00:00 – 1:59 = Intro
02:00 – 06:55 = Topic Introduction and Context (Skydiving and Tattoos).
06:56 – 11:11 = Where would you draw the line between what is okay what is not okay?
11:12 – 16:53 = What about tattoos?
17:32 – 18:53 = Truth Beauty and Goodness.
18:54 – 19:43 = Closing.
Trigger Warning: Padre may lose it in this episode! 😂
Contention between what is fun and what is dangerous? And how far is too close to the line. Where even is the line?
Padre: *Goes on rant* (He doesn’t get skydiving – he will never get skydiving…)
Stina: Skydiving wasn’t an act of recklessness, or I give up, or going rogue, or even ticking off something on a bucket list.
It came just as I had heard that I would be returning to Australia after having been told to leave the country to re-apply for another visa.
So I was in NZ for 20 days, and I spent the first 10 days with a friend, travelling and anxiously praying about what God wanted from me next.
Then when I realised he was calling me back to Australia, and my friend returned I jokingly say I spent the next 10 days holidaying, which isn’t entirely false, but I spent most of it in prayer dialoguing with God about returning as a new version of me.
Someone who has grown from this, shedded attachments from this, ready and willing to do his will.
So as I looked around at what might be some things I can do to help me step outside of my comfort zone, face fears or rather more accurately, drop attachments and fears – sky – diving was one of those things I wasn’t sure how I’d go but I knew if I could wrap my head around being ok with tumbling out of a plane, there’s very little I couldn’t wrap my head around doing.
As I suspected, when I returned to the ground, I was a stronger, and more confident person not because somehow tumbling out of a plane gave me some sort of power, but because I was sure I could handle challenging things and I was ready for a new adventure – not the adrenaline rush kind, but whatever God was going to call me to next, and lo and behold not long after my return…
As in the following week, I went to a parish mission where I heard God calling me to take up tangibly living out the virtues, and there began my concrete steps of formation for Virtue Ministry.
I’m not suggesting, you have to skydive or do something that scares you in order to follow the will of God, or to prepare yourself. I’m not suggesting that at all, i’m merely saying, for the type of person I am, and where I was in life at that time, this was one of the tools that worked for me.
Where is the line?
Padre: Before you step on the plane! That’s where the line is! (HAHAHA!!!)
Seriously thought, skydiving isn’t inherently wrong with it.
Stina: Do we say that any form of recreation that has the possibility of harm should be avoided – then we probably shouldn’t have boxing, or martial arts… or even NRL.
I imagine the line would be if we did it with intentions of trying to be defiant, or thinking ‘this will put me in harm’s way’ and taking some kind of pleasure in that.
Padre:Certainly we shouldn’t shy away from sports which there is a higher risk of harm. It’s important for men in particular to learn how to master and harness the emotion of aggression. The harmless man isn’t virtuous, he’s pathetic. An aggressive man isn’t virtuous, he’s mean spirited. Should a harmless man discover raw power, he will use it self servingly, for he has never had to place his power at the service of others. The aggressive man knows he has power and chooses to place it at his own service. Thus often enough, the harmless man often turns into the aggressive man. A virtuous man is able to be a protector, precisely because he is oriented to the service of others yet capable of being threatening to those who would harm the people entrusted to his care. Thus often enough, the harmless man often turns into the aggressive man. So i do think boxing and martial arts have their place.
Men should not be risk averse, for the sake of harnessing and preparing for greater challenges (eg to risk one’s life for another). We need men to learn sportsmanship, for the sake of taking risks and challenges.
Stina:The church doesn’t have an official stance on this – and it makes sense not to. On the one hand, people will say that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and is therefore sacred and to tattoo it would be inappropriate – but then you have to ask, well what else is inappropriate to our bodies – pierced ears? Haircuts? Never eat junk food? It’s not black and white, and that’s not a bad thing because there are also cultures where tattoos bear cultural significance, that doesn’t somehow make it immoral.
Where it would become problematic again, is with the wrong intention. If we get a tattoo with the intention to somehow be irreverent to our bodies, well then we’re just being deliberately destructive. OR if we wanted a tattoo of something that wasn’t an evangelising tool, we might ask whether we’re doing that for God or for vain-glory.
Padre:Again, being a fairly traditionally minded guy, I’m not a fan of tattoos. Why mark what is already a brilliant temple of the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand the whole ‘I’m getting a tattoo for evangelisation purposes.’ God has already given you a body, sacramental in it’s nature, as a perfect sign for evangelising. You don’t need a tattoo for that. However, I do accept that some will see it as an evangelising tool. And, I accept that as a reason. Plus as we age and skin becomes wrinkly, tattoos become gross. My brother-in-law, Loni, has a tattoo and its for cultural purposes, it’s actually his Tongan family crest. I think this is fine. As you’ve said, when it comes to tattoos what’s the motivation and what’s the image? And where is it located?
Padre: Now I accept that at this point I sound like an angry 82 year old man.
So let me be clear:
It is not immoral to get a tattoo. If you want one, just think carefully about it.
I think that extreme sports like skydiving and MMA, can be legitimate forms of sport and entertainment. However, they should not be sought out for the sake of big-noting oneself, nor for the adrenaline rush.
Because the whole point of sport is the training, health and betterment of the human person. We can’t become risk averse, but we shouldn’t become risk junkies either.
Similarly with tattoos. Where do you want it and why?
Is it something of a reminder to you of who you are, (family background or personal experience) or is it an evangelising tool of sorts?
Or is it something to attract attention?
Also to be asked is how much. Is the tattoo effectively similar to fashion, complementing the human form, or does it detract from the human form, by disfiguring it eg. Tattoos all over one’s face.
Stina: And as with both cases of skydiving and a tattoo – God cares more about what’s in the heart of us – what our intention and motivation is.
If we engage in either to put Him to the test, or with the intent to do harm to us, or just to be rebellious like a teenager saying ‘Church, I’m going to be deliberately defiant, watch me!’ – then we’re in a dark place and I’d be asking some deep root questions of what’s going on here, what are you needing that you haven’t received, and how can you receive that from God and from community.
But if you’re engaging in these things because your motivation is much more about self-mastery, or evangelisation, or relationship and cultural ties – then maybe that’s a really pure intention and there is no harm in that, even if the behaviour itself has some risk associated with it.
Padre – School graduations
Stina – Change Maker Podcast – Finances with a Godly perspective