As I was looking listings of apartment rentals in my city today, preparing for a move to a new location, I happened to turn on Netflix as background noise – and watched a program that ended up smacking me in the face. Netflix is no stranger to controversy, and certainly, it has never been accused of being full of too much family-friendly programming.
But now they have financed, written, directed, produced, filmed, edited and now hosted a movie that openly defies the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and makes one of the most prominent heretics of the day a hero. And in my own little way, I’M FIGHTING BACK
So says the biography page of former Bishop Carlton Pearson on his own website.
When I first heard this nonsense in 1998, I honestly wasn’t sure I was reading it correctly. Here was one of America’s most famous preachers, basically telling us that Hell wasn’t a reality for mankind – that no human being was ever going to go there.
In this “gospel of inclusion”, as he calls it, Pearson is suggesting that Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Idi Amin and a host of other resident evils of this world over the millennia of human history…will all be going to Heaven. They are there right now. Can you picture it? A God so merciful, he lets the most miserable, horrendous people through the gates – including those who cursed God on their last breath before they choked on their own vomit.
Am I on Candid Camera? This can’t possibly be what he thinks?
Oh Lord, it gets worse.
I hesitated even mentioning the name of this movie, because I pray to God that Netflix loses its proverbial shirt over this blasphemous attack on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and 2,000 years of Christian theology, which they relegate to not having enough “grace” in it. But “Come Sunday”, a 2018 biographical drama of former Bishop Carlton Pearson, stars super-spiritual icons of the Christian faith (cough) Martin Sheen and Danny Glover, and was directed by Joshua Marston, who you may remember from his seminal work in the powerful spiritual films like:
“Maria, Full of Grace” (2004): A 17-year old Colombian girl quits her jobs at a flower plantation when she finds out she’s pregnant by her boyfriend. She goes to Bogota, the capital of the country, where she is offered a job – as a drug mule. I think the title “Maria, Full of Blow” is probably more applicable.
“Gayby” (2012): A comedy about a female yoga instructor and her gay best friend from college who decide to have a “gayby” together. (sigh). No, it’s really funny. It says so right in the film’s descr….. yah, it’s crap.
“The Forgiveness of Blood” (2011): I actually started watching some of this movie once, several years ago, about two families in a blood feud in Albania, which affected one of the family’s bread delivery business. I started watching it. That was the entire premise of the movie. Oh, and it was in Albanian of course. I think – I have no idea what Albanian looks or sounds like. The movie competed for the “Golden Bear” at the Berlin International Film Festival but won the “Silver Bear” instead. I’m guessing that like me, that’s the first time in your life you’ve ever heard of that award.
Equally telling was the list of movies that Netflix offered up on my Roku, when I hit the “*” button and chose “View More Like This”:
“Tukuram”: “A child who innocence and devotion set him apart from the other children of his village grows up to be one of the foremost saints of India”.
“Rebellious Flower”: “Propelled by a spirit of gentle rebellion, an inquisitive young man meets a series of mentors who guide his development into the venerable guru Osho”.
“10 Questions For the Dalai Lama”: “This fascinating documentary blends an interview with the Dalai Lama with a look back at the spiritual leader’s history and exile.”
“Morya”: “Two communities in Mumbai get a final chance to compete with each other in the celebration of the iconic Ganesh Chaturthi festival.”
“The State of Marriage”: “This gripping documentary follows the seminal decades-long fight by three determined lawyers to gain legal recognition of gay marriage in Vermont.”
And Pearson himself is starting to sound sadly like more of the same. His recent books include “The Gospel of Inclusion”, and “God Is Not A Christian, Nor A Jew, Muslim, Hindu…God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”. That last one really did it for me. His previous church, Higher Dimensions, has now morphed into a new ministry: “New Dimensions/Expanding Consciousness Network”.
That doesn’t sound New Age at all… (cough)
It was just this kind of situation that the Apostle Paul warned his young protege Timothy about:
1 Timothy 4:1
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
I get it – the doctrine of Hell isn’t popular with some today. No wonder, with so many working their butts off to actually get there. The Cross isn’t popular either, and neither is the Blood. But to now deny that they never existed is more than a bit much. You may be unpopular telling people that without Christ, they are on their way to Hell. Imagine how unpopular you’ll be when they actually get there, and find out you SHOULD have told them, but decided against it.
What kind of unbridled ARROGANCE does one have to possess, to think that somehow they have received some kind of revelation from God that goes against 2,000 years of established Christian doctrine?
And to make themselves look like a martyr for doing so, with assistance from Netflix, is disgusting. Leading people away from Hell by saying it doesn’t exist is leading people TOO Hell. I wouldn’t want to be Carlton Pearson on Judgement Day.