It may surprise you that the question “can we go to heaven with tattoos?” It is indeed a very thoughtful question in the Christian community. And the answer, like most theological things, is unclear.
Whether or not having a tattoo prevents your entry to heaven really depends on your interpretation of the Scriptures, as well as your entire approach to Christianity.
In this article, we’ll show you what the Bible says about tattoos, and then we’ll let you come to your own verdict on whether Saint Peter will embrace you or banish you to the fiery abysses of hell with the other body art enthusiasts.
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What does the bible say about tattoos?
Law of Leviticus
Leviticus 19:28 says: “No cuts will be made on your body by a dead person, nor will you get tattoos. I am the Lord.
Well, this is pretty clear: Tattoos are not recommended in the Bible.
However, in this verse, tattooing or marking the body is prohibited when used as a means of commemorating the dead. Therefore, reference is specifically made to funeral rituals and customs that deviate from Jewish tradition.
It makes sense that God wants to clarify how we should differentiate ourselves from other non-Jewish religious/spiritual practices during this time. In fact, later in Leviticus, we are advised “You shall not make idols for yourselves, nor sculpture, nor will you set up a statue, nor will you put painted stone on your earth to bow down to it” (26: 1), since this was a practice common of the so-called pagan groups.
However, in the current context, when the tattoo is not linked to spiritual or pagan rites but has a purely aesthetic purpose, perhaps it can be considered permissible.
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Made in the Image of God
The other argument against the virtue of ink is that it involves altering the human body and therefore God’s creation:
“Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you, which you have from God, and that you are not yours? Because you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which is God’s ”(1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).
The idea, then, is that we should try to keep our bodies “pure” and without blemish, and tattoos are a kind of violation of God’s perfect creation.
However, taken to the extreme, this would mean that we should also refrain from getting haircuts or manicures.
In fact, Leviticus 19:27 says, “You shall not make tonsure on your heads, nor injure the tip of your beard.” Bad news for the Beatles!
So getting a tattoo potentially counts as polluting God’s creation, but it also does all kinds of things that it would be unreasonable to refrain from.
The new Testament
All the above quotes come from the Old Testament. While many Christians still view the Old Testament as very valuable and insightful, the laws it upholds are actually formally annulled in the New Testament.
The Old Testament contains a total of 613 commandments that God’s people must keep. These are found primarily in Leviticus, where the laws against homosexuality, eating shellfish, and mixing fabrics are clearly stated.
However, the death of Christ and the subsequent resurrection symbolized the fulfillment of these laws. This meant that from now on Christians were no longer required to live by these commandments.
There are numerous references to the abolition of the laws detailed in Leviticus:
Romans 10: 4: “… For the end of the law is Christ.”
Colossians 2: 13-14: “He gave you life together with him, forgiving you all your sins, nullifying the handwriting of decrees that was against us, which was contrary to us, taking it out of the way and nailing it to the cross.”
“By saying: New covenant, he has made the first old; and what is considered old and grows old is about to disappear ». – Hebrews 8:13
This would imply that Leviticus 19:28, which states that you should not get a tattoo to mark a person’s death, is now obsolete (along with those forbidding you to eat shellfish or wear polyester).
Can you go to heaven if you keep sinning?
Assuming for a second that tattoos are indeed a sin against God, does that necessarily mean that tattooed people will be banned from heaven?
Many Christians would say that we are all guilty of sin, but we can still find salvation through repentance and faith.
There are numerous verses in the Bible that seem to suggest that the way to heaven is through believing in Christ and repenting of sins:
Ephesians 2: 8-9: “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”.
Acts 16:31: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Romans 10: 9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
So even if you think tattoos are sinful, that doesn’t really mean you can’t get to heaven yet. Having faith is the key factor in determining your place in the afterlife, not your tattoos.
Can we go to heaven with tattoos?
According to the scriptures, it seems that tattoos are not necessarily a barrier to entering heaven. However, naturally, not everyone would agree.
Ultimately, it is your decision. If your faith is important to you and you want to avoid doing something that could jeopardize your relationship with God, then maybe it’s best to skip the tattoo parlor for now.