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"At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women"

Does it surprise you? "At our church, there are several middle aged women with tatts"

  • I find it difficult to admit my thoughts

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#1
On another thread which deals with slightly different issues, handy made some very thought-provoking comments about the extent of tattooing among Christians, and how visible tattoos may impact others. (I am quoting some of her comments here to try to keep on topic in the different threads.) Handy said:

"At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women (no, I'm not one of them)... And believe me, it's a very conservative church... . If one is basically ministering to people who would find piercings or tatts to be associated with rebellion and sin... not a good idea to cover oneself with them. However, if one is ministering out on the streets, or to younger people, then most likely piercings and tatts will be a non-issue.

While I find there is freedom in this issue, anything, anything at all that would hinder our ministry or ability to effectively share the gospel needs to be jettisoned. In some places, piercings and tatts would... but not in other places. Everyone just needs to be wise in the matter."


So what do people think?

Personally I reckon that for someone new to a church and with Christians trying to be friendly with them, if some of the Christians have one or two unobtrusive tattoos that are sometimes visible, it may kind of help the person to relax and feel comfortable; and of course faith based tattoo designs can also be a conversation starter.

Another thing that does not remotely surprise me is when handy says that several middle aged women at her conservative church have tattoos. With the huge increase in tattoo parlor business, it's not only young people that are going for their ink rite of passage at 18, but also older people. Including many middle aged women. So I'm actually not at all surprised that handy has noticed all the middle aged women at her very conservative church who have become tattooed.
 
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#2
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

farouk, you said, "Personally I reckon that for someone new to a church and with Christians trying to be friendly with them, if some of the Christians have one or two unobtrusive tattoos that are sometimes visible, it may kind of help the person to relax and feel comfortable; and of course faith based tattoo designs can also be a conversation starter."

This is why this is such a cultural issue... and it also reflects how much things can change even within one culture in just a generation....

Because I can guarantee you there are many of my generation (I'm 50) and older who would feel uncomfortable and anything but relaxed if they went to a new church and saw lots of people with tatts, even faith based ones.

Now, it is incumbent on us older folks to keep in mind the ideas we associate with something isn't necessarily the same thing younger people do and we cannot be setting ourselves up as judges because someone has a tattoo or a piercing that we view as rebellious. As I mentioned in that other thread... the clothing I am wearing right now, a v-neck t-shirt with short sleeves and shorts that are at mid-thigh would be considered scandalous in many parts of the world and if I showed up in Boston in the 1700's wearing this, folks would judge me for a prostitute.

Just as our culture no longer associates bare calves and ankles with prostitution, for the younger generations, there really isn't an association of tattoos with rebellion or (going even further back) paganism.
 
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#3
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Faith based tattoo?

That is like this girl I saw in the store with a cross incorporated into her "lower back" tattoo. I can tell you being in line behind her really had me thinking about Jesus :shame
 
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#4
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

farouk, you said, "Personally I reckon that for someone new to a church and with Christians trying to be friendly with them, if some of the Christians have one or two unobtrusive tattoos that are sometimes visible, it may kind of help the person to relax and feel comfortable; and of course faith based tattoo designs can also be a conversation starter."

This is why this is such a cultural issue... and it also reflects how much things can change even within one culture in just a generation....

Because I can guarantee you there are many of my generation (I'm 50) and older who would feel uncomfortable and anything but relaxed if they went to a new church and saw lots of people with tatts, even faith based ones.

Now, it is incumbent on us older folks to keep in mind the ideas we associate with something isn't necessarily the same thing younger people do and we cannot be setting ourselves up as judges because someone has a tattoo or a piercing that we view as rebellious. As I mentioned in that other thread... the clothing I am wearing right now, a v-neck t-shirt with short sleeves and shorts that are at mid-thigh would be considered scandalous in many parts of the world and if I showed up in Boston in the 1700's wearing this, folks would judge me for a prostitute.

Just as our culture no longer associates bare calves and ankles with prostitution, for the younger generations, there really isn't an association of tattoos with rebellion or (going even further back) paganism.
handy:

Interesting points that you raise; ty.

