It's past one in the morning here, and I'm watching what looks like a "local" Pentecostal preacher/healer do his public access TV thing. Lots of tongues, lots of healing, lots of preaching, etc., etc., etc. But what I'm struck at is that, while in my experience many Protestants have a problem with the venerating of icons or relics, the use of prayer beads, the wearing of crosses and medals, and the use of other sacramentals, at least some of them, usually of the type I just described (at least as far as I've observed) are making them up on their own, and it's perfectly acceptable for them. For instance, the same guy doing the tongue-speaking, healing, and preaching was also offering a "Green Prosperity Handkerchief", with a graphic on the screen complete with Biblical reference to the use of sanctified handkerchiefs by Saint Paul. Also offered was a type of bracelet with coloured stones and a cross that looked kinda like a rosary...for a love gift of thirty-three dollars ($33). It is not only the use of these objects in prayer among them that interests me, but the teaching this particular individual was preaching: namely (if I've understood it correctly), that sometimes people need to receive blessings from God through the use of a material object like a prayer cloth as a point of divine power, an object that mediates God's grace to the individual based on the individual's faith, and that God sometimes wills it this way. While this TV show reminded me of my observations, this is definitely not the first time I've seen this, and it seems "prayer cloths" and other types of "sacramentals" are becoming more popular among those who would at the same time question/mock their use among Catholics (and, by extension, Orthodox).
What's up with this trend?