The Cross Is Where True Social Justice Is Found

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by John Ellis

Luke chapter fifteen is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible; which is to say, one of the most beautiful passages in all of literature. As the chapter opens, we meet a group of grumbling Pharisees and scribes who are accusatorily saying of Jesus, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” With his response, Jesus reveals his love, his heart, and the reason for his incarnation.

The self-centered, self-righteous revelation of the Pharisees and scribes’ hearts finds a contrast and, more importantly, an antidote in the three parables that Jesus told in response. Instead of defending himself against the charge of receiving sinners and eating with them, Jesus confirms the accusation and explains that that is exactly what he came to do. Jesus’ telling of “The Parable of the Lost Sheep,” “The Parable of the Lost Coin,” and “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” reveals to us his desire to see sinners saved and reconciled to God. The readers of the Bible shouldn’t be surprised.

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Teen Vogue Preys on Children

romans 6 23

by John Ellis

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:24-25

I don’t think that I’ve agonized over whether to share one of my articles or not as much as I have over my latest PJ Media article. It’s a disgusting article (by necessity) warning parents about a depraved and predatory publication. Sin is ugly. Apart from the knowledge that God is Sovereign, rebellion against our Holy Creator can be disgustingly terrifying when it is allowed to raise its ugly head in the full wilting of its depravity. Interacting with it isn’t easy, and lends itself to inadvertently causing others to stumble, or even yourself. My prayer is that my article will not cause any to stumble, but will cause all who read it to purpose in their heart to strive even harder to protect children from the snare of the devil and his followers. My prayer is also that we adults will repent of our own engagement with depravity that we justify in the name of entertainment and “Christian liberty.”

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Hospitality Isn’t Hard

dinner-party-big-image

by John Ellis

It’s not a humble-brag to say that people frequently express amazement at how often my wife and I host large groups of people at our house. It’s not a humble-brag because my wife and I are puzzled by the amazement. We love having people over; we love large groups hanging around until the late hours of night talking and laughing. If anything, it would be an amazing and pointless act of self-sacrifice for my me and my wife to not frequently host large groups of people at our house. Hospitality is not a chore for us, by any stretch of the imagination. And, frankly, hospitality doesn’t need to be a chore for most people.

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The Church Is Filled With Hypocrites … and Other Reasons to Skip Church

church building

by John Ellis

Is it necessary for Christians to attend church? Well, first off, if you understand who/what the Church is, the question is nonsensical. The Church is the Bride of Christ; God’s people being reconstituted into a new Kingdom. For a professing Christian to distant himself from the Church is, in essence, a renunciation of Christianity. You can’t be a Christian and not be a member of the Body of Christ – the Church.

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Citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom

Church-American-Flag-900-660x330by John Ellis

Like many Christians living in America, if not most, the churches that I attended as a child had patriotic services every July 4th weekend. Not limited to patriotic holidays, though, God and country was one of the overriding motifs of my religious training throughout my entire youth. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that in those churches patriotism and holiness were considered loose synonyms. You couldn’t be a good Christian if you also weren’t a good American as defined by a certain ideological subset. Sadly, I’m afraid, the gospel witness of those churches was hijacked by a form of secular worship – the worship of an earthly kingdom.

There is much to be thankful for if you are born and live in the United States of America. Furthermore, as Christians, we should pray continually for our country and our nation’s leaders; we should pray that God will continue to extend His hand of grace and restrain the sinful impulses of unregenerate men. We should thank God that we are able to worship and serve Him mostly unabated, and we should pray for God’s continued protection. However, it is inappropriate, at best, to turn the worship service on the Lord’s Day into a glorification of humans and human achievements, no matter how thankful we are for those humans and their achievements.

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Date Night: The Joshua Tree Live

the joshua tree

by John Ellis

This evening, U2 stops in Washington DC on the band’s The Joshua Tree tour. Released thirty years ago, en route to selling over 25 million copies, The Joshua Tree propelled U2 to superstar status. Containing the singles “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name,”[1] The Joshua Tree is one of the greatest albums in rock history. Depending on the day, it’s also my favorite album of all time; it’s biggest competition being Achtung Baby, another U2 album. In fact, when asked, I usually name U2 as my favorite band of all time. All that combined has left me as giddily excited as a ten-year-old on Christmas Eve as I impatiently count down the remaining hours before tonight’s concert.

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Weekend Reading: 6/17

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by John Ellis

I freely and happily admit that I have cribbed this idea from many other writers and bloggers. So be it. A good idea is a good idea, right? There is so much content vying for our attention on the internet, it’s often hard to find the diamond in the rough, so to speak. Although, there are plenty of diamonds hidden throughout the interwebs. That fact means that aggregate sites are useful, and websites and blogs that devote articles and posts to serving as an aggregate for interesting and/or useful content are likewise useful. While I have next to zero desire for this blog to become an aggregate site, or even provide daily posts that offer some help to my friends and readers uncovering some diamonds that they may have missed, a weekly post seems fun for me and possibly profitable for others.

Below, are several of the more interesting articles and blog posts that I read over the last week. Enjoy.

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