God is dope

“You are asking for something that would be harmful to your salvation if you had it–
so by not getting what you’ve asked,
you really are getting what you want.”

St. Catherine of Siena

I had the pleasure of attending a corporate function yesterday at a large Atlanta corporation.
It was a great family affair.

I was very surprised when I heard a fellow over a loudspeaker addressing the large
crowd gathered, consisting of employees and their families, grateful that
“the Lord has provided us with such a beautiful day today for our party…”

“Wow,” I thought to myself…how many corporate events, other than Chick-fil-A,
will a person hear such words spoken publically to a large gathered crowd???
A crowd that is not gathered for some sort of church service but simply gathered?!

Hopeful was my immediate reaction.

Next, I saw a young lady walk past me wearing a shirt very similar to the one shown above,
albeit with gold lettering.

I laughed to myself, laughing over how our words and their meanings have evolved
with our ever-evolving culture.

Back in the day…as in back in my younger days, the word dope was another word for drugs…
usually hard drugs such as heroin.

So to see such a current catchphrase used, as well as worn,
in reference to the great I AM left me a bit taken aback.

Is the name of God to be emblazoned, worn across the body in such a fashion?

Is Elohim, El Shaddai to be merchandised and blended into the current culture as
trendy high fashion?
Just another glittery hip-hop fashion statement??

I don’t know.

Whereas some would argue that wearing such a shirt is a good thing as it proclaims
that one is obviously some sort of unashamed “believer”…
and yet I am left wondering if it is not actually the making of God into something He is not…
that being small…

Making God fit into our idea rather than His idea…
an idea of what it is to be GOD…the great I AM…
or rather something that is simply, as we now say, dope.


God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:
‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:14

19 comments on “God is dope

  1. Mother Hen says:

    Won’t work for me…..

  2. oneta hayes says:

    I don’t even know if “God is dope” is a positive or negative statement. Whichever it is, however, God knows the intent of the heart in judging that individual. But I still judge the society that allows the magnificence of the Creator to become so commonplace. That’s a marketing ploy. A kick at tradition. A kick at tradition generally is a kick at “legalism” which amounts to getting rid of the rules. The truth of Jesus Paid It All, without All to Him I Owe. Still being a neophyte Christian is hopefully a sign of one who is willing to grow in grace. There we need teachers and preachers who speak words of Truth. But that is rather hard to do if “learners” will not go to church. If one is connected to the Vine, he should start looking like the Vine and acting like the Vine. “God is dope” doesn’t do it for me, but God looks on the heart.

  3. I can’t help but think of that Doobie Brothers song, “Jesus is Just All Right with Me.” The song always bothered me… After all, Jesus is more than all right… He’s almighty God! Pop culture, though, I suppose gets people to think about Christ… and I think the Apostle Paul might have simply been pleased the the name of Christ was going forth and would have seen it as an opportunity to present the Gospel. I dunno, though… Like you, I kinda feel uncomfortable with the t-shirt slogan as is. Love you, dear Jules!! ❤ ❤

  4. hatrack4 says:

    I have often lamented language. Maybe in a few more generations “God is Dope” might work. I agree with avoiding the trend, but if we avoid the trend too much, we may lose the younger audience. It seems that a single word can travel across the room and have total different meaning when it gets to the far wall. Language changes so fast. I remember “Dope” as the more modern version of “Dunce”. Yet when we are gone, and the 50-somethings remember “dope” as a complement, maybe.

    • When I was still teaching, I was always amazed over the words the kids would use that were words I had used in my youth but now had totally different meanings! Much like Dope vs dope vs dope… who knows what will be dope in 25 years from now!

  5. Dawn Marie says:

    I am glad the presence of God crossed your path in multiple ways. Through the words spoken and the gift of His beloved surrounding you! Hugs!!

  6. Well said. The “God” of our imagining may be small. But the great I Am cannot be diminished.

    • Thanks Anna—when I wrote this post a year ago—I was reminded how much I hate seeing God, Jesus, the Chruch, trivialized by slick marketers…
      there is no reverence in making a fast buck in the name of God….sigh

  7. Marcia Hudson says:

    I am 81. I was taken aback by a young man who was working in a store and was wearing a shirt with the words “GOD IS DOPE” on the front. I refused to be waited on because that slogan so offended me. When I said that the young man simply shrugged his shoulders and walked away. No explanation, nothing. All that was said to me was the manager said they could not discriminate against anyone for expressing their religion; and that he had been wearing that shirt for months, and I was the only person who had ever said anything.

    Well when I was working, we were not allowed to wear any clothing that expressed any belief or opinion, because it could be misconstrued (which is what I apparently did) or in some other way be offensive. And if it is a new way of stating “I’m a Christian and proud of it” then for other religions as well as older Christians like myself, it is probably offensive. I will go back to the store and apologize to the young man and explain that the word “DOPE” means something entirely different to me than what he was intending. To me the word DOPE means hard drugs like cocaine or heroine, and they were and are BAD – bad for you, and mostly illegal to possess or sell. People who become addicted will commit crimes to get the DOPE they want. Therefore, using logic, to say GOD IS DOPE is the same as saying GOD IS BAD!

    • I don’t think an apology is warranted—
      The tee shirt is also like younger ones wearing rosaries as a fashion necklace— they are prayer beads and very important to Catholics, the Orthodox and Anglicans ( albeit Anglican and Orthodox beads / prayer ropes are different from the Catholic rosary.)
      To cheapen,as it were, our faith, those pieces of prayer and of our respective services, simply to create a new fashion trend is to bring a mighty God down to our level, rather than elevating our minds and souls upward…
      But our society has very little respect for the religious let alone for our God— so they will weave Him into merchandizing— and we’ll that’s kind of like the money changers in the Temple— not the place!!!
      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience— you’ve added one more link to our great and gracious God!

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