Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 10, 1958

Pat Boone

Wm. E. Wallace, Ft. Smith, Arkansas

Someone handed me a bulletin from a college where a talented young Christian lady is preparing for a career in the show business. Pat Boone is the young singer's favorite artist and show business ideal. Of him she says, "He's what I would like to be. He stands for what a Christian should be, especially one in show business. He is using his talent to the fullest extent."

It is not pleasant nor popular to criticize public figures of Mr. Boone's stature and popularity. But it becomes necessary to do so when the example set by such a man endangers the spiritual and moral welfare of Christian young people. Pat Boone is a member of the Lord's church and thus young Christians are especially interested in him.

I do not for one moment mean to state or imply that Mr. Boone is immoral as the world classifies immorality. Certainly, he has won the respect of his associates in show business and of his fans across the country. Yet the standard of conduct set by Mr. Boone is far too liberal for those who wish to be numbered among God's separate people. Mr. Boone's environment is a worldly one, and the activities he indulges in involve a tripping around, on and very often right in worldliness of an obvious sort. Paul says that we should not be unequally yoked, that we should come out of such and be separate. (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1.) James warns against being spotted by the world. (James 1:27.)

Pat Boone claims to be a preacher of the Gospel, and I suppose he preaches a little Gospel. I realize of course that I have none of the glamour of this popular singer, but if I did, suppose I were to appear on television in swimming trunks or shorts, suppose I were to record suggestive love songs and to cavort with pretty young maidens, who are irresponsible regarding dress and modesty, in extravaganza scenes where revelings and even lasciviousness (Galatians 5:19-21.) are portrayed? Would you still want me as your preacher? Only the worldly minded would answer in the affirmative. To say the least Mr. Boone's appearances in and with doubtful or implicatory television settings and stage skits are unbecoming to a Christian. I have seen and heard him perform on television and radio; I have witnessed him perform on stage.

Mr. Boone's conduct, while somewhat admirable in that it is restricted compared to the conduct of others in show business, is far too liberal to fit the New Testament's description of the Christian gentleman.

I do not mean to say that young people are not to have good times. They can certainly "live-it-up," and many do so without resorting to the ways of the world. And I think it the responsibility of every parent to provide or make possible the kind of wholesome recreation and entertainment every young person needs.

There are other things to be said of Pat Boone's liberal trends. His liberal conceptions concerning the church and doctrine as manifested in various authoritative reports betray his drift toward denominationalism. We do not say all this to pick at some one in show business, no, we would rather not say anything at all. But if the Pat Boone craze takes our young people, the next generation of church leaders will have long surrendered the moral standards that help make God's people a separate people. And so, for that reason, we must speak. It may be, as some suggest, that Mr. Boone is too severely criticized, that he is to be more pitied than censured — be that as it may — the spiritual health of young people is at stake. In saying all this we are not saying that we cannot appreciate good talent and witness good entertainment — we are only reflecting this New Testament truth: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2.)