To Tattoo or Not too Tattoo, That is the Biblical Question

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES - Matt Sawdon covers Erica Armendariz's tattoo with plastic after working on her religious iconography at Sunday's 10:30 a.m. service at the Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek. Below left: Armendariz started her tattoo with religious images a year ago.  Tattoos at Mill Creek church pierce skin, soul

 A Mill Creek church invited its members to be tattooed during Sunday services.

By Nick Perry  Seattle Times staff reporter – November 23, 2009 

[Notes by DTW in Green – updated 1 Dec 2009.]

The sight of a woman being tattooed live on the altar accompanied by the sound of a buzzing ink gun provided a startling backdrop to Sunday’s evangelical sermon.

Your parent’s church service this was not. In the drive to stay relevant, the Gold Creek Community Church has been hosting a series called “Permanent Ink” that featured Sunday’s live-tattoo finale.

The Mill Creek church is not exactly staid – booming 20-minute rock sets launch regular sermons – yet the pastors acknowledge this series was pushing societal norms.

“We’ve said from the start that we are not advocating tattoos – nor discouraging them,” said pastor Larry Ehoff.

“We think of it as amoral. It’s neither immoral nor moral, it’s just the choice of a person.”

Ehoff said the church is telling the same story of Jesus as always, it’s just finding different ways to tell it.

Sharon Snell was one of several congregants who volunteered to be tattooed Sunday. At the noon service, she got on stage and faced away from about 150 parishioners while tattoo artist Matt Sawdon worked on the image of a police shield on her lower back.

It was Snell’s third tattoo and represents her husband’s work as an Everett police officer. Snell said last month’s shooting death of Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton forced her to confront the fragility of life and the dangers inherent in her husband’s job.

“Anything can happen at any time,” Snell said. “Him being an officer is a big part of my life and of who I am.”

As Snell’s tattoo took shape, pastor Dan Kellogg told the congregation that permanent markings, both good and evil, are mentioned in the Bible. The most famous symbol, he said, is “666,” the sign of the devil.

But there’s also mention in the Bible of markings on Jesus, saying he is the king of kings and lord of lords, Kellogg said.

Another congregant who volunteered was Erica Armendariz, who was getting work done on an arm tattoo she calls her “faith sleeve.”

“Surprisingly, I was not nervous to get up on stage,” she said, adding that the tattoo process, which in her case stretched through two sermons, was getting painful toward the end.

Tattoo artist Matt Sawdon said he’d never tattooed anyone at church before. Aside from the limited time he had during each sermon, he said, it wasn’t much different from a normal day’s work.

Last week, as part of the Permanent Ink series, a member of the church had a tattoo of Texas removed.

Because the equipment was too cumbersome to transport, parishioners watched a video of the process.

The man now lives in Washington, and he doesn’t see much need for the Lone Star State anymore.



Tattooing, carvings, cuttings, piercings, etc.  Throughout history has been seen as pagan practices.  God wanted Israel to separate from these practices.

Strict instructions to not mark your body in ANY WAY

Leviticus 19:28    “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.”

Your body is the temple of God

1 Corinthians 3:16    16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19    19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

You do not follow after the World, you abandon the things of this World

Deuteronomy 18:9    9  “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.

Sin is a stumbling blog for others – sends message that sin is OK.

1 Corinthians 8:9   9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

Associated with rebellion.  Rebellion is sin, Stubbornness is iniquity.  Satan rebelled against God.

1 Samuel 15:23     23  “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”


Many religions practice tattooing, carvings, cuttings and piercings for religious purposes / witchcraft

Tattoo Hindu GodHindu followers of Shiva or Vishnu (two manifestations of Brahma) could be recognised by the tattoo on their forehead, the former having three parallel lines and the latter a “V”

Hindus believed that a person dying without tattoos wouldn’t be recognised by his relatives in the world of the spirits.

