Should Christian Artists Create Tattoos?

There’s an art form out there that has tremendous appeal in the mainstream. It communicates self expression and in the past few years through the power of television, is more popular and more lucrative now than ever before.

It’s tattooing, and it has allowed it’s artists to go from being backroom Picassos to MTV celebrities.

But is this art form for you, the Christian Visual artist?

I wanted to bounce this off of our Online Community to see what your thoughts are about the subject. Post your comments here and give us your take on it:

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54 thoughts

  1. I was raised Christian and I still have my faith. I have always been an artist too. I have tried many ways to be a career artist, and I have found myself tattooing. I have many tattoos, and plans for more. Only recently have I given serious thought to my chosen career and my faith. While I believe God will forgive those with tattoos. I wondered about those to GIVE tattoos.

    I have done many ‘Christian’ themed tattoos, and I refuse to do any gang related, or satanical tattoos. My mother (a Christian) has told me that Jesus looks at what is on the inside, not the outside. And the passage in Lev compared tattoos to cutting hair and shaving, but is from a different time. The tattoos I give are sought out, not given against anyones will.

    I guess my conclusion thus far, is to continue to pray about it, is to continue to have faith in God, practice being a good person. Practice being a productive member of society (working). And try to remember what comes first. Yes my tattoos have meaning, but I would like to remember whats most important in my life. If God doesn’t want me on this path, I hope he will show me a different one.

    1. I have been struggling with this for a few months now and I love to tattoo lately my walk to the Lord has me questioning if I should tattoo or not……

  2. That scripture about how man looks at the outer appearance but God looks at the heart comes to mind.

    I think it’d be OK for a Christian to be a tattooist or draw art for people who want to put that are on their bodies. BUT I think that it’s situational. If someone comes to you with some work they want done that it’s blasphemous,doesn’t jive with scripture, or you can feel the Holy Spirit saying “no way” then you have to heed that and NOT ink or create it.

    Also, as a side note, I prayed specifically for my future husband to have tattoos as I find them very attractive. I’d been dating these clean cut Christian business types as that’s what I thought a good Christian girl should do. Then one day the Holy Spirit nudged me into acknowledging that I was ignoring what I really liked because of what others thought. He said to ask for what I wanted and so I did. I met my husband a couple months later and on our first date he announced, unprompted by me, randomly that he had 14 tattoos! I just smiled and quietly thanked God as He can be funny and faithful. : )

    1. That’s so sweet!…i luv tattoos on men too, i like biker types, not clean cut business men types either, so im encouraged by your post to pray for my “type” for a husband too!!….God bless you….

  3. intersting that such a “silly” topic would bring on heated or at least, sharp, comments. Everyone interprets Scripture through their worldview and their faith. So, who is actually correct on the “life or death” topic of tattoos. I am pretty sure Jesus came to save all, even those who sport tattoos. I get a kick outta reading the comments.
    Personally, I don’t have one, but that’s b/c I’m a chicken and am afraid of the pain. But my husband has two. Both of which were decisions he made before he became a follower of Christ. Neither of his tattoos are demonic or scary. And I’m pretty sure Jesus is not going to dis him b/c of them. On the other hand I have a wonderful friend who is on fire for the Lord and is in the trenches for Him as a tattoo artist in a scabby downtown area. He refuses to do anything demonic or tattoos on particular areas of the bod. Other artists in the studio takes those clients. But my friend gets people in the chair, begins conversations that always end up talking about salvation and the love Jesus has for that client. To me, that’s doing tattoos in His honor and for His glory. Pretty dang cool…

  4. arthur robins said:
    tatoos are disrespectful to God according to LEV. 19:28
    . it also says that shaving is a sin too and we still shave don’t we I love the tattoo and i want to get one. I don’t think it is a sin to get a tattoo because it’s in the old testament. I think getting a tattoo is up to you.

  5. The problem with tattoos is that they are permanent; unless you can afford laser treatment. What might appeal one day, has a lifetime’s duration. It’s sad to see people daubbed with evil subject matter, that at the very least can be a later embarrasment but also an opening to the occult which they wish they had never touched. I think of a girl of 28 that I know. She is very pleasant, but literally has no idea about Jesus. I’ve befriended her and will try to show her the love of Christ. I know she is interested in horroscopes, but this week I discovered that most of her torso is covered in astrological signs. I do begin to wonder how responsible that tattooist is,whoever he or she is, and whether the fashion for tattoos is being used by Satan just as he uses trick or treat Halloween to groom young children into acceptance of him. The problem for this 28 year old is going to be that when she accepts Christ into her life, she is going to be bearing the scars of her former thinking for all to see.

