Tattoos are such a controversial topic with many, not just within the Christian community. Many people feel that it is dumb to mark your bodies with a permanent branding, of sorts. Others feel that if they feel strongly enough about something, putting that object/idea/etc. on their skin forever shows the ultimate commitment. Where do you fall on the spectrum?
**Please note that the below is my opinion on the topic and is not stating that if you do or do not have tattoos that it makes you more or less of a Christian or anything of the sort.**
I, personally, know MANY faithful Christians who have tattoos. I do not feel that the mere fact that they have ink on their skin is going to keep them from heaven. In fact, I have seen Christians use their tattoos to bond with others who are inked and not Christian and it was a foot in the door to get these people into the church. Remember, God does work in mysterious ways.
Some say that getting a tattoo is a sin and reference Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.”
If simply reading the verse, the topic seems pretty cut-and-dry, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. This ceremonial law was given to the Nation of Israel, not the entire body of Christ, and this law was listed under Levitical law which was overturned when Jesus came and gave us new laws as a body of Christ. Not all of the laws given to Israel apply to the rest of us. For instance, here are some more Levitical laws we no longer follow (and these don’t cause as much of a stir as this one for some reason):
-Eating Fat (Leviticus 3:17)
-Letting your hair become unkempt (Leviticus 10:6)
-Wearing clothes with rips and/or holes (Leviticus 10:6)
-Drinking alcohol in Holy Places (Leviticus 10:9) [This one is a bit of a problem for all of the Catholics out there, huh?]
-Eating an animal with a divided hoof, i.e. pig or rabbit (Leviticus 11:4-7)
-Eating or touching the carcass of any seafood without fins or scales, i.e. anything besides fish like crawfish, crabs, lobster, shrimp, etc. (Leviticus 11:10-12)
-Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (Leviticus 12:4)
-Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (Leviticus 12:5)
That being said, in my opinion and through my reading of the Word, and my beliefs on the topic, I believe it can be a sin to get a tattoo, but it depends on your motivation, the image you are getting, and what your tattoo may say about you to others. I believe it is a personal decision and it is up to that person’s discretion. Think of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” If the tattoo you are getting helps, edifies, and shows Christ, then why not? If it may take some explaining and may distract people from Christ, then it may be something you may want to reconsider. My dad (who is completely anti-tattoo by the way) says “if you feel that strongly about something, buy the t-shirt.”