And They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Socks

July 26, 2010

Last week, I talked about four not-so-great choices Christians have when it comes to sharing their faith.

Lo and behold, I realized I left something off the list.  That’s highly unusual, by my count.  And no one called me on it!  Luckily, it’s big enough to warrant a blog post unto itself.

You see, when Christians can’t find the words to share Jesus, a much easier method of evangelism is available.  All you have to do is become a walking billboard. 

Many Christians love to “express” their faith by spending their money on lots of holy Jesus themed bling blang.  I call it “Christian Crap Evangelism.”  Just cover yourself with as much Jesus memorabilia as possible, and no one within fifty feet will even have to come near you in order to know they’ll want to avoid you.

It’s weird.  Lots of people love to wear slogans on their shirts.  Some people do it so we’ll know they shop at some overpriced store.  But I’ve never seen someone’s t-shirt slogan and then went to Banana Republic, or Hard Rock Cafe, nor have I ever believed that life is good because of a t-shirt.  I wonder how many people have given Jesus a chance because of a proudly worn Christian shirt.

I’ve been in that boat before.  I’ve got a couple of Christian shirts in my closet.  But the easy marketing of Jesus with lame parodies and slogans officially makes this a not-so-great tool for evangelism.

Behold Jesus, in all his capitalistic glory…

Six Poorly Thought Out Christian Clothing Products

T-Shirts

Like I said, wear Christian t-shirts all you want.  Just try not to wear t-shirts with poorly concieved, predictable slogans.

 ”…but Hii kicks my butt at Wii tennis every time.”

“…but you’ll still be hungry again in an hour.”

“Yep, Jesus solved all my problems, and it took no effort on my part.  He just gave me a post-it that passes all understanding.  Plus, he really saved my presentation to the board with his outstanding printing services.”

Stick with Jesus.  Get it?  Stick?…with Jesus?…Because they’re drumsticks?  Extra points for parodying drums, of all things.  Drums, of all the instruments around, are the most ripe for mocking, and they’ve been asking for it.  Look out French Horn, we’re holding a roast in your honor next month.

Okay, you’ve got your t-shirt picked out.  But it’s an awfully sunny day.  How about…

Sunglasses

The Disciple Shades company logo is “Live in the Light.”  Which seems ironic since sunlight is well known for causing all kinds of skin cancer.  Not to mention the very purpose of sunglasses is to keep out the light.  Apparently, wearing these sunglasses also makes you totally inept at picking fruit.  I think you have to do more besides cup your hands and say “fruit.”  By the way, you can click on the picture to buy yourself a pair.

Finally, you’ve got the ideal shirt and shades to “express” your faith.  But something’s still missing…

Socks and In-Soles

 Standing on the Word of God.  That is actually the company slogan.  I would not have guessed had I not looked.  I honestly cannot imagine what I would think of someone in front of me at the grocery store who, as I gaze upon his ankles, I discover is wearing a pair of these socks with Bible verses.  Probably the same thing he’d think when he saw my Spiderman socks.  If you want to be even more subtle with your faith, you can get the in-soles which have the added benefit of being completely invisible to passers-by, and having an inspiration Bible verse about athlete’s foot.  Click on this picture too to get in on some Jesus foot action.

There are warehouses of Christian junk, but that’s all I can feature today.  What Jesus bling do you own?  What’s the most memorable you’ve seen?  Is wearing a t-shirt evangelism, or just a way for Christians to throw away some of their extra money?

47 responses to And They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Socks

  1. You missed the best (well worst..) ones- Christian underwear!
    http://ship-of-fools.com/gadgets/fashion/159.html
    http://ship-of-fools.com/gadgets/fashion/186.html

    Or how about shirts with the slogan written in tongues?
    http://ship-of-fools.com/gadgets/fashion/180_1.html

  2. I agree it’s probably not a very effective way to witness but it’s a start in taking a stand and just letting people know what you believe. My favorite Christian t-shirt was a gift that says “Keep Working For The Lord . . . the pay isn’t much, but the retirement plan is “out of this world”" It has a nice picture on it too!

    I also like the ones with verses on the back–I have two of them.

  3. I had a friend who used to call it Jesus Junque. I always thought that was a pretty good name for it.

    I saw this one over at Ship of Fools. With it being summertime, I think these are must have for any serious Christian. Wear your modest one-piece bathing suit with t-shirt thrown over it and clomp around in your Jesus Saves flip-flops: http://www.ship-of-fools.com/gadgets/fashion/064.html

  4. Yeah those are pretty ridiculous. The worst is when you see someone wearing all that stuff acting nothing like a Christian. You’re more scrutinized when you dress like that, not given a free pass.

