to tat or not to tattoo?

April 10, 2007 at 5:28 pm (God thoughts, Random thoughts)

Several weeks ago the topic of alcohol consumption by believers was an immensely popular topic of conversation on this blog. There were some extremely heated debates that ultimately settled on (at least in my mind) the wisdom of such an indulgence.

Well I would be disingenuous if I didn’t apply the same logic to the permanent marking of one’s skin with ink. Consequently my stance on tattoos tends to be the same as my stance on alcohol. I generally ask the questions of 1) Motivation 2) Association and 3) Cost (both financial and physical).

Many of my loyal readers do in fact have tattoos, and for at least one of you this is a new experience (you know who you are). So let the debate in the den rage with this question… should believers get tattoos?

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66 Comments

  1. itsasecret2u said,

    Yes. Yes they should. πŸ™‚

  2. Matt S said,

    I have never felt the need to get a tattoo, I honestly do not understand the attraction.

    However, if someone does like tattoos I see no moral problem with them either and unless you can prove to me that getting inked will cause cancer, other health problems, and destruction of families I do not see the correlation between alcoholism and tattoos.

    That being said, I would like to hear from those who get tatted up what the attraction is? and what is the reason for it? I honestly do not understand this.

  3. Matt S said,

    Romans 14:13-23 is a great passage and I think applicable to all “gray” areas of faith including tattoos. This is dealing with food, but I believe the same rules apply to other areas.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%2014:13-23;&version=31;

  4. Alex said,

    For me it’s a reminder of who I am. It has also started dialogue with several people. They all want to know what Galatians 2:20 says. It’s beautiful.

    Galatians 2:20

    “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

  5. Albino Hayford said,

    Some time ago I purchased a bumper sticker that says, “Legalism Sucks”. I really enjoyed the irony in the statement, because, obviously those who would be offended would most likely be legalists or word police themselves. But after getting a good night’s sleep and hearing the dismay of my wife (who also drives our car), I decided to not apply the humorous sticker. Why not? Because of the “weaker brother” principle. A pastor with that bumper sticker on his car surely would have caused the weaker brother to stumble. I see tats the same way. Don’t do it — don’t offend the weaker brother. For what it’s worth, my wife tells me that in many companies (including General Motors where she was the payer), you will not be hired if you have a tat. I guess it shows up on a blood test. Something to think about.

  6. danielbalc said,

    In a sermon once I mentioned the tremendous irony of a tattoo that said, “not of this world”. This comment was taken offensively by some who had tattoos. It is quite possible that this post may be taken offensively by some of my inked up readers. but isn’t that even MORE ironic, that someone with ink could be offended?

  7. Alex said,

    Message to the weaker brother: Be weak no longer!!
    I guess it’s different if your in some kind of leadership role but even if you are it wouldn’t bother me. Does that mean I’m stronger?
    What I’ve found to be ironic is that most people that seem to be offended by my tattoo are those I would consider leaders or the “strong” in the Lord. Crazy huh?

  8. Albino Hayford said,

    I did, however, put another bumper sticker on my car that most people celebrate. It has a picture of a cowboy and a sunset and says, “…on earth as it is in Texas”

  9. Albino Hayford said,

    Alex, Would you want young Christians who look up to you to go out and get tats too? Is that the kind of thing you would like to see younger Christians imitate in you? And do you really believe that Jesus Christ would sit down with you in a tattoo shop and join in with you? Hmmmm…

    And does it bother you that the midget on Fantasy Island was named, “Tattoo”?

  10. Franky said,

    One of my motivations, although it may sound silly to many, was to get it AFTER I lost weight and got back into shape. I thought that it would help to keep me motivated to stay in shape and I do believe that it will do that.

    I agree with Alex. It is a reminder of who I am. It is something that will not change. Mine says “forgiven” and I have been! Right now, tribal tattoos are a huge thing. I don’t understand that, because what does the tattoo mean to them?

    I have people ask when I show them, why “forgiven”? It opens doors for conversation.

    As for the cost… I was on a jury for 24 days and got a $360 check. So, I took a portion of that. For the physical cost, I assume you mean the pain, correct? My boss, who is a Christian brother, said he was thinking about getting a crown of thorns as a re-commitment of his life. He said that he would be thinking of the pain that Jesus went through while he was enduring the pain of his tattoo.

  11. itsasecret2u said,

    I have wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. Seriously, from the time I was really little I always thought, “Yep, one day I’ll get one.” So why am I almost 25 and don’t have one? I decided to go the piercing route for my body modification instead, at least for a while. Before I put something on my body forever, I want to be sure it is what (and where) I want. So first it was my ears/cartilage in high school. I still have all of those, but rarely wear anything in them. Then came the tongue, though that lasted less than a week (I couldn’t talk because it swelled so terribly and my mother cried, so I felt bad and took it out). Then the nose a little while ago and I’m pretty happy with that. Anyway, piercings close up. I get to change my mind with those.

    Ironically, the fact that it is so permanent is the very reason I want to get one (someday, when I decide where I want it…). It makes a statement. If I get “David” tattooed around my finger under my wedding ring (yep, I am actually considering that one), it’s a symbol of my commitment to my husband, just like my actual wedding ring is. If I get “Forgiven” on my neck or back, it says something about the permanence of my commitment to God. Now, OBVIOUSLY you don’t have to do such a thing to have the same level of commitment. OBVIOUSLY. It’s just one way of expressing it. I don’t consider a persons’ faith any stronger than another’s because they do such a thing… it’s just another way of expressing it.

    But really, I’m over-analyzing it. I just like the way they look. I also like combat boots, black leather, and chains, so what do I know?

  12. danielbalc said,

    what does the Bible say about tattoos?

    Revelation 13:16-18
    He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

    I’m just worried that Franky’s new in shape body may be a tool of the anti-christ.

  13. Alex said,

    Daniel,
    I just hope Franky has a permit to carry around those “guns”

  14. itsasecret2u said,

    I can assure you that his new, in-shape body is only used for holy purposes.

