“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. Last week my post was “Evangelism Question 5: What About Using Gospel Tracts?” We weighed the pros and cons of using gospel tracts to share the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.
This week my post is “Evangelism Question 6: What About Wearing God On Your Sleeve?” It’s about the question of wearing clothing that have Christian messages on them. I currently have about 15-20 t-shirts with Christian messages. I’ve also worn out a number more and threw them away . . . and some of my current ones are wearing out. I have favorite ones and usually wear those more than others.
I grew up Mennonite and my Dad was Amish. In my world, there was very little wearing of clothing with Christian messages. Although some people might make a point that Amish people with their clothing are a prime example of wearing God on their sleeves.
I’m not sure why I ever started wearing t-shirts with Christian messages on them. I never thought of it as being wrong or bad. I thought of it as simply being open about my faith in Christ.
Many people including Christians, however, do believe wearing Christian message apparel is wrong. They say openly that they think the person wearing it is pretentious and shallow. I want to explore that topic further by sharing two opposing points of view from online articles I’ve read. I don’t want to get too in-depth about it, and come down too strong on one side or the other. But I would love your opinions about both points of view.
- Point of View 1: In The Independent: Voice for Southern Utah, an unnamed guest contributor wrote an article in July 2017 entitled “Spiritual Activism: Do You Wear Religion on Your Sleeve?” The author questioned the motivation for people wearing apparel with Christian messages on them. He wrote, “It is always tempting to wear our religion on our sleeve, but do not confuse pithy sayings, faith t-shirts, and bumper stickers with spiritual transformation.” He went on to say, “We are to be in relationship, and our religious values should find us, even in our differences, being brought together rather than pushed apart. Otherwise, our faith is about self-validation, not relationship.” In other words, to this author t-shirts and car bumper stickers with Christian messages are more about self-validation and puts a wedge of separation between us and people that are lost who we are trying to share the gospel message with.
- Point of View 2: The Reformation21 website shared a different perspective. In September 2014 LBrown wrote “Wearing Christianity on Your Sleeve: What Helps Evangelism?” He quoted hip-hop artist Shai Linne’s lyrics in the rap song “Taste and See”. The lyrics say, "The world is not subtle, why should we be subliminal?" LBrown wrote "that it was a good question - why?" He wrote “I believe many Christians are conditioned to retreat into the cocoon of quietness. "Don't talk about religion," many people say. Therefore, to keep peace with our neighbor in the world, we embrace that mantra." But LBrown quoted Shai Linne’s rap song again, "The world is not subtle, why should we be subliminal?"
What about you. Where do you come down on the question of “wearing God on your sleeve”?
So, until I see you next time, keep sharing the wonderful love of Jesus,