Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Grey’s Anatomy Gets Christianity Wrong Again

posted by Linda Mintle

Last night I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, hoping that they would actually write the Christian character right. As in the past, I was sorely disappointed.

Here is what happened. The only virgin of the fifth year residents was staying in a hotel, preparing to take her surgery boards. The night before the boards, everyone was coping in their own way with the stress. April, whose character has refused sex based on her Christian faith, tells us her church was praying for her. The pressure of letting people down was immense. She finds herself with one of the “hottie” surgeons in a bar, drinking. Next thing we know, a man is picking a fight with her because she received his job offer in Cleveland. Clearly having had too much to drink, she physically fights and feels incredible good that she stood up to the guy, goes back to the hotel with her hottie colleague and starts to kiss him at her hotel door. True to the his character, he hesitates, tries to assess whether she really wants to go for sex and continues the sexual encounter. Kepner, drunk, feels good, free and has intercourse as a virgin. As soon as it is over, you can see the regret on her face. She tries to play it off.

The next morning right before the board exams, she is sitting next to the man she slept with and he asks if she is OK. She clearly looks distressed, but then she is about to take her surgical boards. She tells him YES because she loves Jesus. Wow, right out there with the issue. But then is when the writers get it wrong. She says, “Jesus hates me!”The scene ends.

Up til that point, I thought the story line was believable. The pressure to have sex while all her colleagues act out constantly around her has been building. The stress, along with the alcohol, being away from home, create temptations. True to life,  people give in to temptation when they engage versus flee. So far, very realistic.

To be convicted of her behavior because she acted in a way inconsistent with her faith, was really great to show. But to say, “Jesus hates me,” reflects a lack of understanding of our relationship with Christ. Now maybe she felt that in the moment because she was so disappointed with herself, but my fear is that this notion will not be corrected.

Truth is, Jesus didn’t hate her for sinning. A better response would have been, “I have sinned against my God, ” or ” I gave in to something I don’t believe is right,” or “I am so distressed with myself  for going against my beliefs.” Maybe even, “I’ve sinned against my own body.”

Jesus loves her even when she sins and that is the message of the Gospel. Jesus doesn’t condone her sin, hates her sin, but loves her and will never stop loving her. If Grey’s Anatomy will follow up with that correction, I will be OK. But my guess is the writers will get it wrong again like they did with another Christian character they wrote years ago.

This is why we need Christian writers–to thoughtfully deal with real issues like this, but with correct theology.


  • Nia Warouw

    I think it was exactly the correct way to write it. Yes Jesus does NOT hate us. But WE ourselves oftentimes do not believe He would love us even though we have sinned – exactly like April. We move away from God in shame everytime we sin. Her storyline also says she was blessed with two men who wanted to marry her even after she has sinned and confessed – so it shows Jesus did not hate her.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Hope

    Despite the fact that we know God does not hate us when we sin, I am afraid that the church ( Gods people- believers) may be building a culture in which legalism prevails in our failures. The truth is I know my God hates it when I sin and I also know His conditional love never leaves me but even after many years growing up in church and truly encountering God I am still bombarded with “religion” and I’m afraid April’s comment “Jesus hates me” is a true depiction of many people struggling with the bondage of a ‘works mentality’.

    Off course I 100% agree with you about the fact: that nothing that we do or don’t do could make God love us anymore. I suppose we have to pray for Shonda and have the faith to believe that a true depiction of a born again Christian will be illustrated. Thid maybe the beginning of a great story line. I know God has blessed Shonda with a beautiful gift of story telling. I pray God would have his way :)

    Hope (

  • Linda Mintle

    I forget her character name but it was the one Katherine Heigel played. They began her character as a Christian and she quickly slid into having sex and other behaviors.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pamelajaye

    I was also disappointed with her saying “if it feels so good it can’t be bad”
    I guess that while her church was forgetting to teach her that God hates sin (not sinners) they also forgot to teach her that the “if it feels good do it” folks are *wrong.* (Ihave actually never met one of these folks,but they sure mentioned them a lot in my church”)

    As I have noticed Grey’s Anatomy as the only show where going to heaven is mentioned (frequently) I would like to see them resolve this – perhaps in a storyline.

