A professor of Contemporary African Christianity, Rev Johnson Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, has asked popular televangelist, Benny Hinn, to do more than renounce prosperity gospel.
Rev Asamoah-Gyadu, who is also the President of the Trinity Theological Seminary, says merely speaking against the phenomenon where preachers tie financial blessings and spiritual breakthroughs to the financial donations of their congregants was not enough.
He said some pastors run their churches as if every congregant in the pew was wealthy.
“We have to understand that some people to come to church because they genuinely love God. They think that the work of God must be done so they put the little they have into the offering bowl and we don’t have to take these things for granted,” he said, Tuesday on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
Benny Hinn recently grabbed news headlines in Ghana after a video of him declaring that the Holy Spirit was fed up with prosperity gospel went viral.
Pastor Hinn was once a strong proponent of the prosperity gospel.
Speaking to his followers during a Facebook Live broadcast on Monday night (which was first highlighted by Larry Reid Live), Hinn, who has long been a lightning rod for criticism for his support of the theology, declared the Gospel “is not for sale.”
“I’m sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy and I’m correcting my own theology and you need to all know it. Because when I read the Bible now, I don’t see the Bible in the same eyes I saw 20 years ago,” Hinn said as his followers rejoiced.
“I think it’s an offence to the Lord, it’s an offence to say give $1,000. I think it’s an offence to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it. I will never again ask you to give $1,000 or whatever amount because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.
“Did you hear me?” Hinn asked as his audience responded affirmatively in high spirits.
“I think it hurts the Gospel, so I’m making this statement for the first time in my life and frankly, I don’t care what people think about me anymore,” he continued.
Where is the restitution?
However, Rev Johnson Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, who is also a Professor in Pentecostal/Charismatic Theology, said the televangelist must back his call with some symbolic act restitution – although he will not suggest any such act.
”Frankly, I am a bit sceptical about the so-called confession that he has made,” he told the host of the magazine programme, Daniel Dadzie.
Prof Asamoah Gyadu recalls of a similar televangelist, Jimmy Baker, who also renounced prosperity gospel after landing in prison for his prosperity gospel.
“When Jimmy Baker was incarcerated because of the gospel he preached…when he left prison, the first thing he did was to pour his heart into a book. And the title of the book was ‘I was wrong’. Subsequently, he wrote another book, titled prosperity and the coming apocalypse.
“The preaching against prosperity did not start today and somebody like Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer and others who are now recanting cannot tell me that they don’t know Jimmy Baker’s story. But most importantly, these are people who have built enormous wealth out of what they have preached...If you think that you made the money through preaching a message that was unbiblical, what are you doing by way of restitution?” he asked.
He said just like the biblical story of Zacchaeus preachers who feel guilty for misleading people must back their remorse with action.
“So should they return the money?” asked host Daniel Dadzie.
“Well if they have done this for many years, you can’t identify everyone. But there are things you can do,” he answered.
He added: “I would like to hear a bit more from Benny Hinn. After years of preaching something that is damaging to lives from now on what do you want to do to at least let people feel?”