If Life and Death are in the Tongue: What Does the Bible Says about T-Shirt Messages
By Betty Miller
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think is little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.
Imprinted T-shirts with different messages are seen throughout the world today. Some of these messages are harmless and even carry messages that are good. Many Christians wear them as witnessing tools, (prayerfully, their lives reveal the fruit of the Spirit if they are displaying His name in public).
However, the devil is always around to take things and pervert them for his purposes, he is using T-shirts to advertise evil. Satan has used the seemingly trivial display of ideas on these shirts to do great harm to unsuspecting people and especially our children. Let us look at how this is accomplished by the enemy.
In recent years, the Lord has been giving His Church much revelation in the area of the power of His Word and our confession of that Word in our lives. As Christians, the Word of God is our standard, and we are to order our lives by it. Anything that does not agree with His Word we are told to resist and to overcome.
Words are very powerful as the words we speak will influence not only our lives but others as well. Lawyers use words to build their cases, for instance. Positive and uplifting words make us all feel better, while evil and negative words destroy and hurt us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Keeping this in mind, let us apply this to the advertising on T-shirts. Business men realize the power of advertising, as that is how their businesses are built: through word of mouth or through written ads in papers, on billboards, etc. When we wear negative or Satanic words on our bodies, we are advertising to others our intentions through those words. The devil being a legalist then takes advantage of this open door to bring about his plans in our lives.
Let us use a couple of examples to see how this operates. I remember a young Christian girl who came to church with a T-shirt that said, “I’m a Sex Bomb, Ignite Me!” Her parents totally ignored the implications of this “not-so-subtle” announcement. These parents yielded to their daughter’s desires by allowing her to wear what she wanted to and later they wondered why she ended up in premarital sex.
Many daughters of well-meaning parents end up pregnant before marriage, or other circumstances just as bad simply because parents fail to recognize the warning signs of lust upon them. Lust is encouraged when parents compromise and allow their girls to wear worldly dress such as bikini bathing suits or display Hollywood sex idols on posters in their bedrooms. This, of course, is an obvious danger sign most Christians would recognize but what about the more subtle messages the enemy uses?
Another shirt ad I saw recently said, “RESPECT YOUR ELDERS” across the top; then beneath this caption it had these words: “Wolf (30 million years old); Whale (50 million years old); Loon (100 million years old).” Although this is meant to be a cute joke, it reflects the attitude and beliefs of our younger generation at large: disrespect for leadership and the theory of evolution. Both of these things come from the devil as most young people have no respect for authority, and they know nothing of their origin.
Because they do not know God created them with a lofty purpose in mind, they have the attitude of “live any way you desire today, as you have no eternal hell to face, because you have evolved from an animal, so you will die as one, and it will all be over.” This T-shirt is simply reflecting the current attitudes in our society; however, no Christian should indulge in this type of humor. Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
What about ball teams who have names that reflect evil? A ball team in Arizona is called the “Sun Devils,” and most people desiring to support their home teams wear these shirts. What’s in a name? Surely this is harmless?
Jesus apparently put a lot of emphasis in using names, because He told us we could cast out devils in His name. When Jesus said this, He was saying that the authority of using His name was powerful enough to deal with devils. Behind every name is the authority of that name. An example of this is when a husband empowers his wife to use his name for banking or other purposes, it is the same as if he used his own name.
Now what does this have to do with a name on a T-shirt? If we have the devil’s name on us it gives him the legal authority to claim that territory just as on the positive side we find safety when we call on the name of the Lord. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
Displaying evil names and pictures by wearing these types of T-shirts can be invitations to the devil to attach himself to a person or to cause a curse to come against them. Although this may seem like a ridiculous assumption to some, we would encourage you to pray about this and ask the Lord if you or your children have any open doors through this “little fox.”
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Betty Miller has written several books on other topics as well. To view titles or purchase those books visit our bookstore.