Friday, September 12, 2008
SARAH PALIN'S RELIGION
It seems to be a topic in question. Jeffrey Weiss, Dallas Morning News blog, says:
Start with the question of whether she's Pentecostal. Here's what I found earlier today:
This is from this summer's Alaska Assemblies of God newsletter:
Superintendent Ted Boatsman, who was Palin's junior high pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God, along with Pastor Mike Rose of Juneau Christian Center, where Palin presently attends church when in Juneau, laid hands on the Governor and led the Council in prayer.
The Assemblies of God is one of the larger Pentecostal denominations in the US.
OTOH, I've found other references to her as attending a non-denominational Christian church in Wasilla. And there's this, from Rev. Rob Schenck:
In his conversation with Gov. Palin and her husband, Todd, he asked about their church life. They told him they were active members of an independent Bible church.
And the Wall Street Journal says,hmm, that she's Lutheran? Which is possible, I suppose, but seems unlikely given the other evidence.
The Associated Press tells us:
Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian.
Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.
Palin was baptized Roman Catholic as a newborn. She was then baptized in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God church as a teen and attended that church until six years ago, when she and her family adopted a different home church, an independent evangelical church.
Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, has said Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself Pentecostal.
Details of Palin's religious background and its influence on her public policy are still emerging....
"The fact is she has grown up and has associated with one of our Assemblies of God churches, which is a Pentecostal church, for years," said the Rev. Bill Welch, superintendent of the denomination's Alaska District. "Pentecostalism is bound to have some kind of impact and influence on her."
A Swedish news source tells:
WASILLA, Alaska. Shortly after taking office as governor in 2006, Sarah Palin sent an e-mail message to Paul E. Riley, her former pastor in the Assembly of God Church, which her family began attending when she was a youth. She needed spiritual advice in how to do her new job, said Riley, who is 78 and retired from the church.
"She asked for a biblical example of people who were great leaders and what was the secret of their leadership," Riley said.
He wrote back that she should read again from the Old Testament the story of Esther, a beauty queen who became a real one, gaining the king's ear to avert the slaughter of the Jews and vanquish their enemies. When she is called to serve, God grants Esther a strength she never knew she had.
Riley said he thought Palin had lived out the advice as governor, and would now do so again as the Republican Party's vice-presidential nominee.
Renew America's Marie Jon defends Palin's religious connections:
It is apparent that the prejudiced media wants us to believe that a mainstream denomination such as the Assemblies of God can be compared to the church of "God Damn America." Pentecostals preach a traditional interpretation of the scriptures. There is no Marxist Black Liberation theology taught within their sanctuaries, nor any other quasi-political or racist dogma.
The vicious attacks by the DNC towards the Republican female Vice-Presidential candidate are overwhelming, and speak volumes about the Obama campaign. Their recent remarks more than smack of sexism. Obama continues to get a pass from the agenda-driven media who worships at the altar of liberalism. Our nation, however, was founded upon Judeo-Christian beliefs.
So what, you ask? Well, I've written quite a bit about my fear that Pentecostalism and occultism are two sides of the same coin.
Let me say before going any further, that a man I hold in high esteem for his daily, even hourly, commitment to living for Christ is a member of one of the Assembly of God churches. Many admirable traits can come from this religion. But there is that business of speaking in tongues--something the occultists also do. And there are the other bizarre aspects of Pentecostals, such as being slain in the spirit, and worse, as can be seen among the followers at the Vinyard churches.
So Sarah Palin's Pentecostalism bothers me.
In part V of her continuing series about "The Hijacking of Evangelicalism", Constance Cumbey, in a blog dated Sept. 6 (second one down at her website this morning) related the involvement in Theosophy of Jacob Boehme, and his connection with translator William Law, a connection I have also made some time ago. There is a further connection that she has not yet made. John Wesley was a disciple of William Law, and according to Vinson Synan, Pentecostal historian:
The first American Pentecostal churches began with deep roots in the Wesleyan holiness movement that had spread across America during the 19th century....(THE CENTURY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, p. 98-99)
Most of the first generation of Pentecostals were from this holiness stream that had its roots in Methodism.
When the Pentecostal movement began, these "holiness Pentecostals" simply added the baptism of the Holy Spirit with tongues as "initial evidence" of a "third blessing" that brought power for witnessing to those who had already been sanctified....
The first family of American Pentecostal churches, therefore, could be classified as embracing Wesleyan Pentecostalism due to the basic Arminian perfectionistic theology that was inherited from the holiness movement.
So the question becomes, has Sarah Palin been infected with the Theosophical doctrine of Blavatsky, via the Pentecostal route, to the point that she would be sympathetic to the claims of the New Age movement and the push for a One World Government and Religion? It's too soon to know.