Christians should be leaders and examples but too often they are followers of every silly trend that comes down the pike. Of recent years it is body piercings and tattoos and these practices are dangerous, dirty, disgraceful, and dumb. Very dumb.
There is ample evidence that humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent markings have been prompted by various motives such as status symbols, religious beliefs, proof of ownership, declarations of love as seen in ostentatious “Mother” tattoos. Or, like the Hollywood couple who had their names tattooed on each other’s rear but broke up before they got to the marriage altar!
The discovery of the “Iceman” (who had 61 tattoos) from the area of the Italian-Austrian border in 1991 has convinced experts that tattoos are even older than first thought, going back 5,200 years. Tattoos on women as displayed on figurines go back to about 4,000 B.C.
It has been long believed that only prostitutes were tattooed and were designated as “dancing girls” but many of the “dancing girls” were buried where the elite were buried. Others think tattoos protected women during childbirth because of the location of the markings.
The Greek historian Herodotus (“Father of History”) died 425 B.C., stated that among the Scythians and Thracians “tattoos were a mark of nobility, and not to have them was testimony of low birth.”
Accounts of the ancient Britons likewise suggest they too were tattooed as a mark of high status, and with “divers shapes of beasts” tattooed on their bodies, the Romans named one northern tribe “Picti,” literally “the painted people.”
Ptolemy IV who ruled Egypt from 221-205 B.C. was tattooed with ivy leaves to symbolize his dedication to the Greek god of wine. This was adopted by Roman soldiers and spread across the Roman Empire until the appearance of Christianity. With Christianity tattoos were thought to “disfigure that made in God’s image” and were banned by Emperor Constantine.
Many experts in theology and history, such as Charles Erdman, James Freeman, and Naves Topical Bible, reveal that both cutting and tattooing were done by the heathen, and so God forbade His people from doing so in imitation of them. God has always demanded there be a difference in His people and everyone else, but it seems there is not much difference in this day.
Evidence for tattooing is also found among some of the ancient mummies dated to about 1200 B.C. found in China’s Taklamakan Desert, although a thousand years later it seems that only criminals were tattooed. It was also an ancient Japanese tradition to tattoo convicted criminals.
In some parts of Britain, before Christ, adulterers and other “bad characters” were punished with tattoos. Some military branded troublemakers and deserters and later tattooed them with a “D.”
The National Geographic News reported that 15% of all Americans have tattoos and the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT) estimates over 39 million Americans have a tattoo.
My immediate question is why would anyone want to put markings, even “beautiful” marks on their flesh and a 2003 survey in the U.S. among females said they “feel sexier” (34%), and overall “feel more rebellious” (29%).
One man in a photo has tattoos covering his whole body from his neck down. Many years ago that might be seen in a circus but not in normal life. The word “freak” comes to mind. One preacher even had his body covered with Bible verses. What a perversion of the normal Christian life.
The motives for getting tattoos are many: some do so because they are followers and it happens to be trendy to have a tattoo. Some think it is manly or womanly. While others want to draw attention to themselves because of insecurity. Still others are doing it to express their rebellion. It is no surprise that 75% of prisoners have tattoos. The Bible teaches that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
My big objection is that tattoos have always been associated with magic, death, demons, witches, and the underworld. The demon-possessed man in Mark 5 was wild, naked, and had cut himself but when he came to Christ, he was dressed, calm, and “in his right mind.”
One thing tattoos are not and that is biblical. Lev. 19:28 reveals “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” That’s reason number one.
Famous witch and author Laurie Cabot writes of tattoos: “The origins of tattooing came from ancient magical practices. . . “
Rolling Stone Magazine says of Paul Booth, famous tattoo artist, that his work is for those who
“. . . love death, perversion, blasphemy and torture” (Rolling Stone, March 28, 2002, p. 39). The article says that during his artistry he allows “his clients’ demons to help guide the needle.” Booth’s website boasts of his mission: “Spewed from the depth of Hell, Paul’s mission has been to reconfigure human hides and spread divine declarations of Blasphemy.” That should be reason enough to eschew tattoos. That’s reason number two.
Death and darkness have always been a major tattoo theme specializing in skulls, snakes, demons, dragons, etc. Christians must specialize in light, life, and love, not darkness, demons, and death.
Tattoos can be an indication of major emotional problems as reported by two psychiatrists. Drs. Robert F. Raspa and John Cusack who dealt with tattoos in their Psychiatric Implications of Tattoos declared that the mere presence of a tattoo (not its message) is evidence that “correlates with certain diagnoses.” They add that any tattoo can be viewed as a warning sign that an attending physician should consider in making a medical diagnosis of mental disorders. They reported “a strong association in males between tattoos and homosexual orientation, sexual sadomasochism, bondage or fetishism.”
Drs. Timothy A. Roberts and Sheryl A. Ryan wrote “Tattooing and High-Risk Behavior in Adolescents,” in Pediatrics, in which they reported, “Tattooing in adolescents was significantly associated with sexual intercourse, substance use, violence and school problems….” Dr. Roberts has a tattoo and did the study to prove that people with tattoos are being stereotyped. His research changed his mind! He said, “I was more than a little surprised at the result.” That’s reason number three.
According to research published in the Journal of School Health, 70 percent of 642 adolescents surveyed in a study reported hemorrhaging while being tattooed. That’s reason number four.
Underneath that “harmless” tattoo is a very serious risk of acquiring a deadly blood-borne disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, tetanus, syphilis, tuberculosis and other blood-borne diseases. An alarming research study published by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas revealed that the “innocent” commercial tattoo may be the number one distributor of hepatitis C!
According to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery (ASDS), over 50% of everyone receiving a tattoo wants it removed. So, don’t get one.
That colorful, silky butterfly on your breast may be attractive at age 20 but by age 70 it just may look like a sick buzzard.
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.