The Believer and Body Art [Brochure]

The Believer and Body Art by John A. Kaiser
BTP#:
#9987
Cover:
Brochure, Large Print, 13.5-Point Type
Page Size:
3.7" x 8.5"
Pages:
6 pages
Price:
Quantity
Price Each
1-11
$0.25
12-49
$0.21
50-99
$0.20
100+
$0.15
Quantity
Price Each
1-11
$0.25
12-49
$0.21
50-99
$0.20
100+
$0.15
Quantity:

Full Text of This Product

Piercing and tattooing, once primarily associated with paganism, have recently become much more popular and socially acceptable—even among professing Christians. Marks on the believer’s body are not necessarily sinful in themselves. Our Lord’s body bears marks—the marks of the nails and the spear. He was pierced, and He is eternally marked as having been a bondslave, even unto death. But, beside growing evidence that such practices are distinctly and permanently harmful to the body, there are some Scriptural considerations on this subject for faithful followers of our Lord Jesus. If you are considering Body Art, please also carefully consider the following Bible passages, questions, and remarks:

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28

Piercing and marking the body have historically been associated with heathendom and slavery. This scripture passage is part of the law, and believers are not under the law, but we can learn from it what things are pleasing to God and what things are not pleasing to God. What might I learn here?

“Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.” “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.” Deuteronomy 14:1 and 18:9

Obviously God cared about what His people did with their bodies. Does He care any less about our bodies? I may not be tempted to decorate (or desecrate) my body in mourning for the dead, but should I then consider doing it to please the (spiritually) dead?

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:23

People commonly say, “It doesn’t matter,” or “It doesn’t mean anything.” But everything in the universe matters—everything has significance—everything has meaning. Prominent practitioners of piercing and tattooing have commonly and casually admitted that they recognize and appreciate such things as being associated with rebellion.

“And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner.” 1 Kings 18:28

This (cutting) is pagan behavior—an expression of desperation for attention. Whose attention do we want? If we want the attention of our God, we already have it. If we want the attention of other believers, there are certainly better ways to get it.

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” Proverbs 16:2

Why do it? Are my motives god-ly? Do I really want to please God?

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth stinking savour . . . .” Song of Solomon 2:15 and Ecclesiastes 10:1

Things that we may consider fairly insignificant or even “cute” can have far greater negative consequences than we may imagine.

“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? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In what way would body-piercing or tattooing glorify the Lord? Is a tattoo or a piercing an appropriate adornment for a temple of the Holy Spirit?

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful unto me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” “If thou mayest be free, use it rather.” I Corinthians 6:12 and 7:21

There are many things in life which are far easier to do than to undo. Piercing and tattooing are among the many things in life which are commonly recognized as having lasting (permanent) consequences. Not everything advertised as reversible is as easily reversed as advertised.

“I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Galatians 6:17

Obviously the Apostle Paul was not ashamed of the marks on his body. If you bear marks on your body, for whom do they witness—to whose honor do they really testify? The Apostle Paul spoke of himself as a pattern for other believers. Do we desire marks other than the type he bore? His attitude was: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20

“Honor thy father and mother.” Ephesians 6:2

What might my parents feel, or think, or say? Why? Do they really care about me? Do I really care about them?

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart … which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

How do piercing and tattooing fit with this verse? Obviously, the three things listed by the Apostle Peter do not form a complete list of possible adornments, but they were characteristic of what a Christian woman might use. Piercing and tattooing are not even considered as options, though the principle of this passage certainly applies.

After reading all this, someone might ask, “Well, what about jewelry and body paint (lipstick, mascara, rouge, etc.)?” Well, none of these are specifically mentioned in Scripture in regard to Christians, but certainly much of what has been written here applies to that question (and to a lot of other issues in life as well). The purpose of this paper is not to condemn any who have used or who presently use the various forms of body art addressed in this paper, but to help those who may be considering using them in the future. We need to remember that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. And, I appreciate what an older brother once said (paraphrased), “If a barn is an eyesore, it isn’t wrong to paint it, but don’t make it conspicuous.” If one is burdened with a distracting blemish that may be simply and inconspicuously covered or removed, it may be well to cover it or to remove it simply for the sake of others. “Let all things be done unto edifying.” 1 Corinthians 14:26

JAK