“Red-Letter Days” Drowns in Red Ink

May 1, 2008 by: KJVOnly

(Of course, this appears to be one of the articles not posted online yet. When it is, it should be found here. All quotations are used for purposes of fair use.)

12/5/2008 UPDATE: The article can now be found here.

I bought the latest issue of Leadership Journal, one of the dubious magazines in the Christianity Today stable. The cover comment “Is Our Gospel Too Small?” caught my eye.

The only gospels I know of are Jesus’ Gospels as covered in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and Paul’s Gospel. Which “Gospel” were they talking about?

  1. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 4:23 KJV

  1. Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
  2. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
  3. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Romans 16:25-27

What makes it worse is that Paul, as our apostle, specifically tells us to reject any other gospel but the one he preaches!

  1. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
  2. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
  3. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
  4. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
  5. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
  6. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
  7. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:6-12 KJV

Paul is emphasizing that it’s his gospel we’re to follow today. Not only that but he’s emphasizing it’s not a gospel that was handed down to him by his teachers in Judaism or from the other apostles. It was handed specifically to Paul by Jesus Christ himself. Christ taught Paul what he should preach and teach. (Much more on this later.)

This article is about a father’s joy when his son tells him what a kick the son’s getting by reading the red-lettered sections of the Bible. To quote the son, “I mean, that’s God talking, man!”

What do both the father and the son think the black letters are? Not only that, but what about the times where God spoke that aren’t in red letters?

  1. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  2. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1-1 KJV

  1. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Psalms 138:2 KJV

As we can see God himself values his word higher than his name. All these people focusing on “the name of Jesus” are focused on the wrong thing. Also, God considers ALL scripture important, not just the red letters.

What would the author and his son have to say about the following verse (and the 16 after it)?

  1. And God spake all these words, saying,

Exodus 20:1 KJV

You may have stumbled across this passage at least once, it’s called the Ten Commandments. It’s where God laid down the main rules of conduct for His people. Kind of important words, don’t you think?

I guess my Bible must be defective because those verses aren’t in red! If the red letters are where God’s talking then the makers of my Bible must have missed a spot. I’d better take it back and get a refund.

Actually, the better solution is to re-read 2 Timothy 3:16 and believe it. ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, therefore it’s ALL God’s Word and God talking to us.

The rest of the article consists of examples where the red letters came back to the author’s mind to help him deal with various situations. If you accept the premise of the article, this would ordinarily be all well and good.

However, the author shoots himself in the foot and blows the whole premise of the article by including the following passage.

Like a knife thrown hard, the words stabbed into my mind: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Ugh! We had just covered that passage in Bible study. (God’s Word has an uncanny habit of being timely.)

More words followed into the conscious part of my feeble brain: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ouch. When God’s Word pierces, it pierces deep. Surgically deep.

After about five agonizing seconds of cheek-reddening silence, I said, “I’m so sorry. The Holy Spirit has just convicted the fire out of me. That was uncalled for. Please forgive me.”

That frustrated council member has remained one of our faithful friends for years. Those thoughts that pierced so quickly? That was God talking.

There are so many notes I could make just about this one passage. In order not to bore you, dear reader, I will hit the extremely important ones. (Feel free to use the Contact page to request the long version.)

Just to make sure I hadn’t missed something, I looked up the passages he quotes. The first one is Colossians 3:12. The second is Ephesians 4:2.

There seems to be a pattern here. Hmm, what could it be? Oh, I know, they’re both written by Paul! I think my Bible is defective in this section also, because there are no red letters throughout those verses.

The author’s premise is that the red letters are where God is talking but then he uses several distinct black-lettered passages. He can’t have it both ways. Since he used black-letter passages and said that those were God talking also, then all the black letters must also be God talking.

Since the King James Bible alone is God’s Word, I need to quote those verses so you can read what God really says on the subject. Note also the King James Bible’s brevity, saying more with fewer and shorter words. Note how much more specific the King James Bible is.

  1. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
  2. Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:12-13 KJV

  1. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
  2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
  3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3 KJV

Where the NIV has “God’s chosen people”, God’s Word has “the elect of God”. “God’s chosen people” refers to the Jews specifically. I am not nor have ever been a Jew. I was a Gentile. If the Jews had not rejected Stephen, as recounted in Acts 7, I would never have had the chance to hear God’s Word, believe it and trust as Ephesians 1:16 says! Not only that but look at Romans 5:18.

  1. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justificiation of life.

Romans 5:18 KJV

It’s not God’s will that any should perish, therefore we all have been given the opportunity. There’s nothing special about us.

To sum up, the author put forth a premise that he himself doesn’t agree with. The entire King James Bible is God talking to us and it’s there that we can hear from God today.

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