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Christian right ideology and the prayer warriors

By Alan Matheson - posted Friday, 26 March 2010

What do Prayer Warriors drink at Palin's Tea Parties?

Is Palin a Battle Axe Brigade member?

Did the Prayer Warriors kill Mother Teresa?


Will the “7 Mountains” survive climate change?

Not sure of the answers? Then you are missing out on “the most radical restructuring of Christianity since the Reformation”.

Well, I hear you say, does it matter, and who cares?

As the world has learned, it pays not to be too complacent when American religion and politics set out to conquer the world. For example, Major General Jim Molan, an Australian officer attached to the USA operational command (Iraq), quickly learned, “the American way”. At the end of each briefing by General Sanchez, officers having been dismissed with prayer, sprang to their feet, saluted, and with one voice, shouted, “Victory”!

American Christian organisations come and go. Rachel Tabachnick notes that the Prayer Warriors is “no fringe movement, but a rapidly institutionalising entity larger than most Protestant denominations ... it’s an international entity encompassing thousands of independent, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches” (“New Report Documents Activities of Spiritual Warfare Network Tied to Palin”).

While there are other organisations struggling to get the attention of the conservative forces, it is to the movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) with which Sarah Palin, potentially the next President, is most closely identified.


At one end of the spectrum are churches such as the “Warm Body of Jesus” (Philippines), and “Dodge the Devil and Go Straight to Heaven Church” (Zimbabwe), across to some of the most sophisticated, well resourced, global networks under the oversight of the Covenanting Apostle, such as C. Peter Wagner, and his Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE). This particular small executive group (ACPE) co-ordinates its global activities through a 500-strong, International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).

Within the ICA is Mary Grazier's World Prayer Centre (“the nerve centre of spiritual warfare”, linking 50 million Christians in 120 countries); Butin’s “Battle Axe Brigade” (no, Palin is not a General); Cindy Jacob's “Generals International” (“God is releasing the ANZAC horsemen anointing”); “City Harvest” in Brisbane; and Rick Joyner's militant Morningstar Ministries.

Out of this complex, bewildering interconnection of individuals, companies and churches Palin emerges, either as a naïve, political tool, or a cool, calculating political operator.

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About the Author

Alan Matheson is a retired Churches of Christ minister who worked in a migration centre in Melbourne, then the human rights program of the World Council of Churches, before returning to take responsibility for the international program of the ACTU.

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