March 22, 2011
I feel like, as Christians, we have gone too far with out 'Jesus junk'--as though having a Jesus fish on my car makes me any more devout, or reading a T-shirt is going to suddenly call someone to Christ. It may happen, but I think more often it is a turn-off for the non-Christian. Inevitably, it will be on the day that I wear my WWJD bracelet that I will end up leaving my temper unchecked, hurting my witness, and perpetuating a stereotype of hypocritical Christians. Instead, it is about the relationships that we form with the secular community that shows our realness, our brokenness, and ultimately our received redemption and passion for Christ. Enough with the Jesus junk--it is little more that thinly veiled, holier-than-thou materialism.
Jesus Junk? Even Jesus wears Jesus junk. When he returns he will be wearing a tunic that says KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. He will also have that tattoo on his thigh with the same words. Rev. 19:16. <br><br>Plus He has names of believers tattooed on his hands. "See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalemâ€™s walls in ruins." IS. 49:16<br>
What Jesus does in/on his person may not necessarily be the literal pattern for believers! "go thou and tattoo likewise!" :?)<br>Katelin's comments remind me of many backpacking trips with the guys to the Appalachians, which included an obligatory post-hike, walk-the-streets of Gatlinburg, TN. Souvenir/t-shirt shops had these themes that almost seemed interchangeable: Jesus, Dale Earnhardt (Nascar), and Elvis (substitute C&W star), a strange trinity indeed. Struggling for predominance also was military patriotism v. confederate heritage---the two loyalties both at odds and yet merged in the region.<br>My take on it all was Jesus got lost in the shuffle of all the other icons--or at best, was an equal player.
I respect anyone that wants to identify with Jesus no matter the degree of committment. People in their teens and twenties use tee shirts as a way of communicating their values. I would find it strange if in the middle of all the Nascar, beer and rebel shirts Jesus was missing. You can find Christianity Today magazine on crowded shelves among wrestling, racing, soft porn and surfing magazines at Borders Books which doesnâ€™t demean it value. I donâ€™t personally own a â€œJesusâ€ tee shirt nor do I have a tattoo, in part because that is not the customary way my tribe (60 year old pudgy white men) communicate their values. It doesn't make you any more spiritual or devout. But I am fine with anyone that wants to identify their allegiance by tee shirts and tattoos.
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