Hindu devotees pierce their cheeks and other body parts with metal rods and needles to express their devotion toward Goddess Mariamman

Westerners are tattooing Hindu gods


Tattoo StigmataRoman Catholicism:  During the papacy of Boniface VIII-  1292,  A sanctuary was built called the Sanctuary of Loreto.  The tradition of tattooing in this area came from the stigmata of the saint to reproduce them symbolically.  The tattoos, were done on the forearms or on the hands.

Knights Templars took the marking of the “amorous” tattoo representing an oath sworn to God during the papacy of Sixtus V.  Sixtus V, came from Le Marche and belonged to the Order of Saint Francis.


tattoo cross

The Cross  is a very universal symbol used in many cultures and religions, including the Celtic cross, the Egyptian ankh cross, and many others.

tattoo crucifix


Crucifix is the cross representing Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.  But in reality it is the Eucharist Christ who’s mother is Mary the Goddess of Fertility.  tattoo sacredheart


Sacred Heart:  The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a French Roman Catholic nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learnt the devotion from Jesus in visions. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Christian mysticism.


tattooceltic-trinity-knotCeltic knots (aka mystic knot, endless knot) work really well as a tattoo design or part of a tattoo. The symbolic meaning of Celtic knots is not really clear, although some people attribute magical powers to the knots. The Celtic trinity knot is a very simple, but powerful symbol and very suitable for a tattoo. It is a triangle knot, the 3 corners have various meanings:

Celtic Trinity Knot Tattoo:

Christian: Father, Son and Holy Spirit   /  Pagan: Mother, Crone and Maiden    /   New age: Mind, body and spirit

tattoocrescentmoonIslam:  Koran forbids tattooing.  However Muslim pilgrims who go to Mecca or Medina will tattoo themselves. Muslims who indulged in this justify the practice by saying that before entering paradise they would be purified by fire, which would cancel their tattoos.

The crescent moon and star tattoo has a certain popularity as a tattoo design. It is the symbol of Islam and in a more political meaning also the symbol of the Middle East

Sudan, where Islam is widespread, black Muslims, would scar their cheeks with three lines, saying that Mohamed himself wore the same markings.


Arabic:  Another Arabic inspired tattoo design is the Hamsa tattoo. The Hamsa, aka Hand of Fatima or Eye of Fatima (Fatima is the daughter of Muhammad), is a symbol that protects against the evil eye.

Judaism:  The hamsa is also known in the Jewish culture, as Hand of Miriam. The hamsa is used on charms, painted on houses and… used as a tattoo design.


Egyptians loved to adorn themselves elaborately, and even restricted certain types of body piercings to the royal family. In fact, only pharaoh himself could have his navel pierced. Any one else who tried to get a belly button ring could be executed.

Fiji Islands:  the spirits of non-tattooed women were attacked by the souls of other women, cut to pieces and served as food to the gods

Eskimo women also treated their tattoos very seriously, believing them to be signs of divinity in the afterlife

Aztecs, Maya and some American Indians practised tongue piercing as part of their religious rituals. It was thought to bring them closer to their gods and was a type of ritual blood-letting.

Thailand:  A devotee of the Sapam Chinese Shrine in Phuket, will work himself into a trance prior to having his cheeks pierced multiple times with sharp steel rods, an assortment of weapons and other large implements during a religious Vegetarian Festival.

North American Indians had other types of religious tattoos as well. In a ceremony called the “ghost dance”, a tattoo was performed with ritual precision according to the indications received by the person to be tattooed, who falls into a state of trance during the dance and has a vision of a relative tattooed with the subject that he is to have on his skin.

tattoos sakyant-Buddism

Buddhism:  Sak Yant (aka yantra tattoos) is the art of sacred tattooing as done by Buddhist monks in Thailand and Cambodia. Sak Yant tattoo designs came from India together with Buddhism and were tailored by the Khmer. The scripts used for these tattoos are Pali and Khmer. The tattoos are meant for protection.



