Red Letters

I’ve personally heard in a church before, “Read the Red and pray for Power!” Those adhering to this teaching are often referred to as Red-Letter Christians. I heard a preacher on the radio this morning saying, (paraphrased) “The Red Letters of the Bible are the manual Christ left us for the Kingdom.” He believes that if all we had of the Bible was the Red Letters, we’d be more focused and on a better track toward the Kingdom of God.

I’m not 100% sure that’s accurate. I’m closer to 100% sure of it’s inaccuracy. Paul told Timothy “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT) It would appear that all scripture is necessary to give us an accurate image of the Kingdom and our place in it.

Further, the bulk of the teachings of Jesus were to those under the Law (of Moses) – the (biological) descendants of Abraham. It would have been completely out of order for Jesus to preach the message of Grace that we see the Apostles preaching in the book of Acts and in the letters they wrote to the Church (what we refer to as the Epistles). Jesus showed us the Grace of God that transcended the Law and how to love those around us. He came to be our Atoning Sacrifice and an example of how to live a Godly life.

It would have been out of order (and a sin – which we know Jesus never sinned) for Jesus to tell those under the Law that they could live a life contrary to the Law. He even said, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” (Matthew 5:17, NLT) Once the Law was fulfilled, they were set free of the it. Of course, we learn what all of this means by reading the teachings of the Apostles.

I urge anyone who has not read Andrew Farley’s book God Without Religion to read it as soon as possible. In it he does a very in-depth teaching on this very subject.

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