Poll

Is it proper for an Orthodox Christian to get a tattoo?

It's fine, nothing wrong with it.
46 (22.4%)
They can if they want, but I wouldn't.
31 (15.1%)
Only in some circumstances.
28 (13.7%)
I don't think it's proper, no.
40 (19.5%)
It is absolutely, positively sinful!
16 (7.8%)
I'm not sure.
40 (19.5%)
None of the above.
4 (2%)

Total Members Voted: 205

Author Topic: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos  (Read 183151 times)

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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #585 on: August 05, 2017, 02:31:46 AM »
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #586 on: August 05, 2017, 09:06:03 PM »
I haven't posted here in awhile, but I would like to add to this thread as I am an Orthodox Christian convert with quite a few tattoos (2 full sleeves, 2 on back, full chest piece, 6 on legs). Now, mind you, I got all my tattoos before becoming Orthodox. At this point, I don't want anymore. I don't know if it is because I am actually an Orthodox Christian now or because I have just lost the desire to get more, but I feel that the tattoos can be somewhat narcissistic and that doesn't help me when trying to walk a path of humility. That being said, I obviously don't judge others who have them because I have so many of course, and I wouldn't judge an Orthodox Christian who got one either, but I myself won't be getting anymore. For me, I feel I have enough already and there is no reason to get anymore. I feel like getting more would be pointless and would not be edifying in any way, even if they were Christian images. I have done enough damage to the temple to last me a lifetime :P. Again, no judgment to those who disagree with me, but these are just my personal convictions.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 09:10:31 PM by ComingofAge »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #587 on: August 05, 2017, 09:25:21 PM »
Well, if Gabriel's at all like me, his 20 years ago is your 40 years ago. That said, oh yeah, the world was a lot saner in the mid-90s. There may have been the insanity we live with now in bands and in certain genres of movies, but, no, people didn't generally mutilate their bodies. You went to work and people had clothes on ... Children played in the streets ... It really was a different time.

 Exactly.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #588 on: August 05, 2017, 09:28:24 PM »
I haven't posted here in awhile, but I would like to add to this thread as I am an Orthodox Christian convert with quite a few tattoos (2 full sleeves, 2 on back, full chest piece, 6 on legs). Now, mind you, I got all my tattoos before becoming Orthodox. At this point, I don't want anymore. I don't know if it is because I am actually an Orthodox Christian now or because I have just lost the desire to get more, but I feel that the tattoos can be somewhat narcissistic and that doesn't help me when trying to walk a path of humility. That being said, I obviously don't judge others who have them because I have so many of course, and I wouldn't judge an Orthodox Christian who got one either, but I myself won't be getting anymore. For me, I feel I have enough already and there is no reason to get anymore. I feel like getting more would be pointless and would not be edifying in any way, even if they were Christian images. I have done enough damage to the temple to last me a lifetime :P. Again, no judgment to those who disagree with me, but these are just my personal convictions.

 It's completely different for those who already have them.  We've all got a past.   
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Offline Jackson02

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #589 on: August 05, 2017, 09:42:09 PM »
In the Old Testament God tells us not to blemish our body. So I don't believe they're allowed.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #590 on: August 05, 2017, 10:07:16 PM »
What did the Council of Jerusalem decide?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #591 on: August 06, 2017, 04:30:22 PM »
What did the Council of Jerusalem decide?

Greeks didn't do that crap so it was a non-issue.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline RobS

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #592 on: August 06, 2017, 04:31:32 PM »

This is awesome! Is there a text associated with this tattoo? Would love to read more about it.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #593 on: August 06, 2017, 04:33:14 PM »

This is awesome! Is there a text associated with this tattoo? Would love to read more about it.

Presumably a record of how they exorcised and executed him.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline RobS

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #594 on: August 06, 2017, 04:34:03 PM »
Well awesome in the interesting sense then... ;)
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline RandomGalOnTheNet

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #595 on: August 06, 2017, 11:10:07 PM »
This is awesome! Is there a text associated with this tattoo? Would love to read more about it.

Towards the bottom here https://tattoohistorian.com/2016/09/24/custom-tattoo-work-historical-improvisation/.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #596 on: August 07, 2017, 12:15:31 AM »
This is awesome! Is there a text associated with this tattoo? Would love to read more about it.

Towards the bottom here https://tattoohistorian.com/2016/09/24/custom-tattoo-work-historical-improvisation/.

I have to say this is a fascinating, fascinating article. Excellent research.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #597 on: August 09, 2017, 01:18:21 AM »
What did the Council of Jerusalem decide?

Greeks didn't do that crap so it was a non-issue.

That's right, Greeks were Puritans.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #598 on: August 21, 2017, 06:02:06 PM »
I heard one SSPX priest give me a metaphor as to why it isn't proper and even sinful to get a tattoo, and I have held on to that interpretation since.

"Would you say that spray painting graffiti on a church building's exterior is morally acceptable, even if you graffiti an image of the Virgin Mary on the exterior? Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should honor the beauty with which God has given us - not ink it with our own artistic designs."

