Are tattoos and piercings wrong?

Hello B,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

Concerning tattoos and piercings, the Bible in Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” In ancient days cutting the flesh was done by various heathen peoples in connection with ceremonial rites for the dead. Sadly, today some follow such occult practices. Tattoos should not be adopted by believers since it mar the image of the Creator (Genesis 1:27, 28).

The spiritual principle found in Leviticus 19 about cutting the flesh and tattoos still applies to us today. Christians are to be in the world, but not of the world. This includes giving ourselves to God in every way, including what we do with our bodies: “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, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul said, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). We need to remember that our bodies, as well as our souls, have been redeemed and belong to God.

The Lord says in 1 Peter 3:3–4: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” The principle here teaches that a person’s external appearance should not be the focus of our attention. Romans 14:23 reminds us that anything that does not come from faith is sin.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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