Get Your "Look Out! I'm a Godbag!" Button Today!

Yet another reason that I don’t like the American Family Association (AFA)… A long time ago, I signed up for their mailing list because I am generally sympathetic to their goals. About their methods, on the other hand, I generally feel anywhere between complete exasperation and a tired disgust.

The AFA is selling “Silent Witness” buttons for people to wear during Easter week. The image is of three crosses, and the text is “EASTER” and “HE LIVES!” along with the AFA url.

Buttons
Price
Price per Button
10
$9.00
.90
30
$22.00
.73
50
$33.50
.67
100
$55.00
.55

I searched for companies that make similar buttons – full color, 1.75″ in diameter – to see what these things cost to make and found this handy online pricing calculator.

The calculator limits the pricing search to 9,999, and I rather suspect that the AFA ordered more than 10,000 of these, unless I’m grossly underestimating the AFA’s following. That particular company will make 9,999 of these buttons for 18 cents apiece.

Well, the AFA is entitled to try to make a profit. I just think it’s worth pointing out. This is a fundraiser and ought to be labeled accordingly.

Moving on to the point of the buttons – to be a “silent witness” for Jesus and his resurrection. First, I’m not aware of any bible verse that instructs us to be a “silent witness.” To the contrary, there are quite a lot of action words in Jesus’ instructions to his disciples.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
(Matthew 10:5-8)

Second, let’s imagine that you choose to wear this button to work. If that is the first time your colleagues become aware that you are a Christian, then something is already very, very wrong. They should already know based on your behavior and from their relationship with you. If they know that you’re a Christian, they don’t need the reminder, and this is an ineffectual way to witness to them anyway.

Christians you encounter might smile and nod approvingly, perhaps wishing they were so bold as to wear a button with an Easter message on it, but non-Christians – unless they are the type of person who’s just looking to pick a fight – will avoid you when you wear this button. They’re afraid that if they become Christians they’ll have to wear a “Look out! I’m a Godbag!” button.

I know that there are arguments that can be made in favor of this kind of marketing gambit, but I’m not buying. Want to be an effective witness? Read the book of James and do what it says.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Perri Nelson’s Website, The Random Yak, Adam’s Blog, Maggie’s Notebook, basil’s blog, Stuck On Stupid, Cao’s Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Rightlinx, Allie Is Wired, third world county, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, stikNstein… has no mercy, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, Overtaken by Events, Planck’s Constant, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, High Desert Wanderer, Right Voices, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Comments

  1. Henry Neufeld says:

    Second, let’s imagine that you choose to wear this button to work. If that is the first time your colleagues become aware that you are a Christian, then something is already very, very wrong.

    and

    Want to be an effective witness? Read the book of James and do what it says.

    Oooh! Good stuff. Excellent post. It’s always hard getting people into that place between “obnoxiously troubling people with your faith” and “never mentioning you’re a Christian” where you are a Christian and you’re identified as a Christian, but the only offense is the offense of the cross, which is one we’d better be prepared to live with!

  2. Thanks Henry – you’re certainly right, people can get obnoxious about it. My dad, in his zeal, has made several people so hostile to the gospel that they won’t even hear it anymore. Maybe that would have been the case anyway – I’m enough of a Calvinist to think so – but that kind of hostility doesn’t help anybody. I think that’s where 1 Peter 3:15-16 comes in – when people ask us the reason for the hope that we have – meaning we haven’t been rubbing their nose in it, but just living holy lives and they wonder why we’re different.

  3. It seems to me that wearing such a button is probably not an act of witnessing but an act of pride. It equates to “oh, look at me, look at me, look how I so proudly display my faith!”

    I thought pride was one of the sins.

    Though, I don’t see these buttons, WWJD bracelets, “in event of rapture this car will be unmanned” bumper stickers and the like disappearing anytime soon.

    I’m heartened, though, to see more Xians vowing to live their faith rather than simply spout about it.

  4. Paul Martin says:

    “They should already know based on your behavior and from their relationship with you {that you’re Christian” – without you having to tell them or wear a button.}

    I’m frankly confused – unless by “behavior” and “relationship” you mean talking about how we’re Christians and maybe trying to convert them?

    I honestly can’t say I’ve noticed that Christians as a group shine out in the world with special virtue. They seem the same as any other large group of people – some saints, some major sinners, most in between.

  5. Thomas, good point. About the WWJD bracelets – I never especially liked those either for the same reasons you mentioned, but one person did give me a good reason why she wore one – it was to remind *herself* to pause before acting and think about what Jesus would do. That made a great deal more sense to me.

  6. You haven’t posted in awhile…everything okay?

  7. Paul, by behavior and relationship, I mean Christians should stand out in a number of ways. Dressing modestly, not using profanity, serving cheerfully, demonstrating love. For example, in an office, a Christian ought to go beyond their own duties and cheerfully help others when needed. When someone has a personal problem, we should be right there to listen, and offer whatever support is needed. Failing to stand around the water cooler and gossip goes a long way. Responding appropriately and prayerfully to office politics goes a long way. Basically we should be modeling everything Corinthians says about love. That kind of behavior builds trust and strong relationships.

    Someone who is a “major sinner” yet professes Christianity… hmmm… well we all have areas of sin that need to be rooted out and dealt with. But when I see a person who habitually commits the same sin, never showing any signs of repentance or improvement, I do begin to wonder about their faith. Our behavior and responses should be different from other people’s. If it’s not, it’s a sign of a serious problem.

  8. Amanda, no, it’s not – thanks for checking in on me. :-) I’m about to post.

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