Hillsong NYC pastor and author of the new book Own the Moment was recently asked about his numerous tattoos, and told World Religion News that Old Testament scriptures prohibiting them no longer apply and are often taken out of context.
Leviticus 19 says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves,” but also contains guidelines like “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard” and “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”
So, on one hand, we say that is the Old Testament scripture, there is no New Testament verification of that. That law that had to do with slaves, that identified you as part of a tribe we don’t believe that came through the cross. We don’t believe that when Jesus died and rose again that old Levitical scripture applied to our modern life. That is ridiculous. At the same time, there are some things we do believe follow through on the cross.
He explained that some of the rules of the Old Testament became no longer applicable when Jesus died and rose again on the cross.
If it died on the cross then it needs to die in our theology. Tattoos are a no-brainer. Are you kidding me? Jesus was pretty clear in every detail. Whether it is diet, whether its image, whether its qualification that stuff died on the cross. Now it becomes a matter of personal conviction. So now if I don’t believe these tattoos devalues the temple that is the Holy Spirit, my body, I am doing it. I do then I don’t, but I am not going to turn my conviction necessarily into theology or doctrine.
You can read the full interview here.