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Nancy Grace

2006 March 29
by Mike

Strange afternoon. As I walked into a meeting at ACU, someone handed me a note to call a producer at CNN. I didn’t have time right then, so I asked Gina if she’d find out what they want. When I came out of the meeting, she called and said they wanted me to be on the Nancy Grace show tonight.

Apparently yesterday, as they were discussing the murder of the young minister in Tennessee, someone tore into Churches of Christ as a cult, a kind of breeding ground for such crimes. So they invited me to come talk about Churches of Christ.

I had to go right into another meeting with a student. Afterward, I called the producer to get more specific info. I called a few people — some thought it was not a good idea and some thought it was. Finally, I decided to go.

But when I called back, he said he had thought they could do a satellite feed from Abilene but had found out they couldn’t. So they’d need to get me to Dallas, and he was afraid I wouldn’t make it in time.

Anyway . . . my buddy Rubel Shelly is going to do it. Rubel is in Detroit, teaching at Rochester College.

All of this to say: set your recorders for 7:00 CST tonight. Should be interesting. What a great person to represent the healthy direction so many Churches of Christ are taking!

126 Responses leave one →
  1. Wendy permalink
    March 30, 2006

    I did not see the interview, but certainly got the gist of it from the comments. In response to Joel’s comment re: NG’s anger, I was reminded of the book The Prophet by Frank Peretti (fiction I realize, but there are some similarities). This recollection led to my next thought about how sometimes our adversaries become our best allies. I was reminded of a certain Saul of Tarsus. It is wise that we pray for NG.

  2. Craig permalink
    March 30, 2006

    I could care less about the views of Nancy Grace and her show. What I do care about is the Winkler family and the church in Selmer. I have nothing but praise and admiration for the family and church in their handling of this terrible situation. All comments and conduct that I have seen during this time has been nothing short of “christ-like”. Their actions have spoken a thousand times louder than her hollow words.

  3. March 30, 2006

    Craig – I actually talked about that in my message last Sunday morning. My text was Mt. 7:1-6. I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve heard coming from that little church — gospeled words through and through.

  4. rojay permalink
    March 30, 2006

    FWIW, a story of the origin of NG.

  5. March 30, 2006

    Well, I missed the show, but read the transcript and the comments here. It is saddening that Rubel once again gets to take it on the chin for so many. Thank God that he lives his life as who he is called to be and doesn’t hide.

    On the other hand I have gotten several e-mails that were not planning to flood CNN with forgiveness.

    It seems to bring out the best and the worst.

  6. March 30, 2006

    For those of us who lean to the right politically, it’s not a shock that CNN ambushed someone with whom we agree, like Rubel. CNN, the New York Times, CBS, NBC and the like have been treating people on the right like this for years, examples to numerous to mention but you could see for a very thorough list. With that being said, I’m very sorry that Rubel got ambushed and I think he handled it in a very graceful manner. Thank goodness it was on a CNN show, not a show on a network that most people watch.

  7. March 31, 2006

    Did anyone else catch Billy Smith from Freed-hardeman on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight? He was speaking about the love and forgiveness extended to Mary Winkler by Dan and Diane Winkler and their family. Cooper found it an incredible testimony. Praise God for what He s doing in and through them. We need to keep the family and community in our prayers.

  8. Joanna permalink
    March 31, 2006

    Ed, Did you know that the people who lean-left believe that CNN, The New York Times, CBS, ABC and NBC are in the pocket of the right-wing administration? Just wanted to let you know…

    Nancy Grace on the whole is considered a very conservative show.

  9. March 31, 2006

    What saddens me, is how active satan is. We have a clearly troubled woman. We have no idea how she is troubled… Depression? Abuse? Addiction? Dementia? We may NEVER know, and I am not wagering a guess. Speculations abound, as always “is she post partum?” or “was he beating her?” or “did she want the life insurance money?” We get caught up in the details that are inconsequential in our own lives, and satan has his window of opportunity.

    Can you imagine how excited he must have been to use a mainstream media celebrity to attack us! And by “us” I do not mean the Church of Christ. For all we know, half of the viewers heard “Church of Christ” and assumed it was the United Church of Christ as they have been in the media so much lately.

    The bottom line is, we are under attack, from all sides. Children of God are killing each other, committing suicide, cheating on their spouses, addicted to drugs, etc. Mix the media in, and satan doesn’t even have to lift a finger.

