Mary Winkler’s trial began last week in Selmer, Tenn. Speculation runs wild again as to her motive for shooting her husband Matthew in the back with a shotgun while he lay in bed. The couple worked with the Fourth Street congregation in the town when the shooting occured.
Fred Thompson is openly exploring a run for the US presidency in 2008. His background, if not his present religious practice, is within the church, according to a number of reports. If he throws his hat in the ring, his religious background will become an area of interest to many.
There have been a few positive reports of people searching out information about the church because of media reports. Mostly, however, the focus is negative, with the church becoming a target for big-game hunters.
And no wonder. When Christians abandon the imitation of their Lord, they hold him up to the world’s scorn.
One time, and one time only, in his letters, Paul the apostle used the word “gospel” or “good news” for something other than God’s message of grace for man’s salvation in Christ.
“But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you!” (1 Thessalonians 3:6 NET).
This human version of good news brought back by Timothy detailed the faithfulness, love, and longing of the Thessalonians Christians under duress of persecution.
To a worried preacher who wondered if converts left to fend for themselves would still be faithful, Timothy’s bracing information prompted peals of thanksgiving.
“For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God?” (verse 9).
The media serves up helpings of criticisms, condemnations, and harsh judgments. The blogosphere — even those blogs written by some among us — does much the same.
But the good news is out there. Not only the good news of Christ which saves forever, but the good news of his disciples who live like Jesus, serve a risen Lord, proclaim the message of the Cross, and exemplify the true faith.
Sometimes we just have to send out a Timothy to get it. To see past the Marys and Freds plastered in our faces.
“Like cold water to a weary person, so is good news from a distant land” (Proverbs 25:25).
Good news about the brotherhood is out there, we just have to look for it.