Carlton D. Pearson: The Charismatic Bishop of Heresy

Carlton D. Pearson: The Charismatic Bishop of Heresy

Update (07/14/2007): “Carlton Pearson: The closest to God you’ll probably ever get

On Heresy

Bishop Carlton PearsonWhat is heresy? The textbook definition is simply:

  • An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs … or
  • A controversial or unorthodox opinion or doctrine.

And right alongside that definition — at least on this weblog, anyhow — you can find a picture of Bishop Carlton D. Pearson who wants to “rewrite the theology of the charismatic world” by preaching a “Gospel of Inclusion” asserting that Christ’s death conclusively reconciled all mankind to God — whether we realize it or not — and that the only separation between man and God’s grace is subjective, illusionary, and exists only in unenlightened minds (Carlton Pearson, “Jesus Savior of the World/Gospel of Inclusion — Position Paper,” Higher Dimension website, viewed March 5, 2006).

More on that later, but first.…

Heresy at its core is simply a difference of opinion — but a difference that stands against the majority view or the traditional and “orthodox” view of things. Heresy may actually be the correct view. Or, it may be false. Traditionally, the Catholic church reserved the right to label heretics and saints. Thus, Galileo Galilei was a heretic. So was John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and scores of protesting reformers who dared question the orthodox Catholic view of things. But, of course, the Roman Catholic church doesn’t have a corner on establishing ideology any more, and thus many of our early A/G pioneers were called heretics by the mainline Protestant churches. Now that the A/G is fairly mainstream, we don’t suffer that charge much these days.

But heresy really is more than simply holding an unorthodox view. I mean, after all, who doesn’t hold unorthodox views today? Unorthodox is the new black. We all want to be different — just like all our friends. Get any three people together, and the one dope who disagrees with the other two is the heretic. And his report card probably reads: “Has strong leadership potential.” America was founded on unorthodoxy. It’s in our blood. It’s in our DNA. It’s why Americans love the image of the maverick, the Lone Ranger, the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants fighter pilot.

We worship iconoclasm.

Enter Carlton Pearson

So it should come as no surprise that Bishop Carlton Pearson, once cast down, is now on the rise. Once everybody knew Pearson was preaching an “inclusive gospel” (where literally everybody gets a pass into Heaven), he was branded heretic by the World Bishops Council and the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops. Pearson was denounced by COGIC leader Bishop G.E. Patterson, NAE president Ted Haggard, by Foursquare leader Jack Hayford, and even confronted by the charismatic doctrinal fringe such as his mentor Oral Roberts, John Hagee, Marilyn Hickey and even his protege, T.D. Jakes. Charisma Magazine has maintained a running commentary, as has Christianity Today. But, according to the Dallas Morning News, “Carlton Pearson has still got it.”

Due to Pearson’s theological paradigm shift — popular among the pagan-set — he’s now getting national media attention. Of course. He preaches a toothless gospel: they love him. Apart from the Dallas Morning News coverage, he’s been interviewed by the National Geographic, Dateline NBC, and NPR’s This American Life. His doctrinal dissolution has been exhaustively covered in Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, and National Catholic Reporter. And Gospel Today has recognized Pearson as one of “America’s 10 Most Influential Black Ministers.” Soon, he’ll be publishing a book titled, God Is not a Christian.

Heresy Redux

Okay … so what? Pearson is merely a little unorthodox, right? Wasn’t his spiritual father, Oral Roberts, unorthodox? Yet nobody branded him a heretic — at least not on this scale. Why is Pearson getting a bad rap?

Because heresy, true heresy, is more than disagreement with orthodoxy. It’s moral quicksand that puts you at odds with no less than the Big Guy Upstairs: God himself.

There are two kinds of heresy: benign heresy and “damnable” heresy. Benign heresies are like benign tumors. You know they exist, they’re a minor irritant, you keep a close eye on them, but these tumors probably won’t kill you as long as they remain benign. Across the church spectrum you’ll find skirmishes over relatively minor doctrinal points with no real eternal consequences. For example: baptism by immersion vs. baptism by sprinkling. If sprinkling was good enough for you, it won’t send you to Hell. Or take communion. Do you take communion with wine, grapefruit juice, or diet soda? Your choice of symbol isn’t fraught with eternal consequences.

Carlton Pearson’s Heresy

But, let’s say you take a cornerstone doctrine of the church — of all Christian churches, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant — crumple it up, and declare that “Whatever separation there is between man and the benefits of God’s grace is subjective in nature and exists only in man’s mind and unregenerate spirit,” What do you get? Heresy on the order of a cancerous growth invading your lungs, brain, bones, and limbs (from Carlton Pearson, Jesus: The Savior of the World, cited at Carlton Pearson and Universalism“).

First, Pearson believes in continuing revelation from God. For him, the canon is not closed. Indeed, for Pearson, the Bible is just a collection of books squabbled over by wine-bibbing old men in a stuffy room:

“I won’t get into great detail but I’m just saying, that which we revere as the most sacred lexicon of truth on the planet is not necessarily — and any true scholar will tell you — infallible or inerrant. …” (This American Life, “Heretics, Episode 304” [00:26:35–00:26:51).

So, if the Bible is not really an infallible book on the subject of what God wants us to know about him and his plans for us, then what informs Pearson’s theology?

Voices in his head.

In the Beginning

Pearson explains how he first began to formulate his break from orthodoxy. In 2002, he told Charisma magazine that he “first started thinking about the inclusive doctrine after reading E.W. Kenyon’s writings more than 25 years ago.” Once, something said by a guest on TBN resonated with Pearson, and he began to turn it over in his mind. The quote stuck with him, and it has become the oft-cited line: “The world is already saved, they just don’t know it.”

Still, until the late 1990s Pearson stayed pretty orthodox. Then, when his second child, Majestè Amor, was still an infant in late 1997, Pearson was watching an evening news report about the Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda. Holding his infant daughter in his lap while watching scenes of extreme malnourishment, he had an epiphany:

I said, “God, I don’t know how you could call yourself a loving, sovereign God and allow these people to suffer this way and just suck them right into Hell” — which was what was my assumption.

And I heard a voice within me say, “Well that’s what you think we’re doing?”

And I remember, I didn’t say yes or no. I said, “That’s what I’ve been taught.”

“We’re sucking them into Hell?”

I said, “Yes.”

“And what would change that?”

“Well, they need to get saved.”

“And how would that happen?”

“Well, somebody needs to preach the gospel to them and get them saved.”

“So, if you think that’s the only way they’re going to get saved is for somebody to preach the gospel to them, and that we’re sucking them into Hell, why don’t you put your little baby down and turn your big screen television off, push your plate away, get on the first plane, and go get them saved?”

Now — and I remember I broke into tears — I was very upset. I remember thinking, “God, don’t put that guilt on me. You know, I’ve given you the best 40 years of my life. Besides, I can’t save the whole world, I’m doing the best I can. I can’t save this whole world.”

And that’s where I remember — and I believe it was God saying: “Precisely. You can’t save this world. That’s what we did. You think we’re sucking them into Hell? Can’t you see they’re already there? That’s Hell. You keep creating and inventing that for yourselves. I’m taking them into my presence.”

And I thought, Well, I’ll be. That’s weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. That’s where the pain comes from. We do that to each other, and we do it to ourselves.

Then I saw emergency rooms. I saw divorce court. I saw jails and prisons. I saw how we create Hell on this planet for each other and I — for the first time in my life — I did not see God as the inventor of Hell. (“Heretics” [20:13-22:03])

Update: For another version of this revelation, see the quote from an interview, posted in my comment, below.

So, there you have it. Born again and called to preach at age 5. Licensed to minister at age 15. Holding week-long revivals and exorcising demons out of his girlfriend at age 16. Ordained into ministry at age 18. Told by God that he would be “a bridge between the nations, denominations, cultures and peoples” at age 21, Founder and CEO of Higher Dimensions Incorporated at age 24, married at age 41, a father of two by age 44.

And a heretic by age 45.

That short slippery slope.…

And now? As the NPR interviewer said, “All of his detractors — who predicted that once you stopped believing in Hell and sin, you start down a long, slippery slope to decadent universalism — were wrong: it’s a lot faster than they could have imagined” (“Heretics” [48:13-48:51]) Now, Muslims, homosexuals, and Buddhists attend Pearson’s church. And when Pearson compares the orthodox view of God to Hussein, bin Laden, and Hitler — now God comes out looking like a monster:

“The way the God of the Bible — particularly the Old Testament — is presented, he’s — he’s — he’s a monster. The God that we’ve been preaching is a monster. He’s worse than Saddam. He’s worse than Osama bin Laden, he’s worse than Hitler — the way we’ve presented him — because Hitler just burned six million Jews. You know, but God’s going to burn at least six billion people … and burn them forever. Here’s this customized torture chamber called Hell where he’s going to torment … torture … not for a few minutes, or a few days, or a few hours, a few weeks — forever.” (“Heretics” [23:18-22:53])


Not that I’m complaining about Muslims, homosexuals, or Buddhists attending an Evangelical church, I applaud that, and wish we would see more of it — if only to encourage open dialog and exploration rather than outright distrust and animosity. But Carlton’s agenda now is driven by his aberrant theology, and it’s insidious. It’s not that he’s deviously helping, say, the homosexual, repent of his sins in order to get right with God. No, that’s not necessary any longer. What Carlton wants to see is homosexual leaders infiltrating Evangelical churches in order to corrupt them:

“Pearson said he hoped gay leaders would ‘build silent bridges’ by joining the staff of ‘heterosexual churches’ and gradually convincing them to accept the gay lifestyle” (J. Lee Grady, “Heretics Among Us,” Charisma, April 2004).

Loving heretics don’t kill souls, heresy does

And Pearson’s gospel is not just de-clawed and de-fanged without a real Hell, it’s not just quietly respectful and tolerant of the Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist visitor just down the pew, it’s unintentionally malicious because it offers a poisonous lie rather than life-giving truth. It comforts the unbeliever in his unbelief, providing exactly no compelling reason to consider the claims of Christ. As Pearson relates, regarding a Hindu friend who underwrites Pearson’s radio ministry:

“My Hindu friend wasn’t sure he wanted to become a Christian because he and his family had been Hindu for generations and he didn’t want to believe that his father — a good, devout Hindu — was in hell,” Pearson said. “I said: ‘I think your father is in heaven; don’t you think so? Your dad is as reconciled to God as I am, according to the Scriptures'” (Natalie Nichols, “Controversy Clouds Pearson’s Ministry,” Charisma, October 2002).

Heretics don’t destroy towers, Evangelical theology does

And Pearson seems to empathize with the terrorists. According to Pearson, God says we Evangelicals and our hellish version of God are to blame for 9/11:

“God said, ‘In order to get attention you might have to create some tension, because I want you to re-present me to the world.’ He said, ‘You all have not done it accurately. You have not done me justice. People don’t like me because of the way you represent me.’ And he said, ‘You’re not preaching me like I am, and that’s why trade towers will continue to fall and religious wars will fight'” (“Heretics” [36:58–37:21]).

The paradox

But Pearson’s theology is not without is paradoxical wrinkles and contradictions. In a letter to Charisma magazine in response to continued attacks and reports of heresy, Pearson wrote about a real Hell for those few who will not be saved:

“For the record: I do believe that all will be saved with the exception of those who, in their heart, intentionally and consciously reject the grace of God, which brings salvation and has appeared to all men (see Titus 2:11). I believe in heaven and hell, though I am persuaded that hell is much worse and heaven is much greater than I can imagine” (Carlton Pearson, “Carlton Pearson Responds to Criticism,” Charisma, August 2002).

So, let me get this straight. Pearson’s “Gospel of Inclusion” holds that Christ’s death reconciled all mankind to God, made it possible for God to accept all mankind as totally clean, and proved God’s unconditional love for all his creatures. That the only separation between man and God’s grace is subjective, illusionary, and exists only in unenlightened minds (Carlton Pearson, “Jesus Savior of the World/Gospel of Inclusion — Position Paper,” Higher Dimension website, viewed March 5, 2006). And, further, that “it is reasonable” that Satan himself will go to heaven — if he says “I’m sorry” (Selwyn Crawford, “Devil may go to heaven, says beleaguered bishop,” Dallas Morning News, May 10, 2003. Cited on, viewed March 05, 2006). …

But, if you reject God’s grace you’ll go to Hell?

If this is the mumbo-jumbo that passes for theology in Pearson’s church, then he should consider well the implications here: if everybody already has a free pass to Heaven risked only by rejecting God’s grace — then for the love of God stop preaching! By persisting in his bishopric, by maintaining his radio program, by staying on the missions-sending boards of a handful of churches, by promoting his Azusa conferences, by continually preaching his new gospel day-in and day-out, by accepting national-level interview opportunities, Pearson is actively and energetically sending people to a Hell he doesn’t believe in!

On that, perhaps, Carlton Pearson and I could agree.

Stop. Preaching. Please.

The roots of heresy

NOTE (08/06/2007):
I have been challenged in private email regarding my claim that Pearson was mentored by illiterate preachers. I can no longer find my notes which led to me make that claim and I hereby respectfully and apologetically retract that statement. I did not mean to disparage Rich Pearson’s mentors within the COGIC movement.

Carlton Pearson is an amazing leader. I cannot imagine the drive and energy it took for a young black man starting out as a minister in the 70’s, discipled by illiterate preachers, to rise to the very pinnacle of the Pentecostal/Charismatic fame. Pearson has been invited to the White House under both Bush administrations and the Clinton administration. He was tapped by Bush to sit on his Faith-Based Initiatives advisory panel. He had friends around the world who were the elite of the Evangelical ministry world — and they were inviting him to be their guest preacher. He sat on the ORU Board of Regents for 15 years, and pastored a 5,000 member church that covered 30–acres. He was on TBN and SkyAngel, radio, in print. He won two Stellar awards, and was nominated for a Dove award. He founded a major annual conference that easily drew 50,000 attendees, including the most sought-after preachers in the Pentecostal/charismatic world. He founded the Beacon College and Graduate School, created the Azusa Federal Credit Union, and ran in the Tulsa Republican Primary for mayor.

Pearson’s resume is not a typical preacher’s bulleted list of accomplishments.

And the personal cost of Pearson’s paradigm shift has been great. You can hear it in his voice when he describes the relationships lost, the bridges burned, and the successes forgotten. But buried within his recitation of woe, you can also hear the seeds of his misfortune: egotism:

“I miss ORU. I miss the Board. I miss being Bishop Pearson, the celebrated preacher. I miss my people that packed this place out and came by the thousands, and I baptized them, and dedicated their babies, and saw them play together, and ran into them at theaters, and saw them in the mall — and they’d hug my neck and their babies would kiss me and I would hold their little babies and preach to them on Sundays and pray with them on Saturday nights.

“I would’ve been studying right now and getting ready for them in the morning … I built this whole place for them.

“I miss being able to pick up the phone and call my friends all over the country and say ‘I’m going to be in your city in a couple of weeks, let’s get together.’ ‘Oh would you come and speak for us?’

“And, you know, that whole world — that’s all gone. At least, it appears like it is, for me. I’m not celebrated among those people. They don’t think about me any more.

“It’s like I died. And they mourned my death. And they’re pretty much over it” (“Heretics,” [38:28-39:35]).

Grady’s five trends

Charisma editor, J. Lee Grady, wrote a brief, insightful editorial warning of the “potential for more Carlton Pearson scenarios.” He identifies “five unhealthy trends in our churches that are sure breeding grounds for heresy:”

» Egotism
» Authoritarianism
» Elitism
» Legalism
» Mysticism

(J. Lee Grady, “Learn to Discern,” Charisma, February, 2003)

The bullet points may be self-evident, but the article is still worth the read and should, perhaps, be required discussion material for all ministerial candidates. Throughout my research for this post I found evidence for all five trends in Carlton Pearson’s history (with the possible exception of “authoritarianism,” but only the members of his church would be able to testify to that). If Grady’s right, it would only take one of these boat-anchors to sink a solid, respected, preacher like Pearson.


If there’s anything I walk away from this research with, it’s the knowledge that I, too, could fall prey to heresy if my world revolves around me, my needs, my plans, my emotions, and my desires. I, too, could fall prey to heresy if I become the sole authority in my life, accountable to no one but lording it over others. I, too, could fall prey to heresy if I view myself as one of the rarefied few, one of the cognoscenti, the inner-crowd with a special all-access pass that insulates me from the real concerns of the hoi polloi. I, too, could fall prey to heresy if I elevate obedience out of balance to grace, if I serve the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law, and the law-giver himself. I, too, could fall prey to heresy if I fail to properly discern my impulses, fail to “test the spirits” and measure all my intuitions against the Word of God, and assume I have an inside track to God’s mind and plans that no one else has access to.

I pray God helps me stay on guard. I also pray God brings Carlton Pearson back to the fold.

The Church needs him, I miss him, and I’m certain God does, too.

Web Links

From the Blogiverse

  • HERESY: The Paulks Meet Carlton Pearson’s Inclusive Gospel! (The Sheep’s Crib)

    Pearson has announced that his next major theological summit — called Inclusion 2006 — will be held in October at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit [aka Cathedral at Chapel Hill], a charismatic church founded by Bishop Earl Paulk in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur.

  • Will Carlton Pearson ‘Win’? (Strang Communications: The Ministry Report)

    These “common-sense” objections to the traditional view of hell may resonate with the secular skeptic, but Pearson’s noticeable avoidance of a coherent biblical argument should strike any thoughtful Christian as bizarre. If you intend to dismantle a cardinal doctrine built on two millennia of church history and Scriptural interpretation, you need more than a handful of witty one-liners. It’s like trying to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a butter knife.

  • Apostate ‘Gospel of Inclusion’ (ENewsBlog)

    One of Pearson’s supporters, in showing his support for inclusionism, writes on Pearson’s Web site: “Any God who would cast away the majority of mankind, as your critics insist, is not deserving of anyone’s worship or praise.”<br /><br />In other words: We don’t like the God of the Bible. We want to fashion a new god in our own image.

Update (07/14/2007): Pearson’s once-official website has been taken over by porn.

[tags]BlogRodent, afterlife, apologetics, biblical-interpretation, book-of-life, carlton-d-pearson, carlton-pearson, charismatic, christian, christian-news, controversy, damnable-heresy, damnation, dateline-nbc, death, debate, doctrinal-issues, doctrine, end-times, eternal-damnation, eternal-life, eternity, evangelical, exegesis, gehenna, gospel, gospel-of-inclusion, heaven, hell, heresy, heretic, hermeneutics, higher-dimension, inclusive-gospel, inclusivism, interview, jesus, jesus christ, judgment, lake-of-fire, life-after-death, new-testament, npr, oral-roberts, oru, paradise, pentecostal, religion, revelation, salvation, t.d.-jakes, tartarus, teaching, theological-debate, theology, theory-of-atonement, unitarian, universalism[/tags]

130 thoughts on “Carlton D. Pearson: The Charismatic Bishop of Heresy

  1. Oengus Moonbones

    This is really, really sad. But I have seen, up close in fact, this kind of thing happen before: a very gifted young minister starts out okay, but a short distance down the track he goes entirely off the rails, with terrible and tragic consequences, not only for himself but for many others.

  2. Rich

    Thanks Oengus, for the comment. What do you think are some of the causes of such a slide into heresy or apostasy? Or, if that’s too big a task, what do you think are some indicators for the risk of such a slide?

    I like Grady’s trends as indicators, but I’m wondering if there are other precursors we should watch for in our own lives. Certainly, a lack of accountability would be one, and a lack of truly intimate friendships would be another.

    I’ve long held that there is much preventative medicine in Paul’s injunction to “lay hands on no man suddenly.” We are too quick to thrust people into ministry before they are mature enough to cope with the dangers and stresses. Holding revival meetings at age 15 is really far too early for a young man to be in ministry. And Carlton’s testimony that he cast a demon out of his girlfriend at age 15/16 only puts the icing on it. If he had been more mature he would either have discerned that there was something not right with this girl before dating her or he would have discerned that this wasn’t a true case of demon possession.

    But any age can be too young. I suspect there are different factors of maturity in play in Paul’s proscription… are we talking about “suddenly” in terms of chronological age, amount of time spent in the faith, amount of wisdom one has gained, emotional maturity, social maturity, etc., etc., I suspect, to some degree, “All of the above.”

    The seeds of Pearson’s failures were planted long before he graduated High School, I’m sure.



  3. Marc V

    [Just to let you know, your site takes 3-4x longer to load than most any other blog I visit. Painfully slow.]

    Reading through your post reminded me of the movie “Defending Your Life” with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. When he asked about hell, his advisor (Rip Torn) told him that it was just made up to scare folks. The point of the movie was reaching heaven could be done by overcoming fear, something you did on your own. If you could not do it in one life, then you were sent back down to Earth to try again.

    By changing the requirements for entrance to heaven, Pearson changes faith from God-centered to self-centered. Instead of serving the Lord, we are supposed to be worried about how we can make life on Earth less “hellish”. By not humbling ourselves at the foot of the cross to Jesus, we don’t have to humble ourselves to anyone.

    I would question mysticism as the fifth “heresy trend”. Here’s what Grady said:

    “We charismatics are challenging the church at large to embrace the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, and that’s a good thing. But let’s not forget that the gift of discernment is just as necessary as visions and miracles.”

    Discernment and mysticism/mystery are not mutually exclusive. We cannot hope to comprehend the mind of God. It is that element of mystery that can help us to dig through the Word further, and hopefully accepting what cannot be explained yet is part of God’s will. If anything, Pearson does away with mystery and has discerned everything by simplifying the way to heaven with his inane explanations.

    [PS The link for the Grady article is missing the id # = 7100.]

    [PPS For those who need a Pearson antidote, I just finished reading Jonathon Edward’s sermon “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God”. Now that’s some hellfire and brimstone for ya!]

  4. Oengus Moonbones

    Greetings, Rich.

    I’ll try to respond briefly.

    Paul’s injunction “lay hands on no man suddenly”, in my mind, is absolutely paramount. In the case I know about, the minister was a young man, in his twenties, but he was thrust much too soon into the a very public and quite spectacular ministry. His gifting was in the area of praying for the sick. But having a spectacular ministry that draws much attention and acclaim also can be used by the Enemy as a temptation to pride. I truely believe that a young minister must keep in mind that he absolutely must have the continual council and advice of elders in the faith; and he must be prepared to swallow his pride and listen.

    Moreover, isolation especially is a very grave sign, in my opinion. Once the minister isolates himself, especially from more elderly, well-seasoned, and mature believers, and then surrounds himself with a coterie of hand-picked yes-men, especially if they are also young like himself, then he is in a very perilous condition.

    Another bad sign is an over concern for material wealth and appearances. Another bad sign is suspectibility to sexual immorality. Pride coupled with all these other things is a recipe for disaster.

    There’s much more I can say on this subject, but trying to write a lengthy discourse in a comment box is not practical. But the above are some major points.

    As a side note, I also agree with Marc V above. “Mysticism” per se is not necessarily an litmus test for sliding into heresy. I say this because I have personally studied some of the great mystics within the context of mainstream church history. Most of them (e.g., St. Teresa of Avila, or St Francis of Assisi) are really very feet-on-the-ground sort of people, who maintained themselves within the mainstream of historic, orthodox Xtian confession. In fact, they really didn’t think of themselves as special in anyway, and never applied the label “mystic” to themselves. They were simply people who were completely and totally obsessed with loving and following XP. Furthermore, they exhibited those qualities of complete humility that runs completely opposite to the pride that accompanies egregious heresies.

  5. Jim

    Rick, I’m wondering: While I’m well aware of those Biblical verses such as “no other name whereby men might be saved”, do you know of any that put it out there in black and white where “Jesus=heaven; no Jesus=no heaven”. I’ve pondered this question over and over for a long time and, rather than “heresy”, find it all comes down to one’s definition of “saved” and, boy, don’t we get into a long difference of opinion on that one. This Oral Robert’s prodigy doesn’t sound like anyone I’d follow down the road; but, then, I’ve always tried to follow the Voice Christ brought unto me. Most certainly, that’s through the Word and hindered by my side of the partnership, making it a sort of drunken man’s stumble down the strait path. It’s kept my feet, though, out of doctrinal cement, and my soul hungry to know the heart tug on the other end of the rope anchored in Him………….

  6. Keith

    To All-

    I have enjoyed the comments posted and the write-up on Pearson. My heart goes to him and after listening to his NPR interview I can hear a man in pain. Although, it was by his own doing, I have to say it seems (from the outside) his friends have not done a great job of assisting him. The church turned their back on this guy which lead him to go further down this road.

    If you grow up in all black pentecostal church like I did (COGIC) you understand how important Pearson is too many. He crossed many gaps and built many brigdes. He legitmized in my eyesight the passion and love for God many pentecostals had while still adding the flair we were pursecuted for! I used to be ashamed to tell people I want to a church were people danced and spoke in tongues. I imagined all my friends would get the “Blues Brothers” church image and laugh.

    It is very painful and sad however you all are right. This was E.A.E.L.M at its best. Although, it seems that people have taken great joy in this including the “Christian” magazines, who should have called for prayer and fasting for this man, his family and members of his church. Oral Roberts and others in that group have left the man to seek others for support and love.

    Pearson is a great man and even though he has been persecuted for his teachings (unlike many “Christians”) he sees this a test and trial. And as twisted as it may sound, I doubt many pastors would for sake all for any stance.

    Please pray for our brother that the Lord my remove the mud from his eyes.

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  9. Rich Post author

    For more on how Carlton Pearson thinks see this two-part interview by Heber Brown with Pearson on the phone. Brown seems quite sympathetic to Pearson’s message, but he does have some questions that gets Pearson to reveal a lot.

    Heber Brown: Faith In Action: Carlton Pearson Speaks!

    Heber Brown: Faith In Action: Carlton Pearson Part 2!

    There’s a lot that’s interesting here, and Pearson unveils a lot of his core theology. It’s worth listening to.

    One of the interesting things is a different version of Pearson’s paradigm-shifting “revelation” and the voices in his head:

    [Part 1: 05:00-07:56]

    Brown: Now I’ve been spending a couple of days now on your website because I’m just truly fascinated by the Gospel of Inclusion as you proclaim it and the questions you raise, and to be totally honest I’m still wrestling and struggling with some of the things that you put on the website and you’re saying with the Gospel of Inclusion. But I saw that you are a fourth generation, classical Pentecostal preacher, a graduate of Oral Roberts University, and a pastor right there in the buckle of the Bible belt, as they say, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What was it, the ‘it,’ that forced you to reconsider and view and refine your theological positions?

    Pearson: Well, when–my son was born when I was 41 years old, and I was sitting there in my den watching–in my family room–watching television–and my little boy was about two and I had his sister in my arms. He walked, toddled, just kind of crossed in front of me and looked back at me and said “Hey Pappa.” And the Holy Ghost said, ‘What could that boy do to make you send him to an eternal torture chamber forever?’ And now I’d never been a father before until my little boy was born and instantly, Heber, without hesitation, I said, ‘Absolutely nothing.’

    Brown: Wow.

    Pearson: And the Holy Ghost said, ‘Do you think you’re more benevolent toward your children than we are toward than we are toward ours? Than God is toward his?’

    Brown: Wow.

    Pearson: And I’d never even thought of that. And I said, ‘Well, of course not.’ And he said, ‘Well, why do you tell people that we’re angry at them and that we’re sending them to Hell?’

    Brown: Hmm…

    Pearson: And I said, ‘Well that’s all I’ve been taught. I thought it was you.

    Brown: Wow. Wow. I–

    Pearson: ‘What could your son do?’ And I started crying. It touched me so deeply. He said, ‘Now you know a little bit about the extravagant love and grace of God toward all of his children. All of ya’all are mine. The whole world I created in my image, in my likeness. Anything else is an impersonation.’ And so I started thinking more seriously–and there are several other events that happened when God spoke clearly, almost as audibly as you’re hearing me and your audience is hearing me now. I’d heard those voices resonate inside of me. And the love of God gripped me in a dimension and a level that I had never even imagined was possible. And I’ve started seeing God differently and I’ve started seeing humanity differently. I’ve started seeing the whole world differently. And I yielded to it. It took me a while to be public with it. But I, I yielded to that. And I became a ‘closet inclusionist.’

    Brown: A closet inclusionist? [laughter]

    Pearson: And then I come out that closet!

    Brown: Wow. Wow.

  10. carl

    That last interview is interesting.

    I agree that God would not send His children to hell. I also believe that if you have not been born of the Spirit, you are not a child of God.

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  14. pgcfriend

    I was at Higher Dimensions. I want to answer the authoritarian issue. He was quite one. Way too many times he would explode when things were not exactly right. I was there for quite a long time, almost 12 years. I quit attending in 1996 right when he started saying on occasion “everybody’s saved they just don’t know it”. He had quit preaching out of the Bible long before then. Lots of messages came from magazine articles with no Biblical reference included. I’m still in shock about what has happened. The main problem was his ego. It appears when he was traveling he showed another side to them but when he came back home it was a different story. I was there when they had 5000 in attendance. This was before they built an extension to the sanctuary and the Destiny Center. They had 3 Sunday morning services, 1 Sunday evening service, one mid-week service and Saturday night prayer. While I was attending Saturday night prayer he was rarely if ever there. Maybe that changed after people started leaving. They have foreclosed on the property about a year ago. It is so sad to see a ministry go down all because he has decided to leave the basis teachings of the Bible, that is, we must confess our sins to the Lord to receive forgiveness. He also decided to lie on those that tried to counsel him by saying that no one came to him privately before going public when many did. For him to go against Oral Roberts who was like a father to him when I was a student at ORU made me conclude that Carlton Pearson has truly lost his mind.

  15. Rich Post author

    Thanks for the update pgcfriend, I appreciate it. I felt strongly that egotism played a central role in Pearson’s confusion. The NPR interview positively glows with a rainbow of egotism hidden ‘neath a pale veneer of humility. “I built this church for them.” “They left me.” “It’s like I died and they buried me.” “They’ve forgotten me.” Etc.

    I couldn’t speak to the authoritarianism issue because I’d never sat in his church, but I was sure that if evidence for it existed, we’d eventually hear from former congregants. Thanks for speaking out.

    I am reminded of when Jimmy Swaggart initially fell from grace when his sexual sins were revealed. His personal assessment after the fact was right on: He had isolated himself from peers, from his fellow ministers, from his congregation, from anyone in authority over him, and even from his wife. A close friend of mine who now teaches at the A/G’s Evangel University once taught at ORU as well, and he sat on stage with Swaggart at his church. He told me that he and other leaders attempted to counsel Swaggart, but it was clear that there was no penetrating the ivory tower that Swaggart had built around himself.

    In the end the most important isolation occurred in Swaggart’s life, and that was his devotional life. The Louisiana district official at the time, after investigating the matter and interviewing Swaggart extensively, came away concluding that Swaggart’s devotional life had completely dried up, and with it, so did his accountability to others. Those two factors, devotion and accountability, destroyed his defenses.

    I don’t know about Pearson’s devotional intimacy or his spiritual disciplines, but it sure sounds like accountability was lacking. And that, in my opinion, is a significant symptom of egotism.

