I’ve had the opportunity to watch on Netflix twice the movie Come Sunday, that briefly but poignantly chronicles the life of Bishop Carlton Pearson, the former megachurch pastor and televangelist out of Tulsa, Oklahoma who has began preaching Universalism and expanded consciousness and basically lost it all because he no longer subscribed to erroneous doctrinal aspects of Pentecostalism and the concept of a literal hell. That was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.
There are a few takeaways I gathered from the movie. Pentecostal churches and ministers want you to believe many erroneous aspects of their doctrine without question. Critical thinking is not tolerated. Blind belief is a form of brainwashing and denominational institutionalism. To be an independent thinker and have your own mind is a form of blasphemy, rebellion and a work of the flesh in that discipline.
People love you and celebrate you as long as you believe like they believe and do like they do.
Bishop Pearson was tired of being the poster boy for Pentecostalism and the black messiah that bridged black and white believers together and being the puppet of Oral Roberts. He decided to be his own man with his own ministry and his own beliefs. He came to the point that he would no longer preached what had been repeated by others, but would now preach what would had been revealed to him by God. All of these other spiritual leaders say they hear from God, but it sounds like God tells all of them the same thing because they all preach the same thing.
White evangelical believers are always suspect of black leaders if they do not conform to their beliefs, so black preachers have to emphasize an anti-abortion, traditional family, Republican based gospel to gain white support in many instances. Black believers will support you as long as you make them feel safe in their ignorance theologically. Preach to us to make us feel good not think better.
Religious people are hateful and only want to see Christians in heaven where it may not be the case. If heaven belongs to God, He can have there whoever He wants to be there without Christians permission. Who wouldn’t want everyone in heaven? Who would want anyone in hell? Pentecostalism has more confidence in hell and the devil than heaven and God.
People often assume that if you’re a preacher that you automatically believe certain things, that there are things you’re against and there are things you are for. But evidently, we’re not all the same, we don’t preach the same, so that means we don’t believe the same. Bishop Carlton Pearson moved his life and ministry in the direction of his dominant thoughts and beliefs. He has helped many to re-think their beliefs and critique doctrine and dogmas that has incarcerated millions around the planet. A belief has no value unless its tested to reveal its validity and legitimacy. He had the courage to be, he has paid the price to be, and most importantly, he is staying the course to be an agent of love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy and grace on behalf of Christ in person, principle, and practice. We only live what we believe we are!