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Meditation 1048
Christians and their tattoos.

by: John Tyrrell

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Unlike the question of the origin of evil, the bible seems pretty unequivocal on the issue of tattoos. There's just the one passage with a rule about tattoos which is, as we read in Leviticus 19:

28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

or in a more modern translation which clarifies "print any marks"

28 Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

Seems pretty clear to me, and yet we know many Christians choose to have tattoos. And on BeliefNet, we have a Houston pastor who operates a tattoo shop explaining why tattoos are OK for Christians. According to his interpretation, Leviticus only applies to Jewish priests. That's it! Even though Leviticus 19 opens its list of rules with "1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them:" Moses isn't just passing his God's rule to the Levites; it's to the entire assembly.

Nevertheless, it's not Pastor Scott Hill's self-justifying interpretation I found most amusing - it's the comments of various tattooed Christians that had me laughing.

I actually prayed to God before I ever got my first tattoo. If He wanted me to have one than he would allow me to get one, show me a sign. My first tattoo was from a winning raffle ticket from a Christian tattoo artist.

Marvelous Christian thinking there - if you want to break one of the rules in the Bible, just pray to God and ask him to give you a sign if he does not want you to break the rule. "Broke all 10 Commandments today - I asked God, and he didn't give me a sign not to."

This comment is a little cryptic.


In context, it seems to be saying that Leviticus and the rule against tattoos is in the Old Testament, and thus is not part of the King James Version - which of course is the only valid text Christians are required to follow. Some Christians are so knowledgable about the basis of their faith.

Continuing in the ALL-CAPS vein, because we know ALL-CAPS comments are so authoritative:


Yes - Jesus made flowers and butterflies, therefore they are OK to have as tattoos. This profound theology came from someone who identifies herself as a chaplain. One wonders if Jesus made warthogs and Tasmanian devils too. They'd make nice tattoos.

READ REV 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name WRITTEN, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.....My mother had this tattoo on her thigh & it was BEAUTIFUL and it allowed her to spread the word of God to people she would of normally never come across .....

One wonders how a tattoo on a woman's thigh allows her to spread the word to people she would of normally never come across. Did she advertise on Craigs List "Come on up and check out my thigh"?

Continuing in the tattoos bring about conversion vein...

i have 27 tats and all mine are religious.. i do this cause not only does it represent something in my life and how I praise God above for changing it but also when i have someone grabs my arms and ask.. i can tell them my story and maybe change a soul..

When someone grabs her arms, she tells the story. Yeah, right. I wonder how often that happens?

Here's a rule to live by which you won't find in the Bible - never grab a tattooed woman's arms. (Probably that rule should be extended - never reach out and grab anyone's arms - unless you are trying to save their life.)

I suspect that pretty well all of these people, if asked, would tell you that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and the source of their morality. But in the end, it just establishes that all Christians are cafeteria Christians, picking and choosing what they see fit according to some non-Biblical standard.

Really, if they thought about it, they could just toss the book and the whole religious charade.


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