The Obama T-Shirt Brouhaha


You’d think I had kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, or that I was with Jane Fonda as she protested the Vietnam War; according to some folks I could have been Satan incarnate! All this because some people didn’t like the fact that I wore an event-appropriate “Obama The President” T-shirt to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade last week. I’ll try to answer some of the objections…. (This is part 4; start at Part 1 here.)

Paul did write in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23: “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.” And he did mean that literally. Paul would have worn an “Obama” shirt to win over the African American spectators at the parade. Regardless of our new President’s ungodly policies, he’s still our President.

Linda wrote: “I…don’t think if Pastor Steve was invited to a meeting with the neighborhood coven, that he should wear a pointy hat or carry a stick with bristles on the end.”

If I was called to a witches’ coven to preach I would forsake my white-as-snow Tee with the cross on it, and would indeed wear a black shirt, pointy hat and arrive riding on a broom.

Chad wrote: “Steve, how about a shirt with a pentagram at a stanist (sic) convention? 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.

I would never, ever, go to a stanist convention. I don’t like anyone named Stan.

Payton wrote: “Do you think Paul would wear an idol around his neck to appeal to the pagan idol worshipers?”

Paul wouldn’t need one. He walked among the idols and reasoned with the people in Acts 17.

Fred wrote: “Would you wear a Pontius Pilate shirt if you preached at Pentecost?”

Bad analogy. Pontius Pilate wasn’t popular. So no, I wouldn’t wear one.

Chad again: “Would you wear a Playboy shirt at a Playboy convention?”

If my wife let me go, yes, I would probably wear one. And a blindfold.

After posting the Obama Controversy on Facebook I answered a few of my critics by writing this: “My, my, my… much ado about nothing. Folks,it was a T-shirt… of our now-elected President. Do I agree w/his policies or agenda? Of course not. Would I wear the shirt again? Absolutely. And probably an Ozzie shirt to a heavy metal concert while evangelizing.”

Fred posted the saddest response of them all: “Abstain from all appearance of Evil, the Bible says. There is no soul worth that.”  (emphasis mine)

By the way, Fred is a sign guy… May God bless him in his work as God leads him.

Read part 5 to see the radical thing former President Bush did to win over the crowd as he preached the Gospel.


  1. There is no soul worth sinning against a holy God. Your intention was appear to align with Obama so people would take a tract. Since you don’t, you are a blatant hypocrite. For that you should be ashamed. maybe you can try another shirt with an aborted baby on it.

    I repeat – there is no soul worth sinning to get to. NONE.

    Jesus died for my sins. I witness because of HIM.

    You stated in another post that you would wear a shirt of a demon possessed rock star to ‘fit in’.

    We are not to fit in. We are to be salt. We are to be different. We are to come out from among them.

    As far as your comment on Pilate, I don’t need to align with the ‘popular’. I need to align myself with Jesus Christ.

  2. Steve, you have seemed to find some amusement in ridiculing others. The word stanist was a typo for satanist. I’m sure you realized this in your effort to ridicule. Very pastoral of you Steve. I am not a skilled typer as yourself Mr. Steve. I type with 2 fingers. Oh, and by the way you still haven’t answered that one either (about the satanist) You knew this would be a controversal issue. This is why you keep harping on it. You were handing out tracts and witnessing, this could have been done without the pro Obama shirt. Some disagree with you. Is that means to make fun of and ridicule? We may have different opinions but you shouldn’t make personal attacks because someones view is different than yours. We are in the same family of God. I am a soundly saved, born-again christian who loves Jesus. I just disagree with you.

  3. You are the one who asked “What do you think?” I didn’t realize you were only looking for opinions that were your own.

