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Christian tattoos: Wearing faith on your half-sleeve

Friday, November 28, 2008 | 12:00 p.m. CST
George Friel Jr. displays his tattoo of Jesus Christ on the cross. Friel is one of many Christians who sport tattoos.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — If you're lucky, George Friel Jr. will lift up the back of his shirt and show you his well-crafted body art.

But be prepared. The intense tattoo depicts Jesus Christ's crucifixion, with blood dripping out of Christ's wounds.

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Friel isn't trying to shock anyone, nor is he trying to make a statement. For him, the unfinished tattoo is a testament to his faith.

"It shows people exactly what he went through for us," Friel said.

Friel is one of many Christians who sport tattoos. Whether the tattoos are religious pieces of art or just happen to grace the body of a believer, they're on the rise.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. And with 77 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Christians, there's bound to be some overlap. Religious tattoo sites pepper the Internet, and Christian tattoo shops are opening across the country, including Vivid Ink Custom Art & Tattoo in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Friel got inked.

In March, Anthony Raffaelli Jr. opened Vivid Ink, a Christian tattoo shop on Hansen Street. The walls are decorated with pictures of Christ and ichthys (Christian fish symbols). Business is steady, he said. Many people are interested in sporting their faith on their sleeve.

But how does that jibe with Christianity?

The most commonly cited passage against tattoos is Leviticus 19:28, which, according to the online Bible in Basic English, says: "You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord."

But in a March 2007 sermon, Pastor Greg Fadness of Twin Falls' Lighthouse Christian Fellowship argued that the only black-and-white rules in the Bible are the Ten Commandments. He calls other laws, such as the ones found in Leviticus, gray areas. People must decide for themselves what is right, he said.

"It used to be that tattoos were taboo," Fadness said in the sermon.

Today, celebrities and athletes glamorize body modification, making it mainstream for young people.

"It's normative now. It's culturally acceptable," he said. He noted his two daughters both have tattoos. "In those areas, we have to figure out: Is it OK for me to do or not?"

Fadness says his congregation received the sermon well.

It was "controversial, but really, nobody was mad," he said. "Nobody was upset or anything like that."

If anything, it encouraged people to get tattoos, he joked.

Terry McCurdy, spokesman for southern Idaho The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the church discourages its members from getting tattoos or excessive piercings. Latter-day Saints believe the body is a temple of God, he said, and tattoos would deface that temple. However, the church has no official stance on it.

"People make their own choices," McCurdy said. "We try not to make choices for them."

The Rev. Phil Price of First Presbyterian Church in Twin Falls said the Presbyterian denomination also has no official position on tattoos. Some of the church elders have body art, he said.

"One of my favorite quotes about the Presbyterian church is we take the Bible seriously, but not literally," Price said.

He would counsel church members against getting offensive tattoos, he said, but generally, he views them like other hobbies and cultural influences: They're only dangerous if they get in the way of a Christian's relationship with God.

As for Raffaelli, he refuses to tattoo racist or demonic symbols on his clients. He even offered to cover up one woman's Aryan Nations tattoos for free. She refused and promptly left the shop, he said.

"It's on my conscience what I tattoo," he said while working on Friel's design. "One day, I'm going to face the Lord."

Not all of his art is religious, but he often finds himself in religious discussions with his clients, asking if they have a relationship with Christ.

It scares some people away, but many are attracted to his business because of its strong Christian ties.

"Most people come in, and they love our shop," Raffaelli said. "It's comfortable. They can kick it."

Later, during a break from the tattoo session, Friel opened up about his faith, pulling out his wallet and flipping it open to a photo of his smiling children, who are at the center of a custody battle between him and his estranged wife.

"I don't think I could get through it without Jesus," he said.

And once his tattoo is finished, he said, Jesus will literally have his back.


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Comments

Crystal Schmautz November 30, 2008 | 6:34 p.m.

Right on, May he be blessed for keeping Our Lord in everything that he does. Keep it up, Amen!

(Report Comment)
Heidi Sage December 1, 2008 | 8:44 a.m.

If God wanted us to only obey the New testament he would have given us just the new testament!!! The whole BIBLE is to be obeyed!! My husband has tattos and as a christian man he is not proud of them. We need to stop trying to make the word of God conform to our life syle and start conforming to the word of God. It will be well worth it!!
God Bless!!

(Report Comment)
EVA YOTTER December 1, 2008 | 11:19 a.m.

"You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord."

what part of that is hard to understand?
if you take away or add to Gods word, its wrong.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 1, 2008 | 11:19 a.m.

The bible did not look highly on "harming or defacing one's body." Prior to Judaic-Christian writings, tatoos were big among ancient Egyptians and African tribes. In recent times, it became popular with "drunken" sailors, criminally-oriented gang members and in prision. With the advent of the "body art" business marketing their product to the masses, it was only a matter of time for this "fad" to become popular. In my opinion, the term "Christian tatoos" is an oxymoron. It also has a visual hint of white trashiness to me. But then again, I'm just an old-fashioned kind of guy living in this here "college town."

(Report Comment)
EVA YOTTER December 1, 2008 | 11:30 a.m.

God didn't leave us the bible so that we could "figure things out for ourselves."

(Report Comment)
Shelly Nel Odom December 1, 2008 | 12:18 p.m.

I am encouraged by Friel's dedication to Christ. At the same time, I am astounded by someone calling words in Lev. a "grey area". Also, that Fadness calls the tatoos culturally acceptable. There are a lot things that our culture accepts that do not jive with what God expects of us. Does that mean we are exempt because the culture accepts them? I say no, but am glad Friel is constantly remembering his conscience and that he will face God, we should all be so diligent in constantly analyzing our actions in faith.

(Report Comment)
Donut Lover December 1, 2008 | 12:37 p.m.

Does God love you less if you have a tattoo? Because, you know, it really says something about how you treat others and the world around you and the character of your heart if you get something praising him tattooed on your body.

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Julianne Beaver December 1, 2008 | 12:57 p.m.

"You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord."

The most important part of that verse to note is the part that says, "in respect for the dead," if you are getting a tatoo to glorify the Lord then I would say after prayer and alot of thought and a supportive answer from God, go for it. The holy spirit could probably use it to open up many doors to share your faith. I am not currently planning to get a tatoo, but I see no problem in one if it is not in respect for the dead.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 1, 2008 | 1:17 p.m.

Dear Donut Lover: God loves all of us "sinners" and just like today's modern police officers, he loves donuts too. But what's love got to do with it?

(Report Comment)
Patty Langum December 1, 2008 | 2:15 p.m.

Julianne,

What about the second half of the verse? "or have marks printed on your bodies"? You cannot live only half of the verse. That's like dropping food in dirt and declare the 5 second rule and eat it anyway! haha

(Report Comment)
ruby pach December 1, 2008 | 4:16 p.m.

People try to mold everything to fit their needs, or what they think is right, get tattos, whatever but if you know god and know his word and still try to shape it your way, your sinning. Like gods word says, its better to know than not to know, because if you know you are condemming yourself.

(Report Comment)
Haley Newell-Potter December 1, 2008 | 5:41 p.m.

I think that it is crazy that other people are judging others over a tattoo. Yes, the bible does say "You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord." but who am i to say one thing or another about anothers decision?
God is the only one who can judge me so when i meet God face to face your oppinion wont matter only his. So each person may have a differant opinion about tattoos but whos to say your right? Love others as God loved you. No christian is perfect so stop judging others.

(Report Comment)
KJ Anderson December 1, 2008 | 6:05 p.m.

I'm a Christian. I don't have tattoos. I'm saddened at the snarky comments being left in this discussion by Christians. Christians are supposed to reflect God's character--creative, loving, healing, protecting, providing, and saving. He's the only One with the insight and the right to judge a person's motives and actions.

As for Leviticus 19:28--be careful about lifting scripture out of its context. Leviticus is specifically addressed to the Israelites during the time of Moses to protect them from evil, pagan religious practices of that time. Other parts of Leviticus are directed specifically at the Levite priests.

Tattoos don't condemn a person to Hell. The only thing that condemns a person is not believing that God loves us so much that He came to Earth as Jesus. He experienced the things we experience. And then he sacrificed his life for all the evil in the world and showed his power over death through his resurrection.

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 1, 2008 | 7:16 p.m.

For those of your looking at this article, I want you ALL if you don't mind, to look at this article I looked up, concerning Tattoo's. Now for those of you proclaiming to be true christians {CHRIST LIKE}, I want you to take a deep breath and ask yourself a question. IF Jesus Christ was here today, would HE do something this stupid? I have a saying here where I live and that is;
"STUPID PEOPLE DO STUPID THINGS"
"CHRIST LIKE PEOPLE DO GODLY & HONEST THINGS"
Now enough said, cause I don't agree with the article, and two, God expects HIS people to follow HIS guidelines according to HIS HOLY WORD, without tearing it apart to fit.
You can debate, fuss, cuss, or whatever, but one thing stands for sure, YOU WILL IN THE END, STAND BEFORE A JUST GOD AND GIVE ACCOUNT FOR YOUR DEEDS & SINS.
I'm just a old fashioned preacher that was raised up on the word of God, and I fear HIS word at that. But, I'm not the judge, GOD IS. Now here's the article I was talking about.
AND to K. J. ANDERSON, I sure hope and pray for your sakes, that you didn't get some of your statements from the same said article that I am posting here right now, cause IF YOU DID, you misled some people in your post. If I'm wrong, Please Forgive, But IF I'm right, you need to repent. NOW!!!!
DUE TO THE WORD COUNT, PLEASE VIEW MY NEXT POST WITH THE ARTICLE. THANK YOU!

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 1, 2008 | 7:20 p.m.

