Come Sunday (2018) Movie Script

Ladies and gentlemen,
we are blessed to have with us
a key man in the world today.
One of the most beloved
of the Pentecostal movement in America.
God has chosen him.
There's a destiny at work in him.
He's prayed with presidents.
Now, I know no one who ministers
so tirelessly to so many.
And he's been going non-stop this tour,
and I thank God
for giving him the strength...
- Hallelujah! be with us
before he flies back home to Tulsa.
Ladies and gentlemen...
put your hands together...
for the one, the only...
Bishop Carlton Pearson.
We kindly ask you
to step out of the aisle
to allow passengers behind you to pass.
Please place all carry-on items
in the overhead bins
and any smaller items underneath
the seat in front of you.
No, listen to me.
They're not bluffing, okay?
No, they're not.
No, trust me.
We're at that point now.
If we go back for more,
they're gonna walk.
Could I get a red wine, please?
Tulsa, for a deposition.
All right, I'll talk to you Monday.
Okay, bye.
- Here you are, miss.
- Oh, thanks.
You a lawyer?
Must be a lot of work.
You must love what you do.
Even the preachers back then,
a lot of them were illiterate.
Most of them were janitors.
The women were housekeepers.
The way it was back then, you either went
to church or you went to jail.
Every Sunday, the church folk would haul
in the drunks and the backsliders
for altar calls.
"Uncle so-and-so just got out
of San Quentin."
- What are altar calls?
- Oh, you don't go to church?
When I was young,
but I was raised Catholic.
What happened?
Why did you stop going to church?
I don't know.
I think the part I liked the most
was being a family.
You married?
It's complicated.
I mean... I should finish.
You know, maybe it's not just chance.
You sitting there, me sitting here.
Like, fate?
Or purpose.
I can't have kids.
My husband wanted to have kids
and I put it off.
Do you have kids?
Oh, yeah, I got 'em.
Yeah, I got a boy and a girl.
They're a pain in the ass.
I didn't wanna get married
and have kids, honestly.
I was raised to believe that having
a family was a distraction from God.
I struggled with it.
I still do.
Even though they're the most
precious thing to me now.
- I'm so sorry. I'm...
- It's okay.
- I'm such a mess.
- That's how everybody feels.
Things are going okay, you skate by.
When they're not, the sky falls in.
I want you to imagine something,
just for a second.
And I want you to really imagine this.
There's a reason for things.
And there's a simple choice.
I could get you saved right now
if you wanted.
- What does that mean, exactly?
- Pray with me.
Relinquish your sins.
Accept Jesus Christ into your life.
On a flight to Tulsa?
Hold my hand.
And she's right there...
and I'm right there with her.
And I know this woman is going to hell
if I don't do something about it.
She's never been saved.
She's not born again.
But I'm tired, Lord. I've...
been to seven churches in four days.
Spent all night,
the night before, preaching.
And I heard God say,
"No, don't let go, Bishop."
"Hold on."
I hear Him say, "She needs your love."
And it's a tough love.
She don't want to hear it.
It's like I love my kids.
I don't care how much that spoon hurts.
Now all the white people
are looking at me like,
"That's not how we do discipline."
All the white folk here, they like
the nice-talking for the discipline.
"Now, don't do that, Tommy.
Oh, please don't do that, Tommy.
You know, I'm kidding,
because these days,
black people are starting to discipline
their kids just like white people do.
The white folk are starting
to beat their kids
like the black folk.
Ain't that a blessing? I don't know.
Maybe it's a blessing, who knows?
Okay, let's get back into it, okay?
Now, we love
because Jesus teaches us to love.
So, I can love my parents.
I can... I can love my children,
I can love my wife.
I love you, honey. I can love all of you.
I can love you, and you, and you.
I can love this beautiful choir.
I can love this music.
- I love you, Reggie, I do. I love you.
- Oh, I love you, too, Bishop.
Jesus said,
"I give you the authority to love."
You have been authorized.
You have been anointed and appointed
to bring His love.
- Yes!
- Yes!
That's why we knock on every door,
turn over every stone,
bug people on planes,
pass out tracts, rant and rave,
shake 'em till we save every soul!
We may not like it.
We may be tired or ticked off,
but this is what we do.
Look at somebody and say,
"This is what we do."
- This is what we do!
- Because the world needs to get saved!
The world needs to get saved!
Lift 'em up and say, "Hallelujah!"
Say, "I'm a soldier."
- I'm a soldier!
- Say, "I'm a soldier!"
St. Stephens moved
their women's conference
to Friday the 14th.
I can get Julian from school,
but I'm gonna have to move your lunch
with Lady Gail.
Sister Gina?
- You left it in the pulpit.
- Oh, thank you.
I wanted to talk to you
about Friday's class?
- Did you get my message?
- I did.
I think it's fine.
Well, no, it's actually... It's just...
if you misquote scripture,
people question your teaching.
I thought maybe we could run through it
together next week?
- Claire, can you set a time for that?
- Yes.
You okay?
Yeah, just go on up. I'll be right there.
We had a great turnout
this morning.
- Full house.
- That's great.
That was a beautiful sermon today.
Thank you.
We ought to book you
on some transatlantic flights.
You'd get the whole plane saved.
Sounds like you had aproductive trip.
You ready? We're scheduled
back to back today.
Let's do it.
Okay, Julian.
More greens on that plate.
Maj is down.
Do you want me
to pack your bag for tomorrow?
No, I already packed, baby.
Empty your pockets, sir.
Step through.
There you go.
Oh, man, it's good to see you.
