ABCs new show — who is to blame?

A lot of Christians are upset this morning over the debut of a new ABC television series entitled “GCB.” The original title was “Good Christian B—–s” — taken from a novel by the same name. The fervor comes because the series portrays a group of church goers in Dallas, Texas as gross hypocrites, prone to gossip and worldly living. Apparently the “Christian” characters on the show engage in lewd behavior and then justify their actions by taking Scripture out of context.

Drew Zahn, a writer for WND.com, said the pilot episode, “stars actress Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a mother of two and onetime “mean girl” in high school who returns home a widow to Dallas, only to discover she is the center of malicious gossip in the Christian community.”

According to Zahn’s article, all of the trailers, advertisements and sneak previews for the series suggest the show will be snide, steamy and seriously offensive.

Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, wrote an article about the show in which he said, “ABC-TV has taken blasphemy against God, the Bible, God’s church and Jesus Christ to new levels of depravity.”

I find the whole situation quite upsetting, too. But, probably not for the reasons you may suspect. I’m not upset with ABC for producing a show like this. Producing lewd, provocative television shows will produce good ratings and good ratings will draw advertisers. All of this means money. Worldly men seek money. It’s what they do. Scripture declares that men are slaves to sin. It’s not a justification for their behavior, you understand? But, when unregenerate men behave sinfully I am not surprised. It’s what I expect of them.

Instead, I am upset that the producers at ABC are able to observe something in America’s churches that makes for lewd, provocative television shows. There is truth in what they’ve portrayed on the screen. There are people who claim the name of Jesus Christ, who attend church regularly every Sunday, who then live the same kind of worldly lives as their neighbors.

I see this as a result of a church culture. Growing up in the Bible Belt, you just go to church. It’s what you do. But, just because you go to church and have your name on a membership roll does not mean you are truly a regenerate believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself, said this was the case…

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” — Matthew 7:21-23

Pews are populated with people who are absolutely convinced that they are saved because they “walked an aisle” or “prayed a prayer” or “joined the church.” But, Jesus makes it clear that many such people are lost.

You see, according to Scripture, a real believer will be different than the world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. — 2 Corinthians 5:17

In fact, Jesus said you can know the difference between the real Christian and the pretend Christian.

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, you will recognize them by their fruits. — Matthew 7:16-20

I don’t see ABC as blaspheming the name of Jesus for producing such a show. I see the people who claim the name of Jesus on Sunday and then live like the devil on Monday as the ones who are blaspheming Jesus’ name.

It is one thing for the world to behave in a worldly fashion — they are of the world. It’s normal for them. It is quite another for Christians to behave in a worldly fashion. We are not supposed to. If Christians took seriously their biblical responsibility to hold one another accountable, this sort of thing would not be as observable to the producers at ABC. True believers who had behaved like the world would repent. Unbelievers masquerading as believers and populating the pews on Sunday would not long endure when confronted. Either way, the name of Jesus would be protected.

The WND.com stories invite Christians to write letters to ABC in protest. You can do that if you like. But understand that it is becoming more and more in vogue to offend Christians. The producers at ABC might enjoy knowing they’ve offended believers. Allow me to offer an alternative to Christians…

Fix the problem.

Hold one another accountable in love. Repent when confronted with your sin. Conform more and more to Christ. Remember, Jesus told us the world would hate us…

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. — John 15:18-20

Let’s just make sure the world hates us because we are obedient to our Lord and NOT because we are gross hypocrites.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

One Response to ABCs new show — who is to blame?

  1. Joanna says:

    Godly-wise, apropos, eloquent, poignant, succint – spot on; AMEN Brother! This all explains why Ghandi said, “I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians”. All of that being said, I still ask,”Should Believers, the members of the Body of Christ, remain on mission in the man-made churches of the Christian religion or do they leave from their and attempt to gather as the Body of Christ in another manner, venue, etc”? Its a rhetorical question. 😉

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