What does the Bible say about wearing make-up?

Anyone who is familiar with the UPC knows that the majority of UPC churches and their affiliates teach against women wearing make-up. The official position of the UPC on make-up is this:

Since the primary effect of makeup is to highlight sex appeal, we reject makeup as immodest1.”

However, since I spent my whole life in the movement I know from personal experience that this is not the view taught in the churches. (At least, I have never heard this view taught.) The argument against make-up that I always heard was taken from three Scriptures (2 Kings 9:30, Jer. 4:30, Eze. 23:40). The reason that it was taken from three Scriptures is because there are only three Scriptures in the entire Bible that say anything against make-up!

You see, make-up is a non-issue Biblically. Nothing was ever said about the subject positively or negatively.There are three Scriptures that make reference to make-up in passing, but none of the three even hint that make-up is a sin. Again, it’s a non-issue.

Unfortunately, the UPC takes these three Scriptures, twists them out of context, and creates a doctrine out of them. That would be bad enough of its own, but the situation is made worse because many UPC churches teach that wearing make-up is a sin. In other words, it’s not an optional doctrine in any UPC church that I’ve ever attended. (The one exception is a church that I attended for five years. The pastor–who I dearly love and respect–allows make-up as long as it does not change the base color of the skin. He is considered extremely liberal by many other pastors.)

In this article I am going to show what the Bible says about make-up, and then respond to the UPC position on the issue.

Is Wearing Make-up A Sin?

Now, if you’ve read my article on Jewelry then you read about how sin is defined. I’m not going to repeat it all here. Instead I recommend that you read the section of the article titled “Does the Bible Ever Say That Wearing Jewelry Is A Sin?” I will briefly recap the subject here by reminding you that the Old Testament Law (Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) defines what sin is (Rom. 7:7). Everything that is a sin in the New Testament was also a sin in the Old Testament Law, but everything that was a sin in the Old Testament Law was not necessarily a sin in the New Testament.

The reason that I said that is to say this: The Bible never defines make-up as a sin. The Old Testament Law was completely silent on the issue, and the New Testament never mentions it at all!

What Does the Bible Say About Make-up?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, make-up is only mentioned three times in the Bible (2 Ki. 9:30, Jer. 4:30, Eze. 23:40). Here is what these three Scriptures have to say:

2Ki 9:30 NASB
(30) When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window.

Jer 4:30 NASB
(30) And you, O desolate one, what will you do? Although you dress in scarlet, Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold, Although you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you make yourself beautiful. Your lovers despise you; They seek your life.

Eze 23:40 NASB
(40) “Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came–for whom you bathed, painted your eyes and decorated yourselves with ornaments.

One does not have to be a Bible scholar to see that none of these Scriptures say anything about whether or not a person should wear make-up! However, there is also a fourth Scripture that I often heard used to preach against make-up. It is 1 Tim. 2:9, which says:

1Ti 2:9 NASB
(9) Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.

You might be asking at this point how 1 Tim. 2:9 has anything to do with make-up, and that’s a very valid question! The confusion seems to come from a misunderstanding of the KJV translation of the Scripture. The KJV uses the word “shamefacedness” instead of “modesty.” As near as I’ve been able to figure out, many UPC preachers assume that “shamefacedness” means that a person shouldn’t wear make-up. The logic seems to be that it has the word “face” inside of “shamefacedness” so therefore it must be talking about make-up. This is an example of the sort of shoddy Biblical study that is done by many UPC preachers and pastors.

Overwhelming Evidence?

I think anyone will agree that these four Scriptures are hardly overwhelming evidence against make-up! The fact is, the Bible just doesn’t say whether or not a woman can wear make-up! We have to assume that if it mattered at all to God then He would have mentioned it at least once, right? Why should we have to take a few Scriptures that are hidden in the depths of the Old Testament and twist them together in a convoluted fashion to form a doctrine? It seems to me that God was pretty plain about the stuff that mattered to Him! For example, look at Gal. 5:19-21:

Gal 5:19-21 NASB
(19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
(21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

That’s pretty plain, right? I just don’t think God’s sitting up there seeing how many people He can trick into going to hell! A god who does that is the antithesis of the God of the Bible!

A Few Questions for the UPC:

Here’s a question that I have for the UPC:

If make-up is evil because it enhances our sex appeal, then what other things are we not allowed to do?

  • Are we not allowed to wear deoderant?
  • Are we not allowed to brush our hair?
  • Are we not allowed to wear color-coordinated outfits?
  • Are we not allowed to wear matching socks?