Tell me, Uncle Quincy. Tell me.
I want to know the whole story.
I've been praying a lot.
Yeah, thinking.
I... I guess y'all praying for me
actually worked.
They got you a church down here?
Yeah, they got that nice little church.
Yeah, about a mile from here.
- Good Shepherd.
- Good Shepherd.
Bus pick us up every Sunday.
- Praise God.
- Yeah. Praise God.
Six weeks.
Six weeks, you're out, Uncle Quincy.
There's something else.
They found drugs in my room.
It wasn't mine, but that ain't the point.
They're gonna revoke my parole.
Six years.
But my PO tells me you can help.
I mean, if you write a letter
to the board...
Who you are and all...
the people you know,
maybe they let it slide.
Is this why you asked me here?
- No, it's not why. I told you...
- No, you told me you wanted to get saved.
Yeah, I do.
Hey, Carly? Hey, man.
I had this vision.
I mean, it's so clear and beautiful.
When did your PO tell you
about this letter?
Oh, Carly.
No, no.
When did he tell you about this letter?
Two weeks.
Before you called me?
Six years, Carly.
Doesn't matter if it's six years or sixty.
The way you live, you're going to hell,
and that's forever.
Then get me saved.
I can't save you to help you
with the parole board.
- It's not the way it works.
- Can't do this kind of time anymore, man.
- Hell, I'll be 76 when I get out of here.
- I'll come back.
I'll help you through it.
But you got to do the work.
I want to help you, Uncle Quincy.
I do.
This is the only way I know.
- I still love you, boy.
- Yeah.
I love you, Uncle Quincy. I do.
Always, always.
Remember who you get your charm from.
Carlton? You okay?
- Thanks for seeing me, Chief.
- God bless you, son.
- Good to see you, Carlton.
- You too.
Of course, he's your uncle
and you love him dearly.
No, it's not just Uncle Quincy, it's...
half the people I grew up with
and their kids.
They're all going
in the wrong direction, backsliding.
What did I do about it?
I feel like I...
ran from home and spent my life
saving people I don't know.
You did not run.
You came here
and got into our university...
and you dedicated your life to God.
But I understand how you feel,
thinking of all those you love
but were unable to save.
When Ronnie died,
I felt just the way you do now.
Helpless and guilty.
But what in heaven's name was I gonna do?
How could I ever accept a gay son?
And you know, when we got the news
that Ronnie had killed himself...
more than the awful, awful guilt I felt
was the fact that
I had spent my whole life
healing people and getting people saved
at the Crusades and on television
and I could not bring my own son
to deliverance.
I prayed and prayed for answers.
It was the greatest test
of my faith, ever.
And when I came to understand
that it was a test...
then I was made stronger than ever.
Thank heaven, God gave me you.
I've always thought of you
as a son, Carlton.
That's what I tell folks.
You're my black son.
What year'd you get here, in '70?
- Seventy-one.
- Seventy-one.
The Holy Spirit drew me to you
the moment I saw you. Praise God.
And one day, maybe soon,
the good Lord will call me home.
But my comfort and my joy is knowing...
that you're here to lead the way.
I don't see how you expect us to pull
something like that together, Carlton.
Look, just make a list of all the cities
I guest-preached at last year
and we take the pageant to every one.
I'm sorry, the entire choir and band?
You know how much that would cost?
Well, you know I can do arrangements
for a smaller choir, right?
And we could just use
the local church band.
Guys, I already have accounting
on my back about Azusa.
- We're incredibly over budget, Carlton.
- I'm sorry, Henry,
I can't care about that.
- It's Ben.
- Tell him I'll call back.
Do me a favor.
Would you rub his shoulders?
Do something.
We need to keep growing,
not rolling back.
Nobody's saying we need to roll back.
We're shuffling sheep,
but it's all the same flock.
If we're not reaching more people,
then I don't know.
- You want some more maple syrup?
- Sorry, my car wouldn't start.
Got here as soon as I could.
All right, so this is the one
the ad people like.
It's a mock-up, but you get the idea.
Looks good.
The tears are a bit much.
And your head,
it's too big for the wording.
You should make the wording bigger
and move it over.
Or you could make your head smaller.
Yeah, Ms. Pearson, I don't think
we can make his head any smaller. It's...
I'm only saying
what no one else has the nerve to.
- You're making everybody uncomfortable.
- You mean, I'm making you uncomfortable?
You need to let go of Nicky.
She's not organized, Carlton.
You said it yourself.
She's late more than half the time.
I can't fire people
'cause you don't like 'em.
She's a single mom.
She's late because she's juggling a lot.
And chasing me around with my stupid hats?
You left it on stage.
You left another one in the parking lot.
Was that last week?
- I hate those hats.
- Then don't wear them, Gina.
What're we talking about?
Yeah, Ma, slow down.
What happened?
What happened?
My Uncle Quincy hung himself.
Yeah, okay.
In some ways, Quincy raised us.
Helped me raise money to go to college.
Some from this church.
I sometimes wondered where the rest
of the money came from.
We all know he had his schemes.
But he was always making people laugh.
He'd always say,
"Remember who you get your charm from."
He never found God.
He never found God.
But I pray for him.
I pray for his soul.
It was good, what you said about Quincy.
He would have appreciated it.
I didn't realize how many stories I had.
I almost told the one about the time
he took me and Elector to the track.
At the man's memorial?
It's one of my favorites, Ma.
Ooh, I was so mad at him for that.
I never screamed so much in my life,
that horse came in.
Then I had to come back
and tell you what I'd won.
