Piercings, tattoos and eccentricities in Christian churches ...

(19 Posts)
AdmiralData Sat 12-Oct-13 22:18:23

Would anybody mind awfully telling me what their views are on tattoos, piercings, hair dye and make up whilst being a church goer please? I belong to an Anglo-Catholic church and I love the church itself and the people. I have a single lip piercing, don't wear make up or dress extraordinarily. Quite normal and perhaps a little boring iyswim. However, my lip piercing seems to have caused a problem with a few of my fellow church 'friends' but not the Vicar. The people in my church have pierced ears so I just assumed it was more or less the same? Am I offending people on grounds of religion or just personal views? Thanks in advance.

TooBusyByHalf Sat 12-Oct-13 23:01:23

I'm not a church goer but was brought up one. I'd say that it's just a personal thing (snobbery? Or just old-fashionedness?) rather than a religious thing. Can't think of any reason why it would go against Jesus' teachings, or the Church.

This is cultural and TooBusyByHalf has the sense of it.

I'm a member of the clergy and dye my hair and have pierced ears. I'm taking my hair back to its original colour and I only wear studs when working so it is moderation in all things really, just like your simple lip piercing.

There is an injunction against tattoos in Leviticus 19 but it is right next to verse about not cutting the hair in front of the ears (for men of course.) This chapter from the OT is about purity laws that are for a tribe that is forging its identity in a land that worships different gods to the God that led them out of Egypt. As Christians whose identity is in Christ and who read the Old Testament through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus then the purity laws are ones that we don't keep any longer.

Hope that helps.

AdmiralData Sun 13-Oct-13 18:33:53

Thank you very much thegreen, that was informative and helpful!

martinedwards Sun 20-Oct-13 08:21:41

they're a bunch of snobs!!!

what thegreen says is right, look at the complainers and see how many have dyed their hair or have pierced ears.

remember, Man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart.

Coupon Sat 26-Oct-13 13:06:13

It would make no difference.

Gunznroses Sat 26-Oct-13 13:10:39

Why would a church be against dyed hair? Can anyone explain please cos i just don't get it.

There is nothing in the bible about dyed hair. Culturally back in the 1940's and 50's make up and dying your hair would be something that nice middle class gels didn't do but it died a death in the 60's. Horrah for the semi permanent hair colours or I'd be in that mixed place between red and iron grey that is soooooo depressing.

BackforGood Sat 26-Oct-13 15:12:44

I'm a church goer, but any opinions I hold on piercings or tattoos or anything else you can think of, are mine, not 'The Church' 's.

steppemum Sat 26-Oct-13 15:20:50

I used to live round the corner form an Anglican church. It had a great poster on the door, giving service times, with a picture of 2 smiling punks underneath and saying ''everybody welcome''

That says it all really!

This is people's prejudice, not Jesus, or the church.

BobaFetaCheese Sat 26-Oct-13 15:29:01

We're a proper old school Anglican church when it comes to service layout but we're modern (Vicar would appreciate your Trek themed nickname, and if he can find a way to mention Dr.Who or what a travesty it is he can't marry gay people he will), your piercing would probably go unnoticed!

If the comments/looks are making you really uncomfortable, it might be time to look for a more welcoming church, it would be rubbish if a few people's prejudice puts you off attending.
Is it worth mentioning to the Vicar how you feel about it, see if he can casually drop in a 'don't judge people on their looks' into the sermon?

cantdoalgebra Sat 26-Oct-13 15:40:37

My very religious grandparents would, if they were still alive, be very much against tattoos and piercings (including pierced ears) because of their religious beliefs. They would have considered it a sin for someone to "mutilate" themselves. They were, however, born in the 19th century - I don't think that this is something you should worry about too much these days.

Gunznroses Sat 26-Oct-13 20:45:51

Ah i see! Its that old trick of trying to justify tradition/prejudices with biblical values.

Yup.

sashh Sun 27-Oct-13 08:45:19

I think there is an unwritten rule in Christian churches that you 'dress up', or at least wear your Sunday best, that's probably where the saying originates that people would keep their best clothes for Sunday.

For a lot of older or more conservative people tattoos and piercings (other than ears) are not 'Sunday best'.

In contrast Muslims remove jewelry before going to the mosque because 'everyone is equal before God'. <adds nothing to the discussion>

I'm an atheist (with some Pagan attendances) have a pierced nose and ears (twice) and wear New Rock boots, but I still find it odd if I go to a church wedding and the bride has her tattoos on display. I can't say why I think it's odd, I like tattoos, I like originality, but I still find it odd mixing a wedding dress with tattoos.

Gunznroses Sun 27-Oct-13 22:33:59

Sash- WE E L L L! A tattoo is for life not just for xmas wink

sashh Mon 28-Oct-13 07:40:39

Gunz

I know - which is why I've never had one.

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 07:47:50

I'm now an atheist but I was brought up in an Elim church.
nothing was looked down upon and a knew a good few with Christian tattoossmile
I think some people get too uptight over 'stuff'

OddBoots Mon 28-Oct-13 07:51:54

I don't see why they'd be a problem, actually, I think having them would be a quite a handy gauge to discern the level of hypocricy among individuals and churches.

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