I think the problem you may find here is that Christians and tattoos don't really mix well with each other. I mean, you can always say that tattooing is an art, but that's not the issue that Christians have with them. It's that tattoos go on the skin of the human body, something generally considered sacred and holy. It is almost like spray painting a temple, no matter how pretty the tattoo, it's almost like vandalizing God's home in you. I don't want to smash your ambitions or anything, but I always thought tattoos were kind of a rebel thing. Maybe you could find a cool way to do it that wasn't so... defiant?
"Before the 6th century, it was not uncommon to find lamps among Egyptian Christians with images of frogs on them. Some of these frogs had the cross crafted into their backs and some of these lamps were inscribed with the words "I am the Resurrection" (John 11:25). Egyptian religions had associated the small green frog of the Nile with resurrection, rebirth, fertility, virgin birth, and divine descent among their own gods even before the time of Moses. Early Egyptian Christians familiar with this imagery found in the frog a meet symbol of Christ and the resurrection.
Like many animals which disappear in the winter and return or "resurrect" in the spring, all frogs became a symbol of the resurrection in other cultures. This association with resurrection and rebirth is strengthened by the frog's emergence from an egg and tadpole state similar to the familiar Easter symbolism of the butterfly, chick, bee or dragonfly passing through their various stages of life. Not only do we see here the resurrection of Christ but also the rebirth of the Christian in repentance and the final resurrection when "We shall be changed" (I Cor. 15:52).
In symbolism, the frog is the antithesis or opposite of the toad. Even so, the frog has been used to symbolize baser qualities such as heresy, greed, worldliness, the disgusting enjoyment of sin , envy, and vice. Europeans considered the tree frog a good omen but Israelites considered frogs unclean.
In the Bible, evil spirits or heretics appear in the form of frogs: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (Rev. 16:13). In Exodus 8, God sends a plague of frogs upon the Egyptians.
Even so, in art, it is the toad which is used to symbolize Satan, evil spirits and the sins of lust, greed, envy, and jealousy. Especially in the Middle Ages, toads are used in artistic representations of the punishments of the damned. Greedy persons are punished in hell by being forced to eat toads. Those damned by the sin of lust are punished by having their sexual parts eaten by toads and other reptiles. Toads coming out of a person's mouth represent demons being expelled through exorcism."
-Tucker, Suzetta. "ChristStory Frog Page." ChristStory Christian Bestiary. 1997. http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/legend01/frog.htm (6 Aug. 2008).
God is in love with what is inside of you. Sure, there is the whole "body is a temple" deal and you should keep it clean and looking nice. But, for example I have seen some pretty run down, rough looking churches that have some amazing things going on inside. People are alive in Christ. Your body should be the same. God is not worried about your appearance, it is what you do with yourself, your actions, and how you relate to others. I am 32 and have been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I currently have two half sleeves of tattoos that depict my life story and walk with God. They have been a great tool for explaining God to people. Especially to those who would normally not be interested. Sure, tattoos aren't for everyone and many christians are very turned off by them. I have had lot's of christians at church and in public give me the "evil eye". But, I never set out to upset people. I only wanted to express my joy for being a christian and what it means to me. To always carry the events from my life with me and be able to share them with others visually. But, again, they are not for everyone and I think that is okay.
I honestly don't believe that there is anything wrong with tattooing, though if you keep your wits about you and use your head and not plaster something on there that would be degrading to yourself and to Christ- I honestly see no issue, though if you have conviction (not guilt) about it, then the Lord through the holy spirit is trying to tell you something is wrong and not to do it.
This is one of those hot topics that confuses me. The only mention (that I can recall) of tattoos being 'un-Christian' are Old Testament mentionings to 'not be like the pagans'. We now live under the New Testament. A wonderful and simplified relationship with Christ Jesus who loved people that no one else would dare love. He approached lepers, blind, prostitutes, gentiles, and *gasp* tax collectors all equally in love and compassion. If we are to call ourselves Christians, then perhaps we should follow through with the meaning of that label and act more like Christ. I have friends who are both bikers and have tattoos. I even designed some of them for them, but guess what? Their bike club is evangelistic and so are their tattoos. They are some of the most driven and devoted Christians I know.
The bottom line is that people judge and that's ok. It's human nature to look at someone and think they are less than you. I don't condone this activity, but if you are honest, people do it all the time. As Christians we are to rail against this temptation of judgemental elitism. No one is 'less' because of how they look or dress. No one is 'less' because of a possible sin problem because we all sin. Those 'christians' out there that think they are somehow 'more' than anyone for any reason need to seriously take another inward look before their next communion. *sigh* /rant.
Welcome to the Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) Online Network!
Did you know that CCAS has monthly meetings in the Los Angeles area? Contact Eric Jansen for more info!
Also, members of CCAS have produced the APAzine ALPHA-OMEGA for over 25 years! We have about five openings right now! Contact Eric Jansen for more info! (This is a 30-member active-participation-only photocopied magazine for Christian writers and artists who submit a "trib" every other month for fun, fellowship, and critiques by other members. Between postage and your photocopying costs, you might pay anywhere from $5 to $25 per issue.)