Welcome to BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Podcast #7. The title for today’s episode is Calvary as a Symbol in the Greenleaf Drama, Why Oprah’s Greenleaf Drama is Immensely Better Than Tyler Perry’s Tuesday Night Lineup of Dramas, Tragedy in the Church, and the Directors and Writers Deserve an Emmy or Something As Well
Today, we are dealing with several topics.
First, Calvary as a Symbol in the Greenleaf Drama
I would like to call your attention to the name of the megachurch at the center of the Greenleaf drama — Calvary Fellowship. Since Greenleaf represents the black church, they could have gone with a more traditional black church name such as Ebenezer, Mt. Nebo — you know, in the black community, there has got to be a “mountain” somewhere in the name — Mt. Zion, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Shiloh, Abyssinian Baptist Church, etc., but I assure you that somebody chose Calvary for a reason, and if Oprah was not the one who chose Calvary, she had to sign off on it. And if she was so particular about the house that the Greenleaf family lives in certainly she would be just as concerned about the name of the church which is the center of the show. Calvary is the traditional Christian name for the place where Jesus was crucified. It comes from the Latin word “calvaria” which is a translation of the Greek word “kranion” which is a translation of the Hebrew word “gulgoleth.” In the Bible, this place is referred to as Golgotha or the “place of a skull.” The “skull place” is a reference to the shape of the hill upon which Jesus’ cross was placed and where He died. This reference to Calvary is Oprah’s subtle, if you will, gentle way, loving way of pointing people to the cross and to salvation through Jesus Christ. People who are watching the show just for the drama will be impressed with the significance of Calvary every time the church name is mentioned.
Second, Why Oprah’s Greenleaf Drama is Immensely Better Than Tyler Perry’s Tuesday Night Lineup of Dramas
By the grace of God, Oprah and her team have done an excellent job of putting the show together. Even though no one wants to say it, because everyone loves Tyler Perry, one has to admit that Greenleaf is a much better drama than any of Tyler Perry’s dramas on Tuesday Night — “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “If Loving You Is Wrong,” etc.
Here are 3 reasons, maybe 4, why we believe this is the case:
1. The writing on Greenleaf is superior. (The actors do not repeat the same words 7 times to take up time on the show as they do on both of Tyler Perry’s dramas. This is extremely disappointing and annoying.)
2. The acting is superior. Tyler Perry has gotten some very beautiful people to play in his dramas but apparently beauty alone does not make a good actor. With all due respect, hardly any of the actors in these two dramas would be considered A1 actors. For example, that black man who got his neighbour’s wife pregnant acts like he’s playing in a horror film half the time. His acting and facial expressions are frightening.
3. And the chemistry between characters is superior. Anybody who knows anything about film will tell you there’s an art to putting an ensemble together in any movie, TV show, or play. And if that’s not done right, it will be a disaster. You have to have the right mix of actors otherwise it will mess up the show.
4. Tyler Perry is not bringing his “A game” to these dramas. (We all know that he can do comedy in his sleep.) The level of excellence that we are used to seeing from Tyler Perry is simply just not there. Maybe it’s because he has a new woman and a child in his life or maybe he is not getting enough money from the OWN organization to produce a better product. Who knows? All we can do is pray that he resumes excellence in everything he does for the glory of God. Because, as you know, Tyler Perry professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and probably had a hand in encouraging Oprah to do the same. Whatever the case, we give God the glory that these two gifted and rich people are born again and love Jesus.
We say this not to discourage Tyler Perry and his team, but because it is the truth. We all love Tyler Perry. We hope that Perry will up his game and produce better shows in the near future. And we believe that he will.
Now we move on to the issue of tragedy in the church.
Many people think that the lives of Christian people are free from tragedy. Some in the Christian audience are shocked at the shootings at the church on Greenleaf, and the pastor marching down the hall with a pistol in his hand. But the truth is tragedy, unfortunately, happens at churches. Bad things do happen in the lives of Christian people, and most often, tragic situations are brought about because of sin. We touched on the issue of Grace Greenleaf committing fornication with another woman’s fiance` last week. Another issue in the church that is swept under the rug is women — including pastor’s wives, minister’s wives — who unfortunately do not have good marriage situations at home who go to the church and start some mess with another man in the church to get back at their husbands or what have you. They go in the church talking to other men trying to provoke something with their husband’s jealousy. Those kinds of situations sometimes end in people getting hurt and even killed. We hear about this every now and then.
I recall a situation that happened at a small town church we were members of when I was a youngster. Another minister in the church had gotten involved with a minister’s wife. At one Wednesday night prayer meeting, when the offended minister saw this man arriving at the church, it was too much for him to handle, and he tried to run the man over with his car, and when the man ran up the steps he tried to drive his car up the church staircase to kill him. Another minister tried to stop that from happening and he got badly injured.
How should Christian people respond to tragic situations in the church? With confession of sin, with repentance, with honesty, with grace, with forgiveness, and with a recommitment to righteous living. And, in many cases, the people who have caused the problem simply need to step down from their positions, leave the church, and maybe move to another city, sad to say.
By way of observation, one thing that we have noticed is that the interior shots of the church do not match the exterior shots, if you will. If the show is going to be using The House of Hope Church in Atlanta for the interior, we would kindly and lovingly suggest using the same for the exterior. Most viewers may not notice this, but astute watchers will give the show points for accuracy and attention to detail.
In closing, congratulations to the Greenleaf team for getting picked up for another season. There is no reason why this show should not go on for 10 years more. The director, the writers, the producers, and BeBe Winans deserve an Emmy for their great work and we pray that they get it.
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.