Can Christians Get Tattoos?

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 motives 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 toward 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 likely resemble the god or gods that they were worshiping. Pretty different from the tattoos we see today, right? Yup.

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Jarrid Wilson
Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor and author relentlessly sharing the love of Jesus.