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Should Christians Get Tattoos? Regarding Todd Bentley And Leviticus 19:28

Posted by Job on May 22, 2008

Note: this was my response to a “Contact Us” query, but unfortunately the person who sent the question did not leave a valid email address. So perhaps the questioner will see my reply cut and pasted here.

Some say that Leviticus 19:28 forbids getting tattoos. The verse reads “‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD” according to most of the newer translations. Others say that Leviticus 19:28 is taken out of context or applies only to Israel living under the old covenant. I personally would urge a Christian not to get a tattoo. Tattooing is part of the practice of a lot of pagan religions. Also, a lot of the popular tattoos literally are symbols from the occult, wicca, paganism, earth worship, etc., or they are rebellious political symbols. Furthermore, you are going to know very little about the person with the needle punching holes in your skin … about that person’s religious beliefs or what motivated him or her to become a tattoo artist in the first place. And it is also unhealthy: various diseases like herpes, hepatitis, even AIDS have been known to be transmitted by tattoo parlors that do not sterilize their needles. So not getting tattoos is my personal recommendation, and because it is so unwise – in addition to being quite painful – I cannot help but wonder about any Christian that has one. And I feel quite comfortable in saying that because I myself have a tattoo that I got back when I was unsaved and living quite foolishly, and to this day regard it as one of the worst of my many very bad decisions! If someone were to make the case that having a tattoo is a sin, based on my own experience I would not disagree. 

But I am not willing to go that far myself. Since I do not know if it is mentioned in the New Testament – and even its mention in the Old Testament is singular and in a questionable context – I am not going to create a doctrine out of it. I would rather not be guilty of what Jesus Christ convicted the unbelieving Pharisees of in the Gospel of John, of judging by external standards. So, I will leave it at what Paul said in the 1 Corinthians 10:23: all things are lawful for me but not all things are expedient. This selection particularly fits the larger context of 1 Corinthians 10, which is dealing with temptation, and the books of Corinthians, where Paul was writing to a worldly carnal church in a heavily paganized and immoral city … Corinth was a “port city” with all that implied, and it also contained a bunch of social climbers and status seekers. Quite frankly I do not see the need for a tattoo, or nor do I know what purpose it would have in praising or bringing someone closer to God. I do not know how getting a tattoo uplifts Jesus Christ.

Even putting a tattoo depicting cross or the Name of God … that is sketchy territory because God says no graven images (and yes tattooing is engraving in your skin, trust me I have one and I know!) and not to take His Name in vain. So even if it technically is not a sin, it is foolishness that serves no good purpose and reflects badly on someone’s judgment. After all, why even get a tattoo? Because a person see someone else with it and it looks cool. Chances are that cool looking person with the tattoo is a secular celebrity: a rock or rap musician, an actor, or an athlete. Or in this instance a famous preacher! I feel safe to say that not very many people can claim to have gotten their desire to get a tattoo from what they received during their intensive Bible study, for if they did that person would have to deal with Leviticus 19:28!

So, if the case against Todd Bentley was his tattoos (and his pierced lip … and I do not have any piercings, just the one tattoo!), I would not be the one to make it. As it is, I do not have to judge him by those external standards, but rather by spiritual standards. Which spiritual standards? The doctrine that he preaches, which is incontrovertibly false, and the people that he associates with, which are those known to not only preach false doctrines but also have dishonest financial dealings and histories of sexual immorality. To sum it all up, the case against Todd Bentley can be made by comparing this YouTube clip of him preaching against the contents of the Bible. Please watch the YouTube clip below to understand that no matter what the man’s appearance is, he preaches dangerous heresies and Christians should denounce rather than follow him.

In addition, here are the views of some other Christians on this topic:

Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring Part 3

It contains these videos:

Todd Bentley & the third wave – a picture speaks a thousand words

Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring

24 Responses to “Should Christians Get Tattoos? Regarding Todd Bentley And Leviticus 19:28”

  1. […] Christians and Tattoos Posted on May 22, 2008 by pjmiller Someone recently wrote me asking about tattoos and Christians, and requesting a post on the topic.  While gathering information on this controversial topic, I came upon a very well written post on the topic by Job at Jesus Christology: Should Christians Get Tattoos? Regarding Todd Bentley And Leviticus 19:28 […]

  2. micey said

    Hi, I wanted to thank you for taking the subject of tattoos on from a fairly non-judgmental way. Speaking from a tattooed perspective, I have many tattoos, 99% of which I got before Christ. I have gotten 3 tattoos since, one to mark the occasion of my salvation, and two to change old tattoos that had little meaning into scripture references. I don’t just run out and get tattooed anymore because the desire is mostly gone. While I agree that God said in Leviticus 19:28 not to tattoo the body, I live by the gift of grace from God, not by the condemnation of the law. I was attacked by the enemy a lot for my tattoos. He tried very hard to get me to see I couldn’t possibly be a Christian because of them. It was a battle that went on in my mind for probably the first year of being a Christian, until the day that God gave me a revelation. If God is sovereign, if He has a plan for my life, if He knows everything, then He knew I was going to have many tattoos, He knew He would be able to turn something He doesn’t like, my sins, of which there are many, for His glory! The devil cannot attack me in this way anymore, even when people choose to bring this subject up over and over. God has taught me, through my own appearance, to stop judging others for their appearance, for their plastic surgery for example, that I find silly and frivolous. Who am I to point to the splinter in someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own? So how does God use my tattoos for His glory and purpose? I am able to minister to a crowd of folks that others may have trouble ministering to because they can’t relate to them. The scriptures I have tattooed are 3:16 and 6:16. People ask me about them all the time. “What do those numbers mean?” And then I share John 3:16 and Jeremiah 6:16 with them and I share the Gospel. God’s word does not come back void. The 6:16 covered up and old pagan symbol I had for healer, it looked like a six anyway so it made sense. The 3:16 covered up the letter m that looked like a 3 to most people anyway, so why not turn it into something to honor God? I know there are folks who simply cannot get past the law and I feel sorry for them because I know how much I have been forgiven and I thank God every single day for the grace and mercy He has shown me by dying for me! God has a plan for my life as He does for everyone, mine happens to include tattoos.🙂

