Please don't post a comment unless you read all of this. I'm going to try to make this quick (yeah right) because I am cleaning out my office to turn it into a baby's room. That's right, my wife and I are having another little girl, and we are pumped.
The reason I wanted to address tattoos today is because we just posted some pictures of some of our die-hard fans who have gotten Disciple tattoos... not to promote their tattoo, but to simply say thank you for being such a fan of our music. We love our die-hard fans! Now we posted pictures of die-hard fans who have Disciple license plates, trucks, scooters, signs, and guitars... but none of those things are controversial so no one is saying very much about that. Which is expected. So let me start by saying two things, and then I will give my "opinion" about what the Bible says about tattoos.
1. We don't want to encourage anyone to get tattoos. Especially young people. I got 5 tattoos from the time I was 19-26 years old, and now wish I hadn't gotten any of them. That's the problem with tattoos... they're kind of hard to get off. So if you are a young person thinking about getting a tattoo, my advice is DON'T DO IT. People dramatically change over time. And trust me, you will be a different person 10 years from now. So my advice is don't go putting things on your body that will be there 50 years from now. Because there is a 99.99% chance you will wish you hadn't have done that. Sorry tattoo artists. You have my permission to be mad at me now, and download our music illegally
2. There are a lot of people who feel STRONGLY that it is morally wrong to get a tattoo. We love all of you that feel that way, and would never want to offend any of you... especially those of you that are fans of our music. Most people that speak out against tattoos do it in a spirit of "love" and a desire for Christians to pursue "holiness." And that is such a beautiful thing. Purity and holiness matter. So if you feel that way, I'm glad you are reading this. And I bring up this topic with gentleness and a peaceful spirit, and have no desire to be hateful towards anyone and sincerely hope that no one will be hateful towards us. Disciple is not a perfect band, full of not-perfect men. But we DO want to point people to Jesus Christ. Because he is the perfect one, and it is only through Him that we can know God and become God's children.
So like I said... with gentleness and a peaceful spirit, here is my opinion on tattoos. I think it is a VERY BAD idea to get a tattoo, but I don't think that it is morally wrong. Most people who take a strong stand against tattoos will quote Leviticus 19:28 "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD." At first glance, you would think this is a closed case. Tattoos are wrong, let's move on, right? But I think there is a problem with trying to apply Old Testament Laws to a Christian.
Problem #1 - If someone thinks that Christians should obey Old Testament verses, particularly in Leviticus, then you can't pick and choose which verses of the Old Testament you are going to follow. If you are going to follow one, you have to follow them all. So if you are going to believe that tattoos are wrong because of this Leviticus verse... here are some other rules you need to be following.
1. You can't eat or touch a pig (ham, pork, bacon). Deut. 14:8. Lev. 11:8 Which means you can't play football or drums.
2. You can't wear mixed fabric like 50% cotton/50% polyester t-shirts. Leviticus 19:19 which is the same chapter as the tattoos verse.
3. "Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards." Leviticus 19:27 also the same chapter as the tattoo verse. So did you shave today?
4. You "have" to be circumcised. Leviticus 12:3
5. There are rules for women who are menstruating. I'm just going to let you read this one for yourself because I don't know an appropriate way to say it. Leviticus15:19-30. But I will say that NO ONE DOES THIS!!! And no one ever quotes this verse to another Christian, and says "Why aren't you doing this? Didn't you know this is wrong? Why haven't sacrificed a pigeon for your uncleanness?"
There are many many more laws like these that no Christian follows. But these laws are right there in the book of Leviticus. So why don't we obey them?
Problem #2 - These ceremonial laws are for Jews, not for Christians. The apostle Paul and Peter fought very hard to distinguish the difference between a Jew and a Christian. In Acts, many Jewish Christians were saying "you have to be circumcised" to be a Christian. Well of course they were. It is written in Leviticus 12:3 (seven chapters before the tattoo verse) that you have to be circumcised. In Acts 15:1 men from Judea came saying, "unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." These men also told Paul that new Christians should be "commanded to keep the law of Moses" (the Law of Moses is the first 5 books of the Bible including Leviticus) Acts 5:5. So the disciples and apostles got together and here is what they decided. Peter stood up and said this about new Christians in Acts 5 "Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles (non-Jews) so that they could hear the Good News and believe. God knows people's hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles (non-Jews) by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through FAITH. So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile (non-Jewish) believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus." Acts 5:7-11. Now did you catch that? Peter, (the very man that Jesus said he would build His church on) said that the law of Moses (literally Leviticus) is a yoke that Christians should not have to bear, and instead they are made right with God and their hearts are cleansed by FAITH in Jesus Christ. That is why I have the "opinion" that it is not morally wrong to get a tattoo, and why we don't have to obey any of the Leviticus laws. Because Peter said that it is a yoke we should not have to bear. He literally said you don't have to be circumcised or follow any Levitical laws to be saved. Instead, we are saved by FAITH in Jesus. That doesn't mean that we get to sin all we want because God doesn't care about what we do, and Paul talks a lot about that in the book of Romans. If you want to know what he says about it... read it.
Now the New Testament does have a verse that could apply to tattoos. It is 1 Corinthians 6:19 which says "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own." Again at first glance, it looks like a closed case. But the verse before it (v. 18) shows the context of what Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians) is talking about when he says "Flee from sexual immorality. ALL OTHER SINS a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." Did you catch that? "All other sins a person commits are outside the body" except for sexual sin. So when Paul talks about honoring our bodies, he is talking about sexual purity and no other sin.
That doesn't mean getting tattoos is not a sin. It might be a sin. But in my opinion, I don't think that it is. And it is my "opinion" that the Leviticus verses do not apply to Christians and that the 1 Corinthians 6:19 verse is specifically referring to sexual sin and no other sin. So again, let me be clear. I don't think it is wrong to get a tattoo, but I definitely don't think it is a good idea either.
So with that being said, we do want to show our appreciation to our die-hard fans. They all show it in many different ways. Some with tattoos, and some by the distance they travel to see us play a concert. You don't have to get a tattoo to be a die-hard fan, and we don't encourage you to do that. And we don't want our fans who have Disciple tattoos to feel guilty about it either, because we don't think they anything to feel guilty about regarding their tattoo. But we do hope that all of you like our music. And we want to post pictures of our die-hard fans that like our music to celebrate them. Our music is how we make our living, and we have to let the people who financially support us know that we love them and appreciate them. But at the end of the day... being a Disciple fan means nothing. It all boils down to whether you know Jesus Christ and have FAITH in Him. He does not want you to be His fan. He asks for much more than for us to just be a fan of God. He asks us to follow Him. To be His disciple (Luke 9:23). And honestly... nothing else matters.
We love you all, thanks for taking the time to read this, and we respect everyone's opinion on this topic.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart - Prov. 3:5,6