The faith community has often disagreed on certain things, such as homosexuality, same-sex marriages, and even the appropriateness of getting tattoos. In this day and age, a lot of Christians already have their bodies inked. But does the Bible approve of it?
Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church, who has several tattoos, agrees that the Bible - specifically the Old Testament - dismisses the thought of tattoos. He cited Leviticus 19:28, which stated that: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord."
However, Lentz told World Religion News that the verse no longer applies because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. "Biblical interpretation is huge, right? So with tattoos not being allowed, you mean Leviticus. We play both sides of the coin I think that is healthy. Like this paradox of scripture, interpretation is actually is part of our faith, the tension of it," he said. "So, on one hand, we say that is the Old Testament scripture, there is no New Testament verification of that. That law that had to do with slaves, that identified you as part of a tribe we don't believe that came through the cross."
The pastor argued that it's "ridiculous" to still rely on the old scripture from Leviticus after Jesus rose from the dead. There were several things on the Old Testament that are no longer being practiced today, such as animal blood sacrifices. Because Jesus' blood was spilled, He removed the need for animal blood sacrifices and people can talk to Him directly and ask forgiveness for their sins.
Of course, Lentz said there are certain things from the Old Testament that Christians need to "follow through on the cross."
"Honoring your wife as God honors his church that comes through the cross. So that is our scope for all Scripture interpretation. If it died on the cross, then it needs to die in our theology. Tattoos are a no-brainer. Are you kidding me? Jesus was pretty clear in every detail," he continued. "Whether it is diet, whether its image, whether it's qualification, that stuff died on the cross."