  15. itsasecret2u said,

    Question: What about tattoos “causes a weaker brother to stumble?” I totally understand that reasoning with alcohol, but I don’t get it with tattoos. How would seeing a tattoo on a believer cause another person to sin? Because, shoot, if we have to stop doing everything that may or may not offend a “weaker brother,” we may just have to stop… well, doing anything. I thought causing a person to stumble was causing them to sin, not be offended. Maybe I misinterpret that statement…

  16. 5najeras said,

    What I never understood is how tatoos became an issue in the first place. How is it any different than Piercing your body or adorning yourself with gold? Why aren’t people questioned that have hearings and a gold necklace? Is it because the image that has in the past been associated with tattos is of non Christians? I’m pretty sure the growing number of Christians that have tatoos are changing that perception. Will this topic eventually become a thing of the past and join the topics of old such as: Christian women wearing jewelry or shorts and tank tops? I think to question if tatoos are bad or not is like questioning whether it’s ok to pierce your ears and not your nose. Not much of a difference than, say, dying your hair to me…
    BTW, Daniel I think you should get a Padres tatoo. πŸ™‚

  17. RubeRad said,

    I think the only reason not to tattoo would be if you thought that Lev 19:28 somehow had literal application today; for instance if any kind of tattoo automatically raised association with false worship. But in general, I believe that Christians are not called to that same kind of outward, anti-Canaanite purity and holiness that the Israelites were called to.

    I wouldn’t mind getting a tattoo myself, but I just can’t think of anything that I can be certain I’ll still want on my body in 50 years. Gal 2:20 is pretty close, though.

  18. Gregg said,

    Daniel, If it is alright with you, I would like to join your blog.

    I am a military officer and I have a tattoo. While in uniform you would never see my tat (or the one I plan on getting later) because it is not for anyone else.

    While in Seminary several people got tats with Greek or Hebrew phrases because it was “cool” that is not a reason to perminately mark your body. Mine has religious symbolism and it will always remind me of my roots, where I am now, and where I will be in the future.

    However, I would like to point out that when Jesus returns He will have our names written on his thigh. A tattoo? Hhhmmmm…..

  19. Echo_ohcE said,

    Let the record show this: our baptism is the permanent mark on us that we belong to Christ. To say that we need something else is to say that our baptism is not enough. If it is not enough, then let us look to the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us, because he is our deposit guaranteeing our life to come. If these things aren’t enough for you to remind you that you belong to Christ, you have weekly worship and the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Lord’s Supper. If this still isn’t enough, you may find assurance of your salvation in your love for the people of God. If all of this isn’t enough to remind you of who you are in Christ, then you are seeking a provision outside of what God has decided to give you in his Word. To get a tattoo to remind you of your identity in Christ is to seek something other than the biblical prescription.

    Now, if you want to get something other than something intended to remind you of your identity in Christ, very well, do as you like. But don’t seek in a tattoo what God has provided other means for. That’s only a manifestation of unbelief.

    For if God says that your baptism is what marks you as his, then it is so. If God says that the Spirit within you, who brings faith to you, and causes you to love the people of God, is your guarantee that you belong to Christ, then it is so.

    My question is, are you using a tattoo to remind you of who you are, or to help strengthen your faith in who you are? I would say it’s the latter, and you need to find your reassurance somewhere else, namely in those things that God has provided you. Don’t seek your assurance of your salvation in your ability to take a permanent mark on your body that declares your allegiance to God. God has told you where you should seek assurance. God has told you what he will use to grow you in your faith.

    Ladies, get your butterfly tattoo, men, get your heart with your wife’s name in it. I don’t care. But don’t take a permanent mark on your body that says that you belong to Christ, because that mark really says that your baptism in water and the Spirit are not enough to convince you, but you need this additional sign which God has not given, but you have made up yourself. That mark, far from being a mark of hope in Christ, turns out to be a mark indicating your hope in yourself, in your own commitment to Christ. Don’t hope in yourself, hope in the Word of God.

    It astonishes me how people will get a tattoo of Jesus’ face that covers their whole back, but they won’t get up in the morning to read their Bible.

    E

  20. RubeRad said,

    Maybe I should get a tattoo on my arm that says “Don’t forget to read your Bible”.

    Memento was an awesome movie!

  21. Pablo Honey said,

    Anyone ever watch the show Miami Ink? I am always impressed by the tatoo artists. It takes an awful lot of confidence to embed artwork into a persons skin, knowing that it is permanent. I think the permanence of the tatoo is the most significant factor in this debate. I remember hearing about a man who had a prison tatoo removal ministry. He would go to prisons and remove tatoos from inmates who regretted getting them, and in the process would share the gospel to them. And though the ink is cleared from their skin there are still scars left behind. It is very important that you don’t permanently mark your skin with something you may later regret. That is why I don’t personally choose to get a tatoo, but I am not offended by my Christian brothers & sisters who do. I just hope that those who choose to get them make a wise choice in what they put on their bodies. And yes, Memento is a fantastic movie and I would have no problem with anyone tatooing anything on their body if their memory was erased every night as they slept.

  22. Gregg said,

    Echo,
    I do not need to defend my decision about get a tattoo to you. Nor do I understand how you misunderstood the very clear thing I said. Nowhere did I mention I got a tattoo to remind me of my idenity in Christ or my assurance of salvation. Let me requote what was said I said it “reminds me of my roots, where I am now, and where I will be in the future.” Throughout Scripture people built markers to remind them what God did. There is nothing inherently unbiblical about it.

    Furthermore, how are you getting my tattoo equated with baptism? Especially in light of the salvific work baptism apparently is to you. As you said, “baptism is the permanent mark on us that we belong to Christ” and “baptism is what marks you as his”

    For me I am saved by Christ. Baptism does not mark me as His, His interaction with me does; however, I can see if someones theology says that, then a tattoo could be an offensive thing.

  23. danielbalc said,

    Rube you said,

    I think the only reason not to tattoo would be if you thought that Lev 19:28 somehow had literal application today

    you don’t think it has literal application today? What about the next verse does it somehow have literal application today?