HERE'S THE ARTICLE I FOUND, PLEASE TAKE A LOOK! THIS IS IN TWO PARTS:

Tattoos and Christians - Should Christians Have Tattoos?
By Mary Fairchild, About.com
Question: Tattoos and Christians - Should Christians Have Tattoos?
What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos? Is it a Sin?
Besides looking into what the Bible says about tattoos, together we'll consider the concerns surrounding tattooing today and present a self quiz to help you decide if getting a tattoo is right or wrong.
Answer: The answer, I believe, is yes and no.
To Tattoo or Not To?
This is a question many Christians struggle with. I believe tattooing falls into the category of "disputable matters" where the Bible is not clear. But wait a minute, you might be thinking. The Bible says in Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord." (NLT) How much clearer can that be?
It's important, however, to look at the verse in context. This passage in Leviticus, including the surrounding text, is specifically dealing with the pagan religious rituals of the people living around the Israelites. The focus here is prohibiting worldly, heathen worship and witchcraft. God forbids his holy people to engage in idolatrous, pagan worship and sorcery which imitates the heathens. He does this out of protection, because he knows this will lead them away from the one true God.
It's interesting to observe verse 26, "Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood," and verse 27, "Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards." Well, certainly many Christians today eat non-kosher meats and get haircuts without participating in the forbidden worship of pagans. Back then these customs were associated with pagan rites and rituals. Today they are not.

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 1, 2008 | 7:22 p.m.

Tattoos and Christians - Should Christians Have Tattoos?
By Mary Fairchild, About.com
PART 2 of 2, POSTED ABOVE:

So, the important question remains, is getting a tattoo a form of pagan, worldly worship still forbidden by God today? My answer is, this matter is disputable, and should be treated as a Romans 14 issue.
If you are considering the question, "To tattoo or not to?" I think the more serious questions to ask yourself are: What are my motives for wanting a tattoo? Am I seeking to glorify God or draw attention to myself? Will my tattoo be a source of contention for my loved ones? Will getting a tattoo cause me to disobey my parents? Will my tattoo cause someone who is weak in the faith to stumble?
In my article, "What to Do When the Bible is Not Clear," we discover that God has given us a means to judge our motives and weigh our decisions. Romans 14:23 states, "...everything that does not come from faith is sin." Now that's pretty clear!
Instead of asking, "Is it okay for a Christian to get a tattoo," perhaps a better question might be, "Is it okay for me to get a tattoo?"
Since tattooing is such a controversial issue today, I think it's important to examine your heart and your motives before you make the decision.
Self Exam - To Tattoo or Not To?
Here is a self-exam based on the ideas put forth in Romans 14. These questions will help you decide whether or not getting a tattoo is a sin for you:
1. How does my heart and my conscience convict me? Do I have freedom in Christ and a clear conscience before the Lord regarding the decision to get a tattoo?
2. Am I passing judgment on a brother or sister because I don't have freedom in Christ to receive a tattoo?
3. Will I still want this tattoo years from now?
4. Will my parents and family approve, and/or will my future spouse want me to have this tattoo?
5. Will I cause a weaker brother to stumble if I receive a tattoo?
6. Is my decision based on faith and will the result be glorifying to God?
Ultimately, the decision is between you and God. Though it may not be a black and white issue, there is a right choice for each individual. Take some time to honestly answer these questions and the Lord will show you what to do.

(Report Comment)
Marissa Thompson December 1, 2008 | 11:38 p.m.

I agree with KJ Anderson. I'm just shaking my head reading through these comments, because I think people are making too big of a deal out of this. I really don't think that getting a tattoo is going to send you to hell, considering all the other wrong things we do every day without considering whether it might be wrong or not.

And like KJ Anderson said, everything that God says in books like Leviticus and Numbers doesn't necessarily apply to us today. Leviticus 19:28 is what people keep quoting, but what about the verses right before that, like: "Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it." (v.26a), and "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (v.27)? And all throughout Leviticus are verses about making different kinds of sacrifices, and I'm pretty sure we don't follow through on those procedures on a regular basis. Some of these rules were specifically for the Israelites at that time.

But besides that, I don't think it's our job to decide whether different acts will send people to hell. That's God's job. I'm going to stop there.

(Report Comment)
Audra M. December 2, 2008 | 1:32 a.m.

Guys please be gentle with one another. :o( We can agree to disagree. Like Donut Lover posted - God doesn't love us any less if we have or don't have a tattoo - just like the disciples, they disagreed on so much, but they all had one thing in common that kept them together and that was the love they had for Jesus.

(Report Comment)
Kerri Mitchell December 2, 2008 | 1:57 a.m.

Right On KJ Anderson. i like that you brought up who this scripture was addressed to and it's purpose. The scripture used in Lev. did have to do with culture and the circumstances of the Iseralites in that time frame. The misinterpretation of this scripture is similar to the misinterpretation of the scripure that "God thoughts are higher than our thoughts...." That scripture was spoken to nonbelievers, so of course they can't understand God's thoughts. The Word says "we are to have the mind of Christ". If we don't know His thoughts, how are we supposed to have His mind?? Little off the subject, but hopes it plants a seed. I'm glad this guy opened up the tatoo shop. He's ministering to people through his God given talent of art. May his shop be blessed and bring people to Christ.

(Report Comment)
Melinda Sullivan December 2, 2008 | 5:32 a.m.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believeth in him shall not perrish but have everlasting life. I fear the wrath of God and I, nor is anyone is here qualified to judge anyone. God has told every single one of us to come as you are. God forgive your people for forgetting your word. Every one gets caught up in what he or she thinks is right, when in fact Gods ways are not our ways, therefore we don't know his feelings about tatoo's, the only way one person can really truly know how God feels about tatoos or anything else is their personal relationship with him. God may condemn you for doing something that he tells someone else to do that is a tool to win a soul over to him. Isn't that what we are supposed to do, that is why we have so many problems today, our thoughts and feelings take over instead of truly hearing Gods. God forgive us.

(Report Comment)
Brian December 2, 2008 | 9:25 a.m.

Many people do not consider the context of the passage in Leviticus. I am not saying this gives people the right to do anything they want, but I am saying that this passage when taken into context is not telling us in today's time to "not get tattoos" as much as it is not telling us "to sacrifice animals on the altar."

I had a friend in college who had Christian tattoos (not an oxymoron)who happened to be a biker. Now I know by now some of you are saying that he must have been out of the will of God and a great committer of sin. How can God be pleased with this? The truth is that he got great respect by other bikers for having tattoos. With this respect, he was able to win some of those bikers for Christ.

There were people that he was able to reach for Christ that I was not able to ever reach with the gospel. That is pretty amazing to me.

(Report Comment)
Walter Hubbard December 2, 2008 | 2:35 p.m.

I would like to reiterate a number of points made by people here, some of whom I do not completely agree with in entirety.

Lev 19:28 - Levitical law was given to the Israelites, as stated by KJ and Bob earlier, in order to keep them healthy and safe throughout their journey in the wilderness, as well as to avoid the pagan practices that were common with their enemies at the time. Biblical scholars maintain that the practice of cutting one's body for the dead referred to a form of self-flagellation practiced by these self-same pagans as part of their rites.

Here is an original addition to this discussion: To be sure, the word "tattoo" can in no way be included in this scripture, since its etymology is less than 500 years old at best, and is based in the indigenous polynesian cultures. I'd be very intrigued to know how polynesian natives came into contact with the scholars who translated the Bible in King James' time. All sarcasm aside, it does not make sense to think that modern-day tattooing has any direct correlation to the practices mentioned in the Old Testament.

According to Christ Himself, we must follow the whole law if we choose to follow the law at all. As such, must we also kick our wives out of the marital bed during their monthly periods, or should all men grow beards? Think about it. No! Christ came to abolish such things, and spent a good portion of His ministry speaking out against the Pharisees, who oppressively enforced Levitical law upon a people who Christ was seeking to redeem.

As a committed (and very heavily tattooed) Christian man, I have encountered a fair bit of criticism from the older members of my church. In my opinion, it is extremely short sighted to be hung up on something that is a very personal issue. What was Christ's commission to the disciples upon leaving this Earth? Ah yes, to take the gospel to the whole world - not just to the inside of whatever church you find yourself in on the weekend...

Tell me - who will take the Gospel to the outcasts of society; the bikers, the prostitutes, and the so-called rock stars? I can nearly guarantee that a stuffed shirt superchurch pastor will get nowhere with these particular groups. However, as Paul states - and maybe this is a reach - going to a group of people as one of them (though in the world and not of it) is a very effective ministry tool, as has been my experience. Think about it. Feel free to email me regarding this issue, as it is something I am particularly passionate about.

-Walter
waltness@gmail.com

(Report Comment)
Angela Lee December 2, 2008 | 3:20 p.m.

You should really think about all the people who will be brought to The Lord by the tattoo sporting people of the world. Even if the "conservative" christians of most of todays churches were to leave their perfect world and go out to them they would not be understood and thefore not recieved in order to bring them to The Lord. I am not really fond of tattoos, and I do not have any, but I have friends and relatives who do, and some of them are living a much more christian lifestyle than many of the so-called christians who complain about the way someone with a tattoo looks. one of them has led countless people to the lord. Many of which were led because they felt he was approachable because the way he looks.
By the way if someone with long hair and shabby clothes came into your life, you might assume he had a tattoo, but isn't that how Jesus might look?

(Report Comment)
KJ Anderson December 2, 2008 | 3:35 p.m.

Walter, thanks so much for adding to this discussion the information about the etymology of the word "tattoo." I appreciate your well-thought comments.

One of the things I love about Jesus is that he can unite people who otherwise wouldn't know each other--people of different ages, races, economic classes, people with tattoos and people without tattoos.

