well but was still a false prophet (Numbers 22-24; 2 Peter 2:15).  Not everything that false teachers teach is false.  This is why discernment is so vitally important.  Further, that people have likely been saved listening to Hinn present the gospel in no way authenticates his ministry.  God holds His name and His word above all things (Psalm 138:2) and honors the message itself, not the messenger.

[5] Kuhlman was arguably the world’s most famous faith healer between the 1940s and 1970s. 

[6] Benny Hinn, The Anointing (Nashville, TN Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), pg. 52.  Though Hinn never met Kuhlman personally, he has copied many of her mannerisms.  She wore a white dress; Hinn wears a white suit.  She “slew” people in the spirit, Hinn has brought this practice to new theatrical levels.  So fond of Kuhlman is Hinn that not even her death has kept her from visiting him.  Hinn claims that she appears to him in visions from beyond the grave to give him ministerial direction.  In one of these encounters, which Hinn describes as “visions of the night,” Kuhlman said to him, “‘Follow me.’  That’s all she said.  And I followed her into a second room.  In that second room stood the Lord.  When the Lord, uh, when, when I saw the Lord, Kathryn disappeared.  She was just gone [Hinn snaps his fingers].  And now the Lord looked at me and said, ‘Follow me.’” [Benny Hinn, This Is Your Day (TIYD) television broadcast, June 11, 1997]

[7] Hinn, Welcome Holy Spirit (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997), pgs. 232-235.

[8] I attempted to get an audience with Hinn but was refused.  I was successful only in speaking with one of his staff at Hinn’s ministry headquarters in Grapevine, Texas.

[9] Hinn, audio clip recorded Dec. 31, 1989, at Orlando Christian Center.  Audio on file.

[10] Hinn, sermon entitled “A New Spirit” delivered to Orlando Christian Center, aired on TBN (October 13, 1990).  Video on file.

[11] Hinn, audio recording.  Exact date not known but likely early 1990s.  Audio on file.

[12] Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), pg. 56.

[13] Hinn, TIYD broadcast with Oral Roberts as guest.  Video on file.

[14] Benny Hinn interview with unknown reporter.  Video on file.

[15] The closest thing in Scripture which even remotely looks like the charismatic practice of being “slain in the Spirit” is recorded in John 18:1-6.  The ones who “drew back and fell to the ground,” however, were the Roman soldiers coming to arrest Jesus–not Christians.  Further, think of the audacity of what is being displayed.  Hinn throws around the Third Person of the triune God like He was his plaything.  That Hinn would do this as a staple of his theatrics on stage shows that he does not know the Holy Spirit.  If he did, he would reverence Him, not sling Him around to knock people over.

[16] Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary entitled “Do You Believe in Miracles?” aired in 2004.  Video on file.

[17] Hinn, TIYD broadcast from 2007.  Video on file.  This is a telling clip from Hinn.  Hinn maintains that unless signs and wonders accompany the preaching of the gospel, then the gospel in and of itself has no power.  This statement alone is more than sufficient to prove that he really has no understanding of the true transformational power of the Gospel of Christ as recorded in the written Word of God (Luke 16: 27-31; Romans 1:16).

[18] Randy Frame, “Best-Selling Author Admits Mistakes, Vows Changes,” Christianity Today 35 (October 28, 1991) and Stephen Strang, “Benny Hinn Speaks Out,” Charisma and Christian Life 19 (August 1993), pg. 24.

[19] This is one of Hinn’s more notable heresies.  Hinn did rescind this teaching in the same Charisma article already referenced, saying that as soon as he repeated the teaching he “could feel tension in the congregation. . . . So I tried to clear the air.  Jokingly I said, ‘There must be nine of them.’  Well, the people laughed and I thought, Boy that was a dumb thing to say.  Then I forgot about it.”  Strang, “Benny Hinn Speaks Out,” pg. 25.  That is a lie.  I have the video of the nine-member Godhead teaching in my possession.  Hinn was clearly not joking and the congregation did not laugh.  In fact, after making the “nine of them” statement, Hinn continued the teaching for another solid seven minutes.

