When I was in college, I wanted an earring. Thankfully, my friends Jack and Kurt on the football team talked me out of it. Over the past few years, I have toyed with the idea of a tattoo. My wife talked me out of it.
My former pastor, Wayne DeVrou, shares insight into the idea of tattooing. He comes down on the side of tattooing as non-biblical and provides fairly convincing evidence for his viewpoint. He discusses things I have not considered before. He points specifically to Leviticus 19:28, which specifically condemns tattooing, setting it in the context of forbidden pagan practices. The Israelites were to be set apart. He also shows how, even in modern society, there are pagan tendencies with tattooing as revealed by books written about it.
I also wonder how Paul's words 1 Corinthians 10 apply. Paul says, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful, but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor" (1 Cor 10:23-24). Under the new covenant, it would seem that tattoos would now be permissible as included under "all things", but are they helpful?
I also wonder where Paul's admonition to the Galatians fits in. He tells them, "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" Paul is clear that it is neither circumcision, nor its absence, but Christ that saves us. Can the same be said for tattooing?
I don't know where I stand, but I think Wayne brings up many points worth considering carefully. Don't do something, like getting a tattoo, thoughtlessly. Submit your ideas to scripture and live accordingly. As for me, I'll keep the ink out of my skin for now.
I would appreciate dialog on this. What are people's thoughts?