Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reading Round-Up

RJS has an on-going piece over at Scot McKnight’s blog about “missional campus ministry.” She is a professor at a large secular university (not a Christian college) who has been involved in academia for 28 years as a graduate student, post-doc, and professor. Check out her thoughts here: Parts I, II, III, and IV. What do you think?

Here is a good op-ed piece on credit card use in America.

Check out this artwork made with an iPhone using an application called “Brushes.” Pretty neat stuff!

At just 28-years-old, Jon Favreau (President Obama’s top speechwriter) makes an annual salary of $172,200 working in the White House. Hmmm, maybe I can put my future communications degree to some good use after all... :-)

Is the Internet melting our brains? “No,” says Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois and author of the forthcoming book, A Better Pencil. He explains why such hysterical hand-wringing is as old as communication itself.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jesus' Ink...Part Two.

So my last post asked whether or not Jesus will have a tattoo, when He returns. The conclusion is really no conclusion, we are just going to have to wait and see.

So what about tattoos? What if you have a tattoo? What if you want a tattoo? Are tattoos Christian? Are tattoos a sin?

Tattooing is a controversial issue in society today, without the addition of Christian ethics and morals. To start with (so you understand my perspective), I have a tattoo. Actually, I have several tattoos.

I think a better question than the ones listed above would be, is a tattoo right for me? In our culture tattoos aren’t looked at the same way as they were maybe just a few years ago. For me tattoos were and are right, I have chosen to get them to represent specific areas and times in life I want to remember. I do however caution getting tattoos, it is a permanent expression; make sure you want to express that forever. There are some other things to take into consideration such as possible side effects and even the possibility of a disease, so be wise about your decision.

A tattoo is a personal decision, one to make wisely and not hastily. As Christians we need to realize we live in freedom with Christ, but we do not have a license to sin. The bible is clear about many things that are without a doubt a sin, however tattoos are a grey area. Leviticus 19:28 says, do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark you skin with tattoos. This verse was specifically needed to combat the worship of pagan Gods and ancestor worship. Furthermore we are not bound by the law to have a relationship with God because of the Sacrifice of Jesus.

What if you want to get a tattoo to glorify God and speak of your Christian testimony? Why not, the bible declares your body is a temple (2 Corinthians 6:15), so you are just putting out the sign, right? I know many people who have the salvation story tattooed on them, from the fall of man to the risen Christ and it is an amazing testament to their dedication, they can never hide their light, their ink declares their victory in Christ and I applaud their decision to live life that loudly for Christ.

I think the best way to look at this is, if you feel like tattoos are wrong, then they probably are wrong for you, but I would caution you in redirecting people who feel they are right. If you feel tattoos are right, then they may be right for you and I would caution you about trying to redirect those who believe it is wrong. The only thing we need to agree on is Jesus is our Lord and our God, everything else is gravy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jesus' Ink

Earlier today I Twitted asking if Jesus would have a tattoo when he returned. Revelation 19:16 says, on his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

Everyone said yes, He would.

It looks like it, although there are several approaches we can take to look at this verse. 1. Jesus has Ink! 2. Jesus has a Sharpie and he wrote it on His leg. 3. It’s not a tattoo or Sharpie but a supernatural expression of a worthy title.

Then there is another view, that the word “thigh” is incorrectly translated and should actually be the word “banner.” The words “thigh” and “banner” are almost exactly alike in Hebrew and a translator could have had a difficult time reading a poorly written manuscript. One could also argue that the Old Testament law stated not to mark your skin (Leviticus 19:28.) The NLT version actually says “On his robe at his thigh.”

All these different views add up to Christians disagreeing on something, but lets try to find some common ground. First lets agree this is not a major point of contention or eternally significant in anyway.

I am going to take the fifth standpoint; I don’t really care. Sure it would be cool if Jesus has a Tattoo but I think we are missing the point. More important than Jesus’ ink is the fact He is coming back to claim His people. He is actually, in this context, coming to establish His 1000-year reign.

We need to look at who Jesus is, not what He may or may not look like, it is easy to get caught up in the non-essentials but we can’t let them distract us from the essential elements of our faith. Revelation 19 should be a call to action, to make as many connection points with people as possible, to share with them who Jesus is.