This is going to be a long read so grab a snack or drink…
Recently a friend of mine made a comment about how un-Christian-like it is to have body piercing and tattoos. How we profess to be Christians but still destroy our bodies, our temples, etc…
Our bodies us temples…
Obviously, it is important to treat our bodies with respect and take it seriously in order to fulfill our purpose here on this earth. Whether you think you have a purpose or not, we all have something in life that we want to see or care about and so taking care of our body is essential to being on this earth.
The bible speak against piercing and tattoos and our bodies being temple etc…, so yes our bodies are temples. If taken literally, this means that our bodies will wither, it will get weak, it will fall apart, it will rot. But as sons and daughters of God, our resurrection is hereditary and God will raise us again after our death and we will be with God and we will have new bodies. However, I think our body “being a temple” is more than the physical, I think we are meant to create a space where the holy spirit can dwell, a place where God is welcome, a place where our hearts and thoughts align with who Jesus Christ is, a place where God meets us. Christ called out the Pharisees who appeared to be self-righteous but inwardly they were hypocrites. You do not have to have be tattoo less body to have the holy spirit dwell in you. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[a] and then the outside will become clean, too. –Matthew 23:25-26
“Having tattoos and body piercings are wrong”
We always have to remember that, although the bible is holy, it is also a historical text, written by men who were inspired by the holy spirit. The bible was arranged how MAN wanted it to be arranged, studies have shown that there were books written by women who too were inspired by God but didn’t make the cut to have their books in the bible. This is to say that, there are human thoughts and ideas in the bible and certain statements put in the bible to please the men who organized the bible as they saw fit. I am certain, there are many things that were inspired by God that were omitted. That said, whether it be law from a human being or law inspired by God, the new testament teaches that we are no longer under the law. We have been saved by Jesus Christ. A Christian is a follower of God. What Christ thought us in the new testament is to not condemn others and their way of living, if anything it teaches us to keep our condemnation to ourselves in order not to hinders someones Christian journey: read the scripture below:
The Weak and the Strong: Romans 14
1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
3 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.
4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.
8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
To connect this passage to the topic, I think what is being said is that, we us people need to free other humans to serve God the way they know how, because its not our place to decide the rightness and wrongness of how people worship their maker. I am not in the position, neither is anyone in the position to tell another Christian that he or she isn’t serving God right based on what their body looks like. This is called condemnation.
The problem with condemnation is, it creates a separation between us and God. There are many of us that struggle with our Christian faith (will address that in a different post) and can be easily shaken. For that reason, condemnation from other believers can create a mountain between us and God. I think Christians face several battles with non-believers questioning our faith and our ways, for that, we only need love from other Christians. I think we are all to help guide each other in this Christian walk and encourage each other and build one another in their relationship with God. How do I come to God when one of His followers are telling me I am not fit to come to Christ? That I am not welcome because I have tattoos? We need to quit shutting the door in people’s face. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to” Mathew 23:26
If we are no longer under the law, why are some laws still followed?
One of the arguments my friend made was, if we are no longer under the law, why do we will still adhere to other laws like tithes giving? Again there is a difference between the old testament and new, where it was law, in the new testament it seem to be voluntary because it states that God wants a “cheerful giver.”
I am not telling anyone to pick between the new and old testament. But the truth is giving to Christ isn’t about laws and the amount and salvation, etc… It about promoting the gospel, its about serving, its about lifting God high. For if God’s people can give money to promote the community and preach the gospel, it tells the world of who our God is and he is good. When we give 10% to our church, we maybe abiding by what scripture says but there is more to it. There is more to it than obeying the law. So we do not tithe or give offering just to say we are good at following the law, we give to say thank you and to provide for the church. I know the church I attend to have SEVERAL programs not just designed for church members or Christians but the entire community, believers and non-believers alike. My pastor encourages tithes and offering to provide meals for the needy, to fix the sanctuary, to do outreach in various cities and countries. I’ve never felt obligated to give tithes or offering, I don’t think I am going to hell for opting out of giving. I don’t think God has an accountant keeping records of who is making payments and who isn’t. furthermore Mathew 23:23 states “but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”
Let me end by quoting: Romans 8:31-39
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
one last thing: “your love never fails”- Jesus Culture
much love… ❤