So, I had my TV turned to a channel yesterday morning waiting for Reba to come on. (Reba-the one show that every situation in life should be based off of. 😉 Reba, she’s unbeliev-aba). Okay, okay, I’m done with my Reba praising. For now. DM me and we can talk about it more.
Anyway, there was a “Christian” on that channel before Reba came on. I don’t really care to watch that show, just left my channel there while waiting for the other to come on. I use italics while saying the word Christian in this phrase because I have heard other things on this show that I don’t really think line up with the Bible.
This particular day someone wrote in “I am wanting a tattoo, but have heard you shouldn’t cut or tattoo in Leviticus”. The TV show speaker responds, “Tattoos are completely heathenistic practice.” Well naturally, I took a personal offense because I do have a small wrist tattoo. I also have not found evidence in the Bible to support the claim that tattoos are against God.
I know, I just jump myself right on in it, don’t I? So I gave myself a few days to ponder on this. I didn’t want my response to be a personal, emotion filled one, but one based on facts and Biblical truth. I also have no problem if I am proven wrong on things. My ultimate goal is truth, whether I’m right or wrong. So what’s a girl to do but get out multiple Bibles and read all the footnotes and sidebars?
SO the exact reference to this particular verse is Leviticus 19:28. “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.” This particular verse is found in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a “law-emphasized” part of the Bible. What I mean by that is that Jesus had not come to Earth yet. Once Jesus came to earth, we became a people saved by grace. The “law” was abolished. The laws were very specific.
Do I think the Old Testament is now void? Absolutely not! The two (Old and New) tie together all throughout the Bible and help to enforce the truths of God’s Word. The law shows us that people could not totally keep the law on their own, they needed a Savior. It’s also encouraging to me to see and remember that we have been a “lost” people for a long time.
So, I’m going to tell you that Leviticus 19:28 is part of a law or “rule” that was given to the people of Israel as a way to separate themselves from Pagan practices. The Pagan’s often cut themselves and tattoo, as a part of Pagan mourning or burial rituals. We do not practice these forms of mourning.
New Testament opposition I’ve heard of tattoos: 1Corinthians 6:19 ”Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” This verse holds a big truth in it. Christians are to die to self. Our body is not our own anymore. Our life is not our own anymore. Around this verse sexual immorality, marriage, widows, the unmarried, and correct ways to handle lawsuits with others in the church.
So here’s what I’m going to say about that verse. Your body IS a temple. The Holy Spirit DOES reside in you if you’ve been saved. That is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a BIG deal. “Yeah, oh my gosh and wow!” (Another Reba quote). We should be careful of what we are watching or listening to. We should be careful of how we feed and treat our body. (Yes, the Bible does also speak on gluttony, but we often want to overlook that one). Because the Holy Spirit resides in you and we don’t want to quench the Spirit.
So, let’s say, for arguments sake, that we shouldn’t get tattoos because God made us without them and we shouldn’t mess with outside of the “temple” He has made for us (and Himself). What do we say to little Rachel, who wants to get her ears pierced? (Because her body was made without them). Or Susan who colors her hair every 8 weeks? (Because her body was made without her hair being that color).
I’m going to tell you it’s a matter of the heart. WHY are you doing what you do? Have you made an idol out of things that you do? (Huge importance). How important is coloring your hair to you? (More important than your worship of God?) How important is food to you? (Can you take or leave that extra piece of pizza?) The outward actions are a reflection of the inside.
My tattoo I have on my wrist doesn’t contradict my love for God. I actually look at it as a conversation piece. (I also have this extremely, improbable, imagination-filled make believe scenario of Christians being persecuted and my cross on my wrist not allowing me to deny being a Christian no matter what). Ask my friends I’ve recounted the story to, they love it. 😜
So I’m going to ask each one of you to examine yourselves, examine your hearts. How much of your beliefs are truly Biblical? How much are the “American Christian” culture? There are some parts of American Christianity that do not always reflect Biblical truths and I’m afraid we are doing more harm than good to unbelieving people when we try to push the “beliefs” that aren’t actually Biblical. Research the truth. Know the truth. Pursue the truth.