PUBLISHED ON: April 25, 2003

August 1993

ORLANDO, Fla. (EP) — Evangelist Benny Hinn became a focal
point of controversy this year when a cult specialist
[Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research
Institute. ed] raised questions about his teaching and
reporters questioned his lifestyle. In an interview with
Charisma magazine editor Stephen Strang, Hinn, pastor of
the 7,000- member Orlando Christian Center, discussed his
beliefs and detailed major changes in his views on some
controversial issues.

“God is shaking me,” said Hinn. “He is making dramatic
changes inside of me. …The Lord is showing me some
things I have been wrong about. At one point I taught
certain things, such as the ‘little gods’ teaching, and
Jesus dying spiritually. Now I have quit teaching such
things, and I have made it clear that I no longer believe

Hinn said that after a decade of pursuing Word-Faith
doctrines, he has found some extremes in that teaching,
and is changing his views on some issues. “For example, I
used to teach that Jesus died spiritually and suffered in
Hell,” he said. “Through my own study, I discovered that
this didn’t line up with the Word. When the Lord said ‘It
is finished’ on the cross, He didn’t add ‘to be

Hinn told Charisma that he had modified his views on other
issues, including what is sometimes called “name it and
claim it” theology. He said, “I don’t believe confessing
the Word works the way I taught it in the past. Of course,
we should believe and confess God’s Word. But I don’t
believe we can just confess any Scripture and make it
happen.” Hinn also emphasized that he believes “the Bible
is the only authoritative source of divine revelation,”
and reaffirmed his belief in “one God — Father, Son and
Holy Spirit. One God, three persons, absolutely one in

Though he once taught that Christians are “little gods,”
Hinn now refutes that doctrine. “I did teach the little
gods doctrine,” he said. “Today I don’t believe it one
iota.  In fact, it’s been erased off all my tapes. …When
I taught the little gods doctrine, I was using Scriptures
that didn’t fit.”

Hinn acknowledged that he receives a salary of $116,000
plus a housing allowance from his church, and “much more”
in book royalties. But he said his giving to his church
last year exceeded his salary. Hinn said he paid about
$650,000 for his present home, which is in an exclusive
neighborhood with a security gate. Hinn said he no longer
wears his Rolex watch and expensive jewelry, and is
replacing his Mercedes Benz with an American-made Lincoln
“because I don’t want my lifestyle to cause anyone to

Though closely associated with the so-called “prosperity
gospel,” Hinn told Charisma that a recent trip to the
Philippines had changed his outlook. “Some of the most
precious Christians live there amid such poverty, such need.
Yet you see such satisfaction, such fulfillment with them.
They are happier than many Christians I know in America who
have everything.”

Hinn said, “The teaching on prosperity has gone too far. It
has become a business. It is no longer ‘give so you will
bless somebody.’ It has become ‘give to get.’ It has become
selfish, worldly. …I feel terrible that I once put too
much emphasis on material prosperity. And now I am saying,
‘Lord, please forgive me.'”

Divine healing is another area where Hinn’s beliefs have
changed. Though he once taught that anyone with enough
faith could be healed, he now describes such a teaching as
“cruel” and acknowledges, “I have come to realize that God
is sovereign, and there are things I just don’t
understand.” He added, “In the future, rather than focus on
healing, I plan to focus on Jesus Himself, and let Him heal
whomever He wills to heal.”

Hinn told Charisma his future ministry will have a new
emphasis. “I am looking forward to even greater healings
and miracles in my ministry,” he concluded. “But I’m going
to focus on salvation as well as physical healing. Because
when God heals a body, that is temporal; but when God saves
a soul, that has eternal importance.”

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