Netflix’s Upcoming Movie About Megachurch Pastor Who Rejects the Doctrine of Hell is Sure to Get People Talking
Netflix premiered the upcoming movie COME SUNDAY at the Sundance Film Festival, and is already receiving positive reviews from mainstream critics. The movie, based on a true story follows Pastor Carlton Pearson of Higher Dimensions Family Church in the early 90’s as he begins to question an eternal hell. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The story here follows the classic outline of a man of unimpeachable principles, who adopts an unpopular position and stands by it, against the advice of those closest to him.”
The movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Carlton Pearson, and also stars Martin Sheen, Jason Segel and Danny Glover. A clip which was released by Netflix shows Pearson debating with church elders, posing a question that if they could, would they save deceased, un-believing loved ones from hell, and if so, does that make them more merciful than God?
As Pearson began preaching a doctrine of “universal reconciliation” or “gospel inclusions”, he quickly began losing his influence and his congregation. By 2004, Pearson was declared a heretic by many Christian leaders, and was banned from his alma mater, Oral Roberts University. In 2002, Pearson ran for mayor in the Republican Primary but lost, largely due to what he said, “[Christians] were uncomfortable with me running because I’ve been accused of [promoting] an erroneous doctrine.”
The Hollywood Reporter continued, “This is a rare film about an evangelical church from outside the faith-based channels that questions without either judging or condescending.”
By all appearances, COMING SUNDAY seems to follow a theological trend among evangelicals that either dismisses the just nature of God, or chooses to ignore it, only preaching a message of grace, and not repentance. According to a LifeWay research survey of Christian Americans, only 40% of people said they agreed that “Hell is an eternal place of judgment where God sends all people who do not personally trust in Jesus Christ.”
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