Last week, Benny Hinn shared some strong words against the extreme prosperity gospel during a sermon. He says putting a price on the gospel is an "offense to the Holy Spirit" and even makes him sick to his stomach. A video of his comments went viral, causing many to wonder what caused his change of heart regarding prosperity—a teaching he has been known for over the years.
I interviewed Benny Hinn last week about his comments, and he told me he wants to be known, not for prosperity teaching, but for pointing people back to the cross of Jesus. He explained why he has changed his mind about prosperity (and assured me it was not a response to his critics). Click here to read more about Hinn's comments and listen to our interview.
Many applauded Hinn's boldness in rejecting the abuses in the prosperity. But my friend Bishop George Bloomer—founder of G.G. Bloomer Ministries, the Word Network and Bethel Family Worship Center, a multicultural ministry in Durham, North Carolina—tells me not all the fruit has been positive.
He was at the Word Network's studio when he found out about Hinn's comments. After the video went viral, people started challenging his network. Many even called to demand money back that they had donated.
In response, Bloomer gave a statement, which he posted on YouTube, regarding what he believes is a biblical and balanced view of the prosperity gospel.
I invited Bloomer onto my podcast to talk about this and to share both the good and the bad of the prosperity message going around today. He says God gave Hinn a real and personal conviction about the prosperity message, including in his own preaching. But since Hinn has so much influence, many have not known how to respond to it.
Because of that, Bloomer says, it's important that we have a balanced understanding of biblical prosperity.
"I've seen the prosperity message work in the black church, and I've seen it at its worst," Bloomer tells me. "... The Scriptures teach us that if you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. So what do we do with that? The Scripture says to give and it shall be given unto you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. So what do we do with that?
"I've seen the knuckleheads run around here and say, 'If you give this amount, this is what's going to happen for you in 20 days' or what have you. Well, that's perverting the gospel. It's trashy."
Bloomer has seen his fair share of charlatans, but that doesn't mean the biblical principles of sowing and reaping are not true. Bloomer tells me several stories of people who have sown a financial seed in faith and reaped blessing as a result.
He tells me he used to weigh 414 pounds. At the same time he was battling his weight, he was also struggling with cancer. But he experienced a healing breakthrough when he gave a financial gift out of faith.
"My mother said to me, 'Son, give a seed, sow a seed and place a demand on the seed,'" he says. "I believed that, and I did it. So what do you say to the people who—forget the doctrine of prosperity or the doctrine of giving—what do you do with people who, through faith, believe the promises of God and, according to their faith, so be it unto them?"
I appreciate Bloomer's stance and his willingness to speak up and bring balance in the midst of the uproar after Hinn's comments. It's interesting he brings up this message now, because Bloomer isn't really a prosperity teacher. He calls himself a "spiritual-warfare preacher."
He also has a prophetic gift. During our conversation, he told me that if the church doesn't handle this argument about the prosperity gospel correctly, we will experience a lot of spiritual attack in the area of kingdom economy.
Hopefully, with balanced views like Bloomer's, the church can safely and biblically navigate this conversation about prosperity. It all goes back to the pure gospel, he says. If we can keep our eyes fixed on the truth of God's Word and the purity of the cross, we can come to a healthy understanding of how to give out of faith and see blessing come as a result.
If you agree with Bloomer, be sure to share this article and listen to our full podcast on the subject. I think you will be encouraged!
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