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"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
-Titus 2:13
Your Roadmap to Eternity
with Gary Stearman & Billy Crone

Gary Answers: Tattoos and Piercings

by: Gary Stearman on April 26, 2019

J.B. Asks:

I would like your Biblical advice on how you would handle your son if he in his early 20’s got the big earrings and started tattooing his arms. This is where I am with my son and at this point, he has the earrings and a large tattoo on his upper arm that travels a little past his elbow and recently got more on his forearm. He was raised in a Christian home, asked Christ in his heart at the age of 6. He says I cannot give him any [Bible] verses that support my belief that what he is doing is wrong. My argument is that he is ruining his testimony and that he is destroying his body … made in God’s image.

Dear J.B.:

I agree with you. The answer to this question is relatively straightforward. Your son is wrong about the existence of a Bible verse that supports your opinion that what he’s doing is wrong. And here it is: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD” (Lev. 19:28).

This chapter in Leviticus is devoted to a series of warnings against false worship. In the pagan nations of Moses’ day, there were many false gods and goddesses. It was also common for idol worshippers of that day to paint or tattoo designs devoted to their gods or identify them with tribal cultic functions.

Thus, one could be readily identified and accepted by other members of the tribe. Sadly, we find that contemporary society is reverting to superstitious tribalism. Bodily cuttings, gauge rings and tattoo markings or designs, label one as acceptable. Today, it is called “being cool.”

As children of God, we are not identified with tribal markings, nor do we need to broadcast Him with external designs. We are members of His family by faith through the Holy Spirit of God, Himself. Our identification is spiritual, not physical. Your son can easily reject this advice. He wants to look “cool” among his friends. Remind him that God’s call operates at a much higher level, and that later in life, impressing his friends will rapidly diminish in importance.