Palin Ties To Militant Religious Movement Confirmed
There are extensive linkages between Joyner's ministry and the church many have identified as Sarah Palin's most significant, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Joyner, a prolific prophecy author, has written that "The Kingdom of God may seem like totalitarianism at first."
An even more direct tie between Palin and the end-time army movement was detailed in the January 2009 issue of Charisma Magazine, in a story titled "The Faith of Sarah Palin" which added details of Palin's ongoing personal friendship with Alaska Apostle and national leader Mary Glazier - who has advocated a program of religious cleansing.
The Charisma story quoted Glazier as stating that her prayer group "actually began to pray for [Palin] before she became mayor of Wasilla" because "[w]e felt then that she was the one God had selected." Also revealed: in Spring 2008 Glazier and Palin prayer together over the phone and also in person, at the Alaska Governor's Prayer Breakfast.
In a speech (link to speech excerpt) given June 13, 2008, Mary Glazier stated that Sarah Palin joined her Wasilla prayer group nearly two decades ago, around the time Alaska Independence Party candidate Walter Hickel was running for the Alaska governor's seat.
[below: Mary Glazier advocates religious cleansing]
In 1995, according to a story Glazier told SpiritLed Woman Magazine for a 2003 article, Mary Glazier led an emergency prayer-warfare campaign when a professed Wiccan applied for a job as a chaplain in the Alaska State Prison system:
"In 1995, Mary mobilized a prayer network for Alaska's prisons and began experiencing spiritual warfare as never before. She had received word that a witch had applied for a job as chaplain of the state's prison system... Mary recalls, "As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer."
"Ultimately, the witch fled to another state for medical treatment."
On September 22, 2008, while Sarah Palin was actively campaigning for John McCain's presidential bid, Mary Glazier released a "prophetic warning", through prayer networks channels, of an immanent act of terrorism that would leave Palin, alone, to step into "an office that she was mantled for." Glazier, who has stated a belief that "God has equipped [Palin] for this hour," appeared to be hinting via prophecy that an untimely death might advance Sarah Palin to the United States presidency.
Just as ominously, on June 13, 2008 at a conference held in Everett, WA outside of Seattle Mary Glazier described a program of Christian religious cleansing, the removal of unbelievers from "the land",
"There is a tipping point, at which, at which time, because of the sin of the land, the people then have to be displaced.... God is preparing a people to displace the ones whose sin is rising so that then they tip over and the church goes in - one is removed and the church moves in and takes the territory. Now, that does not mean that the people are removed, because God removes them from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light. They are given an opportunity to change allegiances."
Mary Glazier then informed her fellow religious leaders at the conference, all in a newly emerging global Christian tendency known as the New Apostolic Reformation, that Sarah Palin had joined Glazier's prayer group shortly before Palin decided to go into politics.
One of the few mainstream media stories to explore Palin's unorthodox Christianity was New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein's October 24, 2008 story, "YouTube Videos Draw Attention to Palin's Faith" in which Goodstein wrote,
"Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as "spiritual warfare."
Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that "spiritual warriors" must "battle" them to assert God's control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement's fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders' claims to exalted spiritual authority of its Apostles and Prophets have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians.
Ms. Palin delivered an enthusiastic graduation speech for a class of young spiritual warriors in June at the Wasilla Assembly of God, the church in which she was raised."
On January 7, 2009, both Mary Glazier and another key Third Wave and New Apostolic leader, Dutch Sheets, appeared at the church most closely linked to Sarah Palin, the Wasilla Assembly of God, where Palin was re-baptized and attended for over two and a half decades. During the church service Sheets declared that Glazier "was the lady who brought us into the state [Alaska]." On June 7, 2009 another New Apostolic Reformation leader, International Coalition of Apostles member Lance Wallnau, gave a talk at the Wasilla church
In June 2008, Palin spent Alaska State travel funds to fly from Juneau to the Mat-Su Valley and attend two June 8th church services presided over by the Wasilla Assembly of God's head pastor, Ed Kalnins, who personally anointed Governor Palin during both services.
Video footage of Palin taken at the June 8th, 2008 graduation ceremony held at the Wasilla Assembly of God became nationally notorious due to a speech Palin gave in honor of students graduating from a program, run by the Wasilla church, known as The Masters Commission. In the $8,000 a year program, students learn deference to authority, Biblical memorization, "prophesy", and miracle healing. Perhaps the most publicized of Palin's statements was one in which the Alaska governor seemed to imply the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was sanctioned by God.
But it seems that no media observers had bothered to watch the entire video segment of the June 8, 2008 graduation, which remained avail able in the Wasilla Assembly of God's public archives; towards the end of the ceremony, graduating 3-years Masters Commission students were presented with western-style and also Samurai swords. Shortly before the sword ceremony, a speaker addressed Sarah Palin - who apparently was personally still present at the church event.
[below: 3-year graduates of Masters Commission Wasilla Alaska program given swords]
Other video to be found on the Wasilla church's web site, from a September 7, 2007 Masters Commission event at the Wasilla Assembly God, shows a national Masters Commission speaker waving a sword about from the pulpit while addressing students in the program, then playing an excerpt from the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot" and suggesting to the program students that there are times when it is necessary to fight.
[below: Masters Commission national speaker Jayme Montera waves sword about, plays clip from Mel Gibson war movie]
Morningstar Ministries is one of the most militant of American ministries in a new Christian tendency known as the Third Wave (referring to the third wave of Pentecostalism) or New Apostolic Reformation. During the Fall 2008 presidential election campaign, Morningstar founder and head Rick Joyner, in an interview with a reporter from the Religion News Service, downplayed ties between his ministry and the Wasilla Assembly of God, stating,
"I would be honored to be connected, but we are not that I know of. It is very likely that her church has read our stuff and I think some of our folks have been up and spoken to her church. It would be a very loose, distant association. We deeply appreciate her and what she is standing up for. I wish I could claim more."