I wouldn't say that "this for sure is sinful" and tell a person to remove a tattoo if they want to receive Communion, but I wouldn't ever get a tattoo.

Plus, maybe I'm selfish, but I honestly don't find tattoos attractive.

I haven't bothered reading this thread all the way through, but if someone pointed it out, the Old Testament condemns tattoos - but one can argue that tattoos were used in conjunction with voodoo, which is the primary cause of its condemnation. The New Testament tends to be more silent on tattoos.

I personally disagree with voodoo being the ONLY reason it was condemned, but that is simply an opinion.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 06:05:21 PM by LivenotoneviL »
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #599 on: August 25, 2017, 02:20:16 AM »
Voodoo?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #600 on: August 25, 2017, 04:12:07 AM »
What did the Council of Jerusalem decide?

Love it! Pretty much resolves every thread on here. Kind of a substitute for "ask your priest." WWCJD?
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #601 on: August 25, 2017, 04:17:54 AM »
Quote
I wouldn't say that "this for sure is sinful" and tell a person to remove a tattoo if they want to receive Communion...

How magnanimous of you.
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #602 on: August 25, 2017, 04:23:14 AM »
I heard one SSPX priest give me a metaphor as to why it isn't proper and even sinful to get a tattoo, and I have held on to that interpretation since.

"Would you say that spray painting graffiti on a church building's exterior is morally acceptable, even if you graffiti an image of the Virgin Mary on the exterior? Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should honor the beauty with which God has given us - not ink it with our own artistic designs."

I wouldn't say that "this for sure is sinful" and tell a person to remove a tattoo if they want to receive Communion, but I wouldn't ever get a tattoo.

Plus, maybe I'm selfish, but I honestly don't find tattoos attractive.

I haven't bothered reading this thread all the way through, but if someone pointed it out, the Old Testament condemns tattoos - but one can argue that tattoos were used in conjunction with voodoo, which is the primary cause of its condemnation. The New Testament tends to be more silent on tattoos.

I personally disagree with voodoo being the ONLY reason it was condemned, but that is simply an opinion.

Yeah, graffiti on the outside of the temple is worse than the sinfulness happening on the inside of it.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #603 on: August 25, 2017, 12:30:55 PM »
^ As tho what one does to the outside doesn't come from the inside.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #604 on: August 25, 2017, 08:32:23 PM »
Take care of your temple.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #605 on: August 25, 2017, 08:55:00 PM »
Take care of your temple.

My body is a pilgrimage center.  Come, all ye faithful!
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #606 on: August 25, 2017, 09:00:03 PM »
Take care of your temple.

My body is a pilgrimage center.  Come, all ye faithful!

I'm not going to your "Prayer Tower" or whatever Oral Roberts wants to call it.
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #607 on: August 26, 2017, 01:15:05 AM »
Voodoo?

From what I know (by Googling) the Old Testament condemns cutting images into one's flesh - but around that time period, as archaeological evidence suggests, the Canaanites would tattoo images of their favorite gods as a symbol of veneration - something which, given the historical context, is an argument given that at that time period that was what tattooing was primarily used for - paganism.

That's the view of those who believe that tattoos are okay, especially given the Mosaic works of the Law being abrogated.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 01:15:46 AM by LivenotoneviL »
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #608 on: August 26, 2017, 01:20:27 AM »
Quote
I wouldn't say that "this for sure is sinful" and tell a person to remove a tattoo if they want to receive Communion...

How magnanimous of you.

Ok, too extreme. How about I wouldn't tell a person who has a tattoo is sinning.

I was trying to be hyperbolic.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #609 on: August 26, 2017, 02:00:31 AM »
Voodoo?

From what I know (by Googling) the Old Testament condemns cutting images into one's flesh - but around that time period, as archaeological evidence suggests, the Canaanites would tattoo images of their favorite gods as a symbol of veneration - something which, given the historical context, is an argument given that at that time period that was what tattooing was primarily used for - paganism.

That's the view of those who believe that tattoos are okay, especially given the Mosaic works of the Law being abrogated.

In Leviticus 19, it's clear that the Hebrews were to be a nation completely set apart from others in the Promised Land.  No cuttings for the dead and no marks.  In Leviticus 21, prohibition against cutting of the flesh is in the same context as shaving your head or corners of the beard.  If that is applicable, then the rest of Law should be as well.  Or can we pick and choose?


Anyway, I think cutting has more to do with self-mutilation in worship (or for the dead) as the Baal worshipers did in I Kings 18 when Elijah laid the holy smackdown on them.
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #610 on: August 26, 2017, 11:24:20 AM »
I heard one SSPX priest give me a metaphor as to why it isn't proper and even sinful to get a tattoo, and I have held on to that interpretation since.

"Would you say that spray painting graffiti on a church building's exterior is morally acceptable, even if you graffiti an image of the Virgin Mary on the exterior? Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should honor the beauty with which God has given us - not ink it with our own artistic designs."