You see, I really want to enhance my sex appeal! I’m 26, and I want to get married some day! Because of that I do all sorts of stuff to enhance my sex appeal! I brush my teeth twice a day, I style my hair, I make sure my socks match, I exercise regularly enough to keep the worst of the flab off, etc. What’s wrong with doing that? Just because a woman wants to make herself attracted doesn’t mean that she’s promiscuous! Every single one of us does things every day to enhance our attractiveness to the opposite sex!

Here are a few other questions:

  • If 2 Kings 9:30 is saying that make-up is evil because Jezebel used it, then doesn’t it also mean that we can’t look out the window?
  • If Jer. 4:30 is saying that make-up is evil because Israel wore it while they were backslidden, then doesn’t it also mean that wearing scarlet is evil?
  • If Eze. 23:40 is saying that make-up is evil because Israel wore it while they were backslidden, then doesn’t it mean that it’s also evil to take a bath?

Isn’t this all a little bit ridiculous?!

Conclusion:

You see, this is the problem with UPC theology: It’s a house of cards. The UPC has made the claim that they and their affiliates are the only ones who possess Truth. But what happens when they find out that something they taught as Truth was wrong? It throws everything else into question! If they can be wrong on one point then they can be wrong on other points as well.

I believe that this is what is happening with make-up. The UPC has been backed into a corner. More and more people are seeing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing make-up. There’s no Scriptural basis for not wearing it, and there’s no logical reason for not wearing it. Now the UPC is forced to defend a doctrine that makes no sense, because if they back off this doctrine then it might cause their members to doubt other doctrines as well.

This is why I believe that the Bible should be the ultimate rule of authority. If I find that I’ve misunderstood something in the Bible then I have no problem changing my beliefs. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on Truth. I claim that Jesus is the only way to God, not any one Christian denomination!

Folks, God doesn’t care whether or not you wear make-up! If He cared then He would have put it in the Bible! If you are a woman who feels that God does not want you wearing make-up then that is between you and Him, but God never gave any organization the right to dictate a doctrine that has no Scriptural basis as being necessary for salvation!

 


Featured Comment by Angela – May 22nd, 2012, 8:18pm (link):

Most of the comments above sadden me. I mean they really cause my heart to ache.
When are we going to realize that “being in the world but not of the world, “come out and be seperate”, and “peuliar people”, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with wearing make-up, a skirt, long hair, jewelry, etc.
It really makes my stomach turn to think that this is what the focus of salvation has become while the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover the laborers are few because we’re all squabling over what Sister Suzy Q wore to church last Sunday.

Last year I felt like I was being prompted to search out the word holiness. Having been raised Pentecostal/UPC, all I knew that holiness meant (to them) was associated with a manner of dress. This didn’t make much sense to me due to Hebrews 12:14. It reads, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” NKJV
I started with the definition of holiness since the Bible continuously states that God is holy, holy, holy. I had a hard time reconciling this to God wearing a dress. To be holy, according to bible.org is to be distinct, seperate, in a class by oneself.
Exodus 15:11 says, “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
It goes on to speak of His mercy and His stregth and His redemptive power.
I then went on to look up the word holy in Hebrew. The word is kadosh, and means to be set apart from the common, habitual or profane. Just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, I then looked it up in Greek. Hagios (holy or sacred) means likeness of nature with the Lord, different from the world.

Yes. You are all correct. We are to be seperate from the world. We are to be Christ-like. We have to be IN the world, but we don’t have to be OF the world. I don’t think phrases like Christ-like and nature with the Lord indicates in any way, shape, or form that it is to be translated into a state of dress. What makes me say that? Well, take a look at how the Word described the world.

I Corinthians 5:11 – sexually immoral, covetous, idolater, reviler, drunkard, extortioner…it’s also interesting to note here who Paul was talking to and who he was speaking about and what he had to say in the follwing scriptures. The people he is describing here are “BROTHERS”. We tend to do things the exact opposite of what the Bible tells us. We judge those on the outside, while “eating and drinking” with those on the inside who are committing these sins and claiming to have Jesus in their hearts. Wow.
I Corinthians 6: 9-11 Unrighteous, fornicators, idolators, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners…AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU. Double Wow.
Galations 5:19-21 THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE EVIDENT, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, dunkenness, revelries
Those are just a couple…
Folks, THIS is what the rest of the world is like and THIS is what we are to be seperate from! We are to be a light! When I’m handed the paper at work and told, “See what your horoscope says!” My response should be, “No thanks, my future is in the hands of God.” I’d label that as sorcery of a sort. Correct me if I”m wrong… When I discover that my husband has put my brand new dry-clean only dress in the wash after I’ve told him fourteen dozen times not to, do I yell, scream and throw a fit? Outbursts of wrath. When I join the praise team at church because I have such a beautiful voice and I want everyone to know it, and that guy who runs the local recording studio will be at church Sunday….wouldn’t that be selfish ambition not to mention a few others?
We don’t think of “sin” as being done in this type of scenario. Does it make it any less sin?

