Benny Hinn readies for crusade and defends lavish
Aug 17, 2007 04:30 AM
Faith and Ethics reporter
Pastor Benny Hinn, in Toronto this weekend for two days of miracle cures and old-time gospel, makes no apologies for all the money his far-flung ministries take in each year.
"The gospels are free, but the means of delivering the gospels is really expensive," Hinn, who got his start in Toronto 30 years ago, told the Star.
Tonight and tomorrow, Hinn brings his Texas-based Miracle Crusade to the Air Canada Centre, attracting up to 20,000 to each of his three shows.
The shows are free but, as at all his crusades, donations will be sought and many buckets will be passed as the audience sings rousing hymns along with a mass choir amid a light show worthy of a rock concert. While Hinn acknowledges people come mainly to see and take part in the healing miracles, that is left to the feverish end – they will first hear him preach, pray and sing in his trademark white suit.
But Hinn arrives under a cloud after the CBC's The Fifth Estate this week challenged his claims of miracle cures and described a lavish lifestyle of fancy cars, a 7,000-square-foot ocean-side mansion and luxury travel to five-star hotels on a private jet.
In the show, reporter Bob McKeown estimates Benny Hinn Ministries takes in as much as $250 million a year in donations and proceeds from sales of such items as autographed bibles.
Hinn, who keeps his finances private, doubts the show will hurt turnout at the ACC.
"They will never stop people from coming to meetings such as ours."
Followers donate money, he says, to ensure his work, including curing the sick, continues.
It's always somebody that has some kind of illness that can't be readily seen. Justin Peters , Baptist minister, in cbc expose