pssst – Christian shirts don't work

At the Revelation Generation music festival, I stopped by one of those Christian t-shirts tables.  Yeah, not sure I’m going to be able to stop once I start.  

First, I believe in righteous anger but I cannot tolerate the argument that this is a form of it.  Please comment/email me/contact me if you are the guy/girl who came to know Christ from reading someone’s Christian t-shirt.  I’m still looking for that story, “I was walking through the mall and this shirt read, “You think it’s hot here?  God.” and I asked the guy, “Dude, what must I do to be saved?”.  

Second, they only rally Christian  (Todd Hiestand has an interesting post regarding preaching) and offend the skeptical, the hurting, the marginalized and the normal.  

Third, though they’ve been out for years and years, the”attitude” shirts are too much of an imitation.  In a world without consequences, I would open up my own Holyster store so I could create these type Christian shirts.  They’d pretty much be the same type of shirts as we have now, but I’d market them like Abercrombie.  I’d employ Amy Grant’s strategy of “being sexy for Jesus” (Rolling Stone, June, 6, 1985) and have good-looking models with six pack abs holding their shirts that read, “Virginity is HOT”.  Maybe I’d even produce a teen coming to age movie, entitled, “He’s All That”.  I’d have the ‘t’s look like crosses.  Unsuspecting audiences would come expecting American Pie and we’d hit em up with uhhh … well … I’d have to pray about it but it would be a solid bait and switch which some consider to be great evangelism.  

Fourth, they’re usually lame.  

I present to you exhibit A:

You might ask, “What does this even mean?”

“Well, I’m glad you asked.  Please read the back of my shirt that has some Scripture and an explanation how porn “poses” as love but it isn’t really.  You see?  Now go and sin no more”.  Is that how you would actually speak to someone?  If so, you might want to rethink some of your social skills.

Here’s one that I thought was pretty good ….

until I read the back:

Should have just left the back blank.  The front actually has the potential to start meaningful conversation.  

Then there’s the pro-life shirts.  First, please know that I have very strong views against abortion.   However, if you have ever spoken to someone you love and respect (even if they are a stranger), some rhetoric, regardless of how clever it may be, is not helpful.

For example:

Could you imagine a pro-choicer having a shirt that says, “It’s a fetus – get over it!”???  I’d go nuts.  

What if someone walked around with an anti-capital punishment t-shirt that had a picture of a woman strapped to the electric chair with the fifth commandment over top of it, “Thou Shalt Not Kill!”.  I may not go nuts but I think that shirt would be distasteful.

I want to be careful and not say, “We shouldn’t wear these shirts” because those type of statements, among many things, sound legalistic to me.  Perhaps we can put some different thought into what we wear (and don’t wear).