  24. itsasecret2u said,

    Prostitution has more problems than the fact that it was associated with pagan worship back in the day (and still?). It violates God’s principles of holy sexual practices (i.e. only in marriage between a man and a woman). Someone prove to me that tattooing has any of the same, or similar implications.

    Incidentally, Daniel, do you ever cut the hair on the sides of your head or clip the edges of your beard? Your hair is pretty short, so I’d say you probably do. Oooopss… You seem to be violating the still totally relevant verse right before our favorite tattooing verse… Lev. 19:27:

    Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

  25. danielbalc said,

    I also am wearing a shirt made from two types of fabric (vs 19) but I’m not denying the application and relevance of the verses

  26. itsasecret2u said,

    So then what parts of the Law are we supposed to obey NOW as Christians? If you find that the verses are relevant in the sense that we are bound to obey them, why aren’t you?

    I don’t get what you’re saying… Are you saying that the verse is significant even if we don’t have to “obey” it? Well, I’d agree with that because I find that all scripture is significant in some way or another (whether in a practical, historical, prophetic, or some other sense, or a combination of the above). But do you think we are still held to this Law?

  27. Matt S said,

    I repeat NIV version….

    Romans 14- 22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    Matt’s paraphrased version:

    Do not force your beliefs in regards to these subjects on everyone around you, keep it between you and God. If you like tattoos get one, if you do not like tattoos do not get one. Do not feel condemned for what you believe is an acceptable practice, if you believe it is acceptable then do it with faith. If you are not comfortable with tattoos do not get one because everyone else is doing it, but only get a tattoo with a clear conscience and do not question if what you are doing is acceptable.

    Clear as mud, right?

  28. Franky said,

    Matt – Sounds kind of like 1 Corinthians 10:23 –
    “Everything is permissible”β€”but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”β€”but not everything is constructive.

  29. Matt S said,

    Exactly.

    If you can get a tattoo with a clear conscience and feel no guilt about what you are doing and how it will affect you and others then do it.

    But if you cannot do this and you will feel guilt and uncomfortable then do not do it because now it is sin.

  30. Albino Hayford said,

    As a favor to me, though, if you are planning to get an “Albino Hayford” tattoo on your arm, please consult with my manager about legal implications first.

  31. RubeRad said,

    “If you can [insert action here] with a clear conscience and feel no guilt about what you are doing and how it will affect you and others then do it.”

    How do you draw the line between what can be put into that sentence, and what cannot? What if you and your spouse agree to have an “open” marriage, can you then insert “participate in swingers parties”? This is exactly the question. Why do we think that tattooing fits in there; what separates it from murder (as long as you have so convinced yourself that it is justified that you “feel no guilt”)?

    Daniel, the question you ask about Lev 19:28 vs. 19:29 is the whole question of Theonomy: how much of Israel’s Law applies, and in what sense, in today’s Church, and in today’s civil society. The basic problem (which secret seems to already be on to) is that, in addition to what applies to all men in all contexts, God gave through Moses laws that were particular to his holy, chosen people, living in the promised land which had been redeemed from Canaanite cults. So everything in the law of Moses has to be examined carefully for whether it was meant for Israel only, before it is exported to other contexts. If you take a look at how Calvin sliced and diced all of Moses’ Law according to which commandment it fell under, you will see that he put Leviticus 19:27-28 under the First commandment, but Lev 19:29 under Adultery.

    Sez Calvin:

    It clearly appears that God had no other object than by the interposition of this obstacle to sever His people from heathen nations. For there is nothing to which men are more prone than to conform themselves to the customs of others; and hence it arises, that they mutually communicate each other’s vices.

    So I will repeat — if you are in a cultural context where getting a tattoo signifies worship of another God, then don’t get a tattoo — don’t even get a “nice” tattoo. In general, the principle of Lev 19:27-28 to the modern Christian is: don’t try to reclaim and sanctify the evil customs of this world, thinking you can do them “for Christ”.

    For instance, it is becoming all the rage to wear little red Kabaalah (sp?) strings in your wrist, like Madonna and Ashton Kutcher (who once refused to take it off during a movie shoot, so they had to CGI it out!). If you wear a little red string on your wrist, people will say, “oh, so you’re into Kabaalah, are you?” or they will say nothing and think “that person endorses Kabaalah, and yet I thought they were a Christian. I guess there is no real difference”.

  32. RubeRad said,

    Forgot a link: here is your quickie index of how Calvins sliced and diced all of the Law of Moses according which of the Ten Commandments each little law was a particular application of. They are arranged there twice; once in scriptural order, once in Ten Commandments order. Click on a scripture reference to see the verses, click on a “First”…”Tenth” word to see Calvin’s exegesis.

  33. danielbalc said,

    precisely Rube, (BTW that’s some crazy link action how long did that page take you to set up?) It’s a matter of the customs of the world. Wouldn’t that make the law continually relevant? Is not tattooing still a custom of the world? Which leads me back to by three original questions (primarily the first 2). 1 Motivation? I think the motivation of “I’ve always wanted one” seems contrived. Always? like the way you’ve “always” enjoyed a certain flavor of beverage? or “always” liked a certain color? Granted little kids do like temporary tattoos and stickers and such, but why? It seems tat’s, like every other preference, have more to do with cultural, societal norms. Whenever I see some gangsta wannabe walking around in timberlands with no laces Pants 5 sizes too big for him belted around mid thigh, a big puffy jacket and his hat turned in impossible directions I have to ask the question of “why”? Is it because he “always wanted” to dress like a clown? It’s probably more a matter of who else thinks this style looks cool. It’s a matter of who else can associate with this *cough* “style”. And that is the second question, “association?” Clown boy associates with people who are allowed to say things like “nappy headed ho’s”. Don Imus wears a cowboy hat so he isn’t allowed to say things like that. Tattoo’s have had an evolving association. Where they used to be strictly an act of rebellion now they have become an act of fashion. HOWEVER an evolving association is especially dangerous when it is a permanent feature. let me repeat that so that my point gets across. “An evolving association is especially dangerous when it is a permanent feature.” The clothes you wear, the way you cut your hair, the car you drive and the music you listen to is all something you can change relatively quickly. For instance, lets use our imagination and pretend that contemporary Christian music became associated with rape, murder, violence and profanities and gangster rap became associated with positive and encouraging messages. Which would we hear being played out of your car? I venture to say we would hear a lot more Christians saying “I’ve always liked gangster rap”. Now what happens when tattoos become re-associated with all of the things people used to think of them? hmmm… That’s why i say if you really want to get a tattoo put it in a place where you will be able to to conceal it especially around people who will make those associations. It seems reasonable to me. but then again NOT getting a tattoo seems more reasonable to me then getting a tattoo.

