Tattooed Jesus, good controversy or bait and switch gimmick?

A series of billboards showing Jesus covered in tattoos has upset many Christians living in the Texas city where the posters have been put up.
The billboards, which show Jesus with the sins of those who have come to him tattooed across his body, have been condemned as blasphemous by some West Lubbock residents.
However, the grassroots group behind the campaign say the posters were meant to spread a positive message and get people talking.

Sins: A controversial Christian campaign has shocked residents in a Texas city
The billboards feature Jesus wearing a crown of thorns and with his arms outstretched. Across his bare chest and arms words such as ‘outcast’, ‘addicted’, ‘jealous’ and ‘hatred’ have been tattooed on his skin.
‘I don’t like the picture. I think it’s very derogatory,’ one resident told ABC News.
Another said: ‘I’m thinking it’s more blasphemous, negative.’

‘I wish them the best’: Inspirational moment man, 27, who was beaten almost to death by five teens forgives his attackers as he slowly recovers from brain injuries
Governor signs law to let California midwives will be able to perform abortions
The poster directs people to the website, where a video shows people coming to Jesus to have their sins cleansed.
During the six-minute video, a woman seen having her tattoo of ‘self righteous’ changed to ‘humbled’ and a boy on crutches having ‘outcast’ changed to ‘accepted’ are among those who visit the tattoo parlor.


Absorbed: The tattoo artist’s back is revealed to show the negative messages appearing on his skin
The video then shows the negative tattoos appearing on the body of Jesus, whose skin had been unblemished at the start of the film.
While some find the poster campaign in poor taste, the pastor of the city’s Southcrest Baptist Church has praised its message.
‘I thought that it was cleverly done because, basically, it’s a visual of Jesus taking the sins of people and covering them and taking them from an outcast or something and giving them a new start, which is what the gospel is about,’ David Wilson said.
‘This is perfect because it just draws people in here,’ he added.
The group behind the campaign, who have erected more than 50 billboards across Lubbock in the past nine days, say they are not trying sell anything.
Ashleigh Sawyer, the group’s spokesman, said: ‘The message is a simple one, Jesus’s love is transformative. He loves us unconditionally and no matter what you’ve been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us.’

Message: The group behind the campaign say they are trying to spread a message of hope
She told the Christian Post the group, which is not affiliated with any organization, accepted some may find the images of tattoos on Jesus to be in poor taste, but defended the reasons behind the campaign.
‘We welcome the controversy because we understand that a dialogue on the issue is the best way to spread the message,’ Ms Sawyer said.
The group plans to extend its billboard campaign to other regions.

50 thoughts on “Tattooed Jesus, good controversy or bait and switch gimmick?

  1. That is really beyond appalling. This is the work of the enemy to entice Christians to be disobedient and to get tattoos which are in the Bible as being an abomination to God, and thereby creating demonic doorways.

    Having a tattoo (skin marking) puts ANYONE believer or not, into disobedience and rebellion and under the curses of God which can be read in Deuteronomy 28.

    People who say they are Christians and do and teach others to do things like this, need to spend some time reading all of the Bible carefully – not ignoring the bits they don’t like and updating it as it suits them – and not the New Age versions either.

    Sorry just MHO but this is as clear as day in the Bible. Anyone who can’t see that needs to wake up, clear their brain of harmful clutter and start using it, as foolishness is no excuse and we know from the Bible there is a price to pay for stupidity, sometimes a very high price.

    It’s the same old thing, over and over and over again, from day one: “Yea hath God really said?” Whenever are people going to stop listening to the devil and start listening to God?

  2. I guess this caught me at a time when I have got a bit tired of false teaching. It’s so damaging. Too many Christians standing by and turning a blind eye and I guess I don’t want to be one of them. Let’s tell it like it is.

  3. Levitiucs 19:26, “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood,” and verse 27, “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.” are you as solid on those scriptures as you are the tattooing?

  4. Well fine, but I don’t think you have made a film or anything to entice others to do it, which is quite different.

    If you have tattoos, you can have them removed, cover them in the blood and renounce them and be forgiven.

    There is just no way a Christian can condone people having tattoos when it is so clear that God hates them.

  5. With respect, I don’t think it’s a good idea to get into nit-picking arguments.

    We are not supposed to go back to the law. Many of those laws were for various reasons and no longer apply.

    It’s as clear as day from the Bible that God doesn’t like tattoos. God doesn’t change. If he didn’t like them then he doesn’t like them now.

    Where in the Bible does it say that God actually really doesn’t mind tattoos and it’s all right to have them? Nowhere. Not in the KJV anyway.

