When someone believes social justice is more of a biblical priority than social issues, chances are their faith is based on the politics of man rather than the inspiration of God’s Word. Founded by Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, Red Letter Christians are one such group of liberal progressives whose purpose is to counter the influences of the conservative Christian movement and traditional evangelicals.
Another founder, Catholic writer Richard Rohr, believes we need to earn our way to heaven. Still another, homosexual advocate Brian MacLaren, refutes the inerrancy of Scriptures. Trying to appear apolitical, these opportunistic ideologues criticize Republicans and conservative Christians while pushing their own political agendas.
According to apologist, Richard Haas;
Another major problem with the Red Letter Christian movement is its cherry picking approach to the use of Scripture. This group will concentrate on certain parts of the Bible that promote their agenda while excluding other parts of the Bible that are either contradict or do not fit the Red Letter Christians agenda… Groups like the Red Letter Christians while seeming tolerable and peaceful in their purpose are actually undermining and dishonoring Christ and His kingdom.
The following is an excerpt from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA:
Every word in the Bible is written exactly as God wants it to be. Our faith in the integrity of Scripture begins with permanence:
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Bible publishers probably had good intentions when they highlighted the teachings of Jesus by printing them in red letters, but this has helped some emergent church leaders find another way to cast doubt on the entire Bible. Jesus Christ is the Truth and He is the Word – the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus came to fulfill the law, the Old Testament. Every letter the apostle Paul wrote points to the perfect person of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament, the Gospels, and the New Testament are all in complete agreement and harmony.
Red Letter Christians teach that the sayings of Jesus are somehow more holy, sacred, or inspired than the rest of Scripture, but we know the whole counsel of God is perfect.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
One obvious agenda for this false teaching is to justify homosexuality [and minimize abortion].
These popular evangelical authors pit God and the apostle Paul against Jesus by telling their followers Jesus didn’t specifically address homosexuality. By this they imply Jesus must approve of that which He did not address directly. This is ludicrous and would also lead to the false conclusion that Jesus also approves of cannibalism, rape, or vampires since He didn’t specifically mention them. This is their logic.
These leaders argue that since Jesus taught about loving “the least of these,” how can we call someone that Christ commands us to love, sinful? Jim Wallis notes that the early church shared everything when he said,
“In those red letters, Jesus calls us away from the consumerist values that dominate contemporary American consciousness.”
Wallis and Campolo have gained cult-like followings by speaking against the Christian establishment and against Republicans as they make the rounds on the college circuit. They can disagree with parts of the Bible if they’d like, but what amazes me is that people fall for it.
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).
Red Letter Christians advocate unrestricted big government, often equating the welfare state with the Kingdom of God.
Jan Markel of Olive Tree Views believes they are practicing a form of Neo-Marxism. Markel points out these leaders promote tolerance and mercy while claiming conservative evangelicals spend too much time worrying about abortion and homosexuality. Markell stated:
“Red-letter Christians champion ‘social justice’, the cause of illegal immigrants, environmentalism, high taxes, discrimination issues, socialized medicine, and getting rid of the death penalty. …This crowd loves to spend other people’s money. They put down conservative Christianity when, in fact, it is conservative Christians who are first to step up to the plate whenever there is a disaster at home or abroad!”
Red Letter Christians profess to hate religion and love Jesus. Though there is not a clear statement of faith on their website, they do list the Apostle’s Creed and give a charge to follow the words of Jesus (not the entire Bible). Their list of contributors and recommended authors is a roll call of the progressive evangelical hall of shame.
When someone’s theology seems to be driven by a desire to justify and promote a political agenda or a sinful lifestyle rather than honestly interpret what Scripture teaches, that’s called handling the Word of God deceitfully. We must confront that which comes against truth.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV).