McCain-Palin Have Charisma

Early Mike Huckabee-backer and founder of Charisma Magazine, Steven Strang announces that he and the magazine are now endorsing John McCain:

It will surprise no one that Charisma is endorsing John McCain for president of the United States. The actual endorsement will appear in our October issue, in the mail on Sept. 15. You are getting an advance copy here.

But what may surprise you is why we chose him over the other candidate.

Strang proceeds to then not surprise anyone at all by criticizing Barack Obama’s views on abortion and his “sympathy toward those who are attempting to legitimize homosexuality,” declaring it absolutely vital that America does not “not elect a leader who will support … or aid the homosexual agenda in any way-because if same-sex marriage is ever legalized or protected on a national level, there will be no turning back.”

Actually, amid Strang’s littany of standard right-wing reasons for supporting McCain over Obama, he did actually manage to surprise us with this statement:

In an interview with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in August, McCain and Obama gave answers that were polar opposites. When asked about evil, Obama mentioned Darfur and child abuse-both standard liberal answers.

So stopping the genocide in Darfur and child abuse are purely liberal concerns?

Strang goes on to say that he’ll write about Sarah Palin later, once he gets a chance to actually figure out who she is, but for now, he’s pretty happy:

Interestingly for a magazine that has served the Pentecostal/charismatic community for more than three decades, Sarah Palin has an Assemblies of God background. That’s not reason alone to vote for her-just as John McCain’s record as a war hero alone doesn’t make him qualified to be president. But it does tell me something about her values and belief system.

The views of Pentacostals and Charismatics might be familiar to Strang and his readers, but for the rest of us, the AP has provided a helpful primer:

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 identifies herself only as Christian in her biography on the National Governors’ Association Web site. In an Aug. 14 interview with Time magazine, she once again described herself as Christian. When pressed, she said she attended a ”nondenominational Bible church.”

Grant Wacker, an expert in Pentecostalism at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., said he can understand why. He said the McCain campaign likely doesn’t want Palin associated with the best-known Pentecostal to ever hold public office, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, an active member of the Assemblies of God.

”Though Pentecostals are diverse and rapidly mainstreaming themselves, the public still perceives them as sectarian and uncompromising, and those traits will not help Palin’s image,” Wacker said.

Pentecostals are conservative in their reading of the Bible and, often, culture.

Unlike most other Christians — including most evangelicals — Pentecostals believe in ”baptism in the Holy Spirit.” That can manifest itself through speaking in tongues, modern-day prophesy and faith healing.

The Assemblies of God teaches that spirit baptism must be accompanied by speaking in tongues.

Her current church, Wasilla Bible Church, stresses the inerrancy of Scripture.