Halloween Versus Reformation Day: To Trick-or-Treat or Not to Trick-or-Treat?

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by John Ellis

Tomorrow is October 31, generally called either Halloween or Reformation Day. And, sadly, it’s one of the more divisive days of the year among followers of Jesus. Many have entrenched positions about the day over which they are willing to do battle on social media. Guilt is heaped. Eyes are rolled. Minor fallacies are flung near and far. Egos are bruised. On both sides, self-righteousness threatens to raise its ugly, unfruitful, and divisive head.

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A Christian Theatre Manifesto Part 1


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by John Ellis

Earlier this week, I wrote an article for PJ Media about the Erwin brother’s latest project called Kingdom, a collaborative Christian filmmaking company. If you’re unfamiliar with Andy and Jon Erwin, they’re the creative force behind the movies Woodlawn, Mom’s Night Out, October Baby, and this past year’s smash hit I Can Only Imagine which grossed almost $90 million at the box office against a budget of only $7 million.

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Social Justice and the Gospel


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by John Ellis

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. Genesis 18:19

The most frequent questions I field of late are about social justice and the gospel, and the ongoing dustup over social justice within conservative evangelicalism. People want to know which “side” I’m on and if I’ve signed any statements. In answer to those two questions, I don’t think that I’m on any “side” and I haven’t signed any statements about social justice, nor do I intend to (that’s not to say that it’s wrong to do so).

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Christian Liberty: Christians and the Use of Recreational Marijuana


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by John Ellis

Does the recreational use of marijuana fall under Christian liberty?

That’s a question that’s being asked with increased frequency, and a question that will most likely cease to be abstract for churches in the near future. Jeff Sessions isn’t going to be Attorney General forever. Once he’s gone, the winds appear to be blowin’ strongly in the direction of the federal government’s legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. At that point, the above question will no longer be able to be placed under the interpretive authority of Romans 13:1.

So, what is the answer to the above question if and when the government’s prohibition of the recreational use of marijuana is lifted?

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Paige Patterson, the SBC, and the Abuse of Women

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by John Ellis

Last week, one of the women in our church asked me and the senior pastor if we were aware of the controversy growing around Paige Patterson and his comments on abused women. I told her that I had contemplated writing an article about it, but decided against it because Patterson doesn’t speak for me nor does he speak for our church. However, after listening to her tell us about the women in our church who have expressed dismay over Patterson’s comments (and confessed actions), I decided that it was important to make a public statement, of sorts. Since I have a public platform on PJ Media, I did just that.

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Catching Up: Disaster Relief, Assisted Suicide, The Bones of Saint Peter, and Other Topics

2.-Writing-furiouslyby John Ellis

This last week has been a busy writing week. I have written eleven articles that have been published, and three that will probably be published today or tomorrow (and I owe my editor one more article this week). My article about the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief Team has done very well. I don’t have a view-count, but the article has been shared on Facebook 70,000 times!

If you are interested in reading any the articles below, click on the title and you will be redirected. Thank you for reading.

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Southern Baptist Convention Demonstrates the Love of Jesus

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by John Ellis

Every December, by God’s grace, my church family goes caroling in the neighborhood in which the church’s building is located (which is also my neighborhood). A week or so before the event, we mail out postcards inviting the neighborhood to join us as we walk around singing Christmas carols from house to house. The evening concludes with hot chocolate and cookies in the fellowship hall. The neighborhood loves it.

Last year, back at the church building enjoying hot chocolate and cookies, I struck up a conversation with one of the families from the neighborhood who had joined us. The father asked me if we’re a Southern Baptist church. We are. I told him so, and quickly changed the subject. You see, as I confessed to my pastor later, I was embarrassed to admit that our church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. I was wrong to feel that way, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

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