Elector knew how to keep a secret
better than you did.
You were all,
"God sees everything."
- You told me I wasn't going to heaven.
- You were gambling.
I was six years old, Ma.
- You scared me half to death.
- Well, it worked.
- You know I went to visit him, right?
- Yeah.
He told me.
Said he was happy to see you.
He wanted me to write him a letter.
He tell you?
No, what letter?
For the Prison Board.
Vouching for him, I guess.
He said he messed up
and they were gonna revoke his parole,
but if I... if I wrote this letter,
they'd let him out.
I said no.
Letter wasn't the point.
He called me down there
to get him saved, but he wasn't ready.
I told him I'd come back and he...
He just needed more time.
More time?
He was 70 years old.
They've survived the war
and traveled hundreds of miles
to get here.
It's a scene that typifies
the Western response
to the Rwanda crises.
Few people with few resources,
o verwhelmed by millions.
The UN puts the death toll
of this genocide at 800,000,
almost half of them children.
And doctors fear that
if the situation doesn't quickly improve,
many thousands more will die here
in the coming weeks.
As one medic we spoke to said,
"Either there's hope, or there's nothing."
We've asked the medics...
Oh, Lord. Help me.
God... why?
I don't understand.
Oh, my...
God, I don't know...
But I still believe. I do.
I said, "God, I don't know
how you can call yourself
a loving, sovereign God
and let these people suffer like this.
Oh, God.
None of them are saved.
They don't know Christ.
They're not born again.
And when they die,
you just suck 'em down into hell.
Oh, God.
Oh, my God...
And then I heard a voice,
as clear as my own, say...
"Is that what you think?
That we're sucking them all down
into hell when they die?"I said, "Yes."
And He said,
"What would you do about that?"
- I said, "Well, we got to get 'em saved."
- That's right.
Got to speak the gospel to them.
Then He said, "Well, if that's
what you think will get 'em saved,
then put your baby down,
turn off your big screen TV,
and get on the first thing smoking,
and get 'em saved."
I said,
"God, don't put that guilt on me.
I've given you
the best 40 years of my life.
Besides, I can't save the whole world."
And He said, "Precisely.
You can't save this world.
That's what we did."
Oh, stay with me. Stay with me.
All my life, I've been taught it.
Everything I know points to a choice,
heaven or hell.
Many people I loved...
members of my own family went to hell,
and they're there for good.
Now, I could never reconcile that,
but I do accept it,
because they had a choice.
But when did these people in Africa
separate from God?
When did they make a choice?
And how do they get saved?
And He said,
"They don't need to get saved.
They're already saved.
And I've taken them into my presence.
They will all be with me...
in heaven."
You get up there
and you tell 6,000 people,
people who depend on your council,
that everything they believe,
and 2,000 years of history, is wrong?
That's not what I said.
Okay, can you explain what you did say,
because I don't think I understand.
I know it's confusing, Henry, but...
I felt God's love and I heard His voice.
Carlton, if those people in Africa,
Catholics, Muslims, if they're all saved,
does that mean that everyone is saved?
Everyone gets a pass, however they live?
- Homosexuals, murderers, rapists?
- I don't know.
I don't know.
But God isn't sending those people
in Africa to hell.
A loving God lets people choose.
That's scripture, right?
That's the good news.
- If we "choose" to seek God.
- Those people, too?
- I can't believe you and I are having...
- Oh, I'm asking.
Yeah, yes. Those people, too.
Dying of Cholera and famine,
the mothers watching their kids die
in dirt fields in the middle of nowhere?
Wherever they're at. Okay?
Wherever they're at,
in whatever corner of the world,
if they are truly seeking God,
they will find Him.
Through a missionary, through a dream,
through a vision.
One way or another,
they will be brought to Christ.
And you're sure about that?
It's the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It's the same gospel
that you've been preaching for 25 years.
Why didn't you call me?
Or call a meeting? Just take a minute
before you get up there?
Just... come on, you owe me that much.
I don't know how long.
A few days, maybe.
I'm only asking because I need
to figure out what to tell Julian.
He's old enough to know something's wrong.
Tell him the truth.
I need time to fast and pray.
I'll be home soon.
...not even Bishop
Pearson to reinterpret God's word.
Say what you want
about what he's preaching right now...
you gotta give this man credit.
He has done a lot
for the Pentecostal movement.
Look, I don't want anybody
to go to hell,
however, the Bible declares,
on Judgment Day,
"He will judge the secrets
of all men's hearts."
And all men are saved,
whether they believe it or not.
That's just not... No.
But here's the basis of our unity.
We all become sons and daughters of God
through the shed blood of Jesus.
Which is what
Bishop Pearson is saying.
He is saying the same thing
that you just said.
I want everybody in heaven, because
that's what the love of God ought to be.
I love him,
but he is absolutely wrong.
Because if you are to refute the Bible
that you grew up on...
- You good?
- I'll call you.
...if you are to say now
that the word has fallacy,
then every person who came to Azusa,
you owe a refund.
Every person who bought your CD,
you ought to give them their money back,
because your name has become great...
Let them see...
the purity...
Oh, Lord.
Oh, please, God.
Oh, Lord.
Oh, Lord, help me, please.
If you had been there,
then you would understand the context.
Don? Yes.
Don? Hey, Don...
Just listen to me for one second.
No, he did not stop believing in hell
Because they're trying to draw in viewers.
It's Ramsey, from the Christian Press.
Well, okay. How about this?
I invite you to come see for yourself.
Okay, thank you.
- Henry.
- Hey, Gina.
