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

 

Continued from page 2

we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:24-25).

Michaelangelo's Sistene Chapel ... in skin art


The Bridge hosts Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous chapters and even offers a “celebrate recovery” church service from 6-9 p.m. on Saturdays as well as traditional 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. services on Sundays.


Tattooist Blaisdell says the Bridge was the kind of fellowship he needed. “I was at an AA meeting in Flushing. I was at the end of my rope,” Blaisdell said. “It was almost like a miracle. I used to be a non-believer. I hit bottom and I grabbed onto the church. I was an atheist who just didn’t care about anything. The appealing thing to me is, I’m dealing with so many people who are recovery based. It’s kind of brought us all together.”


Today he and Brown refuse requests for tattoos that glorify drugs, gangs or Satan.


That’s the kind of testimony Bentley likes to hear. The Flint native dropped out of high school, but got his GED high school equivalency and put himself through college by working as an auto mechanic.


He graduated with a degree in theology from Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and ordained in 1999. He earned a master’s degree in 2006 from American Intercontinental University.


Bentley says it doesn’t bother him that other churches would shun some of the things the Bridge does.


Bentley told Mark Hensch at the Christian Post news website the only thing that matters is leading people to glorify God. “Love God, love others, disciple all. We try to make sure everything we do encompasses that.”


Brown told Hensch he can’t believe the transformation his life has taken since joining the Bridge. A tattoo meant to read “hopeless” across his knuckles, for example, now reads “hope” and “love.” The artist admitted that it’s no longer just a tattoo – it’s a mark honoring Christ’s profound love.


“After accepting Christ, this church gave me a place to grow. It’s a positive environment where people aren’t looked down on,” he said. "By having a tattoo shop here, it’s a daily testimony to how somebody can be changed by God.”


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