    The other thing that has always repelled me from having tattoos, is the knowledge that they were used to mark the Jewish people during the Holocaust of WW2. Those people were marked against their will. They were marked by people with evil intent.

    I hope that all of us Christians, who are sealed by the Holy Spirit, would continue to walk in love with those around us who are tattooed but would seek God’s wisdom especially as the decision to be marked/ decorated is a permanent one. Next week I am due to draw a woman who is heavily tattooed and pierced (I’ve not met her yet) and already God is showing me that Jesus will meet with her in the art class.

  6. Like Desimber says :

    The Holy Spirit serves as the clarifying instrument of all shades of gray concerning our walk in The Word, and we should use Him and listen to Him.

    I am looking forward to getting my tattoo.

  7. I personally do not have tattoos, but neither do i out-rightly condemn tattoos, the scripture rightly said that what defiles is not what goes into but what comes out from the inside, at the end of the day, Christ in us is the hope of Glory and the Holy Spirit is the One that makes us all understand Gods heart and purpose per moment

    I do not see tattoos as any different from applying make-ups or dressing in suggestive ways or piercing the body for whatever reason (even if it is a single ear ring), what i would think matters are basically our standing with God and which comes from the heart, dont assume i am part of those who believe that the outward appearance has nothing to do with salvation maybe not directly having to do but indirectly it sure has a lot to do.

    What i do believe however is this, if you decide to put a tattoo on you what would be the primary motive/message or depiction of that tattoo?
    I cant imagine tattoos of fetish, and clearly offensive images or even anti-God images… now if you decide to have a tattoo on having decided what the motive will be and the purpose it serves not only for you but for other who may not understand and may find offense in it being believers themselves… i would also go to see if i may or may not be glorifying God with it, (now the issue of glorifying God i know may also sound prohibitive to some reading but wait and hear me out, mostly what we do as humans are ways of expressing ourselves but i must not be in conflict with what God would love to see us do.

    I would not have a problem with any tattoo that points to God/Jesus or tell a message about Christ love, from my above chats i strongly believe that its the message or intention behind tattoos that will make the distinction between right or wrong (and of course the parts of the body where it is placed, dont forget that too.

    God is a God or order and modesty, so i wont see myself defacing my body with senseless images regardless of what message i am trying to preach thru it.

    These topics are good for discussion, only that we don’t get carried away by the race and opinions of getting to heaven plus the activities, while we loose focus of the destination itself.

    Thank you.

  8. If we are still all under the law we shouldn’t be eating pork (it is an abomination!!) and observing the sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown..among many other things. In the new testament we are told if we follow part of the law we must follow ALL of the law (especially in regards to circumcisions which is also body modification and mutilation)
    I, personally, do not believe there’s anything in the bible or what churches today would teach that would refute getting tattoos, except that they “look” evil or portray evil in the simple action of getting one. Some church goings on may appear evil to some, but we still do them. If one says they have pagan roots and not to be used to remind others of anything you could say that about Christmas trees and Easter eggs. If it’s modifying and destroying our bodies which are temples then hair cutting and ear piercings are evil as well. (nature does not teach man it’s a sin to have long hair..look at the lions!)

  9. ‘To the pure, all things are pure’

    I hope no one else has already said that, I couldn’t read all the sound like a twit making quotes though, don’t ya?.. The thing that comes to my mind though, is that pictures of the cross are really fashionable to get tattooed. Which bugs me a bit.

  10. My body is a temple and I’m decorating. These days tattoos are mainly for expressing likes and beliefs, remembrance and reminders. Some Christian tattoos can also be looked at as a way to open up conversation or to be another tool in showing our beliefs to others. I would love to be a tattoo artist, as they are so personal and truly a way to touch someone. (no pun intended)

  11. I ended up here after following another post by Dave Weiss. I found it interesting that the first post is from Dave. I will read the others as time allows.

    I am not a tattoo artist. I have tatts that are faith based. I design the basic design and write about it. The tattoo artist takes it from there. Each aspect of every tattoo has special meaning to me, many times more than one meaning. I’ve written a lot about them and my faith journey. Each one also holds special and different meaning to the person who sees them. While they’re personal I have no problem sharing the story behind them in whatever form God says will fill the need in your life at that moment. Christ wanted us to witness for him. How easy is it to do that only when it fills our own needs and not that of Him or others. You can put your Bible down, not go to church, and can even hide behind the Bible and your faith. That’s not an option for me. You have to “stand firm” behind your faith and be “accountable” to God when you wear it on your sleeve.

