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Enjoying God Blog


Good question. Justin Peters claims to know the answer, and he says No. On a recent podcast that at the time I viewed it had garnered more than 100,000 views, Peters confidently declares that Hinn is destined for hell.

The focus of the podcast is whether or not Hinn has truly repented of teaching the prosperity message. A couple of years ago Hinn said that he now repudiates that doctrine, that when he hears it, it makes him feel as if he could vomit. But Peters has more recent video clips where Hinn apparently once again affirms his belief that if you would only give to God all you have left, he will bless you with even more in return.

Only God knows if Hinn has genuinely repented. That is an open question. Sadly, the clips Peters shows suggest he has not. But it is Hinn’s affirmation of the prosperity message that leads Peters to confidently declare him hell bound.

Toward the end of the podcast, Peters shows a brief clip where I affirm that Hinn is saved. He declares it “shameful” that I should do so. Only a few minutes later, a person posted on my blog ( a fairly vicious criticism of me for doing so and called on me to repent.

Now, let me be perfectly clear. I abhor the prosperity message (I can’t bring myself to call it the prosperity “gospel” because it is not “good news”). It is a reprehensible doctrine. If he hasn’t repented of preaching it, Hinn and all others who embrace it should do so immediately. But does that mean that anyone who believes the Bible teaches the “principles” of the prosperity message is irrevocably consigned to eternal torment? No, I don’t think so.

If you can provide me with unassailable evidence that Benny Hinn does not believe and trust in the sufficiency of the life, death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus as the sole basis of one’s forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God, then I’ll join the throng of heresy hunters and declare him to be unsaved and destined for hell.

But as unbiblical and dangerous as the prosperity message is, I don’t find anything in Scripture that says it is a false doctrine that warrants eternal punishment in hell. A false doctrine it is, but so too are numerous other things that true Christians believe, yet we dare not declare them unsaved.

Should Benny Hinn be rebuked for advocating the prosperity message? Yes. Should he withdraw from public ministry until such time as he repudiates it? Yes. Is he disqualified from serving as an Elder in a local church? Yes.

But so too are a lot of others who reject the prosperity message and yet are disqualified from ministry on other grounds. And yet we don’t typically declare that they are for those reasons unregenerate and unsaved. They may be. Hinn may be. But if he is, it is for reasons other than his endorsement of the prosperity message. Again, don’t misinterpret my words. In no way, shape, or form do I endorse the prosperity message. I can’t speak strongly enough that I believe it to be profoundly unbiblical. But I could easily site numerous other doctrines that are profoundly unbiblical, that are embraced and advocated by people (like Peters) who we are confident are nonetheless born-again children of God.

Is it “shameful” that I believe Hinn is a brother in Christ? I don’t believe so. What is “shameful” is the arrogant judgmentalism that claims to know the state of another’s soul based on their embrace of an unbiblical doctrine, a doctrine that nowhere is explicitly said to exclude one from the kingdom of God. When a man or woman affirms without qualification their belief in the foundational and fundamental truths of the Christian faith, I need more than their endorsement of the prosperity message before I consign their souls to eternal damnation.

The last time I checked, the NT says that we are justified by faith in Christ, not by rejecting the prosperity message. To be clear, yet again, are some (many?) who embrace the prosperity message lost and unregenerate? Undoubtedly so.

Let us, then, never forget that it is “the Lord (not Justin Peters or you and or I) (who) knows” with certainty “who are his” (2 Tim. 2:19a). And let us not overlook the second half of that verse where Paul exhorts “everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19b). Iniquity comes in a variety of forms: everything from teaching the prosperity message to confidently insisting that anyone who does is not among those “who are his.”

1 Comment

Thank you for this post! I hear the claim that to believe the prosperity gospel is anathema. I think that many believers of this generation will be shocked who they find themselves rubbing shoulders with in heaven. Heresy hunters would do well to read books like Eccentric Preachers by Charles Spurgeon. It might help be a bit more objective and less hypercritical toward preachers they don't care for.

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