    Thanks again for the contribution.



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  17. carl

    In the end the most important isolation occurred in Swaggart’s life, and that was his devotional life. The Louisiana district official at the time, after investigating the matter and interviewing Swaggart extensively, came away concluding that Swaggart’s devotional life had completely dried up, and with it, so did his accountability to others. Those two factors, devotion and accountability, destroyed his defenses.


    Great observation. A warning to us all.

  18. judy

    To All Carlton Bashers and to Brother Carlton:

    I’ve known Carlton Pearson since I was 10 years old. I considered him one of the greatest spiritual influences in my life. His humility at that time and his love for Jesus was like no other. I can remember asking him to meet with me one day when he was speaking at a retreat. I had bought him a ring (a $5.00-turn your finger green ring) He came and sat with me as I filled out the card, he had no fronts, no pride, just a Jesus-like character, that’s all that was in his heart. That evening in the meeting he wore the ring, he also made a point to turn it on his finger and give me a wink so I would see he was wearing it. To a 10 year old, that means, that my gift was worthy. Why is that so important? Because not many preachers who are well known, would take the time to sit with a ten year old, much less wear a $5.00 ring for the evening service. But Jesus would’ve surely, however. I asked him to be my pen pal and he agreed. He wrote me faithfully, letters of encouragement, inspiration and Godly guidance. He wrote me until I stopped writing him…when I became too prideful as a teenager and I thought that was silly, so I stopped writing. How many big preachers do you know who would take the time to hand write a little kid?

    After moving from Tulsa I heard him speak a few more times at various places across the country. I haven’t seen him in about 10 years, I am 35 now I am a lawyer, married with two kids. When I heard about Carlton’s new, temporary beliefs I was deeply moved, saddened and crushed. Carlton was such a spiritual father in my entire family. He was the instrument who was used by God when my sister was miraculously healed of anorexia nervosa and a life-long knee injury that prevented her from running or jumping. My sister is healed today and God used Carlton to be the vehicle through which he brought about that healing. He prayed over her one night-following God’s direction, told her to jump off the stage and run… and she did, and she still does. Needless to say, my family and I have great respect and affection for Carlton Pearson as a Holy man of God. Despite what he may think now, his life before, his teachings his core roots, inspired so many and spread so deeply, that he will truly never be able to comprehend. As a 35 year old woman I can still hear his teachings resonating in my head at different times when I am teaching my children.

    So what do I say now to him?? I will pray… and pray… and pray. At the close of his letters he wrote to me as a youth, he would always write, “I am praying for you”. Carlton,- Now, as an adult, I am praying for you. I will pray for him and stand on this scripture: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” Many who know Carlton know that he was trained up right by God-fearing parents, therefore, we can stand on that scripture.

    It is true that the average christian acts so contrary to what Christ was all about that you can scarcely identify with what people do under the name of “Christianity”. IT is also true that society as a whole is so wrapped up in the love of money that the churches seem unable to be free from allowing it to become the focus and emphasis of many. Surely a doctrine which includes all — will become the “wave of the future,” it is entirely secular, entirely approving of everything. That’s attractive to the world. Carlton, you taught me that in your teachings. You taught us that the world loves money, that the world loves sin, that when you sin once, it is uncomfortable, then you sin again and it becomes easy, then you sin again and it becomes a habit. So many things you taught, sound wisdom. You also taught clearly from the Bible, Christ’s love for all mankind, his love for the homosexual, for the murderer, for the adulterer, for the one who tells the “white lie”. The way you taught about Jesus’ love was awesome, because you lived it. So with the wisdom I have gained, and all of the education and life experience I have received, I ask you, if this inclusion doctrine is true, why live right? I am going to heaven no matter what? I could, do anything? Cheat on my husband, Cheat on my taxes, Cheat in my Court proceedings, lie, steal, hate, and kill, have any kind of immorality in my life…and completely disregard Jesus? -yes I can and still go to heaven? I remember you saying, if Christianity is not true why live right? We could have much more “fun” right? But what kind of fun? and is it real? NO. It is not.

    I thank God that you were a part of my life growing up, a great spiritual influence on my entire family, and dear to my heart you will always be. I thank God for all of the wonderful teachings you taught straight from the Bible, that produced in us a strong and God-Loving family, I thank God for his keeping power and his mercy and love. Jesus please reach out to him and bring him back. I love you Brother Carlton and I am praying for you. Thank you for praying for me all those years and Thank you for your service to the Lord.


  19. Rich Post author


    Thank you for your heart-felt and compassionate post. I hope you do not think I posted this simply for the sake of bashing a man who is a hero to many. As you do, I also pray that Pearson comes back to the Church. As I wrote in my post: “I pray God helps me stay on guard. I also pray God brings Carlton Pearson back to the fold. The Church needs him, I miss him, and I’m certain God does, too.”

    Your concerns about Pearson’s theology are the same concerns I have. I hope, as you are convinced, that Pearson’s theological position is temporary, but it seems to have been fomenting in his life for some time, and he does seem fully committed to his course now. And for that I grieve, because the few times I have heard Carlton Pearson preach I thought he was a phenomenal teacher. He was, in those days, a credit to the Church.

    I cannot dismiss, though, the interviews I heard him give, and the reports from those who also sat under him. If any of us are to avoid the journey Pearson is on, it will serve us well to understand what led him to this change–paradigm shifts like this aren’t whims coming “out of the blue.” A foundation must be laid beforehand to make it possible. And after hearing these interviews, and after seeing the outworking of his new theology (including encouraging gays to infiltrate straight churches), I remain convinced that egotism and pride are at the root.

    That doesn’t mean that Pearson isn’t a compassionate and caring man. And it doesn’t mean he didn’t have a deep impact as a man of God and a fine preacher. But the problem of pride is something that all preachers must beware. And, indeed, it is something for the rest of us, too.

    None of us should ever think ourselves outside the destructive reach of the temptation and sin of pride and egotism. And none of us should ever underestimate the power of seemingly “little” sins to ultimately derail one’s life.

    Thanks, again, for the excellent contribution to the dialog. I appreciate it, and your prayers for Pearson are well needed.



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  21. judy

    Just one more comment… to Carlton on the quote above, reprinted here:

    “They don’t think about me any more.” “It’s like I died. And they mourned my death. And they’re pretty much over it” (“Heretics,” [38:28-39:35]).

    We think of you Carlton. Now actually more than ever. But no one is “worshipping” you anymore, as so many do, now everyone is smacked back into realtity–we are all human even you.

    Like Jesus leaves the whole flock to get the one lost sheep, those who love you dearly will think of you now more than ever, pray and believe, and we do believe.


    Excellent writing style, I am new to the blog world, I would love to do an article on Carltons’ old teachings, post it and have others add to it, all the prophesies he gave about, Christ’s love for the homosexuality, promiscuity, the unsaved, etc. It is so sad, it is such a hairline fracture, but as he always said, “If you let the devil get a toe in your door he will jam his whole way in.”

    Ok one last question that troubles me… who is Carlton referring to when he says “we” as God talikng? Is he denying the Trinity? as in his quotes where God told him “we don’t etc. etc.”

    God Bless!

  22. Keith

    Has there ever been a national call for prayer or fasting for Pearson? I did not read the magazines articles however did any of them call for prayer for the man?

  23. Rich Post author

    Thank you, Judy, for the compliment, I appreciate it.

    As to Carlton saying “We” when voicing the words of God, I am not overly troubled by it. It’s unorthodox because our English Bibles don’t typically have God speaking in a first-person plural manner–but interestingly, the Hebrew does. All the way back in Genesis, in the creation account, you’ll find this:

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

    The “us” referred to here in Genesis 1:26 comes from the Hebrew “Elohim.” This term is a sort of royal “we” that Kings and tribal leaders employed. Many OT translators feel that the plural “Elohim” is the first justification for the doctrine of the Trinity–but I’m not sure. I just know that in the Near East of old, royalty spoke of themselves in the first-person plural.

    Certainly God, as a triune being and the Most High, has grounds to refer to himself in the first person plural more than anyone else here on Earth.

    So, while it’s not common, I’m not troubled by Carlton putting “we” into God’s mouth. What’s far more troubling, of course, is the doctrinal content.


    In most of the articles I read, there were only one or two that called for prayer. But, then, I wouldn’t expect them to. Most so-called “news” magazines attempt to report the facts and maybe provide commentary, but usually don’t call others to action. Even when Christian news magazines were reporting on the Hurricane Katrina disaster, I don’t recall most calling for prayer. This is one of those things that perhaps shouldn’t go without saying, but usually does.

    If you know how to pray, you already know when it’s appropriate to pray.

    And, really, it’s possible we shouldn’t be praying for Carlton. I wonder… See John:

    “If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.” (1 John 5:16-17)

    I leave it to you to apply this passage to Carlton Pearson’s situation.

    As for me, I’m still praying for him.



  24. judy

    Interesting. Thank you Rich — that makes sense and i remember actually learning that as well, but I had forgottten.

    Keith, that is an awesome idea, a day of fasting.

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  26. Rich Post author

    Urban Tulsa has produced a brilliant article with great questions from Jarrod Gollihare to the Bishop Pearson. There are some great quotes here, including a version of Pearson’s revelation that combines the two versions I’ve unearthed here. There’s too much to quote, really, but it’s an article well-worth the read if you’re interested. — Out to Pastor, part one
    In 3 years evengelist Carlton Pearson has gone from international acclaim to local disdain. By Jarrod Gollihare — Out to Pastor, part two
    Visions and Allegories: A Pilgrim’s Progress? By Jarrod Gollihare


  27. Teresa L. Reed

    Evangelical Christianity
    How to Earn Brownie Points by Pissing on Carlton Pearson

    Christians have a long history of screwing things up in the name of God. That’s why the church’s treatment of Carlton Pearson doesn’t surprise me.

    Before I proceed to bash the Evangelical Church, let me make one important point: The Church and Christ are not one and the same. Christ loves unconditionally. Christ forgives, restores, and accepts. Jesus is God’s love personified. He transcends time, space, color, gender, and creed. Christ doesn’t hurt; Christ heals.

    The Evangelical Church, however, is an embarrassment. I used to call myself a Christian, but once I saw how the Christian megastars (and you know who you are) basically pissed all over Carlton Pearson, I don’t call myself “Christian” anymore. I would rather chew glass than be associated with this self-righteous, judgmental, mean-spirited group of people.

    The fact is, Evangelical Christians aren’t that much different from others who insist they’ve cornered the market on truth. What do Evangelicals have in common with the KKK and Al Qaeda? They all say the same thing: “Believe what we believe, or else!!” What’s more, they’re on a mission from God. And they all point to their respective holy books to prove it.

    Carlton Pearson offended the Evangelical Establishment because he dared to think for himself. And why is this so offensive to the church? It’s simple. For centuries, the Church has manipulated masses of ignorant people. In fact, Evangelical Christianity depends on people who can’t think for themselves, who insist on being told what to do, how to feel, and who to judge. And because there’s no danger of these people actually going to a library, all the church leaders have to do to prove their twisted points is say, “Look, see, it’s right here in the Bible!”

    And so ignorance breeds ignorance. Evangelicals rehearse the same sermons and scriptures, year in and year out. They don’t know squat about the Bible’s origin or history, yet they take Bible verses out of context, memorize them, and like human BB guns at the ready, they turn off their brains and spit out their verses like magic bullets meant to silence any dissenting opinion. And then they go back and learn more verses, refilling their guns again and again. Who they murder in the process really doesn’t matter. After all, what’s love got to do with it?

    Yes, Christians have been screwing things up in the name of God for centuries. If you’d like a laundry list of Christian sins that stink to High Heaven, then grab an encyclopedia. Start with the Christian Crusades of the 11th century and work your way right on up to slavery in America and then follow that with the most recent bombing of an abortion clinic or hate crime against a gay person. All in the name of God.

    Evangelicals are scared to death of new ideas. Of course, if your entire reading experience consists of the Bible, different translations of the Bible, and books based on the Bible, then I suppose that ideas from outside of the Bible can frighten the bejeezus out of you. If God were as paranoid of ideas as Evangelicals are, then our skulls would be hollow. He would have created us without brains. But why give us brains and then punish us for thinking? (It’s like punishing a penis for having a hard-on.)

    And that’s where the Christian megastars come in. Evangelicals don’t necessarily want to think, but they DO want to be entertained. Don’t ask Evangelicals hard questions, like why there were no Bibles before 300AD, or why the book of Revelations doesn’t appear in the earliest edition of the Bible, or what Jesus meant when He referred to His “other sheep.” Don’t ask Evangelicals where hell comes from, or about the real reason Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. Don’t ask Evangelicals to ponder any of that. But do give them a good show!!

    And so the Evangelical world has its own roster of megastars, preachers and singers (I mean, “worshippers,” right?) who have all of the usual show-biz trappings. Their “A” list of speakers command huge honorariums and manipulate big crowds by promising prosperity, setting fashion trends, and marketing their respective product lines. Like thousands of others, I saw the “A” list year after year at Azusa, and I, too, once enjoyed my own share of pseudo-spiritual orgasms. But while these “A-listers” continue to sell their CDs, hold their conferences, and appear on everything from commercials to cooking shows, they piss on Carlton Pearson, the one largely responsible for exposing them to their audiences in the first place.

    For years, Carlton Pearson generously shared his massive pulpit and exposed up-and-coming preachers and singers to the Christian world. Many of these are now the Who’s Who of Evangelical Christianity. Before Azusa, I personally had never heard of T.D. Jakes, or Donnie McClurkin, or Helen Baylor, or Brian Keith Williams, or Yolanda Adams, or Beverly Crawford, or Marva Mitchell, and the list goes on and on and on. These are just a few of the many people who are known to me and to thousands of others ONLY because of Pearson’s Azusa.

    But as soon as Carlton Pearson really began to question tradition and ponder the real breadth and width of God’s love, some ugly truths emerged. Preachers and singers who once used him to advance their own careers (yes, these are very lucrative careers; they are not ministries) suddenly dropped him like a hot potato. They scattered like roaches under floodlight. They cancelled engagements, forgot his phone number, and got other strange cases of amnesia, (like how to love your brother because he is your brother and that’s all there is to it.)

    They branded him a heretic, and they did it with swift severity. They allowed him to lose nearly everything but the clothes on his back. Why don’t we just put the stinking trash right out there on the table: They were jealous all along. The heresy charge just gave them a cover to express their hatred.

    And while they’re earning brownie points with each other and their audiences by pissing on Bishop Pearson, there’s Bishop Pearson, speaking each week to a congregation that meets in a sanctuary generously made available to us by some kindhearted Episcopalians. There he is, spat upon, falsely accused, abandoned and crucified by his own. Hmmmmm….He looks a lot like Jesus to me.

    Teresa L. Reed

  28. Rich Post author

    Thanks for the addition to the fray Teresa.

    But I wonder. Is it at all possible that if we call a poor and unpopular preacher a heretic we’re bullies but when we call a wealthy and popular preacher a heretic we are jealous?

    Really, Teresa, at the heart of your argument is the notion that nobody has a right to say anybody is a heretic. And, of course, if you agree with Carlton Pearson, that would be a logical conclusion.

    I’m not certain Evangelicals are saying “Believe what we believe, or else!!” There’s no “or else” that we can possibly administer (unlike, say, a terrorist who may resot to firebombing). My point of view is “Believe what you want, but please make sure you know why you believe.”

    I personally believe that an honest and informed search for the truth is more likely to lead a person closer to God than a cowed submission to an evangelical pumelling. My first job as a witness and evangelist is to be transformed by the renewing of my mind and life. This is arguably the most important aspect of any evangelism: a gospel that cannot transform is useless. Beyond that, it’s my job to know how to answer questions, how to point to Christ, and how to present the evidence. If individuals chose to reject the message, that’s their decision. I don’t applaud the choice, but it’ll be up to God to judge that person justly, in the end. It’s not mine.

    Nor is it Carlton Pearson’s job to dismiss God as judge and give everybody a free pass.

    Much of your rant I found quite on-the-point, though. There is definitely a malaise in the church, and it’s the megastar mentality.



  29. carl

    Hey Theresa!

    I love it when people create their own religion and then slur everyone that does not conform to their standard. This is the lowest form of hypocrisy. You accuse the Church of doing what you yourself do in this post. You have set yourself as the standard of behavior and violated it at the same time. Nice!

    You may have called yourself a christian but clearly you never actually were one or Carlton Pearson and the events surrounding his apostasy would not have affected you.

    Carlton Pearson was spat upon? I did not read about that. And he was crucified? I did not see those pictures either. I am sure that would have made the news if it were to have happened.

    Jesus was sacrificed because of His Righteousness. Christians understand the difference.

  30. Keith

    To All-

    In response to Theresa post I agree with a lot you are saying and agree with Rich that you are on point with a lot that is going on with “Church” today. I have admit that I wish Carl was a little kinder in his response.

    Carlton Pearson came out with Azuza 3, “Reminding the Saints of Hope”. I loved that album because there are so many elderly African Americans who needed the encouragement and hope. That is how I saw Pearson and his role. He has done so much with what God has given him. However, this new doctrine or “theology” leaves many of his people behind and quite baffled. From what I can tell he never finished what God gave him. In my city we are still dealing with racial and social division. It was people and pastors like Pearson who to me seemed to have a true heart for the people to make a difference. I heard the passion in Pearson’s voice and mostly importantly in his worship.

    If I can point to anything, I think the devil has really but a spanking on many of the frontline worshippers of our time. I am sure many of you are familiar with many of the mainstream and not so mainstream gospel artist and their struggles.

    This maybe a new chapter for Pearson but he lift behind him a whole generation of old and young alike who was inspired by his songs, teachings and life. I cannot go with Bishop Pearson on the next chapter and I agree with you that I am disappointed in his “friends”. I would of called him and prayed and fasted and engaged his family for support. I am sure his mother and father are not able to support Pearson.

    I will not bash Pearson but I am disappointed. He had much to offer the younger generation and the spirit to encourage the older folks. Although he reminded the saints of hope he also reminded all of us not to get stuck on our selves. As I listened to his NPR report I heard a man who became overwhelmed with the world and its problems. Jesus seemed to have enough work in his city and surrounding community. Although we should feel something for others, unless we are willing to sell all we should pray and ask God to do the rest. Our thoughts are not his thoughts…. You know.

    Theresa I will be praying for you and Pearson’s church. I have to admit I am intrigued by Pearson’s emphasis on which pastors left. He mentioned that all his white pastors where the first to go. Can you shed some light on his rationale and why does he mention this in his interviews?

  31. judy


    I can appreciate your honest comments. I agree that what Christians have done in the name of God is reprehensible. I am also aware, however that Germans do not shed their identity because of what Hitler did, the Congo Republic do not deny their heritage because of the atrocities and slaughters that have occurred. Likewise, the basic tenants of Christisanity do not change because of the many people who fall to sinfulness.

    I guess the basic premise as to why people are “pissing” on Carlton Pearson, (which by the way, does need defining… do you mean those who disagree are pissing on him? or do you mean those who disagree and thereby bash him, are pissing on him?) Anyway, the essence of the matter is like, in Nicole Nordaman’s? new song, “What if your wrong?” I don’t know if that is out in your area yet, but basically if Carlton disagreed with any number of things it would be of no difference, but to deny that you must accept Jesus, and to say that the bible is not necessarily perfectly true is to say that the actual key to heaven is different, so then ask your self, what if he’s wrong? Now play that out in your head. You sound very loyal to Carlton and very passionate about the beliefs and that is admirable. But if he is wrong then when we walk past people and feel a prodding to share Jesus and don’t because we assume they are already saved what then, if you are wrong? What about our loved ones, what about all the people God put in our paths?

    Carlton was shot once by a man many many years ago, the bullet lodged itself in the small Bible he had in his shirt pocket. I can not imagine that he really feels in his heart that the book is not the perfect and true Word of God. I love Carlton Pearson as the Spiritual Leader, friend and brother that he was and always will be to me and my family. I can understand your anger with those who are “pissing on him” but you should really decide in your heart whether pissing to you means basic disagreement or actual insults. IF!…he is wrong, then it is in perfect good order for huge leaders in the lime light to publically state that they do not agree because if they do not there will be so many who may think that it is right and therefore they may be responsible for leading others astray. When we are given talents by God they do not go away generally, just like the devil was given musical leadership he now still greatly influences music, the talent does not leave unless God stops it, Carlton has tremendous charisma, an incredible sense of humor and a deep passion which is highly attractive to the general public. His talent, obviously has not left. I do worry, if he is wrong, because i know the crowds will continue to gather, it will just be a different crowd, thats all.

    Christians like all of humanity, (because we are human) have always, killed, lied, cheated, committed adultery, bombings, etc. in the name of God. History tells us that, and it will continue. We are human. That is the fact. Look at the disciples, look at David, could you imagine if he lived in our day? We can not expec that Christians or any group will exemplify Christ.

    Recently in my prayer time I was praying a prayer i usually say which is,… let me be like you, suddenly i began to remember all of the comments i have said, like “So and so is so Christ-like”, “Jesus with skin on” etc. etc. I had a realization that i believe was from the Lord, Who is like Jesus? Who is like God? ADuh… I thought to myself…NO ONE! We can only try. How rediculous it was for me all those years even currently to imagine that I had acted “Christ-like”, or someone else etc. How arrogant of me. I am nothing, in comparison, absolutely nothing. So this whole matter has been a learning experience for me, 1. we are all so fragile, 2, we MUST keep our eyes on GOD, because even the greatest of leaders don’t even come close, and they can and do fall and make mistakes.

    I would love to continue to correspond with people on this matter but i do feel that if I was Carlton this exchange would be painful. So I will try to refrain from continuing to comment. I will however pray and fast for the sanctification and truth to be revealed to us all.

    God Bless you all let us continue to lift up all of those who believe in Jesus, God the Father, the Holy Spririt, to be sanctified in HIS truth, and for the lost souls of the world.


  32. Teresa L. Reed

    Thanks for all of your thoughtful responses to my posting. (Of course, some responses were pretty predictable.) If you consider that your response was a thoughtful one, then I am replying to you.

    Most of the blogging about Carlton Pearson has come from afar. People who ONCE knew him, or ONCE went to his church, or ONCE heard him preach are apt to weigh in on the validity of his theology and the status of his soul. Some even feel qualified to assassinate his character, even though they only know of him from the media. That is to say, they are not here in Tulsa at this moment, and they’ve never had a personal conversation with him for more than ten minutes, yet they feel qualified to assess, scrutinize, and condemn him, nonetheless.

    On the other hand, those of us who do know him personally, who have suffered with him these past few years, and who have witnessed the entire transformation first-hand—including the mudslinging, and various and sundry forms of pissing—well, we’ve been relatively silent. Until now. (And by the way, the pissing goes way deeper than just disagreement; I’m talking about outright mistreatment above and beyond simple dissent.)

    Once you’ve been through the transformation that we’ve experienced, one thing you shed is the need to prove your piety to anyone. I’m sure some well-meaning people will wear themselves out wondering who’s going to heaven, who’s going to hell, who’s saved and who’s not. I’ve personally arrived at a place where I really don’t care where people think I’m going. What freedom!!

    If you got the sense that I am devoted to Carlton Pearson, then you’re right. He’s not just my pastor; he’s my friend. Friends stick by their friends, and that’s what many Christians have forgotten how to do. A friend is a friend in good times and in bad times. Period.

    But let me move beyond Bishop Pearson for a moment and underscore some problems with conservative Evangelicalism that I had long before the Gospel of Inclusion. Here’s a case in point: On a flight a few years ago, I was seated next to a man with a very conspicuous bible on his lap. We started a conversation and he told me that he was a minister on the way to preach a relative’s funeral. He then proceeded to tell me how much he was looking forward to going to this funeral because at funerals, he explained, the altar calls are the best. People are “ripe for the pickin’” as he put it. “You can get lots of people saved at funerals, probably more than at any other time,” he grinned with glee.

    What’s wrong with this picture, folks? This guy showed no sense of empathy or concern for their actual grief, the real pain of their bereavement. Instead, he was just excited about collecting their souls, kind of like my mother used to collect S&H stamps, or the way you collect prizes at the carnival. I got no sense whatsoever that he was interested in winning souls for Jesus. What I got, instead, was that he was very interested in winning. WINNING. That’s all. Just winning points for himself on the big scoreboard of Heaven.

    Here’s another case in point. Go to your average you-must-be-born-again gathering this Sunday. Notice the tone of the altar call. Everyone closes their eyes, bows their heads, and the preacher will start in with descriptions of the hell to shun and the heaven to gain. You all know the script. Then he begins to call, “Is there one? Is there one out there who will make Jesus your personal savior?” After a few minutes of pleading, there is great rejoicing over those that respond, if in fact any do. But if nobody responds to the altar call, the service just goes on to the next thing. (“Oh well, that’s done, now let’s collect the offering.”)

    Here’s what’s weird about that, when you really think of it. Let’s say a fire is spreading throughout your house, and there are some people at your house who don’t believe that the fire is spreading. In fact, when given the choice to escape the fire, one or two choose to ignore the immanent danger. But you feel the heat of the flames, you smell the smoke, you know that the fire is coming. If you really believe that fire is coming, then you will (if you are a caring human being) do everything in your power to get those people out of harm’s way, regardless of their choice to stay. Somehow, your love and concern for them will override their choice, or their will, or their understanding, or whatever, and you will find a way to yank them to safety. That’s if you REALLY, REALLY believe there’s a danger.

    If you don’t exhaust every bit if your energy to remove those people from the danger of the burning house (or of, let’s say HELL), then either (1) You don’t really believe that the danger is all that bad, if it even exists or (2) You care much more about saving yourself than you care about saving them or (3) You don’t really care about them at all. You reason that if they agree with you, they’ll escape the flames, but if they don’t believe what you believe, oh, well, then, I guess they’ll just have to burn.

    Most church people fit into option 3: They say that they believe people must accept Jesus to escape hell, but if they choose not to, then, oh well, I guess they’ll just have to burn.

    How can any truly loving person be okay with that logic? If you were really convinced that you had the means, the answer to saving another human being from a dangerous fire, how on earth could you claim to love them unless you spent your every waking moment engaged in their rescue? At best, even the savest of the saved spend no more than a few cursory minutes a day engaged in the rescue of the people they categorize as “lost.”

    Here’s my point: Either Evangelical Christians just don’t love sinners the way that they claim, or they don’t really believe that all non-Christians are hell-bound. You can’t claim to have the love of Jesus in your heart and, at the same time, be okay with people burning. At some level, that has to really, really bother you, even if you try to exonerate yourself by saying something wacky like “I didn’t make the rules; God did.”

    There is a huge, huge disconnect between the notion of God’s steadfast love and the inevitable burning of billions of people. People tend to care enough about their faith to defend it, but they don’t care enough about it to study it—not just study IT, but all about it—where it came from, who wrote it, when, and why. Do I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the scriptures? Yes. But I also believe that God is the ultimate Creator of everything, including nature, art, literature, technology, lipstick, HumV’s, Big Macs, and Fruity Pebbles cereal. But a good deal of what He created gets pretty disfigured once we humans get our hands on it. The Bible has been through countless human hands, countless agendas, and countless editions and revisions over 1500 years. If you really believe in God’s love, and you really love people, then you’ve got to come to grips with the fact that there are some real problems with the Bible as it has been traditionally taught. Those who care will study to see what those problems are; those who don’t care will just continue to condemn those who are brave enough to study. And while they condemn those who study, they will remain safely locked away in their Christian bunkers, guarding the door to make sure that no one gets a “free pass” to eternal life.

  33. judy

    We as humans can not force people. God gave a free will, it must be highly respected, in everything, just like we do not go into the homes of heroin addicts and rip the needles from their arms, we can not force people to accept Jesus. I am a lawyer, I am aware of where to find people in “burning buildings”, abusive scenarios, crack houses, etc. I can not go and get them, no matter how much i care, i can not, just like we can not force addicts to stop using, even though it will eventually kill them. We can not rescue them from the fire we can only take them to the door.

  34. Rich Post author

    Teresa, thanks for engaging us with your interesting and thoughtful dialog. I certainly hope that I have not, in my post or in my comments, done anything that smacks of “pissing on Carlton Pearson.” As I said, I respect him and think he’s a talented, gifted preacher. I also think his doctrine is wrong and has spiritually fatal consequences. Further, I’m concerned about how he testifies about arriving at this new doctrine–not through rational means, but through revelation. Finally, I’m concerned that his new doctrinal position leads him to support behaviors and activities he once considered sinful himself, such as homosexuality, to the point that he’s allegedly encouraging the gay community to infiltrate “straight” churches. If nothing else, that does speak to character issues, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for me. If you count that as “pissing on Carlton,” I apologize for the impression, but I cannot apologize for what the evidence says.

    Allow me to address a few points you made. Regarding your loyalty to Bishop Pearson:

    Friends stick by their friends, and that’s what many Christians have forgotten how to do. A friend is a friend in good times and in bad times. Period.

    I suppose you can be friends without endorsing the friends behavior, their doctrinal position, and their character. I know I have, and I don’t think this is exceptional. It’s true for many I know. But, consider Paul’s reaction to Peter over the issue of the Judaizers, who were claiming that circumcision was necessary for salvation. Paul publicly confronted him on the matter, and it couldn’t have been a pretty site, based on what we see in the text. At the very least, some of Peter’s friends would have felt that Paul was pissing on Peter. But it was for cause: heresy. I’m sure, even in the heat of that moment, Paul still loved Peter, and he wasn’t abandoning him. Indeed, because of his love, he didn’t let it slide. And further, because of Paul’s commitment to Christ, he could not leave it unaddressed.

    Why should Bishop Pearson get a pass? Is he somehow sacrosanct?

    You mentioned the fellow you met on the airplane, who was virtually rubbing his hands with glee over the thought of hapless souls under his sway at a funeral:

    “You can get lots of people saved at funerals, probably more than at any other time,” he grinned with glee. What’s wrong with this picture, folks?

    What’s wrong with that picture is the man of poor character who saw a funeral as an opportunity to bushwhack people’s emotions rather than respect the solemnity of the moment, and perhaps provide a way to bring joy to the situation. While it’s true that people are at their most vulnerable when they are contemplating eternity while staring at death’s doorway, I can’t think of a more crass time to hold an altar call. No pastors I know have ever held an altar call at a funeral. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an appropriate time to preach the gospel, though, to minister in love, to provide comfort for the bereaved, and to provide an opportunity to glimpse the joy awaiting us in Heaven.

    In any case, we should refrain from holding up flawed people as examples of what Christ taught or represented.

    Regarding the disconnect between a doctrine of a real Hell and our failure to evangelize, you wrote:

    How can any truly loving person be okay with that logic? If you were really convinced that you had the means, the answer to saving another human being from a dangerous fire, how on earth could you claim to love them unless you spent your every waking moment engaged in their rescue? At best, even the savest of the saved spend no more than a few cursory minutes a day engaged in the rescue of the people they categorize as “lost.”

