60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2012
This is not really a book, as much as it is a transcript of an extended discussion. The authors Claiborne and Campolo reflect on what Christianity might look like, if those who claim to follow Jesus would stop actually following religious or cultural tradition. Instead they discuss what it would look like if the red letters of the bible were followed. In most modern bibles, the red colored letters are the words spoken by Jesus. Thus, the "Red Letter Revolution" is the revolution that would take place if people who call themselves Christians would first and foremost follow the teachings in the red letter sections of the bible. The authors refer to these people as Red Letter Christians.
Fundamentally, I would call myself someone who is attempting to be a Red Letter Christian, and therefore embraced the reading of the book with great expectancy. The book is divided into three main sections: Red Letter Theology, Red Letter Living and Red Letter World. The first section was everything I could have hoped for and more; more, because I was deeply challenged in areas that I did not expect. If I had stopped reading at this point, I would have given the book 5 stars - I really thought it was amazing. The second part of the book was less ideal. The authors would reflect on the way they believed Red Letter Christians should live, and for the most part I strongly agreed with them. The problem was, there was little or no connection between the red letters in the bible and many of the suggestions that were made! I therefore found this section to have insufficient support. No one with a contrary opinion would be swayed, because little or no arguments were made to support their suggestions. The chapters on Environmentalism, Women, Homosexuality, Civil Disobedience and Giving were especially weak. The final section of the book was also really good, although by this time, I no longer expected the authors to make any actual arguments. Even then, the book says things that need to be said, and Christians need to listen. I just hope those who read the book do not use the weak sections as an excuse not to listen to those sections that are strong.
124 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
The Red Letter Christian movement is something that is starting to gain momentum in the Western Church, so when the opportunity arose to read the manifesto (so to speak) of said movement, I was excited. While I knew going into Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo's "dialogue" that I would have areas of contention, I enjoy reading perspectives that differ from my own. After all, I've been wrong before. Undoubtedly, Claiborne and Campolo did what they do best: in this easy to read conversation; they put on quite a show. Unfortunately, its a show that is riddled with problems in logic, a false sense of openness and historical misinformation.
I realize that sounds harsh, so I want to clarify. I love Shane. I've never met him, and I disagree with his writings frequently, but he loves Jesus (often better than I do). When two people have deep disagreements, but can agree on Christ then the disagreements seem much less important. I don't have to have the same politics as Shane in order for me to see that his heart is fixed on God. He's a guy who truly gets the red letter expression, "love God with all your...body and spirit." Not to mention he shares a passion with me: ecumenical dialogue. Shane understands that Christian includes Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglicans and every one else who holds to the orthodoxy of the Church. I can't help but love a fellow brother who loves God's people.
All that being said, I was disappointed in some of the points in Red Letter Revolution. For starters, it doesn't seem to promote much of a revolution. To revolve is to return to a starting point, and this book deviates from much of the early Christians perspectives on issues that face the Church today. What are we getting back to? I know the book promotes ideas like the "New Testament Church," but that's impossible. We cannot recreate Pentecost, nor any other factor that contributed to the Acts 2 description of God's body. We draw principles from it (like selling our possessions to care for one another), but we don't try to imitate that moment. We absorb it and move forward. God's kingdom isn't stagnant, so I've never understood the argument of "returning to the way Church was."
I also felt throughout that Shane and Tony took many liberties with folks like Saint Francis of Assisi. As a Franciscan friend of mine put it, "people like to remake Saint Francis in the image of their own ideologies; he's easier to digest that way." Insinuating that Francis was an "environmentalist," for instance, is so anachronistic that its kind of silly. The book muses about whether or not Francis would have been part of the Occupy movement (and suggests he would have), despite the fact that Francis wouldn't even stand up to the people corrupting the monastic order he started. I dig Francis, but I don't idealize him. He wasn't perfect. And you feel like he's this giant when you read Shane write about him, but that is the result of selectively telling stories about him. That kind of stuff bothers me, as a Church History teacher particularly, because we have to recognize that God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines. And we're all crooked sticks.
