by John Ellis I speak from experience. As a pastor, I elevated unity above honesty, courage, and integrity. Because therein lies the path of least resistance. For a brief time, I was a pastor in a reformed-ish Southern Baptist affiliated church. And I’ve observed in other pastors what I’m about to write. What’s more, pastor … Continue reading The Idol of Unity Is Undermining the Evangelical Witness
by John Ellis While his novel The Plague has been studiously read for over half a century, Camus’ prophetic parable has taken on extra resonance these last few months. In the book, the plague haunting the Algerian town of Oren is Camus’ metaphor for his belief that we live in the absurd situation of … Continue reading Christian, Please Wear a Face Mask: Part 1
by John Ellis My daily social distancing-approved walk takes me past the sprawling athletic complex that houses the baseball fields where my son’s Babe Ruth league plays. Played. Most days my eyes sweep the empty fields as I wonder when my son will again join with his teammates on those fields. Yesterday, though, my gaze … Continue reading The Joy and Blessings of Churches Worshiping Corporately Online
by John Ellis For the first three decades of my life, my native Floridian father scoffed at tourists, Yankee transplants, and anyone else who took preemptive measures beyond simply boarding up their windows whenever hurricanes would threaten the Panhandle. While in high school, I laughed along with my dad as he mocked the Pensacola Christian … Continue reading Is Social Distancing a Christ-Like Response to Covid-19?
“Blessed is the one who considers the poor.” Psalm 41:1 by John Ellis In 2011, successful Wall Street bond trader Chris Arnade walked into one of the Bronx’s worst neighborhoods. Prior to his foray into America’s world of poverty, Arnade was warned that “it was too dangerous, too poor.” He didn’t care and went anyway. … Continue reading The Gospel and Poverty
by John Ellis I wrote and posted this article on my previous blog a few months ago (October 2019). It’s a topic that continues to concern me. And it’s a topic that exists within a larger cultural framework that prioritizes this earthly kingdom’s concerns over that of the Eternal Kingdom’s concerns. During a long phone … Continue reading The Gospel’s Relation to Social Justice and Mercy Ministries
by John Ellis At the beginning of my acting career I was embarrassed to have Bob Jones University plastered on my resume. I was afraid that I would be labeled a Christian or, worse, a fundamentalist Christian at that. Needless to say, the world of theatre and the world of conservative Christianity are often at … Continue reading Public Speaking and the Pulpit
by John Ellis As someone who is divorced, remarried, and who has served as a pastor, this question is not abstract for me. Years ago when I was first approached about the possibility of serving as a pastor, I initially balked because of my divorce and remarriage. In fact, I resisted becoming a pastor for … Continue reading Does Divorce and Remarriage Disqualify a Man From Being a Pastor?
by John Ellis Theology shouldn't be reserved for the professionals. But it is. An argument can be made from history that, unfortunately, this sad reality has been the norm throughout much of the history of the Church. Today, as 2019 comes to a close, it doesn't appear to be any less the unfortunate reality than … Continue reading Theology from My Back Patio