    But those of you who know me know that I am unreasonably conservative and not prone to changes in virtually any trend, so this could just be the preference that I’ve “always” had speaking.

  34. danielbalc said,

    oops that last comment was before reading your long comment rube (I hadn’t approved it yet). But either way it’s still relevant. “Cultural context” as you called it, is evolving. That makes a permanent mark on your skin (in my opinion) unwise.

    BTW what if you go on a missions trip to a cultural context where tattoos are especially offensive AND they can’t read English to see that you have a “Christian” message attached? i know from many short term trips that you do what you can to be especially sensitive to their culture (i.e. eat the food, wear certain clothes, don’t make the hand gestures you might normally make etc.) Another reason to tat with caution.

  35. Matt S said,

    How do you draw the line between what can be put into that sentence, and what cannot?

    I actually knew this comment was coming, but I expected it from Echo.

    I think using common sense is a good starting point for where the line needs to be drawn and you could always fall back on what the rest of the Bible has to say about a particular activity. “swapping wives” I think the Bible is clear in other areas that this would be a problem as well as the other example of murder.

    To me this is not so complicated.

  36. danielbalc said,

    What about polygamy?

  37. Matt S said,

    That is ok…

    Seriously, how is polygamy different from “wife swapping”? Other than the women not getting to participate.

  38. danielbalc said,

    I mean is polygamy banned by “common sense” or by the “rest of the Bible”?

  39. Matt S said,

    God gave us all brains and a concience, use them!

    If you are participating in an activity and you feel uneasy about it, stop doing it! That is most likely God using your concience to tell you that you are tredding on shaky ground.

    Is it possible that God gave us a brain and a concience because He believed He could direct us to use them to make correct decisions? I say yes.

    For some, tattoos bring about afore mentioned “uneasy feelings” do not get one! For some, tattoos bring about no such feelings, go ahead and get one, just be wise as to the location and meaning.

  40. Matt S said,

    RE 38- common sense

  41. Matt S said,

    Although I suppose you could make the argument that we are to model our marriage after Christ’s relationship with His Church. Christ has one bride, the Church; we have one bride our wife.

  42. itsasecret2u said,

    I will have to say I actually agree with Daniel (SHOCKER!) on the concealability of tattoos. I think they should be in a place that is easily and completely covered under normal circumstances. This is one reason I haven’t gotten one yet. I can’t decide where I want to put it. As for Franky’s new tattoo, there is no earthly reason anyone should be able to see it unless you happen to be swimming with him. Even a tank top covers it completely (albeit barely). On the other hand, if any of you know my youngest bro-in-law you’ve probably seen his monstrous tattoo which is currently completely covering his arm from shoulder to elbow and has plans to be continued down the forearm and onto the chest AND up the neck… not such a good idea in my opinion. In fact, a really horrible idea.

    But if I decide to get something tattoed on my finger, it could easily be concealed by a band-aid for goodness’ sake. My fingers aren’t that big. And I think I admitted that I want to get one because I like the way they look. And I have wanted one as long as I can remember… because I like the way they look. Ask my parents. I was probably in kindergarten the first time I mentioned it. Disturbing? Maybe. But true. πŸ˜€

  43. danielbalc said,

    no shocker at all. I make sense.

    of course you wanted one as a kid. kid’s don’t think rationally or objectivley about the future. How often do you let your boys wear what they really want?

  44. itsasecret2u said,

    Well, #1 is already talking about what HIS tattoo will look like, to which I can only respond “when you’re older.” And I don’t say 18. I say wait until you’re 25. If you still want one, fine. But don’t do what little brother-in-law did and go out on your 18th birthday and get some random, meaningless bunch of squiggles on 1/12 of your body. But whatever. He’ll have to deal with the consequences, should there be any.

    Only your concealability part makes sense. Would you suddenly grow your hair long if that became the most socially-acceptable thing to do (or the thing with the “best social associations)? I doubt it. You have your hair short, you like it, end of story. Why is a tattoo any different?

    In fact, I really hope you wouldn’t grow your hair long, should short hair become associated with demon-worship. I don’t think such a do would become you. πŸ˜‰

  45. RubeRad said,

    that’s some crazy link action how long did that page take you to set up?

    That’s why God made Perl! Couple of hours for a script that could parse through the ThML from CCEL‘s online version of Calvin’s Harmony of the Law, and print out the HTML required to make the tables full of links.

  46. Echo_ohcE said,

    Gregg,

    Re: 22

    You’ll perhaps notice that my post wasn’t addressed to you specifically, but was a general remark to everyone about what I think the Bible would have to say about tattoos. I was not and will not ask you to defend your tattoo to me. I am not your judge. I’m not sure what you got so upset about, but hopefully this clarification will help you. I have a tattoo of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor of the Marines, a huge one, on my upper right arm. Although, I’m not sure I’m glad I have it, but that’s another matter. I was talking to everyone, saying, hey, if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo of a cross or the word Jesus in Greek or Chinese or something, don’t do it, because your baptism (and yes, this is a theological point) is what marks you as belonging to Christ, so don’t replace that with a tattoo, or add to it. We must not imagine ways to express ourselves to God like that. We have been given ways in his Word. In Baptism, God himself marks us as his own. Why would we want to add to that by getting a tattoo that serves the same function, but is not done by God? We may believe with 100% certainty that our baptism, as believers mind you, marks us as belonging to God. We don’t need to add to that with a tattoo. That’s all I was saying. If you are not adding to your baptism via a tattoo, great, my post was not for you.

