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Are Conventional Church Dramas Scriptural?

April 28 2006 at 9:52 AM
Dr. Bill Crump  (no login)
from IP address

Some people maintain that baptism and the Lord's Supper are forms of "drama," because baptism "acts out" the Lord's death, and the Lord's Supper "shows" the Lord's death until He returns. These people further maintain that all who participate in baptism and the Lord's Supper are "actors." And still others go so far as to say that Jesus' miracles were also "dramas." If so, then Jesus was likewise an "actor." Through such arguments, people attempt to justify conventional stage productions or "dramas" in their churches, especially at Christmas and Easter, and cite passages like 1 Cor. 11:26.

While we know that the New Testament does not authorize observing specific days such as Easter and Christmas, what about church dramas in general? Are they scriptural or just another worldly way to entertain the crowds?

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Re: Are Conventional Church Dramas Scriptural?

April 28 2006, 2:00 PM 

The essence of the gospel is the story. A drama is no different from a flannelgraph, a sermon, a tract or a Jule Miller filmstrip. They are all attempts to tell the story. If any of those techniques are effective at doing that, it would be wise to use them.

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April 28 2006, 6:10 PM 

Observance of "special days" are neither authorized or unauthorized. Col 2:16, "16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day."

Throw that in with a little Romans 14 action, and I think you should keep your judgements to yourself.

I don't personally care for church dramas because I am not a PhDUH, and I am not cultured, apparently. However, to INVENT A SIN, where God has NOT, is to add to God's Word (Rev. 22:18-19). AND we know how God feels about that.

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Judge Knott
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Drama definition

April 28 2006, 8:17 PM 

Drama: Drama is a term generally used to refer to a literary form involving parts written for actors to perform. Dramas can be performed in a variety of media: live performance, film, or television. "Closet dramas" are works written in the same form as plays (with dialogue, scenes, and "stage directions"), but meant to be read rather than staged; examples include the plays of Seneca, Manfred by George Gordon Byron, and Prometheus Unbound by Percy Bysshe Shelley. ...

Question to ponder: Do you really think the Bible was written for actors?

the above definition was taken from:

Judge Knott

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Joe Spivy
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Bible for Actors

January 21 2007, 7:55 AM 

Judge Knott asks, "Do you really think the Bible was written for actors?"

Just a question: Have you considered the book of Song of Solomon (Song of Songs)?

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Donnie Cruz
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“Drama” Is a Ministry at Madison and Other Churches

January 20 2007, 4:34 PM 

The “DRAMA MINISTRY” at Madison continues. The Marcher (12.24.06) has this announcement:

    Throughout the year, Madison’s drama ministry works to provide Christian entertainment with a message, and it’s a great way to invite unchurched people to visit Madison. The ministry includes not only actors and actresses, but also seamstresses, set builders, artists, promotion assistance and more. If you would like to learn more about the drama ministry, contact Kelley Hughes at 860-3299.”

Who coined the expression “the unchurched”? Does the origin of the expression need to be researched? Or, is it obvious whence it came? “Where have all the gospel meetings gone … long time passing?”


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Re: “Drama” Is a Ministry at Madison and Other Churches

January 21 2007, 1:06 PM 

So where does the term "Gospel Meeting" come from? Do we need to research that? Today's drama is an effort to reach people outside the church (or unchurched) much like the Gospel Meeting of time ago. Just like in the 50's and 60's you might be able to convince someone to come to a gospel meeting that wouldn't come to Sunday morning, the same holds true of the drama presentation. Half the people that come to our dramas at church don't attend our church regularly. And as you know, just getting them in the door once is a huge step. However, in today's culture, the odds of you getting that kind of result with a gospel meeting is slim to none. Do we just sentence those people to hell and keep with a good but dated tradition?

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: “Drama” Is a Ministry at Madison and Other Churches

January 22 2007, 1:12 AM 

Consider the first-century example of Christ and His preaching. Christ never utilized a troupe of actors singing and dancing on a stage to draw people to Him, though popular entertainment was readily available at the time. Likewise, He never utilized elaborate costumes and sets, but instead He utilized and preached the pure Word of God, the message of the Gospel, as a drawing card.