    The irony here is that you might as well apply your same criticism to Christ himself. When he had the power to physically heal anybody of any physical infirmity, how could he have had the unloving gall to actually walk right by people he could have stopped to heal, but did not? And, further, how could he have been so callous as to hide his miraculous powers until his third decade? How many hurting people did the Son of God fail to heal and rescue because he was on some other mission? How could he call himself loving?

    Or, on the other hand, consider your own apathy, if there is any. Do you think there’s a possibility that smoking increases the incidence of cancer? If you think there’s even the slightest merit to that claim, why aren’t you out there campaigning for smoking reform and snatching smokes from the lips of commuters every day? Or consider abortion. Do you think that any abortions result in the taking of a human life? If so, why aren’t you on the demonstration lines right now preventing pregnant mothers from entering abortion clinics?

    Now, maybe you actually do all these things and more. I do happen to know, however, that you took a few minutes out of your busy day to post a couple messages here. Is it possible that your time could actually have been put to better use, improving the chances that one might live longer, somewhere? I mean, after all, if Bishop Pearson is right, none of this dialog matters at all. We’ll all be in heaven and can laugh about this silliness over a few Tree of Life fruit-cups.

    Truth justifies itself. It does not need me to validate it by crawling on bloody knees over miles of broken glass in order for it to be true.

    But in this you are right: the more we grapple with the realities of Hell, the more motivated believers are to help save others from it. You are absolutely correct in that, and I fear that we have largely lost a sense of the awesome pain of Hell principally because we’ve lost a sense of the awesome holiness of God.

    We who do not fear God, do not fear Hell for in the end, we are not saved from Hell but from God himself.



  35. Brannon

    Having read all of the above comments, it seems to me that the real issue here in not Carlton Pearson, but rather the idea being presented about God. Think about it: do you truly believe that God is powerful enough, wise enough, and loving enough to save everyone through Christ? Let me put it this way: Did God, who knows the end of His plan for humanity before He even begins it, and did not have to create anything at all, create us knowing that the majority of souls would be lost? If He did, then He can’t possibly love everyone.

    You have to know for yourself what you believe about God’s original intent for creating us. Was His intent that every single soul eventually be in heaven with Him, or only some souls? If all souls, then do you believe that He is able to make His intention a reality? If you don’t, then you have to ask yourself if the God you believe in is really infinitely powerful, loving, and wise. If however you believe in the God for whom nothing is impossible (even if it seems impossible to our finite minds), then you might consider that Christ’s death on the Cross was powerful enough to save everyone.

    And just incase someone out there thinks that our freewill can somehow throw a wrench in God’s intention for us, remember: God didn’t have to create anything at all. If the whole plan was going to go south on Him, He simply would have not created it. The fact that we are here means that it does exactly what He intented–save everyone. Remember also that we were created for God; we have “God-shaped holes” in us. Our freewill can only delay God desire for us, not deny it.

    As for why Christian should live right, I hope that you do so because you love God and want to a place where His light and love are shining into the world. I’d hate to think that you only do it so you won’t be punished by God. That would say a great deal about what you think about God.

    What I’m taking way too long to say is that perhaps you should stop worrying about Carlton (He’s right where God wants him to be), and start really considering the implications of what he is saying about the character of God, and whether or not the Church agrees with that.

  36. Teresa L. Reed

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses to my last post.

    Rich, my “burning building” analogy was intended to point out the inherent flaws in the “accept Jesus or else” paradigm that governs the Evangelical mindset. Regardless of how much motivation there is to lead sinners to Christ, regardless of how many appeals are made, regardless of how sincere the altar calls, regardless of how many tracts are circulated, regardless of how many revivals there are, regardless of how many scary pictures of hell are painted, it’s still a losing battle IF you believe that the only people going to heaven are those who’ve said the Sinner’s Prayer.

    Furthermore, if you believe that Christians are the only people heaven-bound, then you must also believe the corollary–that billions are hopelessly hell-bound. If God requires conversion to Christianity for access to heaven, then the good news of the Gospel, when thought of IN THIS WAY, is actually pretty doggone depressing.

    Furthermore, a God who loves unconditionally is very out of sync with a God who burns billions because they don’t accept Him. Brannon, therefore, has hit the nail on the head. These two very opposite pictures of God cannot logically coexist, although Evangelical traditions have juggled and featured both of these images for generations, images that arise largely from an inaccurate and overly literal interpretation of scripture. And therein lies the problem.

    Rich, I’ll tell you quite bluntly that I have no intention whatsoever of lifting a finger to convert non-Christians, because for every one that I’d reach, there’d be billions more unreached. It would be an exercise in futility. Think of all the well-meaning missionaries who died prematurely because they naively thought it their duty to go to some jungle somewhere and turn the natives into proper Christians. They meant well, but there’s still lots of vodou practiced in Haiti, still much Santeria going on in Cuba.

    Instead of believing it my job to convert anyone, here’s where I stand. I have Muslim friends and they’re okay with me as Muslims. I love them exactly as they are. I have gay friends, and they’re okay with me as gay people. I love them exactly as they are. I have Hindu friends, and they’re fine with me as Hindus. I love them exactly as they are. I feel absolutely no inclination to convert these people from their faith to mine for two important reasons: First, my Muslim, Hindu, and gay friends are on this earth because God willed them to exist. He has willed them to come into my life, and me into theirs. God knew that they would be Muslim, Hindu, and gay before they were born. I respect them as human beings, and I value our friendship too much to require that they be like me in order for us to get along.

    Secondly, and most importantly, the reason that I feel no inclination to “save” them is that I just don’t consider them to be lost. They’re not lost because God knows exactly where they are. I believe in my heart that the Cross has already saved my Muslim, Hindu, atheist, gay, gothic, Jewish, and Yoruba friends. The Cross has done its work. I believe that whatever Christ accomplished on the cross was accomplished for all people of all persuasions and faiths, whether they know or believe it or not. I sincerely believe that the shed blood of Christ makes Heaven the destination for all people, in all of our variations of fallen humanness. I believe that the efficacy of the blood of Christ outranks everything from our stupid human choices to the fact that someone happens to have been born in Tehran to a Muslim family. I believe that the blood of Christ has already resolved the problem of eternal destination, yes, even for that person who never said the Sinner’s Prayer or responded to an altar call. I believe that Jesus completed His work and where eternal matters are concerned, He certainly doesn’t need any help from me, or from you, or from anyone. Jesus has already saved the world. Now, all the real followers of Christ have to do is love the world that He has already so beautifully saved. I can have lunch with my Muslim friend and it doesn’t bother me in the least that he prays to Allah. So what. I’m praying to Allah, too. I just call him “Father God.” Big deal.

    This is the idea about God that I wholeheartedly embrace, the one for which Carlton Pearson has been so ruthlessly attacked. Of course, my choice to believe that God is fully loving, fully accepting, and fully forgiving forces me to look seriously again at the Bible, my past assumptions about it, and its role in my faith. Shrines have been erected around certain passages of scripture which seem to clearly suggest that God’s salvation is for Christian “members only.” And don’t bother sending those passages to me. I grew up Pentecostal, so I know every single one. I can quote them in my sleep.

    The Bible becomes less of an idol for you when you realize that the first news about Jesus was circulated by word-of-mouth. For many years, there was no Bible.

    And that’s why study is so important. If you love your faith enough to defend it, love it enough to study all you can about it. The big picture of the Bible is the love of God. Look at it with a microscope and you run into problems. Worst yet, bank your entire worldview on a handful of carefully selected scriptures, and you run into even bigger problems. (By the way, did anyone happen to notice the recent ABC News report on the long lost Book of Judas?)

  37. Colin T. Bent

    Amen, Sis Reed! What a deepseated hatred it must take for anyone to set up a blog to castigate a man who has done nothing but proclaim the boundless love of our creator. Yes we know he no longer fits their mold and he no longer dances and prances across their platforms. In Carlton Pearson I see a man more interested in seeking the real nature of the God who says “all souls are mine.”

    And if all souls are his then the devil gets nothing. For if indeed the great majority of God’s creation were really created for fire then God’s work of redemption at Calvary would have been a collosal failure and the miracle of creation an utter waste of time.

    So God must have a keen sense of humor to have created humans who waste so much adrenalin on picking out great segments of the population to hate and to formulate a god of their imagination who hates the poor wretches as much as they do. Yes, I know, you love the sinner but you hate the sin. Well don’t you think God does too so he would find a way to eradicate the sin and save his creation?

    An evangelical all my life, I know the hypocracy rampant in our group and indeed if God was to perform by the rules that we have been taught, not one of us would be saved. So you might pray, not for Carlton Pearson, although he would appreciate you doing so, but rather pray that what he preaches is indeed so because that is the only hope in hell that some of you have for going to heaven.

  38. Teresa L. Reed

    Colin Bent;

    Thanks so much for chiming in, and for doing so with such power and eloquence. Like you, I believe that this whole God business is really quite simple: He loves everybody. You, me, them, EVERYBODY. And I, for one, am very grateful that He has inspired Carlton Pearson to proclaim just that.

    So let the sin-counting finger pointers continue to wallow in the quagmire of their legalistic doctrines. Meanwhile, my gay, lesbian, atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, and Rasta friends, we’re all going out for a drink.

    (And after, we’re headed to Carlton Pearson’s church!)

  39. carl


    I am really thankful for your original post. What i have found interesting is that the support for Carlton Pearson’s doctrine come by way of human logic.

    Carlton himself begins the slide this way,

    “God I don’t know how you could call yourself a loving, sovereign God and allow these people to suffer this way and just suck them right into Hell,”

    He comes to God in accusation that He is “sucking” them into hell. I wish he would have repented right there.


    There is a huge, huge disconnect between the notion of God’s steadfast love and the inevitable burning of billions of people. . .
    How can any truly loving person be okay with that logic?

    Since when did human logic become the standard?


    Did God, who knows the end of His plan for humanity before He even begins it, and did not have to create anything at all, create us knowing that the majority of souls would be lost? If He did, then He can’t possibly love everyone.

    It would seem here that Brannon knows the end of God’s plan better than the authors of Scripture. Citing nothing more than his own sense of how God should behave he has determined what the test of God is. It has to make sense to him.


    And if all souls are his then the devil gets nothing. For if indeed the great majority of God’s creation were really created for fire then God’s work of redemption at Calvary would have been a colossal failure and the miracle of creation an utter waste of time.

    Created for fire? You would have to quote me a scripture for that one. Seems like Carlton’s teachings are taking root.

    This is all human reason. As if what makes logical sense to us actually matters. I do believe that God is love but I also believe that the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness.

    I wish that these people would be honest and just come out and say that they do not believe the bible. Quit lying to people and misrepresent yourselves as Christians. Tell the truth about your theology and boldly declare that you believe God is love but that Christians and the Bible misrepresent Him and His nature. Set up your own Buddhist Zen gardens and Kabbalah centers and quit insulting us on our Christian blogs.

    Carlton Pearson has gone against orthodox Christian teaching. People who want to follow orthodox Christian teaching should be warned that he calls himself a Christian minister but his teachings do not conform to our interpretations of the Bible and what we believe to be the revealed nature of God. We aren’t blowing up restaurants because people disagree with us. We don’t log onto other people’s blogs and insult them because of their disagreements.

    By the way, I don’t really understand how you fit the beating and murder of Jesus (the Son of God) into this teddy bear image of God that has been created. Could you have done that to your son? I couldn’t. I am glat that God (who is not like you or me nor obligated to conform to our reason) did.

  40. Teresa L. Reed


    Had you read my initial post carefully, you would have seen that, in fact, I don’t call myself a Christian. So your accusation doesn’t apply to me.

    I was also very forthcoming when I pointed out some problems with traditional Evangelical readings of the Bible. The Bible is a great book, the general story of which I treasure. But the King James Version is loaded with errors, inconsistencies, and confusing passages that nobody can figure out. Besides that, God is more important than the Bible, and far too big to be confined to its pages. (Here’s another interesting point: Jesus Himself never told anyone to read the King James Version, nor did Jesus ever tell anyone to become a Christian.)

    Take some time to study the history of the Bible’s evolution, Carl. You obviously have the internet, so why not try a little Googling. This isn’t rocket science. There are loads of objective websites that will trace the history of Christianity for you. You might be surprised to find that there was even a period in history during which more than one version of the Bible (each with a different collection of books, for crying out loud!) was in circulation. Like I said, if you care enough about your faith to defend it, care enough about it to study its background.

    As I understand it, your Christian blog exists to invite conversation. If you feel that our postings are insolent, then maybe this should be a website and not a blogsite. You can’t expect to vilify someone who is so greatly loved and never hear a word from his supporters. Don’t tell me about insults, Carl. We who support Bishop Pearson, we know all about insults, and we know how to emerge from them steadfast in our belief in the Cross.

    If you are afraid to really dig into the Bible’s history, let me allay your fears. There came a point at which I decided that if my faith was worth anything, it would stand up to rigorous questioning. God is not intimidated by our questions, and I believe that He honors it when we want to know him, not just emotionally or spiritually, but intellectually as well. For most of my life, Evangelical Christianity trained me to dispense with human logic. But human logic, just like everything, comes from God. I do not claim to be an expert on God’s logic. But I am an expert on His love, which I find deeper, broader, and more amazing by the day. After all, He loves even me, and that certainly can’t be easy!!

    When I started to really study the history and background of this thing called Christianity and this book called the Bible, I found ugly, human stains all over it. I found things that were misinterpreted, mistranslating, and just wrong. I’d been lied to on many fronts, and I bought it because I was afraid of going to hell if I didn’t.

    But now that I know better, I have peace that I’ve never known before. And it’s a peace not just between me and God, but a peace between me and the rest of His creation whose diversity I have come to value. And for that, I do not apologize.

  41. Colin T. Bent

    Carl, Carl, Carl… you probably made reference to my posting, if so my name is Colin not Brent. I did not come in on this blog to insult people but to make known my displeasure with you destroying my pastor in secret. I had to get my two cents in, in the same way that you do.

    How funny it is that you begin your retort by discrediting our statements as “human logic” and end it with logic of your own. You intimate that God destroyed his son hence He is no teddy bear. Your logic is indeed illogical and built on the false premise that because God allowed His son to be destroyed that he will be seeking revenge. Is that your logic? Could it be that God’s logic is quite a bit different from yours? Could it be that God is really LOVE?

    Please do understand that when you question my Christianity that you do not insult me because I have years ago questioned what it meant to say I was a Christian. You see I did not see myself being a member of a group rife with racism and hypocrisy. No one religion on earth has a monopoly on virtue as they have all had followers who brought shame and damantion on what they professed to represent. Remember, also, that GOD IS NOT A CHRISTIAN and never was and if He is now then He has gone against His word and changed and that cannot happen.

    But let me put you at ease because this is my last post. I find it a waste of time for me to go beyond putting you straight on verbally attacking my pastor. Nothing that you or I say can change God so all I can do is go about loving all of His creation and refrain from attempting to start an Armagedan or any other such stupid stuff. You and I should try to celebrate our differences rather than trying to demagogue each other for not being exactly alike. Do you think you could do that?

  42. Brannon

    Hi Carl. Thanks for your passionate response to the blogs. I respect your right to believe what you will, however it is just a belief. To me, orthodox Christian teachings are simple the beliefs you have been taught by people of authority you respect. That’s great for you if that’s your choice. Mine is to seek the truth about God for myself, since no one can live my relationship with God for me.

    Let me respond to some of the comments you made by first stating that I don’t believe it’s hard to know the end of God’s plan for humanity when you know that the One who thought up the plan is absolute and unconditional love. That kind of love just doesn’t create people with the intent to consign them to eternal separation from His wonderful presence. That kind of love creates every soul with an awesome destiny: to dwell in ever-ascending realms of love, light, beauty, and goodness forever. Since that realm only exists in God’s presence, Heaven must be the destiny of every soul. Some people might take longer to get there, but everyone WILL get there. Every soul is a path to Christ, but our freewill determines the lenght of our path.

    You also made a comment concerning the use of logic and reason in relation to knowing God. I make no excuses for that. I believe that logic and faith produce the greatest relevations about God, especially when applied to scripture. Reason alone can lead you to atheism; faith alone can lead you to believe that Gandalf is a real person. For me, logic and faith must go together.

    And now a thought concerning your view of God. By your statement that God is love as well as a God whose wrath is upon all unrighteousness, let me point out that you seem to believe that God’s love and wrath are equal in duration. They are not. Psalm 136 repeats the phrase, “His mercy (steadfast love) endures forever” twenty-six times. But about God’s anger we have Psalm 30:5: “For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime.” Micah 7:18 says, “He does not retain His anger forever because He delights in mercy.” From a scriptural point of view, God’s love far out shines God’s wrath.

    Carl, I believe you love Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross, so let me give you something to think over:

    Isaiah 55:10-11: “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

    God is saying simply that His word does what He sends it to do.

    John 1:14 says that God sent forth His word in the form of Jesus: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

    Jesus says in Luke 10:19 that He came into this world for a specific purpose: “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

    And who is lost? According to Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone is lost; every single soul ever born or ever will be born is lost.

    So my thought for you my friend is this: if God’s word always accomplishes what He sends out forth to do,and Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, sent into this broken world to seek and SAVE lost humanity, does He accomplish His intended purpose or not?

    Peace and blessings,


  43. Rev John Garlington

    In scripture (Heb 8:11), “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”

    I’ve come from a long line of Pentecostals and it just didn’t make sense to me that because of one man Adam we were destined to hell fire and damnation without the other Adam, Jesus Christ, saving the same world from the curse.

    If we step back a bit and listen to what Bishop Pearson is saying (and I say Bishop with all due respect because he has earned it) you’ll understand that God and he have been saying for centuries. And, if you look at church history and how the sanctified and Pharisees wanted to control or be gatekeepers to get into the Kingdom you’ll fully understand what Jesus was trying to teach them and us.

    To all who bother to put down Bishop Pearson, keep living and understanding because you’ve really missed the boat on this one. He has locked into something that ALL of you years down the road will have to confront. But, that’s alright too, if it doesn’t come in this lifetime because it doesn’t matter because you’re not God.

    He who has the mind of God understands grace to its fullest. In scripture, it says that I don’t wish that anyone would perish. It also says, that I wish you would show mercy; and when the final judgment call has been made it will be God’s decision that He chooses to be in His presence for eternity. And the way this blog has been organized or built for the sole purpose of denigrating Bishop Pearson it makes you wonder: what is this person afraid of? Could Bishop Pearson actually be right?

    It’s all speculation but there are plenty of examples in scripture where God shows mercy and grace than hell fire and damnation. I choose God’s mercy and acceptance of all people. And I choose to be led by the spirit and not elevate the Bible into idolatry. As it was said before, most of the traditions we know of today in the Bible are from oral traditions.

    Let’s get the mind of God!!!

    Rev John Garlington

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  45. Kenneth Harrell

    This is truly disturbing. I have followed the career of Bishop Carlton Pearson since his days at Oral Roberts. We share a common heritage having both been brought up in the Church of God in Christ. There is truly so much to say about this situation and so little time to say it.

    I must say that Bishop Pearson has been suspect from the beginning. I have never been impressed that he believed orthodox Evangelical doctrine. I have never seen him as a defender of the fundamental truths of scripture.

    Although I am an active Pentecostal layman, I am convinced that Pearson’s downfall is pretty much indicative of certain strands within the Pentecostal movement, strands which I abhor. I think that the fundamental problem in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles is an overreliance on experience to formulate doctrine. The Reformed critique of we Pentecostals is probably true: we base our doctrines on our personal experiences rather than on solid biblical exegesis.

    My contention is that doctrine is primary while experience is secondary but vital. While many Pentecostals have adhered to sound principles of biblical interpretation, many more have been quite playful with scripture. I am tired of all these personal revelations that cannot be backed up by scripture. If we were true to scripture, the Bishop Pearsons of the world would only be able to rise within our ranks as heretics “crept in unaware”.

    My point is that Bishop Pearson is not the problem. He is a symptom of a larger problem in our Pentecostal circles. We are the ones who continue to allow individuals to proclaim themselves as above the authority of scripture. We continue to read books by people with questionable theological committments provided they speak in tongues. We accept every abberation of scriptural truth as new revelation from God.

    We are the problem, not Bishop Pearson. From our inception at Asuza Street we have been a curious blend of Evangelical theology, huckstery, and spiritism. We have always allowed the con man and the root worker to preach freely among the people of God. We have often refused to discipline the wayward even when our doctrinal manuals prove scriptural. What we need is a true revival which is based on the solid foundation of the word of God with signs confirming the word preached. In that context, there will be no room for the Bishop Pearsons of the world to pollute the church.

    Rather than attack Bishop Pearson we should pray for his conversion. I am not that sure how far a true believer can deviate from the word. The apostle John questioned the genuineness of the conversions of those who later defected from the faith. Our faith is meant to last, His sheep hear His voice and not that of a stranger, and the elect cannot be deceived.

    Please pray once again for Bishop Pearson.

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  47. carl


    Excellent points. Most of the defenders of this new doctrine use their own logic as the confirmation of its truthfulness even calling the validity of the Scriptures suspect.

    I have had the displeasure of being involved in these type groups and from it have grown to love the security of the Word.

  48. Christina

    Even Christ himself was considered an heretic by the religious groups of his day.

    It was once thought that the eart was flat, remember?

    Who can say what truth is? It appears it’s relative, in any case.

    God has better things to do than settle our arguments about what we do and do not believe.

  49. Gary Amirault

    speaking of Carlton Pearson’s heresy, you wrote:

    If there’s anything I walk away from this research with, it’s the knowledge that I, too, could fall prey to heresy if my world revolves around me, my needs, plans, and desires. I could fall prey to heresy if I become the sole authority in my life, accountable to no one, but lording it over others. I could fall prey to heresy when I view myself as one of the rarefied few, one of the cognoscenti, the inner-crowd with a special all-access pass that insulates me from the real concerns of the hoi polloi. I could fall prey to heresy when I elevate obedience out of balance to grace, when I serve the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law, and the law-giver himself. I, too, could fall prey to heresy if I fail to properly discern my impulses, fail to “test the spirits” and measure all my intuitions against the Word of God and assume I have an inside track to God’s mind and plans that no one else has access to.

    Gary Amirault: Ha, you are already a much bigger heretic than you have a clue about. You boast that you know the Lord and the Bible and it is obvious by your words about Pearson that you do not. Here is a little dose of scriptural medicine for YOUR heresy. And after you swallowed ALLL of it, repent and apologize to Carlton Pearson.

    The Scriptures and Jesus have made it plain that God’s own people are always slow to believe what the prophets have spoken (Luke 24:25-27). Therefore, while the scriptures plainly declare Jesus Christ, Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14), the majority of God’s people have never believed Him. But He has always had a “little flock,” a “remnant” who have remained true to the truth. (Luke 12:32; 1 Kings 19:18) The early believers believed quite differently from modern day believers. The early believers believed in the bold promises and statements found in the Scriptures. Modern believers have been seduced by two thousand years of “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect.” (See Matt. 15:6-9) Let’s look and what the early believers saw in the Scriptures and then discover the state of unbelief the church-at-large is presently in.

    Christ, to whom, in whom, and for whom are all things will reconcile all things unto God (Colossians 1:15-20). He makes all things new. (Rev. 21:5) Hence His work is the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21); He is Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2); in Him not only all nations will be blessed (Galatians 3:8), but even every family of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:32; 28:14); for the Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whosoever was given to Him eternal life (John 17:2); and so all flesh shall see the salvation of God (Luke 3:6) since the Father has given all things into His hands. (John 3:35) Therefore, contrary to popular Christian opinion, we do not find billions in a Hell cursing God but we find every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and UNDER the earth saying blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb (Rev. 5:13). We find every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him and every tongue confesses Him as their Lord (Philippians 2:10) and we know that no one can confess Jesus as Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).

    For God, Whose counsel is immutable (Hebrews 6:17), Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging (Luke 6:27-35), will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV); and all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); and has shut all up unto unbelief, in order that he may show mercy upon all (Romans 11:32); for (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever (Romans 11:36); and He has, therefore, put all things into subjection under Christ’s feet (Ephesians 1:22).

    And so we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10); and His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18). So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands (John 13:3), promises by His Cross to draw (drag in the Greek) all men unto Himself (John 12:32). For having, as stated, received all things from the Father (John 3:35), all that was given come to Him shall come to Him and He will lose absolutely no one (John 6:37-39); but if any stray, He goes after that which is lost till He find it (Luke 15:4). Despite the fact that many of God’s chosen and elect believe God’s hand is too short to save (Isaiah 50:2) God’s hand is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1; 63:5).

    He comes in order that all men may believe (John 1:17); that the world, through Him, may be saved (John 3:17); His grace brings salvation to all men (Titus 2:11); for He takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29); gives His flesh for it’s Life (John 6:51); and, because the gifts and calling of God are without Repentance (Romans 9:29), He gives life to the world (John 6:33); is the light of the world (John 8:12); is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2); is the Savior of all men (1Timothy 4:10); destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only (1John 3:8); abolishes death (2Timothy 1:10); puts all His enemies under His feet including death (1 Cor. 15:26), is manifest to put away sin (Hebrews 9:26); and thus subduing all things unto Himself (Philippians 3:21; the context clearly shows this subjection to be conformity to Himself); does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades (1Peter 3:19); of which He holds the keys (Revelation 1:18); for He is the same (Savior) for ever (Hebrews 13:8); thus even the dead are evangelized (1Peter 4:6).

    Thus all are made alive in Him (1Corinthians 15:22); for Christ finishes, completes His work (John 17:4; 19:30): restores all things (Acts 3:21); and there is no more curse (Revelation 22:2-3); for the creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:21); and so comes the end when Christ delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then All in All because ALL God’s enemies are defeated, the last enemy being death, NOT eternally alive being endlessly punished. (1Corinthians 15:24-28).

    Salvation is a gift from God, it is not of works lest anyone be found boasting (Ephesians 2:8) and that gift has been given to all men despite the fact that some of God’s own people don’t like such generous grace. (Rom. 5:8; Matt. 5:1-16)

    We can be assured of all these wonderful and glorious things because nothing is too difficult for Him (Luke 1:37) and while many things are impossible with man, nothing is impossible with God. (Matt. 19:26) Furthermore, God is love (1 John 4:8), a love that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), a love that lays down His life for not only His own, but His enemies as well and commands His disciples to do likewise.. (Matt. 5:38-48) Therefore, for God to endlessly punish His enemies would make Him a hypocrite commanding less powerful and less loving human beings to do what He is not willing to do. (Matt. 23)

    There is nothing that can withstand His will and no plan of His can be thwarted. (Job 4:42) The Son came to save the world and not condemn it (Luke 5:59). Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him (all of us) (Luke 23:34) The Father has laid the iniquity of us all upon the Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus died for all of us. (John 1:29) To punish us now would be double jeopardy. Indeed, we can enter into His peace, believing that it is indeed finished! (John 19:30) The gift of life has been given to everyone. (Rom. 5:18)

  50. Greg Amburgy

    Thank God someone finally said it. I browsed through all of these posts because of my curiosity about and empathy for Carlton Pearson. Throughout all of the comments, the one thing that was consistently missing was scripture.

    I grew up a preacher’s kid in the Church of God denomination of Cleveland Tennessee. I left twenty-five years ago and have never regretted it for one moment. Thank God he gave me the courage to do it. I came to a revelation of the salvation of all through tedious study and heart-wrenching struggle with the tormenting dogma I was taught as a child.

    I challenge anyone interested in this subject to get out their Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and look up the word “Hell” throughout the Bible. Study the original words and consider Jesus’ teaching on Gahenna in light of Titus’ sacking of Jerusalem approximately 70 AD. You must also be prepared to admit that the Constantine-era Catholics may have taken license with theology to unite the Roman empire. If we get our panties in a bunch because of the unscriptural doctrine of Purgatory, how much of a stretch is it to think they may have combined the concepts of Tartarus, Sheol, Gahenna, and Hades into one eternal inferno in which God burns his enemies forever?

    One of my favorite hobbies is to take my old Bible from my teenage years and find hi-lighted scripture. Then I read the un-hi-lighted verses to understand the context. Romans, Hebrews, and the entire Old Testament scream of Christ’s mission to redeem mankind. I am sure that I read the entire Bible through at least ten times before ever even noticing any of the scriptures in the previous post. Now, they jump out at me every time I open the Bible.

    I do not agree with Carlton Pearson that all of mankind is now saved. I do believe that all mankind will eventually be saved. That is the good news. I remember laughing at Larry Norman beginning his concerts by saying, “I’m here to tell you the good news. You’re going to hell.”

    And I applaud the good Bishop for standing up for what he believes and tossing away his multi-million dollar empire. This is something very few people have considered. This man gave up control of millions of dollars a year and is probably struggling to pay the mortgage on his house. I say, “God Bless Carlton Pearson!”

  51. John D. Clark

    I can’t believe it’s 5pm and I’ve been trying to get through this entire blog and work at the same time. But now I’m here. Here is what I find interesting. Carlton Pearson disagrees with a principle that has been around, for what seems to be, forever. And now various persons call him a heretic and say that we should pray for him that he comes back to the fold. Who said he ever left the fold just because he sees things differently nowaday. As far as I know, if you say with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God, you shall be saved.

    So let’s say I don’t believe in tithes and offerings (which I don’t) does that I mean I’m not saved? What if it’s something bigger like I don’t believe in hell? Does that mean that I do not believe in Christ and the blood that was shed for me.

    I came to Tulsa, OK in 1986 and began going to Higher Dimensions (unsaved) that same summer. Considering the pentecostal and baptist churches that I had been brought up in (hated it), Higher Dimensions was great and felt genuine (even to a sinner) though I was still forced to go. I began at Oral Roberts University in the fall of 1987 continuing to go to Higher Dimensions. I became a “christian” that same fall and threw away $300 dollars of my recent purchased albums (hip-hop DJ) to prove to God that I was serious about my commitment. I asked God for one thing which I recall. I told him that I knew I would hear much about various theologies, but I would like that he show me what he wanted to show me. What I do that for? The more I read the bible, the more I felt like the average christian had not.

    So I began with chapel twice a week (mandatory) and church (of your choosing) on Sundays (mandatory). Carlton’s church began to expand over the years. Initially I loathed the mandatory religious classes (christian faith and ministry, holy spirit in the now, old testament and new testament survey) amongst the other courses of a particular discipline that were taught by professors who seemed, often times, to be teaching the same aforementioned classes. They were cool and all but the real growth came when I developed an intense thirst to read for myself and had real friends that I could bounce things off of. I liked it because I loved them and they loved me and as such, we were not looking to win the discussion/debate. We were simply looking for the truth of the matter. And often times found it there in the midst. To a third party, it may have sounded as if we were debating/arguing theological positions but we were simply searching tenaciously. I stopped being a “christian” not long there after. I felt like I would say I was a christian if someon asked just so that the could have a point of reference but I simply considered myself a man of God adhering to the principles of Christ (as much as humanly possible…ha ha ha). I had many issues with the traditional christianity (but more with myself) and me and my partners would go back and forth over things like:

    1. If there was not a social set up such as a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship in the bible, but there is now, then why couldn’t I have either more than one wife or at least a wife and a concubine (not pursuing any high position in the church for all of you scholars)?
    2. If a tithe is based on the 10th given to the levetical priesthood because they did not receive an inheritance of land but the service of God, then why are we still obligated to pay the church this tithe and offering when Christ, being the final priest, did away with the priesthood remaining a priest forever after the order of Melchisideck (I don’t care if I spelled that wrong)?
    3. If the current church is built after the first church in Acts, we should be giving everything to the administrators and they would give back as the people have need and not build buildings unless it’s to house people in need. You can meet anywhere.
    4. But wouldn’t that make us a cult like Jim Jones and the Guyana Tragedy at worst and socialist at best.
    5. If it was not what went into the body that destroyed a man but what came out of the body (y’all know the scripture) then why can’t I have a 40 ounce after hooping for two hours without getting into all types of issues with the christians (Carlton actually addressed that one in 1992 but I still get heat from christians).
    6. If I want to here what the Mormons/Jehovah’s Witness’ have to say and discuss matters with them. Why must you feel like I’ve strayed away from the Gospel?

