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Worshipers get tattoos for Lent
March 3rd, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Inking for Jesus: Dozens of church members take Lenten tattoo challenge

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN)-– In a hip, artsy, area of Houston, a hip, artsy pastor is taking an unorthodox approach to Lent.

Standing in front of his congregation at Ecclesia Church, a congregation he admits is different - more diverse, more urban - than many evangelical churches - Chris Seay encouraged them to do so something he said combines the ideas of sacrifice and devotion that mark the Lenten season, the 40-day lead up to Easter.

He asked them to get tattoos. Specifically, he asked congregants to get a tattoo corresponding with one of the Stations of the Cross, the collection of images that depict scenes in Jesus’ journey to his crucifixion.

“The tendency we have as Christians is to skip past Jesus’ suffering,” Seay said in an interview. “Not only do tattoos come with a bit of suffering, they are also an art form that has not fully been embraced.”

To help with the project, Seay enlisted Scott Erickson, artist-in-residence at his church. Erickson designed 10 distinct Stations of the Cross tattoos, leaving out four stations that Seay said changed in context when you are asking someone to get something permanently drawn on their body.

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The Stations of the Cross depict Jesus from his condemnation to the Resurrection.

The church is now displaying photographs of the tattoos in the church’s art gallery, in an exhibition called “Cruciformity: Stations on the Skin.”

Initially, Seay has hoped that enough people – 10– would sign up to fill each station of the cross. But his expectations were far exceeded.

Seay says that more than 50 people are now brandishing one of Erickson’s designs on their bodies.

Guadeloupe Rodriguez is among them. When Seay pitched the tattoo idea from the pulpit, Rodriguez’s wife squeezed his hand. “That is what you have been waiting for,” she said.

“I fell into some hard times in my past, hanging out with the wrong crowd … got into some pretty tough drugs,” said Rodriguez, who says he found Jesus at Ecclesia. “My aunt, though, on her deathbed, said to me, ‘You only have one God, one mom and one dad – you need to be straightening up for all three of them.”

Because of that experience, Rodriguez had the churches 10th station image, the resurrection, tattooed to his body. He felt that the two birds holding a suspended banner that read, “Rise Again,” perfectly fit his personal story.

“From the day my aunt said that to me, I relied on the Lord a lot to guide me in the right direction,” Rodriguez said. “I am where I am now because of God.”

Another member of Ecclesia, Joyce O’Connor, channeled her family when she was deciding what station of the cross to get tattooed onto her body. O’Connor, who has one biological child and two stepchildren, connected with the fourth station, Jesus meeting his mother.

“I am a mother and in just a minuscule way can relate to how Mary must have felt,” O’Conner said.

“The tattoo captured me and I love it,” she continued. “When I think of that image, I don’t feel tragedy or sadness because I know how the story ends and it makes me smile.”

This was O’Connor’s first “tat,” and she said this project has exemplified why she came to Ecclesia in the first place - acceptance, out-of-the-box thinking, diversity.

Margaret Feinberg, an evangelical Christian author, spoke at the gallery opening. She said she was taken by the “beautiful blend of art and flesh.”

“I remember standing in a small booth on an upper landing looking at everyone in the room,” Feinberg wrote in an e-mail. People “from every walk of life - exploring and celebrating this time of Lent - the scene took my breath away.”

According to Seay, such experiences deem the project a success. He admits to spending a lot of time dissuading individual congregants from getting tattoos after he announced the idea. People have to “know it is what they are supposed to do,” he said.

The design Seay choose for himself, the resurrection, which shows a tree growing from a coffin, like Rodriguez’s. On Seay’s tattoo, however, the initials of people he loves fill the tree’s leaves and his nickname for his grandfather – Papa – is carved into its stump.

Seay lost his grandfather, Robert Baldwin, last year. Baldwin had been a pastor in the Houston area for 60 years and Seay considered him his mentor. Though Seay still misses him desperately, the tattoo reminds him of a simple biblical message.

“Death,” he says, “comes from life.”

