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Nancy Grace vs. The Church of Christ

March 30, 2006

Well it seems that the battle lines are drawn.

The recent coverage by Nancy Grace regarding the murder of a minister in Selmer, Tennessee. (which is 15 miles or so from my hometown of Middleton) Nancy has used the charge that the Church of Christ is a cult to draw quite a bit of viewers (at least from the Church of Christ). Unfortunately many of us have seen some ugly tendencies at certain congregations that make these allegations have just enough truth to sting. No I don’t think it is truely a cult at any of these places. But they certainly can participate in groupthink and groupspeak. Leaving can be harder than cutting off your own arm (especially if it is to another denomination, it pretty easy if its just into “sinful living”

I received several e-mails today from various folks that have my e-mail address for one reason or another. They were outraged, some sickened, most ready to fight. It seems that this type of thing brings out the best and the worst amoung us. Some are ready to (and probably have) written nasty letters and calls to CNN. Some are ready to boycott (ahh that effective effort). I remember as a child having to switch toothpaste because of some evil Proctor and Gamble had perpetrated.

My friend JD said this at
I didn’t see either episode of Nancy Grace. I gave her about 3 minutes one night and decided that I would rather have someone throw a toaster in my bathwater than to endure an entire segment of that program.
However, these discussions pinpoint the disconnect we have with our culture. The fact that no one has heard of us or knows what we believe is glaring.
I think if Nancy Grace were to come to Pascagoula and say those things about the Church of Christ, she would have to run for her life. We have rebuilt so many homes and helped so many people after Hurricane Katrina, the church has a great name these days. Before this, we were invisible.
So I’m wondering if we really put some legs on our talk about service, compassion, and bringing a cup of cold water to the lips of the thirsty … perhaps the people in our neighborhoods who were unfortunate enough to watch Nancy would shake their heads and turn her off.

Well that kind of puts this in perspective. The fact is that the Church of Christ is invisible to many, maybe most.

Its a fairly small pond we swim in even if we think its the only pond. Which of course it isn’t. If we were busy, really focused, on being missional then people would not only know who we are but would be unable to bring bad testamony against us as a group. Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere.

If when people saw us they saw Jesus.
If when people heard us speak they heard Jesus.
If when people spoke about us they heard Jesus.

Then maybe we would be relevant to the converstion in this way. How could this happen in a church that is sooo known for its love of others?

Fact is Selmer is a small town. People there talk about what others buy at the grocery store. They talk about who bought a new car. Yet I have been in too many churches where people have no idea what goes on in each others homes.

One last thing. Its sad that Ruble Shelly once again had to take the punches. And this time he took them for the very people that spend so much time saying how wrong he is.

God Bless.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2006 11:06 pm

    I appreciate your words, Tommy. Looks like we’re on the same wavelength at the same hour. Spooky!

    I read John Dobbs comment at Mike’s and his is a great example of the church being Jesus to their community.

  2. March 30, 2006 11:09 pm

    Well… this was a pleasant read, Tommy (and I appreciate the spirit in which it was written by both you and JD – which to me even supercedes the content).

    Nancy Grace has never been a favorite of mine. Seeing the lengths she went to in order to participate in maligning the CoC really doesn’t bother me b/c she annoyed me before that broadcast. I felt more outrage that she was being indulged so much (no doubt great for her ratings!)

    I’m always torn on things like this b/c I feel compelled to defend my heritage… but that’s just not an example I really see in scripture! I see Jesus writing in the sand instead of indulging the controversy. The best way to rebut the whole thing is by being like Jesus in some very radical ways.

    It just serves as a wake up call for me to be the kind of disciple that nothing like that could ever be said about.

    It’s a sobering time for us, isn’t it?

  3. March 30, 2006 11:19 pm

    Thanks for your wonderful insight. I was raised in the church and “fell away” several years ago but this unfortunate incident has once again made me look at the church. I am seeing a different church than the one I was raised in and the messages of love, grace and reaching out to help communities in need is very refreshing.

