A Case for Church Membership as Biblically Required


people-in-the-church-song

by John Ellis

The topic of church membership can be quite contentious. Eschewing organized religion, some professing Christians believe that churches are unnecessary at best and promote hypocrisy and division at worst. Others accept the need for churches but deny that church membership is Biblical. For them, church membership is an extra-Biblical requirement taught by those more concerned about power than about unity and love. “After all,” they protest, “I don’t need to be a member of a church to know that I am a child of God.”

For many Christians, though, church membership is simply white noise; something they dutifully do because it’s what is done. But they do so without giving much thought as to why.

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Review: ‘Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible’

authorized 2by John Ellis

Mark Ward is nothing if not gracious, a helpful trait considering he dared write a book about the King James Bible. Thankfully, for the readers of Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, Ward has other positive traits beyond just his graciousness. He’s a gifted writer and a thoughtful scholar, skills that come to considerable bear on his book. More importantly, Mark Ward has the desire to see a love for God’s Word grow in his brothers and sisters in Christ. That desire is evident as he graciously plunges into the debate and argues that the KJV is too difficult for most modern readers. Sadly, I’m afraid that his graciousness is going to be obscured in the minds of those most in need of this book by his promotion of translations missing the familiar “KJV” on their spine.

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Aimee Byrd Asks About Men and Women ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’

aimee byrdby John Ellis

While working as a bartender at a large nightclub in Pensacola, FL, one of the bouncers asked me if I wanted to join him and several of our other male coworkers the next day when they visited the campus of the local Christian fundamentalist college. Asking why in the world they would want to do that, I was stunned by his answer.

“The girls there dress incredibly sexy!” he blurted out.

Dress sexy? That made very little sense to me. Like most Christian fundamentalist colleges, the dress code was strict and allowed for very little flaunting of flesh. Sexy was a descriptor that I never thought I would hear describe the clothes of the females on that campus. Especially not from guys who worked in a place where semi-nudity was a constant and where actual nudity was not uncommon. Sex permeated our work. By way of one example, the bouncers had been instructed to not be in too big of a hurry to intervene when customers engaged in public sex. The other customers enjoyed the show, after all.

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My 2017 Reading List: May

manreadingabookby John Ellis

Ok, having read thirteen books in May, my pace has picked back up a bit. Not enough, mind you, to reach my goal of reading two-hundred books in 2017, but that’s alright, I think. As long as I read between twelve to seventeen books a month the rest of the year, I won’t be too disappointed to not reach two-hundred books this year. There’s always 2018, right? I’d also like to point out that we are in the midst of the NBA Playoffs. This means that I’ve watched more TV this past month than I normally watch.

My eleven-year old daughter, however, is on pace to read just over three-hundred books this year (our contest started in February, so the total numbers below reflect four months of reading, not five). Not only is she going to beat me, but she’s going to put my goal to shame. I keep telling her that she needs to remember who controls her allowance. I’m also considering allowing her unlimited technology time. If I do, maybe that will help me close the gap.

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My 2017 Reading List: April

manreadingabook

by John Ellis

After the month of April, my goal of reading two hundred books in 2017 may be out of reach. Having read nine books last month, my total for the first four months of the year is fifty-one. This means that I will need to read one-hundred and forty-nine books during the remaining eight months of 2017. At an average of 18.6 books per month, it’s doable, but highly doubtful. To be fair, in April I began reading Paul: An Outline of His Theology by Herman Ridderbos. That dense tome has eaten up (in a good way) much of my reading time.

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My 2017 Reading List: March

manreadingabook

by John Ellis

It is with great shame and my head hung low[1] that I confess to having only read twelve books this month. A full month of thirty-one days, mind you. I mean, in the “partial” month of February I managed to read eighteen books. I blame the paltry number of books I read this past month on the fact that I spent almost a whole week traveling and guest-lecturing. If I lose to my daughter in the Daddy VS Daughter Reading Challenge, the blame falls squarely and solely on the shoulders of my friend who “forced” me to travel that week.[2]

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My Reading List for My Kids for When They’re in High School

book stack

by John Ellis

This past Sunday, a friend of mine asked me to write an article listing the books that he should’ve read in high school, but probably didn’t. To be fair to my friend, he’s a nuclear engineer, and having not read these books has not stunted his ability to be a productive adult; assuming that he hasn’t read the following books, that is. On the other hand, I know people who have read the following books who have not been very productive as adults. Make of that what you will. Anyway, my friend’s request is only one of the reasons why I compiled this list.

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