  4. Steve. I can hear truth coming from both sides, but I don’t believe I’m hearing Biblical balance here. I know some of the responses may sound strong, but sometimes we have to overlook tone to really listen to what the persons intention and motive is. Solomon said there is a time for everything. I think now is a time to be serious. Please present a Biblically proper exegesis of the subject. (Ex. The book/video “Hermon Who” by Todd Friel) My personal opinion is that Paul used godlyness as the first thing to consider. Does this glorify God 1Cor. 10:31., then does it help in witnessing. Just my thoughts on the subject.

  5. I would have done the same thing Steve. Great job!

  6. Gentlemen, gentlemen, order… order… please.

    I try to approach my articles with a sense of humor. Did you smile, even a little?

    We disagree; that’s okay.

    I don’t need to exegete what Paul said because he was very clear that he became all things to all men.

    We are talking about a shirt with my President on it, your President, too. He’s not a demon, idol, witch or Satanist. He’s our President and now I am called to submit and pray (with exception, of course, to those things that are unbiblical…)

    If you don’t want to wear a shirt that’s okay. An Obama shirt is not a bikini, or Hitler.

    And Chad… I thought the stanist comment was kinda funny, didn’t you?

    I love you guys and appreciate your opinions. But understand, I want you to laugh AND learn while you read this blog. And it’s okay that you don’t agree; I’m just glad that you are passionate about the Lord.

    By the way, the comment above mine is from the Dean of the School of Biblical Evangelism; so you know where he stands.

    God bless you guys and keep the comments—good and bad—coming!


  7. And Chad… I’m a 2 finger typist, too! Sometimes three.

    Thanks bro!

  8. Steve, What am I missing here? It is just a shirt. I have been following this thread and see nothing wrong with you wearing the shirt. Again it is just a shirt with a picture of our president on it.

    Mike …

  9. To Mike: (Shrug of shoulders)

  10. Steve, the shirt is completely irrelevant. Thank you for your faithfulness to share the gospel in an environment that most Christians (including many of your critics) would avoid like the plague. Although I do not support our new president’s policies in any way, as Paul tells us in Phil. 1…The main thing is that the gospel was preached. Everything else is just details.


  11. I advise you to listen to ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt’ by Paris Reidhead. If you have already, listen to it again. Our motivation in witnessing is love towards the Savior. Our highest general order is to honor God. It is not soul winning. Anyone who knows me knows that I put supreme emphasis on soul winning. That being said, there is absolutely no doubt of two things:

    1 – Obama is our President
    2 – He is a wicked enemy of Christ by his own testimony

    People that saw you assumed two things:

    1 – You are a preacher
    2 – you supported Obama.

    You can deny this, but you know it is true. If a person walks by with a Steelers Jersey on, what do i assume? You know the answer. Certainly if I go to the Superbowl wearing one, you know the answer.

    This issue might be new to some, but for many years (probably since Finney), Christians have stopped evangelizing for HIM and started evangelizing for THEM.

    The bible is clear we are to abstain from all appearance of evil. Since it is obvious that to support Obama is evil, you ignore this commandment.

    If that was all you said, fine. But then you proceeded to say you would go to Ozzy concerts and even Playboy events wearing apparel that promotes them.

    I value my testimony and I value my God more than that. For someone to think (and rightfully so), that I am a supporter of Playboy, Obama, or Ozzy Osbourne is not ‘being all things to all men’, would crush me.

    To think I would use the wickedness and the wicked of this world as a gimmick to ‘get the gospel out’ is shameful.

    The crowds should have been rebuked for voting for him. His wicked policies should have been exposed to the light of God’s word. That was the issue of the hour and that should have been the springboard. Jesus should have been stood up for. Instead, he joined the team with Obama for a day.

  12. Sheesh! People are responding as if you wore a George W. Bush shirt at the MLK parade!

    Could you imagine the flogging you would have gotten by the people at the parade and then the lashing you would’ve gotten here on your blog for wearing such a shirt?

    I personally wouldn’t have wore the Obama shirt, just as I wouldn’t wear a “Rainbow” shirt at a Gay Pride Parade. However, that’s just me.