  3. Picoli said

    I think that just because you regret something that you got on your body does not mean that you should judge others. I have tattoos and They minister to people everyday!! People are very touched when I tell them what my very visible tattos mean! Not just the tattoo kind of people either!! I think that it takes all kinds of people to reach the masses and someone like you might not be able to reach someone like me!! I mean seriously what do you think about ear piercing?? Thats a sin too?? Does your wife have her ears pierced?? Im just saying even drinking a coke is a sin now because that is harming the temple of God more than a tattoo!!! Oh and for the record I do know my tattoo artist and they are extremely Godly individuals!!!🙂 Im just saying dude!!! Im not trying to be harsh Im just trying to get a point across!!🙂 Kay? God bless!!

  4. Job said

    Picoli:

    Yes, and the point that you are trying to get across was from the perspective of human experience and intelligence, not from the point of view of the Bible. Not that getting a tattoo is anything like being a fornicator, but could not a fornicator say “I fornicate, I minister through my fornication, so what is wrong with it? If fornication is wrong, what, are you going to say that drinking a coke is wrong too? Quit judging!”

    Picoli, if you are familiar with this website, you should know that I RARELY deal with people’s appearances. The only exceptions are when I put devotionals from other pastors that deal with the topic up, and this one, where I responded to a specific question by an emailer, and it was topical because it deals with the Todd Bentley revival crisis. I would much rather dedicate my time to discussing what Christians believe than how they look. The primary reason is that I do not want to judge Christians from another culture according to the standards of western culture. An example: the modest dress that a lot of conservative Christians impose on their adherents. Go to a tropical area and you see folks walking around in “attire” that would get them arrested for indecency in any western country. So are we to tell them to cover up? If so, why? Look, the reason why western Christianity imposes those dress standards is to prevent lust and fornication. But I would put the illegitimacy (and abortion!) rates of a lot of those equatorial cultures up against that of the American evangelical church any day of the week! And such things were precisely what Paul addressed in Romans, Galatians, and Corinthians: not to allow cultural chauvinism to hinder effective cross cultural evangelism and fellowship. So, Picoli, one whose tattoos minister to people, would you allow a Trobriand Islander in native dress to come sit in your church pews, or would you make her first put on jeans and a T – shirt? One of the more regrettable moments of that Nate/Steve Saint movie “The End Of The Spear” was when the natives put on jeans and baseball caps at the end of the movie, as if it signified that their conversion experience was real or something. The Bible does not say that one renews his mind by conforming to the standards of middle class western culture.

    But again, that is a Biblical perspective, Picoli, not a human one. If you noticed, I justified my statements with references to Romans, Galatians, and 1 Corinthians. Just like in my post above. I dealt with it from a Biblical perspective using Leviticus and 1 Corinthians. Look, I personally feel that getting tattoos is dumb and dangerous, and would LOVE to be able to tell people that it is a sin. I feel the same way about smoking, drinking alcohol, and gambling, which in addition to being destructive the industries around them exploit the poor and oppressed. (I would like for some Christian to explain to me the difference between drinking beer and snorting cocaine … I would propose that the former is actually responsible for a great many more deaths due to car accidents, violent crime, etc. than the latter.) But I cannot say that they are sins, because you cannot point me to a single Bible verse that says explicitly that they are. (The one verse that appears to do so, which appears in the Proverbs, needs to be applied in its proper context, otherwise a person would be calling Jesus Christ a sinner for drinking wine.)

    But tattooing? Yes, we have a specific Bible verse that specifically calls Leviticus 19:28 a sin. And you know what? I still did not call it a sin based on a single verse that was given to the Old Testament nation of Israel! I could have, but didn’t precisely for the very reasons that I gave … not wanting to judge by external standards. Now please, do not buy into this modern antinomian lascivious nonsense about how judging is wrong. The Bible never says it once. As a matter of fact, it says precisely the opposite! No, the Bible only says that we are not to judge according to the wrong standards. That is what the Pharisees were doing … teaching the traditions of men as if they were the commandments of God. Well Picoli, Leviticus 19:28 is a commandment of God. The only debate is whether that commandment is binding on the New Testament church in the modern context. Many people say YES and their position is perfectly justified. No spiritual harm will come whatsoever by obeying what the Bible tells you to do. Do we agree on that Picoli? If you dissent, why? My position is that even if it is POSSIBLE for a Christian, it is not EXPEDIENT, and I gave reasons why.

    So the irony, Picoli, is that you are the one doing what Jesus Christ warned the Pharisees of doing … judging by the wrong standards. You judge tattooing to be OK by your own human standards, and you judge my position to be wrong by those same standards. You do realize that the problem with that is that your standards are like noses … WE ALL HAVE THEM. We can either have 6 billion different standards on matters of spirituality (and counting!) or we can have ONE STANDARD, which is the Bible. And for tattooing, that one standard should be Leviticus 19:28 interpreted through the entire context of Biblical revelation. That is what I attempted to do, and if I failed then make a biblical case why. What matters, though, is even if I did fail, your failure was greater, because you didn’t even try to judge from the Bible. Instead, you made your own human mind, will, and emotions (which the Bible calls your soul in one places, your heart in others, and THE FLESH in others still) the judge. We are not to judge according to the flesh but according to the Word of God. It is to be the final authority in all matters, not just matters that are convenient to us and do not conflict with the modern lifestyle and mindset. Do you agree Picoli, or do you disagree?

