Frankly, Benny Hinn has always given me the “creeps,” for some reason. Now, I’ve had a pretty positive experience with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for several years of my life, so it’s not been the charismatic “stuff” that’s put me off. But, whenever I’ve come across the man while channel-surfing, I’ve quickly clicked by.
In the last year or so, however, I’ve noticed he’s changed his wardrobe. Sometimes, as I surfed by, my mind would register someone who looked like a Catholic priest, and I’d go back to check. No, it’s Benny Hinn–no longer wearing his heretofore trademark white suit, but now, a dark-colored one with a notched, stand-up collar, revealing his white shirt collar underneath, which is what looked like a Roman collar as I zipped by.
This past week, however, I clicked by and found Fr. Michael Manning, together with another legitimate Catholic priest, visiting Benny Hinn’s daily TV show. This time, I stayed to watch. Both priests gave good presentations of Catholic teaching on specific topics, without any challenge by Mr. Hinn, which surprised me. In fact, he announced that the rest of the week, the show would be coming from the Vatican, and spoke in glowing terms of Pope John Paul II, whose funeral he attended. So, curious, I made a point of watching Benny Hinn’s program the rest of this week. Everything was extremely positive, focusing primarily on Christian unity, and included a very nice biographical profile of our late pope…after which an expanded version on DVD was offered for $40. (No, I didn’t order it, in case you’re wondering.)
So, what’s going on with Benny Hinn? I’m sure he’s going to get some really nasty mail and phone calls from some of his constituency as a result of his program’s very positive, Catholic themes this week. Should someone put “Pastor Benny” in touch with the Coming Home Network?
(I’ve often wondered the same about Jack Van Impe, too, whom I once heard announce on *his * show that every Christian should read the Catechism of the Catholic Church!)