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Evangelist Benny Hinn renounces the ‘prosperity gospel’ in a stunning reversal: ‘I’m done with it‘

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Christian televangelist and faith healer Benny Hinn has long been known as one of the most vocal proponents of the “prosperity gospel.” But now, he’s publicly renouncing the teaching, the Christian Post reports.

During a live broadcast posted to his Facebook page this Monday, Hinn declared that the Gospel “is not for sale.”

“I’m sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy and I’m correcting my own theology and you need to all know it,” Hinn said. “Because when I read the Bible now, I don’t see the Bible in the same eyes I saw 20 years ago.”

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“I think it’s an offense to the Lord,” Hinn continued. “It’s an offense to say give $1,000. I think it’s an offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it. I will never again ask you to give $1,000 or whatever amount, because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.”

To the roaring approval of the audience, Hinn went on to say that his former teaching “hurts the Gospel,” adding that he was “making this statement for the first time in my life and frankly, I don’t care what people think about me anymore.”

“When they invite me to telethons, I think they will not like me anymore. … If I hear one more time, break the back of debt with $1,000, I’m gonna rebuke them,” he said. “I think that’s buying the Gospel. That’s buying the blessing. … 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.”

The “prosperity gospel” is usually understood as a series of teachings that say believers will be rewarded with health and wealth as long as they give monetary offerings to their churches and pastors.

The teaching of the prosperity gospel is the least of the famed evangelist’s controversies. Hinn is also known for his “faith healing” church services, where he puts on massive displays showing faithful (and arguably complicit) congregants being knocked over by the power of the Holy Spirit delivered from Hinn’s hands. It’s a spectacle that Hinn has continuously utilized over the years to help his ministry bring in an estimated $100 million annually, primarily from donations.

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Watch an excerpt of Hinn’s words below:

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Google tightens political ads policy in effort to stop abuse

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Google on Wednesday updated how it handles political ads as online platforms remain under pressure to avoid being used to spread misleading information intended to influence voters.

The internet company said its rules already ban any advertiser, including those with political messages, from lying in ads. But it is making its policy more clear and adding examples of how that prohibits content such as doctored or manipulated images or video.

"It's against our policies for any advertiser to make a false claim -- whether it's a claim about the price of a chair or a claim that you can vote by text message, that election day is postponed, or that a candidate has died," Google ads product management vice president Scott Spencer said in an online post.

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Pope Francis begins Asia tour with visit to Buddhist temple

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Pope Francis will visit one of Thailand's famed gilded temples Thursday to meet the supreme Buddhist patriarch, on the first full day of his Asian tour aimed at promoting religious harmony.

The 82-year-old pontiff is on his first visit to Buddhist majority Thailand, where he will spend four days before setting off to Japan.

His packed schedule a day after touching down in Bangkok includes a meeting with the king and the prime minister before leading an evening mass expected to draw tens of thousands of people from across Thailand, where just over 0.5 percent of the population is Catholic.

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Hong Kong campus stalemate persists while US congress passes bill of support for democracy protesters

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Hardline Hong Kong protesters held their ground on Thursday in a university besieged for days by police as the US passed a bill lauding the city's pro-democracy movement, setting up a likely clash between Washington and Beijing.

Beijing did not immediately respond to the passage in Washington of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which voices strong support for the "democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong people."

But China had already threatened retaliation if the bill is signed into law by President Donald Trump, and state-run media warned Thursday the legislation would not prevent Beijing from intervening forcefully to stop the "mess" gripping the financial hub.

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