I read your article on body piercing and tatooing.(body modification) Any ways... A challengeing question I seem to be asked and deal with myself, is would a tatoo of say like a cross with the words "He died for me I'll live for him" be wrong?. I just don't see how it would be. I know clearly about the verse Leviticus 19:28 (Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tatoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.) but how much of Leviticus applies to us today, in the 21st century? The verse prior to that states that we should not cut our hair at the sides of our heads, nor clip off the edges of our beards.. (does this verse apply to us today at all?)

This is a topic I have done quite a bit of searching on and still seek and answer. I am very much looking forward to a reply.

Dear Joshua,

Thanks for taking the time to write.

It seems to me that a story found at Lev 10 serves to shed some light on service to God:  (NKJV) Leviticus 10:1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.   2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.   3 And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: 'By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.' "

I think Nadab's and Abihu's mistake was thinking they knew better how to worship God even to the neglect of God's own instructions.

I recently sent the following answer to another young gentleman:

Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts about Rev. Schlissel's article on piercing. 

Your challenge to me was, "Take some time to study biblical comments on body piercing, and then do one of two things: 1) Upon realizing that it isn't always talking about ears, tell me that you'd be okay with your daughter getting her nose pierced (just as they did in the Bible) or 2) Make attempts to disprove my claim."

It seems to me that, while it is fine for you to make your case in favor of piercings, you really didn't make your case as much as you complained about Rev. Schlissel's aritcle.  Yet you compaints ignored the main points raised by Rev. Schlissel that argue against the current practices of piercing, etc… 

I have excerpted for you the main points of Rev. Schlissel's article and the conclusion.  Take some time to study each one, and then do one of two things:  1)  Upon realizing that the Christian's calling is one of distinctiveness, of consecration, of holiness, and of sanctification, tell me that you have decided to follow Jesus rather than popular cultural fads by removing your earrings or 2) convince me that it is appropriate for the "salt of the world" to act like and look like pepper.

"In every dispensation God has made it clear that his people are a people of life, a people distinct from the world, a people with a different idea of wisdom, a people with a different way of living. God's word to Israel and the church is (of course) one: Do not think as they think; do not do as they do ( Dt. 18:9; Eph. 4:17-20 )."

"Included in the set-apartness required of us in both the Old and New administrations of the covenant is the sanctification of our bodies unto God. 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. And be not conformed to this world ( Rom. 12:1-2 a)."

"And thus the [ungodly] reasoning begins with an assumption that what is right for women must also be right for men, and what is right in popular culture must be right for the Christian. But our standard is the word of God. And that word gives us warrant to regard piercing as possibly appropriate for some, but not necessarily for others. (The other forms of BM are fit for none but pagans, as we'll see.)"

"For in the view of Scripture, piercing is a token of being under the dominion of another. (Even the unique piercing of Christ was a testimony of his total submission to the Father: Isaiah 53:5,10; Philippians 2:8; see also Psalm 40:6-8.) Since woman was created to be under the loving headship of her husband, piercing can be seen as consistent with that calling. Hebrew men, however, were called to be directly under the authority of God (see 1 Cor. 11:3 )."

"Anyone who believes that this current obsession with body modification is simply a fashion statement is not merely naive, but ignorant of the literature of BM devotees. For them, the more radical piercings are self-consciously religious experiences. This association with paganism is known, understood and cherished. The piercings, etc., are regarded as rituals. Rituals take place in urban settings: libraries, public parks, warehouses, abandoned city sites. Rituals take many forms: piercing, tattooing, branding and scarification in private and public ceremonies, S/M [sado-masochistic] psychodramas in private dungeons, technoshamanic trance dances at underground Rave parties, psychedelic shamanism, in living rooms--any activity capable of producing the direct experience of spiritual truth and healing in the participant. Consider the mindset of someone who regards mutilation as healing!"

"The church in America and elsewhere will soon find itself plagued by the in-your-face confrontation of Body Modifiers. If it is to respond in a God-pleasing manner, its response will be exceedingly simple: we have no such practices, nor do the churches of God ( 1 Cor. 11:16 ). We do not do these things. We do not do such things because: 1) they are contrary to God's Law. We do not pretend to know how to apply every law in every generation and culture, but this one offers little difficulty, Biblically or historically. This is a pagan practice and we are not to be like the pagans. 2) Such practices are contrary to God's requirement to render our bodies unto him in righteousness. Our bodies are not our own. 3) We reject practices which confuse the differences between male and female, and which confuse the differences between Christ's people and the world. 4) Above all, we reject these practices because we are the people of the atonement. All these practices are inseparable from a mindset that operates without atonement. But we are controlled by Christ's atonement in all we believe and do. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood. 5) Thus we are of all people the most free, for we alone have been set free from the tyranny of the devil. It was for freedom that Christ set us free. We do not use our freedom as a cover-up for evil."

Joshua, it seems to me that the answer to your question lies somewhere with what can be learned from God's word about the meaning of loyalty to Him and coming to grips with the true motive for desiring to tattoo anything on one's body.

God's grace to you,

Pat Hurd