Not only do I have historical issues with the work, but philosophic ones too. The book is clearly modeled on the Socratic dialogues, but it is missing the driving force behind such conversational pieces: there's nothing to dialogue about. Dialogue comes from the Greek word meaning to dispute. But there are certainly no disagreements going on in Red Letter Revolution. Tony and Shane see eye to eye on pretty much everything they discuss. Why would I want to listen in on that conversation? It's not challenging, nor is it encouraging. I need two sides; I need to hear and understand the other side. Otherwise I'm stuck speculating how John Piper might respond to Tony or Owen Strachan to Shane. It's just not enough to have a one-sided conversation.
There are other issues I have with the book, but as I think on them I don't know if they're worth sharing. At what point do I stop, out of love, critiquing my brothers in Christ? I know that for all we disagree on, there are far more eternal matters on which we agree wholeheartedly. While I didn't find much in this book to challenge me to live differently, I certainly respect the effort. In truth, this book probably wasn't written for me. So does my opinion even really matter? Maybe. Either way, I want to encourage everyone, whether you pick this book up or not, to love Shane and Tony. They are men who desire God. And that's a movement we can all take part in.
70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
For reference: while I am a Lutheran (sola scriptura, sola fide, etc) I am also a Lutheran (aka Evangelical Catholic, member of a church that upholds an ancient tradition of liturgy, relies upon a book of confessions to help us interpret the Gospel, and whether we admit it or not, leans quite a bit on tradition.) I am also fiscally pretty left-wing, in line with what gets called Catholic social teaching more or less, and have been poor myself. I was brought up to be pacifist and don't like war. In general, I am from Oregon.
Thus, I am sympathetic to many of the same ideas that Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo love best. I like the liturgy, the Jesus prayer and my little wool chotki, not building nuclear bombs, feeding the hungry, being nice to kitty cats. So why do they bother me so very, very much that I could not even finish this book?
The problem, for me, was one of false pretenses. There's a lot of talk of focusing on the "red letters" and "taking what Jesus said seriously." Well and good. However the problem is, it seems like too much of a coincidence that the red letters lead this pair to a very familiar political platform--right down to speculation that Jesus would have joined Occupy--and an arcane and socially trendy set of other preoccupations (environmentalism, bringing pets to worship, putting things on one's head for religious reasons, prayer beads).
Even as a liturgical Christian, the statement on page 40 that one is required, absolutely MUST, participate in liturgy and rituals such as lectio divina to really follow the "red letters" struck me as ridiculous and presumptuous. It is the weak stone around which this entire book and its rewarmed 1970s theology crumbles. We'll leave aside my Lutheran problems with what smacks of works righteousness for a moment and focus on how ridiculous it is to simultaneously self-righteously proclaim yourself to be "taking the red letters of Jesus' words seriously" and making it the foundation of your faith (like the rest of us don't?) and insist, with equal self-righteousness, that certain specific liturgical practices and rituals are necessary to do so. The liturgy is important. But it is not in the "red letters." Jesus never said "and also with you" reflexively. However he did, most likely, know when to reflexively respond "ken yehi ratzon." That is, he participated in a Jewish liturgy. Which is to say two things. One, much of value, even much of value to Christ and the early church, is found outside the "red letters" that survived the oral tradition and got recorded in the Gospels. That is: tradition. And two, to be an exclusive "red letter Christian" is to eventually lapse into Marcionism, which is a heresy, and which leads to denial of Christ's true nature and terrifying episodes of antisemitism. You can see the seeds of this, the first tell-tale signs, in every "Jesus was a socialist" leftist Christianity that gets reborn in every decade.
As uncomfortable as they make committed political leftists, we need the Torah, we need the Psalms, we need all the prophets and history of Israel; we need Paul, we need John and yes, Doctor Luther, I will concede we even need James. Those red letters were not meant to be isolated, they were born into a community, and that great cloud of witnesses--which also includes tradition and creeds and ritual and even Bach organ preludes!--is what we, the church, have been given as our rich gift.