Carlton's not home.
I know. I was actually... I was hoping
that I might be able to talk to you.
Can I come in?
Yeah. Please.
I honestly don't know
where he's going with this.
I also don't know where he's coming from.
Did something happen
between the two of you?
- Excuse me?
- I'm sorry. I don't mean to pry.
No. No, nothing happened.
Nothing new, anyway.
He doesn't really talk to me, Henry.
I think you know how things are.
I do.
Carlton was married to the church
long before I ever came along.
You know what Oral said to me
when we first met?
He said...
He said, "Get married
and the love will come."
Carlton loves you.
Oh, I know. And I love him.
But this was practically
an arranged marriage.
Single, 40-year-old man,
leading a family church
and all the women
throwing themselves at him.
It's no wonder he chose me.
I'm an outsider.
The balcony practically cleared out
after he got married.
We used to joke that you'd be
the ruin of the church.
I heard those jokes.
I know I'm not the first lady
ya'll were expecting.
Speak to him?
See if you get anywhere.
- Everybody's nervous.
- You speak to Henry?
Yeah, this morning. Um...
He just wanted to know if we talked
and if anything had changed.
He put out a notice telling everybody
just to, you know,
be patient
and everything will get cleared up.
What about you?
Well, Bishop, I'll stand with you
through whatever.
No, I mean what did you think
about what I said?
Well, I mean, I liked it
when you were saying it.
I mean...
I've always been terrified of hell.
You know, but Henry's saying we could
really lose people if you keep going on...
Henry worries too much.
Bishop, I don't know what I would do
without this church, okay?
- What're you talking about?
- This is all I got.
You're stronger now.
You got your demons, same as me,
same as anybody.
Yeah, but we know
that it ain't really all the same.
You fight it the same way.
You know...
You know how many times my mama tried
to get me delivered back home?
You may never be fully delivered.
But being gay and doing gay
ain't the same thing.
It's how you live that matters.
You stay with God, He'll stay with you.
He'll keep you strong and healthy.
- Hello.
- Two?
- No, we're meeting friends.
- Oh.
- There... there they are.
- Go ahead.
I cut my trip short.
- You didn't have to.
- Yes, I did.
I did have to.
And I'm hoping that you've come
to your senses.
Nothing's changed, Chief.
- If anything, it's clearer to me now.
- Clearer to you?
Would you excuse us, Richard?
Just give us a moment, please?
- You too, son. You mind?
- No.
Thanks so much, I appreciate it.
We won't be long.
Carlton, what is going on?
You know, I wake up every morning
and I expect to feel like my old self.
To feel the need to go out there
and save people, but I...
I don't.
I- I don't. I feel... I feel free of that.
First, I thought it was just those people
in Africa, but it's not. It's everybody.
Everybody. His blood covered everybody.
No, that's heresy, son.
- Chief...
- It is heresy, believe me.
Now, listen to me, please.
I watched you build your church
and your ministry,
and nothing filled me with more pride
than to see how quickly
they came to see you.
Blacks and whites together,
that's a very rare thing.
And now, you've got
the television broadcast
with a whole lot more people
listening to you.
So, I need to ask you one question, son.
And think about this.
Are you certain
it was God's voice you heard?
You know how the devil works.
You saw your uncle die, unsaved.
He saw you weak and vulnerable,
and told you what you wanted to hear.
If everyone you love cannot enter
the kingdom through the narrow gate,
he will widen that gate
to accommodate them.
It makes sense
because he makes it make sense.
Satan's a snake. He's a ventriloquist.
And he chose to speak through you.
But if you continue
to lead people down this path,
it's not only your eternal salvation
you're putting at risk, it's theirs, too.
And that's Satan's victory,
so I ask you again, son,
are you certain it was God's voice
you heard and not the devil?
You need to consider everything
you're putting at risk,
and not just for yourself.
We can go and reason things out later,
but first, we need to fix this.
We'll write something together
right here, right now.
And come Sunday,
you'll make all this right.
All right.
Now, lookie here.
I was taking some notes
and I'm going to suggest that you...
consider Romans 10:9.
I know you're familiar with it.
I've heard you preach on it.
All right.
I want you to consider that,
and also consider preparing...
Henry came by.
Why? He knew where I was.
He came to talk to me.
He thinks you're having
a nervous breakdown.
What did Oral say?
He wants me to recant.
Is that what you're gonna do?
Do you believe God spoke to me?
Well, what does it matter what I think
or what anyone thinks?
Matters to me.
Since when?
Henry wants to knowabout our home,
and if I'll talk some sense into you,
and you're looking at me for,
- I don't know what.
- Why are you angry?
Because you believed it.
You were sure.
It's not that simple.
God spoke to you or he didn't.
And everyone else,
Oral and Henry and the church,
they have nothing to do
with whether it's true or not.
- It's easy for you, Gina.
- How is it easy for me?
Because I'm responsible
for a lot of things and a lot of people,
including you and Julian and Majesty...
You'd just as soon
see the church go up in smoke.
You said it yourself.
The lawyer? You wanna go there?
You're really gonna bring
that up right now, Carlton?
The only reason I spoke to him
was so that maybe you would listen.
Maybe you would notice I was in the room.
I had children for you
and for this church.
Carlton, why would I want
to see it go up in smoke?
I thought being with you
meant standing with God.
I thought it meant being a part
of something meaningful.
Is Oral here?
Not yet.
When he gets here,
show him to the front, would you?
Come on, just one last time.
Submit your will unto His will.
Y'all yet holding on?
- Keep on keeping on.
- Keep on keeping on.
