So many people say, “What’s the harm in believing in God, whether he’s real or not?” This is a story of one of the many ways religion hurts people.
Evangelist Benny Hinn and an American guest speaker, Todd Koontz, took egregious advantage of followers in Johannesburg:
God’s blessing would last only two minutes and it would create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires – all they had to do was use their credit cards to pay $1 000 in offerings to televangelist Benny Hinn.
[O]ne of Hinn’s American guest speakers, Pastor Todd Koontz, spoke about financial burdens and said 500 audience members would receive “an exceptional blessing”.
He said the service would yield millionaires and billionaires within 24 hours.
Koontz apparently really had the congregation scrambling when he said, “This blessing will be poured out for only two minutes.”
Rapport spoke to an employee in Hinn’s South African office in Durban who said on Friday morning that they were still busy collecting money.
“We’ve had a very good reaction from last weekend,” said the employee, who asked not to be named.
He said that before the collection of the $1 000 donations, Koontz had delivered a message about “you reap what you sow”.
“Americans always talk in dollars. If some of the churchgoers believed that they would not be blessed, then they should not have given their money.
“The church-goers did not have to give $1 000. If they couldn’t afford it, then they could’ve given less. And, some of them did.
Will build an orphanage
“Pastor Todd (Koontz) spoke of good seeds. If you don’t actually sow them, you’ll never have a good harvest.”
The employee told Rapport that Hinn’s congregation soon would build an orphanage in South Africa.
Hinn’s South African office feeds about 1 000 children in Durban daily.
Rapport asked for a recording of Koontz’s sermon, but Hinn’s office said they could only provide one in four to six weeks.
You know, if you need to preach the “you reap what you sow” message to guilt people into giving you money for an orphanage, that’s one thing – it’s still underhanded and manipulative, but at least it’s (hopefully) not a complete fabrication.
Taking advantage of an entire congregation’s faith in God and desire to be rewarded – regardless of the end purpose of the money – is… well, there are no words strong enough to describe how slimy and evil that is. So I’ll make one up – it’s wankadictic. That shit is just downright wankadictery. That’s right… I said it!
I’m sure some will argue that it’s still harmless to believe in God, because this is the evildoing of man. But you see, belief in God becomes so powerful that someone like Hinn, known world-wide for his evangelism, takes on this persona of someone who not only can be trusted, but who speaks directly from God. And without solid evidence of the deity, and thus the requirement to tread forward on faith, evangelists have a ton of wiggle room to deliver promises that will never be kept and take as they please.