The kind of arrogance required to lay down the law the way Claiborne and Campolo do, sneering at those who differ from them politically as being somehow un-serious semi-Christians, even as they protest how humble they are, is disturbing. It is probably what keeps them from seeing that rather than moving closer to Scripture, they have simply baptized fashionable anarcha-socialist "edgy dreadlock kid" politics. Would Jesus be an environmentalist? Would he join Occupy? Would he shame me for using toilet paper instead of a reusable sponge on a stick, and command me to vote for Ralph Nader? How many of these questions can one ask before one realizes, "I think I might be asking the wrong questions"?
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
You probably shouldn't read this book if you're happy and comfortable and want to stay that way.
It will make you angry. It will make you shake your head in disagreement. And it will probably make you realize that there are some thinks about your life that you need to change. So if you want to read something you'll agree with that will make you feel good about your Christianity, this is not the book for you.
In "Red Letter Revolution", Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo let us in on a rambling conversation about what it means to follow Jesus. When I say "conversation", I mean that literally. In a format that would make the most trendy emergent weep for joy, the chapters are actually arranged as "dialogues" on a variety of issues. I imagine that they probably turned on a tape recorder, talked about stuff for an afternoon, and then had some poor transcriptionist type the whole thing up. Easiest book ever. But it works.
Also, you should probably read the last chapter first.
It's called "Dialogue on Resurrection", and it lays out some of the starting assumptions for everything else in the book. Basically, if you believe that Jesus is going to come and burn up Planet Earth with fire, you're gonna have a hard time with this book. If you believe that the Kingdom of God is something that exists only on a spiritual plane or in a future reality, you're gonna have a hard time with this book. Here the authors are operating from the idea that God's ultimate plan for our planet is restoration, not destruction. And as all creation waits with anticipation for that restoration, our role as Christians is to work to bring about the Kingdom of God starting right here and right now. Campolo makes that distinction when he says,
"The Gospels are a declaration of how to live as kingdom people, working to create the kingdom of God in this world... We are not like those old-time social-gospelers who believed they could create the kingdom of God on their own. Nor are we like the fundamentalists who say we can accomplish nothing lasting in our efforts to make this world a better place... Our goal is to seek first the kingdom of God. What would it look like if Jesus were in charge of my block, of our city, of our country, our world? "
Red Letter Christians work to live out the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God in faith that it's already beginning here amongst us. Or as Claiborne so poignantly says,
"If we know that the story ends with folks beating swords into plows, we start now."
So basically, you should know that going in. If you disagree with that theology, you're probably going to disagree with a lot of the stuff about ecology, justice, economics, reconciliation, etc. If you think that Christianity is just about life after death and not life before death too, you're probably gonna have a hard time. And that's ok. There's a lot of content in these pages; if you disagree with something, keep reading till you find something you agree with. Maybe something will change your mind too.
I really respect these guys for the way they plunge headlong into the most controversial topics in American Christianity and constantly direct our attention back to the red letter words of Jesus. Ecumenicalism, hell, homosexuality, Islam, economics... if it's a divisive issue in the Church, it's been addressed here. I'll let you get the book and work through that on your own. It's worth your time. Even if you disagree, it will probably enlarge your ways of thinking.
On a side note, this book includes one of the best discussions of racisim I've ever heard; it never feels like an appeal to "white guilt". I really have to give props to these guys. This is the first thing I've ever read that made fair-trade and earth-care issues make sense at a spiritual level (and not obnoxiously pretentious). Also, a lot is said about non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, conscientious objection, etc. I grew up in an anabaptist culture, so that was pretty easy for me to relate to. If you're a pretty staunch God/Country/guns person this will probably rub you the wrong way a few times. That's ok.
If you love money and comfort (like I do), you're gonna have a hard time with this book. Before I even reached the end, I had this growing realization that the Gospel must be social in additional to spiritual. Or as God put it, true religion includes caring for the widows and the orphans. So this week, my wife at I sat down and looked at Kiva.org and decided that we're gonna put money to our faith. That was while I was still halfway through the book.
