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Instant Cred

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As unbelievable as it may sound some people took issue with me for wearing an “Obama The President” T-shirt to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade yesterday, although the community in which nearly 30 of us ministered was 99.9999% African American.
Payton wrote, “I’d be afraid that by wearing an Obama shirt they would assume the message I’m sending them is approved by Obama. And everything Obama stands for is contrary to the Gospel!! Do you think Paul would wear an idol around his neck to appeal to the pagan idol worshipers?”

Really? Wearing a shirt that depicts our president is idolatry? A man who inspires hope, change, and represents our country to the world is a man to be admired, and I wanted to show, in a sincere fashion, that I support our new President. What better way to springboard into a message that offers real hope, the hope of the Gospel?

Chad penned, “…it’s ok to wear a pro Obama shirt? I think its crossing the relevant line. Obama stands for anti-christian values and some may asssociate your message with his. And NO I don’t believe Paul would wear a pagan idol around their neck to be all things to all men. Proceed with caution Steve.”

Some may equate my “being relevant” with idolatry, but I call it loving. I’d also call it “Instant Credibilty.”

What do you think?

Tony “The Lawman” Miano (below) joined us wearing something completely different. Click here for part 3 to find out why.

 

12 Comments

  1. I wasn’t referring to you yourself as idolizing Obama, I was referring to the impression you would give to those who ARE worshiping him.

    Hey man, we are on the same team. I want to spread the Gospel to as many as I can, just like you. My fear is that by becoming too relevant to the world, we may actually hurt the Gospel message. I’m not trying to pick a fight or call you a heretic or anything. It was just my thoughts on the subject.

    I personally wouldn’t want the people to be confused that I’m approving of Obama’s stances on policy and religion. The same way I wouldn’t wear a George W. Bush shirt to a Republican rally witnessing encounter. Both Bush and Obama are equally heretics. Both are Universalists.

    By the way one of my pet peeves is seeing a “W” the President bumper sticker beside a “J” the Savior sticker. Gives me chills. I know some people who worship Bush too.

  2. Thanks for the clarification, Payton, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

  3. I’m in the middle on this one. I see both sides of the argument. My main concern would be that the gospel would be presented in the most articulate fashion despite the fashion of what I was wearing.

    And just a sidenote as it was brought up yesterday: I happen to think that if you, Steve, wore that shirt and had a Bible in your hand as you preached, the two would have gone hand in hand as most in the crowd believe Obama is a Christian anyway and they would have found it appropriate. (Not that you would have used the Bible as a prop, but part of what you might have read during your presentation, IF that was your style.) Just a thought.

    Good work by the way! Praise God!

  4. Hey Steve,

    I just wanted to drop you a note of encouragement and say that I think the t-shirt was clever and timely. It probably won the affection of crowd also, so I say all the more power to you!

    I don’t think that by wearing that shirt, you are identifying with Obama’s values at all, it’s simply just stating that He is indeed the president.

    Thanks for your service, Steve and keep it going! God bless

  5. While my personal preference was not to wear an Obama shirt, I think wearing one at the MLK Parade actually helped to difuse any potential conflict with the crowd over political ideologies.

    Had we attended the event intent on talking about Obama and his anti-Christian political views, making no effort to establish a rapport with the people, we never would have gotten to the Law and the Gospel. Things would have quickly deteriorated into an argument/fight between sinful people.

    Consider this:

    There we were, a group of about 20 people (most of whom were not people of color), sharing the gospel with an overwhelmingly African American crowd. I, a white man who doesn’t live in the community, was able to use slavery as a metaphor to talk about sin and judgment. I think if had our team not done some small things (like shirts, etc) to endear ourselves to the crowd, Steve and I may never have had the opportunity to preach to hundreds, if not thousands of lost people.

    Yes, we must be careful not to overuse or abuse Paul’s teaching about being all things to all people. But I think the small concessions made to endear ourselves to the crowd served the Lord well that day.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

    I do appreciate the conversation. Iron sharpens iron. 🙂

  6. Steve, Would you wear a Playboy shirt at a Playboy convention? After all Playboy is a magazine that promotes porn. How about a shirt with a pentagram at a stanist convention? They are legitimate satanist out there. Obama doesn’t worship the same god as us and wearing a shirt like that would make people assume that you are for Obama and his views. My point was the same as Paytons exactly. The reason he quoted the Apostle Paul, was because you did first by quoting “he became all things to all people.” Its a shame that you tried to make a specticle out of someone who disagrees with you. As unbelievable as that sounds……

  7. Also I don’t think Payton was saying that you wearing an Obama shirt was idolatry. He was only trying to think up a similiar event in which the Apostle Paul would do the same as you are claiming he would. Like going to a pagan worship service with the pagan god on his necklace or shirt to witness.

  8. My two mites…

    As far as Paul goes, he pointed out a pagan idol (to the unknown God) and used it as a means to connect to the crowd at Mars Hill. Mr Obama is the President of the USA, heathen or not, he is therefore, because of his position, deserving of respect.

    As far as Steve’s shirt goes, I was at the ML King Day Parade. I happened to wear my favorite Voice of the Martyrs THIS SHIRT IS ILLEGAL in 51 COUNTRIES black shirt, Tony “The Lawman” wore one too. I do believe that Steve’s shirt did allow for more open conversations and greater acceptance of the message of the Law & the Gospel than if he had not worn it. It allowed for a connection to people that probably would not have been there if he had worn his Hawaiian shirt. As Tony said we did “some small things (like shirts, etc) to endear ourselves to the crowd”. Endearing ourselves to our hearers give us greater oportunities to share a message that most don’t want to hear. Remember without love we are as clanging cymbals. I’d stand on my head if it means people will hear (and prayerfully receive) the message.

  9. I now, hereby, stand convinced the right and good thing was done in donning the Obama T-shirts. It makes sense. And, Tony’s cautioning us not to overuse or abuse Paul’s teaching about being all things to all people is wise counsel.

    BTW: I hear your new president will be dropping into my fair city in his first foreign visit very soon. Maybe I ought to get a T-shirt.

  10. Christians are always divided…that’s the tragedy.
    You guys need to relax…Pastor Steve is simply trying to create an opportunity with more people…It is simply a marketing startegy to warm up the crowd….My goodness, what do you suggest? What about wearing a USC t-shirt, just to get those folks who are getting drunk as a skunk in the middle of street to take a tract and perhaps read it when they sober up?

    Its okay to be a loving supportive citizen of these great United States, dear Christian, Bible thumping brothers….Pray for your president. What president have you like everything about? ….Roger that, None

    Keep the main thing, the MAIN thing! Getting the word out and telling folks, hopefully Obama will focus on RIGHTEOUSNESS….that will start a conversation about Abortion and other topics.
    Enough! Way to go PASTOR STEVE>>>>>

  11. Obama is a wicked man who stands for wicked things. Would you wear a Pontius Pilate shirt if you preached at Pentecost? The Bible says it is wrong to align ourselves with the wicked – what you sought was what they call in performing a ‘cheap pop’. You may have pleased the crowd, but not the Lord.

  12. Steve, at least you’re doing something, which is more than what 90% of Christians do. So, whether you are wearing an Obama T-shirt or an Oprah T-shirt, or no shirt at all, do it all to the glory of the Lord. Good on you brother.

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