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September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin's pastors

Spiritual mentors and pastoral endorsements have brought a few pastors to the forefront in the 2008 election. Sen. Barack Obama broke with his long-term pastor and Sen. John McCain eventually rejected endorsements from pastor John Hagee and pastor Rod Parsley.

Now, Harper's Magazine reporters have dug up sermons from Sarah Palin's pastors.

Palin has attended the Juneau Christian Center, where Mike Rose serves as senior pastor. Her previous pastor was David Pepper of the Church on the Rock in Palin's hometown of Wasilla.

Sebastian Jones found links to some of their sermons.

Rose said during a July 28, 2007 sermon: "Do you believe we're in the last days? After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days. These are incredible times to live in."

Pepper said during a November 25, 2007 sermon: "The purpose for the United States is? to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation."


oooooooooh that is sooooooo scandalous!!!!!

The only reason such comments are not scandalous is because this is the Sunday fare at Evangelical churches across the nation, regardless of their convoluted amalgamation of gross nationalism and (in my opinion, shoddy) pop/pre-millinialist eschatology. For some of us who don't think America's will is God's will, we might find the "scandalous" sermons of Jeremiah Wright to be rather in line with the prophetic traditions of the Old Testament.

If you're a confessional Protestant, you find both styles of sermons to be similarly awful -- just opposite sides of the same coin. Focusing on earthly power rather than eternal life, talking about politics instead of sacraments, etc.

Hagee's brand of corrupted Christianity is back in center stage I guess. Ironic McCain is being forced to eat his words of criticism of Hagee, because it looks like the Far Right Religious conservatives got to pick the VP nominee. What a devil's bargain.

I think it is very unfair to criticise Sarah Palin. I am an evangelical, who with my late husband raised my children to serve God, and taught them abstinence only. They did not follow those teachings in their teen years. Sarah Palin is a wonderful choice for VP, and I believe she is a great mother. Her daughter should get married if she loves her baby's father. This is not irresponsible. it is called "doing the right thng".

We all make our choices in life and sometimes they are not the right choices. God loves us and forgives us.

Who was criticizing Sarah or Bristol Palin on this thread? This thread is about the nutty utterances of some Alaska pastors.

Are all these comments from Christians? Some of them sound like hate speech from a radical blog. Thought I could get away from the hate on this site.

Is it nutty now for Christians to believe in end times or that our country should glorify God? Who should we seek? What next, only nuts believe in the resurrection of Christ? What is happening to the Church? Sounds like the Church wants to be just like the world and the prince of this world. What a sad commentary on the understanding of the Word of God.

The pastor of the church that Sarah Palin was baptized at and spent the longest period of her Christian life is much more offensive:

"I'm not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I'm sorry."

"If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time."

"I hate criticisms towards the President because it's like criticisms towards the pastor -- it's almost like, it's not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That's what it'll get you"


While speaking at the church, Palin also stated that she felt the war in Iraq and the new gas line she was trying to get built for Alaska were tasks from God.


"Palin is a wonderful choice for VP, and I believe she is a great mother"...Janice,

What kind of mother would expose her pregnant teen - and her future grandchild - to national scrutiny and international comment? For a political carreer move, of all things? For shame.

What kind of mother would simultaniously abandon a newborn - with Down's Syndrome, no less - to the care of others, and a teen daughter in distress and challenging transitions - so she can run for a political office?? It's not as if this choice is something required for the survival of her family. This is about personal ambition.

We're all mothers - we all know what mothering of newborns requires. We know what happens in families of teens in crisis. They need mothers present and accounted for. A GREAT MOTHER???? Please.

A wonderful choice for VP? When we have terrorist threats and economic wreckage to deal with??? I don't think it's such a hot idea to put up the mayor of an Alaskan hamlet, or the governor of a population a third the size of Chicago against the Taliban, bin Laden, Putin or the Chinese.

What if John McCain dies within 2 weeks of taking office? Whose hands would the free world be in? Pawlenty, Romney, Ridge, Giuliani... pratically anybody else would have been the more responsible choice. This was not a "country first" choice. This was a "get myself elected, at any price to my country" choice. Shame again.

