There are a few hot topics this week, and I mean “emotionally” hot topics. If your emotions were not stirred up at all the past few days, check your pulse.
So many people were stirred up in happiness, disappointment, anger, relief – and that’s just from traveling through the I-235 southbound corridor in Oklahoma City.
I’ll cover a few more rousing matters of the week in the edition of Doyle’s Half Dozen. Here we go!
- Durant delivers designation despite disappointing departure
Kevin Durant finally won an NBA title, playing for the Golden State Warriors, his new team. Nobody was surprised. It was an easy prediction, especially since this was Golden State’s third consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals and the second championship for the Warriors in that stint.
As a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, people would expect me to be down in the dumps about this. Many Thunder fans have expressed some ire about Durant collecting a title while playing for the team that defeated the Thunder in last year’s Western Conference Finals. It can be hard to watch somebody you supported for eight seasons succeed soon after leaving you high and dry.
However, I came to grips with the results of this year’s NBA Finals, well before the last game on Monday. As I said, it was easy to predict, even when Durant made his announcement last summer, on the day everybody celebrates America’s Independence. Even on last July 4, I started to become independent of Durant being a Thunder.
Kevin Durant can have his NBA title. He won it fair and square, playing with the Warriors. And Golden State is already favored to win next season and maybe the season after that.
But I hope Thunder fans will be like me and appreciate what our team experienced this season. It was a wild time of transition. There were a lot of losses, but there were some exciting results too.
It was the first taste of Russell Westbrook as the sole Thunder leader, and boy howdy he put on quite a show multiple times. He, his teammates and the Thunder organization are still figuring out how to be successful in this new era. It won’t be easy, and there’s a lot of challenges to overcome.
But I will make this prediction. Expect the regular season to be more exciting than the playoffs, just like it played out this past season.
- Alt-Right got Ctrl-Alt-Delete(d)
The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was expected to be low key this year. This is a “non-election” year, which means it is expected for the SBC president to be re-elected for a second term, usually unopposed. Steve Gaines did get re-elected and did not face an opponent, but that didn’t prevent this year’s meeting from getting national attention.
Every year, the SBC Meeting offers a time to present resolutions for Messengers to approve by ballot. Resolutions don’t have any law-binding influences. They are formal proclamations that reflect various issues, appreciations and commemorations.
One example is a resolution was approved that expressed appreciation to the City of Phoenix as the host of this year’s SBC Meeting. An example of commemoration is a resolution was passed acknowledging the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
You probably didn’t hear about those resolutions. But I’m sure you heard about the resolution that was later passed denouncing “alt-right white supremacy.” There was a lot of drama involved.
I’m sorry it brought this much negative attention that I don’t believe was totally deserved. The best analysis I read about the issue is from Ed Stetzer on Christianity Today’s website. Ed wrote this piece before the final vote occurred, but I appreciate his objectivity and promptness in explaining what happened. It would do you well to read it, especially if you want the truth. There is nobody I trust more when it comes to presenting a fair viewpoint on anything relating to the SBC than Ed Stetzer.
Though the process was messy, the result was monumental. The vote was overwhelming in favor of disapproving what the Alt-Right movement represents, and it was followed by an arousing ovation.
There are many who will criticize how it resulted in such a manner, having to approve a special voting session to exclusively present this resolution to the Messengers. But think of it this way; had the resolution to denounce Alt-Right followed the flow of the other resolutions, perhaps all the onlookers wouldn’t have been made aware of this important decision.
Regardless of all the hoopla, I pray this resolution will reflect the behavior of all Southern Baptists.
- Hallowing Hall’s Heralding
My favorite occurrence in conjunction with this year’s SBC Meeting was at the conclusion of the Pastors’ Conference on Monday, June 12. Shane Hall, pastor of Del City, First Southern, was the last to preach during the event. He gave the best sermon I have ever heard on Philippians 4.
For more than two years, Shane has been battling stomach cancer, and he mentions his ordeal in his sermon. Even in his weak condition, Shane preached powerfully, and by God’s grace and through the Holy Spirit, he declared the Word that everyone needs to hear, “Christ is enough!”
If you have time, please watch this powerful proclamation:
- Falls Creek encounter
I made another visit to Falls Creek this week. I am doing a story on a doctor from Kellyville who is serving as a cook for his church’s youth group and how he as a teenager committed to “special service” when he was a Falls Creek camper. He believes this is one way he is serving God, by serving students who spend a week at Falls Creek. That’s one sneak preview for an upcoming Baptist Messenger.
But while I was down there, I had been in contact with the pastor of Little City Baptist Church, which is located outside Madill. I’m doing another story about what God is doing at Little City, since this pastor, Cecil Mackey, has been leading this church. This rural church, located about 10 miles from town on a two-lane road surrounded by farmland, has observed almost 30 baptisms in the past year. Sunday School attendance has increased from averaging 35 to 80. On high attendance day earlier this year, they had 117 in Sunday School.
I am planning to visit Little City this Sunday, and I made a call to Bro. Cecil to see if I could interview him beforehand. Lo and behold, he and his church were at Falls Creek this week too, so I was able to do two interviews for the price of one, so to speak, while I was there.
So there’s another Baptist Messenger sneak preview for you.
- Confirming my Young Earth belief
I’ve always believed in the Young Earth viewpoint. The reason I believe God created the Earth and all its inhabitants in six days is because I believe He could have done it in less time. This morning, during the Bible reading, I found a passage that confirms my confidence:
“The Lord merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.”
- Happy Father’s Day
Here’s a good brief Word for all fathers, as this Sunday is Father’s Day:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (I Cor. 16:13).