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BucsBullsBolts

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: August 16, 2007, 11:51:58 AM

"Who do I turn to when life hits a bump in the road?
My wife. My Mom. My cat (affection and unconditional love. Well, I DO have to feed her).
My friends.
I listen to music. I lay on the beach. I read about subjects that interest me."

Joe, unfortunately, all of those people and things will eventually fail you.  The love of Jesus Christ will never fail.

If that's what you believe then you must have some major trust issues with people.
So glad I'm not a Christian. I'm starting to believe Bill Maher when said it was a
neurological disorder. For some.

Joe, I've got to believe that what BG meant by that was, eventually, you and your "crutches' will be be separated by death, theirs or yours, and if you don't have Christ, you're toast.

ufojoe

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#1 : July 18, 2007, 01:08:20 AM

I love this guy! Amazing what happens when you start thinking for yourself.

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=3362554

'Nobody Goes to Hell': Minister Labeled a Heretic
One Minister Challenges the Idea of Hell and Loses His Congregation
By BILL WEIR

July 12, 2007

Virtually every religion throughout human history has some notion of a horrible life after death. And though the threat of fire and brimstone is not preached as fervently in this age of reason, one man in Tulsa, Okla., knows just how hard it is for modern believers -- and their religious institutions -- to let go of the medieval vision of hell.

"If I say everybody's going to heaven, then I can't raise money from you to get me to keep people out of hell," Carlton Pearson said with a wry smile.

He knows firsthand that when it comes to filling pews, hell sells. And when he stopped believing in it, he lost an evangelical empire built over a lifetime.

Carlton Pearson was born to work a pulpit.

"My dad was preacher, his dad was preacher," he said. "Tongue talkin', pew jumpin', holiness, hellfire and brimstone."

Pearson began casting demons out of people at age 16, and he couldn't wait to go to Oral Roberts University. Once there, his love of the Scriptures and his stage presence was so obvious, the renowned televangelist took him under his wing and took him on the road as one of the World Action Singers.

"Oh man, that was heaven on earth for me," Pearson said. "In our opinion, Oral Roberts was the third cousin to the Holy Ghost."

After years preaching to crowded arenas and television audiences, he built the Higher Dimensions church in Tulsa and soon became an evangelical megastar with a megacongregation -- up to 6,000 people would attend his services each week, and he was in high demand in the Christian world, sharing pulpits with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, he was called to lead the grieving in prayer. And he counseled both President Bush and President Clinton on faith-based initiatives.

Throughout his rise, Pearson preached the fundamentals: Everyone is born a sinner. Everyone is going to hell & unless they accept Jesus Christ as lord.

One sermon from the late '90s displays his passion: "Thank God, I don't have to go to hell, even though I deserve hell," he shouted. "But Jesus vicariously substituted for me, took on death, hell and the grave, and I have the victory today."

A Crisis of Faith

Through the years, as Pearson studied the ancient Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, he developed a crisis of faith.

"I couldn't reconcile a God whose mercy endures forever, and this torture chamber that's customized for unbelievers," Pearson said.

And he often agonized over the fate of his non-Christian family members. According to his faith, they were doomed to hell.

"How can you really love a god who's torturing your grandmother? And that's what I went through for years."

The more he studied, the more Pearson saw the Bible not as the literal word of God but a book by men about God -- primitive men prone to mistranslations, political agendas and human emotions.
And one night, as he watched Peter Jennings' report on the parade of suffering in Rwanda, he had a revelation.

"I remember thinking that these were probably Muslims because God wouldn't let that happen to Christians," he said. "Unbelieving Muslims, little starving babies and that they were going to die and go to hell."

"And that's when I said, 'God, how could you, how could you call yourself a loving God and a living God, and just let them suffer like that, then to suck them into hell?'" he continued. "And that's when I thought I heard an inner voice say, 'Is that what you think we're doing?' I said, 'That's what I've been taught. You're sucking them into hell.' And that voice said, 'Can't you see they're already there? That's hell. You created that.'"

Pearson believed that God was telling him hell is the creation of man on earth.

"The bitter torment of the idea of an angry, visceral, distant, stoic, harsh, unrelenting, unforgiving, intolerant God is hell. It's pagan, it's superstitious, and if you trace its history, it goes way back to where men feared the gods because something happened in life that caused frustration that they couldn't explain."

Losing His Followers

Pearson began sharing this message, and it wasn't long before Christian magazines demonized him. The denomination that made him a bishop officially labeled him a heretic. His assistant pastors quit, and his congregation dropped from 6,000 to fewer than 300.

"When people leave by the thousands, it's like pulling clumps of your hair out at one time," Pearson said. "It was hell. Now that's hell. The people who created hell for me are people who used to love me and will call themselves followers of Christ. It wasn't some secular, atheist, God-hating infidel that denounced me & my own brethren, with whom I sat, and ate, whose babies I dedicated."

