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How the Heresy of “Red-Letter Christianity” Devalues the Scriptures



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Red Letter Christianity is a hermeneutic as well as a belief of Bibliology (belief about the Bible) that looks at the Bible and says that what Jesus is recorded as saying (The “red letters”) are more inspired than the rest of Scripture. In an interview with Todd Friel, Tony Campolo, a notable Red Letter Christian, told Friel, “The words of Jesus take precedence over all other words of Scripture. It is the highest revelation.” The logical conclusion of this is that the rest of Scripture is less inspired.

What Red Letter Christianity fails to realize is that all of the Bible is inspired by God. Therefore, all parts of the Bible are the words of Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” No verse in the Bible ever mentions that some verses are somehow more inspired than others.

Many doctrinal errors tend to follow this movement because of their horrid Bibliology. It comes as no shock that theological liberals like Jim Wallis, Rachel Held-Evans, Shane Claiborne, and Tony Campolo. In fact, much of the Red Letter crowd is gay-affirming, often citing that Jesus never said anything about Homosexuality.

If you have an orthodox view of inspiration, you know that Jesus did speak against Homosexuality when He (As God) divinely inspired 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Also, the official Red Letter Christian website promotes Ecumenism, saying, “We embrace and work alongside those of different faiths.” (Source). This isn’t a surprise as 2 John 1:10 wasn’t printed in red.

This “Red Letter Christianity” is a dangerous school of hermeneutics which can lead to dangerous doctrines. The whole system can cause you to embrace some wild things, or give you more room to twist God’s word in such a way that you can accept any doctrine you want. It devalues the majority of Scripture and should be avoided like the plague.


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