In early September 2008, shortly after Presidential hopeful John McCain had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, the Wasilla Assembly of God scrubbed several years of its video and audio website archives, of events held at the church. But in mid September some of the footage, saved by a quick-thinking activist, reemerged on the Internet and showed an October 16, 2005 ceremony at the church in which three pastors blessed and "anointed", with the laying on of hands, Sarah Palin.
During the ceremony one of the pastors, Kenya evangelist Thomas Muthee, called on God to protect Sarah Palin against "every spirit of witchcraft." In a speech prior to the blessing ceremony, Muthee declared that Christians should "invade, infiltrate" key sectors of society such as government, business, and media.
Muthee's connection to the Wasilla Assembly of God was not casual; in 2000 according to head pastor Ed Kalnins, his church along with an area consortium of Christian churches known as the [Mat-Su] Valley Pastors Association raised tens of thousands of dollars so that Thomas Muthee could purchase land in Kenya on which to build a church. The Pastors had been impressed with Muthee's role in The Transformations, a video which is part of a series on spiritual warfare which has been viewed around the world. Muthee had a leading role in the first video of the series.
Two other pastors shown the October 2005 ceremony blessing Palin were Wasilla Assembly of God head pastor Ed Kalnins and Crossraods Commnity Church head Phil Markwardt. In 2005 the two pastors made a trip to visit Thomas Muthee in Kenya, and photos from the trip show Muthee and Kalnins distributing books written by Morningstar Ministries founder Rick Joyner. Kalnins has also described himself as a "spiritual son" of Rick Joyner's close working colleague Francis Frangipane. Kalnin's church once raised over twenty thousand dollars to kick-start Frangipane's ministry.
In early October 2008, Morningstar Ministries' Vice President and Head of Prophecy, Steve Thompson, led a Prophecy Conference at the Wasilla Assembly of God. It was not Thompson's first visit to the church and he was not the only Morningstar affiliate to make repeat visits to the Wasilla church. During a service given between August 7th and 13th, 2008, Thompson declared that Jesus is waiting for "enemies to be put under the feet of the body of Christ."
Francis Frangipane has made three trips to date to Alaska and the Wasilla Assembly of God (link to media from latest trip). Frangipane was a featured speaker, along with Joyner, at Morningstar's latest annual "Worship and Warfare" conference, scheduled to be held April 16-18, 2009.
Traffic has also flowed in the other direction; in February 2008, Masters Commission program students traveled with Wasilla Assembly of God head pastor Ed Kalnins, to Morningstar's home base, in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a prophecy conference. "
A Fall 2008 Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (which monitors hate groups), entitled 'Arming' For Armageddon: Militant Joel's Army Followers Seek Theocracy, suggested that Joyner's ministry was part of "a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right... Joel's Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian "dominion" on nonbelievers."
The SPLC report described Joyner as one of the most extreme of the leaders in the new militant tendency:
In 2006, he [Joyner] posted a sermon called "The Warrior Nation -- The New Sound of the Church," in which he claimed that a last-day army is now gathering and called believers "freedom fighters."
"As the church begins to take on this resolve, they [Joel's Army churches] will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces," Joyner wrote. "In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc."
Joyner's Morningstar Ministries is currently running a website ad that heralds the coming of an "End Time Army", which features a pop rock song with the lyrics, "there is a new generation rising up... there is a last day army rising up for war."
In video footage posted on the Morningstar Ministry website, dated March 25, 2009, Rick Joyner described a long phone conversation with Alaska Governor Palin and stated,
"the Democrats have their people up in Alaska, right now, watching her every move, to try to find anything they can just hammer her on or make hay of, in a negative sense, and they're obviously extremely threatened by her, and I believe rightly so; I believe there is a spiritual authority and a calling on Governor Palin that is extraordinary and I told her in no uncertain terms.... but I believe she has a national calling on her life."
At the center of the Fall 2008 Southern Poverty Law Center Report was evangelist Todd Bentley, whose preference for effecting faith healing via violent physical contact, such as kicking an elderly women in the face with his combat boot and punching as third-stage colon cancer patient in the gut, was highly controversial even among charismatic faith healing movement believers.
Almost synchronous with the release of the SPLC story, Todd Bentley was caught up in a marital infidelity scandal that brought an end to the popularity of his ministry's months-long running Florida tent revival extravaganza. Rick Joyner, one of Todd Bentley's most enthusiastic supporters, has since taken up the task of "rehabilitating" Todd Bentley.
Currently Rick Joyner's Morningstar Ministries website features and advertisement for their annual Harvestfest and Worship and Warfare Conference. The event is held at recently the rehabilitated Grand Hotel of Heritage USA, which was once the venue of the PTL club of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and now is the centerpiece of Morning Star Ministries. In addition to Morningstar's own Apostles and Prophets, this year's lineup includes Sammy Rodriguez, head of his own apostolic network as well as the National Hispanic Leadership Conference which serves "the 16 million Hispanic born-again Christians in the United States and Puerto Rico."
The reference research work World Christian Trends AD 30 To AD 22 00 represents the most extensive research effort to date on global Christianity in the history of the faith, and according to the 900-plus small-print volume although the Third Wave only began to emerge in the early 1980's by AD 2000 the tendency encompassed 295 million Christians globally.
[below: video documentary explores links and stylistic similarities between Wasilla Assembly of God and Morningstar Ministries]
Palin Ties To Militant Religious Movement Confirmed | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Palin Ties To Militant Religious Movement Confirmed | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)