Getting inked has been a long and storied tradition in many cultures. In modern America, it's almost a rite-of-passage for a young adult. But what does the Bible say about it? Taken out of context, Leviticus 19:28 (and indeed, all of Leviticus 19) would seem to indicate that it's wrong, at least in some fashion. But the obvious and immediate counterargument is that those decrees were specifically handed down to Moses for the setting apart of God's chosen people at that time, and specifically to be in contrast and contradiction to the surrounding rampant paganism and mystic religions and cults of that time and place in the world.
Now of course, if one idolizes or worships something other than God, especially to the point of getting that idol or thing permanently painted on their body, that's a different problem. But we could all agree that the practice of tattooing, in and of itself, is very faith-neutral, and it's all about what you DO with it and WHY. Does it become a way of starting conversations with others and sharing your testimony? Does it give you a fellowship with a peer group that helps you be a light unto others?
Despite the fact that Chuck's ink was done before he became a Christian, he's very grateful that he was discerning enough to get a wolf (for family pride and celebration of those bonds), and a lyric from a Tool song that in fact can be very applicable to his faith. "Father blessed them all with reason, and this is what they choose." He regaled us with the backstory and the silly other tattoos that his fellow army enlistees thought were "rad" ideas at the time, and we'll just say he came out of that pretty lucky.
Rex designed his himself, as a cross with a treble clef, reflecting his faith and his musical ministry. He sat on the design for a long time. The story of how he finally found the motivation to get it done involves a church-visitor getting a flat tire and Rex helping him out, and said visitor ended up being a local tattoo artist (whose Instagram page you should totally go check out). Divine providence? Possibly!
Nate's ink comes from a very emotionally involved place; a place of grief and remembrance of a lost loved one. They in fact are replicas of two of the tattoos that his late wife had on her own skin, so they have a deep and special meaning to him.
Nate's 2 tats, in memory of his wife.
In closing, we encourage listeners and folks considering going to get tatted-up, to think long and hard about what your design should be; to make it special, meaningful, and something to be proud of. Don't just do it because you're turning 18 and all your friends are doing it. And, stolen from a relevant article on the subject, don't get your boyfriend/girlfriend's name -- the only acceptable names for tattoos are a child, a pet, or a dearly departed loved one.
In today's episode, we apologize for offending the following:
Tattoo artists, people with face and neck tattoos, millennials, army recruiters, Tool, Monster energy drinks, little old ladies who think the Monster energy logo is the mark of the beast, people who have to finance their gold teeth (grilles), and Killeen, Texas. We do NOT apologize to Post Malone, because he's absolutely ridiculous.