And, while Palin was being eaten alive by our enemies and struggling to grasp the fundamentals of the world's once-greatest economy - who would be there to answer when little Trig calls for his Mommy? Who will hold and listen to that young girl, pregnant, planning a wedding, starting a family - when she needs her mother most?

I do not understand how anyone can think this is a good idea, for the country or for those children. It's not family first, it's not country first. It's ambition above all.


It's not nutty to believe in Christ's return, but it is nutty to say you know when its going to happen (Jesus was very specific that his Father alone knows). Its also not nutty to say our country should glorify God, but calling it a Christian nation with its high abortion and murder rates and culture of greed and selfishness it sure seems nutty to me.

Pull the plank out of your own eye before pulling the speck out of your sister's eye! Some of the comments on here are unbelievable. I hope nonChristians aren't coming on here and seeing how Christians are behaving!

As for non-Christians reading these posts and seeing how negative Christians are behaving.. They don't have to read the posts here at Christianity Today to observe bad behavior. All they need to do is look out side their window, at their place of work, commerce, the roadways. We bad behaving Christians are EVERY-WHERE! And I don't say that proudly.

As to the question of Sarah Palin, I know that NONE of us have the right or ability to judge her place as a mother,wife or believer. Is she the right choice for VP? I don't know, is John McCain the right choice for President? I have doubts, but he is what we have and I certainly am not in favor of Obama in any terms. So, Guess what, hopefully believing followers of Christ out there.. we get to TRUST GOD. Can we have opinions? OF course, will our billowing change the direction of the wind? Hardly. But prayer goes a long way, no matter the outcome in November. Be certain, I want a somewhat conservative in the place of power with out so many questions tied to his record or abilities, but in the outcome, it is God who holds this country together and we need not forget that.

To Laina: I am so glad to read your comment. I have been trying to put my thoughts in words along these lines. I believe Mrs. Palin is ambitious above all, and it is (very unfortunately) NOT family first over there.

First, she was a beauty queen, then a sports caster, then a mayor. Now governor. I see an attention-hungry pattern with Mrs. Palin, and I feel her family is second place.

I feel so sad for Bristol, to be dragged into the national spotlight and have her very personal unwed pregnancy be held up to the world like this. How overwhelming to this child and for her boyfriend who, though 18, is still just a child. Now he is going to be on stage tomorrow at the convention. They must be so nervous, and I feel it is not right for children to be put through this.

None of this should be on any stage, and I think Mrs. Palin should take her daughter out of the spotlight immediately.

Does anyone know the childcare arrangements in the Palin house? I thought the father stayed home with the children but then I read he went back to work. Who is watching (mothering, fathering, nurturing, parenting) these children? Is it nannies? I hope it's caring people because if the mother and father cannot be at home with them during this incredibly difficult time, then I feel these children must feel so lost.

I'm a mother who gave up a very high powered career to stay home with my child. I brought her here, and she only has one mother. I only have one chance to get things right with her while raising her. While we all make mistakes, a child grows so fast. They change so quickly and need our attention and our presence especially when they are young.

This is not about making mistakes, this is about being there for our children. If we are not there for our children when they most need us, then how will they really know our love for them? With parenting, actions do speak louder than words.

Lauren, I appreciate your passion regarding the importance of family and active presence of parents in a child's life.

However, I wonder, were you a mouse hiding in the corner of the Palin family room? Do you have secret cameras in their home so you know every bit of their lives? Do you have access to their personal calendar and know how much time Sarah Palin spends with her family?, or the kind of quality it is? Are you aware of the support system they have?

Have you talked to Bristol as you so casually refer to her name? Do you know that she doesn't support her mothers choice? What inside scoop are you privy to that you know how nervous her boyfriend or she is to stand on stage at the convention? How do you know the motives of her mother? Do you have connections that inform you of her husbands family involvement? I think not, otherwise, if you do, you are a mole hiding out here on a blog.

How shameful of you to make assumptions based on your own opinions as a private person towards someone you will never know and judge them at the same time.

Have your opinion, but must you be so vitriolic ?( rather like lye )
to make your point? It would seem that you really have no clue in more ways than one, but then, this is not a judgment, merely an observation.