Sure, some people have tried to equate Christ's miracles as "drama productions," but that merely cheapens a tool that Christ used to prove His divinity. Today, Christ's divinity has long been established and no longer needs to be proven.

On other threads, I've posed this situation: Two similar churches start out alike by preaching the Word without frills. Their membership number is also similar. Later, church 1 adds showbiz entertainment, instrumental music, and drama, whereas church 2 just simply continues to preach the Word without frills. The membership at church 1 grows exponentially as many people from other churches pile in, whereas the membership at church 2 falls because some people leave there and go over to church 1.

Why did church 1 "grow" so quickly and why did the membership at church 2 begin to fall? The Word was preached at BOTH. The obvious reason is that people thirsted not for the Word of God but for the entertainment and thrills offered at church 1. Why else would they leave church 2 for church 1?

The bottom line is that church drama is merely a form of entertainment that can never replace preaching the pure Word of God. Moreover, drama contributes to churches the look and feel of performing arts centers and hence makes the Church more like the world. The Church is to remain apart from the ways of the world (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).

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Ken Sublett
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DRAMA in CHURCH is an oxymoron and therefore SPECIFICIALLY OUTLAWED.

January 20 2007, 11:22 PM 

Paul's only "worship" words speak of GIVING HEED to God through HIS Words "as they have been taught." You can speak that or see it in print in various forms. However, no one can be a rhetorician, singers, musician, dancer or actor without falling under Jesus identification of them as belonging to the SECTARIAN HYPOCRITES as He pointed to Isaiah and Ezekiel. When the focus is put on the looks, talent, voice, movements or acting skills you DEFACT worship that dramatic event because you GIVE HEED TO IT and cannot (cannot) give Heed to Jesus and HIS words at the same time.

The Zoe Group had to bring in an expert to debunk the Platonic Fallacy. That includes the universally known connection between music, theatrical performance and gender bias. Even when males had to perform the female roles Plato warned against GENDER BLEED.

Second, if you believe those olden scholars, Paul outlawed any kind of arousal singing or theatrical rhetoric which would create the "spiritual anxiety through religious rituals" which Jesus died to FREE us from: the laded burden. Why not: that was the LAW for the "church in the wilderness."

Rom 15:1 WE then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Aresko<> (g700) ar-es'-ko; prob. from 142 (through the idea of exciting emotion); to be agreeable (or by impl. to seek to be so): - please.
Airo (h142) ah'ee-ro; a prim. verb; to lift; by impl. to take up or away; fig. to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); spec. to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Heb. [comp. 5375] to expiate sin: - away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).

That is the LADED BURDEN Jesus outlawed along with the "doctors of the Law who take awway the key to knowledge."

Paul warned that this was the REPROACHES prophesied upon Jesus which meant too "make Him naked" among other things. This had the same meaning of EXTERNAL SINGING:

Aoidê 1. art of song, autar aoidên thespesiên, spell, incantation, thing sung, song, whether of joy or sorrow,

John confirms the univerals Greek and Latin understanding that arousal singing was witchcrafte or SORCERY (Rev 18) which defined the AGENTS of the Mother of Harlots (Rev 17). Why would anyone LUST to do that? All of the pagan worship music intended to induce FEAR or PANIC: that is why the Apollo or Apollyon of Revelation is known ad Phoebus or FEAR. You cannot AROUSE people's emotions without inducing fear: especially if you claim to be Jesus leading them into the presence of God.

Areskos [g142] A. pleasing, mostly in bad sense, obsequious, cringing, II. areskos, ho, the staff borne by pornoboskoi [brothel keeper] on the stage, Poll.4.120.

Hairetikos (g141) hahee-ret-ee-kos'; from the same as 140; a schismatic: - heretic [the Gr. word itself].
A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition reject; Tit.3:10

All of the performing arts were used by the DEMAGOGUE in order to appease the crowds to pick their pockets. This is important to know about the DELIBERATE HERETICS: it is not possible to introduce instruments into a peaceable church WITHOUT knowing that you are DELIBERATELY SOWING DISCORD. That is why they are called the CROOKED GENERATION or Generation of VIPERS. They can lie to your face and get away with it because they can transmorgify into an ANGEL OF LIGHT. This also points directly to APOLLO who could convert himself into a musical dolphin to TAKE CAPTIVE ministers from other shrines and lead them Delphi where they were given a knife to slaughter as many SHEEP as they wished.

