Some cling to traditions as if it were life itself. I am not one of them. To me, traditions are too often used to cling to prejudice and a fanatical resistance to change, any change. I saw that on display in the Lutheran churches I once belonged to. They would often cite this bible verse or that, to justify their outdated and often prejudiced beliefs. … Continue reading Some Cling To Traditions…
I am going to get back on my Old vs New Testament soapbox for this Sunday, but first I want to bring up some interesting statistics that I recently discovered. For the first time since data has been taken, less than half of US citizens proclaim to belong to a religious congregation. Of course, one of the primary reasons is likely MAGA/White Evangelicals. A big … Continue reading Good God / Vengeful God…
There is a difference between worshiping Jesus and actually doing what he told us to do. I remember the documentary entitled “From Jesus to Christ” in 1998 on PBS Frontline. It was the serious beginning of my spiritual search for meaning. Becoming more familiar with the actual events of the period of the first 150 years of the common era (CE) helped me understand how … Continue reading RLL – Worshiping vs Following
Just a quick message for this Sunday. For those of us who follow the teachings of Jesus know that religion and spirituality can mean to very different things. When religion gets in the way of the messages of Jesus it’s time to find a new religion or maybe even none at all. And of course, Everyone on this earth is our neighbor Continue reading He Never Told Me To Love My Religion
I know from personal experiences that saying you doubt something in your church can get you in some pretty serious trouble. I will make a bold statement for you. I am sure you have doubts, probably even serious doubts, about what you are told to be facts in your church too. Even Mother Theresa had them so don’t even bother to deny it! But, all … Continue reading Doubts are seldom allowed In The Church…
This is the second of three revisits to my initial posts on a book that changed my spiritual view of the world. I do these revisits so that you might better understand where I am going now by showing you where I have come from March 12, 2013. I was certain if I could preach the perfect sermon the altar would fill with people overcome … Continue reading If Grace Is True – Revisit #2
Last week I gave you a catch-up on where I have journeyed in my spiritual life for the last six years. I ended that post with the one big remaining question that I will address here: Do we even need a “public” body of Christ? All the lavish religious cathedrals around the world have always disturbed me. It just seems to me that Jesus never … Continue reading The Public Body…
I started RedLetterLiving twelve years ago yesterday to try to answer the basic question of how strongly Christian churches follow the teachings of Jesus. That part of my spiritual journey lasted six years. It was during that period that I went from a passive Sunday morning observer to actively growing my spirituality. I grew a lot during those years and since. What I found during … Continue reading In Celebration of Twelve Years
I have decided to do an extended study of Humanism at the recently resurrected RedLetterLiving blog. Click HERE to see the first post. Continue reading Humanism And Jesus
I want to use the post as my official apology to the world for Evangelical Christians. I know that won’t mean much but it matters to me to apologize for this ugly group. I am a person who has proudly proclaimed that I am a “Follower of the Teaching of Jesus”, but no longer call myself a Christian. I am inspired by his teachings of … Continue reading A “Follower Of Jesus” Apology for MAGA Christians.
I want to use the post as my official apology to the world for MAGA Christians. I know that won’t mean much but it matters to me to apologize for this ugly group. Continue reading A “Follower Of Jesus” Apology for MAGA Christians.
This is a continuation of my look back on my blog RedLetterLiving before I activate it again. It has pretty much been in hiatus for six years now but I think it is necessary to resurrect it in order to do what I can to counter the current White Evangelical view that is destroying the true messages of Christianity. In my mind they, they have … Continue reading If God Is Love
As mentioned last Sunday, I am putting here some foundational posts from my blog at RedLetterLiving here before I resurrect it in September. From RedLetterLiving Blog – Feb 2014 The church frustrates me. I was once asked by a wealthy church what they could do to help end homelessness. I looked around and saw the thousands of square feet that lie empty every night, the … Continue reading Not Taking Jesus Seriously
Not all people who once proudly claimed to be Evangelicals are now MAGA cult members. It was refreshing to see that some have escaped and now label themselves Exvangelicals. I guess I could also wear that label as I was once an Evangelical myself. That is what this post is all about.Continue reading “MAGA And The Exvanglicals”
This Sunday’s Looking Back is about one of my favorite Christian books and how I viewed its message five years ago.Continue reading “Favorites Sunday – If God Is Love…”
I have heard comments from some who have visited RJsCorner that seem to believe that I am anti-religious. This post will hopefully dispel that belief. Learning of things spiritual is a very fundamental part of what it means to be human. The primary method to accomplish to start this journey are religious establishments. They are the holder of the history of mankind in that context. In my grade school times I spent seven years being taught by Jesuit priests about Jesus. While at that young age I couldn’t fully comprehend what I was being taught, it did teach me to later be able to question some of what I learned.Continue reading “About My Religious Beliefs”
Prejudice is an ugly part of humanity.
The ugliest is saying your enemy isn’t human.
He is an animal without your qualities
How could it be otherwise.
