From the Houston Chronicle, 2005:
[Benny] Hinn, 52, is one of the most popular – and controversial – evangelist-healers in the nation. His daily This is Your Day! half-hour TV program is broadcast throughout the United States and 217 countries. His crusades regularly draw standing-room-only crowds.
“I have a great deal of respect for his ministry,” said Stephen Strang, a nationally known Christian publisher.
Strang has known Hinn since 1977, when the evangelist began his rise to national recognition.
“He helps lots of people and he has always been arrow straight,” Strang said. “Hinn has the ability, in my opinion, unlike anybody else in America to take people into God’s presence in worship. That is really why people come to the meetings more than the healings.”
Hinn first featured on the cover of Strang’s Charisma magazine in 1979, the two men have shared the stage at particular events, and in 1993 Hinn revealed in an interview with Strang that he was moving away from Prosperity Gospel teachings.
Alas, however, the Vancouver Sun now reports:
A Lake Mary book publisher is suing televangelist and faith healer Benny Hinn, saying he violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an “inappropriate relationship” with another evangelist, and thus, must pay $250,000.
…In a letter attached to the suit, Strang also accused Hinn of violated the contract by failing to work hard enough to market Blood in the Sand.
He failed to make television appearances to promote it, including several on 700 Club, wrote Strang attorney Chris Vlahos.
Blood in the Sand, according to its blurb, is a guide to “Understanding the Middle East Conflict – the Stakes, the Dangers, and What the Bible Says about the Future”; apparently there aren’t quite enough paperbacks that purport to do this already. The book comes with endorsements from Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye; there is also a Foreword by Ehud Olmert, who tells us with a straight face that Hinn’s
writings and teaching through the years relfect the knowledge, wisdom and concern that are founded on a lifetime of historical, philosophical, and theological study.
The book was published in 2009 by FrontLine, which is Strang’s political imprint.
Hinn’s alleged “inappropriate relationship” was with Paula White, and their private association was widely reported last year. According to Strang’s Charisma News last summer:
Evangelist Benny Hinn recently admitted at a crusade in Oakland, Calif., to having a “friendship” with fellow minister Paula White while he’s still married after a tabloid pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13. But the well-known healing minister says the relationship is over.
“A friendship did develop,” Hinn said of White in Oakland on July 30. “Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.”
…Hinn told the crowd in Oakland that the Vatican made him a Patron of the Arts and invited him to visit Rome. He said patrons are asked to find donors to help maintain the Vatican’s art collections, and he wanted White to become a donor.
“I let her come with me to Rome so she can donate money,” Hinn said. “That was stupid on my part. And for that I do ask forgiveness.”
The tabloid was the National Enquirer, which claimed there was a “torrid affair” going on and that Hinn had used the pseudonym “David Salomon” to book into their hotel. Curiously, the Vatican apparently did not know about Hinn’s visit; according to Father Mark Haydu, International Coordinator of The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums:
To my knowledge, Paula White or Benny Hinn were not invited to the Vatican Museums in any official context, nor did we find anyone on our donors database of Patrons under those names.
Back in September, I noted that Strang’s Creation House imprint had quietly withdrawn – with no explanation – Pastor Terry Jones’ opus Islam is of the Devil.
UPDATE: Hinn has responded to Strang’s filing – with a threat of scandal. According to the Christian Post:
Hinn, through his lawyer, told CP that he “hopes that revealing the true facts of the actions of Mr. Strang and Strang Communications will not become necessary as a result of the regrettable course of action he has undertaken.”…
“Pastor Hinn remains optimistic that a resolution can be reached without causing unwanted harm to his publisher and long-time acquaintance,” [Miles Archer] Woodlief relayed to CP.
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