Charismatic preaching that uses an excessive number of exclamation points is geard to appeal to emotion. This tendency entered the Baptist world through revivalism
before that. The goal is to provoke the hearers to respond in an uproar of “praise,” rather than to proclaim truth to which the people of God may respond in proper repentance, faith and adoration.
Many Baptist preachers wish their congregations would get excited and shout about the truth (much of which they continue to preach), but fear they are dulled to it, while, if my Baptist preacher friends would notice, much of the “shouting” going on in the congregations of other churches isn’t always in response to “the truth.” At best, it’s often a response to peripheral issues which have little to do with the truth. Pessimistically, I’d say much of it is in response to errors ranging from minor to major. On the extreme, there is rank heresy being foisted on Christian congregations by those who make a living knocking traditional Christianity. Most of the time, those who habitually “knock traditional Christianity” do so by belittling the foibles and failures of traditional Christians. They knock our unbiblical traditions. Fair enough. However, sometimes they take things way too far and begin rewriting Christian theology.
For the sake of this cause, Carlton Pearson has sacrificed two very important doctrines: the existence of hell, and the exclusivity of Christ, not to mention the sufficiency of Scripture, considering the source of his information is the “conversation” Pearson had with “God” while waiting to be seated in a restaurant.
Read the following passage from Media Spotlight
by Pentecostal Fundamentalist, Albert James Dager. Al Dager is one of those early influences which sparked an interest in me to begin searching for the truth behind Christian movements and activities in the world outside my fundamental Baptist enclave. While I have great nostalgia for him and his ministry and it’s influence on my theological thought process, and would certainly recommend some of his articles, naturally, nowadays I have quite a few theological differences with him, and would definitely not recommend all of them. Dager would probably fall well into the same category in which a Dave Hunt would be found.
Recently, I looked up his website and noticed an article he wrote back in 2005 when Joel Osteen began sending shockwaves through the Christian community by famously attempting to avoid declaring the exclusivity of Christ–the fact that one can only come to God the Father by salvation through Jesus Christ. Dager reprinted much of the transcript of Osteen’s interview by Larry King. But he didn’t stop there, he pointed out a few other “Christian leaders” who’ve been toying with the truth in their own ways in the media. These include Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Billy Graham and Joyce Meyers. But Carlton Pearson blew my mind. This guy at least used to claim to be an evangelical. But if I heard someone else preaching what Pearson preached once on TBN, I’d call him theologically liberal. Well, it looks to me like many evangelicals are no longer on what Spurgeon called the “downgrade.” It looks like they’ve already landed at rock bottom and are subsequently preaching a false gospel.
Then there are those who preach a new kind of universalism—called “inclusion”— which says every one is already saved; they just need to be told so. One example is self-proclaimed “bishop” Carlton Pearson, who appeared on a Trinity Broadcasting Network “revival” meeting in which he claimed God told him there is no hell. He told of going into a restaurant and declining the offer to sit in the bar while waiting for a table.
The Spirit of God spoke to me and said, “I’m over there.” He said, “Look at them drinking. The ones that are drinking themselves—you know why they’re drinking?”
I said, “No.” My quick answer: “Well, because they’re just sinners on their way to hell, glory to God!”
He said, “They’re drinking because you have not convinced them that I like them. Go over there and tell them. They’re trying to drink their guilt away. “I’m talking about the Church.You have not convinced them that we love them. You have judged them, and criticized them, and put them down, and sent them to hell. You don’t have no hell to send them to!
“They’re just—tell them my blood! They’re already bought; they just don’t know. I paid for their sins! They’re justified! They’re accepted! Tell them that I love them!… “You have convinced them—[you] in the religious world—that I don’t have good will toward them; that I’m angry, and I’m a judge, and I’m going to send them to hell! Tell them I have good will; I’m pleasantly disposed toward them!”
…I’m sitting in front of my television, eating my dinner with my new baby girl—she’s about three months old or some thing, Majesty—watching the news. The Tutsies and Hutus are returning from Zaire to Rwanda, and they’re dropping by the thou sands on the road—flies caked in the corners of their eyes, and of their mouths, and sores all over their bodies, and they’re gaunt and drawn and starving to death. And I sat there with a plate full of food, and my baby in my arms, and I said—and I’ll be honest with you, I was angry—I said, “God, how can You call Yourself God, and let those people fall like that and just suck them right into hell?”