At any rate, its sounds like at the very conservative church that you mentioned you go to, the presence of several middle aged women who have gotten themselves tattooed is something that isn't particularly problematic. Also my guess would be that hypothetically it's less likely that someone starting to attend a church would be surprised at the tattooed, rather than older, longstanding Christians who don't happen to have been accustomed to it (if this makes any sense). This is why I'm wondering if it's not such a cultural 'barrier' as it might once have been, especially since it sounds like it's become quite an established custom among several of you guys. God bless your family.

Faith based tattoo?

That is like this girl I saw in the store with a cross incorporated into her "lower back" tattoo. I can tell you being in line behind her really had me thinking about Jesus :shame
Hi Joel; ty for your comment. I would tend to agree that, for example, midriffs exposed, and a Bible ref. inked on a wrist, would be apples and oranges. Your point about modesty is right. Blessings.
 
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questdriven

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#5
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

My church is also very conservative, and I know that at least a couple of members/past members have tattoos, and probably more than that. (It's a small church and only a handful of people tend to attend.) We don't seem to have a policy on that.

It can be said that having tattoos in church might not be a good idea as if people view it as "wrong", then it would be having an appearance of evil and may lead others astray, even if it's not exactly "wrong". So I'd say it depends.
Seems that most people don't really view it as "wrong" or "something Christians can't or shouldn't do", though.
 
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#6
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

My church is also very conservative, and I know that at least a couple of members/past members have tattoos, and probably more than that. (It's a small church and only a handful of people tend to attend.) We don't seem to have a policy on that.

It can be said that having tattoos in church might not be a good idea as if people view it as "wrong", then it would be having an appearance of evil and may lead others astray, even if it's not exactly "wrong". So I'd say it depends.
Seems that most people don't really view it as "wrong" or "something Christians can't or shouldn't do", though.
questdriven:

Interesting to read your impressions.

In some limited circumstances there might be an option to cover tattoos, I reckon.

Thanks for your vote in the poll and I see you voted that you are not surprised that several middle aged women in handy's church have tattoos, and you are right also that many people don't regard them as "something Christians can't or shouldn't do". It's an individual thing, isn't it, whether you want to do it, or whether the person is motivated maybe to get a faith related design?
 
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#7
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Like handy said, it really is a generational issue. Younger folks, in the millennial generation, would probably feel okay with it.
 
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#8
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

According to Torah the only tattoos forbidden are ones with the names of the dead. Commonly known as a 'memory tatt'' where one marks his or her body with the name of a dead loved one for example.
 
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#9
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Now, it is incumbent on us older folks
I'm 54 Dora-I keep telling everyone I'm young-How can i be young if your old at 50?????:fight

Seriously though, my upper body has more ink than places where there is none. I live in a small town where everyone knows I'm tatted up. I wear long sleeves to church out of respect to those who are bothered by my tatts (even though no-one has ever expressed any concern). Make sense? Probably not. :lol Oh well.
 
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#10
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

"Older"... not old... certainly not old, just older than the whippersnappers.

Not old like dirt, the hills, Methuselah and definately not old like Vic!

:lol

Funny what we begin to learn about each other. For some reason, I have always pictured you, westtex, as sort of a "Charles Stanley but Texas style" type.....
 
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#11
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

I am completely okay with it. Except when it is on your face.
 
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#12
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Like handy said, it really is a generational issue. Younger folks, in the millennial generation, would probably feel okay with it.
elizabethbraddock:

By the sound of it, too, with handy's report of several in the middle aged bracket in her (conservative!) church having had the confidence to become tattooed women, there has also been somewhat of a breaking down of any age barrier that there might have been.

Again, it doesn't surprise me, does it you?

Blessings.
 
