I want to use this post to try to do a “check in” about my spiritual life. I need to do this on a periodic basis to be sure I am moving forward spiritually. It is just too easy to sit back and say “I have learned enough”. That will never happen to me as long as I draw a breath. If you are not … Continue reading I Believe
There is a difference between worshiping Jesus and actually doing what he told us to do. I remember the documentary entitled “From Jesus to Christ” in 1998 on PBS Frontline. It was the serious beginning of my spiritual search for meaning. Becoming more familiar with the actual events of the period of the first 150 years of the common era (CE) helped me understand how … Continue reading Worshiping vs Following
Before I get started talking about those who proclaim the Progressive Christian mantel I thought it would be best to give you what I see as the foundations of both Evangelicals and Progressive Christians. Of course, in about 500 words, so this has to be a truncated version of the story. Progressive Christians Progressive Christianity has been around for more than 500 years now. It … Continue reading The Fundemental Differences Between Evangelical and Progressive Christians
It’s been pretty obvious to me since I seriously spent four years reading the words of Jesus that his teaching have strong socialist roots. So, why are so many who claim to be Christian against any form of socialism? Just say that word and they go into the immediate attack mode. That is just another of a long list of things I don’t understand about … Continue reading Jesus Was A Socialist
I know from personal experiences that saying you doubt something in your church can get you in some pretty serious trouble. I will make a bold statement for you. I am sure you have doubts, probably even serious doubts, about what you are told to be facts in your church too. Even Mother Theresa had them so don’t even bother to deny it! But, all … Continue reading Doubts are seldom allowed In The Church…
Of course, everything I say here at RedLetterLiving is my opinion, but sometimes it seems particularly necessary to make that declaration. Since I am going to compare some religious establishments on the post, this is one of those times As a little bio for this post, I give you a quick history of my six stages of Christian life: I was baptized into the Catholic … Continue reading The Church Needs Shame…
November 12, 2009 I found an interesting book a while back by Phyllis Tickle entitled “The Words of Jesus”. Phyllis Tickle is the founding editor at Publishers Weekly and is author of more than two dozen book about Christianity. In this book she attempts to take the red letters found in the Gospel accounts and separate them from the surrounding text. She does this, among … Continue reading The Words of Jesus
This is the second of three revisits to my initial posts on a book that changed my spiritual view of the world. I do these revisits so that you might better understand where I am going now by showing you where I have come from March 12, 2013. I was certain if I could preach the perfect sermon the altar would fill with people overcome … Continue reading If Grace Is True – Revisit #2
January 17, 2021 There is so much of the Old Testament that still drives many versions of Christianity, especially among White Evangelicals. They seem to be fixated on the wrath of God rather than his love. The vast majority of the source of that wrath comes from the Old Testament. It’s time for a new version of Christianity that focuses totally on the words of … Continue reading It’s Time For DIVORCE… Or at least another separation
I realize that the vast majority of viewers here at RedLetterLiving read the daily post but seldom go into the archives. In order to see where I am going with the blog you need to see where I have come from. On Wednesdays going forward I will be pulling up some of my most significant posts to show you how and why my spirituality has … Continue reading If Grace Is True – Revisit #1
One of the things I have probably struggled with the most is the difference between the Old Testament God and the God as described by Jesus. It just seems to me that The OT God is pretty much an egotist, vengeful, and merciless god and the God of Jesus is totally a god of love. How to reconcile that difference is a very difficult thing … Continue reading Doing God’s Will
Given what I post here the title above probably sounds like sacrilege to you. But in many ways being an Evangelical was just easier than taking my spiritual life seriously. I was an Evangelical for twenty-five years so there had to be something that kept me going back. Here are the things that I miss about being an Evangelical: The Conservative Evangelical Church is primarily … Continue reading I Kinda Miss Being An Evangelical
What the main selling point for religious institutions? What gets them in the door? Is it a place where they can be comfortably entertained on Sunday? The mega-churches seem to thrive with those folks. Is it a place where they can reinforce what they already believe about God? All those who hop from one church to another seem to be looking for that. Is it … Continue reading The Biggest Selling Point
Last week I gave you a catch-up on where I have journeyed in my spiritual life for the last six years. I ended that post with the one big remaining question that I will address here: Do we even need a “public” body of Christ? All the lavish religious cathedrals around the world have always disturbed me. It just seems to me that Jesus never … Continue reading The Public Body…
I thought that since it has been six years since I seriously posted here, I would use this post as a catch-up to where I am in my spiritual journey and end it with a serious question that remains unanswered. I have personally founded my spiritual life on the teachings of Jesus. It was an epiphany moment for me when that finally happened. Since that … Continue reading My Spiritual Journey
In case you haven’t visited here before I want to let you know that there are now 39,000+ versions of Christianity around the world. I realize that thousands of them are limited to a particular congregation who split off another body due to differences in what to believe about God, but there are hundreds of versions that have millions of followers and unbelievably many have … Continue reading Take Back The Church Of Jesus
I want to use the post as my official apology to the world for Evangelical Christians. I know that won’t mean much but it matters to me to apologize for this ugly group. I am a person who has proudly proclaimed that I am a “Follower of the Teaching of Jesus”, but no longer call myself a Christian. I am inspired by his teachings of … Continue reading A “Follower Of Jesus” Apology for MAGA Christians.