As his life came apart, he agonized over his new belief.

"If you think I haven't sat and asked God, 'Am I crazy? I see you bigger and better but am I, am I gonna lead people to hell?' Kill me God."

It seemed like that prayer might be answered when his doctors found cancer.

Life After 'Hell'

Pearson stuck with his new message, even after losing his church altogether. He now rents space from the Episcopalians across town. And his congregation is growing. Slowly, people from all faiths are adding to the few who never left, despite being labeled heretics themselves.

"I think hell is a state of mind," said Teresa Reed, a music teacher, stuck with Pearson throughout the turmoil. "And if my family heard me say this, which they probably will, there will be fasting, prayer and sack cloth and ashes for my damned soul."

After the avalanche of hate mail and all the rejections, Pearson says people are slowly warming to his ideas. His cancer is in remission, and he doesn't regret his difficult path.

"Religion won't let you love yourself. Religion is the accuser of the brethren, that's what the devil is. It's legal systems, religious dogmas that say you're not good enough, you're not God enough," he said. "People who believe in hell create it for themselves and others. People who believe in devils and demons become that in consciousness, and they act it out."

Pearson said he firmly believes, as he told his congregation one recent Sunday, "We may go through hell, but nobody goes to hell."

But his current message does not focus on hell, even the hell that humans sometimes create here on earth.

"My hope is that, that people will learn to love themselves, accept themselves and celebrate themselves. That's pretty dramatic, but I think it'll save the planet."

John Galt?

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#2 : July 18, 2007, 01:20:31 AM

How dare this guy use reason and logic on well established religious view.  He deserves to burn in hell, wait...he can't, cause he doesn't believe in hell, then he deserves to "Burn in Cleveland".

"We may go through hell, but nobody goes to hell." The sign at the entrance to Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta.




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#3 : July 18, 2007, 01:24:37 AM

How dare this guy use reason and logic on well established religious view.  He deserves to burn in hell, wait...he can't, cause he doesn't believe in hell, then he deserves to "Burn in Cleveland".

Is there a difference?


BucsGuru

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#4 : July 18, 2007, 06:39:20 AM

In the book of Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus the begger.  Both men die and one goes to hell and the other goes to heaven.  So my question to Pastor Pearson is this: Am I to follow man and his thoughts, or am I to follow the truth of Jesus?  Hell is a very real place that people don't want to hear about.  Preachers won't speak about it for the same fear of losing their cogregations.  God is Holy and sinless.  Hell is place for the sinful and unholy.  God doesn't damn or send people to Hell; they do it to themselves.  Christ died so that we could have the liberty to choose our own path.  Choosing Hell doesn't seem logical to me, but it's each individuals God given choice.  This is biblical prophecy being fulfilled.  In the last days there will be agreat Apostacy, or falling away of the faith.  Never in recorded history since the life and death of Christ have we seen the falling away from the faith.  This was predicted by Christ as a sign of his return to the Apostles. 

Skull and Bones

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#5 : July 18, 2007, 08:19:36 AM

The terrible thing about hell
Is that when youre there you cant even tell
As you move through this life you love so
You could be there and not even know

But you say so what Im doing just fine
The irony is that its all in your mind
And thats why hell is so vicious and cruel
But youll just go on an oblivious fool


ufojoe

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#6 : July 18, 2007, 11:09:51 AM

God doesn't damn or send people to Hell; they do it to themselves.

If Bush can get Libby out of jail with a pardon, I would think that the all powerful God could
hand out a couple of "Get Out of Hell Free," cards.

Never in recorded history since the life and death of Christ have we seen the falling away from the faith. 

In 1986, with two outs in the 10th inning of Game 6, millions of New Yorkers came close to falling
away from the faith. But then Bill Buckner leaned over. And the rest is history.

This was predicted by Christ as a sign of his return to the Apostles. 

Oh,  so this time, he's really coming back? No more false alarms?

BucsBullsBolts

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#7 : July 18, 2007, 11:26:29 AM

In the book of Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus the begger.  Both men die and one goes to hell and the other goes to heaven.  So my question to Pastor Pearson is this: Am I to follow man and his thoughts, or am I to follow the truth of Jesus?  Hell is a very real place that people don't want to hear about.  Preachers won't speak about it for the same fear of losing their cogregations.  God is Holy and sinless.  Hell is place for the sinful and unholy.  God doesn't damn or send people to Hell; they do it to themselves.  Christ died so that we could have the liberty to choose our own path.  Choosing Hell doesn't seem logical to me, but it's each individuals God given choice.  This is biblical prophecy being fulfilled.  In the last days there will be agreat Apostacy, or falling away of the faith.  Never in recorded history since the life and death of Christ have we seen the falling away from the faith.  This was predicted by Christ as a sign of his return to the Apostles.

