Can a witness get disfellowshipped for getting a tattoo?

by Chico86 22 Replies latest social humour

  • Chico86
  • stillAwitness

    Heey folks! Inquiring minds would like to know!

    I would look it up in the bond volume but mine have black permanet marker scribbled all over 'em.

  • justsomedude

    I seem to remember something about this being a conscience matter now. Fairly recent stuff I think. Within the last year of two.

    Then again I was only told by a friend, I never read it myself.

  • Gadget

    This is from the 8-10-95 Awake, I don't think they would have published this if it was a df'ing offence.


    In your article "Young People Ask . . . Fads—Should I Jump on the Bandwagon?" (December 8, 1994), you mentioned tattooing. I was surprised that you did not make reference to the command at Leviticus 19:28: "You must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves."

    L. D., United States


    words do indeed give a measure of insight into God’s thinking on this matter. Of course, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law. (Colossians 2:14) Still, individuals would do well to bear this scripture in mind when deciding what to do in this regard. The reported health risks and the impression wearing a tattoo might give to others are additional factors that a Christian should weigh very seriously.—ED.

    Six months ago I jumped on the fad bandwagon and hopped off with a tattoo on my ankle. Every time I look at my ankle, I am reminded of my decision. I can only wonder what doubts others might now have about my character. I also worry if I might be a cause for stumbling to others in the congregation. I’ll think more carefully next time the fad bandwagon pulls around.

    S. C., United States

    I went to a lot of congregation outings where I took off my top from the heat, revealing a large tattoo on my shoulder, nodody(not even elders) said a word about it apart from some of the women who liked it!
  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    yep conscience matter.

    Not long before I left I was having some interesting conversations with a sister in the hall who had one on her ankle and was planning on getting another one or two. In fact, she was having them done by another sister in a different cong whose profession was tattoo artist.

    That being said...

    When I went panty-hose-less to the meetings and my ankle tattoo was quite visible, I got disapproving looks occasionally with a head shake.


  • ButtLight

    Last year, before I decided I would try to go back to the org, I hurried up and got another tattoo on my lower back! That way I had it before hand lol! Didnt matter, I got df'd for something else that same month!

  • blondie

    If you had them prior to baptism, you would have to cover them up.

    If after, you would probably lose "privileges." If you went around advocating them, you might be "marked."


    g00 8/8 pp. 18-19 Body Decoration—The Need for Reasonableness ***


    Bible’s Viewpoint


    Decoration—The Need for Reasonableness

    "VANITY is the quicksand of reason," wrote a French novelist. Certainly, reason has had little to do with many of the things humans have done to themselves for vanity’s sake over the centuries. For example, in an effort to have the tiniest waist possible, 19th-century women painfully corseted their abdomens until they could hardly breathe. Some claimed to have waists as tiny as 13 inches [325 mm]. Some women were so constricted by their corsets that their ribs were actually pushed into their livers, causing death.

    While that fashion fad has mercifully died out, the vanity that produced it is as much in evidence today as it was then. Men and women still undergo difficult, even dangerous, procedures in order to alter their natural appearance. For example, tattoo and piercing parlors, once the haunt of the less savory elements of society, are springing up in shopping malls and suburbs. In fact, in a recent year, tattooing was the sixth-fastest-growing retail business in the United States.

    More radical forms of body decoration are also gaining ground, especially among young people. Extensive piercing of body parts—including nipples, noses, tongues, and even genitals—is increasingly popular. For a smaller group, such extensive piercing is already too tame. They are trying more radical practices such as branding, cutting, and body sculpting, in which objects are inserted under the skin to produce extravagant holes and ridges.


    Ancient Practice

    Decorating or modifying the body is not new. In certain parts of Africa, ritual scarification and tattooing have been used for centuries to identify specific family groups or tribes. Interestingly, in many of these lands, such practices are now viewed with disfavor and are on the decline.

