(This is the conclusion of my 8 part series on the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade controversy. Start at part 1 here!) )
Here is my apologetic for wearing what I wear to our various evangelistic venues. It’s not perfect, but I think adequately explains why I do what I do as an evangelist. I look forward to your gracious and tactful responses to my “in a nutshell” explanation.
This is a response to some comments from the post, “What I’ll Wear to the Chinese New Year Parade.” :
******I pretty much post whatever is commented on, and allow the readers to “fight my battles” so to speak. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my methods, but please, if the reader disagrees, be gracious. We all come from different backgrounds and different approaches. I try different things all the time, some don’t work, and others do. My way is not the only correct way; you are free to preach and witness any way you like. Sometimes, though, we will just have to disagree.
My Scripture for wearing the Obama shirt in part 1 of this series comes from 1 Corinthians 9:20-23: “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Paul writes, “To the Jews I became a Jew… to win those who are under the Law.”
John MacArthur writes, “Because Jews were still under the Law, Paul would himself act as under the Law when he worked among them. He did not believe, teach, or give the least suggestion that following the Law was of any spiritual benefit… but it was a way of opening doors to work among the Jews.” (From MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians)
Paul writes, “To those who are without law, as without law.”
MacArthur again, “To keep from being misunderstood, he makes it clear that he is not talking about ignoring or violating God’s Moral Law. “…In other than moral matters, however, Paul identified as closely as possible with Gentile customs. He ate what they ate, went where they went, and dressed as they dressed. The purpose was to win the Gentiles to Christ.” (From MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians
Paul writes, “To the weak I became weak.”
MacArthur, “When among those who were weak he acted weak. He stooped to their level of comprehension.”
(From MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians)
Folks, if you disagree with me, I’m okay with that. Really. I offer suggestion and techniques that you may want to use, but you don’t have to. And please, I want you to smile and laugh and have a good time when reading this blog. I try to make fun of myself when I make mistakes, and want this site to be enjoyed. It is not my way or the highway.
I want to answer this comment from my brother, Chad:
A shirt with Buddha is wrong due to people thinking you would be Buddhist. Yet a shirt with “The year of the Ox” is related to the Chinese Horoscope. Its better for them to think you are into chinese astrology than Buddha? Unbelievable Steve……….Promotion of the gods of astrology is better than the promotion of Buddha? I know, I know I must be totally off base here so go ahead set me straight………What am I missing here?
To Chad: Thank you brother for your support and earnest desire to understand. Let me explain why I would not wear a Buddhist shirt and why I would wear a “Year of the Ox” shirt.
Buddhism is a religion. To wear a Buddha would imply that I ascribe to that religion, which, of course, I don’t.
“The Year of the Ox” shirt is more cultural, like our Independence Day (and yes, I do know that it is from their Zodiac). An analogy I would use is a British person visiting America on the Fourth of July. Would it be wrong for him to wear an American Independence Day shirt, even though our forefathers founded our country on rebellion? (I admit that it is not the best analogy.)
That’s my take, anyway. My conscience says it’s okay; yours may not. I’m okay with that. We’re brothers. I would not make you wear the shirt if you joined us on an evangelism outing, and if you felt that strongly if you did join us, I probably wouldn’t wear it out of Christian love.
To the few who disagree with my shirt-wearing, please understand that I just want you to understand why I’m doing it; I’m not trying to be right. This falls, I believe, into that gray area. For some of you, it may be black and white; that’s okay, too.
God bless you. I appreciate you. Keep fishin’,