In a recent interview, Costi Hinn shared his experiences growing up in the ministry of his famous uncle Benny Hinn. In case you missed it, Benny Hinn is an icon of the word of faith movement, most famous as a faith healer and international speaker.
Costi Hinn recently sat down with Justin Peters and recalled memories of working in the family business. While in college, Costi reveals the lavish lifestyle his uncle kept while traveling the world to preach his prosperity gospel. “We would go to London, Australia, Greece, Israel, preaching our version of Christ. I carried his Louis Vuitton briefcase,” he told Peters, “I stayed in his hotel rooms in places like Dubai. The royal suite there was a $25,000-a-night bill, along with the other suites that we had.”
Although Costi admits to enjoying the perks of itinerant ministry at the time, he began to have questions about some the inconsistencies of his uncle’s ministry. He recalls that his uncle would promise that everyone would be healed at each gathering, but confesses that was never the case.
He remembers his uncle’s unfulfilled prophecies as well. There was the infamous prediction that God would destroy the “homosexual community” in America by fire by “no later than .” There was also the prediction that Jesus would physically appear at one of his conferences in the spring of 2000. Costi reflects on these prophecies with a cringe at the insensitivity of the first (“a televangelist says ‘God’s gonna’ burn them all’: …the whole world should look back and go ‘yeah. that guy is not okay.’), before commenting on the confusion he experienced reckoning with the falsehood of both.
Costi began to ask questions about unhealed pilgrims to Benny Hinn’s meetings and other discrepancies between their beliefs and what he believed the Bible taught from his own readings. He also questioned why his family was not more missional with their healing gifts: “It got really weird; because the Bible says this, so why aren’t we going to be the hands and feet of Christ? If we can heal let’s go heal. And we couldn’t unless there was money and music and atmosphere.”
The defenses his family presented for Costi’s questions did not satisfy him. And while attending Dallas Baptist University, his theology faced significant challenges from people who held different views about God’s sovereignty. As Costi continued to study the scriptures for himself, he came to new conclusions about some of the beliefs that were formed in his earlier life.
“One of the cruelest lies of faith healers today is that if you just have enough faith, God will heal. He begins to commentate that God is sovereign in healing,” he says.
This comes only weeks after his uncle posted a video confessing that he may have taken his message too far at times.
is managing editor at RELEVANT Media Group. He holds a B.A. in Practical Theology and an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Languages. He's passionate about music, faith, racial justice, and social change. You can find him on Twitter @andrehenry, and more of his writing at http://andrerhenry.com