I’ve been watching the 700-Club for the past few weeks. I really like the show, and until about two weeks ago I thought it was a brand new show and not one that’s been on the past forty years! :yup:
Anyhow, the show is very uplifting. I especially like the stories about people who find Christ after being addicted to worldly pursuits and are spiritually healed. Overall I think the program is pretty cool, especially with the miracle stories that it presents.
However, I have noticed that people on CBN (the company that hosts the 700-Club) tend to act differently than many Catholics on the EWTN channel. In my opinion, this is most clearly seen in the attitude towards physical illness and miraculous heailng. On the 700-Club, the evangelicals tend to focus on God’s great desire to heal us and to have us live a happy life here on earth–to provide us with all our needs. The evangelicals seem to believe that, so long as you have faith, God will give you great joy in your life. Usually physical and mental addictions are seen either as a result of sinning or as something to turn the pagan’s attention to Christ. Once one has Christ, it seems that one is constantly joyful, smiling, etc. Usually I imagine the evangelical conception of a Christian as one who is married, has several children, goes on picnics, and overall lives in neither penury nor luxury, but nontheless is completely provided for with food, health and shelter. There is little emphasis on physical suffereing after one finds Christ.
The Catholic perspective seems a little different. We Catholics agree that physical suffering results from sinning, and we agree that sometimes suffering is necessary to draw one closer to Christ. However, I believe that Catholics have a different understanding of suffering. Spiritual healing is a priority with Catholics, as it is with evangelicals. However, it seems that we do not believe as much as do the evangelicals that God wishes us to be physically healed, even after we come into a deep personal relationship with Him. Oftentimes I see shows on EWTN that emphasize the Christian role of deep suffering, and of patience. Catholics believe that Christ desires His children to be well, but I think that we also more firmly emphasize that a person must carry his cross daily.
I wonder if we emphasize suffereing more so than evangelicals because we believe in redemptive suffering, whereas many evangelicals believe that they’re already saved and that God would not cause them “salvatory” suffering if they don’t need it. Anyhow, I would like to hear comments!