I’m not sure I should have given up sweets for Lent.  I’m not all that sweet to start with – and I’m getting a little edgy!  (Oops…there I go thinking about chocolate again…Lord bless Ryan, may he have a good week, and may you heal him in every way, as he depends on your perfect Presence in his life.  Amen.)  (I pray for Ryan whenever I want to eat something sweet.)  Now – back to the subject.  My original title for this blog was “GCB:OMG!” – but I mean “Oh My Goodness”, and most people break the third commandment when they use those letters in a text.  My next title was GCB:FFTTDKWTAD.  “Father Forgive Them They Don’t Know What They Are Doing.”  Our wonderful tech guy, said that wasn’t a good Google search idea.  So he came up with the title above.  That title really is what I want us to think about.  How does the world see us?  Why do they enjoy seeing us portrayed the way that television show intends?  Is that really how we come across to other people?  To tell the truth – sometimes. 
What is the difference between a Good Christian Belle and a Good Christian Believer?  A Belle acts like a Christian – sometimes.  A Believer is a Christian, even though sometimes we might act like a Belle.  When Jesus called the Pharisees and teachers of the Law hypocrites, he was literally calling them “actors.”  He said, “they honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mark 7:5-7).  One of the most common accusations of the church is that it is full of hypocrites.  The truthful reply:  Our churches aren’t full – we would be glad to make room for more!”  Everyone who is a Christian will be a hypocrite at some point, because everyone who is a Christian is not perfect – yet.  There are no perfect churches or perfect people this side of heaven.  What is the difference between a belle and a believer?  The belle has a pretension of perfect faith while the believer has a genuine, honest witness of imperfection – and the promise that one day, it won’t be that way. 

Why do people enjoy seeing Christians portrayed in a negative manner?  Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18).  Jesus goes on to say that we’ve been chosen out of the world and that is why the world hates us (John 15:19).  The next time your Christianity is “characterized” in a negative way, remember that you are great company, with many other disciples – and Jesus himself.  That is why Jesus began that passage by saying, “This is my command: Love each other” (John 15:17).  If you are a genuine Christian, your witness will be an uncomfortable annoyance to some people.  Your message will be, “Jesus is Lord of my life” and his Holy Spirit enters every room you do.  Don’t be surprised when that rubs someone the wrong way.  Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”  If you are a Good Christian Believer, you will make other people aware of that emptiness inside their souls.  That is why Jesus commanded us to be loving.  Don’t react in anger, pray for the chance to explain how they might fill that vacuum.  Then, if God opens the door, speak the truth in love.  That is probably why you became a Christian.  Those Belles deserve the same chance!

I’m grateful ABC chose to use the title “Good Christian Belles.”  I’ve seen the book, and I know what GCB really stands for.  To my Christian readers: get ready.  That book and this show are indicative of the direction our culture is headed.  Just remember – Scripture says, “If MY people, who are called by MY name, will humble THEMSELVES and pray and seek my face and turn from THEIR wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).  I predict that GCB will become a popular show – it makes those that belong to the world feel better about themselves.  Just remember, the Belle’s behavior is not what hinders God from working – it’s the behaviors of the believers.  God said, “If MY people…” 

Let’s all examine our witness today.  Do you look like a Belle or a Believer?  Trust me…it will make all the difference!

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