This is the story of the two GCB’s whose unfailing legacies will forever define the Summer of 2012. In a year when the Mayans had predicted that everyone and everything on the face of the earth would completely vanish into thin air, we can all agree that both of these GCB’s certainly held up their end of the bargain.
One GCB presented a controversial drama striking at the very heart of many deeply rooted Southern Baptist values in a way that many found personally offensive and totally unnecessary.
The other, of course, was a television show.
We are now eight months removed from these events. Soon Old Man Winter will yield his icy grip to the green grass and budding flowers of Spring. With the changing of seasons, we are afforded the perspective to reflect back upon the pivotal events in the Summer of GCB.
In order objectively to measure the impact of these two GCB’s upon society and thereby determine which one was indeed the greatest, it is helpful to establish the methodology first. This evaluation will consider three specific aspects of each GCB, weighing them equally in tallying the final results. These aspects include spirituality, longevity and popularity.
1. Which GCB was more spiritual?
There is really no contest here. Great Commission Baptists want to tell others about Christ. They may not prefer the name Southern Baptist Convention, but they are certainly doing spiritual work in building up the kingdom. On the other hand, Good Christian Belles makes a mockery of faith, Christian virtue and Bible Belt culture. This one goes to Great Commission Baptists.
2. Which GCB lasted longer?
This is a bit harder to evaluate due to the obvious differences between a denomination’s informal descriptor and a lousy television show. Still, after a long period of anticipation and preparation, Good Christian Belles enjoyed a run of ten full episodes from March 4, 2012 to May 6, 2012. It was still going strong and making a significant impact two full months after its official start. Great Commission Baptists, on the other hand, launched in June 2012 at the Southern Baptist Convention. Two months later, in August, the moniker had completely disappeared from articles, letterheads, websites and conversation. It was heavily discussed prior to its narrow adoption, never to be mentioned again. I’m afraid the longevity award must go to Good Christian Belles.
3. Which GCB was most popular?
This one is not even close. Exactly 2,546 people at the Southern Baptist Convention voted in favor of the informal descriptor, while 2,232 voted against. If 158 people who favored the measure had opposed it, this GCB would not even exist. On the other hand, the series finale of Good Christian Belles was viewed by over 5.6 million people. Although neither GCB can truly claim any real measure of popularity, this one clearly goes to Good Christian Belles as well.
Thus, in the final analysis, the greatest GCB of all time, in a split decision, must be awarded to Good Christian Belles over Great Commission Baptists. Of course, the jury may still be out, and there is still time for someone, somewhere, anywhere, to pick up on the informal descriptor and cement its distinguished place in Southern Baptist life.
For now, however, the moniker appears to have earned all the stability and commitment of a cheap and tawdry one night stand, the kind of relationship portrayed regularly in raunchy television shows like Good Christian Belles.