“Why Not?”

That was the only comment posted to the following article written by ‘Staff Writer’ ChurchLeaders.com

Michigan Pastor Opens Tattoo Parlor at His Church

WDTN News reported that a pastor in Flint Township, Michigan is doing “everything he can” to reach the people in his community—including opening a tattoo parlor inside his church. Rev. Steve Bentley of The Bridge Church, which occupies space in a local shopping center, says he’s reaching out to those who might not ever set foot inside a church.

When criticized that tattoo application is not an appropriate activity for a house of worship, Bentley disagrees, saying the practice is “morally neutral,” like having your ears pierced. Two tattoo artists work at the shop, called Serenity Tattoos, which is county-licensed and only allows “positive” imagery in their work. Bentley, who has two tattoos himself, also hosts events like cage fighting and wrestling matches on his campus in hopes of attracting the unchurched in his area.

I’ll take a peek again and see if anyone submits a Biblical response on the order of ‘Jesus said “I will build MY church.”


3 responses to ““Why Not?”

  1. My deal is not with having tattoos because other than drawing on yourself in order to worship the dead being a don’t, the scripture doesn’t really say much about it. I think we also have to keep in mind culture and how our actions go against or meld with culture. I think if we go after tattoos, then we also have to go after art in general, hanging art on walls of creatures and our vain imaginations. We have to go after things like ear-rings and necklaces and all forms of adornment incuding hair coloring and curling irons and all those other things which would really cross that line of legalism and matters of the conscience. Women tattoo their faces every day…it just washes off is all. In itself, a tattoo doesn’t mean anything. Just like in itself, a picture of a chicken hanging in the kitchen doesn’t mean anything. In the past, in the US for example, a tattoo was a sign of rebellion, being outside of society and could probably be considered a symptom of what was going on inside, but these days…it’s just your run of the mill fad trend, like a mullett or something…only more permanent. There are some who take it too far and actually become addicted to the practice, others who get a tattoo and wish they hadn’t and yet others who really like their little personal piece of art on their body. Its right or wrongness depends on what it does to the conscience. To the pure, all things are pure…but to the defiled, well, all things are defiled no matter how churchy you make it or don’t make it.

    My concern in this situation is using these things to draw people in (no pun intended). In addition, it’s the idea of allowing the church to be more than a meeting place of fellowship, the idea of merchandising the church. It’s the idea of associating with corporate business no matter who runs it and what it is. It could be a coffee shop, a book store, a skate park…whatever. The gimmicks and the thought of selling in the name of Christ are what get me a bit irked about all this. I understand that this pastor believes he is doing this for good, but when we start looking at things and activities as ways to justify the means, and in this case, a really false means, we are in trouble. The gospel is what it is and stands on its own. It doesn’t need any help. We become all things to all men so that we can win some, but somehow I think that means when we go OUT into the world. We don’t transform the church and the gospel itself in order to bring non-believers in. The church is not a place for non-believers, no matter how good and idealist we might think this sounds. No tattoo shop is going to convert anyone no matter how positive it is and bait and switch was never Christ’s game.


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