Some say it’s an acronym for Good Christian Belles.
“No way,” other people claim, “The G stands for mean girls with manners. If you know what I mean.”
Fact – GCB is a new sitcom, an ABC pilot launched last week about women who grew up in a Texas church. These devout church goers gang up on a prodigal daughter returning to the south after her scandalous husband dies.
I fancy myself an expert on conservative church living. I come by it honestly. When I was a child, I viewed the world through a peep hole so small I could barely make out shapes or colors. Anything and everyone outside the church perimeters blended into an evil darkness. Rather than venture into this unknown, I let this granny skirted, polyester pant wearing contingent define my faith.
I am still sensitive to the moods of this group. So their rumblings about an irreverent sitcom got my attention. It sounded much like the primal growl of an endangered species.
· The church will be defamed on prime time.
· The name of Christ will be damaged.
· The cause of Christianity will be compromised.
No brainer. I had to watch the show.
The first scene alluded to an inappropriate situation, not fit to be mentioned in mixed company. Then, the queen bee of religious manipulation took center stage. She spat out Bible verses to control fellow church members. She wielded her prayers in church like a weapon, exposing the weakness of other believers.
Honestly, the show was side splitting, the ridiculous-mixed-with-an-element-of-truth kind of funny.
But, mostly, it was a wakeup call.
It was a pointed reminder that the institution of the church is more than just a glorified social club or corporate ladder for saints to climb.
I know that others will not see it this way. They will demand that every believer
· Protest the show.
· Cancel their cable.
· Declare religious persecution.
Who are we trying to kid? We are not above reproach. What we see as unjust criticism is often a mirror of what we have become.
The New Testament church struggled with issues similar to the issues addressed in GCB. Apostle Paul addressed backbiting, jockeying for position and sexual misconduct in the church.
So, how do we respond?
Be humble. Be thankful. A random sitcom on ABC could never take the church down. Nor, will the writing of a great praise song or publishing a breakout spiritual memoir make it stronger.
It’s our love for one for another that will show a jaded world that we are who we profess to be.
On October 2, 2006, a milk truck driver walked into an Amish school uninvited. He shot ten innocent girls execution style. Five died. The rest were seriously wounded.
News of the event shocked the world.
The next development stunned a generation. Within hours of the shooting, the Amish community reached out to comfort the wife and children of the man who murdered their children. That day the Amish community was known, not by their counter culture lifestyle or ultra-conservatism. They were known by their love. Love in action.
Even in sitcoms like GCB that parody us at our worse, there are lessons to be learned. I saw glimpses of compassion in the storyline. It was no more than light reflecting off a penny on a sidewalk. But, it was there. Drawing people in. Love always does.