Last July Haven Today aired a new series on the prosperity gospel with Costi Hinn, the nephew of a famous televangelist prosperity preacher.

It turns out it struck a nerve.

What I thought would be interesting—and maybe controversial—became Haven’s most listened-to program of the year. This simply doesn’t happen during the summer months when our listenership is lower than normal.

Not only that, but Costi’s parents were listening, too, and the Lord moved in their hearts. After hearing their son’s interview, they committed to reevaluating their lifestyles and teaching.

Why did this one-week radio series capture so much attention?

I think it’s because the prosperity gospel is more prevalent than we like to think in the church today. If we’re not careful, we might even find ourselves agreeing with some of its basic tenants. In fact, LifeWay Research found 38% of Protestant churchgoers agree with the statement, “My church teaches that if I give more money to my church and charities, God will bless me in return.”

On the surface this sounds perfectly logical. But is that really what the Bible teaches? Is health or wealth a guarantee as long as you give enough, have enough faith, or do enough for God?

The answer is very personal for me. When I was five or six years old in the 1950s, my birth mother suffered frequent asthmatic attacks. With little medical help to be had back then, she died a couple of years later from a heart attack brought on by asthma. My, how we prayed.

Our church-going family prayed for my mother to be healed. People at church joined us in prayer. I’ll never forget one Sunday afternoon as my mother watched a preacher promise healing— you just had to lay your hands on the TV, muster up enough faith, and then send in an offering. My mother struggled to get up. She placed her hands on our new black and white TV. I can’t remember if she sent a gift, but I know for sure she wasn’t healed.

There are countless other stories like this. Vulnerable people who are desperate for healing, and preachers who say if you simply have enough faith (and often enough money) God will reward you with what you want.

When people attend crusades or lay their hands on the TV, most aren’t hoping for Bentleys, though some of them do. They are usually people who pick themselves up out of hospital beds, roll down the aisle with wheelchairs, or face chronic pain day in and day out.

The problem is, they’re being fed a lie. Prosperity theology is built on a certain way of reading Scripture. Often referred to as “biblical principles” or “principles of the kingdom,” this systematic approach ultimately leads to the conclusion that becoming a person of integrity will lead you to health and wealth.

It doesn’t take long to break this chain of logic when we look more closely at Scripture. Let’s consider the prophet Jeremiah, who preached the gospel to Israel faithfully throughout his life only to be thrown into a pit and almost killed for his integrity. Job is another famous example. But if there ever was a human being more faithful, who did not receive health and wealth, it was Jesus. He never sinned. He always did what his Father wanted. Yet, as he says in the book of Matthew, he had nowhere to lay his head. He was poor. All of this wasn’t so we could become materially wealthy, but so that in him, in his life, in his death, in his resurrection, we could find an eternal inheritance.

The true biblical principles are faith alone, grace alone, in Christ alone. It’s in Jesus that we have true prosperity, one that is stored in heaven, where moth and rust can’t destroy. It’s our heavenly inheritance, and one day we’ll receive it in the new creation.


As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” A former secular journalist, Charles has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He and his wife, Janet, have authored several books, including Missing Jesus. Charles’ latest book is Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus: The Real Story of God At Work.

American Gospel DVDAmerican Gospel: Christ Alone (DVD)

  • “The great strength of the film is that it’s not only a negative examination of the Word of Faith movement, but also a very positive and helpful examination of biblical truth. ” – Tim Challies
  • “This is the best clarifying juxtaposition of truth and prosperity preaching I know of. I pray millions of people around the world will watch this for the glory of Christ and his Good News.” – John Piper
  • “I think suffering Christians will discover an unexpected balm in this film as they are reminded of the true hope provided in Christ Jesus.” – Reagan Rose

God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel

Through a remarkable and fascinating journey, Costi Hinn went from a next-generation prosperity preacher to the first to abandon the family faith and share the true gospel. Nephew of the world-famous televangelist, Benny Hinn, Costi had a front-row seat to the inner workings and theology of the prosperity gospel. But as Costi’s faith deepened, so did his questions about prosperity teaching. As the deceptions in his past were exposed, Costi came face to face with the hypocrisy and devastation caused by his belief system, and the overwhelming truth about the real Jesus Christ.