  6. Actually we are not supposed to drink blood either, that’s quite clear. There are very sound reasons for that.

    With common sense it is possible to discern which laws still apply and which are defunct.

    To varying degrees, too many Christians think they are not under the law as in lawless, there is no law and they can just about do what they want, short of something like murdering someone, that is.


  7. Sorry, I keep thinking of something else to say, and it’s 4.30 in the morning here!

    Christians are told in the Bible to make the Jews jealous. Instead of that they often cause Jews to wonder at how lost and confused ‘Christians’ really are. Is that surprising?

    Many Christians don’t even know that Jesus was a rabbi. So if we are supposed to conform to the image of Jesus, then we are not supposed to do things like have tattoos, are we?

    There are massive campaigns afoot to get people to do yoga, reiki, have tattoos, false worship and all the rest of it, all of which are idolatry and therefore an abomination to God, and as Christians we really ought to get clear about that.

    Anyway it’s always one thing to do something that harms oneself, but it is a great deal worse if you are leading other people astray – even children – which this film is, at the level of the gutter.

    Anyway thank you for posting this as it’s yet another indicator of how bad things have become but at least people are protesting about it and we need to protest so people can think well hey maybe I need to think about this, maybe this is not a good thing to do.

  8. From that link – call me harsh – this is harsh, but it makes the point:

    “Revelation 19:16 clearly is referring to the “vesture his thigh” – “. . .he hath on his vesture and on his thigh. . .”

    Can anyone with any spiritual discernment (and a brain) really believe the Lord Jesus Christ has a tattoo? Isn’t it amazing how spiritually blind someone becomes when they began to justify their disobedience to the Word of God?

    But what really is frightening about this gross, perverted, wicked interpretation of a “tattooed” Jesus Christ in Revelation 19:16 – it makes the Lord Jesus Christ a SINNER!

    It means the Lord Jesus CLEARLY disobeyed Leviticus 19:28! It means the Lord Jesus Christ was not Holy! He was not the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. He clearly was disobedient and broke the Leviticual Law of Leviticus 19:28!

    And if the Lord Jesus Christ committed sin – everyone is either in hell or on the way to hell. There is no salvation without a sinless, spotless Lamb of God. It took a sinless, perfect, Saviour to pay for your sins.

    And thank God – despite what these spiritually sicko, perverted, Christian tattooers “preach” – The Lord Jesus Christ was without sin – and without “tattoo”!

    18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
    1 Peter 1:18-19″

    I rest my case m’lud.

  9. I have a friend who’s a priest who has a tattoo of a devil on his leg. Joel houston has one too so it must be cool.

  10. Who the heck is Joel Houston? Hold on a minute, I’ll go look him up.

    Well he certainly loves himself and is a rotten example of humility and genuine not sham Christlikeness that we are supposed to have. More like a rock star, taking glory for himself instead of giving it to God. Like who was it who did that? Oh yes Lucifer the praise leader.

    Oh well the devil must have tattoos so they must be cool.

    There really are none so deaf as those who do not wish to hear.

    Sorry but my personal opinion is that Tattoos are cheap and ugly, and show a childishnness and selfishness in that if you have money to spare why spend it on such a thing and not give it to those in need? What’s nice about tattoos? David Beckham has destroyed his body with them.

    People are brainwashed, so it’s impossible to get through to them.

    It’s the same throughout the Bible, and God certainly has justification to complain about human beings, when even the ones who are supposed to listen, don’t listen.

    Thank God for Jesus, who obeyed God in EVERY way.

  11. Jesus was right to say that. They were a bunch of hypocrites, full of sin themselves.

    We need to remember – it’s quite clear – if you are arguing with Jesus, you are arguing with God.

  12. No the torah is quite clear. The woman was to be killed. Jesus didn’t kill her.

    O and what does the law say about touching a bleeding woman…

  13. Uhm, I think we all ought to care what each of thinks TiR. You don’t want to unleash the hounds on this particular blog! Let’s all keep in mind that none of us is the repository of all truth and that each if us understands the bible as mediated by culture, geography, social and community influences and gender; don’t make the mistake of thinking and commenting as if all you post is correct and anyone who disagrees with your view is in error.

  14. Here we go again – ad nauseam – “Yeah hath God REALLY said.”

    Let’s give it a tweak here, and a tweak there, read a new version. Get a nice new book like Faith LIke Potatoes and maybe we can have our cake and eat it.

    Jesus said compassion is above the law. He did not say I’ve disobeyed the law so therefore it’s all right for you to do it.

  15. And he also said that Love is what the whole law is about…love your neighbour as yourself and love God with your whole heart…neither of which are reflected in NOT getting tattoos!