As for Bob, hey, I repented a long time ago. I realized that, if I was going to follow the Old Testament law, I had to follow all of it. But, the purpose of the law wasn't to give us a bunch of rules to live by, but to show how short everyone falls of God's perfection.

I rely on God's love and grace every day. I ask for his forgiveness for the wrong stuff I do--like being selfish, proud, or unloving. Jesus probably wouldn't get a tattoo, but he WOULD love and reach out to the people who have them. His whole purpose was to provide a way to reconcile us to God.

Bob, as a pastor, I would think you'd know that it's the promise of God's lovingkindness that leads people to repentence--not legalism or the threat of God's punishment.

As a Christian, it's not my place to sniff out and judge the imperfections of other people, but to humbly ask God to forgive ME, to renew MY mind and heart so I can be more like him, and to share the good news of his promises to us.

(Report Comment)
Donut Lover December 2, 2008 | 8:09 p.m.

Walter could not have said it any better.

(Report Comment)
Patrick Clair December 3, 2008 | 9:36 a.m.

Though Leviticus is Old Testament, there are passages in the New Testament that speaks of our bodies being the temple of God.

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

I often thought of getting a tattoo, but still wonder if it would glorify God or my flesh.

Here is a URL that covers this subject that most may find informational on the subject of Tatoos and Christianity.

http://misslink.org/chapel/askaminister/...

(Report Comment)
david wellcome December 3, 2008 | 10:18 a.m.

To all you who quote the leviticus verse against tattos. Do you honestly believe that we are still to follow all the old laws? How about where Jesus came and made the law new? He said the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." and the second is "Love your neighbor as yourself". He said All the law is summed up in these two verses!
If you believe the verse about tattoos should be taken seriously, how about this one?
(American Standard Version, 1901) "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
According to some on this post, we must take ALL the laws of the OT seriously, so does that mean we should start killing homosexuals also? How about stoning woman who commit adultery?
What do you guys think about all the other laws like this? According to you we must do these things also!
God loves us all, and will love us with or without tattoos!

(Report Comment)
Becky Powers December 3, 2008 | 10:45 a.m.

I am still debating the tatoo issue with myself, but must comment on the statement made by Pastor Greg Fadness that getting a tattoo is "culturally acceptable" and that makes it ok. Pastor, there are many things that are becoming "culturally acceptable" but should not be acceptable to one living a Christian life. Living together before marriage, having children out of wedlock, gambling, homosexuality and other lifestyles are becoming more and more acceptable to "the world", but as Christians, we are called to be "not of this world", are we not? Please do not use the excuse that something is culturally acceptable to justify the behavior for a Christian. That has the possibility of putting a huge stumbling block in many paths.

(Report Comment)
Dan Tanna December 3, 2008 | 10:55 a.m.

Jesus had a tattoo himself. Maybe you should read Revelation 19:16. Pretty clear exegesis. As for the Levitical law, please tread lightly. There are a lot of Levitical laws that no longer apply, and that is without being an antinomianist.

(Report Comment)
Ronnie Powell December 3, 2008 | 10:55 a.m.

JESUS FREAK - D. C. Talk. "I saw a man with a tat on his big fat belly
It wiggled around like marmalade jelly
It took me a while to catch what it said
Cause I had to match the rhythm
Of his belly with my head
'Jesus Saves' is what it raved in a typical tattoo green
He stood on a box in the middle of the city
And claimed he had a dream. What will people think
When they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak?
What will people do
When they find that's it's true?"

John 14:6 Jesus said He is The Way... We need to reach the lost who do not know Christ. There are many ways in which we can reach them. But He is the only way. I don't have any tattoos, I choose to wear shirts with a statement.

(Report Comment)
Lane Wilson December 3, 2008 | 11:04 a.m.

I think the fact that we disregard certain passages (like stoning children) and think that others are moral is pretty good evidence that the Bible isn't a very good resource to rely on for a moral code. It seems the tattoo holiness argument is irrelevant with that in mind.

(Report Comment)
Bryan Crews December 3, 2008 | 11:09 a.m.

God said go and make disciples of all nations blessing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. This is Raffaelli's way of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. Continue to do your thing dude. Jesus loves us no matter what.

(Report Comment)
brian ratliff December 3, 2008 | 12:07 p.m.

According to some of the comments we are to follow all items in the bible word for word. So for those people, is this how they repent for their sins?
Leviticus 4:27-35
27 'If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, he is guilty. 28 When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering for the sin he committed a female goat without defect. 29 He is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. 30 Then the priest is to take some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31 He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.
32 " 'If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he is to bring a female without defect. 33 He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. 34 Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 35 He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

There is only one way to the Father and that is to accept Jesus into your heart and have a personal relationship with him. If through that personal relationship you feel compelled to get a tattoo, by all means get it for it may be his will. There are many people in society who will never listen to a clean cut Christian as they may not feel you understand his pain. But if you have something in common such as tattoos, you may be able to lead them to the Lord. Remember, God uses everyone in different ways, even the thieves and murders.

(Report Comment)
Mike Olson December 3, 2008 | 12:12 p.m.

I'm 45. I've been a serious Christian since I was 4. I just got my 1st tattoo two months ago.

I have friends on both sides of the issue.

For me, it came down to a couple of things ... how literally to take leviticus 19:28. For me - and I prayed about it a lot - Christians who want to take Lev 19:28 as a black and white command, but don't stone their disobedient children have put rules and regs ahead of the Gospel of Christ. It is obvious to me that the intent of Lev 19:28 was tattooing as a form of idol worship. I'm not worshipping idols, I'm worshipping Christ, but my tattoo has nothing to do with worship.

I didn't do it because it was culturally acceptable. Because in the conservative Christian culture, it *isn't* acceptable (as can be seen in the early comments on this blog. So for me, I had to go against peer pressure when I did it.

I did it because I began to appreciate the art of it. And over time, getting a Christian tattoo was something I decided to do - but it took me about 2 years to work through my own stereotypes.

Because I didn't want to make too much of a fuss, I did an armband style tattoo high up on my arm where it isn't seen by anyone unless I specifically show it to them. My tattoo is for me, and it is a statement of where I am at in my personal walk with God.

My tattoo is an armband that says "Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf" in Hebrew (1 Sam 14:6). It's my personal statement of faith that, no matter what the situation looks like, I will proceed with what I think God is asking me to do because perhaps, just perhaps, he will act on my behalf.

My next tat will be something more pictorial having to do with Jesus' statement in John 12:27b-28, "and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. FATHER, GLORIFY YOUR NAME!"

(Report Comment)
Trish Reeves December 3, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

Christians are not suppose to judge others.....
I am a tattooed Christian and I cannot believe how society treats others because they have tattoos. How do you know if these people are or arn't born again Christians? Would that make a difference? Should people that are born again Christians walk around with a sign letting everyone know that they had their tattoos before they turned their life around and became believers in Christ? So because they have tattoos they can never live a Christian lifestyle? Are they suppose to get them removed so that they aren't judged by others so they feel comfortable with society? Is that what GOD would want? Is that how he would want us to treat his people? Like ANGELA LEE says "some of these people with tattoos live more of a Christian lifestyle than those of you complaining". Personally I would rather walk into a church with 200 tattooed Christians than walk into a church with none that are going to judge me! Those of you that are judging these people because they are tattoed are turning people away from GOD instead of teaching the word of GOD you are making them think GOD would not open his arms to them because they are tattooed.... And that is wrong! I could care less what those of you think about me because I am tattooed...... I will pray for you!

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Debbie Strobel December 3, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

Yes, It does state in Leviticus 19:28 that we are not to have printed marks on our body and as several people have noted in verse 27 it states to not cut your hair or clip the edges of your beard (I guess all you men who shave are goners!). It also says in verse 19 "Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of materal" so those of you who are wearing anything other than 100% cotton or 100% nylon or 100% wool, you better take it off.

I understand the old school belief that there are certain things that will not be OK with a lot of the older generation. That was the way they were brought up and I believe their wisdom is not to be scoffed at. We have been brought up in a much different generation and tattoos and piercings are part of that (like it or not), and older adults may not understand that but there is still much we can learn from them. We do not need to get angry because of their upbringing, but only to listen and understand.

My daughter has two tattoos and though I'm not overjoyed by them, it is her decision. As a person who has accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I do NOT believe that will keep her out of heaven. What is stated in Leviticus is Old Testament law for that time and place. It is also a guideline and history to learn from and look back to. I do not believe it is a gray area at all, but for us as believers in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, we need to know where our faith and belief started from, the old testament.

Romans 1 states several things that are evil in the sight of God, tattoos not being listed. Romans 2 & 3 talk about the "Law" quit a bit. It also tells us the law only makes people conscious of sin (Rom 3:20). Continue to Romans 3:22-26. Awesome verses and nowhere does it say if you have tattoos, you won't recieve grace through Jesus Christ!!!
Do not look to God's old covenant with Noah, Abraham and Moses (although they are very important) as the way we should live now but that God gave us a NEW Covenant and that is through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

We have started a new motorcycle ministry at our church and it has reached out to more people (with and without tattoos) in the short time we've had it than any other ministry to this point. God can and will use any and all people to complete His work for His glory.

Thanks for letting me ramble!
Deb

(Report Comment)
Mike Olson December 3, 2008 | 12:21 p.m.

Another comment I'd like to make has to do with whether being culturally acceptable (or even culturally AWARE!) is a bad thing. Read Galations. In it, Paul rails on the Galatians (non-Jews) because they were being led to conform to jewish rules and regs. In Galatians 5:2, Paul goes so far as to say about forsaking your culture, "2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all."

Circumcision was a jewish thing. If you read Galations in one sitting (it only takes about 15-20 minutes), it is clear that Paul did *not* want people to forsake their culture. Culture overrides religion - and I chose the word "religion" very carefully here.

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Ryan Walker December 3, 2008 | 12:33 p.m.

Walter- I totally agree with you. You saved me the time of typing out those thoughts. Two things I will add, that has nothing to do with tattoos but about God's love, grace, and mercy.

1. If King David can commit adultery with Bathsheba and have Bathsheba's husband killed in battle AND STILL be called "a man after God's own heart" then I believe He can and will forgive those of us with tattoos (if forgiveness is needed).

2. All the bickering on this page among Christians is exactly why we have the reputation we do among the world. If we can't get along with each other, how are we supposed to love others? (By the way, that's another command in the Bible that most of us should ask forgiveness for.)

Thanks,
Ryan

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 3, 2008 | 12:56 p.m.

Dan Tanna I will beg to differ with you here but there are those who still adhere to and honor what they feel the true church is, as it was given on the day of Pentecost still recognizing all of the Old Testament Laws as still being binding but now we do not have to worry about the sacrificing of animals as Christ took their place as the ultimate sacrifice of giving up His own blood to cleanse us and to once again bring us back unto the Father.

All of The Law is binding and still in place as well as all of The Holy Days as well but we as men and women would rather choose to honor traditions of men and the lusts of the flesh over the traditions and love of the Father.

First in order to actually recognize how good The Law is we must first learn how to worship God in the spirit which as we all know is so difficult in this humanly alluring world we live in with all of it's desires of the eyes and of the flesh.

"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" but that does not mean we should continue to condone it nor live in it either.

What the Book actually says is a vast difference than what man teaches it says I will guarantee you 100%.

(Report Comment)
Dan Tanna December 3, 2008 | 1:00 p.m.

Charles,

Please go look up antinomianism. Thank you.

(Report Comment)
Brianna Alexander December 3, 2008 | 1:01 p.m.

Throughout the Bible, however, God and His apostles continue to reinforce that we are to follow His statutes. If we just pick and choose which of His laws to follow, then we are making GOD subject to OUR desires and laws. However, it should be the other way around.

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Wade Freeman December 3, 2008 | 1:05 p.m.

Verse 27 sais not to "shave the sides of your head or disfigure the ends of your beards." So are we not supposed to get military style haircuts or trim our beards? I hate the thought of conforming the scriptures to our personal whims but you have to take the verses in context and look at the reasons for the commandments. The reason was avoiding the issue of ancestor worship which was huge in those settings, thats why He said "I am the Lord" at the end. I definitely may be wrong and i have no tatoos but i feel there is no problems with them as long as they don't become a stumbling block to you or somebody else.

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Mark McClure December 3, 2008 | 1:17 p.m.

The New Testament does say we should not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing and to not try to make ourselves highly visible like the Pharisees showing off how religious they were and to dress with humility showing our faith by good works and faithful living not by flash in the pan surface looks.
"Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God, for this is your reasonable service of worship" Conform your mind to Christ's not the other way around.

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Mike Olson December 3, 2008 | 1:22 p.m.

the whole argument of whether or not something is a stumbling block, while applicable, is overrused. EVERYTHING is a stumbling block to SOMEBODY. It is impossible to live a life without doing something that could potentially cause a brother to stumble. you will live a life of paralasys and blandness if you do NOTHING that people notice.

Romans 14 shows that there is also a converse to the stumbling block issue.

14:3 - "the man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. "

14:16 - "Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. "

Or this passage from 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 - "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."

If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake— the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
"

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 3, 2008 | 2:27 p.m.

Brianna Alexander >>> Throughout the Bible, however, God and His apostles continue to reinforce that we are to follow His statutes. If we just pick and choose which of His laws to follow, then we are making GOD subject to OUR desires and laws. However, it should be the other way around. <<<

Very well said.

(Report Comment)
Harvey Gordon December 3, 2008 | 2:29 p.m.

Heidi Sage you are TOTALLY RIGHT ON!

Pastor Greg Fadness, you are supposed to know that it is not up to man to make his mind on what is right and what is not...God said it...end of story! "People must decide for themselves what is right"....are you kidding me? So I guess they could decide that shooting heroin would be ok!

Remember, both sides CANT be right! That would be the Emergent view that would say we have no definates!

We as Pastors and Clergy, as well as Christians need to stand for absolute Truth.

If God said NO...then NO is the answer.

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Jullie Szikszai December 3, 2008 | 2:32 p.m.

For the last four years my life has been torn down with very little room to breath. My heart was broken, my spirit was broken, my realtion with my kids was very difficult, I was forced into a situation that I didn't want a part of. The man who carried Jesus' Cross didn't want to carry it either. As a woman of God who lost everything and finally putting things back to were they should be I was in an accident that has done a lot of physical damage to my body, once again God was the only one who saw the pain physically and in the heart. To tattoo Yes I will do a tattoo on my body and it will show how Jesus carried me for those many years. We gave Jesus his own; they are in the palm of his hand. My life will glorify Jesus as I reach out to others who are hurting as much as I. I look at this as an opportunity to say see what Jesus did he kept me safe and my kids. If it would not of been Jesus holding on to me I would be dead from the abuse I took. What is the problem we ware all different items to show our faith why not just make it perm? Or is it because some may want to change there minds like we would a shirt?

(Report Comment)
Harvey Gordon December 3, 2008 | 2:35 p.m.

"Antinomianism" - The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law.

(Report Comment)
Harvey Gordon December 3, 2008 | 2:38 p.m.

By the way George Friel Jr....if you are reading this...you havent lost your Christianity but you may have to stand and be judged by how you handled this particular question....in the end, God loves you bro and so do I.

As far as where do we go from here...where at all possible, we must live peaceably with each other!

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Charles Dudley Jr December 3, 2008 | 2:40 p.m.

Dan Tanna I will still disagree with you as Paul once said that the offering up of Christ Himself reinforces The Law as good and just not that it was abolished in any way.

The only Ordinance that was done away with on the cross was the ordinance of blood sacrificing of animals due to it could not return us unto the Father nor abolish us of our sins.

Christ Himself accomplished that which the entire Old Testament pointed towards.

The New Testament points at our coming Redemption which has not been accomplished as yet but is soon to come and all of the while after Christ's death and ascension the Disciples were still following The Law of the Old Testament.

Now if that Law and all Ordinances were done away with on the cross then why all through out the entire New Testament are Christ's Disciples still honoring The Law.

Even the grafted in Gentiles were honoring The Law after their conversions.

Seriously please go back and study your Bible and not what man has taught you but what it really truly says.

(Report Comment)
david wellcome December 3, 2008 | 2:48 p.m.

Harvey Gordon:
So, are you saying we should resort to stoning our wives if they commit adultery? How about if they look lustfully at someone else, since Christ says that is also adultery. Should we stone them for that?
Do you know any homosexuals? Are you going to follow Gods command then by killing them?
Are you saying you follow all the old laws? Or do you only follow the ones that are now acceptable to follow, leaving out the ones that would now be considered a crime?
Where do you draw the line?
It is not trying to conform the Word to man, it is following what Christ teaches! Christ put things very simply to us!
What about (as quoted already above) in Galations 5:2 where Paul himself talks about NOT being circumcised? Is Paul wrong? The OT says we need to be circumcised, does it not?

Bottom line, if you believe it to be a sin, do not do it! But don't judge others who believe it to be ok, and do it for themselves!
by the way, no, I do not have any tattoos or peircings

(Report Comment)
Dena Garrison December 3, 2008 | 3:04 p.m.

Wow! I have read everyone's opinions and have recognized them as such, opinions. So here goes mine, opinion that is.
It has always escaped me how a subject can cause such anger or judgment, especially in those who proclaim to be Christians. I am struck by the words of one man who used the derogatory statement "visual hint of white trashiness". To be a Christian and refer to a group of any people that way is the oxymoron! All I know is God chose Mary, a poor Christian girl, to have the honor to carry Jesus. He was raised the son of a simple carpenter, a Jewish man. Not a rich man or even a middle class man. And in his 33 years he was considered an outcast to many in society. That tells me so much of God's love and his desire for us to die of self and not be concerned with our "image" here on earth. Matthew Ch.5 verse 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
It is our souls not our bodies that we should be concerned with, for our bodies will turn to dust. As for all you Leviticus quoter's: Did you ever consider that The Lord was referring to the Body as the body of his people not in the literal sense of our bodies. I ask that because I have heard it preached both ways. All I know is that you can love the Lord regardless of what you look like, who you are, and my Jesus came to all. Not just the rich man. Not just the man in the suit. This just seems so superficial to me. And yes, "derogatory comment guy", what you said really bothered me. It made me sad and was offensive. Sad because it was people like you that nailed our long haired, poor, Jewish, Savior Jesus to the Cross..shouting "Crucify Him!" Check your heart and remember we are all Christians here. Would you look at someone at your church and refer to them as white trash? Then don't do it to your fellow brother here please and thank you. I will pray for you as I hope you also will pray for me to forgive your ignorance.

(Report Comment)
Jason Grey December 3, 2008 | 3:49 p.m.

James 4:1-11
Psalms 37:4

When you seek God with all your heart, his desires will become your desires.
Then it will be an easy choice how to go forward.

It seems funny to me that such a strong topic would come up during a month when we should all be focusing on remembering the birth of Jesus.

Almost like some thing wants to shift our focus off the glory of God.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 3, 2008 | 3:56 p.m.

I'm not ignorant. You can be a Christian and hate sin. I never said I hate the sinner, you did however, assume that I do.
By the way, how do you feel about this guy and who he worships?
(Nice forehead. Gotta love him!)
http://www.appscout.com/2008/04/charles_...

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Terry Woodring December 3, 2008 | 4:17 p.m.

