Freedom-Fed Patriotism

In his essay, “The Czar’s Soliloquy,” Mark Twain wrote, “True patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the nation all the time, loyalty to the government when it deserves it.” As we approach our patriotic holiday on July 4, the idea of patriotism is displayed and discussed in our society. But what is patriotism, […]

‘What Satan meant for misery, God turned into ministry’

“What Satan meant for misery, God turned into ministry,” says Bill Randall. Randall, who lives in Buffalo, was caught up in a life of drugs, immorality and corruption that led to a stint in federal prison. His marriage was destroyed, and his daughter was alienated from him. But while he was in prison, things changed. […]

The Light from Charleston

The national media spotlight has been on Charleston for several days following the massacre of nine Christians during a Wednesday night Bible study at the predominantly black Emanuel AME Church. A 21-year-old white supremacist, Dylann Storm Roof, joined in the service for about an hour before opening fire on the group. This act of racist […]

From the Editor: Encouraging One Another

Encouragement is such a powerful influence on a person’s motivation. It takes about 10 positives to neutralize one negative, but we live in a world full of negativity. That translates into an even greater need to encourage one another. In the book of Hebrews, the Jewish people who had professed faith in Christ experienced consequences […]

The Graying of America and What It Means

Robert Browning wrote a poem — actually, something more like a philosophical text — from the perspective of a 12th-century person, Rabbi Ben Ezra (also the title of the poem). He begins, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made; Our times […]

The Islamic State

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan) is a terrorist movement that has taken territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Most of the world has felt dread and disgust at their tactics. Why does something like this even exist on […]

From the Editor: Easter Is Personal

I like Easter more than Christmas! Both are special and essential, and while the birth of Jesus is certainly significant, the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the foundation of our faith as Christians. First Corinthians 15:17 says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” […]

Bringing Soldiers to God, and God to Soldiers

Lt. Col. Derrick Riggs’s life is not boring. Today he is serving in Afghanistan as command chaplain for NATO Special Operations and the Special Forces Joint Task Force. Riggs’s parents, retired Col. Dwight Riggs and his wife, Kathy, reside in Columbia and are members of First Baptist Church, where their son was actively involved before […]

The Exclusive, Inclusive Gospel

The gospel (“good tidings,” or “good news”) is an exclusive message because it heralds Jesus Christ as the only way to God (John 14:6). It is inclusive because, as Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” There are several good definitions of the gospel. They vary, but […]