|'Gospel of Inclusion' Draws Attention, Stirs
Tulsa Bishop Says Conversion Through Christ Unnecessary
By Fred Jackson and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) - A Pentecostal bishop in Oklahoma continues to stir controversy with his teaching that Jesus Christ has saved everyone, regardless whether they accept Christ as their Savior.
Calton Pearson has been pastor of the Higher Dimensions Family Church in Tulsa for more than 20 years. He is presiding bishop of the Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches and Ministries, Inc., which includes over 500 churches and ministries. And he has authored a variety of books and was even nominated for a Dove Award at one time.
But the embattled, high-energy preacher has raised eyebrows among his fellow evangelicals recently for preaching what he calls the "gospel of inclusion." Associated Press says other prominent ministers have denounced him for teaching that Jesus has saved everyone -- both believers and unbelievers. He teaches that sincere people who do not directly acknowledge Christ -- such as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Unitarians -- will go to heaven. Consequently, according to Pearson, conversion is unnecessary. [See Earlier Article]
"The finished work of Christ at Calvary redeemed all of humanity, not just Christians, back to God," Pearson says. "The whole world is already saved -- they just don't know it."
Pearson goes as far as to say that a God who eternally condemns non-Christians would be worse than Hitler. "Hitler killed six million [people], mostly Jews. He is the most despised man in the twentieth century. Is God worse than Hitler, who's going to burn eternally, endlessly, billions of people?"
Many Christian who consider Pearson's teaching heresy will likely point to his views on the Bible as the source of his error. "I'm saying, don't put your trust in the Bible -- put your trust in God. [The Bible] shouldn't be an idol. This is paper and ink."
Pearson is opening a three-day conference at his church today entitled "Contending for the Faith Once Delivered Summit," at which the "gospel of inclusion" is to be the main focus. Speakers at the three-day conference include Pearson himself as well as several others who are proponents of universalism.
But Charisma News reports that at least one scheduled speaker has asked to be removed from the list of scheduled speakers. Pastor Michael Pitts of Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio, says he has been "deeply troubled and concerned" about the direction Pearson's ministry has taken. Pitts says he disagrees with that direction, and feels that his participation in the conference would detract from Pearson's "chosen direction" for the conference and only further fuel the controversy.
But Pitts' withdrawal has not discouraged Pearson. He says in a pluralistic culture, not many things are more urgent than the issue of the "centrality of the cross." He says emphasizing the "all inclusive" and unconditional love of God for the world, as expressed in Jesus Christ, is the central message of the church.
You can thank the Roman Catholic church for the Protestants now declaring Jesus is no longer needed. The Mother of Harlots is now showing absolute evidence that her daughters are alive and well. Want proof?