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Friday, August 28, 2009

...and when necessary, use t-shirts.

[adapted title link here]

I was the poster boy for Christian t-shirts in high school. I still have them, reminding me of earlier days:

My Christian T-Shirts

But I think my thinking has shifted.

When I was in high school, I was fired up to tell people about Jesus. I left my life of homeschooling to go change my campus for Christ. I was a man on a mission. And like all good agents, I had to wear the right stuff: the hospital band thingy from summer camp that I wore until it fell off, Christian dog tags, and, of course, the Christian t-shirts.

They weren't cheesy. They were a cool way to remind people that I followed Christ.

Looking back, the shirts were cheesy. Like, not even a good Gouda, but a can of spray-on cheese.

And I was a punk.

Granted, real punks wear their hats incorrectly, their pants at their ankles, and a look on their face that says, "Just try tellin' me I care!"

In the same way, what I was wearing was intended to make an impression, take a stand, and get people to think... and I didn't care if it upset you. You needed to get upset! My t-shirts were there to remind you of the eternal significance of your choices today.

And today, t-shirts are back into the forefront of my mind (though now I wear polos).

I first came across Mrs. C's post. And then Meg's ...followed by her followup. All of this eventually made it onto JJ's blog where the comments are alive and well.

As a young man, I never considered how bothersome my garment choices could be. And, if others could wear their Bad Religion shirts, well, then I needed to represent.

The Christian t-shirt phase was an important time in my life, but I have since learned that loving others is often much more important--and effective--than simply touting stuff on your bumper sticker or t-shirt.

I've seen similar things in the world of politics and education as well.

So, again, I think my Christian punk phase was important, but I'm very glad I grew out of it.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Meg_L said...

yep, those are the shirts I was talking about, especially the "One Nation Under God."

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Hi! Thanks for the link, though the gist of my post was criticising the fact that public schools seem to apply the standards on the books a little unevenly.

Ok, more than a little. :]

Morgan said...

Your high school self sounds like every other high school boy I have seen at a Christian camp! Including my husband- he had all the t's and the kinda punk style. I think it's a teen thing- wanting to be different and take a stand in a visual way.

Bumper sticker t-shirts are still big, though, in other areas other than religion. I.e. all the kids' t-shirts that say things like "I'm so cute", ect.

Anonymous said...

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Tammy said...

Sounds like you were a pretty normal Christian kid to me, Luke, with the t-shirt thing. There are definitely cool witness t-shirts available nowadays.

Then you get older and realize it is even a stronger testimony to let the Holy Spirit work through you and people notice that something is different about you which draws them to know what and why in a good cool way :-)

I'm thinking you've figured that out in your polos!

Tammy ~@~

JJ Ross said...

Good post, Luke. I know it's good because the thinking in it gets me thinking more in turn. :)

Luke Holzmann said...

Meg, the "One Nation Under God" was my least favorite, actually. Not enough "punch" <smile>.

Mrs. C, I hear ya. On the other hand, I never got any flack in my high school for what I wore... <shrug>

Morgan, yep. I agree. And all that time I thought I was being "revolutionary" <laughing>.

Jo, Christianity falls into fads all the time... not just in the fashion world <smile>.

Tammy, actually, my wife and my mom had to get me started on polos by getting me a few for Christmas and encouraging me to look more professional <laughing>. But, yes.

JJ, that is great to hear! Thanks! <smile>


Heather the Mama Duk said...

T-shirts were definitely an interesting thing at the townhall meeting Tuesday. Everything from purple SEIU shirts to "Another Proud Calvert County Democrat" shirts to various other union logo shirts and then on the other side lots of flags and proud to be American shirts. It was quite fascinating actually just how incredibly pro the union shirted people were and how incredibly anti the flag shirts were. As for me... I was wearing my red T-shirt with embroidered wavy blue lines and white stars. Sort of flag-ish. But then I wear that shirt once or twice a week anyway.

Luke Holzmann said...

<smile> That would be an interesting mix to see. Are you're absolutely right: Even adults wear shirts to make a point.



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Luke Holzmann
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