Tattoos and Body Piercings

Does it matter what the Bible Says?

I am tackling a subject that has dominated our culture and has increasingly become a practice of Christians.

It is the subject of Tattoos and Body Piercing.

Before I begin let me say that I am aware that there some of you that have a tattoo, or have been pierced, let me tell you that I’m not trying to beat you over the head, but to inform you, what does the Bible say?

Tattooing and piercing has been around for thousands of years. Tattooing has a rich history in Eurasia, Japan, Egypt.

In the last decade the Tattooing and piercing has virtually conquered the cultural world.

It no surprise that over 40% of Professional Sports players have at least one tattoo or piercing. Even in the Golf world, Tiger Woods and Lee Trevino both have tattoos.

According to US news and World report, Tattooing and piercing is the country’s 6th -fastest growing retail business. It is estimated that one new Tattooing and piercing studio opens up every day.

Even among Christians, what was once forbidden is welcomed. With thousands of Christians are getting “marked for Jesus” at so-called “Christian Tattooing and piercing shops.”

Everyone is doing it.Its the cool thing to do now, Is it really wrong? What’s so bad about it?

The first question to answer is “Does it matter what the Bible says? Or does personal opinion matter? Is the Bible relevant for today?”

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:28

Now that’s pretty simple and straight forward, Don’t tattoo or pierce your body. Don’t cut or tattoo your body.

In Biblical History often times when a person would purposefully cut themselves, it was done for a reason In 1 Kings 18:28 is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Remember the contest that Elijah had with them, He said call upon Baal, to come down and produce fire, on an altar. The bible says that they shouted and screamed at Baal to come down, they even cut themselves, as there custom allowed, slashed themselves until blood flowed from their bodies.and Baal did not listen,

Any kind of self-laceration or marking of the body has always been associated with pagan cults.and the dead!

Those caught up in idol worship and false gods, would cut or tattoo themselves as an act of mourning for the dead.

That’s why God said in Lev. 19:28, don’t cut your body or tattoo it, God did not want his people to be like the world.

Some argue, That’s Old Testament, It’s not in the NT.

Did you know that bestiality (sex with animals) is forbidden and only mentioned in the Old Testament. Does that mean it’s ok now?

What about Lev. 19:29, the verse right after the tattoo verse, Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness, that’s only in the OT You can’t find that in the NT. Does it make it ok?

In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he explains that most of Leviticus 19 are moral commandments that apply not only to Israel but for every New Testament Christian today.

In fact Lev. 19:26-28, are Moral laws clearly condemning pagan, witchcraft and heathen practices.

Verse 26 referring to “enchantment” (spells or witchcraft) and not to observe the times, referring to astrology.

Verse 27 dealt with those that worshipped the hosts of heaven, in such a way as to cut their hair so their heads might resemble the celestial globe;, as foolish as it seems, it was being done with respect to their false gods, it was idolatrous.

Verse 28 speaks to the pagan demonic practice of cutting into your flesh (Piercing) and tattooing,

The fact is, up until just a few years ago, virtually everyone, including the most liberal Christian, knew that Tattooing and piercing was clearly forbidden by the word of God.

And throughout history, the Tattooing and piercing has always been condemned by Bible Believing Christians. Always.

Does the New Testament say anything about tattoos and body piercing? The answer is “yes.”

There is the New Testament concept that our bodies are not our own. This teaching is found specifically in 1 Cor. 6:12-20

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. [13] Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. [14] And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. [15] Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. [17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [19] 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.

The Message to the Christian is that our bodies belong to God, not ourselves, and that they are to honor and reflect God’s glory.

In spite of this many will justify getting a tattoo, but the question that should be answered is “What is my motive?” Why do you want one in first place?

1. because everyone else has one & they’re Cool?

“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.” – Romans 12:1-2

It hard living in today’s world with all the temptations. But with God’s help you can have the strength to do what is right. You don’t have to prove to anyone that you’re cool enough or tough enough. You’re a child of the King! If you’re hanging around people who are a bad influence on you, change your environment, get in a crowd that will influence you to act like Christ.

2. The REAL reason you want one is because you have a heart of rebellion.

It’s Rebellion toward parents: “I don’t care what my mom and dad think about it, I don’t care what anyone says, it’s my body!

It’s rebellion toward any authority in your life, Even God

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” – 1 Samuel 15:23

Be careful, The Bible says that rebellion is as witchcraft. Your Tattoo or piercing is only an outward symbol of what was planted in your heart. The truth is that tattoo or piercing indicates a REAL Spiritual problem. What will it be? God’s Way or Mine? Does it matter what the Bible says? Are there some things I need to get taken care of? Am I a Parent who needs some Biblical Principles in place in my life and home? Do I need to get right with God?