Adorning the Body: What the Bible Says about Piercings of the Body
By Betty Miller
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think are little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.
Body Piercings of Today
Many of the young people in our society here in the USA are embracing a dangerous “little fox” or seemingly “little thing” that may seem harmless. The young people are saying that it is a “trendy” thing to do. Many of them are showing off multiple ear, nose, tongue, eyebrow and navel jewels and rings attached to their pierced flesh. Some even have this done on unspeakable parts of their bodies. These are abnormal and unnatural.
As many people are not aware of the spiritual dangers in such practices, this article is not meant to condemn any that may already have this done. However, we would urge you to seek the Lord as to any further involvement in this practice. The Lord loves everyone, no matter what we are currently doing however, His desire is to show us a better way.
Bible Verses Concerning Piercings and Tattoos
The Bible warns us against cuttings in our flesh in Leviticus 19:28 which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
Our young people do not realize what they are doing has its roots in witchcraft and the practices of false religions. Those that have made trips to other parts of the world have viewed the bodies of those who have not only pierced and tattooed their bodies but have gone further, with mutilating their bodies. It is repulsive to see someone deform the body that the Lord made in perfection. The Lord admonishes us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: ”What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” If we are to glorify God in our bodies, how do body piercings glorify Christ?
In 1 Kings 18, we find the story of Elijah contesting the evil prophets of Baal (a false god of that day whose followers practiced witchcraft). The prophets of Baal worked themselves into a frenzy trying to get their god, Baal to show himself mightier than the true and living God. However, the God of Elijah proved to be the true God. During the frenzy of the Baal worshipers they began to disfigure their bodies as we see from this scripture in 1 Kings 18:28: “And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.”
Another scripture that warns us not to disfigure our bodies is Deuteronomy 14:1 (AMP): “You are the sons of the LORD your God: you shall not cut yourselves, or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.”
When it speaks here about doing this in relation to the dead; this was a witchcraft rite done to mourn or remember their dead, so cutting, piercing and tattooing have its origin in witchcraft practices. The verse below reveals a connection between foreign gods and earrings.
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. Genesis 35:2-4
Perhaps a more well known scripture having to do with earrings is the record of the children of Israel falling into rebellion and worshipping the golden calf while Moses was up in the mount with God receiving the Ten Commandments. Here we find they took their earrings and cast them into the fire and make a golden idol out of them which greatly displeased the Lord.
And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. Exodus 32:2-3
There is one specific verse in the Old Testament which uses the Hebrew word, “lachash,” which is a word specifically associated with witchcraft. Here, the jewelry is used as an amulet to cast a spell.
In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils. Isaiah 3:18-23
This is what makes it spiritually dangerous for people. People not realizing this opens the door for Satanic attack because they have a mark or opening which allows the enemy entrance in their lives. Today this practice is growing because of false religions and pagan influences infiltrating the church.
Many of our young people are getting body piercings and tattoos out of a spirit of rebellion against their parents advice. Many men are also wearing earrings to make a statement of their rebellion by showing that they are “macho” or homosexual. Because the youth of our day are despising and rebelling against their parents this is very displeasing to the Lord as one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible is to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” and Colossians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”)
Some complain and say that most of the women today in our society wear pierced earrings and they attempt to use this as an excuse for the bizarre body piercings they are flaunting. The Lord always judges what we do by our motives as He looks on the heart. It is a different matter when women wear pierced earrings as a custom, without the rebellion and pride attached to it. However, this could even be wrong if women are filled with vanity and pride over their appearance. Remember God looks at our heart attitudes. In fact, the Bible speaks of a generation of women that will be alive at the coming of the Lord that will be judged severely for their flirting and their haughtiness. Let us look again at the prophecy in Isaiah 3:16-24 (NIV):
The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with out stretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings, the bracelets and veils, the head dresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth: instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. Isaiah 3:16-24 (NIV)
We are living in a day that the Bible speaks of in 2 Timothy 3:1-7:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7
If you have been one that has been led away by lust or have been rebellious against your parents, you can come to the Lord and repent and He will give you a new start and a desire to live a holy and obedient life unto God. We should remove anything that portrays rebellion and ask the Lord to forgive us and give us a submissive spirit. Jesus does not condemn us, but rather, will help us. He loves us and invites us to a wonderful life in Him.
One note of warning to the church on this subject of body piercings. We have a generation now of young people that love the Lord yet do not understand all of His ways. Soon we are also going to be seeing a great revival among the youth of the world. The youth of this day want a real cause to live and die for. Most have not seen true Christianity. However, when they do come to Christ many will be bringing their tattoos, dress, music and old habits with them right into the church. We must be sure that we do not despise them nor look down on them, but rather welcome and love them and gently teach them the ways of the Lord. We are called to love and pray for them and help them avoid making some of the mistakes we have made in our own walk with the Lord. We need to be true mothers and fathers to them. Yes, we must speak the truth in love, but let us make sure we are loving them and not condemning them. On the other hand, we must not accept all that they would desire to bring with them that would harm them and compromise the Word of God. We will all need God’s grace to bridge the generation gap. We would recommend a great article written by a young Christian on this very subject. Click here to read “Bridging the Generation Gap”.
Bottom line in regard to body piercings would be to ask the popular youth slogan, “What Would Jesus Do?” I don’t believe we will ever see Jesus with any body piercings that He placed on Himself. I can’t imagine Jesus with a tongue ring or a navel piercing. The only scars on His body are the nail pierced hands and feet put there by the evil men that crucified Him. They were not self inflicted. Overcomers will put away the “little foxes” that lead to bigger compromises.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are including a testimony of a former Hindu who knows only too well that body piercings and tattoos are a form of witchcraft:
I am from Malaysia and I truly enjoy the Overcoming Life Digest. Although I enjoy reading all the articles, I find the Little Foxes enlightening and informative. Last Friday, when I entered the GCN chatroom, they were discussing about tattoo and piercing (tongue). One of the believers there was telling them it was wrong for Christians to have tattoos. Since I was formerly a Hindu, I know tattoo is from Hinduism and also witchcraft. Also, Hindus pierce their tongue with small spears and prick the entire body with little hooks and go in trances. I have witnessed this personally. But praise God, I never took after any of these rituals even when I was a Hindu. Praise God, I managed to convince a few about the evil of tattoo. One of them asked me for scripture verses which I promised I would send. But during the weekend, I was busy and also, I couldn’t find the relevant scriptures. I prayed to the Lord to help me. Then He reminded me of an article I read in your Digest last year. So I send them your article instead. Praise God for the articles in Little Foxes. Keep up the good work. Karen
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