If you drive around Lubbock, Texas, you’ll probably notice some billboards that will make you do a double take. They’ve been called ‘shocking.’
The signs show a tattooed Jesus with outstretched arms. The tattoos are slogans, like ‘Addicted’ or ‘Outcast.” Many in the Lubbock area are upset at these signs, but the group behind them says they are missing the point.
The billboards are asking people to go to the website Jesus tattoo dot org, where a video lays out the group's message that Jesus absorbs your sins and accepts you. Ashleigh Sawyer is a volunteer with the group and told KTRH people need to relax.
“Jesus’ love is transformational. It’s really that simple. We’re not a church. We’re not affiliated with any organization. We’re just a group of people who feel like this story hadn’t been told in this way before,” Sawyer explained.
Sawyers maintains the billboards are doing what they are supposed to.
“We wanted to be provocative,” Sawyer said.
Pastor David Wilson of the Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock told KTRH people shouldn't judge based only on the billboards.
“I went to the website and watched the video. It’s got a clear message. It’s got a great message. I think it’s drawing people in to hear the positive message about the gospel,” Wilson explained.
Wilson says people are wrong to be upset.
“It’s the message of the gospel. Jesus will forgive everybody. He loves everybody. He doesn’t write anybody off,” Wilson said.
Sawyer told KTRH the reaction to the billboards has been mixed, and those that are upset at them are not going to the website to see the video.