Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1961

Boone Fans And Righteousness

Robert C. Welch, Nacogdoches, Texas

Several months ago an article appeared in this paper discussing some of the changes in morals of Pat Boone in his movies, using the example to warn that we cannot play with the fire of immorality without getting burned. Some statements concerning the contents of his recent movie were taken from a movie magazine. Members of churches of Christ sometimes are great fans of his and want to exploit him as" a member of the church to prove to the world and the worldly minded that we are as big and as liberal as anybody.

A California church bulletin apparently quoted the article and some readers who are Boone fans became highly indignant, demanding reason for accepting the article in preference to the commendations of liberal church magazines and liberal churches. They sent a carbon copy to me. Here is part of it:

"We would also like to know why you are willing to accept the word of Robert C. Welch of Nacogdoches, Texas, and his quotations from a Hollywood 'gossip column' above that of various publications amongst the fellowship of the Church, leading international magazines, and the word of mouth affirmation of your own Brothers and Sisters in Christ, concerning the influence and activity in the Church of Pat Boone, whom we know to be in full fellowship with the Inglewood Church of Christ at Inglewood, California."

I have heard of no international magazine which disagrees with the content of my article about the change which has taken place in Boone's movie morals. The movies are proof enough of that. The only brothers and sisters in Christ whose word of mouth testimony has come to me in commendation of Boone's influence and activity in the church, have been those who are liberal in their views about morals or are so mad about having popularity for the church that they will accept anything or anybody that will gain popularity. I know more about Boone's life and activity than I do about the church mentioned in the letter or the people who wrote the letter, and so far as I know they may be further along the path of sin and error than Pat; so I shall just take the evidence at hand.

A serious error prevails, and is manifest in this letter, that no sin can be exposed. Men are thinking that a public sin must be dealt with privately. Only one type of sin has this manner of dealing in the New Testament; when a brother has sinned against another. (Matt. 18:15) Otherwise, "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." (1 Tim. 5:20)

Another grave error in thinking of today is that all matters must be cleared with some church somewhere before it can be dealt with. The idea is plain popish and denominational.