letters to surfers

Is it a sin for a Christian to be tattooed ?

Answer by Robert Brow  (www.brow.on.ca) June 2007

Any kind of tattooing was forbidden by Old Testament law : "You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:28). This comes next to a verse that forbids trimming one’s beard.

In the New Testament we are freed from all the old laws. Jesus for example cancelled the rules about kosher food (Mark 7:19; Acts 10:13-15). See the article "Astonishing Freedom." (Webmaster link please )

Some of the Old Testament laws have practical and health values. And there are still wrath consequences for such activities as porneia (sleeping around) and drunkenness. This means God trusts his children to use their common sense. There are good practical reasons for not marking oneself permanently with a tattoo, and those who do this will suffer regrets in this life. But it is not (as used to be preached) a sin that sends us to hell.

Robert Brow

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