Alice Cooper, the rocker who returned to Christianity in the 1980s, has warned that the devil is “very smart” and that TV evangelism is one of his “greatest weapons,” according to CNS.
Cooper was the son of a Pastor, but lost his faith during his rock career which pinacled with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He returned to faith during the 1980s and describes himself as “the real Prodigal son”.
He’s got a point. The higher the profile anyone who claims the Christian faith rises to the more Satan is going to try to bring him down. It’s a pitfall that many, Catholic and Protestant alike have fallen into. When we think we are the ones doing the work and that we deserve the “perks” that go with the fame, that’s when the trouble starts. All the more do we need the grace of God the more we progress in virtue and the more people notice us or we are placed in positions of power. It’s why we need to aim at being saints rather than at being successful in whatever calls God us to. :yup:
Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I would say I have to agree with him. It is unfortunate that we have the same thing going in Catholicism too. We have priests performing exorcisms on 13 yo girls diagnosed with anorexia. We have guys claiming to be High Wizards in the Church of Satan performing ritual abortions then converting to Catholicism and so many never ever question any of his motives. And I know I will get flamed for this, but does anyone remember Fr. Corapi?
The problem of saying the cause of bad, immoral, or sinful behavior is the work of the devil is to make a victim out of the sinner instead of holding them accountable for misuse of free will…if such was the case we could rationalize that no sin is mortal because we did not commit it with full knowledge and consent, but that “the devil made me do it!”
Well, it’s not quite like that. Satan can tempt, and he’s an expert at it, but it is of our own free will that we mortally sin (venial sins are often due to human weakness rather than decisions of the will). Since the fall we humans are wounded creatures. Our nature was corrupted, our intellect darkened, and our will weakened. It’s why we must rely on God’s grace and not merely our own strength to be faithful to God. Still, we have enough will and intellect to know right from wrong, so we are responsible for our own actions, to one degree or another, unless we are mentally handicapped or too young to be accountable.
While the Devil does work on individuals to accomplish his goals, I tend to recognize his work at a larger scale. Almost the entire business of TV evangelism is a good example. Or, for instance, gay “marriage”. How did the whole western world so rapidly embrace it? It was most definitely orchestrated. I have a pretty good idea of by whom.
I agree with your statements, and I have always held that if these TV evangelists really had the power to heal everyone on demand like they do in their circus acts, and that they really truly had that gift of healing given to them from God, that they would recognize that fact and would be in the hospitals and the streets healing. It would be about healing the afflicted not inflating their wallets and egos. I could not imagine being a soul that God has looked upon and decide the He would give me such a “Responsibility”, It would be so humbling.