    Here is my conclusion (big emphasis on “my”). If Christ said that the great commandment is love thy God with all that heart, with all thy soul and all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself. ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND ALL THE PROPHETS, surely this discussion over theology must hang on the same whether they be perfect and correct or misguided. I’m certain that Carlton’s heart (which is the only thing God will judge) is in the right place. I think there is a hell but I’m willing to listen to someone who feels otherwise and I can assess their position. We all should be driven to study to find the truth of the matter or have healthy diablog (get it) on the matter….ha ha ha. Peace everyone.

    P.S. For all of those who feel like they would like to challenge my list of questions above, y’all can go were the people who were suppose to go to hell are going…ha ha ha…sorry…I had to say that. Just kiddin’.

  52. Gary Amirault

    Just as in Protestantism, Pentacostalism, Charismatic movement etc., there are different opinions and views on the same subject. The message of Universal salvation, Doctrine of Inclusion, universalism, whatever one wants to call it has many different variations, some MUCH more Bible and Christ-centered than others. I wrote an article on Carlton Pearson’s behalf for a newspaper in Tulsa. My version of “Inclusion” is quite Bible centered, Christ-centered and early church centered. It seems Carlton has steered off that path with his present form of Inclusion. Here is what I wrote on the Doctrine of Inclusion when the “stuff” hit the fan when Carlton first came to express his belief on Inclusion:

    What is Carlton Pearson’s “Doctrine of Inclusion?”
    By Gary Amirault

    I was asked by Carlton Pearson to write an editorial for the Tulsa Beacon, a Christian newspaper in Tulsa Oklahoma on behalf of himself as to what Carlton’s “Doctrine of Inclusion” consisted of. I assumed since he asked me to write it that he (Carlton) believed like I do, that is, the universalism expressed in the Scriptures by all of the prophets, Jesus Himself and His apostles. Here is what I first wrote. I had to condense it considerably for the newspaper version:

    In a nutshell, this doctrine is nothing but Jesus Christ’s mission on the earth. “He came not to judge the world but to save the world,” not just a part of it. (John 12:47) Throughout church history, there have always been those who had faith great enough to take the bold declarations of Christ’s triumph seriously and literally. Oftentimes, this great faith, especially during these end times, has been ridiculed as ridiculous when in fact it’s more ridiculous not to believe plainly stated scriptures. Most Christians today do not take seriously hundreds of Scriptures which plainly state that when Jesus is finished with His work on earth, He will “reconcile all things unto Himself…whether in heaven or earth.” (Col. 1:20) While some Christians have great faith for big cars, homes and health, they berate those who believe in great scriptural promises like: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of ALL acceptance. For to this end, we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, especially those who believe. These things command and teach.” (1 Tim. 4:9-11) That, in a nutshell, is Carlton Pearson’s “Doctrine of Inclusion,” that Christ is in deed and in fact, the Savior of both the whole world AND the “especially” ones, that is, the church. (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14) It’s the only gospel that can give hope to the deepest of sinners because it knows NO limit. The traditional gospel fails most of mankind leaving those in deepest condemnation hopeless.

    In 1 Timothy chapter 2, Paul exhorted us to “pray for all men.” If we pray in faith according to God’s will, will we not receive what we ask? (Mark 11:24) Well, according to most of the “little faith” church, Jesus will only save a handful of all those He died for. But according to scores of Scriptures, Jesus did fulfill God’s will and desire: “God will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4, KJV) Why does most of the church not believe these and scores of other plain scriptures? Well, Paul warned that most of the church would fall away from this glorious truth. He warned there would be those inside the church who would draw disciples after themselves. Today there are over 30,000 denominations dividing the body of Christ from each other. We can plainly read Paul’s warnings NOT to divide, yet we do it anyway, proving that most Christians “honor Christ with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.” (Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:8)

    Some of the main scriptures supporting the teaching that all mankind will be eventually restored back to God are: 1 Tim. 2:4-6; 4:9-11; John 4:42; 12:32; 12:47; 1 Jn 4:14; Col. 1:16-20; 1 Cor. 15:22; Phil. 2:9-11; Acts 3:20, 21; Rev. 5:13; Gen. 12:3 and many more. (For more, see

    By the fifth century AD, the church had pretty much abandoned the Scriptures. The Scriptures were translated into Latin by Jerome who introduced many mistakes in the translation. Later, the people were forbidden to read the Scriptures in any language including Latin. During this period, the church incorporated thousands of pagan doctrines, rituals and traditions that, according to Jesus “made the word of God of no effect.” (Matt. 15:6-9) While the Protestant church has discarded many of those traditions that nullify the plain word of God, it still has much Dark Age baggage on its back. Some of that baggage got into some our English Bible translations. The “lying pen of the scribes” (Jer. 8:8, NIV) added some of that Dark Age theology to our Bible versions. They put mythological characters like unicorns and satyrs into translations like the KJV even though we know today such creatures never existed. But the King James translators believed in them in seventeenth century England and so we have in some translations many things NOT found in the Hebrew or Greek.

    The biggest tradition of fallen men that translators added to some Bible translations was the pagan teaching of a Hell of everlasting punishment. The word “Hell” comes from Teutonic mythology, NOT from the sacred Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Most Christians do not even know there are major differences between English Bible translations. Most do not know there are many translations that do NOT contain the concept of a hell of eternal punishment. Here are a few of them: Young’s Literal, Rotherham’s Emphasized, Weymouth’s N.T. in Modern Speech, Concordant Literal N.T., 20th Century N.T. as well as many more. While not popular in Hell-teaching circles, these Bibles can be ordered through most Christian book stores.

    Clearly, the early believers of Christ and the church leaders taught universal salvation. St. Basil the Great, writing in the fourth century wrote, “The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished.” (De Asceticis) St. Jerome wrote in the same century, “I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures.” St. Augustine, while himself teaching eternal torment wrote, “There are very many (imo quam plurimi, which can be translated majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments.” (Enchira, ad Laurent)

    An honest look at history shows that the majority of the early church believed that all would eventually be saved. The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge by Schaff-Herzog says in volume 12, page 96, “In the first five or six centuries of Christianity there were six theological schools, of which four (Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa, or Nisibis) were Universalist; one (Ephesus) accepted conditional mortality; one (Carthage or Rome) taught endless punishment of the wicked.” A most crucial and important in point in church history: when Emperor Constantine militarized and politicalized the church, the teaching of Hell became a more powerful weapon of control than a loving God who loved all mankind. At that point the teaching of universal salvation began to be stamped out through severe persecution. The result? The church created what we now call “The Dark Ages.”

    Before the Dark Ages, the church was vibrant with the teaching of God’s love for all mankind. The second major church council composed of hundreds of bishops from the entire church met in Constantinople in 381 AD and elected Gregory of Nazianzus, an avowed Universalist, as president proving clearly that the great majority of the church leadership at the end of the fourth century believed in universal salvation. Yet today universal salvation is considered a heresy in most denominations. The early church better versed in the original languages of the Scriptures and closer to the apostles’ teachings thought otherwise. Who do you think is more likely to have the truth? The early Church or the thousands of divisions of Christianity formed by men “drawing disciples after themselves” centuries later? (Acts 20:30)

    Well-known and great men and women have embraced the “larger Hope” (as some coined the teaching of the salvation of all mankind.) Abraham Lincoln believed it. Perhaps his belief in the salvation of all mankind was Lincoln’ s driving force to end slavery in this country. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence believed it. Famous theologians like Karl Barth, B.F. Westcott, and William Barclay embraced it.

    Those who embrace this scriptural doctrine today are usually born from above, morally conservative, serious students on the Bible and are usually more versed in church history and the original languages of the Bible than the average Christian. They believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and they are very Scripture-centered. The main difference between those who believe in the “Doctrine of Inclusion” is that they have greater faith in God’s love, mercy, and power to save than those who think God’s going to trash most of mankind. And this belief, that Jesus will do what He promised to do…save the world…is the source of great persecution by the hands of our own brothers and sisters in the Lord. In Carlton’s case, it may have cost him the election. Another trait of these believers in the Glorious Gospel is that they believed denominationalism spoils the witness of one Lord and Savior and one body in the earth.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma is known for its great “faith” preachers. One would think that with all the Word/faith preaching going on in this city that Carlton’s doctrine would be easy to believe; yet that apparently isn’t the case. Apparently, the faith in this city is what Jesus called “little faith.” They believe for their own health and prosperity, but not for saving God’s children gone astray. This doctrine will not fit into narrow minds or small hearts that dare to limit God from achieving His plan to restore all things back to Himself through the work of Jesus Christ.

    There are those who believe that Love NEVER fails — there are some who believe it fails for most of mankind. (1 Cor. 13:8) There are those who believe nothing is impossible with God, while some believe that man’s will is greater than God’s will to save all mankind. (Luke 1:37) There are those who have great faith in God’s promises that all the families and nations of the earth shall be blessed and there are those who don’t. (Gen. 12:3; 12:18) Carlton prefers to believe Jesus over the Dark Age traditions perpetuated by those with little faith. Carlton takes Jesus at His word when He said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw (drag in the Greek) all mankind unto Myself.” (John 12:32) There are some Christians like Carlton who rejoice when they read Scriptures like the following one and there are those who want to twist it and diminish Christ’s glory, honor and power, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:8-11) (We know that no one can say this except with the Holy Spirit.) Unless one has the faith of a little child, one cannot see the kingdom of God and all its glory. Some have faith to see the finished work of the cross for all mankind, some don’t…yet…but eventually everyone will…and that includes you, dear reader. That’s what Carlton Pearson’s “Doctrine of Inclusion” is all about – it’s inclusiveness – it includes everyone! “Oh, you of little faith. Why do you doubt” the power and love of the Savior of the world and His Awesome Father!?

    Gary Amirault, editor, Tentmaker Publications
    info at

  53. jenny stevenson

    Dear Rich
    I don’t know what to think of your blog? I heard with my ears how sorry you say that you are for Pastor Pearson, but I hear with my heart the voice of a demon. I believe in leaving judgment to God and far be it from me to go after one of God’s Prohects.I will be praying for you…The word of God says “Who can search the mind of God”. Be carefull that you don’t fall into the same block of stumbling.I pray for all ministers of God. As well a for myself..we are truelly living in the last days…

  54. J. Fitzer

    Allow me to first apologize for not reading every post here this has become a rather lengthy discussion i see from its beginning a few months ago…

    There was a comment made earlier asking since when did Humna Logic become the standard… I would ask when did it not?

    This type of thinking that logic is somehow inferior to the irrational nonsense we call thought based in peoples emotions as opposed to objective reasoning has lead to more problems than it can ever solve..

    Reason is defined as :The capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought; INTELLIGENCE!!!!!

    This presumption that human intelligence is not capable of understanding religion or whatever nonsense comment was supposed to imply is unreasonable and unintelligent. It was humans who created religion so whos to say humans cant analyze it and assess it rationally?

    MY THOUGHT?!?!?!?

    My thought is that people are threatened by Carlton Pearsons “theology” because it gets people thinking. Regardless of whether people agree with him his ideas do raise interesting questions.

    The problem with religion is that people quit thinking a LONG time ago and let their religion come to whatever conclusions there are for them avoiding the personal responsibility of RATIONAL thought.

    Didnt God give us this mind? Werent we created in the image of god? Dont most people assume that this was not referring to our physical bodies but our minds and spirits?

    Anyway…. I realize that this post is getting far too long but i have to admit that if people ever rationally thought about the consequence of religions ideologies they would end in illogical circular reasoning.

    Long story short… Christian theology doesnt make logical sense. I say if Carlton pearson gets people actively thinking hes doing a WONDERFUL thing.

  55. virginia stevenson

    Facial hairs, that cute..I speaking of a person that seems to be on both sides of the fence…at first he’s sorry and then Pastor Peason is a egomanic” a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways…I will continue to Pray for Pastor Pearson and for all Ministers of God…as for this blog…for me it’s history…

  56. Common Swift

    Jenny, you can disagree with a fellow Christian without name calling, Matt.5:22 seems to elude you.

  57. Common Swift

    Teacher of Heresy = Heretic. Saying you have the voice of the Devil and calling out a Doctrinal Heretic, two different things.

  58. Anonymous.

    Does anyone have a logical or rational reason why what he is saying is such a big deal? Or why anyone would be threatened by such an idea?

  59. jga

    yes, first of all if Jesus came once for everyone then no one has to “accept” or believe in him, contrary to every letter of the Word. Further, if there is no hell then there is no need for Jesus. All other forms of religion require some form of works or other belief system in order to be saved, we need to believe Jesus is God, accept him and then we are saved. Inclusion accepts all, i am sure it will be embraced by all, especially the Media, as it truly speaks of the times.. Most telling however are his own words, that he was tired really, worried that he could not save them all. WE, you or I cannot save them all nor should we, we are to do what we are told. Live the life spread the word. We are small. God is God. We can not forget that.

  60. Greg Amburgy

    You said, “if there is no hell, there is no need for Jesus”. Please take some time and consider what you said. You are saying that the finished work of Jesus ONLY counts for the afterlife? What about our relationship with Jesus, our ability to worship and commune with him? What about the wonderful changes he brings to those who know him? What about the quality of life of those who encounter Jesus? What about deliverance, healing, peace, joy, etc.

    On the subject of hell, I would like to make a few comments. I have a few Calvinist friends who believe that God actually TAKES PLEASURE in the eternal torment of the damned. These guys are highly educated from popular evangelical colleges. The reason these pastors never talk about hell from their pulpits is because if they told their congregations their true beliefs on the subject, everyone would run away screaming.

    You are asking me to believe that God, who by speaking the word, created the universe from nothing, created a system in which most of the people in it would end up in eternal darkness, burning in fire and sulfur. And this hell goes on without end, without hope of an end, and with complete mental awareness of the unmentionable physical and emotional suffering? Not just a day, not just a year, not just a decade, not just a lifetime, but forever. Forever! Forever!

    Think about what you believe! Is this justice? Does the punishment fit the crime? I don’t think so. And I unequivocally say that you do not really believe this either. You do not truly believe that some of your friends and family members are going to receive this eternal damnation. How can you enjoy a ballgame or a day off knowing the fate of those around you? How can you enjoy a meal or Christmas with the family, knowing that many of them are forever destined to burn in a dark, fiery pit? How can you calmly sit at the funeral of one who now burns in hell?

    This troubled me for many years. I became overwhelmed with the hopelessness of the situation. I was overcome with guilt because I could not do enough to win people to Christ. My life has become quite a bit more peaceful and joyful since I came to see Jesus as the Savior of the World.

    Adam’s disobedience did not just “create an opportunity” for each individual to accept of reject the fall of man. All men were fallen. In the same way, Jesus obedience, even to his death on the cross, did not “create an opportunity” for the world to be redeemed from the fall. He came to destroy the works of the devil. And a few of us believe that he actually accomplished this. We may not see it now, but God will be all in all!

    But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: FOR ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God…..

    Notice how many times in Romans that Paul speaks of the “faith of god” or the “faith of Jesus”. We have taken many of these scriptures and preached them as being about man’s faith. But Paul opens up Romans chapter three saying “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the FAITH OF GOD without effect? Romans is primarily about God’s faith. If some of us dimwits also happen to get some faith, then all the better. I especially include myself in the dimwit catagory.

    Yes, it is unto all. AND it is upon all them that believe. There is no difference. (See above.)

    I Timothy 4:10 says:
    For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    I am one who believes. I get the benefits in this lifetime. But I also have faith that God will take care of the lost sheep I come in contact with every day.

  61. Anonymous.

    I would just like to say thank you to greg for voicing his opinion…

    The more I think about it the more I dont respect people that do beleive in this concept of “belief+confession salvation” If people really did believe this is the only way to avoid hell then they should all be on the mission field.

    Im sure many will say that they are called to do other things…well Inwould tend to think that there own admitted interpretation of the “Great commission” would take precedence. I think it is nothing but hypocritcal laziness to allow the current 70% of the world that are no christians to rest on their conscience since they are the ones who are to do something about it.

    If one truly believes this and does nothing it is no wonder they are worthy of no respect…

    More basic than that.. IF they believe it and condone it as a possibility of a loving god then they deserve the contempt they receive from the world for never even questioning such a ridiculous and hateful assumption of a loving god.

  62. Greg Amburgy

    This board seems to be made up of some very decent and thoughtful people. It is rare to find Christians willing to discuss such a controversial issue calmly and respectfully.

    My best friend throughout childhood is the strongest advocate of the existence of eternal torment that I know. He is a preacher in one of the major Pentecostal denominations and truly believes in and preaches hell fire. His preaching style is somewhat like John Hagey.

    We remain close friends. My parents and family also strongly reject my position. I was once the worship leader and music director in one of the mega-churches listed in the recently posted “50 Most Influential”. The few people there who know of my current beliefs have strongly admonished me to abandon this line of thinking. But now I see this message throughout scripture.

    Many universalists have admittedly said some wacky things. I must admit that I walked down a few rather tenuous rabbit trails upon first seeing Jesus as the Savior of all. But God has brought me back to this point. Fortunately for me, Christianity Today and Charisma were not hanging on every word I spoke or wrote, waiting to chastise me. I am now a lowly real estate appraiser, not a nationally known Pastor like Carlton Pearson.

    I understand the church’s desire to rid themselves of one they consider a heretic. The last thing we need is another denomination or movement that further divides the body of Christ. However, I propose that preaching Jesus Christ as the Savior of All solves one of the Church’s longest-running doctrinal dilemmas.

    Jacobus Arminius and John Calvin gave us a doctrinal controversy that still causes debate at most seminaries today. I was raised primarily Arminian in thought. But through the study of Calvinism, I discovered the sovereignty of God and began to look closely into the ideas of predestination and the elect.

    While I find pure Calvinism to be abhorrent, I can make a pretty strong scriptural case for it. But the theology of Jesus as Savior of All men allows for a somewhat peaceful reconciliation of the two schools of thought. I have not, by any means, been able to take every scripture cited by each camp and reconcile them into one concise theology. But I have most of them covered. And I am learning more each day.

    I would assume that most here at the BlogRodent are primarily Arminian in theology. We Pentecostals love our free will! Steve Brock, my former pastor, used to say that Pentecostals believe in backsliding; and we practice it. So for those who insist on the heretic tag for universalists, I ask this question:

    Why do you not go after Calvinists with the same zeal? Calvin and his most famous American disciple, Johathan Edwards, taught that God actually took pleasure in burning reprobate infants in hell. Is that not a more repulsive doctrine than the idea that God wants to save all people? And there are a lot of pure Calvinists out there.

  63. Anonymous.


    I completely understand the plight you described as so many of your loved ones admonished you for your position. I would like to remind you of this.

    “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
    -Albert Einstein

    I encourage you to continue your journey of a better understanding of God. Congratulations on coming this far.

  64. Common Swift

    A friend by the name of Charles Hedrick put it most succinctly:

    “I would say that ultimately hell is a result of the “hardness” of created reality. Let me try to explain: Christianity believes that the universe has a real existence, and that it is distinct from God. (This is a specific position, which not all religions and philosophies accept. For some, there isn’t a real distinction between God and the universe.) In order to provide us with a region in which we can make our own decisions and take our own actions, God set up a universe that operates under dependable laws. Possibly there are other ways he could have worked. But we don’t know of any other way to set things up so that we have real lives of our own.

    The existence of a real universe with dependable laws has consequences. One of those consequences is the fact that people can have incorrect ideas. If they misunderstand the way the universe works, damage may result. Most of us understand this in the realm of science and engineering. There is no reason that theology should be different. If there weren’t any distinction between truth and falsehood, nor any consequences to error, we would be living in an amorphous mess (the metaphysical equivalent of “gray goo”). There would be no way to live sensibly.

    The standard Christian position is that salvation is only available through Christ. This isn’t because God is biased towards Christians. Rather, it’s a consequence of the way the universe works. Heaven is by definition eternal life with God. But Christ is God’s way of establishing relationships between human beings and himself. He is the divine logos, the agent of creation. It is inherently impossible to be with God without being in Christ. If a human being somehow managed to be in God’s presence bypassing Christ, that person would be unmade.

    The only alternatives I can see to hell are for God to arrange for everyone to accept Christ, or for him to destroy everyone who does not… if everyone ends up choosing God, human existence is a sham: God loaded the dice to such an extent that there were no real human decisions.”

  65. Greg Amburgy

    Excellent point, Common. In opposition to Universalism, Spurgeon made the converse argument in “A Defense of Calvinism”. (It is recommended reading for all and is available all over the net.) But you and Spurgeon end up with the same conclusion while making contrary arguements. And he was no dummy, so maybe you are on to something. Isn’t theology wonderful?

    In the paragraph beginning “The standard Christian Position…”, you seemed to imply that I was taking the “all paths lead to God” position. I am not. This is one of the tenuous rabbit trails I spoke of earlier. It is truth that sets us free, not wacky new-age ideas or Buddism, Islam, etc.

    There is a growing number of Christians out there who see Jesus as the Savior of the World but hold to the orthodox truths of scripture such as the virgin birth, trinity, salvation only through the blood of Jesus, and yes, even the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In fact, universalism is a sham unless one believes that salvation comes ONLY through Jesus Christ.

    I totally get your point about human existence being a sham if God made special arrangements for everyone to accept him or to destroy everyone who did not. But first, read Matthew 20:1-16.

    Allow me to demonstrate Jesus’ parable with one of my own. Jesus is much better at this than I so I will explain my parable as I tell it.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto the problems plaguing major league baseball. A team-owner made a one-year guaranteed contract with a player to pay him $1,000,000 to play baseball. (The owner represents God. The player represents man.) Law requires that no matter what happens, the owner is obligated to play the player all of the money.) If the player has a bad year or gets hurt and cannot play, he still gets paid.

    But the owner has the option to reward the player above and beyond the contract at his discretion. He can tear up the one-year deal and make a new offer as long as the deal is BETTER than the one originally signed.

    Our old contract with God obligated us to do certain things and he would save us. But didn’t we learn anything about ourselves under the old deal? We stunk. We were hitting below the Mendosa line and committing countless errors in the field. Baseball was drudgery and we were only playing for the money. We were taking steroids to cover up our deficiencies so that the other players could not see how weak we really were.

    But God came along and tore up our deal. He said, “You guys have forgotten the love of the game. (You honour me with your lips but your heart is far from me.) I am going to offer you a deal you do not deserve, even a deal George Steinbrenner would not make. So God gave us a perfect contract with rewards far beyond our ability.

    But human nature is for us to worry about the guy whose stats were worse than ours. “Hey God, I was hitting .082 with sinners in scoring position. I won three people to Jesus last year. Joe over there did not even get in the game. This contract is a sham! Joe does not deserve the same money I’m getting. What we fail to recognize is that even Billy Graham and Mother Theresa do not deserve the contracts they are getting.

    “You’re welcome” to all the pastors now planning to preach a baseball sermon next week. Of course, you can do it without the universalist spin. You can say that the player does not get the new deal unless he accepts it and signs on the bottom line. Everyone bow your heads as the worship team comes.

    And yes, I believe in being born again, confessing Jesus, and repenting of sins. I just believe that allows us to experience the kingdom of God now.

  66. Rich Post author

    It’s been a while since I’ve been active on the blog or, specifically, on this particular post and comment thread. So, I thought I’d take some time to jot some reactions to previously unremarked comments.

    On April 9 Brannon wrote:

    It seems to me that the real issue here is not Carlton Pearson, but rather the idea being presented about God. Think about it: do you truly believe that God is powerful enough, wise enough, and loving enough to save everyone through Christ?

    I respectfully disagree. I don’t know about the other commenters here, but the issue for me is strictly Pearson’s theology and the teaching that is based on it. Of secondary importance is Pearson’s standing in the Christian community and the influence he has due to his long-standing reputation, which gives his theology more credence that is warranted.

    The issue is not whether God is powerful, wise, and loving. We know that he is. Rather, does a powerful, wise, and loving God tell us what he wants us to know about how to live and die in relation to him? And if he does want us to know this, can we trust him to tell us the truth? Because it seems to me that Scriptures are plain on the matter. However, Pearson, and others like him, wish to nuance the scriptures away until they are merely man’s twisted version of God’s communication. Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways: if you assert that God is powerful, wise, and loving enough to save everybody then why isn’t he powerful enough to preserve his Word? Why isn’t he wise enough to mean what it seems he said? Why isn’t he loving enough to tell us the truth?

    I contend he is powerful, wise, and loving, and that the record of Scripture actually does reveal God’s plan for our lives and his plan to save us from his wrath toward sin. I don’t need an extra-biblical revelation, as Carlton does, to realize that the Bible is wrong and that everybody’s going to Heaven, because that revelation is unnecessary in light of Scripture–and that it flatly contradicts Scripture is proof enough that the revelation is misguided at worst, or that Pearson’s interpretation of it is wrong at best.

    Brannon continued:

    Remember: God didn’t have to create anything at all. If the whole plan was going to go south on Him, He simply would have not created it.

    Except for the fact that from the beginning of time God foreknew those who would enter into fellowship with him and those who would not and he created us anyhow, with a plan to provide a means to be reconciled after sin entered the world. All I can conclude from the testimony of Scripture is that God created us to love him. I cannot infer what God would or would not do in light of any hypotheticals. I happily leave that kind of speculation to Carlton and his like-minded friends.

    Brannon continued:

    As for why Christian should live right, I hope that you do so because you love God and want to a place where His light and love are shining into the world. I’d hate to think that you only do it so you won’t be punished by God. That would say a great deal about what you think about God.

    Indeed. We should live right in gratitude for God and in light of his grace. I couldn’t agree more. Simply obeying to avoid punishment is the outworking of the Law. Under grace, we obey because we are transformed and “want” to obey. Avoiding God’s wrath is merely the consequence of being covered by his grace, but its also a good motive to accept his grace. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    On April 10 Teresa L. Reed commented:

    Regardless of how much motivation there is to lead sinners to Christ, regardless of how many appeals are made, regardless of how sincere the altar calls, regardless of how many tracts are circulated, regardless of how many revivals there are, regardless of how many scary pictures of hell are painted, it’s still a losing battle IF you believe that the only people going to heaven are those who’ve said the Sinner’s Prayer.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the “Sinner’s Prayer” brings salvation to anybody. Instead, belief, confession of that belief, and repentance brings one to salvation. The sinner’s prayer is found nowhere in scripture and is an aberration of modern evangelism that is doing more harm than good in our churches, creating nominal Christians with little or no intention to follow Christ in discipleship.

    Furthermore, if you believe that Christians are the only people heaven-bound, then you must also believe the corollary–that billions are hopelessly hell-bound. If God requires conversion to Christianity for access to heaven, then the good news of the Gospel, when thought of IN THIS WAY, is actually pretty doggone depressing.

    No. I don’t believe Christians are the only ones Heaven-bound, since Christianity is not synonymous with being a disciple of Christ or a child of God. There are far, far, too many who are attending churches today to whom Christ will say, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers” (Matthew 7:21-23)! Further, I suspect there are many outside of the Church who have bowed their knees to Christ who have never darkened a church door. Maybe you call them Christians, but I think we’ll be surprised how many Mormons we’ll see beyond the pearly gates.

    But as for the core of your argument, yes: there are far more people Hell-bound than Heaven-bound. And yes, that’s outright depressing. Christ knew this, and affirmed it when he said, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14). Allow me to repeat that for clumsy effect: Only a few will navigate the narrow road to ultimately pass the small gate. Only a few.

    Yes, I’d love to rewrite the Bible so that everybody gets in. It would make me happier, I think. Or at least less unhappy with my sin. It would also absolve me of any responsibility for sharing the Gospel, and would therefor allow me time for more selfish pursuits, like blogging on Carlton Pearson, etc.

    Teresa continued:

    Furthermore, a God who loves unconditionally is very out of sync with a God who burns billions because they don’t accept Him.

    And this reveals the fundamental misconception that Universalists have about Hell. God doesn’t “burn billions because they don’t accept him.” Hell is about God’s wrath toward sin, not his wrath toward idiots. The basic problem here is that Universalists fail believe God’s holiness. God’s holiness tolerates no sin, and the only antidote for God’s wrath toward sin is to accept the protective covering of Christ’s sacrifice. But to assume Christ’s sacrifice covers everybody, everywhere, for all time, automatically, again eliminates free-will. God may as well have brokered this deal in a Heavenly back-room. There’d be no need to be quite so bloody and public about the whole crucifixion affair. That would be just ghastly and for no purpose. But, really, this is what Universalists must acknowledge: God had no real purpose in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection if not even knowing about it makes zero difference. Universal-style Christianity would be so much more tasteful with a quiet sacrifice, don’t you think?

    Teresa also added:

    I have no intention whatsoever of lifting a finger to convert non-Christians, because for every one that I’d reach, there’d be billions more unreached. It would be an exercise in futility. [snip] I just don’t consider them to be lost.

    And this clearly separates you from me. I don’t know how you reinterpret Christ’s command to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,” or to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned,” and so on. (For any who are curious, see: Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:21; Acts 1:4-8.). Beyond the command to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself, this is the greatest imperative Christ left his disciples; be witnesses to his death, burial, and resurrection because those who hear of what God has done must choose to believe and repent. Else what is a witness for? The good news is that there is a way to escape God’s wrath toward sin. It’s not, “By the way, you don’t really need to know this, but you’ve got a free pass now.”

    The good news invites a response. The rumor of a foregone conclusion invites nothing but a shrug.

    Teresa continues, predictably, attempting to diminish the Bible’s authority on plain issues of interpretation:

    The Bible becomes less of an idol for you when you realize that the first news about Jesus was circulated by word-of-mouth. For many years, there was no Bible. And that’s why study is so important.

    The facts of what you state are true. But I suspect your intent is to imply that what is plainly written in Scripture must be reinterpreted in order to dismiss what is clear and arrive at a “hidden” truth, not revealed in the words of the text. This is what the Jesus Seminar so blatantly tries to do: get rid of what Jesus didn’t say and redact and modify the text to reveal what he really meant. The Jesus Seminar folks say things like, “Jesus did not call upon people to repent, or fast, or observe the sabbath. He did not threaten with hell or promise heaven,” and “Jesus did not regard scripture as infallible or even inspired.” (See: The Jesus Seminar.)

