Many in the Christian community have been in quite the uproar about the new ABC sitcom, GCB. If you want to know what the original acronym stands for, well, you’re just going to have to look it up yourself, but I will tell you that it is based on a book written by Kim Gatlin. Now, I do not like my faith being made light of in the eyes of the world but something told me that there was something for me to learn from it. So, if you dare to hear a new take on it, join me in my short, personal journey through GCB.
Kristen Chenoweth has always been a favorite around our home…but now…well, I wasn’t so sure anymore. To be honest, I was enraged because my faith is not a joke to me, so how is it that it could be perceived this way and created into a national sitcom that seems to berate Christianity? Time for me to take a deep breath, lay aside my offense and see beyond to what could be gleaned from this borderline blasphemous endeavor of mine.
Is perception reality? Well, yes and no. There are just too many variables and not enough time to delve into that whole topic but that though crossed my mind while watching it. Is that really how Christians are perceived? I know it’s not completely accurate, but there has to be some truth to the perception. A comedy is not comedy without an element of truth to be the baseline of the joke. It’s just that I personally don’t like to be put into stereotypical generalization that I’m a rich, white conservative. Not that it’s wrong to be any of those things, I just feel that people are more than their labels but I haven’t always been that way. To be honest, somehow I find myself slipping from time to time to profiling people based on their geographic location, race, belief or political stance. I hate that about me because that is not how Jesus was or is. Here’s a brief exchange of words between two of the characters, one searching for redemption and the other…well, represents more of a Pharisee.
Amanda,” Jesus hung around whore and thieves.”
Carlene, “Not in my neighborhood.”
Offended yet? For me, it struck me more like an “ouch!” I made this a challenge to turn inward and see what it is that causes others outside the “Christian” circles to view the body of Christ in that way. When a prominent evangelical figure falls, are we rushing in to love and redeem or cast the first stone? None of us want to condone sin, but we have made certain sins greater than others. Now, before you decide to de-friend me on Facebook – I need to state that all sin has consequences, some greater than other. But what if we didn’t shoot our wounded? What if we didn’t feel the need to be perfect, polished Christians? What if we shed our veneer and acknowledged our constant need for our Savior?
My personal opinion is that we have taken the whole concept of “being in the world and not of it” to such an extreme that we have created an alternate reality and mega subcultures in society that we can very easily lose touch with anyone who might not believe the same way as us or have a differing thought, opinion or belief system than ours. What if we created those walls because we just weren’t confident enough in who we are in Christ and felt safer patting each other on the back the safe confines of the fellowship hall? Slowly my rage starts turning into shame.
I take a brief break from writing and read portions in the book of James and I realize that his letter to body is for us today…and it hurts. I’m reading in the Complete Jewish version and I encourage you to read it all but this is what just kicked me in the teeth.
“Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:22-24
I saw the below tweet this morning and there’s much truth to it:
“It's nearly impossible to be defensive and see the truth at the same time. #justsayin'” @brandonhatmaker
Isn’t that just what we’ve become and as of late, GCB seems to be the instigator. The Word of God is amazing, but sometimes it is painful…but it’s because God loves us enough to not leave us the same way. We have GOT to stop looking at the surface and the symptoms and become introspective based on the perfect law of liberty. And here’s something that I have got to get out, we have to stop our obsession with picketing and boycotting and deal with the root issues. That would be me and that would be you. We have to change and be transformed into the image of God and live a life that bleeds His love IN the world. We must be known for what we are FOR not what we are AGAINST. Nothing will change in society until we change. It’s not going to be a quick and easy solution, but it is the only solution.
GBC or any other show or book can be a personal attack upon your faith only if you allow it to be. If you were to see portions of GCB, you’d realize that almost all of us relate to the people, church humor and the situations presented. I’m not promoting the show, I’m simply pointing out that we can learn from anything and make the necessary adjustments. A dear friend of mine that I discussed this with put it like this, “They are not mocking my Jesus.” We have to know the difference between what we have become as the body (remember to some, perception is their reality) and Who Jesus is and how much more we need to look to Him to teach us to love.
Ultimately, are we going to change the world by signing petitions and getting major show sponsors to get the show off the air? Is that all that is required of us? I think we are called to something much higher, but that takes us picking up the cross and dropping the GCB stated equation, “2+2 = a double standard.” It’s time to drop the double standard. What if our words matched our deeds? What if we became more like the Acts church that organically grew directly out of Jesus’ sacrifice?
“Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. The religious observation that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.” James 1:26-27
I submit to you that it’s time for the body of Christ to rise up with the quiet and consistent strength of humility, to do justly and love mercy as we walk with our God. That is Who He is and if you don’t know Him, we would love to share His good news with you.
We welcome your comments and feedback, and if you’d like to know how you can get involved in Biblical orphan and widow care, email our office or message us on Facebook and we’d love to connect you. Through serving practically those who are physically orphaned, we believe those also spiritually orphaned will come to a beautiful redemption in Christ.
Compassion and Justice for the Orphan,
One Child Campaign
One Child Campaign is a ministry outreach of Faith Central Ministries. The vision of the Orphan Awareness and Vision trips is to create a united effort of ministries to give voice to the over 5.5 million orphans in Ethiopia and around the world. This will be accomplished through sponsorship, empowerment and discipleship that will meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the children. This trip will immerse you into the lives of orphans and street kids. It will create an experience that will raise awareness not only to the orphan, but also for the body of Christ to realize the impact it can have through advocacy and adoption. An important part of our ministry is to provide resources for adoptive families. This is a mission to raise up a generation with selfless faith. Together, we can breathe hope into the orphan crisis.