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Why Wear "Cool Christian" Clothing?

OK, since it's kind of what we do, I'll tackle the question! It's simple... so people that want to make a relevant, creative statement about their heartfelt faith can have some great resources to do just that! Yeah, I know you're looking for a better explanation than that or you probably wouldn't be wasting your time reading this. So let me explain.

In case you haven't taken a look around at what most people are wearing these days, it's not the plain ole stuff that people were happy with just a few years ago. Everywhere you look people are wearing trendy, stylish designs, even tattoo artwork on their t-shirts, hoods, jackets, sweaters, coats, sweatshirts, pants, hats, bags, jewelry, shoes and more! Skulls, crosses, swords, knives, flowers, eagles, people, tribal designs, and every other grungy element you can imagine has landed on clothing near you. Under the skillful direction of a new breed of artists and designers, clothing is being manufactured and sold to the masses. One famous (secular) t-shirt company alone, which I will not name, sells over 50,000 shirts a month at the average price of $50! You do the math. That's one company out of hundreds riding this fashion wave straight to the bank. There are other companies selling these same types of shirts for over $150 a piece. On the other hand, could you imagine how many people could get your message if that t-shirt was your canvas?

So, how does this fashion movement impact the average Christian? Well, it's not that we believe the items themselves are "Christian" as some have suggested. But whether you like it or not, all of us subscribe to some fashion perspective, voluntarily or involuntarily. People remember you, and unfortunately, many times will judge you simply based on what kind of clothing you wear. No, it's not always right, but it's a fact and besides, you have probably at some time or another been guilty of it yourself. But, even if you don't have the best clothing out there, you can work with what you've got to fit in, stand out, or make whatever statement you would like to the people you are around each day. Your clothing is an expression of who you are, so no matter what your budget, choose a style that represents who you are best. Or you can have several styles. And of course, your work attire may be a different topic altogether!

Fashion is also a statement of your culture. Some cultures encourage creativity and diversity in fashion, while others stifle it or even condemn it. Ever seen some of these extremist Mormon church leaders who have a number of different wives? If you have, I think you can agree that they have clearly made a fashion statement of their own. This comes as a result of forbidding their communities from mingling with others outside their circles. It's religious control and it effects much more than the closet. They're always twenty years behind the rest of the world, because they feel a strong conviction to be separate but for some reason twenty years later what they condemned before is now acceptable. Unfortunately, those who live under cultural or religious bondage can seldom appreciate creativity and diversity outside their own circles because if it's unlike them it must be wrong!

It really doesn't matter whether you like this kind of clothing or not. This is a niche market, but for God's sake don't forbid people from having a little creativity in their wardrobes. Sure, I know there's some stuff out there that's distasteful and shouldn't be worn by an animal, but to throw it all out is just not the answer. I think it's time people of faith stop fighting the culture and learn to infiltrate it with our own creative expression. If we want to change the direction an industry is going, we must enter it and possess it. No really, this isn't just an opinion. It's a biblical principle.

What am I talking about? Babylon. Ever thought about why God would allow Daniel to be taken captive and carried away as a child into Babylon? In fact, his whole Nation was made slaves of Babylon. I don't know what you know about Babylon, but you can read enough about it in the Bible and other historical accounts to know it was not a Kingdom that was known for it's Godliness. In fact, the book of Revelation makes many references to this cursed city, and yet somehow God strategically allowed this young prophet to suffer through the process of losing his family, and be forced to become a servant to the government of this kingdom. As you know, that was only a means to an end. Through this painful process, God granted Daniel favor as he grew and excelled in learning the language and protocol of this "worldly" government and in the end made a profound godly impact on both it's leaders and citizens. Daniel literally brought the Kingdom of God within the Kingdom of Babylon as God allowed him to be promoted to a high ranking position of influence and authority. So, why don't we think more strategically like this today? The Kingdom of God is meant to be INSIDE the cultures of the world but because of unfounded religious ideas, some "Christians" are busy living in their own culture OUTSIDE of "the world" they are meant to reach, doing very little to touch them. Clearly, we've missed the point. So what does this mean? By rejecting the culture around them, voluntarily or involuntarily, they have created a culture of their own. You can't get in unless you talk like us, dress like us, and believe every single thing like us! How disgusting and self centered religion can be. And, this culture that's been created is usually defined more by what they reject and condemn than by God-given creativity, equality, and tolerance of other human beings.

I think it's time we stop fighting the culture and allow ourselves to be taken through the process required to gain favor and influence in "the kingdoms of this world". I say we allow God to make us a blessing to the world's cultures, communities, governments, and the citizens of the kingdoms and countries in which He has placed us. This is what the Kingdom of God is about! However, to be relevant and effective, we must learn the language of the culture that we have find our selves in just as Daniel was forced to do. You can't talk in a language that only other Christians understand. The Apostle Paul said it's "Christ in you, the hope of glory." That means your message of Christ to others should be a message of hope, and you'll never give hope to people if you can't talk their language. When you love someone you'll look for what you have in common with them, so you can relate to them, and this is the foundation on which the most effective evangelism is built. Here is the biblical basis... take a look at 1 Corinthians 9:

19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Together, we share a great mission to present Christ's message of hope to the world today, but we must do so using the language of the culture that we are reaching out to. If you don't know how to speak the language then take a little time to learn it. Babies naturally learn to communicate simply by listening and trying to make the sounds. You can too, if you are willing to try.

So, you ask, what's the purpose in having cool looking Christian t-shirts? We are simply taking advantage of a popular art form of today's culture and attempting to make it an effective method for sharing a message of hope to the world around us! We are communicating in the language they know and speak. If nothing else, think of these creative designs as modern parables. It's our method of evangelism and inspiration to the world around us. The biblical prophet Daniel was chosen by God to be raised up as a leader in the kingdom of Babylon only after spending time learning the language of the culture and the government to which he was sent to be a leader and voice in his day. Although God placed Daniel in this strategic place of influence and responsibility, it was Daniel's duty to learn to communicate effectively so that he could excel in his assignment. As you know, he did and became the 3rd greatest ruler in the government of Babylon. Wouldn't you say that brought more glory to God than if he would have died in prison cursing the government that God sent him to be a part of?

Cool Christian designs on t shirts, other clothing, and creative gifts are on the rise to give you a creative way to present Christ/Truth to the present generations in a language they can understand while providing a great product that anyone can enjoy. As the old saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words". So, it's time to VOTE YES for this modern method of evangelism and BUY A COOL T-SHIRT!!!

Anybody out there agree?


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