Om (aka ohm or aum) is the sacred syllable in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Every Hindu text begins with it and it is alsouttered before praying or doing puja (a ritual).

tattoo Mill Creek Church 2010333386Angel Tattoos:   The word angel comes from the Greek word aggelo, which means to pass along something new or to announce something. The word aggelos stands for the God Acolytes.  Angels are a link between heaven and earth. Angels belong to Judaist, Christian and Islamic traditions.

According to the Koran and the “Bible”, angels have the following tasks:   (DTW Note: see my notes below on what is true and what is not true.)

  • Bring messages to the people, warn them or bring the word of God.  (DTW note:  The Word of God is our messenger, the Bible brings the Word of God to us, nothing else with the guidance of the Holy Spirit)
  • Worship God.  (DTW note:  True, but they serve the one and only Living God who’s only begotten Son is Jesus Christ.  Today when someone says God, it could be any God, any Christ as there are many religions with a God and await their saviour.)
  • Angels serve and protect humans.  (DTW note:  Jesus Christ protects us.  Angels do not serve humans, they serve God only.  The only angel that will serve a human is a fallen angel for the sole purpose to deceive them and lead them astray – Satan appears as an Angel of light.)
  • They fight evil.  (DTW note: The Bible speak about the angels clearing the heavens before Jesus returns.  If they did fight we would not need Jesus Christ the Son of God as our Saviour and Jesus Christ is the one who delivers us from ALL evil.)
  • They carry out God’s orders (they do have a free will though, they can choose to obey or disobey, just like humans).  (DTW note: No, those angels who disobeyed were cast out with Satan in the beginning.  There are no angels that currently disobey.  On the other hand humans will be punished for disobedience and refusing to repent of sin and will go to hell WITH Satan – Hell was created for Satan and his followers.)
  • Angels guard heaven and hell. (DTW note: Guard heaven and hell?  No)
  • They keep track of all deeds done by every human being  (DTW note:  No, this sounds like something Choo Thomas would have written in her Heaven is So Real book.  Oh wait she did write this.)


And last but not least, let us not forget Todd Bentley from Freshfire Ministries who had no tattoos, then became a ‘Christian’ and then covered himself with tattoos.

Todd Bentley BEFORE he became a Christian
Todd Bentley BEFORE he became a Christian
Todd Bentley AFTER he became a Christian

Todd Bentley AFTER he became a ‘Christian”

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Burning Lamp

TDA, I hope you will consider Deborah’s words carefully and prayerfully and then go to your Bible and seek the Lord in prayer about this.

We are not under Law since Christ’s sacrifice. The Law could not cover every possible activity to avoid – much of it had to do with the culture of the times. For instance, the Bible does not mention refraining from smoking tobacco – but the verse about our body being the temple of the Holy Spirit tells us that this is wrong as it damages our bodies and puts us under bondage.
That is just one example; there are many others.


Again, I ask how this is different from the other laws that surround it in the same chapter of Leviticus. Do the laws concerning the kind of cloth we wear and the way we cut our hair hold the same authority as the one concerning tattoos? If they do not, what separates them from each other?

For instance, if the body is a temple should we not wear our hair (which is part of the body) as it is prescribed in the Torah?


Deborah, how judgmental. I have a tattoo, it is concealed nearly all the time, and most of my friends don’t even know that I have it. Am I ashamed? Absolutely not. A tattoo is deeply personal and mine is very meaningful. If you are going to cite some of the laws of Leviticus, you must not continue to dismiss others Also, did Paul not write that women should not braid their hair or wear jewelry? Context is so important. I believe Paul attempting to steer the church away from DISTRACTION. I can personally testify that my tattoo is not a distraction, rather, it is a content reminder of God’s redeeming grace. Just as we are taught to pray privately to avoid seeking attention for our self-righteousness, so we should avoid tattoos for superficiality. I am confident that when I die, my new body will be perfect and blemish free. But I don’t think my tattoo is a blemish, I think that Jesus will be proud that I was real, honest, and living toward my fellow man. I also think that nothing saddens Him more than to see non-believers turned off to Christianity by judgmental, holier-than-thou, hypocritical Christians. Paganism is not the participation in secular things (tattoos, alcohol, sports, philosophy, literature, music); it is the worship and faith in such things. And don’t even start on the alcohol issue, it was Jesus who turned water to wine.
BL, I made the decision to get a tattoo only after I prayed about it for 4 years. I don’t believe that it has damaged my body. And if it turns out that I’m wrong, I thank God for His perfect grace.


