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Tattoos: Set Apart or Self Indulgence?

“Jesus’ Tattoo Parlor???” Although this title is ridiculous, many today professing love and devotion to Christ live as if Jesus would actually run a place like that, citing that “we are not under law, but under grace.” Folks, such a concept would seem acceptable. I mean after all, look at the imagery in the church houses, or are those really Towers of Babel in His name? Modern church culture presents “worship leaders” sleeved in tattoo ink, pastors promoting this hip idea that the life Jesus wants for humanity is a life of utter freedom, in pursuit of this world and its offerings.

But common sense is enough to see the fallacy and deception, if one will actually just look at His Word. You don’t have to know Hebrew, or be a scholar to see that tattooing is NOT a God approved behavior. On the contrary, it is a desecration of the body we are given, said to house the Holy Spirit. Would you invite Jesus personally into your physical home to witness things on display that are being tolerated in your life that are incongruent with His teaching, knowing you claim to love Him, and follow Him? I think not.

In modern churches, this “under grace, not law” motif is touted, but where in all of scripture is that idea supported?? I’ll tell you where. NOWHERE!!! What is true is that we are not under the MOSAIC LAW (aka the Old Covenant), but we are under the NEW COVENANT. Did you notice anything similar there? The word “COVENANT.” So…..what these heretical preachers are inferring is that the OLD COVENANT had a Law, but the New Covenant does not. Remember what I said? Common sense is enough the understand that tattooing is ungodly, rebellious behavior?

So…..they teach people we “are not under Law.” What did Jesus say that He will say to masses of people who call Him their LORD, but do not actually do what He commanded? A quick side note: What are commandments? Yes, laws. Hmmmmm boy that took a rocket scientist to answer, huh? Am I facetious? Absolutely.

Jesus said this…..

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ʻLord, Lord,ʼ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who DOES the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ʻLord, Lord, didnʼt we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?ʼ Then I will declare to them, ʻI never knew you. Go away from me, you LAWBREAKERS!ʼ

What is a law-breaker? Someone who breaks laws, right? Hello!!!! So, is there a law under Christ’s New Covenant? Well obviously, unless you think Jesus is an idiot, and the crap you’ve heard in church is wiser than He. Do you? If so, you are the person He will say to on the day of judgment, “Get away from Me, I never knew you!!” People who love Him never want to hear that. So, tattooing?? Is God cool with it? Well, let’s let Him clarify.

Menkaure and His Queen 2548-2530 BCE 4th Dynasty
Notice the distinct hair and shaving styles of this pagan culture.

Leviticus 19:28

“Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD.”


It’s self-explanatory. But it’s not enough to show this command to many, because, well….it’s the Mosaic Law, right? Yes, and NO!!! If you are one of those “Bible experts” who proof-texts verses to self-justify what YOU want, no amount of words will reach you. That is what the metaphorical character we call “Antichrist” represents!! You have declared yourself as your own god. But if you are one who admits you cannot explain the covenants, what applies to the New from the Old, what the Old Covenant was actually intended for, and what it is not, what Jesus fulfilled of it, and what is intended from it to be unchanging, well….then I can help YOU.

Number 1) Moses’ Law was NEVER a means of salvation. It was to show the heart and holy nature of God to man, so man would know what is sin, and how to please God by obeying righteousness.

Number 2) the only parts of Mosaic Law Jesus fulfilled was the ceremonial/ sacrificial aspects. I mean, are we still bringing animal sacrifice to church to symbolically atone for sin? Ughhh no. Jesus finished that by His blood. Why?

Hebrews 10:1-4

“For the (Mosaic) law possesses a mere shadow of the good things to come but NOT the reality itself, and is therefore completely UNABLE, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin? But in those sacrifices there is a REMINDER OF SINS year after year. For the blood of bulls and goats CANNOT take away sins.”

