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Alan Branch

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FIRST-PERSON: Common mistakes in congregational church government

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--I celebrate congregational ecclesiology. However, what many Baptist churches claim as a Biblical ecclesiology is merely a flawed model they have practiced for a long time and have “baptized” in Christian terminology. While many churches claim to practice a New Testament model, they in fact practice a dysfunctional imitation of the real thing.

FIRST-PERSON: Another appalling ruling

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--The judge who believes “one nation under God” should not be in the Pledge of Allegiance now says that parents should not be able to set the agenda for their children’s sex education.

FIRST-PERSON: Wicca, the pagan temptation for youth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--I recently had the opportunity to meet with several youth ministers from Southern Baptist churches here in Missouri. Each impressed me as having a deep commitment to biblical authority and personal passion for Jesus Christ. As we discussed the challenges facing current youth ministers, a concern all shared was the fact that many youth, including youth in evangelical churches, are dabbling in Wicca.

FIRST-PERSON: The Da Vinci Code & the new Gnostics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--The Da Vinci Code has now sold more than four million copies and sales continue to rise. The novel revolves around a Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, who is accused of murdering the Louvre's curator.

FIRST-PERSON: Court embraces radical ‘autonomy’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--In The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton stated, "The judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power." Hamilton was referring to the court's inability to either tax (a power given to the legislature) or command the armed forces (a power granted to the executive). Hamilton added that the judiciary is weak because "it can never attack with success" either the legislature or the executive office.

FIRST-PERSON: Cloning can’t sidestep the inevitable

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--After six years in the spotlight as the most famous sheep in the world, Dolly -- the first mammal cloned from adult DNA -- developed a lung disease and was put to death. Sheep commonly live 10-12 years. Researchers associated with the Roslin Institute, the organization which cloned Dolly, believe she contracted the disease from other sheep on their campus.

FIRST-PERSON: Science fiction paganism meets modern biotechnology in Raelians

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--On Dec. 27, Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, CEO of Clonaid, claimed that an unidentified woman had given birth to the first-ever human clone. While this claim has yet to be independently verified, the media frenzy surrounding the claim has brought international attention to Clonaid itself and human cloning in general.