    Some ask how much does that cost? Would you believe it’s priceless? It has cost people jobs that opened opportunities for growth and inspiration. It has led to toys for tatts at Christmas for less fortunate families. It has led to about 30 Bibles going out the door to people who are marginalized by those who won’t associate with someone who has a tattoo. It has led to helping move into a new shop and the shop owner re-discovering his artistic abilities from a rut of being a trace artist. How much does it cost? We talk for hours about God and the Bible before any work gets done. People come and go, asking about getting crosses to cover some of their old demonic tatts. There is a price to pay but it’s not money. It’s called fair trade. The artist says his work on me is working for God.

    What’s the price of a faith based tattoo? You have to be strong enough to stand firmly behind it! Are you?

    Love Peace & Unity,
    David Young

  12. Do you wear makeup? Hello? If you alter your body at all then would you not consider that a sin? Please……get a grip people and accept tatt’s as a way of life and a way of expression just like you put eye liner or lip stick on in the morning.

  13. had no idea this became a law versus ‘grace’ debate… i think the reference to matthew 5.17 and jesus ‘fulfilling’ the law is a bit of a misrepresentation. the word there is pleroo, which can be applied in the following ways:
    – to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
    – to cause to abound
    – to furnish or supply liberally
    – to render full, i.e. to complete, to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
    – to consummate
    – to make complete in every particular, to render perfect, to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
    – to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise
    – of matters of duty: to perform, execute
    – of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish
    – to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment

    so the sense is that jesus came to bring about an end and a completion to the law. so that means that some things must be matters of conscience (or conviction). obviously, there are sins that lead to death, and sins that do not. some things are lawful, but not helpful. yes, there can be health risks – but if a tattooist is careful, there really shouldn’t be. and yes, there’s leviticus (shall we follow every jot and tittle?) – but there is also God with our names graven into his hands…further, the passage in leviticus (Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you) is in context of numerous prohibitions addressing religious rituals of the pagans around them. and yes, they are cuttings. incisions. you are welcome to your conviction. anyway, i think it’s an interesting conversation (and even argument) but none of us need lose our salvation over it.

    in any case, the question was whether it was for us – individually – as christian artists. and i think that question could refer to us having/ receiving tattoos or giving them. i think there are valid arguments (and both for and against) to be made on both sides, but there is no denying that there can be creativity involved, and that they have powerful emotional and symbolic resonance. which is, i think the appeal for me, and others. of course, i feel the same way about images (and that despite exodus 20.4/5)…

    ; )

  14. Also, I’m just curious to why there’s so much arguing when this is a Christian website? I guess if the subject of tattoos sparks controversy than I guess it’s hard to tell who’s really walking on a narrow path with God. People claim that their Christian, but than, a topic from the world becomes posted and then all sorts of Christians begin to argue. I guess I’ll post this verse out to (And no, I’m not perfect, I’m just tired of the bickering from (Christian A who tries to outright Christian B for quoting Bible verses).. Will it never end?
    Anyways, here’s one of my favorite verses, because I noticed it in this post:

    James 3:5,6,9,10,11,12

    “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
    With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fest water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

  15. I am just going to speak on my behalf of what I think about tattoos and for me being a Christian artist are. Christian tattoos may rather popular, but for the artist who’s actually doing them, I just have to wonder: God clearly asks us to keep our temples (bodies) clean and well taken care of. Romans 6:13 states: “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather to yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

  16. Tattoos, as long as they are not degrading and they glorify God, are fine. The passage in Leviticus is not referring to tattoos themselves but the idolitry tied in. There is a youth worker at the church I attended who has ‘worship’ tattooed on one of his sides, and ‘God’ on the other. I myself am getting one that reads ‘life is worship’. In reality, this whole ‘are tattoes okay?’ could be applied to every aspect of life. The better question is, is what you are doing glorifying God?

  17. to the Lev 19:28 comment I agree with techne and in Revelations did it not say that Jesus had King of Kings written upon his thigh? Even Jesus the one who set us free from the laws of the old testament had tattoos. also i agree with the statement of tattoos as someones personal worship to God. i dont believe tattoos are perfectly okay being that it depends what you get and how it is interpreted. im getting Isaiah 50:7 on my forearm because its a verse that the Father showed me that i try to live by and im getting the verse tattooed as a reminder to myself of how im trying to live and also to show the world how seriously i take the Gods word. it catches the attention of the world. ive had many people ask me why i want that verse tattooed and i tell them what it says, what it means to me, and how i live by it which i see as a testimony and shows how serious that word spoke to me. so i believe tattoos are okay depending on there context and your reasoning for the tattoo. if you get it to look like a christian and your not representing God the way you should then dont get it but i feel its okay and i dont feel any conviction from this i dont feel that God has a problem with it but until He tells me otherwise i see nothing wrong with tattoos.

