Greenleaf’s second season continued last week with an episode titled “Strange Bedfellows.” Several things stood out that I want to discuss briefly today.
First, Lady Mae took the step of firing Carlton, the church’s homosexual choir director. This came after half of the church’s deacon board and some of the church members began withholding their tithes and offerigs. While it was good to see Lady Mae telling Carlton that she believed what the Bible says about homosexuality and marriage being between a man and a woman only, she should have never lied to him about the real reason he was being fired. In her efforts to get Bishop James and Lady Mae not to fire Carlton, Grace declared that their trying to do so was “immoral.” She was wrong. As we talked about last week, no one in unconfessed and open sin should be leading in the church. And considering the type of show Greenleaf is and the type of people the Greenleafs are, there are probably some others who need to step down or be fired as well.
Carlton’s firing is likely not the end of this storyline on the show as Grace later invited him and his “husband” to continue attending the church and told a reporter about him being fired. It will be interesting to see how the church handles the media pressure that is sure to come. Look for Gigi to go on a crusade, on behalf of the homosexuals, and that will be a tragedy.
While the show is obviously not intended to be instructional, it does point out that if enough of God’s people speak out against evil being tolerated and approved of in the church, change can take place. When evil, such as openly homosexual individuals being in leadership in the church, begins creeping into a church, God’s people have a responsibility to pray about it and respond biblically and as God leads them. Whether it is speaking out publicly, attending a different church, or withholding tithes, there is always something we can do to stand with God and against sin.
Speaking of Grace and that reporter: It seems as though Grace can get away with anything, despite being the “anointed one” to take over the church after her father. And by the way, what happened to that church boy Gigi was going after in the first season? Reporter Darius Nash invited her out on a date, and she took him up on the offer. They visited a club where Grace was drinking beer and dancing (after Darius assured her that there were no church members who went to that club). This points to the hypocrisy that is so prevalent in the lives of many Christians and church leaders. As Christians, we ought not to live our lives in such a way that we have to be worried about who is watching us or whether any “people from the church” are around when we are in public. Jesus said, “Let your communication [your lifestyle] be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay.” In other words, what you can say or do when you are not around church folk, you ought to be able to say and do when you are around church folk. Jesus continues, “For whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” If you can’t be the same around everyone, it’s highly likely you are doing stuff you shouldn’t be doing.
Finally, Basie Skanks is living up to his name. Some people’s names shed light on their character, and that is certainly the case with the pastor of Triumph Church. In the words of one reviewer, he is “greasy.” In this episode, Skanks finished setting up Bishop Greenleaf’s son, Jacob, against him, by making him the pastor of a new Triumph Church campus and giving him and his wife an old parsonage. He even told Jacob to go knock on doors in the community around Calvary Fellowship and invite people to attend Triumph Church. When Bishop Greenleaf informed him that most of those people already attended Calvary, Skanks responded as if this didn’t concern him.
This speaks to how many church leaders shamefully treat the church as if it is a family business and/or a competition with other churches/ministries. It isn’t either of those things. It is God’s house. It is all about bringing lost souls into the Kingdom and building them up so that they can become strong, stable believers. There is no merit in being a big (or small) church. There is no merit in having a certain number of “campuses.” There is no merit in having a “big name” pastor (or stealing the son of a “big name” pastor to lead your new church). If our country has rules against nepotism — favoring relatives for leadership roles — in government, certainly the church should have such rules. And, while the church can learn certain principles from the business world, churches should never forget that they are not part of a business whose only purpose is to make a profit, but part of a body whose only purpose is to save souls.
In closing, something Grace said (though she said it in the wrong context) stood out: “The only way to work on the church is to be in it.” A show like Greenleaf can discourage a lot of people who have a true heart for the Body of Christ. Many who have left the church cite hypocrisy, sin being tolerated, and preachers not being what they should be as reasons why. But, we should remember that the church is full of sinners. The church is for sinners. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” If you are a sinner who is serious about getting right with God, the best place you can be is in the church. If you are someone who has been saved for a while, but who is discouraged by what you see going on in the church, the best place for you to be is in the church. No church is perfect, and there is no use to leave one in order to go looking for another. All of us who are truly saved are on a journey to true Christlikeness. For some, it takes longer than others. For all of us, this journey will not be complete until we get to Heaven. So, bear with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Bear with your pastor and his family. Pray for them, encourage them, and, when appropriate, admonish them. If you want to see the church become all that it should be, do your part to make it so inside the Church.
Psalm 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
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 wicked sins of the past no matter how dark, God is available to hear your prayer of confession and to hear you ask to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin which is eternal hell and separation from God. And you can begin a light-filled relationship with God Almighty today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s laws. You have done some bad things. You have broken the commandments of God. So have I. And so has the Pope. 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…” We die physically because of sin and we go to hell to burn forever, to be tormented forever because of our sin. God does not put us into hell; we put ourselves into hell because of our sin.
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ, the loving Lord of glory, preached more on hell than anybody in the Bible. He preached more on hell than he did about Heaven. He 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, and I know most people do not want to hear any bad news. But you have to hear the bad news because the good news is good news because there is bad 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. He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, your sins and mine. And all we have to do is trust Him and believe that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you and me so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
And please believe these words found in Romans 10:9 & 13: “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.” Saved from what? Saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell.
If you believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He 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 and mean it from your heart: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life — even some of the sins being brought out in this show called Greenleaf. I am sorry for my sins, and today, please have mercy upon me a sinner. I believe with all of my heart that You died for me, was buried, and rose again. Now, Lord I pray that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to repent of my sins and to follow You for the rest of my life for Your glory, praise, and honor, and, from this point on, to be the shining light that You want me to be. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, and for His sake, Amen.
Beloved friend, 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 trusting 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 my pamphlet titled, “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.”
Until next time, my beloved, may God bless you and keep you. We look forward to seeing you for the next Gospel According to Greenleaf podcast.