  5. Job said

    Micey:

    Thank you for your personal story. But do you know what? You may not be aware of it, but your testimony actually made a stronger testimony on this issue than I made. Where?

    I don’t just run out and get tattooed anymore because the desire is mostly gone.

    Now why do you suppose that is ?🙂 The regenerative workings of the Holy Spirit renewing your mind? Now Micey, I have seen your life story testimony, and as a matter of fact linked to it on this site, so you are THE LAST PERSON that I would condemn as a sinner based solely on your having tattoos. But then again, that fact makes, and I will repeat for emphasis

    I don’t just run out and get tattooed anymore because the desire is mostly gone.

    even more powerful.

    As far as “living under the law”, I think that we have to pay attention to what the writings of Paul in Romans and in other places and also the prophetic passages that point to them. Specifically, I want to speak of Jeremiah 31:33, which Paul referenced in Romans 2:15. Jeremiah does not prophecy that the law would be done away with, and Paul does not say that it has been. And when Jesus Christ was accused of trying to or coming to do away with the law, He denied the charge. Why? Because it is false. So be not deceived, the New Testament church is still living under the law and can be convicted by transgressing the law. The difference is where under the old covenant the law was written on tablets of stone and on papyrus or animal skins, Jeremiah 31:33 and Romans 2:15 bears witness that in the New Testament church the law is written on our inward parts, in our hearts! Who does the writing of our law into our hearts? The same Person that inspired Moses to write the law: the Holy Spirit. Evidence that this takes place with born – again Christians? For the third time for emphasis:

    I don’t just run out and get tattooed anymore because the desire is mostly gone.

    Isn’t it great that because you are born again, instead of using your words to accuse you, I can use them according to a Biblical fashion as your testimony that can encourage others? Well I have to tell you, though I never had a desire to get another tattoo after my horrible experience with that biker woman that gave me the black panther that is on my shoulder blade right now (long story, but in brief I got it as part of a failed attempt to impress a girl, and I chose the black panther because of my Afrocentric political beliefs at the time), my testimony of my pornography addiction being gone matches yours with the desire to get tattoos. Different people, different behaviors, but the same testimony that we share not only with each other, but with all saints that live, have ever lived, and have yet to be born!

    So, rather than thinking that people may be condemned by Leviticus 19:28 under the law, your own testimony shows that the gift of grace is the Holy Spirit empowering you to keep Leviticus 19:28 (and me to keep Exodus 20:14 as it is interpreted by Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:28)! So we are indeed living under the law, and it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to do so.

  6. micey said

    ah yes, but the desire is not completely gone. And I would not be able to say if I get tattooed again that I am not sinning, I know God says it is a sin so I may indeed never get tattooed again. However, to make such a huge deal out of it for others would be too condemning. I know a guy who is tattooed literally from head to toe with some crazy stuff and now he is born again and in the process of getting some of his more unmentionable work covered with black ink because he doesn’t like what they represent. If you meet a person who is more law oriented than grace oriented, you are liable to cause that person more harm than good. I’m not speaking about you specifically, but I’ve been exposed to the condemning crowd more than I care to think about. All I’m saying is that before people start yelling “sinner, sinner!” they should perhaps take a long hard look in the mirror. As Jesus so eloquently said, “Let him who has never sinned cast the first stone.” How would you feel if you were the one who condemned someone based on his or her appearance and then found out they walked away from Jesus because they didn’t feel they could come to Him in their state of sin? Again, I’m not saying you are this kind of person, but I know plenty who are and it is a really sad state of the body of Christ. I will answer to the Lord on judgement day for all my sins and I don’t want one of them to be that I condemned others based on their appearance.🙂

  7. I travel to Ghana West Africa. A former witchdoctor, Bishop Vagalas Kanco, Book, the Witchdoctor and the Man finds Jesus, http://www.patholliday.com says, That tattoos are demonic. When he saw the Todd Bentley tattoo body suit, he was amazed. What is happening to America?
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3061433/Todd-Bentley-Revival-Fires-and-the-Oni-Demons-Witchcraft-in-the-Church
    Todd Bentley is one of the most demonic moves that I’ve ever seen… been in ministry for 33 years.
    Pat Holliday

  8. Job said

    Micey:

    The Holy Spirit writing God’s Law on our heart is a gift of grace. You still have desire? Well, the Bible makes it clear that you and every other Christian will still go through temptation. As a matter of fact, Corinthians, Romans and the epistles of John make it clear that Christians will still sin. What lying spirits do is try to convince you that no other Christian sins or is tempted but you, or that your sins and temptations are worse than or different from everyone else’s.

    Please realize this: even under the law, people sinned and were forgiven. There was grace under the law and people were saved by faith through grace back then as we are now. The purpose of the law, the temple, the priesthood, the observances, etc. was to serve the same purpose for Israel that the indwelling Holy Spirit performs for us today. Those things still exist, we just have them in Christ through the ministry of the person of the Holy Spirit.

    “I know a guy who is tattooed literally from head to toe with some crazy stuff and now he is born again and in the process of getting some of his more unmentionable work covered with black ink because he doesn’t like what they represent.”

