Monday, August 14, 2006

Carlton Pearson's Hell

Dateline NBC has begun a revealing expose of Bishop Carlton Pearson. Once one of the Trinity Broadcasting Network's shining lights, he has found himself isolated by the very people who made him what he once was. The issue? The existence of hell. You see, according to Pearson, God has told him that there is no hell and that everyone will be saved - even Hitler!

How did he come to this belief in inclusivism? Was it because he yielded his knowledge and feelings to the wiser knowledge of Jesus Christ, even if he didn't understand? No. He says "I was angry that people go to hell....I was resentful of God. You see, if you fear God the way we're taught to fear Him, you'll serve Him, you'll believe in Him, you'll worship Him--but you will probably never really love Him."

The straw that broke the camel's back for him was the refugee status in Rwanda. He says "God, I don't know how you're gonna call yourself a loving God and allow those people to suffer so much and then just suck them into hell." A voice in his head, that he believed to be God, then made it clear that those people were already in Hell but that Jesus died to redeem them and that everyone who has ever lived is saved and will be in heaven.

It's apparent that Pearson had a very misguided view of God right from the beginning, picturing Him as a heartless God who stands there waiting for us to make a mistake so He can bring a hammer down on our heads. Such a person should have never been in the pulpit to begin with. Secondly, rather than yielding to God's Word and to His superior wisdom, and Jesus' repeated warnings about the existence of Hell, Pearson let his emotions win the day and determine truth.

It's interesting that despite the appeal of his message to the natural mind, his congregation abandoned him in huge numbers, forcing him to close the doors of his church. Even the Trinity Broadcasting Network had the wisdom to dump him - although they have pastors on the network who deny the Trinity (T. D. Jakes, Tommy Tenney, singers Phillips, Craig and Dean, and others) and even deny that Jesus is our only means of salvation (Della Reese). I suspect that the erradication of hell would affect the income of TBN, since there would be no reason to have preachers if everyone was saved anyways.

Over the coming weeks (Sunday nights) Dateline NBC will continue their examination of Pearson. Should be interesting.

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