Thursday, October 15, 2009

Benny Hinn - Victim of Unfair Criticism















Disclaimer:
Pastor K.D. James is not now, nor has he ever been at any time in the past an employee of Benny Hinn Ministries or World Healing Center Church of Grapevine, Texas. The opinions, beliefs and practices of Benny Hinn Ministries are not necessarily endorsed by this ministry.

The Last 13 Years

I watched Benny Hinn on Christian television in the mid-1990's but it was in the fall of 1996 when I first attended a Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade.

About one year later I attended a second crusade which was held in the city of Denver, Colorado. Between 1997 and 2009 I have attended between 50 to 60 ministry events. Some of these events were full scale miracle crusades others were what Hinn refers to as 'Partner Conferences'.


Volunteer Aid


I consider it an honor and also a learning experience to have served as a volunteer pastor at approximately 20 to 30 Benny Hinn sponsored ministry events. In the late 90's I served as either a volunteer usher and at other times a platform catcher. That was perhaps my most treasured experience. Standing just a few feet from Benny Hinn helping catch and assist those who were being transformed by the mighty presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

In late 2008 enrolled in Benny Hinn’s School of Ministry which is located in Aliso Viejo, California. Every Monday evening I would travel from Los Angeles to Hinn's television studio in Aliso Viejo to participate in live classes and as a member of the studio audience.

On a monthly basis Benny Hinn would conduct miracle crusades in Long Beach, California. I was right there. Except this time not as an usher. I was one of only two volunteer pastors assisting the Special Prayer team. My assignment, strictly as a volunteer was to;
  • Walk throughout the auditorium seeking out 'critical cases'; the very ill, those connected to life support equipment, wheelchair cases and those who appear to be severely emotionally distressed.
  • Offer to administer the prayer of faith for healing to all crusade attendees whom I felt had this need.
  • Assist in explaining to candidates for prayer that they must seek God and God alone for their healing.
  • Clarify and emphasis to those seeking healing that Benny Hinn is not the healer.
  • Interview and evaluate those I have prayed for to access and determine what God has done in their body that may constitute a genuine healing.
  • Forward to Hinn staff members those who have testify of having been healed for additional screening prior to being allowed platform access

PLATFORM ACCESS

Critics of Benny Hinn do not under the process of being allowed access to the platform.

As I described above, a crusade attendee is not allowed platform access without first being interviewed by ministry staff members. The goal of the staff screener is to locate and identify the most solid unquestionable testimonies of a true healing. Are you listening? No one is turned away from the platform for any other reason other than - a testimony lacking significance to merit a genuine supernatural healing.

During this interview a staff member must be convinced by personal testimony that a genuine healing has taken place. If a person says, 'I've been blind out of this eye for ten years but now I can see perfectly!', this is remarkable personal testimony and worthy of sharing. If another says, 'my daughter was crippled by a car accident and has not been able to walk, bend over or jump in the last four years. But look at her now!' This is another example of a strong personal testimony worth sharing. Hundreds, in fact thousands of testimonies similar to these are shared at every Benny Hinn crusade.

Staff members are not familiar with the personal lives or medical case histories of these people. Testimonies can only be accepted at face value. Keep in mind that when a person shares their testimony with a staff member and granted access to the platform, once they stand in front of Benny Hinn they asked to give more details on what God did for them while they were in the audience worshiping the Lord.

For this reason it is inaccurate and wrong to say that Benny Hinn calls himself a healer. That is not true, it is false allegation and not based in any fact whatsoever.


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I AM A WITNESS

In my over 30 years of ministry, I don't believe there is a greater joy in this life than to see, hear and witness for myself - the power of the Holy Spirit truly heal, deliver and transform a broken life. As I prayed for the sick and afflicted I have witnessed scores (hundreds) rise from their wheelchairs and walk. I have seen the power of Jesus Christ open blind eyes, deaf hears and dissolve tumors. Yes, I have seen indisputable medical verification of things that God has done.

Sorry, I can not easily be deceived or fooled. My twelve years of service in the Armed Forces, intelligence and law enforcement experience has influenced how I think and perceive things. I am critical thinker and have a knack for investigating things. I know the difference between the power of suggestion, hypnotism and emotionalism.

It is a fact that 'some' people (not all) but some people get caught up into the emotion of the music and have psychosomatic experiences. Simply meaning, they think they were healed but weren't. Or, they were never really sick in the first place. It is all in their head. Many people fall into these two catagories.

However, the power of suggestion can not dissolve a grapefruit sized tumor. I've seen it happen. All of the emotionalism and hype in the world can't cause someone to instantly lose 15 to 20 pounds, or repair the bone damage brought on by severe forms of arthritis.


My Concerns

I am very much concerned with the unscrupulous and manipulative fund raising practices of some ministries. In the case of Pastor Benny Hinn it's no secret that he's been forced to admit poor financial stewardship and clean up his house in the aftermath. What his supporters and his critics don't fully understand is that the fund raising practices of Benny Hinn are in many respects - forced upon. Why is this the case? Because of the following:

  1. His ministry is not funded by or sponsored by a large denominational group.
  2. Institutional Christianity has for the last 2,000 years functioned like, been managed and by led by businessmen with a corporate mentality.
  3. The pressure to perform is overwhelming. All megastar 'apostles and prophets' must perform well when they hit the stage. The pulpit is their stage. When it's showtime - they must deliver.
  4. All entertainers are compensated based on the quality of performance they deliver. In the event of a poor performance or series of weak performances, the entertainer is forced to come up with a new gimmick, scheme or ploy to sweep the audience away. If successful, they merit good pay for good show.
The above described scenario is what Benny Hinn is faced with. He didn't create the monster called the church, but its something he has to live with or get out of the business. I know that he loves Jesus Christ with all of his soul. He is dedicated to preaching the gospel to the best of his ability and gifting. He needs our prayers.

Meanwhile, I pray that you put yourself in shoes and walk a mile in them. If you can withstand the pressure, the responsibilities and put up with the unfair criticism - more power to you. As for me, I'm happy with the simple life.

The kingdom of God is not an institution, it is an organism.


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