Should Christians get tattoos? I maintain that the answer is…
Should Christians get tattoos?
I maintain that the answer is no, however I would not use Leviticus 19:28 to make this point. The reason for this is because I think that both sides of this argument are mistaken about the nature of the the law. They are right to say that there are 3 types of laws, that being the moral, ceremonial and judicial laws, however it can just as easily be asserted that Leviticus 19:28 applies to the ceremonial law as that it applies to the moral law, whether or not abstaining from tattoos is a moral principle or only part of the ceremonial law so as to distinguish the Jewish people as a peculiar nation is unclear from this passage alone. The problem here is that the moral law is being used as the authoritative reason why such things ought not to be done, but this is a misunderstanding of what the law is for today. The fact is that the reason we ought not to do a thing is not because it is prohibited in the moral law, the whole law was given as a covenant between God and the Jewish nation at mount Sinai thousands of years ago and Jesus death at Calvary released his people from that covenant and a new covenant was established that is entirely separate from the old one. So whether or not tattoos are moral has nothing to do with whether or not they are prohibited in the Old Testament law. It is true that moral principles were included in the law, but those morals are not moral because of the law but were in fact moral even before the law existed and are moral independent of the existence of the law. So my opposition to tattoos comes from 1Corinthians 6:19-20:
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
And from Psalms 139:14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Imagine while the Jewish temple was still standing which was reared up with great effort and talent and created with immense beauty, that someone with much inferior talent were to take a can of spray paint and scrawl some Bible verse upon its walls, and that without the permission. Remember 1Corinthians 6:20 says that we are not our own. It would would be foolishness to assume that this somehow added to its beauty, all it would be is vandalism of property. The Christian body is a sacred vessel for the Holy Spirit designed by God with exquisite detail, a tattoo involves causing permanent injury to that wonderful design and it is quite inferior to that which God created. The body itself rejects it and attempts to get rid of it the moment it is received so that it fades over time. If we are not our own then to deliberately injure our bodies is really to deliberately injure something that belongs to God, we ought not to vandalize God’s beautiful creation without his permission, especially when that creation happens to be the dwelling of the Lord.