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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Sam
My answers to all these kinds of questions are from a pastoral rather than dogmatic stance. I would resist the temptation to 'lay down the law' in these things but would try encourage any who were contemplating piercings to think about their motivation.

However distasteful these things may be to us older folks (or even to 29 year old striplings) we should avoid bans or condemnations and I think encourage folk to regard their bodies as 'not their own' but for the Lord.

Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. [color=0000FF]Now the body is[/color] not for fornication, but [color=0000FF]for the Lord[/color]; and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10:23


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Ron Bailey

 2004/3/15 17:43Profile
Zapthycat
Member



Joined: 2003/8/5
Posts: 75
Livermore, CA

 Re:

While it is true that some piercings such as the ear was ordered for bondservants, I do not think that has in any way any relevance for today. I remember when I got my ear pierced many years ago... I was living in rebellion to my parents and God, it was a mark of sin upon me, and sin caused me to get it. I looked for justification for it, and some of my christian friends told me it was a mark of a bondservant. There's *NO WAY* I could have used that, because if I were a bondservant to God at that time, I would not have gotten a piercing.

Even in that state, however, I was disgusted by the thought of getting a tattoo on my flesh. The ear piercing would leave a tiny hole and perhaps a miniscule scar forever, whereas a tattoo would be a large scar far more noticable, a cause of personal shame to me, even if my sin was forgiven and forgotten by God.

I don't condone in any way, piercings either. Aside from them being completely fruitless and purposeless, the NT rules for wearing modest apparell and *NOT* Gold and costly array speak against this.

And finally, the churches I attend preach holiness and separation from the world, how could I justify myself as holy (inward or outward, I do believe that outward holiness counts... how could you be holy inwardly if you don't show it outwardly?) if I, as a christian, got these marks of the world upon me?

And I will take one moment to say again, if you have made the mistake of getting a tattoo on your body, then once you repented, you lost that sin, and unless YOU are personally convicted of it remaining on your body and want to spend the $$$ for surgical removal, then I don't see a need to remove it. God doesn't see it, it could simply remain as a reminder of the sin you came out of, and you can glorify God that you aren't in it anymore. I look at my former earring-hole and shake my head, but can't help but thank God I'm not in that place anymore.

My real issue is with some of the people that love to mix unrightousness with rightousness, and get a tattoo of Jesus or something. I know a girl that got a tattoo of three spheres next to each other and she tries to witness to people, they'll ask "what is that?" and she says "the body, soul and spirit of a person". It falls flat on the ground because she does something that grieves the holy spirit instead of minister to others in any way.

I hope no one thinks of my strong words as judging anyone else... once you are a new creation, you are simply that.... new.


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J. Wilson

 2004/3/15 22:42Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Hi all, thanks for the feedback.

I asked that question about ear piercing because the discussion on tatto reminds me of how women having ear piercing is widely accepted in the Western society--I mean, my wife wears earrings, and no one has a problem with that. So I was wondering how [i][b]cultural acceptance[/b][/i] fits into the picture. Are we holding [i][b]double standards[/b][/i] and are we being [i][b]inconsistent[/i][/b] when we allow for piercing for earrings and not tattoo?

My general attitude on all similar issues is to look at the heart, not the appearance. I neither condemn, nor encourage.


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Sam

 2004/3/16 9:10Profile
Zapthycat
Member



Joined: 2003/8/5
Posts: 75
Livermore, CA

 Re:

"reminds me of how women having ear piercing is widely accepted in the Western society"

I am very much against this as well. It can be accepted in western society, but western society is going to hell! Just because western society accepts it doesn't mean that it belongs in the church. I believe it to be a matter of holiness (and modesty!) that we are not to put on expensive apparel, wear gold (except in the case of wedding rings) or jewelry, nor mutilate our bodies. I consider tattoos and any piercings to be mutilating our bodies in an unnatural way.

