Tattoos have become an in-thing in the current society. Young or old; male or female; it’s normal to come across tattooed bodies in our daily interactions.
Have you ever questioned the authenticity of tattoos?
It’s quite interesting that both supporters and disputers of tattoos use the Bible to affirm their contrary beliefs.
That leaves us with one thorny question!
Does the Bible cheat!
No; the Bible is the most straightforward document in history. God only demands that we understand the Bible in the right context.
But where exactly should we place tattoos as Catholics and why?
Can you remember how the devil quoted scripture when he was tempting Jesus after the forty days of starvation (Matthew 4:1-11)! The devil knows scripture in and out and uses it to hang on to or win unsuspecting people.
That leaves us with some food for thought; right!
Where are Tattoos mentioned in the Bible!
A young lady who had sat next to me approached me after a deliverance session and just chose to give me a snip of her life.
Let’s call her Cindy.
Cindy had two problems that were adversely mentioned during the session. She was so touched that she couldn’t imagine going back to the same house where she lived with her boyfriend! To her, that was minor since she had resolved to go back to her mothers’ house. It was just a matter of stepping out!
You must be wondering why Cindy resolved to leave her boyfriend's house immediately after the session. She had just learned that cohabiting is a grave sin.
But let's leave that for another day!
Cindy’s dilemma was the tattoos she had on her body!
Apparently, her friend used a Bible scripture to convince her to ink the tattoos on her body. Cindy searched the Bible and missed any other verse with the word tattoo, and there she was!
Look at how she understood what scripture meant by tattoos!
Leviticus 19:27-28 – Do not cut the hair on the sides of your head or trim your beard or tattoo yourselves or cut gashes in your body to mourn for the dead. I am the LORD.
The message in this scripture indicates that it’s in the context of mourning the dead, or rather engaging in ungodly practices! So in Cindy’s opinion, this scripture authenticates the use of tattoos for as long as it’s not for the above-stated purpose!
Since it was getting late, I took Cindy’s telephone number and promised to help her understand her difficulty.
Let's give Cindy a short break.
The Bible warns us not to puncture the Lords Temple
One thing that is evident in the Bible is that it’s parabolic. So meeting the word ‘tattoo’ only once or so in the Bible does not give us an okay to fold it like a piece of cloth and keep it in the lowest cabinet of the drawer awaiting send-off to the needy!
Understanding the parabolic nature of the Bible demands a willing and receptive conscience. There are numerous Bible verses that point to tattoos but don't have the word tattoo in them.
It’s no wonder we indent tattoos on our bodies and have feelings of wanting to get rid of them later!
Let’s hear what Paul told the Corinthians about their bodies!
1 Corinthians 3:17 – So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy and you yourselves are His temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but God. He bought you for a price; so use your bodies for God’s glory.
The only difference between other things we do and tattooing our bodies is that once repented we feel set free from the sin unlike tattoos for the only reason that we keep seeing them! However, getting to understand God better frees us from such guilt conscience.
Tattoos are invisible inclusions in any verse that talks about the body.
Have tattoos your way, says Cindy!
Paul talks about the interior of the body and not the surface, says Cindy!
But is it possible to separate the inside and exterior of the body?
The body moves in unison and when the surface pains, the inside pains alike and vice versa; so how then can we separate them!
The human body is the Lord's temple just like the church is the Lord's temple. In Matthew 21:12-13, Jesus turned the traders’ tables out of anger in the temple.
Just to check out what the Old Testament says about the Lord's temple, look at the instructions during the crossing of the Jordan!
In Joshua 3, Joshua instructed the Israelites to keep a distance of about one kilometer from the priest carrying the covenant box; in honor of the Lord.
Try to assume the covenant box is right inside of you and complete that equation! How holy should you be to warrant the title “Temple of the Lord?”
That’s the much we need to respect our bodies if we expect the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and heed our calls.
In 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, God touches on the exterior of the body and urges Christians to remain holy. One beautiful eye-catcher in this scripture is that God asks us to live the way we were when we chose to go to Him.
This gives us the other twist of tattoos!
In simple terms, if we had tattoos before we had an encounter with Christ, we don’t have to feel guilty about them since the Lord has set us free.
It’s the same concept with all the other flaws!
Your tattoos need not worry you anymore!
What if you are just about to ink these fondly admired prints on your body? Won't it be better if you got to understand tattoos more?
What Inspires Tattoos?
Can I call it copycatting!
Did you know tattoos could be an invisible cult entry point of the devil into our lives?
Do they enhance our beauty!
Is it just a matter of doing it because we saw it on a fellow Christian!
It hardly ever crosses our mind that Christian we are trying to mimic made up with God. It’s only that he cannot remove the tattoos!
Unfortunately, when we admire and imitate, we find ourselves trapped in the bottle when it is already too late.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
The more you see people with tattoos, the more it looks normal. That does not remove it from God’s list of sins.
Have a look at this comprehensive report. Maybe you will learn more from it.
When God used Moses to lay down His commandments; He did not directly mention tattoos and many others as inappropriate. If adhered to, the commandments were guidelines through which God reveals Himself more.
Tattoos lean on the side of the world, and never on the Lord’s side. At the end of our stay here on earth, we will meet God. He will only expect to see in us what He created and what He planted later. God will not welcome unapproved implants.
If you are planning to get some tattoos, think about it!
Remember, if you already have tattoos, you are not rejected (John 6: 37).