This may be old news to some of you but today was the first time I’d heard of it.
Bishop Carlton Pearson in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a well known and influential evangelical minister sat down and ‘researched’ the origins of the Bible and the theology it contains.
Based on his research, he came to the conclusion that God is not evil and vindictive.
I’m not certain how he managed to graduate from Oral Roberts University and become the Pastor of a church of 5000 people without realizing that before though!
The problem is, he went on from there to create some theology all of his own.
His theology, a form of Universalism, says that if God is not vindictive or mean or evil then there’s no way he would send anyone to hell. Therefore, everyone is going to be saved. Therefore, when Christ died, He died for EVERYONE’S sin and therefore we are all going to heaven. Therefore, since we’re all going to heaven, hell doesn’t actually exist, or at least, it doesn’t exist as a place which we should be concerned about.
There are some major problems with this theology:
1) God is not vindictive, but He is Just. Justice requires that there be punishment.
2) Salvation is a free gift – but it’s one that requires acceptance. God doesn’t force anything on us. We have always had the right to choose to reject Him – and that is still true today. Salvation is not given to everyone regardless of their wishes, we still have the ability and the requirement to exercise free will.
3) To say that everyone is saved by Jesus’s death and ressurection means that you have to believe the bible is accurate about the fact that Jesus came to die for us but then you have to choose not to believe certain parts of it, like everything Jesus said, for instance.
4) Jesus himself spoke about hell as a real place. If it’s not, then Jesus was a liar (which He wasn’t) and if Jesus was a liar then He was not perfect so therefore his death could not save anyone from their sin, let alone EVERYONE!
I do think it is very sad that someones theology can become so badly warped like this. We should all pray for him and for his congregation.
We should also pray forÂ Trinity Episcopal church in Tulsa. Trinity, in an act of ‘Christian love’ have allowed Bishop Pearson and his church, Higher Dimensions Family Church, to meet in their building. Higher Dimensions have been unable to pay their mortgage and are facing foreclosure. In one way, it is great that one church is reaching out to another but in another way, by doing so they are promoting and legitimising the theology being taught by Bishop Pearson – which is not such a good (or loving) thing to do.