This book has changed me, I think. I can't tell for sure, because I just finished reading it this morning. But as I turned the pages and drew circles and lines around the words, I realized that I can't keep following Jesus and cling to my tiny view of my brothers and sisters and neighbors. Seriously. Too long, I've used my religion as an excuse to justify Islamophobia, racism, exclusive nationalism, individualism, a judgmental attitude toward the poor, and an arrogant attitude toward other members of the Church (not to mention greed and materialism). Though I've seen and repented of some of those attitudes before, they are deep-rooted and nasty. Red Letter Revolution pried at those ugly roots and pointed me again to Jesus.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2012
Red Letter Revolution is based on the idea of taking the words of Jesus (the red letters in printed Bibles) as serious to the thought and ethic of Christians. While many assume that this is what modern evangelical Christianity is based on, Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo challenge popular evangelical thought on 26 different chapters, each dedicated to a subject in a dialogical fashion.
Those who follow Claiborne and/or Campolo will not be surprised at their views on certain topics ranging from history to homosexuality to war to environmental ethics. However, those who haven't engaged in progressive/proactive Christian thought will be forced to re-think how they view these topics (or why they never think about specific topics at all). One of my main critiques of this book is the depth within the chapters; it serves as more of an intro into "Red Letter Christian" thought rather than extensive analysis. Not to say there aren't important insights and critiques, but don't expect this book to have full fledged essays rethinking every topic. Another critique is that sometimes the use of the text can be a bit loose - I'm a bit of an exegetical nerd and there were a few spots where I didn't fully agree with the interpretation of a text (or rather, I felt the authors were saying the right thing, but using the wrong texts).
On a reading level, Claiborne and Campolo are easy to read, although the dialogue setup of the text may be somewhat annoying (personally, Claiborne's font was something I had to get over), but it does attempt to setup an atmosphere of discussion rather than dogmatic thought. They don't delve into high theological language, making accessibility to rethink topics open to common laymen.
This book will serve to stimulate new thought among Christians who want to remain evangelical but become proactive. I also think this book has a great setup to open up needed discussion for church/bible study groups. Claiborne and Campolo sound like somewhat modern prophets in this book - challenging the religious status quo and offering Christlike solutions.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
I was so excited when I received the book called Red Letter Revolution by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo. I read Claiborne's inspiring book called The Irresistible Revolution and absolutely love it.
This book is set up differently as it reads like a conversation between Tony and Shane. They discuss many current issues such as abortion, gay marriage, heaven, hell, Islam, politics, family, women and racism.
At first, I was really intrigued by their opinions and what they shared on the topics. But I have to admit that after a while, I got really tired of their opinion. There were many times where I did not agree with their biblical foundation for their stance on an issue. I felt like they pulled scripture out of context to make some of their points. The book was supposed to be about what Jesus said about these issues but it seemed to be all about what Claiborne and Campolo felt about the issues. And I never really felt like this was any sort of revolution at all. I was sorely disappointed in a book that had the potential to be great.
I received this book from the Booksneeze program for an honest review.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
I didn't expect a whole lot in opening this book. I was mildly familiar with Shane Claiborne and had no idea who this Tony Campolo guy was. Disappointment started in the first chapter. The authors begin with the history of Red Letter Christians, as well as offering a defense for it. This was OK, but did not immediately engage me. In addition to this, the style of the book caught me off guard. Instead of the typical way a book might be co-authored, this book was set up as a conversation between Tony and Shane. They would ask each other questions, provide answers to the questions, and elaborate further on the other's points. Having not read a style like this, it was hard to get used to at first.
Had the book continued as it started, this might've been a 3 star book. However, by chapter 4 (liturgy), my interest began to grow. The conversational style started to appeal to me more, and the content began to cover areas I hadn't seen covered elsewhere. By part II of the book, I was thoroughly engrossed. Shane and Tony worked well with each other and each provided solid questions and answers. Answers were always straightforward, and they seemed to do their best not to sugarcoat answers or talk down a subject.
By far my favorite part of the book was the third part. Many Christian authors address Christian living, while some still begin to deal with the wider issues of how Christians are to interact with the world. Topics such as abortion, homosexuality, and immigration are covered in many other books I have read. These are covered in Red Letter Revolution, but there is so much more. Chapters on `Empire,' `Politics,' `War and Violence,' and `National Debts' are also included. What's more is they don't fit into the conventional political beliefs. I found the chapter titled `On Empire' particularly challenging. It dealt with the idea of patriotism, and what a Christian's role should be in relation to one's country. The thoughts offered by Tony and Shane will probably upset some, but I find myself still thinking about them.
