Sins of the Flesh
Ever since I got my ears pierced as a little girl I have been confronted by various people asking me why I would want to deface my body — “God has given you such a wonderful gift, modifying it is a disgrace”. I heard this regularly from my late Grandpa Jim, to some very important people in my current life.
Now, if you know me you know that I spent a fair amount of time in the Christian church. I went to Grace Baptist Church, a Bellingham based Baptist-Church, as a young girl, and we stopped sometime before my parents divorced when I was five. I attending a Seventh-Day Adventist church with my step-mother for years, and for third, fourth, and fifth grades I was enrolled at the Bakerview Adventist School. Sometime after 6th grade started I stopped attending church all together and didn’t regain that ground until my freshman year of high school.
In the end, I ended up attending church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night youth group, plus youth groups at multiple churches – at one point I was attending a church related event nearly every night.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
That is one of the verses that people use against me while discussing my sins of the flesh. Not surprisingly, the people who choose to use these verses (and the other similar verses) to discuss how I’m essentially going to hell for disobeying God cannot see the otherside to the verse.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit…” Well, yes. Actually I do. But perhaps you recall this other temple (okay, chapel to be technical):
Yup. The walls of the church are painted and covered with beautiful (ly disturbing that this is on a church/in public) images depicting the life, beliefs and the stories of the church. Not a single one of my tattoos has a lack of meaning or story. In fact, each one is very significant – that it why it has been tattooed on me.
GENESIS 1:31 NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Here is the one I’ve never understood. God made man, correct? God designed our brains, our thought processes and has allowed us to decide who we are, what we like and has given us a choice about how to live. Every decision I make is based on the guidelines that have been created for us to live within. It is not possible for me to do anything outside of the laws of the Universe — created by God.
No, I’m not justifying a murderers actions, as he or she is also living within the same guidelines, because their actions impede on the existence of another — morally, this is incorrect; however, those who have tattoos and piercings do not impede on your life directly simply by having the tattoos and piercings.
In researching for this blog, I discovered “testimonies” where young people were writing about how much they’d wish the didn’t rush out and get a body piercing or tattoo and that they’d considered it more first. Perhaps that’s the message that we should really teach our children — don’t rush out and do something hasty, but if you really truly have given it thought and are sure this is who you are, and what you want to do with your life after careful consideration — then “I will support you.”
“God saw ALL that He made, and [we are] very good.”