Grace – Josh, somewhere on this site, you made a statement that really blew me away AND gave me confidence to stop second guessing myself. You said something to the effect of because we are not perfect, we do the best we can and trust that God’s grace is sufficient to cover what we mess up. I would sure hate to think that the tattoo I got while I was in the world (but knew enough of the truth to live right) was going to be the deciding factor as to where I spent eternity. That’s one (tattoos) I haven’t studied enough to have an opinion on one way or the other, but I can tell you I don’t regret getting it. I still like it! It would kill me to know that because I’m on my second (and last) marriage that I couldn’t have a mansion just over the hilltop. What we refuse to recognize though is that God’s grace doesn’t end when you accept His gift of salvation. It is His grace that covers those little slip ups we make….just like His grace covers my having been married once already. Thank you God!

What we wear, what we apply to our faces, how we speak, how we treat others…it all comes back to one major point. It is a heart condition. When your heart is holy, you will live a holy life. Your dress will be modest, your speech will be holy, things will be ORDERLY (yes, God likes order) and in moderation.

There isn’t anything wrong with wearing make-up. There isn’t anything wrong with ladies wearing tasteful pants, blouses, jewelry, dying hair, etc. (I can not for the LIFE of me listen to Joyce Meyer and think, “It’s just too bad she doesn’t have the truth.”) However, the minute you have applied any of the above mentioned with the the wrong motive in your heart, there’s a problem. The great thing about the Holy Ghost is that if He indeed lives in your heart, THAT is when conviction falls. Choosing to ignore that conviction is the sin. Not the action itself. I’d also like to point out that the Holy Ghost DOES NOT convict with condemnation. I keep seeing comments posted from individuals who have stated they have felt condemned over something they did. If you feel condemed (as my Pastor says) that’s the devil! My God is gentle and loving and kind and just. And yes, He is jealous and you don’t wanna rile His wrath, but wrath doesn’t come until you have repeatedly ignored His gentle warnings.

I read a few comments on here containing points I wanted to address. I hope that’s alright.
The first one was someone mentioning that her sister in law knew nothing of the Bible, but after receiving the Holy Ghost, threw her pants, make-up, etc. away. – My thought on that is this; if I were in a book club that met every Tuesday evening to talk about the chapter they read, I would make sure I was reading the same book they were. I wouldn’t want to show up with The Grapes of Wrath if they were reading To Kill A Mockingbird. If someone from the world is going to join the Amish culture, I’m sure they wouldn’t feel quite right about wearing bright red blouses and Guess jeans. I am by no means denying the power of a Holy Ghost conviction, nor am I doubting she has one. She very well may, but personally, I don’t find that the arguement that she threw it all out after receiving the Holy Ghost to be enough to convince me.

Second -make-up is not made by God…. – neither are twinkies.
Neither is Accutane or Benzoyl Peroxide, but I can guaranty you that if you have the means, you will take your child to the dermatologist to aquire either to clear up a case of acne that your kid is being picked on at school about. Is that not vanity? Should you let your child continue to be made fun of because we are not to alter our natural state or because Jesus said we would be persecuted for His name’s sake? I don’t think the persecution he spoke of had anything to do with make-up or dress or jewelry, etc.

Third – Make-up makes you sexually attractive.- Umm….I’m simply going to say…REALLY think about that. I hesitate to make the comment I want to out of consideration for other’s feelings and the way it may be percieved. I will say Linda Tripp before …alterations.

Fourth – Man can not see your heart. – OF COURSE NOT!! Matthew 7:16 – You will know them by their fruit – and I do not recall any one of the fruits of the Spirit being au natuale faced. Now back up for a second to the scripture I mentioned above. I Corinthians 5:11 – correct me if I’m wrong, but Paul WAS talking about those IN the church. How were the “righteous” to know not to associate with them? They were to test the Spirits! I’m sure most of the offenders were not walking around bragging on their exploits so that the “righteous” knew not to associate with them.

Fifth – Are you putting on make-up to entice someone or to look nice or better? – How many times have you stood in front of the mirror before Sunday evening church service or a date with hubby…or wifey, thought your outfit didn’t LOOK GOOD on you and changed? I will raise BOTH hands on that one!
When you were shopping and tried on that skirt that was so cute on the hanger, and it ends up being hideous on you cause it makes your hips look ten feet wide, are you going to go on and buy it cause it downplays your natural attributes?

