It's alleged that Sara's home church, the one she was raised in, is an heretical church. At least, some in the Assemblies would probably say that; similar churches have been so named.
As a person raised in the Anglican High Church Tradition, I'm tempted to say (and I think with more than a little validity, both in the doctrinal and far more essentially, biblical, red-letter sense) "well, takes one to know one," dismissing it as simply a turf dispute between entities of equally questionable parentage.
That would be what you would call a "Grave Sin of Spiritual Arrogance." Or, in a less High-Church Sense - stupid!
Tolerance must end at the point where one is tolerating intentional evil in the name of allowing for "differing interpretations" of spiritual truth. This is not because it's "wrong" to tolerate evil. This is because that which is evil wishes to eat you and use your living corpse as a meat puppet. Friends, that would be one of the better outcomes.
The place where you know you have crossed that line of tolerance is when those you are tolerating publicly state they wish to kill you both spiritually and literally and turn all you have made and treasure into the sort of wasteland in which only that which those such as themselves can live within.
Watch this video. If you don't, what I'm going to say after will seem like raving lunacy. After watching it, I think you will find my conclusions to be stated as moderately as is humanly and decently possible.
One of my claims to special knowledge is the fact that as a child I was exposed to every available form of religion available. My mother was something of a relgious addict and she was always looking for a new high and a new set of simple answers.
I've been in a lot of varieties of Evangelical, Pentecostal and Prosperity Gospel meetings. I've been to many, many churches where people spoke in tongues, and yes, I've felt "The Spirit" move around me. Problem is, in some churches, one is not sure what spirit that might be. At that time - both out of rebellion and as a matter of trying to figure out what was making me feel oogie about it all, I delved into classical magic, shamanism and various ethnological traditions involving voluntary spirit possession and ecstatic trance states.
The Charismatic and Pentecostal ecstatic religious traditions owes a great deal to Afro-Caribbean Religious traditions. Unfortunately, they did not comprehend what it was they were taking, in many ways, and while it's certainly possible to ensure that the Holy Spirit is that which is the only thing moving in a church - bear with me, it's a believe it or don't thing - many pentecostal and evangelical churches don't have the first clue as to why that would be important. I've been in churches where, not only wasn't it consecrated, it would have had to be cleansed before anyone should step foot in it, much less hold any religious service within.
Yes, Virginia, there are things out there that are evil are un-bodied, and would like to sneak into you and look out at the mundane world from behind your eyes. I've seen it enough to know it when I see it - not that I'm about to advice "deliverance sessions." IMHO, if you need that sort of service, consult a Catholic Exorcist, or a well-respected Shaman in the North American aboriginal traditions. I do not know what their precise advice would be in regard to such churches - save that I'm certain that "stay the hell away if you value your soul" would be pretty much the first reaction.
I try to avoid the word "demon" because it's uselessly broad. There's obviously a huge, varied spiritual ecology out there, and from what I can grasp of it (and to the degree I'm interested, beyond not encouraging such creatures in my life,) I see much of what's going on in this church as being something of an opportunistic infection. Is it evil?
If that word is to have any meaning at all, and if you go by the practical advice of the "know them by their fruits" dictum, yeah. It's evil. Worse yet, from my perspective, the evil is not external; whatever this thing or things may be, it's working with what was there all along, and the church seeks out those who wish they had an excuse to be as vile and self-righteous about it as - well, their Poster Child, Sara Palin.
This is not a church that tries to take good people and make them better. This is a church that makes the worst instincts and most hateful tenancies of people into doctrinal mandates, telling them that not only are their hatreds justified by faith, but they are mandated by God.
You don't need to take my word for this. The video above is compiled from public sources - read for yourself, then compare what they say about their doctrine, intents and what they feel Christians should do with the red words in your bible; the words attributed to Christ. See to what degree they differ.
This, of course, assumes that they are truth-tellers in regard to written doctrine. I'd not bet a lot on it, I'd be more inclined to go with video records made by these people and the related "latter rain" cults such as Joel's Army. (Discernment Ministries entry) (Southern Poverty Law Center entry.) It's not at all difficult to find very conservative evangelical sources that are deeply concerned about these heresies, and their stated intentions towards those they deem "unsaved" and "ungodly" is starting to make more secular folk think of them a very present, potentially terroristic danger.
Me, well, I think both tend to underestimate the personal directness of the spiritual and individual threat.
Even in churches where "tongues" are a regular occurrence, even in cases where I've felt the need to ward myself against things that wanted to set up shop in my head, I've never heard or seen anything like what is captured on this tape.
If it looks like an Hieronymus Boch painting, and it sounds just like the screams and shouts of damned souls, knowing what it is, precisely is not really all that important. We know what it is not from the evidence of our own eyes. And if it's not OF Christ and does not act AS Christ, than ... follow me, here, what's the proper prefix for "Against?"
In terms specific to Sarah Palin - Christians, that is to say, Honest to God Christians who take the red letters seriously, and measure all else (particularly later writings by Paul) against those words, that sort of christian is not known for leaving trails of impotent hatred or easy dealings with corrupt people. They do not manage by corrupt means. They do not lie, they do not cheat, they do not abuse their power to gain personal revenge.
By their fruits ye shall know them, and Sarah Palin is a rotten, sour persimmon. This is a tree that should be cast into the fire - metaphorically, of course, but that metaphor should be very hot and pure indeed.
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