  16. Just as much as the creation of any work of art is a reflection of love for your neighbour or even love for God. My tattoos (except for those I got before being committed to my faith) all reflect my love for God and love of my neighbour. I regularly have conversations about my faith with complete strangers because of my tattoos.

  17. Let me say that I recognise in your words a total desire to be devoted to God as you understand the scriptures indicate you should…and that is a great, admirable and honorable thing, I respect your stance and admire your commitment to truth. I, an many others see things differently. I may be wrong, but it is the way I see things through my own experience of the world and the scripture.

  18. I can assure you that is not what God wants and you really ought not be suggesting such things are all right.

    As I said before, it’s one thing to do these things yourself, and another to teach others. Be not many teachers as they will receive the greater condemnation.l

    Our bodies are supposed to be temples of a pure and holy God. What is pure and holy about tattoos?

  19. Greg, thank you for that. Due to personal experiences, perhaps I am more aware than most of the danger of compromising on what scripture says. I think that is why the Bible says: If thine eye be single thy whole body will be full of light and if the light in you is dark how great is that darkness. It’s to do with either we are accepting Jesus as our saviour, WHICH MEANS OBEYING HIM, or we are serving someone/thing else. No compromise there.

  20. Throughout history the tattoo bears the mark of paganism, demonism, Baal worship, shamanism, mysticism, heathenism, cannibalism and just about every other pagan belief known. The tattoo has NEVER been associated with Bible Believing Christians. And whenever and wherever, in history Christianity appears – tattoos disappear. The only exception — 20th century, lukewarm, carnal, disobedient, Laodicean Christians.

  21. This site is getting too conservative. We need some different contributors. How about a beer drinking, smoking, woman minister with a tattoo saying “F you Israel”, and another with the name of her Muslim lesbian lover.

  22. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. WHAT THEN? SHALL WE SIN, BECAUSE WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE? GOD FORBID. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:8-23)

  23. Greg, you thought I was trouble…. No mentions of circumcision or S-E – you know what.
    There are ladies here now.

  24. Marking up the body, tattooing, cutting, flesh promotion, etc. have always been considered sin according to the Bible. It is strictly paganism. This is why it was condemned in the Old Testament and forbidden among Christian disciples of Christ in the New Testament. There is no reason for Christians, who are denying their flesh in obedience to Jesus Christ, to get tattoos or to imitate pagan practices of pagan cultures. Churches that cannot make in roads into the culture due to their powerless spiritual ministries, are now resorting to gimmicks and other marketplace trinkets to get attention. One cannot imagine the Apostle Paul cutting his flesh or getting tattoos while he is chained to a wall, surrounded by Roman guards and laying in his own bodily fluids and excrements as he preached his way towards his own execution. Time to grow up in Christ instead of preparing yourself to take the mark of the beast.

  25. Who is influencing who? Whose example are you following? The Nazis marked the Jews with tattoos as they led them to the ovens. Who is leading your church and where are they leading you to?

  26. Marking up the body, tattooing, cutting, flesh promotion, etc. have always been considered sin according to the Bible. It is strictly paganism.

    1 Corinthians 8

    8 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

    3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

    4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

    5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

    8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

    9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

    10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

    11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

    12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

    13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

  27. Yes, bones, so the basic teaching is that if there is anything that would stumble a brother you would leave it, but in itself nothing is unlawful to us. The judgment we make for ourselves is whether it is expedient.

    For instance, if we were calling a brother gay, and being suggestive of gay acts, who was requesting we didn’t because it was an aversion to him, we would be compelled by decency to desist so that we neither offended the brother further nor stumbled him.

    I think that’s the gist of the passage, albeit in reference to meats in Paul’s case, but anything previously considered unlawful could apply.

  28. Abstain from all appearances of evil – 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – why even bother picking up a bible, much less reading it, if your focus is to imitate godless pagans? Go ahead, just go out and gorge your pagan desires and let it run its course. A pig will always return to its own vomit and a dog will hump whatever dog is near. The beasts of nature have no pretense nor sense to pretend to be anything other than what they are: beasts. And a pagan will practice paganism. A man of God will not. A Judas will sneak in among the inner circles of The Lord, deceiving and pretending to be a close ally of God’s will, but in the end, we all know where Judas ended up. Discernment from the Holy Spirit reveals to the true disciples of Christ the truth – discerned out of much labor in the Word of God. And true disciples of God seek not to impress with their flesh the world, nor it’s fallen conditions. An inadequate spiritual life, one void of a mature relationship with Christ and one empty of the power of the Holy Spirit, is then left to cut and paint the outward man, which is perishing, to finally draw attention to that which has no value in the kingdom of God Almighty.

Comments are closed.