As a Christian, I’ve learned to discern between people who say they walk with God and those who actually walk with God…in other words, really follow the humble, caring spirit of Jesus. And that’s why I’m disturbed about the following story…
Recently Benny Hill, a famed Christian healer, and his entourage were in Brazil for a ‘healing’ meeting. It would not be surprising to find hopeful people with ailments to attend. After all, Mr. Hinn offers a special anointing from the Lord that could/should/will heal their ailments.
So what happened when Hestephenson Araujo, a deaf man, approached Mr. Hinn with a bottle of water?
It’s believed Mr. Araujo brought the water so that Mr. Hinn would ‘bless’ it and perhaps cure him of his deafness(?). However, those were not the thoughts for Mr. Hinn’s bodyguards and son. According to the Christian Post:
21-year-old Joshua Hinn, Caleb Shirk, 26, and Konstantins Konstantinovs, 34, apprehended Hestephenson Araujo as he approached minister Hinn during his sermon with a bottle of water. Araujo had reportedly attended the miracle healing crusade on Saturday at the Provos da Amazonia arena in hopes of getting a blessing from Hinn, who claims to have an “anointing,” or special power from God, that gives him the supernatural ability to heal people.
Hinn, Shirk and Konstantins allegedly grabbed Araujo, 21, whom they thought was going to throw water at the minister. They are accused of taking the deaf and dumb man to a trailer where they interrogated and beat him, the Daily Mail reports. Araujo was eventually rescued by police, who had been called to the arena by “concerned members of the public.”
Although the three men were detained on suspicion of torture, no charges were filed. They reportedly told police they did not know Araujo, who was treated at a hospital for his injuries, was unable to hear or talk.
Araujo’s father claimed he made a deal with Benny Hinn’s representatives to refrain from pressing charges allegedly in exchange for a “large sum of money,” the Daily Mail reports. However, local authorities reportedly plan to continue investigating the alleged attack on Araujo.
Joshua Hinn and the ministry’s two body guards left the country without incident and returned to the U.S.
Okay, let’s get a couple things out of the way right now…
- For the sake of all things holy, stop calling people who can’t speak because they are deaf ‘dumb’. Really? I don’t know anything about the ‘Christian Post’ but what a profane choice of terminology. We are now in the 21st Century and we have ‘new’ vocabulary to help describe people accurately and in a non-offensive way. Look it up.
- Okay, perhaps Mr. Araujo was out of place for the timing of his approach and the guards needed to act accordingly. I’ll give them that, but the alleged treatment was WAY over the line! But, hey, at least Mr. Araujo got a ‘large sum of money’ to dismiss his mistreatment.
- I guess since there was a ‘large sum of money’ given to Mr. Araujo in Brazil, the perpetrators won’t have anything to worry about now they are back in the USA. Well played.
- We should extend the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Hinn. Perhaps his son and bodyguards acted contrary to the teachings/feelings/actions of Mr. Hinn. We must be fair here.
This story burns me in so many ways. Maybe my mind is going wild here, but I imagine a man innocently seeking what a ‘faith healer’ was offering but instead received an escort to the back where they were out of sight. When he couldn’t answer questions because he apparently hasn’t had extensive (Portuguese) speech therapy that all profoundly Deaf people would require in order to speak fluently, it was held against him as if non-speech was a choice he made. He might as well been able to speak Mongolian — it wouldn’t have mattered if the perpetrators didn’t understand Mongolian. So, in retaliation he was, uh, shall we be kind and say ‘examined’ buy these buffoons?
I hope this is examined further. I’m glad that Mr. Araujo got a ‘large sum of money’. But he needs more than a pay-off. He needs to understand that Jesus would have never treated him that way. I hope he realizes that not all followers of Jesus would act that way towards him. I hope he grows into the person he currently is and achieves success in spite of whatever troubles he thinks he has. I hope the Brazilian Deaf community embraces him. I hope true followers of Jesus meet him via the communication skills he’s currently equipped with.
And if all of this is true, I hope the perpetrators are held to accountability on this side of Heaven as well as the later.