    But this approach disregards the nature of oral history and its role in Jewish culture. In modern times, yes, I’d readily believe that any memoir or account detailing events decades past must necessarily involve a great deal of inventive remembering. However, we do not live in a culture informed by oral tradition. Further, we also fail to realize that the Gospel records were probably not the only written accounts of Jesus’ sayings and deeds–as evidenced by the textual commonalities between the Synoptic Gospels.

    This approach further diminishes God’s role in preserving and protecting a document he superintended in its writing, collation, and release. A God who is not powerful enough to preserve his Word is probably not powerful enough to save the condemned, wouldn’t you think?

    On April 10 Colin T. Bent sided with Teresa, and then attacked me, saying:

    Amen, Sis Reed! What a deep-seated hatred it must take for anyone to set up a blog to castigate a man who has done nothing but proclaim the boundless love of our creator.

    Colin, I assure you I have no hatred for Carlton Pearson, deep-seated or otherwise. Further, I’m not castigating the man, I’m attacking his doctrine. Please read more closely before assuming you understand what I’ve said here.

    After some further railing, Colin concludes:

    If God was to perform by the rules that we have been taught, not one of us would be saved. So you might pray, not for Carlton Pearson, although he would appreciate you doing so, but rather pray that what he preaches is indeed so because that is the only hope in hell that some of you have for going to heaven.

    I’m not sure what rules you’re referring to, but I find your conclusion odd. We should pray that Carlton is right? Whyever for? Do you think by praying it, we can make it so? This is wishful thinking at its most absurd, akin to praying that Adam and Eve make the right choice. God’s plan for mankind is a done deal, my friend. What matters is not what could do, but what he has done, and what we must do in response.

    On April 11, Carl chimed in with some thoughts:

    The support for Carlton Pearson’s doctrine come by way of human logic.

    And he cites Pearson’s conclusion that God “sucks” sinners “right into Hell” as the beginning of the slippery slope down the logic hill. I think he’s right. Once we assume that Evangelicals believe God is the active agent in sending people to hell, you wind up having to square that with God’s love. And that leads to all sorts of mental gyrations until the whole thing falls apart and the conclusion is forced: “Well, I’d rather believe that God is loving than to believe that God is sending people to Hell–so I’m scrapping the whole Hell thing. And boy do I feel better now!”

    But that premise is wrong, as Carl notes. God doesn’t send people to Hell. He will send Satan to Hell, and his minions. That any of us end up there is a matter of our own choice. God’s judgment affirms our rejection of God’s mastery.

    Citing several other conclusions brought by other commenters, he concludes:

    This is all human reason. As if what makes logical sense to us actually matters. I do believe that God is love but I also believe that the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness.

    Yes, that is the crux, as I’ve stated above. Universalist theology really doesn’t recognize God’s holiness and his righteousness. God’s holiness is toxic to sin, and as long as we hold on to it, failing to repent and seek the covering of Christ’s grace, his holiness will be toxic to us, as well.

    In a call for transparency, he further says:

    I wish that these people would be honest and just come out and say that they do not believe the bible.

    Indeed, and amen. Thanks for saying it plainly Carl.

    Teresa L. Reed, however, responds on April 11, by making it clear she never claimed to be a Christian, and therefore places herself neatly outside the debate while still debating the issue.

    For Teresa, the Bible is “a great book,” “loaded with errors, inconsistencies, and confusing passages ” (at least the KJV is). And somehow, it seemed important to point out an important scholarly conclusion: “Jesus Himself never told anyone to read the King James Version, nor did Jesus ever tell anyone to become a Christian.”

    Well, that certainly raised the bar on this discussion.

    Then, thinking that Carl was the author of this weblog, she addresses him with some small measure of superiority:

    As I understand it, your Christian blog exists to invite conversation. If you feel that our postings are insolent, then maybe this should be a website and not a blogsite. You can’t expect to vilify someone who is so greatly loved and never hear a word from his supporters.

    Teresa, allow me to correct your misapprehension: This is a weblog, it does invite civil discourse, and I am its author: Rich Tatum. You are welcome to post here as much as you wish, as long as the comments are civil and not ad hominem. So far, I’ve no complaints with you. Carry on.

    Regarding the “evolution of the Bible” and its history of interpretation, Teresa recalls:

    When I started to really study the history and background of this thing called Christianity and this book called the Bible, I found ugly, human stains all over it. I found things that were misinterpreted, mistranslating, and just wrong. I’d been lied to on many fronts, and I bought it because I was afraid of going to hell if I didn’t. But now that I know better, I have peace that I’ve never known before.

    I’m glad for you, Teresa, that you’ve found peace. That’s important. And I cannot, nor will I, judge your relationship with God. For all I know, we’ll laugh about this together over a picnic in Heaven someday. I surely hope so, for my sake as well as yours. But your personal journey from faith to doubt to a different kind of faith is not an absolute measure of the Bible’s credibility and authenticity. You are like Bart Ehrman, who wrote a book recently, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (a book I’m sure you’d enjoy–seriously). He had a similar journey and when he discovered what every seminarian knows, it destroyed his faith and now he is agnostic at best. (By the way, a good quote from Martin Marty: “[Ehrman] has discovered and is informing us that we do not have original gospel documents and that those we have are of diverse quality and display variants–something even fundamentalists freely learn from the footnotes in the Greek New Testaments that they used in seminary.”)

    But that there fingerprints of human error and involvement in the transmission of Scripture does not break my faith, it strengthens it. Why? Because it repeats the theme found throughout Scripture: we are participants in God’s plan. He is the author, and we are his hands, and feet. God didn’t prevent the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments from being broken, but he also preserved the Ten Comandments so that even today we know what they are. God’s authorship and our participation in his plan is consistent from the Garden of Eden right down to the decision I must make to take up my cross and follow Jesus.

    Jesus breaks the trail. I must follow.

    On April 11 Colin T. Bent dismissed Carl’s dismissal of human logic as yet more human logic. And then he bowed out of the conversation because:

    Nothing that you or I say can change God so all I can do is go about loving all of His creation and refrain from attempting to start an Armagedan or any other such stupid stuff.

    Probably among the wisest words written here, so far. Though I disagree with Colin’s theology, I agree with his sentiment, here. However, I need to state for the record that not only am I (personally) making a case for my worldview and theology to the participants of the dialog but also for other readers who have not chimed in. Perhaps your words have influenced them, perhaps mine. Perhaps we’ve only solidified people’s positions. I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing, as long as the discussion is irenic.

    On April 12, Brannon returned to address some of Carl’s points, dismissing Carl’s beliefs as “simple beliefs you have been taught by people of authority you respect.” Thereby neatly sidestepping the issue of the Bible’s authority to speak on the matter. Since it’s just other people’s beliefs we’re talking about, there’s no need to really seek the truth on the matter, apparently. It’s all relative.

    Brannon then addressed the nature of God’s wrath against sin vs. his love.

    Let me point out that you seem to believe that God’s love and wrath are equal in duration. They are not. Psalm 136 repeats the phrase, “His mercy (steadfast love) endures forever” twenty-six times. But about God’s anger we have Psalm 30:5: “For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime.” Micah 7:18 says, “He does not retain His anger forever because He delights in mercy.” From a scriptural point of view, God’s love far out shines God’s wrath.

    Somehow, it seems, Brannon has forgotten that since God is infinite (without beginning and without end) then his attributes are also infinite (Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”), and that Hell has also been described in infinite terms (Mark 9:48: “where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'” Also: Isaiah 66:24.) If God’s holiness cannot tolerate sin, how can we say that his wrath toward the unrepentant sinner somehow ends without passing judgment on the sin? Yes, God’s wrath may be expiated upon judgment, but the sentence will endure.

    Brannon then concludes that since Isaiah 55:10-11 asserts that God’s word will accomplish his intention, and that John 1:14 says Jesus is God’s Word, and that since Luke 10:19 says Jesus came “to save that which is lost,” and that since Paul says in Romans 3:23 that all are lost, then therefore, Jesus’ sacrifice redeemed everybody and not only a few.

    But, in my way of thinking, Brannon does nothing to diminish the importance my need to believe, to repent and to accept the gift of salvation. The only thing I would really change in Brannon’s chain of logic and scripture is the conclusion: God’s word was accomplished, and Christ’s mission was fulfilled: salvation is therefore available to all who Christ seeks. All that remains is for those who remain lost is to be “found” by responding to the Savior’s call.

    On April 12, John Garlington joined the fray, siding with the Universalists as one who comes from a long line of Pentecostals but who rejects orthodox teaching–primarily because the whole doctrine of Original Sin doesn’t make sense.

    After presenting some scriptural proof-texts for his point of view, he then attacks this weblog:

    And the way this blog has been organized or built for the sole purpose of denigrating Bishop Pearson it makes you wonder: what is this person afraid of? Could Bishop Pearson actually be right?

    :: sigh ::

    I wish you people would read the rest of this blog. Yes, the Carlton Pearson heresy post gets a lot of attention, but it is by no means my only post on this blog, and I created this weblog long before this post was ever conceived. Please stop trying to turn this into a personal attack on Carlton Pearson. I’ve made it repeatedly clear it’s not.

    Why should attacking the doctrine be construed as attacking the man? It makes me wonder: what are Pearson’s supporters afraid of? Could he actually be wrong?

    As for me, I’m not afraid he’s right. If he is, then I’m left scratching my head as to why any of you would care one spit about what is written here. If Pearson is right, leave us to our misguided notions, we’ll all get it right in Heaven. In my mind, the energy spent on this discussion is probably evidence that there remain questions about his conclusions. After all, it’s only if he’s wrong that it makes any sense whatsoever to discuss this. And I do believe he’s wrong. Fatally wrong.

    On May 2, Kenneth Harrell joined us, with an attempt to look at the bigger picture within the Pentecostal world:

    I think that the fundamental problem in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles is an over-reliance on experience to formulate doctrine. The Reformed critique of we Pentecostals is probably true: we base our doctrines on our personal experiences rather than on solid biblical exegesis. [snip] Rather than attack Bishop Pearson we should pray for his conversion.

    Well. I can’t really add anything to that, truly. I think Kenneth is right on. And I agree with the rest of his comment, as well. It’s worth reading. Where have you been? Keep posting!

    On June 7 Christina chimed in:

    Even Christ himself was considered an heretic by the religious groups of his day. It was once thought that the Earth was flat, remember? Who can say what truth is? It appears it’s relative, in any case. God has better things to do than settle our arguments about what we do and do not believe.

    Oh, goodness, me. Truth is relative? Is that an absolute? Or am I free to disregard that statement as being a catchy cliche from a liberal education? It will behoove you to find out whether there are ever absolutes and if so what that means for your faith. Afer all, it will be cold comfort if you miss Heaven, relatively speaking.

    On June 25, Gary Amirault laughingly accused me of heresy and boasting that I “know the Lord and the Bible.” Though it’s unclear what, exactly, I’m teaching that is heretical or unorthodox, I do confess that I boast in knowing the Lord, though I do not know him as well as he knows me, and I can take no credit–for he knew me before I knew him.

    Gary then provides a lengthy series of biblical proof-texts taken out of context as if to prove his Universalist position, upon the reading of which I am supposed to “repent and apologize to Carlton Pearson.”

    I am already tired of writing this compendium of responses and have little to no desire to treat every one of Gary’s proof-texts as they deserve to be treated: in context. But suffice it to say, they are incomplete, they are taken out of context, and the New Testament does not say what he is trying to insinuate. If there is demand for it, I can try my hand at replying to each scripture point-by-point, but I really don’t have time for it at the moment. If you’re really interested, let me know.

    Otherwise, I’m stymied. If Carlton Pearson is correct, how could I possibly be a heretic? If Pearson is correct every religion and every form of every religion is equally valid. Therefore, there is nothing I could possibly teach under any circumstances that would prevent me or anybody else from going to Heaven. In fact, under Pearson’s theology, there is no such thing as bad theology, since all theologies do the trick. Or, better, all theologies are equally ineffective since the trick has already been done.

    Further, under Pearson’s worldview, I would have nothing to apologize for since all beliefs are equally valid. My belief that he is wrong is just as valid as his belief that he is right. So, why should he think I owe him an apology for believing what I want to believe? To Pearson, I would think it should make no difference at all.

    On July 4 former CoG pastor’s kid, Greg Amburgy, rejoined the dialog and seconded Gary Amirault’s post. To this he added the challenge to look up every reference to “Hell” in a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

    Study the original words and consider Jesus’ teaching on Gahenna in light of Titus’ sacking of Jerusalem approximately 70 AD. You must also be prepared to admit that the Constantine-era Catholics may have taken license with theology to unite the Roman empire. If we get our panties in a bunch because of the unscriptural doctrine of Purgatory, how much of a stretch is it to think they may have combined the concepts of Tartarus, Sheol, Gahenna, and Hades into one eternal inferno in which God burns his enemies forever?

    On this issue, I would simply point to my earlier post on this matter (“Heaven and Hell: September 28, 2005, class #3“) and simply say, for now, that for the same reason that “Abraham’s Bosom” is a phrase denoting Heaven, other cultural terms in common use during Jesus’ day (and earlier) became synonyms for the place we now call Hell. Hell is a German word found nowhere in scripture, but it was used in the KJV to translate the place names we now know of as Sheol, Abbadon, Hades, Hinnom, Topheth, Tartarus, and Gehenna. Many modern translations use the original place names instead of the word “Hell,” but despite this, a clear reading of these passages makes it clear that the original place names eventually became euphemisms for the grave and/or for the place where the dead go that God is not.

    On July 6 John D. Clark joined in after a long day at the office and questioned the importance of the debate and the label of heresy:

    Who said [Pearson] ever left the fold just because he sees things differently nowadays. As far as I know, if you say with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God, you shall be saved. So let’s say I don’t believe in tithes and offerings (which I don’t) does that I mean I’m not saved? What if it’s something bigger like I don’t believe in hell? Does that mean that I do not believe in Christ and the blood that was shed for me.

    The reason I and others have classified Pearson’s doctrine as damnable heresy is this: by declaring the work of the Cross as efficacious for all without their consent, choice, or repentance, Pearson denies the need for faith in Christ, the need for confession of belief, the need for repentance, and the need for sacraments like water Baptism. If everybody is saved, there is no call for salvation. There is no call to believe. There is no call to repent. There is no call to accept the free gift of the grace of Christ. If those are done away with, there is no gospel. While it looks like, on one hand, universalists are pointing to the Cross and saying how powerful it is to effect salvation, what they are actually doing is pointing away from Christ and and the need to repent and believe. New Testament faith does not simply look to the Cross, it looks to the God/man who hung upon the cross, who died, who was buried, who rose from the dead, and who ascended to Heaven. And, by the way, he left us with pretty clear instructions about our job when he left: we were to make disciples, calling people to baptism and repentance. A gospel which negates his last commands ignores the reality of what the Cross actually represents: a painful sacrifice that earns us nothing but gives us everything–if we accept the gift, believe, repent of our sins, and obey.

    John continued with a testimony about how he gradually moved away from his conservative convictions and now identifies himself not as a Christian but as a man of God. Some of the penetrating questions he had, which led him to this position, were things like:

    If there was not a social set up such as a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship in the bible, but there is now, then why couldn’t I have either more than one wife or at least a wife and a concubine?

    And it seems that high theological questions such as this were unanswerable in his cohort of fellow Bible seekers. Other questions were equally imponderable such as debates over tithing, church structure, and community property, socialism, social drinking, and discussion with believers from other faiths. While this informal seeking and Bible reading seemed to greatly infuse John’s faith, it apparently did nothing to answer these fairly straightforward questions. So, really, it’s little wonder he eventually became disillusioned.

    That’s the power of theology by democracy. Your doctrines will welcome you with open arms.

    On July 9 Gary Amirault rejoined the discussion with a repost of an article of his, titled, “What is Carlton Pearson’s ‘Doctrine of Inclusion?'”

    That same day Jenny Stevenson chided me by saying:

    I heard with my ears how sorry you say that you are for Pastor Pearson, but I hear with my heart the voice of a demon.

    What could I possibly say in response to that? I mean, if I’m a demon, why am I wasting time arguing for a confession of faith in Christ and obedience to his commands?

    I’m crazy like a fox that way.

    J. Fitzer joined us later that day and related that logic is healthy and alive and should be a greater part of our discussions. To which I add a hearty “Amen!” But then he veers off by saying:

    Christian theology doesn’t make logical sense. I say if Carlton Pearson gets people actively thinking hes doing a WONDERFUL thing.

    Augustine and others might disagree with your assertion that Christian theology doesn’t make logical sense. I might agree with them. As for the value of being a theological gadfly: I agree it’s good to get people to think. But Carlton Pearson isn’t asking people to think, he’s asking people to disregard the clear teaching of scripture. If there’s any thinking going on, it’s in a furious backstopping to buttress his revelation so it squares with his interpretation of Scripture. That’s not really reason, it’s rationalization.

    Common Swift chimed in a couple days later, defending me from the claim of demonic influences by noting that I do have funny facial hair, but that shouldn’t be held against me. But he also wanted to know:

    By the way, what is gaysidious?

    Sorry, Common Swift, just my attempt at humor and inventiveness. Think “gay” + “insidious.” Kind of like “Darth Sidious” from Star Wars, only without the popcorn and trailers.

    On July 17 Virginia “Jenny” Stevenson returned to reassert that I’m a double-minded man, unstable in all my ways. She can’t seem to wrap her mind around the fact that while I’m sad that Pearson has left the fold and wish for him to return, I can also address his heresy. So she accuses me of calling him an egomaniac.

    Well, for the record, I never said Carlton Pearson was an egomaniac. That would require a psychological degree and in-depth counseling with the man to arrive at that conclusion and even then I would be bound by patient/counselor privilege from revealing my hypothetical diagnosis. But what I did say is that at least one of his interviews bears the mark of egotism. For example, “I miss being Bishop Pearson, the celebrated preacher.” (NPR’s “Heretics,” [38:28-39:35])

    Jenny, here’s a newsflash: we all struggle with egotism. Whether it’s in the form of insecurity and low self-esteem, narcissism, loneliness, pride, haughtiness, arrogance, selfishness, or conceit–we all have it. I humbly submit that I, myself, struggle with egotism–often in the form of blatant insecurity and, in other areas, rank pride. It would be the rare pastor, indeed, who had no egotism whatsoever.

    I feel badly that you are so upset with me for pointing out the traces of egotism in Bishop Pearson’s interviews. But I don’t apologize for stating my case. At any rate, thank you for praying for me, and I hope you continue to do so. I need your prayers.

    Common Swift again rose to my defense on July 18, asking Jenny to refrain from name-calling. Thanks, Swifty. I appreciate it.

    On July 26, Anonymous wanted to know:

    Does anyone have a logical or rational reason why what he is saying is such a big deal? Or why anyone would be threatened by such an idea?

    See my rationale, provided above.

    And now, while there were other posts that followed this date, I’m going to rest my tired fingers and let it go. If there are follow-up responses, I’ll try to handle them as time permits, but please forgive me if I’m slow to respond.



  67. Joseph

    I am not a universalist, nor a unitarian, nor a follower of Carlton Pearson. I am a follower of Christ Jesus and believe in the Scriptures. But I do sympathize with some of Carlton’s positions regarding the eventual salvation of all mankind. I believe some of the confusion regarding the doctrines of hell and eternal torment, as well as the salvation of all mankind is due to Christianity’s reliance on poor translation of key scriptures, and poor application of scriptural context.

    First, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2) Sometimes the words and details that we read in the scriptures are often taken at face value without regard to meaning and context, which opens doors to hidden treasure. “I was not commissioned except for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” — Jesus Christ, Matt.15:24

    When Jesus walked amongst us, neither He or His disciples ever pronounced a worldwide message of “good News.” Check out Matthew 10:5-7. His message was for Israel concerning the kingdom of the heavens. If this was a worldwide message of “be saved or be damned to hell for eternity,” then Jesus had a great opportunity to extend that message to all corners of the globe, but instead He just says to stick to the Israelites. This is because the message was only for the Israelites concerning the millennial kingdom of heaven that Jesus was teaching about; a thousand years of heavenly peace to a re-born Israel. Romans 15:8 — “For I am saying that Christ has become the Servant of the Circumcision, for the sake of the truth of God, to confirm the patriarchal promises.”

    So everything you read that Jesus said was first and foremost to serve this great purpose of God. Though the accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John contain many of the things Jesus said, we know from Acts, and the writings of Paul that there was more to be revealed regarding the good news becoming first an offer to Israel, then a proclamation to be brought to the nations of the world.

    Regarding the warnings/threats of Jesus, Matthew 5:29-30, He never said the word “hell,” this is a bad translation, the word here is “Geenna,” check your concordance. Jesus was warning about the fire of Gehenna, a geographical location along the southwest corner of Jerusalem. It was the old site where Israelites dumped garbage and offered sacrifices to Molech (in the valley of Hinnom). During the thousand year kingdom this site will be used again as a crematorium for the corpses of criminals. The KJV, NIV, and the NASB all show their theological bias when they translate this geographical location Geenna into hell. They didn’t do this with the Greek regarding Hierousalem — Jerusalem, Nazaret — Nazareth, Bethleem — Bethlehem. When Jesus spoke to the Israelites about Gehenna they trembled in fear because they had a correct historical perspective of the significance of this place in relation to the thousand year kingdom. Read Isaiah 66:23-24.

    I have to get ready to go to work, but consider this, the Old Testament does not mention eternal damnation in hell, all of its judgements relate to the kingdom of the heavens. God had a perfect opportunity with Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham and the other patriarchs to clue us in on a place of such significance, a place of endless fiery torment, yet it can’t be found. Everlasting and eternal are poor translations of words that should be translated as eon and eonian.

    I do believe there will be judgements, and accountability for actions taken in this life, but ultimately it will be part of a remedial redemption, for “God is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers.” — 1 Timothy 4:10.

    “For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ’s in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being abolished: death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.” — 1 Corinthians 15:22-28.

    More to be said later, gotta go. God bless you all!

  68. foxeyes2

    I don’t know if Bishop Pearson’s belief is correct but I do know that no one’s theology is 100% correct so all those who are attacking him should stop and examine their own beliefs. Then they need to show the love of god to those around them.

  69. Kevin

    Dear Rich,

    I would like to say something on behalf of universalist Christianity.

    For years I believed in the traditional notion that those who accept Jesus before their last breath will go to Heaven, and all others will burn endlessly in Hell.

    I went through seminary and I am an ordained pastor. I have gone though my own journey of re-thinking my theology.

    I believe in repentance from sin.

    I believe in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    I believe in the existence of Heaven and Hell.

    But I have also come to the conclusion that God will eventually save everyone.

    Why? Well, we had a pool party at a friend’s house one day. My five year old swam over to the deep area (after I told her not to). When she began to chock and cough and sink beneath the surface, I swam over in a flash and pulled her up.

    It occurs to me that I saved my daughter from drowning, even though I had warned her not to swim in the deep area of the pool. I ask myself, “Would I have saved my daughter even if she was a rebellious wild-child…even if I had warned her a hundred times?” Of course the answer is YES!

    It occurs to me that if I would jump in and save my daughter, even if lived her life as a rule-breaking terror, even if I had warned her endlessly to avoid the deep part of the pool…if I STILL would save her…then it occurs to me that God, who IS LOVE, will do everything in HIS POWER to save His creation, even the ones He has warned, even the thoroughly wicked ones.

    When Jesus was criticized in Luke 15: 2 for spending time with “notorious sinners” (Luke 15: 1, NLT.) Jesus told the parable of Shepherd seeking after the lost sheep. Who is the Shepherd? Jesus! Who are the lost sheep? Sinners! Who long will the Shepherd search for the sheep? Until He has found them! What will He do once He has found them? Bring them home and rejoice! Period.

    Just to drive the point home, Jesus tells the parable of the lost coin which simply reiterates the same point as in the parable of the lost sheep.

    Then Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son. In this story, the father (God) does not go after the prodigal son (sinner), but the prodigal has to return to the father in order to be restored to the family.

    I believe that eventually, every prodigal will get tired of the pig pen (Hell) and return home to the Father (in Heaven).

    I also believe John the Baptist when he said that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29)

    I trust Jesus to take away the sin of the world. Can’t you?

    If I would rescue my drowning daughter from a swimming pool, no matter how bad she behaved beforehand, no matter how many times I warned her…why can’t we believe that God will save all of His creation from drowning in what Revelation calls the “lake of fire?”

    I acknowledge that I could be wrong. It is possible that the wicked could languish in Hell for centuries, eternally resisting God’s grace…I just don’t believe that God would reject a wicked soul who sincerely turned to Him and repented in Hell.

    Universalism does NOT ignore God’s holiness and justice.

    God’s righteousness, holiness, and justice demanded a payment for sin, right? Well, God’s mercy provided a payment for sin, Jesus, the Lamb of God. Rich, the payment has been made! God’s wrath against humankind’s sin has been thoroughly satisfied by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The victory is won! God demands NOTHING ELSE!

    Now it is up to sinful humans to recognize their sin and their need for a Savior and to humbly bow before Jesus and confess Him as Lord and accept the gift.

    Phil. 2:10-11 assures me that eventually, in this life or the next, every knee will bow, and every tongue will say “Jesus is Lord!” to God’s glory!

    Like I said, I could be wrong. But the only alternative held out by traditional Christian theology is that the devil will suffer in Hell forever with billions of lost sheep, while God lives forever in Heaven with only a few sheep. In that scenario, who is really victorious, God or the devil.

    I’m sorry, but I cannot sing the hymn “Victory in Jesus” if I believe that the devil has billions of lost souls in Hell, while God lives in Heaven with only a relatively few sheep.

    I still believe in repentance from sin.

    I still believe in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    I still believe in the existence of Heaven and Hell.

    I still believe in righteous living, and the consequences to living sinfully.

    I just don’t believe that the Shepherd will EVER STOP searching for the lost sheep, in this life or the next. That for me is truly good news.

    Thank you for reading!

  70. Keith

    Last night (Sunday, August 13th) Carlton Pearson appeared on Dateline. Keith Morrison was the interviewer and it was touching. I saw man who was hurting and the “church folks” did not help in anyway. I also believe Keith Morrison was not as objective as I would have liked and seemed to be on Pearson’s side. The interview was really interesting (go to for interview). I really miss the old Carlton Pearson and will continue to pray for him.

  71. Rev. Richard Matthews

    Hurrah for Carlton. I, too, am a heretical, fallen Pentecostal. Thank God. Today I am an ordained New Thought (Unity, Religious Science, Divine Science, etc.) minister. I used to believe in Divine Retribution. Until I studied thoroughly and completely the first couple of chapters in Genesis and found that the only one to tell the truth in the entire Bible was, of course, the Serpent. He asked, “Can’t you eat from every tree in the Garden?” “All but the one in the center,” says Eve. “God has said we will die in the moment we eat.” “God knows that isn’t true,” says the Serpent. “He knows that when you eat, you will not die; your eyes will be opened and you will be like Him, knowing good from evil.” So they eat. Sure enough, their eyes open and they know good from evil i.e. they now have free will. . .like God–the ability to choose among options. And God corroborates the fact awhile later. He says, “Behold, the man has become as one of us(?), knowing good from evil. . .” The Serpent told the truth. God didn’t. The humans did indeed become like their creator. If the Creator had not wished for that to happen, He would not have placed such a tree among Innocents. He would not have allowed the Serpent (symbol of wisdom and enlightenment, by the way) to crawl around the Garden. He would not get angry when they ate, and He definitely would not condemn an entire race for something He himself set up. That is, unless He is a bit sadistic. And, if the couple had really known what they were doing, as so many evangelical and mainline Christians insist, they would have been clever enough to eat first from the Tree of Life; then, they would go for the free will. And, had it happened that way, they would have been God’s competition rather than His puppets. But it happened the other way. Why? Because the couple was completely innocent and did not know they were actually doing anything wrong. They couldn’t have. The Bible is clear: when they ate, then and only then were their eyes opened and they knew good (right) from evil (wrong). They ate from the Tree in complete innocence, just like a puppy. He may slink when you yell at him for messing on the floor, but he doesn’t really understand why. Same with the couple.

    Without Original Sin, there is no need for salvation. But, just to give believers the benefit of the doubt. . .

    Those who claim that there is an eternal hell for those who don’t believe a certain way, or for those who are not part of the Chosen (according to Calvinists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others), have misunderstood most of what the Bible says on the subject. The Bible (and the Jewish authors knew this) is predominantly allegory and myth, intended as teaching tools, not to be taken literally. Hell, then, is indeed a state of mind, created in the here and now. So is heaven.

    If Jesus died for the sin of the world, that is, Original Sin, not individual sins, then the so-called Curse has been forever removed with his Resurrection. No one will be judged; all have been judged already. And Christ has paid the penalty. He has also reaped the reward for doing so. In that, we will partake with Him. In fact, when that is realized, heaven begins Now.
    We play no role in the Salvation Process. If we need to do anything, including believing, then we ourselves create salvation. If Jesus has done the work, then no amount of belief can affect the outcome, one way or the other. As Carlton said on Dateline, if even one soul can be lost, then Jesus failed. But he didn’t.

    The only Law that those of us who know there is no Hell now follow is from Matt. 7:12, where Jesus admonishes us to do to others as we want them to do to us. For this is the Law and the Prohpets. All the rest is mere detail.

    Unconditional Love, then, seeks no worship, no vengeance, no payback of any kind, not even any acknowledgement. And it certainly does not mete out punishment, or allow its own creation, or a major part thereof, to go off into some kind of eternal, separate torment. If God is not uncondtional love, then I want no part of him. If God is not unconditional love, then he is a false god. If God is not unconditional love, then he is just so much smoke and mirrors–a magician, not a creator. I would rather spend an eternity in some hell than spend one single moment with a god who would not only allow a hell, but create one for those who choose to be Buddhist, or Muslim, or Hindu, or even atheist. A conditional god, one who needs to be worshipped, acknowledged, and threatens torment if not followed, is a true devil. But none such god, or devil, exists. Why?

    Because there is only One Power, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. Beside that Power, nothing can exist. As we say in New Thought, there is no spot where God is not. Pantheism? So what??

    I thank the One Power, the One Presence, the One Life for sending Carlton his Revelation. Now we’re getting somewhere!!

    Peace to all.

  72. Phil Cassel

    Hi everybody;

    I’ve been reading the banter and it appears to me that there are 2 camps here, one that believes there is a Heaven to gain and a hell to shun, and the other wants to believe in a literal Heaven but not in Hell (because if God is Love, then how can He possibly send anybody to hell?)

    My analagy is, if I cease to believe in the federal government’s existance, will the taxman disappear? If I don’t file my income tax forms at the end of the year, will I escape the long arm of the law? I think I had better know the laws of the land and abide by them if I want to retain my freedom and liberty to go about as a free man unless I should end up in prison, and still have to pay the taxman, including fines and courtcosts, etc.