He said, “Oh, that’s what you think I’m doing?”
Now this is in my mind, God is speaking. I said, “Well, that’s what I’ve been taught.”…
He said, “Oh, you think I’m pulling them right into hell.” He said, “Do you believe that my Son died for them?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Do you believe that His blood can cover their sins?”
I said, “Yes.” “Well, if you think they’re all going to hell, if you go over there and tell them, do you think that that would save them?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “Well how come you’re not on the first thing smokin’ to get over there?”
And I got mad. I said, “God, don’t put that guilt trip on me.”
I said it. I said, “Don’t put—don’t do it; I cannot save every body.”
He said, “Ex actly. I am the Savior.”
He said, “I’m not sucking them right into hell! They’re already in hell; can’t you see it? I’ve prepared a place for them.”
I said, “Wait a minute; wait a minute! They didn’t hear my message and respond to my ‘Just as I am’ song and altar appeal.”
He said, “My blood covers. While they were yet sinners I died for them. I was wounded for their transgressions; I was bruised for their”—we have not preached the full Gospel!
We don’t understand the finished work of Christ. We think they gotta all come in our way—our church, our altar call, our four spiritual laws. I don’t believe that any more. Now maybe you all don’t want me to come back, but I believe that Jesus covers sins. We are to tell them, “You’re justified! You’re forgiven! You just don’t know it! He owns you; He bought you!”
The devil has convinced you; he said “All of your righteousness is as filthy rags.”
… [God said], “Stop tell ing them to get saved, and start telling them they are saved.”
Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute now, wait a minute; they couldn’t be saved.
“What do you think I died for? You have n’t been preaching the Gospel right. You’ve been preaching your gospel, not Mine. Tell them that while they were yet sinners I died for them.”
… I said, “Wait, wait, wait, Lord, you’ve got to send somebody to hell! You know, we’ll have another Jerusalem council to try to—wait a minute Lord, some of these people gotta go to hell! You’ve gotta find a way for some of them!”
We would argue. If you found out that everybody was going to Heaven you’d lose your religion.
“Somebody gotta go to hell, God, please!”
Now that’s not the love of God in our hearts.
Speaking of sinners who consider themselves unworthy to be in a church, Pearson tells them to forgive themselves:
First of all, accept God’s love. I’m not going to tell you to stop sinning first, because you don’t know how to do that by yourself. Accept God’s love; accept His deliverance. Stop judging yourself. You see, you can’t expect God’s forgiveness if you don’t forgive yourself.5
Notice that Pearson attributes God’s Word to Satan: “The devil has convinced you; he said, ‘All of your righteousness is as filthy rags.’”
How ungodly is that? To take a biblical truth, spoken by one of God’s greatest prophets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and attribute it to Satan. That in itself should convince us that Pearson was not hearing from God. And if not from God, then what demon gave him this “gospel”?
Pearson’s doctrine of “inclusion” states simply that we do not need to tell people to get saved; we need to tell them that they are already saved. If this were true, that would have been the apostle Paul’s response to his jailer: Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.” (Acts 16:29-31) Why did Paul and Silas not simply say, “Don’t worry, you’re already saved”? Paul further states that God desires that all men would come to salvation. Nowhere does he, or any one else in Scripture, say that every one is already saved, and all that is needed is for them to be told about it.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men—for kings, and for all that are in authority—so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowl edge of the truth. (1 Tim o thy 2:1-4)
Why is it necessary to pray for anyone to be saved if all are al ready saved? I don’t write these things in order to feel superior to these men. God knows I must guard my self from fall ing into error. Don’t we all wish that everyone would be saved? Who among the saints wouldn’t want to believe in universal salvation? But that is our humanity speaking. It is not the Spirit of God.
We do the lost no favor by suggesting to them that they are already saved, or that they can believe whatever they want, and live how ever they choose, with out suffering the consequences deemed appropriate by the holy God who created them.