Vol.IV No.II Pg.8
April 1967

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

I know little or nothing about Sam Spiegel, movie producer; but I heard a T. V. interview on a recent Today show in which he was asked to explain his ability to communicate great and deep feelings through his movies to the audience. His reply is sound.

"You must become deeply involved in the story -- emotionally -- almost psychologically -- involved; and then you will communicate to the audience.

"If you try to maneuver, or manipulate the audience into the situation, you will fail. But you must feel -- become personally and deeply involved yourself -- and then you communicate with the audience."

I quote his words from memory, and may have missed something; but this is the gist of it. His answer is sound from the viewpoint of dramatic art -- (Boleslavsky method??) and it mirrors a sound principle for teaching others the gospel of Christ.

It is a cheap imitation of gospel preaching or teaching that seeks to "maneuver the audience into" anything. The mass psychology of great "Campaigns," with shills to start the movement "down the aisles"; the emotion-packed "devotionals" at summer camps; or the "coffee-and-doughnut" appeals; these may turn numbers to the church, but they will not turn souls to Christ.

Plans -- schemes -- personal-work programs -- I have made some beauties in my time; but until workers for the Lord become "deeply involved" themselves, the "program" will fail.

This is our weakest point, and has been for some time. We want to dream up some "Fair Booth," some centrally controlled T. V. program, some anything we can "support" with a check-by-mail -- and stay as uninvolved personally as possible. But we do not communicate the ideas of Christ in this way.

God has provided all the organization we need, in the local church. We are urged to use sound judgement and wisdom where it is ours to choose, so I do not depreciate planned and orderly arrangements of work. But the KEY remains in individual dedication. I must believe, I must have strong convictions, I must be concerned, I must GO -- with a gospel I practice. When this is done the leaven will do its work and Christ will be glorified.