William Branham, with "cloud" over his head.
I'm waiting for the Evangelical cult-busters to speak out on this one... but may have to keep waiting. Along with links to Bill Gothard (see my previous post), Sarah Palin also has ties theologically with the so-called "Latter Rain" / Dominionist movement. The movement was roundly rejected by the Assemblies of God years ago. Cornerstone, the magazine I wrote for (and edited before its demise in 2003), published a 1986 article on William Branham, who is widely viewed as the root and source of Latter Rain theology. Among other things, Branham was non-trinitarian and believed he healed people when his left hand changed color.
It should be noted that I do not know how much of Latter Rain / Dominion doctrine is subscribed to by Sarah Palin personally. But in light of her own reticence to speak out on these issues, and in light of the resounding rejection Evangelicals gave to Mitt Romney (largely due his Mormon theology), I think it important enough to raise as an issue.
Further, some complain that this has nothing to do with Sarah Palin the candidate. That is disengenous. Dominion theology is very political in nature. It teaches that Christians will take over government, and that even now a group of young people are being prepared for this task. For those of us who view any attempt at "theocracy" as the worst possible outcome, this should frighten us.
Again, I would be glad to hear Governor Palin denounce Latter Rain and Dominion theology as bogus. But in light of how Senator Obama was raked over the coals for his pastor's comments (comments which contextually were far from what the media portrayed them as), I think the fact that Sarah Palin's theology has been so shaped by Latter Rain / Dominion churches bears hard scrutiny... Especially by Evangelicals who see in that theology its dangers.
[Edited twice, first moments after seeing an error upon first posting, second to correct false impression inadvertently made that Bill Gothard was part of the Latter Rain movement... he was not. In fact, Gothard is anti-charismatic, a "cessationist" believing the gifts of the Spirit ceased once Scripture was complete. For the record, I am charismatic, as is Sarah Palin.]