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- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Texas • United States

soundoff (944 Responses)
  1. countrycook

    Tattoos are a pagan custom and God said DO NOT DO AS THE PAGAN'S DO

    March 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jenna

      So perhaps you ought to give everything up you have in life and go reside in an Amish community. You'd feel more comfortable not doing pagan things such as typing on your keyboard, or watching tv, or listening to evil music. Honestly, do you even realize how you come across? It is depressing.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  2. countrycook

    Matthew 15:9....International Standard Version (©2008)
    Their worship of me is empty, because they teach human rules as doctrines.'" Instead of following God this and many other churchs follow the "word" of the preacher. If Jesus would come to their church they would throw Him out

    March 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Jenna

      Instead of making blanket statements, visit the church and see for yourself. You would be most surprised I am sure. I love the self-righteousness of most posts on here...the atheists are easier to reason with than fellow Christians sadly.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • countrycook

      It's God who makes the rules

      March 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jenna

      I understand where you are coming from, you cannot help it that dogma is more important than love. I'll pray for you my friend.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Rev G

    Leviticus 19:58 KJV, says that if you get the mark of a tatoo on your body you will not enter the kingdon of Heaven. It is a law of Moses. Check it out Pastor. Are you so hip that you don't search the scriptures for answers too?

    March 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jenna

      By your logic then, all tattoed people are going to hell? Hmmmm, narrow is the gate they say. I guess I can give up on Church and my beliefs now since I got a tattoo years ago and missed my window.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Destroyers are a type of warship. They have two propellers and can go very fast for a ship (35 knots). They can be hard to hit when they are going fast. So many destroyer sailors got a tattoo of a propeller on each cheek of their bottom (very popular tattoo in "WESPAC" Over the propeller on the left side was the word "Twin" and over the propeller on the right side was the word "Screw" and of course there was a message of sorts to those who did not understand Destroyers. To those of us who understood Destroyers it was not new information. And that was about the only ones who ever saw it. Maybe some junior officers saw them (so the senior officers probably knew about them ... but did not want to hear about sailor's tattoos of any kind). But suppose a Destroyer-man got transferred to a submarine? Then what could he do? Or a mine sweeper? Or a shore base!! Oh no. Then what???

      March 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • skytag

      Heaven is a myth, so they might as well enjoy the tattoos.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • johnp

      This entire thread is sad, as none of you seem to understand the WHOLE word of God. Spend some time in the book of Romans and see how we are set free from the law as we enter into a Spiritual rebirth that is in Christ Jesus. When Jesus when to the Cross on our behalf He alone did the work of redemntion in Himself. The work was done "It is finished" and now those who have put their faith in Jesus live in Christ free from the condemnation of sin. "For whosoever calls apon the name of the Lord will be saved." " There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" > That my frends is the Gosplie message.

      March 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  4. Elijah34

    Proverbs 3 tells us do not be wise in your own eyes. My friend ungodly wisdom, the reson you do not understand the word of God is because you approach it with your earthly eyes. The Lord Jesus said if I have told you earthly things and you do not understand, how will you understand spiritual things. Coming from the gospel of John in the 4chp, the Word of God staes, God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him, must worship in spirit and truth. As long as you try to understand the bible in your earthly wisdom you will never get it. You will never comprehend a book that you have never read. The Word of God spoke about such people in the book of Isaiah 2700 years ago. Keep on hearing and never understanding, keep on seeing and never perceiving. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes(to the word of God) in chp 6. The Lord Jesus spoke these same words in Mathew chp13 about the people during that time in 30-33AD. And yes we see the same people are still around almost 2,000 years later. When you walk in darkness, you will never understand spiritual things. I leave you with this. In the books of Deuteronomy and Jeremiah God says, When you search for Me with all your heart, then I will be found. You must conform to the Word of God, not the Lord Jesus conforming to you. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. The Lord Jesus speaking in the book of Mark chp13 v 31.

    March 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • For the Cherry Pickers In the Crowd

      Elijah34,
      Scriptures carry no more weight than Grimm's fairy tales. There may be some jewels in there, but they are not jewels because they are in there, understand?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Another one who thinks that YOU are wise, eh...?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bizarre

      p.s. ...above was directed at Elijah34

      March 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • I don't think you could have dummied it down anymore elijah

      GREAT POST! Those who are deaf and blind will never understand though, that's why we must pray for them....

      March 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  5. PGelsman

    One word........DISGUSTING.

