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March 13th, 2009


The idea for this  post came to me this morning at mass.  A couple of days ago I wrote about the baptism in the Spirit, using a talk I gave some years ago.  Today I feel the need to add more of an overall picture.  Through  the years I have read and heard many testimonies about the difference the baptism in the Spirit makes in the lives of Christians.

What does the Catholic Church say about the charismatic renewal?  Watch this video for an overview.    Look especially at the face of John Paul  II in 1981 before he says, “Long life for the Charismatics” and listen to the praising in tongues afterwards!

Please read in your bible  about the happenings at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21).   The people in the upper room were already Christians, already followers of Jesus.   But Jesus knew they needed more and promised to send the Spirit.  Re-read  Acts 2 and try to convince yourself that the baptism in the Spirit was not both needed and effective.  Then ask yourself whether it  is needed  today.   We read:  “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…..”

How and where are people being led to the Lord and filled with the Spirit  in these latter days? Read the rest of this entry »

September 13th, 2008


The cat is out of the bag!  Of all the bad things the dirt diggers could have found out about Sarah Palin, they’ve found the worst!  Not that she once smoked marijuana!  Not that she was probably pregnant when she married!  Not that she has a tattoo on her ankle (of the Big Dipper).  No, the worst thing that they have found out is that she might really be a serious Christian! And a Pentecostal Christian, at that!

A recent Associated Press investigative report was headlined:   “Pentecostalism Obscured in Palin Biography.”  It further read:   “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.”  A CNN “expose” said that Palin wanted to hide her Pentecostal roots.

Again, CNN, just a few days ago, said that Palin was against embryonic stem cell research and wanted to censor books in the library.  It seemed they did not know if she was against all stem cell research or what books she wanted to censor and why.

Among the really “way out” things written about her is that she told the Anchorage Daily News two years ago that:

God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats.

To their credit, CNN also presented the author of this lie who admitted he simply made it up. How sick is that?

Sarah Palin has been a member of the Assembly of God church in Wasilla and has worshipped at an Assembly of God church in Juneau.  The A of G is a Pentecostal denomination that believes in God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, heaven, hell, good and evil, most of the Christian basics.  They teach that you have to turn away from sin and decide to follow Jesus – to be “born again.”

In addition, Pentecostals believe in a further infilling of the Holy Spirit such as the disciples in the upper room received on Pentecost (hence their name). At that time the weak, frightened Christians whose leader had been crucified received “power from on high” which made them bolder, braver, and more effective in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  This infilling is called the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” and may be accompanied by various spiritual gifts (or charisms) as outlined in I Corinthians 12:8-11:

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

I expect that I shall write a future post about the baptism in the Holy Spirit but for the time being it is enough to say that there are various Pentecostal churches as well as many mainline denominations, including Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Catholics, that harbor large numbers of Pentecostals or Charismatics. For more information on Catholic charismatics see the Catholic Charismatic Center or the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Charismatic Renewal.
Republican spokeswoman Maria Comella says that Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself a Pentecostal. Her current church is Bible-believing and non-denominational. We do not know how important her Pentecostal background is to her spirituality. We do know she has been called a wacko fundamentalist who wants to teach creationism in schools, thinks that homosexuality can be treated, considers abortion wrong even for rape and incest, and is against gay marriage.

I look forward to the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden debate scheduled for October 2.  Is it not odd that what Palin believes about embryonic stem cell research,  homosexuality, marriage, and abortion are exactly what Joe Biden would believe if he actually were what he claims to be, a Catholic? Joe Biden recently said  “I assume she (Palin) thinks and agrees with the same [pro-life] policies that George Bush and John McCain think,” Biden added. “And that’s obviously a backward step for women.”

I think it is time for both the real Sarah Palin and the real Joe Biden to stand up!  Which candidate for vice-president not only talks the talk, but walks the walk?  Stay tuned on October 2.