Evangelicals and the #MeToo Movement

MeToo

by John Ellis

A few weeks ago, my wife and I watched the first episode of Chuck. Having heard positive things about the now canceled TV show, we thought that it might be a contender for the next thing we watch. It took as long as the pilot episode for Chuck to be removed from consideration.

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My Illness Reminded Me to Be Careful What I Preach

Sick man

by John Ellis

I’ve prided myself on my body’s ability to heal quickly. It’s rare that I’m sick for longer than 24 hours. In fact, it’s rare that the lingering effects of illness stay with me longer than that 24-hour period. A good case in point is the last time I had strep throat.

Late one afternoon on a Saturday in August seven and a half years ago, my throat began to hurt. As the evening wore on, the pain became worse. By the time the sun rose on the Sunday morning, it felt like there were razors in my throat. I immediately went to a Minute Clinic type place, was prescribed amoxicillin, took my first two doses that Sunday, and woke up Monday morning almost 100% back to normal.

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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.

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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.

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The Cross Is Where True Social Justice Is Found

cross_the_passion

by John Ellis

Luke chapter fifteen is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible; which is to say, one of the most beautiful passages in all of literature. As the chapter opens, we meet a group of grumbling Pharisees and scribes who are accusatorily saying of Jesus, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” With his response, Jesus reveals his love, his heart, and the reason for his incarnation.

The self-centered, self-righteous revelation of the Pharisees and scribes’ hearts finds a contrast and, more importantly, an antidote in the three parables that Jesus told in response. Instead of defending himself against the charge of receiving sinners and eating with them, Jesus confirms the accusation and explains that that is exactly what he came to do. Jesus’ telling of “The Parable of the Lost Sheep,” “The Parable of the Lost Coin,” and “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” reveals to us his desire to see sinners saved and reconciled to God. The readers of the Bible shouldn’t be surprised.

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Citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom

Church-American-Flag-900-660x330by John Ellis

Like many Christians living in America, if not most, the churches that I attended as a child had patriotic services every July 4th weekend. Not limited to patriotic holidays, though, God and country was one of the overriding motifs of my religious training throughout my entire youth. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that in those churches patriotism and holiness were considered loose synonyms. You couldn’t be a good Christian if you also weren’t a good American as defined by a certain ideological subset. Sadly, I’m afraid, the gospel witness of those churches was hijacked by a form of secular worship – the worship of an earthly kingdom.

There is much to be thankful for if you are born and live in the United States of America. Furthermore, as Christians, we should pray continually for our country and our nation’s leaders; we should pray that God will continue to extend His hand of grace and restrain the sinful impulses of unregenerate men. We should thank God that we are able to worship and serve Him mostly unabated, and we should pray for God’s continued protection. However, it is inappropriate, at best, to turn the worship service on the Lord’s Day into a glorification of humans and human achievements, no matter how thankful we are for those humans and their achievements.

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