Car abandoned in the 1930's in the ghost town of Bodie, California

Pretenders

Those of you who know me know that I am true movie connoisseur. In my life, I have had the privilege of seeing some of the greatest movie actors in the history of Hollywood. Some of my all-time favorites that I believe are worthy of the “greatest” category are: Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, Leonard DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Ed Norton, Russell Crowe, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, Kathy Hepburn, Sally Field, and Sandra Bullock. I could list many more; however, listing my favorite actors and actresses isn’t the focus of this Pastor’s Pen.

In my admiration and keen awareness of great acting and filmmaking, I have noticed how much great acting is going on in The Church today. I would dare say that Christian acting is at an all-time high. Either I have been enlightened to reality or many Christians have taken their lessons from these Hollywood greats.

The Christian life and calling is not a life of pretense or pretend. It is a true calling to righteousness and holiness. I’m not sure where the watered down version of Christianity has surfaced from, but it is amazing to me how gifted and talented some folks are in the Body of Christ at acting. There are far too many Christians putting on the makeup, the costume and the facade of being a Christian. For Christian actors, there is one look when the cameras are on them on Sundays or while they are in the confines of doing something that is “Christian” and then there are different faces, characters and actions when they are not performing.

Look at the words of scripture found in Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB) in which Jesus dealt with this very subject matter of acting: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

In the preceding verses (Matthew 7:16-20), Jesus uses the metaphor of a tree and how a tree must bear the fruit of the kind of tree it is. Such is the case, Jesus says, about a true Christian and one that is not pretending to be.