In Celebration of Twelve Years

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

A “Follower Of Jesus” Apology for MAGA Christians.

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.

He Told Us How To Do It……

The Lord’s prayer is rightly the most spoken prayer in Christianity. But there are several statement in that prayer that are for the most part glossed over by many in the current day church.  One of the most obvious is “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  Here is what Martin Luther thought of these words: The good … Continue reading He Told Us How To Do It……

Christians and Humor….

This is the true purpose of satire: to mock power. It is, truly, the language of the powerless. From the biblical prophets, to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, to Swift, to Twain, to Orwell to our beloved Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, satire works best when the targets are the powerful and elite—be they institutions or people. Jesus’ sharpest comments were always directed toward the politically or … Continue reading Christians and Humor….

The Old vs. The New….

For example, let’s say we approach the Bible with this question: How should we treat our enemies? Matthew 5:44 tells us to love them. Romans 12:17–21 tells us to do good to them and never seek revenge against them. First Peter 3:13–17 tells us to suffer at their hands and set an example for them. Psalm 137:9 says we should joyfully dash their infants against … Continue reading The Old vs. The New….

Exclusivity of Salvation..

Since the very beginning, the disciples of Jesus have tried to destroy the opposition. Instead of patiently awaiting the transformation of others, we’ve quickly divided the world into “us” and “them.” We haven’t even reserved this distinction for those of other religions. We’re intolerant of any deviation from the party line. Catholics thought Protestants apostate and damned. Protestants returned the favor, then splintered into a … Continue reading Exclusivity of Salvation..

A Simple Truth….

I once considered human freedom the most persuasive argument against the salvation of every person. My friend asked, “How can you believe God would send his children to hell?” I replied, “God doesn’t send anyone to hell. They send themselves. God simply respects their freedom.” Human freedom was the linchpin of my theology. We were saved not by grace, but by our decision to accept … Continue reading A Simple Truth….

To Those Who Need It The Most…..

For what good is grace—this unconditional love of God—if it is not extended to those who deserve it the least but need it the most? God is love. Holiness and justice are not competing commitments. God has not chosen to turn his back on us or to punish us as our sins deserve. God has chosen to redeem us. Nothing requires God to condemn us, … Continue reading To Those Who Need It The Most…..

Suspicious of Experiences With God…..

This is an ongoing post about the book “If Grace Is True” by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland.  Here are the words for today. Many people are suspicious of experiences with God. The believers in Jerusalem were suspicious of Peter’s experience. You may be suspicious of mine. Some argue that such experiences aren’t trustworthy, that infallible Scripture is the only safe guide in our search … Continue reading Suspicious of Experiences With God…..

The Sola’s…How Did We Get Here?

Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James —  If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person We are not to worship the Bible; we are to worship the One the Bible reveals. Too often, we clutch desperately to our Bibles, memorizing only those verses that support our views and panicking when anyone suggests God might speak a fresh word. We belong to a long tradition of … Continue reading The Sola’s…How Did We Get Here?

Jesus’ Not So Secret Message….

Many in the Christian faith believe that if they study their bible enough they will come away with Jesus’ secret message. They think that hidden in those bible verses is a secret message that he intends for only his “true” believers. Like the Da Vinci code it is hidden away so that only a few will receive it. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories … Continue reading Jesus’ Not So Secret Message….

Except God Alone….

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.“No one is good—except God alone.  Mark 10:17-18 These words have always troubled me to one extent or another. Let me explain why.  The story which they came … Continue reading Except God Alone….

Merely Human Rules….

Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.  You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of … Continue reading Merely Human Rules….

Religious Superiority….

Here are some thoughts from Randy Oftedahl over at QuakerQuaker: Now I believe there are many paths, and God in His love for human variety has given us an infinate number of ways to follow the Spirit, depending on what best speaks to our condition. But sometimes I think Quakers, perhaps because we have a particular history as a “peculiar people” or more distinctive worship … Continue reading Religious Superiority….

Churches Are Misleading….

All of this makes me wonder if pews are misleading in churches. They trick people into thinking that Christians learn best by sitting quietly in rows, listening to lectures, and memorizing ideas about the faith. But churches should not be lecture halls.  The above short quote got my attention. It is from a book by Diane Butler Bass entitled Christianity After Religion: The End of Church … Continue reading Churches Are Misleading….

All Theology Is Local….

Today I will continue my discussions of a book by Tony Jones entitled The New Christians; Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier.  I’m sure if there are any pastors or theologians who accidentally come across the blog post their first reaction is to adamantly disagree with the title that all theology is local. Here is what Tony Jones says about that: theology is not universal, nor … Continue reading All Theology Is Local….

Man’s Fingerprints…..

One thing that seems so hard for many fundamentalist Christians is the idea that much of their religious traditions and beliefs come from man, not God. They seem totally unable to even conceive of that idea. Without that acknowledgement they have doomed their version of Christianity to the trash heap of time. Science, that they generally deem as the enemy, will eventually become just be … Continue reading Man’s Fingerprints…..

Inclusiveness…..

Despite recent trends the U.S. is still pretty much an inclusive society. As the saying on the plaque at the Statue Of Liberty goes we welcome all others to our shores. The resulting diversity is in my mind one of the primary reasons we have been such a strong and prosperous country. Elitism is by definition exclusive. It wants more and more for a smaller and … Continue reading Inclusiveness…..

Paul as Usurper of Christianity?

Source: Paul as Usurper of Christianity? « Common Treasury. I am aware that there has been much discussion in the past on the alleged contrasting visions of Jesus in the gospels (especially Matthew, Mark, and Luke-Acts) and the message in the Paul’s letters. There is something to the charge I think (not that I have studied this in great detail); I have on a couple of … Continue reading Paul as Usurper of Christianity?

The Words of Jesus….

This is a continuation of the previous post about the words of Jesus taking front and center in Christian living.  Last time we talked about  how the red letters came about in our Christian bibles and about an organization dedicated to putting them back in their proper place in Christianity.  This time I want to tell you about a couple of books that put the … Continue reading The Words of Jesus….

Saving Jesus — (Part 2) Post-Easter Jesus

This is a continuation of my review of the book Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin Meyers. Here are the quotes we will look at on this post: Adoration of the post-Easter Christ so dominates the language and liturgy of the church that the wisdom of pre-Easter Jesus is all but lost. We know that … Continue reading Saving Jesus — (Part 2) Post-Easter Jesus