    Therefore, if I want to be spiritually free from the long arm of the everlasting law, I had better read up on His laws, and abide by them (they are not left to personal interpretation). The Apostle Paul said to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, of what? Heaven VS hell, God good, devil bad, Eternal Life VS eternal damnation.

    But then, I read in the Scripures where it says that if I receive Christ’s offer of Salvation, He holds me in the palm of His Hand and nobody and nothing can separate me from His Love (but then again, I read elsewhere in the Scriptures, that there are exceptions to that rule, such as the Nicolations in Revelations and those who alter the Scriptures, especially the prophetic Word of what’s to come in the future, such as a literal Zion coming down from Heaven (the City of God, the New Jerusalem, measuring 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide, and 1500 miles tall, that will literally grind to powder those who are in opposition to God and His plan of Salvation as He interprets it) and also, those who offend Holy Spirit, will have their names removed from the Living Book, The Lamb’s Book of Life! Yeah, I fear and tremble as I work out my Salvation, I fall prostrate at the feet of Jesus and cry, “I’m unworthy, I’m a hopeless sinner, saved by Your precious Blood only. I receive your garment of salvation since there is a way that seems right unto man but the end is eternal perdition, therefore I do not rely on my own reasoning nor my own works of self righteosness to get me into Heaven.”

    The Scriptures say that the oceans will part and reveal the foundations of the Earth when Zion, the City of God comes down out of Heaven. We know the center of the Earth is molten lava and that Scriptures say that death and hell shall be cast into the lake of fire and will burn forever and ever. I choose to believe the Laws of God so that my name will be found in the Book of Life and not “the books” as described in the book of Daniel chapter 7 or 8. It describes what Almighty God will look like and how the unbelievers will be ushered into His presence and they will slide away into the lake of fire, there will be a molten path that flows from His firey Throne, all the way into the opening to hell.

    Prophetic Sripture elsewhere says the Ancient of Days will be seated in Zion on the Throne of David and from there, He will watch the devil roast in hell forever and ever. Hell was made for the devil and all the fallen angels, 1/3 of Heavens angels who rebelled with Lucifer, it was not originaly built for man, but the Word of God clearly states which men will end up there. On the other hand, we could choose to not believe God’s Word and ignore the literal meaning of it in spite of it telling of a literal Zion, the City of God, coming down out of Heaven in the future as prophetic Scriptures state, just like I can choose to ignore the federal government and the taxman and take my chances they will go away like the boogeyman. God loves all men, but He hates their sin and it has to be dealt with, just as the Apostle Paul says, “we are saved by Grace through Faith (a personal relationship with Jesus where at a specific time and place, I received Him as my Lord and Saviour.)

    After all, Jesus did state that on the Day of Judgement (is that literal? you bet your sweet bippy.), there will be those who will cry, “Lord, Lord, in your Name, we cast out devils, we healed the sick.” And what did Jesus say, “In that Day, I will say ‘Depart from Me you who are cursed, for I never knew you.’ How can He say that? Didn’t they perform miracles, didn’t they proclaim His Name? Yeah, but they forgot one thing, they had the formula, they just didn’t bother to do it His Way, by inviting Him in as Lord and Saviour, that includes repentence of personal sin and turning away from doing it their way. If we don’t want to believe these Scriptures that I’ve mentioned, if we want to put our own spin on it, if we want to listen to voices in our head instead of leaning on the Holy Word of God when it contradicts those voices, will God wink and say, “that’s okay, come on guys, I was just joking, I really didn’t mean it.” Or will He say, “You should have taken Me seriously, how could you have overlooked My Word where I said that not one jot nor tittle would go unfulfilled (every i dotted and every t crossed).” I do fear and tremble.

    I’m sure you know the devil lied through the serpent when he asked Eve if she really believed God when He said she would surely die if she disobeyed His Word and ate the forbidden fruit, and so did Adam, they died spiritually that day. They no longer were in fellowship with God. That is why Jesus, the Son of God had to come and die in our place that we might be re-established in fellowship with God the Father again, not buddah, there is only One God, the God of Abraham, Issach and Jacob (Israel), His chosen seed to bring Salvation to the world through, not John Lennon and his song of give peace a chance, “imagine there’s no hell nor Heaven, it’s not that hard to do”. Hah!

    Do you know ther are no atheists nor egnostics in hell? Think about it, once those flames of fire and fervent heat grips them, and the devil and all his tormenting demons descend on them, do you think they still go, “ahm, ahm, I am at peace and in complete tranquility with the world…..this is just a bad dream”…..yeah, right.

    As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord, and we shall go to meet Him when He returns at the sound of Gabriel’s Trump, and He shall wipe away all memory of the lost and the damned. Rev. Pearson, I’m gonna miss you, and all those you take with you. I have tears in my eyes right now, turn back and repent of this folly while there is still time, do it quickly for time is short, just ask John Lennon.


  73. Merri

    It is so sad to me how far from the mark (sin) people in this country and those who call themselves Christians can be. Is it really so unimaginable that God would reveal something seemingly new…or misunderstood by so many for so long? Is it really so unimaginable that someone could come along with a message that contradicts the “Religeous Authorities” and when he does…is followed by few, reviled by many and then crucified.

    To many Christians this ‘new’ message is not so new at all. I’ve known that Hell was on earth since I was old enough to ponder the thought. At 8 years old a ‘born again’ told me that in order to be saved I would have to rebuke the devil or be cast into Hell forever. (A horrible thing to try and scare a child into being saved.) I was told that Satan would visit me that evening and I was supposed to say, “in the name of Jesus be gone.” and the devil would go away. This was the least Christ like thing a person could do. And that was the message that came to me the next morning after an evening of tears and fear…I woke to the morning sun, and prayed for the first time in my memory, And the answer came as clear and undeniable as though it were written in words before me or whispered in my ear…Hell is separation from Me…not a place, but a choice. Fear not, for the Kingdom of Heaven is upon you. In the here and the now.

    I suppose if one does good all of their lives so that they don’t burn in hell, then at least they’ve done good. But my God wants me to do Good for the sake of doing Good and not to earn my place anywhere. The God I know who speaks to me and hears my prayers is concerned with my motives and if my motives are to save myself then they are selfish motives.

    Remember they called Jesus a heretic. Remember who cozied up to Caesar — Smiled in the ‘Oval Office’ of the day for a photo with the powerful–it was those same so called “Authorities on Religeous Matters” who sent Jesus to the cross — for heresy. Remember the people… the masses who had supported Him and listened to Him preach His sermon on the mount…now screamed for Him to be crucified. Sound familiar? This story repeats itself through time on different scales, And I imagine it will continue. Because it is too difficult for men to discard their ego’s and get down from their pedistals of righteousness. To learn as though they had never learned a thing before…like a child learns.

    I look forward to hearing this wonderful man speak. I will pray for him, too. Pray that he is understood more and more each day, and that those who are sure they know all the answers will be knocked humbly to their knees by their own undeniable revelation and have their “truth” Shaken to the core the way Jesus shook things up when he came. I will pray that he wipes the dust of the homes of non-believers from his feet and moves on to deliver the message of Love to those who would hear him. God Bless you all.

  74. Keith


    I could not have said it better man! That was eliquent and precise. As much as I admire Carlton Pearson for his dogmatic stance (the backbone that I believe many preacher’s lack) and his pentecostal background (that I am very familiar with) he’s on the wrong side. The truth is the truth and no one has to believe it. Great job Phil! What church do you belong to/pastor?

  75. Phil Cassel

    Hi Keith;

    I only said what’s on my heart. I’m still grieving over the situation. It was like an arrow to the heart when I watched that interview on NBC.

    It is human nature to seek the easy way out. People need to realize we are in the middle of a battlefield and the two opponents are supernatural giants. The Scritures say that before God created the Heavens and the Earth, that He proclaimed before His Heavenly Host, His plan of salvation for man on Earth and that He would set up His Kingdom here, to rule the Universe. Lucifer was the highest arch-angel in Heaven and that’s when he became proud. He was subect only to the Angel of the Lord, who happens to be the (one-of-a-kind, just like Him) Son of God, Jesus. Lucifer became jealous (original sin) and wanted to take His place. That’s when the battle began for planet Earth. Lucifer figured that if he could prove God wrong in just one area of His magnificent plan of not only saving mankind, but establishing him as heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus, ruling and reigning with Him, (can you imagine how enraged Lucifer became when he heard that humans were going to be elevated above him in the hierarchy of God?). His jealous rage took on murderous proportions. He was going to kill the human race and prove God wrong so He would have to share is power with him, Lucifer.

    If Lucifer had of been listening more closely to God’s announcement of His plan for His Son and mankind on Earth, instead of talking to the angels and convincing 1/3 of them to join forces with him, he might have heard all of the prophetic Word of God as just how and what it is He is going to do. Then Lucifer could have predicted the future with accuracy. He might of even realized he would be fighting a losing battle since God is Omnipresent (He is in the past, present and future at the same time. The future is history to Him. That’s why He can predict the future with complete accuracy without error.)

    If Lucifer had grasped that, he might of given up before he started. Now he can’t turn back since there is no salvation for the fallen angels who saw God face-to-face and have no excuse for sinning, they committed it with eyes wide open. The Holy Scriptures state that Jesus shall return at the precise moment to save mankind, one second later, and mankind would never be able to live on this planet, and then satan would have won the battle by proving God’s Word to be wrong. That is why it is most important to study God’s Word to show ourselves worthy of His calling.

    We know the time is short because Jesus’ prophetic Word that in the End Times, mankind would go-to-and-fro, listening to preachers who would tickle their ears with false doctrine. Heresy can only abound when people do not take the time to read God’s Holy Word in earnest and take the time to 1st ask God to enlighten them by Holy Spirit. Then when God shows them what is wrong in there personal life, and attempting to change His way, “if MY people who are called by My Name, will repent, and turn from there evil ways (any way other than God’s Way ’tis evil. His ways are higher than our ways), then I will hear from Heaven, and heal their land.” then we can be Spirit led, and know the Voice of God from that of a heretic, and stay on the right path (for the path is narrow, and few there are that find it, but broad is the path that leads to everlasting destruction).

    If God’s Word is not true, then His Word becomes no good, and then His Name would become no good, then He would no longer be God, and we would cease to exist. Well, that ain’t gonna happen! For He says, “There is no other name above My Name and nothing is above it, except My Word. I have commanded My Holy Angels to watch over My Word to ensure it does not return unto Me void.”

    Rev. Carlton, if you want to make a difference in seeing the 3rd world come to everlasting salvation, then 1st turn and repent of your errors of listening to voices in your head that don’t line up with the Holy Word of God, those voices are quite comfortable abiding in a temple that was proud of whom he had become and the standard of living that exceeded his peers. Humble yourself and turn to the One who has the Power to wash all that away and clean your slate and re-establish you in the right place where you belong. It will only come from humbling yourself and repenting, that is something satan will never do and so he must be banished to hell forever so that he can’t continue to corrupt. Those who dance with the devil will change, for the worse. The devil will never change, for he is the devil, the worst.

    Come back Rev. Carlton, come back!


  76. lynn

    I was one of the many woman across the nation back in 1990-1992 absolutely conviced that Carlton was “my Husband.” I was a virgin then at 30, and I am still a virgin at 44.

    I was brought up in the Church in the mid-west, loved Jesus and still do. However, after to engagements that broke-off longed for a Godly, Christian, leader of a husband.

    A woman who in hindsight was off in her enthusiam to seek God, once called my mother back in 1990, I believe. I answered, my mother wasn’t home, and she was from the west coast and told me that she had been fasting for 3 days and that my life was going to change forever because a preacher by the name of “Carlton Pearson” was coming to town!

    Now, in retrospect, I may have heard of him, but he wasn’t someone I had given any thought to.

    I was in a promising career in the media so it seemed, I was single, attractive, an excellent speaker, saved, and ready for marriage.

    So, to make the story short, I set up radio interviews with Carlton on a secular black station. Every thing was confirmed with his then tall blonde, attractive personal assistant. Peggy, was her name I believe, she once worked for Jim and Tammy Baker, back in the day.

    Well, the interview never took place.
    It was an attempt for me to get to know Carlton, intellually and spiritually. I was hoping to impress him with my intellectual prowess.

    So, anyway I visited a church several times where he was the guest preacher for a week’s long revivial.

    When he first saw me, he did seem to beam as I walked toward the front of the church during their offering.

    I took notice and smiled back at him.
    He smiled and seemed pleased.

    I then convinced a friend of mine that we had to go to Azuza!!!

    We went, my Hispanic friend and I.

    I met Carlton up close and shook his hand as many times as I could after each and every service!!! He seemed to like me and I was in seventh heaven.

    He was going to be mine. My long wait for my destiny finally was being realized and God was answering my prayers.

    But, the man didn’t seek me out, get my digits, or respond the way I had hoped.

    Common sense would tell a girl that if he ain’t responding he ain’t the one. Not me, I was bull headed and determined that this was going happen.

    Well any way, since I prayed for the truth, along with my mother and other strong intercessors, the truth was that he was not mine.

    I had a vision about a woman in all dark black, with a big old ebony fashion fair like hat cocked to the side walking down the street in the down-town area near the cultural center that used to be a big library on Michigan ave. She was sharp.
    Thin, graceful, together, with silky black stockings on, a long tight yet classy black skirt with a high split of the left side that went all the way up her leg. That’s why she reminded me of an ebony fashion fair model on the runway. The lady from Louisianna. Is the impression I got when I woke up. She was a fair skinned black woman or mixed, and wore red lipstick. God showed me DETAILS!

    I didn’t realize that this was his soon to be wife, until I saw her on one of his old HD broadcast. I nealy freaked out.

    I believe God wanted me to pray for him, and I got carried away with my own desires, timing, etc. You know.

    But, I know this woman was dangerous, it was a feeling from the dream.

    Pray for Carlton People. The enemy set a tray for him, and he fell for it hook line and sink.

    I believe his wife, Gina is evil. Plan and simple. And her look is what appealed to him. Yet, look at the cost!!! The Devil got a hold of him through her and his desire to sway.

    It’s so new age and anti-Christ, that It makes me shiver!

    Before the rapture occurs, God can open his eyes and even hers. Deliverance is the Childrens bread.

  77. Greg Amburgy


    Was that the most disturbing thing I ever read on a Christian blog?

    No, but it sure makes my top five.

  78. Kevin

    Yes Greg, that post by “Lynn” was absolutely one of the most disturbing things that I have ever read on ANY blog. She shouldn’t be posting messages on blogs, she should be getting some serious therapy for her stalker issues. (Laughing) She can’t even spell. (More laughing)

    So this woman Lynn was one of the many woman across the nation back in 1990-1992 absolutely conviced that Carlton was “her husband.” Is anyone surprised that she’s still a virgin at 44? (More laughing) I’m glad I’m not a celebrity. (More laughing)

    You see, there are charismatics, and then there are charisMANIACS. A charismatic is a Christian who speaks in tongues, prays for miracles, lifts hands in worship, etc. A charisMANIAC is a person who…well…just re-read the post by “Lynn” if you can get through it without laughing (I couldn’t).

    P.S. I’m sorry if I hurt anyone’s feeelings. I feel down right guilty for the mean spirit in what I’m saying here…but I just couldn’t help it. Lord, please forgive me!

    (Still laughing)

  79. Phil Cassel

    Hi Lynn;

    Thank you for opening up your heart and sharing with us. I’m sure you have heard the expression before, “better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all”, no truer words could have been spoken than for such as this. You ought to be glad that you are not the one who is presently married to Carlton at this time.

    Nor is it apparent at this time that his wife caused him to falter and fail. What I see is a man who is wracked with guilt and can’t get release from it. Instead, he wraps himself up in self-pity which leads to anger, bitterness and resentment, blaming others for the mess he now finds himself in.

    I belong to a small church, and yet, I have found 3 people, myself included, who have had their world turned upside down with grief over the news on Dateline of what has happened to Rev. Carlton Pearson. And I’m sure there are thousands of churches all over this continent who are as greatly disturbed; (the devil has lied to you by saying nobody cares and all have abandoned you.) The Book of Revelation says that those who take away or add to the book so as to deceive and draw people away from the truth, God will remove their names from the Lamb’s Book of Life, and add all the plagues of the Great Tribulation period upon them, for all of eternity. Carlton is not toying with his own future, but that of all those who are influenced by him to follow in his footsteps, including his wife and children. Does he not see where Dateline played him as the fool, parading him in front of the nation as a formerly great and respectable leader of the most evangelical movement in America, the Pentecostal church, to where he is now an outcast and labelled a heretic along with all the other unrepentent “religious” folk who washed his feet and caused him to have a moving, “religious” as he puts it, experience.

    There is reference in the Holy Scriptures as to the source of these voices in his head that he is now following. One instance is where Job lost all of his earthly possesions, before his wife deserted him, she came into agreement with him about all of his heartaches and sorrows, then said, “Curse God and die.” Another example is in the New Testament where Jesus was tempted in the desert after 40 days of no food or water, the devil showed up and encouraged him to curse God and die: “jump off of the pinacle of the temple, fall down and worship me and you can have it all without all this pain” same message, different face, same devil and the same tactic, coming into agreement with feeling sorry for oneself, blame somebody else for all of your woes, mailnly God, harbour anger, bitterness and resentment; the perfect setup for failure.

    Carlton, you’ve been had by the devil, he always uses the same tactics, appearing to be sympathetic when in reality, he’s coming in for the kill, WAKE-UP!

    As for all of us who are God-fearing, Blood-bought Christians, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, through repentence and turning away from our sins, we have failed Rev. Carlton Pearson, and all the other tele-evangelists who fell from Grace, by failing to hold them up in fasting and prayer since they are on the front lines against the enemy and so they are subject to the greatest of attacks. We should have built a hedge about him/them, shame on us. I call all true Christians to take their place in holding this man up in prayer.

    Rev. Pearson, I humbly apologize for failing you. Nonetheless, the final decision rests with you as to where you spend eternity; “without repentence, there is no remission of sin.”


  80. Keith


    Again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and concise response to Lynn’s post.

    I understand Lynn’s post and I think that most people who’ve attended a predominately African American church or live in a predominated African American community will understand. The men are far and few in the church and ones like Carlton Pearson (who once had a heart for God’s people) are really rare.

    I think that is what makes me so upset. I do not follow many pastors or teachers however Carlton Pearson was different. I never met him however I never imagined him having all the material possessions (or the attitude that goes with it) that many of the pastors have in America. He did all the right things, schooling, commitment, marriage, values, priorities in check, even with his political views he was sensitive and so much more. I think many in the African American church saw him as the “godson” they never had. He kept to his upbringing and was able to bring the educational piece that many missed in the African American church. He seemed really genuine and rational. I read some of his books and looked forward to hearing him preach. He also was a worshipper and sang all the songs I grew up hearing.

    Watching the Dateline piece, I felt like I knew this guy and I kept thinking to myself, why should I care? Why do I feel so obligated to care? I even that to myself that I would rather have had him fall because of a mistress (just repent for it and move on). But this mistake not only can destroy Carlton and his family, it can and has destroyed others.

    Phil, you are correct we failed him and we need to hold up our leaders in prayer and fasting. We need to pray for our leaders.

    Lynn, I heard that for many years that his wife has been a major influence on his life and this new doctrine via church circles (hearsay). However, I can’t imagine his mother, father and sister joining him. However, I wonder what is there stance?

    I will take Phil’s advance and pray for the man and his family.

  81. Rich Post author

    Hi, everybody, thanks for the recent comments and interaction. Boy, it sure is impossible to predict what course the comments section will take from week to week!

    Lynn, thank you for sharing your experience. As I read your post, I was honestly afraid it would end badly–I was dreading reading words about an affair or about an ongoing obsession with Bishop Pearson. I’m thankful you came to your senses and that all turned out well for you. However, I am deeply concerned about how susceptible you were to a stranger’s suggestion that your life would be changed by Carlton Pearson. I will be among the first to stand in line and say that God can lead and that the Holy Spirit still gives dreams and visions today. Yet I read a troubling lack of discernment, testing, and confirmation in your eagerness to follow what seemed to be a prompting by the Spirit. I would strongly encourage you, Sister, to spend much time studying the Word, learning it, memorizing it, and letting it settle into your soul for that is where the greatest and most persuasive Holy Spirit influence will come. Anybody else’s words for you must line up with what is known in Scripture.

    Also, I believe you are correct: we should pray for Carlton Pearson. God loves him still.

    Greg, yes, Lynn’s post was disturbing, not for what it revealed about the past (people can grow out of their spiritual gullibility) but because it’s not clear to me that Lynn has grown beyond an easy susceptibility to others’ suggestions. I hope, for her sake, she has learned to look to the Scriptures first, and to rely on the wisdom and witness of her church elders before making radical life choices in the future.

    Kevin, I understand why you were laughing as you wrote your post. But, unfortunately, what you wrote reveals more a lack of compassion than it does a sense of humor. I hope that is not truly the case.

    Phil, you wrote:

    “…we have failed Rev. Carlton Pearson, and all the other tele-evangelists who fell from Grace, by failing to hold them up in fasting and prayer since they are on the front lines against the enemy and so they are subject to the greatest of attacks. We should have built a hedge about him/them, shame on us.”

    It may be that “we” have failed the fallen public ministers, but there’s simply no way to know if that’s the case. I don’t believe that every believer has the responsibility to fast and pray for every single public minister on television or on the evangelistic circuit. No, our duties are to love God, to love our neighbors, and fulfill the Great Commission. For all you or I know, there may have been one person in every church in America fasting and praying for these fellows at any given time, and they succumbed to temptation anyhow. It’s impossible to know. All that can be said with certainty is that, on an individual level, if you were prompted to pray and intercede for Pearson or any other individual, and you did not, that is a failure and a sin. Nothing more can really be said with certainty beyond that.

    Let’s not spread Pearson’s blame around. Seriously: you and I are not guilty for his fall.

    The major problem, as I see it, is not that Pearson and others don’t have prayer warriors behind him. It’s that the modern church has made stars out of servants and performers out of workmen. When I see glamorous and affluent men of ministry wooing the crowds I don’t see laborers struggling to apprehend God’s Word, being discipled, so that they might disciple and evangelize others. We have made these popular ministers into the focus of a cult of celebrity and it seems to me that this runs contrary to the grain of Paul’s model, Timothy’s model, Barnabas’ model, even Jesus’ model.

    To be sure, it’s not a sin to be popular and well-acclaimed. But with the popularity come great strains and temptations. And the temptation to think your message is truly unique, that God is speaking through you like he hasn’t with anybody else in the Church’s 2,000 year history–well, down that road lay heresy, corruption, greed, and license. As you said, one defense against such temptations is surely the “hedge of protection” wrought by others’ prayer and intercession. But the primary defense is and will always be a purposeful, resolute, bold, and unwavering focus on God in humility and an allegiance to the message we have received.

    Keith, thanks for your balanced contribution.



  82. Denise Saunders

    I have been following Bishop Carlton Pearson’s story for sometime. It is so tragic to see a fellow Christian and minister of the Gospel slide into error and heresy. Back during the late 80s & early 90s he used to come to preach at some churches in the Raleigh/Durham area. Back in 1991, I & some friends went to his Azusa Conference for a week. During this time period, Bishop Pearson was preaching & teaching sound biblical doctrine. There was, at least for me, no indication of what was to come. One of his former pastors has had a church in the Raleigh/Durham area for some time, but this man is teaching and preaching sound doctrine, thank God!

    Oh man, what a fall from the truth! The greatest problems that Carlton Pearson has is pride, self-deception and rebellion. He know better. I know that Bishop Pearson is from a COGIC background and I know that when it comes to “inclusion”, they “don’t play that.” He has known the truth and abandon it for a lie. The so-called “gospel” of inclusion is a very old heresy (lie)-universalism, which is embraced by liberal churches and the left. If you reject the Bible as inerrant and deny hell, then you play right into the devil’s hands. Usually, most people who support inclusion aren’t saved anyway. They don’t know the truth, nor in most cases, want the truth. Quite naturally if you are a liberal or of a leftist bent, hold to liberal theology or of the so-called “alternative” lifestyle; then the lie of inclusion makes you very comfortable in your mess, period. There’s no need to repent from your sins and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, because you believe that you’re going to go to heaven, regardless of how you live,or what you believe. What’s worst is that some born-again Christians will fall for the same old lie, because they don’t know the Word of God! Inclusion is a doctrine of devils. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. We as Christians know that the devil’s game play against humanity is to kill, steal & destroy. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus preached about hell more than anyone in the entire Bible. If inclusion is “truth”, then why did Jesus go to the cross? He died in vain if everyone is going to heaven, regardless of their lifestyle or religion. If everyone is going to heaven, then why am I trying to live a holy life? Why did I repent of my sins, if “everybody” is going to heaven?

    I will pray that Bishop Pearson will come to the end of himself and repent and denounce this damnable heresey of inclusion.

  83. Brannon

    Hi Rich. Thanks for responding to me. I would like to apologize to Carl for my poor typing. I did not intend to call his beliefs simple. I was trying to say that it seems as if he had developed his beliefs based upon information given him by those he regards as authoritive in the field of theology. That is just my opinion, and it does not validate or invalidate his beliefs.

    Rich, it is apparent that you and many others find Christian universalism an incorrect and deceptive doctrine, and that Carlton Pearson is misleading thousands. Rather than attempt to prove you wrong I want to try a different approach; I want to ask some questions.

    Between those of us who believe in Christian universalism and those who believe in the orthodox Christian view, how do we prove which camp is correct in interpreting scripture? I am sure that you could present a list of theologians who favor your view, but so could universalists. Who determines which list of theologians is correct?

    There are scriptures that seem to strongly suggest that universalism is true ( such as the ones given in Mr. Armault’s comment). If Mr. Armault is wrong in how he views these scriptures, could you please show from your perspective how he is wrong?

    If universalists are indeed wrong, and God has intentionally created humanity knowing that millions will be forever lost to Him, how do you convince us that God is truly worthy of love and adoration rather than fear and loathing?

    If all souls in heaven is a better end to the story of man, are orthodox Christians saying that God cannot accomplish the better end?

    These are just a few of the questions that come to my mind. Other Christian universalists probably have more detailed questions. Carlton Pearson represents a growing number of Christians who have questions just like these, and are not getting adequate answers in the orthodox Christian circles.Christian universalism provides those answers. That is why I said in my first comment that the issue is not really Carlton but the ideas about God he puts forth. Too many comments on this blog represent people trying to trash or uphold Carlton’s character instead of addressing the ideas about God’s character he has presented. For me the issue is whether anyone can prove him wrong scripturally. I want to see biblical evidence that gives me reasonable doubt. Yes, I am a Christian universalist. However I am not so arrogant as to think that I cannot be proven wrong. I am first and foremost a seeker of truth. My heart and mind are open.

    Convice me.

    Peace and blessings,


  84. Rev John Garlington

    It’s interesting to me the arguments. Because for me, the conceptualization of a God in human terms means that God can be reduced to our level. If God is all-powerful and all knowing, then there are certain aspects about God that remains mysterious?

    Essentially, everything we have read or heard about God has been reduced to our own conceptualizations or personal experiences. Therefore, it’s impossible to find or create a book that can conceptualize and contain the mysteries of God. Again, we have reduced God to our own frame of reference, which is, in essence, an idol.

    Therefore, the arguments on this site are meaningless because we’re all incorrect. Our conflicts however as human beings continue to be an understanding of something that’s incomprehensible. To even comprehend a God is an idol. Again, reducing God to meaningful and manageable proportions to resolve our own anxieties, about a Being that’s so, otherworldly, that we continue to have problems with comprehension and conceptualization.

    As result, is Carlton Pearson’s revelation, unlike God? Or, it is our desire to continue to make God or gods in our own image or comprehensible components, which resolves our own anxiety? Who needs absolutes, does God or humans?

    God is the same today, yesterday and forever! Really? Then, what is it that we know about God yesterday, anyway?

    Does one’s see how circular this argument is? In essence, we all know or think we know a lot about the Bible but does one really know anything about God? If you say you do, then you’re arrogant and narrow-minded and the “real” truth of God isn’t really in you.

    This is why God simply said, to love your God with all your heart, soul, mind, body, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself, because the rest of the arguments are too much for us to really handle.

  85. Phil Cassel

    Attention Rev. John Garlington;

    I personally would rather be on the side with the Apostle Paul who said that if the Gospel he preached was wrong, then he was of all men, most miserable. After all, he was thrown into prison for his teachings which struck fear into the tradesmen who sculpted idols, and the priests of such since their way of making a living was at stake.

    Is this what strikes fear into your heart Rev. John, that if we convince Rev. Carlton to turn his back on a lazaefaier attitude about God and hell, that you may be looking for another job? I’d rather sacrifice everything in this life and be wrong in the end than to find myself before the Lord God Almighty on the Great and Terrible Day when He sends all those whose names are not found in the Book of Life (the Lamb’s Book of Life) but found in “the books” where all the damned are found, and have Him add on all the plagues of the Great Tribulation for having altered the Word of God and called into question whether He actually meant what He said, causing scores of people to take the broad road to hell with you.

    The Apostle Paul preferred to be whipped and stoned for what he believed in. What sacrifice are you willing to make for what you believe in Rev. John? Is there anything to sacrifice in your wishey washey religion? How can you quote parts of the Word of God and leave out all of the dire warnings? Doesn’t that bring into question any and all of the Word? What about in the Old Testament where God mocked all other religions and said, “Come, let us sit down and reason. Can you predict the future with accuracy? No? How come? It’s because only I who can do so.” Why is that? Because He is the Omniscient and Omnipresent God who sees the future as though it were history since He is not a servant to time but rather time was created by Him. Then He goes on to make a bunch of predictions of what would happen in the future. He challenged all doubters to prove Him wrong in the slightest. He has not changed His mind about sending unbelievers to hell.

    You are on very dangerous ground mister. Your placing of doubt on what God said sounds exactly like what Lucifer through the serpent said to Eve, “Do you really believe what God said? Do you really believe you will die?” Adam and Eve really died, spiritually that day, they were cut off from having a personal relationship with God. This is something I fear has happened to you sir, if you ever did come to know Him personally, that is. Otherwise, your name will not be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.


  86. Greg Amburgy


    It was interesting to me that you mention the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord in your last post. The study of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord is what pushed me over the top in my study of the salvation of all. Did not Peter say on the Day of Pentecost that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled?

    As a young man, I decided that I would devote myself to becoming an expert on Bible prophecy. I believed wholeheartedly in the teachings of dispensationalism, pre-trib rapture, tribulation, and thousand year reign. Finis Dake, of the Dake Bible, spent time in our house when I was about twelve years old. I bugged him for hours every day asking questions on obscure prophecies and strange verses.

    As I grew older, I twisted scripture to find a way to justify that 2,000 year gap in Daniel’s weeks of years. I twisted Jesus’ words like a pretzel to get the “fig tree” to mean Israel’s return to the Holy Land. And I totally disregarded Jesus’ statement that “this generation shall not pass til all be fulfilled”. But the study of prophecy eventually brought me back to the cross. The life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascention of Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets.

