Body Piercings

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. – 1 Corinthians 3:16.

Brent Moffatt of Winnipeg, Manitoba has made his way into the record books. In less than eight hours Brent pushed and shoved 702 needles into his body. He was somewhat disappointed because he had hoped to accomplish 1,000 piercings but had to stop when the pain reached his threshold of endurance. Moffatt said after sitting the record that, “I’m in a lot of pain. It feels like somebody’s electrocuting my legs.” The previous record for number of piercings was 200 so Moffatt must indeed be an iron man or maybe he is a steel man – not sure what needles are made out of today. But Moffat might want to seriously consider that iron man competition because he definitely has some endurance.

The subject of piercings is something that I’ve started to write about many times but could never bring myself to actually do so. For one thing I know that there are some who read my devotionals who have piercings and I certainly do not want to appear to be their judge becoming an oracle of condemnation. However, tonight I have sensed a need to at least say what I believe the Biblical viewpoint about piercings is, as I understand it. So please bear with me.

First, if someone who is a Christian is contemplating having some body piercings and wondering whether or not God would want them to do so – the answer I believe is, “no.” There are several passages of Scripture that you might possibly base this upon but the most clear in the New Testament for me is 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. The body of the child of God, a Christian is literally the dwelling place of God because the Holy Spirit lives with in you. We are created in the image of God and when God came down to Earth to walk among us He took on the form of a human being becoming fully man and fully God. This would seem to indicate that the form of God is somewhat similar to that of a human being. God created us and says we were created in His image. To modify the image that we have been blessed with would seem to be a defilement of that image. Of course, this brings up all kinds of other questions about cosmetic surgery and other image altering surgeries. But let’s put that aside for now. If consuming alcohol and abusing drugs (legal or illegal) is considered to be damaging to the temple of God, the body? Then it would stand to reason that a most obvious scarring and alteration of the temple for no medical reason would appear to be damaging to the temple of the Holy Spirit.

So, if you are contemplating the piercing of your body and asked if I thought it would be wrong I would have to say, “yes.” And if you really wanted to be obedient to your Lord and your God you would not pierce your body. Does that mean I am condemning everyone who has pierced their body? No. I am not their judge or your judge. Certainly I have done things to my own body, which were not good for it. For example, I have overeaten and I have pushed my body physically in the past far beyond what would be healthful and I’m sure there have been other ways as well that I have abused my body (Of course it is not really my body it is the Lord’s.).

Once you understand that abuse of the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, is not the will of God – you and I have a decision to make. Will we continue on with what we know is not in the will of God or will we cease and desist from what we know He does not want. Whether it is body piercing, overeating (Or not eating things which are healthful), doing drugs, drinking, or sexual sins and on and on – whether we continue on in the face of the Truth of God’s Word is a decision every child of God must make for themselves and bears personal responsibility for that decision. And that includes me as well as every other Christian. I pray that each of us will truly seek to be obedient to our Lord.

(01.21.03) A further word on Body Piercings: Because hindsight is always better I can see especially with the input of many some additional things that should be said about body piercings.

Many view piercings as beautification and not as mutilation. I think that it comes down to an attitude of the heart. If in our heart we truly believe we are bringing glory to God by piercing and cosmetic surgery – if that is the intent and belief of our heart and the way we are living our lives then it would not be defilement of the body. On the other hand if the source of our actions is that of rebellion against God then it is defilement. It does appear that many who practice piercings and body mutilation are in rebellion against God. Of course they may not realize they are rebelling against God and think they are just rebelling against their parents or against society as a whole but ultimately they are in rebellion against God.

The attitude of the heart I refer to is what I believe Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

(Do body piercings bring glory and honor to God? Or, are body piercings and outward manifestation of rebellion against God?)

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