Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Tattoo Observations

I'm probably stepping in a mine field here, but I've mentioned it before and it's in the news again. So I'll exercise my right to express myself on a very irritating subject.

I'm getting really, really, REALLY tired of the tattoo fad that's been plaguing America in recent years. In my childhood, you might see one on the arm of a man who'd been in the service, or on a motorcycle gang-banger. However, the practice was frowned on by most people. Christians and churches especially frowned on the practice, as God clearly expressed His feelings about it in Scripture . . . You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:28).

One reason for this Mosaic Law commandment was the fact that Israel (the people of God) were to be set apart and holy, distinct from the pagan, unbelieving nations around them. The nations around Israel engaged in all sorts of revolting practices, including child sacrifice, body-cutting (check out the scene in 1 Kings with Elijah on Mount Carmel for an example) sexual sin and a host of other fun.

Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, but I think that God's distaste for this ought to carry some weight. If God is anything, He is consistent. I saw in the news recently that teen singer Justin Bieber subjected himself to the tattoo needle on his midriff. But he had the word "Jesus" tatted on himself, so I guess that makes it okay. He'll live to regret it.

I have a very hard time understanding the muddled thought processes of people who think they're bringing God glory by doing things He has forbidden. They will argue this to the end degree and use all sorts of clever little twisting arguments to justify what they do. It's sad. The bodies God gave us are remarkable, beautiful creations. Why we think we have to carve them up, draw on them and make ourselves look like cave paintings is beyond me.

Even leaving the moral/biblical/obedience/witness/example considerations aside, it just looks hideous. Especially on a woman. And wait until those who are covered from skull to toe in tattoo ink begin to age and wrinkle. What's hideous now will then be nauseating then.

My hope in writing this is to hopefully stop some young skull full of mush from disfiguring their God-given bodies before it's too late. I can't do anything about those who have already taken the step. When they live to regret it, tattoo removal is a long, expensive and painful process. To be clear, I am not saying having tattoos will keep believers out of heaven. If I've stepped on your toes, my motivation has not been to carelessly insult you or pain you. I just hope I can help keep at least one person from ruining their body for the rest of their life.

In closing, I've often wondered why we've seen the sudden surge in tattooing over the past several years. I have to wonder if it isn't connected with the last days and the general spiritual deception predicted before the return of Christ. The Antichrist will one day cause . . . all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (Revelation 13:16-18). We've got a cute little fad, with some even putting tattoos on their infants. That means desensitization toward the practice. A whole generation ready, willing and able to take a mark on themselves without giving it even a second thought.

Speculation, of course, but plausible. And sad.

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