I see and view this website as a gathering place for radical believers who desire to set and see the world set on fire. Yes, my views may be a bit radical when compared to most of christianity this day, but I do not think that Ravenhill, Tozier or any other "revival speaker" on this site would object to my views. I believe that we should be holy, separate from the world, both in spirit and in manner and even in dress. I don't believe we are supposed to act like the world or look like the world, go where the world goes or watch what the world watches.

That's my take. Simply a matter of holiness.


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J. Wilson

 2004/3/21 5:36Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: Earrings and Tattoos

Quote:
Zapthycat wrote:
"reminds me of how women having ear piercing is widely accepted in the Western society"

I am very much against this as well. It can be accepted in western society, but western society is going to hell! Just because western society accepts it doesn't mean that it belongs in the church. I believe it to be a matter of holiness (and modesty!) that we are not to put on expensive apparel, wear gold [b](except in the case of wedding rings)[/b] or jewelry, nor mutilate our bodies. I consider tattoos and any piercings to be mutilating our bodies in an unnatural way.

Certainly the cited view is more consistent in applying the same principle to both ear piercings [i]and[/i] tattoos than allowing for one and not the other.

However, even in your application of 1 Peter 3:3 ([i]"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes"[/i]), I do note that you have allowed for the exception of [b]wearing a wedding ring, which obviously is a cultural practice as well.[/b] If western society is "going to hell," and if you want to be "radical" all the way, why should you make such an exception?
Quote:
I believe that we should be holy, separate from the world, both in spirit and in manner and [b]even in dress[/b]. I don't believe we are supposed to act like the world or look like the world, go where the world goes or watch what the world watches.

I appreciate your heart to be holy and to separate from the world. However, I do wonder how we could separate from the world [b]in dress[/b]? Is there a special dress code that Christians wear? Or should we wear robes and sandals like Jesus? Who draws the line between the godly and the world?

Ultimately, what I am getting at here is: a simple "no" to questions like earrings and tattoos are prone to falling into legalism. [b]I still think it's best to let the Spirit inwardly lead each individual in trivial matters like these.[/b]


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Sam

 2004/3/21 21:29Profile
Zapthycat
Member



Joined: 2003/8/5
Posts: 75
Livermore, CA

 Re:

"let the Spirit inwardly lead each individual in trivial matters like these."

I personally don't take them to be trivial matters. As far as dress, the bible is pretty plain when it talks about modesty. Obviously, you can't reasonably dress too out of whack with society... you could go "amish" but that's a little out there. Basically, modesty says a lot. It's biblical, and it's definitely seperating yourself from the world. Modesty, in my opinion, isn't just not showing too much skin, but also not wearing anything flashy or too tight, or even clothes that identify you with certain types of... groups, such as gang symbols or hippie clothes. Obviously, that leaves a lot of room for debate, but that's what I believe.

As far as wedding rings, you read about people wearing rings in scripture. They weren't regarded as jewelry, they were regarded as a symbol of something... like in the story of the prodigal son, and Judah and Tamar, it's a symbol of wealth or social standing, something almost like a credit card. I don't regard them as jewelry because they are a symbol of the sanctity of marriage. Back in biblical days married women dressed differently than single women, nowdays they don't, so it's a perfectly acceptable symbol of the marital covenant. I explained this to my fiancee, she was against wedding rings because her (worldly) mother wore many gaudy rings as jewelry, she didn't want to be like that. But I explained to her that wedding rings are -Not- jewelry, they are symbols of marriage, and people should have them because it lets others know that they are off limits.

I know of an evangilist that also was a door-to-door salesman, he didn't believe in wedding rings... until he was propositioned by a woman. Her response? "Well you didn't have a wedding ring on, so I thought you were available". He quickly began wearing a wedding ring. Maybe guys don't notice it, but as for single girls, the first thing they notice on a man is his left ring finger... I guess guys just don't think that way.


