“GCB,” a new ABC dramedy centered on a Dallas Christian community, premiered to mixed reviews last night. While some call the show clever, others say it’s clearly offensive to the Christian community. Based on the book Good Christian Bitches, ABC says the show is a funny, sassy and heartwarming drama that begs the question: “Can you go back home to a place where no one seems to have grown up?” Critics of the show however say it takes shots at the Christian community and includes offensive stereotypes that are more mean-spirited than funny.

Before the show ever aired, the creators promised the new series would not upset Christians. Speaking with reporters last January on a press tour in Pasadena, Executive Producer Robert Harling said the new show would “remain respectful.” 

He told Entertainment Weekly, “The church is the center. Church is sacred. There are rules. You have to be respectful of those rules and the joy of watching these people try to function within these rules. The goal is to watch these people try to be good. What we emphasize is that we will never ever look at this in any other way than the most respectful as possible. We will never ever be disrespectful.”

Yet, after last night’s premiere, show detractors say exactly the opposite. Some call it offensive and take issue with everything from the over-the-top portrayal of the Southern Baptist community to the title of the show itself. Now titled “GCB,” the show originally had the same title as the book, “Good Christian Bitches,” but was later renamed to “Good Christian Belles” when Christian organizations criticized the show for demeaning Christianity.

As a Christian, how do these kinds of Christian portrayals make you feel? Do you believe these stereotypes are too harsh? Or is ”GCB” simply a humorous parody all in good fun? Kristin Chenoweth, star of the show and a vocal Christian herself, says the series’ aim is not to make fun of Christianity. She was quoted in the Tulsa World saying, “I’m a Christian person, and I would never do anything I would think is blasphemous.”

Whatever you believe, the show serves as the perfect reminder for us as Christians, to be, “In this world, but not of this world.” Christians should work to separate and distinguish themselves and their own spiritual walks, from the meaningless distractions and “clutter” in life that can hinder a relationship with the Lord. Christians should do everything in God’s glory first and foremost.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. —1 John 2:15

“GCB” reminds us to think critically as Christians, to take careful consideration of potential distractions to the Christian walk, as well as to reflect on how popular culture’s take on Christianity can in fact be taken lightly, rather than taken as a political or religious statement.

Most importantly, the controversy surrounding the show gives us the necessary reminder to continually strive to find a healthy balance in life, allowing us to deepen our relationship with God while acknowledging the reality that we’re living in an infotainment-driven, often sensational modern world, which can provide a platform for thought-provoking discussions. Popular culture may not always provide us with the best lessons or role models, but certainly creates an interesting dialogue that can teach us plenty about the world we live in and how to live in it as a Christian.

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