Generally speaking, we Christians are an easily offended group. We don’t like anyone to pick fun at our religious rhetoric, our shiny steeples, or our unhealthy obsession with the Purpose Driven Life.
So it’s no surprise when the show GCB (acronym for Good Christian Bitches) was picked up by ABC to air on (gasp!) Sunday evenings, many Christians screamed foul at what had to be a narrow-minded attack on all things Jesus.
I admit, my first inclination was to frantically search the ABC webpage for a link I could click on to voice my complaint. Surely there was some well-thought-out left-winged conspiracy to attack Christianity through mainstream media. An exec on a crusade against God needing to blatantly portray his anti-conservative views.
I ended up watching most of the first episode while working in my office, and was intrigued by the story line. Basically, a group of women all attend the same church, and spend Sundays praising God, but the rest of the week gossiping about the others in the church, but mostly about some bleached blond character (Amanda) whose husband has recently died, prompting her and her kids to return back to her hometown and live with her uppity and rather rude mother.
The clique of women all went to high school together, and exist with their own hang-ups, many originating from their teenage years. Carlene is the choir director, and not surprisingly the clique leader, doing all she can to gather dirt on Amanda to bring her to shame.
It basically feels like a modernized soap opera that includes some scenes from a church and occasional references to God. However, one interchange during the show really stuck in my head between Amanda and Carlene:
Amanda: “Don’t worry Carlene. I was once the queen bitch of Dallas, but now you are. You can have that title, I don’t want it!”
Carlene: “How dare you call me a bitch!”
Amanda: “How dare you call yourself a Christian!”
And there you have it. In the midst of a show intended as gawdy entertainment, an uncomfortable nugget of truth crops up: Christians are, in too many instances, hypocrites.
We say one thing, act one way, then completely reverse track. We preach inclusion, but live exclusion. We talk about hating sin, but secretly chain ourselves to it. We love God when it’s easy, but when it gets tough, we almost forget He exists.
I’d like to offer a different perspective on GCB. Rather than seeking to join a picket line to protest ABC, perhaps we should take a step back and view the show for what it is: a sobering commentary on the church. Watching the show, I realize that for non-Christians, this is exactly what the church is like: some country club fortress garnering money for no means other than making the country club richer.
Through talking to various people over the years who weren’t big into going to church, this is similar to wath they viewed it as. And who can blame them? We’ve likely all been a member of or at least visited a country club church at some point in our lives. It’s nothing but a self-serving army with a few innocent bystanders that are genuinely trying to live as the bride of Christ.
Where are you? Are you part of a church that aims to be the body of Christ and serve others, or are you part of a church that serves itself? Are you in the clique that treats church as nothing but a social club? It’s a tough question to answer, but one we need to ask. One that may not have even been provoked were it not for a TV show that mocks Christianity.