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Good Christian B's, Really?

I have not seen nor plan to see an episode of ABC's new series, GCB.

I do, however, have some comments about what the premise and promotional videos have to say to those of us who call ourselves Christian. If you have hung around this blog long, you know I am not an alarmist nor do I call individuals or groups out, but I need to do a little of both on this one.

The fact that GCB can find a foothold in prime time television and the money to shoot, promote, and air an episode says much about the culture in which we now live.

I must give the writers this much:
  • Yes, Christians have provided those who want to caricature and/or criticize them plenty of ammunition.
  • Yes, some Christians live hypocritical, religious lives. Pick a religion made up of humans and you will find a phony in the group. No exceptions. No argument here.
  • Yes, in the South where Christianity has become part and parcel of our culture and less and less a movement of the Spirit, it is easier to create buffoon stereotypes in order to sell a show.
Now, a warning to my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ:
  • Yes, now more than ever you must demonstrate your allegiance to Jesus as one of his apprentices. No more easy, religious cliches, regular church attendance or Bible verses out of context will do. Those are now fodder for scripts of television shows.
  • Yes, once you announce you are a Christian, you will be judged according to the person judging you ideas about what and who is a Christian. (Don't use some other title to avoid embarrassment. It's a biblical word that was given to you.) The announcement of your trust in Jesus is only the beginning of the proof of your faith.
  • Yes, you continue to live in a culture that has become more intolerant--in all of its glorious tolerance--of the biblical message and lifestyle of a Christian. Get used to it.
  • Yes, you will read and see more about what's wrong with institutionalized Christianity than the good it brings to the world.
A word of hope. This movement called Christian has not only survived but thrived in hostile cultures and under repressive governments. The ekklesia (church) does not require the support of culture and government to exist.The kingdom of God is an entirely different reality that provides salt and light, hope and joy, love and peace to those who have finally given up on culture and government to satisfy their deepest needs.

Go ahead and write and talk about this we did against The Last Temptation of Christ, The Life of Bryan, and Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video; examples of so-last-twenty-years-ago offensive media that didn't stop the surge toward GCB. Don't get your hopes up that this cultural ship will change its course any time soon. But don't lose hope either.

While Christians will continue to lose status in a secular culture, which will free us to be who we truly are in Christ Jesus, what at will survive is the authentic, Jesus-like lives of Christians who serve and love others in the name of the One who "rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." (Col. 1:13

But, hasn't that been true since Jesus commissioned the eleven apostles as he ascended to heaven?

Take a look at Margaret Feinberg's CNN blog on the new series. I like what she has to say.