Does Bible ban tattoos? No, says shopping mall church that has cage fighting, too

Pastor Steve Bentley feels an urgency to reach folks who aren't interested in traditional church ...

BY: Rob Kerby


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his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord.’ And will name Israel’s name with honor.”

Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper"

And there’s always Revelation 3:12: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God … and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem.”

Bentley says the context of the Leviticus prohibition is a list of pagan practices the ancient Israelites were to shun. Godly tattoos praising the Lord are allowed.

Even so, Bentley understands some don’t like the idea of a tattoo shop inside the church. And that’s what the Bridge is all about.

“We are about doing church in a different way and being relevant to people,” Bentley told the Flint Journal newspaper. “You can get a tattoo in a clean environment. You can do it while still sticking to your moral code.”

Tattooist Brown is a recovering alcoholic who says the atmosphere inside the church building has helped keep him focused and on the right path.

“I was running my own studio. There wasn’t much purpose in it,” he said. “I was insane for five years. To sum it up, my problem was self-control. My brain couldn’t come up with an alternative where Christ wasn’t the only thing that could save me. I was somebody who needed to be saved from hopelessness in body, mind and spirit.”

Furthermore, he had a substance abuse problem. “I was struggling with whether I could keep my studio” and stay sober. “I prayed a lot and decided the best thing was to close it and come to the church. I figured I could have a lot more positive impact” there.

Fortunately the Rev. Bentley teaches Christians are free to tattoo their bodies since he believes New Testament believers are not bound by the Old Testament laws to gain a right relationship with God. The Bridge actually teaches that if Christians obey laws of the Old Testament, they must also be bound by Jewish rules restrict eating shellfish or pork, trimming one’s beard, or grilling cheeseburgers. Indeed, the Apostle Paul writes that the Old Testament Law was designed by God was to lead people toward Jesus.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that

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