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Sow a seed, Hinn tells Barbadians


Sow a seed, Hinn tells Barbadians

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MONEY, MIRACLES, misery and a mission to the Holy Land.
These were all themes in controversial evangelist Benny Hinn’s prayer and healing session at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex Sunday night.
In the gymnasium, where people had started filing in hours before his arrival, the Israeli-born evangelist, whose net worth was once estimated at US$42 million, was soon encouraging Barbadians to pray for wealth.
One theme of the evangelist with the distinctive white hair and Nehru-style jackets was that wealth was attracted by generous giving – or what he called “sowing a seed” – as well as prayers and obedience and service to God.
Declaring that he had “discovered the secret to prosperity”, Hinn said that if Barbadians put this into practice, they would not have to “live from pay cheque to pay cheque”.
At his prompting, the congregation prayed: “No more losses for me! My losses will stop tonight!” Other pleas were: “Everything the Devil took from us is coming back double . . . double for my trouble!” and “I will be drinking from my saucer because my cup will be running over!”
He told the gathering that included elderly people in wheelchairs and walking with the aid of canes, as well as several church leaders, that contrary to what he was taught by members of the Franciscan Order in Catholic schools when he was a youth, poverty “is not from God” or “a blessing”.
He said even the pope was surrounded by affluence in the Vatican, where a single – but shockingly long – Michelangelo painting could take care of Hinn’s ministry “for 1 000 years”.
As with Saturday’s service at the same venue, organisers underscored the need to cover the more than $300 000 it took to stage the two-day crusade. Some $41 000 was said to have been raised by Saturday’s service, but the figure was described as inadequate.
Though Sunday’s event was also free, two offerings were collected, with Hinn suggesting the second and using tales of “financial miracles” from his own life and quoting some excerpts from the Bible pointing to God’s generosity to inspire Barbadians to give.
He spoke of God’s command to give sacrificially when he had huge debts, including a US$787 000 legal bill for his divorce in 2010, saying that seven days later those bills were covered by a Texas couple who said God told them to pay all of Pastor Hinn’s debts, “past, present, and future”, and to give him money monthly for the rest of his life.
He attracted more than 200 worshippers with his call for donations ranging from $100 to $1 000, although by the end of the service that ran for more than seven hours, it was unclear what the actual take was.
Hinn told the donating group that in seven days they could start seeing a “financial miracle”.
He later promised another kind of miracle – this time healing – and several people went on stage to claim they were healed of a long list of troubles, including HIV/AIDS, arthritis, diabetes, blurred vision, cancer and a “blood disorder”.
Part of the “healing” process was the “flooring” of these people by a touch from Hinn – a usual feature of the crusades through which he claims to have spoken to one billion people.
Hinn also urged Barbadians to join him in a November 12-21 visit to the “real” Holy Land, Israel. He described the price, about US$3 400, as “cheap”, saying Barbadians could end up paying as much as US$5 000 if they sought other avenues for visiting the Holy Land.