Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Gospel of Inclusion part 1

I sat and watched someone try and convert a person today. They tried to convert this person to the Gospel. Unfortunately it was the gospel of inclusion. The conversation went something like this:
"There was this charismatic evangelist named Carlton Pearson who went to do some mission work in Africa. While there, a young American boy saw a native African child who no one had ever taught the gospel to. The American child looked to Carlton and asked 'why does that boy have to go to hell?' This caused this once well thought of and highly influential minister to rethink what he had been taught and what he had been teaching. He then decided to invent a new theological thought. One of inclusion."
I was eating my lunch while I was listening to this conversation unfold in front of me and I almost choked as I sat and listened. The man delivering this message must have noticed that I was turning green with disgust as he said, "I knew you wouldn't like this." I will post my response to that comment at a later time. For now, let's take a closer look at this line of thought named Inclusion Theology.
Allow me to preface any further writing with the fact that by no means am I judging Mr. Pearson or his followers. As many in several religious communities have called him and his theology "heretical," I feel that doing so would not show any graciousness but only exacerbate the problem that I do believe Pearson was attempting to address when he set out on this mission. My hope is that someone will read this planned series of postings and either choose to avoid or remove themselves from what does not line up with the One Truth we are promised in scripture.
So what is this controversial theology? What is the problem? Why is an older white male in rural Northwest, AL attempting to convert people in this area to this line of thinking? Hopefully we can find the answers together.
For today, allow me to just lay out the basic points of Pearson's Gospel of Inclusion. In the following days we will break down each point and find if and where the flaw lies and why this may be dangerous. Carlton Pearson's Gospel of Inclusion teaches:
  1. Christ's death and resurrection made it possible for all of humanity to share in an eternal heavenly glory but that there is no necessity to man to repent of their sins and follow any plan of salvation.
  2. Know it or now, like it or not, all of mankind's destiny ends in heaven.
  3. The is no need to believe in Jesus Christ in order to spend eternity with Him. Due to God's grace there are no conditions to salvation.
  4. Only willful sinners who have been saved already and then intentionally reject Christ will be separated from God in eternity.
  5. There is some type of hell that is helpful to ministry teachings but we don't need to teach it because we don't want God to seem intolerant or angry.

This is what I came up against today and what caused me to thirst for truth that could only be quenched by God's Holy Word and time in prayer. In the next post on this matter I will take a closer look at the first point above and hopefully assist you in arming yourself with Scripture to fend off this relatively new doctrine.


linda said...

I believe you have misquoted Carlton Pearson and should explore further. He has never stated to my knowledge that there is no need to repent, Daily repentance draws and keeps us near to that loving God he now better understands, and it is certainly a practice that Pearson has demonstrated, including his public announcements of years of misleading others---that unwillingness to repent is what holds so many to false beliefs. The inability to confess and accept blinds many to the truth.

oldberto said...

You are sadly mislead by this man who himself on Bill Maher,s show refer to the bible as the following "“paper and ink” and “shouldn't be an idol” (The Associated Press). Pearson also explains “The death of Christ made it possible for God to accept sinful man, and that he has, in fact, done so. Consequently, whatever separation there is between man and the benefits of God's grace is subjective in nature and exists only in man's mind and unregenerate spirit. The message man needs to hear then, is not that he simply has a suggested opportunity for salvation, but that through Christ he has, in fact, already been redeemed to God and that he may enjoy the blessing that are already his through Christ ” (Carlton Pearson, Jesus: The Savior of the World). Pearson states: “A careful study of early church history will show that the doctrine of universal restoration was the prevailing doctrine of the Primitive Christian Church.” History does not show that the doctrine of universalism was a held by the Primitive Christian Church as he and others claim. It was Origen in the 3rd century who began to espouse this view as he held to a more allegorical interpretation of Scripture, but it was never held as an orthodox church view and never taught by Christ or the Apostles. This is to me is the most convincing sign that we are in the last days before the return of Christ.