Beware red letter Christians

September 25, 2018



‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them … until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.


Matthew 5:17-18


Little Charlie was accustomed to having his grandmother read the Bible whenever he visited. As they sat together, the old lady reminded her grandson that the red words were those spoken by Jesus. One night, when he and his parents were on holiday at a motel, Charlie found a Gideon Bible that was not a red-letter edition. He thumbed through the pages, then gently laid it back on the table and said, “Jesus didn’t say nothing in that Bible!”


The theme of this article is the absolute unity of the WRITTEN WORD and the INCARNATE WORD.


We are living in times when professing Christians, in an attempt to wriggle out of maintaining the Bible’s moral and ethical teaching, are trying to drive a wedge between what Jesus actually says in the Gospels, and the rest of the Bible – as if the red-letter-teaching was somehow more authoritative than the black-text of the rest of Scripture. This is not the case: it’s not what Jesus himself said in the red-letter-text! (See Matthew 5:17-18, above); furthermore (2 Tim.3:16) it’s not what the Bible itself says about itself – “ALL Scripture is God-breathed.”


The devil’s original lie in the Garden of Eden – “Did God really say …?” – is continuing to be propounded today, in this subtle form. Proponents of this view call themselves ‘Red-Letter-Christians.’ The motivation seems to be to soften what is perceived to be the Bible’s harsh message on matters of sexual morality – thus, we hear this: ‘Well yes, the Old Testament law prohibits certain kinds of sexual behaviour, but Jesus didn’t say anything about this at all – and he taught love, so we just go with love, in whatever form we find it.’


Let us be clear:

Jesus is God the Son!

The Old Testament law is his law!

The gospel is his gospel!

He himself – during his incarnation – stated very clearly that “not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen” disappears from the law.


Here’s a hint to those who think they can re-write God’s revelation – when what you say or write appears to make you more caring and compassionate than God and what he has said/written, you’ve probably gone wrong somewhere!


No – the whole Bible is the written Word of God.

Jesus is the incarnate word.

The unity between them is absolute!

If you change the teaching of the Bible, you change the teaching of the Christ you claim to be serving.


Here’s a challenge, on the chance that a publisher ever reads this article: how about somebody publishes an edition of the Bible where all the words are in red type, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22?! That would make the point that there is complete unity between the written word and the incarnate word.


What God has joined together, let man not separate.



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