Later today I'll be visiting my tattooer. That's right, not just a tattooer, but my tattooer. Some people have a barber (I obviously do not), I have a local tattoo artist, Aaron. I have seen Aaron for my last several sessions. He and the other other artists at Proton Tattoo are talented professionals.
I've been visiting tattoo parlors since I was a teen, and got my first tattoo 20 years ago. At this stage I don't really count them anymore. These black and gray pieces have always remained relatively hidden but in recent years they have crept down my arms into plain sight unless I am wearing long sleeves. A number of people who have seen my tats in person or via social media have asked me to cover the subject as a Christian and a pastor in an article or a blog post. So, this week is dedicated to the subject.
It's probably safe to assume that readers of my blog know what a tattoo is. After all, 40% of American adults between 26-40 years of age have at least one tattoo. But let's be sure. A tattoo is a mark on the body made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis through puncturing or incision. While tattoos have come to experience mainstream popularity in recent years, people have been getting tattoos for thousands of years for a variety of reasons. Some were tattooed for beautification, others for military identification, some for religious significance, and in many cultures social status was identified via tattoos. There has never been just one reason people got "inked."
But, what does the Bible have to say about tattoos? If it is permissible, is it wise? I will answer these questions and a few others along the way this week.