WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A HIGH VOLUME OF IRRITATION & SARCASM
If you go to Journey, for many of you this has been the elephant in the room. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. The elephant in the room is the thing that everybody knows about but doesn’t talk about. Reports keep getting back to me on people who “have issues” with my tattoos. This, of course, means they ARE talking about it, they just aren’t coming to me about it. I’ll ignore for the moment they are violating the biblical principle of going directly to your brother if you have an issue with him. So let’s settle this here once-and-for-all. And if in the future anyone says anything to you about my tattoos, I would strongly urge you to kindly send them this link.
Do I have tattoos: Yes, I do.
Do I think tattoos are bad: Obviously not, or else I wouldn’t have gotten them.
Do I plan on getting more tattoos? Yes, as a matter fact, I do.
What does the Bible say about tattoos? I’m glad you asked…
Are Tattoos Sinful?
Well, to be honest, the issue is pretty simple and straightforward. There is one verse in Scripture that is often used to support the idea that it is sinful to tattoo your body. Here it is.
You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.
So it’s pretty straightforward right? It’s wrong to tattoo yourself. Well, not exactly. Before all you anti-tattoo types get too excited. You have to understand to whom this verse was written. Found in the book of Leviticus, these instructions are written to the Levites, the priestly tribe of Israel and those who are of the lineage of Aaron who would serve the Lord in his tabernacle. This specific command was given so that they might not identify themselves with a neighboring pagan religion who’s priests did cut themselves and tattoo their bodies. So, if that’s you (meaning: you’re a direct descendant of Aaron from the tribe of Levi and are serving the Lord in the tabernacle), then this verse probably applies to you. Everyone else, have at it.
If that’s still not convincing enough for you. If you think that specific command still applies to all people for all times… First, I question whether you really understand the book of Leviticus. Second, I would just ask that you apply your logic consistently. In fact, I would have you start by applying the verse just before the one in question:
Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.
Well, there you have it. If you think I shouldn’t have tattoos, I’ll be willing to listen to your argument as soon you stop cutting your sideburns and trimming your beard. (Random note: a few years ago, I quit cutting my sideburns just for the fun of it for a few months. It wasn’t a pretty sight.)
Jesus Will Have Tattoos
On a side note. If you don’t like tattoos, you might be in for a surprise when Jesus returns. Check out these verses in Revelation:
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself… On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Many scholars believe that these words written on him will literally be engraved or tattooed onto his body. (Honestly, I only added this little tidbit to stir the pot a little)
A Word to Teenagers and Others Still Living At Home
If your parents are still paying your bills and/or you live under their roof, guess what: you have to abide by their rules. Your parents may not like tattoos, piercings, etc. That’s a different thing entirely from saying that they are morally wrong. So teenagers: please stop using me as ammunition against your parents when you’re trying to convince them to let you do all the things that they dislike. Obey your parents. More than that, honor them. Honor them by quitting your incessant bickering and complaining every time they make a rule that you think us unfair. You want to know what’s unfair? The fact that your parents provide for your every need and what they get in return is your ungrateful ungodly attitude.