Turn or Burn
Lost? John 3:16 Just Follow The Signs
Life is Wasted Without Jesus
These are some of the shirts that you can purchase from a number of Christian websites. There are many examples, and many websites to do this.
One such high school student in Nova Scotia was threatened to be suspended for wearing one. Specifically ‘Life is Wasted Without Jesus’. This whole story has taken a new twist as his father has now pulled him out in protest. Read this story.
The debate has been swirling around issues of religious freedoms and rights. Both the Evangelical Fellowship and the atheist organization, and the Centre for Inquiry feel they have both have instances.
But William has felt maligned overall at his school because he is a Christian. Here is a quote from him in the story.
“There are all kinds of religions in my school … [but] just for talking about Christianity, I’ve been called up to the office many times.”
So let’s lay the cards out on the table. I’ll do it from telling a story.
In 2007, I was at a festival called Creation. It was a concert of Christian bands in George, Washington. (Seriously, that’s the name of the town). As with every concert with music, there are CD’s, merchandise and t-shirts.
Since this is a “Christian” concert, guess what shirts are being sold? Look above for examples. Those were tame, compared to some of the shirts at the concert.
Now, who was purchasing the shirts and wearing them for all to see? The majority were high school students. They were being encouraged to purchase these t-shirts to take a stand for Jesus. They were challenged to make an impact on their High School and the best way to make an impact is by purchasing those shirts.
Now follow along with me a little bit. They estimated around 75,000-100,000 people attended this concert. They actually had 2 events. The average t-shirt runs at $20-$35. You add that with other events and concerts that sell t-shirts…
The reality is this “ministry” is big, big business. So big, in fact, that some will give 10%-20% of their proceeds to mission organizations. And some youth pastors will encourage the support of missions organizations with phrases like “Make an Impact for Jesus” and have them buy shirts.
The reality is the companies selling these t-shirts know exactly what they are doing. I’ll let you question motives.
The target audience is the exact student that is facing suspension. He wants to make an impact for Jesus. So not only is he wearing the shirt, I can assume by his quote that he was sharing his faith with it.
And some were offended.
Should William be allowed to wear the t-shirt at high school? Absolutely
Should an atheist, who also sell shirts and make huge money off them too, be allowed to wear t-shirts opposing God? Absolutely
That is not the point.
This isn’t about t-shirts.
While, a t-shirt is a great way of expression and people will take notice, they will also observe you overall.
If you are representing the “Shirt” then you should act like the “Shirt”.
To take this to the Bible, the Pharisees and other religious sects wore symbols so you can note who they were. They had a standing and a respect in the community. They had privileges. They took advantage of it.
Do you know who didn’t have these symbols?
The most discussed religious figure on earth and not a single religious symbol.
Yet, on the night of Jesus trial, who was seen hiding from all of it? Peter, a disciple of Jesus. They asked him, knowing that he was a follower of Jesus. As such, they were expecting better behaviour from Peter but he didn’t act what Jesus taught.
People notice more than a t-shirt. People also notice more than a message or a preaching of the gospel. We need to give people way more credit than that. To somehow think that a t-shirt will save someone miraculously is kind of insulting of people’s intelligence. It also makes some companies some great money.
The reality is people don’t care what you are like with the shirt.
They care what you are like when you don’t.