Turn to somebody and say,
"We're still here."
We're still here.
I said look at somebody and say,
"We're still here."
We're still here.
I'm gonna get straight into it, okay?
Now, last Sunday, I...
I told you that God spoke to me and...
he told me that all those people...
out there starving and dying in Africa,
without being saved...
they're all going to heaven.
that's quite a statement.
And to come up here
and just blurt it out the way I did...
I regret it.
All week, people have been...
talking to me...
and trying to help me understand
what I heard and why.
I'm sure many of you've been having
those same conversations.
You say, "If they're saved,
does that mean everybody's saved?"
And if that's true, if you don't need
to accept Jesus, then...
why come to church at all?
And if the Bible says that only those
that accept Christ can be saved,
then it all points to one thing.
That it wasn't God's voice I heard.
Something else.
Now Romans...
Romans 10:9 says...
I've been...
I've been reading and praying all week,
trying to understandit.
Romans 10:9 says, um...
Henry, could you come up here
and read something for me?
If you don't mind.
Of course.
It's, um...
It's from First John, Chapter Two.
It's there. "My dear children."
"My dear children, I write this
so that you will not sin."
"My dear children, I write this
so that you will not sin."
"But if anyone does sin,
we have one who speaks to the Father
in our defense."
"But if anybody does sin,
then we have one who speaks to the Father
in our defense."
"His name is Jesus Christ,
the righteous one."
"His name is Jesus Christ,
the righteous one," go on.
"And He is the atoning sacrifice
for our sins.
But not only for ours..."
"Not only for ours...
but for the sins of the whole world."
It means Jesus died for everybody.
That's the literal meaning.
Everyone's included in the redemption.
Even people that never accepted Christ,
never heard the word of God,
never set foot in a church.
All those people in Africa
and everybody else.
Everyone's already saved.
And that...
is the finished work of the cross.
- That is not right.
- John.
I'm gonna answer your questions.
No. No, no, you can't
just rewrite the Bible.
I'm not rewriting anything,
I'm just rereading it, John.
No, you speak the word of God
in this church!
Sit down! Let him finish.
No. You are a messenger, Bishop.
- Sit down.
- Okay, settle down.
- John, Ben, sit down, please.
- No, I've had enough of this.
Come on, let's go. You know...
- we built this church.
- Okay.
We did!
You remember that.
No, it's okay.
Just let 'em leave.
Let 'em leave.
Look, Jesus said
study the scriptures diligently
- because they "testify about me."
- Amen.
Now, if we do...
if we do study them diligently,
then we have to understand
there are contradictions.
For all the Bible says, that the only
way to heaven is to accept Christ,
there's just as much
that says we don't need to.
Now, I just read First John,
but it's... it's...
it's in Corinthians.
It's in... it's in Timothy.
Peter. Here's Timothy 4:9.
Timothy 4:9.
"God is the savior of all mankind,
especially those who believe."
And he goes on.
And, uh...
And there's Paul in Corinthians.
- Thank you.
- I just reread this last night.
"As in Adam all men die, so in Christ
all men shall be made alive."
"All men"!
I can't stay here.
This is the same Bible we've been...
we've been reading all our lives.
So, he's saying... I don't understand.
Minnie, I...
Minnie, I know it's hard.
I know it's hard, but...
but you know me well enough to know
I'd listen to you or anybody else here.
I'm just asking you to do the same
for me now, please.
People have been saying that I...
I stopped believing in hell.
And I've been thinking about that
and I've been... I've been praying on it.
The God that we worship...
from the parts of this Bible
that we focus on...
that God is a monster.
If we're really saying that God sends
billions of people to burn in hell
for eternity for missing the mark
or missing the point,
or being born someplace else,
well, that God is a monster.
That God is worse than Hitler.
That God is worse than Saddam Hussein.
But that's... that's not our God.
That's not the God that we worship.
No, that God loves us all!
Excuse me. I'm just trying
to get through. Thanks.
Quite a show.
I'm sorry.
I'm out there vouching for you.
I'm making promises all week,
and you march me out there
like I'm some kind of puppet.
I can't just ignore it.
You want proof
it wasn't God's voice you heard?
Half our congregation walking out,
that was it.
What more proof do you need?
Exactly what is your relationship
now with Carlton Pearson?
I'm sorry, um...
When you've known someone
as long as I've known...
Bishop Pearson, it can be very difficult.
Oh, well, Richard, I mean,
you two grew up together, in essence.
And your dad took him in
and raised him at ORU.
That's right.
I always thought of him as a younger
sibling I had to look out for.
And now you think this is
the work of dark forces.
Dark angels.
Oh, I believe the devil
has gotten to him, yes.
- And he's being controlled.
- To lead others astray?
That's right.
He's a powerful and trusted voice.
This is a dangerous situation.
And what does Dad say?
- I imagine you talk about it.
- Of course.
He's heartbroken.
He's lost a son.
Can't believe he would go
after you like that.
...not with God's help.
We can all be healed...
- He's waited 25 years for the chance.
- never lose anyone completely,
you know that.
Just like he's got you, Richard.
- Hey.
- How you doing?
Nice to see you. Hey, Henry.
Hi, how are you?
Please, come in.
- Hello, Gina.
- Henry.
We got some... we got some coffee on,
if anybody wants some, and...
want anything to eat?
I think everyone's okay.
Look, before you say anything, I want you
to know I should have done things...
I should've done things differently. Okay?
I should've talked about it with you.
I should've shared it.
- Carlton.
- No, I should've done things differently,
so if there's anything
you need me to change...
