Thank you for tuning in to BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf. In this brief, weekly podcast, we are examining some of the themes of Oprah Winfrey’s new drama set in a large black church that deals with issues that all churches face. Today we are looking at the themes of dealing honestly with sin in the church, dealing with homosexuality in the church, and what to do about Grace’s back-talking daughter.
As depicted in Greenleaf, there are church members, even in the pastor’s family, who sin. While (as Oprah said in one of her promotional interviews), ‘Sin and dysfunction makes for great television and great storytelling,’ God’s people should not be known by their sinful lifestyles, but by the fruit that they bear through Christ and the power of The Holy Spirit.
But when God’s people do sin, how does the church respond? Many times, unfortunately, the response is to brush it under the rug, to hide it, to cover it up, to not deal with it. Many black families, traditionally, have sinful secrets that have been kept for decades. The older people in those families believe it is best to “take some things to the grave”. This belief leads to a situation where sin, instead of being dealt with, becomes more rampant and more ugly, and it eventually blows up and everybody has a mess on their hands.
The only way to deal with sin in the church (or outside of the church, for that matter) is through confession and repentance. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” If our churches and our families are to be strong and healthy, we must learn to “confess our faults one to another and pray one for another that we may be healed.” On the show, it was good to see Pastor Greenleaf sit down his son for committing adultery, but his time out of the ministry should have been longer than 90 days.
One of the gross sins in the church that Greenleaf is dealing with and that many people, especially pastors, do not like to talk about is homosexuality in the church. Here is what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
In the New Testament, Romans 1:26-28 says, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” First Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
We would lovingly, kindly, and respectfully warn Oprah and the Greenleaf producers that if they want to avoid a future drop in viewership and ratings (like what happened with Empire this year) they should refrain from doing these two things: (1) Using the show as a crusade to promote the acceptance of the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage in the church. (2) Depicting any homosexual acts in the show. If they do either of these two things, God will not bless the show and the show will also lose the blessing of many in the black Christian community who currently support it. (According to USA Today, during its second season, Empire’s audience ‘declined each week. Same-day viewership dropped by more than 5 million, marking the show’s smallest audience since the middle of the first season.’ We believe one major reason for this is because the show is trying to push the homosexual agenda and has depicted homosexual acts, and on top of that they pushed it entirely too fast, and it killed the attractiveness of the show, because contrary to what President Obama thinks and the Supreme Court thinks most Americans do not want to see that in their living rooms. And it is our prayer and hope that Grace does not end up as a lesbian preacher. And to show that we are being even-handed here, we know that Bishop and First Lady Greenleaf can still get jiggy wit’ it, please if you can, spare us and spare them that sex scene. The little kisses, pecks, and affectionate touches are all in great taste. Keep up the good work. Regarding the young people — well we know how devilish they are. We can bear a little of that reality.
Little girl needs to be taken to the woodshed.
Grace’s daughter has a back-talking, disrespectful mouth on her. And Grace just looks at her in amazement, when the truth is most black mothers would have knocked her to kingdom come by now. C’mon Grace, at least threaten to take away her iPhone. Let’s keep it real. Even though Oprah does not believe in corporal punishment of children, I can imagine her saying, “Lil’ girl, you may talk to your mother like that, but you can’t talk to me like that, because I will send your hind part back to Never Never Land in a hurry.”
In closing, one of the great promises of the Word of God is found in First John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” True healing and true unity in the church or in the family cannot be built on the basis of lies and covering up sin. It can only come when we are honest with each other about our faults and when we, by the grace of God, strive together to overcome the sins which so easily beset us.
In closing, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can be forgiven of your sins and begin a relationship with God today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you, and I hope that you will join us next time for The Gospel According to Greenleaf.