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MothandRust
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Date Posted:11/04/2006 4:02 PMCopy HTML

Who says tattoos are sacrilegious?
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MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:Religious Tattoos - Bible Support for Tattoos

Date Posted:11/04/2006 4:58 PMCopy HTML

Tattoos (cont.) part 2 

Does this mean the Old Law is null and void?

Without a doubt, we have shown that God, through Christ, has instituted a New Law. Now what? Is all the Old Law null and void? Not at all! We know that each of us needs to follow what is essential in the Old Law: the Ten Commandments. How do we know this? Jesus told us so. When the lawyer asked him to name the first (that is, the most important) commandment, Jesus answered:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."- Matthew 22:37-40

Here, Christ explicitly tells us that laws we need to follow are those that deal with the love of God and the love of our neighbour. Therefore, He is telling us to continue to practice the moral code (the Ten Commandments), but do so because you are motivated by love and spirit rather than fear of punishment.

In fact, Jesus not only tells us that the only part of the Law that is necessary is the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), He also takes those commandments and gives us a new understanding, based on his New Law of love and faith. He shows that it is not enough to follow the letter of the Law, there is also an underlying Spirit:

"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire." -Matthew 5:21-22 (see also verses 23-48)

Conclusion: the New Law

It is true that we have a New Law that both fulfills and abrogates the Old Law, by elevating the moral code (the Ten Commandments) and rescinding the rituals and observances. Hence, we are not bound by certain Laws, such as those that require our circumcision or the abstention from certain foods. It becomes rather obvious that the prohibition against tattoos in Leviticus is also one of those Laws. It is as simple as that.

The Context of 1 Corinthians 6:19...Your Body as a Temple

Of course, tattoo opponents also like to stress these words of St. Paul:

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body."
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Unfortunately, the tattoo opponents have not read this verse in context. Here St. Paul is not opposing tattoos but warning the residents of Corinth about the dangers of sexual promiscuity, especially in the pagan practice of having sex with ritual prostitutes. To put this into perspective, Corinth during St. Paul's time was a thriving Metropolis, a rich city with two ports. One of its main attractions was a massive temple dedicated to the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. Thousands of ritual prostitutes, used in celebration of Aphrodite, congregated around the temple. Since a sizeable part of the newly formed Christian community in Corinth was of pagan origin, the use of ritual prostitutes was something of a habit that needed to be broken. In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul shows that we belong to God, brought about through His Son Jesus Christ's sacrifice, and that fornicating with ritual prostitutes is tantamount to sacrificing to false Gods. He is also showing that sexual immorality is a sin against the body, which houses the Holy Spirit, in essence, sexual immorality is a sin committed directly against God. Interesting to note that all of this, nowhere is tattooing mentioned.

Tattoo Imagery in the Bible

We know that religious tattooing before the time of Christ was common for nearly everyone except the Jewish people (otherwise we would not see the prohibition in Leviticus 19:28).

And although there are no scriptural references in which we are told to "get tattooed," there are a number of verses in which the writers, whom we believe were inspired by the Holy Spirit, make allusions to tattoos or use tattoos as metaphors. This leads us to believe that tattooing was an acknowledged part of life. Why? Well, if such a subject were taboo or against the Law, would its use as an allusion or metaphor be justified?

Below are some verses I believe may show an acceptance or acknowledgment of tattoos.

"And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth." -Exodus 13:9

"It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes; for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."
-Exodus 13:16

In these two quotes from Exodus, God is telling his people that while many-especially pagans-use tattoos and religious totems, He will give the Jews something greater: a celebration of the day they were saved and brought out of Egypt. For the Jews, this will be their unique mark. This seems to contradict our position. However, the verses show that tattoos were a normal aspect of society. God never tells the people that tattooing is wrong or immoral. He doesn't even say that they need to stop doing it. He only tells them that He will make them different than all others through their celebrations.

"This one will say, 'I am the LORD's,' another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,' and surname himself by the name of Israel."-Isaiah 44:5

"Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." -Isaiah 49:16

Here Isaiah is speaking God's word to the more conscious minorities of Israel who, during their exile, are worried about becoming lost amidst the pagans of Babylon. Through Isaiah, God reminds His people that he will never forget them because He loves them, and as proof that He will never abandon them, He tells the Jews that He has graven [carved into...written permanently] on his hands a reminder to save them.

"And the LORD said to him, 'Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it'." -Ezekiel 9:4

The mark in this verse refers to the letter T or the Hebrew letter Tau, which appears as the shape of a cross, and which was painted in lamb's blood on the door posts to save the "remnant" of Israel when God wiped out all the first born of Egypt during the last plague. In this instance, the mark will be placed upon believers who are saddened by the sins committed in Jerusalem.

"Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the brand marks of Jesus." -Galatians 6:17

Here, St. Paul is likely discussing the beatings and punishments he endured for the sake of the Gospel of Christ (see 2 Cor. 11:24-28). This is a pointed jab at those who believe they are justified by other marks, that is, circumcision. Undeniable, though, is the tattoo imagery. Brand marks are what Roman slave owners tattooed on their chattel to display ownership.

"Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.'" -Revelations 7:2-3

"On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords." -Revelations 19:16

This last verse from Revelations is part of John's prophecy about the destruction of the Roman Empire and the heretofore-invincible Roman armies. The verse shows Christ as the "Master of the Universe" whose name, which is the Word of God (and, in essence, everything), is more than just a title on a royal garment. Instead, it is something that belongs to Jesus alone and is intrinsically linked to He who is Lord of all...through a unique marking on his body.

Again, I want to stress that these verses do not show that God endorses tattoos but that tattoos were an accepted part of society during the biblical era and that there is little evidence to show that God explicitly disapproves of tattoos.

Conclusion

It is beyond doubt that tattoos are NOT sinful and that Christians expressing their faith with some ink under their skin have NOT succumbed to Satan's wiles (at least, not because of the tattoos). Yet, let us remember that just because we are allowed to be tattooed, doesn't mean that this is what is best for everyone. St. Paul tells us that we need to be careful that our actions do not lead others away from the faith:

"Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble."
-Romans 14:20-21

With that in mind, let us pray that, through the intercession of the Holy Spirit, each of us may understand God's intention for us, and whether or not that calling includes some permanent ink under our skin.

?Copyright Jason Gennaro 2002-05. Feel free to use this article to educate friends, colleagues, parents, children, believers, and unbelievers. Provided you are not printing the article for monetary gain (e.g., including it in a book), you have my permission to reprint it. If you do print it out, please consider contacting me to let me know what you used it for. I always like to hear how the article was used.

http://www.religioustattoos.net/Other_Tattoos/index.php

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Religious Tattoos - Bible Support for Tattoos

Date Posted:11/04/2006 5:09 PMCopy HTML

Just to clarify...

I posted this article because I thought it an interesting piece that explores the freedom we have today to think for ourselves. We are not under law.

Tattoos are a fashionable thing today (and always have been, I suppose), but fashions fade and a lot of people are spending a lot of money erasing their body art.

My wife got a tat of Tinkerbell on her ankle... I was upset insomuch that it cost $50... grrr... anyway, it's her body. Not a religious tatoo per se. ha...

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Religious Tattoos - Bible Support for Tattoos

Date Posted:25/05/2006 11:13 PMCopy HTML

Hello,

I know young "Christians" who want to let create a tattoo onto hir (or her) skin. They don? understand that this is a sin!

 

 

Many greetings from


Michael
MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:Religious Tattoos - Bible Support for Tattoos

Date Posted:25/05/2006 11:56 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Michael111

Hello,I knowyoung "Christians" who want to let create a tattoo onto hir (or her) skin. They don? understand that this is a sin!

Technically everything's a sin. Have you even read this book?

Heck, I sin a few times before I get outta bed everymorning.

Jesus cares not for purposefully implanted pigmentation.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
bindi Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:Religious Tattoos - Bible Support for Tattoos

Date Posted:11/10/2006 8:27 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : MothandRust

Reply to : Michael111Hello,I knowyoung "Christians" who want to let create a tattoo onto hir (or her) skin. They don? understand that this is a sin!Technically everything's a sin. Have you even read this book?Heck, I sin a few times before I get outta bed everymorning.Jesus cares not for purposefully implanted pigmentation.
Good post M&R....Although I found it too bloody long and boring to read so I speak off my own back here... Personally, I couldnt care less if its a sin or not. Its my body and mine to decorate if I so wish. I dont think that, if you decide to get a tattoo, that automatically means you aint going to heaven! We are saved by GRACE!  We do things to our body to make us feel good, to give a visual first- impression to others as to what we are about..etc. We get our hair done to look good, we wear makeup to look good, ( if your a woman of course! ) we buy clothes to suit our personalities and to look good! ( As well as to hide our naked bodies! ) We get LOTS of things done to make us feel and look good! The list is endless... So.. if a person decides to get a tatt... Whats the difference??? Ive got two tatts.. both symbolize ME and my thoughts about life and my heritage.... I have a celtic bird on my lower back flying towards a celtic sun, which is between my shoulder blades. It symbolizes my love of freedom and my Irish ancestry. I love them. I got them done for ME, not for anyone else. If others see them then it opens up discussion which is great! They have been very well done and they have a story. I LOVE art in whatever aspect it comes in. Be it.. paintings, sculpture, tatts etc. Fortunately mine can be covered up if the occassion arises! lol. I hate tatts on women to be too visual! Can look too tacky on women if they are overdone! lol!
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