Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tattoos and shoes and ships and sealing wax


So, yesterday I started a memoir of sorts on the ol' blog. Naturally, talk turned to tattoos and their scriptural or unscriptural basis. Today I will talk about tattoos and you guys will probably discuss the Tribulation.

There is, to my knowledge, one specific Scripture about tattooing. Leviticus 19:28. This site has some good info and context for that. I haven't checked out the whole site, and I'm not endorsing it. Just some good info there.

So I won't really approach it so much from that perspective.

My mom and I sat and talked about this when she was in KC. She had seen someone she respected had a tattoo, and it shifted her perspective of them a little. In her generation, women who had tattoos were "girls that do". You live on the edge, drink and party and get tats.

Not so much with us. We are a visual, creative generation. And many see their bodies as a canvas to express their hearts. Christians I know who are tattooed have symbols of praise, or pictures from Scripture or dreams... they feel they have marked themselves FOR God.

When the Jesus movement happened, many were disturbed by the hippies. They had long, unruly hair... ragged clothes and no shoes. They were accepted by Jesus, just as they were. He redeemed them. For some of them, when they walked into a church, they were misunderstood and rejected. They looked different. They looked like "the world". And they were beautiful... true and raw and captured by God. A lot of the church missed out.

Was it sin to grow their hair out? To be ragged? Or was it their culture, the generation they lived in?
I'm not saying we accept every cultural norm. I'm saying let's use discernment. What really matters to God?

In the eighties, the young and passionate found ways to express their love to God with loud instruments. They were FIERY and loud. The church shut the doors, in large part. Those gifted, powerful musicians found themselves outside, no accountability, little leadership. They were cheated. The Body was cheated. We missed it.

Now, you are standing face to face with painted warriors. They love God. They are creative. They are expressive and artistic. Weird hair, piercings, tattoos, strange music? Check. Power and passion? Check. Don't miss it.


  1. You should move yesterday's posts over for continuity...

  2. Blogger jennifer said...

    Matt has a spiritual and moral question for you all. He is thinking about getting a tatoo and wants to know what everyone thinks?

    I will hold my own opinion till later!

    July 14, 2008 11:03 AM

    Anonymous said...

    there are old testament references to NOT marking our bodies
    sorry i do not recall exact scripture reference
    my opinion is DONT
    unless you have heard directly from God in a written form such as on tablets
    skip it

    July 14, 2008 11:30 AM


    Blogger Jess said...

    I am writing these archives ahead of time... Thus the timely delivery. And I want a tattoo, but haven't done the exegesis, so no answers here

    July 14, 2008 12:01 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    on the tattoos:

    i think it comes down to motive. are you listening to God about it? or are you just wanting to be cool?

    i don't have a word from the Lord on it, but that's what i feel about it.

    on the story: groovy. i love the old awkward pictures. they're great!


    July 14, 2008 12:49 PM

    Blogger supern8 said...
    On tats: yes, old testament/old covenant...a wonderful type and shadow of what was to come. Thank you Jesus for the Blood! Anyone got Todd Bentley's email?

    July 14, 2008 3:46 PM

    Anonymous said...

    old testament/old covenant

    but it was not thrown out
    not according to Jesus

    but i agree with anon
    do u want the tat to be cool
    look deep inside to check urself to see what the real motive is

    dont do it to be like others
    not cool

    July 14, 2008 5:45 PM

    Blogger Radiant Worship said...

    I think I'm going to get a tatoo on my butt of Billy Graham.

    - Richy

    July 14, 2008 6:32 PM

    Blogger Jess said...

    and THAT brings up a whole lot of other theological concerns...

    July 14, 2008 6:38 PM

    Blogger Mama PC said...


    (also, see the Tattoo - the Mark of Regret)

    i see people in the hospital dying of hepatitis because of tatoos and their past sinful behaviors...

    also see the ugly tattoo as it fades over the years.... and it's usually on hardened angry people...with very sick bodies....

    i see more and more younger (and older ladies/men who want to look young) people who are wanting to mark themselves....

    they NEVER go away - 80-ish percent of those who get them WISH THEY NEVER HAD! especially when they get married or become more mature or whole spiritually....or learn of the origins of the practice....

    people are saying "there's nothing wrong with it" or "i'm getting a heart and a flower to symbolize my life and love, etc"... but there is just something un-natural and ugly about them, no matter what they symbolize...and it's a constant mark, where blood has oozed out and the body has been marred....of rebellion, subtle or not....

    now, some of you who have a rebellious bent may be stiffening up as I speak.... that's why I don't say much about it to those of you who already have them....or who are saying you're going to get one.... and almost glorify them...

    those who are rebellious will even want to get the tattoo more if someone tells them it's wrong...

    now... i have a problem with people who are having all kinds of financial and life problems who think it would be awesome to get a tattoo! what's that all about? they don't have enough money to buy bread and milk... and cannot afford to pay bills... but have moolah for the tattoo? it just doesn't make sense....

    if you need a tattoo to feel special then something is wrong with your thinking....

    okay there.... i said it...