    March 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Jenna

      Why do you say that?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well for one thing because your pastor is preaching false doctrine and getting your "flock": to believe it and in Mark 8 JESUS said "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod." ... but you do not question it at all. So HE is misleading YOU with some intention OTHER than to peach the gospels ( which was the "great Commission" given by Jesus before he ascended). So your pastor is way out of synch and you are following and defending it blindly. (that is the same "mentality" that lead to violence against doctors and nurses, violence against funerals, priests crimes, bishops crimes, Jame Jones in Guiana, Wacko (wacko), violence against other groups .. end of the world hysteria.. nobody stops and says: WAIT that is not true doctrine. And that is why there are several hundred Christian sects all of which claim to be the true church.. and none of which are.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jenna

      RTC, how is he preaching false doctrine? I am not blindly following anything, tattoos were a choice, not compulsory. As I said before, I did not participate because I don't want a tattoo.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Ungodly Discipline

    Fun with NT Contradictions

    According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This is impossible because Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place in 6 and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death.

    Some Christians try to manipulate the text to mean this was the first census while Quirinius was governor and that the first census of Israel recorded by historians took place later. However, the literal meaning is "this was the first census taken, while Quirinius was governor ..." In any event, Quirinius did not become governor of Syria until well after Herod's death.

    March 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • just sayin

      Since what is actually known about 1st century A.D. is limited at best it might be wise to reserve judgement until ALL the facts are known. King David (approx 1000 B. C.) was only recently confirmed as having a kingly line by archaeologists.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Somebody said

      Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all say Jesus was arrested, brutalized, tortured, beaten, and finally murdered for YOUR sin and mine. If you want to quibble about 'contradictions' that's your right. But you are missing the HUGE truth. Hope you get past the specks and really see Jesus.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      More fun with NT Contradictions

      Both Matthew and Luke say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Matthew quotes Micah 5:2 to show that this was in fulfillment of prophecy. Actually, Matthew misquotes Micah (compare Micah 5:2 to Matthew 2:6). Although this misquote is rather insignificant, Matthew's poor understanding of Hebrew will have great significance later in his gospel.

      Luke has Mary and Joseph travelling from their home in Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea for the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:4). Matthew, in contradiction to Luke, says that it was only after the birth of Jesus that Mary and Joseph resided in Nazareth, and then only because they were afraid to return to Judea (Matthew 2:21-23).

      In order to have Jesus born in Bethlehem, Luke says that everyone had to go to the city of their birth to register for the census. This is absurd, and would have caused a bureaucratic nightmare. The purpose of the Roman census was for taxation, and the Romans were interested in where the people lived and worked, not where they were born (which they could have found out by simply asking rather than causing thousands of people to travel).

      March 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Daniel

      Somebody-If you are writing about God, learn to write coherantly. God was crucified and he resurrected.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @somebody said

      Wait a minute. Is the Bible the inspired word of god or isn't it? God, the perfect, all-knowing creater of the universe? The devil is in the details my friend. The bible and your religion are frauds.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • today is the day

      Yes, but the point is: Jesus WAS born.

      Back in the day, they didn't have Wikipedia and Google and Email. Matthew and Luke weren't writing for scholarly publications. They were writing to communicate what they had witnessed to their audiences. It's not like someone came to them and said:

      "Hey, we're thinking of writing this book called the Bible. Would you like to contribute? Please submit your contributions at such and such a date so we can make sure we have a good narrative flow before we go to the presses."

      So, yes, there may be some discrepancies in the various accounts. But the main point is this:

      God sent His Son to teach us how to live, and he also died for our sins. Also, He was raised on the third day and lives forever more, and He's coming back again. Like it or not.

      I'm pretty sure all the Gospels agree on that.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • TR6

      @ Somebody said:” If you want to quibble about 'contradictions' that's your right.”

      Most Christians say that the bible is the word of god. They also say that god is perfect. A perfect god would not have contradictions, so when we find contradictions in the bible it must mean that either god is not perfect or the bible is not his word

      March 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  7. WDinDallas

    I always wonder why atheists get onto belief blogs....guess they're trying to make up for something they are missing.

