Is It a Sin to Get a Tattoo?

It depends on who you ask. There are some Christians who believe it is a sin. The verse in the Bible that most Christians make reference to is Leviticus 19:28, which says,"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord." So, why is this verse in the Bible? God's desire is for His people to be set apart from other religious practices, like pagan worship and sorcery. If you look at this verse in context, you can see that it is specifically dealing with pagan religious rituals.

Does this verse have any relevance for us today? Absolutely! Anyone getting a tattoo really needs to ask themselves, why am I getting this and what is the meaning of this tattoo? Is the tattoo an expression of witchcraft, idolatry or pagan symbolism? If so, as Christians, we need to reconsider...

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When I consider the context of Leviticus 19, I lean toward the belief that it is not forbidding all expressions of tattoos. Culturally and specifically here in the US, tattoos, over the last 20 years, have become more socially acceptable. A recent study by Pew Research, claims roughly 40 percent of Millennials have tattoos. It's no longer just the outcasts of society or sailors with tattoos; suburban moms, doctors, attorneys, entertainers, even pastors can be found with tattoos.

At my church, seeing people with tattoos is normal. Not everyone has them and there is no judgment of each other, tattoo or not. I believe that God is much more concerned with our hearts, than He is with the outside appearance of a person. After all, the Bible says in Revelation19:16 that Jesus has a tattoo on His thigh, "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

The question for some still remains: Is it wrong for me to get a tattoo? I think it comes down to personal conviction and we should never try to push our personal convictions on others. Ultimately, the decision is between you and God.

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