  5. You just had to get me heated on this fine Monday morning didn’t you? I hate these stupid t-shirts lol.

    Other ones I’ve seen (and hated):
    Jesus died for Myspace in heaven

    A bread crumb and fish instead of “Ambercrombie and Fitch”

    Got Jesus?

    “HisWay” instead of “Subway”

    “Jesus inside” instead of “Intel inside”

    I remember Jesus talked about the pharisees wearing their phylateries so others would see how holy they were. I’m not sure if things have changed in 2000 years.

    nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com

  6. “Make War on Your Knees” Please stop!

    I do like “Jesus is My Super Hero” I night get a tattoo that says that.

    I often wear my “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” t-shirt with him on a hang glider.

    I actually get a lot of folks asking about my “ChristianRock.net” t-shirt – especially at Guitar Center. I don’t know if folks actually visit the site after they talk to me – but it is a really cool shirt. But not as cool as the “TheChurchOfNoPeople.com” t-shirt I won. ;o)

    - the bumper stickers are even better.

    I had a “Gun Owner – Voter – Christian | McCain/Palin” bumper sticker on my Mustang GT. It was faster going through the tolls, and no tailgaters. The other one said “Is There Eternal Life? Touch the Car and Find Out”

    I just think if you are going to do it, go radical.

    http://proudatheists.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/jesus-art-car-24.jpg

    Good post – always get a kick out of the many ways Christians work at being superficial.

  7. Holy Crap! (Literally.) There needs to be a Christian version of Sky Mall. We should discuss this over overpriced coffee.

  8. I don’t have any Christian t-shirts that I have purchased anymore. They started getting popular when I was in high school (early 90s – the brand was “Living Epistles”). I went to high school in Nashville, so the question wasn’t “_DO_ you go to church,” it was “_WHERE_ do you go to church.” (9 times out of 10 it was a Baptist church, and just about 100% of those people, when they found out where I was going, would say, “I _used_ to go there!”….mmm…church splits…).

    While I enjoyed the humor in them (“Noah’s Yacht Club: Couples Only”), I quickly stopped wearing them. Why? Well, one of the local pot heads (who was an active member at a Baptist church) would wear them all the time as he acted up in class and did all sorts of other things that I thought (judged) didn’t really represent Christ very well.

    So, to separate myself from that, I stopped wearing them most of the time. The only ones I still have were all gifts from my mother that I feel guilty about giving away because a) they’re from my mom, b) they’re still in very good shape because I hardly wear them, and c) they’re about Jesus. It’s like old Bibles – what do you do with the Bible that’s falling apart at the seams or that got caught in a rainstorm? There are underground Christians in other countries who would give an arm and a leg for a single page of Scriptures in any language. I can’t just throw mine out! And since it’s leather-bound, I can’t recycle it either!

  9. Ankle socks are for fashion dorks. Do we really want to perpetuate the sterotype that Christians are dorks? No-Show socks are the only acceptable ones to wear with shorts and running shoes…and since they’re no-shows, well, then there goes the witnessing part.

    I did literally LOL at the Jesus Mii shirt. I so wanna go home right now and create that Mii so I can play Jesus in frisbee golf.

  10. I always loathed this stuff. What I loathed more were youth pastors encouraging their kids to wear them so they can be a “cool witness to their friends.” (Yes, I heard that spoken by a youth pastor.)

    Can we make the Christian kids even more of an outcast, please? Their teen years are so easy to begin with…

  11. You can do the same to your children too! Faithgirlz Backpack:
    http://armyofpriests.com/2007/04/19/30-pieces-of-silver/

    You’ll be sure to keep those nasty boys away.

  12. Sorry…I did like that wii shirt. I saw nothing offensive about that one, but the rest…mmmm. My husband has a starbucks logo-like shirt that you’d have to look closely to see it’s not a starbucks logo, but a Jesus message.

    I do agree. If you wear or drive anything with any symbols of Christ on it, better think of your actions. Athiests are watching for us to mess up.

    I have a fish on my bumper. Yes, I’m taking a stand. But I am also keeping myself accountable. The fish daily reminds me as do tee-shirts and such that I am responsible for my actions. If I cut someone off, how does this reflect Christ in my life? If I am rude to someone and I am wearing a Christian tee-shirt, how does that reflect on my testimony? Christ is transforming. We are never the same after accepting Him, but if I continue to blatantly sin on purpose every day without regard to anyone, even fellow believers, how does that show Christ in my life?