    March 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • bff

      An atheist's "belief" is that there are no gods and "correct" religions. My belief isn't on par with yours? Are you special?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Gregory Remmington*

      as an atheist I go on belief blogs for entertainment. No offense but this is my honest answer

      March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      We are here to protect the world from you. And for the free coffee.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Salty Bob

      No just trying to show you and our other lost or brainwashed brothers and sisters the lie behind all religion.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • WDinDallas

      Hmm, from the reponses I guess I am right.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • turkey

      Dallas.....Keep guessing. We'll let you know when you get it right.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • TR6

      One of the things that saved me from the insanity of my Christian upbringing was people pointing out the contradictions in the bible and the gapping flaws in Christian thinking. I’m here to pass along the favor. I’m here to point out “Christian truth” has some major flaws and the Emperor (religion) truly has no cloths

      March 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • TR6

      “guess they're trying to make up for something they are missing”

      Nope, just trying to bring the light of reason into the medieval darkness that is religion

      March 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  8. Dingdong

    Idiots try to show-off. Does Jesus give you a paycheck? Hope he would help you to refinance your underwater mortgage!

    March 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well maybe something like this: "Lord Jesus, we are lifting up Billy in prayer today .. Billy needs a good job to support his fam-lee and he needs good Ford car to get there .. Lord Jesus he likes a blue Ford but a white top is OK too... and an AM/FM radio iin if it ain't askin too much Lord, he'd lookin to make $50,000 or so cuz he's got three kids n his mom loves with him too... and his dogs.. it ain't easy no more .. Ecclesia been a helpin us like they do .. and Billy got his tatoo like the preach said you wanted Lord .. praise the King .. and Lord Billy cannot afford new tires and brakes right off .. so it has to be a good reliable Ford veehickel .. thank ya Jesus .. we thank ya .. Amen to that .." (Would that work??)

      March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Somebody said

      Actually, yes, Jesus does give me my paycheck through the clients and job he's provided for me. Just like he said in Matthew 6:25-33. God will always provide for our needs BUT we have an obligation to be good stewards of what he gives us. Over spending and buying a bunch of stuff you don't need and then getting into financial trouble is NOT God's fault.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  9. Daisy

    Considering the high risk of blood born and hep infections, I don't think it's a GOOD idea to suggest a tattoo to ANYONE!!
    Take it from me, if I could turn back time, ok!!

    March 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Gregory Remmington*

      Very valid point, but as a person who is involved in the tattoo world, tattooing in a safe, sterile studio is very safe now a days.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • TR6

      These are tattoos for god. Of course he will prevent any infection or complications from a tattoo done in his name. And if any of the faithful do have complications they will accept them a gift from god and go to church and pray about them instead of going to a doctor for antibiotics. (eye roll)

      March 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  10. plucky

    Do the tatoos disappear after lent is over?

    March 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Jenna

      Some are permanent, some aren't, it depends on what the individual decides. BTW, I got a tattoo when I was 17 years old and not in a church, I wonder by the logic of some below, am I still destined for hell? Or will Grace sustain me?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • plucky

      I would choose a temporary one. After all, when lent is over it's OK to eat meat again. 🙂

      March 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Jenna

      LOL Plucky, you're a good sport. 🙂

      March 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Jenna, I don't know who Grace is, but there is no hell so I think you be fine.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Jenna

      LOL@UD, that was funny. Grace is actually what is bestowed upon those who believe. We cannot get to Heaven on good works according to Christianity, so God grants grace through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Since Jesus has already paid for our sins, we are not accountable for our own when we die. Now, that does not mean we go around killing, stealing, etc (though some seem to), but that we don't live in fear of hell because of Grace. It is unique in that it is the only religion or belief system that has it, though I believe some Islamic writings have touched on Grace as well. I'd have to consult with my Muslim buddies about it.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • inHisname

      @plucky or birdflue: God does not care if you eat meat or not

      March 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jim

      @Jenna

      grace/grās/

      Noun:
      Simple elegance or refinement of movement.

      Verb:
      Do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.

