T-shirts Share Gospel

While many schools have difficulty regulating objectionable and offensive slogans and mottos on T-shirts worn by their students, Portland Adventist Academy wishes that more of their students would emulate the slogans worn by student Jon Schaffer—slogans such as “Hardcore Christian," “Awesome Powers, The God That Saves Me," “Creation," “Saved 1" and “I’m the Christian The Devil Warned You About."

Schaffer, junior class president, has been wearing shirts such as these for years. He finds that they are a great way to open dialogue with strangers about his beliefs. He cites the example of standing in a checkout line at a neighborhood grocery store and feeling someone tugging on his T-shirt. Apprehensive, he turned and found that the person was only trying to read the Bible text on his back.

On another occasion, while leaving a ski movie, the movie's producer, Warren Miller, asked him if he was really a “Hardcore Christian.” Schaffer had the opportunity to assure Miller that indeed he considered himself truly that.

Schaffer can relate many such instances of others taking notice of this, his public acknowledgement of his relationship with his personal Savior. Schaffer points out that, at his baptism this past summer in the youth tent at Oregon Camp Meeting, he was wearing his favorite shirt proclaiming his “Saved 1” status.

He estimates that he has about 12 of these T-shirts. He received a striking new one as a Christmas gift from one of his classmates. It proclaims in bold and colorful print, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" (John 3:17, NIV). On the front of the shirt is a cross, brilliantly glowing clouds and three nails. Schaffer was anxious to get back to school after the holidays to get the response of his classmates to this new shirt.

Schaffer believes that what one wears really does reflect on what Christ means to the individual.

March 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference