Monday, July 14, 2008

Is it Really Body Art? To Ink Up or Not?

A number of years ago my son Jason asked if he could get a tattoo. Rather than be shocked by his request I was cool and said why didn’t he wait a few years until he was older and if he still wanted one I would get one with him. ‘What did I just say,’ I said silently to myself?

I thought back to the church plant in Scotland I was involved in many years ago, I would watch in amazement as young people would come out of tattoo parlors sporting (showing off) tattoos glowing with vibrant colors! Did they not realize that they would eventually turn a 'darkened black/green not so pretty mark' on their bodies?

In fact, in Bible College, I remember one student who got some of his tattoos removed but not without considerable pain and scaring. Of course, that was before the advent of laser that has now found a new use (according to the ads) among those who don’t want their tattoos anymore.

A pastor friend called me this year and wondered what I thought of staff people having tattoos? Of course I now actually have some that do. I tried to give him some pointers, not sure I helped.

A couple of weeks ago three children’s workers returned to the lodge sporting what looked like actual tattoos, one of them on the calf and the other two had theirs in the small of their backs. They asked me if I was shocked. ‘Of course not,’ I said. Of course I was wondering if the mountain air and altitude had gotten to them and if I was next. (They were henna tattoos that faded off over a brief time) Whew!

And now many are asking about the tattoos of Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Healing revival. Does and can God use an inked body for His glory?

So it is obvious that Christians are now getting tattoos. Many are going through the doors of ‘questionable tattoo parlors’ and allowing others to put their hands on their bodies and ink them. Google this issue, and you’ll see opinions varying from “Go for it!” to “You’ll go to hell for it.” Many Christians as well as Pastors are grappling with the tattoo question.

I have been studying this issue (as any pastor should) having read countless articles, have had numerous discussions (or were they heated debates?) and I have arrived at a peace in my mind about it. I will attempt to put forth some ideas and will give references if I have them or can remember them.

Next post- What does the Bible say about tattoos?

Also, at the end of this series I will tell you whether or not my son and I got tattoos!

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