Couple of typos, sorry guys.

Constant, not content.
Loving, not living.

Burning Lamp

J. Paul was not forbidding women to make themselves attractive or dress up, but that they should be more concerned about their inner person than their outer person. If you were more concerned about your inner person you would not be so driven to get a tattoo on your body and you would not treasure it so. You are deceiving yourself. You have made your tattoo an idol. Think about it.


Daveabides…Cor chapter 15…sums it up…

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Let me elaborate on the above…

The law exposes (shows up) enlightens… sin. Sin has a strong tendency to hide…to duck and dive…to make excuses…to make compromises…to find the shortest cuts and to make things easy and comfortable…it seeks self pleasure at the cost of others.
The law (the law of the Spirit has set me free from the law of sin and death) therefore is a true Christians friend as it guides us and helps us avoid disasterous actions and the Holy Spirit further enlightens us to find spiritual sin and sins hidden in the heart…Jesus Christ gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and reassure and comfort and in this sense fulfills the law.
Mutilating your bodies with permanent hideous and tasteless drawings is not a wholesome witness to others. God gave us bodies that are perfect and tattoos are like grafitti…desecrating in a Christian context…the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Burning Lamp

Michael said:

Mutilating your bodies with permanent hideous and tasteless drawings is not a wholesome witness to others. God gave us bodies that are perfect and tattoos are like grafitti…desecrating in a Christian context…the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Well said!!! If one is listening to the Holy Spirit, one will be convicted that even tattoos of Christian symbols is wrong. That is a perversion of those things that are supposed to stand for the holy and making them profane. Think about it. That is pretty serious. And it is PERMANENT.


ALL THESE EXCUSES ….LAME EXCUSES …My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, does any body remember that ..what Jesus has told us ( 1 Cor 6:19). People want to add stupid body ink because they think its cool, they have something meaningful , they want a cross , a dragon , your best pal has one BUT its is all the work of satan the hoenner who wants to mark your body with a lot of “works of darkness” Just look at some of the tattoos i’ll send Debs some , and perhaps she can add some pics …. THAT IS THE ROOT OF TATTOOS


Hello Deborah! Is your blog up and running now? I see a comment from Anton that is dated Feb 23,2011, yesterday. I did not think that we could still post comments.


Really interesting discussions. A few people I can tell are SUPER anti tattoo, a few are anti tattoo but see it as personal choice, and a few a ok with tattoos. To be honest, I am a believer, I have a few tattoos and plan on getting more. I have studied the scripture, studied the history behind the scripture (like i see a few of you have, good to see people digging deep if they are going to have opinions :) ), and prayed about it. Tattoo’s are for life, and tattoo’s are part of the person, it is your own skin your are inking up. We are temples of Christ, and like any business, are accountable for what we advertise to the world. Do I think a large Dragon killing a Knight in a dark and cloudy background, or a Koi fish in a pond tattoo’d on someone arm glorify God? No, not really. Do I think I glorifies evil, deceit, or Satan? No, not really. Could it? Sure. Some anti tattoo people may say it advertises immorality, evil, or other suck ideas. What else do we wear, drive, live in, eat, drink, that do the same? It’s all an issue of judgement I say, which some of you have stated. And some people do just get tattoos cause they “look cool”. I believe the Lev. passage main point was to not forget who we are and who we serve, not a rule book. What about the passage that talks about not wearing clothing made of more than one type of material? lol. All of us Cotton/Polyester wearers are in deep trouble :). I do not see a tattoo of a vampire biting a woman as a “good example” for a christian. But I do see the finger tattoo “God’s Will” of Christian artist Mike Hranica as a great example of a Christian living and showing his love for our Father. Now, I’m not here to argue music preference, but for you more easy listening preference’d, even Steven Curtis Champman has tattoos.

