“The mark in Leviticus correlates to the mark in Revelation. That is enough for me to make a discerning judgment” (Kim)
How exactly is the mark (for the dead) in Leviticus even remotely linked to the mark idea in Revelations? Even if this had some plausbility (which I would need explained as to connection) – tattoo’s don’t neccesarily fall under the idea of the ‘mark of the beast’ – of the which we cannot even be sure is an actual ‘mark’ (since Revelations uses metaphor and imagery quite a lot).
However, if there were a ‘mark of the beast’ it also would have made sense to the early believers that recieved that letter to know about it…and they mention nothing about it in ancient literature of the church (maybe 100 AD to 400 AD). To me, the mark might be directly connected to idolatry – which mainstream tattooing isn’t. So no worries there.
“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev 14:11)
It seems to me this ‘mark’ is directly connected to idolatry – and the beasts’ ‘name’. So even if this is a ‘tattoo’ – it is pretty specific one with the name of the person and certain places that name will be written (hand and forehead)…if we are taking that passage literally. I have yet to see a tattoo like this – of some anti-christ’s name on someone’s hand or forehead.
However, this could all be metaphorical in nature also. Maybe there is no literal ‘mark’ but the adherence to an anti-christ figure and his mandates which would effect one’s actions (work of your hands) and mindset (what you think about the world). This could be a simple warning to John’s people about not following the Roman system with variety of gods and corrupt practices. Which may have effected the amount of work they could find in society or even corrupted their thoughts on ‘right and wrong’. It’s a possibility.
Which is a warning to us – even in this day – about joining systems that are ’anti-christ’ in nature. Nazism would have been a great example of this concept. However there are tonnes of other ideas that are quite anti-christ in nature – even certain business (greed) and environmental (destroying the earth and animals habitats) ethics can be seen this way. We just need to keep looking at what Jesus taught and if society is not lining up with those ideals – we need to follow Jesus over those ideals…even if it hurts the pocketbooks or respectability.
***Comment originally aired at Discern It’s ‘Should a Christian Get a Tattoo?‘