|Somebody has to object to the nonsense|
flowing from the Church Growth Movement.
Red Letter Christians
We are evangelicals who are troubled by what is happening to poor people in America; who are disturbed over environmental policies that are contributing to global warming; who are dismayed over the increasing arrogance of power shown in our country’s militarism; who are outraged because government funding is being reduced for schools where students, often from impoverished and dysfunctional homes, are testing poorly; who are upset with the fact that of the 22 industrialized nations America is next to last in the proportion of its national budget (less than two-tenths of 1 percent) that is designated to help the poor of third-world countries; and who are broken-hearted over discrimination against women, people of color, and those who suffer because of their sexual orientation. source
Because being evangelical is usually synonymous with being Republican in the popular mind, and calling ourselves “progressive” might be taken as a value judgment by those who do share our views, we decided not to call ourselves “progressive evangelicals.” We came up with a new name: Red-Letter Christians. source
“Jesus teaching carries more weight than other teachings in the Bible.” (Josh – op cit)
In those red letters…He calls us to be merciful, which has strong implications for how we think about capital punishment. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies, he probably means we shouldn’t kill them…Figuring out just how to relate those radical red letters in the Bible to the complex issues in the modern world will be difficult, but that’s what we’ll try to do.Gandhi once said that everybody in the world knows what Jesus was teaching in those verses – except Christians! We will try to prove him wrong. source
- The government is violating God’s will when it puts murderers to death.
- Jesus was a radical.
- Christians are called to reform the world.
- Non-violence is the supreme morality.
- God’s nature is only love.
- If you’re not feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, etc, you are no real Christian.
Jim Wallis’s reasoning for the Jesus Hermeneutic
We have a problem. Most people have the idea, as crazy as it may seem, that Christians and the church are supposed to stand for the same things that Jesus did…The truth is that there are many people who like the “red letter stuff,” and many of them are not even Christians… source
This issue includes a section of Brian McLaren’s new book, The Secret Message of Jesus—a message often kept secret even by the churches themselves and utterly disguised by many of our television evangelists who seem to preach a different gospel. Brian is the spiritual leader of a new movement called the “emergent church,” which is drawing a generation raised in the churches back to Jesus and attracting many outside the religious community to a Jesus they never heard about from the churches. He knows that people intuitively recognize that Jesus’ message of God’s kingdom—a new world of compassion, justice, integrity, and peace—is the good news they’ve been searching and waiting for. source