Should Christians Get Tattoos? What Does the Bible Say?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Should a Christian get a tattoo?  Is there anything in the Bible that restricts or permit’s a Christian to have a tattoo?  How can we know for sure since the Bible is silent about tattoos?  Is it a sin to have a tattoo according to biblical principles?  What about a Christian symbol like a cross for a tattoo?  Surely that would be acceptable wouldn’t it?

The Bible is Silent

There are many gray areas in a Christian’s life.  There are many things that are not listed in the Bible that are not recommended for the Christian.  Search any concordance and you will not find restrictions on abortions, on gambling, or on tattoos.  So how do we know whether a thing is sin or not if the Bible is silent on a particular issue?

There are certain principles that are laid down in the Bible that we can apply to gray areas in a believer’s life.  For example, the Bible does not say, “Thou shall not gamble” but we understand that this activity is not what a godly person does.  The Bible does not mention that abortion is wrong, but the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself, that children are a gift of God, and that God is the giver of life and only He has the right to take a life is understood, so we know that abortion is sin because it is taking an innocent human life and it is murder.  But let’s try to focus on what the Bible teaches in the area of a believer having a tattoo.

Bible Verses on Tattoos?

There actually are some references on tattoos in Leviticus 19:28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”  But if you read the entire chapter, this is referring to pagan rituals that where performed over the burial of their dead.  This verse is prohibiting worldly, pagan rituals that the nations outside of Israel had as tradition.

Tattoos are not a recent trend for humans.  These date back to the ancient Egyptian civilizations and beyond. Many ancient people have had tattoos as a custom and even Native North American Indians.  But I could not find any example of ancient Israel having tattoos so does this mean that Christians are not permitted to have them?

Romans 14 and What is Permitted

Romans chapter 14 is an excellent chapter that covers things that are not specifically addressed in scripture.  For example, Romans 14:23 says, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”  I would say that if it causes your brother to stumble and cause an offense or might make a non-believer question the believers authenticity in Christ, then it would appear that we should prohibit such a thing or activity in our own lives while not judging those who are persuaded that it is okay for them.  And verse 23 is also saying that if we think it is a sin for us, and it is not from faith, then it would be sinful if we think it is.  God leaves some room for maneuvering in the sense that if it bothers our conscience or if we feel it might offend others, then it is best that we abstain from whatever it might be.

Romans 14:15 gives us a parameter on unnamed things in the Bible and whether we should or should not abstain, “If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.” Paul is taking about foods here, but in verse 20 he makes a very important point, “but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.”  If we think something like a tattoo and especially what the tattoo is a picture of, we can make some Christians and non-Christians stumble in their belief of your sincerity of faith.  If they might see it as sin then it would be wise that we abstain from it since we are taught to abstain from even the appearance of evil (I Thess. 5:22).

In Essentials, Unity

While we should not needlessly cause someone to stumble or be an offense to them, neither should we be judging someone just because they have a tattoo, or they drink wine or drink beer, or smoke cigarettes, and so on.  Again, we return to Romans 14 in verse 13 and apply the biblical principle: “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”  A famous Christian dogma is appropriate for whether someone has a tattoo or not or whether one should have a tattoo or not: “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”

Judging by Appearances

At work I once hesitated to share the gospel with a machinist because he was covered in tattoos, drove a Harley, and chewed tobacco.  When I finally did muster up the courage to witness to him, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was already a born-again.  Sadly, I had prejudged him by his outward appearance; something that God never does.  Incidentally, this made it much easier for him to witness of Christ to other bikers and live out the principle that Paul lived, “to be all things to all men” (I Cor 9:22).  Its not easy to remove tattoos by the way and besides, God is no respecter of persons and He looks at the heart and not at the outward appearance so neither should I.  Personally I would not get a tattoo because my wife, children, and grandchildren might be a little surprised to see me wearing one.  Others in my congregation might be shocked to see their pastor with a skull and cross bones on his shoulder or a cross on his forearm.  But I will not sit in judgment if a believer or a non-believer has one or if they don‘t have one.  God wills all men to be saved (I Tim 2:4) and accepts all of men, as long as they believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.

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Are Guardian Angels Real?

What Are The Gifts of the Spirit?

Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Wyatt July 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

We know that graffiti defaces a surface. Look at the dictionary graf·fi·ti  [gruh-fee-tee]
( used with a plural verb ) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood’s decline. They are evidence of a neighborhood’s decline! That couldn’t be more specific. The onrush of tattoos is following our Country’s decline. The Bible says the the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Would you deface a Temple. 1 Cor. 6:19-20. Your body is not your own either in fornication, gluttony, tattoos, etc. It is to bring glory to god not the world. Oh my!

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leoboy July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

wat if i think that puting a tattoos on me is glorifying god. example put a bible verse on me that when i look at it. it shows me that he still love me and helps we walk with hem. cuz we all know that we forget that he is there for us and loves us. and having a tattoos that can help me think about god

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Jack Wellman July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Thank you Leoboy for your comment. I think that if you want to glorify God and especially Jesus Christ (which is what the Father and the Holy Spirit seek to do and so should we), you don’t need a tattoo for that. I urge you to share the gospel with your lost friends and if you do get a tattoo, then you might bring it us by saying to your lost friends, family, and co-workers, “Say, did you see my new tattoo? I got it to remind me to tell others about how Jesus is a friend of sinners & desires that you place your trust in Him to be saved.”

Hey, all to the glory of God and point them to Jesus Christ. I don’t think you need a tattoo for that, but I am not going to judge you if you do. Praise God…thank you Jesus for Leoboy who wants to glorify God. I thank God for you my friend.

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smacme2 October 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

God says to hide his words in our heart…to make them part of who we are. We, as believers, should not have to mark our bodies with scripture to remind us of who we are in God. We gain that confidence from our faith walk and from our walking in the Will of God. Tattooing is simply an act of rebelliousness against God. Jesus said in Matthew 5, that we are salt and light. Salt (used as a preservative and flavoring) means to persevere in the world and not become like it is. Light means to present ourselves in a way where people know where we stand by our actions. Jesus then follows with the fact that he has come to fulfill the Law…not replace it. Not one single dot (word) of the Law is changed or removed until Heaven and Earth pass away (the end of time), so we still have to obey it. From the mouth of our Savior himself! Please read the Sermon on the Mount! And in James, true religion is defined as taking care of widows and orphans and not being defiled (polluted, become like) the world. Remember, we are to be set apart from it…not caving in to the whims and fashions of the world.

If you have a tattoo, then a manner of repentance is needed. Like it or not, marking your bodies like the rest of the world does is a sin. It is not being obedient to the commandments and Law of God and not being set apart from the pagans and unbelievers. Ask God to forgive you, forgive yourself, and move on. Don’t get anymore. As Jesus told the woman to be stoned…go and sin no more.

Love you my brother!

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Jack July 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I thank you for your comment Larry. Thank you for visiting the site. I see what you mean by the body being the temple of God. So it is. Some believers came into the church already having tattoos and I can not say anything for grace abounds and they are new creatures in Christ, others smoke, some eat too much to become obese while yet others drink and some have too many sweets ruining their teeth and they are polluting the temple of God yet God receives them regardless. As a pastor I would not recommend a tattoo for the reason you said nor could I recommend overeating or smoking, yet we are saved not by works but by grace alone by faith alone, in Christ alone. I can not stand in judgment of others because I don’t know their heart and I can not caste the first stone as I am guilty too of doing harm to the temple of God, my body. Yes we should not defile the body and we are told be holy as God is holy but as Psalm 199:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and NOTHING shall offend them.” Some have cross’s tattooed on their bodies, others the name of Christ and though I personally would not do this, I refuse to take offense on those who do. A group of 5 young men I witnessed to for Christ the other day had several tattoos and yet I did not condemn them nor refused to witness to them because of their tattoos. Instead I told them that our church is like Jesus’ arms…the doors are wide open for any and all to come to Christ. I did not say it was okay but I didn’t condemn them who want them. Jesus didn’t even come to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17).

I believe in the principles of Romans 14 and I Thess. 5:22 and Jesus John 3:17. I wouldn’t get a tattoo nor recommend anyone to do so but they certainly are no worse sinners than anyone in the body of Christ, the church.

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telson August 3, 2011 at 2:59 am

Is the prohibition taking the tattoos valid in the New Covenant? I believe that it is valid and give you these verses.

2 Pe 1:
1 ¶ Simon Peter, a servant and legate of Jesus the Messiah,—to those who have obtained equally precious faith with us, through the righteousness of our lord and Redeemer, Jesus the Messiah;—
2 may grace and peace abound to you through the recognition of our lord Jesus the Messiah,
3 as the giver to us of all things that be of the power of god, unto life and the fear of god, through the recognition of him who hath called us unto his own glory and moral excellence:
4 wherein he hath given you very great and precious promises; that by them ye might become partakers of the nature of god, while ye flee from the corruptions of the lusts that are in the world.

The New Testament shows us that how we must serve and believe in God. God has given to us the Holy Spirit as the power and aid that we can understand what the Bible teaches.

If we could believe in God by taking the tattoo, in which is Bible verses or reads the Lord Jesus and so on, so this kind of command should be in the Bible. Tattooing was very common in the world where apostles lived. If the will of God would have been to make “Biblical” tattoos, so God would have said that you must make those kinds of tattoos. However, in the New Testament is not a command to make tattoos. For this reason, I don’t believe that it is the will of God to take the tattoos.

The Bible teaches us that serving of God is not the outward issue, but inward. Believer testimony and faith must be the inward issue by the Holy Spirit accordance with the word of God. God said by the prophet Jeremiah that in the New Covenant, God puts His law to inwards parts and writes His law to the hearts of His people. Biblical faith must be written to inner man to his heart and not outwardly to his skin.

Ro 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The Bible doesn’t teach serving God by the tattoos, so tattooing is against the will of God.

The whole article is here: http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/Bibleandtattoos.html

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Jack Wellman August 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it and thank you for visiting the site.

You quoted 2 Pet 2:1-4 & specifically I am guessing you are trying to emphasize verse 4 “wherein he hath given you very great and precious promises; that by them ye might become partakers of the nature of god, while ye flee from the corruptions of the lusts that are in the world.”

You should have read the following verses because these are taken out of context as verses 5 – 10 “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.”

Peter is talking about the abominations of those of such as happened in Sodom and Gomorrah and at the time of Noah and not about tattoos at all. This is taking Peter’s text out of context and making it a pretext against tattoos. Even so, no where in this article do I condone, approve, or recommend that Christians get tattoos but I will not judge them if they have them because we are all sinners neither did I approve of having them get “Bible tattoos” as you called them. I can not caste the first stone. They may have gotten them before the came to Christ. How do I know?

No the Bible doesn’t teach serving God by the tattoos but nothing I have written here says anything at all about it here in this article. You also said “tattooing is against the will of God” but so is condemning others and judging others. I refuse to judge others by the exterior or the outward appearance because God knows their hearts and I do not. God is their judge, not I. God looks at the heart not the outside. I once tried to lead a man to Christ who was a biker with multiple tattoos and if I had judged him he would never had heard the gospel.

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telson August 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Tattooing also can be harmful, hazardous and dangerous. Allergy to tattoo colors is possible. Many substances used on tattooing are poisonous and is possible get some diseases, in which the worst is cancer. If the skin become inflamed on the area of tattooing, so it can lead blood- poisoning. Some researches have stated that tetragenic substances used on tattooing can cause forming of deformation. Some tattooing colors can contain mercury compounds, heavy metals, azo dyes and allergen products. Azo dyes is known to cause cancer.

Tattooing substances penetrate under the skin to the depth of one or two millimeter. The place where tattooing color remain is the dermis. It obvious and clear that tattooing colors penetrates inside of the body and can cause many kinds of problems. Remarkable is that poisonous substances of tattooing colors remains inside the body of a man as long as he lives. This makes tattooing very dangerous matter. Dangerous substances of tattooing can cause unpleasant disease after many years because the body is constantly dealing with the toxins, which are used in tattooing.

Experts say that bacteria and viruses can penetrate under the broken skin during tattooing. Although all instruments would be sterilized there is always a possibility that bacteria and viruses can make damage during tattooing. Tattooing can cause allergic reactions, diverse inflammation diseases and blood disease.

Removing of tattoos can be very problematic. Some say that by using modern technology tattooing colors are easy to remove from the skin, especially by UV light or laser. It is not so easy, because, for example, there are cases where removing by laser leave to the body dangerous tattooing colors. There have been cases, in which black tattooing color has gone into the lymph node by removing of laser.

Some tattooing substances are very dangerous as mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel, ferrocyanide, azo dyes, arsenic and many other substances. Many tattoo makers claim that they use safety substances, but it is obvious and clear that many tattoo substances are very dangerous and poisonous.

Many tattooing substances are very dangerous and poisonous, which make tattooing a health risk. The will of God is not that we voluntarily poison ourselves by the very poisonous substances that are used in tattooing.

If someone has taken a tattoo and believed that it is right, but later understood that it is not right and repented, so you can’t accuse them. People cannot undo acts of the past and in many cases removing of a tattoo is impossible. When a believer understands that tattooing is wrong, so the case is closed, and we can’t and have no rights to accuse him acts of the past, which he can’t undo. In this case repentance and change of mind in the heart is enough. Usually repentance rectifies situations (change of the heart leads in practice reject sins and live in righteous life) and lead a believer away from sins. However, there are cases in which repentance can’t change situations. For example, a murder and killing are cases about which repentance doesn’t bring dead one back to life. It is same concerning tattooing, because most cases you can’t remove a tattoo.

Everyone makes mistakes as a believer, and therefore, we should be gracious one another and forgive, because God also forgives us when we have repented our mistakes.

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Joe July 14, 2012 at 8:40 am

Not sure if anyone checks this article anymore, but the argument made was based on safety. If it is somehow wrong because of “perceived” danger, then riding a bike without a helmet would be equally sinful.

Also, eating non-organic food would also be “poison”, as well as walking down the street when cars with exhaust pass us by and we breathe it in.

I’ve got a full sleeve tattoo that has been in the works for 11 years, the safety concerns are WIDELY exaggerated.

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Jack Wellman August 5, 2011 at 10:16 am

Amen. Well said indeed Telson. Thank you. I especially loved your conclusion which was so full of grace.

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Gary Bird August 23, 2011 at 3:38 am

I have 3 tattoos. If I have a shirt on you can’t see them. So you wouldn’t know unless I told you. People want to judge to quickly any more on appearance and what people have or don’t have. God isn’t asking you to go tell people that tattoos or wrong or whatever they doing is wrong . He is telling you to spread his word of his love. About his saving grace. And hopefully that person will accept his love and live by Gods word. We are all Gods children no matter what we look like. I believe in the old testament it tells us not to wear wool or eat pork, But we still do. Gods love can solve everything, lets spread it to everyone tatts or not.

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Jack August 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I so agree with you Gary. It is what is inside that really counts. God looks at the heart & not on the exterior. As a bi-vocational pastor I try to share the gospel with bikers, machinists, & young teens…I don’t let there looks stop me. I have never seen anyone who God doesn’t want to save & who He doesn’t love. One time a fellow Christian came up to a group of men who were on a smoke break. He said that “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of God…& its like you’re throwing tar & nicotine against the walls of it.” These people were so offended, many never wanted anything to do with Christians again. That’s why I love John 3:17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” This man who judged or condemned then was drinking a coke and eating a chocolate muffin & I said, “What’s the difference?, its like you’re taking a can of coke and a chocolate muffin and throwing it against the wall of the temple!”. By the way, this man was also a bi-vocational pastor. We should not be in the business of judging by the exterior Gary, you are right. Great comment. Thank you for speaking up on this. I agree. Come again please.