      Synonyms:
      noun. favour – favor – charm – elegance – mercy – gracefulness
      verb. adorn – decorate – ornament – embellish – deck – bedeck

      March 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You see Jenna, you accuse me of trying to goad you into anger, and then you turn right around and prove my point. You are preaching to me. You are evangelizing. All religions are cults. Hence, you belong to an Evangelical Cult. I am not trying to make you angry, I am merely pointing out the obvious.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Mendy Donoho

    READ YOUR BIBLE. It clearly states. Do not PERCE or TATTOO your body. Get a grip people and learn about something before you blindly do something. Beward of the faulse profits.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Lillith

      They're afraid to read the bible ... reading it with a clear mind will make an Atheist out of the most hardened believer. The tricky part is the "clear mind" without preconcieved notions and indoctrination.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jenna

      Interesting you are bent out of shape about this. It is small in comparison to the wars, the abuse, the murders and the outright anger that you find in our society today. And you can only quote Leviticus, not the New Testament.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • teresa, ohio

      you're correct Mendy: the old testament says not to have tattoos. I'm surprised people mark up their bodies in the name of Christ. He wouldnt want us to do that.... for Him anyway.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • bff

      I don't know what it says about tatoos, but here is just one passage about slavery:
      Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."
      So I guess we can all beat our slaves as long as they don't die within a day or two.
      Yippee!

      March 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • sybaris

      Your bible also says to not eat lobsters, not to wear clothes of blended fibers and many other things I will bet you don't follow.

      Stop cherry picking

      March 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • C'mon

      teresa, "the old testament says not to have tattoos."

      The OT says not to wear mixed fibers and not to eat shellfish too. You guys make NO sense. Please do not vote.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      Those were cultural restrictions for the foundation of ancient Israel. Shall we go back 3500 years as well?

      March 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      The New Testament does not prohibit you from amputating your arm .. so does that make it a good idea? The New Testament does not say a word about DUI (but, of course, your state does). The New Testament does not prohibit birth control but "the church" does (why?) Common sense (intuitive sort of thing) tells us not to have ear phones on while walking on rail road tracks (but so many do .. and get to heaven sooner than expected). Common sense ought to tell us (don't leave your kid in a hot car - or your dog, don't handle rattle snakes, don't torment a grizzly bear, don't go swimming in a blizzard, don't swim with sharks .. how much of this do you have to get from your preacher?? If he says the sharks won't eat you .. is he right? Common sense tells you the answer.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • bff

      Either you follow the bible or you don't. Once you start cherry picking, you are down the path of writing your own bible. And that's OK, but you then can't say you do anything because "it's in the bible".

      March 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • C'mon

      just sayin
      "Those were cultural restrictions for the foundation of ancient Israel. Shall we go back 3500 years as well?"

      Only when it suits your party line.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • inHisname

      @Jenna, you seem to be hung up on rubbish. New testament does not replace the old. Just like the new baby doesn't mean we discard off the other and previous child.

      "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
      Mathew 5:17

      March 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • everettreb

      I'm sorry Mendy but you did not finish that verse. It say not to do it for the deads sake which means not to pierce your self in remembrance as they did so many times when that was writen. Also that is old testament law, Jesus gave us a new covenant with new laws.
      By the way why didn't you quote the scripture from the book of revelation where it talks about Jesus sporting a tattoo on his thigh when he returns? Looks like you are the one that needs to read the bible.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • April

      where is it in the bible? What passage?

      March 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • TR6

      “It clearly states. Do not PERCE or TATTOO your body.”

      Typical Christian hypocrite, It also clearly states Do not eat lobster, Do not ware blended fabric and Do not eat ham.

      March 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    The entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superst.ition and mythology. One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history. It matters.

    Religious nuts are dangerous fools. Religious leaders more so.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I agree although I believe the root cause is humans. Religion is just a tool used for those purposes you mentioned. Humans have moved forward, unfortunately they've moved forward by updating the tool of religion rather than throwing it aside. But I still have hope that will change sooner than later.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Hear! Hear!

      Wonderful post, Ungodly Discipline.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Gregory Remmington*

      You Sir are a man of good sense, and great ideologies.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  13. countrycook

    New International Version (©1984)
    "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD..Leviticus 19:28 No matter how many preachers says that its OK, God says DON'T DO IT and HE not your preacher is your Judge

    March 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Jenna

      Can you find a quote regarding the same subject in the New Testament? I would be curious to read it.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • reason

      Why Jenna?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • countrycook

      The God of the "Old" testament is the same God in the New...New Living Translation (©2007)
      "I am the LORD, and I do not change. Malachi 3:6

      March 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • countrycook

      You do know Jesus is God's son and came to do His Father's will ?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jenna

      To answer your question Reason, it is because Christianity came into existence because of the Gospels and New Testament, so therefore, there must be a verse that says what Leviticus says, right?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • sybaris

      Your bible also says to not eat lobsters and many other things I will bet you don't follow.

