Benny Hinn: Todd Koontz and the two-minutes blessing scam

Many so-called ‘Christian’ preachers go to great lengths to separate their followers from their money.

The latest reported ‘prosperity’ scam was reportedly committed by Todd Koontz, a guest speaker at the recent Benny Hinn “Miracle Crusade” in South Africa.

Apparently, in exchange for a gift of $1,000, 500 believers would receive an “exceptional blessing”.

According to Koontz the blessing would be “poured out for only two minutes.”

‘God bless your credit card’

Johannesburg – God’s blessing would last only two minutes and it would create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires – all they had to do was use their credit cards to pay $1 000 in offerings to televangelist Benny Hinn.

Pastor Tommie Ferreira of the AGS Church in Johannesburg was so upset about the “blessing” that, after a week, he wanted to know who of the donors actually had become millionaires.

Ferreira told Rapport he did not mean to bring about Hinn’s downfall.

He merely wanted to know if any of the hundreds of churchgoers who donated amounts of up to $1 000 (about R7 500) to Hinn’s Miracle Crusade last week Saturday had now become millionaires.

About 18 000 people streamed to the Coca-Cola Dome in Randburg to hear Hinn’s message of healing and miracles.

Ferreira, who is a keen choir singer, voluntarily sang in the Miracle Crusade’s choir.

He said one of Hinn’s American guest speakers, Pastor Todd Koontz, spoke about financial burdens and said 500 audience members would receive “an exceptional blessing”.

“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.”

Koontz apparently really had the congregation scrambling when he said, “This blessing will be poured out for only two minutes.”

Ferreira said: “People stormed to the front – poor people, rich people, people from all sections of our society.”

Hinn’s co-pastors apparently had credit-card machines ready with which they could take donations.

“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.”

According to Ferreira’s calculations, Hinn must have collected millions of rands with these donations – perhaps more than R7m if each of the 1 000 church-goers donated $1 000 in the hope of becoming millionaires.

Furthermore, after Koontz’s collection of the $1 000 donations, Hinn collected general donations.
[...]

Dr Sarel Smit of the AGS church Lofstad in Hursthill, Johannesburg, who supported Ferreira as he spoke to Rapport, was equally worried about the method by which Hinn collected donations.

“Especially at a time like this when there is dire need, people run the risk of losing their faith in the Lord in this way. God will provide for your needs, but not your greed.”

Rapport spoke to an employee in Hinn’s South African office in Durban who said on Friday morning that they were still busy collecting money.
[...]

He said that before the collection of the $1 000 donations, Koontz had delivered a message about “you reap what you sow”.

- Source: ‘God bless your credit card’, Marthinus van Vuuren, Rapport, via News24.com, South Africa, July 20, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

The Bible talks about people who think that godliness is a means to financial gain, and places them among those who teach false doctrines, do not follow the instructions of Jesus Christ, are conceited and understand nothing:

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, {4} he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions {5} and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. {6} But godliness with contentment is great gain. {7} For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. {8} But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. {9} People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. {10} For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

- Source: 1 Timothy 6:3-10 NIV

The so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel’ is one of many false doctrines promoted by the Word-Faith movement, a cultic stream within the Christian church.

Research resources on the prosperity gospel

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