    Now for me, the focus is not “I know a guy who is tattooed literally from head to toe with some crazy stuff” but rather “and now he is born again.” It is because of “and now he is born again” that “and in the process of getting some of his more unmentionable work covered with black ink because he doesn’t like what they represent” is taking place. “and in the process of getting some of his more unmentionable work covered with black ink because he doesn’t like what they represent” is external evidence of “and now he is born again.” Many modern Christian movements, they claim otherwise, that a mere confession of faith in the resurrection is enough. But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible makes it clear that when a person is born again, a change will come over them, a definite externally verifiable change. The person is literally a new creation (or a new creature). But these modern Christian movements misunderstand the meaning of grace and reject the notion of the workings of the Holy Spirit. Based on a partial and corrupted understanding of the Bible, they insist that a verbal confession and intellectual assent to the resurrection of Jesus Christ is enough. And they go further, and say that because they verbally confess and intellectually believe, then that makes their sin and desire to sin OK. Well, the book of James deals with those people. Every demon in hell knows that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that resurrected from the grave, and that knowledge does not save them! Now some of the modern theologians deal with this problem by saying “the reason why this fact does not save them is because God never gave demons a redemption plan.” Sorry, the Bible does not say that. What the Bible does say, in the word of Jesus Christ Himself, is that not everyone who calls Jesus Christ savior calls Him Lord. One can believe in Jesus Christ all they want, but unless you make Jesus Christ your Lord by keeping His commandments, then you are nothing but a goat.

    So while our brothers and sisters in faith that are going around saying “sinner sinner” are misguided, let us not cast them aside. Such people are only saying that if you are legitimately born again, a change should come over you. They are right. Such people are correct on the major points and only need instruction on the minor ones. It is the people who think that they can be saved without exhibiting a change in their behavior that have the major problem, and I am sorry, but it is people like those that I used to watch on TBN every night of the week. The main problem of the “sinner sinner” people honestly is that they teach the doctrines of men as if they are the commandments of God in such areas as gambling and smoking; they add to the Bible. And it was precisely with those such people in mind – and the commandment of scripture not to do so in mind – that I refused to call getting a tattoo a sin even though a very strong case in Leviticus can be made for calling it so. I merely said that it was a bad idea, because it does not honor Christ, the practice is of pagan origin, that it serves no useful or constructive purpose, and that it is potentially dangerous (I could have also said that it is extremely expensive … the single not very big tattoo that I received from an artist that was not exactly an expert cost $75 well over 10 years ago … I could only imagine how much the bigger tattoos done by a skilled artist would cost today!) and so forth. So I never called it a sin because I am not certain that the Bible does it. I only called it unwise, a decision that I can make because of my own knowledge of and personal experience with the subject. That is something that Christians should not be ashamed of doing. After all, when Moses appointed judges over 100s, 50s, 10s, etc. in the wilderness, what were those people supposed to go on? If they were only dealing with things explicitly given in scripture, why did they have to handle the easy cases themselves but bring the hard ones to Moses? One of the more dangerous doctrines common among Christianity is that Christians are not supposed to judge. It is based on taking two or three scriptures out of context. Not only that, it is double out of context … those two or three scriptures are first out of context with the full nature of Biblical revelation, AND are presented today apart from the intended meaning to its intended hearers.

    For instance, the “take your log out of your own eye before you take the speck out of your brother’s” was to the Pharisees. The “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” was to the Pharisees. Born again Christians are not Pharisees. We can act like Pharisees, but the main way of doing so is creating rules and sins according to our human minds that do not appear in the Bible and calling people sinners based on breaking them. THAT was what the Pharisees did when they called Jesus Christ a sinner for healing on the Sabbath, and for telling the man that Jesus Christ healed that he was a sinner for carrying his mat back to his house on the Sabbath. But challenging a person who claims to be born again on why no change is evident in the way that he talks or lives is simply holding someone who claims to be your brother to a Biblical standard, and if he refuses to meet that standard we are to conclude that such a person is not our brother and to disfellowship him. That is what Paul was speaking of when he stated “deliver him unto Satan” … that means kicking someone out of the church. The modern Christian mindset has us thinking that we cannot kick someone who makes a confession of faith in Jesus Christ out of the church, but that was not what the Bible said or practiced.

    Ultimately, the best antidote for law – oriented Christianity is the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, once saved always saved. I believe in that doctrine. So for me, the person whose behavior never changes is either someone who was never legitimately saved in the first place, or a person who is not spiritually maturing because of a lack of fellowship or Bible study or who is being harmed by false preachers and doctrines. If either is the case, then we are not to allow that person to stay as they are. How can we claim to love that person if we do that? If we love that person, if he is unsaved we would evangelize them, if he is saved we will exhort him to proper fellowship and sound doctrine. Again, the Bible says so, and gives us that responsibility.

    I really do not think that Christians are to be overly concerned with legalism and Phariseeism. So long as we remember that the primary flaw of those are A) rejecting Jesus Christ (the Pharisees), B) claiming that following the Jewish law, the 613, is necessary for salvation (legalism), and C) adding to scripture, replacing God’s righteousness with the opinions of man and thereby making man more holy and righteous than God (Phariseeism which is often called legalism). In short, Christians are not to be afraid of the Bible. If you understand and stick to what the Bible says and exhort and demand what the Bible says of your brother in Christ, no harm will come to you or to your brother. The notion that you can harm someone with what the Bible says (so long as the person presenting what the Bible says understands it and presents it properly) … I cannot find any scriptural justification for it. The closest thing that I can find to it is Paul’s statement that he was withholding strong doctrine (the meat) from new Christians too spiritually immature to understand or handle it, and was instead giving them the basics (milk). Well, the idea that Christians should withhold themselves from things that are unwise that they are only motivated to partake of in the first place because they saw Axl Rose, Snoop Dogg, or Alice Cooper do it on MTV is Christianity 101, a direct reading of Romans 12:1-2.

    Jesus Christ said that we are not to go aside to the right or to the left. I think that our fear of going too far to the right – judging too harshly – drives us off to err on the left, which is judging too leniently, and we use misunderstood and falsely taught doctrines of grace to justify going too far to the left. By focusing too harshly on what the Bible says about judging too harshly and of Christian liberty, we ignore that the Bible speaks just as often against lasciviousness.