[20] Incidentally, if this story was true then why—WHY—does  Benny Hinn not go to hospitals today?  Why is he not right now at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital channeling the power of God to heal those kids with cancer?

[21] This would be a bit tricky for him given that one who prophesies falsely is, by definition, a false prophet.

[22] For the record, Dr. Brown has told me in an email that he is aware of Munsey’s fund-raising techniques and has renounced them. 

[23] In the word-faith movement, faith is not placed in God, but rather is a force which we direct at God to make Him do our bidding.  This, coupled with the word-faith doctrine of Positive Confession, is almost identical to the New Age teaching known as “The Law of Attraction,” also known as “The Secret.”


Make a Comment

Click here to subscribe to comments without commenting.

You have 3000 characters remaining for your comment. Note: All comments must be approved before being posted.

Submit

#1  Posted by Jim B  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 10:15 AM

Justin,

Thank you for your teaching and ministry. Discernment is so important these days. I am grateful for Grace to You and the Strange Fire conference.

There is a local Christian TV Network in my area (Cornerstone TV in Pittsburgh, PA). They were recently spreading the same type of "seed faith" teaching that you mentioned at the end of your post in a recent telethon. It is very sad to see the great lengths that the guest preachers would go to in order to entice people to make a contribution. Recommendations included "ignoring your budget" and to "sow a seed" using your credit card (never mentioning whether or not you could actually afford making a donation/contribution).

I am grateful for John MacArthur and his ministry and all that I have learned over the last several years from his teaching. It seems that this type of charismatic teaching has become more prevalent and awareness of this is more important now then ever. Your willingness to stand for the truth is much appreciated.

Jim B

#2  Posted by Andre Martin  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 10:25 AM

Great article, Justin. Well researched and documented. I must admit that I was a bit taken back when I first learned of Dr.Brown's association with Benny Hinn. I thought very highly of Dr.Brown and am more than a little disappointed that he did not demonstrate any discernment on this issue. Very jarring!

-Andre.

#3  Posted by Jamie Wells  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 10:25 AM

Mr. Justin Peters,

Thank you for your faithful dedication to God's Word and to checking out these false teachers and for being on WATCH and being WATCHFUL as Pyromaniacs states today.

#4  Posted by Greg White  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 10:33 AM

This ministry has faithfully served the Lord for more than 40 years. I just don't understand why the body of Christ is so timid about stepping up and publicly defending the Gospel. Thank the Lord we have people like John MacArthur and this ministry. Pastor Gregory Carl White

#5  Posted by Matt Rollings  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 10:54 AM

Unfortunately due to the charismatic "fallible prophesy" card Benny Hinn will continue to gain more and more acceptance among Continuationists. For the cessationist it is an open and shut case....

#6  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 11:53 AM

"[...] I made an informed, prayerful decision to appear with him on TV and begin a dialogue with him." (Michael Brown)

Every person who has ever been in the charismatic/pentecostal movement (and later left) should be able to see how the above works: "informed" does NOT mean going through Scripture to see what God has to say about meeting up with false teachers. You see, if Scriptures are taken seriously, the person would not have to pray, for Scriptures are well clear about the issue.

I don't know what Mr. Brown understands by "informed". His pious "prayerfulness" means nothing. I've seen this done over and over in the charismatic movement: Scripture is clear about a subject but they need to pray about it first? What happened to "obedience"? Perhaps God will tell the person anything different than what His Word teaches? Sadly, that is exactly the case with this people and their hearing the voice of 'god'. Their god, not mine.

There is a reason that false teachers are called wolves, and one that comes to mind is that wolves cannot be domesticated. The reason that wolves are said to be wearing sheep clothing is not to simply camouflage themselves, it's to get close enough to the sheep so they (the wolves) can destroy the sheep by eating them.

Justin, thank you for your ministry and willingness to bring up to light all these wolves.

