Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 17, 1957

A Tragedy Of November 17, 1956

Herbert E. Winkler, Nashville, Tennessee

I was saddened when the news broke on this date that Brother Pat Boone had signed a million dollar contract with Hollywood.

The line of demarcation between the church of the Lord and the world is drawn so wide and deep and so clearly shown that it astounds me that so brilliant a young man as Brother Pat could not see it. And if he did see it and knew the potential danger of his choice it only becomes the more astounding and tragic. But does one ask wherein his decision is tragic?

1. Pat, it is stated, "almost became a preacher," and he would have been a preacher of Christ's gospel which is God's power to save. But he came to a parting of the way and he pitched his tent toward Hollywood which is, in the eyes of devoted Christians who frown upon and abstain from evil, the synonym of sin and corruption. There where, if one tries, to maintain virtue and modest decency, he is shunned and made a laughingstock. It was a good gesture when he refused to tie in with M. Monroe and suggested that he wanted to lead in a clean show. But there will be pressure groups and the female element in Hollywood which will be tremendously hard to overcome. And will he be the one among ten thousand to come through untarnished if not destroyed? I have heard say that he is lost to the church — which means his eternal loss. WILL THAT BE TRAGIC?

2. The talent and personality of Brother Pat could have made of him a powerful proclaimer of Heaven's Truth. Just contemplate, if you will, the hundreds, and possibly thousands, whom he would have led to Christ and their influence reaching on down through the years after him (Rev. 14:13) but will never see the Light of Life and brought up before God in peace. What a decision! The souls of men and women who will never see the Light; but will be lost at the Judgment on account of the choice of this brother. I ask, is that TRAGIC?

"Almost Became A Preacher."

King Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Christian. "Almost, but lost."

3. His going into the movies will influence many of his young admirers to conclude that Hollywood and the movies are not so bad after all and I cannot doubt that thereby some will be influenced away from the simplicity of the truth that is in Christ and be lost. Will that be other than TRAGIC?

I have prayed that Brother Pat may see the potential repercussions of his decision and reconsider and act so as to retain his standing in God's grace.

The news report made mention of his three seemingly most popular records as being: "Ain't That A Shame," "I Almost Lost My Mind," and "Friendly Persuasion."

This presents the most ironical piece of maneuvering, I think, that ever came to my attention.'

Isn't it a tragic "SHAME" that this young man with such potential power for accomplishing such great things for the souls of men really "LOST HIS MIND" through the "FRIENDLY PERSUASION" of the Hollywood clique who dangled before him a cool million dollars and the PRAISE of one hundred and sixty million people?

One must love the praise of God infinitely more than the praise of men to turn down such a diamond studded career which mushroomed almost overnight so as to sweep a young unsettled college student off his feet.

I do not offer this criticism of Brother Boone for the sake of criticizing but in the hope that if he does not benefit personally, it will assist some poor soul to shun such a choice as this.

No, I am not ashamed of the position here assumed, for I am afraid to run any risk whatsoever in matters pertaining to the life after this.

"Sure I must fight if I would win Increase my courage Lord;

Endure the cross despise the shame, Supported by thy word."

"My son, if sinners entice thee, Consent thou not." "My son, walk thou not in the way with them; Refrain thy foot from their path:" (Prov. 1:10, 15.)

"Make no friendship with a man that is given to anger; And with a wrathful man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, And get a snare to thy soul." (Prov. 22:24, 25.)

"Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4.)

"Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals." (I Cor. 15:33.)

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,

As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;

But seen too often face to face,

We first endure, then pity, then embrace."