    Was it wrong for you to wear the shirt? No.

    Were you being a hypocrite for wearing the shirt? No. After all, he is the President (Doesn’t matter if you voted for him or not).

    Was the shirt appropriate for such an event? I think so.

    Was it offensive for such an event? No.

    Just my humble 2 cents.

    “Wise as serpents, gentle as doves.” (Paraphrase)

    God Bless.

  13. Nathan posted this on another thread, I thought it was worth repeating. “Steve take your reasoning to it’s logical end…. here is one that some one could justify using your logic…. buy a Hitler t-shirt and wear it to skin head rally? why not?? Hitler was a ‘world leader’ right? just a statement of fact… Slippery slope you are walking on bro…

    Hey in fact why don’t the girls on your team wear bikinis when they pass out tracts at the beach…they would just be identifying w/ the people right? alot of other people are wearing them also…just think of how many more tracts they would be able to get out…. I mean, is wearing a bikini sinful in and of itself? It’s just cloth after all…. it’s not their fault if people think things when they see them dressed that way….” Where do you stop????

  14. Thanks to all who “get” what I do.

    I will write another article later defending biblically my decision to wear an “Obama” shirt, though I suspect, some will remain unconvinced. And that’s okay.

    To Chad and Fred: Obviously, I’m using hyperbole when speaking of witched’ covens, heavy metal concerts or trips to the Playboy mansion. It is an effective tool to illustrate a point. Though Jesus used it, many misunderstood him, too.

    Discretion always needs to be exercised when evangelizing, and I, too, would consider bikinis, Hitler shirts and the like, unwise. Your standards may be different, that’s okay. If it is sin to you, don’t do it. But please, be careful about judging another’s efforts and methods when preaching the Gospel.

    I do appreciate allyour feedback. Really.

  15. I would like to address the issue about the Obama shirt. Doesn’t the Bible say go into all the world and preach the Gospel? Yes, but I have not read anywhere telling us what we should wear when we do it. When I talk with someone about Jesus they are looking at my face not my clothing. I don’t think God cares what we are wearing just that we are doing as he commanded us to do. So get over it already!

  16. here’s my two cents…

    dang…it’s just a lousy t-shirt with our president’s face on it. 😀

  17. I think wearing a shirt that says, “Obama, the President, 44th,” is completely appropriate and even a good idea. I would even wear one to church, if I had one. All of you are right to be repulsed by bikinis, Playboy, satanists, abortion, gay marriage, etc. But to be repulsed by acknowledging my then President-elect? Let’s examine that.

    Wearing that shirt did not embrace abortion, gay marriage, or anything unbiblical. It only recognized that Barack Obama would be President, which is in direct obedience to Romans 13. What’s wrong with acknowledging that? That’s not rhetorical. What’s wrong with it?

    Wearing that shirt does, however, serve a good purpose. After any election, most notably the 2000 election, there are always some who deny a President’s legitimacy. By wearing that shirt, Steve Sanchez acknowledged that the then President-elect Barack Obama would be his President that Tuesday, January 20th. He distinguished himself as one who obeyed and recognized the governing authorities.

    Why would it be evil for an American to support the LORD’s choice for the U.S. President? Or do you think that God is not sovereign over our elections?

    The early Christians were required to support Caesar, even Caesar, with their taxes. Does that mean they supported the murder of their brother’s and sister’s by the lions by financing the upkeep of the circus maximus with their tax-dollars? Just because we acknowledge the government God has given us, doesn’t mean we agree with all of the government’s policies, such as abortion.

  18. Steve, it makes me sad that you enjoy making fun of other believers’ convictions …that bothers me far more than the t-shirt…… is that how you conduct business at your church?

