Skip to comments.Synergy (ECUSA-related)
Posted on 02/09/2006 4:22:46 PM PST by sionnsar
Daniel Stoddart sends this along. Seems that Episcopal churches aren't the only ones draining members:
Carlton Pearson, a high-profile pastor who lost 90 percent of his churchs 5,000 members after publicly teaching that everyone will eventually be saved, held the final service in his church building on New Years Eve.
Higher Dimensions, founded by Pearson in 1981, was one of Tulsa, Oklahomas largest and most prosperous churches. Its high-energy, sharply dressed pastor appeared regularly on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and at national conferences, wrote several books, and hosted an annual Azusa Street conference that drew national figures such as T. D. Jakes.
Higher Dimensions slide began about four years ago when Pearson began preaching a form of universalism that alienated his Pentecostal/evangelical followers. His "gospel of inclusion"that Christ died for the sins of the world, and therefore the whole world will be saveddenied the classic Christian belief that salvation involves turning from sin and accepting Gods forgiveness through faith in Jesus.
Never let it be said that Pentecostals don't have standards.
His alma mater, Oral Roberts University, banned his church buses from the campus. National church leaders and publications condemned him. His own denomination, the Church of God in Christ, the nations largest Pentecostal group, Pearson said, denounced "my doctrine, but not me."
But Pearson's okay with it.
Still, Pearson said, "[I am] as confident and resolute as Ive ever been."
"This is the price we paid for presenting the unconditional love of Jesus Christ," Pearson said. "I have no regrets, except that the town said no."
If you drop 90% of a church of 5,000, bad stuff tends to happen.
Faced with declining revenues, the church could not make mortgage payments on its 30-acre site in an upscale neighborhood. In August, Gold Bank filed foreclosure papers. Late in 2005, the bank notified the church to vacate the property by January 1.
And now for the punchline. Know where whatever's left of Pearson's universalist church is worshipping now? Uh huh.
Higher Dimensions accepted an invitation to worship at Trinity Episcopal Church, Tulsas flagship Episcopal church with 1,600 members. The Rev. Stephen McKee, Trinity rector, said he is comfortable with Pearsons gospel of inclusion. "I have difficulty believing in a God thats going to put my colleagues in hell."
Pearson said the two men may have some theological differences, but "Father McKee and I are pretty much on the same page."
I got nuthin'.
Catholics ought to have one eye on Anglican news because it could be deja vu pretty soon.
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