Well, I have tried to avoid it, but just feel the need for some catharsis regarding the Winkler case in Tennessee. I have been going to a news website located in the area to get the latest info on a daily basis as mainline media interest has slipped–and we don’t have cable. This morning I found a couple of good blogs regarding the case–basically two men just writing their thoughts–which are also my thoughts–and probably everyone’s thoughts. . .especially if you are a member of the church of Christ. On one blog, a man–a Baptist I believe–had expressed that probably church members had a hard time believing this had happened because we don’t believe in the power of Satan or the power of the Holy Spirit. I know that to be true in some of our brotherhood–it’s still pretty true of the church where I grew up, but here is the comment I left:
“I am a member of the church of Christ, and Adam was correct in stating that some members of the church don’t recognize the power of the Holy Spirit or of Satan. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to doctrine of some denominations. . .
Satan is powerful–and very, very happy right now. He has managed to end the life of a servant of God and ruin the life of his wife, kids, and family. HOWEVER, Satan DOES NOT get the last word here. The response of the members of the church in Selmer (from what I’ve read) as well as Matthew Winkler’s family and the community at Freed has been one of love and forgiveness.
As a woman ‘born and raised’ in the church, I cannot fathom picking up a shot gun and killing my husband. I cannot fathom my mom doing it or my grandmother doing it. . .that is not how we live. But the Bible is full of stories like this–times and places and situations when things got out of hand and horrible things were done–either planned or at a moment’s notice. I think God included those stories for a reason.
The apostle Paul stated that you should ‘be careful that you think you’re standing lest you fall.’ In other words–we are all on a precipice–the choice between right and wrong. It takes but a nudge to send us plummeting over the edge–no matter how ‘good’ we are. I think that is why there is such intense curiosity in this case. If SHE could do something so outlandish–something that NO ONE saw coming, then so could I. So could you. So could anyone. Or maybe we are missing signs that we should be paying attention to. It causes us all to wonder about our own stability.
I, like your wife, have thought that no ‘good’ can come from this. And that is a defeatest attitude. My conscious mind knows the statement is true–but the Spirit of God cries that it is untrue. We do not yet know the good that will arise since ‘God works all things together for good for them that love the Lord.’ Even death. Even tragedy. Even when all hope is lost.”
I DO know one thing–a lot of the people close to the case certainly believe in the power of forgiveness. . .and I’m pretty confident they believe in the power of God to sort out this terrible mess.
I do not know Mary Winkler personally. But I have known thousands of Mary Winklers in my life-time. They are you and me and every woman I’ve ever encountered at any church I’ve ever visited–at Harding–at camp. She’s a young Christian wife and mother who believes what I believe–attended a Christian university–was “raised in the church.” I am still naive in a lot of ways, and that is why I cannot fathom how this all transpired. It is very, very sad. That is an understatement. I do know that God will use this tragedy as a lesson–though we don’t yet know exactly how far reaching that lesson might be.