    Folks use some basic logic and see where this type of pragmatism will take you….. I am glad to see that Steve does have some kind of line that his pragmatism will not carry him past… i.e. … the Hitler T or girls wearing bikinis to pass out tracts, he did agree that that would be wrong but using his pragmatic interpretation of “all things to all men” view, I don’t see why…here’s another one that would be OK according to Steve’s veiw …why not a rainbow T at a gay pride event? God made rainbows after all…. Steve, you still has inconsistent view at best….. Why is one ok and the other one not?

    It takes a relevant t-shirt to give one credibility??? ? Isn’t that a bit seeker sensitive?

    Also, the fact that he is still ‘beating this drum’…doesn’t speak to well of his concern for the convictions of other believers…. again 1 Cor 8…. where did it say to mock other believer’s convictions?

    God bless you Steve.. I disagree…and I’m done discussing this issue…..

  19. Nathan,

    Thank you for agreeing to disagree.

    I used the various questions of “Would you wear…?” to make a point. Also, so we all could laugh at ourselves a little.

    If you read the comments on all the posts, you will see that the majority of people don’t see what the fuss is about. If you don’t wear a shirt, that’s okay.

    And frankly, all kidding aside, I would wear a rainbow shirt if I was called to a Gay Pride event… something with Scripture on it and a rainbow.


  20. Steve, If you are ok with someone seeing you as a pro-abortion,liberal,gay,satanists, who is into devil music that glorifies satan, thats you. You confuse the hearer when you try and tell them that they are not to be what you are portraying to be. Also your past comment weren’t so we can all laugh at ourselves (including you). They were focused on laughing at the ones who disagreed with you..I see that this horse is about dead now so I think its time to move on.

  21. Peter Johnson you say “Why would it be evil for an American to SUPPORT the LORD’s choice for the U.S. President? Or do you think that God is not sovereign over our elections?” Last Friday, Barack Obama revoked President Reagan’s policy preventing
    our tax dollars from funding overseas abortions.

    This came at the end of his first week in office during which he
    launched the most radical anti-family, anti-life agenda in the
    history of the U.S. Presidency. That agenda includes:

    Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act…

    Granting full rights (including adoption) to not only
    lesbians and homosexuals but bisexuals and transsexuals…

    Giving special workplace protection based on sexual
    orientation and even the wide-open category of “gender
    identity” that will stifle Christian businesses, religious
    organizations… and possibly even your church!

    Making the military an open forum for homosexuals…

    Supporting unlimited abortion as a fundamental “right.”

    That all happen in one week. Where are we gonna be after 4 years, or eight? Are you insinuating that God chose Obama? How about Hitler? Sadam Hussein? or any other leader? How do we as christians SUPPORT, as you say, the one God chose? By wearing a t-shirt that shows the world that we SUPPORT this ungodly man? God ALLOWS leaders to come into office not SUPPORTS. Obama is fruit of the decline in America. Just like God didn’t SUPPORT the leader of Sodom and Gamorrah, He is NOT supporting the President either. God gives people what they want. And we got it………….Brace yourself………..

  22. According to Psalm 135:6, “The LORD whatever pleases Him.” According to Romans 13, God chooses who our President is. I agree with you that Obama has enacted ungodly legislation. I hate the fact that he overturned the “Mexico City Policy.” This allows groups to use federal tax dollars for abortion purposes. Nevertheless, he is my President, and it pleased God to appoint Obama. Remember Romans 9:17: “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” I conclude that God has raised Obama up for some purpose, not just allowed him to come to power. God appointed Saul king of Israel, He raised up Pharaoh, He does whatever pleases Him, and the current authority of President Obama has been instituted by God. According to the Bible, God chose Obama to be the 44th President of the U.S., and that’s what the shirt said. It’s just a piece of cotton that recognizes the current President of the U.S.

    God supported the leaders of Sodom and Gomorrah, until they were incinerated.

    “He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” (Colossians 1:17). It is only by God’s grace that Obama’s presidency holds or any leader’s authority held together. God overtly and unambiguously supports Obama as the 44th President of the U.S., in spite of the legislation you cited.

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