The blogosphere was abuzz with sermon snippets from Pentecostal and charismatic churches once attended by GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. In them, pastors declare that people who die without Christ “have a horrible, horrible surprise” awaiting them and refer to America as a “Christian nation.”
Such views might strike some as offensive, even radical, but they’re not atypical for a Pentecostal congregation, experts say.
And just as coverage of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s fiery former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, opened a window into some black churches, Palin’s candidacy introduces many Americans to the conservative theology of Pentecostalism.
“The idea that everyone must be saved, even Jews, that’s pretty commonly believed among Pentecostals,” said Vinson Synan, dean emeritus of Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia.