We were pleased to learn recently that one of our favorite Tulsa preachers, Bishop Carlton Pearson, has joined the United Church of Christ, which the Tulsa World described as "one of the nation's most liberal denominations."
Indeed they are—and good for them, and Pearson too.
As you may recall, Pearson's evangelical congregation at Higher Dimensions Worship Center deserted him in droves when the pastor accepted the doctrine of Universalism, the idea that all humans are part of God's great plan and that all can make it to heaven.
We have no problem with Universalism, nor with Pearson's wonderfully radical openness to all humanity, a refreshingly unpopular idea in Tulsa, where literal readings of the Bible still dominate the religious landscape.
We were pleased to learn, too, that the Pearson's new denomination, the UCC, has been a leader in liberal religion for hundreds of years. According to the World's report, the church gave voting rights to women in church elections in 1699, ordained a black minister in 1785, ordained a woman in 1853, and has been pushing for civil rights for gays since the late 1960s. Amazing!
Nice to know that some Christians are actually interested in treating all of God's children as exactly that.