I was listening to Al Mohler while having lunch today and he mentioned a recent Pew Research Center study on American Hispanics. He mentioned that America Hispanics are leaving their traditional Catholic Churches in record numbers, and he said:
Now what’s really interesting in this report is where those who are following this kind of research indicate that Hispanics are going. You’ll notice two things were said in that Wall Street Journal article. The first is that there is a significant shift in terms of Hispanics in the United States away from Catholicism and towards evangelicalism, but when you look at the data more closely, it is clear that it’s not evangelicalism in general. That is the target where so many of these Hispanics are going. It is rather in particular charismatic evangelicalism, and precisely it is often the health and wealth gospel, the prosperity gospel, that is attracting many Hispanics in the United States and drawing them away from Catholicism.
That comment piqued my interest since I’ve previously written about the largest Hispanic church in America, so I quickly looked up the study. The full study is here, the sixth chapter (dealing with the prosperity gospel) numbers) is here, and the seventh chapter (explaining the theological trends) is here. Feel free to read that all for yourself, but the numbers are disturbing. Allow me to summarize:
– Half of all American Hispanics, Protestant or Catholic, believe the prosperity gospel.
– 65% of American Hispanics that attend Pentecostal churches attend a church that teaches the prosperity gospel.
–Half of all American Hispanics Catholics believe the prosperity gospel.
– One Third of American Hispanics who call themselves “unaffiliated” believe the prosperity gospel.
– It’s a belief that is twice as prevalent among the poor.
– 64% of American Hispanics claim to receive divine revelation or divine healing.
– 96% of American Hispanics who attend a Pentecostal church claim that divine healing, tongues, and various other phenomena occur regularly in their worship services (in other words, not a whole lot of “reformed/level-headed charismatic” representation).
So, is the prosperity gospel a fringe belief like all the “level headed” Charismatics constantly claim?
It seems that everywhere I look, I cannot help but find nothing but data which screams that for most Hispanics in America, their church serves a fairly limited menu…
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “McFizz? Who dreamed up that name for a drink?” Unger