For me, personally, every tattoo I have I can explain (one is a cross from my knee to my ankle, don’t really need to explain that one right? :P) and God is an explanation. A naked girl on a forearm that can dance with muscle movements does not show God’s love…..however my leg certainly does, lol. I understand some people do not like tattoo’s personally, my fiance is one example. And that’s ok. I don’t like it when women have short hair, especially older women with the “Q Tip head” hair cut ( <—an example), but I don't need to go quoting scripture about it……like 1 Corinthians 11:6 lol. It is a preference, I like the way long hair looks……but it doesn't matter cause its my opinion.

I think it really comes down to how a person interprets scripture, and how a person interprets history. God bless.

P.S. As a side note, if we are going to judge one another buy what we put on our bodies, some women need to lay of the makeup a little bit Sunday mornings. We get upset over a little tattoo hidden under clothing and let Tammy Faye (R.I.P.) lose on national television…..oh and by the way, her eyebrows were tattoo'd on lol (

Burning Lamp

Mike, have you ever considered that by patronizing a tattoo parlor you are being a poor witness? And you are a walking advertisement for tattoos (like Steven Curtis Chapman, not Champman) – any tattoos – maybe YOU have “good” ones, but others are tempted to have “bad” ones. If you need a tat to be a witness for Christ, you need to do a self-inventory. We show we belong to Christ by REJECTING the ways of the world. Tats are worldly – don’t fool yourself. It is not personal preference.

It is a mutilation of your skin, your body, your temple. Plain and simple. As Debs says read all the information.


Sorry Burning Lamp, I just have to disagree with you. I don’t need a tat to be a witness, but I do happen to have tats and witness. If mutilation of the skin is a sin, than can being fat be a sin as well? And patronizing a tattoo parlor, that would assume that I think tattoos are immoral, which I don’t. I don’t see tattoo’s any more immoral that wearing designer clothing, precious stones, etc. Also, me having tattoo may make people want bad ones? Ok then, I’m not going to play music anymore because people might write inappropriate lyrics, or I’m not going to play sports anymore because people might dope up on steroids. Or something more dear to my heart, as I’m about to get married, maybe me and my wife shouldn’t have sex because people might have premarital sex. I’m gonna stop eating cookies because people might overeat and get fat.

But you actually raise a great question. “We show we belong to Christ by REJECTING the ways of the world.” What isn’t worldly? What can we do without and live in this world and not get caught up in what some believe is easily evil? I feel like the closest thing we can get to being PHYSICALLY without the world would be to become Amish :). Can I make the assumption that you also see The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as evil because the story has “magic” and “witches”, even though they are heavy religious metaphors written by to very intelligent Christian writers? Does my admiration for those books promote evil? I’m afraid that Christ cares more about what’s in my heart than whats on my arm. If I get a demon tattoo’d on my arm I think people, let alone God, know about my heart. I’m not ashamed of what’s on my heart or my arm. I’m not without sin, please don’t take that as what I mean, but there is nothing about some ink in my skin that makes me ashamed. If you really want to peg me, I can have a pretty quick temper and struggle not letting the person I’m angry with know it, :P. Turing the other cheek has never been a strong trait of mine.

And Deborah, I did indeed read all the posts. I see opinions, but I do not see any arguments answered.

P.S. Ya sorry for the Chapman typo.

Burlning Lamp

Mike, there are certain activities that Christians should abstain from. Sorry, but your point about music and being fat are ridiculous. Of course, gluttony is a sin. Butto cocmpare eating food to getting tats is just plain silly. Also, we are to be discerning about the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and our behavior is to glorify the Lord.