And it is this which I found made the book so strong. Tony and Shane provide their thoughts, and their answers to questions, but the reader is still left with things to ponder and figure out. Even if you don't end up agreeing with everything they say, I found that it caused me to think harder about my own beliefs, something not every book does.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
For those interested in scriptural study the idea of "red letters" is a fairly common concept. In fact since 1899 Bibles have been published with the words of Jesus highlighted in red. In this new book by Shane Claiborne the concept is taken a step further. The question is asked: What if Jesus really meant all that he said?
To put it bluntly, this book was a game-changer for me. It was a real challenge to some of the things I thought I believed regarding many issues of the day. I certainly did not change my mind on every topic that challenged me, but the authors did make me evaluate my reasons to hold onto or justify my positions on several topics while still looking at myself and my beliefs through the lens of the red letters. If nothing else, I was led back to re-read those red letters with a fresh perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed the content of this book as well as the conversational approach used by the two authors.
For anyone interested in a new way of looking at the Christian message, or for those looking to reinvigorate their faith I can highly recommend this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Red Letter Revolution, which I received free from BookSneeze for my honest review, takes a closer look at the words Jesus says in the Bible and challenges Christians to take those words seriously. In some Bibles, the words of Jesus are written in red ink. I've never seen a Bible like that, so I was unfamiliar with the "red letter" concept before reading this book. But that's where the book's title and the name of those who adhere to the Bible's red letters, Red Letter Christians, comes from.
The book is set up in dialogue format between its two authors, Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo. Having read one of Claiborne's other books, Jesus for President, I knew to expect a non-traditional format. The dialogue actually comes from recorded conversations between the authors that were later transcribed to form the first stages of the book. When I found out that, it made me happy. I would have been disappointed if the "dialogue" had just been the two men writing separately and then merging their writings. I was glad that the dialogue did have an organic beginning.
The authors discuss a variety of topics that are divided into three sections: Red Letter Theology, Red Letter Living, and Red Letter World. The first section deals with the history of the church and what Jesus has to say about liturgy, saints, hell, Islam, and economics. There are so many great parts in this section, but I'll only share one with you. This comes from the chapter about Islam: "As Christians, we should be the best collaborators in the world. We should be quick to find unlikely allies and subversive friends, like Jesus did." (58)
The second section deals with topics such as family, being pro-life, environmentalism, women, racism, homosexuality, immigration, civil disobedience, and giving. I really liked this section, even though I didn't agree with everything that was written. But even on those issues I disagreed with, the arguments made were rational, and I understood the authors' points. My favorite passage from this section comes from the chapter on homosexuality: "[N]one of the red letters have anything to say about [homosexuality]. Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, and it was not that he didn't know about it... Homosexuals were not on his big-ten hit list of people to condemn. Number one on his list were religious leaders who made it a policy, according to Matthew 23:4, 'to lay heavy burdens on people and do nothing to lift those burdens.'" (131-32)
There were some topics in this section that I felt were too short. I really wanted the dialogues to continue because I felt that there was still more to talk about, or at least I had questions that needed answering.
The last section, Red Letter World, deals with how Red Letter Christians can help those in need around the world. Topics include empire, politics, war and violence, national debts, the Middle East, global church, reconciliation, missions, and resurrection.
This is really a fantastic book that everyone should read. It's great for Christians who feel like they don't fit in with the stereotypical, negative Christian image. It's an eye-opener for Christians who do embody the stereotypical, negative image. And non-Christians would especially benefit from reading this book and knowing that not all Christians are "anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist, pro-war, pro-capital punishment, and conservative Republican." (XI) Some of us are Red Letter Christians.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
I am in awe of this book. It taught me that I - and almost all Christians for two millennia - didn't know Jesus at all. It took two brilliant authors to show me the error of my ways. I now discard the Jesus I knew and loved and embrace the activist Claiborne-Campolo Jesus.