    We need to band together in prayer and in action to prove to the world that we are simply Jesus followers. We don’t judge. We love each other. We treat each other better than we treat ourselves. Period.

  10. April 1, 2006

    Joel Maners asked: “Did anyone else catch Billy Smith from Freed-hardeman on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight?” I just learned about that this morning. I didn’t see the show but I did go straight to the transcript. Dr. Smith did a wonderful job of articulating the Winklers’ Christlike spirit of forgiveness, and–very important to me in light of Nancy Grace’s sensationalism–Cooper treated Smith with kindness and respect. I did not see either show, but only read the transcripts; still, Cooper’s demeanor and Grace’s were like day and night, respectively.

  11. Joseph permalink
    April 1, 2006


    Does Rubel believe that women should lead during worship? His answer on Nancy Grace where he said he was more broadminded and such in his views led me to believe that he does.

    If he doesn’t, please let me know.

  12. April 2, 2006

    If anyone missed the whole drama, I have links to all the transcripts, pertinent quotes from them, a little background on Tom Rhukala (the Baptist minister who doesn’t care much for us) and some snarky comments along the way.

    Love your blog, Mike. Not sure why God felt Rubel needed to be the one in the Coliseum instead of you, but I felt he did a very good job all things considered and we all owe him a great debt. That’s a particularly awful position to be in, the only advice I would have to someone who gets asked to be on a national network show like that is to have your points sharpened to razor-thin soundbites, the “Christians only, not the only Christians” line is pretty good but maybe a little inside-baseball for anyone who doesn’t know much about the CofC. There is no way to win in this situation, I’ve heard it said to “Never pick a fight with people who buy paper by the ton and ink by the barrel,” in the modern day that could be extended to those who own transponders on orbiting satellites. Not that we picked a fight with anyone, but in that situation it’s Nancy’s sandbox and if you’re going to make good points she doesn’t want to hear, you’re not going to get to make them.

  13. April 4, 2006

    From one of Mike’s friends and one of your brothers in the conservative Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, I thought you would like to know that when David Faust, president of Cincinnati Christian University, was asked to pray at the Friday night session of the Tulsa International Soul Winning Workshop that he prayed for the Winker family. Like many others in our fellowship, I was appalled by the charge of cultism leveled at our Church of Christ brethren on the Nancy Grace program. I did not see Rubel Shelly’s interview with Nancy but the reports that he handled himself with dignity and (may I say it?) grace, do not surprise me. The Baptist preacher who took advantage of the situation to level the charge of cultism, I hope, has had ample time to consider his blown opportunity to “weep with those who weep.” Several years ago I wrote an article for the Christian Standard titled “10 Reasons Why I Love My Church of Christ Brethren.” I can now add an 11th reason. Because everyone in Churches of Christ who are now under fire need our prayers, love, and other expressions of brotherhood. This, of course, includes Mary Winkler, a child of God whose actions are as of yet unexplained.

  14. Jim permalink
    April 5, 2006

    The explanaion of why Mary did what she did doesn’t matter. Her current “heart condition” is what matters. The CoC wasn’t attacked here, the church was attacked. “Our” practices weren’t called into question, mine were. Nancy is “just a Methodist”. I hope to be just a Christian, with Christ-like practices, and a heart for God, who loves me, too, in spite of my past. Grace is free for all who accept it through the blood of Christ (which we put on in baptism, according to Gal. 3:26-27, Rom. 6:3-4, etc. Sounds pretty Biblical to me.)

    Let’s show that love and grace to the world while they’re asking about it. (That would be now – what are you waiting for?)

  15. Karen permalink
    July 6, 2006

    I am a CoC mmember and also a minister’s wife. I wonder how he treated her in private. Sometimes a minister’s wife suffer in silence and when she does come out and seek help,
    the church turns against her. The minister was probably controlling, mean ( to her), not helpful at home, probably would not give her money to do the things that she needed to do for herself and kids, talk to her disrespectfully, always take his church members side against hers, sleep in separate rooms, won’t take her anywhere unless it has something to do with church, critical of everything she does etc., etc. (the list goes on and on….) all the while, she must attend worship service and pretend that life is great and the family is perfect. Church of Christ members do not support the wife if she let out the secret that she is being emotionally abused at home. The wife has no one to turn to because often the minister is well-known in the community and no one will ever believe that he treats his wife the way he does in private. She has no support and the church teaches that you can’t divorce your spouse unless it is because of adultry and sometimes the husband uses that to his advantage. She probably stayed in the marriage to keep the church family
    together . She probably loved the Lord and loved the church. We should not be so quick to judge. If you are a member of the CoC, be a little more kinder to the minister’s wife. Often times you have the support of the minister (he’s always there for you – never there for the wife and kids ) and she is really all alone. Don’t always try to make the minister out to be some Godly saint, most of the time, it’s the opposite. God Bless.

