When we start searching for answers to the question in the headline, a number of related questions would arise:
2. Will I go to hell for having a tattoo?
3. Can I have tattoos and still be a Christian?
4. Are there such thing as “Christian Tattoos?”
Tattoos are a widely debated topic among Christian culture. Look at the questions below:
1. Why would I get a tattoo? or Why did I get a tattoo?
2. Who will my tattoo glorify? or Who do my tattoos glorify?
3. What would my tattoo say about me? or What do my tattoos say about me?
Although these questions may seem silly, they are going to play an important role in your view on tattoos in reference to God’s word. Why? Because the answers to those questions may just be the answers you’ve been looking for.
In Leviticus 19:28, you can see what most people say is a pretty clear-cut answer as to what God thinks about tattoos.
“Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD.” -Leviticus 19:28.
But as clear as this text may seem, without the context and background, this text can be taken out of context in many ways. And it usually is.
This text is directed towards pagan nations who would violently cut and mark their bodies as a sign of worship to their gods. The tattoos or “markings” one would find on their body would resemble which god or gods their were worshiping.
Pretty different from the tattoos we see today, right? Yup.
Markings or tattoos that resemble worship to anyone other than God are sinful, however that 99% of the tattoos we see in today’s culture are not due to idol worship, but more creative expression and artistic value. It’s not the actual tattoo or marking that is sinful, but the motives in which each tattoo or marking is obtained.
Tattoos are not for everyone. A person has to realize the motives of its heart mean more to God than the ink on the skin. But also realize that this doesn’t mean your body is a free for all canvas to be filled with mindless and ill-thought clip art.
Your body is still a temple, and to treat your body with disrespect is to treat God the same way. Whether you are debating getting your first tattoo or your fiftieth, I pray you will seek God for wisdom, guidance, and evaluate the motives of your heart.
Remember those three questions? Well, it’s time to ask them again.
1. Why would I get a tattoo? Why did I get a tattoo?
2. Who will my tattoo glorify? Who do my tattoos glorify?
3. What would my tattoo say about me? What do my tattoos say about me?
We may not all reach the same conclusion, but that doesn’t mean we are not all loved by the same God.