The same word in the Latin Version SPECIFICIALLY outlaws ALL that the PERFORMING ARTS which is a DEFACTO telling Jesus Christ that HIS words do not have the POWER to achieve THEIR PURPOSE: but THEIR purpose is clearly NOT the purpose of God for the EKKLESIA for EDUCATION ONLY.

XV. debemus autem nos firmiores inbecillitates infirmorum sustinere et non nobis placere

Placeo to please, to be pleasing or agreeable, to be welcome, acceptable, to satisfy (class.).
1. In scenic lang., of players or pieces presented, to please, find favor, give satisfaction: scenico placenti

Scaenicus I. of or belonging to the stage, scenic, dramatic, theatrical
I. Lit.: poëtae, dramatic poets, ludi, stage-plays, theatrical representations, : fabula, a drama,

Organa, modulatio Comedy. Orator
A. instrument, implement, tool, for making or doing a thing
3.musical instrument,of the pipe
    Poi-êtês II. composer of a poem, author, p. kômôidias Pl.Lg.935e; p. kainôn dramatôn, b. composer of music, 2. author of a speech
Organum Vitr. 10, 1.--Of musical instruments, a pipe,. Gen. 4, 21; id. 2 Par. 34, 12 -Of hydraulic engines, an organ, water-organ: organa hydraulica,
    Gen 4:21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
    H8610 manipulate, figuratively to use unwarrantably:--catch, handle, (lay, take) hold (on, over), stop, X surely, surprise, take.
    H8608 taphaph to drum, that is, play (as) on the tambourine:taber, play with timbrels.
    H8611 tôpheth to'-feth From the base of H8608 ; a smiting, that is, (figuratively) contempt:--tabret. MEANING HELL
Organon , to, ( [ergon, erdô] ) I. an implement, instrument, engine of any kind (mostly post-Aug.), Col. 3, 13, 12.--Of military or architectonic engines (whereas machina denotes one of a larger size and more complicated construction)
    FOR DOING HARD WORK: Ergon [Ergô], 1. in Il. mostly of deeds of war, polemêïaerga, 3.a hard piece of work, a hard task, Il.: also, a shocking deed or act,
Modulatio. In partic., a rhythmical measure, modulation; hence, singing and playing, melody, in poetry and music, Quint. 9, 4, 139: modulatione produci aut corripi (verba), id. 9, 4, 89 : modulatio pedum, id. 1, 6, 2 : scenica, id. 11, 3, 57 : vocis, melody, id. 11, 3, 59 : musica, Aus. Ep. 25, 13 .
    Clement of Alexandria: "After having paid reverence to the discourse about God, they leave within [at church] what they have heard. And outside they foolishly amuse themselves with impious playing, and amatory quavering (feminine vibrato), occupied with flute-playing, and dancing, and intoxication, and all kinds of trash.

Please for Edification or Education:

A.To take a thing by hearing, i. e., 1.To hear, to perceive, to observe, to learn (cf. opp. do = I give in words, i. e. I say): hoc simul accipe dictum, 2.To comprehend or understand any thing communicated 3. With the accessory idea of judging, to take a thing thus or thus, to interpret or explain

What is it about SPEAK cannot the sowers of discord NOT UNDERSTAND. Really, people, do you you need to PROCURE a PhDuh, to lie TO God and lie ABOUT God.

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Re: DRAMA in CHURCH is an oxymoron and therefore SPECIFICIALLY OUTLAWED.

January 21 2007, 11:48 PM 


It doesn't take a PhDuh, as you put it, to realize your argument makes no sense. I would like to actually carry on a true debate, but I know you can't limit your responses to the actual questions at hand and you must always put in an insult or two, so why even make the effort.

