Holiness Should Not be Self-Serving: The Purity Culture’s Sins


purity culture

The Purity Culture is not monolithic. There were/are faithful Christians within the purity movement/culture that genuinely want(ed) to help train youth to pursue godliness. However, good intentions do not excuse poor teaching, much less excuse outright sinful teaching. On the flip-side, whatever missteps or even sins that were committed within the movement does not excuse any person’s rebellion against God. One day, upon the return of King Jesus, no one will be able to say, “It’s not my fault that I didn’t repent of my sins and place my faith in Jesus. It’s the purity culture’s fault.” 

by John Ellis

Without any trace of shame, my friend turned on his barstool, looked me in the eyes and said, “I regret not having had sex before I got married. I only know what it’s like to have sex with one woman and feel like I’m missing out.”

In the aftermath of his confession, as I attempted to explain what was wrong with his thought process, I could tell he wasn’t listening. Not that it would’ve made a difference if he had heard me. His almost total worship of the god of Sex had consumed him, and his liturgy of lust was unassailable.

A couple of years later, an affair brought his marriage to an end.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Weekend Reading: 9/22


coffee-computer-expat-working(pp_w639_h426)

by John Ellis

The weekend has already descended, but that doesn’t mean that at some point over the next day and a half you won’t be longing for something interesting to read. And that’s the purpose of this post. Over the last week, I’ve compiled some of the most interesting and/or edifying posts and articles that I’ve read. Not all of them were published this past week, but I was first introduced to them this past week. Hopefully, you’ll be introduced to an article or two that you find interesting.

Continue reading

Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre


APOLOGETICS 3

by John Ellis

The brilliant director, acting teacher, and theatre theorist Peter Brook opened his seminal book The Empty Space with these well-known sentences:

I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.[1]

To be fair, those sentences are probably not well-known to most people. But most people aren’t theatre artists. And in the world of theatre, those sentences hold a place of prominence and respect bordering on sacrosanct. Sadly, in my experience, while many of my theatre colleagues expressed love and admiration for Brook’s opening sentences, few took his teachings in The Empty Space with them as they entered in to the making of theatre.

Continue reading

Unfinished Theatre Business


empty theatre

by John Ellis

The first time I truly stepped through the fourth wall while acting, merging the world of imagination with the world of reality, I was terrified. So much so, I almost didn’t make it to my seat at the table where expectant, half-smiling audience members sat, staring at me. Every instinct I had was screaming for me to stay behind the door jamb serving as a stand-in for the proscenium arch.

No bright stage lights. No break between seats and stage. No flimsily constructed set where I lived and which the audience was only allowed to observe from a distance. No tacitly agreed upon relationship that kept me over here and the audience over there. There was nothing to hide behind as I sat down and began the play, making eye contact with the audience as I spoke directly to them.

Continue reading

The Storyteller’s Bible Study: Part Two


bible-study

by John Ellis

(If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read Part One first. You can do so by clicking here.)

What Is a Story?

If someone were to ask you to explain what makes a story a story, what would you say?

I have taught the following definition of story to my kids, and I believe that it provides the foundation for sound literary analysis and ultimately discovering authorial intent:

In a story, someone wants something. That someone is called the protagonist. However, someone or something is standing in the protagonist’s way. That someone or something is called the antagonist. The story is what the protagonist does to overcome the antagonist and achieve his or her objective. If the protagonist succeeds, the story is a comedy (in the classical sense). If the protagonist fails, the story is a tragedy (in the classical sense).

Continue reading

The Storyteller’s Bible Study: Part One


bible-study

by John Ellis

Lord willing, I’m planning on turning these two posts into a series. In later installments, I’ll work through passages of Scripture using the method I briefly describe in this post. I’d also love to write a book about it, providing more detail about this method of Biblical interpretation. We’ll see. For now, I pray, if anything, that these two posts will prompt a greater desire in your heart to read and study God’s Word, whether you agree with my method or not.

In As You Like It, Jacques delivers Shakespeare’s famous words, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

True and truer still. We are characters written by God into His great story of His cosmos. A story that He wrote, produced, directs, and stars in. God is the grand auteur and storyteller that all other auteurs and storytellers either point to or rebel against. Burrowing even further into God’s Divine storytelling, He has graciously chosen to reveal His main plot, His primary story, in the Bible.

Continue reading

Weekend Reading: 9/14

coffee-computer-expat-working(pp_w639_h426)

by John Ellis

Time to restart this series that I blatantly stole from Tim Challies. To be fair, Challies didn’t invent the idea of aggregate sites and posts (maybe he did, I don’t know, I didn’t research it). Regardless, when I was posting these over a year ago, people seemed to like ’em. So, I’ll give it another shot.

Below are links to blog posts and articles from the past week that I’ve found interesting and/or edifying. The weekend is coming, maybe you’ll find some reading material among the links.

Continue reading