    I believe you are right that God’s wrath is poured out without measure on the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. All of us deserve it. But the wrath of God is poured out on the Last Adam to redeem men from the disobedience of the First Adam. And this happed at the cross.

    You said, “He has not changed His mind about sending unbelievers to hell”. I have one simple question. Does God send unbelievers to Tartarus, Gehenna, Hades, or Sheol? Look up “hell” in your Strong’s Concordance. In Protestant Bibles, these words are translated several different ways meaning different things.

    Oddly, the Catholic Vulgate translation always translates all these words as Infernum or Inferno. We got our concept of the fiery hell from Pagan Catholicism. The Vulgate combines these four concepts into one, resulting in the fiery bottomless pit where men live eternally in total consciousness, separated from God.

    If you honestly answer the question of where God sends unbelievers, you will begin to see how we were duped. You bring up some great points. I suggest reading Isiah from start to finish in one setting. He tells of the terrible wrath of God that is to be poured out and he tells of the amazing salvation that is to come. And it feels as if this is all going to happen at the same time. I believe it did.

  87. Phil Cassel

    Hello Greg:

    It was Rev. John Garlington’s contention that blew me over the top, … “we have reduced God …in essence …to an idol … even comprehend a God is an idol..” This goes against the Scripture which encourage us to study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved, a labourer worthy of his/her hire. St. John 1:1-5 tells us Jesus is the Word. In Him was Life, the Light of men. He came in the form of a man so we could understand God better. “If you have seen Me, then you have seen the Father. I do not speak on My own but 1st I hear, then speak whatever the Father says to Me.” Jesus told Lucifer when he came to tempt Jesus after He had fasted for 40 days, to create bread that He might eat. Jesus rebuked him and told him that He, Jesus, eats every Word that proceeds from the Father, that’s His bread. The Word is Life that feeds me and Light to guide my footsteps. To visualize God in the form of a man does not reduce Him to an idol. The Scriptures say it will take all of Eternity for us to learn all about God. That means I will be forever learning more and more about Him. Since I have a personal relationship with Him, I ask Holy Spirit to enlighten me before I read His Word. I don’t listen to the voice that says to not bother to study His Word since He is incomprehensible. Who gives Rev. John the right to discourage others to study God’s Holy Word? His is a strange doctrine.

    Greg, as for your concern about a 2000 year gap. I have studied the gap theory and there are theologians for and against it, just like ther are some who believe in pre-tribulation, others are pro, mid-tri. and others who are for post-trib. Irregardless, we could argue and wax eloquently, and miss the whole point. The point is, if I am right about taking the Holy Scriptures as literal as I can, and happen to be wrong, I still win, even though I choke and gag at the thought of rubbing elbows with the unrepentant Adolf Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, and the list goes on to adnauseum. However, if I’m right, that The Great And Terrible Day Of Jugement is yet to come as stated in Daniel chapter 7, then I still will end up in Heaven and get to watch the unrepentent slide into the lake of fire found here on Earth which makes up the very foundations of this planet, molten lava. The Bible says hell will be cast into the lake of fire on that day. That’s if I’m right, then you would be wrong, and you would find yourself on dangerous ground. That’s why I warned Rev. John that he’s on dangerous ground. Can you afford to take that chance Greg? I hope and pray you will reconsider and come back to your 1st love. I have no problem with prophetic Scripture. I don’t have to twist it like a pretzel. I accept it as it is written. Come back Greg, I love you in the Lord.


  88. John Garlington


    Your arrogance amazes me!

    I’m thankful Bishop Pearson married the wonderful woman he did. She has more sense than many women who left his church because they were waiting to marry a star preacher. He continues to be a star in my book, opting out to go against a theological grain that has been around for centuries.

    His wife, parents and other family members continue to support him. A theological change or a shift in thinking is difficult for everyone, particularly, when you’ve been taught a certain way and it runs contrary to certain theological predispositions. But after you’ve done some investigation yourself, you start to realize that he’s not too far off based.

    I come from a long line of Pentecostal ministers. My father prior to his death was on a fast track to TV stardom but fortunately for him, God took him and my mother, prior to having to go through this spiritual juggernaut because it’s all too ridiculous to me.

    For centuries we have killed over theological beliefs and from my sense of things, has nothing to do with God. I’ve always had a problem with by “one” man Adam condemning the rest of humankind to eternal damnation without the “one” man Christ being the redeeming factor to save all of mankind from an uncertain death. It only seems logical that Christ would save everyone from hell, if we were all born or destined for it, regardless of one’s confession.

    There are so many examples in scripture where because of the faith of that person, regardless of their belief in God, Jesus intervened on their behalf. And it only takes a little church history to discover that much of what Carlton Pearson is talking about has been around for centuries.

    For me, it’s rather arrogant to think that because we believe in God in a certain way that it guarantees our “fire insurance.” It reminds me of the parable in the Bible where there were men working in the field and one comes at the ninth hour. God gave him the same amount as the ones working in the field for a long time. Even the disciples had problems with status and who was going to be over the other in the heavenly kingdom.

    All this stems from our need to be right and our perception of God to be the correct one. Where does this all come from?

    I’m in communication with Bishop Pearson and I say this respectfully too, because he’s got to be the most intelligent man I’ve run into in a long time. He’s done his research and he hasn’t reverted to books or theologians that continued to entrench him with theological presuppositions that haven’t been challenged.

    At his second to the last Azusa, we sat there while other theologians taught the gospel of inclusion and they’ve researched the original texts. Just like atheists, they understand scripture far better than most Christians because they aren’t trying to further entrenched themselves with erroneous information. They’ve done their homework and to think that everyone who has accepted his brand of an inclusion gospel hasn’t done their homework continues a form of justification to resolve one’s own conflict with their own beliefs.
    Bishop Pearson knows Greek and Hebrew better than anyone on this blog. And there’s a growing laity who are educated and familiar with the theological arguments out there. It just makes sense!

    So, continue to pray for Bishop Pearson because what you’re ultimately praying for will prove to be a far different outcome than what you’re expecting. There are a growing number of folks who are interested in what he says, who aren’t blindsided by the rhetoric.

    In addition, you may say, well it’s only for folks who want to live just like they want to. Well, his theological perspective has quite a different affect on folks, because it requires one to grow up spiritually. When hell is no longer an obstacles or a threat, then you have to finally come to terms with what you’re creating in your life, and it becomes your responsibility to seek God’s help because the forgiveness is already a given.

    Inasmuch, using guilt and hell as a deterrent hasn’t helped mankind for centuries. It’s insane. And you know the definition of insane? Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Our current theological perspective isn’t getting us results.

    The literalness is overwhelming. Interesting, when Jesus said I am the Word…the Bible didn’t even exist. If you study the Hebrew Bible very much the only name of God worthy of repeating is “I am” or actually translation “I will be that I will be.” Scripture said I came in human form because he couldn’t comprehend Him. There’s no Bible or book to contain Him.

    Let’s get this right!

  89. John Garlington


    Quite frankly, I haven’t been happier in Christ than I am currently. I am forgiven therefore anything that happens in my life is a process of learning. I don’t do the things I used to because I’m free to become what God has already destined for me.

    It’s not an overly spiritualized existence, it’s coming to terms with your humanity, and then you understand who God is in your life. It’s very simple.

    Judgment Day will be just a reminder of who saved us all. And it’s already a glorious day for humankind but they just don’t know it.

    In fact, all the “stuff” Paul and John had to go through writing scriptures talking the great day judgment was all their own legalist predispositions. Who knows, I may have to go to prison for what I believe but the uniqueness of Paul’s convictions, yet it doesn’t necessarily make him the all-knowing truth about the reality of God. He has is own issues.

    I’m a black man…but Paul said to obey your master. He had problems for all I’m concerned because slavery IS an abomination.


  90. John Garlington


    The literalness is overwhelming. Interesting, when Jesus said I am the Word…the Bible didn’t even exist. If you study the Hebrew Bible very much the only name of God worthy of repeating is “I am” or actually translation “I will be that I will be.” Scripture said I came in human form because we couldn’t comprehend Him. There’s no Bible or book to contain Him.

  91. John Garlington

    Also, I didn’t address the dangerous ground stuff. I guess I could fell guilty to think that what I believe is wrong but I’m willing to take that chance because of grace. Once you understand grace completely, one’s fear of damnation is no longer an issue. You are free to go into the depths of uncertainty, because God will be there.

    As David said, if my “Make” my bed in hell you are there…because can’t nothing separate you from the love of God!

    Therefore, the scare tactics just doesn’t work here. Again, we continue to reduce God into jealousy and anger concepts. He’s God…man!

    I’m done with this subject.

    Blessing to you all and much love in Christ. My brothers…because I still love you all.

  92. Colin T. Bent

    John Garlington echoes my sentiments and goes even further to verbalise my take on the gospel of love. But not only does he state it well he seems to do so in the spirit of genuine love that I get from the Bible when I read of Jesus’ actions while on earth. Notice I used the word ‘action’.

    I get this harsh judgemental attitude from those who try to tell us eveyone is wrong except them and that all who vary from what they say will find themselves in hell. Well, I have some news, many are already in hell right here on earth. Ask those on whom the bombs were dropped in Lebanon, ask those in New Orleans whose houses were destroyed a year ago and who are still without shelter. Have you religious zealots done anything to feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless? Yet you can tell who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.

    You are no different from the heathens who brought down the towers in New York in the name of an unrecogniseabel god, no different from the scribes and pharisees who Jesus cussed at every opportunity. And I specifically speak of those who use this blog to condemn others, those who never fail to say, “I love you in the Lord”. Save your patronising for some other time and look within at you own heart and mind for your thoughts are evil.

    Love is the central theme of Jesus who reintroduced us to God. I hope you all find Him because your lives on earth would become a lot more enjoyable; that is, before you get to heaven.

    Rev. Pearson often says, “You are never free from sin until you realize that you are free to sin”. I have reached that threshold and guess what, I sin just as infrequently as you all do, probably much less. We will never know, until the secrets of all hearts be revealed.

  93. Phil Cassel

    Thank you John, for responding;

    As for being arrogant, I take no pleasure in telling you that when God separates the sheep from the goats, I will be standing with the “sheep” as He refers to me and my warnings on this site to return to the straight and narrow and to get off the broad road of inclusion, I’ll have to look away because of the tears in my eyes. I will not be saying, “I told you so.” That would be arrogance. But instead, I’ll be pleading with God to wipe my memory clean of all those who didn’t make it. That’s how and why we, (the saved through repentance) will be weeping in Heaven, and then He will wipe all of our tears away.

    I’m surprised you would brag about how wise and knowledgeable you and the New Age Movement are since Jesus said we have to become like children in order to be saved. I believe history repeats itself. The 1st generation of the 20th Century bragged there would be no more wars because they were educated and too intelligent to stoop to that again. Then along came World War 1, then World War 2, just in case they didn’t get it. Now, we have the “New Age Movement” claiming all will be saved through the acceptance of all religeons, the Romans proclaimed the same thing, yet Jesus came during their tenure, and I proclaim He will come again, during your tenure, and the “New Age Movement” will fair worse than the Romans, because you have history, and the Word to forewarn them of the Judgemnet to come.

    All else of your letter is an attempt to waste my time splitting hairs with you. I won’t indulge you.

    Goodbye sir.


  94. Kevin

    I have appreciated all of the comments on this blog. I have to say that I agree with the views of Teresa L. Reed and John Garlington and Greg Amburgy and Colin T. Bent and Rev. Richard Matthews and others. I see the Scriptures as supporting Christian universalism.

    I posted a message on this blog on August 14th that nobody has yet to respond to. On that post, I told you about my ornery daughter almost drowning, and that fact that I rushed to save her. I didn’t tell that story in order to make myself look like a hero. I told it because I said that it occurred to me that I saved my daughter from drowning even though I had warned her not to swim in the deep area of the pool. I ask myself, “Would I have saved my daughter even if she was a rebellious wild-child…even if I had warned her a hundred times?” The answer is YES!

    If I would save my daughter, even after I gave her repeated warnings, then it occurs to me that God, who IS LOVE, will ultimately save His creation, no more how often he warned them.

    If I would rescue my drowning daughter from a swimming pool, no matter how bad she behaved beforehand, no matter how many times I warned her…WHY CAN’T WE BELIEVE that God will save all of His creation from drowning in what Revelation calls the “lake of fire?” Why? Please tell me.

    I BELIEVE JESUS when He said in Luke 15 that He is the Shepherd will search for the lost sheep (sinners) until He has finds them and brings them home! Do you?

    I BELIEVE JOHN THE BAPTIST when he said that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29) Do you?

    I BELIEVE JESUS will take away the sin of the world. Can’t you?

    Maybe you could take the time to go back and read (or re-read) my original post on August 14 and tell me if I’m wrong. I’m open to your thoughts. Just don’t simply quote a whole litany of Scriptures. Respond to what I actually say on my post.

    One more thing: I want to reiterate that Christian Universalism does NOT ignore God’s holiness and justice.

    God is holy and must punish sin, right? Well, God DID punish sin, when Jesus died on the cross! That is what Bishop Pearson is trying to get everyone to understand. WHY CAN’T WE BELIEVE IT? God’s wrath against humankind’s sin has been thoroughly satisfied by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. WHY CAN’T WE BELIEVE IT? The victory is won! WHY CAN’T WE BELIEVE IT? God demands NOTHING ELSE!

    Let me illustrate: If I owed the Mafia a huge debt (which I don’t), and my wealthy brother-in-law came by and paid the Mafia the whole sum, the Mafia would NOT come to my house and threaten me with death unless I “accepted the payment” or “accepted my brother-in-law into my heart as Lord and Savior.” Do you see where I’m going with this?

    Now, I believe in the law, the cross, repentance, the whole nine yards.

    I ALSO BELIEVE JESUS when He said that He came “to seek and to save those who are lost.” THEREFORE, if even one soul remains in Hell forever, then Jesus failed His self-proclaimed mission.

    I don’t believe He will fail. Do you? Trust Him! He will eventually reach your and my unsaved loved ones.

    Thank you for reading and thank you for all of your posts! Thank you Rich for providing this blog!


  95. Pastor Dave

    Bro Kevin,
    Did God destroy the “world” by a flood during Noah’s time, saving only 8 souls?

    Did He burn down to rubble Sodom and Gomorrah?

    Did He kill His own Israelite people in their rebellion on several occasions?

    Yes Jesus died for the whole world in the saem way that He brought Light to the whole world. But “this is the condemnation that light is come into the world and men loived darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

    You rescued your daughter because you love her. But if she fights you and stubbornly refuses your help you have to watch her die because that is her choice. God sent Jesus to rescue us but if you wont accept the terms of that deliverance you He has to watch you go into “eternal damnation.”

    Paul had issues like all of us. He was a product of his time, but when it came to writing scripture, let us remember that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet 1:21).

  96. Joseph

    Hi Rich,
    I’m writing to ask you and Pastor Dave if Jesus died for every sin ever committed by everybody? Yes, Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And yes, 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…,” and in 1 Peter 3:18 it says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God…”(also see Rom.5:6,8).

    I think Brother Kevin was trying to illustrate this GREAT love God has for us. That His grace is so overwhelming that He can save anyone is best illustrated with the life of Saul of Tarsus, who we love as the apostle Paul. Answer me this, was Paul given a choice as to whether he would be saved for God’s greater purpose??
    Ponder that for a moment as you also contemplate this: “Not one is seeking out God.” — Rom. 3:11. Guess what fellas, this isn’t even our fault! Why?? Because “God locks up all together in stubbornness.” -Rom. 11:32. And why does God do that? Read on in Romans 11:32 — “that He should be merciful to all.” You see Rich and Pastor Dave, anyone can illustrate truths in a way that may be argued as not being decisive, but God has given us more evidence for the truth of His eventual salvation of all.

    I believe the real heresy is when we don’t believe that God is who He says He is and we doubt that He has worked out a way to save all, so that He can “be All in all.” — 1 Corinth. 15:28.
    Do you realize that if my salvation depends on me making a choice to be saved or not, a willingness to believe, then this negates the true meaning of grace. Anytime it is a cooperation based on what I do, it is grace + works, and that isn’t real grace — or unmerited favor.
    Pastor Dave, concerning the illustration given by Kevin, if it is his daughter’s fault for perishing, how is it not your credit for being wise enough to choose to live??

    Remember, in our sin condition, we are helpless, weak, deprived of strength and power, totally incapacitated. Look again at Saul, before he could blink an eye, he was beholding the glory of Christ. Paul states it best, “The grace of our Lord overwhelms.” — 1 Tim. 1:14. Paul was the rule of salvation, not the exception. Salvation operates in spite of us, not because of us.
    To top it off, for those who believe in free will and choosing to be saved, where did you get the faith to believe in the first place? Romans 12:3 says God parts to each a measure of faith (also see Eph.2:8,9). So we can’t even take credit for mustering enough faith to believe. “The way of man is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps”(Jer. 10:23). “Man’s goings are of the Lord” (Prov.20:24).
    “All is of God.”(2Cor.5:18) “Out of Him and through Him and for Him is all.”(Rom.11:36) “He Himself gives to all life and breath and all.”(Acts 17:35) “According to His will is He doing in the army of the heavens and with those abiding on the earth.”(Dan.4:35) “GOD is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will.”(Eph.1:11)
    “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” — Jesus Christ, John 15:16.

    This religious belief that has crept into the church of “survival of the most cooperative,” denies and negates the Power of the Cross. This is antichrist; this is the true heresy!
    As I’ve posted before, I am not affiliated with Carlton Pearson. Yes, I believe there is indignation and judgement. I may have a differing view of how God will eventually and ultimately save all of mankind, but on this I will agree, it is only through the shed blood of Christ on the cross that God will save all! Poor translation and misapplication of scripture has been key to the confusion we have today.

    I’m sorry if this sounds like a John Lennon song, but can’t we imagine that eternal torment could be wrong? Can’t we imagine that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Can’t we imagine that He will destroy the works of the devil? Imagine that He who wills all to be saved (1Tim.2:4), is able to accomplish what He wills. Imagine that the same all dying in Adam will one day be vivified in Christ (1Cor.15:22). That is to say, the Second Adam (Christ), will do greater good than the first Adam did harm (Rom.5:18-19). Is this so hard to conceive?

    My thanks to my brother Martin Zender for helping me put into words what God wanted me to share.
    Grace and Peace to you all.

  97. Pastor Dave

    Brother Joseph,
    The hyper-Calvinism in your piece is very evident.

    You obviously think that Paul’s conversion was divine coercion. Even if that was half-true (its totally false), has it occurred to you that Paul could still have walked away from his calling — or do you also think that was impossible? (the possibility of disobedience was always there. Remember his “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision — Acts 26:19?)

    I think that you are taking both Rom 3:11 and 11:32 out of context. The latter is speaking specifically of natural Israel.

    I hope that your understanding of “God may be all in all” of 1 Cor 15:28 is not pantheistic or New Age.

    I am amazed that you think that personal salvation is not dependent on my willingness to believe.Consider:

    “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16: 16)

    “For with the heart MAN believeth unto righteousness” (Rom 10:10).

    “If THOU canst believe all things are possible” (Mark 9:23)

    The Bible nowhere teaches that in our sin condition we are totally incapacitated. The image of God in Adam was marred not eliminated. The sinner still has it and this is what causes him to seek after that missing relationship. Yes he is incapable of saving himself, but he is not incapable of responding to divine overtures. Otherwise we would have to say that when God tells people in scripture to “choose life” (eg Deut 30:19) He is just lying. If our choices are not in reality choices, but predetermined paths we irresistibly follow, then God is lying.

    But brother, God CANNOT LIE. This is the one thing He cannot (not wont) do.
    Yes, this sovereign God has things He cannot do and one of them is tell lies. When He says the unbelievers will be damned, THEY WILL INDEED BE DAMNED!

    Bless you my dear brother!

  98. Kevin

    Thank you Pastor Dave and Joseph for your comments.

    Pastor Dave, regarding my earlier “saving-my-daughter-from-drowning” illustration, you said that if my daughter was drowning and I tried to save her, and she resisted and stubbornly refused my help, I would be forced to simply watch her drown because that is her choice?

    No, no, no, no, no, no, a hundred times no.

    If I was trying to save my daughter from drowning, and she fought me and resisted my help, I would shake her like a rag doll and yell at her “STOP IT!” and I would grab her torso with my left arm and I would swim with my right arm (I’m fairly muscular) and I would throw her out of the swimming pool with every last ounce of my strength.

    Another illustration: let’s say I found out (before it was too late) that my 24 year old daughter was trying to overdose on drugs in her bedroom in a suicide attempt. Would I say, “Well, it’s her choice!” No, man. I would karate kick her bedroom door down and knock the pills out of her hands and call 911 and have her stomach pumped (which is what happened to my first high school girlfriend).

    Another illustration: Let’s say I found out before it was too late that my 46 year old son was getting ready to put a loaded gun in his mouth and commit suicide. Again, do you honestly think that I would sit back and say, “Well, it’s his choice.” No, I would run to him and grab the gun out of his hand.

    In both cases, I would check them into a clinic for psychological (and spiritual) help. Also, I believe that prisons have what they call a “suicide watch” to restrain inmates who want to take their own lives.

    If our fallible prison system would override a prisoner’s “free will” to save their lives, how much more will God do everything to save our ETERNAL lives?

    Jesus is driven, relentless, unstoppable, tenacious…and that’s why I love Him.

    Anyway, that’s my response. Thank you Joseph for providing the Scriptural basis for Christian universalism. Joseph was talking about the Apostle Paul.

    Think about the Apostle Paul’s conversion in the book of Acts. He’s riding on his horse with is posse to Damascus and “BAMMMMMMM”, he’s with an overwhelming light, he’s blinded, he falls to the ground, he has a conversation with Jesus, and Jesus tells him to go to Ananias to get his eyesight back and to receive the Holy Spirit and to begin his new ministry.

    I ask you, where was Paul’s “free will choice” in that story? I guess it’s possible that Paul maybe could have resisted perhaps, but that’s like standing on a seashore with your arms up, defiantly “resisting” the tidal wave that’s about to knock you to the ground.

    Jesus told His disciples in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Thus saith the Lord! I know that the Word of God says that we must believe and choose Jesus; Christian universalism simply asserts that all will eventually repent, believe, bow, and say “Jesus is Lord” to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2: 9-11).

    Thank you to Pastor Dave and Joseph for responding to my post.

    Thank you ALL for reading…and thanks for calling me brother! I’m NOT asking you to agree with me; my position could be wrong. But we can agree to disagree and still love one another!

    Thanks again to BlogRodent for providing the forum.

    Brother Kevin

  99. Pastor Dave

    Brother Kevin,
    All those examples you give are valid as far as man goes. But God is NOT a man. The way he operates is clearly documented in scripture and takes away the guesswork from all of us.

    I see you are also of the view that Paul came in by divine coercion. Even if I were to grant you this, which other example do you have to support your view, for “out of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established”?

    Paul is the exception, not the rule. None of Jesus’ 12 Apostles came in by coercion. They heard the call and responded out of their own freewill. And the multitudes of disciples who followed Him, aside from the 12, none came by force or intimidation.

    I hope you have no problem with the God of the Old Testament who, out of the whole “world” rescued only 8 and — to put it crudely — drowned the rest (this speaksk to your drowning example).

    This same God killed everybody in Sodom except just Lot.

    He also instigated the killing of every Canaanite, including women and children. This is after He had executed a goodly number of His own chosen people for their rebellion.

    God WILL NOT rescue everyone…there is no Biblical precedent for that idea. He told the Jews if you obey it will go well but if you do your own thing you will pay.

    The rich man found that out and cried to father Abraham to help out with just a drop of water “for I am tormented in the flames.”

    Heaven is real, and so is hell my brother!

  100. Joseph

    Hey Rich, Kevin, Pastor Dave, and fellow bloggers!

    I’m glad Pastor Dave brought up the issue of theology: he mentions that my piece is hyper-Calvinism.
    Let me start here by giving the Cliff notes version of both Calvinism and Arminianism; by the way, I don’t claim to be an adherent of either.

    Calvinists believe that an elect few who are members of Christ’s body are predestined for salvation, this is determined long before birth, and wholly apart from personal merit (by grace alone). See Ephesians 1:4-5 and Romans 8:29. They also believe in the Sovereignty of God: He knows all, and is in control of all. See 1 John 3:20 and Ephesians 1:11.

    Arminians believe that Christ died for all. See 1 Timothy 1:15 and Romans 3:23. It has at it’s roots Pelagianism slightly modified: Men are sick in sin, not dead in sin. Being “somewhat alive” and never completely dead, this renders them capable to exercise their “free will” to choose good or bad.

    The concept of “free will” is prevalent throughout most of the Christian church. If it wasn’t so sad it could be funny (in an ironic way), because for the longest time this was considered to be heresy in the church. But to believe this you have to ignore a load of scripture that speaks to the Sovereignty of God.

    I believe most find free will so palatable for two reasons: We like to have control of our destiny; and we try to relieve God of the responsibility for sending people to hell. “If you go to Hell its your own stupid fault!” This is the Good News that Arminians like to share? Worse than this is the insidious side effect: “If you go to Heaven, it’s ultimately to your credit.” Be stubborn enough, you can lose or never gain your salvation; if you’re savvy enough you can gain it and keep it. This song and dance of blaming others without crediting oneself is known in scripture and elsewhere as hypocrisy. The concept of salvation by human effort is known as salvation by works. In Christendom, these things are never called what they truly are.

    The common ground that Calvinists and Arminians share is a belief in eternal torment. Calvinists say some are predestined and proceed to say “Oh well.” Arminians duck the horror of hell by making God free of liability for sending Aunt Sue or your brother Michael to a neverending roast.

    If one takes what is correct about Calvinism and Arminianism, and you get rid of the error between them, then you will arrive at the truth. The Calvinists are correct in that only God can give people belief; they are wrong for assuming that God has predestined only a select group from humanity for eternal life.
    The Arminians are correct in that salvation is for all; they are wrong in teaching that it is up to man to appropriate this salvation. The two truths together: Salvation is, indeed, for all, and God will eventually give all belief.

    I have previously given scripture verses to substantiate this position, and there have been others who have posted scripture to this effect. But I have a more probing question for you, are you willing to see the gross error of free will and how it is used to cover the error of eternal torment?

    Pastor Dave, you mention Paul’s conversion as Divine coercion, yet I don’t believe you give enough credit to the overwhelming power of God’s grace (1 Tim. 1:14-16). Remember Romans 5:6, 8 : “While we are still sinners, Christ died for our sakes.”

    When I visit Niagara falls and get on the boat ride to see it up close, as much as I might try to not get wet, the power of the falls is overwhelming and I get wet.

    I’ve also heard God’s grace likened to a mother who finds her small child at a precipice; if she rushes in the child might react and plunge to certain death. Instead, she drops her robe and bares her breast, and the child is drawn to her bosom. We could continue with the analogies, but I’m sure that someone will want to hyper-analyze them to discredit their use.

    In response to your statement that I may be taking out of context Rom. 3:11 and 11:32, you said that you believed Rom. 11:32 is speaking specifically of natural Israel. Even if this applies directly or specifically to natural Israel, does it change how He operates His will? Look at Romans 9:14-18 and Ephesians 1:5-12.

    I don’t like labels and I don’t believe I’ve said anything that suggests that I’m a “New Ager” or a pantheist. I have continued to stress the Omnipotence of God and His gracious gift, Jesus’ sacrifice and shed blood on the cross.

    Let me clarify something: WE ARE NOT SAVED BECAUSE WE BELIEVE; WE BELIEVE BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED. Belief is a gift of God. It is a gift that follows salvation, it doesn’t precede it. God gives belief to acquaint us with an already accomplished work: “God is the Savior of all mankind, especially believers” (1 Tim. 4:10). What we may believe today can not save us, for salvation occurred two thousand years ago at Calvary. Faith says: “I believe what happened then.” It doesn’t say: “I believe what was attempted then, which only happens now.” That is the subtle lie. Salvation is the deposit in your account that makes you rich. Belief is the gift that acquaints you with your wealth. It is, as 1 Tim. 2:4 states so precisely, a “coming into a realization of the truth.”

    I’ve stressed the need to study the original Greek due to poor translation, because this leads to misunderstanding and apparent inconsistency in our English versions. Consider Acts 16:30-31, when the Philippian jailer asks what he must do to be saved, Paul responds “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.” Compare that to Ephesians 2:8-9, “For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God’s approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting.” In grace you are saved: a done deal. Christ saved you and me and the Philippian jailer 2,000 years ago. His work procured this extraordinary salvation. You may or may not believe it yet, but it doesn’t change the fact.

    The faith of the context is Christ’s, not yours. Galatians 2:16 says that we are “justified by the faith of Christ.” His faith buys salvation and the personal faith given to you causes you to realize it.

    So what was the Philippian jailer asking? Well, which aspect of salvation are we considering in this context? Is it the salvation that was won for this jailer at Calvary, or his realization of that salvation. Ding, ding, ding! Answer: his realization of it. This can be proven in the Greek. Please try not to be bored.

    There are five different forms of the Greek verb: 1) incomplete, 2) indefinite, 3) complete, 4) indefinite-complete, 5) middle. Lets focus on the incomplete and the complete forms.

    An incomplete verb form indicates ongoing action. This is expressed by adding am, is, or are to the verb and the ending -ing. Example: “I am sweating over this Greek grammar lesson.” With the incomplete verb form, we don’t know if you sweated yesterday, or if you are going to sweat tomorrow; we only know that you are sweating now, and are continuing to sweat. The complete verb form, on the other hand, gives the state resulting from an action. It is prefixed by: have, has, or had. The complete verb form of our example would be: “I have sweated over this Greek grammar lesson.” The complete verb form is a done deal. It is something that happened in the past.

    Break out the concordance and an interlinear Greek bible and consider this, in Acts 16:31, the verb form is incomplete. The jailer is saying in effect, “What must I be doing that I may be being saved?” He’s not talking about the salvation that was a done deal at Calvary, but his present experience. In Ephesians 2:8-9, however, the verb form iscomplete. Here, we are considering the done deal at Calvary. In the Greek it would be: “For in grace, through faith, you are ones having been saved.”

    True story: many years after World War II ended, a handful of Japanese soldiers on isolated islands in the South Pacific still believed the war was going on. Being cut off from radio, television, and newspapers, these men continued a watchful defense of their islands, albeit against a nonexistent enemy.
    Imagine that you are an evangelist visiting a group of these men on one of these islands. Your evangel is: “Gentlemen, the war is over.” This is your good news. It is the equivalent of Paul speaking the word of the Lord to the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:32). He probably told him: “Christ died for your sins” (1 Corinth. 15:3). Its spiritual counterpart is found in Eph. 2:8-9, “In grace, through faith, are you saved.” Paul would not have taunted the jailer with something that could be true only if the price was right, that is, if his faith was sufficient. He told him what Christ accomplished for him on the cross. The Philippian jailer, naturally, wanted to know how he could experiencing and enjoying this marvelous salvation; he wanted to know how he could be being saved, that is, how this salvation, which was an historical fact, could be becoming part of his present experience. Paul probably said, “Simply by believing what I’m telling you, simply by believing it’s true.”

