Sunday, September 30, 2012
Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2012
A. This morning, I want to deal with a current phenomenon that has taken our country by storm: tattooing and piercing. Everywhere you look, both men and women, young and old have tattoos and or multiple piercings.
1. I am not necessarily going to deal with body piercing today but it has also taken America by storm. I have no problem with women wearing earrings but now their ears are pierced multiple times with rings or studs also in eyebrows, noses, lips, tongues, belly buttons, and a lot of other places that I will not mention. This practice is heathen and satanic.
2. I also want to say that not all people who have a tattoo did so with evil intent. A lot of men in the military have tattoos that are representative of the branch or service or the unit they served in. Others are in commemoration of a loved one but were not a result of a lascivious lifestyle. These who have tattooed their bodies did so out of biblical ignorance. As my mother would have so beautifully said, “I am not complaining, I am just explaining.”
3. What does the Bible say about tattoos? This is a very important question. Near the end of the 20th century, tattooing became increasingly popular, especially among young people. The purpose of this message is to forth the principles by which we can determine whether tattooing is something right for a Christian to participate in or is it something to be avoided entirely.
4. The words “print” and “mark” literally mean to “brand.” Print or inscribe by making an incision or invasion into the flesh. We are not talking about using a pencil or ink pen to make a mark on the flesh. I have seen a lot of people make notes on the palms of their hands and, later, erase or wash them off. This marking of the flesh mention in Leviticus is to place in or underneath the flesh.
B. Today, 21 % of all adults have at least one tattoo.
1. I did a little research and these are the figures that are widely accepted: Ages 18-24 at 22 %; 25-29 at 30%; 30-39 at 38%; 40-49 at 27%; 50-64 at 11%; 65+ at 5%. These are phenomenal numbers to say the least.
2. When I was a child, about the only tattoos that I saw were from ex-military personnel. If you go into a public place today, it seems that 1/3 to ½ of all of the people you see have tattoos. People of all ages and gender: women with tattoos on their ankles, calves, thighs, backs, chests, necks, and faces; men with “sleeves” and tattoos from head to toe. They have multiple piercings of the ears; pierced eyebrows, pierced noses, pierced lips, pierced tongues, as well as piercings in other places. We see old women and old men who should have a little more sense have gone into tattooing and body piercing.
C. I want to give you seven principles to help with your decision making because the influence of the world is strong on both young and old.
1. The Biblical Principle – God said do not print a mark on your body!
Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (This verse is plain and should be enough to base your decision upon by itself if you are saved and obedient! If not, then these other 6 principles should give you some added help.)
2. The Historical Principle – tattooing has had a long and sordid history and has always been associated with wicked, riotous, heathen, and lascivious lifestyles. Tattoos were popular in the early part of the 20th century among military personnel, and others, commonly reflecting a carousing lifestyle. Later, gang members, rappers, and other celebrities began to embrace tattooing as a sign of a licentious lifestyle. God’s people have historically not tattooed.
Jeremiah 10:2a Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen …
3. The Social Principle –These tattoos and piercings began to be popularized in the later part of the 20th century by people in the pop culture known for sinful lifestyles. As the rebellion of the drug and hard rock culture grew, so did the tattooing and piercing. Now, Hollywood actors, singers, musicians, and especially sports stars in a sports crazy society have become tattoo and piercing role models of both young and old. Candy cigarettes and fake or “pretend” tattoos became popular when I was a child and many of us pretended to smoke and wore fake tattoos until bath time. Many adults now use the same fake tattoos. Because of the sinful connotations associated with these piercings, this behavior should not be characterized by God’s people.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
4. The Physical Principle – I heard a surgical nurse say that when a person was having surgery (because of HIPAA, a person’s medical history could not be discussed, even in the operating room) and had more than two tattoos or two earrings they “double gloved.” This was precautionary because, as a general rule, such tattooing and piercing implicated a lascivious or licentious lifestyle which exposed the one tattooed to allergic reactions, the unknown long-term health effects from the metal salts and carrier solutions that make up tattoo inks, skin infections, psoriasis, dermatitis and other chronic skin conditions. Tumors (both benign and malignant) have all been associated with tattoos. Due to the use of needles in tattoo application, there is also the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as tetanus, herpes simplex virus, staph, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and even Syphilis.
1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
5. The Spiritual Principle – tattooing not only fails to glorify Christ, it also defiles the temple of the Holy Ghost. If your body belongs to God and is the temple of the Holy Ghost, then I believe it only right that you ask God’s permission before tattooing His body!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
6. The Testimonial Principle - tattooing does nothing to lead a lost person to Christ! We that are saved must contrast the world, not reflect it. So many churches and preachers have adopted the philosophy of this world and conform to its philosophy and ways in order to gain disciples. Churches have become entertainment centers for those who seek the soothing “salve” of religion to cover their sinfulness instead of the precious blood of Christ that takes away their sin. The church is to set forth the holiness of God in contrast to the sinfulness of the world. The world is to behold our good works that glorify God.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
7. The Perennial Principle – those who have tattoos almost invariably wish one day that they had not been tattooed. Removal of tattoos is both painful and expensive. Scarring is often the result of removal. Most just wear the shame of tattooing for the rest of their lives. Those who have pierced their flesh may remove the earrings or studs but the holes remain as a continual testimony of worldliness and rebellion. Social risks are those that could damage your relationship with others, including friends, parents, teachers, prospective spouses, and employers. Body modification can affect your chances for future employment. Certain jobs are not available to people who have visible body art.
Conclusion: Biblically, I find nothing biblical, spiritual, or beneficial in getting a tattoo. God said not to make a mark on your body and that alone should be enough to settle the issue.