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It’s cold! Need I say more? I’m warming up my fingers by typing my thoughts on six timely topics for this week’s edition of Doyle’s Half Dozen.

Here we go!

  1. Second-guessing a Standing Ovation

This is a complicated one.

Earlier this week, a megachurch in Memphis took some heavy criticism for giving a standing ovation for its teaching pastor, Andy Savage, after he confessed to having sexual relations 20 years ago with a 17-year-old girl who was a youth group member of the church where Savage served as youth pastor.

I will admit, when I first heard of this, I was confused. How could a thriving church offer such an admiring response to someone who confessed such a horrible act in a time when numerous sexual allegations have been reported across the country of well-known personalities and national leaders?

To offer some headway and sensible solutions, I yield to Ed Stetzer, who, in recent years, has become one of the best communicators (even moderators) in the Evangelical Christian spectrum of society.

In Stetzer’s article “Andy Savage’s Standing Ovation Was Heard Round the World. Because It Was Wrong,” he offers objective talking points. His assessment of the church’s ovation is excellent:

“Yes, when the church gave its standing ovation, the congregation did not know the details of the accusations. The church believed the pastor they loved had an experience two decades ago that, they were told, was addressed. And, they applauded.

“So, it’s easy to take cheap shots (witness the internet) at the church, but they were applauding based on what they knew. However, and regardless, the standing ovation was a terrible idea that served to accomplish nothing but to teach victims that they won’t be heard.”

In that last sentence, Stetzer alludes to the most important point to get out of this whole injustice. Victims need solace and support.

I encourage you to read the entire article.

  1. Spurgeon and Barnum

I know the movie The Greatest Showman is quite popular right now. WordSlingers movie critic Michael Foust offers a positive review on the film.

But check out this historic account of legendary preacher Charles H. Spurgeon responding to P.T. Barnum’s offer of having Spurgeon preach at the “Greatest Showman’s” circus events.

I just think it is classic Spurgeon.

  1. An Evangelistic ‘Mistake’

The Gospel Coalition’s Matt Smethurst shares a challenging personal experience from 10 years ago when he was witnessing to a friend in China, using the Jesus Film. It’s a great story that encouraged me in knowing that God is the one ultimately in control, not me.

As Smethurst concluded, “We can schedule meetings—but thanks be to God, he schedules conversions.”

  1. Pro-life High Schoolers

Leigh Jones’ article “The new pro-life generation” encouraged me greatly. I’m fully aware of the influential stronghold that Jones points out of Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates at the high school level across the country.

Fortunately, Students for Life is having a breakthrough, as more high school students are getting involved with promoting the Sanctity of Human Life. Applaud what Emily Curran is doing in leading her high school in Texas and speaking out for the unborn.

  1. Ed Newton on Messenger Cover

Here’s some insider information about next week’s Baptist Messenger. Ed Newton, a Falls Creek favorite speaker, will be on the cover with the headline “Ed Talks.” He sat down with the Messenger recently to give a preview of the Oklahoma State Evangelism Conference, Jan. 29-30, at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills.

Here’s an article I wrote about Ed’s longtime experience of speaking at Falls Creek. If you haven’t head Ed Newton speak, you should consider coming to this year’s SEC.

  1. Worst Church Singer

I conclude with a video a friend shared this week. I confess, it could be painful to watch. If you endure all four minutes, please let me know.