  9. micey said

    thank you for taking the time to write this response. I agree with you 100% and I understand what you are saying and have utmost respect for the time you take to minister to the web masses. You hit on the point I was making, that as a tattooed individual, I usually run into the crowd of folks who like to point out my sin without even knowing me, without knowing if I am indeed born again. I know we are supposed to judge based on scripture. I also know that the greek word used for judge in the infamous “judge not” scripture actually means “condemn not”. In any case I agree with you and I see your point about my friend making a change to his tattoos based on being born again. I guess I just wish more Christians saw us in the same light. Thanks for all your time🙂 God bless you!

  10. Sarah Cobb said

    It’s good to see a respectful debate on this. My worry is that Todd had these tatoos done AFTER he became a christian! I really want to believe the best of him but surely a man in his position ‘must be above reproach’? To be honest I just feel I can’t receive from someone that must have spent ‘000s on getting these done since being in the ministry.

  11. Lee said

    http://wingswatchman.org/ /jesus%20death%20mask%20p%20hol.pdf

    Can see for yourself, what concerns me and I’ve put it on my website main home page is:

    Thankfully it was repeated yet again on one of God Tv channels on Saturday night 31st May 2008, so from what I can gather he says the following:
    ‘I pray this girl would receive by the angels in heaven a new heart blah blah blah.’
    Now was this a slip up, I’m still convinced that no where in the Bible are angels called upon to do such things, putting the emphasis on them is surely wrong, only God, The Holy Spirit and Jesus name can be mentioned in healing, it’s three in one, not half a dozen in one.

  12. Ben said

    i dont see what all the fuss is about a tattoo. some of the people on hear almost seem as if they are making this a salvific issue, when quite clearly it isnt.

    i dont have a tattoo, but i plan on getting one or more, am i going to hell? am i going to anger the God that I love and serve to the best of my ability? i dont think so.

    one tattoo is going to be of a cross with the name of a friend who died in a car accident, she was a solid Christian girl, whose life affected many for the cross. it will honor her memory, and probably give me a chance to tell others about her life.

    it is easy to sit back and pass judgments on people, and it is easy also to take it to an extreme and just mark up your whole body, but i dont see what the big deal is with a few tattoos. if you are convicted then dont do it. because if you did it would be sin.

    to say that 1 corinthian 6:19 dealing with the body being the temple, equals a mandate not to be tattooed isnt correct in my opinion and taken out of context. that verse is dealing specifically with sexual sin, rampant in the corinthian society. this sin it later says is the ONLY sin against the body. tattooing is not mentioned, nor can it be applied to tattooing as very clearly the verse is written to combat sexual sin. if you want to take it to tattooing, then you should never eat a snickers bar or eat fast food again, because you would be sinning against your body in doing so, if you follow that line of logic.

    i got this in response to the verse in leviticus from another site which sums the matter up perfectly, “Leviticus 19:26-31 deals with pagan practices and God’s prohibitions against adopting those practices. In verse 28, God is warning the Jewish people about a pagan practice at funerals, where pagans would mutilate/mark themselves to appease their false gods. The pagans hoped that by cutting themselves and marking images/symbols of idols on their bodies, that they would obtain favour in the afterlife from their false gods, both for themselves and for those who just died…As no one with a Christian tattoo is trying to pacify a pagan deity, it is safe to say this verse is not relevant to us.
    ” if you still take this verse as applicable to the issue, then you might want to consider offering sacrifices as well. that sounds sarcastic, but i really mean for it to simply make the point. We arent bound by the OT law anymore.

    I have been in bible school this past year, and i dont say this at all to boast, or think that i am someone special, but only to make this point: i have learned that we all have core beliefs, but on things that are not of a salvific nature or concern, we cant hold our opinions as always correct, we change our minds sometimes, when we hear things from a different angle, we are human, and we dont always think of everything, which is good. i do not believe that theGod i love, will judge me or think that i have siined for getting a tattoo. i think he knows our hearts and that the reason behind your action is everything on an issue which is not a sin. obviously this little blurb will probably not change any minds, so be it, but maybe some will find it enlightening or refreshing or something. To God be the glory in all that we do. Lets not forget that tattooed or not we are all serving the same God, and going after the same goal. God bless you all.

  13. Morne said

    I am neutral on this. Still collecting my thoughts. My question is this: Can a man in a suit, go and preach to say bikers, full of tatoos, and pierchings, and walk up to them, and say: “How are thee, Thy Lord want thee to repent of thee sins, He loves thee very much indeed. Repend therefore, and be cleanced from thy sins”

    Do you think they will listen? Or will God send someone, that looks like them, talk like them, dress like them? I think God speaks the language of the person that needs to be saved. I don’t know what is worst, religious nuts with the bible under the arm, critisizing outward apearances of people that has led milions to Jesus already, OR radical, sold out to Jesus, bikers tipe of evangelists, that is willing to go into the darkest of houses, clubs, and dangerous places, to preach the Gospel of Jesus. You decide who you will listen to.

  14. Morne said

    We have to judge the fruit, not the look of the person… How many people have you led to Jesus? How big is your ministry? Maybe it is very small, cause you critisize the ones with allot of fruit… just a thought.

  15. Job said

    Morne:

    Go read your Bible. How people behave is as much a part of their fruit as everything else. You people always associate people’s “fruit” with how many people they claim to have healed or gotten saved. What about ” love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”, huh? What about the moral character that the New Testament says should be present in the Christian? Show me one place in the Bible where it says that the ability to heal people and run a revival means that you should not exhibit the fruit of the spirit or have upright moral character. It doesn’t. Quite the otherwise, it says that having upright moral character and the fruit of the spirit is more important than the things that wow and impress everyone. The Bible calls those things “the best gifts” and urges us to seek those in ourselves and in other people.

