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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4 thoughts on “John 3:16 Guy – Part 1

  1. Himself

    Back in the late 80’s or early90’s is the first time I noticed the John 3-16at a Bronco football game. As a scolar of the scriptures, with a short memory after 3 games I had to look it up. It mentioned what God gave us. This was just after a young quarterback from Sstanford Univercity joined the Broncos. My first thought was that someone in the bleachers was having fun with the Bible and “John” Elway with great expetetions for the season and the seasons to come. I am not sure if this was the start of the 3-16 notices. Many we should start with a Manna(ing) from Heaven. —my little joke. I wonder if the Lord is spending his Sunday days off watching the Broncos. I am.

    Reply
  2. Steve Post author

    It’s an interesting way of putting it—the cart before the horse. I’d love to hear you elaborate on that thought. IF John 3:16 is the cart, then what for you, would be the horse? What should come first?

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I agree that this verse has almost become “cliche.” Have to admit that I almost cringe when I hear someone using it. Seems to be putting the cart before the horse a little for evangelistic purposes…just because it’s hard to fathom someone giving the life of their child for me.

    Reply

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