Thursday, March 25, 2010
New Thought Review - Bishop Carlton Pearson
Last evening (March 24, 2010), Bishop Carlton Pearson from Christ Universal Temple in Chicago was the featured speaker at the New Thought Center for Spiritual Living in Lake Oswego, Oregon. NTCSL spiritual leaders include Rev. David Alexander and Rev. Dr. Sally Rutis.
The evening also included the music of LaRhonda Steele and the Group, featuring Linda Hornbuckle and Janice Scroggins.
The music was exceptional if not a bit overpowering for the high, funneled wood-interior facility. A great gospel sound in a New Thought setting. The crowd seemed to take it all in stride and enjoy the performance.
Bishop Pearson is a charismatic character, small, wiry, and energetic. I imagine it is his Pentecostal background. It kept coming through in almost every move he made. I have followed his ministry for many years and he brings an intriguing energy to his new New Thought approach to spirituality.
How long Bishop Pearson remains within the New Thought movement remains to be seen. Many who have come into the New Thought movement from the more traditional Christian paths ultimately return to those paths, mostly out of a sense of guilt or fear that they've made a grave error, that God is very disappointed with them. They sense they were involved in a cult and had to get back into the good graces of Christ, lest they plunge off the edge of the abyss into the hell prepared for the devil and his angels.
Bishop Pearson is a controversial figure, both within the evangelical world and the New Thought movement. After being terminated from his position at his former church, his appointment to interim pastor at Christ Universal Temple was met with less than full enthusiasm. (For more info on the controversy and the career of Bishop Pearson, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlton_Pearson )
I was one of those backsliders. I returned to my evangelical roots a couple of times before finally settling into this incredible path called New Thought. But it took a major resolve: to give up the belief in a literal devil. He is the true linchpin of Christianity and to let go of him is to disavow the entire Plan of Salvation. It is not an easy task to release that belief if it's held you captive for any length of time or if you've been convinced that this devil is actually real.
I hold good thoughts for Bishop Pearson. He can and will be a great asset not only to the New Thought movement, but to the healing of the world--that is, if he doesn't give into guilt and go rushing back to the arms of the angry deity that, by his own words, couldn't possibly exist.
This will be one to watch.