Sin is a difficult thing to handle. We are constantly challenged to daily live up to godly standards of righteousness. As our social order expands into countless variations of perceived freedoms, there are many questions that need clarifying regarding what is right and wrong in God’s eyes. Today we examine two of those questions. First, is it a sin if I as a Christian get a tattoo? Opinions on this question vary to an amazing degree. Does the Bible guide us on this? Second, is it a sin of I get a blood transfusion? While this is perhaps a small issue for most of us, there are some who have very deep convictions on this matter. What does the Bible say and doesn’t say?
Tattoos are not just normal to life, they in some ways almost seem like a rite of passage. You decide to express your individuality, so you choose a simple or complex display to put on your body. This display may or may not be visible to the world, but it is your unique signature. What could be wrong with such a thing, especially if you’re a Christian and your chosen ornamentation is a witness to Christ?
The Old Testament does speak out clearly against marking our bodies. As we look into the why of the matter, we find that tattoo-like markings were much more than personal ornamentation in ancient times. Pagan nations often used them as forced labels put upon slaves to mark them as such. They were also used by various peoples to represent spiritual or personal protection. With this background, it is easy to see why God told Israel to avoid such markings. However, do those ancient traditions have anything at all to do with our personal decision to get a tattoo here in the 21st century?
Moving on to an entirely different question, is it a sin if I as a Christian get a blood transfusion? While most of the Christian world does not have an issue with this procedure, there are millions who do. Unlike tattoos, this can be a question of life and death. Why would some denominations of Christians forbid the life saving and life preserving transfusing of blood? They claim both Old and New Testaments speak out against it. Do they? Are the majority of Christians missing an important teaching that these few claim is there?
Check out our October 17, 2022 podcast, “Is It a Sin if I…? (Part III)” for more. We get into the practical and spiritual aspects of tattoos. We look at the scriptures, discuss pros and cons and establish a baseline for thinking this question through. Regarding blood transfusions, we examine all of the scriptures cited by those who forbid this practice. By looking at context and broader scriptural reasoning, the answers to this vital issue become clear. Join us for a fascinating journey into these two diverse but important questions as we find answers we all should know!