Review: The Righteous Gemstones, "I Have Not Come to Bring Peace, But a Sword" | Season 3, Episode 4
Whether it's a jilted lover, an aging gospel star, or a Christian militia leader, people don't like having the rug pulled out from underneath them
We all need to feel like we belong. The positive side of this need leads us to form families both biological and chosen, to create welcoming spaces, to reach out and include others. The dark side tempts us to snobbery, clubbiness, tribalism. It creates a hunger for exclusive spaces, the pleasure of keeping other people out. Contemporary evangelicalism is defined by the friction between a theology of free gift of grace offered to all, and a rhetoric of purity that relegates people to the outer darkness, where the elect smugly relish their weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Tonight’s episode finds our characters experiencing all sides of this dynamic. On the positive side, Eli makes the Montgomeries feel welcome and assures them that they’re family. But being an honorary Gemstone comes with the full fantasy experience. A montage follows Karl and Chuck getting spa treatments to get ready for what May-May suspiciously dubs “television church.” Even more pointed is the montage of the …