  16. July 6, 2006

    Karen’s comment made me sad. I know it’s an assumption on my part, but I couldn’t help feeling that she has experienced some of the mistreatment of which she writes, or at the very least witnessed it in the life of someone she loves. As a CofC minister, I am both angry and hurt when I hear of a fellow minister who preaches about heaven on Sunday but subjects his family to hell the rest of the week. And I know that in some quarters, there is a solid wall of denial that such things ever happen. I remember a few years ago a prominent counselor in our fellowship said publicly that he was treating a number of preacher’s daughters who had been molested by their fathers. There wes great furor over his remarks. One high-profile preacher even stated that he had held gospel meetings in all fifty states and had never heard of such; therefore, it couldn’t be happening. Yes, it does happen, and many wives and children suffer in silence.

    Having said that, I hasten to say that we must not make unwarranted assumptions about Matthew Winkler. Maybe Karen’s assumptions are right on target, or maybe she’s projecting her own hurt into a situation in which very few facts are known. The sins of ministers against their families should be exposed, and the abusers should be held fully accountable. But Jesus cautions us to be very careful in accusing a brother or sister of sin without cause. I hope we can all view both Matthew and Mary Winkler through the eyes of grace until the facts are known. No matter what the facts are, it’s still a tragedy, and prayers for their children are in order.

  17. September 14, 2006

    There is no Grace in Nancy. Anyone that can do that to a young mother is tragic……If she had a legal license, it needs to be taken from her.

  18. September 25, 2006

    Please Please tell me that Nancy Grace will lose her job at CNN and at Court TV. A woman with that much anger and lack of compassion does not need be on television. I agree that her legal license should be revoked and for what she has done to the police investigation, I doubt that poor little boy will ever be found, I sincerly hope that the parents of this child sue Nancy Grace. She does not deserve her own show. No one needs or wants her nasty behavior on another case where she will once again run her loud mouth and derail another case. I feel very sorry Nancy’s parents, I’m sure she did not get this type of behavior from them.

  19. jazz permalink
    September 22, 2007

    Nancy grace is a racist woman who I think needs to just keep her mouth closed because she really agravates me. And she thinks she knows every thing when she doesn’t. She needs to do somthing with her hair because it looks a mess. I hope she gets fired from CNN because very few people like her and most of the things she says I find very offensive. I think her attitude is nasty and very disrespectful. She is always running her mouth and it makes me sick to my stomach.

  20. Cheryl Langdon permalink
    March 6, 2008

    URGENT FOR NANCY GRACE – PLEASE. I live in Jordan, NY. My friends mother recently died. It may be suspicious. The deceased is Sadie Marie Peacemaker from Chelsea, OK. She died in the Nowata Medical Center. She was 57 years old. The deceased’s boyfriend told my fried and her sister that she died of a heart attack and that she would be cremated the very next day. My friend called the hospital. They said that Sadie didn’t have any cardio problems. The boyfriend took out two life insurance policies just before this. He said if my friend, Melissa Downing, Jordan, NY, and her sister don’t let him have Marie cremated right away, they’ll have to pay for the funeral or whatever is done with the body. I watch you all the time. I was not able to get through to the phone number you post (877-NANCY01). I hope there is nothing to this story, but if there is, maybe you could help get the investigation going. Thanks. Also, I am so happy for you and your little ones. You’ll be a great mom. I know this much – you’ll feel so much love for them that at times it will overwhelm you to tears. I know it did me. My daughter also taught me about God’s love. I know that God loves me more than I love my daughter, therefore, God’s love is absolutely HUGE!!! Good luck with your family.

    Cheryl Langdon

  21. February 20, 2011

    u suck

  22. February 20, 2011

    help please some is breking in to my house

  23. Christine Barron permalink
    April 26, 2011

    My name is Christine Barron. I am a sr at The College of New Jersey, formerly Trenton State. I am writing a term paper on the Nancy Grace show. I read your posting on Grace. I know you will be an excellent source for my paper. I hope you can help. The main focus of my paper is if Nancy Grace has a “white girl” bias on her show, where she only reports on missing white girls on children. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks bunches!

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