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
Advertisements

Iceland’s Genocide of Babies With Down Syndrome

downsyndromebaby32

by John Ellis

If you want to know what evil looks like, look to Iceland. In a chilling story, CBS reports that through abortion Iceland has virtually erased children with Down syndrome from their society. According to CBS, “100% of pregnant women whose prenatal tests come back positive for Down syndrome have decided to end their pregnancies.” While fairly impartial, the CBS news story is heartbreaking and infuriating to watch. While watching, I kept waiting for Joseph Goebbels to stride into frame and make an argument for the extermination of babies with Down syndrome. Instead, cheery, non-threatening, seemingly-friendly Icelanders defended the practice.

Continue reading

Is God the Father of Everyone?

cross_the_passion

by John Ellis

The claim of exclusivity is one of liberal “Christianity’s” biggest problems with Christianity. The thing is, the really scary thing is, the rejection of exclusivity in Christianity is a rejection of Christianity. Denying that Christianity is exclusive requires denying the words of Jesus.

Throughout his ministry, and more than any other person recorded in the Bible, Jesus spoke about the coming eternal judgment in hell of the unrighteous. Frequently, Jesus told his disciples and those listening that not everyone is/would be part of the Kingdom of God. In plain language that is impossible to misconstrue, Jesus told the Pharisees that their father was the devil. Having the devil as your father means that you are excluded from the Kingdom of God. Christianity is an exclusive religion.

Continue reading

Fathers, Sons, and Pornography

sonsby John Ellis

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

Many in my generation are averse to standards, to rules. Specifically, but not exclusively, those of us who were raised in strict, conservative, fundamentalist Christian homes are often averse to standards. Many of us believe that holding to standards indicates some level of legalism.

We grew up being taught that almost all forms of pop music are sinful and dishonoring to our holy God, especially rock, pop, hip-hop, and most forms of country-western music. Movie theatres were verboten. In fact, in my family, movies rated PG and above were off limits even at home. Rules were stacked upon rules, at least it felt that way. As my generation entered adulthood, many of us “discovered” grace and cast off the “legalism” of our parents.

Continue reading

Christian Schools’ Coming Waterloo

A_TransGender-Symbol_Plain1by John Ellis

At the onset, I must admit that my title is a shameless ripoff of Carl Trueman. In July, writing for First Things, Trueman warned that lgbtq rights in conjunction with Title IX may very well prove to be Christian colleges’ Waterloo. Sadly, and apart from the intervention of our sovereign God, I’m afraid that Trueman is correct.

Continue reading

CNN and Rob Bell

rob bell

by John Ellis

I first became familiar with Rob Bell around 2007. During my first few years as a new Christian, I had heard several friends speak glowingly of books like Velvet Elvis and Blue Like Jazz; the tag “Emergent” was beginning to become more and more commonplace in friends’ vernacular. To keep up, I begin reading books written by pastors and authors within the Emergent Community, including both Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. Both books intrigued me, yet worried me, too.

Continue reading

The Barbarity of Killing Infants

charlie_gard_0

by John Ellis

Contemporary Western Society has proven that it is willing to sacrifice babies on the altars of convenience, fiscal pragmatism, and sexual freedom. Gussied up with the name of “abortion” and defended as a woman’s rights issue, Western governments have sanctioned the murder of babies for decades. By God’s grace, His people have courageously fought back, though, defending the oppressed and “the least of these.” Throughout the battle, the protectors of babies who have invoked the name of Peter Singer as a warning have been accused of using a “slippery slope” argument. Well, the murder of Charlie Gard by the hands of the State demonstrate that Western culture may very well be nearing the bottom of that slippery slope.

Continue reading