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#13
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Funny what we begin to learn about each other. For some reason, I have always pictured you, westtex, as sort of a "Charles Stanley but Texas style" type.....
:tongue Thats good. I like Charles Stanley. Reckon he's full of tattoos under his suit? :lol
 
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#14
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

questdriven:

You know, I think as much as anything else, it's partly a case of what people are accustomed to. (This is relevant also to your comments on the other thread on pants, etc.) For the various (middle aged) folk in handy's church — itself a conservative one — becoming tattooed women would be simply something that they are comfortable with and have become accustomed to, and which they would find attractive, I would guess.

(If this makes sense?)
 
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#15
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Tatts on all age groups & both genders isn't surprising at all. Socially and culturally in the US, getting ink no longer is such the taboo as it once was. There was a great-grandmother at a former church who had a delightful butterfly on her ankle; she was in her late 80s, still sharp & driving, and was talking about getting additional tatts. A delightful and dedicated Christian woman, she was remarkable.
 
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#16
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

Tatts on all age groups & both genders isn't surprising at all. Socially and culturally in the US, getting ink no longer is such the taboo as it once was. There was a great-grandmother at a former church who had a delightful butterfly on her ankle; she was in her late 80s, still sharp & driving, and was talking about getting additional tatts. A delightful and dedicated Christian woman, she was remarkable.
AirDancer:

Ty for your comment. You are right. And the more mature Christian ladies are so often an example to us all, especially to the younger generations. I'm sure in the mind of the dedicated Christian lady you mention the delightful tattoo you are aware of would be regarded by her as among the least important of her features and qualities. But I would guess also that her acquisition of it may have gently served as a catalyst for a granddaughter or two to rid herself of any lingering inhibitions from getting a Bible ref. tatt. (or whatever) herself; it often works that way.

And if the truth is known, without saying much, the mature lady herself that you refer to would be secretly quite pleased to think that she might have played a small part in helping some younger person to become divested of any inhibitions from going under the tattoo gun.

Blessings.

PS:

You are right about 'all age groups and both genders': from 18 year olds going for their rite of passage for their b-day, to granddads adding to longstanding ones and grandmothers getting their grandchildren's initials and pastor's wives getting a faith related design, maybe. It's still most common among 18 year olds, though, I think and others of the younger generation. A majority of parlor clients in North America is now female.

So I guess that this is something that the various women in handy's conservative church have recognized, also, and have chosen to show that they, too, relish exploding the taboo. Blessings.
 
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#17
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

I wonder why getting a tattoo can be so important to someone that they risk breaking Lev 19;28.

Leviticus 19:28
King James Version (KJV)
28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.
I know some people have interpretations that allow them to tattoo themselves, and truly believe that they are not breaking Lev 19;28. Who knows, maybe they are right, or maybe they are wrong. But why risk sin in order to make a fashion statement?
 
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#18
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

I wonder why getting a tattoo can be so important to someone that they risk breaking Lev 19;28.



I know some people have interpretations that allow them to tattoo themselves, and truly believe that they are not breaking Lev 19;28. Who knows, maybe they are right, or maybe they are wrong. But why risk sin in order to make a fashion statement?
joe:

Thanks for your comment. Some folk believe from the passage that it's wrong to shave (look at the passage); others might conclude that the context is Old Testament Jews in the land, under the law. Part of the qualification is 'for the dead', also. Some people, under grace, might be motivated to have a faith related design as an effective witness tool also.
 
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#19
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

I don't like tattoos but they look especially bad on women.

In general, God want's us to be separate from the world and tattoos are a very worldly expression of individualism and rebellion. I can't see why someone surrendered to the Lord is compelled to modify God's creation with some lousy picture. :eeeekkk
 
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#20
Re: "At our church, there are several with tatts, including several middle aged women

I don't like tattoos but they look especially bad on women.

In general, God want's us to be separate from the world and tattoos are a very worldly expression of individualism and rebellion. I can't see why someone surrendered to the Lord is compelled to modify God's creation with some lousy picture. :eeeekkk
Car Guy:

Oh I agree that there are tattoos and tattoos. Don't you think, though, that some designs are quite tasteful?

Also some designs are faith related, and some folk find them a useful means to bring about faith related conversations with people. But, yes, designs are very varied.

Re. women, did you know that a majority of parlor clients in North America is now female?
 
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