Amused, entertained, seduced!

(S. Houghton)

The fact is that theatrical performances, in order to be paying propositions, must pander to the baser passions in unregenerate men and women. They must be a reflector of the world — the world that lies in the Wicked One. This, say some, is their merit — they are a mirror of life, and as life includes the foul and the sordid, so too must the theater.

We grant that the playwright sets out to mirror life. So too does Holy Scripture. No book is so revealing as to human nature! No book better portrays human sin! But if the theater and the Book do one and the same thing — then wherein lies the vast difference between them? And why may not one be the handmaid of the other?

For a variety of reasons; but principally for this — that, whereas the Book shows . . .
  sin in its true evil colors,
  sin in its devilish origin,
  sin in its downward course,
  sin in its dreadful wages,
  sin in its awful and eternal consequences;
on the other hand the theater displays sin that men may be amused, entertained, and alas, all too often seduced! The Book smites the conscience and leads a man to say, "Woe is me, for I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!" It causes him to cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"

But the theater tends in another direction altogether. As it sets out to entertain, so also it blurs a man's sight of that which is truly spiritual and divinely holy; as it aims to amuse, it dulls a man's ability to examine himself in the pure light of revealed truth.