  18. Bradford, James wrote that in my April comment (to you) I was a little sarcastic. I didn’t mean to be sarcastic but, on rereading my own comment, I do see that I got carried away. So please accept my apologies.

  19. When Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18) The words “not the smallest” and “not the least” make no distinction between civil, moral and/or ceremonial laws. We just cannot walk away from that! And heaven and earth only get to disappear in Revelation.
    For example, the laws relating to sacrifice are still in place. We observe them to this very day, whenever we take Communion. We partake of the Lamb out of which all the blood was ceremonially drained as He hung on the cross.
    It’s common for people to think that the Old Covenant (and many of the laws governing it) ended on the cross and that the New Covenant started only then. But the New Covenant has been in force since the very beginning and embraces every person whose name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27) including people in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. Job knew his Redeemer (Job 19:25), and David refers to the Book of Life in Psalm 69:28. So Jesus fulfilled the Law by complying with the Law’s requirement by which a perfect sacrifice had to be made to atone for every living person’s sins (“living” in the Biblical sense), whether they lived in the Old Testament or in the New Testament. So why attempt to say that ONLY people in the O.T. were under an obligation to keep all of the Law but not people in the N.T.? Are people today so much better than Job and David and Moses himself?
    My own attitude is just as I wrote. I prefer to accept the words of Jesus just as He stated them and to accept that every law is still in place and to confess that I’ve broken an awful lot of them and to hope that He died for me as well as for everyone else…
    But, even if 613 things are unlawful, I think the person is sacred. I believe that Jesus died for the prostitute but not for prostitution; He died for the homosexual but not for homosexuality; He died for the murderer but not for homicide; He died for the guy with the hair cut at the sides of his head (forbidden in Leviticus 19:27) but not for his hairstyle; He died for the tattooed person but not for his tattoos… And so on.

  20. Everything will come down to this one thing.
    No matter our good, bad, lawful, or unlawful.
    Every action comes under one observation…what was your motive?
    Christ will judge the intent, motive, reason, fuel, compelling behind every action, whether good or bad, lawful or unlawful.
    What is the point of obeying the law and it is performed on the bases of the knowledge of good and evil opposed from the simple love and reverence a child should have for his/her father…or a wife for her husband…or a friend has for a friend.
    The law is not a set of rules of “what not to do verses what to do”…it is a photo pic of who Christ is and Him alone.
    The law reveals, “Only God can do God.”
    This is why we live by faith in the One the law and prophets reveal.
    I can’t totally fulfill one law in the bible outside of the life of Christ…so I don’t, I believe that He can accomplish all things through me. I believe and He performs…to live is Christ.
    God didn’t give the law to see if man could do the best he could and in the end get a prize.
    The law simply points to one person…Christ, the fulfiller of all things.
    I wanted to get a tattoo when I was younger, but one thing stopped me…my reason was independent of my fellowship with God, so I didn’t do it. I know the law, but faith in love is what I’m learning to live by.

  21. On the March post,Frank made an excellent post on this subject (although on the April post, he got a little sarcastic); however, overall I think Frank has some very good points. In addition to the social stigma/association with the more base elements of society and the theological reasons above, two points that I would like to make: 1) health risks (your body is God’s temple) and 2) fulfilled vs. unfulfilled laws of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:18 from above).

    1) Health risks
    Hepatitis C (hard to notice):

    2) Fulfilled laws versus unfulfilled
    Jesus came to the earth to fulfill the laws and prophecies of God, but some laws and prophecies will be completed at a later time. See Matthew 5:18. For example, the sacrificial laws have served their purpose and are fulfilled, but the New Testament made clear to us that those were no longer needed (the temple veil rent at crucifixion, the vision of Peter, etc). These ceremonial, sacrificial, and other laws/prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah, etc were all pointing to Jesus and His first coming. Once He came, they were no longer needed. However, the church still needs the moral laws, health/sanitary laws (many in Deuteronomy), and other laws to avoid problems and show their love for God. The sacrificial laws for example were only an ILLUSTRATION (to use Tony Snipes’ word) of what Jesus would do for us. They were physical acts to help us understand a spiritual act that would take place on Calvary.

