Is it a sin to have tattoos or piercings?
The Bible states in Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.” NASB
The quick answer is no! This verse is speaking to Israel, and unless you are an Israelite, you are not bound by the Levitical laws written in the Old Testament. If you are an Israelite there is the possibility of sin, depending on your relationship with Jesus the Messiah.
The reason for this law was to separate Israel from the surrounding nations. These nations were heavily into superstitions and witchcraft, they also cut themselves while in mourning and put marks or tattoos on themselves of the gods they worshiped.
Many times, in Leviticus, God said, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” Gods reasoning for these laws were to show the surrounding nations that He was the one true God, worthy to be followed.
Today we are under grace and can have a tattoos or piercings if we desire, but God still calls us to be separate from the worlds ways in order to lead others to Him. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16,
“Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”