The Bible and Tattoos Part 3

So far we've looked at the only verse in the Bible that really talks about tattoos and some verses in the New Testament that talk about our bodies as the temple of God.

Another theme often pointed to in the Bible is the idea of the weaker brother. In the early history of Christianity, Christians were still trying to figure out whether or not the laws of the Hebrew Scriptures were still important. To put it simply, they were asking, "Is it ok to eat a pork chop?" Not all Christians agreed on the answer. Paul says in Romans 14:1-3 (NIV), "Accept the one whose faith is weak without quarreling over disputable matters. One person's faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them." 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (NIV) speaks to this subject as well, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol's temple, won't that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall."

In these texts, early Christians were reminded to be mindful of other Christians who held on to the dietary laws of the Hebrew Scriptures. I hardly think this is relevant here, since most Christians disregard not only the dietary laws, but they also disregard, as I mentioned in part one, the bulk of the laws in the Hebrew Scriptures. If you want to tell me tattoos make you stumble I'll tell you those bacon strips on your breakfast plate are making somebody stumble.

Seriously? I love this stuff. (Deuteronomy 14:8)




You're killing me. This stuff is delicious. (Deuteronomy 14:9-10)

Yuck. I'll pass. Good idea, God. (Deuteronomy 14:11-12)

Also, how far are we going to take this idea of the weaker brother or sister? What if the fact that you enjoy an occasional cigar is a stumbling block to me? I mean, is that any way to treat the body which God gave you? I really don't care, by the way. Or what if your $40,000 SUV in the church parking lot is a stumbling block to me? Or your multi-zillion dollar sanctuary? Couldn't that money be better used for the poor? Again, I jest. Mostly.

The truth is, people put demands on tattoos that they don't put on other laws or prohibitions from the Hebrew Scriptures. In Mark 12, Jesus summed up the law in two things, love God and love your neighbor. Let's focus on those things, even if our God (Revelation 19:16) or our neighbor has a tattoo.

Comments

  1. So do you have any tattoos, brother? I've been thinking about getting one... or two... but haven't developed the courage yet. I'm not good with pain. Even short term. And not really sure what I want or where I want it. Any tips for those considering becoming newly inked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No tattoos for me. I have commitment issues. Haha.

      Over the years, I've advised a number of people who were interested in biblical language tattoos. Some friends suggested I start an online consultation service, and hebrewtats.com was born.

      As far as tips about where and what, probably best to ask someone who actually has a tattoo.

      Delete
  2. I am internally screaming with love for this post. Bam! I want to get one of your translatef tattoos but I'm still praying for God to make the word he wants me to have stand out. During a study on fundamentals of faith (I didn't pick it) the word invaluable came to me and I thought maybe but then thought that's kinda making myself too big in His plan when I'm just a blip on the radar.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Bible And Tattoos Part 1

Matthew's Perspective On Jesus