Tattoos, Skin Metal, etc. Should it disqualify one for serving in church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Today, I came across a group of folks that had tattoos up one arm, down the arm, and on the neck, as well as other publicly viewable areas on the body! Along with that, some had metal rings and bars in their ears, nose, lips, chin and eyebrows!

    I got to thinking, if someone came to your church and accepted Jesus; attended faithfully over a matter of months or even years; attended your church membership and introduction to church history classes, etc., and applied to work as a deacon or Sunday School teacher or lead the youth. Would your leadership team consider them for the roles, or would you deny based on the skin art and body mutilation?

    This is going to be a problem the church will face more and more in the coming years so it needs to be discussed.

    Also, have you in fact, employed as paid or volunteer staff any folks with skin art and or metal art, or both?
     
  2. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I think most would probably deny service to someone who appears to have embraced world cultures, and I would agree with that for the most part. But I don't think I would be judgmental if there were an inner city (for example) ministry that was ministering to that culture. Something like that would indicate that one had not found their identification in Christ yet, but remained involved, in part at least, with a world culture. More a maturity issue, and I believe that eventually the world's ornaments would be abandoned.

    And all of our staff and deacons dress in typical Baptist fashion, suit and tie. But we do have several "relaxed" fellowships in our area that are more casual. Visited a fellowship where people were actually bragging, or at least pointing out that the Pastor wears jeans when he preaches. This seems to resonate with them, and I can understand that, as there is often a separation between preachers/pastors and visitors/members.


    God bless.
     
  3. annsni

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    It hasn't been a problem for us. I'm sure if it were the more extreme examples of skin metal (like putting spikes under the skin or something), there may be a bit of an issue but we have people who are pierced and tattooed on staff and volunteering. Many of them have gotten these things before they were saved and with the tattoos, they can't exactly remove them easily. It is a great testimony to how we are all one in Christ - whether we wear a jumper and comfortable shoes, overalls and boots or designer clothing. If we have perfectly coiffed hair or a buzz cut. :) If you love Jesus, He has changed your life and you want to serve, we will find where your gifting is and put you there.
     
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  4. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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    Years ago you was not aloud to go into most places of business if you didn't have a shirt on or a pair of shoes. Also years ago church people dressed in clothes that were clean and neat to go to church. People whether saved or lost had respect for the Lords day and the place of worship, now, this is all changed. People of today have lost all respect for appearances in public, culture has eroded downward to the point you cannot tell the saved from the lost in looks or actions. The church say's, strong drink is ok, gambling is ok, the way you look is ok. Why is all of this ? Rebellion, and rebellion in a professed church member means there has never been a change of life to begin with.
     
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  5. righteousdude2

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    Matthew 7:13-14 says it all.
     
  6. sag38

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    "Look at me because I have a tattoo. Look at me I'm a Christian because I have on a suit an tie." What's the difference?
     
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  7. Scarlett O.

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    Thank you.

    Think of all the "suit and tie" men who have fallen from grace in sexual sin. That suit and tie didn't do a whole lot for them now did it? The outward appearance stirs discord because that's all people look at - even in the church.

    One should be dressed. Period. Not dressing to please the "suit and tie" crowd and not dressed to please one's self and not dressed for attention. Just dressed.

    Everybody else who gets all in an uproar if they see someone who IS dressed and covered, yet isn't dressed to their liking and starts to "evaluate" that person's spiritual status because they aren't in a suit and tie - well, those people need to get over it.
     
    #7 Scarlett O., Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  8. JohnDeereFan

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    Good question. That's not something we've considered, although, the culture going the way it is, something we probably should.

    Tattoos and piercings are not sinful, in themselves, but when representing the church, such as in a leadership position or even a servant position, I think we should take care to preserve the integrity of the church. The simplest way to do this would to just ask that visible tattoos be covered and piercings be removed when "on the clock".

    ((And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I've toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo and haven't completely ruled it out.))
     
  9. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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    So now it's because a man wore a suit and tie he fell into sexual sin. This is the agenda of the gun control freaks. Ban all guns and there want be any killing any more. Burn all the suits and ties and there want be any sexual sin anymore. I have a good one, think of all the short haired men that have committed sexual sin's. So let's all grow hippy hair.
     
  10. quantumfaith

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    I think you failed to comprehend completely the analogy given.
     
  11. InTheLight

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    Wearing a suit and tie is worldly clothing. Those that wear a suit and tie are trying to be like the world. Actors, lawyers, businessmen, politicians all wear suit and ties. I don't understand why a Christian would want to dress up like those types of people. Especially in church.

    1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [KJV]
     
    #11 InTheLight, Sep 28, 2015
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  12. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
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  13. Scarlett O.

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    You missed the point - grievously.

    People in this thread have insinuated that a tattoo is a sin problem, a problem of the unsaved and/or spiritually immature.

    It's also been insinuated that that suit and tie man is the righteous man.

    I just pointed out that it isn't.

    A man doesn't fall into sexual sin BECAUSE he wears a suit and tie, but the suit and time do NOT protect him from that sin. It isn't where his righteous lives.
     
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  14. HankD

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    Something else to consider.

    This crossed my mind - what were the first clothes we wore?

