Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I caught this article in Christianity Today. A Church of God in Christ bishop, Carlton Pearson, has lost 90% of his 5000 member mega-church after preaching universalism. The congregation now meets at an Episcopal parish on Sunday afternoons. Now, I'm not a universalist, but something bothers me about this story. I don't know if it's because I hate to see people get up and leave and a church loses it's building or if it's because of something else. I wonder why the 90% didn't stay and work for change or some positive resolution. Perhaps what bothers me is the fact that for 90%, the church was embodied in the person of Carlton Pearson. If they disagree with him, they leave. What do you think about this story?

Link: Higher Dimensions Worship Center


Blogger Rich Tatum said...

Bishop Carlton called in his other pastors and told them he wanted to "rewrite Charismatic theology." This wasn't just a simple change in point-of-view, Carlton Pearson new rejects fundamental tenants of Christian faith. If your pastor started preaching that the Bible was just another man-made book, that it is no longer necessary to believe in and receive Christ's atonement for salvation, if your pastor believes that the God he used to preach about is worse than Hitler, bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein--then if you didn't seriously consider finding a different church, I would worry for you.

You might be interested in a recent blog post I wrote on this subject:

Carlton D. Pearson: The Charismatic Bishop of Heresy



7:53 PM  
Blogger St Michael's Episcopal Church said...

God knows there have been many a pastor/bishop preaching heresy. As a priest in the Episcopal Church, I am too aware of accusations of heresy and schism or threats of schism. What bothers me about Bishop Carlton's situation is that for 4,500 people, their church was Bishop Carlton. It's a double edged sword, when you live by a personality, you die by a personality. It's about ecclesiology for me - what is the Church? A charismatic personality, or something else? If it is a person, then we find the person we like and agree with. If it is something else, then how do we deal with controversy and/or heresy? I'm not suggesting that the 4,500 people that left should have sucked it up and passively allowed their pastor to "rewrite Charismatic theology," but surely in the COGIC there is a process to deal with their complaints, where they can preserve their community, continue the ministry of the church, and have leadership that is consistent with their denomination's theological outlook.


8:52 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

Fr. Steve - It's not the bishop, it's the Bishop's stance.

Repeat - the STANCE.

The 90% that voted in KJS would be well-served to pay heed to that. I am one of many who have left TEC, after 8+ generations of membership. I killed our one family tradition, and THE STANCE of the 90% is "why".

Take heed, again, take heed. To say "we can all be one Church" and then "check your orthodoxy at the door, thank you", as VGR did at TGS in NYC recently is crass doublespeak.

The orthodox are not welcome in TEC. And we're leaving for where we are welcome.

11:40 AM  

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