There have been quite a few negative comments about Christianity here on RJsCorner and many of them were from me. I want to make it clear with this post that I lament what has become of Christianity not what it is at its core. When Jesus was asked what it the most important thing about being one of his followers he gave us two commands: Love … Continue reading At Its Core…
This post is about some insightful words from a book entitled Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin R. Meyers. This book solidified my belief that the words of Jesus have been losing focus in the church. Here are the words for today. Strangely, we have come to a moment in human history when the message of … Continue reading Saving Jesus
Some say that all religions are the result of mankind asking “Why are we here?” Everyone eventually comes to that question and various answers have resulted in what we now call “religion”. I have let it be freely known here that I am a follower of Jesus Christ but don’t call myself a Christian anymore, and particularly not an Evangelical! That word has been totally destroyed … Continue reading Why Are We Here? We Are Here Because…
Christ’s church has cycled from one level to another for almost its whole existence. I can only hope that the cycle turns positive in the coming years. If it doesn’t I can see the end of that institution. One of the bright periods of the Protestant version of the church occurred between 1890 -1930. It was known as the social gospel. Here is a little … Continue reading Social Gospel
One of the current foundations of the Christianity is the atonement. Generally that is thought to be Jesus taking the wrath of God for us with his substitutional crucifixion in order to appease God wrath toward man’s sinfulness. I, like many others I’m sure, thought that atonement was a foundational issue with Jesus and the early church. In reality it was post-Constantine theologians who gave … Continue reading About Atonement..
Jesus had some very stinging words about the religiously powerful of his day. The Gospel of Mark 7 is one of those places. Let’s study some of those words. He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are … Continue reading Religiously Powerful…
This is the fifth post on this series about the Bible. If it is not obvious by now I want you to understand that I put my Christianity on Jesus Christ not on a book about him. I will try to keep this brief as it is really a wrap-up of the past posts. About the Literalists: Panic – In some cases I see almost total panic in … Continue reading My View Of The Bible — Part 5 Summing It Up..
This, the fourth post on the Bible centers around where I see some others may have gone astray in regards to their beliefs surrounding the Bible. Some have replaced the Holy Spirit with the book called the Bible… They put so much power in the Bible and so little in the Holy Spirit. Compared to the others in Trinity studies there is very little in-depth … Continue reading My View Of The Bible — Part 4 .. Misguided Beliefs?
Now that I have told you what I believe about the Bible I will go over a short list of things that are somewhat widely accepted by some twenty-first century Christian denominations but of which I basically disagree. Most of these topic titles are from texts of discussions I have had with Christians. I put them in a special category here because they were so … Continue reading My View Of The Bible –Part 3.. Other Views
One of the major problems, that is besides their political leanings, is too many evangelical churches preach the “Sit Back and Wait Syndrome”. I know, as I did so myself, that it is too easy to just ignore your Church’s current beliefs in order to preserve your “country club membership”. Taking a stand against something often times means you’re asked to leave as you don’t … Continue reading The Sit Back And Wait Syndrome..
My intention going into the new RJsCorner was that I would use Sunday to sometimes post about things religious. With that in mind I thought I would start a new series about the founding of the U.S. by people escaping religious persecution in other countries. I probably have a couple of dozen of these type communities I have visited over the years of traveling … Continue reading Sunday’s Religion In America Series..
Sometimes I take a peak at the website I put up for the church I was once a member. I have been gone for three years now but nothing has changed on that site since I left. The pastor just doesn’t see the Internet as being valuable in reaching out to the community. But one thing that is updated is the text of his sermons … Continue reading The Sit Back And Wait Syndrome….
The Lord’s prayer is rightly the most spoken prayer in Christianity. But there are several statement in that prayer that are for the most part glossed over by many in the current day church. One of the most obvious is “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Here is what Martin Luther thought of these words: The good … Continue reading He Told Us How To Do It……
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1, ESV The Bible is not the “Word of God.” It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. It contains words of God. It even talks about the Word of God… but it is still not THE Word of God. The Word of God is actually Jesus … Continue reading Mislabeling the Word of God – Red Letter Christians
Let’s continue on with our brief study of the Gospel of Mark. This time it will be about people’s faith and the Bread. I know that seems like two different things but let me try to tie them together. During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these … Continue reading About The Bread…
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked.“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not … Continue reading A Maturing Jesus??
This is the true purpose of satire: to mock power. It is, truly, the language of the powerless. From the biblical prophets, to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, to Swift, to Twain, to Orwell to our beloved Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, satire works best when the targets are the powerful and elite—be they institutions or people. Jesus’ sharpest comments were always directed toward the politically or … Continue reading Christians and Humor….
For example, let’s say we approach the Bible with this question: How should we treat our enemies? Matthew 5:44 tells us to love them. Romans 12:17–21 tells us to do good to them and never seek revenge against them. First Peter 3:13–17 tells us to suffer at their hands and set an example for them. Psalm 137:9 says we should joyfully dash their infants against … Continue reading The Old vs. The New….
Since the very beginning, the disciples of Jesus have tried to destroy the opposition. Instead of patiently awaiting the transformation of others, we’ve quickly divided the world into “us” and “them.” We haven’t even reserved this distinction for those of other religions. We’re intolerant of any deviation from the party line. Catholics thought Protestants apostate and damned. Protestants returned the favor, then splintered into a … Continue reading Exclusivity of Salvation..