Red-Letter Christian

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. I know... I said I was going to slow down on that... I just couldn't help myself :-)

This past week I read Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds by Tom Davis, Letters to a Young Evangelical by Tony Campolo and several online documents which have all made comments on this idea of being a Red-Letter Christian. I LOVE THIS! Sure... some of the comments have more to do with the US political situation (the fact that Jesus wasn't a Republican or a Democrat) but there is SOOO much other great stuff here for Christians who are trying to live out their faith as a follower of Jesus.

For those who are not familiar with the term Red-Letter Christian, it came from a secular Jewish Country-and-Western disc jockey in Nashville, Tennessee. During a radio interview he was conducting with Jim Wallis, he happened to say, “So, you’re one of those Red-Letter Christians--you know--who’s really into those verses in the New Testament that are in red letters!” And the term stuck.

When we REALLY sit down and read those Red-Letters in our Bibles, in other words, all those things that Jesus said, it's pretty amazing at just how little of this actually lived out. And that's pretty sad. If we call ourselves followers of Jesus, why aren't we always doing the things he said we should do?? Here's a few examples of what we find in those Red-Letters:

  • Jesus calls us away from the consumerist values that dominate contemporary North American consciousness.

  • He calls us to be merciful, to everyone, regardless of what we would like to think of them.

  • Jesus tells us to love our enemies... which probably means we shouldn’t kill them.

  • Most important, if we take Jesus seriously, we will realize that meeting the needs of the poor is a primary responsibility for His followers.

Call me crazy but I want to be a guy who lives out those Red-Letters! I want to be the type of Christian that people know what I believe and who I follow, not by the verses that I can throw out by heart, but how my faith plays out in my actions every where I go and with everyone I deal with.

I'm very intrigued and challenged to live a life more in line with being a Red-Letter Christian! I think I'll put down the One-Year Bible for awhile and just read and get into those red letters found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Anyone else in? :-)


Chris Whisonant said…
That's not necessarily a bad idea, but also keep this in mind:

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."

That means that all scriptures (either in red-letters or black) are given to us from the same Holy Spirit - whether they were uttered from Jesus' earthly lips, penned by Paul or David. :)
Kevin said…
Totally agree :) It's all from God and it's all profitable. I'm just wondering if it's all of equal importance in the life of the Christian.

It's just kinda weird... serving as a pastor, I'm quite struck by how little the words of Jesus play out in the lives of a lot of churches... we'll quote Paul and Moses all the time to point out the shortcomings of people and the world... but when it comes to something as simple as "Love your neighbour" that Jesus said, it seems to be ignored because we don't want to do that...

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