  22. Bradford, hello! When Jesus said “until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”, I think He was indeed saying that GOD (and not any one of us) will hold people to every rule in Leviticus and also to every other rule in every other book giving the Law and the Prophets! So, instead of cherry picking my way through 613(?) laws and rules and regulations, I prefer to confess that I’m an inveterate law breaker. I must have broken most of the Mosaic laws and I really hope that Jesus died for me, too. I think that’s better than entering into a state of denial. I wouldn’t get a tattoo, because the fact that I’ve broken most of the laws is no reason for me to invest money and pain just to break one more!

  23. The problem with looking at the verse in Leviticus is that if you are going to hold people to that rule, then you should hold people to every other rule in Leviticus. There are many foods that God would have considered to be for lack of a better word bad, and yet I would be willing to bet that most of us have eaten and continue to eat them. This includes multiple types of shell fish, pig, etc. Also, while I would agree that this is not moral, but if a person were to have sex with both their wife and her mother, we would not burn them at the stake, yet this is what the book of Leviticus instructs us to do.

  24. Kamil, Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5: 17,18 – N.I.V.) About tattoos, the Bible teaches us “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28 – N.I.V.) Now, a lot of people will tell you that many Old Testament rules do not apply to Christians today: rules governing the way you cut your hair and rules obliging you to put adulterers to death and rules concerning tattoos and over 600 rules altogether…

    But Jesus said they do still apply to us. All of them. So we have two situations concerning tattoos. Let’s take a hypothetical person and call him (her) XYZ:

    1) Let’s assume that Jesus was crucified to save a lot of people but NOT XYZ: In this case, XYZ will be tried, condemned and cast into the lake of fire, on the Day of Judgement. He (she) will be condemned for everything, including having a tattoo. “…The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Revelation 20: 12)

    2) But now let’s assume that Jesus WAS crucified to save XYZ: In this case, XYZ has already been judged; has already been condemned and has already been punished by being put to death, in the person of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross. So on the day of Judgement XYZ will not go on trial again, even if he (she) has a tattoo. It’s the DOUBLE JEOPARDY RULE.

    But the Law still exists. It has not been abolished. So, when people say that a Christian has been “freed” from the Law, it means that one has been freed from its consequences, by Jesus, when He took our sins upon Himself. It does not mean people are free to do exactly as they please….

    So, Kamil, let’s assume that your sister has been saved by Jesus. What will happen to her if she gets a tattoo? Well, Jesus said ”Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 19 – New International Version)

    So, in return for her tattoo, she will be called “least” in the Kingdom of Heaven. That will be one veeeery expensive tattoo!

    I realize that most of the 600 rules and regulations seem illogical to our society, but Christianity is not an intellectual discipline. It is based on Love. There is nothing more illogical than that! “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 1: 25 – New International Version)

  25. I have heard many of you talk about various Christian religions in terms of wearing tattoos, but I have not heard anything about a Catholic. Since I am a Catholic, I would like to know if it is bad to wear tattoos under any circumstances, even if they are not meant for worshipping the dead or Satan.

    My sister is considering to have tattoos for herself and I feel worried that this may be an abomination to God. She doesn’t mean to worship any other Gods, any dead people, anything like this. She is a Christian, and even though she is not as religious as I, I know her enough that she would use this for something a lot more appropriate, like a flower, or perhaps even a character from mass media (i.e. literature, cinema, TV, theater play, video games, etc.). Could anyone please tell me if it is fine to have her do this? Or should I try to convince her to not carry any tattoos?

  26. Frank-

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I think it’s great that we get the perspective of both sides of this concept.


  27. Many Christians get tattooed in defiance of Leviticus 19:28 because they think Jesus died for them and so they are no longer under the Law. BUT Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5: 17,18 – New International Version) Of course, in today’s world it’s well nigh impossible to keep the Law down to the smallest letter or the least stroke of a pen, but I happen to know it’s very easy NOT to get tattooed….

  28. In REV 19:11 or so.
    When Christ rides in on the pale horse.
    It says one his thigh he had written “King of Kings Lord of Lords.” And i dont think J-man busted out a sharpie and wrote that on his thigh.

  29. Worried Viewer–
    It appears that you completely missed my point about praying before posting. In this world of anonymous posting it is very easy for forums to turn into childish bickering and worse. This is especially upsetting in a Christian forum given that we are all brothers and sisters and called to live as such in love and unity. The point of praying before posting is to have a person stop and think before they post as well as to remind them of our Christian siblingship (not sure if that is a word but it sounds good). The nature of your post makes it clear that you did not pray before posting in that your post is probably the most childish in this entire forum. The irony is astounding.
    As a side note, I don’t think that it is every a waste of time to pray, even about posting on a silly forum. Also, it is not as though there is a shortage of prayers and we have to pick carefully how and when we pray. Just because we pray for/about one think does not mean that we have to give up a different prayer. Why can’t we pray about this forum AND the army soldier? If indeed we are to “pray without ceasing” then we have an awful lot of time to pray for lots of things/people. For additional guidance on prayer, I recommend Dr David Jeremiah’s book “Prayer, The Great Adventure”.
    One final note: What would Jesus do? Quite frankly, he would pray. Jesus was constantly in prayer with the Father.