    E

  47. Echo_ohcE said,

    Secret,

    Re: 26

    This is why the Westminster Confession is so valuable. It lays out clearly what our church believes about what parts of the law do and do not apply today. Isn’t that nice and simple, and doesn’t that help save us from a great deal of confusion about interpretation? The correct answer is: yes, it does.

    E

  48. Echo_ohcE said,

    Matt,

    Re: 35

    You thought it would come from me? Well, just remember that Paul isn’t telling us to make up our own law. He’s talking about in areas not covered by the Scriptures. However, he understands that not everyone has memorized the entire Bible, so he says that a good rule is not to violate your conscience. But remember, as a believer, your conscience should be held captive to the Word of God, as Luther said of himself. If your conscience is endeavoring to follow the Word, even if you don’t do so perfectly, then you do well to follow your conscience. Just remember that the Bible might say that something is wrong when it wouldn’t prick your conscience to do that activity. Of course, as a believer, once you come to understand that particular text, then hopefully your conscience will bother you if you violate it. We can hope, can’t we? But really, we sin constantly against our conscience, so if we would at least not violate our conscience, we would be doing really, really well. We would be acting in keeping with the law that we DO understand. But of course, none of us do. Thus our need for the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ.

    E

  49. Gregg said,

    Echo,
    It was not my intention to come across upset. I was not. I apologize to you and everyone who read that posting as an angry tattooed guy! I am just to the point.

    Bring up Luther does present some interesting points that I would be curious to hear your thoughts on Luthers’ declaration that his conscience is held captive to the Word of God. I am assuming you are refering to the trial at Worms. In that declaration he actually refers to two things he must be convinced by 1) Scripture, and 2) plain reason. For Luther, and many of the church fathers, they were more captivated by Christ. The Word of God led them to Christ, but it was held much lower. This being the case, my curiousity leds me to wonder if you would agree with this statement:

    God is greater then what He reveals in revelation (whether you hold Scripture alone as revelation, or you include natural revelation too) He is greater, but not different.

    Daniel,
    I am not trying to thread jack, I am only trying to understand the reformed position more. I came from a dispensational school and I am woefully uninformed of other schools of thought. Now to avoid any dispensationalism discussions! I have since denounced dispensationalism. While I love their passion for the Word, I think they focus too much on trying to fit the entire Bible into a system and not the other way around. While the system answers some tough questions it leaves too many not answered for me, so no tough “church age” questions please!

  50. danielbalc said,

    whew that was a close one Gregg. probably the only unacceptable postion in my den is that of dispensationalism πŸ˜€ as for thread jacking, if you have plenty of time go back and read some of the more commented on posts and you’ll see that thread jacking is what this place is all about.

    As for Echo’s position I think it is reasonably consistent with his alcohol position. I am hoping to come across the same way (that is consistent) by frowning on both based primarily on the wisdom of the exercizes.

  51. danielbalc said,

    BTW for curiosity sake by what means did you come across this blog?

  52. Gregg said,

    First off thanks for letting me join. I appreciate interacting with brother from different schools of thought. Albino invited me to join his blog and he has your blog as a link. I was just scanning through his links and saw some familiar names here.
    It seems like many on your blog are friends of yours, so you know some of their stories. I am at the disadvantage with you. Without sounding like an interregation I would enjoy hearing a litrle of who you are and in the interest of “fair exchange”

    Here is a little of my bio. I went to Multnomah Bible college and (eventually) Seminary. Prior to seminary I earned a masters in leadership. I am currently in the pipe line to be a Navy Chaplain and expect to be deployed this May. I am requesting Marine side. I have trained with both Marines and Navy. Prior to the Navy I was a deputy sheriff in Nevada (great job!) for five years. Before that, a youth pastor for nearly a decade, as well as outdoor educationalist teaching rock climbing and all the junk. I am married with no children, no pets!

    Thanks again, Daniel, for allowing me to get to know you guys in your den.
    Gregg

  53. Albino Hayford said,

    Ok, Daniel, allow me to introduce Gregg. He is my brand new cousin-in-law through marriage to my 1st cousin, a lovely young lady who, for many years, worked on staff at City Bible Church in Portland (the mother ship of MFI). You can enjoy their wedding multimedia here:
    http://jimost.wordpress.com/2007/02/14/love-rain-a-duck-tour-in-portland-oregon/

  54. Echo_ohcE said,

    Gregg,

    Luther: I don’t recall hearing Luther say that he was captivated by pure reason in that particular moment, although I have to admit that I am not as familiar with his words there apart from the aphorism I mentioned. Elsewhere, however, he calls reason the devil’s whore. If there’s one thing you can say about Luther, it is certainly that he had a way with words. However, I think a distinction here is quite appropriate.

    We distinguish two different ways that reason can be utilized by human beings: the ministerial and the magisterial. For ministerial, think of the word minister or the word assistant or servant, and for magisterial, think of the word magistrate or ruler. The reformed have for a very long time sought to maintain this distinction.

    Strictly speaking, reason is simply the language our brain speaks when it is thinking. As such, it is unavoidable. But the reformed have sought to understand that reason must not be on the throne of our minds and hearts, but rather it is only Scripture that belongs on that throne. So they have sought to articulate a proper use of reason as subservient to Scripture. We don’t think reason is bad, but we do recognize that reason alone cannot access God. This is actually a very important point, the importance of which cannot possibly be overstated.

    A theologian named Cornelius Van Til, of Westminster Seminary Philadelphia and Orthodox Presbyterian Church fame, has done much to speak on this distinction. Briefly, his point is that when man utilizes only reason to conceive of God, God must conform to man’s reason. This actually puts man’s reason higher than God. For example, it causes us to make statements like: “God can’t be that, because it’s a logical contradiction…” A logical contradiction is simply saying something like: “My name is Fred, and my name is not Fred.” Wait a minute, is your name Fred or isn’t it – it cannot be both Fred and not Fred at the same time, that makes no sense! Well, there are things about God that similarly are too much for our minds to handle. For example, God is one, yet three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How can God be three and yet one? That seems to confound reason. So if you are someone who is governed by reason rather than Scripture, you will allow reason to dictate what Scripture is allowed to say about God. This is very, very, very bad. This is the reason why so many people get confused about a lot of things. There is actually an entire profession, philosophy, that is largely based on this very confusion.

