Hospitality Isn’t Hard

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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

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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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A Christian Defense of Capitalism

capitalismby John Ellis

It’s only been seven years since I embraced the truth that capitalism is the economic system that best provides society with the chance to obey the Bible’s commands to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the oppressed. If you’re doing the math, and you know my age (41), that’s a mere 17% of my life. The rest of the time, I was either a child, a burgeoning Marxist, an actual Marxist, or a increasingly skeptical socialist (increasingly skeptical of socialism, that is). My journey to believing that the free market is the best economic system lagged a bit behind my journey from leftist social politics to Biblical social politics (you can read about some of that journey by clicking here).

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The Southern Baptist Convention Should Pass the Resolution Denouncing the Alt-Right

southern baptist convention

by John Ellis

At the time of my writing this, the Southern Baptist Convention has yet to decide whether to denounce the alt-right or not. My understanding is that they should make a decision sometime this afternoon. Even if the SBC does denounce the alt-right, and I pray that they do, this article is still relevant. If they don’t, then I may need to write an addendum (I may need to write an addendum if they do renounce).

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Al Gore, Climate Change, and the Book of Revelation

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by John Ellis

For some reason, and I know that reason, I have been spending more time than usual over these last few weeks thinking, teaching, and writing about eschatology (the end times). To be honest, it’s not really my favorite “ology” to interact with. I mean, King Jesus is coming back to judge the wicked and reward those who are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in his life, death, and resurrection. And there is absolutely nothing that needs to happen before King Jesus returns. I don’t get worked up over eschatology, and I definitely do not have an elaborate system of color coded charts to help make sense of it all. But, back to my first sentence, during this season (short season, I hope), I’ve been called to engage eschatology more than I prefer.

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The Persecution of Christians in America

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by John Ellis

When we apply the word “persecution” to ourselves, Christians in the West are often scoffed at by those on the left. Progressives, including progressive “Christians,” retort that we don’t understand what the word “persecution” means and that we’re simply afraid of losing our privilege. When confronted with that challenge, many Christians are at a loss at how to adequately unpack it. It is true that the vast majority of us do not face what our brothers and sisters in Christ face in Iran, for example. We are not being jailed, beaten, and even killed. However, persecution does not have to rise to the level of martyrdom to be counted as persecution. Overall, the deflection by liberals is a shell-game.

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