Jesus tattooed on a billboard? While tattoos are everywhere, a tatted up Son of God on multiple billboards in Lubbock, Texas are pushing the limit of what is acceptable advertising, says ABC News on Oct. 10.
The billboard, and the website behind it, www.jesustattoo.org, displays a thorned Jesus with nail holes in his hands and words such as “outcast,” “addicted,” “stressed out,” “depressed,” “jealous” and “faithless” on his body, as well as other spurious markings.
The billboard is backed by a non-denominational grass roots organization of individuals with a “love of Jesus.” The About Us website page says: “We are a small group of people humbled by the love of Jesus. We are not a church. We are not selling anything. We encourage you to tell as many people as possible. That’s it.”
The website contains a six-minute video, depicting Jesus as healing victims that are tattooed with shameful and negative connotations. A woman and young boy come to Jesus with tattoos in the short clip.
“Jesus goes to work on the plagued tattooed victims and changes each shameful or negative word or phrase into something positive. The woman in the video breathes a sigh of relief when her tattoo is transformed from ‘Self Righteous’ to ‘Humbled.’ The young disabled boy shows pride as he goes from ‘Outcast’ to ‘Accepted,’” says ABC.
While the message tries to be uplifting, some are questioning the methods.
“Anybody dumb enough to think that Jesus would tattoo his body? Like his father's creation could be improved on by man,” said one commenter on the ABC article.
“I am an atheist and I am cringing! Mostly because of the “outcast” thing. Little disabled boy isn’t accepted among his peers? How is that a sin?! If anything that disgusting thought has moved me even further away from religion,” writes Corey Robertson.
“I don’t like the picture. I think it’s very derogatory,” a local-area resident said, according to ABC.
The billboard raises larger questions: Would Jesus get a tattoo? And should a Christian even get a tattoo? Says the book “Young People Ask…” published by Jehovah’s Witnesses:
“Tattooing is by no means a modern practice. Tattoo-bearing Egyptian and Libyan mummies have been found that date back hundreds of years before the time of Christ. Many of the tattooed images were directly related to the worship of pagan gods. According to researcher Steve Gilbert, ‘The earliest known tattoo that is a picture of something, rather than an abstract pattern, represents the god Bes. In Egyptian mythology Bes is the lascivious god of revelry.’”
The Mosaic Law – the special set of laws that God required of his chosen people, the Israelites – forbade God’s people to tattoo themselves. Says Leviticus 19:28: “You must not make cuts in your flesh for a deceased soul, and you must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves. I am Jehovah.”
Deuteronomy 14:1, 2 also states: “Sons you are of Jehovah your God. You must not make cuttings upon yourselves or impose baldness on your foreheads for a dead person. For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God, and Jehovah has chosen you to become his people, a special property, out of all the peoples who are on the surface of the ground.”
The reference makes this point:
“Pagan worshipers, such as the Egyptians, tattooed the names or symbols of their deities on their breast or arms. By complying with God’s ban on tattoo markings, the Israelites would stand out as different from other nations… While Christians today are not under the Law of Moses, the prohibition it laid on tattooing is sobering, and shows how God felt about marking the body. If you are a Christian, you would certainly not want to make markings on your body that smack of anything related to paganism or false worship.”
Hard to argue against a standard that God put in place, and it certainly would not be pleasing for him to see an “advertisement” of his Son on a billboard in this manner. If you are a parent, would you like to see your son or daughter plastered up in this manner?