Earlier this evening, USA Today reported that Suzanne Hinn, wife of Evangelist Benny Hinn, has filed papers for divorce with the Orange County Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note that the two separated on Jan. 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.
I felt the importance of writing about this situation, given the many people that I personally know who have experienced Hinn’s ministry. Benny Hinn is one of the best known ministers in pentecostal camps today. His ministry has been far reaching, with miracle crusades spanning all over the world.
I feel its important that we draw our attention to this situation not to mock or gossip, but to observe and pray. First, we ought to pray. No one knows the whole story; it’s always best to pray before casting judgment. Obviously, this is terrible news given the amount of influence Benny Hinn has had on many in the body of Christ. No matter how big, great, lofty, powerful, or anointed a ministry may seem or be, the minister’s marriage commitment is important. Which is why we ought to do one more thing, and that is to observe.
As Christians, we ought to observe this situation, reminding ourselves that no one is exempt. We all need to remember that if a man can’t manage his own household, it is far fetched that he can rightly manage God’s church (1 Tim. 3:5). No one is exempt; when our priorities are wrong, it doesn’t matter who we think we are, our sin will find us out.
Though his ministry has not been without controversy, I have always appreciated the ministry of Benny Hinn. I understand that J. Lee Grady reported on his twitter account that Benny Hinn has indeed requested prayer.
My concern here is with Benny Hinn’s honesty. What will he do with this situation? Will he ignore it by acting as if a failed marriage is not important? Will he continue on doing miracle crusades week after week? Recently, in charismatic movements, we’ve had quite a few prominent ministers divorce and continue on ministering as if nothing happened at all. They disrespected God’s church and trampled on the anointing.
Will Benny Hinn do the same?
I hope for the sake of his integrity and his ministry that he is honest about this situation. I hope that he is open to admitting his mistakes in marriage so they can be used as a point of teaching to all other ministers who are longing to be used by God. I hope we will see him step down for a season; honestly confronting the issue. Is that to much to ask? Is it too much to ask that a preacher of the gospel show remorse over failing to honor his promise to God?
For those ministers who have fallen and then tried to assume that God needed them more than they needed Him, I’ve unfortunately lost respect. But if Benny Hinn, though understandably difficult, meets this situation with open spirited honesty and remorse, for him I believe I would gain respect. Why? Because we need so desperately a dose of honesty in the church, and especially in the charismatic movement.