Just over two months ago, as winter landed its final blows of snow in New York City, Michael A. Walrond Jr. of Harlem’s 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church landed an ideological blow of his own in traditional Christendom.  Walrond, who was named “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers” by Newsweek magazine, told his congregants that the belief that anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is going to hell is “insanity.”

“There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, ‘well, if you don’t believe in Jesus you going to Hell. That’s insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes,” he said in a viral clip posted to Facebook. People take many paths to God, he argued, noting that he personally celebrates the paths others take in finding Him — even if that path does not involve faith in Jesus. “And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that,” Walrond said.  READ MORE