And just, exactly, how does one choose Hell?

ufojoe

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#8 : July 18, 2007, 11:58:15 AM

Hi sir, do you know what you'd like today?

Yes maam. I'd like a nice warm glass of Hell.

BucsGuru

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#9 : July 18, 2007, 11:59:52 AM

In the book of Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus the begger.  Both men die and one goes to hell and the other goes to heaven.  So my question to Pastor Pearson is this: Am I to follow man and his thoughts, or am I to follow the truth of Jesus?  Hell is a very real place that people don't want to hear about.  Preachers won't speak about it for the same fear of losing their cogregations.  God is Holy and sinless.  Hell is place for the sinful and unholy.  God doesn't damn or send people to Hell; they do it to themselves.  Christ died so that we could have the liberty to choose our own path.  Choosing Hell doesn't seem logical to me, but it's each individuals God given choice.  This is biblical prophecy being fulfilled.  In the last days there will be agreat Apostacy, or falling away of the faith.  Never in recorded history since the life and death of Christ have we seen the falling away from the faith.  This was predicted by Christ as a sign of his return to the Apostles.

And just, exactly, how does one choose Hell?

By not surrendering their life to Jesus Christ.  A lot of people Know Jesus, but few have made Him their Lord.  he is our advocate.  I'm sure this all sounds like D&D to folks, but it is very real.    

krazybuc

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#10 : July 18, 2007, 12:09:42 PM

In the book of Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus the begger.  Both men die and one goes to hell and the other goes to heaven.  So my question to Pastor Pearson is this: Am I to follow man and his thoughts, or am I to follow the truth of Jesus?  Hell is a very real place that people don't want to hear about.  Preachers won't speak about it for the same fear of losing their cogregations.  God is Holy and sinless.  Hell is place for the sinful and unholy.  God doesn't damn or send people to Hell; they do it to themselves.  Christ died so that we could have the liberty to choose our own path.  Choosing Hell doesn't seem logical to me, but it's each individuals God given choice.  This is biblical prophecy being fulfilled.  In the last days there will be agreat Apostacy, or falling away of the faith.  Never in recorded history since the life and death of Christ have we seen the falling away from the faith.  This was predicted by Christ as a sign of his return to the Apostles.

And just, exactly, how does one choose Hell?

By not surrendering their life to Jesus Christ.  A lot of people Know Jesus, but few have made Him their Lord.  he is our advocate.  I'm sure this all sounds like D&D to folks, but it is very real.   

okay...glad you have found your way and all.. but because YOU believe it, doesnt make it REAL.

There's a difference between belief and fact. The problem is when ppl like you choose not to accept that their beliefs are just that... beliefs...

I believe the Bucs will win the division this year... in all my heart and soul that is my BELIEF.

Not a fact though.



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#11 : July 18, 2007, 12:29:22 PM

great article and i think its great. it gets all the religious freaks in a frenzy...

BucsBullsBolts

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#12 : July 18, 2007, 12:36:35 PM

And just, exactly, how does one choose Hell?

By not surrendering their life to Jesus Christ.  A lot of people Know Jesus, but few have made Him their Lord.  he is our advocate.
Quote

So, by knowing Jesus, spending your life doing things which are good and what you'd think He'd approve of but not actually surrendering to Jesus condemns you to Hell? You are actually comfortable with a God who would allow that?

mjs020294

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#13 : July 18, 2007, 12:41:53 PM

So, by knowing Jesus, spending your life doing things which are good and what you'd think He'd approve of but not actually surrendering to Jesus condemns you to Hell? You are actually comfortable with a God who would allow that?


lets turn that up a notch:

Person A - Spends a happy eventful life of crime including the occasional murder and rape.  In his last two or three years he repents his sins, and gives himself to the Lord.

Person B - Spends his life working hard and supporting his family.  He never commits a crime and stays married to the same woman all his life.  He also gets involved in charity work and helping other son a regular basis.  Unfortunately he doesn't go to church and pays little attention to Jesus and the Bible.


Which one is going to hell?


BucsGuru

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#14 : July 18, 2007, 12:58:28 PM

Guys, it's not what you Know, Have, Had, Will Have, How good you are or how bad you've been.  Jesus said the way to eternal life is through Him.  We must Confess with our mouth and Believe in our heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
Here is the best way to look at this.  You can spend your entire life living surrendered to Christ and living by His teachings and die and none of it was real.  You still lived a good and productive life and had joy, peace, and hope.  Or you can live your life not surrendered to Christ and die and find out that it was real.  What do you have to lose? 
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