At the risk of sounding like an old fart, again, what’s up with the pants pulled down past the tush – STILL!?
OK, lets get something clear right from the start: I am a veteran of over a quarter of a century of youth ministry, both as a kid and as a professional – I UNDERSTAND TEENAGERS. Now that I’ve bragged about my qualifications for this rant, I shall continue . . .
When we were kids (sounding old-farty again), we did all kinds of stupid things, fashion-wise. (We did other stupid things too, but that’s another rant) We wore corduroys in fluorescent colors; we spent small fortunes on jeans made from hundreds of small squares of denim sewed together; we wore levis shirts and jackets with embroidery our mom’s spent hours on; we feathered our hair; we wore big poofy vests when it was cold and our arms froze; and worst of all, we got our hair permed!
Now each of these fads was more disgusting than the last but the good news is that they were only fads! After a few months, a year or two at most, the fad passed and we were doing something else stupid with our clothes or hair.
Not so with the “Pants on the ground” gang. I remember fondly the days, at the end of my time in youth ministry, when this trend started (the genesis of this trend and the end of my days in youth ministry is coincidental). A couple of kids in my youth group came one Sunday night “sagging” the way they’d seen it on TV or someplace. We all gawked and frowned until this giant of a lineman on the high school football team sneaked up behind them and . . . uh . . . encouraged their jeans all the way onto the ground. We laughed then, and it was difficult for me to keep a straight face as I disciplined the giant.
What I thought would be the end of a short-lived problem turned out to be the beginning of a trend that may be second only to the popularity of blue jeans in duration. I still don’t understand it, nor do I like it. And I often wonder whether, if one of these kids were offered an interview for a high paying job, if they would show up with their boxers showing?
Well, you might not think the Bible has much to say about sagging, but I think Paul at least alludes to it here:
God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones: God knows who belongs to Him. Spurn evil, all you who name God as God. In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to His guests for their blessing. 2 Timothy 2:19-21
I guess we have to ask our sagging friends, and ourselves as well, three questions: 1. What kind of container are we? 2. What kind of container does God want us to be? and 3. What kind of message are we sending to God’s “Guests for their blessing”?
You see it’s one thing to dress comfortable or follow a fad, but it’s another thing to be so obnoxious that we make it impossible for folks to see the light of Christ’s love within us. Like it or not, we who claim to follow Jesus Christ are always in the spotlight – If “it always feels like somebody’s watching” you, it’s because they are! Especially in this postmodern, increasingly Post-Christian culture in which we now live. You better understand that if you screw up or lose it in any way, somebody will be saying to themselves, “See, I knew it, it was all a lie.”
So, understand that you are a vessel that contains the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that you need to decide whether, when you go to the supermarket, you’re going to need to purchase silver polish or garbage bags. Just sayin’ . . .
Pressing on toward the goal . . .