Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Opus 2014-251: Culture of Conformity

Recently a young lady at my church asked me about a tattoo.  My simple answer?  “No.”

She had already mentioned it to her mother.  Mom tried to side step the issue by saying it needed to be small and spiritual.  Since even that was not what the girl wanted to hear she went looking for other opinions.  Since she is over 21 she doesn’t actually need anyone’s permission.  Since she is insecure she wants approval.  She didn’t get it from me but I expect her to get marked anyway.  The main thing holding her back is that she doesn’t have a job.  I think she will find the money somewhere.

I do not understand tattoos.  They are in a category with sagging pants and tongue piercings to me.  How should we respond.  Why do I respond with a “no”?

Although it is not the most important reason, I must confess my personal taste screams, “Never!”  I don’t find them attractive on others, why should I think they would work for me?  I have yet to see a tattoo that I thought made anyone look better and I have seen quite a few on bloated bodies that just draw attention to what is best ignored.

An even more import question is, “What does the Bible say?”  Often this is totally ignored if we have our mind made up.  I found one verse that seems to speak to the issue.
(Leviticus 19:28 NAS77)  'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.
That is the NASB.  The KJV says it in a more general way that is more comprehensive.
(Leviticus 19:28 KJV)  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
This seems pretty clear. 

Then there is the matter of general appearance.  Why spend a lot of time on make-up and dressing to impress and then go out and mark up your body with designs that will not go away?  The make-up is to cover flaws and the clothes are often chosen for the same reason.  Styles change.  Hair, colors, eyebrows and all in flux.  Why do something that cannot be adjusted?

Only one reason that I can think of:  Cultural conformity.  People do it because others are doing it.  That may be fine for pagans but followers of Christ are called to a different standard.  Paul put it this way,
(Romans 12:2 NAS77)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
So my answer will remain, “No”. 

Sometimes negative is the right answer.

homo unius libri

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