Palin’s Place of Safety

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, one aspect of the Armstrongite “end-times” scenario was a place of safety, where God would keep the saints safe from Satan and the oppressive Antichrist dictatorship (see Revelation 12:14). The place was expected to be Petra, which is located in Jordan. I read somewhere that Herbert Armstrong tried to make arrangements with Jordan’s King Hussein to get some of that land for the Worldwide Church of God.

I didn’t interact much with the place of safety idea, since I grew up in Garner Ted Armstrong’s Church of God, International, which didn’t believe in Petra as a place of safety. If I’m not mistaken, some ministers remarked that the land wouldn’t even keep the saints safe, since it’s rather exposed. But some have proposed that other areas could function as such a place. David J. Smith of the Church of God Evangelistic Association, for example, said that it would be Texas, once it seceded from the union to form an independent republic.

Apparently, Sarah Palin believes in something like a place of safety, or at least she may have when she attended the Wasilla Assemblies of God (see here and here). In the second video, her pastor refers to Alaska as a place of refuge in the last day, as Sarah Palin nods her head in agreement, the same way she nodded last night when McCain talked about not aiding America’s enemies.

The media may make something of this. NPR recently had a story about Palin’s faith, in which it discussed her speech at the Wasilla church (see here). But it didn’t mention the pastor praying over her and calling Alaska a place of refuge in the last days. Palin’s critics will undoubtedly use this to portray her as an unstable kook–as someone who wants to bring in the last days, kind of like that psychotic preacher on The Blob (the 1980’s version).

Here are three points:

1. Believing in end-times prophecy doesn’t make one a dangerous leader. Reagan believed in Armageddon, and he ended the Cold War.

2. Palin’s pastor actually wants to help people. If a world dictator comes on the scene and threatens God’s people, where are the refugees supposed to go? One option is Alaska. There’s lots of room there! It is America’s largest state, after all. Is it wrong for the pastor to encourage Christians to welcome and be hospitable to future refugees? Is it psychotic to prepare Alaska to become a place that can provide such hospitality–by making it self-sufficient in terms of energy?

3. Sarah Palin may believe that God has a time-table, but, even if that’s the case, she most likely views her role as positive, not as destructive. One of the people praying for her said God had brought her to the governorship for such a time as this, an allusion to Esther 4:14. Esther was a queen who saved her people from a genocidal maniac. Sarah Palin doesn’t want to cause destruction, but, if evil increases in the future, wouldn’t it be nice if a godly person had power and influence? That would be someone God could use, someone with what Palin calls a “servant’s heart,” someone who can help people through a period of oppression and difficulty.

It’s something to think about!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to Palin’s Place of Safety

  1. ElShaddai Edwards says:

    Alaska has been a place of safety for many, many people over the past 50+ years looking to escape any number of social ills. It is the ultimate place to lose yourself from the wider society – I know because my parents “escaped” to Alaska just before I was born.


  2. James Pate says:

    Wasn’t that what Northern Exposure was about? Or did the main character get stuck there?


  3. ElShaddai Edwards says:

    Ack! Never mention that show to an Alaskan… that’ll make our faces as red as our necks!


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