Why Red Letters??

In many Bibles, some words are set apart with a red font. Why is this? It is to remind us that when God became Man and personally gave us words that those words are probably something we cannot afford to miss. So why don’t many churches today take the “red letters” to heart? Why aren’t we doing more to be Christ’s hands and feet to the poor, the disenfranchised, the weary, the ill, the fatherless, and the prisoners? It’s all there–in red letters. Why has the Church shirked its responsibilities, leaving the work to be done by governments, rock stars, and celebrities? We leave it up to our governments to do those tasks and then we complain when they take some of our tax dollars to accomplish it! Shame on us!!

It is quite troubling to me the number of Christian denominations that totally downplay those red letters. They instead deem all the words written by men and accumulated into what we know as the Bible to be of equal importance! I understand that the foundation for this misbelief goes back to the slippery slope idea that I have covered before. They want to believe that all the words were authored by God instead of just the red letters. This makes studying the Bible much easier for them as then they don’t have to discern what is currently relevant and what isn’t in that document. They just refuse to accept that some of those biblical words were written with a two thousand year old mentality and mindset and are no longer relevant to us today.

I choose not to take the easy way when it comes to following my Lord and savior. I will not just say the words and then lay back and let his grace flow over me. I choose not to solely depend on the “experts” to tell me what God’s message to me is. Instead I will take his grace and turn it into action as he commanded me to do. I will study the Bible and other similar documents from the early times to find what is relevant to me today and discount those things that come from pre-21st century knowledge and understanding. I will study the Bible and other such documents to find the messages in the underlying text but understand that that text could be just a story or myth passed down from the generations between when Christ roamed the earth and when the document was solidified four hundred years later.

It is quite refreshing to accept that I have a responsibility to actually do what Jesus commanded me to do and to study the words from the founding fathers to find those relevant to me and my daily life. I will not leave that important task up to others to do the work for me. It is not up to the theologians or even today’s clergy to push me into heaven or maybe more importantly to do God’s work here on earth. God gave me free choice and I choose to follow Him alone.

Affirming our Potential

I believe that affirming our potential is more important than condemning our brokenness.

Many churches I have attended put a very strong I would even say an overwhelming emphasis on our brokenness. Their creeds which are chanted every Sunday point out that we are nothing but poor miserable sinners and are capable of absolutely nothing good. Besides causing inferiority complexes in those to buy into that thought it is also does very little to attract those not familiar with the true words of Jesus and the positive things he wants us to accomplish while on this earth.

Most of the “poor miserable sinner” thoughts come from Saint Paul in his many epistles. It seems that Paul, like Martin Luther that came many years later, had pitifully low self esteem that would lead naturally to this syndrome. Jesus on the other hand had different words to tell us. He constantly was affirming our potential with such words as “through the Father you can do anything”.

So, I will say again we should spend much more time knowing the positive things we can do with Christ on our side rather than fixating on the sins that we commit. Yes, we all do commit sins every day and that makes God sad but failing to recognize our potential to love God and to love our neighbors as Jesus commanded makes God even sadder.