These Letters are Red, Too


Recently, it came to my attention that Red Letter Christianity is still a thing that (astonishingly) a lot of people subscribe to. But I think Red Letter Christianity is a misnomer, and that it should instead be labeled something like “Parts of the Sermon on the Mount Christianity.” Why do I think this? Because the following verses are in red letters, too, verses that don’t get a lot of air time from Red Letter Christians (the first few are especially poignant).

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:12–15. In these verses, Jesus states that the disciples have much more to learn from him than what he has said on earth, much more than what has been recorded in red letters. The rest of what he had to say to them is recorded in the black letters of the rest of the New Testament.

If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. John 15:20. That is, if you listen to Jesus, you will listen to the Apostles, aka the authors of the New Testament.

Whoever receives you [the Apostles, aka the authors of the NT] receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. Matthew 10:40

For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? John 5:47. In this verse, Jesus is condemning those people who refuse to listen to Moses, aka the author of the Pentateuch (Genesis—Deuteronomy). So, in red letters, Jesus condemns those who will listen to nothing but the red letters.

Jesus also spoke, in red letters, about the coming eschatological judgment, which includes eternal punishment in Hell—a reality that Red Letter Christians don’t major on.

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:6

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. John 12:47–49

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

Whoever believe in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:18

I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heave, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:11–12

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. Matthew 10:14–15

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Matthew 10:34–35

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven a people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:31–32

Jesus also defined marriage between a man and a woman.

Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ Matthew 19:4–5

Did I leave any red letters out that Red Letter Christians seem to be uncomfortable list? If so, leave them in the comments section and I’ll add them here.


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