|Greek for "It is finished"|
"By the way, what do you think about tattoos?" OR "What do you think about Christians getting tattoos?"
I don't have tatts myself, but next time I preach on Christian Liberty from 1 Corinthians 8, Romans 15 or otherwise, I hope/dream to wear those tattoo sleeves on my arms just to see how the church reacts.
I do think, as Christians, we can be too quick to either say: "GRACE" and just assume the substitutionary death of Jesus automatically creates/entails a more relaxed outlook on all of life that permits pretty much anything; or say: "STOOPID" and demonize tattoo-wearing while either quoting a verse from Leviticus or just condescendingly giving someone the "Why would you do that?!" look.
Let's instead engage with God's Word as we do some critical thinking on this subject. I managed to finally do so and I started to formulate a response - but then ran across a really helpful & biblically-serious old article I read in a Christianity & Culture publication called Critique (ed. by Dennis Haack)... and then managed to find that article on the interweb, which I've posted below.
"Decorating or Desecrating the Temple?" by Travis Scott
Some quick thoughts on the above article:
(1) Don't click on the link if you ain't prepared for some serious engage-your-mind reading and reflection on this subject. This is not the one-minute read followed by "now I can get a tattoo!" sort of thing. He covers all the potential bases, some of which you likely never knew existed.
(2) I found fascinating the history of how various kinds of bodily marking and tattoos have been viewed by Christian cultures throughout history. Admittedly, Scott probably should reveal that there's more ebb than flow (more of a negative view toward the practice throughout history) - nevertheless, that there is even some very positive views taken by Christian leaders in different historical periods is interesting.
(3) I also appreciated that this is written by someone who is inked. I think he is particularly fair, asks good questions of the reader, and the insights he shares at the end re: his experience with tattoos was revealing to yours truly.