You know, 400 years before the birth of Christ, the Jewish church was judgmental and had a very obsessive entitlement mentality - much like the Christian church of today. They were fat, perverse and thought they had a direct line with God. Just like the Christian Church of today.

We need to get on our knees and ask God for mercy. "Out of the abundance of the heart springs forth from the mouth."

What's in your heart, church?

What's wrong with the comments set out here?

The purpose of men and women is to glorify God so why shouldn't the USA?

As fas as end times go we have lived in them since Jesus ascended awaiting His return. Nothing radical there either!!

I suppose what you mean is Rose thinks an imminent return is going to happen.

We are clearly told only the Father knows the time or day and not to worry about it but to get on with proclaiming the Gospel!

Why do so many Christians fret about it?

Why do you Americans fret over a Christian VP surely that's good news?

In the UK we have v few Christians in Government, and a large number of politicians afraid of upsetting the immigrant muslims, so you are doing well!!

Hello Coastalgal,

I wonder how you would judge comments were the views expressed similar to your own. What you mistake for vitriol is really horror.

There is NOTHING on this earth that most of us would not give up if the price were exposure of a precious daughter to the inevitable media scrutiny of the family of national leaders, at a time when she would be so vulnerable. There is NOTHING that would tempt most of us to hand off a disabled NEWBORN to others care, short of exigent conflicting demands of family or illness.

Most of us fully understand, and salute, women working outside the home while raising kids. I have done so myself - because it was necessary when they were little and a good thing for the family once they were older. My mother worked outside the home when I was a child, and I'm terrifically proud of her in so many ways, especially as a mother. But never was it for self-glorification, never was it for personal benefit at the expense of our families.

Circumstances are indeed diffferent for different families - some are blessed with enough resources to allow a choice for the mother to remain at home, or not, or some combination thereof. More and more as our economy drains, it's less and less of a choice in many families, it's a matter of survival. But Palin is manifestly employed already; America could and clearly would be better served by better credentialed candidates.

If we are called as voters to appraise the character of candidates based on the choices and behaviors of their lives - indeed, if it is our duty to do so as responsible citizens - it is fair to consider the public choices of Sarah Palin. This exposure of her daughter was, after all, resultant from a press release from the McCain campaign. You don't need to be a mouse in the corner. You just need to be a mother to fully understand the implications.

As to McCain, I am equally horrified, though having nothing to do with sacred family obligations. This man I had so admired has chosen ambition and the willingness to get elected at any price over the best interests of our country. This hero I have so admired - well, it's just so sad.

Of course, we're all flawed - it's just heartbreaking to see this "country first" man put country second, and so rashly.

Whether or not we agree, I think we can all pray for that young girl, who is not a fit subject for the press. Seeing her thrown to the wolves like that - by her parents and these venal politicians - is truly sickening.

And perhaps we can all agree to pray for a country in the grip of the destructive forces of raw ambition for power.

I have known Pastor David Pepper and his immediate and extended family on a personal basis for more than thirty-five years. He is a very fine man and a very fine pastor and deserves far better treatment than is being given him in some segments of the American media.

I am an evangelical, born again Christian. I have been a supporter of Senator Barack Obama for 9 months now. The republican party is so very hypocritical. I am sick of the smears and lies they resort to each campaign. Senator Obama explained how he has redeemed by Christ's blood. He is a man who will restore reason and confidence in the presidency. John McCain is so desperate he thinks a totally unprepared person with no foreign policy experience whatsoever is ready to be the leader of our country should he die or become incapacitated in office. He would be the OLDEST first term president at 72 and a cancer patient. To keep her pregnant 17 year old daughter OUT of the media Palin should have put her own ambition aside and refused the offer from McCain. I would feel the same about a male with a pregnant daughter being asked. We HAVE a Messiah, Jesus Christ, we will elect a president.
Christians, stop thinking the USA is God's plan for the salvation of the world.

Hello Judy, what a fine statement you've made. Much more brief and to the point than mine.