#7  Posted by John Fast  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 1:05 PM

I wonder if Michael Brown realizes that by admitting that some charismatic prophecy is simply the product of someone's own imagination he has just given the biblical description of a false prophet. "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vison of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD....Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams..." (Jer 23:16, 26, 27) It was the shame of Israel's incompetent priests that "they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean....seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying "Thus says the LORD God," when the LORD has not spoken" (Ezk 22:26, 28).

I'm afraid the church is inundated with shepherds who refuse to distinguish between the holy and profane, the unclean and the clean, and "the precious and the worthless" (Jer 15:19).

Thank you Justin for being one of the few willing to make the distinction.

#8  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 4:15 PM

Benny Hinn and his televised ministry has been around a long time. It's hard to believe Mr Brown has not witnessed or heard Hinn's doctrine and beliefs. There seems to be no biblical boundaries or nothing too strange for the Charismatic Movement to allow. Experience trumps truth.

#9  Posted by John McNulty Jr.  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 6:51 PM

Great article! I'm so thankful to God for the ministry of GTY and John MacArthur. I love how you guys stand up for God's Word on a daily basis and don't try and be "tolerant" and just smile at people and say, "Oh they mean well." No! Real love shows people where they err and GTY does that very well haha! It's sad, however, that so many people are deceived in this day and age. Honestly, sometimes, I think it's not only deception, but laziness. It's a lack of digging into the Word and studying what God truly reveals. A lot of people nowadays know nothing of the Bible and it's embarrassing. I wish more Christian ministries would stand up for Christ the way you guys do! God bless you for all that you do, I truly mean that.

#10  Posted by Alexander Rea  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 7:55 PM

Has Benny Hinn repented? Well, as I'm typing this, I'm watching him on Daystar pushing the Seed Faith heresy with Marcus Lamb.

#11  Posted by Larry Ganschow  |  Friday, February 07, 2014at 8:34 PM

Thank you Justin.

I wish more Godly Men would call out the charlatans like Benny Hinn. Or most any of the deceptive false teachers on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. I applaud what John MacArthur & so many others have done during the Strange Fire conference.

Separate wheat from chaff.

Modern Christianity is corrupted with never confronting anything out of fear that they might be called "a hater". They would rather passively allow corruption to go unchallenged.

Such heresy.

#13  Posted by Deborah Davidson  |  Saturday, February 08, 2014at 8:23 AM

I cannot thank you enough, Justin, for your head-on defense of God's truth as you accurately expose the wolves that are ravaging the church and bringing reproach on our beloved Lord and Savior. I pray for their repentance and salvation daily. Thank you and Pastor MacArthur and all of those godly people who gave us the Strange Fire teaching. God bless you all and your ministries and continue to strengthen and encourage you daily. Thank you!

#15  Posted by Dawn Bulchandani  |  Saturday, February 08, 2014at 3:26 PM

Hi family!

I came upon this post while following up on a citation one of my university students used in a paper.

I felt a bit queasy reading this article and scanning the contents. Here's the reason: we really are brothers and sisters with the same Dad -- Father God. I don't think it's appropriate or loving to speak of each other in disrespectful ways, particularly in such a public forum!

If I had a biological brother who was making choices I didn't agree with, or even was messing up massively, I definitely wouldn't blog about it and invite others to critique him as well.

I'd pray into his restoration, honor the good stuff he has done, and contact him directly as a means of encouraging him and helping him more fully and freely live out the destiny God has for him.

Hopefully, that helps give some light to the way we deal with each other, especially in an internet-established capacity.

I love you all. I love Benny Hinn too. I'm excited for all of you to flourish in all ways!

Blessings.

#16  Posted by Mark Costik  |  Saturday, February 08, 2014at 4:53 PM

Benny Hinn = Self condemned

#17  Posted by James Culpeper  |  Saturday, February 08, 2014at 10:46 PM

Hi Dawn.

I believe the consensus here is that Hinn is not a fellow brother in Christ, but a false teacher. The Church body should be warned of such heretics, and today's social media is the way most of us socialize on a daily basis. So it makes sense to utilize this forum for alerting us to this urgent issue. Many have no idea of this man's history of perverting the gospel, and might otherwise fall prey to his deception. Again, he's not a brother, unless he repemts and puts his faith in Christ ALONE. I'm thankful for MacArthur and his team for using this medium to God's glory.