      Stop cherry picking

      March 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • countrycook

      New Living Translation (©2007)
      I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. John 5:30 ...Jesus came to do his Fathers Judgments, that why he said I do not Judge, my Father has already Judged sin and told you what is sin I am come to confirm my Father's Judgments

      March 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • YHWHLover

      Yup it most certainly says "For the dead". Jesus is alive. You are very wrong, sorry to say. Try reading the context of it, and then cast your judgement.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • countrycook

      YHWHLover,...God is giving to separate commands in this verse

      March 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • countrycook

      sybaris...you do know the first sin was eating a food God said NOT to eat ? And NO I do not eat lobster, pork or any food God said DO NOT EAT

      March 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • YHWHLover

      the context of this verse, and the entire passage from Lev. is in dealing with pagan rituals performed by those living around the Isrealites. Including sorcery and such to their dead ancestors. Given the way the verse is worded, I can see why one may think it to be two separate commands. But as i read it, and many others, it reads as command toward the heathen ritual, and not against the action itself. He wanted to make sure His people were not influenced by these things and fall away from Him.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • sybaris

      countrycook, the first "sin" is a myth. There is no corroborating evidence that provides any validity to the story. There is no compelling reason to believe it.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bizarre

      countrycook,

      I hope that you never get leprosy.

      In Leviticus 14 "God" spoke to Moses and told him the correct treatment and cure for leprosy. It is the dangedest, silliest thing you'd ever want to read. This was the LORD speaking, countrycook, THE LORD – how dare anyone search for a better treatment!

      Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That's all there to it.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • countrycook

      You're right about one thing, Tattoos are a pagan custom and God said DO NOT DO AS THE PAGAN'S DO

      March 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • justme

      to bizarre, & country & all; the bible term for leprosy includes what is today medically called "Hansen's disease" or "not contagious". now go to Matthew ch.5 vs.17-20. and now teach against the law and accept the consequences.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • justme

      also Lev. 13; 1,2 and read on for more details, it says for " Aaron or one of his priest sons" to perform the ritual, and i don't think they are still able..

      March 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • countrycook

      Justme...go to the country's where leprosy is a plague and tell them it's "not contagious"

      March 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  14. Margaret

    Why anyone would get a permanent tattoo has always puzzled me. You would not wear the same clothes for the rest of your life. Oh well. Sorry if it takes a tattoo for me to prove I am a Christian or I love Jesus, then I guess I will fail the test.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jenna

      No offense intended, but you missed the entire point. But then again, people typically do when something is new.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      at least sailor can say they were drunk.. but the tattoo craze for whatever reason is absurd - entire limbs are tattooed and other body parts. They ARE a negative in a business (so businesses CAN and DO select applicants who do not have them). A plastic surgeon might remove a Navy anchor .. but what can they do with an entire arm? It is something for primitive tribal ritual (and I think that is what their pastor USES to keep the herd together.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Scott

      I guess I don't do well in business based on your belief. I have full sleeve tattoos and I don’t seem to have any problem making money nor are my tattoos an issue in business meetings. I have yet to go anywhere in my professional life that having tattoos have been a negative. And frankly it is nothing more than a litmus test, if there ever was someone who would judge me due to my tattoos than they are not the kind of people who I would be interested in working with. If you are known for quality your work will speak for you.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  15. Jenna

    I actually belong to this Church and while I personally am not getting a tattoo, I advocate it. Those of you making disparaging remarks are not qualified to cast judgment. Ecclessia is well respected in the Houston community because of the work they do outside of the Church. There is a huge homeless ministry involved, many projects to help the down-trodden around the world, and it promotes the love of Christ by helping those in need. It is doing as well as preaching. This is not about a trend, these people feel a heartfelt tug for a reminder. . I am happy to be a member of a Church that tries to follow the true message of Christ which for those of you that are Christian, know that it is to love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Tattoos are nothing compared to the war, the abuse, or the judgemental self-righteous religious mindset so prevalant in the world today. Those of you making ugly remarks ought to read about Ecclessia rather than making a base judgement over an article.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You are just another evangelical cult. We are not stupid here.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jenna

      UD, did you actually read about Ecclesia before making that remark?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Margaret