    Also, the guy on Glee would not even get close to Quinn (good call,don’t tempt yourself) due to his faith-but he would not explain to her so she just felt rejected.

    Which earlier character did you mean?

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JK

    I agree, with you all. Jesus doesn’t hate April. April is like the rest of us and struggles with her faith. All people can often be misguided, and she had a lot of guilt for what she did. If she reads the bible and understand Jesus, April would know that he forgives, and loves all. Hope she’ll get straightened out, and learn the truth about Jesus.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tonya

    I agree with this statement and expect that the writers for Grey’s Anatomy will be able to go beyond what “she” feels and incorporate the character of Jesus and how he continues to love her despite the sin, but most importantly– she can repent and ‘ask’ for forgiveness, and God is faithful and just to forgive. (She will be forgiven.) And she can repair her relationship with Christ and pursue salvation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jen

    Grey’s didn’t get it wrong and the story is still believable. The character April Kepner and her relationship with and understanding of Jesus and Christianity is written to represent a different understanding and relationship than one you might have. It’s conceivable someone may feel that way after behaving in a way inconsistent with one’s values and beliefs.

    I’m sorry you are unhappy with the way Christianity was represented and that the character’s Jesus isn’t your Jesus. That’s too bad but the writers of the show are not you nor are they writing about how you would feel and react if in that situation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nancy

    I completely agree! I am glad I am not the only out there who watched this and thought, REALLY?! Jesus does not feel that way! He loves you anyway. Even if they correct it on the next episode, that is not a topic that should be left “hanging”. I have about had enough with this show.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment aberta

    NO, Gray’s Anatomy didn’t get it wrong. She was expressing her dark fear that the “sin” she had committed would lead to God rejecting her. It’s because she didn’t like herself at that moment. She’s not expressing a truth, only a feeling based in fear. Gray’s was right to portray the scene the way they did, acknowledging the depth and complexity of human emotion and spirituality. For viewers who can’t discern between feeling and fact, let them read owner’s manuals and watch instructional videos. At least they’ll be safe from any messy feelings. Christians are too quick to jump on the “defend your faith” bandwagon. Instead of criticizing the show for its portrayal of momentary Christian doubt, they should embrace those who have made mistakes and allow them to experience forgiveness. Jesus shows his love through other Christians. Let’s hope they can rise to the challenge.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dean

    get over it

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dd

    I agree with Rachel, this post, and you all. Jesus doesn’t hate April for messing up. I’m not sure though, if they meant audience to believe that that’s how ‘Christianity’ is, or whether they are just showing us that April doesn’t accurately understand her faith. Young people can often be misguided, and she clearly had a lot of guilt for what she did. If she had a better understanding of Jesus, April would know that he forgives, and loves all. I am hoping against hope that next week she’ll get straightened out, and learn the truth.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rachel

    I felt the same way. But what made me even more sad is that while Jesus does not hate her, her words held some truth in that they reflected what often gets absorbed by young people in the church. While we may preach grace, it is not often experienced through action and so we end up hearing the sort of performance gospel that April had been struggling with–a gospel that is void of real love and acceptance despite flaws (which is no good news at all).

    I like your point about needing Christian writers to deal with these topics carefully. Otherwise, this inaccurate view of God will continue to plague oru culture

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Love

    While I am not of faith, I was jarred to hear April say such a thing as “Jesus hates me.” What I admire about Christians and Christianity is when they take Jesus’s teaching about loving all and withholding judgment to heart. Though it was Grey’s writers that made the error, I hope that all Christians who saw this were equally upset, not because April sinned, which is human and she is clearly repentant, but because she could ever believe that Jesus would hate anyone, when he is meant to love all.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rich

    You are so right Linda – when I heard this on the show last night, I literally screamed out “NO! a thousand times NO!” That is NOT how Jesus feels about her, us and the rest of humanity. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” One of the most hopeful verses in all of the Bible. But unfortunately how many millions of people heard that last night and it just affirmed the view of God as this old man holding a wooden spoon, jusst waiting to whack people over the head when they do wrong. The evil one must have had a BIG smile on his wicked face last night at that one.

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