Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tramp Stamp at Church Camp

Tattoos as an Expression of Christian Worship

I wrote on the message board a few years ago how our 12 year old neighbor attended a Word of Faith summer camp where the counselors drew tattoos on the children.  Some counselor had actually drawn a tattoo at the base of this young girl's spine (what the world calls a "tramp stamp")...and the Christian parents where fine with it.

Restrictive Christians go too far and name everything a universal sin, forbidding some cultural activities that the Bible does not, such as listening to certain music styles, getting tattoos, watching movies, smoking cigarettes, consuming alcohol, and body piercing.” Page 103 of the Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll

You are free in Christ to be weird… How about this one, tattoos? How many of you grew up in that fundamentalist church where they told you about the one verse on tattoos?  Where is it? What book? Leviticus! All these dudes in the front are twitching! Dudes with tattoos! Leviticus, Leviticus! Because a youth pastor said don’t get a tattoo.  It's right here in Leviticus: don’t get a tattoo.  OK. But the thing is if you read the whole context it actually doesn’t apply—it's old covenant, not new covenant, so Jesus has fulfilled the law. Additionally it’s talking about priests marking their body thereby identifying themselves with paganism, so I don’t think it really applies. You can disagree with me that’s fine… Let me just say our position is that tattoos are not a sin, right. Jesus Christ is going to have a tattoo—Revelation says on his second coming. It says that down his right leg will be written King of Kings and Lord of Lords, which will be really freakish for all for the fundamentalists to see Jesus all tattooed up. I can’t wait for that day… Make sure you go to a good tattoo parlor, two of the best in Seattle are actually members of Mars Hill… go in there for a biblical new covenant tattoo, is what we would recommend.” Mark Driscoll sermon entitled The Weaker Christian

Now I have never before quoted Mark Driscoll (and likely will never again).  However, his false statements support a lot of what people believe in the area of body mutilation (i.e., tattoos).

The following videos review whether such practices are biblical or Godly.  I will say that the beginning of the first video threw me off; largely because I had no idea what LeCrae (a Christian hip hop artist) looks like.  I thought it was someone Bro. David was endorsing.  So this is a heads-up that the first video from Pastor David Williams starts with an intro from LeCrae endorsing tattooing.   The next video is an overview of the book "What's Behind the Ink?" by Min. William Sudduth.


  1. So true!

    There is a great article on this very subject at this website.

    Though I don't agree with everything on the author's website, the article on Christians getting tattoos is right on!!!



  2. I wish I could get rid of my tattoos. Perhaps I will have the money to do so one day. I sincerely regret getting them and remember when I was 18, my grandmother pointing me to that verse about not marking your body. I foolishly did it anyways. May God bless you and keep up the good fight!

  3. Hello,

    I enjoyed your posting. I have a question that is not directly linked to this posting. However, it came to my mind to ask you because I enjoy your postings.

    Well...yesterday in church I was moved by the holy spirit and I became "emotional". The choir ministered to my spirit with the lyrics of the song. And as always the congregation usually sit in their seats very conservatively. I was moved to go to the front of the church to kneel and pray. Anyhow, I can recall how people were looking at me as if I was crazy to kneel and pray. The worship service at my church is very organized and structured. Do you have any postings on altar calls for people going to the altar/front of church to pray or worship? The reason that I ask is that I do indeed love the teaching but sometimes I want to worship God in a different way when I assemble myself with other Christians. Thanks for you time.

  4. I fully believe that Christians will continue to endorse this belief that getting tattos is okay until the restrainer is taken away. As long as the demons are being restrained from fully manifesting themselves - people will continue to rebel against God thinking that in doing so - they are allowe to indulge in their fleshly desires because they are now "free".

    But Mark Driscoll gave himself away when he stated that the priests were not supposed to get tattos because tattoing is associated with paganism. Meaning - that tattoing is a pagan art, further meaning that paganism is really satanic/anti-christ. And that still holds true for today.

    Our bodies are the temple of the living God, not of demons. We are instructed to abstain from idols. And by tattoing ourselves all we are really doing is lifting ourselves up and glorifying ourselves as idols instead of the Holy and living God.

  5. I think a lot of this boils down to what you wrote about in a previous post about following the letter of the law. I do not remember the exact title.

    It is so important for us to be led by the Spirit in these issues especially when the command is given in the Old Testament and not cleraly discussed in the New. If we rely on the one Scripture that refers to tattooing and take that in context as LeCrae and Dricoll say, we may as well tattoo everything from the rooter to the tooter.

    Its a shame how far people will go to appease their carnality.

    I foolishly got at "tramp stamp" in college. I didn't care one iota what the Word of God said about it...I was going to church faithfully and everything. But then again, everyone else I went to church with was doing it. How about that? SMH.....

    Lord I pray that my daughter grows up to have a lot more sense than I did.

  6. Hi Tika,

    You are certainly right that we must be led by the Spirit in these things, for one can erroneously take "law" and use it to bind others. Yet, not only will the Spirit advise us of how to use the law "lawfully" (I Timothy 1:8), He will also give us wisdom about the spiritual realities behind aspects of the law.

    The thing that a lot of people do not realize is that tattooing is a form of ritual dedication to demons spirits (a blood sacrifice). This is why it is so prevalent in pagan cultures. While there is not a specific reference to tattooing in the New Testament, there are admonitions about fleeing idolatry, even as it relates to how we maintain the temple of God (our bodies).

    A young girl shared with me the other week that she regretted getting her tattoo. My thought was she merely has an outward sign of what was the inner condition of our souls before coming to Christ. Having received one will not prevent a person from being saved, but now where there is wisdom, we become accountable to the truth. We must no longer walk after the ways of those around us in the world, but possess our vessels in sanctification and honor.