Let's work it out.
We're leaving Higher Dimensions.
We prayed on it, and...
- we're going to start our own church.
- Henry.
- You can't just leave.
- No, they're not leaving.
We'll talk it through.
- It's too late for that.
- It's not too late.
I just need time to understand it.
- Just to formalize it.
- Time to sink the whole ship?
- It wasn't God's voice you heard, Bishop.
- Now, how do you know?
- How do you...
- Gina...
- Come in here, ganging up on him.
- What if he's wrong?
You don't know.
None of us... none of us knows.
But you want me to just trust you
and go out and tell people
it doesn't matter if they accept Christ.
It doesn't matter
if they go out there and sin.
Well, what if it turns out
that you are wrong and there is a hell?
And we are responsible.
Even if I thought
you might be right, which I don't,
it's not a chance
that I'd be willing to take.
You went ahead with this
without any thought about me,
or us, or anyone else.
That's all I've been thinking about
night and day. Don't leave.
It's not us that's leaving.
It's you.
You turned your back on us.
For 20 years, I put your needs
ahead of my needs.
And I put Gina's ahead of Maggie's.
And I put your kids ahead of my kids.
I gave you 20 years,
so just remember that it is not me
that is turning my back on you,
it's the other way around.
And I think that you should take a long,
hard look, and ask yourself why God...
why God would want that.
The hardest part about this whole thing
is that you had it.
- You had fellowship with God.
- My fellowship with God...
And it was pure.
- It was true, and you are rejecting...
- I'm closer to God in this moment
than I've ever been in my life.
I love you more than anything
and you know that,
but there is nothing that I can say
right now that you will hear.
You're gonna spend eternity
separated from Him.
I don't know what to do with that.
- No, no, no, no. Okay, no. Okay.
- Please don't make this harder.
Come on, Henry. This is us.
This is us.
Remember in Jackson?
When they told us we'd never get
white people up there?
Or Higher D, that we'd never fill it?
God put us together.
And we built something
that never existed before.
We got white folk
and black folk praying together.
In Tulsa.
Aren't you proud of that?
It got away from me, that's all.
I just...
I lost control of it.
I'll roll it back.
- You'll pull it back?
- I'll pull it back.
You'll recant what you said?
God spoke to me, Henry.
Just stay.
I can't.
Look, I wanted to find a place as far away
from Higher D as I could,
and it turns out the only spot
that's available is on Memorial Drive.
At 51st. It's not what I wanted.
- I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
It's okay.
Let's go.
You can always change your mind.
You too.
- Here you go.
- Carlton, we didn't pay for those.
Uh-oh. It's okay.
You want to help me?
Come on, let's go.
Okay, careful. Careful.
Come on.
- Hi.
- Hi.
I've been leaving you messages.
No, I know. I'm sorry, I...
But we've been thinking about you.
How... how is Francis feeling?
I wanted to call.
I try to tell Frank
it's not your fault, but...
Oh, girl, I can't imagine
what it must be like for you.
There's a whole community
that loves you and prays for you.
I'll pray with you right now.
Do you want that?
Dear God, in the name of Jesus,
awaken my dear sister
from the spirit of deception,
and rebuke the demons
that have vexed her mind
- and overtaken her body.
- Keisha.
It's okay.
How you doing? How's Frank?
Everyone's fine.
It's three months pay
and 12 months of benefits.
I'll call everybody I can think of.
I promise you that.
Anything else I can do, I will.
Thank you. Thanks for everything.
You come in this time.
You can just drive in at the top here.
We'll run through that.
Okay, ya'll ready?
All right, come on. Let's do it.
You okay?
Doctors, uh, held me overnight.
Gave me antibiotics,
and, uh...
They say I'm low on my T-cell count.
Why didn't you say something?
Why didn't you tell me
you were getting worse?
I don't know, Bishop. I just...
I guess I'm just trying
to make it all make sense.
I started seeing someone.
Misery just...
It felt good to finally just...
be able to be with someone
and feel like it's okay.
It's not okay.
Bishop, what is this?
Is this God, just, like, punishing me?
Just 'cause there's no hell, that...
that don't condone sin.
You don't get to just...
do whatever.
That's not what we're saying.
That's not the message.
Well, what is the message?
Hey, Ma, it's Carlton.
- What? What happened?
- No, no. Everybody's fine.
I'm sorry to call so late.
I just wanted to talk to you.
I've been thinking about Uncle Quincy.
I should've helped him.
Not with getting saved.
I just should've helped him, and...
been thinking
about Mama George and Patrick.
Just everybody I let down.
They gave up on God because they thought
God gave up on them, but it was me.
Now, you listen to me,
and you listen good.
and Mama George, and Patrick
did what they did and no one made them.
God didn't put them in hell.
They put themselves in hell.
Now, you read your Bible, boy,
and get your head straight.
You read it and you teach it,
like you always did. You hear me?
Yes, Ma.
Thank you.
Thank you.
- You didn't have to do this.
- Oh, are you kidding?
I'm proud of you.
I don't know, it's just a clerical job.
Something to celebrate.
It's gonna be okay.
It's gonna be okay.
Everything's gonna go back to normal.
- I hope not.
- Huh?
you preach differently now.
- It feels more connected.
- Gina...
The church is three-quarters empty.
Okay, so let's find a smaller space.
You said you were worried
about the mortgage.
Just support me, okay?
I am supporting you.
Well, it don't feel like it. Feels like...
you're asking me to crawl back
to some storefront,
preach to 20 people, and...
talking about...
Crawl back?
