New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 11, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, January ll, 2003
Contact Features Editor Brian Grant, 625-9144 ext. 222
“Ninety percent of the people who walk into a tattoo shop will never walk into a church. So if we can be the only church that they see, well, that’s good.”— Bobby Doran, tattoo artist
Proudly show your colors
Loyalties are easy to detect nowadays. Blatantly displayed allegiances are obvious and epidemic. People proudly show their colors.
When it comes to colleges and athletic teams, people boldly display their support. From multi-colored face painting to logo-laden window decals, loyal fans unapologetically align themselves with organizations and programs, leaving little guesswork to the average observer. Can this also be said of Christians?
I was a loyal Cincinnati sports fan as I grew up in southwestern Ohio. On one occasion outside of Riverfront Stadium, however, I purchased a Texas Rangers batting helmet. Wearing the helmet was misleading because it made others think I was a Ranger fan when in reality I bled Cincinnati Red. Looking back, I would compare my interest in the Rangers at that time to Christians today who display fishes but deny loyalty to Christ.
Team loyalties can and often do last for a lifetime. Even though Ive lived in Texas for 12 years, I still have soft spots in my heart for Ohio teams. I display my preferences as I drink from an Ohio State coffee mug or wear a Cincinnati Bengals sweatshirt (since discarded because it — and the team — no longer fit).
Even if a program currently lacks respect and notoriety (can you say “Bengals”?), a loyal fan continues to display their colors in spite of the hurtful ridicule of others. Their courage and loyalty do not wait for the band wagon of success to roll down the street. They can be compared to Christians who “walk the talk” even when “walking” is not currently popular or personally convenient.
Even hand gestures can tip off one’s true colors. From “claws” to “guns,” from “horns” to “thumbs,” fans are identified with their team by the contortion of their fingers.
Perhaps Christians could benefit from a universally accepted hand signal to indicate their allegiance to Jesus. (I doubt crossed fingers would catch on.)
Jesus said that Christians are identified not by the logo on their shirt or the jewelry around their neck but by the way they love each other (John 13:33). Clever banners and team chants cannot compete with authentic Christian love. Jesus’ followers must love with a quality that goes above and beyond “average”.
It would be like Unicorn supporters wearing blue shirts hoping people will identify them as fans when they can hang a flag on their car and leave no doubt. Christians don’t just wear the color, they wave the flag.
Christians do not use flags or T-shirts, though; they wear the color of love.
(The Rev. Tim Judkins presents a series called “God Goes to the Movies” this month at the contemporary worship experience of First Protestant Church.)
Making his mark
has gone mainstream.
‘It used to be just for bikers, convicts and rock 'n’ roll stars. Now it’s for everybody,” she said.
Davis — whose shoulder, arm, calves and back were adorned with new tattoos — acknowledged being in some pain, but gave repeated smiles and a thumbs-up to well-wishers.
A lively and energetic Doran, who spreads religious messages while performing his craft, thanked
God for giving him the strength and endurance to complete his task.
‘I am still alive,” he said to a jubilant crowd of 40 friends and family members as he closed in on IO p.m. “And if someone tells me they are going to break my record, well, I guess I am going to have to put them to the test.
“Anybody who thinks they can go toe-to-toe with me with a tattoo gun, just bring it on!”
ALISON WOODWORTH/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Tattoo artist Bobby Doran runs a ministry in his Fort Worth shop. He tried to draw attention to the ministry by setting a record tattooing for more than 24 hours on friend Bill Davis.
Tattoo artist goes for record and religion
By Paul Bourgeois Knight Ridder Newspapers
FORT WORTH —While he’s sticking dye under his clients’ skin, tattoo artist Bobby Doran might also instill a little Christian faith into their hearts.
The Tattoo Shop in Fort Worth is much more than its name suggests, Doran said.
“We minister through tattooing,” he said. “The church for years has looked at tattoos as a bad thing. We are trying to show a different side of it.
“Ninety percent of the people who walk into a tattoo shop will never walk into a church. So if we can be the only church that they see, well, that’s good.”
Recently, Doran drew a little more attention to his ministry.
Doran bested a world record Jan. 4, tattooing friend Bill Davis, 39, for more than 30 consecutive hours. The previous record of 27 hours, 12 minutes fell at 6:58 p.m., but the pair kept going until IO p.m., for a total time of 30 hours, 15 minutes.
Doran said he had two goals: to see whether he can do it and to attract some attention to the tattoo parlor/ministry.
Doran’s shop has become a meeting place. The walls are covered with samples, but unlike most tattoo parlors, the place is brightly lit, almost cheery. There is a large wrap-around couch. Friends and acquaintances stop in just to chat.
Doran and his wife,
Tanya, moved to Fort Worth from Houston about a year and a half ago.
“We came to minister,” Tanya Doran said. “Here we get to reach out and touch people who would never go to a church.”
Most of the time, Doran said, he tattoos and pierces his clients with no mention of religion.
“I don’t force anything down anybody’s throat, but when God says talk to them, I talk to them,” he said.
“We’ve had people break down and cry and give themselves up to God,” Tanya Doran said, again stressing that they never push it. “If it happens, it happens.”
Both said that they agree that a tattoo parlor might seem an unlikely place to spread the Christian faith, but Doran cites Bible verses about the need for believers to go out into the world, of
which tattoo parlors certainly are a part.
Doran said he knows of no direct tattooing prohibitions in the Bible.
The closest, he said, might be Leviticus 19:28, which says: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead nor print any marks upon you.”
A strict reading could mean prohibitions on surgery, circumcision and
even the wearing of cosmetics. In any case, Doran said, the key phrase for him is “for the dead,” and to him that means satanic images.
Tanya Doran said tattooing has long been frowned upon because of its connection to ancient pagan rites, but that some aspects of Christmas and Easter traditions are also rooted in pagan celebrations.
Tbday, she said, tattooing
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