    July 14, 2008 7:20 PM

    Blogger Jess said...

    I have given enough thought to the tattoo subject to blog on it tomorrow... stay tuned for my opinion

    July 14, 2008 8:35 PM

    Blogger Viking Granny!!!! said..
    I told my boys that they were NOT allowed to get any tattoos or ears pierced as long as they lived in my house.....

    do you realize how young each one of my boys were when they moved out?

    I never liked tattoos......or men with ears pierced...

    just me.....and my old school self.

    Pierced ears are for bald headed baby girls and tattoos are for radical preachers!

    July 14, 2008 8:48 PM

    Blogger Mama PC said...

    yeah, what's the thing about the piercings these days....

    i don't want to be looking at the outward....

    and know the heart of a man is truly what God looks on....

    so I usually try to keep my mouth closed about acts and doings that people do.... you know.... lifestyle issues.... drugs, smoking, etoh (alcohol), music choices.... because I know that the heart and it being turned toward God is where the main issue is.... the real heart of the matter.... then, the rest will take care of itself....

    and people may make choices or mistakes and end up with a huge ninja turtle on their you know what.... and if they truly turn toward God.... they can end up being powerful preachers.. but, why would those who profess to be God-chasers need to mark themselves???

    any scripture promoting tattoos???

    July 14, 2008 8:55 PM

    Viking Granny!!!! said...

    Tattoo thyself at thy own riskola......

    July 14, 2008 9:43 PM

    Viking Granny!!!! said...

    I went to a church a long long time ago...and I heard a man giving a testimony about a teenager with blue hair giving his life to GOD.....

    He continued.....talking about this youngster whose blue hair was changing back to brown.....as if that was a barometer of his salvation..

    I am so thankful that God sees right through us...all the way to our hearts....blue hair.....piercings...tattoos and all....

    July 14, 2008 9:49 PM

    Blogger supern8 said...

    I sense a generational skew! And I'm caught smack dab in the middle! (and the fact that I just said "smack dab" probably betrays me to the older/wiser side!?)

    I tat not, so I still observe the debate from the sidelines.

    And of course, the OT not thrown out (did not intend to infer that), but replaced thank God...or else I could not have talked to any of you for seven days after I prayed for Juan to be resurrected. So, I don't see it biblically prohibited (now), yet there is that whole "if it causes others to stumble" thing to consider. It obviously is quite a cause for consternation among the bloggers!

    But I still think it boils down to generation and culture...and freedom in Christ...and grace...

    July 14, 2008 10:32 PM


    Blogger Mama PC said...

    so, the scripture in the OT about not marking nor cutting yourself - is closely parked to do not commit beastiality nor sell your daughters as prostitutes...

    nowhere in the New Testament does it say that Tattoos are wrong.... and no where in the New Testament does it say that Beastiality nor Child Prostitution is wrong...

    July 14, 2008 10:53 PM

    Blogger jennifer said...

    I agree with those of you who said what are your motives? That has been my question all along. Why do you want one? Is it hidden rebelion or something you feel God is telling you to do. And I can honestly say I am not sure how often he does that.

    And sometimes I wonder if we don't make to big a deal out of it. But it is permanant. And I do have a tatoo from my heathen days. And I do regret it.I actually do like tatoos and I probably wouldn't regret it so much if I had chosen a better subject matter. And location because it being on the lower side of my stomach it is now 3 to 4 times its original size! Sorry if that is to much info for some of you but if you are a woman considering a tatoo it is something to think about.

    July 14, 2008 11:01 PM

    Blogger jennifer said...

    Doesn't it also talk about piercing your ears somewhere in the Old Testament? I think that it was only meant for slaves yet we all do it.

    I guess it just goes to show we could probably find scriptural basis to justify whatever we want to justify.

    July 14, 2008 11:04 PM

    Blogger supern8 said...


    July 14, 2008 11:45 PM

    Anonymous said...


    Also I would wonder what Billy Graham would think about being on your butt?

    Not that he has any choice in the matter.

    Matt should pray about it and ask God if he has any hidden motives.

    I will love Matt no matter what he does to his body, but some people might not get it.-G

    July 15, 2008 1:46 AM

    Daniel Mathews said...

    I want to propose that Jesus not only likes tattoo’s but that he has one!!!!
    Written on his thigh, it says King of kings, and Lord of Lords..