Let's just order.
The theology doesn't surprise me.
Why would it?
We've been preaching this kind
of inclusion for over a decade.
The only surprise is who's preaching it.
Bishop Pearson is just articulating
what a lot of people in the church
really think.
I never thought
she'd be agreeing with me.
Who'd have thought?
I told you Julian I'd take him
to his game today.
Bishop Ellis is on the line.
Yeah, put him on.
Bishop Ellis, how are you?
- Bishop, thanks for taking my call.
- Not at all.
What can I do for you?
Well, we're having our annual conference
here next month and, uh...
we've been following
what you've been preaching.
We feel we ought to give you
a chance to...
explain these new positions you're taking.
In a formal setting.
Well, I appreciate
the invitation. Thank you.
I'd have to know the context, though.
Yeah, what's the format?
Is this a discussion?
Bishop, we think you owe it
to the body of Christ.
We're offering you an opportunity
to speak directly to your peers.
Frankly, uh, I thought you'd jump
at the chance.
You might as well just call it what it is.
It's a trial.
- Oh, Nicky.
- It's a heresy trial.
Do you have any idea what kind of circus
they're putting together?
This was J. D. Ellis last week.
"If Bishop Pearson is taking the position
we think he is,
he will be no more welcome
at African-American pulpits
than Louis Farrakhan."
I'm not intimidated by these guys.
That's not the point.
- Just ignore them.
- I can't.
Then put out a statement
rejecting their legitimacy.
The Joint Council
of African-American Bishops?
- You want me to deny they're legitimate?
- No, but we don't need them.
Look, our numbers have leveled out.
The church is stable now.
If I can go there
and get them to understand...
That's not gonna happen.
Bishop, the members that we have now,
they're loyal to you.
But most of that's just racial.
I mean, Henry took all the white folk.
If you go down there
and you make some kind of stand-off...
and you lose,
then we could lose the church.
This is God's will.
He's not gonna take my church.
What if he does?
How many people did Jesus lose, huh?
Five thousand, in a day. He back down?
God spoke to me.
And I'm not backing down.
Now, either you're with me or you're not,
but if you're not strong enough, Reggie...
This is a gift.
It's how we win the congregation back.
You know I love you, Bishop.
Then wish me luck.
There has been...
considerable interest about some
of the things our guest today...
has been preaching.
Bishop Pearson is no stranger to us.
We valued his contribution
to the Body of Christ.
So I thought it'd be important...
before we make a judgment...
for us to bring him to the pulpit.
And let him speak for himself.
Bishop Pearson?
I was counseled not to come here today.
I've been...
spending a lot of time
thinking about this.
I prayed and fasted.
I asked God for the anointing
to speak with conviction and clarity.
I studied.
Bishop Ellis?
I want to ask you something.
Is there anybody you've loved
in your own life?
Anybody you were close to?
An uncle?
A brother? A friend?
Who backslid and is in hell right now?
This ain't about me, Bishop.
It's a simple question.
I'll get to the point.
My daddy's in hell. What about it?
How do you know?
- I just want to understand.
- Bishop Pearson, we have a process.
How do you know he's in hell?
- If you can't answer the question...
- Bishop Pearson...
then either you're not sure,
or you're afraid to answer.
Because he sinned until the day he died.
That's how I know.
How long's he been there?
- Fifteen years.
- Fifteen years.
And did you love him?
'Course I did. He was my daddy.
But he beat my mama. He beat me.
- He was a fornicator.
- And now God's punishing him.
He's suffering in hell,
he's tortured and tormented
for all eternity.
So, let me ask you something.
Would you get him out of hell
if you could?
That ain't up to me.
How about if it was?
If there was a way we could negotiate
with God, with Jesus and the blood,
you'd get your daddy out of there
quick as you could, wouldn't you?
- I can't answer that.
- Of course you would, anybody would.
So, the question
we have to ask ourselves is this:
Are we more merciful than God?
I thank God that reprobate is in hell.
- You just said that you loved him.
- I adored him.
And you wouldn't get him out?
Hell is where he's at
and hell is where he belongs.
This foolishness. This arrogance.
You come in here telling us
we all wrong and you all right?
Perverting scripture
and arguing that God don't punish?
It's false doctrine you're preaching
and it will not be tolerated
in our churches.
We believe if you confess
the Lord Jesus with your mouth
and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
And that is the only way
you will be saved.
Next up, we have
a six-octave keyboard
with a market value of $9,000.
Who will give me $1,300 to go?
I got 13 over here, now 13-five.
13-five. Anybody? 13-five.
13-five, now 14?
For $1,400. Anybody for 14?
I have 14 over here, 14-five. 14-five...
14-five. 14-five, now 15.
$1,500 over here. Thank you, ma'am.
15, now 15-five. 15-five.
Anybody for 15-five? 15-five...
16. $1,600 bid, anybody? 16?
I need $1,600.
I got 16, thank you. 16. Now 16-five...
16-five. 16-five, now $1,700.
I have to go down to the storeroom.
18-five? 18-five, I'm at 18-five.
I'm at 1,800.
1,800. Going once, going twice.
Sold, $1,800, number 286.
Next up, we've got the offering plates.
Item number 275...
You looking for a deal on some pews?
I just... I had to see for myself.
It's hard to believe, huh?
Did the bank assume the mortgage?
Make sure you get a waiver of liability.
You know that, right?
I hear you're doing well.
Got good numbers.
We're growing, yeah.
How many services you got over there?
We just added a second.
That's great.
I learned from the best, you know.
I did.
You got any anointing in there, huh?