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Ken Sublett
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January 22 2007, 11:25 AM 

Nothing to debate: In Romans 14 Paul outlawed for "doubtful discourse" all of the preferences in Rome. It turns out that we know the NAMES of the only three sects in Rome which are identified by their DIETARY habits but Paul points beyond that to the RELIGIOUS practices which all used arousal music to seduce the ritualists so vile that they had been regulated long before Paul. That is why he defines the SYNAGOGUE function in Romans 15 which based on the DIRECT COMMAND for the Qahal or church in the wilderness and Paul's EXPLICIT words to exclude any "creation of mental excitement." That is the laded burden Jesus died to remove which was "creation of spiritual anxiety through religious rituals." The word REST as SABBATH and LORD'S DAY is the Greek PAUO and it also is usually associated to mean STOP the singing, STOP the music, STOP the Panic which is the ONLY PRODUCT of excited singing usually defined as enchanting or sorcery.

In Romans 15 he defined the assembly, ekklesia or synagogue and begun by outlawing SELF-pleasure. This is in contrast to Please-For-Edification which means EDUCATION. Education is what you do in an ekklesia or synagogue.

I defined the Greek word for SELF-PLEASURE and I can give you the links to the Liddel and Scott LISTING (no definition available) of how these words are USED in actual texts. Then, it links you to the actual literature often Greek or Latin documents. There, you can see how the words are actually USED in real texts. The Greek for PLEASE is never used of anything decent or moral.

Then, I quoted the Latin Text (from whence the Greek NT) was translated primarily by Erasmus to beat the competetion into print. The word specificially OUTLAWS all of the performing arts. Now, that is the DIRECT COMMAND and minimal common sense knows that you dont' sing, clap or play instruments when Jesus promsies to be out only Teacher when the elders "teach that which has been taught."

Now, you can post any argument in favor of instruments you wish but you cannot predetermine how I will answer. I can assure you that you will never find a jot or tittle in the Bible or known literature which does not associate religious music with bad people picking your pockets. I will enlist ALL church fathers and founders of denominations and even the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Post away: I will try to keep it short. However, when ALL of the pro-instrumentals lie about every passage in the Bible or recorded history it is like putting a drop of black acid into a cup of white milk: it takes a chemist to convert it from a dilute ACID back to MILK.

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Tommy Hood
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January 23 2007, 3:28 PM 

First of all let me say I am not a proponent of change. I do have a question that may apply to this thread. I am against typical dramatic entertainment taking the place of worship services but what about at a different time? What about a drama on a Friday night or some other night? These can be used to attract people that may not typically attend. How is that any different from a drama occuring at a vbs?


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Dr. Max Moon
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Another situation

January 24 2007, 8:58 AM 

Two similar churches start out alike by preaching the Word without frills. Their membership number is also similar. Later, church 1 adds a preacher who is a better public speaker, whereas church 2 just simply continues to preach the Word with the same minister they have always had. The membership at church 1 grows exponentially as many people from other churches pile in, whereas the membership at church 2 falls because some people leave there and go over to church 1.

Why did church 1 "grow" so quickly and why did the membership at church 2 begin to fall? The Word was preached at BOTH. The obvious reason is that people thirsted not for the Word of God but for the better speaker offered at church 1. Why else would they leave church 2 for church 1?

The bottom line is that a good speaker is a form of an entertainer just as the speaker in church 2. One is clearly better than the other. And the majority of folks would rather listen to a better form of entertainment while the Word is preached than the poorer example.

The only way to avoid this is to have "church" the way the Apostles and people in the New Testament did! In the home!

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Re: Another situation

January 24 2007, 10:44 AM 

You're right on Max. This topic is one of the saddest to me in my tragic experience with the C of C denomination. According to the definition of entertainment, worshipping God BETTER be entertaining. You want to make Him and His Word boring? That's a worse sin than anything the "change agents" are accused of.

We are in a battle against Satan. As far as entertainment goes, he's winning. Some churches are making up ground in the battle. Quit shooting them in the back!

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Not Entertained
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Another situation—a different observation

January 24 2007, 4:12 PM 

I seriously doubt that the similarity of the scenarios.

For example, if preacher #1 were Max Lucado whose preaching content is culture-driven and [as you said] entertaining; and preacher #2 were Willard Collins whose message is pure gospel-driven and whose delivery is fiery but non-entertaining—results as far as numbers are concerned would be different.

