Joel Wheeler


Over the course of church history, man has often determined to change the way he worships God.  We must remember that God has set the standard for worshiping Him.  Jesus said “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  It seems that “drama groups” have woven their way into the worship of many liberal congregations.  Many, who are not satisfied with God’s instructions for worship, have taken it upon themselves to add theatrics to the assembly.  Those that promote such believe that they are changing the worship services for the better. Are they correct?  Should we act out the scriptures?  What would be wrong with doing so?

FIRST, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT FOR DRAMA in the worship services, neither by example nor command.  Whatever is done must be done by the authority of Christ and the approval of God (John 4:24; Colossians 3:17).  We read of singing (Ephesians 5:19), giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), praying (Acts 2:42), preaching (Acts 20:7), and the Communion or Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20-29) but never “drama worship.”  Did Peter, Paul or any of the other apostles act out the crucifixion or ascension?  We never read of them so doing!

SECOND, THE PURPOSE OF WORSHIP IS TO BRING GLORY TO GOD AND NOT TO SELF.  Performing drama and play acting Biblical accounts leads to self glorification.  Men are praised for their acting ability.  Theatrical performances are done for self-praise and self-glorification.  On several occasions, Jesus condemned the works of men that are done “to be seen of men” (Matthew 6:1; 23:5).

THIRD, GOD CHOSE PREACHING TO SAVE THE LOST AND NOT PLAY ACTING: Paul wrote “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).  The church is told to “preach the word.”  Preaching is to be done for the purpose of reproving, rebuking, exhorting, and convicting (2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 4:12).

In conclusion, “drama groups” and “worship drama” can only provide entertainment and boost the ego of the “performer.”  It is obvious that the liberal element in the church is ignorant of the Scriptures.  Both Old and New Testament characters used visual aids to make a point.  But never did the primitive church use drama productions to propagate the gospel.  The inventions of men never have the approval of God (Matthew 15:7-9).

            Via local bulletin, Garden City church of Christ, Garden City, MI