This topic has been a serious debate in the Christian community
On one hand, we have people saying it’s against our Christian practice to be seen with any sort of marking on our body, while on the other hand we have people who find it okay to have one.
Before we go on any further, I just want to be put it out there that I do have tattoos, and interestingly enough I got them after being born again.
Before I got them however, I did my research so it wasn’t just a blind decision, and that’s why it’s important for you to do your own research and not just get a tattoo because you think it’s “cool”.
The commonly misinterpreted verse in bible is in found in the book of
Leviticus 19vs 28NIV which says “you shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, or tattoo any marks on you: I am the lord” is scripture that most people reference when it comes to the topic of tattoos
This is why as believers; we need to preach the bible in context and not just pull out a certain verse from the bible to justify our points to others.
When you read the whole chapter in its context, that chapter was specifically talking to the Israelites shortly after they came out of slavery in Egypt.
The reason why God gave them these laws was because they were still tempted to go back to some of the old practices of the Pegan culture which they had been delivered from.
If you read the verse, it specifically preaches on not marking our bodies for the dead.
When we study Pegan worshipping practices in that time, you will know that in the Pegan culture people would cut themselves as a form of worship to the dead people who they would honor as gods.
When God freed the Israelites from Egypt, He didn’t want them to be aligned with that culture, He wanted them to be set apart and worship only Him as the true God.
Like I mentioned before it’s really important for us not to take the bible out of context to prove a point to others
So, if you have a tattoo and someone references that verse to you, make sure you read the whole chapter to them and ask them these questions
- Do they own clothes that have cotton and polyester in them (Leviticus 19vs 19 “You shall not wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together”)
- Do they enjoy a good steak from time to time (Leviticus 19vs 26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood”)
- Maybe they like a good hair cut as much as the next person (Leviticus 19vs 27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards”).
And yet again I find it so funny when someone references that scripture to me when they have piercings on them lol because we all know that piercings are part of cuttings on our body right?
So, if we as Christians are to quote this scripture to people with tattoos, we should make sure we are living up to the laws in that chapter.
And if you date back to that time and place, the Israelites weren’t the healthiest nation
God give them those laws as a wisdom issue, He was looking out for their life span because unlike the times that we live in now, those people did not have fridges to keep food in.
Some people will say that was the Old Testament and reference 1 Corinthians 6vs 9 NIV which says (do you know your bodies are temples of the holy spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own)
Also justifies as to why Christians should not have tattoos.
Again, context people, if you read the whole chapter, in this verse Paul was specially talking about sexual immortality,
On how we are not supposed to join ourselves to prostitutes because the holy spirit now lives in us
So again, that would be out of context if someone had to justify themselves through this scripture.
Now that we have understood the context of those verses, does that permit us as Christians to now ink ourselves with just anything that comes to our mind?
Well, not really!!, as a believer we have to set ourselves apart from the world and realize that putting just anything on our body is not the wisest thing to do.
So, before you decide on getting a tattoo, pray about it and then ask yourself these questions.
- Why am I getting a tattoo– I got my first tattoo Exodus 14vs 14 NIV, The lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace
Because it is my favorite verse in the bible and time and time again, God has continued to prove to me that it is more than just a verse, it is an experience
He fights all my battles and when I look down on that tattoo on my ankle, I remember all the times God has been faithful to me.
So, if the reason you are getting a tattoo is just because of the trend or you think it’s cool to have one, maybe hold back on that one.
2. Will that tattoo show people that you are a Christ follower? – as Christians, we are to set ourselves apart from the world. From the way we dress, speak or even what tattoos we have on our bodies
So, if the tattoos that you have on your body do not point to the kingdom in any way shape or form then what is the point of having them in the first place.
3. The body part matters– the position in which you have chosen to get inked causes someone to lust like the breast area or the stomach or even the butt region
Then what’s the point of getting the tattoo? How are you supposed to proclaim the gospel using sexual parts of the body as a believer.
I would like to finish off by saying that
We need to understand that tattoos are a personal choice as a Christian
When you decide to get a tattoo it does not make you any less of a Christian if it’s pointing others to Jesus
And if you do decide not to get a tattoo, it doesn’t make you more holy than others
It’s important in the Christian community to not judge each other based on our personal convictions but rather, embrace each other as we all come from different walks in life.
And also remember that
God speaks to us differently, what He may permit in your life may not be the exact same thing that He may permit in someone else’s life.