"Red-Letter Christians" a horse of a different color?


Jeff Wismer

October 2006


Different Color, YES, But it's still a horse...and it's still a doctrinal dogmatic ideology albeit of the progressive, liberal nature.

The Red Letter Christians

Red-Letter Christiansbelieve that evangelism has been exploited by both right-wing and left-wing political movements, and endeavor to create an evangelical movement that focuses on the teachings of Jesus Christ, particularly in regard to social issues. 'Red-Letter' refers to New Testament verses printed in red letters to emphasize the actual words that Jesus Christ spoke without the use of quotations (see Red letter edition). This movement was initiated by authors Dr. Anthony "Tony" Campolo and Reverend Jim Wallis.

The social issues valued by Red-Letter Christians include taking care of the poor, spreading the Gospel and loving our enemies. They believe that these are the issues that Jesus Christ spoke of directly, and therefore these issues should be political priorities. Other issues such as homosexual rights, abortion, and war are viewed as important but over-emphasized by both liberals and conservatives.

Although this is a new movement, some criticisms have already begun to appear. One criticism is that Red-Letter Christians value only some passages from the Bible, rather than being guided by the whole.[1] A similar accusation is that Red-Letter Christians have formed a religion around their political beliefs, rather than vice versa. [2]

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Jim Wallis , the founder of Red-Letter Christians, has just written a book entitled..God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. So in other words I'm right, and everybody else is wrong, and here's why I think so, so buy this book for $20…LOL. When Jim Wallis goes to bed at night he dreams about taking James Dobson's place at the right hand of god, oops I mean the President of the United States, but in his dream the President wouldn't be George W. Bush, it would be someone like Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton. So in this case instead of a movement that loudly, and arrogantly confronts homosexuality and secularism in the name of Fundamentalism, you would have a movement that more seductively, quietly, and gently confronts homosexuality and secularism in the name of Progression and Liberation Theology. In both cases the impotus here is to interfer into other people's private lives by supporting a Public Expression of their brand of dogmatic doctrinal religion. In the background would be the famous Who song…I won't get fooled again, specifically the record would be stuck on the line, Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss! Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again..Don't get fooled again…No, no!


So who are these Red-Letter Christians that say they are the ones you need to follow??? None other than the endangered species with no back bone, I wrote about many times before, in which I was a part of at Maryknoll Seminary.
By the way I've challenged people like these many times to come up with any proof as to why their brand of dogmatic doctrinal religious ideology is any different in the final results as fundamental dogmatic doctrinal religious ideology, and I will continue to do so until someone gives me proof that it's not. In fact I would argue that it's worse, b/c it's a lot more appealing and seductive to the heart and mind much like the "Politically Correct" movement as resulted in a lot of pain and destruction and unhealthy behavior. If these people were authentic and honest and just called their brand by the spade it is, a "P-C" view of religion I wouldn't be nearly as critical, but yet they ALL hide behind a veil of their own subjective morality and claim to own a monopoly on morality just like the fundamentalists do. When I wrote We the Unwilling Innocent Victims in the clash of fanatical Christians and fanatical Muslims , I could have easily included a clash just as deep ceded and just as destructive internecine war-fare among fellow Christians, in which just as many innocent, unwilling bystanders have been killed.

ANYWAY, Let's meet them shall we…(click on their names to go to their websites)

1. Rev Jim Wallis, Founder

2. Randall Balmer, Professor of Religion at Columbia University, Barnard College

3. David Batstone, Senior Editor of Worthwhile magazine and Executive Editor of Sojourners magazine

4. Diana Butler Bass, Independent Scholar and Author and writes for Belief-net

5. Michael Battle, Vice President, Associate Dean of Academic Studies, and Associate Professor of Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary

6. Dr. Tony Campolo, Founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education(EAPE) and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University

7. Noel Castellanos, Director, Christian Community Development Association

8. Shane Claiborne, The Simple Way Community

9. Rev. Robert Michael Franklin Jr. , Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University and President of the Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta

10. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Pastor at Mega Church in Dallas, TX Friendship-West Baptist Church

11. Rev. Tony Jones, National Coordinator of Emergent-US

12. Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

13. Christa Mazzone, Organizer, Call to Renewal

14. Brian McLaren, Pastor, Cedar Ridge Community Church

15. Father Richard Rohr, Director, Center for Action and Contemplation

16. Dr. Ron Sider, President and Founder or Evangelicals for Social Action

17. Amy Sullivan, Contributing editor at The Washington Monthly and author of a forthcoming book on religion and the left

18. Adam Taylor, Director of Campaigns and Organizing, Sojourners

19. Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest and professor of Religion at Columbia Theological Seminary

20. Romal J. Tune, Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

21. Rev. Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders, Senior Pastor, Third Street Church of God and Professor of Christian Ethics at the Howard University School of Divinity


21 Devout, Fanatical, Zealous, Dogmatic, Doctrinal, Jesus Loving Christians who believe that they are "supremely" right as opposed to when George W. Bush says time and time again that he is "supremely" right.

They think they can change the world…and they have overwhelming bought into that extreme idealism. Nobody can talk them out of it, that much we know from our Fundamentalist friends, b/c once you fully buy into a fanatical idealism the chances of you escaping that are extremely rare, I should know.

Our newly blessed Progressive, Liberal Christian friends should know that once you get on my radar you don't ever leave. And I treat the threat of their dogmatic, doctrinal ideology with even greater respect than the fundamentalist threat. They should take the case at All Saints Church in California that people like me aren't watching all intrusions of the Establishment Clause, not just from the fundamentalists. The fact that Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good decided that her organization should put a so-called non-partisan voting guide to be placed into churches violates the IRS tax exempt status to Churches just the same.

Be forewarned, there are a few very good, well organized, well funded, and well informed Organizations like Barry Lynn's Americans United Separation Church and State , Lori Lipman Brown's Secular Coalition of America, and Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Before rushing, leaping, and jumping into bed with Politicians, I would think twice about what it will cost you in the long run.