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Jonathan Santiago November 16, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Great point about Romans 14. I’ve been studying this somewhat difficult topic recently and also came to relying heavily on Romans 14.

I also found the cultural standards or customs of our environment should play a factor in how we consider doing things that could possibly be offensive (1 Corinthians 11:16).

I recently finished a rather detailed study on the topic of tattoos that helped me out a lot:

http://www.quickenme.com/can-christians-get-tattoos-according-to-the-bible/

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Jack November 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Jonathan, thank you sir for your fine comment. I especially loved your statement “I also found the cultural standards or customs of our environment should play a factor in how we consider doing things that could possibly be offensive” and your reference to (1 Corinthians 11:16). Most excellent. I now wished I had included this Scripture sir. Thank you for contributing to this in an outstanding way and adding further clarification to this article. Please come back again soon Jonathan.

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Elton Hamilton January 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

Why do we always want to justify peoples actions. Cigarettes, drinking, rock music, tatooes, body piercing,homosexuallity, adultery. Are these things pleasing to God. Is’nt this creating an unholy lifestyle. Is this what we want our children to follow. How about, come out and be ye seperate saith the Lord. It’s time the church wakes up. How can we as christians condone our young people getting crosses and skulls on their bodies, can we possible consider this as OK. John the Baptist lost his head for preaching on adultery. Get a backbone people. God has not called us to pet the people, he’s called the church to be a light to the world. The woman caught in adultery and brought to Jesus wasn’t told I love you and I understand how you must feel. She was told go and sin no more. IF YOU WANT TO SEE IF A STICK IS CROOKED-LAY A STRAIT ONE BESIDE IT. If we want to win people to Christ we can’t justify people we must Love and Teach them, and show them something different.
If someone has a tatoo, God will forgive them, and I do not condemn them. I will love them. But I will also show them a better way.

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Jack January 21, 2012 at 9:57 am

Hello Elton and thank you for your comment and visiting our website. As for your comment, “Why do we always want to justify peoples actions. Cigarettes, drinking, rock music, tatooes, body piercing,homosexuallity, adultery.” I disagree. We (if you mean by we, Christians) always (I disagree…to say always is a sweeping statement that means that all Christians are always justifying peoples actions. That is not true. I have read my own article and have also read the commentors and I am not see them all condoning these things you mentioned.

Yes, the woman caught in adultery was told to go and sin no more but neither was she condemned by Jesus. That is truly the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, Jesus said will convict the world of sin. He didn’t say, you my followers or my disciples, but “the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:7-13).

I also don’t see this article or any of the commentors condoning anyone in “getting crosses and skulls on their bodies.” Quote me one of these or one of my own articles or comments here where we condone this. Christians I believe already do have a backbone and this is bent with the rest of our bodies in prayer and humble submission to God Almighty. I am not condoning any of these things you mentioned and neither are the readers. Convicting a person that they are sinning is the work of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can tell people sin is sin, but we can not convict them to stop sinning and by acting judgmental and “holier than thou” which is a sure way to have them reject our witness.

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Elton Hamilton January 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Jack, Thank you for reading my post. Thank you for your clarification on the we & always. Certainly not all christians endorse sin. I do see a trend in many christians lives to make people feel confortable in whatever condition they are in.
IPeter 2:9-11
9 BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PREISTHOOD, AN HOLY NATION, A PECULIAR PEOPLE: THAT WE SHOULD SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT:
10 WHICH IN TIME PAST WERE NOT A PEOPLE, BUT ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD: WHICH HAD NOT OBTAINED MERCY, BUT NOW HAVE OBTAINED MERCY.
11 DEARLY BELOVED, I BESEECH YOU AS STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS, ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS, WHICH WAR AGAINST THE SOUL
WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.
WE HAVE OBTAINED MERCY FROM GOD
FLESHLY LUSTS WAR AGAINST OUR SOUL
Personally I think many people that have tatoos will be in Heaven. If they come to God and repent of their sins, and change their ways, God will forgive them. But I discourage any person from getting tatoos. As Larry said earlier, we are the Temple of God why deface what God has given us.

I am a sinner saved by his mercy and grace. I am not a “Holier than Thou “person, but I am a peculiar person that is set apart from the world.

Thanks again Jack for the Article, we need discussions about GREY areas in our lives. GOD BLESS

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Jack January 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Amen and amen again Elton. You nailed it too my friend. Thank you so much for your edifying comment. I do agree that we should call sin what it is…an afront to a Holy God Who can not look upon sin. I wish we had more godly men like you who are humble and open about their faith that we have not arrived yet. I tell my congregation that I am a train wreck, a wretch, a sinner, and need daily cleansing at the cross before Christ…and that we should be living a sanctified life (set apart for holy use) and you nailed it precisely. Well said. I thank God your comment and hope is serves to wake up lukewarm Christians who are on cruise control and not striving to overcome and become more holy as God has said He is holy.

Please return again. We need strong Christians like you sir. God bless you.

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steve February 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

It seems, to me, to be a ridiculous notion to define sinfulness for ourselves and apply it to everyone else.

There seems to be a repeated notion that tattoos (and perhaps drinking and gambling and smoking) are objectively and inherently sinful. Where does this come from? (And don’t jump to the ‘body is a temple’ thing, because as the proprietor of this post pointed out, coke and jelly donuts are also degrading to the body from a health perspective… also, the temple didn’t have bare walls, there was some design to it!)

It isn’t the things we do or don’t do that show our devotion to Christ, but it’s our devotion to Christ that fundamentally changes us to our core that will draw people to us, not because of what we do or don’t do, but because of who and what we are in Him.

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Jack February 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Steve, well said my friend. Thank you for visiting us and for your comment. None are without sin but we are seen as sinless because Jesus’ righteousness is accounted to us because of Calvary and that is how the Father sees us so you are right. Because of “who and what we are in Him” says it all friend. Please come back again soon.

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David Lynch February 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Very interesting read and I appreciate your grace and love in the approach to this topic. I would like to bring a few verses to light though.

“And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth.” -Exodus 13:9
“It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes; for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.” -Exodus 13:16
“This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’ another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
-Isaiah 44:5
“On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.” -Revelation 19:16

Now, the first few verses are figurative, analogies of Israel’s freedom from exile (Ex) and the fact that they are God’s people, even in the midst of pagans (Is). “So what?” You ask. I am under the impression that scripture does not use something that is sinful as an analogy for God’s justice, steadfast love and His faithfulness. So the fact that the Bible uses bodily markings in this way seems to me that, at the very least, our Lord is not opposed to the idea. Of course Paul’s texts about causing a brother to stumble should be taken into account if one is getting a tattoo (I do not have one, for the record, just a piercing (Ex 21:5-6, Ro 1:1, Jude 1:1).
Now I’m not trying to “prove my point” (well kinda :P), but it seemed like a lot of people were coming from the assumption that getting a tattoo was a sin (I could have read them wrong), and I just wanted to show passages I think prove that is not true. As for the dangers of tattooing, using caution and knowing what kind of dye and equipment the artist will use would provide me with enough confidence that it would not hurt me.
However, I think it is important to remember we are in a relationship with our Father and we shouldn’t just strive to keep a set of rules, but please our Father (and in such a case as this, which is, as you said, a gray area, it is a matter of heart).
It’s late, I’m tired, please call me out on any misuse of scripture or any logical flaws. Thanks

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Jack February 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Mr. Lynch. You did a really wonderful job on this comment. I believe you are a very gracious man and one that does not judge others. I so agree that a set of rules doesn’t help us. We are not saved by works…but once saved, we do good works because we are saved, and not to get saved. You are so right, that is really important. You have such a grace-filled comment here that we all need to read and take to heart. Truly you are a believe in Christ that is one that judges not on the outside. Well done. Thank you so much. Please come back and bless us with more such fine comments. I can see the Holy Spirit working in you thru your words sir.

