Escaping the Trap of Poverty

poverty

by John Ellis

Seventeen years ago, I was homeless. Sleeping in my car; taking showers in truck stops; worrying about finding a good spot to park at night that was simultaneously safe and where I wouldn’t be hassled by the police. Over the course of a couple of months, on a night here and a night there, I managed to bum a bed or couch off friends or acquaintances. Most of the time, though, I did my best to fall asleep in the front seat of my 1998 Pontiac Grand Am.

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The Gospel Calls Us to Engage In Social Justice and Mercy Ministries


soup kitchen

by John Ellis

“Only they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

This morning, I woke up to a flurry of Tweets excoriating Beto O’Rourke for advocating that churches and religious universities that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status. One tweet pushed back by asking something along the lines of, “What is Beto’s plan to replace all the homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable services offered by churches that would be shuttered by their loss of tax-exempt status?”

There is much truth embedded in that question. Christ’s Church has a noble history of social activism as she seeks to care for the poor and oppressed. Men like William Wilberforce dedicated much time and energy to combatting social injustices. Many of the great reform movements of the 19th century were spearheaded by devout Christians. Today, the pro-life movement is guided by women and men who are devoted to protecting the “least of these.” Throughout this country, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and adoption agencies are sponsored and supported by churches.

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Youth Group Lock-Ins: Proof of Adults’ Naivety (or Their Bad Memory)


lock in

by John Ellis

Several months ago, I watched an Australian news program about people who can remember every moment of their life. Apparently, scientists who study this kind of thing have studied it and concluded that some people do have the ability to remember almost every moment of their life. Most of those who were featured in the segment viewed their memory as a curse. Actress Marilu Henner (Taxi, Noises Off), on the other hand, finds her extraordinary memory a blessing. For me, as someone with a really good memory, I found the segment and its subjects fascinating. I can’t remember every moment or day of my life, but I remember a lot. Far more than most people, I’m frequently told.

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What the Bible Teaches About Free Will

free will

by John Ellis

For several years now, I’ve contemplated writing an article about the problem of free will. Up until now, I’ve resisted because it is a complex topic that requires much nuance and the ability to communicate dense concepts well; I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. I’m still not sure, but I wrote the article anyway. Thankfully, Servants of Grace published that article (linked to below).

For those interested in the problem of free will, please click over and read it. While there, poke around Servants of Grace. The editor, Dave Jenkins, does an excellent job of publishing God-honoring and edifying articles.

Soli Deo Gloria

Discovering the Real Meaning of Free Will and Divine Freedom

White Nationalism, Gun Violence, and Donald Trump’s Complicity


good samaritan

by John Ellis

In January 2016, the pastor of a small Baptist church in Alabama made national news after he sent a letter rife with racism and anti-immigrant sentiments to the editor of the The Alabama Baptist. The letter (which can be read in full here) contains a barrage of hateful rhetoric and proudly and demonically crows the unbiblical claim that, “It is not a matter of loving your neighbor. My neighbors are the people that value the same standards of life and way of life that I value.”

As a “Baptist pastor,” Ted Sessoms should be very familiar with Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. Apparently, though, he’s not.

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Christians Should Not Support President Trump in 2020

Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

by John Ellis

Leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election, I had started to generate some noise as a #NeverTrump writer. Becoming increasingly engaged in politics was exhilarating, and I began to understand the allure of rubbing shoulders with those in power. My articles brought me attention and I enjoyed it (death threats and all). I was having fun and beginning to see “John Ellis, Political Writer” on my future business cards.

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

john-13_35

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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