When to Wear a “Jesus Shirt”


Normally I don’t recommend sporting “Jesus Wear” when heading out for an evangelism outing; our methods are usually covert, just under the sinners’ radar. In this current anti-Christian culture of America, why call unwanted attention to yourself when preaching the Gospel is offensive enough? (Read the beginning of this 8 part series by clicking here.)

But there was an exception made for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.

The best thing to wear was an Obama hat or shirt given that a good number of people at the parade were wearing their own Obama Gear.
Second to that anything with Jesus on it—John 3:16, big ole crosses, crowns of thorns, witty Christian parodies—were welcome at this parade. In this neighborhood nearly everyone likes Jesus, has been raised with Jesus, and knows about Jesus.

A few members of our team wore this shirt from Voice of the Martyrs, including Ambassadors’ Academy leader Tony Miano.

His “colors” helped open doors so that the primarily African American audience could accept a message about the Savior from a man of European descent.

Despite the color of his skin, the graciousness of Tony’s message allowed any hardened hearts to be softened. On a day celebrating freedom, his message was about true freedom—freedom from sin—by trusting in another King.

People applauded. People yelled “Amen!” Heck, there were even people there—people we had never even met—who helped him as he preached.

All because of a Jesus shirt? Of course not.

It’s because the Rose of Sharon was being preached…

…by a Paleface from the Valley.

Read all my critics at Part 4 here!

(See and hear the message that Tony preached here.)


  1. Steve, Would you wear a Playboy shirt at a Playboy convention? After all Playboy is a legitimate magazine. How about a shirt with a pentagram at a satanist 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. The reason I posted this twice was because you refused to answer the first time.

  2. If I went to a Playboy Convention, probably not… but don’t hold me to that. Another person asked if I would wear a pointed hat to a witches coven; I probably would; and yes, if I went to a heavy metal concert and someone gave me a black T-shirt with the band’s name (depending on the band), I’d probably wear that, too.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree, and that’s okay.

    Thanks, Chad! 🙂

    See my article: The 3 C’s to Remember

  3. your post here is even worse than the Obama shirt. When you wear a shirt, you align yourself with the message. There is nothing worth aligning yourself with the wickedness of this world.denying the Lord – including the souls of men. NOTHING.

    What happens if they come to Church and hear Obama, witches, and rock music preached against? They look at you as a hypocrite, that’s what.

  4. Hi Fred,

    Appreciate your opinion though I obviously disagree with you.

    BTW, do hold up banners and signs? I’m curious.

  5. Although I don’t agree with Steve entirely, I do think the Obama shirt is harmless. If it helps people identify with him, then so be it. Like it or not, wicked or not, the man is our 44th President.

    Fred, I have to wonder what kind of church you attend that would preach AGAINST Obama, witches, and rock music? Is it not the attitude of the heart and the expression of that attitude in action that Jesus stood against? I think it is much more Biblical and effective to preach against sins than against people, against witchcraft instead of against witches, against rebelliousness instead of against rock music.

  6. 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….


  7. And Steve did you ever consider these Scriptures when you go on about things like this?

    1 Cor 8:7-13 “However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

    Is it really worth offending your brothers and sisters in Christ?

  8. As far as I can tell, Nathan, only 3 or 4 disagreed with me while the majority agreed that what I did was correct. Nobody on our team of 30 had a problem. I would gently excuse any persons who didn’t want to participate in an outing they disagreed with, or the methods used, and would invite them back at a “safer” time.

    Remember, wearing a shirt with a picture of our president isn’t idolatry…

  9. Actually I wasn’t really even talking about those on your team… far more people read your blog than are on your team…. those are the ones I was thinking of….did Paul say, it’s OK to offend you brother as long as it is only 3 or 4? Besides the Scriptures that I posted applies to a much broader range of application than just idolatry…. again is it worth it?

    BTW… does a ‘majority agreeing’ make something right? No way to judge something…. another slippery slope argument….

    So…. using your logic wouldn’t it be ok to wear a Hitler T to a skin head rally? you know as long as you personally are not ‘idolizing’ Hitler.

  10. Nathan: I appreciate your sensitivity to others stumbling, but I have no problem with wearing this shirt and telling others about it. This is not a black and white issue, there’s room for some disagreement here. I reposted for you below, a comment I left at part 5 in case you missed it. Thanks bro!

    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.

    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

  11. howdy, I read all your blog posts, keep them coming.

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