As 2023 came to a close, 2024 began with new promises and possibilities. These first few weeks of a new year mark a time when many of us reevaluate the way we did things in the past in order to change and make life better in the future.

It should come as no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, read more, watch less, or simply become a more pleasant person. All of these are good aspirations, but it’s hard to find the perfect goal that you can stick with till the end. Instead, this list of resources are here to help promote practices that will benefit your body, mind, and soul.

However you choose to carry out the new year, it is our prayer that you will draw nearer to Jesus in 2024.

1. Read Through the Bible

Even though most Christians desire to read God’s Word all the way through, most of us simply haven’t been able to do it. The Haven Original book, Christ in All the Scriptures: Reading and Praying Through the Bible in a Year, is designed to help you do just that. It’s an easy‑to‑navigate, hardback book that contains overviews of each book in the Bible and prayers centered on each reading. We would like to challenge you to make 2024 the year you read and pray through God’s Word — and this book will help you do just that, all while finding Jesus on every page of your Bible.

2. Memorize Scripture

Many of us have tried to memorize short Bible verses in Sunday school, but this ambition usually isn’t prevalent among adults. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” and Paul also writes in Colossians 3:16 to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.”

To help you memorize portions of God’s Word, we recommend you listen to this podcast with Aaron House on how to memorize Scripture simply and effectively. You can also get a copy of his book on the topic here.

3. Pray More Consistently

Many of us pray at night as we fall asleep or when we need an immediate helping hand, but God desires that we continually communicate with Him. The trouble is, we so seldom do it.

Sherry Harney wrote a remarkable book on how to make continuous prayer a natural part of our lives rather than something on our daily spiritual checklist. Praying with Eyes Wide Open is a resource for anyone who wants to better understand what prayer is and why we need to do it continually.

4. Take Care of Body & Soul

This wouldn’t be a “New Year’s Day” post if we didn’t have one category on improving our health. But this topic is much more significant than looking better and feeling more energetic. When we take care of our bodies, we are being good stewards of the way we live and serve Christ in this world. Read about the practice of replacing your unhealthy cravings for certain foods with a healthy craving for God with Lysa TerKeurst’s bestselling book Made to Crave. Or simply follow your favorite blog or eating/workout plan to live healthier the life God has given you.

5. Take Care of Your Money

It is no secret that the Bible has a lot to say about how we use the very thing we often feel we can’t get enough of. But that’s the thing–there is always room for us to better handle how we look at the money we earn and what to do with it once we have it.

Dr. Ben Witherington is a New Testament scholar at Asbury Theological Seminary, and he’s paid close attention to what Jesus said and didn’t say about money. Here’s an interview with Dr. Witherington on the topic with links to help you use your money in the coming year the way Jesus would want you to use it. Here’s his book.

When I first started working in mental health, I didn’t know what to expect.  I knew how mental illness was portrayed in movies, but I didn’t know what it was really like. 

In training they taught me the definition of mental illness.  The different types.  The symptoms.  The treatments. 

I was told about its prevalence. I learned that illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are no different than other illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease. The only difference is that it is the brain that is affected, not the rest of the body. 

They prepared me for the worst.  I was told gruesome stories involving death, sex, bodily fluids, and other things that I didn’t want to imagine.

When I finally began working the wards – and I finally got to look mental illness in the face – I was shocked.  I didn’t know that the outcasts I was taught to fear all of my life were actually… people.  People who loved and hoped and feared and wept. 

These patients were much like the people I interacted with at home or at school.  After being on the wards for a month, I found that I could even compare a few of the patients to some of my friends.  I could see my own sister reacting in the same way to the same circumstances as a woman I met – a woman who would never leave the institution.

There were many patients who had no hope of leaving or being accepted as “normal” by everyday society. I knew that some of them would act and be treated like monsters for the rest of their lives.  It was for these people, the ones who had no visible hope, who needed to be loved.

It was here that I was able to see a beautiful picture of the gospel that I had never noticed before.

When Christ became flesh and dwelt among us, he helped the sick and the needy.  Not only did he miraculously heal the sick and cast out demons, but he showed love and kindness to those who were usually shunned.  He gave hope to those who had none. 

I worked in mental health for three years and from my experiences there I learned how vulnerable and helpless man can be.  I learned that we are all desperately in need of a savior who will redeem us from our own depravity.  I saw the true beauty of the grace of Jesus Christ.