Jim Croft

The PC crowd is circulating some clips of Protestant pastors of national notoriety with the Republican candidate for the presidency, John McCain. The clips intermittingly insert inflammatory portions of their sermons that are fanatically anti-Islam. The attempt is to infer that John McCain is a Muslim hater that would outlaw Islam in America. The object is to derail his election hopes to a greater measure than connections with Rev. Not-So-Right Wright almost accomplished for Obama. In reality, there are no similarities between the two candidates and the degrees to which the respective clergymen might influence their policies.

Obama was a 20-year member of Wright’s church. The man baptized his children and Barak Hussein used one of Wright’s sermons for the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope. Anyone who is candid would admit that people’s pastors reflect and inspire their core values. The wise fully understand the potentials for Wright’s anti-American sentiments to shadow elements of what might be lurking in the hearts of Obama and his wife, Michelle. Not so with McCain and the measure of influence that Rev. Rod Parsley of Ohio and John Hagee of Texas have with him.

Those spiritual leaders would best be described as of Charismatic-Pentecostal orientation. This indicates that along with the Apostle’s Creed they also exemplify doctrinal commitments that differ from traditional, mainline Christian denominations. Such includes divine healing and various other spiritual gifts. Both ministers speak in tongues and encourage others to seek that gift. Years ago, I ministered exorcisms from evil spirits to those who had come to Hagee’s church for that ministry. Hagee is vehemently pro-Israel. With Parsley, it is a mute topic.

John McCain was raised in an Episcopalian home. As an adult he joined a church of the Southern Baptist Convention, North Phoenix Baptist Church. He refers to himself as a Baptist. That particualr denomination heavily emphasizes redemption from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s important to recognize that beyond that point of agreement, Hagee and Parsley’s orientations and those of McCain’s Southern Baptist pastor drastically differ. The official Southern Baptist position is that divine healing; speaking in tongues, prophecy and so forth are not relevant for contemporary Christians.

I’m pointing out the dissimilarities to punctuate the fact that much of what Hagee and Parsley routinely emphasize does not necessarily represent the spiritual and political values that McCain embraces. In other words, for the past 20 years, he has not subjected himself and his family to concepts that many Americans would consider radical. Phoenix and DC have an abundance of churches that mirror Hagee’s and Parsley’s. Yet, McCain has not chosen any of such as his ongoing place of worship and spiritual encouragement.

McCain is a seasoned and clever politician. Considering the massive following that the pastors in question have, he would be foolish not to appear on their nationally televised broadcasts. Unquestionably, he has an appreciation for Hagee’s and Parsley’s accomplishments and oratory skills. But, such is a far cry from choosing those men as spiritual mentors. No matter what religious affiliations you might have, you possibly deeply respected Pope John Paul and now deem the new Pope a genuine man of God. But, that does not equate to your endorsement of all of Catholicism’s spiritual and political positions. So goes it for McCain with Hagee and Parsley.

Please spread the news; the clips that are being circulated are PC deceptive hype. Hagee and Parsley do not pastor John McCain. His loyalties are to the Constitution that gives people of every faith the freedom to worship wherever they choose. We can all be assured that if elected President, he would uphold the rights of peace loving Muslims with no less enthusiasm than Barak Obama.