The Issue of Body Piercing and Art

I do not think that I have ever made a statement about nose rings (body piercing) or tattoos, but I will here. The Bible is clear about the body of the Believer being the Temple of the Holy Spirit, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”                         1 Corinthians 3:16-23 NASB.

No, body piercings and tattoos are not mentioned here, but these words of Paul support what is stated many times in the Old Testament. There are prohibitions about these things as we find in Leviticus 19:27-31, “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.” These words related to pagan religious rituals of those nations surrounding Israel as they were migrating to the Promised Land. However, the pagan worshiper was attempting to please a pagan god in order to gain the attention or blessings of that god. You may say, “But I am not a pagan god worshiper.” That is probably true, but the emphasis in the New Testament is not about pagan worship, but rather the idea of drawing attention to one’s person AND that is what body piercing and tattoos do. THAT is the intent. These are done to draw attention to the outer person, to call attention to one’s self, rather than on the inner person which is to honor God. Remember that the body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and we should care for the knowing that body of the Believer is the Temple of the Spirit of Holy God. Anything that we might do that brings harm to the body applies to many things. For instance what we eat or how we care for ourselves.

The point is that the Believer must pursue activities that bring honor and glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No matter how we might feel about body piercings and art, if they are not done ONLY to honor land please Him: DO NOT. Satan is at work in this world to deceive everyone into thinking that our self-worth is of more value than the work of Christ in us as Believers. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:6-10. Jesus is Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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