I mentioned in my post about Universal Restoration the story of Bishop Carlton Pearson. For those who have any interest in the debate concerning beliefs around eternal destiny, aka Heaven and Hell, this man’s journey is significant.
Pearson was branded a heretic by the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops in 2004, for his version of UR, called the “Gospel of Inclusion”. For the sake of his doctrine (read “faith”), in giving up hell, he found that his congregation fell by over 90%, he was forced to give up his church building, and he virtually lost his entire ministry.
Most painfully, he fell out with many friends and loved ones including the great (in pentecostal-charismatic terms) Oral Roberts who saw him as a son. He paid a heavy price to break away from the 1500 year old ideology of Ultimate Fear, and embrace a radical expression of Grace.
The scandal of Carlton Pearson is qualitatively different to what we have come to expect from the Church. Crucially it has not involved hypocrisy, as in extramarital liaisons, pedophilia, embezzlement, or substance abuse. No, the scandal of Pearson is not unlike the scandal of Christ, who took on the religious-political-cultural establishment for the sake of G-ds rule of Love and Justice.
Take a listen to Carlton’s Story on This American Life.
Watch the MSNBC coverage.
Browse to the website for his church, New Dimensions
Pearson links on Universal Restoration website Tentmaker.
His involvement with Wisdom university in his hometown Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a seminar called Sacred Activism and the Power of Inclusion.