    So the seemingly endless stream of people such as yourself who come on here saying “judge people by their fruit” and “since your works don’t match theirs what gives you the right to judge” either demonstrate a basic lack of knowledge of the Bible, or a hard hearted stiff necked desire to reject it.

    And Morne, your claim that people need to have tattoos to witness to bikers … don’t you realize that you oppose the biblical testimony? Peter, Paul, and the other apostles did not start dressing and acting like Romans in order to convert them. No, they remained what they were: conservative religious Jews. Read an early Christian history book. It says that a lot of Gentiles chose Christianity because they saw the difference between the holy and moral living of Christians and the evil immoral Roman pagan culture, and wanted the holiness and moral purity of their own lives. So these people won converts by obeying the Bible and trying to keep God’s standards. Now, 2000 years later, we have people like you insisting that in order to win sinners we have to conform ourselves to their thinking and behavior. My goodness, where does it end? Do we have to down some shots to evangelize drunkards? Do we have to hit the slot machines and the card games in order to evangelize gamblers? Does evangelizing drug users mean having to do a few lines of cocaine and take some puffs on a joint? Do we have to hit the strip clubs in order to evangelize the sexually immoral? Or why cannot a Christian work as a stripper, calling it a great way to evangelize the men and women who frequent and work in such establishments? Please realize that the Bible does not anywhere specifically call drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or going to a strip club a sin. So why aren’t Christians defending that behavior? Because the world calls it bad. Since the world calls it bad, Christians cannot do it either. But anything that the world makes acceptable, it becomes acceptable to Christians also, and Christians who say “no, it is still wrong” get accused of “judging.” And that was my main problem as mentioned in the post above. I never said that tattoos were wrong because the issue is not clear according to the Bible. Instead, my main issue was that not a single Christian can claim that he wants a tattoo because Jesus Christ had one. No, Christians want tattoos because rock stars, rappers, athletes, actors, etc. have them, and as a result they have mainstream acceptance. But working in a strip club or doing cocaine does not have mainstream acceptance, so you don’t have any Christians claiming “don’t judge me” over that. It is so transparent as to be laughable. 35 years ago, before it was socially acceptable to get tattoos, virtually no Christians had them, and as a result no one was out there calling you “legalist” or “judging” for getting them. Yet there were bikers, ex – convicts, sailors, etc. who had them back in 1970 back then just as there are now. If the need to witness to those in prison, sailor, and the biker crowd did not compel Christians to get tattoos in 1970, why is it doing so now? If the Holy Spirit felt that it was necessary for Christians to get tattoos in order to be effective evangelists, the Holy Spirit would have led Christians back in 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, etc. to get them, and those Christians would have been willing to challenge the fact that tattoos were socially unacceptable in mainstream America in order to obey the Holy Spirit. Back then, having all of these tattoos would have gotten you fired from your jobs, kicked out of school, prevented you from being able to eat in certain restaurants, or even presumed to be a criminal and arrested. In other words, Christians would have had to suffer persecution for the gospel’s sake. Yet, no Christians were suffering this persecution. It is only now when tattoos have been socially acceptable for going on 20 years, everyone has them, everyone thinks that they are cool, etc. that Christians see this great need to acquire them. That is the point.

    So why not do it if it helps you gain the lost?

  16. Ben said

    Job:

    Bro, Paul she was simply morne was saying dont judge people by the way they look, as in piercings tattoos etc. that was my impression, not that he/she was saying dont judge their fruit. you took that analogy with the drunkards to the extereme man, that goes against blatant scripture saying not to liv in drunkeness or have anything have control over you. there are plenty of scriptures speaking against drunkeness, and the strip club thing? Cmon man, that isnt very good debate technique you are simply taking the everything to an extreme, and they dont correlate at all with tattoos.

    Peter and Paul did become like the Gentiles when necessary. Such as when they ate meat that the “conservative” jews called sin to eat. so i dont know what you are talking about, not to mention Paul says he will become all things to all men. Obviously that doesnt mean that he will be a prostitute to meet the spiritual needs of sexual deviants, yet this is what you suggest.

    Back in the 20’s it was the view of plenty of Christian men that women shouldnt have the right to vote. Culture shifts and changes and so do ideals. absolutes do not such as murder and sexual promiscuity being wrong, but who cares what the churches attitude was towards tattoos in the 60’s or whether people could lose their jobs over them, we are in the 21st century and that simply isnt the way it is. Should we keep living as the 50’s church would have had us? No. What about the jesus people in the 60’s. They reached the hippies whom a lot of the church would have nothing to do with. they dressed like them, were familiar with their thinking and culture, yet still remained true to their savior. Sounds a lot like becoming all things to all men. What about Christian biker gangs? they rock the scriptures, have tattoos, piercings, and leathers, and they reach the biker culture which you or I could never reach unless we were bikers.

    Furthermore, you make too broad of generalizations in addition to your argumentation going beyond reality, and taking to the extereme. EVERYONE does not have a tattoo, EVERYONE does not think they are cool, how do you know that it is because it “socially acceptable” that Christians see this “great need” to get a tattoo. What if people just like them and they want to get them, you dont know them, you dont know their life, or what promted them to get a tattoo. Many Christians with tattoos have heavy spiritual meaning behind their body art. Who are you to determine that it is wrong for them to do so. Who do you think you are to say what the Holy Spirit would or wouldnt have done? What about the verse that says, “Who can know the mind of God”? You seem to be arrogantly claiming that you know what the Holy Spirit will compel everyone to do. You are taking scripture out of context, making broad generalizations, and debating the extreme. I dont know, it all just seems a little puffed up to me. I dont mean to come off as arrogant myself and if i do, i apologize that isnt my intent. I just see some issues with your argumentation, and if I feel that a brother or sister in Christ may be wrong in their application of scripture, or not thinking their arguments through, i will tell them. and if they do the same to mine that is healthy, and welcome as well. thats all i got for now. once again i dont mean to attack, the things you worte just didnt sit right with me, so I had to say something.

