Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tattoos and Beards!

The tattoo culture, taking hold of this emerging generation captures the imagination. I’m imagining how William Booth might have reacted, had it been part of 18th Century London East end culture? In my fertile mind’s eye, I see him sporting the word, “Others,” creatively designed and displayed on his shoulder. After all, wasn’t it Bill Booth who wrote...

“If I thought I could win one more soul to the Lord by walking on my head and playing the tambourine with my toes, I'd learn how!”

That’s pretty dramatic isn’t it? And what about the Army mother, would she have condoned it? Didn’t she write something to the effect...

“Here is the principle - adapt your measures to the necessity of the people to whom you minister. You are to take the Gospel to them in such modes and circumstances as will gain for it from them a hearing.”

Sporting a tattoo wasn’t part of the culture I grew up in, nor were beards. Wearing a beard in the 50’s/60’s was considered a Beatnik/Hippy thing. I grew my first beard in the late 50’s, walking down the street, I overheard an elderly lady (she had to be in her 40’s) say to her companion, “Another one of those weird Beatniks!” 

I grew it again, as a young Captain in my second appointment. A staff person on DHQ pulled me aside with a little career advice: “Keep that beard and you’ll go nowhere in The Salvation Army,”  he counseled me. I’m still wearing it, a perennial Beatnik at heart.

A tattoo, one with a creative Gospel message? Tempting. Now, if I can only find a wrinkle free patch of skin on this aging body.



Anonymous said...

Now if only we can find a way to ditch those elitist uniforms and judgmental alcohol ban, the Army might stand a chance to save a soul in today's culture.

Paul said...

Golly, how ever did William Booth manage to stay in the Army so long?
Do we really know for sure that Jesus had a clean shaven face, or that He had the long hair that almost every painting of him shows?
Do we know for sure that he had fair skin and blue eyes, as almost every painting of Him shows?

Joe Noland said...

Is this the Apostle Paul responding, the one who wrote, "I am all things to all men, so that by all means, I might save some?"

Anonymous, couldn't agree with you more, adding a word of clarification to each: Ditch "when and where appropriate" those elitist uniforms. "Wear the uniform, don't let the uniform wear you." And, yes, have a "Near Beer" now and again, as you share the Gospel in your local pub. That'll give you a spiritual high. Cheers!