#20  Posted by Charles Freeman  |  Sunday, February 09, 2014at 4:06 PM

Great

I understand JM is catching a lot back lash from strange fire, but stay and stand on Jesus Christ, you are bringing a lot of people out on these false people. I am part of a prison ministry, and see the b.hinn and faith movement follows every week, yet my ? To them is speak yourself out side the jail walls and I would drive them home. That ends that, thanks to men of God like u guys.

#21  Posted by Todd Farr  |  Sunday, February 09, 2014at 10:23 PM

"I felt a bit queasy reading this article and scanning the contents. Here's the reason: we really are brothers and sisters with the same Dad -- Father God. I don't think it's appropriate or loving to speak of each other in disrespectful ways, particularly in such a public forum!"

Dawn,

If you felt queasy reading this article, do you also feel queasy reading a vast amount of Christ's teachings, such as: Matthew 10:34-49 or Matthew 18:15-17?

No one has claimed that Benny Hinn is not loved but rather that he is a flagrant heretic and a false teacher. Justin Peters and the Grace to You ministry is taking a stand for our Lord Jesus and His truth by alerting as many people as possible of the deception that is rampant in the "church". Paul, inspired by our Father's Holy Spirit, felt it fitting to call out names in 2 Timothy 2:17-18 when false teachers were "upsetting the faith of some."

Our Lord was the Master of balancing love and truth and I don't believe any of us can perfectly replicate that. Praise our Lord for raising up faithful ministers who try though! We cannot fulfill one while neglecting the other.

#22  Posted by Sharlene McKelvey  |  Sunday, February 09, 2014at 11:18 PM

Great Job Justin Peters! You really did your homework and you made a solid point of everything you wrote! I have a dear friend who is Pentecostal and she believes all of this stuff...and if my printer was working, I would print out every one of these blogs and give them to her... she watches these people on TBN... and she gives her money to them...she is 70. There are many ederly women in my apartment complex who make it a point, every day, to watch their 'favorites' on TBN... and some have told me they, too, support these ministries... and they believe this stuff !!! If I had a printer, I would hand out these blogs, the calling out the wolves that all of you are writing...and I would also put them on the bulletin board for all to see in this building. Otherwise, these elderly women defend these fakes...and it turns my stomach.. and I am praying that God will help me find a way to get through to these wonderful people who think they are honoring God... anyway, I commend all that you said in your blog.... you could not have done a better job detailing it all out.... Praise God for this ministry who is doing all they are able to teach the wrongs being done to The Holy Spirit! Thank you for teaching us... I am sharing these with my adult daughters, and hopefully they will be able to teach my grandchildren to beware of the dogs because this is the world that may possibly confuse them someday very soon. Meanwhile, I just have to say.. you did an excellent job pointing out all the details of such wicked debachery. Thank you one and all at GTY!!

#23  Posted by Dankmar Schroeder  |  Monday, February 10, 2014at 11:25 AM

Thank you for this exhaustive blog.

The longer the more I believe that the wrong doctrine of "tithing" is a precursor of the likes of Benny Hinn et. al. and helped to enable them to find such a willing audience.

Just like Benny Hinn promises blessings for money so do these false preachers in the name of God.

"Tithing" and giving above those 10 percent are "sold" the same way as those lies of these prosperity teachers.

Thank you for pointing out their lies.

#24  Posted by Anthony Griffin  |  Monday, February 10, 2014at 2:51 PM

Dawn,

I would point out that the apostle Paul named names and they are memorialized in scripture for eternity. It is an act of Love to tell someone the truth even when it hurts and the message is painful. To say you love someone and not tell them of their error is tragic and ungodly. Mr. Hinn needs prayer for salvation and prayer is also an act of love. So rather than just blindly go with the flow even when faced with the truth as justin so eloquently pointed out in his article, why dont you pray for Hinn and the people he has robbed and lied to. These are all well documented. God bless you.