  30. Many verses in the new testament state that the faith in Christ is where are salvation is at. Check Romans 10:9-10. Many Christians are practicing the Law, like Baptism and things but as Paul said The Law only condemns us, so we can’t earn salvation by our works it’s by grace, Christ did the work for us, although a Christian should make smart decisions to the best of their ability, but you can’t be saved and go to hell as Romans says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god, worst case scenario if tattoo was wrong, best believe you’re not perfect either, we know no one except Christ was perfect but we don’t judge we just help others and do our best, so without God’s grace we’d all go to hell because sin and yes that’s ALL sin is the wages of death, and we’re born sinners so once again without grace we didn’t stand a chance but John 3:16 sums it up

  31. Hi Worried Viewer-

    Since the last comment prior to yours was about a month ago, I think that most of the potential argumentative posts have died down now. It could be a direct result of what you suggested: praying before posting.
    So, as an effort of preventing the dust from “kicking up” again, feel free to post what you think about Christian artists creating tattoos.

  32. WOW! This forum is so childish. The replies are so mean. Many of these replies are so self righteous (( How many of you have prayed before you posted here?) That question packs a punch.) You would think that you guys are fighting with one another about whether gay marriage is right or wrong. The question is about tattoos not proving who knows the most about the bible or who goes to church the most. Praying about how you fight about people getting and giving tattoos? You are wasting your time ion a childish subject. What about the army personal who really need your prayers? Or the victims in America of crimes? I am not better then any of you, but I have the most to lose by sitting here while you all fight like children. WWJD?!

  33. The Levitican and other OT laws served many different purposes. Some laws were sanitation (many of the clean vs. unclean laws), some for other health reasons (food specific), some were cultural (stemming from the geographic and historical time), while still other laws were much more transcendent. Since the specific context for many of the laws no longer exists, it would be inappropriate to follow those laws to the letter. At the same time, the spirit of those laws still exists and should be considered in light of our current culture.

    While it would be inappropriate to follow some of the laws, it would be equally errant to simply throw them all out and call the book purely historical. Many of the laws transcend all cultures and times. Sexual immorality laws as well as child sacrifice laws come immediately to mind.

    This holds true for some of the New Testament as well. When Paul wrote his first letter to the church in Corinth, he had a very specific audience and wrote concerning very specific matters. Most scholars believe that the verses concerning women covering their heads in church had a very specific meaning to that audience and does not apply to women in our current society here in the US. At the same time, were a woman to travel outside the US and attend a Christian church in which women were expected to wear head coverings as part of that societies culture, it would be very appropriate for the American woman to conform to this (as well as any men conforming to other appropriate local customs).

    In the end, all we have is the Spirit to guide us. Thankfully, the Spirit is sufficient, if we listen. I will leave you with this question: How many of you prayed before you posted here?

  34. Don’t be ashamed of your tattoos Rachael as long as they have a positive message, which it sounds like you have that part together.

    It’s a good lesson about what many people face because of their skin.

    Doesn’t the Bible say to judge not, lest we be judged?

  35. I am a younger person, but I have had a relationship with Christ for most of my life. I have 6 tattoos, so clearly I don’t have anything bad to say about them. All of my tattoos are in reference to a story from the bible or specific scripture. I have been able to have so many conversations with people who have tattoos about Christ. y Grandmother told me I’m going to hell because I have tattoos, but I know I’m not. There is a whole generation of young people out there that need to know that God loves them just the way they are. I know for a fact that half the people I have talked to about my tattoos would not have talked to a Christian who approaches them and tells them that Christ won’t love them because they have tattoos. It’s not about the outside, God looks at the inside condition of our hearts! People need to stop concentrating on the religion and start focusing on the relationship with Christ.

