Netflix Does Not Care About Your Sanctification


netflix

by John Ellis

A couple of days ago, a friend mentioned how he had watched (started to watch) a movie from his childhood with his kids. “I forgot what was in it,” he confessed. “It was terrible!”

That started a brief conversation about how the MPAA ratings system works and how in the mid-eighties Tipper Gore helped change the content in movies. This may seem counter-intuitive to many people, but the movies of the seventies and the early eighties were generally much filthier and contained more nudity and explicit sexuality than the movies released from the mid-eighties until recently.

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‘Desiring God’ Says that I Ruined My Life; Jesus Says Otherwise


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by John Ellis

(Edit: Shortly after I emailed him this evening, Jonathan Pokluda emailed me back, demonstrating humility and charity as he expressed concern for me over and above his article. As I contemplated his kind words to me, I thought, “Would I respond with this much humility and charity if someone challenged one of my articles?” I don’t know the answer to that, but I pray that I would/will, by God’s grace. 

Writing online is a tricky business. Rarely are you able to say all that you want and all that you believe on a given topic. I wrote this blog post under the assumption that Jonathan Pokluda did not intend to provoke the response I had while reading his article. But, I had my response and I was concerned that others might have a similar response. In His kindness, God has me in a place, spiritually and materially, where my existential navel-gazing is overcome by His mercy and kindness exhibited in my sanctification, by the power of His Spirit. However, before I began writing, I wondered how my response would’ve festered if I had read something similar as a new Believer. So, while I stand by what I’ve written below, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I believe that Jonathan Pokluda would counsel Christians who have “ruined” their lives that, in Christ, their life has not been ruined. If I never meet Pokluda in this life, I look forward to laughing with him about this in the new heavens and new earth.)

It’s not that I disagree with Jonathan Pokluda’s advice in his article “How to Ruin Your Life in Your Twenties.” It’s that in his article he allowed little to no room for me and others like me. You see, I ruined my life in my twenties. I violated every single one of his resolutions. And, yet, although I ruined my life, my life is not ruined. And that’s a paradox of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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The Prophetess Anna and the Ordinary Means of Grace

Reading the Bible

by John Ellis

As the first month of 2018 comes to its close, I’ve been prayerfully reflecting on my commitment this year, as well as the years to come, to submitting myself to the ordinary means of grace ordained by God for His glory and the sanctification of His children. When doing so, it’s easy to pat myself on the back because of what I’m doing (while ignoring what I’m not doing).

However, this morning, as I read the story of the prophetess Anna found in Luke 2:36-38, my conscience was pricked. On the tail end of Luke’s relating the birth of Christ, the reader is introduced to an 84-year-old widow who, “did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day.”

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Bob Jones University, Abercrombie & Fitch, and PJ Media

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by John Ellis

This month marks a year since I was hired as a staff writer for PJ Media. For those who are unfamiliar with PJ Media, the website is a medium sized political news and opinion site – from a deeply conservative perspective, to be clear. Over the last couple of years, the site has expanded to include Faith, Lifestyle, and Parenting sections. I was initially hired to write for the Faith and Lifestyle sections, but over the last year, I have been given the opportunity to branch out and write about politics and parenting, too.

But what does my time with PJ Media have to do with Bob Jones University and Abercrombie & Fitch (which is probably the reason the majority of the readers clicked on this article to begin with)? Well, change. Specifically, change in me.

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