WOW so many views, I do wonder why some get on thier band wagon and use one verse but not all. The OT is full of things we do not do, why pick one of a action you do not like and make a big thing of it. As a teenager I had long hair and in the 1970's preachers preached all time against long hair, but also during that time women wore short hair and I never heard a preacher preach against them. I am 53 and got 3 tattoo's this year, all showning my faith and belief as a Christian. I have had many chances to share when people ask what they mean. I am active in my church and working on a Masters in Ministry. Many Christians who enjoy this art is getting tattoo's and glorifying God. It is a great way to share your faith. I love my freedom in Christ.

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Francess Westbrook December 3, 2008 | 5:27 p.m.

Thank You Mr. Dan Tanna - for supporting comment see below

Revelation 19:16 says...

"On his robe and ON HIS THIGH he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

I say if Jesus can have marks on His body, then it must be fine.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 3, 2008 | 6:08 p.m.

Dear Terry:
It was henna. I know this to be true because he told me so.

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Jullie Szikszai December 3, 2008 | 6:26 p.m.

Jason Gray I think you are right. The focus should be on Jesus' birth and all of us that have commented on this subject have valid views. But why are we not talking about the birth it is because someone will bring up a subject just a controversial as this one. I do feel it is everyones right to choose what clothes to wear; however we should be able to show the shape of our relationship with God is. I mean men and women dye hair, cut it short and long or even shave it. We wear makeup put braces on our teeth wear glasses or contacts. For some it is makes them feel good and look better. So in behalf to all the strong worded notes the question is why should be stopped from doing a tattoo when we are expressing that Jesus is the truth the and the life we chose. Just think how some may react if a person falls into temptation with when clothing comes off and the partner sees a picture of Jesus, that may be what stops the temptation, and brings both to God. Now if we want to pull OT scripture, in NT Paul is telling Timothy to drink a little wine for an ailment, are we to say that wine will cure it and send people to a bottle of wine instead of a doctor for medicine.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 3, 2008 | 7:47 p.m.

Knowing full well about the Jewish religion and beliefs, Hitler intentionally used numbered tattoos and incinerated those in concentration camps. To this day, traditionally-thinking Jews and many Catholics don't think tattoos and cremation is "the way to go." Based on the reaction I am reading here, there seems to be some "Christian Confusion" on the subject of tattoos. This year, I think I'll just take the "easy way out" and celebrate the birth of Santa Claus!

(Report Comment)
Edward Schlaefli December 3, 2008 | 8:18 p.m.

I don't see any problem with tattoo's as long as they don't promote hate or are vulgar. I never saw an eleventh comandment that says though shalt not have tattoo's. Not to be a jerk but God wrote the comandment's not a man.

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Pat Dawson December 3, 2008 | 9:05 p.m.

As Christians, WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW......We have freedom in Christ. I personally do not care for tattoos but when I am surrounded with teenagers, when my kids were teenagers and gone to Mission trips with HS students who love the Lord with all their heart. The Lord showed me that tattoos are not in the way of HIS WORK in the lives of these teenagers. Several of them, NOW ARE great missionaries abroad and THE HOLY SPIRIT is in control.
Tattoos are just tattoos. The Lord looks at our HEART not to our appearance, PRAISE THE LORD.

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Scott Jetton December 3, 2008 | 11:08 p.m.

I don't see nothing Wrong With Tattoos. I don't have any though but planing on getting one soon. I'm Going to use a Bible Verse That Reflects my life instead of an eye sore.

I know alot of people use (Leviticus 19:28) out of text. My parents Are that way and i don't understand that either. But Just remember that Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6)
So tattoos isn't going to stop you from going to heaven.
-Scott

(Report Comment)
Walter Hubbard December 4, 2008 | 12:55 a.m.

I would not feel right standing in judgment of another man, especially given the entire spirit of this conversation, but this statement as found in the "ask a minister" link previously posted is particularly funny to me:

"Also, most tattoos themselves involve subjects that Christians should find abhorrent, such as demons, nude bodies, etc."

OK - I do not mean this as bragging, but I have both of my arms covered from wrist to shoulder, full chest, stomach, and both legs tattooed from ankle to knee. I am getting my back started 2 days after Christmas - from just below my collar all the way down to the backs of my knees. In all of these multiple square feet of solid ink, you will not find a single nude body or demon. To even make a statement like that regarding "most" tattoo content, expecting to be taken seriously, is absolutely laughable. Just saying...

I will reiterate my original point - I hope people can see this as a deeply personal issue. Just as we are all different parts of the Body of Christ, we are all convicted differently and possess separate but equal talents within the greater whole of the Church. Mine is not playing the pipe organ or leading the choir, I'd rather be in the trenches so to speak.

That 'ask a minister' link also led to a little Q&A, which could be summarized as a Christian woman asking the minister whether the tattoo she sought out while living as a Christian was somehow wrong. His response was to ask forgiveness and that it would be invisible to God because it was covered by the Blood of Jesus. Wow. The Lord led me out of a very dark place in my life through a number of believers who showed me that true freedom in Christ is not found in blind obedience to legalistic principles which are in and of themselves covered in the Blood of Jesus; principles and laws which I believe were left at the foot of the Cross.

I urge you brothers and sisters to seek conviction in your own lives, rather than focusing on anyone else's perspective on -again- a deeply personal matter.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 4, 2008 | 5:16 a.m.

Walter: Good post, my illustrated neighbor. Personally, I try not to judge rhe man, but will judge the behavior in historical, cultural, health and religious context, as best as possible. I live by my opinions, but my opinions can be changed. I respect yours.

(Report Comment)
susan hoffpauir December 4, 2008 | 8:23 a.m.

ok well if we are to follow one law ....arent we to follow all?
since when do we pick and choose our laws? WOW i am thankful for JESUS CHRIST....cause i know i am human and couldnt remember to do half of those laws and sacrifices and offerings...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 4, 2008 | 9:50 a.m.

susan hoffpauir sacrifices of the blood offerings were the only thing done away with because those sacrifices could not truly redeem us unto the Father.

I really wish people would actually study what The Book actually teaches before they go out trying to prostilize unto others.

(Report Comment)
Mike Olson December 4, 2008 | 10:18 a.m.

Terry Woodring said, "The OT is full of things we do not do, why pick one of a action you do not like and make a big thing of it."

It's not that hard to figure out ... people tend to get really black and white about the things they personally have a good handle on, and agree with. Tattoos is easy to take a militant stance against, because it costs you nothing. I just wish people who get militant about things like tattoos would be intellectually honest enough to admit that they better not be:
overweight
lazy
lustful
gossip (yeah, right - how many Christians have a handle on THAT one?)
judgemental
and the list goes on.

And I didn't even list any of the old jewish ones from Leviticus!

All I'm saying is, if you can say "when God says no, he means no" about tattoos, I sure hope you didn't speed on your way to work today, for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft!

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 4, 2008 | 10:26 a.m.

Well there's one thing I must say, for what ever the reason why this article keeps running on the Missourian every day, is strange to me, BUT I must say that it has got a whole lot of people writing in on the post.
I hope that all of us are really paying attention to what this is all about. As we near the Christmas Season, and getting ready to go into a new year, and with President-Elect Obama preparing to take oath n office on January 20th, and the MOTTO - "CHANGE, WE CAN BELIEVE IN", this is a very good and important article I must say. If for nothing more than to get all of us on a common ground to our beliefs, or just to say, well I don't agree, BUT I'm searching for the right answers in my heart, and I want to be a true Christian, If any of these thoughts come to mind, I must say, it is good, because it gives the Lord the Glory in the end. May I say to all as a pastor, be encouraged and just remember, ask the Lord, and if HE says NO, then don't do it. BUT if HE the Lord says YES, then God bless you. May all of you there in Missouri and those not from but sees this message, May you all have a great holiday season of Christmas, and Happy New Years, 2009.
And to D.J. Anderson, I want to sincerely openly apologize if I said anything wrong or judged you for any reason, based on this story. It was never my intent as a pastor to hurt you or anyone or judge you or anyone. My goal is to make Heaven my home, just like many of you and many of the people of this world. D,J. Anderson, I ask for your forgiveness, and I certainly do hope you will accept my apology. I also want to thank Walter Hubbard for your input on this post as well, for no one person has all the answers, but with everyone working to find common ground and seeking the Lord for results, it makes things much better.
From the Hills of Tennessee, and all the splendor of God's beauty, I leave you now..... Be Blessed!

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 4, 2008 | 10:58 a.m.

-- "judge not lest we be judged." if you are judging you are not trusting God to do what he said he would do.

-- John 13:34-35 "new command, love one another as I have loved you, this is how you will be reconized." our job is to love each other. not judge how the person doing whatedver you disagree with is doing.

-- do you think all the things you do for God will get you acceptance to the kingdom? it won't.... Jesus has already done that.

Luke 12 39-48 this a parable about taking care of the household (in MHO the household is everyone. at the quote I use is toward the end

"my master wont be home for awhile and begins to maltreating or OPPRESSING the other servants" what will the master do? he will "if the servant KNOWS his duties but refused to do it he will be torn apart"

Can't we trust God to judge?

"Error on the side of grace and love" is how I look at this issue.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock December 4, 2008 | 11:05 a.m.

Pastor Mitchell,

To answer your question from the first paragraph, it's not that we keep re-running this story every day. This story keeps popping up under the "most read" label on the front because readers keep clicking on it.

My guess is that it was linked on other Web sites, which is why readers from all over the nation keep seeing it and commenting on it. It's one of the things I love about the Web -- it gives readers the power to decide what goes out on the front page, simply by clicking on stories of interest.

And, in regard to your comment about Change, please see this story: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

I hope some of you will decide to take part in the community conversation project described in the above link.

Take care,

Jake Sherlock
Missourian

(Report Comment)
lester weidman December 4, 2008 | 12:11 p.m.

I am still undecided on the tatoo issue because it has not been an issue in my life, I have never truley sought a tatoo so I will not form an opinion on just the small excerpts of scriptures chosen. But the judging others everyone is having problems with ,in my opinion, is the love that is missing. For if i see my brother or sister in christ sinning and do nothing what kind of love am i showing that i allow them to continue living in that sin.
By the way we do have the Holy Spirit for conviction and if he is convicting us that something is wrong IT IS, wrong for your life or wrong for all.
No i am not saying tatooing is wrong but im not saying it is right either.

Keep seeking Gods truth

(Report Comment)
Dena Garrison December 4, 2008 | 12:35 p.m.

Mr. Shapiro...yes I guess I took your bait. That picture of Manson I guess was supposed to prove a point. Just as people choose to sport bumper stickers or t-shirts with offensive material on them, others might choose to do that with a tattoo. So are you saying that a Christian shouldn't wear t-shirts or display their own beliefs through a bumper sticker? The point is anything can be used for the bad if one chooses. God gave free will and this is true of anything...even the bible.
Well, you said you are against sin not against the sinner. So you do believe having a tattoo is a sin? I wonder if any of the women in your life have their ears pierced? Wouldn't under your brand of thinking that be a sin too? Since that originated as a tribal ritual of pagan tradition.
I guess my point is that you can demonize anything but forget that it is the intention of one's soul and the condition that will be judged.
And for the record Mr. Shapiro, I saw your words as ignorant and uncalled for. I remember saying that I felt they were offensive. But that's okay because I also hate sin, not the sinner! Looks like we are both in the clear. ha

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 4, 2008 | 12:46 p.m.

oh just thought of another Romans 14:1-18 "mind your own knitting" or " if there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle it."

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 4, 2008 | 3:27 p.m.

Ms. Garrison...Personally, I was brought up to believe that the torah/bible and judaic/christian teachings "frown" on tattoos. I choose to continue to think so. (Thanks for posting your point of view.) Good intentions sometimes miss their mark and can do some damage as well as good. Only God really knows what's in our hearts and souls. We can only guess and hope for the best. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

(Report Comment)
Richard Hayden December 4, 2008 | 5:06 p.m.

I lean on the side of preserving the body as the temple of the soul. I also understand that beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, how about exhibiting some discretion when it comes to most controversial things? Let me suggest that you don’t publicly share you tattoos by wearing the type of clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination, remember not everyone rejoices at the artwork you find spiritual.

(Report Comment)
david wellcome December 4, 2008 | 5:09 p.m.

Mr Shapiro: I ask again, do you yourself follow all the laws in the bible? New and Old Testaments? Also, if you read the surrounding text of the 1 verse that appears to be against tattoos. I wonder if you follow those laws also?

Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God (do you stand anytime an elderly person walks into the room?)

When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. 34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt (where do you stand on "illegal" immigration? It makes it clear here that we are to treat ALL aliens like they are natives!)

or from a different part of leviticus:
"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

do you believe we need to start killing gays? after all, that is a command of God in leviticus!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 4, 2008 | 7:06 p.m.

david wellcome to be honest here of all that you ask of ray shapiro of all of your questions I myself try to honor God's Word "in the spirit" if I can which is not easy at all in this society we live in but at least I do try to always recognize and acknowledge His Laws and His ways "in the spirit" and even though I am a sinner I do know with in myself that in that acknowledgment I know I am that much closer to God as I understand Him.

What was that one verse....oh ya " The spirit is truly strong but the flesh is weak" I think it goes. Well that goes for all of us doesn't it.

To be quite honest if we still went by the Old Laws as were first given we would have alot less crime,alot healthier population around the world as a whole,children would be raised with better moral and ethical values than they are today and we as a people would be alot closer to God as a whole than we are now.

I really wish people would actually study what The Book actually teaches before they go out trying to proselytize unto others.

(Report Comment)
Megan Grace December 4, 2008 | 7:37 p.m.

i know alot of people have already brought this point up, but as no one seems to be paying attention i want to bring it up myself. you cannot take a verse out of context in leviticus because it fits your own opinion. you have to look at the entire book. just before 19:28, this chapter says to not trim your beard or wear clothing from two different materials. the book of leviticus also says not to touch a woman, her bed, or sit where she has sat if she is on her period or you will be "unclean". the simple fact is, that people who are not against tattoos are not choosing the laws out of the bible that they want (which i've seen more than one person accusing) Sadly, it is everyone taking verse 28 out of context that is picking and choosing what they want out of God's word, to judge fellow christians.

also, to everyone attacking Greg Fadness. i don't think he meant "hey, the rest of society is doing it, so that must make it okay" i think that what he meant was that you have to decide for you, yourself, whether or not getting a tattoo will be glorifying God, in your own life. i think he brought up the culture because of Paul saying to not do anything that will be a stumbling block to your brother. in today's culture, it's now acceptable, so the issue boils down to your personal relationship with God, and not what the culture says is right. of course, i can't put words in someone else's mouth, so i may be wrong. i just feel like some of the people here have not acted in a loving manner toward Greg.

in the end, Jesus calls us to love everyone, with that in mind, alot of what has been said here has really been uncalled for.

(Report Comment)
Megan Grace December 4, 2008 | 7:43 p.m.

charles, i noticed that you have said this more than once

"I really wish people would actually study what The Book actually teaches before they go out trying to proselytize unto others."

but i wish you would also take into account that Jesus came to free us from the Law. how many times in the new testament does Jesus chastise the pharisees for being more concerned with the Law than what is truly important?

(Report Comment)
William Campbell December 4, 2008 | 9:13 p.m.

After reading this whole discussion, I have decided that I want to get a tatoo. Been thinking about it for a while and it will be my first, wanted something meaningful and personnal. I understand the arguement for the "temple of the Holy Spirit" but I see a lot of churches with stain glass windows, statues of saints, paintings, the list of art and decoration goes on. So, since we decorate the church, the temple, I don't thing He would begrudge me one or a dozen tatoos, that remind me of my Savior and my mission in His name.

Walter, do you have any good pics of some of you tatoos. I have decided on my first but there is plenty of room for my next one. Thanks and praise to He that died for me.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 4, 2008 | 10:18 p.m.

David Wellcome: How can you ask me a bunch of stuff "again" when you never asked me a first time? (I am not Harvey Gordon.) If you notice, I don't go around "quoting the scriptures" to justify or defend my beliefs, opinions, behaviors or how I wind up living in this "topsy-turvy" world. I do not profess nor have I ever pretended to be a "hard-core" Christian. Over the years, I tend to live my life in the spirit of healthy moral, ethic, cultural and religious aspects. I have taken theology courses and have attended bible studies and have been to many different "houses of worship" across America. I am far from perfect and like many, I am on my own personal spiritual path. I also have my own personal preferences and code of conduct. You are not a friend of mine, so I have no obligation or desire to share much of my own personal story with you. I also try to avoid and discuss "stuff" with fanatical-types. As adults, we are free to make our own decisions on how to live. From my point of view, based on my own knowledge and experiences, I do not think highly of the "tattoo industry."

(Report Comment)
Brian Ramos December 4, 2008 | 10:39 p.m.

Aloha everyone,
My name is Brian Ramos and I live in the beautiful state of Hawaii. There are really only to important things here:1)religion and 2)family. I say religion because there are many religious beliefs here. I am a born again christian since I was 12 years old. I got a tatto when I was 16. My tattoo is on my heart. It is a star and a cross is in thte middle;right on my heart. Around the cross are little stars representing my whole family, even my dog, son, and girlfriend. The quote is out of the bible but it does seem a little judgemental how everyone is talking respsectfully but also mean to each other. Only God can judge. I am a child of God. Born again and loving it!
Much Love,
Much Aloha,
Brian

(Report Comment)
susan hoffpauir December 5, 2008 | 2:05 a.m.

well charles i have studied and am aware that Jesus Christ came because people couldnt get it right....he became the one pure sacrifice the one sinless man....because we still cant get it right...
and as a child of the seventies i am sure my mother at some point dressed me in polyester...and oh my i worked at a fastfood place in the 80's polyester again....and i think my pastor and my husband shaved this morning...oh man last year i cut my hair and donated it to locks of love...
sorry for the sarcasm that is one of my big sins...i pray on it alot...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 5, 2008 | 3:32 a.m.

Megan Grace did you also read where Paul talks about this issue as well in the New Testament and how he explains that even though Christ died and freed us from the Ordinance of Blood Sacrifice which was against us that if we had not known The Law we would not have known sin?

He also goes on to explain how The Law is good and just but just because we were freed from the Ordinance of Blood Sacrifice that by no means gives us a license to continue to break The Law but if we do we have an intercessor in Jesus Christ.

I can assure you all through out the New Testament Christ's Apostles are still worshiping God as they did in the old Testament with all of The Law in place and also teaching all who would listen that The Law was and still is in place and the only thing different is now we do not have to sacrifice animals which could not save us but that Jesus Christ Himself made the ultimate sacrifice once for us all so now we can flourish and embrace The Law as was originally meant to be.

Yes in this world we live in it is a thing of an ongoing trial of battles between flesh and spirit but in Christ Jesus we can over come it all but first we must be willing to believe.

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 5, 2008 | 7:56 a.m.

what you want to believe about this issue is not the issue.

the real issue is how this puts another distraction from study and praise of your relationship with God.

the question is:

Would I, as a tattooed follower of Christ, be allowed to praise God in your church?
What if I was homeless and smelled bad to your nose?
What if I was mentally ill and talked back to the preacher during his message of God?

Would I be welcome to learn of God in your life or in your church? Not someplace in a park or center but in YOUR church and home.

If you answered "NOPE!" to any of those questions I feel you should ask yourself this question "Am I following the right system of belief? How would Jesus answer these questions?"

