“Can a Christian get a Tattoo?” with Craig Groeschel


So, you want to know if a Christian should
have a tattoo? Well, we are at a local tattoo studio, let’s go in and talk about it! Tattoos can be controversial in different
circles, especially in Christian circles. Some people would say, “Oh, no! You can’t
do that! You are being very rebellious!” Others would say, “Hey, tattoos are just an artistic
expression on my body.” Some would say, “Oh no! It’s a dangerous, satanic and cultus practice.”
Others would simply say, “You know, it’s a personal expression.” The bottom line isn’t
as much as what does people think, but what does God think about tattoos? What does the
Bible say? And the answer is, not a whole lot! There’s one verse that speaks directly
to tattoos. It’s found in Leviticus 19:28, when the Bible says: Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put
tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28 You could say that God is very, very clear
and says, ‘You should not have tattoos,” right? Well, to understand this verse, you have to
look at the text in the context of what Leviticus 19 was saying as a whole. You see, the Israelites had just escaped from
Egyptian bondage and passed through the Red Sea and God was telling them, ‘Don’t take
on the Pagan practices of the Egyptians.’ When an Egyptian would die, the remaining
relative, they would often cut into their body to let out what was known as the life
blood. This was a pagan ritual, God said, ‘Don’t do that!’ Some would also tattoo on
their bodies pictures of pagan Gods; and again, the One true God said, ‘Don’t you ever do
that!’ If you want to take Leviticus 19 literally,
we need to be careful, because this was the Old Testament Law, fulfilled by Christ in
the New Testament. Leviticus 19 also tells us: Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head
or clip off the edges of your beard. Leviticus 19:27 It also says: Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of
material. Leviticus 19:19d Things that we all do every day. Leviticus 19; the bottom line, was talking
about idolatry. Don’t take on the pagan practices of the Egyptians. Some of my Christian friends that are very
pro-tattoo, make a very good argument that a Christian tattoo can be a good witness,
or a good conversations starter. They will also argue, if you want to be against tattoos,
you should probably be against ear piercings, because Leviticus 19:28 says, “Don’t cut your
body.” If you are considering getting a tattoo, there
are a couple of things to think about. First of all, you might be considered rebellious
by some. If you are going in for a job interview, or meeting someone for the first time, people
can be very judgmental, and they may look at the outside and make a judgment on you,
so it’s something to think about. Secondly, you need to remember that you might
be making a decision that you would later regret. I had a friend who tattooed, ‘I love
Beth’, and then he married Susan; which was awkward for everyone. And what looks good
on you at 22 might look very saggy at 62! Just think about it, if you are 19 years old
and living with Mom and Dad, and Mom and Dad are paying the bills, and you want a tattoo
and Mom and Dad say no, there’s no tattoo for you! If my kids ask, “Daddy, can we get
a tattoo?” I’m going to tell them, I don’t think so right now! When they are grown ups,
if they want to get a tattoo, I’d simply say, let’s make sure its something you want forever,
in a place you want forever, and a size you want forever. I’m not going to recommend they
get it, but again, it’s like a haircut, a style; it’s the outside, what’s on the inside
matters most. That’s my take on tattoos.

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