There are many different ways that people artistically express their love for Christ. Some sing, others write poems and songs, and some paint or blog about it. At California Baptist University, some students tattoo it.
Throughout the past ten years, Christian symbol tattoos have popped up everywhere. They are seen on celebrities, athletes and church leaders, but each tattoo tells a different story.
“Growing up, the youth leaders in my church had tattoos. I loved and respected them, so I thought they were cool,” Cullan Maher, senior, said.
So far, Maher has two tattoos that showcase his faith. The first is a cross on his chest with Greek letters around it that reads, “Jesus Christ conquers.”
“I thought of my first tattoo because I saw something like it before and really liked it. It was in a place that wouldn’t hurt chances of getting a job, and it represented my beliefs,” Maher said.
Maher’s second tattoo is more abstract but is as equally meaningful as the first. It is a half sleeve on his right arm depicting Christ on Calvary hill, Jesus with a sacred heart and, to complete the picture, an outside dove representing the passion of Christ.
“Another reason I got my tattoos is because it’s another tool I can use as a Christian. If someone sees my tattoo, they can ask about it and bring up conversation, which can give me a chance to share my faith. It’s also a good reminder to myself on how I should be living,” Muher said.
Many argue that people get tattoos for the wrong reasons, but they are prized possessions for those who put enough thought and meaning into them.
“Many people get tattoos for no reason at all, but there are also people that put a lot of care and thought into what marks their bodies. If they choose something that will always mean something to them, then I think it’s wonderful,” Megan Herrera, Senior said.
Herrera has “Faith” with a feather coming off the word and the verse Psalm 139 on her foot.
“‘Faith’ is my middle name, the feather represents my father and heritage, and [Psalm 139:14] is my mom’s life verse. We both have the same verse written,” Herrera said.
Having faith tattoos also gives an opportunity to minister to others. A recent Fox News article reported that Steve Bentley, pastor of a church in Flint Township, MI, opened a tattoo parlor in his own church.
Bentley told Fox News that his ministry is built on the belief that mainstream religion has become ineffective and irrelevant to most people. That led him to open his own shop he named Serenity Tattoo.
Serenity Tattoo offers a place for people who want to pursue the Christian faith but are not entirely comfortable in a church setting.
Faith tattoos have become popular to young adults and will remain so; literally. To those with a creative side, tattoos are a very personal evangelizing tool and a great conversation starter. If you see someone with one, ask them about it.