The CRC Mentioned on Prime-Time TV


Recently the Christian Reformed Church was mentioned on the CBS prime-time television program The Good Wife. In the episode "Parenting Made Easy” a character who is involved in a legal arbitration case is accused of being homophobic. The character states her views are based on being a Christian and mentions that she is a member of the Christian Reformed Church.

Did anyone else hear about the reference or actually see the program? What are your thoughts? Was this a fair portrayal of the CRC's position?

There were several spots where the character's affiliation with the Christian Reformed Church was mentioned; the first one starting a little bit before the 22 minute mark and another at around the 26 minute mark.

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My wife and I were watching the show two nights after it aired. We were quite surprised by the first mention and then even more surprised by the second. And in the second they seemed to get the theology quite straight. Could one of the writers be of CRC background?

The second occasion, the character says something about we taking Scripture as authoritative when asked about a Leviticus text about homoxexual acts. That is a good representation of our view of Scripture. The character is then thrown a question about the next passage and stoning and again she responds with an answer that feels CRCish.

The first occasion is interesting.  The character of the lawyer asks her if she is a Christian and I believe her answer was "Yes, I am Christian Reformed."  Isn't that like us to see our identity as Christian Reformed before Christian.  At least that was what I picked up in my formative years in the CRC in the late 60s, 70s and 80s. Now that may not be true for all of us, as I hope it is not true for me today, but I suspect that part of the CRC culture has been that individuals define themselves first as Christian Reformed before they do as Christian.

Case in point:  I remember well while working on my M.Div. at CTS I was doing some hospital visit de-briefs with the chaplain at Holland Hospital who happened to be RCA. He challenged me re. pastoral identity that I need to see myself first and foremost "A minister of the word in church of Jesus Christ" and not "a minister of the word in the CRCNA." Notice that he did not say not to think of myself as the later, but the later must follow the former.  Somewhere in the last 22 years of ordination I have grown to the point of agreeing with him.

How about you? What do you think?

First off, Canadian viewers will have to go the Global TV web site, specifically, to view the episode.  CBS won't let those of us living north of the 49th parallel to see it on their web site.

Second, I definitely believe that one of the writers has to be of CRC background.  People who aren't familiar with the CRC usually call us the Christian Reform Church, making it sound like we're in the business of trying to rehabilitate youth who have run afoul of the law.  In addition, who else would pick this specific denomination?  Or is it possible that the CRCNA has become the denomination people associate with the TeaPartiers?  I sincerely hope that isn't the case.

Although I don't agree with the character's political or theological beliefs, it probably truly reflects the zeitgeist of the CRC in the Chicago area, where the series is based.

The Banner has an article on-line about this already 

The character's representation of the CRC's position is certainly one sided.  She rightly emphasizes a strong view of Biblical authority and the continuing relevance even of Old Testament texts.  But what she fails to mention is extremely important.  Already in the 1973 report there is a strong emphasis on care and support for the homosexual person.  We have not done that well.  Actually, objecting to homosexual practice while loving homosexual persons is very difficult.  CRC individuals, in all regions of the continent, have tended to gravitate to one side or the other at least in practice and sometimes theoretically as well.

We get all uptight when our stand on homosexuality is exposed, yet we turn down the opportunity to revisit the stand and  rethink how we should treat the GBLT person in our midst.  Hmm...

Joel Boot writes a blustering article in defense but we dare not actually make a move to change anything.  I think it is alot of ado about nothing.

Why doesn't Joel Boot write to the Florida Family Association about their nasty boycott of the the Muslim T.V show "All-American Muslim"?   I think that would say more to the outside community who is looking at the CRC. 

I happened to be changing channels and ended up watching  The Good Wife.I was surprised when the woman said she was a member of the Christian Reformed Church of North America!!  The next day I talked to one of my friends who also happened to see the show--she almost fell of the couch :)  We both waited for the credits--only 2 names--We both thought for sure it was written by Paul Schrader--Calvin class of 68--I did find something on line--author--studied at Weslyan College. Our God is full of surprises and humor--it must have been providential that both of us "HAPPENED" to see the show.