A Christian with a tattoo?
Tattoos have gained in popularity in recent years no doubt. More and more people are getting them and it’s not just gangsters or ex-cons who have them. These days you’ll find the likes of doctors, lawyers and even some ministers with tattoos. So what’s the deal with tattoos? What does the Bible say? So is it Ok Christians have tattoos or not?
What does the Bible say
When it comes to tattoos a lot of Christians will site Leviticus 19:28(NIV) that says “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” as a reason as to why tattoos are not allowed for Christians. Now in this verse the Bible clearly makes mention of tattoos, however it must be said that the actual word “tattoo”, only entered the Bible in the late 1700’s. Earlier versions of the Bible, especially the King James Version which was printed in the early 1600’s simply states “ye shall not…print marks upon you.” The exact meaning and root of the word “marks” is not something we can be exactly sure of.
Now let’s examine further. In the book of Isaiah 49:16 the Lord says that he has engraved us on the palms of His hands.(NIV). The AMPC says: “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of my hands; ….” So God has a tattoo of us in the palms of His hands? Very interesting.
In Isaiah 44:5 (AMPC), it says, “One will say, I am the Lord’s; and another one will write [even brand or tattoo] upon his hand, I am the Lords…” So God expected people to want to write on themselves so that others can know that they belong to Him.
A matter of the heart
It all comes down to the heart it seems and what our true intentions are for getting a tattoo. God is mostly concerned with our hearts. It is a decision that is between you and God in the end. But don’t let it become a religious rule as to whether you will get a tattoo or not.
While there is nothing definitive that the Bible says about getting tattoos, here are a nonetheless a few points to consider before getting a tattoo:
- Your body is a temple of God – God created you in His image. So do you think it is appropriate to decorate it and possibly disfigure it as you want?
- Employment prospects – while tattoos are becoming more acceptable, a lot of employers still frown upon seeing a candidate with visible tattoos. This is especially the case for positions where you would be expected to deal with members of the general public.
- Aging – a grandma or grandpa with tattoos just doesn’t look tasteful and as your skin ages your tattoos will no longer have the look it once had.
- Medical considerations – some people get terrible infections from tattoos and pick up other diseases including Hepatitis B and C while getting a tattoo that could have been prevented.
- Money – tattoos are not exactly cheap. Could you possibly spend that money more wisely?
- Motive – the most importantly consideration though is your motive for getting the tattoo. Is it a statement of your faith or to bring glory to God or is it just to show off some body part. Or could it even be for some other pagan reason. Only you will know the answer to that question.
- Permanence of tattoos – Tattoos can be removed, but it is quite costly and painful to remove. So think carefully before you go ahead and get that tattoo. It might end up being with you permanently.
Here are some fake Christian tattoos that you could buy as an alternative to real ones:
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