The Tattoo Religion

by Robert Flores

Tattoos have been around for 6,000 years. They are nothing new. They weren’t anythng new when God gave His Law to Moses, either. God never meant for people to cut themselves and make art on their bodies. It’s a defilement against His own image.

One can always tell the barbaric-ness of a nation by the amount of tattoos on people. It seems like most of people in America have tattoos on them. Tattoos, throughout history, have indicated a barbaric nation. Add to that child sacrifice (i.e. abortion) and you’ve got a nation that rivals the Aztec empire.

The Tattoo Religion

Tattoos are a religion. Yes, even for non-religious people. Making markings in one’s body is a form of worship, for whatever one’s God is. Whatever a person worships, that’s what they put on their bodies as tattoos. What kind of spirit does it take to worship an idol? An evil spirit. What kind of spirit does it take to worship an idol by cutting into your own flesh? An evil spirit.

Briefly, let’s look at the different facets of having a tattoo:

It’s a pride factor that says, “Hey look at me!” It’s a religious factor that says, “Hey, look at what I worship!” It’s a religious community that bonds and says, “Hey, you have tattoos, too?” It’s a rebellious action that says, “You can’t stop me, God!” It’s an idolatrous statement that says, “I’m going to worship anything but you, God!” It’s a defilement that says, “Look what I’m doing to the body you gave me, God.”

Tattoos Push You Away from God

Is it any wonder why God is anti-tattoo? It’s because tattoos take people further away from God. Once something is engraved on you, you’re stuck with it. You’re forced to worship it. If you ever wanted to not worship your idol one day; it doesn’t matter; it’s on you forever (laser surgery not withstanding). Tattoos show what is inside someone’s heart: idolatry and sin. But tattoos are also the end-result of what one’s sin leads to.

Tattoos are a Contract

It’s a contract with your god. It’s a contract made in your own blood. Tattoos require a lot of blood, pain, sacrifice, time and money to acquire. How does it feel when you see your own blood seeping out of you when the needle is puncturing your skin? How does the pain feel when you are sitting in a chair for hours for a piece of artwork to be done? God says, “The life of the flesh is in the blood”. (Leviticus 17:11). Tattoos basically take your life (i.e. your blood) and give it to your idol (whatever your visual representation you have on your body is).

Tattooed People All Look the Same

Have you ever been around a large group of tattooed people? I have. My workplace contains about 90% tattooed people. Many of which have gotten tattoos before, during and after prison. I’ve seen a lot of tattoos and I have to say, they all pretty much look the same. There’s tribal ones and skulls and names and pictures of women. For the girls, its hearts and stars and butterflies, etc. Their all in the same places: arms, back of arms, necks, legs, etc. My question is: wasn’t the point of tattoos to be unique? Instead, tattooed people all look the same. In their search for uniqueness, they have blended into a nebulous whole. They look like a bunch of savages. Tattooed people look like they just came out of the jungle. Why? Because markings and tattoos are what uncivilized people do. Or, let me put it another way: tattoos are a result of a culture that does not know God.

Halloween and Tattoos

Most people who love celebrating Halloween also are people who have tattoos. Tattoos are basically a “Halloween” all year long. I’ve noticed a few common things between those with tattoos and those who love Halloween. For example, both are a celebration of “self”. Halloween and tattoos say to the world: “I am my own person and I am proud of it.” But it’s only external. Tattoos only cover up skin. And Halloween only covers up skin. It’s almost as if these types of people are trying to hide themselves from the world. They, perhaps, don’t really want anyone to see who they are on the outside, so they hide themselves with tattoos and costumes, as a scare tactic, to get people away from them. They know they are ugly on the inside, so putting ugly art on their skin, or putting on an ugly costume only seems fitting to them. But their heart, unfortunately, is uglier than any tattoo or costume they could every imagine. Jesus says in Matt 10:26, “for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” One day all people, whether they have tattoos or costumes or a business suit on, will stand before God on Judgment Day. Your heart will be opened up that day and revealed for all to see. Who will pay your punishment? Your tattoo artist? Your local Halloween store? Nope. Only blood can pay for your sins. Blood is nothing new to tattooed people; it takes a lot of blood to put a design on your skin. It takes blood; it takes sacrifice to pay for your sins. So, I ask you, why not put your faith in Jesus’ blood to save you. Quit relying on your own blood and your own weak efforts to cover your sins. Only Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary will renew your heart. Once that happens, you no longer will have to have an ugly heart anymore (though you might regret having ugly designs on your arm). You will be cleansed and all ugliness in your heart will go away. Though life won’t necessarily disappear of all problems, Christ promises one day to rid the universe of all ugliness. He says this in Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” That is a Kingdom to look forward to. All skulls and devils will disappear. Jesus also says in Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” That is the current destination of all those who don’t love Christ. But that destination can change. Turn to Christ for your bloody sacrifice.

God’s Take on Tattoos

Consider what God says about tattoos: “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) God only has to say something once for it to be obeyed. But, for some reason God gives a similar commandment to the priests (the pre-Christians, so to speak): “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.” (Leviticus 21:5)

Christian Tattoos

If God said don’t make cuttings in your flesh, does that not include Christian tattoos? No. It includes them too. I don’t care if it’s a beautiful picture of Jesus, or a Celtic cross or a thorn of crowns–God says NO! He doesn’t want your tattoo and He doesn’t need your tattoo. He knows your tattoo will never evangelize. In fact, to the world, a Christian with tattoos is an oxymoron. Tattoos are for godless people; not Christians. They know this inherently. So, why are Christians running after tattoos to ”be like the world” to ”evangelize the world”. It’s not about evangelism; it’s about sin. It takes a lot of sin to put a tattoo on your own body.

Conclusion

If you’re not a Christian, you probably don’t understand a word I am saying. But if you are a Christian, why would you give blood, pain, sacrifice, time and money to something that says:”Look at me!” Shouldn’t your God-given resources be given back to God; not you?

The very nature of a tattoo is “Hey look at me! Look at how cool I am!” Therefore, the concept of a “Christian tattoo” is oxymoronic.