The Sunday night CBS drama God Friended Me tends to push a more “progressive” vision of Christianity in which those who hold to traditional biblical views, particularly regarding sexual mores, are portrayed as the bad guys. In a previous episode, Reverend Finer (Joe Morton), father of the main character, lost leadership of his Episcopalian church after he said he saw “God” in his daughter’s homosexual journey.
As NewsBusters pointed out after that episode, the scriptwriters clearly did not know that the Episcopalian church is one of the most left-wing churches in the country on matters of homosexuality.
In a twist this season, Reverend Finer's ecclesiastical prospects turn and he becomes bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. This week’s episode, “Prophet and Loss,” on November 24, has Bishop Finer firing an elderly pastor named Reverend Elias from his council. The reason? Reverend Elias not only protests Bishop Finer’s support of his daughter’s lesbianism, he also objects to the fact that the Bishop is openly living in an out-of-wedlock relationship with a woman named Trish (Erica Gimpel).
Reverend Elias tells the Bishop, “If you truly love this church, you'll consider stepping down, and let someone with more traditional values step in.” Of course, Reverend Elias is portrayed as a cold and mean man, not a kind and gentle person speaking the truth out of love.
When Trish finds out that Reverend Elias intends to try and block Bishop Finer’s agenda, she talks to her lover about kicking Reverend Elias of the council.
Trish: That man is not just attacking your family. He is attacking your vision for the church.
Bishop: Finer: I understand that, but I still have to find a way to work with him.
Trish: Yesterday, you told Miles that he knew what the right decision was, even if he didn't want to make it.
Bishop Finer: Mm-hmm. What's your point?
Trish: I just thought that was really good advice.
Bishop Finer: Hmm. Good afternoon, everyone. Before we get started, I, um... I'd like to make a change to the council. Reverend Elias, your services are no longer needed.
Rev. Elias: You can't do that.
Council Member: Actually, he can. And I support his decision.
Bishop Finer: Shall we get started?
Apparently, Bishop Finer’s “vision” for the church is refusing to live by Jesus Christ's words about holy matrimony and then kicking out any reverend who objects. As you may have noticed, the most vocal member of the council who applauds the sacking of the “traditionalist” reverend, looks like a “progressive” woman priest. There are, in fact, many progressive women priests in the U.S. Episcopal church who are indeed trashing biblical truth in the name of a left-wing agenda. One of those priests is now the head of the National Abortion Federation. (In God Friended Me’s defense, it did have a pro-life episode, so it has not gone that far.)
Scriptwriters may not be aware that socially left-wing denominations are dying while more Orthodox churches are thriving. If Hollywood was going to write an honest television season about a left-wing Episcopal diocese, they would have to show empty churches in demographic freefall. As it turns out, people go to church to hear biblical truth, not left-wing Hollywood talking points. Maybe Bishop Finer’s council should not have looked so smug when they fired Reverend Elias after all.