Got to get that oil, get the fire going.
If you ain't got that oil,
God ain't pleased with you.
Excuse me.
Oh, God.
Oh, God.
It's all right. I got you.
John, this is Bishop Pearson.
Bishop, John Felton.
Pleasure to meet you, Bishop.
Sorry I'm late.
I know, just look at it.
It'll take five minutes.
So, it's 9,700 square feet.
It used to be one
of the old Huntsfield warehouses.
I figure if we build the stage
up against that wall,
we can put the offices over there.
Hang some drapes on the windows
and lay down a new floor.
Could you excuse us, please?
Oh, sure.
Of course. I'll just...
Take your time.
Come on, Nicky.
What are we doing here?
I don't know what we're doing.
This is the best space
for what we can afford.
What do I preach, Nicky?
Tell me what to preach.
Are you saying...
that God took Higher D,
and so you must've had it all wrong?
You're telling me you don't think that?
That's not fair.
I saw Reggie.
I guess you two don't really talk.
How's he doing?
He wanted me to give this to you.
He's moved back to Texas.
He's moved back to live with his mother.
So, how was the space?
It's not right.
Oh, but Nicky was so excited.
What was wrong with it?
Don't put that all in your mouth
at the same time. Let me cut it for you.
Why do you think he wrote to you?
He loves you.
I just...
I just don't want him to see where I'm at.
And where are you?
I'm here.
You're here.
Look at somebody and say,
"We're still here."
We're still here.
Get up, Carlton.
Just get up.
I was so glad you called.
Sit down, please.
I do ask after you, believe it or not.
How are you doing?
I guess you saw the news on Richard.
They're accusing him of embezzling.
Things have gotten pretty messed up
around here.
I miss you.
How you doing?
I feel lost.
I pray, but I don't hear anything.
I don't feel anything.
Just separated from God.
I've been thinking a lot about Ronnie.
How lost he was and...
how I pushed him away.
If there was one thing
that made me want to consider
everything you were preaching,
it was how lonely God must feel
denying his own children.
I turned my back on you, son.
Sorry I had to do that.
Maybe I didn't give you a choice.
I was surprised to hear
you'd given up the preaching.
And frankly, I was disappointed
because you were called, Carlton.
I still believe that.
And I want you to know
that there is a place for you here
when you're ready to come back to us.
It's a challenge to be called by God
and not allow it
to fill you with arrogance.
It is a very important lesson.
Arrogance will separate us from God.
And it'll separate us from the ones
we love most if we're not careful.
Hey, buddy.
How you doing? How you holding up?
What're you doing here?
How are you?
Well, you know.
Doctors gave me a new medication.
I got diagnosed with Lymphoma.
gave me your letter.
And I, uh...
I just want to say I'm sorry.
And I wanted to tell you you're not alone.
Did God tell you that?
He still whispering in your ear?
Did he tell you how much I weigh?
You know, I figured something out, Bishop.
You know how you used to tell me,
"Reggie, just stay strong and...
doing gay and being gay
is two different things"?
Well, it was bullshit.
I'm gay.
It ain't no choice.
It just is. It is what I am.
It's who I am.
And now, God's gonna
send me to hell for it.
Just as sure as you sitting there
with your jaw hanging out,
God is going to punish me for it all.
I tried so hard.
I tried so hard to get saved.
So many different people tried,
but it just never worked.
you could get me saved, right?
I mean, if anybody could do it,
you could do it.
Will you do that for me?
Will you?
- 'Cause God about to send me to hell.
- Reggie, Reggie.
- I know, I can just feel it now.
- Listen to me, Reggie.
- You don't need to be saved.
- You don't know that.
You can't know that for sure.
I've never been more sure
of anything in my life.
Look at me, Reggie.
When the time comes...
you'll be with Him.
Bishop Pearson.
You know, when Pastor Flunder...
asked me to come and visit, I...
And our guest today
took a lot of convincing...
I was terrified, actually.
...Bishop Carlton Pearson.
These people don't want
to hear from me...
What have I got to say to them, but...
then I thought, well...
You know, with everything
I've been through...
I do know something about...
what it feels like to be an outcast.
You know? And I...
I do know something about...
what it feels like to be...
to be told you're not worthy
of God's love.
I've spent a lotof my life...
living in fear of God.
And I preached that fear.
And I preached it and I preached it,
and I preached it so much
that I became afraid not to preach it.
Why is it so hard to let go of that fear?
Is it because if God loves everybody
unconditionally, then...
maybe we have to?
Is that it?
And what is it about loving each other
unconditionally that scares us so much?
I don't know.
But I do know one thing.
It know it was God's love
got me in this room.
I know that.
I know Jesus's love brought me here.
Can I get an "amen" around here?
- Maybe a little "hallelujah" around here.
- Hallelujah.
Oh, I got some, okay.
I thank God for my life.
I do.
I thank God for my wife.
Come on, clap your hands.
Come on, sing the song.
Let me tell you
what I'm gonna do.
I'm gonna run through
some of them old songs.
Mom, I'm looking at you. I'm gonna have
to call you to help me a little bit.
Some of them old holiness songs that you...
my... my... my grandma used to get up
every Sunday night
and sing some of these songs,
and before you knew it,
you know, we couldn't
sing it long without...
We couldn't go to parties,
the only place we could dance
was in the house of the Lord.
Come on, clap those hands.
Come here, Mama, you can help me
sing some of this. Come on, now, baby.
Help me sing it, Mama.
If you're really happy, jump.
Come on, jump for a little bit.
Just a little bit.