Red-Letter Christians constitute a non-denominational movement within Christianity. Proponents of the movement believe that Christianity, and especially evangelicalism, has been exploited by both right-wing and left-wing political movements and has become too partisan and politicized. As a response this non-profit organization endeavors to create an evangelical movement that focuses on the teachings of Jesus Christ, particularly in regard to social issues. The two most prominent figures associated with the movement are Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.
"Red-Letter" refers to New Testament verses and parts of verses printed in red ink, to indicate the words attributed to Jesus without the use of quotations (see Red letter edition). While many Christians throughout church history have defined themselves as emphasizing the teachings of Jesus, this modern movement was initiated by Wallis and Campolo, who felt the religious right spend too much time on two issues: abortion and homosexuality. They believe Christians should be paying attention to Jesus words and example by promoting biblical values such as peace, building strong families, the elimination of poverty, and other important social justice issues. They believe that these are the issues that Jesus spoke of directly, and therefore these issues should be social and political priorities. Other issues such as the question of homosexuality and abortion are viewed as important but over-emphasized by both liberals and conservatives.
According to Campolo, "The purpose of this gathering was not to create a religious left movement to challenge the religious right, but to jump-start a religious movement that will transcend partisan politics." Campolo has released a book to help explain this, called Red Letter Christians, A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics (Regal Books, February 2008).
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- Ministry of Jesus
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