I see where you are going with that and I agree that we shouldn't tattoo ourselves, but think about how many images we have in the Church. The Church is full of images, so I don't think this is that great of an analogy.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 11:27:11 AM by ComingofAge »
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #611 on: May 29, 2018, 05:19:52 PM »

Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #612 on: May 29, 2018, 05:38:11 PM »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #613 on: May 29, 2018, 10:35:34 PM »
I'd be OK with getting ink if only I could think of something I wanted on me forever.

Ain't found it yet.
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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #614 on: May 30, 2018, 08:07:41 AM »
I'd be OK with getting ink if only I could think of something I wanted on me forever.

Ain't found it yet.

I'd like to have the first sentence of the Epistle reading for Transfiguration (""Give diligence all the more to make your calling and election sure" more or less) in Arabic calligraphy. i think on back, so that someteims it's visible and soemtiems not.
But I'm not 100% sure and above all, my priest wouldn't agree. But I must ask him. Plus, since I don't have a boyfriend, it's a riskt that a potential husband wouldn't like it.
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #615 on: May 30, 2018, 10:35:54 AM »
I'd be OK with getting ink if only I could think of something I wanted on me forever.

Ain't found it yet.

Right.  I definitely would not.  I could not fathom the forever part.

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #616 on: May 30, 2018, 03:09:11 PM »
I'd make "the way, the truth, the life" in some fancy Greek calligraphy in my leg, back or shoulder.
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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #617 on: July 17, 2018, 12:09:08 PM »
It's #NationalTattooDay

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #618 on: July 17, 2018, 12:31:13 PM »
its also national Emoticon day....

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Offline Arachne

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #619 on: July 17, 2018, 12:48:41 PM »
its also national Emoticon day....

Yes, it is!

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Offline biro

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #620 on: July 17, 2018, 02:08:17 PM »
Oh dear.
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Warning: stories have mature content.

Offline ironchapman

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #621 on: July 30, 2018, 02:10:38 AM »
The only type of tattoo I could personally justify getting to either myself or anyone else would be one of these:

http://razzouktattoo.com/

And I could only justify it for myself if it was done in such a way as they do. I'm not sold on it myself, either.

That's just concerning what I would put on my body. It's none of my business what you put on yours, and I'm not convinced it's universally wrong. However, I'm not sure why a Christian would want to have a number of common tattoo motifs on his or her body. Religious symbols or the name(s) of loved ones i can understand.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." --Bertrand Russell

Offline ironchapman

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #622 on: July 30, 2018, 02:18:56 AM »
There's a fascinating write-up on the history of the Razzouk family, Christian tattoos in the Holy Land, and tattooing traditions that emerged in certain Christian cultures such as the Celts.

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/holy-tattoo-a-700-year-old-christian-tradition-thrives-in-jerusalem-68723
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #623 on: July 30, 2018, 06:17:20 AM »
Thank you ironchapman for these interesting links!
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #624 on: September 02, 2018, 05:21:23 PM »
Going to get knuckle tattoos.  "SOUL" on the right and "BODY" on the left.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #625 on: September 02, 2018, 05:43:30 PM »
Going to get knuckle tattoos.  "SOUL" on the right and "BODY" on the left.

You are not far from the kingdom of God!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 05:44:08 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #626 on: September 02, 2018, 06:09:37 PM »
Going to get knuckle tattoos.  "SOUL" on the right and "BODY" on the left.

You are not far from the kingdom of God!

It will help with pre-communion prayers and as a reminder to cross my arms right over left when going to receive.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #627 on: September 02, 2018, 06:18:47 PM »
Going to get knuckle tattoos.  "SOUL" on the right and "BODY" on the left.

You are not far from the kingdom of God!

It will help with pre-communion prayers and as a reminder to cross my arms right over left when going to receive.

Also, when we get a blessing and kiss the hand of the clergyman, and put our right hand over our left, these tats would serve as an acknowledgement that our soul is within our body, refuting with brilliant simplicty the new-age-y idea of the soul floating around willy nilly. I had thought that my next tattoo would be the word "NOUS" placed at the base of my neck, but you have me rethinking things!

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #628 on: September 02, 2018, 06:24:56 PM »
Going to get knuckle tattoos.  "SOUL" on the right and "BODY" on the left.

You are not far from the kingdom of God!

It will help with pre-communion prayers and as a reminder to cross my arms right over left when going to receive.

Also, when we get a blessing and kiss the hand of the clergyman, and put our right hand over our left, these tats would serve as an acknowledgement that our soul is within our body, refuting with brilliant simplicty the new-age-y idea of the soul floating around willy nilly. I had thought that my next tattoo would be the word "NOUS" placed at the base of my neck, but you have me rethinking things!

Alpha'd!
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Orthodox Christians and Tattoos
« Reply #629 on: September 02, 2018, 06:26:23 PM »
Hmmm, "NOUS" over the heart sounds like an idea.  And the word is the roots of a tree, guarded by two cherubim with flaming swords.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"