A Pastors Perspective, Christian Portrayals


By, Mike Upchurch

Christian Portrayals

Have you ever paid attention to the Medical Ads we’re bombarded with on TV? They almost always say “Actor Portrayal” on the bottom of the screen. Ever wonder why? Well simply put, if they didn’t divulge the fact that they are actors in the commercial and not those with the real diseases or issues, you might otherwise think the product always works. The actor pretending to be sick is now miraculously better due to the meds, so it must be true that they work. The FDA requires the portrayal disclaimer to protect us from being duped. For years it was a long running joke on Madison Avenue when actors would proclaim “I’m not a real Doctor, but I play one on TV.”

Well, wouldn’t it be great if Christianity required similar disclaimers? Imagine if those who weren’t really Christians, but we’re just pretending, had to wear embroidery that said “I’m not really a Christian, but I play one in real life”. Wouldn’t that be enlightening? When someone wounds us by not being Christ-like, perhaps we could more easily understand if they had a label that read “Actor” emblazoned across their forehead.

The problem is disclaimers aren’t required, and we have a lot of people pretending to be Christians. Liberals who demand rights that are diametrically opposed to biblical principal sometimes march for their rights by quoting scripture or invoking the name of God as if He approved of their cause or outrage. And it’s not just liberals. Shocking I know, but there are people among us who might cheat on their taxes, have an extra marital affair, steal from their employers, or break laws of the land in other ways, yet will quickly proclaim to you they are Christians. But the hard truth is they are in fact actors. They pretend to be Christians to those around them, but there is little evidence to support their claim. They simply do not know Jesus intimately. They have no prayer life. They don’t know His word. They are an actor pretending to be married to someone they don’t even know. They haven’t had a heart transplant…..

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26-27‬ ‭NLT

We can see the signs of Actor Portrayal in Christianity. Religious bumper stickers are a favorite of the acting crowd. Being seen in church is another golden tool used to convince. Or how about Facebook posts now and then with scriptures laid over beautiful landscapes that inspire. Certainly they are Christian or they wouldn’t post such things, right? Yet the next day, a profanity laced tirade or an explicit meme is on their wall.

You might say, “Pastor Mike, everybody sins. You can’t judge people!”

Are you sure? Are you sure that we aren’t to judge Christians? Let’s examine what Paul said about judging others in the Church…..

“When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.””
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:9-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Wow, those are pretty harsh words. But as he said, he isn’t talking about judging the world, he is talking about judging the Christian actors. The “Actor Portrayals” in the Church.

Church, it’s time all of us took being Christ-like seriously! It means to follow Christ and to emulate Him. It means putting your own desires aside and keeping yourselves pure. It means walking in love. It means walking in obedience to His commands. Continually. It means living righteously. It means doing the right thing. Always. Even when nobody sees.

No, I’m not telling you that we should kick the actors out of Church….I’m saying it’s time the actors repented and really took up their cross and turned their lives around! It’s time to be saved. It’s time to surrender. It’s time to strip off the actor portrayal and become real. It’s time for a Heart Transplant. Time is short. There isn’t time left to pretend anymore. It’s time to fall in love with Jesus and become His! It’s time to become a true worshipper. It’s time to have a deep and constant relationship with Christ. Don’t be an actor! The hard truth is actors will be barred from entry into Heaven! Actors have a burning Hell awaiting them. Listen to Jesus…..

““Not everyone who calls out to Me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God’s laws.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’m not sure about you, but that scripture terrifies me! There’ll be no Academy Award or Emmy or Golden Globe or any other award awaiting Christian actors! Only total and eternal separation from God and all those they love!

Be the real thing!! Be like Christ from the inside out! Live your life 24/7 in a manner that reflects the fact you are the real deal and not an actor!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike