God has a Tattoo!
I am writing this blog as ‘the final word on my tattoo’ from my perspective because i have had several people ask me various questions about the tattoo and unfortunately, while the majority of comments have been positive, some people have taken offense at a ‘senior pastor’ and a ‘Christ-follower’ sporting a tattoo…In the future I am just going to direct people to this blog if they want my full perspective on the issue.
It’s beyond me that some Christians would be overly concerned about a pastor getting a tattoo when there are far more important issues to be pre-occupied with. Preaching the gospel to people who are heading towards a Christ-less eternity is a far more important issue to be concerned about.
People who would look at someone getting a tattoo as being ‘sinful’, unholy or irreverent are pre-supposing that God is against them. Some church culture’s in the past have polarised the tattoo wearing clan as being a bunch of demon-worshipping sinners but please show me one scripture that validates this perspective.
Most people go to Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves.” This verse is preceded with verses like v26 and 27 which forbid eating any meat with blood in it and cutting your hair. It’s just so funny that the very people who would criticise me for getting a tattoo eat meat with blood in it several times per week and cut their hair quite regularly…You can’t embrace one scripture and ignore another just because it suits your argument…that’s called proof-texting and leads to a false interpretation of Scripture.
People who hold to Leviticus 19:28 have obviously not done their exegetical homework and have proof-texted this verse outside of the context of the entire canon of scripture. Everything we read in the Old Testament must be read through the lens of the cross and what Jesus has done for us. Notice when Jesus came on the scene he broke many of the same laws that the old covenant stipulated must be followed…especially those laws man had made as commandments of God. Because of Jesus work on the cross we can now embrace Romans 7:6 which says, “But now we are released from the law having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”
Under the new covenant no mention is made of tattoos, smoking (which I personally think is unhealthy for you but in no way is sinful, just dumb. Why? Because it causes cancer), certain music styles, watching movies, consuming alcohol (Yes, drunkenness is a sin but drinking in moderation isn’t) and body piercing.
Mark Driscoll in his book, “The radical reformission” says, “Another way to evaluate culture is by examining the universal & particular sins common in that culture. Universal sins are those offenses which the Bible condemns for all people in all cultures, including sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, theft, drunkenness, greed, slander and swindling (1 Cor 6:9-10). Particular sins are those offenses that are sinful for some people under some circumstances but not for all people under all circumstances. All Christians are commanded by God to avoid universal sins. But Christians are also commanded by God to avoid sins that are particular to them, without unfairly condemning or restricting the freedoms of fellow Christians who involve themselves differently in controversial cultural matters. (For example getting a tattoo. The bible doesn’t forbid it so you cannot). This is in part what Paul means throughout the New Testament when he speaks of weak and strong Christians. In truth, every Christian is both weak and strong. So, in some areas, we all need to restrict our freedoms because of our weaknesses, while we are able to use our Christian liberty in areas in which we are strong.”
Mark continues, “Christians will have differing personal convictions in matters of culture and we are to welcome those differences that are not sinful, because what pleases God is unity, not uniformity. Uniformity undermines mission and often is promoted by erroneous restrictive and permissive theologies. Restrictive Christians go too far and name everything a universal sin, forbidding some cultural activities that the bible does not (such as what I shared above). Conversely, permissive churches are prone to naming everything a particular sin and bless activities which the bible forbids, such as drug use, fornication, homosexuality and cohabitation before marriage. I’m not advocating either a permissive or a restrictive approach to debating cultural issues. Rather, I’m encouraging Christians on mission to engage with the local culture not merely for the purpose of entertainment but primarily for the purpose of education.”
Thought provoking words. The bible calls us to be in the world, not of it. Unfortunately, too many Christians are of the world, not in it. You can look the part of a Christian but actually be more demonic than what you even realize.
I was reading Isaiah the other day and came across this verse in Isa 49:16, “I have tattooed you on the palms of my hands”…mmm…interesting. Does God have a tattoo? Well, no, not exactly…not that we know of. I am not going to proof-text this verse to suit my position but I think it’s interesting that God would use this wording to describe his love towards us and his commitment to never forget His people.
As a leader, I realise my actions are an example to others and I will be held accountable by God for how I’ve taught and led people. If younger people or older people go and get a tattoo because of my example, I can more than live with it because of all the theological perspectives I’ve outlined in this blog-post.
However, I wouldn’t want people to misunderstand my heart and tone in this blog and think that I am personally attacking anyone in particular. My heart isn’t to put down anyone who because of cultural background perceives tattoos to be off limits. I am simply attempting to express my theological perspective and thus my own views on the matter.
At the end of the day, I believe tattoos are a non-issue…biblically or spiritually. For further study on this topic from a biblical perspective check out 1 Corinthians 8 and Matthew 15:10-20 and please study it extensively and in context.
Feel free to comment on this blog but I will not be responding to anymore comments because I’m tired of talking about something so trivial and there are other more important things I feel compelled to blog on. I will simply refer people to this blog post for the final word on my tattoo.
Lead the Change!