Bishop Carlton Pearson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, under heavy fire from his clerical colleagues for his "Gospel of Inclusion."
While many evangelical clergy believe that only a personal confession that Jesus is savior gives a person entrance to heaven, Bishop Pearson believes in universal salvation: Jesus saves everyone, unbelievers as well as believers.
"If I am judged for perceiving Christ or Christianity in error, I'd rather be wrong for overestimating the love of God than underestimating it," Pearson said.
He continued, "I'd rather err on the goodness, greatness, and graciousness of God than the opposite."
I completely agree.
The Pentecostal Bishops' congress, in its March 29, 2004, report, issued a scathing assessment of Pearson's beliefs and preachings:
"Because of our concern for the many people who could be influenced to adopt this heresy and in so doing put to risk the eternal destiny of their souls, we are compelled to declare Bishop Pearson a heretic."
Torquemada could not have said it better.
Responded Pearson, "That they felt it important to publicly denounce me as a heretic, fearing I will lead people astray or even to hell, shows how little confidence they have in the overriding and finished work of the cross."
Pearson said he feels like a victim of religious persecution, mostly from fellow Christians rather than non-Christians, some of whom have welcomed his views.