Pastors’ Blog

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Should Christians Own Firearms for Self Defense? 

by Mike McDowell

The recent shootings in Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO, as well as other highly publicized murders using guns have brought the issue of firearm ownership front and center in the public square.  There are many people and politicians that feel there is no place in civil society for firearms, though some will acknowledge the value […]

Of Jordan, Jesus, and a Commercial Jingle

by Leo Barnes

“Like Mike.  If I could be like Mike.”  These words come from perhaps the most successful commercial jingle of all time.  It was the 1990s and Michael Jordan had brought the NBA into the limelight with a combination of incredible athletic talent, a rabid will to win, and a winsome public persona.  Kids everywhere were […]

Are the Wars of Ancient Israel Just the Same as Islamic Jihad?

by Ken Langley

You’ll hear the claim made by some who think religion is the cause of most of the world’s problems that the Jewish-Christian Bible is no better than the Koran in its advocacy of holy war and ethnic cleansing.  Is this true? Paul Copan and Matthew Flanagan, in a recent book, Did God Really Command Genocide? […]

Applause is Like a Wet Puppy

by Ken Langley

Recently, I found myself listening to a piece of music in worship and sending thought bombs out to the congregation behind me, “Don’t applaud, don’t applaud, don’t applaud,” and sure enough, our congregation showed sensitivity to the nature of the piece and did not respond with clapping.  I was proud of our church family that […]

Why Would a Preacher Hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday?

by Ken Langley

Ken Langley, quoting Russell Moore I was surprised to see the title “Why I Hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday,” especially because the writer, Russell Moore, is a solid, Bible-preaching champion of the sanctity of life.  But the title did its job – it got me to read the column.  Here it is, two years […]

A Pastor’s Christmas Greetings from Prison

by Leo Barnes

In this Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Ken mentioned that a letter written from prison carries an unusual weight.  Along with Paul’s prison letters in the New Testament or Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” I recommend taking some time to digest the following letter from imprisoned Iranian-American pastor, Saeed Abedini, serving an 8 year […]

Take a Page from Linus’ Playbook this Christmas

by Leo Barnes

In the famous Peanuts Christmas film, Linus confronts his best friend with the following words, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.” It’s safe to say that I am not the only person to disagree with Linus’ conclusion.  Charlie Brown […]

Youth Ministry Philosophy: Serving Together

by Ken Langley

Perhaps you have heard the statistics regarding the number of young adults who leave the church after they graduate from high school.  Depending on the study you read, there are anywhere from 40 -90% of churched teens in this category. Suggested solutions to this concern include catering to youth culture, increasing the use of current […]

Forget Yourself

by Leo Barnes

In many cultures of the past, and some cultures still today, all of the world’s problems were traced back to hubris, extreme pride.  According to these cultures, men and women think too highly of themselves as individuals and their high self-esteem leads to greed, hoarding of wealth, an entitlement attitude and many other social ills […]

The Mystery of the Missing Owner

by Ken Langley

My friend Lee Eclov wrote the following piece, which I thought tailor made for our study of Ephesians 1.  Do you know, child of God, that in Christ God has given you every spriritual blessing?  You’re rich? “The Mystery of the Missing Owner” read the headline on an unusual section of the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, February […]