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QUESTION: Does the Bible say anything about tattoos?
 
ANSWER: First let me say that tattoos are certainly not the unpardonable sin. But the Bible clearly takes a stand against the practice. "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:28). "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh" (Leviticus 21:5).
 
The argument that these verses don’t matter because they come from the Old Testament is invalid for several reasons. First, “all” Scripture has been given and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction (2 Tim 3:16). Second, Jesus learned and lived His life according to the Old Testament and we are commanded to follow His example (1 Peter 2:21). Third, The New Testament church went to the Old Testament for guidance (Acts 15:20, 29 cf. Lev 17:8 – 18:18). In fact, do you remember the Nicolaitans of Rev 2:6 and how we are told that God hated them? What was their sin? In part, they refused to follow the direction that James and the church of Jerusalem gave in Acts 15:29 – and their reason was “that’s Old Testament.”  God hates that mentality. The Old Testament convicts while the New Testament saves…they work together.
 
Do you like the song Amazing Grace? The second stanza says, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” Before New Testament grace can relieve your fears, Old Testament grace must teach you to fear a holy God (the condemnation of your sin nature; Gal 3:24-25). Dear Christian, the Old Testament is not to be treated as irrelevant or inconclusive. It remains a description of God’s standard for what is modest or immodest, obedience or disobedience, truth or lie, etc. God still cares.
 
Now, when you love someone, you take their feelings into consideration. Lev 19:28 tells us how God feels about tattoos as they are associated with idolatry and paganism. You might say, “that’s just a couple of verses, Preacher.” Society today may not associate tattoos with idolatry and paganism, but the society of Heaven (to which Christians belong), still does. Don’t you appreciate it when your children obey after telling them something only once? God uses a still small voice more often than not. If you need a strong wind, earthquake or fire in order to ‘get’ the message God is trying to send your way, you could miss out on many joys and rewards (1 Kings 19:11-12). In all kindness I ask, do you love God more than your own opinion?
 
Let me include some New Testament guidance, “…be not conformed to this world…” (Rom 12:2); “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess 5:22); “…let [sin] not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph 5:3). The only sacred place for the Christian to get his definition of the world, sin and evil is the counsel of the Old and New Testaments (Prov 12:15).
 
So much more could be said that space does not allow. Please don’t misunderstand Christian, as I said, tattoos are certainly not the unpardonable sin. However, now that you know what God thinks, go and sin no more. Let him who has ears to hear, hear.
 
 
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