it is personal

That chalice below is the antidote…

“Whether it was the summer of ’86, when the televangelists owned the airwaves, or the summer of ’87, when they owned the headlines, those were days to remember. Today we still have preachers, rousing music and faith healers on cable television, but something is different. Joel Osteen’s popular services, for example, are unlike his father’s old-fashioned ones. The son’s include the hypnotic repetition of praise music and self-help encouragement to “discover the champion in you.” These are a far cry from the thrilling shows of the ’80s. Benny Hinn and a few others still provide traditional healing services, but we just don’t pay much attention now. Why?

For one thing, the novelty is long gone. Maybe a preacher can heal the lame with an audience looking on. But flip the channel and you can probably see real surgery being performed to accomplish the same thing (including follow-up visits, something faith healers never offered). Or something stranger still: the regular prime-time lineup of most of the networks.

But a more subtle shift has occurred in American culture as well. Generally speaking, Americans have moved closer to evangelicals in their focus on the interior world. The millions who watch reality shows every week are drawn less by the situations in which participants are placed (for there is nothing less real for most folks than being stranded on an island) than by the soul-searching thoughts of contestants. They whisper their innermost secrets to a camera much as 1980s evangelical preachers once did when giving testimony of their sinful pasts before conversion.”

Read the whole thing.

This really is the crux of the matter. Our Western faith focuses on the self-absorbed and ultimate dead-end of individualistic religion and culture (and here in the US there’s not much difference) which is antithetical to the Church and which contributes to the overall demise of our souls.

HatTip for the article: T119

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