Pentecostals number about 10-30 million in the United States depending on how you define the term and make up one quarter of all Christians worldwide. They are a subset of the larger evangelical movement that numbers about 102 million people in the United States. ABC News recently published this article on the type of churches Sarah Palin has attended at one time or anther.
“As America gets a crash course in Sarah Palin, the question has been raised of how her two decades as a member of the Assemblies of God church in Wasilla has shaped her personality. If elected, Sarah Palin would become the most powerful Pentecostal in U.S. history. So how has this church shaped her as a leader?”
Shaped her personality? You’ll never hear that asked of Barack Obama after sitting under the spiritual mentorship of the good Rev. Wright for twenty-three years.
What is interesting about this is that my father (a minister now for forty years) was an Assemblies of God pastor for seven years and was also a pastor for many years with Church on the Rock International.
That is the ‘non-denominational’ church referred to in the article that Sarah Palin now attends. Church on the Rock is an association of churches, not a denomination, so they can technically be spoken of as ‘non-denominational’.
My maternal grandfather (a minister, pastor, and preacher for some sixty years) was also an Assemblies of God pastor for many of those years and then later was an ordained minister with the Independent Assemblies of God for about the last twenty-five years of his life. My great-grandfather and step great-grandfather were also Assembly of God pastors.
I guess all of that makes Sarah Palin one of “my people”. I can safely say that I have far more insight into the personal theology, belief system and Christian world view of Governor Sarah Palin than the entire staff of ABC News could ever hope to have.
Despite the sensationalism in the ABC article, the Assemblies are actually considered pretty mild and tame for “Pentecostals” and I wouldn’t have the slightest trepidation of putting someone with that belief system in a position of authority. If anything, a few more people who strive to be honest, moral, and forthright and who have humbled themselves before God might be just the thing our increasingly corrupt system of government needs.
What ABC is trying to say is that since Sarah Palin is a Bible believing Christian that somehow makes her scary, or dangerous or ‘other’ and therefore she should be rejected in favor of the secularist who attended a radical, black liberation theology church and whose pastor, and Obama’s spiritual mentor for most of his adult life, is known for his anti-white, anti-American and pro-terrorist stances, rants and raves. This also means that Palin is probably not a “baby-whacker” or willing to personally officiate at lesbian weddings, obviously making her ‘not a feminist’ and her and her family worthy only of being the subject of unending slander, character assassination and rumormongering.
Sounds fair, doesn’t it? I absolutely detest the media. It is sad to see a nation that has now apparently declared secularism to be its national religion while rejecting, ridiculing and mocking the Faith that this nation and its concepts and laws was founded upon. The road is not always an easy one for those who have chosen to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Behind all of the smears of Governor Palin’s religion and Christians in general is the accusation that they are not “open minded”. I believe we should all be “open minded” in all things. But that has nothing to do with swallowing whole anything and everything presented to us without at least exercising a semblance of personal judgment, logic, common sense and principle.
Suspending all notions of judgment and right and wrong is not synonymous with ‘tolerance’ or ideological maturity, but merely an amoral, easy way out where there is no right and wrong, only different. There is still a place for morals and values, principle and self-restraint, personal responsibility and self-control, as well as respect for yourself and for God.
Refusing to embrace the sudden, faddish redefinition of marriage, utopian socialism or sex education for kindergartners or cheerleading promiscuity and worshipping the creation instead of the Creator is hardly “pushing your religion” on everyone else. It certainly isn’t ‘scary’ and cause enough for the shapers of public opinion to resort to wailing and gnashing of teeth because a possible Pentecostal is running for high office.
Not advocating decadence and cultural pollution should not be a cause for suspicion, innuendos or sly media hit pieces but for praise, encouragement and admiration. We should thank those who are worked to preserve principle and decency no matter which way the winds of political popularity or public opinion may be blowing.
Believing in Christ and traditional Judeo-Christian values is not a badge of shame, but should be a badge of honor in a world that increasingly calls good evil and evil good. If anything, it is the religion of secularism that is insisting on pushing its own twisted agenda and “values” (or lack thereof) on the American people.