As to to Tolkein and C.S. Lewis, and your belief that they are Christian allegorical writers is wrong. Debs has info on this site and there is ample info elsewhere for anyone with an open mind to see that neither of these men were even true believers.
For instance –

Back to tats, I have seen people who are obsessed w/tats and cover their whole bodies. It is absolutely grotesque. I know a young lady who walked away from the Lord for a time and got into the wrong crowd. She got a tat of a demonic skull right across her front just below her neck. It is ugly and something that she now regrets.
Those who get tattoos while in a backslidden state will forever have to live with them. Even those who flock to get laser surgery in an attempt to remove the tattoos will have to go through a lot of expensive and painful procedures, and yet the tattoo will never be totally removed and will just look ugly. Many who are foolish enough to get tattoos later regret them and hate looking at them.

Yes, Mike, we live in the world, but we are not to be of the world. The Bible clearly says that we are to be different from the world and by walking in the Spirit we will have discernment about that. Those who are in the business of tattoos are not doing a service that glorifies God and by patronizing them you are being a poor witness.

You are clearly confused – there is nothing of redeeming value in tattoos – it is a desire of your flesh.

Historically, the origin of the tattoo is associated with paganism, demonism, Baal worship, shamanism, mysticism, heathenism, cannibalism and many other pagan beliefs. The tattoo has NEVER been connected with Bible believing Christians.
Ronald Scutt, in his exhaustive book, Art, Sex and Symbol, covers a lot about the history and culture of tattoos. He documents that most of the time tattoos are associated with spiritual, religious and mystical purposes; linking it to mystical significance, sun-worship, serpent worship, and the sun-god Baal. Author Steve Gilbert, of Tattoo History: A Source Book, p. 99, records, “The Spaniards, who had never heard of tattooing, recognized it at once as the work of Satan.” Yet today’s gullible Christians are out there in droves “marking themselves for Jesus”! Pagan tattooing is not just from the dark ages: many body artists perform ritual tattoos today as the quotes from tattoo authors above bear witness. Some will burn incense or light candles. 1Cor. 10:21 says, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”
Throughout history, the tattoo was used to mark the criminal, adulterers, traitors, deserters, the deviant and outcast.
It is a well-known fact that tattooing runs a risk of acquiring any number of deadly diseases, including Hepatitis C and AIDS. The reason is because the needle that is used to tattoo punctures the skin 3,000 times a minute. In an hour, that would be 180,000 times that puncture wounds provide a potential path to a deadly disease. Not only that, but it is also well documented that tattoo shops are not regulated by the government to uphold medical standards.

The Bible expressly tells us to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (Jas. 1:27), to abstain from the appearance of evil (1Thess. 5:22), and that friendship with the world is enmity with God. (Jas. 4:4). We are instructed to come out from among them and be separate from the world. (2Cor. 6:17) Christians therefore have the responsibility to obey God’s commands and abstain from worldly associations, pastimes, or habits; not just out of duty but because we love God and have a living relationship with Him. (John 14:15). Please beware that ALL tattooing is wrong, not just the graphic stuff described above. It all has the same origin in paganism and is expressly commanded by the Lord that we are to avoid this practice at all costs!

Who really is the Master Tattooist? Satan, of course! (Rev. 6:8; Heb. 2:14). He is the author of Death; and the representative of Hell (Rev. 6:8; Matt. 25:41); also of the Serpent (Gen. 3:1; Rev. 12:9; Rev. 20:1-2); whereas Jesus is Life (John 1:3; John 6:48; John 11:25; John 14:6; Acts 3:15; Ro. 6:23; 1John 1:1-2; 1John 5:12).


As Anton said… lame.

Burning Lamp

Mike, I hope you will go here for a special message about tattoos. Then come back and let us know what you think.