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 5, 2008 | 9:21 a.m.

Hey Craig:
The issue here is whether or not you can stay on topic. The topic here is religious, (Christian), TATTOOS. (That is what the headline reads.) If you want to debate the hypocrisy of "church-goers" or "intolerance" please take your issues to another location. (I believe "speaker circle" on campus has a few "openings" this time of year.)
Last time I checked, most "churches" are open to the general public. I don't recall seeing anyone ever "thrown out" or "not allowed in." I am certain however that if a person was a threat to themselves or others, the police or mental health professionals would be called in to help. That is, of coure, the Christian thing to do.

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 5, 2008 | 4:52 p.m.

your right Ray!

What we say here doesnt effect how someone with tattoos who might be thinking about checking the church out. I wasnt talking to you RAY (you have your belief, and I wont try to change your mind)

I was talking to the lost person (with tattoos) who might have said to themselves. "Hey, people can love God and have tattos." They come here read this wonderful piece about a Christians feeling comfortable enough to get tattooed. Then they read all the loving stuff that I read here. I wouldn't want to go somewhere where they "tollerate" (SP?) me, but if someone said (Like Jesus who hung out with EVERYONE)

"come to my church, we love you, we want you to BE here with us, we want to help you find the love that is already yours just as you are!" (not hey come to church and we will fix you)

and if they feel the love suround them and fill them they will want to change they might think to themselfs "hey these tattoos are wrong, I should get them removed" or they might not and that is fine with me (and Jesus IMHO)

This message is for those people!

"All are welcome at the church and if you dont feel the love of the church move on til you find one where all are welcome." because that was Jesus did he loved all the people.

Peace
Craig

www.mercystreet.org my church in houston
www.revolutionsnyc.com my on line church

not my churches just a member at both

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 5, 2008 | 5:31 p.m.

Galatians 6:17 "let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body."

there is a new testament update to the old testament.

is it in context? I will let you read and deside.

has the legalistic church made rules to fit them? i have never heard this verse inserted into a sermon. but it is in the Bible so anyone without the brand wont be allowed into heaven.

Wow it is easy to make verses fit in an arguement.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 6, 2008 | 3:57 a.m.

>>> Craig T December 5, 2008 | 5:12 p.m.
Galatians 6:17 "let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body." <<<

If we read this in it's original text and content of the era of the writing you will see that what is being talked about is the "stripes" he received from the whippings he took trying to make him renounce his faith in Jesus Christ as the only way unto the the Father. Many of Christ's followers received similar beatings and whippings for their faith.

Back then I do not know what material they used to create their flogs or whips but it is well known in history books that severe deep marks or welts were left upon the body of those taken to the racks for punishment.

That is what that scripture is talking about and nothing else. To take that out of context in anyway is just wrong.

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 6, 2008 | 8:56 a.m.

wow you say "to take out of context is just wrong"

let's look at that.

vs 26 says no rare meat
vs 27 no cutting of the beard and only certain hair styles
vs 32 get up when the elderly enter a room
vs 33 (oh I love how this is overlooked) aliens shall not be oppressed and shall be treated as a citizen

Luke 12 39-48 this a parable about taking care of the household (in MHO the household is everyone. at the quote I use is toward the end

"my master wont be home for awhile and begins to maltreating or OPPRESSING the other servants" what will the master do? he will "if the servant KNOWS his duties but refused to do it he will be torn apart"

it is amazing how Christians will jump all over certain things and let other be deamed unworthy of mentioning.

Leviticus 19:26-31 deals with pagan practices and God's prohibitions against adopting those practices. In verse 28, God is warning the Jewish people about a pagan practice at funerals, where pagans would mutilate/mark themselves to appease their false gods. The pagans hoped that by cutting themselves and marking images/symbols of idols on their bodies, that they would obtain favour in the afterlife from their false gods, both for themselves and for those who just died.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 6, 2008 | 10:13 a.m.

Be careful what you do. From a more secular point of view...

http://www.biblebelievers.com/watkins_ta...

(Report Comment)
Walter Hubbard December 7, 2008 | 9:55 p.m.

Ray -

That snippet was so completely biased and full of junk science and forehead-slapping misstatements that I could do nothing but shake my head the entire time I was reading it.

OK - I get it that some Christians seem to have a personal vendetta against tattoos for one reason or another, but to try and pass something like that off as 100% truth is completely ridiculous. Furthermore, trying to connect the argument somehow with Psalms 38 is a reach at best.

Lovingly,
Walter.

(Report Comment)
Craig T December 8, 2008 | 7:10 p.m.

no walter, i kind of expected that if you can't damn it from one way, hit it from another.

it isnt about scripture and never was. it is about the safety of the people.

I am done here I think.

people you are loved unconditionally by Jesus, no matter what the sin. we are all sinners and we are all forgiven.

ain't it wonderful?

Craig

(Report Comment)
Irene Boxer December 11, 2008 | 3:53 p.m.

Heidi,

We are to obey New Testament law. Although there are great lessons to be learned from the old Testament, we are to follow the teachings of Christ, NOT Moses. There are many things in the Old Testament (incest is ok, slavery is ok) that I'm sure you don't agree with.

(Report Comment)
William Lopes December 12, 2008 | 6:15 a.m.

Well being that I am an Ordained Minister and The Owner of Marked for Christ Tattoo in Lake City Florida, I feel I need to throw my two cents in, (a trait of mine :) )Much of this is reprinted I may add. But let us concider, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28 — New American Standard

(Report Comment)
William Lopes December 12, 2008 | 6:16 a.m.

At first glance this passage seems to indicate that tattoo is forbidden for Christians. To comprehend the Scripture correctly, we must always examine the whole of Scripture and look at the particular context of a given passage. If we neglect deep study we will never truly understand the intent of the author. We need to look at the word(s) of the above passage in full connection with the surrounding verses, and in context with the historic setting at the time of its writing. When we study below the surface of this text, we then will see more clearly what God says about tattoo. The verse quoted above is part of a larger passage of scripture seen here.
26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:26–31 — New American Standard
In this passage God is speaking to his covenant people Israel. He is specifically telling them to stay far from the religious practices of the surrounding people groups. The prohibited religious practices in these verses include eating bloody meat, fortune telling, certain hair cuts related to the priests of false cults, cutting or marking the body for dead relatives, cultic prostitution and consulting psychics. All these practices would lead God's beloved people away from Him and toward false gods that were not Gods at all. In the midst of this context we find the word translated “tattoo marks” in verse 28. It is important to note here that the context of this passage is not one of body décor but one of marking one's self in connection with cultic religious worship. Bible commentaries tell us much about the eastern religious practices that God was warning His people to shun.

(Report Comment)
William Lopes December 12, 2008 | 6:25 a.m.

The “tattoo” marks described in Leviticus 19:28 were clearly related to false religious practices. The word translated tattoo in our English Bibles is the Hebrew word “qa aqa”, this word appears only one time in the Bible, here in this passage Leviticus. The word “qa aqa” means literally “to cut” but taken with the surrounding words indicates a cutting that left a mark imprinted in the skin. This could have been a form of branding, scarring, cutting or a process where ink was inlaid into the skin; there is not enough data to fully define exactly what this word meant. However we translate the word “qa aqa” though, in this passage, it is certainly used in the context of cultic religious worship. The prohibition against “qa aqa”, (translated tattoo) was to keep the Israelites from being involved or affiliated with cultic worship practices.
The tattoo of today is much different than it was for those who originally received the Pentateuch. Today tattoo is a decorative means of self expression and personal decoration. In our current culture people modify their appearance for beauty in many ways such as clothing choice, makeup, plastic surgery, haircutting and coloring, weight loss, body-building, and ear piercing. Some of these practices have a history in ancient ritual and false religion, but in our cultural context they do not denote a connection with evil or false faith. In the same way tattoos today do not link the wearer to cultic worship practices and is not generally practiced for ancient religious purposes, tattoos today are for ornamentation.

(Report Comment)
William Lopes December 12, 2008 | 6:27 a.m.

A further reason to believe Christians are free to tattoo their bodies is that New Testament believers are not bound by the Old Testament laws to gain or regain right relationship with God. If we were to obey the laws of the Old Testament we would also be bound by rules that would restrict shellfish and pork eating, hairstyles, wearing of clothes made from two different fabrics, even eating cheese on hamburgers (yes, it is true). Some also feel that modifying the body somehow defiles God's creation, but if this was true would it be right to pierce ears, correct a club foot, cut hair, clip nails, get a tan or use orthodontia? Each of the previously mentioned practices modifies the way we were originally created, some permanently. Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal choice that falls in the category of personal appearance and is vitally connected to the freedom of the believer. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Old Testament Law was designed by God was to lead people toward Jesus. Now that Jesus has come and set us free, we are not under the law for our good standing with God. Our right standing before God comes from placing our trust in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our debts, not on following the Old Testament regulations.
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24–25 — New American Standard
As New Testament followers of Jesus we are not under restriction in the area of personal décor.
Tattoo of today can describe images that merely please the wearer, or have deeper meaning to the owner. Many Christians today are tattooing themselves not in tribute to a false idol or anti-Christian deity, but with love for the one true God and Creator. Many today utilize this permanent marking a way of giving glory to God. Some find that Christian tattoos attract questions about faith and provide opportunities to give God glory by allowing the story-telling of His Love to those who aren’t convinced yet.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 12, 2008 | 7:16 a.m.

William Lopes very well presented but I will beg to differ on your interpretation of the Law according to the New Testament as even Jesus' Disciples still followed the Law as it was given unto Moses by God Himself through The Word who became flesh and blood in the form of Christ Jesus.

