Dear Pat Hurd,

I read what you had to say about christians getting tattooed, and in my muddled mind got quite confused with what you are saying. That would be my fault not yours, as I am of the more simpler speaking kind. Please would you explain in laymans terms if it is correct for me, as a 22 year old male christian to get a tattoo or not? Surely it is to do with the persons context and situation? Mine is quite different to most. I am a drummer in a successful london based heavy metal band, the band arn't christians, i am however, and feel it is my calling to be there with them right now. God is working and moving through me in places where Christ our King is not very well accepted, but much needed. As a practicing evangalist I am a gratefull son in the Kingdom of Light, but also fondly at home in the enviroment God has placed me. When I became a christian I quit my band, my life and all my friends and sought Jesus with my whole heart. Upon asking the Lord for direction and guidance in what He wants me to do He put me then straight back in the thick of it, which is fine by me, I am good at what i do and enjoy it, praise the Lord.

So now you know a little more about me, what was it you were saying about the mark of the beast etc? The tattoo I am interested in getting translates from hebrew to 'Liberation in Christ' which i think you'd agree is a fair comment if ever there were. Having this on me permenantly would not only help me on this tempting and thin path, acting as a reminder and guide, but also as a fantastic evangalistic tool. Lets just say, great as they are, personal tracts don't go down too well with some of the people God wants me to reach.

My other reason is I think tattoos can be quite beautiful if done properly and well. I know people who have brilliant works of art on their bodies, and it is widely accepted as a normal part of our culture in this particularly lost segment of my generation.|

I am however fully commited to the Lord, and want to do what is right in his eyes. I want to be holy and know that I am to my amazing Lord Jesus, but surely decorating my body in a way glorifying to Him wouldn't be tarnishing my holiness would it?

Thankyou very much for taking the time to read this,
I would be very apprerciative of your respone.

Peace is Christ,

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Dear Jon:

Thanks so much for taking the time to write.

The answer to the appropriateness of tattooing for Christians is not easily obtained.  But I don't believe it is a matter of context or situation.

Rather, I believe that there are some fundamental Christian beliefs that must be taken into account for their real life practical application when weighing the appropriateness of tattoos for Christians:

1. Christians are to be a peculiar, separate people. (2 Cor 6:11-18)  We are not isolationist but just as children resemble and imitate their earthly parents, so the adopted sons and daughters of God should walk, talk, eat, smell, dress, etc…… like their heavenly father.  In other words, when someone looks at us they should see the reflection of our heavenly father.  That is what it means to "glorify God."

2. As a peculiar people, God has ordained that His people be marked as a sign of His covenant.  The Old Testament mark was circumcision.  The New Testament mark is Baptism and corresponds to circumcision.  As sure as the lost and un-saved are marked accordingly, so every one of God's children is marked by God Himself.  God's people are to be content with the marking of God.

3. For Christian's there are no matters of personal preference.  All that matters is the preference of our Lord Jesus Christ who ransomed us from the sting of death with His own precious blood and, therefore, I am not my own but belong, body and soul, to my faithful savior.  It is a matter of fidelity - there is no middle ground, no neutral issues.

4. The Christian duty is to be a transformer of culture, not a conformer to culture.

As far as my reference to tattooing and the mark of the beast, I was being tongue-in-cheek with that person.

As far as tattooing as an evangelistic tool, you must forgive me for my opinion.  If a Christian really believes that God is as big and sovereign as the Bible says He is and that this really big and really sovereign God has declared that "…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God…" (Romans 10:17), then doesn't the idea of helping God along in the task with various tricks and etc…. come across a little bit selfish and disingenuous?  On the other hand, if we believe that the job isn't going to get done without us, then why stop with one tattoo of a fish or something?  I mean, how do you decide how far to go and when to stop?

Last, as far as glorifying God or tarnishing holiness through tattooing, I think that it is beneficial to understand what might be meant to "glorify God" as opposed to, say for instance, to "praise God."  Be that as it may, we are made in the image of God and I'm not sure what there is that needs to be added that God neglected to do.

Jon, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying working in the band and that God has opened the way for you to be salt and light in the place you are.  I pray that you will resist exchanging your salt for pepper under the false conception that if you do perhaps some of the pepper might become salt.  I just don't think it works that way.

God's grace to you,

Pat Hurd

 

  

Dear Pat,

thank you so much for you reply,

You made perfect sense to me and I think you are right, It has become my decision not to get a tattoo as conforming to the culture I am trying to change in order to change it just dosn't make much sense to me. As you so pointedly pointed out, pepper makes food taste of pepper. But salt brings out the best flavour that is already in the food and makes it really nice. What has God made me? Problem solved.

Thank you so much for your time Pat,

God bless,  

 

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Patrick L. Hurd
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PHurdWford@AOL.com

EST. 01/01/01