“He Never Let On!”

by Robert Turner

The musical “Oklahoma” has a character, Judd, who is eulogized in a mock funeral as one who was kind and gentle, and loved the whole human race; “Only they never knew it - he never let on.”

Poor Judd is not dead - he isn’t even sick. There are thousands of his kind in the church. They love all people and long to see the whole world converted - the world never discovers this burning desire. They never “let on,” even to a hair dresser.

They love the truth, according to public prayers and songs. But if they attend Bible study at all, it is to give their opinion or experience, not to study the text. If a passage seems to run counter to their traditional concepts, they ignore it or “explain it away.”

They believe in salvation by grace - and if you push them hard enough they will admit it. They know that one may fall from grace - i.e. some one other than themselves. If they really believe that the Lord will reveal and judge the secrets of their lives and thought, “they never let on.” You would never guess it.

They “love the brotherhood” if not the brethren. They long for unity of all saints, and would do almost anything to see all issues properly settled - except meeting with those with whom they differ for an honorable and scriptural discussion of the issues which divide them.

This is not intended as a blanket indictment of all church members, for I know the salt of the earth is at work. Christians are concerned, and endeavor to teach their neighbors. Gospel preachers are demonstrating by sacrificial efforts, their love for souls. There are those who care more for peace with God, than for approval of “the party.”

But this is a reminder that such love, concern and endeavor are not “done in a corner.” If people about you have never suspected that you are a Christian, there’s a good chance that you have never “let on” with a fair sample of Christian living. Do not ask me to preach your funeral.

Back to Bulletin Fodder