    It is a shame isn’t it that the church has not done a better job of educating the world? If Nancy Grace had been alive and “reporting” in AD100 she would have no doubt as to who the church of Christ is and what the church of Christ believes.

  4. March 31, 2006 2:31 am

    Angie, I have similar feelings. I think I lean a little more to the confrontational side. I think, in our need to see the peaceful, loving, forgiving Jesus, we forget the other side. He didn’t get to be known by drawing in the sand. He became known through showing up in the city centers and delivering his message to groups that wanted to run him out of town. He confronted the elite and powerful face to face…always peaceful…but very confrontational. No wonder the disciples chose the same path, facing the same persecution and torment.

    Not to be cliche, but what WOULD Jesus do today? Sometimes I think he would be ashamed at how passive HIS church has become.

    I was amazed at my first visit to the church of Christ. Only a few short months before had I even heard of it. When I stepped through the door, I found people I went to school with, people I worked with, and people that were family friends for years. I never knew the church of Christ existed! In a town of less than 20,000 in the heart of the Bible belt, how could that happen?

  5. March 31, 2006 7:44 am

    I am not sure that it is as important that people know who the “church of Christ” is, than it is that they know we are Christians. When we are busy doing the work of being Jesus in this world people will notice… in Pascagoula.

  6. March 31, 2006 10:28 am

    Donna, I wish I had said that. That is really a great point. If we were really focused on promoting Jesus over the church label things would change.

  7. March 31, 2006 12:13 pm

    I think Jesus would be so busy ministering to the Winkler family that he wouldn’t have time to watch Nancy Grace!

    Great comments y’all. I learn something from each and every one!

  8. March 31, 2006 2:01 pm

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  10. michellefrommadison permalink
    February 18, 2009 3:39 pm

    I saw a funny picture of Nancy disGrace with the following comment placed into the picture. It reads “Every time a child is murdered, Nancy Grace has an orgasm.” Just hilarious, yet probably so accurate. She thrives on victimizing real victims of crimes. Since Nancy was never a victim of any crime in her lifetime, she remains clue-less to the damage she does to real actual victims of crimes.

  11. michellefrommadison permalink
    February 26, 2009 5:47 pm

    I think that Nancy Grace should be arrested and placed in a prison. Someplace nice and safe where she will not be able to undermine our legal system the way she has been doing with this Anthony case. Ultraconservatives want to put flag burners in prison, what’s the difference? She didn’t burn the flag, but she does vandalize due process each and every night. She is molesting your right to due process, which she was sanctioned by the Appeals courts years before, and setting a precedent for every child who will grow up in a world where mock trials are held on TV for entertainment. She is vandalizing the jury system by attempting to taint all of society with her hyper-accusatory views, phony evidence and wild accusations. In my opinion, in virtue of the fact that phony bogus evidence has already been presented to every possible juror, you have a mistrial by definition even before the trial has begun. And, Casey Anthony should be released immediately because this is not a case that simply cannot be tried fairly under our system of Law. Guilty or not, Casey should go free, in part largely due to the un-professionalism of Nancy Grace. Good going

  12. michellefrommadison permalink
    February 28, 2009 12:02 pm

    It is clear to those that have really scrutinized Nancy Grace’s misconduct that Nancy clearly suffers from a psychological disorder. Might be one of the many reasons CNN puts her into therapy so often. Not for her alcoholism or drug usage she says she does, but for her mental instability.

  13. michellefrommadison permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:22 pm

    Well, Nancy Grace was proven to be wrong again today on the Phil Spector case too. Spector was convicted of second degree murder, unlike the frivolous and wrongful claims by Predator Grace.

  14. michellefrommadison permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:44 am

    According to many experts, the change in the death penalty is not because the evidence has changed, but is a means of attempting to get a plea from Casey. The experts are still not wavering in their conclusion that a conviction of first degree murder against Casey Anthony is still highly unlikely. After reviewing the evidence in this case released to the public, I agree, based upon the evidence, extremely unlikely.

  15. January 5, 2012 1:12 am

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