Red Letter Christian

Defending a Scandal

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Southern Baptists have passed a resolution defending the truth that Christ died for our sins, in our place, taking upon himself God's just judgment on sin.

Why the need?

Every generation must choose whether to affirm what the Scriptures have always taught. Ours is no exception. In the 1960s mainline liberal Protestantism turned its back on orthodoxy. Now progressive evangelicals are repeating their error. 

Red Letter Christians — following the spirit of the age and French Catholic philosopher Rene Girad — reject the notion of a God who requires the sacrifice of his Son for sin.

At a popular level, William Paul Young (The Shack) has said the idea that Christ died as a substitute sacrifice to save sinners and satisfy the just wrath of God the Father — is a “monstrous,” “evil,” and “a terrible doctrine.”

So well done Southern Baptists for affirming what the Scriptures have always taught.

Movements decline and decay when they drift and deny their core beliefs. They remain dynamic when they stay true to core beliefs and adapt their methods to reach a changing world.

Want to learn more?

 

Was Jesus a Red Letter Christian?

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In some bibles the actual words of Jesus are printed in red. Red Letter Christians regard Jesus’ actual words in the Gospels as more authoritative than the rest of Scripture.

They want to take Jesus’ words seriously and live them out, especially the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. I can understand why someone might be drawn to Red Letter Christianity. I also think they might have an agenda.

Apparently Red Letter Jesus is a warrior for LGBT rights, he’s for action on climate change, he leans left politically and he doesn’t believe in hell.

Unfortunately the real Jesus said some things that might upset Red Letter Christians.

He regarded the whole of Scripture as given by God. He didn’t come to overturn the teaching of the Old Testament but to fulfil it. He regarded the God revealed in the Old Testament as his Father.

He affirmed the teaching of Genesis that marriage is a union between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). He taught that sexual immorality characterises those who will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Mark 7:21-22).

He sent his disciples to the nations to tell them of the message of his death and resurrection and call them to repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:46-47).

As the risen Lord he continued to shape the life, message and mission of the early church resulting in the writing of not only the Gospels but the Acts and the Epistles. 

The Jesus of history and the risen Lord Jesus are one. How do we know that? By reading the red letters of the Gospels, in their entirety, and taking them seriously.