The founder and General Overseer of the Christian Action Faith Ministries, Archbishop, Nicholas Duncan-Williams, has condemned the conduct of certain preachers who tie blessings and miracles to specific amounts of money offered by congregants.
He said how much an individual offers to God does not equate to a certain quantum of blessing, hence wrong to set a default figure and ask congregants to pay in order to attract God’s blessing.
His comment resonates with the remarks by world-renowned Televangelist, Benny Hinn, who denounced what has become known in Christian circles as the Prosperity Gospel, saying it is offensive to the Holy Spirit.
“I'm sorry to say prosperity has gone a little crazy and I'm correcting my own theology, and you need to all know it, because when I read the Bible now, I don't see it with the same eyes I saw it 20 years ago”, Hinn told an audience on Monday, 2 September 2019, adding: “I think it's an offence to the Lord, it's an offence to say: 'Give USD1,000’. I think it's an offence to the Holy Spirit to put a price on the gospel. I'm done with it. I will never again ask you to give USD1,000 or whatever amount, because I believe the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it."
“If I hear one more time: 'Break the back of debt with USD1,000,' I'm going to rebuke them," he said, noting: “I think that's buying the gospel. That's buying the blessing. That's grieving the Holy Spirit. That's about all I will say. If you are not giving because you love Jesus, don't bother giving. I think giving has become such a gimmick, it's making me sick to my stomach,” Mr Hinn explained.
Archbishop Duncan-Williams said on Joy FM on Friday, 4 October 2019 that he agrees, in context, with Benny Hinn:
“I’ve had issues in the past where I’ve spoken to a few friends of mine over the years that this thing where the Holy Spirit always calls $1,000 and He doesn’t call any other figure, I think one should be careful about it because God is the God of numbers and God can call any number anyway because the Bible says Solomon gave 1,000 burnt offerings, and then the Bible also says that God came in Genesis 22 and God said to Abraham: Give me now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou loveth’, so, God can be very specific to numbers and God has dealt with me personally to give certain specific amounts and things over the years, but I think that when it is a particular number every time and then like he said when you tie it to miracles and to blessings, that we should be very careful about”.
However, Archbishop Duncan-Williams stated that he “wouldn’t say that because God dealt with Hinn and convicted Hinn, that He [God] cannot tell his children or other ministers to ask for specific amounts but I think that we should be very honest with ourselves, check our motives, our heart and make sure that nobody is manipulating the flock of God because it cost Jesus His blood to redeem the Church so we should be careful that there is no manipulation and exploitation of God’s people, so, we should be very honest with ourselves”.
He emphasised that he agrees with the Israeli preacher “on that basis that you cannot attach how much you’ll be blessed by what you give and also say that it’s always $1,000 because the Holy Spirit or God can specifically ask certain individuals to give less than a $1,000 or above a $1,000; how about that?”.
For him, “It’s all about motives and taking heed to ourselves that we don’t exploit the flock but prosperity is something we shouldn’t play with because it’s Biblical: the Bible says in 3 John 2 that: ‘Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health’. Prosperity simply means to have sufficiency in all things that you may abound to every good work”.