Jesus’ blood was what those rituals were foretelling. Those rituals were never intended to cover sin, but pointed to a day when His death would cover it. Notice I said, atone for sins, not be obedient for you. Obedience is how we appropriate the Blood of Jesus to our sins. (1 Peter 1:2)

So…..within Moses’ Law, there is included what is called the Moral Law. What is Moral Law? Moral Law shows us what is sin to God. It is intended to show mankind what does and does not please God. Tattooing is under Moral Law. Is tattooing a moral issue? Yes. Is God a God who changes? If tattooing was commanded of His Old Covenant people (Israel) to NOT be found among them, would God want to allow it for the New Covenant people (The Church), who is called higher than the Old Law required? No. What do I mean by “called higher?” In Moses’ law, if you physically killed a man then you were a murderer. But Jesus said, under His Law that if you hate a person, then you are a murderer. Which one is more strict? Yeah, exactly. In Moses’ law, if you slept with a married person, or were married and slept with another, that was adultery. But Jesus said under New Covenant law, that to even lust in our heart for another is adultery. Which law calls us higher? Exactly. So if Moses’ law said tattooing was evil, how much more is it idolatry under Christ’s Law? Exactly!

Malachi 3:6

“For I am the LORD, I change not….”

What was sin to Israel is still sin today, folks. When a holy God has called you to be set apart from the world, why would anyone who names the name of Christ have a desire to be like the world? After all, the tattooing hails from pagan worship rituals. “Pagan” basically means those who serve other gods, gods who are not Yahweh/ Christ.

The Ten Commandments were given in the Mosaic Law. A simple question about those morals laws, and their application for the Church today? Is adultery still sin? Is stealing? Lying? Murder? Having placed another god before Yahweh? Of course. So why do you believe those “OLD COVENANT MOSAIC MORAL LAWS are relevant, and still sin to God, but dismiss marking your body against the known will of God as no longer evil in His sight? Has God changed? Does He grant us the right to pick and choose what we want to be sin, or has He already defined sin in His moral law??? Yeah, like I said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this. What it does take is a person who actually loves God to love and obey Him.

John 14:15

“If you love me, YOU WILL obey my commandments.”

You know what the weak argument people make is when opposing Leviticus 19:28??? They quote Leviticus 19:27.

Leviticus 19:27

“You must not round off the corners of the hair on your head or ruin the corners of your beard.”

Question: What do you call a person who quotes this as a response to the clear command to not mark your flesh with cutting or tattoos, yet cannot tell you the given context of this verse about shaping the hair and beard in the ancient context being addressed? I’ve already told you the answer. They are self-willed people whose bellies (desires) are their god.

Philippians 3:18-19

“For many live, about whom I have often told you, and now, with tears, I tell you that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, they exult in their shame, and they think about earthly things.”

So what is the context of Leviticus 19:27? Hair is a sign of a person’s vital force and beauty. The manner of dressing one’s hair has strong cultural and religious overtones. In the days of Israel, and similar to the tattooing forbiddance, pagan cultures groomed hair in different ways, denoting different rituals and meanings. The Jew was never to partake in cutting the beard or hair in such a way to be mistaken with paganism. It IS NOT saying they didn’t groom themselves.

We have way too many false teachers being tolerated and listened to today. Jesus said the majority would be false.

The bottom line: If you don’t profess Christ and are not a believer, this is not written to you. But any of you who names the name of Christ upon your life, you are commanded to not be counted among the people who desecrate your flesh with pagan behavior and misrepresent the Christ you say you love, to onlookers. In Christ, you are no longer your own, but you have been bought with a price. His Blood and suffering. If you were a baby Christian and fell into this, repent (turn from) and never do it again. But if you have been taught, and continue in rebellion, you are among those Jesus will command to leave His presence forever. Why? You called Him your Lord, but never kept His Word. You cast Him away for your own lusts!! If you are condemned by this, confess it to Christ, and forsake partaking in it, or supporting it going forward. Never compromise to the world against your Lord and God!! “Lord” means ruler over your life and decisions. His word rules your decisions. Honor Him with your body physically, sexually, and how you feed it and care for it. Don’t defile it to appear cool for a world that hates Him.