#25  Posted by Todd Farr  |  Monday, February 10, 2014at 5:09 PM

"I am part of a prison ministry, and see the b.hinn and faith movement follows every week, yet my ? To them is speak yourself out side the jail walls and I would drive them home."

Hallelujah. I love this, Charles, and I think brings a very good point about the message that Word of Faith/prosperity teachers bring. Would that nonsense ever resonate in the lives of those who are inside a prison wall? I certainly wouldn't think so. Only the truth of the Gospel has the power to transform lives, wherever it travels.

#26  Posted by Todd Farr  |  Monday, February 10, 2014at 9:14 PM

Something that I think we can all be appreciative of, in regards to Dr. Michael Brown, is the way he recently stood firm in the defense of the biblical definition of marriage and did not tiptoe around the issue of homosexuality being a sin on Piers Morgan. I just saw this for the first time this evening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-XfYvmEBK0

I'm still trying to figure out how Piers Morgan considers himself a Christian while claiming that God's Word is ridiculous. I love Brown's response to Morgan when Morgan asks him if he believes that he feels he has more rights than a homosexual. Brown says, "No, of course not. But should two brothers have the right to get married?" Morgan's response? "You're just being silly and ridiculous." 1 Corinthians 2:14 immediately came to mind.

And then Dr. Brown goes on to appear with Benny Hinn, claiming no knowledge of Hinn's ministry. I don't get it.

#27  Posted by John Mullally  |  Monday, February 10, 2014at 11:49 PM

I would be in rough agreement with this article if I was a Cessationist. I get it - some of the activity in the Word of Faith / Prosperity and Charismatics hurts my head too. But on the gut level it seems right - maybe on a far weaker level than what some disciples received from Jesus (who they did not recognize) on the road to Emmaus. For me, it is head vs gut - how do I decide - Scripture.

The Word of Faith / Prosperity and Charismatics provide scriptural basis for their doctrine. Most critics attack these doctrines with some resort of character assassination and ridicule. Has anyone seriously refuted their supposed scriptural arguments on a point-by-point basis? Any links on the web?

Where is the scriptural basis for the Cessationists? Cessationist deny many powerful promises in the New Testament of any practical application - but I have not heard any convincing SCRIPTURAL BASIS for the Cessationist doctrine. Why is Mark 16 : 17 & 18 included in the Great Commission and what basis is that nullified for today? How does the compilation of the New Testament obviate some verses in the New Testament? Please explain.

#28  Posted by Benny Clark  |  Tuesday, February 11, 2014at 3:24 PM

John, did you watch or listen, to any of the Strange Fire conference, Dr. MacArthur dismantled their position through scripture....

#29  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, February 11, 2014at 3:27 PM

John Mullally #27

John MacArthur addresses charismatics in the Strange Fire book, and Justin Peters has a DVD set dealing with the word-of-faith (prosperity) movement. Both these resources respond in detail to the arguments advanced by these movements, and they both do so respectfully without resorting to disparagement. (I agree with you that many so-called discernment ministries are characterised by personal attacks, and I regard this as totally unchristian).

Much of John MacArthur's material is available on this web site, and I think you can find Justin Peters' videos on YouTube. But I would encourage you to buy the originals for yourself.

I was once like you, trying to decide which position best represented scripture. I saw merits in both sides of the argument, but did find cessationism less than convincing. The main factors that changed my mind were the widespread corruption in the charismatic movement (not just the word-of-faith camp), and the realisation that its claims are simply not true. Charismatics say they are practicing Biblical gifts, but when you check these out, you find they are nothing of the sort.

#31  Posted by John Mullally  |  Wednesday, February 12, 2014at 5:56 PM

I watched John MacArthur's address on the Strange Fire conference. Great speaker and very impassioned. But also very much in line with strong Cessationist thinking.

