Some churches choose to do all to the glory of God. While others seem to do everything for the salvation of man. Some churches dress up to show their respect for the Lord. Others de-emphasize dress because God sees the heart. One such church, Come As You Are Church (that’s the real name) is led by a Pastor Freak of Kalamazoo, Michigan. While the picture to the right has been digitally modified, it isn’t too far off. The six foot, 290 pound pastor is covered with tattoos and wears his hair in a Mohawk. During his interview (read the story here) Pastor Freak said that the Old Testament laws regarding body markings are not applicable today. What do you think?
While Dr. Michael Barrett was with us for the OBF Conference, he explained the background of these interesting Old Testament laws. Some of those “strange” laws were more understandable to the people of Moses’ day. Take for instance the seething of a calf in its mother’s milk (Ex. 23:19). This was not allowed because it was a practice of certain false religions in Canaan. Apparently, the prohibition against body markings and certain hair trimmings can be explained in the same way. The problem was association.
The big question today is whether tattoos and hair styles are associated with something in our culture which might detract from our representation of our holy God. While he does love sinners, the Lord does not expect them to stay the same after they have been regenerated. It seems, however, that some think the look of their old lifestyle will help them to reach those still immersed in it. But is that really the way God wants us to reach the lost—by being just like them? I think not (Rom. 12:2; Jude 22-23).