Red Letter Words
By Stacy Long
“Well, I’m a red letter man myself,” he blustered. “If the Bible doesn’t say anything about it in the red letters – if Jesus didn’t say it, I don’t pay attention.”
The scenario arose when another person at the table said something about her belief that abortion is wrong. This man took the opportunity to declare that he couldn’t find any problem with abortion from a Christian standpoint because there are no red letter words in the Bible to back up that conviction. That is, Jesus did not directly speak the words, “Abortion is wrong,” and therefore this man believed it was not an issue for Christians to concern themselves with.
The idea of being a “red letter Christian” that this man espoused comes from a non-denominational movement within Christianity, backed by Tony Campolo, who writes on the website redletterchristians.org: “By calling ourselves Red Letter Christians, we refer to the fact that in many Bibles the words of Jesus are printed in red. What we are asserting, therefore, is that we have committed ourselves first and foremost to doing what Jesus said.”
I only overheard the brief conflict at the table that day. Still, ever after, it haunted me. His words kept coming back to my mind, nagging, demanding to be answered. My thoughts kept returning to one passage of Scripture…
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