Pastor Benny Hinn: Charlatan or Man of God?
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday October 9, 2009
Media does not understand him, Benny Hinn Claims
Pastor Benny Hinn is being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee and was recently denied entry into the United Kingdom. The press has been bad, he says, because the media doesn’t understand him.
“[The media] are never going to paint me as I want to be painted,” Hinn said in an exclusive interview. “But, really, it doesn’t matter as long as people give me the chance to talk.”
And talking he is … about the finance probe, his lavish lifestyle and accusations that his faith healings are fake because he offers no documentation or verification that he has, in fact, helped the blind see and the crippled walk.
“They question me on why I don’t verify,” Hinn says. “I answer, ‘God never called me to verify. I’m not a doctor.’”
He says that after a tabloid news show aired an exposé on his worldwide Benny Hinn Ministries, he tried to make changes. The exposé reported that though thousands of people attending Hinn’s religious gatherings said they were healed, the ministry couldn’t prove they suffered from any infirmities in the first place, or that they actually had been miraculously healed.
So, Hinn says, his ministry created a department to handle verifications and follow up on the “miracles.”
“It was chaotic. It was a mess,” he says. “The staff would call and people would be mad and say, ‘Why are you questioning that I was lying up there?’”
“Then we would call the doctors. They wouldn’t talk to us most of the time … so it didn’t work.”
Benny Hinn Ministries doesn’t publish its finances, but one report estimated it takes in $100 million a year. Hinn says only that the ministry pays him more than half a million dollars a year — but that income doesn’t include money from the sales of his books and his other private business ventures.
He says he plans to cut his salary in half, and eventually to receive no pay.
That decision comes amid an ongoing probe of six evangelical ministers and their megachurches by the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Benny Hinn Ministries is one of the six.
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