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.