Does God Hate TATTOOS? This past Sunday we had a special guest speaker. He read Leviticus 19:28 which says “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” He didn’t explain it and moved on. I could feel the tension in the room. About half of our congregation has a tattoo. Many of the tats are BC (before Christ) and probably just as many are AC (after Christ). If you are a FOSM regular or just somebody that has a tat, how does this make you feel?
As you think about your answer, I want to ask a few more questions. If his statement bothered you a bit, why did it? Were you bothered by it because you knew the Biblical answer to his statements? Were you bothered because you didn’t see anything wrong with it in your own eyes? What do you think God thinks about it?
I’ll come clean. I have no moral or biblical objections to tattoos. Leviticus 19:28 is part of the Jewish Law. Very few Christian scholars believe it applies to people who are Christ followers. We are not under the law but under Grace. God also says in Leviticus 19:19 “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” You never hear a sermon about that. Why? Because it’s Jewish Law, given to the Jews at the time to separate them from everybody else. It taught them holiness among other things. We are not under the law.
There is another verse to think about though. Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please God…” That means everything we do should be with faith, if we want to please God. If you get a tattoo in faith, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Another way to think about it is this: Can I take Jesus with me when I go to get the tattoo? Would He be proud of it? If so, then knock yourself out.
What about teenagers? Should teenagers get tattoos? It’s up to their parents FIRST! If your parents are against it, don’t do it. When you are on your own, paying your own bills and you still want to do it then go for it. Until then you will have to wait. Your parents are just looking out for you. They remember a friend in High School who tattooed a girlfriend’s name on his arm, only to break up with her two weeks later. And yes, the same answer applies to getting your belly button pierced or anything else that weirds them out.
Ok, one more question… Pastor Randy, do you have any tats? No I don’t. I don’t because I grew up hearing elderly war veterans who had tattoos complain about them. EVERY single tattooed war vet I talked to growing up said “Boy, don’t ever get a tattoo like I did. When you are old and wrinkly like me, the tattoo will look ugly.” I laugh every time I think of someone saying that to me.
Maybe someday when I’m old, I’ll get a tattoo. That way, there won’t be time for it to fade or get ugly… :)
UPDATE: I found a great podcast from John Piper here. He talks about how we view ourselves in light of Christ’s love for us. It’s seven minutes long and really thought provoking.