What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos And Piercings | Deep Insight - EveryGospel

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos And Piercings | Deep Insight

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos  

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos

Dear reader, if you're reading this you're probably wondering if getting a tattoo(s) a sin or simply wondering just what the Bible has to say regarding them, be rest assured that by the end of this piece you'll be confident of the answers to “is tattoos a sin?” and “What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos?” which is our topic in this article and all other tattoo and Christianity questions.

Before we go any further, I need you to know that this piece is in no way targeted at criticism or condemnation of tattoo bearers but aimed as a means of guidance and exhortation for those thinking of getting tattoos and wondering what the biblical stance on the issue is.

Be that as it may, let's look at the art of tattooing briefly before we settle the question of “what does the Bible say about tattoos”. It's only logical that we first know what it entails to help us understand the Bible’s stand on it, so let's journey briefly into the world of ink and needles and a whole lot of hurt 😌.

What Exactly Are Tattoos?

A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes, and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The art of making tattoos is tattooing. Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative (with no specific meaning); symbolic (with a specific meaning pertinent to the wearer); pictorial (a depiction of a specific person or item). culled from  wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattoo

Now, this sounds like roses and candy but imagine receiving an injection and multiply the feeling by a few thousand... Needless to say, many have blacked out on the artist's table. Okay, this is not me trying to scare you, let's go right on to “what does the Bible say about tattoos”.

All scriptures reference in this post shall be from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise stated. But you can click on the verses listed to see other Bible Translation

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos?
In answering the above question as well as the question of “Is tattoos a sin?”, keep in mind that though some may argue that it wasn't explicitly mentioned (I mean duh!!!! It wasn't exactly a societal norm then like it is now, just as with smoking or abortions), God's stand in relation to such ‘body modifications/mutilations’ are clearly stated and cannot be misinterpreted.

So, what really does the Bible say about tattoos? Honestly, nothing explicit. Major buzzkill right? Well, don't start booking an appointment with your tattoo parlor just yet. The Bible never does address tattoos specifically except in Leviticus 19:28 and even that many argue was only in relation to the pagan ritual of doing it to honor the dead.

Regardless of the arguments on whether this scripture refers to tattoos generally as a sin or not, the Bible teaches us explicitly that our bodies are the temple of God and that all we do should be to the glory of God and for the furtherance of the Gospel - No, tattooing a Bible verse/cross/names of God does not equal evangelism.

Still on the issue of “what does the Bible say about tattoos”, let's take a look at the following scriptures:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

This Bible verse emphasizes the way in which we are to treat our bodies, remember the temple of God built by Solomon in 1Kings 6? Imagine if after building it in all its splendor and majesty the Levites decided to wake up one morning and spray-paint graffiti all over it's walls or even on just some hidden parts of the walls, I bet you they'd have been stoned to death on a two-count charge the way I see it; defacing such beautiful work and desecration of the holy place.

Basically, your body is not yours to do with as you please regardless of how popular that opinion is becoming (“it's my body so I can do whatever I want”). You have a higher mandate that far supersedes the selfishness and temporal satisfaction of getting a tattoo.

Here Does The Big Question: Do tattoos glorify God? No, they don't.

23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

This is one scripture I am so in love with (vs.23), it basically answers most of the seeming controversies in Christendom today that do not have explicit verses targeted at them whether it is on dressing or smoking or tattoos. The next time you wonder or ask or hear someone ask “is tattoos a sin?, remember this Bible verse immediately.

The expediency of tattoos is a motion that can never be argued in favor of. Matter of fact, in all walks of life except the underground obviously, it is looked upon with distaste. (vs.31) also brings us face to face again with the issue of glorifying God and once again, tattoos do not in any way give glory to God.

A desire for tattoos is almost always never born of a desire to glorify God even when the tattoo in question is ‘religious’ e.g crosses and the like. Not only are tattoos unnecessary, they do not build you up as a Christian in any way or serve to edify but rather can pose as stumbling blocks in so many ways.

Bottom line, tattoos are neither expedient, edifying nor to the glory of God.

Check Out: Should Christians Get Tattoos? 7 Points to Consider First

I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I think this scripture is pretty much self-explanatory… Vs.1 obviously does not include tattoos and the quest to subject our bodies to our spirit surely is in direct antithesis to fulfilling the worldly desire for a tattoo.

You've asked “what does the Bible say about tattoos?” and you find your answer here in the first half of vs.2 “and be not conformed to this world”. Tattoos are a worldly trend that modifies your God-given body (at great health risks and through a lot of pain actually) and should not be what you yearn after; forget being cool or independent. Even if you claim your reasons are noble and personal, a little self-reflection will with God's help show you the pure vanity in your desires.

Whether we like to admit it or not, going after tattoos is a confirmation to this world and should be fled from.

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

Now, this verse is honestly the major thing that keeps me from indulging in a lot of ‘harmless’ desires of mine such as you might have been viewing the issue of tattoos.

I have a friend whose mom stopped wearing trousers simply because she went to evangelize one day and whilst trying to share the gospel with one particular man, he made reference to how in his opinion they were both going to hell seeing as she was wearing trousers and as such she should not bother telling him anything.

Now, this was obviously born of ignorance and all but truth is, the strong controversies surrounding trouser wearing and its ability to hinder the reception of God's word made her decide that rather than spend time arguing doctrines and losing opportunities to share the word, she'd rather stay away from trousers and honestly, the Bible propounds such. 

Apostle Paul said it's better to not eat meat if eating meat will cause someone else to fall, not because your eating meat is a sin but because it could lead to another's sin.

What I'm saying, in essence, is this, much greater than the question of whether tattoos are a sin or not is the question of how much of a stumbling block it proves to be in the Christian walk. Tattoos generally are equated with irresponsibility, rebellion, waywardness, and worldliness; I mean no reputable organization employs persons with tats everywhere and insists that those having any cover them up completely at work.

Tattoos have the effect of turning people off completely and give a terrible first impression, even those who tell you tattoos are cool will not listen to certain things coming from someone with tattoos. One of such things is the gospel. They see you as having the same values with them and as such being same with them, thus they have no regard for what you have to say.

Anything that hinders the spread of the Gospel is against God and as such is a sin. So, “what does the Bible say about tattoos?” Pretty much nothing yet everything. Furthermore, the reason you're reading this is most likely because of the unrest the Holy Spirit stirs up within you anytime you think of getting a tattoo, trust me, I've been there. I do hope that the mind of God regarding this issue is clear to you and won't be controversial in your heart anymore.

Let's not even go into all the many adverse health effects such as the development of psoriasis, dermatitis, tumors (benign/malignant) and contraction of viral infections such as Hepatitis B and/or C, HIV, CMV, Syphilis and the like. There is also the risk of allergic reactions as well as bacterial infection and ensuing complications of septicemia. Worst case scenario, you get more than one of them (yikes!).

Conclusively, the answer to “is tattoos a sin” and “what does the Bible say about tattoos” is a paradox in that it is not directly specified but is still addressed in ways beyond a reasonable doubt. Think before you ink so that you not only keep the precepts of our Lord but prevent tattoo regrets in future. Shalom!

Finally, we have come to the end of this post on ''What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos'' and I believe you now know what's the right answer to that question. You can drop your question and contribution regarding this post.

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