Lights, Camera, Action!

Gary Henson

Upon returning from an out-of-state job assignment, one of our members showed me a brochure from a congregation which he had attended. It was a program of the church’s drama which they were presenting. It rivaled a commercial production, complete with seven full scenes and a lengthy acknowledgement list of actors, stage crew, construction workers, lighting, sound, scenery, make-up, costume, printing, etc. However, I wasn’t surprised at this (and neither was my brother who gave me the brochure) because many in the church have been acting without Biblical authority for a long time. It must be remembered, in matters of religion, one can only do that which has been authorized (Col. 3:17). We can neither add to, nor take away, from what God has said (Rev. 22:18-19).

What, then, is it that God has specifically told us to do regarding the proclamation of His Word? He told us to “preach” (kerusso) meaning, “to be a herald; to officiate as a herald; to proclaim after the manner of a herald” (Thayer’s, p. 364). Matthew 10:7 states, “And as ye go, preach, saying…”—not dramatizing.

He told us to “preach” (dialegomai) meaning, “to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss” (Thayer’s, p. 139). “Paul preached unto them… and continued his speech…”—not drama (Acts 20:7).

He told us to “preach” (euangelidzo) meaning, “to proclaim glad tidings; specifically to instruct (men) concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation” (Thayer’s, p. 256). “…when they were come unto Antioch, spake [not dramatized] unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus” (Acts 11:20). He told us to “preach” (katagello) meaning, “to announce, declare, promulgate, make known; to proclaim publicly, publish” (Thayer’s, p. 330), as was done in Acts 4:1-2. Also carefully notice the preaching of Peter (Acts 2:14-40; 3:19-26; 10:34-43), Stephen (Acts 7:2-53), and Paul (Acts 13:16-42; 17:22-31).

The conclusion is obvious. God has specifically authorized preaching by oral discourses. The addition of dramas to our worship is going beyond the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9); it is a forbidden addition (Rev. 22:18); it is that which those who both know and love the truth will not do. May we always only do that which God has authorized.

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Author: Editor

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