For my own better understanding, I turned to a more neutral discussion on "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessationism_versus_Continuationism" where both sides are represented in a less than inflammatory manner. In 2 Corinthians 2:13 Paul states that "In the Mouths of 2 or 3 Witnesses Shall a Thing Be Established". So I would have to discount Cessationism since there is only a questionable interpretation of a single text (1 Corinthians 13:8-12) that could be used to support it.

#32  Posted by David Smith  |  Thursday, February 13, 2014at 10:22 AM

John,

OK, so you believe in continuationism. Fine. Please show me some evidence that the supernatural gifts (1) continued throughout the last 2000 years and (2) are around today.

For (1), these gifts have not been seen in church history after the apostolic age.

For (2), I was a charismatic for almost 30 years. I was widely travelled and saw many different aspects of the movement, from classical pentecostals to denominationals charismatics, from vineyard churches to charismatic catholics. I realise now that I never saw any genuine miraculous gifts. At best, people were deluded, at worst they were deceivers.

Continuationism is a theory without any evidence. Cessationism is demonstrably true. We can debate scripture forever, but it won't change the fact that the supernatural gifts have been absent from the church since the end of the apostolic era. So why are you in favour of a theology that contradicts almost 2000 years of testimony?

#33  Posted by John Mullally  |  Thursday, February 13, 2014at 7:08 PM

David,

Concerning miraculous supernatural gifts: I have not seen any myself. Of the people I have known personally for any length of time, the pastor of Destiny House, Larry Matteson, has often shared that he was healed of deafness at the age of 10 at an A. A. Allen meeting. Even before that God had spared his life. He and other children were playing Hide and Seek in a junk yard and he locked himself inside an old refrigerator that was latch so that he could not open it from inside and he was suffocating. God spared Larry's life by speaking audibly to his atheist father.

Personally, I have benefited from others operating in the Gifts of the Spirit - I have shared the experiences them with friends, but I would not try to use them to convince skeptics.

The church has been in rough shape for most of those 2000 years - a lot of lives were lost when God used Martin Luther and others to bring back the elementary doctrine of Justification by Faith.

The evidence for Continuationism is scattered throughout New Testament. There are many quotes from Jesus, Peter, and Paul concerning the operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit . One cannot wave away the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by using the questionable interpretation of a single text or by saying they have not observed it.

Based upon your years with Charasmatics and Pentecostals you have undoubtedly heard a lot of different biblical texts emphasized that John MacArthur has never seriously addressed as they are contrary to his strong Cessationist beliefs. I believe that this is the cause of much of the divide.

John

#34  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, February 14, 2014at 9:23 AM

John,

"a lot of different biblical texts emphasized that John MacArthur has never seriously addressed"

John, I'm not sure how familiar you are with John MacArthur's ministry, but it's difficult to charge him with not seriously addressing any particular verse in the NT. If there is a specific passage you're thinking about, take a look around this site and you'll find his teaching on every verse in the New Testament.

#37  Posted by John Mullally  |  Friday, February 14, 2014at 6:18 PM

Gabriel,

Thank you for the correction. I miss-spoke, it would be better written as:

"a lot of different biblical texts emphasized that John MacArthur does not emphasize as being applicable to today".

I used your web link and reviewed what John MacArthur had to say about 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. Interestingly, he was noncommittal about when the Gifts of the Spirit cease - leaving open the option that they may cease at the time of the Rapture.

John

#38  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, February 17, 2014at 1:20 PM

John Mullally #33:

Yes, I heard a lot of preaching arguing a case for continuationism from all over the Bible. I also have plenty of books on this subject in a box somewhere. I accept that continuationism is a possible interpretation of the Bible.

BUT if continuationism is the correct interpretation, then we will see miraculous gifts. I didn't. I saw a lot of smoke and mirrors, a lot of mind tricks, and a lot of snake oil being sold. And you said you haven't either. Third party claims of the sort you mention are impossible to verify.

Remember that the easiest way to deceive someone is to tell them what they want to hear. If you believe that the supernatural gifts are around today, then you're not going to question claims to this effect. You don't want to admit you were wrong and part of your theology isn't right. With me, I kept searching in an attempt to find the truth and eventually realised that the claims of continuationists just don't add up.