I think that depends on who you talk to.
One thing I always do when there’s a movie or show based on a book is go to the book– see what the writer’s original intent was. And while the book is, in fact, called Good Christian B*tches, (Don’t shoot the messenger, that is the name of the book. You can look it up.) what really struck me is her dedication at the beginning. Here is what she said:
To anyone who has ever had their faith in God challenged by the maneuverings of hypocrites. May they ultimately draw you closer to Him.
To Christians everywhere who take the responsbility of declaring themselves ambassadors for Christ seriously enough to be mindful of the things they say and do, but more importantly the way they treat people. Knowing others take their declarations to heart and hold them to a higher standard, they realize that when they fall short it’s not man who gets the blame, it’s God.
It helped me to know where the author is coming from. I’m not sure what the Hollywood writers will do with Kim Gatlin’s work. And I haven’t read the book. But I agree with her dedication.
As we Belles were discussing this show and our different takes on it, one of us said she’d never known women like the ones in this show. I say she’s lucky. I’ve known my fair share. And at times, early on, I tended to be this way. Legalism appealed to me because I could control it. I wanted to be perfect and I tried very hard to be. And if I saw someone fall short I judged them for it.
And then I got older. And wiser. And I learned a valuable statement: “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Because honestly I’m one bad decision away from any number of shameful, awful situations. And I carry that truth in my heart and into my dealings with people. It is my sincere prayer that I always show people the same grace and mercy God has shown me. The knowledge of how short I fall leaves me broken and humble, not haughty and confident like the women of GCB.
One thing I noticed about GCB is that the characters have grabbed hold of legalism like I used to, as is evident in their use of verses as defensive weapons, required church attendance, and abuse of prayer. I read this quote recently in a book called Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman that to me describes the GCB girls:
Maybe you grew up in a home where you were taught all about Jesus. Through fear and guilt you learned to keep as many of the rules as possible, hoping it would be enough to keep you out of hell. You were taught to observe different religious traditions and rituals in an effort to appease God. Instead of becoming a follower of Christ, you became a follower of religion. (p. 82-83)
To me that quote best describes Hollywood’s depiction of Christians– followers of religion. They don’t really know how to depict followers of Christ because, unfortunately, it’s the followers of religion who have attracted all the attention. And honestly, the true followers of Christ aren’t going to attract a whole lot of attention– it goes against what He calls us to do. The GCB’s might be followers of religion, but it is my sincere hope that we SBV’s model what it looks like to be followers of Christ: imperfect yet authentic, sincere without being sledgehammers.