I have not written a blog now for some time, but today I feel from the soul that I need to write this.
Am I a heretic?
I have written a book called The Truth Has Set Me Free, and there has been a delay in publishing, for many reasons, the most recent one being that God knew that there was a Post-script to be added.
And now, I have just finished reading a book called Beneath a Heretic’s Wings.
In The Truth Has Set Me Free I share the experience of growing up in a Pentecostal Fundamentalist family and church. And how that upbringing in no way prepared me for what was to come in later life.
I always felt an outcast. I never felt like one of them while in the church, yet was afraid to say anything or leave. On the other hand, neither did I feel at home in the other world because I had been taught that I was separated from other people because I was “Saved”. That I had given my heart to the Lord and therefore I was better than everyone else.
The book “Beneath a Heretics Wings,” is written by two women who were right there in the path of the persecution handed out to a man called Carlton Pearson, who is featured in the Netflix film, Come Sunday.
He is a Pentecostal Bishop in the USA, and until the year 2001 went along with the teaching that there is a hell and only those who are “Saved” would not go there.
To quote Carlton’s words, “The whole world is saved, they just don’t know it.”
He believes from the heart that we are all saved. That God loves everybody, no matter what race, creed, religion, belief or otherwise. And that a loving God is not going to send anyone to Hell.
I first came across his book with the long title GOD is not a Christian, nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu ….. and with the subtitle, God dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us.
He has also written a book explaining his convictions, called The Gospel of Inclusion.
I had already started writing my book The Truth, and Carlton’s words blew my mind and my heart.
Where is the love of God?
Now two years later I have just finished Beneath a Heretic’s Wings. And I am shocked at the testimony of these two women, who stood by him, Cassandra L. McLellan and Teresa L. Reed. The way that the Pentecostal Church treated Carlton and those who stayed with him was abysmal.
I am shocked that Christian people could not show the love that God has for themselves, and yet they could not share it with someone who had the guts to speak out. He was a Pastor of a church of Five thousand or so people, and after being cast out, was preaching to one hundred and fifty people. He lost everything, including friends and money. But he never lost his love of God, or anybody else.
And he was accused of being a Heretic and a False Prophet.
He has now slowly recovered, and is gracious, forgiving and loving to everyone, and is preaching the Gospel of Inclusion – everyone is included in God’s love, and not just those who are “saved”. You can see him on YouTube.
Time to be authentic
So, I have decided that it is time for me to speak out. I am aware that when my book The Truth Has Set Me Free comes out, there will be some who are dismayed that I seem to have given up my faith. I have already had a close friend and a cousin who have written to me about my lost eternity (another way of describing Hell). Their emails are preachy, and they believe that only what the Bible says is right.
They forget that the word ‘hell’ is rarely seen in the Bible. And that if I or anyone else wants to prove a point, they can always find something in it to support their point. That is the secret of the Bible and why it has always been a best seller. And may I say; why it has always been an inspiration to so many. I thank God that I live in an age, where we can check it out and not just listen to what we hear from the pulpit, both in the history of how it was written and the content. Something that we all need to do.
Time to be of courage
The book Beneath a Heretic’s Wings has made me realise that it takes some courage to be a Heretic, but if that is what I am in certain people’s eyes, then so be it.
Heretics in days gone by were killed, burnt at stake, tortured and so on. So I must admit that I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to be one in those circumstances. But in the 21st Century there is a Spiritual shift, and I am glad that I am part of it.
There will be more blogs to come of this nature, and there will also be a Facebook group based on The Truth. I do not claim to know all the answers, but I know that The Truth for me has been a wonderful, soul experience. It has changed me, I am always at peace, even when I become distressed, or depressed, or seemed to have got something wrong (depending on who’s eyes are judging that last one).
One of my specialist subjects on my Website, blogs, and Facebook groups is “Ageing With Vitality” so I was particularly interested when I came across this quote from The Gospel of Inclusion.
“The first thing that goes when you begin to think is your theology. If you stick too long to a theological point of view, you become stagnant with no vitality.” OSWALD CHAMBERS
That is so true, because just listening to the preacher and not studying and finding out for yourself, is a cop-out. I have been studying and researching for myself for the last twenty-five years or so, and have come to see the Truth for myself. And what is more, I will continue to be openminded, loving and accepting of people from all backgrounds, and all belief systems. And I will give them the respect that I hope they will give to me.
Therein lies the peace of God
I know for sure that I am free from all the trappings of the fear of hell, and not being good enough. And I am loved by God.
Do you sometimes wonder whether you are a heretic? Or perhaps you may still want to be a Christian, but don’t want all the trappings of an old doctrine that has misrepresented what a true Christian can be.
Have a look at this.
I think that I fall somewhere in between. But does it really matter? That is what the Gospel of Inclusion is all about.
I’d love to hear your comments. But please refrain from preaching at me. We are all in this together.