  17. […] Job at Jesus Christology […]

  18. Tattoos, Right Or Wrong?…

    Tattoos are all the rage amongst my age bracket, the under 30 group, and it can be a very sensitive subject. Personally, I think some tattoos are ‘cool.’ However, what I think doesn’t matter, even though I will NEVER get…

  19. ReaderX said

    You are out of your mind, frankly.

    “…cannot help but wonder about any Christian that has one.” Wonder what? What do you wonder? Be specific. And try to remember: judge not, lest ye be judged. It’s amazing because in your very next breath you admit that other Christians should wonder and doubt about you or judge you for having a tattoo.

    Why is it all the coked-out @#$% who later “find Jesus” turn out to be the militant wackos running around telling everyone else how to live? Worry about yourself. No one is going to burn in hell over a tattoo. Get real.

  20. Job said

    ReaderX:

    You are obviously not a Christian, so what motivated you to reply to this post to begin with? It is obviously a problem that you have within yourself, a guilty conscience almost certainly, that caused you to.

    Also, show me where I said that a Christian would go to hell over a tattoo? First of all, it is the lake of fire, not hell. Hell and the lake of fire are two separate entities. Second, I have a tattoo. And no, I am not going to undergo the needless expense of having it removed.

    Third, I do not tell people how to live. As a matter of fact, one of the main themes of this site is OPPOSING people like the religious right, the religious left, statists, and atheists trying to impose their views on others. My opposition to that, which I call evil, is the primary reason why I am a libertarian politically rather than a Republican or a Democrat. I only tell people that they need Jesus Christ as their personal savior. I will be the first to tell you that if you do not have Jesus Christ you will burn in the lake of fire, and if you do not try to obey the Bible to the best of your understanding and ability, then you do not have Jesus Christ. But whether you choose to believe me and do what I say is up to you. If a person wants to burn in the lake of fire for eternity, not for having a tattoo or being a homosexual but rather for rejecting Jesus Christ, then that is your business. It is very tragic, but ultimately it is out of my hands, and I concern myself with things that I can control.

    So ReaderX, all of the preconceived notions that you had about me and my purposes for writing this blog were totally wrong. Which makes me certain that everything that you believe about Jesus Christ is wrong also.

  21. […] watch it without either being tempted to commit fornication or fantasizing about it. So similar to my challenge regarding tattoos, the issue is not whether weave is permissible according to scripture, but whether the motivation […]

  22. Tommy said

    Remember, if you are a true born again believer in Jesus Christ, and following Him on the narrow path, then you all would see, that tattoos and piercing are from the pit, and unholy period!
    If you got them before you were saved, than you should either hide them from view, or have them removed like a cancer, they should bother you to still have them, or be proud of what they represent.
    But if yo feel its ok to get them and display them as a professing Christian, then you are in sin, and disobedience to God, who has called His children our OF the world, to be totally separate, and different from the lost world.
    The whole Bible from cover to cover, screams about Holiness, and do not copy the ways of the pagans, we are a new creation in Christ, and our liberty isn’t given to us, to continue in the sinful, worldly practices of the lost, we are called to be a witness, a witness for Christ and Holiness, not to join in sin, to reach the sinner, this is nowhere in the Bible.
    John 14-15. Jesus said, if you love me you will obey my commands!

    Not to keep our salvation, but to be obedient to the one we love the most, who gave Himself for us, who died a death we cannot imagine the horror of it all, so giving up a tattoo, or a drink, is small compared to waht Jesus did for each of us.

    WE as Christians are here to change the worlds views, and emulate Christ in all areas of our life, and show them a better way, APART FROM THE WORLD AND ITS PAGAN CUSTOMS..

    Do you think you can get a tattoo or a gross body piercing that will glorify God?????? Think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Worldliness vs Biblical Holiness

