|Toufik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn|
December 3, 1952|
|Children||three daughters, one son|
Toufik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn (Arabic: توفيق بندكتوس "بني" الحن, Tūfīq Benediktūs āl-Ḥin, Hebrew: בני הין, born December 3, 1952) is a televangelist, best known for his regular "Miracle Crusades" – revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, This Is Your Day.
Toufik Hinn was born in Jaffa, in 1952, in the then newly established state of Israel. His father was of Greek heritage and in communion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and his mother an Armenian in communion with the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He was raised within the Eastern Orthodox tradition.
Soon after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (the Six-Day War), Hinn's family emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he attended but later prematurely left the Georges Vanier Secondary School. In his books, Hinn states that his father was the mayor of Jaffa at the time of his birth, and that as a child, he was socially isolated and was handicapped by a severe stutter, but was nonetheless a first-class student. These claims, however, have been disputed by critics of Hinn As a teenager in Toronto, Hinn converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Pentecostalism, eventually joining a singing troupe made up of young evangelicals. According to a 2004 CBC report on Hinn, his newfound religious devotion during this period became so intense that his family became concerned that he was turning into a religious fanatic. Hinn was taught the bible and mentored by Winston I. Nunes of Faith Temple in Toronto.
He has written that on December 21, 1973, he traveled by charter bus from Toronto to Pittsburgh to attend a "miracle service" conducted by evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. Although he never met her personally, he often attended her “healing services” and has often cited her as an influence in his life.
Upon moving to the United States, Hinn travelled to Orlando, Florida, where he founded the Orlando Christian Center in 1983. Eventually, Hinn began claiming that God was using him as a conduit for divine healing powers, and began holding faith healing services in his church. These new "Miracle Crusades" were soon held at large stadiums and auditoriums across the United States and the world, the first nationally-televised service being held in Flint, Michigan, in 1989. During the early 1990s, Hinn launched a new daily talk show called This Is Your Day, which to this day airs clips of supposed miracles from Hinn's Miracle Crusades. The program premiered on the Trinity Broadcasting Network of Paul Crouch, who would become one of Hinn's most outspoken defenders and allies. Hinn's ministry began to rapidly grow from there, winning praise as well as criticism from fellow Christian leaders. In 1999, he stepped down as pastor of the Orlando Christian Center, moving his ministry's administrative headquarters to Grapevine, Texa, a suburb of ort Worth, while hosting This Is Your Day from a television studio in Orange County, California, where he now lives with his family. His former church was renamed Faith World Church under pastoring of Clint Brown, who merged his Orlando church with Hinn's.
Ministry and theology
Benny Hinn is recognised as a Christian healing evangelist and Bible teacher. He is the author of a number of best-selling inspirational Christian books. His thirty-minute TV program This Is Your Day, is among the world’s most-watched Christian programs, seen on various Christian television networks, including Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar Television Network, Revelation TV, Grace TV, Vision TV, INSP Networks, and The God Channel.
Hinn conducts regular "Miracle Crusades" – revival meeting/faith healing events held in sports stadiums in major cities throughout the world. Tens of millions attend his Holy Spirit Miracle Crusades each year. It's estimated that Benny Hinn has spoken to one billion people through his crusades, including Memorable crusades with attendance of 7.3 million people (in three services) in India, the largest healing service in recorded history. Hinn is frequently welcomed during his crusades by kings, prime ministers, and heads of state.
Hinn's teachings are Evangelical and charismatic, accepting the validity of spiritual gifts; and Word of Faith in origin, with a focus on financial prosperity. Some doctrine and practices that Hinn teaches would be thought unusual in mainstream Christianity The charismatic Christian community (who, according to a recent study by The Barna Group, make up 46% of US Protestants and 36% of US Catholics), is very diverse, and Hinn's ideas would only be accepted in some constituencies.
Benny Hinn Ministries supports 60 Missions organization across the world and several Orphanages across the nations. Housing and feeding over 100,000 children a year and also supporting 45,000 children daily because of his donors, includinga Hospital and Emergency Care in Calcutta, India. 200,000 hospital patients are provided free medical care every year and much more.
Benny Hinn Ministries donated $250,000 to Tsunami Relief Effort in 2005, and $100,000 for Relief Supplies to Hurricane Katrina Victims.
Criticism and controversy
By far the most controversial aspect of Hinn's ministry is his claim to have the "anointing", the special power given to him by God to heal the sick. At Hinn's Miracle Crusades, he has allegedly healed attendees of blindness, deafness, cancer, AIDS,and severe physical injuries. Since 1993, however, investigative news reports by programs such as Inside Edition, Dateline NBC, the Australian edition of 60 Minutes, and several network affiliates in the United States have called these claims into question.
Hinn made a number of unfulfilled (religious) prophecies for the 1990s, such as God destroying America's homosexual community in 1995, the death of Fidel Castro, the election of the first female president of the USA, the East Coast of the United States being devastated by earthquakes, etc., all before the third millennium. Hinn also appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network in October 1999 to claim that God had given him a vision that thousands of dead people would be resurrected after watching the network—laying out a scenario of people placing their dead loved ones' hands on TV screens tuned into the station—and that TBN would be "an extension of Heaven to Earth."