Not really. This is a toxic book that, contrary to what the authors claim, urges readers not to honor the Jesus of the Gospels, but a false Jesus who suspiciously looks like the book's target audience: young liberals with a free-wheeling attitude toward personal morals, but an aggressive self-righteousness about whichever minority group is getting the most press at the moment. It is scandalous not only that the authors refer to themselves as Christians, but also that a major religious publisher, Zondervan, chose to unleash this on the public.
How convenient for the "red-letter" people that Jesus never spoke directly about the issues of abortion and homosexuality. The conclusion: they weren't important to him at all. Paul (the bogeyman in liberals' mythology) did speak - negatively - about homosexuality, so understandably people like Claiborne and Campolo gladly shove nasty Paul aside, since, after all, HIS words aren't in red letters. The two authors would have you believe that, had Jesus lived today, he would approve any form of sexual behavior and be decidedly "pro-choice" about abortion. Never mind the fact that the real Jesus - not the liberal Democrat Jesus of these two writers' twisted imaginations - most probably held to the strict sexual ethic taught in the Old Testament - the same ethic the bogeyman Paul was steeped in. In fact, the authors conveniently overlook the fact that, if anything, Jesus taught a stricter sexual ethic - and in the Sermon on the Mount, which they claim is the basis of their "ethic." Jesus said that not only was adultery wrong, but even fantasizing about it was wrong - that is, don't just keep your body under control, but your imagination as well. The authors also overlook the fact that "do not commit adultery" in fact prohibits any number of sexual sins, not just extramarital sex.
Red-letters Christians, the authors say, are "taking the worlds of Jesus literally" (page 257). Really? "If you right eye offends you, pluck it out"? Literally? No, no - the authors define "taking the world of Jesus literally" as becoming "activists for social justice," as in activists for gays and lesbians, for Palestinians, and (last but not least) environmentalism. Amazing that we've been reading the Bible all these years and NEVER knew that was Jesus' literal meaning. How dense we were - and think of all those dimwitted Christians for the past two thousand years, living in darkness, not a clue that Jesus meant them to be activists for gays, lesbians, Palestinians, and tree-huggers. My my - two centuries of darkness, and how Claiborne and Campolo declare "Let there be light!"
(A digression: given that Jesus wants us to be pro-Palestinian, red-letter Christianity probably won't attract too many Jews.)
In the book's conclusion, they refer to a Newsweek article that observed that people "had become tired" of preaching about homosexuality and abortion. Well, according to our authors, the voice of Newsweek trumps the voice of God? And in their view, the entire Bible - both red letters and black - push this one message: tell your audiences what they wish to hear, and don't say anything that would offend them. Following this line of thought, churches really don't need to exist at all, do they? I mean, what need is there for an institution that tells people: keep doing what you're doing?
The book ends with this touching, heart-felt plea: "We need you as partners in this red-letter revolution." Why, pray tell? Isn't the government already tilting left? What signs do you see, authors, that the U.S. and state governments are becoming LESS attentive to gay rights and environmentalism? Aren't you asking us to simply sign on to the present version of political liberalism, pinning a sign on it, saying, "Jesus wanted it this way"?
Let's call this what it is: conforming to the secular culture. Campolo, who has gone leftier and loopier in his dotage, ought to have retired to a potato farm years ago. But apparently he's remembering palmier days when he was was a fairly popular speaker among college-age Christians, and now that campuses have tilted decidedly left, he tilts along with them, not wanting to be regarded as an old fogey. This also explains his attachment to this Shane Claiborne, a rising star among the young liberals who loosely define themselves as evangelicals but, as the book's title shows, prefer another name. To which we evangelicals should say: Good-bye and don't let the door hit you on the way out. When a group of so-called Christians defines itself by "we conform to the world, not to Christ," whether they call themselves liberals, progressives, red-letter Christians, radicals, or oompa-loompas, the name makes no difference, they have left the Christian fold, and would that they have the nerve to say so. This is 2012, there is no pressure in America to belong to any religion. Cut the ties that bind you, join the vast herd of "spiritual but not religious" types, and leave the church to people who still have moral standards and who can read the Bible AS IS, not picking and choosing the parts that support contemporary liberalism. We'll keep Jesus, and you can keep that "red-letter Jesus" you concocted in your minds - and never the twain shall meet.