    Follow Peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
    Hebrews 12:14
    Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
    Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    James 4:4
    The word holiness means to be separate, or set apart from sin and from the standards of this
    ungodly world that teaches views contrary to scripture (1 John 2:15-17). The Bible teaches that, “For
    all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This of course means that all
    mankind has sinned against a Holy and Righteous God, and deserves His Divine Justice in hell without
    Him forever (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:21).
    But thank God, the Lord Jesus Christ loved us and paid the penalty on the cross for our sin, and
    shed His precious blood on the cross, lived a perfect sinless life, and took our judgment on the cross,
    that we can be saved from an eternity in hell, and given everlasting life in heaven, if we repent of our
    sin and trust Him alone by faith for our salvation (John 3:16; Acts 20:21).
    Understanding that we have sinned against God, no amount of good works can save us because
    we are already guilty for breaking his law, and we can only be saved by His grace through faith in the
    Lord Jesus Christ. “For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
    God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”(Ephesians 2:8-9).
    The Bible commands that we repent of our sins, which means we turn away from our sins. The
    Lord Jesus Christ said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”(Luke 13:3). He said in Mark
    1:15, “…repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Repentance and faith are two essential elements in
    salvation that results in a true born again salvation experience. If one does not truly repent and trust the
    Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone for their salvation, they will die in their sin and perish in hell forever
    (Luke 13:3). John the Baptist preached, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”(Matthew
    3:8). When one is truly saved there is clear evidence of a born again experience, which means a holy
    life separate from sin, and a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Bible teaches that the Christian life can only be lived by the power of the Holy Ghost, when
    we walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh (Galatians 5:16-26). This means that if you were once an
    alcoholic or a so called casual drinker you turn away from drinking alcohol completely, a murderer,
    from hating and killing people, a fornicator from your fornication, a homosexual from your
    homosexuality, a liar from your lying, a smoker from your smoking, a racist from your racism, a witch
    from your witchcraft, an adulterer from your adultery, a person who swears or curses from your filthy
    communication. If you were a lover of this ungodly world of sin, you now turn away from watching
    ungodly movies, television programs, and listening to secular music, to listening to good gospel music,
    and watching godly Christian films that will encourage you in the Lord, and that shows a clear
    testimony to the world of your born again experience. Unfortunately this is not the case in the majority
    of churches today.
    Many Pastors today no longer warn against the ungodly and vile nature of holly wood movies
    that promote adultery, fornication, cursing, homosexuality, and blaspheming the precious name of the
    Lord Jesus. Instead, they along with many in their congregation endorse this darkness by watching
    television programs such as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Canadian Idol, attend the movie
    theaters, rent movies, and also use and mention the movies in their sermons. Having a social drink is
    considered acceptable, and the biblical warning against the consumption of alcohol is rejected
    (Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
    Divorce and remarriage which is clearly condemned as adultery in the Bible (Matthew 19:1-12;
    Romans 7:1-3), is supported by many Pastors and churches who are deceiving multitudes by
    encouraging the sin of adultery in their assemblies, without preaching the love of the Lord Jesus Christ
    to these precious souls, so that they can repent and trust the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone to be saved
    (Acts 20:21). Fornication and “shacking up” is tolerated by many churches, and they refuse to point
    out ones sin because they are afraid to run individuals out of the church.
    Tragically, a growing number are agreeing with the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27; 1
    Corinthians 6:9-11), and are rejecting the gospel altogether. Buying lottery tickets which was a clear
    case of covetousness, and smoking cigarettes, and cigars, that is even condemned by our Canadian
    government, and by other governments of the world, are no longer sin by the standards of the vast
    majority in the church. Sadly, many professed Christians are showing there love for mammon
    (money), and their rejection of God (Matthew 6:24) by selling lottery tickets, cigarettes, pornography,
    and ungodly movies in local convenience stores and other outlets.
    Secular music, its ungodly influence and the promotion of sin that it represents, is endorsed by
    many so called, “Christian contemporary/rock or rap artists” such as Kirk Franklin who joined hands
    with ungodly secular artists such as Salt n Pepper, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Earth Wind and Fire, and
    Bono from U2 who has supported homosexuality, abortion, curses on a regular basis, drinks alcohol,
    and has denied that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven (Mother Jones interview with Bono
    1989)(1)(2). Instead of Pastors and churches rebuking and reproving the darkness, they tragically
    embrace it, and rather rebuke the ones who are exposing the darkness at the expense of many,
    especially our precious young people.
    Books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, many video games, toys, TV,
    and video programs that promote violence, witchcraft/occult (Deuteronomy 18:9-14), sin, and views
    that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible are given to many children by parents, not discerning
    there destructive nature.
    Yoga and dance clubs are attended without any shame whatsoever, not considering the new
    age/occult nature of yoga which is actually yoking with Hindu gods, and the worldliness and
    compromise of the ungodly secular music.
    Many while reading this article would condemn it as legalistic. However, they confuse legalism
    with Biblical holiness. Legalism is man trying to be saved through his good works, while Biblical
    holiness is one who is already saved, showing good works as a result of their salvation (James 2:26),
    and never the means of ones salvation(Ephesians 2:8-9). Separation from sin and walking in holiness,
    cannot be accomplished through our own will power, strength or ability, but only by the power of the
    Holy Ghost can one live a victorious Christian life of holiness unto God (Romans 8:1,13).
    My friend do not be deceived by believing you can be a friend of the world, because the Bible
    says “…a friend of the world is the enemy of God,”(James 4:4) and without holiness, “no man shall see
    the Lord”(Hebrews 12:4).
    We should not be deceived by churches or preachers who would encourage living in sin and
    loving the world, because the Bible clearly says that the “unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of
    God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If you been deceived, repent of your sins today, and trust the Lord Jesus
    Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour by faith alone for your salvation, to escape hell, and the Holy
    Ghost will help you to live in “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”(Hebrews 12:14).
    God Bless.
    Evangelist Sean Bonitto

  23. iloveGod said

    The Lord says to come to Him as you are and He will change you Himself! people are no1 to change other ppl. the Lord will do it… so basically if a stripper comes in small revealing cloths you are not to turn her away. God will work with her just preach Gods word n he will do the rest!

  24. Mts said

    When you have to ask the ??? Can I? Should I??? You pretty much Already know the answer, just looking for excuse to do what want to do. Its sad that churches will not preach this!!! I see more ppl in church with tattoos than outside, and not because they had them before salvation, a lot get them after. Then the ones who got them prior to being saved seem to still flaunt them. I get so aggravated over this self glorification, because that’s what it is. I went to one church and the bible study teacher said for women to stop getting tattoos basically around breast and places that are in appropriate, that if your going to get one, get one where it can’t be seen, which is stupid to me, ppl only get them
    To be seen, how about let’s not get one at all!!! And start preaching about the curse that comes behind a tattoo, all tattoos, And especially these demonic ones, skulls, death!!! Just inviting the spirit of death into their lives, and glorifying Death, which is the enemy. That excuse, its in the Old Testament is soooooo foolish, so is the scripture about fathers prostituting their daughters,, so is
    Stealing, etc. Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it!!!!!!! If there was anything in the Old Testament that’s ok now, God made it clear in New Testament and God never said in the n.t that tatoos are fine now. As well as bringing curses upon ourselves when we do this foolishness, we are also destroying our bodies!!! When did God say it was ok to allow foreign substances such as ink into our bodies. It goes into our bloodstream. If we drink ink we get sick, so injecting thru skin, what’s the difference!! As well, there is blood letting involved!!!!

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