Is it okay for Christians to get tattoos? Some say that getting a tattoo is a sin, while some say that it's actually fine. So what's the real answer to this question? Is there a real answer to this question?
The Old Testament
There is one verse in the Bible that Christians often refer to when the subject of tattoos come up. It is Leviticus 19:28 and it says "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord." As you can see, Old Testament scripture clearly says that we should not put any tattoo marks on our bodies.
However, Pastor Mark Driscoll, a pastor of the Trinity Church, explained that this particular law of the Old Testament has already been fulfilled by Christ, and so Christians are not under this law anymore - instead, we are under God's grace.
Christians Under God's Grace
Does this mean that we can simply ignore the scripture and just get tattoos whenever we please? Of course not. As Christians, we have the responsibility to care for our bodies and do only what's pleasing to the Lord.
Remember, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says "19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
A tattoo is a modification to the human body. While not all modifications are bad, you must see to it that such modification will not distort the beauty of God's creation.
Next, apart from that, you have to think deep and hard about the motivation behind getting a tattoo? Are you acting out? Is it for artistic expression? Does it mean something important to you? Do you plan to glorify yourself or God with it?
1 Corinthians 10:31 says "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." This clearly means that if you plan to get a tattoo, make sure it is for the right reasons — reasons that are important to you as well as to glorify the Lord.
Aside from thinking about your motives, some also consider how modest they should be with their tattoo. How big or small will it be? Where would they put it? Is it for everyone to see? It is important to keep in mind that our bodies are God's gifts and we are made in His likeness (Genesis 1:27: So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them). We therefore must ensure whatever we do to our bodies we do to honor Him and to bring glory to His name.
To Get or Not to Get a Tattoo?
I have several Christian friends who are on the fence with this. They really want to get a tattoo but they don't want to disobey God's word. After knowing that the Old Testament laws no longer apply, they're still thinking twice about getting one.
When they ask for my opinion, how do I answer? Simple. I tell them that if they're having doubts or have to think twice about it, then it probably means that they don't really need to have one.
To be open with you, I myself got inked three years ago and I still have no regrets to date. My tattoo is a symbol of a hardship I had to go through. It reminds me how I overcame it and how the power of love and forgiveness helped me through it. The truth is, I didn't think twice about getting it then because I wholeheartedly know that it made me a better person and that tattoo, will be a constant reminder to me of how God healed my heart.
So, should you get one or not? The answer is for you to know. Ask yourself these three questions: 1) Will I be disfiguring the beauty of my body? 2) What is my real motive behind getting it? 3) How modest can I be with my tattoo?