    Now, would you have told those poor Japanese soldiers that the cease fire — an historical fact — was true only if they believed it was true? A lot of Christian evangelists might. Such an idiotic message as “World War II is over only if you believe it’s over parallels the modern Christian message of “Christ saved you two thousand years ago only if you believe He did.” But if you actually understood the message you were presenting, you would tell the soldiers: “This cease fire is a done deal; the war is over. You can believe it and start enjoying life again, or you can not believe it and keep fighting your imaginary war. But whether you believe it or not, the war is over, and has been for some time now.”

    Can you see how this cease fire evangel parallels the evangel of Ephesians 2:8-9? Do you see how it accords with the complete verb form? Do you see how it contradicts the standard issue “Christian” message? Whenever scripture speaks of the human doing something to be saved, as in Acts 16:31, God inspired the writer (in the Greek) to use the incomplete verb form, indicating relative truth. Whenever scripture speaks of what Jesus Christ did for all (we’re speaking of absolute truth now, as in Eph. 2:8-9), God inspired the writer to use the complete verb form. Isn’t God great?!?
    Back to the soldiers. Compare their probable response to a proper presentation of your evangel with the incomplete verb form of Acts 16:31, “What must we be doingthat this war may be being over for us?” And you say: “Believe what I tell you, and it will be being over for you.”

    I’m sorry this was longer than I planned, but I want you to know that God cannot SIN, which means to miss the mark, but He is in charge of all things, and He has even created evil for a purpose (Isa. 45:5-7). So, to give you the short answer concerning whether or not He lies, I ask you to read Luke 24:13-35. God does not lie like you and I might, but what He does on the road to Emmaus is pretend, or act one way, for the benefit of blessing His disciples. I’ll leave it at that for now, it’s pretty late.

    God bless you all!

  101. Kevin

    I know that universal salvation can easily be refuted by individual Scriptures. But if we look at the overall themes of the Bible, I think the doctrine of ultimate reconciliation is MORE BIBLICAL than the doctrine of endless torment in Hell for these reasons…

    1.) God, in spelling out the punishment for Adam’s original sin in Genesis, doesn’t mention burning in Hell in the afterlife. Adam and Eve’s sin was the worse sin of all, putting the hold world into sin and death, according to Romans 5. Yet God doesn’t mention anything about Adam, Eve or the serpent burning in Hell in the afterlife. Why not?

    2.) God, in pronouncing judgment upon Cain for slaying his brother Abel, doesn’t mention burning in Hell in the afterlife. Why not?

    3.) Moses, in giving the Law, doesn’t mention burning in Hell in the afterlife. All the punishments for disobedience to the Law occur in this life, or result in physical death. DEATH has always been the penalty for sin according to Israel, not endless torment in Hell. Why not?
    (Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

    4.) The Old Testament prophets prophesy of many sever consequences to Israel and Judah for their disobedience…but none of them mention burning in Hell in the afterlife. Why not?

    5.) Jesus mentions Hell, but the Greek word normally uses is Gehenna, a 1st century, fiery garbage dump outside the walls of Jerusalem. Jesus was trying to convey the notion that the wicked are like trash thrown into the dump, discarded, unusable, not tormented endlessly in the afterlife. When Jesus spoke of Gehenna, His listeners wouldn’t have thought that He was speaking of the afterlife. Why not?

    6.) Paul, in his writings, refers to judgment, but doesn’t refer to the wicked burning endlessly in Hell in the afterlife. In Romans 5: 12-21, Paul describes explicitly the effects that Adam’s original sin has had upon the world, and then he describes the effects that Jesus’ obedience has had upon the world, and Paul never mentions burning in Hell in the afterlife. Why not?

    Now I want to use logic to demonstrate the problem with the doctrine of eternal punishment…If an armed man sticks a gun in a person’s face and says, “Give me your wallet or I’ll blow your brains out!” and the person gives the armed man the wallet, it was not a gift. It was given under duress.

    If a boy says to his girlfriend, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Please say you’ll marry me…but if you don’t, I will find you…and torment you forever.” That is no free will choice. If you want to talk about divine coercion…that’s coercion!

    The same applies to a “Accept Jesus or burn!” option that many believe God has given the world. No loving parent, no matter WHAT their child had done, would EVER sentence that child to an eternity of pain and torture.

    I agree with Joseph that we are not saved because we believe, but that we believe because we are saved! Pastor Dave, I do not believe that Jesus “coerced” Saul into becoming the Apostle Paul. I believe that Saul was transformed by the experience into a believer. Jesus gives you whatever you need in order to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Does Jesus require belief, repentance, a confession of faith BEFORE He saves, heals, delivers, sets the prisoners free? Look here: in Matthew 9: 1-2, “Some people brought to Jesus a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven!”

    This paralyzed man DID NOT: confess his sins, ask for forgiveness, confess Jesus as Lord, confess Jesus as Savior, or anything else!

    In John 8: 1-11, the Jewish religious leaders wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery. The woman DID NOT: confess her adultery to Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him to save her from death, confess Jesus as Lord, confess Jesus as Savior, or anything else! Yet, Jesus uttered His infamous, “He-who-is-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone” line, which stopped her would-be executioners dead in their tracks. Some say, “God has to punish sin!” Oh really! Why didn’t Jesus allow the Jewish leaders to punish the adulteress according to the law of Moses, if, as many say, God must always punish sin?

    And some cry out, “What about God’s judgment against sins? Yes Pastor Dave, I am aware of the Great Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Conquest of Canaan. But those examples are not relevant to our discussion of universalism for two reasons…

    1.) Because all of those judgments happened IN THIS LIFE. Universalism doesn’t negate the reality of consequences to sin in this life, or the next. Universalism simply says that ULTIMATELY God will reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in Heaven.

    2.) New Testament theology asserts that GOD’S WRATH AGAINST MANKIND WAS SATISFIED IN THE DEATH OF JESUS. God is no longer in the business of raining down sulfur and brimstone, or flooding the earth. Jesus took ALL of God’s wrath against man’s sin! Do you believe that? Do you believe that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, NO LONGER counting men’s trespasses against them.

    Here’s what Jesus said about God’s approach to the wicked, “Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for HE IS KIND TO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THOSE WHO ARE WICKED.” (Luke 6: 35)Kindness does NOT include eternal torment.

    The Apostle Paul said that God has “unlimited patience” in dealing with sinners (1 Timothy 1: 16, NIV)Unlimited, Pastor Dave! Unlimited! What does unlimited mean? It means that there is no limit to God’s patience! It means that there is never a time that God stops seeking and saving those who are lost.

    But many Christians and Pastors would have us believe that God basically says to the world, “Believe in Me now, or be tormented endlessly!!” That right there is divine coercion! The purpose of any parental punishment (human or divine) is to correct, and there is no opportunity for correction in a permanent state of “hell.”

    Look, why don’t you just believe what you believe and I’ll believe what I believe and we can leave it at that…because we clearly are not going to change each others’ minds.

    Thank you for reading!
    Pastor Kevin

    P.S. Thanks again for calling me brother.
    P.S.S. Is there anybody else out there who is reading these posts besides Joseph, Pastor Dave, and I? (Just curious)

  102. Kevin

    One more thing.

    Pastor Dave asked me if I believed that the Apostle Paul came to Christ through what he calls “divine coercion.” Even if Pastor Dave were to grant this, he asks me for other examples to support my view, for “out of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established.”

    Pastor Dave says that “Paul is the exception, not the rule. None of Jesus’ 12 Apostles came in by coercion. They heard the call and responded out of their own freewill. And the multitudes of disciples who followed Him, aside from the 12, none came by force or intimidation.”

    Pastor Dave, as I said on my previous post, I do not believe that Jesus “coerced” Saul into becoming the Apostle Paul. Saul was transformed by the experience of the blinding light into a Christian believer. That’s force, but that’s not intimidation, in my book.

    Jesus dealt with Saul in that manner because Saul was the “chief of all sinners.” Pastor Dave, that’s how God eals with hardened sinners…God does something drastic and forceful to get their attention…like a blinding light.

    I’ve met many Christians who say that they were immoral, hell-raising rebels…and then (they say) God got their attention through a motorcycle accident or a DUI or a jail sentence. That seems to be what God does…He will tap you on the shoulder first…then He will give a little “push” to your arm…then He will push a little harder…then He will knock you upside the head with a 2 x 4 board, so to speak.

    Jesus gives you whatever you need in order to come to the knowledge of the truth. Pastor Dave, Jesus didn’t have to use a “blinding light” in order to call the other 12 disciples BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T HARDENED SINNERS like Saul/Paul. Jesus said, “Follow me” to James and John sons of Zebedee and they followed, Jesus used a miracle of catching fish to call Simon Peter, etc.

    Jesus does whatever He has to do in order to bring the lost sheep to the knowledge of the truth. And He will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stop, even in Hell, until He’s carried every lost sheep on His shoulders back home.

    Thank You Jesus!
    Pastor Kevin

  103. Pastor Dave

    Bros Kevin and Joseph,
    I cannot possibly do justice to all the points you have raised due to the sheer lengths of your contributions. Short exchanges are better in my view because then we deal with specific points raised (I’ll probably violate this suggestion here myself).

    I dont know how anyone can subscribe to “Ultimate Reconciliation” when we are told “the devil….was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone…and shall be tormented day and night FOR EVER AND EVER” (Rev 20:10).

    I also dont know how anyone can deny hell fire when Jesus Himself “shall say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).

    Evidently hell was not prepared for humans, but for satan and his demons. God did not plan on anyone going there. But if we choose to reject Christ, He has to respect our choice and watch us walk into “everlasting fire.” Is this an attempt to absolve God of responsibility for torturing sinners? No, its just saying what Jesus said.(Isnt it amazing that not only God, but even father Abraham would not come to the recue of the Rich Man tormented in the FLAMES? How unkind of both God and father Abraham!)

    Bro Kevin, are you saying God is responsible for accidents, DUI’s and jail sentences? What is the devil responsible for then?

    Bro Joseph, your “we believe because we are saved” is inconsistent with several passages eg “with the heart man believeth UNTO righteousness” (Rom 10:10), also “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). In other words, no believing, no righteousness, no calling upon Him, no salvation. Isnt it interesting that when they asked the disciples “what shall we do?” in Acts 3:37, Peter didnt say, “Do nothing. Just sit tight. It was all taken care of on the Cross”. No they had to do something…repent,be baptised etc — which all are, and should be, expressions of faith, otherwise its meaningless.

    Yes salvation was secured 2006 years ago on the Cross. The deposit was made. But what good is a deposit if you dont draw from the bank? Faith is the instrument you use to draw whats legally ours. The same is true, by the way, concerning healing. That healing is in the atonement is beyond argument as Isaiah 53 and 1 Pet 2:24 shows. But just because it was secured for us doesnt mean that everyone is enjoying the benefit of it. It takes faith to receive whats already legally yours. This is why Jesus told people over and over again that their faith (not His faith) is what made them whole eg Bartimaeus, woman with issue of blood.

    Bro Joseph you analogy with the Japanese etc is interesting. The difference with salvation is this: whereas the soldiers were being asked to accept natural and verifiable facts of a ceasefire, God is asking us to accept not just the historicity of Calvary. A lot of people (Roman soldiers etc) saw Jesus die, but the facts did not save them. No, what God is asking us to believe is that the death and resurrection of Jesus has spiritual significance for me personally and that the Blood is efficacious to remove my sin. None of this is verifiable scientifically or naturally but must be accepted by faith.

    Lastly, bro Joseph, I am surprised that you see Jesus as “pretending” (to be someone He is not?) in Luke 24: 13-35. I fail to see how you come up with that interpretation. Jesus did no such thing!! He is no pretender i.e. a lier. The fact that their eyes were closed to revelation of who He is cannot be blamed on God. Just like today…if we fail to perceive revelation, its our fault. These things are hidden “from the wise and prudent” but “revealed unto babes.” (Luke 10:21). Childlikeness in the things of God is our choice, thats why Jesus commanded it (Luke 18:17).

  104. Colin T. Bent

    All of you are so taken up with who is going to heaven and who is going to hell that you miss the whole story of the birth and resurection.

    Could it be that God was displeased with the way man was living ON EARTH that he sent his son to show us a better way of life ON EARTH and through his resurection took care of our eternal relationship with the Father?

    You argue so much about that which you know nothing about because you really have no knowledge of what the here after will be. Why not argue about what you actually have knowledge and control of? We all can try to stop these wars that we fight in the name of God and we all can try to make this life on EARTH a little less like HELL for all of God’s children.

    Oh, I know there are those who are more interested in arguing who is wrong and who is right but the message of Jesus will always be LOVE and removing the plank in our eye before worrying about the speck in the eye of the next person. So you Pharisees can continue condeming others because Jesus himself said “Neither do I condemn you”. For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world.

    You all reduce the message of Christ to a bunch of b.s. and the gospel of the greatest radical who ever walked this earth is bottled up in confinement dictated by the tiny cubicles of your little minds.

    God is not a Christian, He is not a Jew, neither is He Islamic, Hindu, Buddist, White, Black, Hispanic, Israeli and I have news for most of you, He is not American or Republican! Bust out of your mental prisons and free your minds and you will feel a lot better about yourselves which will cause you to feel a lot better about you fellow man. God is LOVE!!!

  105. lynn

    1 John 1:9
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us of all our unrighteousness.”

    I am just responding to the blogs that I have received in regards to my synoptic story of my past encounter with Carlton Pearson and the Azuza experience.

    The woman that I referred to on Aug. 14, 2006 on this web page, that encouraged me to visit a church where Carlton was to preach for the week, was convincing and seemed sincere at the time. I was then seeking and praying for God to send me my husband and I guess the timing seemed right.

    That’s what lead to my booking an interview with Carlton on talk radio back then and my subsequent visits to the Azuza conferences in Tulsa.

    I guarantee you that I am sane, saved, and that’s why I am still a virgin at 44. God has the right person for me. It’s just hard for many people, especially those who have not yet be delievered from sexual impurity to accept that virgins are normal. God has a hedge of protection around me. Don’t forget, I was on-camera for 14 years on a network station, I am a looker.
    I just have a calling on my life and God has protected me from men who would just get what they want and leave. Praise God. I will have those desires met soon, after marriage. Okay, I am from the real old school, of “first comes marriage, then, the baby carriage!”

    I am not perfect at all, we all sin in some way. So for Greg, who thought that my story was so funny, examine yourself.

    Being a virgin is something to be proud of, not scoffed at, especially by Christians. We are living the a free-willed society, with the spirit of the anti-christ at large. So I do understand your feeling that my story was ‘distrubing.’

    Anyway, God just wants us to continue to pray for both Carlton and his wife.

    I am fine. God’s got mine, sometimes it just takes a little longer, why, it’s all in our Fathers timing.

    God bless you all. And remember, to live the life, you talk about as best you can. Power, true Power from God, works through pure and clean vessels of honor, not sloppy mess. His power cleans us all as we strive to live what we believe is absolute truth.

    I am not gullible or susceptable to “suggestions” I’m more than like stronger than most people when it comes to sugesstive messages.

    That’s why I am strong and will remain untill my change comes, which is right around the corner. Thank God.

  106. Kevin

    Based upon recent posts, I have to say, I thought this blog was supposed to be primarily about Bishop Pearson’s “Gospel of Inclusion.”

    Let me address that topic: I do not wholeheartedly embrace Pearson’s “Gospel of Inclusion” because he says there is no Hell, and that we are automatically saved by the atoning death of Christ.

    I see a difference between Pearson’s “Gospel of Inclusion” and Christian universalism. Pastor Dave,I know that the Word of God says that we must believe and choose Jesus.

    Christian universalism (or ultimate/universal reconciliation) simply asserts that all will EVENTUALLY repent, believe, bow, and say “Jesus is Lord” to the glory of God the Father, in this life or the next.

    Philippians 2:10-11 says, “so that all created beings in heaven and on earth — even those long ago dead and buried — will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” (“The Message” Bible)

  107. Pastor Dave

    Bro Kevin,

    The idea of “worship” is absent from Phil 2:10-11. You have to read that into there.

    What that passage simply says is that every created being & thing will one day acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus over His creation. This is different from acknowledging Jesus as personal Savior & Lord…it will be too late to do that at that juncture anyway.

    An example would be the demons who acknowledged “Jesus thou Son of the Most High” (Matt 8:29, mark 5:7, Luke 8:28). Also compare the demon which cried behind Paul, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17).The point is: all these demons had the correct facts, but possesion of accurate knowledge about God & salvation is NOT the same thing as salvation.

    And again Rev 20:10 and Matth 25:41 proves there will be no ultimate reconciliation. Satan & demons will burn forever and will be joined by the disobedient who “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”(Rev 21:8).

    (PS if anyone wants to receive my monthly e-newsletter email me at dvchks (at) yahoo (dot) com)

  108. Kevin

    Pastor Dave, the idea of “worship” is NOT absent from Phil 2:10-11. I’m NOT reading anything into the passage. Let’s look at it again this time from the New International Version.

    The Apostle Paul said, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (to BOW in 1st century Ancient Near East meant to WORSHIP, to pay HOMAGE to a deity or a king or lord), in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    Look at those last seven words of verse 11. What does it mean to do something for “the glory of God the Father.” It means whatever you are doing (serving in soup kitchen, singing songs, kneeling at an altar, writing an article, etc.), you are doing it in order to glorify God, worship God, serve God! Period.

    So in a nutshell, according to the Apostle Paul, ” … at the name of Jesus every knee (every human that has ever existed) should bow (which is an act of worship, believe it or not), in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (which, according to Romans 10:9, gets you saved), to the glory (or to the honor, praise, worship) of God the Father.”

    Whether you believe it or not, the Apostle Paul was a universalist! He said in Romans 5:19, ” … just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous.” How many of us were made sinners (raise your hands) … yes, yes, that’s right! Now how were we made sinners (“through the disobedience of the one man”) … yes, yes, that’s right, now how many will be made righteous (raise your hands again) ) … yes, yes, you’re catching on! But how are we made righteous, Apostle Paul? By our decision, our choice, our moral living? (“through the obedience of the one Man”) … .exactly … .and that’s Pearson’s “Inclusion” in a nutshell … and it’s also Paul’s theology!

    The Apostle Paul looked forward to the time when God will ” … bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ,” (Eph 1:10) a time when God will eventually be “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), when everyone will bow and say the words “Jesus is Lord!” (Phil. 2:10-11).

    Pastor Dave, you said regarding Phil. 2:10-11, “What that passage simply says is that every created being one day acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus over His creation. This is different from acknowledging Jesus as personal Savior & Lord … it will be too late to do that at that juncture anyway.” If you re-read Phil. 2:10-11 in any Bible translation, the verb “acknowledge” is nowhere to be found. Nowhere! You are reading “acknowledge-the-Lordship-of-Jesus” theology into this passage.

    The Apostle said that everyone will bow before Jesus, and confess Him as Lord, which is much stronger than “acknowledge the Lordship” talk. How would God be glorified by sinners who simply “acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus” and then are shipped off to Hell to burn forever?

    Comparing Phil. 2:10-11 to the demons in Matt 8:29, Mark 5:7, and Luke 8:28 is ridiculous, because those demons were not bowing down before Jesus and calling Him Lord, which is what Paul is saying that everyone will eventually do … which is what I and Bishop Pearson and many others on this blog are saying about with universalism.

    But I think I’ve said enough Pastor Dave, and you have said enough to me, and I think it’s time to say “enough is enough” with this discussion. We’re not getting anywhere with each other. Clearly, I’m not going to change your mind, and you are not going to change my mind. So let’s just agree to disagree and stop this discussion. Period. The end.

    Now to the rest of you reading this blog …

    You have a choice. You can believe, as many on this blog do, that God’s invitation to salvation ends at death, that God’s mercy and grace end at the grave … or you can believe the Bible which says over and over again that God’s “mercy endureth FOREVER!” (Psalm 106:1) Not for a lifetime, FOREVER!

    You can believe that God is the kind of father who will tell the wicked crying out and writhing in Hell, “Sorry folks, it’s too late at this juncture to repent,” or you can believe that God is the father in the Luke 15 who waits with open arms until ALL of His prodigals come home.

    You can believe that it’s up to us, our choice, our decision … or you can choose to believe Jesus when He said, “You DIDN’T choose Me, I CHOSE YOU!” You can believe the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, (Luke 15) which say that God will search for the lost until He finds them and carries them home. You

    In regards to the frequent quotes from Revelation, you can choose to believe that the book of Revelation provides an actual description of what will literally happen at the end of history, you can embrace “Left Behind” books … or you can choose to see the book of Revelation for what it is … an allegorical narrative, a word of encouragement directed to the Christians living in the 1st century who were going through brutal persecution in THAT time period, not OUR time period (sorry Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins).

    If you wish to learn more about universalism, or the Gospel of Inclusion, check out Bishop Pearson’s website for yourself. Check out Check out for a great article. Read

    But please, Pastor Dave, do NOT post anymore messages directed to me. You want to post more messages on this blog, fine … just don’t address them to “Bro. Kevin.” Because Brother Kevin is tired of the “back and forth” endless debate that goes nowhere. Believe what you want, preach what you want, and live it.

    As for me and my house, I will “give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever!” (Psalm 106:1).

    I will worship the Shepherd who seeks and saves those who are lost UNTIL HE FINDS THEM and carries them joyfully on His shoulders all the way to Heaven.

    And I will see you all in Heaven.


  109. Greg Amburgy


    It is interesting that you say Matthew 25:41 proves there will be no ultimate reconciliation. If that is the case, then you must agree that Matthew 25:32-46 lays out the conditions for who will and will not be saved. Clearly, that criteria is our works; such as feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, taking in strangers, and visiting prisoners. There is no mention here of believing or the blood of Christ. This is absolutely, 100% works determining who goes to heaven and hell. Is that your position? That we are saved by works?

    You can’t take verse 41 as a proof verse for eternal punishment without taking the rest of those verses as literally saying the criteria for heaven and hell is our works.

  110. Pastor Dave

    My last instalment to you Bro Kevin:

    With ref. to Phil 2:10-11, I agree that the ancients bowed the knee before their lord and swore fealty to him because this was protocol in monarchical politics. But WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THE KING WAS QUITE BESIDE THE POINT! He was your sovereign and you were his subject. Period.

    Not so in the kingdom of God. Outward shows of obeisance & wont cut it. God wants us to love Him from the heart. You cannot do that without regeneration. If you are to spend eternity with God we can safely assume that what you think about Him is very important. And what you think is a matter of personal choice.

    Incidentally I hope readers know that Phil 2:10 -11 is a quote from Is 45:23, which itself cannot be divorced from the taunt song of Is 45:1-2. In this latter passage, the high gods of Babylon must bow before Cyrus, the Lord’s emissary. There is no suggestion here of Bel & Nebo in intimate worship with Cyrus! This bow is one of acknowledgement of a lesser to the greater. It has nothing to to with personal relationship.


    Bro Greg, remember the context of Matthew 25 is Jesus talking to Jews under the Old Covenant. He hasnt died yet, His Blood is yet to be shed, and so to introduced such concepts at this stage would be unintelligible to the Jews. So He has to talk about works. He is not being untruthful though because altho we are not saved BY works, we are saved FOR works — faith without works is dead. My faith motivates me to do good works. There is no faith without works.

    But Jesus cannot get into details of the role of the Blood, the Name etc at this stage for this would be meaniungless to the Jew at this point. Remember, He had not yet been glorified & His Name had not yet been exalted at this point — see John 7:39, Phil 2:9. (I hope people realise that almost 90% of the Gospels are not New Testament. They are really in the Old Testament — the Blood was only shed in the last few remaining chapters of all 4 Gospels).


    Let me now summarise:

    Universalism is false because it it based on poor or false exegesis of scripture.

    Not everyone will be ultimately reconciled to God.

    “Eternal punishment” is not temporary, the “unquenchable fire” cannot be put out and “the worm that dieth not” will live forever to eat the flesh of the disobedient.

    There will be no postmortem conversions. “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

  111. Rich Post author

    Yeah, Carl, I’ll be closing comments down pretty soon. I’m not seeing a whole lot new added to the discussion. Participants can carry on in private email if they desire. But, you have a couple more days to get your comments in, and I’ll close it down.


  112. judy

    TO All; and RICH,

    I must say as sad as it was to realize how very misled so many people are … it made me realize that there is an entire other realm to be concerned with. So, since this blog is closing soon, let me just add my three cents.

    The most common thread is that we all love Jesus, obviously. The decisive fact then, is whether we believe we actually have to “believe” on our own that Jesus came and that if we don’t we will go to hell.

    So what has this blog and my review of the entire matter taught me? This … Carlton Pearson as much as I truly love him, as far as I can tell from his interviews and from his followers who have added; it seems that those who turn to this view are doing so because they truly do not understand “Grace”. That is, Christianity as I know it to be, You accept Jesus into your heart and you are saved. Period. If you go nuts after that, it does not really matter as long as you do not consciously decide in your heart that Jesus is unnecessary … and that is the rub.

    If one beleives that belief in Jesus is no longer necessary than how can he fully acknowledgde the salvation power of Christ. (I don’t know the answer) But this is what I do know. If Carlton’s Grandparents had accepted Jesus into their hearts and then went on to “backslide” as in, sin and drink, whatever it is Carlton was referring to, then guess what? — they are still saved, but Carlton seemed to think they were not, thus he could not imagine them in hell. But perhaps that thought process happened because his salvation was conceptualized through “works” rather than “Grace”.

    Take for another example how he stated that he was on the plane and grew weary of telling others about Christ because, in his words, “he can’t possibly save them all” ??? Did he think he actually had to “save them all” It seems to me that perhaps Carlton was measuring his salvation by whether he was actively witnessing; thus; “works” rather than “Grace.” Likewise his Grandparents would certainly remain saved even though they backslid. I hope that the Holy Spirit will reveal to him what Grace is, and then perhaps he may rethink the entire matter. That is of course if he has the humility and integrity to constantly “work out his salvation” with fear and trembling, as it is so difficult, all of these issues.

    But just for the record, I believe it is not by works, it is by Grace. Jesus’ Grace. We can do nothing to change that, however we can denounce Christ in our hearts, or refuse to ever accept him, — then we go to hell. And in the event that we just plain never belived in Christ, then we would be subject to the Old Testament law only, (which we have alll already failed) but that is considering we, as gentiles were even permitted to partake.

    God Bless you all. Jesus is a live and real, so is the devil, just look around.

    Hopefully my three cents will do some good in someone’s heart even if just to help them work out their own salvation. Take care and keep praying that the HOly Spirit reveal the truth to all of us and whatever we have wrong be refined in the fire. :)

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  114. Marti

    Until obedience is learned, it’s all ‘majoring on minors’.

    The ONE thing our Creator asked of His people, the ONLY thing He asked of them as He lead them out of slavery and into freedom and prosperity was to keep His sabbath rest, the 7th day which HE ordained as set apart and to be kept as a day of no work but a day to rest the body and commune with Him and think upon His word.

    The only thing He asked was the one thing that was refused.

    His 7th day shabbat, His 7th day to be taken as rest and relaxation for the body to regenerate its self, a day to think on His Name, a day to let Him reveal Himself to you, is the one day the world screams, Let’s go __________.

    Observing His sabbaths, doing as He says on days He has called set apart, is His seal on us, His mark HE places on us because obedience to HIS word causes HIM to call US, natural or adopted, HIS PEOPLE.

    Exodus 31:13-18
    13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: FOR IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT I AM THE LLORD THAT DOTH SANCTIFY YOU.

    14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

    15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

    16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

    17 IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FOR EVER: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

    18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

    He established His 7th day sabbath at Creation and it is for all eternity! It is NEVER done away with.

    Israel wandered the desert for 40 years with every day a miracle .. no sickness, famine, or thirst .. shoes never wore out .. but they would NOT keep the sabbath day set apart.

    You’re right, God is not a Christian, He has nothing to do with them.

    They don’t keep His set apart days, their calendar is not His calendar, their set apart days have nothing to do with His. He stands outside the church door and knocks but it’s locked on Saturday and Sunday He isn’t there. So who is? Who is the god performing the miracles for the sold out business preachers? The same one that Simon Magmus worked for and attempted to buy the gifts of the Holy Spirit because even he recognized the power .. but it can’t be bought. However, there is one that can be, the same one that offered our Messiah the wealth of the world if only He would bow down and worship him.

    The only commandment that begins with “Remember” is the one concerning His sabbath .. He did not have to say “Remember do not steal” or “Remember do not commit adultery” .. but the one thing He said was to REMEMBER to keep HIS SABBATHS set apart as He said.

    If one has set themself in the office of minister, and does not keep the days our Creator has commanded be kept, then they by default work for the one that once heard, Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.

    Satan is a Christian .. and every other religion that has dogma other than what He commanded be done.

    Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    The sabbath is continued in the millenial reign, it’s not ‘just a day’ that’s to be kept as we see fit, it’s THE day HE set apart and is to be kept as He said.

    It’s the seal He places on us.

    His covenant is with Israel and Judah, not Pentacostals or Christians.

  115. Rich Post author

    Sorry, Marti, but when you look at the Bible through a single-issue lens like the Sabbath you miss a lot of really important stuff. Like the Son of God and the commands he gave us, which fulfill and complete everything found in the Old Testament.

    By your account, even Jesus fails your litmus test of obedience.

    And, try as I might, I cannot see how anything you wrote has much to do with the topic of this post. Please do try to keep on point next time.



  116. Marti

    You’re entitled to your opinion regardless of how unscritpural it is.

    Yahshua never broke God’s sabbath laws, however, according to the 1000’s of laws that man added, He did, and that was the basis of their accusations toward Him.

    How is it man now claims the sabbaths God has sanctified from the beginning to be of no value or done away with when very clearly they are observed by the apostles AFTER His death and resurrection, and will be the same ordained days in millenial reign and were to be observed from Creation? He even claimed a sabbath rest for Earth to lay fallow every seventh year.

    Tell me, what is the seal He places in our forehead?

    He told us what His seal is in Exodus 31.

    He doesn’t change.

    Maybe you aren’t aware of the ‘monking’ that has been done in order to have a Christian faith to remove itself as far away from the Truth as possible.

    His covenant isn’t with any denomination or dogma, His covenant is with Israel and Judah and any that would be ‘grafted into the olive tree’ of Israel.

  117. carl


    please close this thread

    Pretty please?

    Seriously, you should write an article one day on all of the doctrines like this one that causes people to be distracted from the centrality of Jesus to our faith. Be it sabbath, tithe, abstaining, or whatever.

  118. Marti


    What is it?

    Is it not to take what God has established and say it no longer matters because we have ‘grace’ and we ‘believe’.

    Try believing you are an American and then not following the laws of this country.

    God is the original Law Giver.

    To think one does not have to follow His laws but only ‘believe’ in Him is the greatest heresy.

  119. Rich Post author

    Carl, you’re right.

    :: sigh ::

    I hate to shut comments down on a post, but it does appear there’s nothing of substance being added any longer.


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