Tattoos are a widely debated topic among Christian culture. Regardless of your theological viewpoint, I think this topic is something we all need to come together and discuss in a loving manner.

1. Are tattoos bad?

2. Will I go to hell for having a tattoo?

3. Can I have tattoos and still be a Christian?

4. Are there such thing as “Christian Tattoos?”

Let me first start off by letting you know that I myself have tattoos, but this does not mean my post will be biased to one side or the other. I’m going to say some things that both sides of the argument might not agree with, but I’m ok with that. I’m here to ask questions, dig deep, and get ourselves focused on the bigger picture; Jesus.

Three questions to ask yourself

1. Why would I get a tattoo? or Why did I get a tattoo?

2. Who will my tattoo glorify? or Who do my tattoos glorify?

3. What would my tattoo say about me? or What do my tattoos say about me?

Although these questions may seem silly, they are going to play an important role in your view on tattoos in reference to God’s word. Why? Because the answers to those questions may just be the answers you’ve been looking for.

My Thoughts

While I strongly believe God yearns for us to take care of our mortal bodies, I also believe the motive of our hearts are more important to him in the end. See where I am going with this?

In Leviticus 19:28, you can see what most people say is a pretty clear-cut answer as to what God thinks about tattoos.

“Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD.” –Leviticus 19:28 

But as clear as this text may seem, without context and background this text can be taken out of context in many ways. In fact, it usually is.

This text is directed towards a group of pagans who would violently cut and mark their bodies as a sign of worship to their gods. The tattoos or markings one would find on their bodies would most like resemble the god or gods in which they were worshiping. Pretty different from the tattoos we see today, right? Yup.

While I do believe that any tattoo obtained to worship something other than God is sinful, I also believe that 95% of the tattoos we see in today’s culture are not due to idol worship, but instead creative expression or artistic value. It’s not the actual tattoo or marking that is sinful, but the motives in which each tattoo or marking is obtained. Who are you worshipping?

Don’t get me wrong. Tattoos are not for everyone! My only hope is that you realize the motives of your heart mean more to God than the ink on your skin. I don’t see anything biblically wrong with Christians having tattoos, but then again,  this is just my interpretation. And for all you kids still living under the roof of your parents, whether or not you get a tattoo is up to them, not you.

Your body is still a temple, and to treat your body with disrespect is to treat God in the same manner. Whether you are debating getting your first tattoo or your fiftieth, I pray you will seek God for wisdom, guidance, and evaluate the motives of your heart.

We may not all reach the same conclusion, but that doesn’t mean we are not all loved by the same God.