JESUS IS MY HOMEBOY
I’m not sure if many of you have heard of the new fad in pop culture with shirts exclaiming “Jesus is my homeboy.” With how fast fads come and go, this may be old news. I apologize if the trend has already passed. If you are not content with the t-shirt you can order the mug, bumper sticker, or dog tag. Perhaps you do not believe in the Bible’s admonitions of modesty and would like to show some skin. Available for your custom needs is a cut off or spaghetti strap homeboy shirt.
I wish this were a joke but sadly it is not. A Los Angeles company called Teenage Millionaire makes the shirts that say “Jesus Is My Homeboy” and “Mary Is My Home girl.” “We looked at the popular icons of the 20th century and Jesus definitely topped the list,” said Chris Hoy, a partner at Teenage Millionaire. “This shirt has been in our line for about three years, but it’s just now getting all the popularity.”
Madonna was seen wearing a Mary shirt; Pamela Anderson has been running around in the T’s, and Ashton Kutcher was photographed with a “Jesus Is My Homeboy” baseball cap on. The “Homeboy” shirts retail for about $25, and Hoy said they’re selling thousands of them a month. “This is definitely our most popular shirt that people know us for,” Hoy said. “Our little piece of Hollywood has gone worldwide, and it’s beyond my wildest dreams.” E! Networks’ Rubin called the Jesus chic style “kitschy” and “playful.”
Also, for your political bent is the Hillary is my home girl shirt. You can support Mrs. Clinton in her 2008 presidential race. After all she stood on stage with Billy Graham at his last crusade, has always been a praying woman, and now views abortion as a “tragic choice.”
“The Christians like it, the hipsters like it,” said Hoy. “We had no idea it was going to be this big.
I just had my thirtieth birthday. I no longer have my ear to the pop culture ground like I used to. I know enough to be able to tell you that Katie Holmes is engaged to Tom Cruise but that’s about it. Before I was radically saved by Jesus Christ, I loved pop culture and rock music. I used to listen to ungodly music by groups named Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Rage Against the Machine. I even listened to EMINEM. I once went to a tour called Family Values, and let me tell you, there were not many family values espoused there.
I am seeing a disturbing trend in Christendom today where we are trying to be so relevant and hip that we are actually becoming irrelevant. It doesn’t disturb me as much that Madonna, and Ashton Kutcher wear blasphemous t-shirts, what does disturb me is that Christians love them too.
When I was going to concerts in my pre-Christian pagan days I would go to many concerts and enjoyed what is called a “mosh pit.” This is where people would gather up near the stage of a concert and slam into each other and jump up and down. Sometimes people would be lifted up and be passed around the crowd. Recently I went to a worship service at a 5,000 member church and honestly felt like I was in a “Christian mosh pit.”
There were cameras flying over my head, people gyrating and jumping up and down, and people running up and down the aisles. To top it off there was a gigantic picture of the preacher’s next book release overshadowing everything. I was waiting for the smoke and pyrotechnics to be released.
With all this imitation, and attempts to blend in with the world we are in danger of losing our fear and reverence of God if we have not already. I remember visiting another church the other weekend and people stood up to testify. One young man stood up and basically said, “I just think Jesus is great. He is so cool. He is like superman.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Even yesterday I was playing basketball in a church. We prayed before and then played some good competitive games. I understand that not everyone there was a Christian. In between fast breaks, rebounds and jump shots, there was a side line show going on. A young girl in a cut off T was sitting in her boyfriends lap and they were making out. What causes people to have absolutely no fear of God, so that a Holy sanctuary is turned into an episode of Desperate Housewives?
I believe the modern church is losing our reverence and fear of God. We no longer view God as Holy and righteous. We have adopted a “tolerant” Jesus who winks at sin and would never judge anyone or anything. I understand we have a God of grace and Jesus is our friend when we repent and join his family, but is he our Homeboy or best buddy? The teenagers making out must have Okayed their make out session with their “Homeboy in the Sky.”
Some of this rejection of God’s authority and disrespect comes from a lack of fatherhood and masculinity in our culture. Parents are losing the hearts of their children to pop culture and their peer groups. Would your child want to spend an evening with his father or with his peer group? Mothers, if you had some free time and opportunity to go to lunch would you invite your daughter? These are tough questions but ones we must answer.
It is not just the youth culture who is rejecting the Holiness, and authority of God. Our seeker sensitive mega churches are creating a casualness and entertainment mindset towards God where we are more focused on our personal comfort and needs. I’ve been in churches that have coffee holders and seats like a movie theater. On July 16th the Doors of the old Houston Compaq center will be transformed into a church service. Now Joel Osteen will be sharing the gospel with the 30,000 guests. I pray that God will use this new venue otherwise we might as well go see a Rockets game, because they do community service too.
So where do we go from here as a nation and a church. I don’t advocate banning overhead projectors, and arresting people who bring coffee into the service, because I would have been charged with wearing shorts the other day. Easily, we could have an outward show of holiness and piety but our hearts could still be far from God. Firstly, I believe fathers have to go after the hearts of their children. If it means working less hours, changing jobs, or turning off ESPN we must go after the heart of this generation. Secondly, we must repent in our own lives of areas where we do not honor God or put him first. What image have we recreated God in? Do we view God as our buddy who will never bring us to account? Or do we view God as The God of Scripture who is just, righteous, Holy, merciful, longsuffering, jealous, and gracious. Finally, we have to start fearing God. If we do not exalt and glorify God, then who will? Not pop culture. They wear crosses and point to the sky after hitting homeruns too. There has to be a sweet fragrance and reverence, and adoration with which we approach God.
We can do these things or keep doing the same thing our culture dictates; whether it’s watching Desperate Housewives, standing in line for the new Harry Potter book or wearing a Homeboy T-shirt.
I will personally start first by turning off the T.V, reading more of the Holy Word rather than the new bestseller, and wearing my breastplate of righteousness everyday. I may even start dressing up for church not to be flashy or showy but to begin to cultivate an attitude of reverence in myself; Because Jesus isn’t my Homeboy, he is my Savior and the King of Glory, and he deserves it.
“I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: Each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)
© 2005 Nicholas Jackson
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Nick Jackson is a physical therapist from Ohio who assists pro-life and pro-family ministries in the Central Ohio area. He is executive director of Reform America, a Christian Activist organization based in Columbus. For more information on Reform America go to www.reformamerica.com
My heart is grieved when a co-worker tells me that her husband abandoned her for another man and left her alone to raise her children.