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Richard Quarles March 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

Thank you for your treatment of this volatile subject. However for those young adults “finding their sea legs” as it were, making their way out into independence, may I encourage a followup article helping our children to differentiate the working of the Spirit of God and the tensions experienced by the need to establish this independence at the risk of defiance. (I remember in Bible college many of the voices calling out for liberties in Christ were not thinking of liberties in Christ but were attempting to throw off the restrictions they felt were so unfairly placed upon them. Having been raised in the Church it was my experience that many prohibitions practiced were unfairly and established and frankly outside of any Scriptural mandate. However that being said there are right and wrong motives applied by the “victims” of such traditions.)

I recognize the greatest difficulty lies in the question of a clear and undefiled conscience before God and since none of have this regardless of which side of the fence we may find ourselves, when we start taking steps toward a position that fits comfortably within the world culture we should move with great caution and seek counsel willing to forsake the current objective. Possibly the first question for our child, young adult, to answer is, if you were told not to _ _ _?_ _ _, would you comply? I would suggest that if the answer were no then that individual has dishonest motives. When I say dishonest I am referring dishonest toward God and that is the only matter of consequence. Another matter is the individual should seek counsel from a Godly individual that does not practice or observe the path being considered.

A question that I concern myself with when I have been approached by my children is their motive and judgment. Take piercings for example, the question I have is how many?, the answers to such questions are invariably “Oh not _ _ _ _ _ , just _ _ _ _ ” to which I believe justly, I counter in as gracious a manner as my emotion will allow at the moment, “Why is your judgment so much more right than mine or that of the individual that you think is too extreme?” If the individual finds that some take the matter they are considering to an extreme what is their justification for such an opinion? This I believe is a question that all must answer regardless of the situation, who’s principals are we applying ours or God’s. You handled this very justly however as I suggested, provide a followup article expanding on the challenge’s our children face in our highly narcissistic society. Might I suggest that admonitions and illustrations abound in the book of Judges.

My final statement would be that, may our young people find their way to fellowship with God despite the pressure of the world and church culture and live their lives daily in, by through and because of the grace of God. May their lives become free in Christ to observe the statutes of God in His liberty.

Richard

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Jack March 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

What a great comment. Your insight and observations are truly remarkable. Thank you so much. A follow up article to expand on the challenges of children is a superb idea. Wow. We had not thought of that and your help in this area may just be what these children need and their parents too of course. God bless you. Today’s children face tremendous peer pressure unlike many of us parents faced. I love your last line, “May their lives become free in Christ to observe the statutes of God in His liberty” is outstanding. Thank you sir for your biblically wise comment. Truly you must be a blessing to your family and your church.

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Andy April 6, 2012 at 3:02 am

I am a young guy who got a tattoo about a year ago. I consider myself Christian and try daily to die to my own desires so that Christ may become an ever increasing part of my life. I have decided to get another tattoo and started doing research (again) on how getting a tattoo might effect my relationship with God. The answer that I have found so far is- it really doesnt. I have no personal convictions about getting a tattoo because I truly consider it as art or an extension of the creativity that God has blessed us with. I see myself as Gods temple- which is why I take time and care in picking out a tattoo before making such a big decision. Obviously, I feel you shouldnt get a tattoo that offends people…but many people are offended by tattoos not because of the tattoo itself but simply because they were told by a parent or pastoral figure that they were sinful. I would argue that using this same rationale one would have to place piercings and makeup in the same category as tattoos because one is modifying the body. We do these things because they make us feel good about ourselves, which isnt a sin (in my opinion) unless it turns into pride. The body will age and fade away but the soul remains eternal…love god with all your strength and respect your neighbors, do those and everything else will fall into place. God bless,

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Jack April 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

This is so good Andy. I am truly glad you commented. No Christian should be deciding for another Christian what they ought to or ought not to do unless and only unless it affects the Body of Christ, the church. We should be agents of grace and I have had some treat things like tattoos as open, rebellious sin. I remember what Jesus said that it is not what goes into (could we also say what goes onto?) the body that defiles a man but what comes out of the mouth. I am glad you found this article useful. I do hope you come again to visit and read other articles here my friend. God bless you Andy.

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vic May 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Hi Mr. Jack for me tattoo is not good for us as far our body is concern,coz we all know that our body is not ours we just borrow from GOD. Everything not belong to us return that to the original owner no stain, no breaks..ect..

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Jack May 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Thank you Vic for your comment. If a tattoo is not good for you, I understand. For those that already have them, I will not stand in judgment. I know you are not though and I thank you for your comment sir. Thank you also for visiting our website Vic.

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Melissa May 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

I’m confused about something. At the top of this post, it says that the Bible is silent about abortions, but just before I got to this page, I read (from this site), a post that clearly stated that abortion is wrong. When it says that the Bible is “silent” about abortion, is it referring to the actual word “abortion”? I’m just trying to understand what looks like a contradiction, as I want to believe that this is a credible site, and not just one of the many misleading sites I have seen regarding people’s interpretation of God’s word. I have read several posts from this site today, and have even subscribed to the newsletter, as I have really enjoyed all of the posts. It was just this one issue that made me a little confused. Could someone please clarify?

Thank you… God bless!

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Jack May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Great point Melissa. I see why it must seem confusing. The Bible is silent about abortion but the commandment “Thou shall not murder” covers abortion so I believe, from the Scriptures, that abortion is wrong. The Bible is silent on many things because our society has so many problems that the Bible would be so large but the Ten Commandments cover abortion and they do sexual immorality. I hope I have clarified it for you Melissa. I think you made a very important observation. I don’t want to mislead anyone about the fact that abortion is wrong, even though the Bible doesn’t specifically forbid it but the Commandment to not murder covers that. The Trinity is not in the Bible either but we know that there is God the Father, the Son of God (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Hope this helps my friend. Great question. Thank you.

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Jonathan Santiago May 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Melissa,

The issue for many people regarding abortion is not whether murder is wrong, but rather at what point in the birth process an egg becomes a person. If the life inside of a person is not considered a person, then to many that does not constitue murder. Many Christians believe that “life” (or a person) begins at the time of conception. A few of the scriptures they use to justify this is often the story of John the Baptist and Jesus. It says John “leaped in the womb” when Elizabeth heard Jesus being mentioned (Luke 1:41). It also says that John was filled with the Holy Spirit from is Mother’s womb (Luke 1:15).

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Melissa May 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thank you so much for the responses Mr. Jack and Jonathan. This is very helpful! I’m so excited to start getting the newsletters, and to further my understanding of the Bible. This site has brought me great comfort in many areas. Thanks again for taking the time to read and answer my question.

Melissa

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Jack Wellman May 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Thank you too Melissa. If you read the comments on this post, you join many others who are not being judgmental. Thank you so much for reflecting the love of Christ.

