Monthly Archives: February 2013

John 3:16 Guy – Part 2

2-2013 316 GuyFrom  The business with the signs started in 1980, when Rollen accepted Jesus as his personal savior. Prior to that time his interest was in just generally being famous (or, as he puts it, being “the most famous person in the world no one knows about”). For years he was the guy you used to see on telecasts of golf tournaments with the wild multicolored Afro wig, which earned him the nickname “Rainbow Man.” (He has since put the wig aside.) Having scouted the camera angles beforehand, he’d pop out of the crowd at an appropriate moment, waving his arms, making “OK” or “thumbs-up” gestures, and grinning like an idiot.

Rollen’s original idea was that he would parlay this shtick into a job as a media pitchman, but his only big score was a role in a Budweiser commercial. Then he got religion. (Fittingly, he saw the light while watching a TV preacher.) He commenced to wearing and/or carrying “Jesus Saves” and “Repent” T-shirts, signs, and whatnot, hitting an average of two major televised events a week. Eventually he graduated to signs with scriptural references, such as John 3:16. (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”) The theory is that you’ll start looking things up in the Bible to figure out what’s going on, and before you know it, you’ll have stumbled into a life of everlasting righteousness.

Traveling around to various events is Rollen’s only occupation. He lives in his car with his wife, a fellow sign flasher, subsisting entirely on donations. In addition to golf tourneys and football games, he’s appeared at numerous World Series, the summer and winter Olympics, the Republican and Democratic national conventions, the Indy 500, the Kentucky Derby, the NBA and NCAA basketball finals, the Stanley Cup, and the wedding of Princess Di and Prince Charles. One summer, he proudly notes, he was down in Mexico hogging the limelight at the World Cup soccer championships, which were viewed by 2.8 billion people worldwide. He estimates that he and his confederates, who help maintain the illusion that he’s everywhere, have appeared at more than 1,000 events to date.

Rollen’s relations with officialdom are touchy at best. He’s been bounced out of numerous joints, and he and another guy sued the managers of RFK stadium in D.C. over the right to display signs. Yet he refuses to become discouraged. Indeed, he envisions the day when he’ll be at the controls of Sign Flasher Central, directing the efforts of evangelical exhibitionists across the U.S. by means of TV monitors and cordless telephones. If ever there was a guy who was a hero for our time, Rock’n Rollen Stewart is it.

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John 3:16 Guy – Part 1

imagesI thought to write a little bit on the use of the reference John 3:16 as an effective tool in our witness.

I am bit divided over my approach to it because on the one hand, it’s a definitive verse that gives the essence of our faith.

On the other hand, is it overused to the point of being—and please forgive if this seems irreverent—cliché?

Sometimes we use a resource so often that it loses its effectiveness, but is that the case with John 3:16? I don’t know.

But in thinking about it, the first thing that popped into my mind was the man known as  “John 3:16 Guy” who was shown at least once on TV during every Monday Night Football game in the 1970s.

He was a middle aged white guy who wore a bright rainbow colored wig and held up a sign saying  JOHN 3:16. He became a staple, and as part of each game as the teams or cheerleaders. He was the comic relief.

I don’t really think anyone was ever converted because of his signs and he probably hurt the cause more than helped. He became a parody, and along with him, to a lot of people, John 3:16 itself. I mean it couldn’t help when he along with his sign was parodied on The Simpsons.102108

I didn’t know much about who he was—one of those fun mysteries that I grew up with. Ends up that his name was Rollen Stewart

But in looking into just who  “John 3:16 Guy” was, I ran into the following articles written by Cecil Adams I will include in the next two posts. Written from a secular perspective, it gives a telling message of witness gone wrong.

And at the very least, if you are going to use John 3:16, don’t act like an idiot while doing it.

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What Is Gossip, Anyway?

2-2013 No_chat

So what is gossip anyway? The first thought that comes to mind is that it is ‘talking behind someone’s back.’ But that doesn’t satisfy a lot of scenarios:

  1. What if I’m telling another parent how proud I am of my son? Isn’t that talking behind my son’s back?
  2. What if I’m criticizing the President?
  3. What if I’m concerned about a friend who’s depressed and I’m seeking advice?
  4. What if a woman is sharing with a friend how much in love she is with a man she’s seeing?
  5. What if I’m venting about the driver who cut me off on the highway?

Gossiping typically involves the following ingredients:

  1. Talking about a specific person when they are not present.
  2. Is negative in that it makes the other person looks worse.
  3. Is ill-intentioned.
  4. Makes you look better.
  5. Occurs during idle time.
  6. Involves trivial things. ­
  7. Is frequently speculative.
  8. Centers around personal matters.

Let’s consider these seeds whenever we are talking about someone else, and what fruits those seeds might produce.

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