Not to mention many other factors—a musical band and other festivities, a comfortable “worship center” with the “choir or praise team” or “Christian Rock” stars singing for the congregation, a made-for-TV “worship” programming, etc.

It would be “tempting” for many to be in such a gathering where sin has been downgraded to a fault or mistake, where the preaching of God’s abundant grace leads to its misuse or abuse, where reverence has been upgraded to raucous shouting of “hallelujahs and praise-the-Lords” and rhythmic clapping and applause.

Did I say “tempting”?

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Another situation

January 24 2007, 5:41 PM 

So if we follow Moon's logic through, the most perfect and eloquent Christian speaker Who ever lived, being Christ Himself, was really nothing more than an "entertainer" who provided "entertainment" to His listeners by being able to hold their attention. That reduces Christ to a cheap, showbiz performer. It shows abject disrespect for Christ and is merely a Change Movement ploy to justify making the Church more and more like the world in defiance of James 4:4 and 1 John 2:15.

Perhaps those who vainly focus on making the Church more "entertaining" should seriously consider that if people won't darken church doors unless there is some form of "entertainment" present to wow them, whatever that may be (e.g., pizzazz speaker, rock band, praise team), then perhaps those people aren't really receptive to the Word of God to begin with. It goes without saying that entertainment as a sole drawing card is really quite shallow.

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Re: Another situation

January 25 2007, 10:07 PM 

Please present to us how you relate from Max's comment that Jesus was an entertainer? How can you assume that?
Lets's see.....Christ captivated audiences because
a) He was a good speaker
b) He was charismatic
c) He loved God

The only one that can be proven is c

So why do you believe that Christ was a perfect and eloquent speaker? Because he was wise with all of His answers? That doesn't make Him eloquent. He was just very proud of Who He was. He was convicted in what He presented. Conviction might have given Him confidence, but not eloquence.
Eloquence is assumed by you.
Paul was not supposed to be eloquent, but his conviction for the Truth made him still a good speaker.
People will always believe you and want to hear what you say if you believe in what you has nothing to do with eloquence. They see your heart when you speak.

You missed Max's message altogether.
You are thinking about verbal warfare with anyone that doesn't think like you so it doesn't really matter what they present. You are going to attack them.

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Another situation

January 26 2007, 12:58 AM 

Moon stated that really good speakers are entertaining. Those who are entertaining are entertainers, professional or not, Christian or not. Since Jesus was the most perfect, sinless person on earth in every conceivable way, the perfect model if you will, He had to be the ideal, model speaker. After all, the Son of God did give us the model prayer and the model way to live our Christian lives, so why shouldn't He be the model speaker as well? Surely you don't think that Jesus was just an average speaker! And if Jesus was indeed the model speaker on earth, and if we carry out Moon's logic to completion, then Jesus was also entertaining and hence an entertainer.

Not the best way to describe the Son of God by lumping Him in the same category as entertainers, yet that's the final result if we carry Moon's logic on to completion.

No verbal warfare here, just simple logic.

Now perhaps Moon would like to reconsider describing good Christian speakers as "entertaining."

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Dr. Moon
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Re: Another situation

January 26 2007, 7:48 PM 

Maybe you need to reconsider your logic, Bill.

"Entertaining" is not necessarily sinful or wrong. The situation I wrote of can be seen as true.

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Milk vs. Meat
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A Different Perspective

January 24 2007, 4:37 PM 


You brought up a different perspective—something I have also thought about for quite some time now.

I would consider a drama presentation outside of the assembly as acceptable ONLY WHEN there’s someone who speaks to the audience beforehand or afterward explaining that a 50-word story from the Bible has been expanded to an hour of delivery. Can you imagine how much of human imagination has been incorporated into the drama?

There is also a need to always relate or connect the “acted-out” [meaning a very small portion of truth] story to God’s scheme of redemption. You see, most dramas are presented without the connection—and what a waste of time expended for preparation and live performance when a movie could be shown in lieu of it.

I am definitely opposed to a “typical dramatic entertainment,” as you said, taking the place of what should occur in the assembly of the saints. The saints should be ready for the real meat of God’s Word—not baby food forever. Yes, the “Interactive Easter Drama Worship” is very despicable.

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