Pastor's Corner

4 Aug
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Mid-Week Challenge

Do you remember your first pair of tennis shoes?  If not your first, do you remember getting a new pair when you were young?  The feel and smell of a new pair automatically made you feel more like an athlete.  When you tried them on you knew you were already able to run faster! When you walked into school for the first time you had a skip in your step and found ways to make sure the other kids noticed your new speedsters.  As we grew up shoes became even more of a fashion symbol.  We might not be looking to run faster, but we still wanted the same amount of attention.  For this reason those who make and sale shoes see dollar signs as each new design rolls off the production line.  We no longer buy shoes because we need them; we buy them so that we might feel needed.  When most of our parents grew up they had two pair of shoes, if they were lucky.  The church pair and the pair they wore to school.  Those lasted, not as long as your foot fit in them; they lasted as long as the sole stayed attached.  You then took them to the local cobbler (not the dessert) and had them resoled.  Man, have the times changed!!  Now we build our homes with “shoe closets”.  A sign of prosperity is to own a pair of shoes, but never wear them.  Shoes make a statement about the person wearing them, where they sit on their closet shelf or what the color of the sole is (not soul).  That’s why it is worth noting when a shoe manufacture makes the news.  

You might have grown up wearing or wanting a pair of Chuck Taylor's! Long before Air Jordan’s, Converse was the basketball shoe of choice.  Whether you played or not, you wanted a pair.  They were different than other tennis shoes and they made a statement.  Converse has seen their share of popularity ups and downs thanks to rivals like Nike and Reebok.  In an attempt to gain attention (I guess it worked), Converse is offering the TURBODRK Chuck 70, a design by fashion designer Rick Owens featuring a satanic pentagram which is the logo of his brand DRKSHDW. 

Rick Owens wrote about his new design, “I've been using this pentagram for a long time because obviously, it has adolescent occult associations. I like geometric diagrams like that because, in a very primal way, they are a culture's grasp for control. And a way to organize thoughts and systems. “And a pentagram, in this day and age with all of its associations… I like the fact that it refers to an alternative system. And that suggests openness and empathy. It suggests the pursuit of pleasure, this pursuit of sensation. But one of the main things that I think it suggests is empathy and a consideration of systems of living that might not be standard. So that leads us to be more accepting and tolerant of other systems, which I think is a good thing.”

You might remember earlier this year MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based collective, modified Nike Air Max 97s into a “Satan Shoes” line and released it in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. The shoes incorporated drops of blood and ink into an air bubble. They were decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18.  Nike sued to have them stop producing the shoe.  In 2019 MSCHF offered modified Nikes that they called Jesus shoes that contained water from the River Jordan, red insoles scented with Frankincense, a steel crucifix and stamped with Matthew 14:25.

What’s the difference? Nike didn’t make those shoes, but Converse is making the TURBODRK Chuck 70.  What Rick Owens is tapping into is the fact that people are searching, not for a pair of TURBODRK Chuck 70s but for meaning.  They feel rejected by society, the Home and the Church.  Every generation has this element but the current one more so than ever before.  Satan is betting on “black” and he is winning in a sense.  Most Christians want to ignore or explain away examples such as this as a phase kids go through but the phase is becoming a lifestyle.  We see this in 20 and 30 year olds.  It has caused a negative change in our political leadership, school boards and authorities.  The focus on self-gratification and an unquenched thirst for power is revealing what lies beneath.  Why so now, because Christians have given responsibility over to worldly culture instead of being the ones who shape culture.  The Church rarely takes a stand against worldly influence.  Many will still buy Converse, just like they buy Nike and continue to shop at Target.  And in the end, they will wonder why their children want nothing to do with them when they are older and why no one believes them when they say they listen to the popular music of the day.  

If you are adult Christian, stop trying to be cool and start taking a stand for the Lord. It might make a difference in where your kids send you to spend your twilight days and I know it will make a difference in the Eternity of those you influence.    

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  2 Timothy 3:1-5

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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