Tuesday, February 11th 2014
I’ve never met the man, and I’m sure he’s a great guy who loves the Lord. I usually don’t mention names when I comment on the views of other Christians, but this guy is all over the Internet and speaks on Christian college campuses. His web site has no doctrinal statement so his theology isn’t public. (His web site only informs us that he loves frosted flakes and has a dog named Aslan — apparently some kind of Millennial, Gen Y credential.) I happened on a video he’s widely posted condoning Christians having tattoos. Jeff Bethke says he’s been inked, intentionally, “on purpose,” and not on a whim. He claims he did so as a result of “pursuing truth” and has no problem with Christians who tattoo. His argument centers on the very scripture that prohibits it, Leviticus 19:28: You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves; I am the Lord. Bethke’s argument is essentially that this verse can’t be taken out of context with regards to other verses in this same chapter. He claims that those who don’t approve of tattoos should also be consistent and not eat meat (v. 26). Any serious Bible student knows that there is a difference in the Old Testament between social/ceremonial law (v. 10 regarding leaving food for strangers) and moral/spiritual law. Injunctions pertaining to hygiene, agriculture, and nutrition are not in the same immutable category as spiritual law (v. 4 regarding idols). To make matters worse, Bethke quotes Revelation 19:16 (“on his thigh a name”) to claim that Jesus has a tattoo! (Lousy exegesis-the “thigh” in this case could have referred to military clothing or even a sword suspended from his thigh).
My purpose is not to personally attack Mr. Bethke, whom I’m sure is very sincere, but to make this point. DELIVERANCE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. (If you really want a lengthy, incisive analysis of tattoos read my book on CURSE BREAKING. To order CLICK HERE.) Doing deliverance opens one’s eyes to the empirical realities of how demonic forces operate. All I know about Bethke is what’s on his web site; I would like to meet him and discuss this matter further. I do know this — he doesn’t cast out demons! Doing real spiritual warfare teaches quickly how contemporary evil spirits operate. I’ve lost track of the numbers of demons that use tattoos as a portal for possession. “This scripture was meant for a time and a place,” Bethke argues disingenuously, “It’s a wisdom issue, not a sin issue.” My advice for any considering a tattoo: use some real wisdom before you ink that tramp stamp or butterfly on your breast.
An encouraging word: RESPECT OLD BOUNDARIES
There is some good advice in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 19:14): Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. I have some advice for youth, based on age and experience: Be careful what you disregard from previous generations. In this high-tech time there is a bit of cultural arrogance about dismissing the past as irrelevant. It has seeped into the church and extends to worship styles, behavioral standards, and theology. Don’t too casually dismiss the old boundaries. They may have been there for a good reason you can’t yet comprehend.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did� (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.