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choc94 May 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

It depends on the person’s heart. In Romans chapter 14 God’s desires are to set Christians apart from the world. Romans 14:16 god says, “do not allow what you consider good to be spoken as evil.” meaning even if what your doing is harmful or innocent, if it attracts negative attention, then that is wrong in itself. Romans 14:20-21″ all food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to stumble.” All things are good because God created them, but it becomes a problem when we use the things that God gave us in ways that are not glorifying to Him or are against him. Essentially many things were a sin in earlier text of the bible because of where the people’s heart was. God told them to not eat red meat, get tattoos, shave their hair, or eat vegetables that have not gone through a five year preparation period because they were using or doing these things in sinful nature. Many people like to quote Leviticus to say that tattooing is a sin, but within that text the people were tattooing to mourn the dead. they would cut their flesh to shed their blood for the dead and ways of honoring the dead and God said that was wrong. So God forbid it so Christians would stop doing it because they were indulging in the same sins as non-Christians and there was no way to tell the difference between the two groups, if they were practicing the same rituals. But eating red meat and shaving and eat vegetables are something that everyone does so if we go by that, then we’re all in sin, but that’s not the case. God judges the person’s heart and if you getting a tattoo because you’re doing it in a way that glorifies God then by all means, but if not you should check yourself and ask God what he thinks about your decisions. In Romans 14:23 it says, “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” When you are reading the Bible just because you want to prove a point, but not because you really love the Lord and want to make sure all your ways are pleasing to Him, then your in sin. The bible says that it is fine to drink wine and some people take that and run with and try to prove to others that drinking great amounts of alcohol is ok because God said so, but if you read in context, it also says that getting drunk is a sin. So you have to be careful of all things you do because you might think there’s nothing wrong with it, but your heart might be saying something else. But to really understand what God is saying, you should read his word for yourself, to build a personal relationship with Him. Now I’m not saying I side for tattoos and I’m not saying I side against them either, because once again its all with where is your heart. Are you doing it for Him or are you doing it because everyone else is too? That isn’t for anyone else to decide but God, and how can you know unless you ask Him for yourself. I hope this has helped you and your understanding of this topic, but there is a good lesson to learn from this, many people have different opinions and information so it would be of much value if you read the Bible for yourself, you’ll be able to know that if what someone is saying to you right or wrong, and if it is right what context does it come from. Christianity is more than the rituals, being a good person and living the right life, it has 100% to do with your relationship with God and the love that you have with Him and more so the love He has for you. Being a Christian you have to know that God chose you and not the other way around, so understand how much you mean to Him. So relating this back to if tattooing is a sin or not, when Jesus Christ lives in you, He walks with you and guides you onto the right path, He will tell you if getting a tattoo is right for you or not, if you have trouble hear His voice, or don’t even know who He is, don’t worry, its not a coincidence that you wondered onto this site, God knows you and where you are and He will lead you to Him, but you have to want Him. There is someone that is praying for you, I know this for a fact, it’s not a coincidence that God allowed me to wonder on this site either. Keep building a strong relationship with Christ with a strong foundation and He will be SO good to you like He is to me. I thank you for reading this and hoped it helped you or convicted you, either way God is pleased.

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Jack Wellman May 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Amen my friend. Well said. It all begins with the intent of the heart. I loved your conclusion for certain: “Keep building a strong relationship with Christ with a strong foundation…” Amen. Thank you.

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Bishnu May 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Leviticus 19:28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos

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Jack Wellman May 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I think you are taking text out of context and making it a pretext for this cutting of bodies is “for the dead”, not the living. And Leviticus 19 is Old Covenant Laws that are superseded by Christ’s work at Calvary. The punishment for this is death by stoning. Do you also agree to this? We are in a new and better covenant my friend..and thankfully too.

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Jason June 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

Much of the bible is taken out of context… Leviticus 19 where it says you shall not cut yourself for the dead or make markings on your body. This is in reference to pagan rituals for their dead loved ones. In the same chapter it says not to cut the hair on the side of your head, or to cut your beard. It also says not to eat pork… All in the same chapter. So if you’re going to cite Leviticus to say tattoos are a sin, then I sure hope for all of you men that you have beards and don’t cut the side of your hair, eat pork, or have fabric with more than one type of thread. If you do any of these things you’re sinning by your own definition that having a tattoo is a sin.

You could go to Corinthians and say do not defile the temple of God. Well read the entire chapter; it says that fornication with prostitutes is the defecation, and everything else is sin without the body. So that says that any other sin that you commit other than fornication with prostitutes is not a sin of the body or defecation of the holy temple. Now that doesn’t go to say that having a tattoo is a sin, it only says that if it were it would be a sin outside of the body.

You could then say well by having a tattoo it could cause your brethren to stumble… I could agree with this, because many people do question whether tattoos are a sin or not. By the same token, and not to justify my own actions with a quid-pro-quo requirement for to doing what may or may not be right… I don’t like seeing people eat junk food, it really irritates me. People constantly complain about being overweight, but they don’t understand why they have large amounts of body fat. I don’t mean to get into a nutrition lesson here but it will help me relate to the situation. Except for a very small hand full of medical conditions (thyroid condition) you gain weight from a surplus of calories right? For every 3500 calories you surplus you will gain 1 pound. One thing most people don’t understand is that other things you take in to your body will affect your ability to absorb nutrients, such as soda. You may drink a diet coke with zero calories, but it will hinder your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients you would typically get from your good foods, thus causing body fat. Any way not to get into too much detail on that, it bothers me to see all of these people put such poison in their bodies. I for one have strong enough will not to let myself stumble by what I see them do. Is this an excuse for me to drink a beer (which don’t not because of sin, but because it’s empty calories) or get a tattoo? No it is not, but that doesn’t make it a flat out sin. Sins such as those that might make my company stumble are very hard to determine. I say you make the choice on the tattoo, but I personally do not see any evidence in the bible that it is. If you want to debate this subject with me and possibly open my eyes to something that I do not see, feel free to contact me.

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Joseph Johnson June 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

I am a United Methodist Pastor and a Christian Artist. I just wrote a song called if Jesus had a tattoo. I hope it adds to the discussion http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11714487

http://www.soundclick.com/hardheaded

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Jack Wellman June 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Say Pastor Joseph…I checked out your song and the lyrics are awesome. It really is so full of biblical truth. What an great song to share the gospel with others. Well done. It DID add to the discussion. Thank you. Sorry it took me so long to approve it but as you know, we must be consisted to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and your song IS.

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Avery Piper June 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I am debating about getting a forearm tattoo but I’m not sure. Reading all the comments are helpful and I need some help. God looks at my heart when man looks at the outward appearance, and I know that employers don’t necessarily look at tattoos being good. I need help.

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Jack Wellman June 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Hello Avery. Thanks for visiting us. What will be on the tattoo would be my question. Does it glorify Jesus Christ because that is the main purpose of the believer to glorify Jesus Christ in all that we do. I personally would not but I am not you either. We should allow liberty in non-essentials but I would ask these questions also. How young are you? Is this tattoo something your future wife, if any, would like or be comfortable with? If you were at the pool and people saw it, would it conflict with your being a Christian? Those are just some things for you to consider. I hope I helped some my friend.

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Avery Piper June 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Thanks Jack, and I don’t know if this will help but the tattoo idea is a quote that goes, “Nobody can judge me except God”. It would be a reminder to live a Christian life to the fullest and not worry about what anybody else thinks about it. But that is my motivation for getting it for it to act as a constant reminder, reason for the forearm

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Jack Wellman June 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Interesting quote Avery. I could see this as a way to open up people to the idea of knowing Jesus Christ. It would be a great conversation starter and then point them to Jesus Christ as the ultimate Judge of the unsaved or the Savior to those of us who believe. Thanks Avery.

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Pentti June 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

Hi there

Just want to throw in my two cents here; I think it comes down to motive, why do you want to get a tattoo?
If your heart is to only please the Lord and serve him I don’t believe you will even be interested. If your faith is a biblical faith and you are dead to the world and your life is hidden in Christ why would you even want a tattoo?
As believers we aren’t called to be cool but to live a crucified and holy life, our identity comes from Christ, not from any thing else including tattoos.
Too many Christians today still have the Spirit of the world, if your heart is right with God you wouldn’t even ask the question if it is still okay to get a tattoo. In my opinion I think getting a tattoo is showing a worldly spirit in the person, the deeper in God and more dead to the world and self tattoos lose their appeal

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Pentti June 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hi there

There was one other point of consideration; if I am seeking the good of others and not just living to please myself will having a tattoo be a help or a hinderance?
If say I was considering to go to a particular area where tattoos are offensive and would hinder the Gospel is it wise to have a tattoo?

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Joe July 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

There are many areas, rock and roll shows, bars, the beach where wearing a suit and tie while holding a bible would be deemed offensive. A lot of the same places where a Christian with heavy tattoos would be embraced.