    I’ve known believers to stop attending church because of another believer hurting them either on purpose or by accident. So maybe if we viewed the shirts as less like evangelism and more as a reminder that we are one of His and thus, should act like one of His maybe we would all grow a little closer to Christ.

    • It’s not that the Wii shirt is offensive. It’s just a little predictable, I’d say. Everyone owns a Wii, so hey, it follows that Christians are going to scoop something up that’s a popular fad and parody it.

      • My Christian shirt looks like a lifegaurd symbol and on the back says “Mine walks on water.”. It’s in the regular tee-shirt rotation mostly because A) I like it B) It keeps me from swearing…too much and C) I know it irks the people in my life that don’t consider me Christian enough and the people in my life that call me Jesus freak. It’s your classic win-win-win-win.

      • I don’t have a Wii – only an Atari – but I’ll take a love offering.

      • Maybe. Although, I definitley wouldn’t make a Jesus wii on my wii. Though that suggestion was funny from one commentor, I think it borders on dishonorable. I couldn’t even rationalize that one.

  13. I’m a pretty big nerd. When I became a Christian I was studying Computer Science in college. I was also in a Dungeons & Dragons group (which actually led to my conversion, so take that, game of the Devil!). Anyway, to go along with my conversion, I got two shirts.

    One said “Jesus Saves”, and had a floppy disk with “John 3:16″ written on it.

    The other was “Jesus saves, and only takes half damage” with a 20-sided die on it. You can see that one here: http://www.cafepress.com/+jesus_saves_organic_cotton_tee,42546527

    I usually only wore them around my Christian friends, like on retreats. Occasionally I would wear them around my nerd friends as a joke and a testimony at the same time!

  14. You made me laugh, Matt. But I see your Hii Saved Me shirt and raise you one:
    http://www.noisebot.com/jesus_saves_passes_to_noah_he_shoots_he_scores_t-shirt.htm

    I want that shirt. Just because it’s funny.

    I’ve owned one Christian t-shirt at some point in my life (not counting VBS shirts). I see them all the time online and at the mall. They’re cute but are people really going to look past the catchy design and see Jesus? Sadly, no. That’s why God gave us our bodies. Sometimes we aren’t able to reach out with words to tell someone about the Gospel right off, but make our faith evident by our works (salvation won’t hang on this though). The words will come later, through the Spirit.

  15. OK. IIRC, people have been martyred precisely because they would not step, tread, stand, walk upon a Bible. I mean, torturer puts a Bible, or an icon, or a cross or such on the floor, and orders prisoner to step on it. “That’s all. Just step on it. Would you really rather die?” Well, yes, they would, and did, rather than obey a command to disrespect their God by treading the item underfoot.

    But these idiots sell SHOE INSERTS with Scripture on them? Gah.

  16. Wow, the comments are easily as awesome as the original post!

    Maybe the sock people have already thought of this, but I think a great slogan for them would be:

    “Wear Jesus Insoles, so people will know you have Jesus in your soul!!!”

    Ha. Get it? I’d be a great marketer.

    As for me and Christian clothing, I only have a couple t-shirts, both gifts from my in-laws. I save them for the bedroom. My way of “putting the guilt back in sex, where it belongs.”

  17. I am sorry to say that I have the Jesus Button one. One of my vaguely religious relatives gave it to me… I was mortified. Is that how she perceives my faith? jesus the Easy Button? I donated it. I don’t wear too many tshirts as it is, and I knew that one would never make it into the rotation.

    • No offense or judgment intended, but why would you donate it? Why would you want anyone else to wear it? It’s okay to throw away a perfectly new piece of clothing if it sports a perfectly wretched message like that.

      Again, no personal judgment intended. I just thought this is worth pointing out. (I know it’s hard to throw away new clothes, not to mention gifts.)

  18. It was a typical Saturday night for me and the western-themed saloon was the only place to get a drink in our small town, and trust me, I’d had quite a few of them. A mate suggested I was in no shape to drive home and asked me for my keys, but in my drunken stupor I dropped them on the wood-chip covered floor of the badly lit bar.

    Crawling around on all fours to find them I started feeling sick to my stomach, and as I reached around, my hands got stepped on several times by patrons standing up to order another drink.

    And then I saw it.

    It was a pair of white socks with the words “Jesus Saves” embroidered in bold red type.