    Revelation 19:16
    On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    July 15, 2008 8:24 AM

  3. Personally - I've thought about getting a tat to acknowledge my heritage (scot) but am too big of a wuss when it comes to pain, so I won't.
    Will I judge someone else who gets one? No, I think tats fall under the "everything is permissible, but not all is profitable" verse. Does it hinder your relationship with God or enhance it?
    You do have to consider the future (your body WILL change over time and so will your tastes) and any possible health risks. After that its between you and God...
    ~ Kerri in MA

  4. Beautiful Jessica! I want them. I want the painted warriors. God bring them in. - Richy

  5. Here is what I was writing this morning to post. I’ll go ahead and post it before reading that website or anything else:


    On the tattoo, I agree that it comes down to motives, with some wisdom mixed in.

    The verse in the OT about marking and cutting specifically says (and this isn't exact) "don't mark or cut yourself FOR THE DEAD." Since it says FOR THE DEAD, I don't think we can use that verse to tell others the Bible says you shouldn't ever get a tattoo. The verse is addressing a specific practice that was common when it was written for pagan god worship and mutilation. At best, the Bible is pretty much silent or unclear on the overall tat issue, so it goes to the motive of the heart.

    With that said, I tell people they may want to use wisdom and usually suggest getting it somewhere that is usually covered by clothing. Even though God doesn’t judge the outside, many people do and it could limit your possibility, and ability to “be all things to all people.” You may not care what people think of you when they see you covered in tats, which you may have to examine your heart on because that alone (not caring) could be full on pride and arrogance. Lastly, I say they should make sure they’re getting something they’ll still like in 40 years.

    So, watch your heart, know it’s a pure God thing, and exercise wisdom on where you get it- if you think you should.

    Tats aren’t for me personally, but I don’t care at all what is written on or stuck in someone, I can fully love them. I have many very close and dear tatted friends.

  6. Jessica- right on with your post! Very well written.

  7. maybe if everybody waited until they turn 30ish, there would be fewer tats.
    Personally, i don't get "intentional" pain, and I agree with pam that it is an unnecessary expense if a family is struggling already.

    AND congrats to grands pam&john!

    jess, great read on the clark story and flashback pics.

  8. josharoo, you quoted the scripture incorrectly - out of order, if i might bring up....

    Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
    Leviticus 19:28

    Could that be any more clear?

    "Ye shall not. . .print any marks upon you. . ."

  9. but, i KNOW that God is looking on the heart....

    and He is a forgiving God.... and a jealous God...

    He wants us totally... our whole heart....

    I cannot condone tattoos.... but if you have one, I cannot condemn you.... I just have to wonder where your priorities are... and love you just the same....

    Think about a precious little girl...a pure little lamb of God...an innocent, pure, precious baby.... a boy baby.... a toddler.... your babies.... if it's so right to have a tattoo, why don't you just go on out and have your babies, your children tattooed.... if your child wants a tattoo, why not let them go ahead and have one??? it doesn't mean anything.... go ahead and do it!


  10. 'Baby'sRus" might be the right TaToo for an infant.

  11. 'Baby'sRus" might be the right TaToo for an infant.

  12. hope i don't sound opinionated or anything....

    so.... what do shoes and ships and sealing wax have to do with tatts??? am I stupid???

  13. Guess we better look at the original Hebrew for the real intent...

    Leviticus 19:27-28 (Contemporary English Version)
    Contemporary English Version (CEV)
    Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

    "I forbid you to shave any part of your head or beard or to cut and tattoo yourself as a way of worshiping the dead."

  14. Now...shaving the head...that's really probly okay.That's what I'm sayin.thats what I'm talkin about.Mama

  15. I mean some people shave the head don't like nothin to do with dead people. Now... I would not have a tattoo personally...especially on the rear regions...However,it would be seen less often, I guess.Mama

  16. Ain't no way I will cut myself.Nope.No way.Mama

  17. MAMA! I've been waiting for you to weigh in on this, seeings as I named you by name and all in my post!

    Good insight mama. Besides, some people ain't got no choice but what to shave their heads if you know what I mean.

  18. Dang it, I'm in sin and didn't even know it! GOD HAVE MERCY ON MY WEAK SOUL! I WILL GROW MY HAIR EVEN IF I LOOK LIKE THE AGED HULK HOGAN! - Richy

  19. I'm SAYIN!!!!! mama

  20. Here a visual of my hair if I grow it out...

  21. some how I know who this tattoo belongs too...It's interesting to read all the comments and people's thoughts on this subject. Too bad I found it kind of late...oh well that's how I do...late and behind on current events. To comment on the topic...still deciding...for now...I live with Mike League. :)


  22. Gosh! Where have I been?? There's some great action in these yablonski writings! Like I said behind on current events...does this mean I killed my media fast? Or since there is stuff about KC I get by as this is holy blog? :) I like your Ode to CTK...it's great and sums it up pretty well. Look forward to more Clark action! See ya at TheCall!!!!



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