Here's the question: Do tattoos and piercings really matter? Are they sinful? Or does God not really care? Well, I have tattoos and piercings and I love Jesus more than anything. Tats are a pretty hot topic among Christians and I've read quite a few arguments for both sides. Honestly, I have read more on why they are wrong than why they are okay; yet here I sit with tattoos and piercings with no hint of conviction.
No doubt, there are some readers that believe that my tattoos and piercings are dishonoring to Him. Well, I'm calling bull on that – let me tell you why: I can find nothing in the Scriptures that speaks against tattoos and/or piercings. And, yes, I’ve looked. I know that Leviticus 19:28 says “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves…” However, this verse was written to a particular people for a particular purpose. I would like to point out that Leviticus 19:27 says not to cut the hair on the sides of your head or clip the edges of a beard…pretty sure no one follows that rule. I am not trying to be argumentative or nit picky, I'm merely pointing how WILDLY out of context this verse is used.
The New Testament teaches that if we are going to follow part of the Old Testament Law, then we must follow all of it (see James 2:10 and Galatians 5:1-12). This is impossible and not how we are designed to live; that is why Jesus came. He came to provide a new way of life: a life of freedom (Luke 4:18). Now, I am not saying we are free to do whatever we please because we now have grace. Not at all – that is like spitting in the face of the Messiah (Romans 6:15). But what I am saying is that certain things do not matter; and we need to move on.Yes, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and we are to treat them as such. That means keeping them undefiled and using them as a representation of Jesus Christ. Tattooing and piercing the body, in my opinion, does not defile it. So you might ask "Well then why did God tell the Israelites not to tattoo themselves?" I'm glad you asked. Because, at that time and place, "tattoo marks" had cultic meanings to the surrounding people groups. It was a cultural issue.
God forbade tattooing, and the other things mentioned in this passage, because He did not want them to associate with the cultic practices of their day. I think we could all agree that it would be wrong to get a tattoo as an offering to a pagan god... But what we must acknowledge is that tattooing, as we know it, does not have the cultic representation that it did in this passage. Tattooing now is simply cultural phenomena - nothing more. I firmly believe it has no sinful representations when done with careful consideration and it is prayed over - after all, you will have it for the rest of your life. What is it that you love so much that you are willing to carry it with you for the rest of your life?
It comes down to an issue of the heart: Why do you choose to tattoo and/or pierce yourself? If it's a mere fashion statement or an act of rebellion, then there is problem. But if it is a statement of something you feel passionately about, a commemoration or stands as a reminder of your Faith, then I believe that not only is there nothing wrong with it, I think it is even Christ-honoring.
Yes, I said it. Tattoos can be Christ-honoring if they are done right. Personally, I consider mine to be an act of worship. I feel this way because Jesus is the only thing I am certain will remain constant in my life; therefore, all my tattoos point to Him. I cannot find any reason that this is wrong.