  36. To Arthur, Ribu John, and techne:

    I am a female, age 52,am a conservative Christian, and have been active in my (Baptist) Church for many years. I am a 7-year survivor of breast cancer. I also recently got a tattoo, which includes the Breast Cancer symbol. (It is my first tattoo, but maybe not my last one!)
    I, too, have done some studying & reading on the Leviticus passage, and have to agree with ‘techne’. (My brother is also a pastor, and he is not against tattoos. Though he would not get a tattoo himself, he also believes the main thing is that Jesus lives in a person’s heart.)
    ARTHUR comes across being a bit arrogant about the scripture passage; and RIBU JOHN’s reply comes across as very defensive and a bit condemning when it comes to Christians & their choices. (Like in any group of people, there are good and bad. Unfortunately, some Christians in the public give the rest of us a bad name. But back to tattoos: Leviticus, being in the Old Testament, was INDEED during prevalent pagan times, when idol worshippers cut themselves when grieving over the dead, and tattooed themselves in idol worship rituals. THAT is what God was adamantly against! The problem with some people today, is they want to take certain scripture verses, and use them to back up their own argument, without considering the rest of the chapter and its “context”. Someone else on this site referred to the verse in Leviticus about the “cutting of sideburns on men” as being wrong, and this verse (I believe) is either in verse 27 or 29. There were so many Levitical laws back then, it was almost impossible for a decent person to follow all of them! (Because yes, this was before the birth of Christ, who came to set us free from OT law.) As a matter of fact, I read an article just the other day on “Christians and Tattoos”, and the writer (a Christian female) said that, in today’s times, if we took the whole book of Leviticus ver batim, not only could we NOT get tattoos, and men could NOT shave their sideburns, BUT we also could not get our ears pierced, OR eat dinner out on Sundays without risking being stoned to death! I am a Christian who believes in the inerrant Word of God, and Leviticus is a great History book, but God also sent Jesus in the NT so we wouldn’t have to continue to obey ALL the Levitical laws. The bottom line is to not do anything that would embarrass our Lord & Savior. As a Christian, don’t do the skulls, the demonic symbols, etc. If your reasons for getting your tattoo are sentimental or spiritual; the tattoo is tastebully done, and in a ‘decent’ place on your body, I just don’t see anything wrong with one. When I was having my tattoo done, I began talking with a young man who was a Youth Pastor at a Methodist Church. He was getting a tattoo (cross), and said he planned to use it as a witnessing tool. Several young men in my own church have tattoos that frequently get noticed by non-Christians. This gives them a chance to bring up their church, their salvation, etc. As in almost anything, it comes down to your motives, whether good or bad, and your what’s in your heart! One thing that always upsets me, though, is to see people with spiritual tattoos, that are drinking too much, and/or use God’s name in vain. THAT is just sad, and seems a little hypocritical. I don’t mean to be judgmental, but if you choose to do those things, it would be better just to get a different tattoo, because someone may think you are a Christian and judge you accordingly. (Hmmm.)

  37. fyi

    the coptic church is closer to traditional jewish expressions of faith than greek, so the prohibition about tattooing would definitely have more resonance for them than for [most of] us.

    also, if ‘looking like the world’ is an issue – how should we then dress?

    just wondering…

  38. “My question has been concerning to the Leviticus reference: Would we not see that the present day application of this reference is that we refrain from taking on or even looking like the outer culture that is out of relationship with the Christ? With that said, is the artist that creates tattoos taking on a practice that easily resembles the world out of relationship with the Father?”

    the response to this, of course, is why stop at tattoos as “looking like the outer culture (and isn’t THAT an interesting phrase in and of itself) — is ‘looking like the world’ (because i think that is actually the idea we’re referring to) about [physical] appearances? isn’t a focus on the external itself a carnal or worldly mindset? after all, G-d doesn’t look at appearances but the heart.

    and if the issues of righteousness and sin are heart issues, should tattooing be any more of an issue than immodest dress or obesity? i tend to look at the leviticus passage in context, which is about pagan worship rites. interestingly, in his book “hiding”, mark c. taylor relates how coptic christians have been tattooing themselves to commemorate pilgrimages to jerusalem for 1000s of yeras.

    it would seem that – perhaps – one’s reason for tattooing one’s body is more important than the tattooing. in either case, it may be an act of worship. the question is, which direction is that worship?

    now personally, i think it is an art form that a christian may pursue (subject to their own conviction). in fact, my brother, a pastor, has been trying to talk me into becoming a tattoo artist (he said he’d buy the gun and pay for training) because “it would be an amazing opportunity for witnessing” and sharing about christ.

    hmm. go figure.