On a lighter note..there is a tattoo that is beautiful and classy and a sight to behold and hear and that is the The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is an annual series of Military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams in the Scottish capital Edinburgh. The event takes place annually throughout August, as part of the wider Edinburgh Festival (a collective name for many independent festivals and events in Edinburgh in August).
I absolutely adore this…

Burning Lamp

I have actually attended the “tattoo” in Edinburgh – don’t know why they call it that. But you are right, it is quite the production and something that can be enjoyed by all. Oh I found out the origin – “The word “Tattoo” is derived from “Doe den tap toe”, or just “tap toe” (“toe” is pronounced “too”), the Dutch for “Last orders”. Translated literally, it means: “put the tap to”, or “close or turn off the tap”. The term “Tap-toe” was first encountered by the British Army when stationed in Flanders during the War of the Austrian Succession.”

Has nothing to do with the carving of images on the skin. But nice light touch to a heavy subject.


Burning Lamp,
That site on C.S. Lewis is very interesting thank you, seriously! I am getting a huge anti-Lewis vibe from it, lol, but some of the arguments are opinions again. For example, the Theology section can be interpreted several ways. I know arguments that debate Creationism, which is what I pick up from what little is argued on that page. To be honest, I don’t really have an opinion, and it has NO relevance on my faith. Even the argument on how actually long a day was in creation, was each day exactly 24 hours? Are days on other planets 24 hours our are the relevant to how fast a planet spins. Are we so mighty to think that God plans everything in the universe off of one planet? Again, I don’t think anything short of God is the master planner is relevant. But again really good stuff, but the “occult” reference to the Chronicles of Narnia books is a little out there, just my opinion though. To me, this is all religion and no faith, and to be honest I hate religion. Church (generalizing) is nothing but a business today.

Now for the tattoo site you sent me to…..”Studies have shown that Women who get Dragons tattoos become more Self Confident and Assertive”….I don’t believe ink in your arm changes your personality, I think you have that to begin with, lol. But really, some really interesting stuff here as well, I’m a bit of a history nerd. The one thing I did agree with this site is on Rick Warren. Nothing personal against him, but he pre-packages a LOT of sermons for a LOT or pastors today. His programs have kind of turned into a “out of time, quick fix, fast food” message and it’s kind of sad that some pastors and leaders are not searching themselves for how to lead a congregation, but just pick from a list and read it out loud Sunday mornings. And Social Security in the US was not a way for the government to give us an identity, far far from that. And with Revelations being a book full of allegories and symbolism, I really don’t see tattoos being the mark of the beast. I see a social security type system, world wide, as more realistic. Physically implemented though, is anyones guess, some think chips underneath our skin for example, easy to track and scan, and we have technology that powers itself via our own bodies available now. This is a little of topic, but my point is to find truth in gods word, its not always found face value. I believe we are to search deeper for truth. I don’t see why getting tattoos is any different than cutting our hair, according to the old testament. It’s all based on what really matters, whats going on inside. If tattoos takes our mind from God to ourselves, than I may not want to watch TV, play video games, play sports, admire art, heck or even spend time with nonbelievers. Maybe those Mormons out West have it right after all. I know I’m a worthless human being, and there is not one thing I can do that will put myself back in Gods grace before sin, let alone be any better of a person than you, or anyone else on this planet. But again, good information, I just kinda feel like the author stretched a little bit to make points.

I guess at the end of the day, you see brutal scarification, I see art (now I do take that with a grain of salt, I have seen some ugly, gross, and terrible tattoos, lol). I feel, and this is my opinion, that some try to way over simplify these issues, I don’t see this being any different than those that believe we shouldn’t associate with nonbelievers.