So do you really want to witness to the “least of these” or do you just want to witness to your social group that have similar feelings about body art?

Sometimes the world is more diverse than we like to give it credit for.

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Pentti July 15, 2012 at 4:33 am

Hi Joe

With all due respect I don’t think its necessary to have a tattoo to reach people in bars, on the beach etc.
You have created a straw man argument by mentioning wearing a suit and holding a bible in areas such as bars, clubs etc. Just because I don’t subscribe to the idea of having a tattoo doesn’t mean I go into those areas with a suit and a bible.
Yes I have gone to the least of these and had some great times sharing with them but there was no need to compromise any standards to be recieved.
So if one were to follow your logic to the extreme; to reach porn actors does it require a Christian to become a porn actor?
Do you think the Apostles like Peter, Paul, John or James if they were around today would get a tattoo?

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joe July 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

Peter, the guy that cut off an ear, would definitely be inked. You had put out that Tattoos (appearance) could hinder a witness in some places. And I’m saying, dressing “nice” (appearance) could also hinder the gospel.

On any given day, there is no outfit that you nor I can wear that won’t get an odd look at some establishments. Does that make sense?

The body of Christ is diverse, instead of questioning the choice of Christians with tattoos, be glad that we are out there going into places you never would.

And to be completely fair, I get physically uncomfortable on Sunday Mornings when people are dressed up, so I found a church that has Saturday night services and I love it.

The Christian community ought to celebrate its differences and promote the truth of the Gospel, not the truth of Christian CULTURE.

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Jack Wellman July 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Amen Joe…..I so appreciate your godly wisdom and humbleness of heart brother.

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Tucker July 25, 2012 at 8:40 am

I was saved when i was 7 years old. I am now 31. I have commited adultary, led others astray through parting, drugs and alchol. I was always riddled with guilt and asked for forgivness but never truly repented as i should. I recently was drinking with an old friend and went and got a skull and crossbones tattoo on the inside of my wrist. The next morning i was over come with the guilt of sin. I regret it and still look on the web for answers. In a wierd way it changed my life. I am so scared that even though now that I have completely given my life to the Lord Jesus and to God, I feel like i may not be forgiven for the tattoo. I wish i could go back and never have gotten it. I have prayed for forgiveness and starting this Sunday plan to get my wife and 4 year old into church as i was raised. What can i do to relieve the constant guilt of this sin on my arm that i have to see everyday to remind me how disobiedient i have been to my heavenly father? Is there still hope for me to be recieved into God’s kingdom? I love the Lord with all my heart and am ready to completely walk in faith to glorify Jesus and God. I just hope i havent gone to far with my vile live style even after and always believing in my salvation during the course of my many great sins. i hear about being forgiven for tattoo’s that you get before recieving Christ, but what about the one’s you get after? Especially a skull and cross bones? Will God ultimatley forgive me?

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joe July 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Yes, God will forgive you. I think this is another case of culture over truth. Remember, you have a skull, I have a skull, even Billy Graham has a skull. God designed the skull as part of a skeletal structure that we use to stand upright. The skull contains and protects our brain that gives us thought & emotion.

How would you walk if not for bones in your legs? How was Eve created? From a rib bone of Adam.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the skull and crossbones. Don’t view it as a symbol of death, instead look upon it fondly as a remembrance of how God created us from nothing. How God took the time to allow you to walk, breathe and enjoy the richness of his creation.

I have a Skull tattoo, and where the bones would be I have two revolvers. There’s nothing wrong (In my opinion) with Christians getting cool tattoos. They don’t all have to be bible verses and crosses.

That said, I recognize that different people have different convictions. If you still feel bad after reading this, I would urge you to ask your local pastor about the issue.

They may even be willing to take up a love offering to assist in the removal process. Good Luck to you.

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Jason Young July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

God says he will forgive you; my advice is believe him. You shouldn’t question whether God will forgive you or not because you have to have faith in what he says will be, and he said he will forgive you so trust him. Joe mentioned that he doesn’t see it as a representation of death. The fact of the mater is we all die anyway, so regardless of whether it represents death or not, death is a part of life. I think the biggest problem you might have with your tattoo is what other PEOPLE will think; and you don’t live for man, you live for God. I do however believe that you shouldn’t do anything that shall cause your brethren to stumble, but at the same time you have to live your life for you and for God. I believe that if someone else is going to stumble from the sight of your tattoo then there are deeper underlying issues than just your tattoo. Revelation 19:16 “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” The question is how was it written on his thigh… Leviticus 19:26-28 “26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. 27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Here it says not to put markings upon yourself, but it also says not cut your beard or the sides of your head. If you can’t get a tattoo based on this then a lot of people are in trouble with their grooming habits alone. In Leviticus these were stated for mourning the dead because they were pagan rituals. Basically he was saying don’t follow pagan rituals. If you got your tattoo in mourning of the dead then you might question it a little. You also have to remember that Jesus came to fulfill the law, and we get to heaven by his grace. You only need to accept his grace, and you will get to heaven through Christ and Christ alone. We all sin and we’re all unworthy but God is forgiving, just as long as you have faith in HIM. Keep up your faith and live your life with God and you have nothing to worry about, if you accept him he will accept you.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

God bless.
Jason

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Tucker July 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thank you both! I have been praying and have told my wife about my life style change. I believe I have been forgiven. I am still sad i got the tattoo because it just doesnt match my heart. It was not in rememberence of the dead or anyone thank goodness. I have just always thought skulls were cool. I have never thought of them as evil, but other people may. This is what bothers me. I know God judges our heart, and my heart puts full faith in him and his son my savior Jesus Christ. I am 3 days sober and happier than ive been in a long while. God bless you and this site for helping me seek the truth. I look at the tat as a reminder not to drink the poison that has caused so many of my stumbles and falls with the lord. I will see you in heaven one day and thank you both again. Thank you.

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mike ohara August 12, 2012 at 6:30 am

thanks to inform me about tattoo i never know it was in the bible, and thank how make me not to do even now notice it in the bible may GOD bless you

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RI August 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 co 3:17 (kjv)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb13:8 (kjv)

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Jack Wellman August 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Thank you for your comment RI. Are you saying that if someone gets a tattoo, they are going to be destroyed? What do you mean by the verse you quoted my friend? You quoted 1 Cor 3:17 but context is everything. What is Paul talking about in this chapter? We can’t take one text out of its context and make it a pretext. Paul is talking, throughout the entire chapter, not about the physical body, but about the church being carnal and dividing over who is the man to follow as their leader (v 3-12). He is saying that they are quarreling among themselves over which is the leader that they think best to follow. 1 Cor 3:17 is not talking at all about the human body but the church. Context my friend is everything.

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renae August 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

i read some comments about tattooing. people definitely have stronge opinions about it. I am a Christian. I grew up in a church. was baptized. I never had a tattoo til last February. i was iffy about getting it. but it really ment something to me. I recently lost my oldest brother in a car accident. he was such a joy to be around. and a very talented man who could come up with any type of drawing. some of his best were dragons and fairies. yes mithical creatures. but the way he drew them were unreal. I ended up getting a fairie tattoo sitting on lilies looking up in the sky like she is lost. and my sis got a sleeping dragon. that stood for finally u can rest. I told people this story for a reason. we should not judge people by art whether it’s on ur body or a piece of paper. there is always a very sad or happy meaning to it. now I am still the same Christian with the same beliefs. peoole can be so cruel on how they judge! so when u see a tattoo. look at it as art. u don’t know how hard and long it took for someone to draw that. or what it means to that person. I have seen lots of scary tattoos. but I also have seen so many with such a story behind it. we want to keep that part of life with us. just like I want to keep my brothers talent with me. to let people know. hey he drew that. I dont regret getting it. i know god will understand. cause our family worships him. and prays every night. we r cristians. an I truly think he would understand how we want to hold on to something apart of our brother. while he takes him to heaven!! so don’t judge people with tattoos. u never know there story behind it! I know god understands and he won’t judge.