As a Christian, I sorrow for the way our faith is used for political purposes. As an American, I fear for the division that has been the means of acquiring political power - just divide the country, and manage to get 50.5% to the polls on your side. A house divided cannot stand,and I think these last 8 years have multiple examples of how our beloved land and people have been weakened.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

I have never voted. I was a mean hatefilled person. I lived with anger I wanted at times to do harm to people. I am not a dem or a rep. But in october 07 after holding on to my best friend as he lay dyeing of cancer at the age 42. and the hospitol pastor praying for him. I felt a piece I never felt in my life as he went flatline. He then come back for 40 seconds or so. Not knowing why I told him go be with JESUS. I went on with life and one day five month's later his girl ask me to a place she was in a contest. I gave my word I would support his two girls. I took my girl and went. This place was a church. I come back on sunday I ask JESUS to be LORD of my life. I now know the piece from my friend that day. GOD gave us this great country and we are all sinner's but to say it's okay and not try and live wright is not the BIBLE. I lived in forclosure 2month's behind until I found JESUS started giveing loving everyone. Now I live week to week knowing GOD will take care of me not no government. But I must be obidient the lord is not happy with the way's of our country, he blessed us with. I believe this is our last chance to get back to our root's and put the word of the HOLY BIBLE back in our school's. And teach our kid's moral's and more important show them. And when they Sin pick them up just like GOD does for us.I would live day to day for the rest of my life before I would vote against what truely matter's. Not job's or money. JESUS and LOVE. If you say your a christian You must forget about what is best for you and put GOD first. I am 43 I will vote for the first time in my life. And I pray my fellow christians will vote for GOD and not their flesh. And trust me GOD will shield all that comes against sara phelin. Joe Biden better get ready for something he has never come against (the HOLY SPIRIT) THANK YOU JESUS!!

Sarah Palin is NOT a mother. She is a Rebulican womb! A stand in for Coulter and Rush. Dog with lipstick alright.

Who writes to her son in Iraq?
Who counsels her 17 year old daughter?
Who goes to the first day of school with her two other daughters and talks to the teachers about school progress?
Who wakes up with her baby at might, brings it to the doctor and changes the diapers?

Yep, someone has to do the mothering and can you be sure its your next VP?

john irons could not have said it any better.john your story touched my heart. i am a missionairy in the u s GODuses me to minister to the sick and dying and desperate. it's not like a church pastor who getsto see his or her people grow over time , it was very encouraging for me to read your letter


Some people should read their Bibles. Deborah was a general who won a war. What if she had gotten killed? Who stayed with her kids? God permits mothers of young children to die in car crashes and cancer. Do her kids need her? Yep. But dire circumstances also create character. A few of my relatives died in child birth and one of milk fever. Yet, the survivors thrived even when dad didn't remarry.
It is not ideal for kids to grow up without mom. But, on the other hand, mom isn't all the way out of the picture and her role will give them entrance to a lot of enriching experiences. She will probably be at home as much as a working pastor's wife who must work to make ends meet..
As for her teen aged daughter. Wouldn't it have been more hurtful for mom to try to keep her hidden like she was ashamed of her and rejecting her? I'm glad she included her and the boy friend. It forces him to face up to the awkward spot his unguarded moments have put other people in. It opens up conversation for families all across our land to talk to their own kids---: that the choices we make do hurt others, and what is done in secret is proclaimed from the house tops. Even if she had gotten an abortion, in a small town, everyone knows and is glad to tell.
It gives Christian parents across our land the example of doing the right thing and having the baby. Many Christians are prone to kill their grandchildren to make life better for themselves and their kids. The babies pay with their lives for the sins of their parents and grandparents.
With much of our nation, morals have a price. Few of us know anyone who actually lives like they claim to believe. God is the lifter and sees in secret. He calls the obscure to the front after he has groomed them in forgotten places. God trained Joseph to be an administrator when he was a house boy at home with his mother. He then knew the basics when he became Potipher's house boy. Then he got polished up when he was in jail after he became in charge of the whole jail. Finally, God decided he was ready -- someone never heard of by the general public -- to rule over all of Egypt.
What kind of inside track do we have to God that we know he did not call Sarah to be in the public eye in the midst of her pain? Missionaries take their children to the mission field into far less secure circumstances. It is appropriate for us to pray about who we elect. But it is not appropriate to make rules for God as to what he can and cannot do or call.
Jesus didn't fit the rules the religious rulers had for him. God is always full of surprises. Let's not be so judgmental. Like the Bible says, "Watch and pray"..

