Here in the Tampa area, tropical storm Isaac has moved out and supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul’s revolution have moved in and set up camp. The so-called “revolution,” that Paul himself declared, set out to topple the modern-day American political status quo and set its sights squarely on the Republican Party. Paul’s supporters demonstrate an enthusiasm and devotion rarely seen in the modern American political scene. Today, they gather on the floor of the convention where a different kind of storm appears to be brewing.
Elsewhere today, Michael Williams, 60, of Houston, Texas launched a campaign for his newly-released book ONE – The Gospel According to Mike. Williams is the President and Founder of GospelRevolution.com and Mike Williams Ministries. Like Paul, Williams also has a group of devoted supporters, some whose loyalties go back decades. They call themselves “Gospel Revolutionaries.” What’s so revolutionary? Flip over the book to the back cover and you’ll see the title of the book summary: A Gospel Freed from Christianity.
In ONE, Williams’ revolutionary call is to liberate the gospel from the white-knuckle grip of religion and he sets his sights on Christianity itself. Williams asserts that Christianity, which claims to be the rightful messenger of the gospel, shirks the gospel in preference for its own corporate way of doing things.
The message in ONE is that the gospel is “good news.” In a video trailer for the book on Williams’ website OneMikeWilliams.com, you’ll hear the announcer say, “If the gospel truth is not good news for everyone, it’s not good news for anyone.” Williams’ gospel vehemently denies and even scoffs at the religious theories of Hell and damnation.
The rhetoric stirs up the debate about Hell and damnation that got Pastor Rob Bell labeled a heretic by religious fundamentalists in 2011 because of his book Love Wins. Williams’ website even acknowledges Bell’s book. The introduction on the homepage claims “Williams goes further than Rob Bell and challenges virtually every major religious doctrine from salvation to damnation while presenting Jesus Christ’s work at the cross in a Scriptural and Biblical context like no one has ever done before.” It concludes that “not only does love win – love already won.”
To devout Christian fundamentalists, Williams’ statements can be construed as nothing less than fighting words. Citing nothing but the Bible, Williams does not rely on any other theology to declare his gospel. In ONE, Williams capitalizes on his experience of over four decades as a Bible teacher to take the battle straight to the party faithful of the Evangelical Christian establishment. ONE is yet the latest rallying cry to topple the status quo.