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Jack Wellman August 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Amen Renae, I could not agree more with you. I see areas like this in the Christian’s life where we are so judgmental and quickly condemn others when we ought to be more graceful and caring and accepting of one another and that’s the reason I wrote this article. We need to live with each other without condemnation. Jesus said it is what comes out of the mouth of a man or woman that pollutes them, not what goes into the mouth and things on the outside are not as important as what is inside, where the heart is. Thank you so much. I as so sorry for your terribly difficult loss. God bless you and please come back Renae.

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Idoko Stephen Oko August 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

Knowing the truth and abiding in the truth you know is what will save you..

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Bongani August 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Can i ask smethng out of context.At my church we believe in ‘come as you are’ so guys wear hats in church But now in 1 Corithians 11:7 FOR A MAN INDEED OUGHT NOT TO COVER HIS HEAD ,FORASMUCH AS HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD..am i being judgemental nd sometime I feel uneased about it?..

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Jack Wellman August 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Hello Bongani for your comment and question. I agree, I would be uncomfortable too with men wearing hats in church. I am assuming they are baseball hats. To me, it is disrespectful to wear hats indoors at all, but if the dress is so casual, then would this not make the worship more casual too? If they could realize that God is High and Holy and deserves to be respected when we come to worship Him. To casual of a dress apparel makes me think that we would not do that if we were applying for a job. We’d likely try to look nice, at least in slacks and a dress shirt, but no, I don’t believe you are being judgmental and I can see why you would be uneasy. Let me ask you, do they preach straight out of the Bible? Do you make Christ the central focus of the sermons? Do they aim at glorifying Jesus Christ and His most holy name? If not, I’d find another church, but if they do, then just try to ignore what the men wear and focus on Christ and His Word. Did this help Bongani? Great question. Thank you for visiting us.

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Joe August 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I think the issue of wearing hats is another example of culture over gospel. Will God not hear my prayers if I have a ballcap on? Will God refuse his spirit to move in my life because of some fabric with a stitched on Cleveland Indians logo?

Does your church ever have men’s retreats where they have service outside? Is it null and void to attend with a hat on?

When Billy Graham has his rallies in sports stadiums with 80,000 people on a summer day, is the gospel only intended for those who allow the sun in their eyes?

That said, if it makes you uncomfortable because of how you were raised then I’d advise you to find a more traditional church with people who think like you.

People have different tastes and interests, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding a good, bible preaching church that plays your style of music and dress like you. Diversity makes things awesome.

Just don’t go to the new church and talk about those hat wearing sinners at the old place. Just my 2 cents.

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Kristine September 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

It was nice to reading all! Im Christoan

over 20 y. I done tattoo, as a sombol of my kids I have! and I find, out that peoples who ARE wearing tattoos ARE serving Lucifer! And I got broken down I felt like im gone I did mistake! I dont eant setving devil, I love my Lord, I start Cray from al my heart! Lord forgive me, forgive me….. I dont want go to Hell! God help me!

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Jack Wellman September 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Hello Kristine. Please let me reassure you that no one goes to hell for having a tattoo. You are not in any danger. For those who have placed their trust in Christ, they are safe and secure in the Father’s hands and in Jesus’ hands (John 10:28-29) and neither will He ever cast anyone away for even a tattoo (John 6:37). We all make mistakes (1 John 1:8, 10) but we can receive forgiveness the moment we ask Him for it after we confess ours sins. Read 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Did you read that!? Confess your sins and He will forgive you for all your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Tattoos will never send anyone to hell for those who have faith in Christ to save them and trust in Him alone. Don’t worry about what anyone says…no matter what they say. Trust in Christ not what others say about those wearing tattoo’s serving Lucifer. That is false.

Does this help Kristine?

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stephen September 21, 2012 at 3:31 am

thank you very much for getting this site to help us to get to know more about God……well what i want to ask is that is it good for a christian to masturbate?

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Jack Wellman September 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Thank you Stephen for your question and honesty. Please know that God will give you the strength to stop this and you can do all things thru Christ Who will strengthen you. It is sin because you are probably thinking lustful thoughts when you do this and Jesus said if we lust in our hearts, we commit adultery in our hearts. We have an article full of biblical advice just for this at this link: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-overcome-an-addiction-to-pornography-help-for-struggling-christians/ So, yes, it is NOT good for Christians to do this….God will help you though and when you do, confess this sin to God and He will forgive you of all of your sins and cleanse you (1 John 1:9).

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Romina October 4, 2012 at 4:02 am

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo and I’m a Christian. I never thought getting a tattoo was necessarily sinful because there are so many other things that Christians do to their bodies that should be considered equally sinful. There are a few people in my church congregation that have tattoos, some of crosses and verses, others of polynesian tribal designs and flowers. I haven’t heard of any condemnation about these because my fellow believers got the tattoos before they came to know Jesus, while they fell away, or as a reminder about God’s love for them. However, I’ve been going to church actively for about 6 years now and I’ve always wanted a tattoo. I wanted something to represent my native american culture. I fear that by getting a tattoo of a bear paw and eagle feathers I will be judged by other church members as someone who defiles herself with culty religions. I have no intention to dishonor God, in fact, the tattoos i want will represent MY God, not the native american gods. I think tattoos can be a reflection of the person that God made me, it’s a display of the creativity God gave me. The thing about being a stumbling block, I’m not worried about hindering anyone in their walk of faith. I will not be an advocate on getting tattoos, I won’t even show mines off to everyone. But I do fear judgement.

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Jack Wellman October 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Hello Romina. I have a co-worker who put a cross on his arm to share his faith with fellow workers and friends, but sadly many Christians will throw a lot of Old Testament Scriptures at you saying its sin so be prepared. I think you fear judgment because too many Christians are judging others by what’s on the outside instead the way God judges us by looking at the heart. You might get a tattoo but be prepared for people to judge you.

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joe October 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I’m not sure that this is any consolation, but everything you (and I) do is getting judged anyway.

Say bow your head to pray before lunch at work. Some will say great, but there will be a segment of the church that says “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

They will say such public displays are seeking attention and you’re a pharisee!!!!

Of course this is silly, but it happens. Christians judge Christians based on their weight, car they drive, money they make, how much they donate, how little they donate and on and on.

If you feel good in your heart about the ink, don’t let others “judgment” be the deciding factor. Their judging heart will be the plank in their own eye and is between them and God.

In my opinion…

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Jack Wellman October 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Amen Joe. You speak the truth my friend as always. I so wish we had more such believers like you in the world that are less concerned with the exterior of others than their own hearts. You are a refreshing to the soul Joe. Thanks brother.

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wesley shaun October 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

wow this is a pretty thorough conversation, im a 15 year old male and im currently thinking of getting a tattoo of a cross saying LIVE AS CHRIST.I am not holy man i have commited many sins that are regarded as abominitions and lust in 1 year i have remembered every sin that is spoken against in the bible, i asked for forgiveness and am going to be baptised in a few years, i like to preach gods word and help others where i can. I have a eyebrow piercing and am thinking of a tattoo as stated earlier 😀 but i am not sure i want to get the tattoo so when people ask me why i can say that i want to show people how serius i wanna take jesus like he took me seriusly when he was on the cross, but like i said im really unsure on the topic i really want the tattoo because everytime i look at it i want to remember jesus forgave me and he forgives all

reply would be great thanks 🙂

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wesley shaun October 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

sorry just to include and ive also falled into other sins over and over again and the tattoo will help me remember god always forgives me even if i stumble over the same sin again

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wesley shaun October 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

hey i just want to add that the tattoo will also help me remember that i have fallen into other sins over and over again but god still forgave me and he always forgives me even for the sins ive commited over and over again

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Pentti October 6, 2012 at 5:35 am

Hi there

Is it tattoo’s that will win the world for Christ or perhaps if we can show how cool we are that will influence them, or should we rely on the Holy Spirit to do the work?
Just because a course of action is done in the name of Christ does it mean its sanctified?
There is a man who has been coming to my church for a while now who is quite heavily tattoo’d, has a rough background, told me he was a hitman, night club bouncer etc.
No one needed a tattoo to minister to him, he is on the path to finding Christ, the girl who invited him to church doesn’t have tattoos, but a solid walk with Christ.
There are plenty of cheap gimmicks in the Christian world today with God’s name attached to them which exalt the flesh and the senses, coming from the soul realm. Personally I would put the desire to get a tattoo into that category, but then again I would be labelled by some as judging. Well then your judging me for being judgemental aren’t you?
Then there’s the authentic gifts and movings, ministries of the Holy Spirit.