    In a heartbeat my life changed. Finding my keys, I asked my buddy to help me swear never to be found in a bar again. It’s a vow I’ve kept to this day.

    And I owe it all to a slogan printed on a pair of socks.

    Brothers and sisters, if even one person gets saved or delivered, it’s all worth it. I know that to be true and you know it to be true and the only thing standing in the way right now is the fact it’s not true because I just made the whole thing up.

  19. I do own a couple of Christian shirts, but none that make me look like I raided Kirk Cameron’s closet.

    Does it really work? I don’t know. I have mostly worn them at church. I just get to show off my newest Christian t-shirt to my other Christian friends. Did I make them covet? Hmm, I hope not.

    Here’s an idea. Front of t-shirt: “Don’t get left” (an arrow points to the back)

    Back of t-shirt: “Behind”

  20. OK, I guess what I really don’t like about the majority of “Christian” wear is that it is so blatantly ripping off popular culture. It’s like The Church doesn’t have a single original thought in it’s collective head. I was having this discussion with a friend of mine the other night. Over 100 years ago the church was the LEADER in science, music, art… And NOW, the best we can do is say, “If you like Nickleback, then you’ll LOVE (name of christian band here). It’s ridiculous.
    I only have 2 “christian” shirts. One of them says “Jesus loves you…but I’m his favorite”. The other, my favorite, says on the front “CALVINISM: This shirt chose me”. ANd on the back, “ARMININISM: I chose this shirt”.
    The one I want, but can’t screw up the courage to buy, is from XXXChurch.com and says “Jesus loves porn stars”

  21. The official youth movement for the Catholic Church is called Lifeteen, and if you have ever belonged to a Lifeteen parish, you will have accumulated HUGE amounts of Catholic/Christian-themed foolishness. For instance, I am currently wearing the now discontinued Lifeteen boxers. I bought them at a conference when I was 16, before they decided that they were “irreverent”.

    They do however still sell socks that say “Orthodox Rox my Sox,” and my personal favorite, a shirt with a nun on it that says “not all habits are bad”. I own this shirt :-)

  22. Great post. Check out my blog post titled,”Hand Me A Barf Bag please.”. The holy thongs horrified me. Who would be wanting to have sex after seeing that thong? I think these kind of products are cheesy and rather than getting people to ask questions they make people roll their eyes.

  23. Hi,
    Many times I have witnessed someone asking someone else who was wearing a “Christian T-shirt” a question in regard to what does it mean, or what “this Jesus” stuff is all about. I have seen others be encouraged by what was written on a shirt.

    There is so much available that discourages and encourages the negative…

    I’d rather, any day to be onslaught-ed by the positive quirky message of the Bible on a shirt (thongs are not to be seen by others anyway where are the morals??).

    The message is all about the personal relationship one has with God not how it is delivered.

    God sent His Son to be an example of love. If you are living out selfless love and wearing a “Jesus T” go for it! If you are not living out His example then it won’t really matter what you are wearing, you will be known by your “fruit” anyway.

    Always consider this: People have a great issue in general… they are selfish. So when you experience the pain from someone being selfish, first check to make sure you are not operating under the same influence, then don’t take offense. That is the tool by which we fail living out the example Jesus set for us.

    It is all a matter of the heart. Are you doing what you are doing because you selflessly love?

    The next time you see someone wearing their “jesus Junk” ask them why or what does it mean, you just might be surprised as to why they wear what they wear.

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  1. Tweets that mention And They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Socks | The Church of No People -- Topsy.com - July 26, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Ellis, Annie K. Annie K said: And They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Socks | The Church of No People http://bit.ly/b51AWM [...]

  2. Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud - August 4, 2010

    [...] Matt at The Church of No People blog suggests, “…when Christians can’t find the words to share Jesus, a much easier method of evangelism is available.  All you have to do is become a walking billboard.”  Check out Christian socks. [...]

  3. Not Tee-Shirt Evangelism « Nikole Hahn's Journal - August 14, 2010

    [...] The Church of No People wrote a blog about Christian tee-shirts and bumper stickers.  The blogger was pretty fired up about that stuff.  His angle about tee-shirt evangelism had a good point, but I still see the usefulness in blatantly sporting these items.  Christians need to take a stand against the ever growing oppression of Christianity in our schools and work places.  I do not believe Christians are doormats.  But I also realize our tee-shirts, bumper stickers and jewelry are not going to bring someone to Christ.  These items have a far more useful point to them.    [...]