21 April 2011

obviously, Rob Bell has never heard of Bishop Carlton Pearson...

i was annoyed to see that a Time Magazine story 'Is Hell Dead?' by John Meacham got so much attention this week.

it focused on Rob Bell, a pastor in Michigan. he is hardly the first person to come to the conclusion that mainstream Xtian practice is both hypocritical and hurtful. further, hell may have been mistranslated to mean a literal, separate place where evil exists...underground, even. for this unoriginal, 'controversial' viewpoint, he received a full write-up upon the release of his new book, in a national magazine.
take the Bishop Carlton Pearson, leader of the New Beginnings church (above, with his wife), who was prominently featured in the brilliant HERETICS episode of This American Life from Chicago Public Media. Bishop Pearson believes the Church's exclusivism is inconsistent with the nature and intent of the teachings of Jesus. he was thinking about this back in 2006. he began to think so much about this contradiction and its inherent problem that he later formed what he called the gospel of inclusion.

if you know me, you know i really don't care for religion, and i really have a problem with most practicioners of it...and this is why Bishop Pearson's message struck me so deeply.

one of the most astounding things about the Time article is how it states Bell's philosophy is to emphasize "discussion rather than dogmatic teaching." freaking imagine that. it's something my friends and i have been doing since, i don't know, the tenth grade. Bell did not nearly lose his entire congregation and support system for expressing his beliefs. he was just fortunate to have a stylist, a bigtime publisher and a publicist...and perhaps a not-so-subconscious desire to be Rick Warren.

the 'friendliest...and most radically inclusive' church and god is what i, and everyone, should want.

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