I saw Benny Hihn on TBN last night and he was showing clips from his crusade in Spain. The first night he had 1 million people, the second and third nights were even bigger. The guy with the white hair who was talking to him (he’s married to the woman who wears a lot of makeup - she also has big white hair) commented on how Spain was a Catholic country.
I can’t help but assume many of the 1 million people at this crusade are (were?) Catholic.
Why in the world are Catholics being drawn to these evangelical crusades in such HUGE numbers? I look at events like the EWTN Family Celebration and the crowds are small. I see people like Father Corapi speaking on tv, and even though he does good for Catholic speakers, his attendance pales in comparison to people like Benny Hihn, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer (ugh), Paula White (double ugh), etc. Why?
People do not seek the best part, but they seek temporal things. People like Hinn tickle their ears and provide a sensory experience and promises of wealth and physical healing that appeal to the lower appetite. Catholicism provides a way that often involves much suffering but is ultimately best for the soul. Hinn’s way leads eventually to eternal torment, but the Catholic way to salvation. “For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”
I’m sure the healing/miracle aspect of it draws people. If your circumstances are dire, sometimes you’ll try anything - so Catholic or Protestant, these people probably offer hope of the seemingly impossible.
I went to Hinn’s website. There is no mention of him in Spain. Furthermore, he had a crusade in Baton Rouge last year. He was so off the radar that I didn’t even know he had come here. Media hype and spin.
I can’t imagine the people of Spain responding to his kind of protestant televangelism. It would be totally out of character for the Spanish.
This is true for the most part, but in and of itself, is no indication of the solidity of the Catholic Faith on the part of your average Spanish Catholic. Mass attendance is about as low here as it is anywhere in Western Europe and the catechesis as weak and bland as what you have in large areas of the States.
Spanish Catholics tend to be rather complacent and bourgeoise in their approach to the Faith, meaning that many of the ones who do attend Mass each week do so out of habit, and that their Catholicism oftentimes has more to do with cultural identity than anything else. Of course, there are lots of fervent, committed Catholics in Spain as well, but they are not in the majority.
Spaniards, in general, would not tend to go for this kind of preaching and message, it is true. There are many reasons for this, most of them having to do with the Spanish character and culture: there is an enormous amount of religious indifferentism here, for example. But there are no absolute guarantees either. Spaniards, just like the rest of the Western world, are feeling spiritually ill, and the bitter fruits of materialism and secularism are being felt here too. Most people may not have diagnosed the nature of the illness yet (despite Pope John Paull II and Pope Benedict XVII’s repeated warnings) but in their souls, they feel it.
On the other hand, there are a lot of Central and South American immigrants here who can be and are attracted by these emotionally-charged preachers. Just one example:
About a month and a half ago a friend and I went to spend the day in Zaragoza, where the great national shrine of the Virgin of the Pillar is located (the official page, in Spanish only I’m afraid, can be found here); when we emerged into the great square in front of the basilica after Mass, there was a group of fundamentalist preachers from a South American evangelical sect that had set up a stage in the plaza and were preaching. There was a considerable crowd listening–not an enormous one, but more than I would have thought–among whom were many Central and South American immigrants, as well as some native Spaniards. I was frankly surprised to see them there, in the square next to one of Spain’s holiest and most revered cathedrals. I wasn’t able to stick around long enough to see if their preaching involved the typically distorted fundamentalist rants against devotion to the Blessed Virgin, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had.
My friend, 100% Spanish, had never seen this kind of evangelical activity before, and though he was dismissive of it, he became somewhat more concerned when I pointed out that there were many hispanic immigrants (and some African ones too) among those listening to the preacher and that these were the people most susceptible to the distortions of the Christian Faith which these people present. I asked him whether or not it was important to him that they too have the fullness of the Faith.
They may have a hard go among the native Spaniards, but immigrants, who often feel isolated and disconnected in a society which does not fully accept them and in which they may be experiencing enormous difficulty integrating, can easily fall prey to the emotionalism of such preachers. If we really believe what we say we do, we have to be missionaries and we have to be concerned about their souls as well.
I believe he’s there to strengthen Catholic’s faith , also i find it strange that why so many pple care so much of watching all those TV program of which they thinks such pple are heretics!!! Can’t they just use that time to pray or read bible? why wanted to fall into satan’s trap of pumping more negative behaviour into our soul!!!
For those who walk so strongly with God, don’t even bother with such earthly stuff becoz their attention will solely be God , whatever negative comes by, just ignore. Why care so much about what other’s did, we should be paying attention more to God and not what his creation have done this and that and by all means finding ways to prove that their argument are correct, such so and so is heretic, he/she talks nonsense, sending emails out to warn others beware of false prophet…blar…blar…
And i notice there have been a similar pattern on those who detest BH (not only pple from America, even those back in my hometown , do the same kind of stuff) Give links, talk how faking he was, how rich he can be…etc…etc…so what does that mean?
As mentioned Satan have the power to control , especially things that are negative, all he want is us to be more angry, more resentment, more bad mouthing against one another…etc…etc…
that is the opposite of God’s teaching…
After all, is not very difficult to move away from such ungodly mindset, 'DON’T WATCH THOSE PROGRAM, ESPECIALLY IF YOU KNOW YOU DO NOT LIKE THIS PARTICULAR PREACHER!!! Why contradict yourself by watching and yet bad mouthing…There aren’t any problems at all, WE the HUMAN BEING are problem to their own problems…
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