This woman is a hoax and so is her pastor and wild beliefs. Being a man of the cloth I must remind you in the book of Mathew when he spoke of false prophets. For years she an people like her brings condemnation on young people like her daughter. Now the shoe is on the other foot. She is putting her political positions ahead of her family which is a sin. Her son is going to need her and where would she be. For all puroposes read John 3:19 George, her pastor, McCain and Palin are evil and embraces evil and try to present it as good. remember the book of Matthew that spoke of false prophets. Men are calling right wrong and wrong right. Just because they claim to righteous beware and be not so quick to ride that bus because you may be driving by the gates of heaven and parking in hell.

How disappointing to read these posts. How one's faith affects their politics is certainly a valid point to debate, as is the practice of preaching politics from the pulpit. Jesus told us all to be prepared because the Father's hour is at hand, like a thief in the night. To not believe we are living in the end times is foolish if you believe the Gospel...to live like you're waiting for it is just as foolish.

What offends me is the seeming lack of understanding by many of the parents on this site, particularly mothers. I am a conservative Christian and I have to tell you all, as the father of a child with Down Syndrome for several years now, the first thing I thought of when people started questioning Palin's VP candidacy because of Trig was how insulted I would be if I were her husband. My wife and I both work in careers that often require upwards of 60 hours per week and neither of us has sacrificed a thing to raise our child, nor has our child suffered. We are asked by educators and therapists to speak with other parents because of how we challenge our Down child to make her the best she can possibly be. The assumption that a child with special needs has to be the center of your world is insulting. Not only does it insult me, it insults people with Down Syndromw because so many of their capabilities are limited by that antiquated thinking. I applaud Palin for her courage and for including her child in this journey rather than putting life on hold for him. She is a mother, plain and simple...one child potentially risking his life in the military, another who made a mistake and now faces teen pregnancy, and a special needs child who will need care and attention...but not at the sacrifice of Sarah's own career. I'm sure some of you will judge me a bad parent and that's your business. I say to you from experience, you have no idea what it's like to parent a Down child if you don't have one. Neither did I until we were blessed with ours. Now I know what you only learn by having your own, it's not limiting, it's liberating. You appreciate your opportunities more and you appreciate the opportunities to expose them to everything life has to offer. They appreciate it more than most kids do.

If Palin is praying for God to show her the plan he has for her life, who are we to question her if she believes this is where He has led her and where He wants her to be? If you know the mind of the Father than you're doing better than I. Let her decide (hopefully with God's guidance) where she thinks God is directing her and pray for her to have the strength to see it through. That's the Christianity I was raised in and the support I believe God wants Christians to provide each other.


It is irresponsible. The responsible choice would be to teach our children how to protect themselves from sexually-transmitted diseases and how to prevent unwanted pregnancies that have the potential to completely derail their lives to such an extent that they may never come back.

By failing to provide your children with the education they need, you have put them at increased danger. And by doing that, you have failed as a parent.

Is it nutty now for Christians to believe in end times or that our country should glorify God?

You can believe in the end times all you want. Doesn't mean I won't think you're a loon. Just as long as you don't advocate for public policy based on that belief, you could believe that we're all the byproduct of celestial excrement for all I care.

As for the latter part, it is COMPLETELY nutty to believe that America should glorify God. Because that is a DIRECT contradiction of the Constitution and the beliefs of the Founding Fathers.

Despite what the Republicans tell you, America was not founded by a bunch of small-town, blue-collar, conservative Christians. The Founding Fathers were big city, non-Christian, liberal elites. If you think the Founding Fathers intended for America to glorify the Christian God, take another look at some of the very volatile words they had in regards to Christianity. The primary architects of the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution and the Constitution were Deists, not Christians. Jefferson himself was a staunch opponent to the United States glorifying ANY god, especially the Christian god and he wrote extensively on the wall of separation between church and state. The foundations of the United States were the Common Law and the theories of liberalism -- as Jefferson said, "Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law."