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TJ October 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

You are right to say that. I know that you are on fire for the Lord. Some will say on that day “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do this in your name and do that in your name……” Matthew 7:21-23
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

You are so on point with the Holy Bible!!!! Keep up the good work,Amen!!!

Please saints of God do not let anyone lead you astray,Amen!!!

I mean you got to get it right Church!!!!
Keep reading the Word of God!!!

Man shall not live by bread alone ,but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

People want to sell the name of Jesus and pass Jesus’ name off as being unholy. Well, I stopped by to tell you all that we have to be careful the end times are so close to us.Jesus is coming back sooner than we may think,Amen!!!Do not be deceived children of God! Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing!!! Be on guard always!!!!

Do not let someone tell you what to do ,but let God help you in all areas of your life. I mean a wise man will want to be corrected if he is wrong ,but only a fool will not accept correction. With that being said, I just want to say I Love You All with the Love of the Father in Heaven!!!!!!!
Please keep standing on the Word of God. Keep lifting the standard,Amen!!!!!!!

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Pentti October 6, 2012 at 5:40 am

Hi there Wesley
Its good that you recognise you’ve sinned, but you don’t need a tattoo to remind you. Don’t you trust that the word of God and the Holy Spirit are enough to remind you of that?
Don’t try to fix certain mistakes and sins you have made by making another mistake
God bless you richly

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Dustin October 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

Abortion is murder. Thats common sense you are killing your inocent child.

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dave November 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

wow! a biblical interpretation of the tattoo ?. So many bible thumpers read Lev 19 : 28 without context. good for you. when those who condemn people with tattoos, yet cut the corners of there hair and dont stone to death their rebellious teenagers , maybe i will listen to them. good job, sir

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Jack Wellman November 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thank you so much Dave. I loved your comment. I get a sense that too many Christians are ready to quote Old Covenant Scriptures and cast the first stone, when we are actually under the New and better Covenant and if I cast stones, it would be at the man I see in the mirror. Thank you sir.

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mary martins November 16, 2012 at 7:08 am

some times pple deviate 4rm wat d lord thy creator wnts,tatoo is d mark of d beast,pple use money 2 get d mark,nd call it pleasure bt death bcos is mark of d beast

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Josh November 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I am 18 and thinking about getting a tattoo. I am a christian, and I am not sure that I should based on this: 1 Cor. 8:13 “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”
To me its like drinking. I dont think drinking (without being drunk) is necessarily a sin. But, there are many christians and non-christians who do think it is a sin for a christian to drink. It is the same with tattoos. Many people associate tattoos with the wrong crowd. So if it hinders my witness, i don’t think i should get one.
Also, Rom. 14 says “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

20 Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. 22 You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.”

I think that having a visible tattoo for me is a sin because others view it as a sin. If you are thinking about getting inked, as well as any other “grey” areas, look at these verses and think about the attitude you have and how it will affect your witness, relationship to other christians, and to God.

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lavern December 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I Pray that all those who Judge others for having a tattoo is not judged too harshly on judgment day. Tattoos or not, no matter what others say, please know that GOD loves you. I truly believe that God will not love you any more or less than those without tattoos. His love is unconditional. Those who judge and quote scriptures, thinking it gives them a right to judge, be careful, he sees everything. Please know that God’s love is unconditional.

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Jack Wellman December 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Lavern, you are exactly right. Believe it or not, God hates religious people. Sounds shocking but He desires for us to place our trust in Him. It is not so much religion but a relationship we need with Christ. Being a good person is not enough to get us or anyone to heaven. The vast majority of people believe this but are wrong. I beg those who are judging people over exterior things that they read this link and see just “Who Goes to Heaven? Do Good People Go To Heaven? Thank you Lavern. You are so right.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/who-goes-to-heaven-do-good-people-go-to-heaven/

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Tori December 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hello!
I have very much enjoyed reading the posts on this subject. I have been considering getting a tattoo for about a year now and am still debating it. I am a born again christian. My father is a pastor and I am dating a preacher as well so judgment is nothing new for me. I can handle judgement passed on me from others. My question is, will it ruin my witness to others?

Just speaking up as a younger person, I have met many of men (and women) who were very devout followers of Jesus with tattoos as I grew up. Did I judge them? No. I admired their bravery for using their ink as a form of worship to the Lord.

On the verse “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” We are not under the law. We are under grace. If your tattoo shows others the glory of God, is it bad? Even the temple in the book of 1 & 2 Kings was practically lined with gold and bronze, not because God likes those things, but because it was appealing to the eye. It drew people in.

Our bodies are the new temple and people are drawn to us because they know there is something different about us by our actions, not what we look like.

The tattoo I have been considering is one of an infinity symbol with the Hebrew name of God “Yahweh” (meaning I am that I am) engraved in within the symbol. I believe this would be a picture of how God is, always was, and always will be.
To me, when in the right place a tattoo can be a helpful tool when witnessing to the lost. (I agree COMPLETELY when one says a tattoo can be a stumbling block)

I am eighteen and although I am (legally) an adult I still plan on talking to my parents and other “parental” figures before I make my decisions. I was just curious on what your or others reply would be. Although the more and more I continue to pray about and research about this, the more I feel at ease about getting a tattoo.

I deeply apologize if my post is scatter-brained and hard to understand. I am very tired (Finals for school and all) haha. 🙂
Thank you!

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Jack Wellman December 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Tori, no apology necessary and your post is not “scattered-brained” but very good and there’s a lot of common sense to it. Yes, tattoo’s can be a stumbling block but as you said, they can also be a powerful witnessing tool.

I had a co-worker who was a biker and I was hesitant to go up to him and share the gospel. He had all sorts of tattoo’s on his arms and neck. Well, I did share the gospel and found out that he was already a Christian! He uses his to introduce Jesus Christ to other bikers and it is a very powerful way to enter into a natural conversation about the other bikers tattoos and then his and he says why he got a cross on it and then his angel (which he said his protection reminder) and John 3:16. I get the feeling that you really want one and will not be bothered by others judging you (which they have no right to but that’s THEIR problem) and so I’d say do what your heart tells you. Thank you for your comment and God bless you.

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Haydee December 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

What hurts me the most is my pastor who grew up in a christian home and his father is the senior pastor, in his fifties has recently got tattoos on his forearm or (forearms). His son is the youth pastor and has tattoos up and down both his arms. What is that telling the youth and all new comers that has given their life to Christ; there’s no difference from the world to the church. In the world, but not of it. Come out from among them and yea separate. Whether we like it or not, we are the aliens in this world and we will be persecuted because we are different.

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Santie Carelse January 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

I am a child of God and somebody asked me once about men having tattoos, long hair and earpiercings. I prayed to God for a answer in His Name! The reply was : God drew that person WITH his tattos, piercings and long hair with the same love that He drew me and you. Theirs no difference before God if you accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. And I had peace.

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Jack Wellman January 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Hello Santie. I am most pleased that you read this. Sadly, many Christians still judge by the exterior but God looks at the heart and that is what is most important. I am glad you had peace over this because we can not judge one another over things that are not essential to salvation. May God richly bless you my friend.

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