Social Justice and the Gospel

soup kitchen

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


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


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


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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Responses to the Nashville Statement

nashville statement
by John Ellis
If you don’t follow me on Twitter (@JohnW_Ellis), yesterday would have been a fun day to start. I have received close to 200 notifications from people responding to my article about the #NashvilleStatement. Many of those responses are from people angry at me. Things like “Eat s**t bigot!” and gay porn have been directed my way. I don’t usually block people on Twitter. I believe that if I put something out there *on the interwebs,* I should be prepared to take whatever is sent my way. It’s part of the price you pay for operating in the online space. (I also think it’s cowardice to not use your real name online.) However, this time, I’ve blocked several people and deleted a few mentions due to the level of obscenity.
Out of curiosity, I checked out the mentions of people like John Piper and Denny Burk. As numerous and, at times, nasty my mentions are, they pale in comparison to the men and women who are part of the original group of signees. My word, those brothers and sisters are having a ton of vitriol heaped on them. However, I have zero doubt that on a personal level those brothers and sisters are unfazed by the hate. For me (and I’m sure for them), I was struck by sadness for the rebellion against God demonstrated by fellow image bearers; by God’s grace, I was compelled to pray for many of my new “fans” to be given repentance and faith and to be adopted into the family of God. If you do follow me on Twitter or you just drop by out of curiosity, please do not engage my new “fans.” Pray for them instead. And pray that God will give you a love for those who revile the truth. Remember, apart from Christ, you and I revile God, too, and we once did revile God.  
One observation that I find interesting and telling – the contrast is striking between the language and tone of the “hateful” conservative evangelicals who wrote and signed the statement and the language and tone of those purporting to be on the side of love. By their fruits you will know them.
If you haven’t read or signed the Nashville Statement, I encourage you to do so. And do not be dissuade by progressive Christians decrying the insensitive timing of the release. For starters, they would be howling about it even if no tragedies were currently playing out in the world right now. For another thing, that’s a classic example of a false dichotomy; it’s not an either/or. Many of the writers and original signees of the statement have been very active and generous with their time and money in providing relief and help to the suffering in Texas because of Harvey. You can sign the statement and provide aid to those who are hurting in Texas.
A final thought – apart from God’s grace, a day is coming when all followers of Jesus are going to have to take a public stand on the issue of sexuality and gender. And on that day, all who refuse to bow before the idol of the sexual revolution will be rhetorically (and possibly physically) thrown into the “fiery furnace.” On that day, keep your eyes on Jesus. In fact, don’t wait until that day to keep your eyes on Jesus. A storm is coming brothers and sisters, and apart from Christ, you will fail. Jesus told us that the world will hate his followers. Our King knew and knows, and he hasn’t left us to struggle alone. Pray now for the faith and grace to continue to pursue Jesus and the holiness of God, no matter the cost.
Soli Deo Gloria

CBMW’s Nashville Statement on Sexuality and Gender

wedding cake topper

by John Ellis

Today, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released the Nashville Statement affirming a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and gender/sex. Signees include Karen Swallow Prior, John Piper, and Mark Dever. Please read my short article about it that I wrote for PJ Media, and consider adding your name to the document, too. A link to the Nashville Statement is provided in my article, and my article is linked to below.