Billboards of a tatted Jesus spread over the city of Lubbock have Texans infuriated. There are about 60 huge signs that have an image of Jesus with tattooed arms that are stretched outward. Words such as addicted, hated, outcast, faithless and jealous can be found on those arms in bold lettering.
These new billboards are ads done by “Jesus Tattoo.” This organization is a small group of nondenominational people. The group’s website says that they are not a church and aren’t selling anything. Their only intent is to encourage people to establish a relationship with Jesus, the son of God.
Media relations coordinator for Jesus Tattoo, Ashleigh Sawyer, said the organization’s campaign has no hidden agenda and means no harm. She said the billboards are not about tattoos as many may think. The group is only trying to convey a message of love and acceptance. Sawyer says the message is simple, “The love of Jesus is transformative and he loves people unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what you have been marked with; love for others and faith in him can transform us all.”
On their website they’ve included a video which depicts Jesus as a basement tattoo artist who is surrounded by people from all walks of life. In the video the folks who come to Jesus have been tattooed with their faults and want the Savior of Man to remove and replace the negative markings. He, in turn, changes the negative markings to positive tattoos. The negative labels are then transferred from the people to the body of Jesus in a symbolism of him taking on the sins of the world.
The perception of the Jesus Tattoo organization’s method is mixed; basically due to the generation gap. Those who opposed the site’s representation have referenced the biblical verse Leviticus 19:28 which reads, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
Others argue that Jesus the Christ came to bring grace and a “New Law” to enhance the Old Testament laws. They also have stated that the biblical verse many reference in Leviticus is taken out of context and does not apply.
Tattoos have long been known to be part of pagan funeral rites where they were believed to appease the false after-life gods. Many Christians today say that their tattoos have a higher purpose – to evangelize.
Chris Seay, Houston pastor, says that he asked his followers to get inked for Lent. He agreed that there are Old Testament verses that speak on tattooing, but he doesn’t feel it has any weight in today’s society. Seay added if they felt the Bible prohibited it in this contemporary circumstance, they wouldn’t be doing it.
According to ReligiousTattoos.net they have no doubt that tattoos are not sinful and that Christians who choose to express their faith with some ink under their skin have not sinned or succumbed to the wiles of the devil. They also add that it’s important to remember just because biblically speaking it is okay to be tattooed doesn’t mean that it’s best for everyone.
The method of this grassroots’ group has been condemned by many of the older Texans. They have called the billboards derogatory and blasphemous. The younger crowd has a different opinion and have welcomes the ads. They feel they are thought-provoking and are very positive.
What do you believe about the ad: do you think the billboard is inappropriate or does it display a positive message?
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)