Justin Bieber's Jesus tattoo: a 'powerful' statement?

But can the 17-year-old and proud Christian star get a tattoo? Does that go against his faith? What about Leviticus 19:28 or 1 Corinthians 6:19-20?

One pastor thinks Bieber’s tattoo is not only OK but also a powerful way of telling the world “I follow Jesus”.

During Bieber’s recent vacation with girlfriend Selena Gomez in Hawaii, pictures of the young couple surfaced on the web, revealing Bieber’s newest tattoo of a Hebrew inscription reading “Yeshua”, which means Jesus, vertically inked on the upper portion of his left ribcage.

With the young pop sensation being a professing Christian, his tattoos have reignited the debate over whether inking one’s body goes against Scripture. Pastor Kyle Steven Bonenberger from City Church in Anaheim, California, does not see a problem with it.

Bonenberger, who last year got his first tattoo of his church’s logo, recognised that the main argument Christians bring up is the popular verse in Leviticus saying people can’t mark their bodies. But the 27-year-old pastor told The Christian Post, “Leviticus doesn’t talk about not marking your body but it has more to do with some cult-like practices of that day.”

Last year, as a memorial to City Church, loosely affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, he told his congregants that if attendance doubled on their one year anniversary he would get a tattoo of the logo.

He reached 75 per cent of his goal and still got the tattoo, and six other congregants signed up to get one too.

Tattoos to the pastor are about having a memorial, he told CP.

“I treat it like a memorial. In the book of Joshua over and over again the people of God set up memorials to remind themselves of something God has done in their lives so for me; the one that I have of my arm right now, it's the City Church's logo. It's a memorial God has given me.”

He plans to get one more with his wife’s name on his wedding ring finger because “sometimes I don’t like to wear a wedding ring” he said chuckling. He added, “It’s also a memorial of my love for her.”

Besides that he doesn’t plan to get any more because it’s not him and it’s painful.

He emphasised that before teens get tattoos, they should ask their parents first and if they don’t get permission, as much as they might want to proclaim their faith, it’s best to obey the parents above all.

He hypothetically assumed that Bieber’s mum approved his tattoo and if that is the case, he is very supportive of the decision, especially considering that Bieber is one of the biggest celebrities in the world.

“Justin Bieber, he is probably arguably one of the biggest celebrities in the world right now. I think in his case, it's a pretty powerful way of saying ‘I follow Jesus.’”

Last year, the Canadian native was spotted with his first tattoo of a bird on his hip. According to reports, getting a tattoo was a family tradition commemorating Bieber’s 16th birthday.

According to MTV, the tattoo artist is a lifelong friend of Bieber’s dad.

It is speculated that the winner of six Billboard Music Awards got his tattoo on a recent trip to Israel during his “My World” tour in April, but nothing is confirmed.

“It's awesome if Christian teens have Christian tattoos but they need to okay that with their parents first,” Bonenberger stressed.