    Philosophy largely consists in people exercising reason and seeing what comes out. For example, one of the most famous and important philosophers of all time, Immanuel Kant, a German writing in the 18th century, wrote a book titled, “Religion within the limits of reason alone.” You can see how this might be a problem. His influence through this book is extremely profound. In many ways, his writings were simply Platonic (Plato, another hugely influential philosopher), but he also did a lot of new things with Platonism, spawning a whole host of influential thinkers in a movement we now refer to as the Enlightenment. Kant was not really the first philosopher of the Enlightenment, but he certainly is one of its biggest names. Some consider him the beginning of the movement, some only its biggest figurehead, but the Enlightenment has raised all sorts of problems. Not the least of these problems is the idea of higher criticism.

    Higher criticism consists largely in the practice of coming to the Bible in unbelief and basically making all kinds of wild claims about it, in order to explain why it says what it says in such a way as to remove anything supernatural from it. He was perhaps one of the first to say that the resurrection of Christ is to be taken figuratively, not literally.

    But perhaps to make it all a bit more concrete, you have surely heard of the Da Vinci Code, right? Well, this is one of the results of Enlightenment thinking. It’s a matter of coming to the text of Scripture already supposing that you know what it is possible for it to be saying. It cannot be, for these people, that when it talks of Jesus performing a miracle, that it actually happened that way. The story must have a deeper meaning, or a figurative meaning. For these people, reason tells them that miracles are impossible, and they are governed by reason above the Scriptures. So the Scriptures don’t get to speak for themselves, but these people already have preconceived notions about what it’s possible for it to be saying. Since a miracle is impossible, it can’t be saying that a miracle actually occurred.

    Furthermore, they question the authority of the text. After all, it’s not possible for God to have inspired the Scriptures, so God is not the authority behind the Scriptures for them. Therefore, it was simply MAN who decided what the Bible should say in the first place. Here comes the Da Vinci Code, saying that it is the wicked Roman church who said that THESE books and no others will be part of the Bible. If you’ve read the book, the claim is that Constantine basically made up the fact about Jesus being divine. The book claims that Jesus was not really divine, after all, that’s impossible anyway, right? So if Jesus is not divine, then the Bible is a lie. And if the Bible is a lie, then we shouldn’t listen to it. But they say that it’s not Jesus’ fault, it’s the church’s fault. They don’t fault Jesus but the church. Since the church lied about who Jesus is through the publication of the Bible, and since the church suppressed the REAL truth about Jesus, they say, therefore we should not listen to the church, but to those who propose an alternative. The alternative is of course that Jesus was married to Mary Magdeline, and was the original feminist. He didn’t teach belief in one God, but basically taught good polytheism. So we shouldn’t worship the one true God like the church says, but we should worship the goddess, like the alternative books that the church suppressed says. In other words, we should just undo all the Jesus did, all that the church did, and go back to being pagans.

    This is all made possible by the magisterial use of reason, which comes to the Bible with ideas about what it can possibly say before even reading it.

    We, however, allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves. If the Bible says that God is one yet three, then we believe it, even if we can’t fully understand it. We believe that Jesus did really rise from the dead, and we believe he did perform miracles, and we accept these truths simply because we accept the authority of the Bible as being higher than the authority of our own ability to understand it. How could the eternal, infinite and unchanging God become a man and dwell among us? I don’t know. It completely confounds me. But I will not refuse to believe something the Bible says simply because I cannot understand it completely. That would be to put myself above Scripture, that would be the magisterial use of reason.

    As for natural revelation, of course it must be affirmed. Scripture (special revelation) must always agree with natural (general) revelation. How God reveals himself in his Word cannot be at odds with how God reveals himself in his creation. It is the same God revealing himself. That being said, Scripture reveals MORE about God than does natural revelation.

    For example, if you read Romans 1:18ff, you will see Paul affirming the validity of natural revelation, saying that man is without excuse before God because God has revealed himself in the creation. But when you look at what Paul says God has revealed about himself in the creation, you might be a little bit surprised:

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
    Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    What is revealed about God? His wrath at sin, the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness, and God’s invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature.

    Do you notice anything missing?

    There is nothing revealed in creation about how we can be redeemed in Christ. What is revealed in creation is the law, which exposes our sin. God’s merciful grace cannot be seen in creation. Sure, his general benevolence to his creation can be seen, so that God can be seen to be a good God, but his mercy specifically to sinners cannot be seen, even though the creation DOES reveal our NEED for such mercy.

    But this is why when men stand before God they have no excuse. They knew what they were doing was sin and that it was thumbing their nose at God. They will be without excuse on judgment day. The law is revealed in the creation. The need to worship God can be seen in literally every single culture that has ever existed on earth. They have worshiped him according to their own imaginations to be sure, worshiping many gods and goddesses rather than the one true God, but that’s because the fact of God is revealed in the creation. It is part of our being created in the image of God that allows us to understand that the creation has a Creator. Human beings are confronted with the fact of God when they perceive the creation. It is unavoidable. But sin perverts how man has responded to this fact, and this can be seen in all the many and varied pagan religions out there. They have worshiped the gods they have dreamed up in their own imaginations. They have used their own reason to interpret what they see in the creation, and their reason, like the rest of them, is sinfully twisted in the image of Satan.

    Incidentally, this is why the reformed are so insistent that we worship God according to how he has commanded us in his Word, so that we can avoid worshiping him according to how we think he ought to be worshiped, because what we think is so heavily influenced by sin. When we worship God according to how we think it ought to be done, we end up being pagans, worshiping many gods and goddesses, worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. Because while our minds cannot fully comprehend God, our minds can understand the creation through reason and our senses. So we think of God in terms of what we CAN understand. This is sinful, because it is a refusal to submit to what God has said if we can’t understand it. Sinful humans cannot understand God, so they don’t worship him rightly according to what he has said about himself, but according to their own conception of God, like the pagans who worshiped Zeus and Hera. It is the magisterial use of reason behind all of this.

