I started RedLetterLiving twelve years ago yesterday to try to answer the basic question of how strongly Christian churches follow the teachings of Jesus. That part of my spiritual journey lasted six years. It was during that period that I went from a passive Sunday morning observer to actively growing my spirituality. I grew a lot during those years and since. What I found during … Continue reading In Celebration of Twelve Years
“Mixing religion and politics is like mixing ice cream and manure. It doesn’t do much to the manure but it sure does ruin the ice cream” Unknown- I could cite all kinds of places in the Christian Bible warning about mixing Ceasar & God but that is just not what I do. Instead, I am giving you the quote above. I don’t know for sure … Continue reading Mixing Religion And Politics
I was fascinated by this modern interpretation of the 10 Commandment when I came across them recently. I must admit that I didn’t really feel that the Old English version found in most Bibles applied to me. It’s kind of like when I read the Bible from cover to cover, I have done that on three occasions, and always found myself struggling through it. The … Continue reading The 21st Century Interpretation of the 10 Commandments.
I have decided as my next project here at RedLetterLiving to take on the topic of Humanism and try to discover how that aligns with the teachings of Jesus. The post below was originally published in my main blog at RJsCorner about 2 years ago, I think this is a good starting point for an extended study here at RLL My conservative Evangelical friends would … Continue reading Humanism And 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.
Don’t you realize how much damage you are doing to Christ’s church? JUST QUIT IT! Why can’t you see how you are acting is driving people away? JUST QUIT IT! I know you are deadly afraid that everyone is now looking elsewhere for their spiritual needs, but don’t you realize that maybe the primary reason for that is you and your current actions? JUST QUIT … Continue reading To My Evangelical Friends.
I’m going to jump in here with some thoughts that are unrelated to the current series. These thoughts were spurred by a quote on the side of my mini-RV that I am prepping for the coming season. I put the sticker along with many others on my trusty vehicle several years ago. I don’t know why it spurred a thought now? All of us think … Continue reading We Pray To The God Of Our Mind…
Given that much of the church of Jesus Christ has morphed into something entirely different, I feel compelled to bring RedLetterLiving out of its six-year hiatus. So, starting soon I will be posting at least weekly here again. The posts here will appear in parallel over at my home blog at RJsCorner.net but I think it is important that is also stands alone here. It … Continue reading Coming Back to RedletterLiving – Again
I’m going to do a philosophical post of my own making for today. I will get back to studying others next week. With this post, I am certainly exercising the creative side. I will try to analyze the mind of a first-century citizen and his writings with my 21st-century views. Up front, I will admit that much of what I speculate is just that, speculation. … Continue reading Miracles And The First Century Mind….
I was going to try and make a couple of posts that attempted to explain the difference between religious beliefs and philosophy of religion, but that just got too complicated and technical so I decided to keep it simple by just looking at examples. Let’s tackle some of the hardest philosophical questions first. Why not? Is God Omnipotent? Some religions, but not all hold on … Continue reading Can God Make A Rock That He Can’t Lift?
Where does one start with this topic? To me, all these types of serious discussions start with Wikipedia. They seem to always give me a good high-level view of the topic at hand. Philosophy of religion is “the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions. The philosophy of religion differs from religious philosophy in that it seeks to discuss questions regarding the nature … Continue reading Getting Started with Philosophy of Religion
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?
When I put my RedLetterLiving blog in hiatus five years ago there was what seemed to be just a ragtag group of theologians and clergy that thought as I did. Following the Red Letters was what Christianity was all about to them and to me. Everything else is a distraction. Now here we are five years later and I have joyfully discovered that many of … Continue reading Progressive Christianity
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
I’ve seen the light go out in people’s eyes when they decide it’s safer to embrace a doctrine or a policy that their gut tells them is wrong than it is to challenge those who say it’s right. I’ve watched open minds close and tender hearts harden. I’ve seen people pretend to believe things they don’t actually believe and do things they don’t actually want … Continue reading Conformity….
“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…
What do we do as Christians when confronted with these harsh realities? The Bible urges us to “remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself!” (Hebrews 13:3). Jesus knew what it was like to have a loved one incarcerated. His cousin, John the Baptist, was falsely accused and arrested (and eventually executed). Perhaps this is why Jesus, in Matthew 25, tells his disciples … Continue reading To Set Prisoners Free….
Young and old, rich and poor, and people from every social, economic, political and cultural background are starting to rethink their faith. A fresh movement is happening, and in its purest form is about one thing: following Christ. This transformation is reshaping the Christian landscape. Believers are starting to simplify their faith in order to exemplify Christ—a simple yet profound way to live out the … Continue reading Revolution….
I will admit here that I got a first time comment today that I immediately sent to the trash because I don’t have the energy to deal with it on a serious level right now. It goes like this. “I will ignore the needs of the 99 in order to prevent the 100th one from getting something he doesn’t deserve”. This comment also declared that … Continue reading Whose Fault???
What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 6) This is the final post on my series about the Bible. It has been an enlightening time for me. This final post is about the history of Christianity and how it seems to stop with the establishment of the biblical text. But before I get into that I must mention that I have found that to really understand … Continue reading The History Of Christianity???
I’m not sure who brought up the concept but it is about how churches are actually more like clubhouses than anything else. They are buildings that are built almost exclusively for their members comfort. Yes that comfort does bring in some to hear the message but that seems to be very secondary at best. I had a recent round of comments on this topic over … Continue reading Everyone Needs A Clubhouse….
What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 5) I used to mourn the fact that there are almost 40,000 different versions of Christianity around today. But, in reality maybe I should celebrate that statistic. At least it shows that we are all trying to find the heart of God. But the problem with this is that we end up picking the type of God we want. … Continue reading Religious Diversity…
Everyone from the day after Jesus ascended into the clouds has been seeking the essence of Christ. One of the first ones was probably Paul of Tarsus. Except for that brief encounter with the spirit of Jesus on road to Damascus a few years after he physically left us, he had no personal contact. Today there are 40,000+ different organized version of this essence and … Continue reading The Essence Of God…
What About The Bible… ? Chapter 4 When we treat the Bible as a history book we come to more thoroughly understand the varied opinions put forth. But I very much understand that a significant portion of those who call themselves Christians believe that every word, every punctuation mark came directly from God and therefore is literally true and without the possibility of any error. … Continue reading The Bible — History Book Or Idol???
MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — A snake-handling pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation” has died after being bitten by a snake during a weekend church service in Kentucky. SOURCE: Snake-handling Ky. pastor dies from snake bite – Yahoo News. While this is maybe of the extreme part of the spectrum it is still a typical example of how we pick … Continue reading Our Own Version….
What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 3) How did the Bible get so filled with things that have nothing to do with the messages of Jesus? That is one of many questions I have pondered over the last decade. I want to study more about King Constantine and how the Bible was put together under his watchful eye. Here is the crux of what I … Continue reading How Did The Bible Get So Filled…
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….
What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 2) I know that from all the rhetoric about this topic you are expecting the next word in the title to be “Clear” but actually for me it is “Fuzzy”. I don’t know how many times in my life I have heard the phrase “just study the bible for the answer to your problems. When a child dies from … Continue reading I Read The Bible And Everything Became….