Dear Dr. Moore,
I want to get a tattoo. I'd like it on my stomach, with a cross, with the words, "Flee Immorality: You Were Bought with a Price." I'd like this as a measure of accountability for myself as the years go by, in case the zeal I have for the gospel ever wains and I'm ever in a place of temptation this will be an ever-present reminder of what I know to be true.
I am really convicted that this is what the Lord would have me to do. Here's my problem.
I am 19 years old and a college student. I live at home with my parents. I work and pay for my own school, but I live with them. I love my parents and truly believe I honor them, but where does "honor your Father and mother" end? I really believe this is an issue of obedience in doing what the Lord seems to be directing me to do.
You probably agree with my parents that I shouldn't get the tattoo and I can respect that. I've thought it all through. My question isn't whether I should get the tattoo; it's whether I'd be sinning against God and my parents if I did it.
If I am under their authority right now, when does that end? When I'm 21? When I'm out of the house? Or does it ever end, when it comes to making decisions like this?
Bought with a Price
Okay readers. This is an edited compilation of three overlapping questions. What would you tell Bought? Should he get the tattoo? Wait and get the tattoo after he is out of his parents' home? What kind of issues should he think about as he makes this decision? I'll weigh in later.
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About Russell Moore
Russell Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He formerly served as Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and executive director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement. Dr. Moore is the author of The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective (Crossway, 2004) and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches (Crossway, May 2009).
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