I have met hundreds coming out of institutions where they listened to the teaching of one man (or one woman for that matter) and have been illumined by the Spirit of God to some major errors in their doctrine. They have felt deceived, and have pulled away from organized religion altogether. For them there is a great deal of distrust; I know because they have told me as much.
Many never find their way back into a community of faith and just go-it-alone. They do not deny Jesus but have come to shy away from others, especially others who claim any kind of ecclesiastical authority. It feels safer for them to keep distance between them and religious folks.
Their caution is merited and wise.
First, because they have already been burned once. And secondly, because there is much manipulation and misinformation out there that is promoted as God’s will and way. Perhaps the old saying, “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.” Could apply here.
But that is exactly the problem. They have had shame and guilt heaped on them by systems of teaching that were not Jesus’ teaching at all but had been fooled into thinking it was. Now they are free of it; free and not sure they want to risk entanglement again to discover the truth of it all.
Personally I had to rebuild the foundations of my faith all over again because I was not really sure if what I believed was based on decades of strong opinion, enforced with whatever scripture verses seemed to fit, or if it was indeed the truth. Too many verses I was discovering did not mean exactly what we were led to believe.
So I began a journey into what I called a Red Letter Faith.
(I will be sharing it here as a series of lessons.)
I went back to all the Words of Christ in the gospels and in the opening chapters of Revelation. Later I grew to accept the entire Bible again but I had to begin afresh. This was a wonderful time connecting with my Saviour. His Words came alive to me and it was as though I was walking the dusty roads with Him, gathering with the crowds where He preached the sermon on the mount, and joining others with Him in the garden.
John the Baptist was in prison because of Herodias. He had been sentenced to death and soon his head would be delivered to the ruthless woman in a charger. It was in those days, in the waiting, that John doubted. And he sent two messengers to Jesus to ask Him, “Are you He that should come, or do we wait for another?” What once seemed so clear to him at the edge of the Jordan was now clouded and obscure. “Are you the One Jesus?” — “Was I mistaken?”
Jesus did not hesitate, “Go and tell John those things that you have heard and seen; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor (those unable to offer rich tithes) have the gospel preached to them.”
There could be no doubt. He was quoting Isaiah and John knew what He was saying. This was the One. Jesus said, “Blessed is he whoever will not be offended in Me.” But there were many who were offended in Him. Today many are offended by a false representation of Him.
They come into churches and to communities where a dynamic minister paints a picture of Jesus very much unlike the Jesus in the New Testament. Or a kind of hybrid of Jesus and another Jesus who takes rather than gives, who is concerned with his own self-glory and only feigns compassion.
It is to the people who have met this hybrid Jesus, and desire to know the real Jesus (the Jesus as He presents Himself) that this Red Letter Faith is being written. It is to anyone who wants a fresh look at the Jesus that said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
There are many heavy laden by religion in today’s culture. They have a yoke upon them but it is not Jesus’ yoke. They have learned much from a persuasive man or woman but they have not learned from the One Who describes Himself as meek and lowly of heart. He said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
I write to those that want to know (or be reminded of) the easy yoke and light burden that Jesus offers. If you would like to follow along, even if it is just to affirm the things Jesus has already taught you about Himself, I invite you to subscribe to our post updates. The subscription form appears at the top of any newly refreshed page. Each new post will be emailed to you with the title Red Letter Faith and a subtitle.
If you would like to message me privately then scroll all the way to the bottom of this page where you will see a form to message me privately. Perhaps you wish to affirm and celebrate the things that I have written here through a public comment. I invite you to leave your comment below. You will have to enter your email there but it will remain private, and it will not be added to my subscriber list. For that you will have to subscribe above.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Will you join me as I continue to enter into and abide in that rest. I pray you will.
Kind regards friend,