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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Startling Events In Modern Christianity


Extracted from 'Faith & Freedom', Feb 2010

Wife of prosperity gospel televangelist Benny Hinn files for divorce in California
By Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press, February 18, 2010

ORANGE, Calif. - The wife of televangelist Benny Hinn has filed for divorce from the high-profile pastor, whose reputation as an advocate of prosperity gospel has attracted millions of followers and criticism from lawmakers and watchdog groups over his lavish lifestyle.

Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County Superior Court on Feb 1, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note the two separated on Jan 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.

“Pastor Benny Hinn and his immediate family were shocked and saddened to learn of this news without any previous notice,” Benny Hinn Ministries said Thursday in a statement. “Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavoured to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice.”

Hinn is one of the best-known advocates of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians who are right with God will be rewarded with wealth and health in this lifetime.

His TV broadcasts on the Trinity Broadcast Network, a Pentecostal broadcasting juggernaut, and other TV networks are seen by millions of people around the world nearly every day. He travels the globe in his ministry’s plane, named Dove One, holding events he calls “Miracle Crusades” that include spiritual healings.

Hinn has never fully publicly disclosed how he spends the money he raises, but his vast ministry is believed to be a multimilliondollar operation. There was no mention of finances in the court filing, which listed three recent Southern California addresses for the family.

Over the years, Hinn has been the target of intense criticism from fellow Christians and watchdog groups who call his teachings false and accuse him of raising money only to enrich himself.

Faith healer Todd Bentley separates from wife, draws criticism from charismatics
Baptist Press - David Roach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--With controversial faith healer Todd Bentley announcing that he is separating from his wife, charismatic leaders J. Lee Grady and Stephen Strang have reacted by saying someone should have raised questions about Bentley earlier.

Grady, editor of the popular charismatic magazine Charisma, said the way thousands celebrated Bentley despite his moral and theological shortcomings demonstrated a lack of discernment that pervades the charismatic movement.

“We’re spiritually hungry -- which can be a good thing,” Grady wrote in an Aug 13 column. “But sometimes hungry people will eat anything.”

Bentley, who led a heavily publicized revival in Lakeland, Fla., beginning this spring, announced in a statement Aug 12 that he and his wife Shonnah were separating. The staff of Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries said “an atmosphere of fatigue and stress” created by the daily revival meetings “exacerbated existing issues in [his marriage],” according to Charisma. On Aug 15, the board of Fresh Fire released a statement saying it had learned Bentley had been involved in “an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff.” The statement said Bentley had agreed to “to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.”

Bentley and his wife had been attending counselling for the past three years, but the counselling was suspended for the last four months while Bentley was away from his home in Abbottsford, British Columbia, Charisma reported. The Bentleys have three children.

Bentley is known for his multiple body piercing and tattoos, his violent healing techniques, his claims of angelic visions and “holy” laughter and “holy” vibrating shakes. He even claims to have raised dozens of people from the dead. Bentley claims to be visited regularly by angels, including a 20-foot-tall angel in his apartment on one occasion and on another occasion an angel that knocked him out of his body. One angel’s name supposedly is Emma. Bentley also says that Jesus Himself appears to him....

“Godly leaders are supposed to protect the sheep from heresy,” he wrote, “not spoon feed deception to them. Only God knows how far this poison travelled from Lakeland to take root elsewhere. May God forgive us for allowing His Word to be so flippantly contaminated.”

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober...” (1 Tim 3:2)

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland blasted for ‘unfulfilled promises’
by Lillian Kwon, Christian Post: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kenneth Copeland Ministries has come under fire for failing to fly disaster relief supplies to Haiti’s earthquake victims after allegedly promising aviation assistance in the event of natural disasters. The international organisation, which is also under scrutiny by the Senate Finance Committee for possible abuse of its non-profit status, has been accused of “unfulfilled” pledges and unaccounted donations.

“While there is a huge crisis going on in the nation of Haiti right now Kenneth Copeland’s promised Angel Flight 44 ministry is nowhere to be found and the money he collected to start that ministry has not been accounted for,” said Rich Vermillion, co-author of Angel Flight 44.

Angel Flight 44 was birthed in 2006 during the Southwest Believers Convention. Vermillion, Glen Hyde (co-author) and Kenneth Copeland announced in a live simulcast the formation of a new disaster relief ministry in which they would provide ongoing aviation aid. It was announced following KCM’s relief efforts in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita....In the statement, KCM highlighted that it did make “one of its aircraft available” during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2006 and ‘also investigated the possibility of providing such assistance for future disasters”.

Theopedia says, “Prosperity gospel supporters believe that faith works as a mighty power or force. That it is through their faith that they can obtain anything they want such as health, wealth, or any form of personal success. However, this force is only released through their faith.”

Kenneth Copeland said, “Tradition has taught that God uses sicknesses, trials, and tribulation to teach us. This idea, however, is not based on the Bible. God has never used sickness to discipline His children and keep them in line. Sickness is of Satan, and God doesn’t need Satan to straight us out! “Kenneth, I see Christians that are sick all the time. Why does God allow it?” God allows it because we do. Why? Because He’s given us the right to make our own choices, along with authority over the kingdom of darkness. According to Deuteronomy 30:19, He has put life and death before us. Then He instructed us to choose life. It’s up to us to make that decision. You have the power to live after God’s ways and resist sickness, or not to. You have the choice to let Satan run over you, or use the authority you have been given. Good gifts come from God. No matter what tradition has taught, sickness and disease simply don’t fall into the category of good gifts— ever.”

On three occasions the Apostle Paul prayed that he be relieved of his affliction, but Jesus Christ said, “...My grace is sufficient for thee...” (2 Cor. 12:9).


Pastoral Exhortation