In April 2001 HBO aired a documentary called "A Question of Miracles" on Hinn and fellow faith healer Reinhard Bonnke . The director Antony Thomas told CNN's Kyra Phillips that they did not find cases where people were healed by Hinn. Thomas told the New York Times about Hinn's claims, "If I had seen miracles, I would have been happy to trumpet it . . . but in retrospect, I think they do more damage to Christianity than the most committed atheist."
In March 2005, Ministry Watch, an independent evangelical organization which reviews Christian ministries for financial transparency and efficiency and advises potential donors accordingly, issued a Donor Alert stating that "the reported exorbitant spending of the Hinn family reveals that BHM has far more money than it needs to carry out its ministry" and advising Christians to "prayerfully consider withholding contributions to Benny Hinn" while praying for his restoration and repentance. Benny Hinn Ministries is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
In December 2006, BHM sent out a mailing asking for donations towards a new Gulfstream G4SP jet valued at an estimated US$36 million and costing over US$600,000/year to maintain and operate.
In November 2006 the CBC Television show the fifth estate did a special titled "Do You Believe in Miracles" on the apparent transgressions committed by Benny Hinn's ministry. With the aid of hidden cameras and crusade witnesses, the producers of the show attempted to demonstrate Benny's misappropriation of funds, his fabrication of the truth, and the way in which his staff chose crusade audience members to come on stage for televised healings.
According to the show the seriously disabled who attend his healings are interviewed and then weeded out from ever getting the chance to come on stage. There is a wheelchair section situated at the back of the audience, away from the stage. Instead, those who have minor injuries, or injuries not immediately visible are brought up in their place.
Benny Hinn claims proof from the faithful's doctors that healings have been successful. However according to the show none of these doctor notes have ever been produced as evidence to his claims. All the 'healed' that the show was able to track down and talk to were not healed and had never heard from the Ministry again. Benny promised on stage to set up a fund for the college education of a blind child, who he said was now healed. When contacted, the child was still blind and had not heard back from the Ministry after two years.
The show approximates that Benny Hinn Ministries takes in about $200 million yearly.
On November 6, 2007, United States senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced an investigation of Hinn's ministry by the United States Senate Committee on Finance. In a letter to BHM, Grassley asked for the ministry to divulge financial information to the Senate Committee on Finance to determine if Hinn made any personal profit from financial donations, and requested that Hinn's ministry make the information available by December 6, 2007. The investigation also scrutinized five other televangelists: Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie L. Long, Joyce Meyer, and Creflo Dollar . On December 6, 2007, Hinn told the Associated Press that he would not respond to the inquiry until 2008. Hinn's ministry has since responded to the inquiry, and Senator Grassley commented that, "... Benny Hinn [has] engaged in open and honest dialogue with committee staff. They have not only provided responses to every question but, in the spirit of true cooperation, also have provided information over and above what was requested."
- Benny Hinn. Kathryn Kuhlman: Her Spiritual Legacy and Its Impact on My Life. W Pub Group. ISBN 0-7852-7888-5.
- Benny Hinn. Good Morning, Holy Spirit. Nelson Books. ISBN 0-7852-7176-7.
- Benny Hinn. He Touched Me an Autobiography. Nelson Books. ISBN 0-7852-7887-7.
- Benny Hinn. The Anointing. Nelson Books. ISBN 0-7852-7168-6.
- Benny Hinn. Welcome, Holy Spirit How You Can Experience The Dynamic Work Of The Holy Spirit In Your Life. Nelson Books. ISBN 0-7852-7169-4.
- Benny Hinn. This Is Your Day for a Miracle. Orlando, FL: Creation House. ISBN 0-88419-391-8.
- Benny Hinn. The Biblical Road to Blessing. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 0-7852-7517-7.
- Benny Hinn. Miracle Of Healing. Nashville, Tenn: J. Countryman. ISBN 0-8499-5399-5.
- Benny Hinn. The Blood. Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House. ISBN 0-88419-763-8.
- Benny Hinn. Going Deeper with the Holy Spirit. Benny Hinn Ministries. ISBN 1-59024-039-1.
- Benny Hinn. Lord, I Need a Miracle. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 0-8407-6251-8.
- Benny Hinn. Total Recovery, Supernatural Restoration and Release. Dallas, Texas: Clarion Call Marketing, Inc. ISBN 1-59574-038-4.
- Benny Hinn/Accused as false prophet
- Charismatic movement
- Kathryn Kuhlman
- Prosperity Gospel
- Word of Faith
- ↑ Joe Nickell, "Benny Hinn: healer or hypnotist? - Investigative Files". Skeptical Inquirer. May 2002. Retrieved 22 Oct. 2007.
- ↑ "Benny Hinn gives aid for tsunami victims". Hindustan Times. 2007-01-03. http://beta.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=45fbc6f9-5482-4262-922c-42fdbdc831a4&MatchID1=4443&TeamID1=4&TeamID2=3&MatchType1=2&SeriesID1=1104&PrimaryID=4443. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- ↑ Benny Hinn, Good Morning, Holy Spirit, chapter 2
- ↑ The Barna Group, "Is American Christianity Turning Charismatic?" Accessed 17 April 2008.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 McKeown, Bob (2004-12). "Do You Believe in Miracles?". The Fifth Estate (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/main_miracles.html#bio. Retrieved 2006-10-21.
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