    But the reformed say that we should not worship God according to our own imaginations and understanding, but according to whatever he has said in his Word.

    Moses expounds this:

    Deu 4:5 See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
    Deu 4:6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

    You see, he says that the commands of God will be your wisdom and understanding. It is the Word of God that will govern you, not your own reason and understanding. You will submit to the Word of God, rather than your own understanding. He goes on:

    Deu 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children–
    Deu 4:10 how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’
    Deu 4:11 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom.
    Deu 4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.
    Deu 4:13 And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.

    YOU SAW NO FORM. You heard the Word of God, but saw no form. God did not reveal himself in such a way as to be fully comprehended. In Exodus 33, he tells Moses that no one can see his face and live. This is in keeping with what is written here. You are to hear the Word of God and submit to it, even though you cannot picture God in your mind, because you saw no form.

    Now it is this Word that the Israelites heard that took on flesh and dwelt among us. The Word of God IS God, says John, and this Word, that is God, became flesh and dwelt among us.

    God has been the one in charge of telling us what he looks like. We still cannot see the Father, and we never will see the Father, because the Father is infinite, and our eyes are finite. But Jesus Christ has lowered himself into flesh and him we can see, and one day we will see him face to face. But since we cannot now see him face to face, we must be content to hear about him in his Word. But we cannot see him. We will see him, when faith gives way to sight, but we cannot see him now. Thus we walk by faith and not by sight.

    It is not proper to make a picture or image of Jesus, simply because such a picture must be according to our own imagination. WE, not God, are in control of such an experience. But God must reveal himself TO US. He must come down from heaven and speak to us, because our own reason cannot help us ascend to heaven. If we think it can, then the god we meet there will not be the one True God, but the God of our imagination, the god who submits to our understanding, the god who submits to our reason, the god of our own making, the god who is really only part of the creation rather than the Creator of it. This is idolatry at the fundamental level.

    The only way to avoid idolatry is submit to the self revelation of God that we cannot fully understand. This can only be done by faith. As Anselm famously said, “I believe that I may understand.” Reason must be in submission to faith.

    In the same way, how we view natural revelation must be through the lens of Scripture. We must put on Scripture-colored glasses to see the creation properly. The reason for this is sin.

    If Adam had not sinned, how he perceived creation would allow him to understand what he needed to understand in order to know God. He would have understood God’s self revelation in the creation, namely “his invisible attributes” as Paul says. If there was no sin there would be no wrath, no need for a savior.

    But there is sin, and now we cannot perceive the creation rightly. We misinterpret it necessarily. So we need God to tell us all over again who he is and what he’s all about. Furthermore, we need him to tell us how we can avoid his wrath, which is so clearly manifested to us in the creation, and clearly attested to in his Word. We need to hear the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who bore the wrath of God on our behalf, and made us righteous in his sight. We cannot get that from natural revelation, but only Scripture.

    But it all boils down to reason needing to be in submission to Scripture. Reason does not have God’s authority. Only God has his authority, and he has spoken in his Word.

    Echo_ohcE

  55. Gregg said,

    Wow, Echo, you’ve been a busy little bee!
    Thank you for all your hard work in crafting that posting. for the most part I would not disagree (You and I have slightly different starting points with vastly different trajectories- But they both are within the realm of othodox) By the way, Luther said plain reason, not pure reason. A diametrically different thing. He also said Sin boldly, so you are right he is a fantastic wordsmith! πŸ™‚

    What I would disagree with is your statement ” but rather it is only Scripture that belongs on that throne”
    If you are saying Scripture not reason belongs on the throne then, who-ah! You are absolutely right. But you have made these type of comments through Albinos blog and here numerous time. My brother Scripture cannot sit where Christ must. There is but one throne and it belongs to Christ.

    Jesus is the word made flesh, He alone is the incarnation, the full revelation of God. Our Truine God is who Scripture points to and as such He is greater, not different, but greater then what He as revealed. The revealer is always greater then the revelation whether special or natural. Part of the reason we read Scripture is because it points to Christ

    Without having the chance to talk with you, I would hate to accuse you of such a heinous idolatry as Bibliophile, so I will state this very clearly to avoid any misunderstandings. I hope that you are merely misrepresenting yourself. As I am just learning about the reformed tradition you are assisting in forming my reformed grid and let me encourage you to be more Christocentric in your terminology. (which you are in numerous places) If you are saying Scripture sits on the throne that is idolatry and you as a student of the Word understand what happens next.

    Thanks for the interaction,
    Gregg

  56. Echo_ohcE said,

    Gregg,

    Your reaction is bizarre. To be governed by the Word of God is to be governed by God’s revelation, which is to be governed by God. To submit to what God says is to submit to God.

    We have not seen Jesus, we have only heard about him in his Word. We don’t know him apart from his Word. We do of course have his Spirit indwelling us, but the Spirit is the indwelling Word. See 1 John for the indwelling testimony, Word and Spirit, all the same thing.

    1Jo 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
    1Jo 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.

    1Jo 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that testify:
    1Jo 5:8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
    1Jo 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.
    1Jo 5:10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
    1Jo 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    Rev 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
    Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
    Rev 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
    Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Now how can it be that John says that the Word of God IS God? I don’t worship a Bible, but I submit to its message, and in so doing I submit to God. The Word of God is God, and Jesus is called the Word of God, and the Spirit is the indwelling Word of God. By the way, that should be “Spirit” in Rev 19:10. Who is the Spirit of prophesy, if not the Holy Spirit who inspires prophesy? But anyway, this is the testimony of Jesus, at work in our hearts, sanctifying us, testifying to us of the goodness of God in Christ.

    You cannot make an idol out of the Word of God if the Word of God is God. That’s precisely not what an idol is.

