Red Letter Religion And The Emerging Church

The church in America is constantly under attack often without and frequently within.
New ideologies and some so old the present generation thinks they are new constantly emerge causing rifts in churches.
One current issue relates to the inspiration of Scripture. Some persons believe the Bible is inspired in spots and they are inspired to pick the spots. Though a hot topic for some time it has a new twist which is an old ploy. It is knows as Red Letter Christians. Within the movement there is a broad spectrum of beliefs. Therefore, when what they believe is noted there are always those who do not believe some of the tenants who can say that is misrepresentation.
Some within the movement believe only the parts of the Bible printed in red are inspired or they are more inspired than other portions. This raises the question of divine inspiration.
A related issue is found in the Bible within the church at Corinth some said, “I am of Paul,” some “I am of Apollos,” and others, “I am of Christ.” The question posed “is Christ divided?”
The movement has some commendable characteristics. They believe Christians have drifted too far to the right politically and socially. However, if they believe the church has drifted too far right they need to exercise caution they don’t drift too far left. They espouse involvement in such social issues as global warming, homosexual rights, they oppose the build up of our military and pro-gun rights, and are critical of America for not contributing more to third world countries.
The name for the group came about when a secular Jewish Country/Western DJ in Nashville used it in an interview by responding to a guest saying, “So you’re one of those Red-Letter Christians – you know – who’s really into those verses in the New Testament that are in red letters!”
A separate but similar movement espousing some of the same positions is referred to as the Emerging Church. It is sometimes called the “Ancient-Future” church. This growing movement is a greater variant from traditional Christianity. It also has exceptions to any generalized summary of their beliefs. In general they believe in social activism rather than evangelism, a new form of monasticism, multiple interpretations of every Scripture, a new/old form of mysticism, and the disillusion of the organized church. This latter has led to the use of the Internet as a means of decentralized communication.
They espouse religious pluralism and renounce belief in eternal judgment and dispute fundamental doctrines such a the atonement, salvation by faith, hell, and God’s sovereignty.
They advocate commendable activities such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick and those in prison, and abolition of modern slavery.
The reason these two schools of thought are divisive within churches is that pastors who agree with either concept often do not openly admit their involvement and seek to slowly redirect the church. An even bigger challenge is the average church member is uninformed and/or ungrounded in what and why he or she believes and how to respond to the movements.
A third factor is most church members have confidence in the pastor and want to trust him. Therefore they are inclined to follow his beliefs.
Pastors should have the courage of their convictions and not be covert in their belief.