September 11, 2012
I just got back from Benny Hinn’s crusade in Bangkok this evening and wanted to give a quick report of what I saw. Regular readers of this blog probably know my views on Hinn and the prosperity gospel, but my commentary here is extremely little. This is mostly just a report for those who are curious but have not been able to make it to the event.
The event went from 6:00pm to 10:00pm or so. Lots of people there but room not full. First hour was Thai worship songs, Pentecostal/praise band style. This first hour also included an offering where the leader said we reap what we sow about 4 times. Example of fish and loaves was given.
Benny got on at 7:00pm and sung “How Great Thou Art” to start with. Then he explained salvation is the greatest miracle and did an about 20-30 minute basic Gospel explanation. We are sinners, God is holy, Jesus paid for our sin, we can receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness if we accept Jesus in our heart. He never mentioned repentance. Then he had an altar call. I think he only wanted 1st time commitments but a bunch of people went forward, some of them seeming to want recommitment or anointing or something. So he did group prayer with them, assured them they are born again and instructed them to read their Bible, pray, and find a church. A 6-year old girl was brought on stage and everyone rejoiced that she had just been born again. Then he sent them back to their seats.
Then Hinn held up an envelope while making some general statements about miracles. Hinn said, "I will pray for the sick. God will heal your body...this is your night for a miracle." Talking about the upcoming offering, he said, "God will prosper you" and had everyone say in unison "Prosperity is mine." He cited Psalm 35 and said we are covenant people with covenant rights. Hinn explained Deut. 8:18, saying it shows that God gives power & wealth to his covenant people so that the Gospel will be preached in the whole world. He said that Deut 29:29 shows that we will prosper in all we do if we obey. Hinn explained further that prosperity is not an accident. It is a decision. Job 36:11 shows that if we obey, our days will be spent in prosperity.
Hinn explained about offering seeds of faith. A seed releases faith. The greater the seed, the greater the harvest. Hinn experienced the miracle of a healed marriage. But because of the divorce he had $800,000 USD in legal fees. He went to his pastor's home for prayer and God told him to give a seed of $2000/month to this pastor for the rest of his life. That was difficult for Hinn to obey. “But if it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work.” explained Hinn. He went on to say that God told him, "Because you obeyed me [in giving a seed of faith to this pastor], there will be no more losses in your life. And your marriage will be fixed." A week after that, a couple from Texas payed his legal fees for him. You must raise your seed level, Hinn explained. Money does not trigger harvest but faith does. But when raise your seed level, it raises your faith. Hinn had the audience repeat in unison these three things:
- total restoration
- no more losses
- abundance is coming my way
Hinn told the audience that when you confess it in spirit, there is power, but if you write it down [on your offering envelope], it has triple power. If you pray, God will give you your miracle in 7 days. Hinn promised those who offer in faith that, "Seven days from now your financial miracle will happen." He strongly encouraged the audience to give the equivalent of $100 USD as a seed offering. Hinn had to ask his translator what the exchange rate was, and what was the name of the local currency, so he could tell people 3000 baht instead of $100. Several times during the meeting, Hinn asked the choir or others to say or sing something in “your language.” He was apparently unaware (or perhaps unsure) that the language spoken in Thailand is called Thai. While filling out offering envelopes, Hinn’s keyboardist played an instrumental version of “Jehovah Jireh.”
After some more singing (mostly solos and simple praise choruses led by Hinn), he started to talk about healing more directly. This was about three hours into the event. Mt 4:23 shows that Jesus healed all. Therefore, he will do it today. When the translator doesn’t yell enough in his translation, Hinn makes him do it again with more enthusiasm. This happened several times. In Matt. 5, they were all healed, and also in Matt 6:19. In Matt 8, a leper was healed. This story was told with great passion and some stage theatrics.
Hinn emphasized again and again that Jesus never refused to heal and never said “NO” but He always healed. Sickness cannot live in Jesus’s presence. "In the presence of Jesus, sickness dies," explained Hinn. The "demon of disease" must go. About this time, Hinn became unhappy with a man moving behind him on stage while he was preaching, so he physically led him off stage because it is “sacred space”. Hinn tells the story of the demoniac, and an embellished version of the woman with the issue of blood.
More singing, and talking about healing. Hinn has everyone place their hand on the place where they are afflicted and pray to God. Hinn prays for healing and commands demons of sickness to leave people. Keep in mind, this is all from on stage. No one has yet gone up on stage for healing or prayer. Hinn has people pray out loud for healing several times. Hinn says some people may feel the fire of the Holy Spirit in them. He says some are already healed. Hinn explains that he does not need to call out specific diseases because God has healed many already. Hinn says that a man off to the side of the stage has had his skin healed.
At this point, Hinn encouraged people to come down front to give testimonies of healing. After screening their testimonies, the handlers / bouncers (big white guys in dress suits) bring people on stage, each time saying loudly some variation of “This (man/woman) was in excruciating pain in (area of body) and now it is gone and...” then Benny Hinn shushes them so he can talk to the person. These were the testimonies:
- Painful tumor in left side. Now there is no pain. Benny slays her in the Spirit.
- Healed of breast cancer. Can move arm without pain. Benny slays her in the Spirit.
- Burmese man with pain in neck because of cancer healed. “What do you feel? Does it feel like fire?” asked Hinn. I couldn’t hear his answer very well. Benny slays him in the Spirit.
- Stomach tumor healed. She confirms it is gone (I think), but the answer seems unclear. Benny appears to cut the conversation short and slays her in the Spirit. She just stumbled backward the first time, so Benny slays her again, this time more successfully.
- Neck stress healed. Benny slays her in the Spirit.
Now Benny says if you want anointing, come forward. Masses of people swarm in front of the stage. Benny slays the choir on stage. He slays some sections of the crowd by saying something like “Jesus! Majesty!” He slays the group of pastors on stage. Some pastors don’t seem to have been slain enough so he brings them out by ones and twos to slay on center stage. Catchers are ready to help slain people.
Benny is now overtime for the night but promised double blessing/anointing tomorrow night.