I have never felt so conflicted in my long, Christian life. Here is a sister in the Lord, a woman who shares my love of Jesus, who opposes abortion and espouses strong family values. I'd love to have coffee with her but I just can't bring myself to vote for her.
Perhaps she can juggle home and family; perhaps she can find time to serve in her church, remain in strong fellowship, give her husband and kids the attention they deserve AND play a hand in leading the free world. I know as a mom of grown kids, as a grandma, and working woman I am very stretched to find time to serve my church. But God gives everyone different talents. My ability to emulate Provers 31 has always been challenged. I know with God nothing is impossible. But let's face facts. . .President Bush said the same things Sarah is saying and frankly it didn't work so well. He put good people on the Supreme Court. We still have abortion. He said he'd look at "intelligence" before going to war and thousands of innocent Muslims have died without ever hearing the gospel. Sarah's lack of foreign relations experience and her strident tone are frightening to me. I don't see the gentle answers that turn away wrath when she speaks, I see a fighter, and that doesn't reflect my Lord with his gentle as a dove nature. HELP!

I read the comments this morning Oct6.08 and have realized that it's politics that tear christians apart. My opinion is christians should not seek a political office if it becomes a stone around their neck whereas;to cheat,lie,gossip,and demoralize
the values of a christian to win the race.Now if we want to get political then we should be pray for God's plan."Man proposes, "God disposes".We have been fooled once by George Bush remember he said Jesus was his philospher,I hate to think he was talking about Karl Rove.We should vote and pray the chosen candidate will do the right thing as President.Since; when has Government been the business of Jesus it was the Government that had him crucified.The Government fits the name as the beast.Our hope is not of this earth but in heaven.Let me encourage some of you to read Judges 4:4-24 someone mentioned Deborah she was a supreme court justice she chose barak called by God to lead the battle against an enemy an independent woman whose husband was friend to the enemy killed him and the battle was won .The book and chapter teaches us to believe and have faith even when we need someone whom we least expect to be the right choice to direct us or help us.

Good Day! I come in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is first in my life and in my family. Firstly, I wouldl ike to say that I too have a disabled son. I am a single parent and I would lie to you if I said that it has been an easy journey raising all of my children (3) to be exact. Unfortunately, I have not had the convenience of making my disabled child the center of my world. However, I have been able to make the sacrifices necessary to be with my child(ren). I have lost a few jobs because I had to make the sacrifice. I am not judging Palin for her actions, however, I feel that with her family obligations, it would be difficult to run a nation. On another note, someone mentioned Deborah and how powerful she was. However, if you read in the book of Judges 4, she passed the baton to a man named Barack because the Lord had given Sisera into his hands! Palin scares me! God is not divisive! Nor did he lie to gain any power. Troopergate is a perfect example. She is a deadly answer in a crisis time for McCain. I say No To Palin!!! Remember, only what you do for Christ will last!

I jus wanted to say a few things.

1st, when all the "Palin is not a mother" and "who is going to take care of her children" talk is going on no one says these things about the men. Lets get real please. She is just a good as alot of people and she deserves a chance to be the VP. Now it IS not ceazy to say the end times are comming THEY ARE!! Nor is it crazy to preach on questioning someones salvation baised on who they vote for.

One either votes biblical values or not. IF you don't then I question your salvation b/c if you don't vote biblical values than you have worldly values.

Don't like it, too bad its true.

That said, trust in God, Jesus Christ and vote biblical values and your good to go. I cants vote for Obama b/c he is in favor of abortion, gay marrage, and he has too many Islamic supporters. Sorry not going to happen.

His pastor is one of hate and not anointing of God, he is using his pulpit to voice a sad but true face that many blacks were inslaved, Had testing done on them, and didn't get a fair deal peroid.

Where is the message of Christ? Not there so eithr pastor your flock from the WORD OF GOD or go run for office.

Christ is comming, lets look at our selves and see how we will staxk up on judgment day and lets go tell people about Jesus Christ.