Charisma magazine and its affiliated online Charisma News are part of Steve Strang’s publishing empire, aimed at Pentecostal Christians who see American politics enveloped in constant spiritual warfare between believers and demons. (See, for example, senior editor Jennifer Claire’s “Is Hillary Clinton the Antichrist or an Illuminati Witch?”) Charisma has endorsed Trump and has energetically promoted his candidacy, playing a major role in the Religious Right push to convince conservative Christians that Trump’s candidacy has a divine anointing.
On Sunday evening, Charisma posted an article calling for “urgent prayer” for Donald Trump for Monday night’s debate. The article said that former Trump adviser Frank Amedia had received a revelation from God and “began making phone calls to drum up support for the Kingdom Wide Prayer Watch.” Among those who got involved were Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Mario Bramnick, Lance Wallnau and Paula White.
Trump is on the focus of the October issue of Charisma magazine, whose cover story is Lance Wallnau’s tale about how God told him that He is raising up Donald Trump like the biblical King Cyrus. This week Strang posted a two-part podcast interviewing Wallnau about Trump’s “anointing” as a “prophetic” instrument of God’s purposes.
Wallnau said people should pray that God will intervene, perhaps during one of the debates, to unveil a Clinton medical problem or otherwise derail her candidacy:
God is really involved with what’s happening right now. And I think if there was ever a time when the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now, we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.
Of course, most people would hardly describe Trump’s debate performance as an answer to prayer.
Which brings us to the extent to which Charisma is promoting far-right conspiracy theories. This week Bob Eschliman wrote that Clinton’s much celebrated shimmy after Trump said he had a better temperament to be president was in fact evidence of “medical episode”—Eschliman laughably mischaracterized Clinton’s mocking “whew, OK” as a “Howard Dean yell” and described her shimmy as troubling a “shudder” and “tremors.”
Eschliman is also flacking right-wing conspiracy theories that Clinton “cheated” during the early national security forum and Monday night’s debate by wearing a hidden ear piece that she could have used to get instructions from her campaign team. Eschliman said it could have been a hearing aid, a receiver, or an “anti-seizure device,” adding, “None of these paint a particularly good picture for the Democratic presidential nominee. Either she has an as-yet undisclosed health condition, ranging from mild to severe, or she’s been cheating during the televised debates.”
In his podcast interview with Wallnau, Strang said he was worried that there isn’t enough “clear solidarity” from preachers and prophets to get enough believers to the polls. Wallnau blamed that possibility on “the left” and some Christian leaders who are trying to mute enthusiasm for Trump by portraying him as a flawed candidate, “morally or whatever.” Wallnau insisted that isn’t true, saying that Trump “has been on a metamorphosis…a total transformation track.”