Weekly Review

Living Biblically, Harvard’s intolerance, Benny Hinn, and the growth of polyamory


Warren Cole Smith

Showing Poorly.  The new CBS show “Living Biblically” is about a man who wants to become a better person by living according to the literal instructions of the Bible.  A comedy, most reviewers are calling the show laughable, and not in a good way.  Which is too bad, because television that grapples seriously with faith often does well with viewers and reviewers.  “Friday Night Lights,” “Blue Bloods,” and the NetFlix hit “Rectify” all have religion as a serious sub-theme.  Brett McCracken, over at The Gospel Coalition, explains why we should be seeing more of faith on primetime television.

Veritas?  Hardly.  A Christian group at Harvard told one of its Bible study leaders she could not continue to lead if she continued in a lesbian relationship.  Now, the Harvard administration has placed the Christian group, Harvard College of Faith & Action (HCFA) on a year-long probation.  It’s the first time in the school’s more than 300-year history that a student group has faced such a punishment.  In addition, a spokesman for Harvard said, “If the club reregisters as a student organization next spring, it will have to show that it is in compliance with the university’s nondiscrimination principles.” The spokesman went on to say that HCFA’s policy was “grossly inconsistent” with Harvard’s student handbook, “which stipulates recognized campus student groups cannot discriminate on the basis of ‘sexual orientation.'”  HCFA has countered, saying they are not prohibiting the lesbian student from participating in the group.  However, the group’s leaders wrote in an email to supporters that any extramarital sexual activity is wrong: “Our theological view is that — for professing Christians who are in leadership — celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage. We have applied and do apply this policy regardless of sexual orientation.”

Renouncing Prosperity Gospel?  Is it possible that prosperity gospel promoter Benny Hinn is taking a turn toward biblical orthodoxy?  According to Relevant Magazine, the answer appears to be a cautious “yes.”  In a Facebook Live reflection on the life and ministry of Billy Graham, he said, “We get attacked for preaching prosperity, well it’s in the Bible.  But I think some have gone to the extreme with it sadly, and it’s not God’s word what is taught, and I think I’m as guilty as others. Sometimes you go a little farther than you really need to go and then God brings you back to normality and reality.”  It’s hard to call this a complete renunciation of the prosperity gospel, but it’s a welcome step in the right direction.  I would add that Benny Hinn’s nephew, Costi Hinn, is the pastor of Mission Bible Church in Orange County, Calif., and he has been actively critical of his uncle’s theology.  You can read more about Costi Hinn here.

Polyamory’s Growth.  A few years ago, pro-gay and other progressive pundits derided Christians who said same-sex marriage would eventually lead to polyamory.  Today, the progressives themselves are saying that prophesy has come to pass. A recent “Rolling Stone” article discusses the “growing acceptance of polyamory.”  A “Psychology Today” article summarized recent surveys of singles and concluded that they are more open than ever to polyamory and other “novel” sexual liaisons.  For a powerful account of the impact on polyamory on children, I recommend this 2015 article from The Public Discourse, in which James Lopez recounts growing up in a polygamous household.


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