    Don’t misunderstand. I don’t pick up an NIV and say, “This is God.” That would be a grave misunderstanding. The Westminster Confession of Faith says:

    X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]
    24. Matt. 22:29,31; Acts 28:25; I John 4:1-6

    And the Larger Catechism:

    Q3: What is the word of God?
    A3: The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God,[1] the only rule of faith and obedience.[2]
    1. II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21
    2. Eph. 2:20; Rev. 22:18-19; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Gal. 1:8-9; II Tim. 3:15-16

    Q4: How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God?
    A4: The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty [1] and purity;[2] by the consent of all the parts,[3] and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God;[4] by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation:[5] but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.[6]
    1. Hosea 8:12; I Cor. 2:6-7, 13; Psa. 119:18, 129
    2. Psa. 12:6; 119:140
    3. Acts 10:43; 26:22
    4. Rom. 3:19, 27
    5. Acts 23:28; Heb. 4:12; James 1:18; Psa. 19:7-9; Rom. 15:4; Acts 20:32
    6. John 16:13-14; 20:31; I John 2:20, 27

    See also the first chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession of Faith:

    http://www.ccel.org/creeds/helvetic.htm

    E

  57. Albino Hayford said,

    Got to agree here with Gregg, although I think maybe you just need to be more precise in your declarations, Echo. You don’t really believe that the Bible is seated on the throne, do you? The Bible is the revealed Word of God which “testifies of Jesus”.

    I’m not the blogmaster here in Daniel’s den, but I think it would be really helpful if we could just use a little more Scripture and a little less Westminster (kind of gives me the creeps feeling like you equate the two).

  58. Gregg said,

    Thank you Echo. Do other reformers agree with you in regards to your view of Scripure? Because I find it intersting that you used part of John 1 to defend your case, but not its conclusion. Jesus is the word made flesh. You are making a case for worshiping the commands of God, not the giver of the commands.
    Paul spanks to the Corinthians for seeking the gifts and not the giver. You appear to be doing a similar thing by linking the commands with God.
    You are very right, if you love God you’ll keep his commands. That is not the question here. The question is to whom the Scripture point? Even using your Larger Catechism, the scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God. They do not replace Christ for supremacy. If reformed thought is truely an equality between Christ and the Scripture y’all have a problem, but that is not what I have read in Sproul.

    Thanks again,
    Gregg

  59. Echo_ohcE said,

    Albino,

    You might notice how sometimes I state what I think the Bible says, and then maybe cite a passage or two.

    Above, you’ll see that I quoted the Westminster Confession, which is what the Presbyterian tradition has adopted as what they collectively believe the Bible says, and it’s chalk full of proof texts, which I did leave in there.

    I’m not quoting it as having equal authority as Scripture, I’m quoting it as what we confess the Bible says, and then trying to show you where we think the Bible says it. Surely you’d rather read something more well thought out and agreed upon than MY silly posts, wouldn’t you?

    I don’t believe the Bible is on the throne?

    Well, I said that the Bible rather than reason should rule us, should sit on the throne of our hearts. I’m not asserting the Bible as a fourth Person of the Trinity or something. I’m saying that God and his Word are one. Reading the Bible, listening to what it says and being in submission to what it says are HOW we obey God. If you want to know how to be obedient to God, where do you look, at constellations in the sky? No, you look in the Bible. It tells you what to do. It is what GOD says to mankind.

    E

  60. Echo_ohcE said,

    Gregg,

    You still don’t understand what I’m saying.

    The Word of God IS OUR CONTACT with God. It is in the Word that God speaks to us. I’m not elevating the Word OVER God, I’m saying, WITH JOHN that the Word IS God. I’m well aware that Jesus is the Word made flesh. But you speak as if you can go down the street and knock on the door and Jesus in the flesh will answer and you can sit down and have tea with him. If you want to know God, you can ONLY do so through the Scriptures. The Word of God, in Scripture, is God with us. Also, he has given us his Spirit, who testifies about Christ in our hearts. John calls this the indwelling Word. This is what bears fruit in us of faith and love.

    You are making too sharp a distinction between God and his Word that the Scriptures do not make.

    Anyway, if I disagree with Sproul, it wouldn’t be the first time.

    E

  61. Gregg said,

    Echo,

    I would love to talk with you more about this but I do not feel it is right to do so over a blog. Would you be willing to continue to dialog via email? My email is 1adam12@integrity.com

    Gregg

  62. Bruce S. said,

    Discussions of one’s doctrine of Scripture needn’t be done “in a corner”. But under the topic of tattoos may be a weird forum. How about a blog topic suited for this task, Daniel?

  63. danielbalc said,

    Sorry I stopped reading the comments on this a few days ago. I’ve already had this conversation with Echo I’m not interested (at all) in making a post for it. I think this well is dry unless anyone else wants to talk tattoos and I don’t think anyone does.

  64. Echo_ohcE said,

    Gee, Daniel.

  65. Laura said,

    Well, it was interesting to read about the tattoos, not so interesting the convo between Echo and Gregg….too bad Gregg didn’t make his invite sooner, eh?

    If anyone is at all interested in at least one Bible commentator says in reference to Lev. 19:28, Matthew Henry points out that heathen made cuts in the flesh (scariication) and tattoos for the dead, in order to pacify the infernal dieties. It was denied to the Israelites because of the association of heathen death rites, a specific type of tattooing.

    Does that make it ok for modern Christians to permanently mark their bodies? I don’t really know. Because many Christians choose to get tattoos does this compromise their faith? Probably not, but maybe…Will I personally judge you if you have a tattoo? Absoulutely not, and I am very intrigued by what people choose to have tattooed on their bodies and usually want to know their stories – and if you are going to get them where everyone can see them, don’t glare at me like I am invading personal space if I choose to stare at your body art! If you don’t want people to stare at you, put them where the general public can’t see them!

    My 2 cents worth even if the last post was six weeks ago…

  66. Albino Hayford said,

    I just posted a hermeneutics quiz on my blog, and, believe it or not, one of the questions that determine your hermeneutic has to do with tats!

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