Monday, March 5, 2012

Houston pastor asks church members to get tattoos for Lent

Designer Scott Erickson, left, and Pastor Chris Seay join other community members at Ecclesia Church in Montrose who have gotten tattoos.

HOUSTON — Asking his congregation to get permanent tattoos as a part of their Lenten observances may be one of the craziest things Ecclesia pastor Chris Seay has done at his artsy, pop-culture-savvy Montrose church. The tattoos represent the Catholic Stations of the Cross as a part of the church's art exhibit for Lent called: Cruciformity: Stations on the Skin.

Though the church hoped to get just 10 people to volunteer to get the tattoos (one for each station of the cross), between 60 and 80 people are got inked for the project. Their tattoos display different scenes from Station of the Cross, following the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

“We're going to have a lot of people who don't go to a church and who are in the tattoo culture,” said Seay. “We hope that as you pause and look at this art, God will speak to you about who he is and what he's done for us. I want to declare to them, `Hey, you're welcome here.’?“ Seay estimates half the Ecclesia community has a tattoo. They're more popular than ever among young people, with about 40 percent of Americans under 30 sporting ink, according to the Pew Research Center.

In Christian communities, religious-themed tattoos are relatively common. Christian satire blog Stuff Christians Like lists “tattoos for God” among contemporary Christian trends, noting the use of body art as a tool for evangelism. There is still a debate, often cultural and generational, about whether it is appropriate for Christians to get tattoos. “There are definitely some Old Testament passages that have something to say about (tattooing), but we don't think they have weight in this contemporary circumstance,” said Seay, a Christian author, Baylor grad and third-generation pastor. “If we thought the Scriptures were prohibiting it, we wouldn't be doing it.”

1 comment:

loves2spin said...

No one asked me, but I think that is shocking and ill-advised.