  39. To comment on all the comments: The old testament is full of law, Christ came to fulfill the law, which was complete for time it was written, but insufficient to accompany grace and the unconditional love of God. Not only did Christ come to fulfill the law, which we cannot be selective about following (allowing haircuts but not tattoos…), but the Holy Spirit also came to lead and guide us into all truth. The Holy Spirit serves as the clarifying instrument of all shades of gray concerning our walk in The Word, and we should use Him and listen to Him. In other words, IF GOD says to you that you should not get a tattoo or create them, then don’t. If GOD does not say not to, then do, of course do in a way that glorifies God, as all our gifts were intended to bring glory to God and His kingdom, to fulfill the purpose of the kingdom, then to prosper us. God is the master creator and most equisite artist in existence, I cannot imagine that he would establish a boundary on how his love, grace, mercy, and word is expressed, but only regulations on what motives, purpose, and form they are expressed that may draw someone away from the kingdom, cause someone to stumble, or minimize who He is. In summary, use discernment, personal discernment, because the truth of the matter is this, God has saved Jews & Gentiles alike, they did not all have the same customs, and when some of the Jews attempted to make some of the Gentiles fall in line with their customs, they were found to be in error. There is a blanket of truth and standard for all Christians, which is The Word, then there are convictions reserved for each one of us, which are brought to each one’s attention by God, set in place for reasons known by God, and if He chooses to reveal to you the reason you may be held to one standard and someone to another, then that’s fine, if He doesn’t, then so be it, our obligation is to be obedient.

  40. Brad,

    Your reply to Arthur was pretty contemptuous. What’s your deal? He was just quoting scripture.

    This is why i don’t like to bring up Leviticus 19:28 with Christians who think tattoos are okay. They get resentful and “Less judgmental than thou” on anyone who mentions the verse.

    “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”
    Leviticus 19:28 (New International Version)

    -Ribu John

  41. I can see what both perspectives of the issue are saying.
    My question has been concerning to the Leviticus reference: Would we not see that the present day application of this reference is that we refrain from taking on or even looking like the outer culture that is out of relationship with the Christ?
    With that said, is the artist that creates tattoos taking on a practice that easily resembles the world out of relationship with the Father?

  42. In response to the Leviticus reference, in the same chapter it also says this in the verse before it: Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. (19:27). I think those were rules before Christ came to bring the new covenant.

  43. Yes, yes, Arthur, we are all proud that you know what scripture says on this issue. But if I remember correctly the issue there is that people are not to mark (tattoo), or deface thier bodies as it was equated to worshipping the dead. So to say that tattooing is bad is to label so transgressors as worshippers of the dead is an erroneous act. Not to say that the OT is outdated, however the OT is of the Law, and a Christian is an individual of Faith, they can’t be both. However, tattooing from the Leviticus passage is strikingly irrelevant to todays standards, as people choose to tattoo themselves today not to worship the dead, but to claim that is the true purpose of tattooing regardless of the intention as the worshipping of the dead is not as prevalent for when time the OT text was written. There is a connection of tattooing to that of Paganism – back then – but not now, as modern Paganism is not so focused on death worship or has an urgecy to tattoo themselves. Can a Christian artist create or draw tattoos? First, there are no Christian artists but artists that are Christians. To use the first label will only create undo biased expectations of what is “Christian” art – when art is just art. Secondly, tattoos are a way of expressing oneself – whether they be the tattooist or recipient – in a way of communicating belief or something of value, as with a friend of mine who had stars tattooed on her in memory of  – not worship of – her  deceased daughter daughter. I even heard of one 40 something yr old lady on the news who had a picture of Fred Flinstone tattooed on her leg as she is a fan of the Flinstones. So I beleive it is fine to do tattoos. 

  44. I myself have a tattoo. I have also drawn some tattoos for people. I have always kept in mind that I am drawing a picture for someone and what they do with it is their own business.

    With that being said, I can’t go along with the dark or evil looking things that people put on their bodies. I personally won’t do skulls or anything “demonic”, even in my regular artwork. If someone is looking for that I send them on down the road.

    I don’t think I would get into the actual application of tattoos. But doing the drawing for one? I don’t see what is wrong with that.

  45. I’ve done some looking into this, and the biblical prohibition seems to me to be related to paganism and idolatry rather than to the artform itself. I’m not sure I can give a definitive answer here, and I am still wrestling with it myself, so I tend to err on the side of grace and looking at what’s on the artists heart and common sense. Ask the question of yourself would the design I am doing be in any way offensive to our Lord?

    I also wrestle with the idea that God didn’t feel the need to decorate me so maybe I should just leave well enough alone, though this is a personal choice. I did once consider getting a crown of thorns on my bicep to remind me of something awesome the Lord showed me in prayer when I was in the midst of a profound personal struggle, but I opted for a crown of thorns ring instead that I never take off (but can if I want to).

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