Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1960


O. B. Proctor, Del Rio, Texas

Jesus warned his disciples with these words, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Luke 12:1) Jesus condemned hypocrisy in strong and plain language (Matthew 23). A hypocrite is a pretender one who pretends to be what he is not, one who acts a false part." When a Christian "responds" to the invitation on the pretence of confessing faults while the real motive for responding was to encourage others to respond, he is just playing the part, the part of hypocrite. I know of some who have had the pressure put on them to take part in just such practice.

When a member of the church, a brother in Christ, "responds" to the invitation, confesses faith in Christ, and is baptized for the express purpose of teaching or encouraging others to respond, he is just playing the part, the part of a hypocrite. The motive may be good but the practice is wrong. This very thing is being practiced now in a T.V. film. The only scriptural way to teach and encourage others to obey the gospel is by preaching the gospel and by Christian living on our part. Question: Has the gospel lost its power and have we failed to live the Christian life so far and to the extent that Christians have to "play the part" of aliens in order to teach and encourage them to obey the gospel? Responding to the gospel invitation is a very serious thing. Brethren should never be guilty of "playing the part" of an erring child of God in an effort to persuade others to respond to the invitation. This sort of practice is wrong in a T.V. film or any where else. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. May we preach it and live as it teaches and God will give the increase.