According to the old Testament we aren’t to eat pork….but churches have BBQ’s all the time :), here in the south anyway. Why not? Well, history shows because pigs are nasty, disease filled animals, yet today we know this and are able to safely raise and, I don’t think “cure” is the right word I’m looking for but I hope you see my point, these animals to consume. And like I said before, we aren’t supposed to mix 2 materials together in our clothing. Why? Because the material may break down a different speeds, perhaps failing faster than normal. Today, this obviously isn’t an issue today (unless your into designer jeans that are pre-ripped, never got that fad…). In my opinion, God wants us to do as much thinking and observation as we do reading. Some people don’t think quite enough.


I’ve fought with my weight all my life, don’t like the look of being prematurely grey and traditional eyeliner turns me into a racoon, looks I don’t care for. Therefore, I work out, color my hair and have eyeliner tatooed. Am I vain? Have I allowed myself to be dupped, influenced and misled by the world? I get my worth from the Lord, but will try to improve my health and stay appealing for my husband-to-be if so blessed.

Burning Lamp

Well, Mike all I have time for right now is a very short answer. Your hair grows back but you only get one skin. Our skin was never meant to be a canvas to be carved up or permanently painted. If you want to do art, pick another medium is all I can say.

Lots of people get tatts they regret later – if they had painted an obscene picture they could destroy it.

Seems pretty obvious to me.

This does not glorify God and that is to be our standard of behavior.

Burning Lamp

Shellbell, it seems to me that there is a big difference between putting permanent eyeliner on and putting images on the body. Eyeliner is something that women routinely wear and enhances their natural beauty. As for coloring the hair, that grows away in time.

That being said, it does seem that you are looking more to your OUTER beauty than your INNER beauty. The Bible says that it is the INNER beauty that is most important and downplays OUTER beauty.

Yes, we should keep our weight in check to honor the LORD and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Shellbell, some day the aging process will take away your youthful OUTER beauty – our society is obsessed with getting face lifts, tummy tucks, etc. to try and preserve a youthful appearance. That can easily become an IDOL.


Burning Lamp wrote:

Shellbell, it seems to me that there is a big difference between putting permanent eyeliner on and putting images on the body. Eyeliner is something that women routinely wear and enhances their natural beauty.

That being said, it does seem that you are looking more to your OUTER beauty than your INNER beauty. The Bible says that it is the INNER beauty that is most important and downplays OUTER beauty.

Haha, whoa whoa whoa. So, tattoos are ok now if they “enhance natural beauty”. That’s a bit based on preference, opinion, and bias don’t you think? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Dark/hollow eyes can be a sign of malnutrition, yet our culture in general likes this appearance.

And I still don’t agree with “Our skin was never meant to be a canvas to be carved up or permanently painted.” We shouldn’t pierce of ears either I’m to assume? No painting finger/toe nails.

And we can finally agree on something, Christ is more concerned with what is in our hearts.

All in all, I see irony in arguments against humanism and for individualism at the same time. It can’t be both ways.


you are correct. There are things that are an issue of faith and tatoos are one of them. if you get a tatoo in some sort of regard for the dead or cut yourself in regard to the dead, well of course that would be wrong. If Paul ate meat offered to idols in regard to the idols , that would have been wrong. In 1 Cor 8 i believe Paul addresses concepts of faith and liberty as well as in Romans 14, that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And we must always be in great consideration of making another stumble while seeking our Christian liberty.

There are those who believe that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas because of pagan roots(i do not know what the roots are personally, others may know) , but it is only wrong to the one who believes it is wrong because then they are willing to violate their concience to do something. That is where the wrong comes in, even if the act in itself is not wrong. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin the scriptures say. But on the other hand , if you are not observing any pagan ideologies and you do not believe it to be wrong to celabrate Christmas or get a tatoo, or wear makeupect ect then you have that liberty in the Lord and you are not wrong to do so. As long as you are not causing a brother to stumbe. Read the above mentioned scriptures, only read the chapters of 1Cor and Rom 14.

sometimes religion and traditions of the church become imposed on others.That was true when the scripture were being written as you will see when you read the afore mentioned chapters and it is the same today.

There are those who would disagree but read the scripture posted and let it guide what you do and don’t do.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x