    I am not sure that I understood your comments about LeCrae and Driscoll, but I felt that the comments of these men were not sound. Driscoll's comments themselves I found close to blasphemy, while I just think LeCrae is in error.

    As you say, may we be led of the Spirit in all things. While all things may be lawful for us, may we not be brought under the power of any but the Lord Jesus.

    God Bless!

  7. Hi Anonymous,

    I have been in environments where worship is different. As a former Catholic, I don't know that things can get more conservative than that.

    While it is surely possible to be filled with God's Spirit without being "emotional", I would agree that you do as the Spirit leads. If He leads you to kneel and pray, then absolutely do so.

    God is a God of order and is not the author of confusion, but that doesn't mean that we have to be stoic to worship Him. Just make sure that it is the Holy Spirit actually moving you and not another spirit which may just be trying to get attention. I have seen that before too.

    Don't quench the Spirit, but make sure it is the Holy Spirit. :-)

    God Bless!

  8. Hello Latter Days,

    Thank you so much:-)

  9. Hello All,

    I wanted to point out one more thing about the comments by LeCrae & Driscoll in support of tattooing.

    As Emily noted above, they both seem to agree that the reason tattooing was forbidden in Leviticus is because it was an act of pagan worship.

    So WHY then do they think that has changed? It has not. Tattooing is still a form of pagan worship.

    Yet, people like these two will often say things like, "I didn't get a tattoo to worship false gods. I got a tattoo for a completely different reason or even to honor God Himself in my body."

    The problem here is that it is assumed that we cannot worship in ignorance. It is thought that since worship of false gods was not "my intention" when I got the tattoo, then it is not "my reality". This is a false understanding.

    The Scriptures say we are servants of whomever we obey.

    "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16

    Whom are we obeying when we get tattoos? It is not the Spirit of God. By our actions, we demonstrate allegiance/obedience to the unclean spirit which inspires us to do what God says we must not do. An again, I am not merely speaking of the "law", but understanding the spiritual realities behind the law.

    At Mars Hill (which I think is completely appropriate for the name of Driscoll's church since he endorses all kinds of idolatry), Paul told the people that he would reveal to them the unknown God they were worshiping in ignorance (Acts 17:23).

    The Scriptures say that God's people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Just because we may not be consciously worshiping demons when we get tattoos does not mean such is not the reality of the act.

    Just as LeCrae & Driscoll admit, tattooing was a form of pagan worship. Where they err is by assuming that this stops being a demonic ritual just because it was mentioned in the Old Testament. Instead, they teach in error on this topic and lead other into worship of demons, even if done in ignorance.

  10. Sorry, but I have to say one more thing.

    LeCrae says that the reference to our bodies being the temple of God is about fornication and nothing else. Now, it could be that the snippet of his comments does not reflect his full view in the matter, but I want to be sure that people are not misled by that statement.

    When the Word speaks of our bodies being the temple of God, it is not just an admonition against committing sexual sin. It is a much broader statement that should serve to keep us mindful that we are not our own (I Cor. 3:16-17; 6:15-20). We have been bought with a price. Our lives - including our bodies - are not just ours to do with what we please. We are called unto obedience of Christ. For example, when Jesus referred to His body being God's temple, He was not talking about fornication (Matthew 26:61; John 2:21).

    People are often so quick to dismiss the Old Testament teachings, but while we are not "under" the law, it would be foolish of us to disregard the wisdom in those teachings or fail to understand the spiritual "New Testament" realities which they are a type/shadow. No, we are not forbidden from eating Big Macs & french fries, but if we are wise we will eat with the goal of maintaining the health of our bodies, not just the indulgence of our flesh.

    Further, we also know that fornication can have a spiritual sense. When we join ourselves to spiritual harlotry (including the worship of demons), we commit spiritual adultery against God (Romans 8:5-9; James 4:4; I John 2:15-16). We are joined unto God via "one Spirit" and we become adulterers when we join to other (unclean) spirits.

    There is an article which might shed more insight here that goes into the righteousness of the law versus the righteousness of Christ: Seeking After Righteousness.

    Just remember that our bodies being God's temple does not just mean we need to abstain from physical fornication. The more we grasp the fact that our bodies are not our own, the less we will struggle with issues of disobedience to God.

  11. Hey Mia

    "If we rely on the one Scripture that refers to tattooing and take that in context as LeCrae and Dricoll say, we may as well tattoo everything from the rooter to the tooter."

    What I was trying to say with this above comment is if people believed what those two said then they would be justified in getting tattooed everywhere.

    I definitely disagree with LeCrae and Driscoll wholeheartedly! I hate that they are leading young people astray like this.

    Thank you for the additional understanding that you provided in your last two comments.

  12. Hey Tika,

    Thanks for giving further explanation. I just had no idea what "rooter" or "tooter" means...and I still don't! LOL Is that a young people thing?? :-)

  13. Hi I have been reading this blog for while bt this is the first time I blog;I just have question which is a bit off the topic; It is about dress code. I ready in 1 tim that we are to dress moderately; I think I dress appropriately and I have a few pants.I not sure what the bible means by moderately sometimes I think some of my dresses are short and everyone always tells me I am being a bit too much as they are ok.I have been told it does not matter what you wear as long as your heart is pure with the Lord but my bible tells me a different story and gives a guideline on how I am to dress and also tells me that the heart can be greately deceiful and the word of God is the dicerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.

  14. I hate my tattoos.

  15. Here is some more information on tattoos:


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