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J. Wilson

 2004/3/22 4:04Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
I personally don't take them to be trivial matters. As far as dress, the bible is pretty plain when it talks about modesty. Obviously, you can't reasonably dress too out of whack with society... you could go "amish" but that's a little out there. Basically, modesty says a lot. It's biblical, and it's definitely seperating yourself from the world. Modesty, in my opinion, isn't just not showing too much skin, but also not wearing anything flashy or too tight, or even clothes that identify you with certain types of... groups, such as gang symbols or hippie clothes. Obviously, that leaves a lot of room for debate, but that's what I believe.

I have no problem with modesty as a [b]general principle[/b]. However, even your response betrays the fact that it is not always easy to set the boundary when you try to bring the principle down to the level of [b]regulations[/b]. Therefore, I suggest that instead of regulating everyone else's dress code and piercings and tattoos, we focus on things like cultivating a godly character. Inward transformation will naturally bring forth changes in outward behaviour.

The example of the wedding ring reveals a problem in your line of argument. On the one hand, you assert that "the western society is going to hell" (the answer in response to my question about the role of [b]"cultural acceptance"[/b]); yet on the other hand, you allow for the exception of the wedding ring on the basis that it is "a symbol of the sanctity of marriage," which of course takes on this meaning precisely because it is an accepted [b]cultural practice[/b] in the West!

We risk being Pharisees when we regulate the behaviour yet fail to nurture the inner life. Why not let the believers follow their own conscience in matters concerning the apparels?


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Sam

 2004/3/22 11:14Profile
shazbot
Member



Joined: 2004/2/11
Posts: 60
USA

 Re: tattoos

While I cannot offer any scriptural argument that has not already been presented or discussed, I can offer you the advice of my youth pastor/uncle regarding tattoos, piercings, and motorcycles: Wait until you get married, and if your spouse wants you to have one, get a nice one. And however extreme your appearances and behaviours, your faith must be even more outspoken.

 2004/3/23 13:58Profile
MonoKnuck
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Joined: 2004/3/23
Posts: 3


 Re:

http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?passage=REV+19&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on&showxref=on

Rev 19:16 Jesus has a tattoo. And a cool one at that. I have a friend with "Disciple" on his back in Hebrew. We do youth and college ministry. By coming to them like Jesus breaking the steretypes of non-biblical law, we earn our right to be heard among them. Just as Matthew Mark Luke and John presented the gospel in different ways to different cultures, so must we. As far as Leviticus goes, Jesus said the law will will remain until its purpose is achieved (mat 5:18). when he died he said "it is achieved." the law about the tattoos was meant to distinguish and separate the isrealites from their surrounding pagan cultures... just like most of the other law. Jesus came to bring us freedom from the law through grace. While we still do submit to NT law, and matters of our own holy spirit driven consciences, God's people's purpose is to integrate with the pagans under the power of the word for the salvation of all who believe, first it was for the jew, then for the gentile.
It is certainly true that our bodies are temples to God. But who are we to to tell God what is disgracing a temple? Take my friend for example. Step back and look at it without your own biases: as a decoration of the temple.

 2004/3/23 15:07Profile
shazbot
Member



Joined: 2004/2/11
Posts: 60
USA

 Re:

MonoKnuck, I have used that argument before when discussing tattoos, but then I realized I was in error: there are two things which preclude this argument.

1. God is unchanging. To say that Jesus has a tatoo is to imply that at one time, Jesus did not have that marking. After all, we as humans have abnormal markings from birth, but we call them birthmarks, not tattoos, because we were born with them. The marking on Jesus is not a tattoo, it is a birthmark.

2. Remember that this is not likely Jesus as He truly is, it is a [i]vision[/i] of Jesus that John of Patmos had. God is immaterial and (though we don't truly know) it is not likely that a physical Jesus is seated in heavenly places, but instead a Jesus made of Spirit, not of flesh.

So, as much as I personally would like this argument to be valid, I do not feel that it is.

And:

Quote:
But who are we to to tell God what is disgracing a temple? Take my friend for example. Step back and look at it without your own biases: as a decoration of the temple.



But who are we to impose decorations of our own choosing on property that is not our own? Do not tell God how to decorate His house.

 2004/3/23 16:33Profile





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