Hey Father Can I Get a Tattoo?

Hey Father Can I Get a Tattoo? June 10, 2014

So I get a text from one of the high school kids, “Father can I call you?”

I text back, “Call me now.”

I’m wondering if he is in some kind of trouble. We’ll call him Sam.

Phone rings, “Father, this is Sam.”

“What’s up?”

“I want to get a tattoo, but it says in Leviticus that you should not adorn yourselves with tattoos. Can you help me on this?”

“Sam. That was written for the Jews five thousand years ago. We have to interpret the Bible with knowledge and common sense.”

“OK. So?”

“Back then the pagan people who lived all around the Jews tattooed themselves with extreme tattoos as a kind of blood covenant with their demonic gods. They shed blood and endured pain when they got the tattoo and the symbolism or the signs they had tattooed on their bodies were like a mark of allegiance to their gods. It was kind of like they were making of themselves a living sacrifice. You know what I mean?”

“Yeh. That’s gross.”

“Right, and Paul says in Romans, ‘I beseech you brothers and sisters that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service’ and ‘Don’t you know that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit?’ Your body is presented to God as a living sacrifice at your baptism and when you wear a cross around your neck and when you cross yourself when you go into church.”

“I get it.”

“What kind of tattoo are you going to get? Don’t do anything New Agey or pagan or demonic…”

“Just a little cross.”

“I don’t see a problem with that do you? It’s like an extra reminder that you bear the cross of Christ.”


“So I’ll just give you some practical advice. Don’t get a big tattoo and put it somewhere where it can be covered up easily enough. You’re going to have that thing of life probably and you don’t want to make a decision you’ll regret. Plus, when you go for a job one day you don’t want lots of big visible tattoos. Most bosses of a place where it’s worth working will take one look at big, assertive tattoos and take the last look at you. The other thing….don’t get something that draws a lot of attention to itself or to you. That’s tacky.”

“Thanks Father!”


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