Jesus and the Easter Bunny, balance

Ok… so since none of us usually agree 100% on any one thing… no surprise I feel the same with this article… and in general when it comes to Mark Driscoll’s teachings and style of presentation… however… I’ll lazily post this article he wrote in the Washington Post (instead of rewrite my own) on The Easter Bunny and Jesus – because I think it is good and balanced.

Truthfully… the Easter Bunny is our family’s least favorite mythical fun story connected with a Christian Holiday… yet I also don’t want to appear as a “fun hater” or “Christian curmudgeon”…. so… read this and see how we can positively focus on the historical reality that Easter is about Jesus’ death and resurrection to save us from our sins… while at the same time having “permission” as a conservative Christian to enjoy imagination, fun, children, and chocolate.

Mark Patterson reposting Mark Driscoll

If I mistreat the waitress…

If I mistreat the waitress… because i’m in a hurry… to get to the building committee meeting… to argue vehemently my point for the multi-million dollar church building structure… walk away angry… miss my wife’s dinner… miss my daughter’s bed time… and leave out the door early in the morning to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for what we “need”… i’m totally missing the Kingdom of Jesus.
There is a better life… Jesus offers it to you… but you have to stop… and really want it.

Non-biblical reference to Jesus 116AD

Authentic non-biblical reference to Jesus.

Tacitus, Roman Senator/Historian, book Annals, chapter 44.
(strongly confirming when an enemy makes a reference)

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

Non-biblical reference to Peter & Paul 95AD

Authentic non-biblical reference to Peter and Paul’s martyrdom.

Bishop Clement’s Letter 95AD to the Corinthian Church.

Chapter 5: “… Let us set before our eyes the good apostles. There was
Peter, who, because of unrighteous jealousy, endured not one or two but many trials, and thus having given his testimony went to his appointed place of glory. Because of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the way to the prize for patient durance. After he had been seven time in chains, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, and had preached in the East and in the West, he won the genuine glory for his faith… he thus departed from the world and went to the holy place, having become an outstanding example of patient endurance.”

Did Jesus Even Exist? The Problematic Argument From Silence By: Chris Winchester

Twelve Mile Creek Church is very proud and excited to be connected to this PhD student and future Professor in Scotland.
He, his writings, and teachings are/will be a tremendous help to Pastors and Laypeople.
You should read this.

click link below then click one more time
Did Jesus Even Exist by Christopher Winchester, PhD Student click this link then click one more time

Thanks Chris!

In Christ,


Musicians, let’s put some bands together.
Style doesn’t matter… only stipulation, you have to love Jesus and want that to be reflected in your gifting!
Drummers, guitarists, bassists, etc.
Nick’s a drummer.
Aaron is a bassist.
How bout some more.

Looking to schedule some practice times… probably at night at the Weddington Swim and Racquet Club.
This is not an effort to put together a worship band… it’s to gather musicians.

Submit to me a youtube post of you playing, or just email me…
I might could help place you in a group to possibly form a band… but i can’t be totally responsible for it.

You might just want to come and jam together and see who and what gels.



Twelve Mile Creek Church by Mark Patterson
Jan. 2003/March 2013

Confronting Cultural Issues in America, searching for Biblical Answers to Tattoos.

Mature Interpretation
This study is meant to draw us closer to God through discipleship. God desires to draw the family into closer relationship with each other through knowledge of Himself. Not be torn apart to get ones way on cultural issues. This study is not meant to cause a wedge in the family, if you are under 18 and studying this topic, you should not try to use this as a weapon against parents. Tattoos are permanent. It is right for you to obey them until you are an adult. If you use it as a weapon, you will break the 5th Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” Exodus 20:12. Also from Galatians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Again, if you take Biblical information on cultural issues to simply demand, against your parents wishes, what you may desire, you are greatly confused concerning the Scriptures. Biblical maturity also calls for godly wisdom.
1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (Have I tried to cover my back-side enough? Let’s get to the issues.)

Ok, truthfully, how far is too far? You even think the girl with hundreds of facial tattoos has gone too far. So what’s a Christian to do? If you get a nose ring and 2 tattoos, what will your children be asking for in 15 years?

The Focal Passage is Leviticus 19:28. The only direct reference to your question “Can I get a Tattoo?”

Leviticus 19:27-29 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. 29 Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.

Does that make it clear for you? Is the problem solved? Do we still obey the Old Testament?
Now Consider the Verses “around” this… the context.
We don’t still follow Lev. 19:27, we do still follow Lev. 19:29, so then, what about vs. 28?
Hhhhhmmmmmm…..forced to move past John 3:16 Christianity again.
We must consider all the verses of 27, 28, and 29 and think about interpretation.
The crux of the issue: 1 Cor. 7:18-20. Obedience to the law. Now go to Genesis 17:9-15.

But let’s begin with Blood Letting:
Some connect tattooing to blood letting, or cutting oneself. Religious Self abasement is an attempt to degrade oneself to make one worthy for a deity or for spirituality. 1 Kings 18:28 Baal blood letting.
Jeremiah 16:6 Cutting for the dead. Deuteronomy 14:1 Cut or shave for the dead.
1 Corinthians 3:16 God’s temple. 1 Cor. 6:19.
In Christianity and other religions, a milder form of this self-abasement is called Asceticism – practices of self-denial as spiritual discipline. We as Christians traverse the fine line of living in self-denial and self sacrifice, yet while enjoying the blessings of God. We are clearly taught to be good stewards of good things. Like in the guidelines for giving… We get to keep 90% of the cash, remember, so what do we do with that?

