Christian’s Rights With Your Body


  Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer

With all the chatter over the years about people having the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, the bible takes the opposite stance. Christians understand that our bodies were bought with a price and it essentially does not belong to us-kind of on loan. The Bible talks about a few ways of defiling the body and the most prominent is ‘fornication’ because that is the only sin that a person commits against themselves. However, fast forward to today and we can see that people are doing much more than fornication to their bodies. The question is what else constitutes defiling the temple that belongs to God?

I was visiting another blog sometime ago and the topic was are tattoos wrong for Christians. Most of the responses were no and a few women indicated that they were planning on etching permanent ink into their skins. The minority of about one or two people (who were sorely crucified for their opinions) was against this and cited the passage in the bible from 1 Corinthians 6: 13-20 which indicates that each Christian’s body belongs to God. This was an interesting topic for me because for the longest time I wanted a tattoo branded on my chest. However, as I have aged, I have decided against ever getting one because as ‘my girls’ fall further south, a tattoo would look a little stretched. The other reason is I have changed my mind about having something so unnecessary and permanent on my body that I will have to maintain as it fades.

Most of us have seen people covered with tattoos, know about piercings on body parts where the sun does not touch, implants, surgeries, self-mutilation for pleasure, morbid obesity, and the list goes on and on. The issue is would God consider these alterations as us caring for our bodies or vandalizing it? Personally, anything that strays too far from the natural individual bugs me-because it focuses more on the person. My thoughts are how can anyone see Christ if they are too busy looking at your extras.

The bible constantly refer to God’s people as being different (1 Peter 2:9).  I do recognize that people come to Christ after the fact of doing a lot of things in their past and their bodies bare the evidence of a secular life. The question is more for those who already identify themselves as Christian, is there a line that we cross when it comes to what we do to or with ourselves. When God comes calling, can we be confident to say I have taken good care of your property for you?

Tongue-In-Cheek: With all the talk of the rapture, you may have to answer that question sooner than later. And if you are reading this, then you don’t need to worry about your body because we are all heading to hell 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Christian’s Rights With Your Body

  1. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

    This passage can have a tremendous number of applications in our lives, but we rarely pause to think about Whose we are. We have been bought with the blood of Christ, and we now belong to a different kingdom. Yes, we are called to be “different”, but what does that mean? In the context of this article, being “different” raises a few questions.

    Should we get piercings in “strange” places? I am not talking about earrings, because they have been in use since Old Testament times. “Strange” to me means somewhere other than the ears, but speaking of ears, I have seen some people with huge holes in their ears which look more like Aboriginal people from distant lands. I have a serious problem with that kind of piercing, and I believe that it goes against the spirit of “You are not your own”. I don’t think we are free to poke a lot of needless holes in our bodies, particularly when the risk of infection goes up with the number and placement of those holes. I have seen plenty of both men and women with their nipples pierced, but is that in the spirit of “You are not your own”? How about genital piercings? I have seen plenty of those also, because with nudists, NOTHING is hidden. Piercings “down there” are infections waiting to happen, because that is an area that is never completely dry. Are genital piercings in the spirit of “You are not your own”? I believe that Christians need to answer whether the piercing which they propose or plan to get is in the spirit of “You are not your own”. I still have a wee problem with men getting their ear or ears pierced, because of its connection to homosexuality. I used to know a man who was a flaming homosexual, and he wore big, dangling earrings…to advertise that he is “gay”. What do your piercings say about you? Do they give a positive impression of you as a Christian, or is it negative?

    Are our bodies merely blank “canvases” to be “decorated” with tattoos? What do you want to say about yourself, for the rest of your life, with that new tattoo? Is getting a tattoo a wise use of the financial resources God has entrusted to you? I am not merely an observer, nor would I ever condemn someone who wanted to get a tasteful tattoo. Several years ago, while waiting in a tattoo parlor while a family member was getting a tattoo, I browsed through the artist’s books of tattoo artwork, and I found the “perfect” tattoo for me, except that it would cost over $500. I didn’t have that kind of money to spend on a tattoo. The design embodied all of my passions, being a Veteran, being Patriotic, being a Firefighter, and being a Christian. It would have said all the right things about me, except that it would have cost money I didn’t have to spend. It would NOT have been a wise use of my financial resources. I am NOT my own, so I CAN’T spend money for something I don’t need like that.