    Tattooing, piercing, and cutting existed in Bible times. They were most often practiced by pagan nations in connection with their religion. Understandably, Jehovah forbade his people, the Jews, to imitate those pagans. (Leviticus 19:28) As God’s own "special property," the Jews were thus protected from degrading false religious practices.—Deuteronomy 14:2.



    Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, although it sets out certain principles that were carried over to the Christian congregation. (Colossians 2:14) They can thus express themselves within the bounds of propriety when it comes to the type of adornment they choose to wear. (Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 2:9, 10) However, this freedom is not without limits.—1 Peter 2:16.

    Paul wrote, at 1 Corinthians 6:12: "All things are lawful for me; but not all things are advantageous." Paul understood that his freedom as a Christian did not give him license to do whatever he wanted without consideration for others. Love for others influenced his behavior. (Galatians 5:13) Keep "an eye, not in personal interest upon just your own matters," he urged, "but also in personal interest upon those of the others." (Philippians 2:4) His selfless viewpoint serves as an excellent example to any Christian contemplating some form of body decoration.

    Bible Principles to Consider

    One of the mandates for Christians is to preach and teach the good news. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Philippians 2:15) A Christian would not want to let anything, including his appearance, distract others from listening to that message.—2 Corinthians 4:2.

    While such decorations as piercings or tattoos may be popular among some people, a Christian needs to ask himself or herself, ‘What kind of a reaction would such a decoration provoke in the area where I live? Would I be associated with certain fringe elements of society? Even if my conscience were to allow it, what effect would my piercing or tattoo have on others within the congregation? Would they view it as an evidence of "the spirit of the world"? Might it cast doubt on my "soundness of mind"?’—1 Corinthians 2:12; 10:29-32; Titus 2:12.

    Certain types of body modifications carry serious medical risks. Tattooing with unsanitary needles has been associated with the spread of hepatitis and HIV. Skin disorders sometimes result from the dyes used. Piercings can take months to heal and can hurt for much of that time. They can also produce blood poisoning, hemorrhaging, blood clots, nerve damage, and serious infections. Additionally, some procedures are not easily reversed. For example, depending on the size and the color, a tattoo can take several expensive and painful laser sessions to remove. Piercings may leave lifelong scars.

    Whether or not an individual decides to accept these risks is a personal decision. But one who seeks to please God recognizes that becoming a Christian involves the offering of oneself to God. Our bodies are living sacrifices presented to God for his use. (Romans 12:1) Hence, mature Christians do not view their bodies as their exclusive property to be damaged or defaced at will. Especially those who qualify to take the lead in the congregation are known for their moderate habits, soundness of mind, and reasonableness.—1 Timothy 3:2, 3.

    Developing and exercising the Bible-trained power of reason will help Christians avoid the extreme, masochistic practices of this world, which is so hopelessly "alienated from the life that belongs to God." (Ephesians 4:18) They can thus let their reasonableness shine before all men.—Philippians 4:5.


    A clear distinction is made between cutting for medical or even aesthetic purposes and the compulsive cutting or mutilation many young people, especially teenage girls, practice. The latter is often a symptom of serious emotional stress or abuse, which may call for professional help.

  • Chico86

    Thanks for your answers. The thing is I'm a 20 year old inactive J.W. living away from home at college. I got 3 tattoos while living on my own and my Dad's an elder, so I was worried about possibly getting D.F.'d. However, my parents haven't seen them yet since they're hidden on my back, so it'll be interesting what their reactions will be. Anyone has similar experiences?

  • Kudra

    How about a lip peircing?
    is that ok?
    I just got one (ring in center of lower lip) -my mom (JW) hates it. I don't live at home but wonder what my JW friends in my home state would think -they'd have to know I was long gone, right?


  • collegegirl21

    Well when I was out of the religion I got one before coming back in and when they saw it, at least the brothers at my Kingdom hall said if I would've gotten it while I was still in that I could've been reproved. I'm not sure why though, I stopped listening after a while.

Share this