When I decided I wanted to study the philosophy of religion I had no idea what I had bitten off! I now know that it is one of the major branches of Philosophy. I knew Socrates had things to say about it 400 years before Jesus, but I never dreamed how far it went from there. Since almost every culture that has existed has either … Continue reading The Philosophy of Religion
I”m still not really in the camp with Progressive Christianity. Maybe I should just stick to the phrase “follower of the teachings of Jesus” Here are some comments that tend to push me in that direction. It is from a webinar on the subject from the Church of Christ version of Christianity. 1) You sometimes hear progressive Christians say things like, “The Bible is not … Continue reading Some Mainline Thoughts on Progressive Christianity
I am not one to haphazardly join or agree with an organization without first being certain I know what they stand for. I have been stung once in that regard and I won’t let it happen again. My allegiance to ProgressiveChristianity.org is a process, not an epiphany. After discovering this organization I looked for what they stand for and found it in the following graphic. … Continue reading What Does Being A Progressive Christian Mean?
In order to be called ‘Swiss cheese,” you must have so many holes per cubic inch. In order for a wine to be called “Bordeaux”, it must be made in France. There is no such requirement for anyone or anything to take on the label “Christian”. “Anything can label itself as being “Christian,” so we must always look to the person of Christ to guide … Continue reading The Christian Label
“In a world swimming in violence, in a land where “messiah” meant militancy, Jesus never acts violently. Whenever violence is addressed, Jesus condemns it. Whenever His followers try to act violently, they are confronted. Whenever Jesus encounters people who deserve a violent punishment, Jesus loves them. And in doing so, He leaves His followers with a nonviolent example to follow. When people around the globe … Continue reading Jesus and Violence…
The church frustrates me. I was once asked by a wealthy church what they could do to help end homelessness. I looked around and saw the thousands of square feet that lie empty every night, the dozens of toilets, the showers in the family life center, the full industrial kitchen and wanted to say, “It is a two step plan. 1) Read the Gospels. 2) … Continue reading Not Taking Jesus Seriously….
When St. Augustine wrote On the Trinity, he tried to work out a conundrum. He wanted to figure out how women could be the image of God. He finally solved the puzzle by writing that when a woman is alone, then she is not in the image of God. It is only when she is joined with a man, when she is one flesh with … Continue reading The Image of God….
There are some folks who would say they are Christian, but they are looking less and less like Jesus. And there are some folks who would never claim to be Christian, yet their hearts and their passions are slowly moving closer and closer to Jesus’ heart. It’s up to God to sort all that out. Being more like Jesus is what we are trying to … Continue reading Reflections…
Jesus clearly told us again and again to love your fellow-man. As a matter of fact he said all the commandments and previous prophets melted down to loving God and loving each other. Nothing else is nearly as important. Why do we find it so hard to even begin to live up to that command. For so many of us, particularly those in the U.S. … Continue reading Fear Your Fellow Man….
Jesus Avoided Theological Certainty Within the New Testament, the people Jesus seemingly condemns the strongest — and most frequently — are the ones who have the greatest amount of theological certainty — the Pharisees. The spiritual leaders, the most prestigious religious institutions of the their day, the ones who were the most confident, the most sure and vocal about theology, were flat our wrong — … Continue reading Theological Certainty…..
Despite his having written an entire biography of Paul in Acts, Luke seems to be curiously unaware of Paul’s life and ministry as reflected in Paul’s authentic letters. None of Paul’s letters are mentioned in Acts. The language and theology of Paul’s speeches as told by Luke are so different in vocabulary and theology from the Paul of the authentic letters that it seems much … Continue reading Studying The Bible….
Be Willing to Change: I don’t expect to fully understand God by the time I’m done with middle school, high school, college, or when I retire—faith is a Pilgrim’s Progress, a journey of continual growth and maturity. God is too big and glorious to completely understand within a set amount of time, so my ideas, opinions, and understanding of God—my theology—will change. But why do you … Continue reading Willing To Change….
“Americans react to the poor with disgust,” said Susan Fiske, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and the originator of the neuroimaging tests. She has studied attitudes toward the poor for a dozen years. “It’s the most negative prejudice people report, greater even than racism,“ Fiske stated. No doubt part of that response is aesthetic. Some of those who are very poor … Continue reading Hating the Poor but Loving Jesus?