      As long as they realize that some places want all tattoos covered up, or they will not be hired. Some of the most evil people in prison have tattoos of Jesus, crosses, and other symbols. Personally I would rather donate the cost of the tattoo to a food bank. I wonder what Jesus would do?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      So if your preacher said you ought to have your forehead tattooed like Charles Manson you'd think that's great because your church is well known for helping the poor? The same for if he told you to set your hair on fire? The same for rub your stomach counter clockwise and say "Mother may i?" What if he told you to set fire to your neighbor's house .. would that be a good idea since he does so much to help the poor? Whatever the herd does .. the cow does. moooo... notch her ear and put a bell around her heck.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • countrycook

      Do you think YOU will be standing in front of Almighty God on Judgment Day saying " God I know You said "New International Version (©1984)
      "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD." BUT I said "I advocate it" so that makes it OK now.? FOOL

      March 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Jenna

      RightTurnClyde, this isn't compulsory...just whomever wants to do it. Personally, I don't want a tattoo so I won't do it. Doesn't make it wrong.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Jenna of course I did, why else would I make the remark?
      "it promotes the love of Christ by helping those in need. It is doing as well as preaching"
      Accept Christ and we will help you. Evangelical cult.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Jenna

      It is okay UD, you won't see it unless your eyes are opened. I forgive you for trying to goad me into anger.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Fun with NT Contradictions

      In Matthew, the angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him that Mary's child will save his people from their sins. In Luke, the angel tells Mary that her son will be great, he will be called the Son of the Most High and will rule on David's throne forever. A short time later Mary tells Elizabeth that all generations will consider her (Mary) blessed because of the child that will be born to her.

      If this were true, Mary and Joseph should have had the highest regard for their son. Instead, we read in Mark 3:20-21 that Jesus' family tried to take custody of him because they thought he had lost his mind. And later, in Mark 6:4-6 Jesus complained that he received no honor among his own relatives and his own household.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • inHisname

      One thing I'd suggest for those @ that church is a good shower.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Gregory Remmington*

      So are you saying that to help fellow men I must be part of a church or congregation? Or can I just have good sense and kindness in me because Im human? Must I be filled with the greatness of "god" to help others? No I dont have to be part of anything to help others. I am self driven and nice, Also I am atheist

      March 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jim

      It's unfortunate. I am a former Atheist that has now found the way of Jesus Christ. But, when I was an Atheist, I denied the existence of the Holy Spirit so now I can't get into Heaven no matter what... =( So now I'm just going to live the most sinful life possible because, what's the point? I'm going to burn for eternity regardless.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • JM

      Well said. God bless all of you!!

      March 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  16. Canadian

    So lame

    March 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  17. Hannah

    Read all of Leviticus 19 and make sure you follow every single commandment before you judge those who tattoo themselves.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  18. howie76

    Never met a hip pastor. He may be considered hip by those who following him but the average American knows what he is not. Just a poser. They take parts of society and try to push their illogical beliefs on us by being like us. How warped is that? If religion is so hip them why do I find it so dull. How much money did his congregants have to pay for that ink as well when they should of been serving the poor.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Scotticus

    So much venom from both sides of the issue. Heartbreaking really. The religious scream how it breaks the laws and atheists yell marketing and fools. I see folks trying to walk out what they believe in art. I pray that from this shackles would be taken off and people would see the good news for what it really is; God came into a dark world to bring change. In the midst of darkness and hatred He brings love. Time for us to try to do the same.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I know right? Strange how the all-knowing, all-powerful creater of the universe could have failed so miserably. Not much of god is he? You pray now!

      March 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Scotticus

      You see miserable failure and I see the acts of individuals striving to walk out their faith by bringing a little bit of heaven to earth. You see a insignificant god and I see a loving Father who has walked with me through my darkest seasons of life, through my personal hells and loved me faithfully through them. I see pockets of redemption and I pray for them to spring up in your life as well UD. Be blessed with the wonder that Jesus loves us despite us.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Scotticus,
      Jesus has been dead for a LONG time dude. Please.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • tony

      Do you really believe that if you bust the 9th Commandment often enough it will go away. That's Blasphemy.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      What is being offered is Truth and it is not testimony "against" a neighbor. The ninth commandment is not involved.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.