    They were approved (yea even manufactured) by God - animal skins.

    If someone or a couple came into a church building on Sunday morning wearing leather from head to toe - I wonder - what would the reaction of the assembly be?

    Curious, not contentious, just an observation and a question.


    HankD
     
  15. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I don't see the OP asking if how one appears actually expresses the person inside, as to whether they are saved or not, simply asking our reaction to those who carry the baggage of their former lives into an actual service.

    I know of no-one who would teach their children it's okay to do these things as children of presumably godly parents.

    In view would be people who were once in a culture where that is the norm, and what our reaction to their maintaining those culturally distinctive ornaments after salvation would, or should be.

    I myself wear jeans to fellowship in, because I do not feel comfortable in a suit. I am sure I am judged by some people, but it makes little difference to me. But that would be a little different than wearing earrings as a man, or having long hair, even, which I did when I was saved. I felt a little uncomfortable afterwards, and cut it off. Not to fit in, but because I felt uncomfortable for my own sake.

    This...


    1 Corinthians 11:14

    King James Version (KJV)

    14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?



    ...may have had something to do with it, but I doubt it. I doubt at that point I was even aware of this verse.

    It was something I concluded based on how I felt, and it may be due to ill-conceived presumption on my part, but it doesn't change how I felt which led to a haircut, which still left it somewhat long, but was short compared to what I was used to. Then, I had my head buzzed once, and never went back, lol. I work in extreme heat in the summer and it is my preference now.

    But, I will say that some may maintain their cultural distinctives as a matter of perhaps...defiance. A challenge to others to dare judge them for how they dress or what type of jewelry they wear.

    Probably the only person that stands out in respect of appearance that might be relevant to this particular issue...was a pastor at a church I visited once. He had on some extensive jewelry, and it just seemed a little odd to me, lol.


    God bless.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    At my fellowship one might think a goatee is required, lol.

    I often joke that if I wanted to be a deacon I would grow a goatee and put on a suit.

    It's all in good humor, though.


    God bless.
     
  17. Reformed

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    I guess it depends on the church. Progressive churches actually embrace individualism, so tats and piercings would probably be welcome. More traditional churches may have an issue with them. I tend to fall on the side of avoiding anything that calls attention to the individual within accepted social norms. For instance wearing a suit while preaching in a tribal village in Mongolia would be a bit weird. Conversely, preaching while wearing a toga at a GARB church would be scandalous.
     
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  18. HankD

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    Excellent point, culture has quite a bit to do with differences in value systems. I think we need to be aware of that fact and be flexible whenever/wherever possible.

    HankD
     
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  19. Jerome

    Jerome
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    9Marks

    Review of Blue Like Jazz:

    "...some of his readers will walk away even more confused, but more resolved to get another tattoo, another piercing, grow those dreads, attend another anarchist protest, or say another profanity. They will learn that watching South Park is not so bad, having crushes on l[-----]n pop stars is cool, and that smoking pot is an ambiguous moral question. Taken in isolation these are petty sins, but as a lifestyle they draw people away from Christ by confusing who he is and inhibiting the joyful freedom experienced in obedience to him."
     
  20. Sapper Woody

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    There is a huge difference between acknowledging a past lifestyle, and glorifying it. If someone is bragging about their past, that's horrible. I've seen pastors do it from the pulpit. They do it in the fa├žade of "showing how good God's grace is", but as a teenager when I listened to these men, it made me long to have that kind of lifestyle.

    I believe someone should dress according to their audience. And remember that not all people grew up in a suit and tie household. I was reprimanded as a young teen by my father when we were picking up bus kids. A couple of children walked out of their house with jean shorts and t-shirts on. I said, "Wow, they're really dressing in their Sunday best." And my father said, "How do you know they're not?" At the time, I really didn't get the profundity of the statement; I just felt chastised. But he was right. Who was I to decide their heart based upon their dress? What if they didn't have a tie? What if clean jean shorts and t-shirts were the best they had?

    As far as the OP goes, concerning tattoos and body piercings; I have no body piercings, but while I am at church I cover my tattoos. I don't think tattoos are wrong per se, but I think of the confusion they would cause to others who would see them. The view of the world is that Christians are supposed to live/act/dress a certain way. When we deviate from that, it will have an effect; sometimes good and sometimes bad.

    For instance, if a pastor goes visiting in jeans and a polo to country club, he's not going to be well received. But if he did the same in the projects, he's probably going to be better received. But even then, we have variance. When my father and I used to go bus visiting on Saturdays to section 8 and the projects, we wore ties. Everyone knew we were the "church bus guys". People would stop and talk to us, kids knew why we were there, and everyone was comfortable with us.

    Now, there was a "baptacostal" chaplain I knew in the military, an ex-11B, who used to drink with his soldiers. They thought that was awesome, and felt more comfortable talking to him, because he seemed down to earth. (I have to interject here that I am not condoning drinking, just using this as an extreme example).

    It all comes down to knowing your audience. How will you be received, and will you cause confusion among those you are trying to reach. For this reason, I believe strongly that a pastor should be a part of his community. He needs to know the people. He needs to be seen as one of them. He needs to be approachable.
     

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