Prohibition against blood letting seems pretty clear and probably would be interpreted by 99.9% of all Christians as immoral. But is blood letting connected to tattooing? This is not as clear, even though within the process of tattooing bleeding typically occurs. What about cutting ones hair, cutting fingernails, sucking the blood out of a snake bitten friend’s leg on the trails of the Grand Canyon, open heart surgery, removing a wart, the giving of blood to the Red Cross, liposuction, etc.? All are actions where cutting and blood are involved. Blood letting in OT times and some current cultures was/is connected to religious rites and rituals… but is it connected to tattooing for us?

Determining distinction in OT laws.
Now back to the crux of the issue. The Different types of laws:
In the OT you have a separation of God’s people from others through Moral laws and Ceremonial laws.
Exhibited through the Levitical law found in Lev. 11:6-7 concerning what foods that were ok to eat and were not ok to eat. In this we find a prohibition that is obviously used for extremely symbolic reasons with the culmination of its understanding found in Acts 10 with Peter’s dream and the events with Cornelius. Yet even though this prohibition against certain foods was symbolic and helped to identify the Hebrew people, it was a very serious law to be obeyed. It was an OT Ceremonial law.
After Jesus was resurrected, we have come to understand that we are justified not by the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We know that the transgression of one law is transgression of the entire law, and salvation only comes through the redeeming grace of faith in what Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection.
This event however doesn’t do away with moral law. So we must determine, since the entire N. T. doesn’t deal with every moral issue, the difference between moral and ceremonial laws.
So back to Lev. 19:27, 28, and 29. Which are moral and which are ceremonial?

Paul teaches against circumcision. This was an identification, a religious act, prescribed for Jewish men. Paul taught against this since the fulfillment of the law was in Christ and salvation comes through trusting him, not in ceremonial or religious rites. However, Paul did begin to teach baptism. A ceremonial rite. Salvation doesn’t come through baptism, yet we are instructed to be baptized. In the western world the “marking of the body” through circumcision has become an issue of health, not religion. Circumcision for most today has nothing to do with “religious rite”.
Every Christian man that is circumcised is not discrediting Paul’s direction, because the issue truly comes down to motives. Most American males are circumcised today having nothing to do with the OT law.

Galatians 2:11-21 Paul opposes Peter.
As Paul began to go outside the comforts of Jerusalem, a new idea, to fulfill the great commission, we find he was very sensitive to the cultures he was in. So in his opposition of Peter concerning circumcision, along with Peter’s dream emphatically opening the door of salvation to not only the Jew, but also the Gentile, we find that we must try to determine the moral codes that are necessary for Gentile believers and the others codes that are not. Sometimes you do have directives for particular cultures, from Paul, sometimes not.
Acts 15 settles the circumcision issue in a letter to the people of Antioch.

Jesus dispels Ceremonial and Traditional laws. Traditional laws were laws of men created to keep one from coming close to breaking the real ceremonial or moral laws. Like, it’s wrong to commit adultery, so a Traditional law of man would be, no Christian should go to a business meeting with a woman.
Read Matt. 15:10 goes out mouth not in.
Luke 6:1-5 Picking and eating wheat on Sabbath.
Luke 6:6-10 healing on Sabbath.
Matt. 5:17 Jesus came to fulfill the law not abolish. What does this mean in light of Jesus breaking some ceremonial and traditional laws? Matt. 22:37-40, love God and people. Matt. 5:21-22 not kill, don’t even become angry.

Biblical Tattoo Allusions or not?
Exodus 13:9 sign on your hand. Ex. 13:16 eyelets
Isaiah 44:5 write on hand. Isaiah 49:16 graven on palms.
Ezekiel 9:3-4 inkhorn mark heads (door post of Exodus)
Galatians 6:17 Mark on believers. Is he referring to marks received in punishments for being a Christian, like in 2 Cor. 11:24-28. Or to similar tattoo marks that Romans would put on slaves as a sign of ownership? Rev. 7:2-3 sealed. Rev. 19:16 Name inscribed on Jesus thigh. Literal?

So, is it clear yet, can a Christian get a tattoo?
Jesus clearly moves us into a new time. New dispensation. New Law.
We do not follow OT Ceremonial Laws. Yet we do follow OT Moral Laws.
Jesus actually increases our responsibility to moral laws.
Moral responsibility increased under Jesus: It was “Don’t commit adultery… Now Don’t lust”. It was “Don’t commit murder… now don’t even hate your brother”.
We are not “set apart” now by hair on our temples or beard, circumcision, temple festivals, boundaries of land, or temple sacrifices.
We are now “set apart” by our Love for God and People, for the Spirit being within us, and by being the temple of God ourselves.

Conclusion: So back to our Three Verses, Lev. 19:27, 28, 29.
Leviticus 19:27-29 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. 29 Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.

Vs. 27 Not rounding off the hair on your temple or marring the edges of your beard was a ceremonial and not moral law. Jesus does away with this.
Vs. 29 Not profaning our daughter by making her a prostitute is a moral law that Jesus upheld and he strengthened. We still keep this.

Vs. 28a Not cutting your body for the dead seems to be a moral law that Jesus upheld.
28b Not tattooing yourselves… seems to be a ceremonial law that separated people based on look.
This was an “appearance” thing like the hair and beard law.

Jesus does away with laws that “separate” his people based on Ceremonial Law, but he increased the Moral Laws.

I say Tattooing is a Ceremonial Law and is not a Moral Law.
Tattooing today for Christians is not a sin.

What says you?

It’s good to Think Morally always in Love.
Mark Patterson