Why do some legalists forbid wearing Jewelry and Makeup?

If you’ve ever been in a legalistic church, such as UPCI/Pentecostal churches, you’ve no doubt heard two things about wearing Jewelry and Makeup: Jezebel, and 1 Timothy 2:9 which says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

That is to say, don’t make yourself ‘flashy’, wearing metal, gold, pearls, gaudy and rich decorations, etc. Ignore all those ostentatious hair dews, purses, and shoes though…those don’t apply. Right?

So in reality, the Bible never once condemns wearing makeup, or jewelry, and the two places in the New Testament that could be misconstrued, apply directly to women and wives.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;  But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. – 1 Timothy 2:9-10, KJV

Likewise, ye wives…Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; – 1 Peter 3:1a, 3, KJV

Like the consumption of anything alcoholic, some have taken warnings about the potential dangers and turned it into a doctrine of abstinence. Now, if abstinence is your personal choice, and knowing your own weaknesses, the right choice, then God will bless it. Yet, to make your personal choice a doctrine of salvation, or a dogma of the body of Christ with no biblical standing is pharisaical.

And before you jump my bones about alcohol, read Deuteronomy 14 where the Jews purchased wine and strong drink by Moses’ command and drank it at the Temple as part of worshiping God in the Tithe of Feasts.

For instance, there are many places in the Bible where jewelry was considered to be a blessing, from God or man. In Genesis 24 we see a servant blessing Rebekah with earrings and bracelets and then worships God.

In Genesis 41, Pharoah arrays Joseph with jewelry’s, and God used Joseph to save His people.

David, the man after God’s own heart, in Psalms 25:12 compares earrings decorating the ear to an ear that receives wisdom.

Isaiah 61 exemplifies being robed in righteousness (to please God) the way a bride would adorn herself with fine jewels to look beautiful for the bridegroom.

The great story of the Prodigal son, which every church loves to use as an illustration of the restoral of a wayward soul, displays the father placing his ring on the hand of the returning son.

If the wearing of jewelry (or makeup) was a great sin before the eyes of God, why in the Old and New Testament was it such a normal thing, for God’s people and, expressed by God as part of human society and living?

The answer is that it is not a sin. And to the question of Why do some forbid it, it is because they either love controlling others, or they have misinterpreted Scripture. I know some people who truly and humbly believe it is just

What is a sin is your purpose or intent with what you do. Paul says in Romans 14:23b “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

In my Pentecostal background, they always tried to reason that the only purpose for wearing jewelry, and makeup is to fulfill your own pride. Using the infamous scripture 1 John 2:16 as their jury.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. – 1 John 2:16, KJV

So, if the real sin is ‘looking good’, which is then tantamount to pride, then why do we take the time to make our hair perfect? Or to polish our shoes? Purchase expensive suits, purses, shoes, ties, cars, tires, rims, paint, decorations in the house, area rugs, mats, chandeliers, etc?

I know Pentecostal women who purchase all of their clothes at only designer stores, like Nordstroms, and Sacks 5th, etc. If they were living 1 Timothy 2, and 1 Peter 3 literally, they would not be wearing costly array. But legalists pick and choose Scriptures to fit their agenda, and drop the rest. At great peril.

Coming to that realization must then make us see that God illustrates pride to us in many ways, none of which is He condemning the things the carnal man abuses in his pride. God is condemning the pride and carnal abuse itself. He shows the good and bad of alcohol in the Word and then lets His children learn wisdom.

So Why do Legalists forbid these things?

The simple answer is it is a works based method of trying to cover up the man inside, with the pride of being aloof, holy, and self-righteous. They call it, Holiness.

Interesting that the people who attempt to be Holy by restricting the use of outward trappings put on their own garments of pride and find different ways to do the same thing.

I know men and women that will spend a lot of money to splash and flash with designer shoes, Armani suits, buy $1,000+ purses, and then stand aloof and say, ‘I’m Pentecostal, I won’t wear pride on my body, like rings and earrings, or get a lustful tan, or wear harlots makeup like Jezebel, etc’.

But the legalist forgot one thing.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

You can’t do anything and boast about it and incur God’s favor. Jesus said in Mark 7:7 that using the commandments of men as doctrine was vainful worship and he wouldn’t accept it. What makes us thing what trappings we put on our bodies, or remove will impact our salvation?

You can be prideful with your jewelry, and you can be prideful without your jewelry. Your heart condition is what God is after, not your skin.

God bless, and go forth knowing God is a discerner of the HEART!

 

 

 

 

 

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