    How many drinks are “too many”? There are denominations which condemn any alcohol consumption, but I am still looking for the passage in Scripture which proscribes drinking alcohol. Jesus drank wine, and the Apostle Paul told Timothy “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Timothy 5:23). While there are many passages in which we are commanded to not drink to excess (get drunk), Christians are nowhere told to be tea-totalers. Drink in moderation if you do drink, and remember that “You are not your own”.

    How many of us are digging our grave with our spoon and fork? Obesity is epidemic in the US, and we have become the “super-sizing” capitol of the world. Every fast-food restaurant features “combos”, and the order-taker always wants to know if we want to “super-size” it. I have done more than my “fair-share” of overeating, but I can’t put it away like I used to. Golden Coral used to be my eating “Mecca”, and every time I went there, I made sure that I got my “money’s worth”. At one time, I was 85 pounds overweight. Can you say “Porky Pig”? I am “only” 20 pounds overweight now, and losing that excess weight was NOT easy. My whole body has suffered because of it, and carrying that much weight is one of the reasons that all my joints are bad. Was I remembering that “You are not your own” when I went back to the food-line for the fourth time, or the third, or the second? We are also NOT a nation of “healthy-eaters”. We want our food quick and easy, and few of us take the time to actually prepare a balanced meal. We are “junk-food-junkies”…

    Is your idea of “exercise” doing the “20-ounce-curls”? At least mine are “liter-curls”, and mostly water, juice and Gatorade. I pretty much gave up soda several months ago, but sitting on my posterior is NOT exercise. Somewhere in my book collection is a book entitled “Temple Maintenance”, but I haven’t read it and I don’t know who the author is, probably because I haven’t been interested enough in maintaining my body – my “temple of the Holy Spirit”. Yes, I am guilty as charged…

    Do you smoke? I do, and have for most of the last 40 years. I wish that I had never smoked that first cigarette, because quitting is hell. I honestly wish that my parents had blistered my bottom until I couldn’t sit on it the first time they smelled smoke on my breath, but they didn’t. By the time I was in high school, my parents were too busy otherwise to be involved in my life. I wasn’t thinking about “You are not your own” back then. I was cool, and now I get out of breath very easily.

    19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) All praise be to God, who has purchased me with that incredible price – the blood of Jesus, and He hasn’t changed His mind, even though this temple is badly-damaged. I am not my own, and I need to start taking better care of my temple.

    In Christ,

    Steve

  2. I think of this as another one of those things that is neither inherently sinful, nor inherently good. I have a tattoo, that I’m not ashamed of, and I’m considering getting another one. So, I may be justifying my life with my stance, but I think it’s something that requires wisdom because tattoos can for sure be defiling to the body, but I also think they can be a way to glorify God. I love it when people have a favorite passage tattooed somewhere, because it is a conversation starter. Also, it allows us to reach people who might avoid Christians for being too perfect, and sterile.

    1. [Playing devil’s advocate here].*** Most of the tats, even on Christians, are not religious, however, I have seen crosses and religous art tattoed on people in prison. I have a friend who has a few tats and none are religiously inspired. One could argue that as Christians we need to use our words or actions of charity to reach people.***
      Interestingly, a few years ago I went to a nondenom church and there were motorcycles parked outside the church. When I check the church’s bulletin, there was a Christ ministry bikers club. As I was leaving the church, I saw the guys who owned the bikes (true bikers) and thought that’s very cool because we could use the out-of-the-ordinary looking Christians. Even at my recent church, there was on young man who could pass as a gang banger but there he was in church and again I thought very cool. All that (appearance) represents the past but we all have to change and give up something to indicate our affiliation to Christ and each person has to decide that for themselves. It seems like these days it’s a struggle to figure out what belongs to the world or God.

  3. Excellent article! More needs to be said concerning this topic. Christians need a better understanding of honoring God with their bodies. You can’t do what you want to do as a Christian. Our lives are not out own. We belong to the Lord.

    1. I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon referring to this issue which leaves a lot of people no guidance. I believe that pastors have to draw lines as to not offend their worshipers because church people can be very sensitive.

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