These is a passage in the New Testament that reminds me of these false teachers of doctrine in our society today that is in Mathew Chapter 5 starting at verse 17:

>>> "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. <<<

Let me at this point ask you this: Have heaven and earth passed away as yet? Not that I know of they haven't so ALL is not yet fulfilled is it nor can it be considered as such.

Also we can look at this scripture as well in Mathew 15 verse 9:

>>> But in vain they do worship me,teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. <<<

This refers to those leaders of the church at that time and it still can be related to the churches of today as well.

Some things just never change just like the proverbial dog returning unto it's own puke.

This is a great thread as I have not had the chance in a very long time to stretch out my theological legs in quite some time as most people refuse to acknowledge these oh so simple Bible Texts as still viable even today.

Till next time. Peace Out.

(Report Comment)
Randy Rector February 3, 2009 | 1:49 a.m.

I personally don't like tattoos, and I don't even like pierced earrings on women. I think my dislike has something to do with the permanence, or semi-permanence, of the body alterations. But I doubt if women are going to go back to clip-on earrings, or people stop getting tattoos, just to please me. It's only my taste, and so what? To each his own. What is important is to be guided by the Lord.

However, I am concerned when people misinterpret the Bible, because it engenders bondage. Paul, the apostle of God, makes it plain that the Law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel only, never to the Gentiles. That is something people never seem to understand. Also, the "work of the Law" was written in the hearts of the Gentiles, and what we call "conscience" is supposed to respond to that.

Romans 7:4 says we have died to the Law by means of the body of Christ (when He was crucified). This means the Jewish believer has died to the written Law of Moses, and the Gentile believer has died to the "work of the Law" within. We are now to allow Christ to walk in us by the Holy Spirit, Who is all righteousness and holiness.

As for Heaven and Earth passing away, spriritually they did, when Christ died. He died as the Last Adam, and rose as the Second Man. The Last Adam was the true Omega Man, Who summed up in Himself all of the old creation. When He died, it all spiritually passed away, awaiting the day it will physically. When Jesus rose as the Second Man, He was the beginning of the new creation. I can't say any more here, but these points are crucial for proper interpretation.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 3, 2009 | 3:42 a.m.

>>> Romans 7:4 says we have died to the Law by means of the body of Christ (when He was crucified). This means the Jewish believer has died to the written Law of Moses, and the Gentile believer has died to the "work of the Law" within. We are now to allow Christ to walk in us by the Holy Spirit, Who is all righteousness and holiness. <<<

Now my question here is if you think we as Christians are no longer under the law of ordinances but now we reside under grace alone is it right to continue in sin if we know sin to be wrong?

You also state that we are to follow the Holy Spirit and if such we are to follow the ways and teachings of the Holy Spirit which still follows the Laws of God are we still to keep on sinning even if we are not under the Laws of Ordinance that was against us and that Christ died to relieve us from so that we may follow truly in the spirit after?

Even though we may not be under the physical law of ordinances that was against us we still are under the Law of the Spirit which is the essence of God Himself and all that He represents.

To many it is a riddled but to those who are meant to understand it is as sweet as a song on the breeze of a calm Spring day and just as plain as the writing upon the wall of time itself.

Even though I sin and fall I still have an intercessor on my behalf in the Man Christ Jesus interceding for me before the father constantly but even though He is there doing this does that mean of give me the rights to continue in sin? The Apostle Paul by his writings says no if I call myself a Christian and claim the name of Christ Jesus as my savior.

Love early morning theology sessions. Thank you for helping to jump start my day.

(Report Comment)
Randy Rector February 3, 2009 | 10:01 a.m.

I don't want to get into an involved theological discussion because these comments should be limited to the topic of Christian tattoos. But since I threw my two cents out there, I will clarify. When a person dies their spirit and soul are separated from their body, so in the Bible "death" means "separation."

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?...Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts." --Romans 6:1,2, down to verse 14.

Not only have those in Christ (united to Christ) died to the Law, but also to sin. Paul says we have died to sin (the sinful nature, the root) and Peter says we have died to sins (sinful acts, the fruit --I Peter 2:24). Because this is so, Paul says, "therefore" do not let sin reign in you. Act consistently, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your very Life, manifested by the Holy Spirit in you.

If you turn back to the Law of Moses (and I have the Ten Commandments, the preamble to the Law, in mind here), the Law will perform its function faithfully. That function is to make your transgression increase (Romans 5:20), because the Law is "the power of sin"!(I Corinthians 15:56). If you want to avoid sin, that is not the way to go.

Again, this is only scratching the surface of this discussion, and we can't take up all the space here. If you want to better understand my position, my views are mostly found in the classic commmentary "Romans: Verse by Verse," by William R. Newell. I think it's out of print, but you can usually find copies on eBay, Advanced Book Exchange, and Amazon.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 3, 2009 | 10:49 a.m.

>>> Again, this is only scratching the surface of this discussion, <<< Agree I was just pointing out it is nice to "talk shop" early in the morning. Not often you can find people online who really can.

Have a great day.

(Report Comment)
Sam Hobson April 15, 2010 | 4:41 p.m.

">>> "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. <<<

Let me at this point ask you this: Have heaven and earth passed away as yet? Not that I know of they haven't so ALL is not yet fulfilled is it nor can it be considered as such.

Also we can look at this scripture as well in Mathew 15 verse 9:

>>> But in vain they do worship me,teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. <<<

This refers to those leaders of the church at that time and it still can be related to the churches of today as well." - Charles Dudley Jr
M My question is if the tattoo is biblical in nature what iis the lord going to do on judgement day after i call upon his nname everyday and my tattoo says " lord jesus please remember me when you come into your kingdom." If a person has a tattoo is he going to hell if he doesnt get it removed? I guess what im getting at what is god's punishment for getting a tattoo ? Is it eternal life in a burning hell? If a man has a tattoo but yet calls on the name of the lord jesus and believes that jesus was raised from the dead to pay the price of our sins? Am i going to go to hell or forfeit some of gods blessings if i get a tattoo of a cross with the verse Luke 23:42.

(Report Comment)
John Stromback April 10, 2011 | 3:30 p.m.

Lust of the eye
Hunger of the stomach
Pride of life

The only 3 temptations in Satan's playbill to entice us to sin
Sin is separation from God

Satan uses tattoos to separate us from God and to separate us from each other. Tattoos link people to behaviors. Gangs, rebellion, drugs, promiscuity, lust, and pride. Sin isn't subjective, it is what God says it is. Look at me!! Look at me!! I cut my nose to spite my face and dishonor my God. Tattoos like sin seems attractive at first, but lasts long after the mood or the beauty does. Permanent evidence to a season of foolishness and or rebellion.

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anthony raffaelli May 21, 2011 | 2:05 p.m.

WOW. WOW. WOW. JUST SO ALL OF YOU KNOW I AM "ANTHONY RAFFAELLI" AND I WONT BICKER WITH ANY OF YOU OR JUSTIFY ANYTHING BUT . SOME THINGS ARE JUST THE PROSPECTIVE THAT YOU INDIVIDUALLY SEE IT AS AND USING GOD OR "HIS OPTION AS YOUR'S OR YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROSPECTIVE OPTION" IS JUST CRAZY! THE TRUTH IS I AM A VERY PROFESSIONAL TATTOO ARTIST I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO WALK AWAY FROM THIS INDUSTRY FROM SEVERAL RELATED EMOTIONS I HAD TOWARDS IT AND JUST NOTICED I WAS SEEING IT FROM OTHER OPTIONS AND NOT MY OWN JESUS HAS PLACED ME RIGHT WHERE HE NEEDS ME EVANGELIZING TO THE LOST DAILY, PEOPLE THAT WOULD NEVER TALK TO MOST OF YOU SELF RIGHTEOUS CATS WHOM THINK YOU JUST WANNA INSTANTLY BASH ON ME WHEN ALL U KNOW IS THAT I AM A TATTOO ARTIST AND THATS YOUR JUDGMENT .. WOW I SAID JUDGMENT "HUMMMM" U HAVE A JUDGMENT ON ME WOW THATS CRAZY TO BE LIKE THAT AND NOT SEE THAT I HAVE BROUGHT OVER 300 PEOPLE TO JESUS WHEN HALF OF YOU I BET DONT EVEN SPREAD THE GOSPEL AND PRETTY MUCH JUST ACT SELF RIGHTEOUS AND PUSH LOST SHOULD AWAY! I AM A PROFESSIONAL TATTOO ARTIST I TATTOO EVERYONE WITH WHAT THEY WANT EXCLUDING "SATANIC,RACIEST,GANG RELATED,OR JUST STUPID TATTOO'S" AND WHEN I HAVE TIME TO TALK TO THEM I DO AND TRUST ME THEY LISTEN SEE THE PROBLEM IS "JOHN" IS MOST PEOPLE GET MARMOREAL TATTOOS OR MEANINGFUL TATTOOS THAT HELP WITNESS AND RELATE TO ANOTHER'S STRUGGLES AND HOW GOD HAS HELPED THEM AND IS THEE APPLE IN THERE EYE? AHHHA U NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT WHEN RUNNING YOUR MOUTH ABOUT HOW ITS ALL NEGATIVE AND NO POSITIVE IN THIS WHOLE SITUATION SO BEFORE THROWN ME UNDER THE BUS AND STRIKING ME DOWN WITH GODS WORD THROUGH UR NEGATIVE PROSPECTIVE JUST THINK OF HOW NASTY THIS WORLD IS AND JESUS SAYS "BE IN IT NOT OF IT SEEK FOR THE SINNERS TO HELP THEM SEE THE WAY" AND HE CHILLED WITH THE SICK AND HUNGRY SO ME "IM IN IT AS JESUS WOULD WANT ME TO ME ON MY KNEES IN THE MUD FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL" SO LETS JUST NOT GET ALL TWISTED UP PEEPS!

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