Sixth – Pastor’s were given to us to convey these safety nets – Pastor’s were given to desciple what has ALREADY BEEN GIVEN! I recently read a FB post by a Pastor on this exact issue. He said, (and I quote) “The saints can NEVER make up the RULES. GOd does and he gives them to his ministers.” Again…the “rules” have already been given! If God decides to make new ones, it won’t be a secret for the ministers to impart to the congregation. The saints will have the revelation too, and if you disagree with me, then I’d say that you were thinking one in the body of Christ higher than the other.
Frankly, his comment sounded like a Pharisee to me. And no, I am not judging. I have formed an opinion. LOL!

Seventh – Pastor’s want real holiness – By who’s standards and definitions?
I sometimes wonder what heart sins a man making all these rules for his congregation has. I question whether or not he is trying to keep himself out of trouble.

Eighth – Lust of the eye was mentioned – Lust of the eye is mentioned as one of the three sins. All sin falls into one of three. Lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, pride of life. All revert back to the heart. It’s a heart condition. I think Chris Helmsworth is great eyecandy! I do not covet him. With that thought in mind, let me point out that the Bible placed emphasis on beauty when it was possessed. Esther was “lovely and beautiful” according the the book of Esther, and STILL had to go through 12 months of beauty treatment! Just for the sake of arguement, let’s say she refused make-up to enhance her natural beauty….to her face during those beautifying treatments for fear of sinning. She was still treated with oils and “preperations for beautifying women” on the rest of her body!
Rachel was “beautiful of form and appearance” according to Genesis.
Abram said to his wife that she was a “woman of beautiful countenance” in Genesis 12:11.
‘m sure many would argue…”See. The women were beautiful in their natural state!”
What about Leah?

I have fasted, prayed and studied over the past few weeks while asking for wisdom and knowledge to find truth in the scriptures. Not what I want them to say, but what they actually say. I believe God led me to this site. Earlier this year, I received prophesy in which He stated that there had been many fragments and pieces of truth scattered here and there throughout my life, but He was going to bring them together in solidity and confidence. I know He is doing that.
I read this quote today actually, and find it very appropriate for all that this web-site encompasses.
“No man ever believes that the Bible says what it means; he is always convinced that it means what he says.” George Bernard Shaw

When we as Christians wake up and realize that there is a hurt, lost world out there aching to know the Master, these issues will seem so minute. Let the walls of division fall. Jesus said in Mark 9:40 For he who is not against us is on our side. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Read that story. When John tells Jesus, “we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name…” think about inserting a denomination in there. Jesus, we saw the Baptist casting out demons in Your name. Jesus, we saw the Protestants casting out demons in Your name…
There had to be SOMETHING different about them if John referred to them as “someone who does not follow us”.

In Love,
Angela

References:

  1. United Pentecostal Church International, Position Paper on Modesty, Accessed 2006-12-21 20:02:31 []

194 thoughts on “What does the Bible say about wearing make-up?

  1. Angela

    I would like to respond to believer if I may.

    One that used to get me all the time is Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
    Having been raised “in church” I have seen MANY youth who have been “trained in the way they should go” depart from it. Does this mean he/she/I wasn’t trained the “right” way?

    I feel this is in line with the statement you made: “Why is it that right before a young woman backslides she starts wearing makeup. I’ve never seen it any other way.”

    I can’t answer the why. I can give scenarios and examples, but really, only one person knows the why.

    I understand you feel makeup is not a sin. I suppose what I’m attempting (maybe not very well lol) to do is to follow your thought process out completely? Don’t stop at the why comparing it to just one thing. The underlying implication of teaching against makeup is that it is vain. Ok…let’s follow that out….

    I wear makeup. I like for my makeup to look natural, but I DO have some scaring (not horrible…in fact…I seem to be the only one that notices) on my cheek due to a bout with dermatitis. If it’s not covered, I feel when I am talking with people, that their eyes are drawn to that one spot on my face! LOL! Silly…but true. So I cover it to hide it. Is that any more wrong than a woman who in shopping for clothing, picks out items that hide the fact that she has large hips? Is it any less vain when we put an item back on the rack because the “color washes us out?”

    See, “religion” likes to categorize sin, but Biblically, sin is sin.

    The above scripture isn’t necessarily alluding to a fact that your son or daughter WILL DEFINITELY be saved as long as you train them up right. It’s saying so much more.

    The scriptures that are picked and used to teach against the wearing of makeup are taken completely out of the context they are placed in. If I were to read just one scripture in which Paul talks about a woman’s hair being her glory, I would be mortified that I cut mine!!! However, when I read the chapters and scriptures before and after that particular one, and then I compare them to Timothy’s writings, etc., I am clear about what Paul is saying.

    I hope this helps you somewhat!

    In Love,
    Angela

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  2. Lee Mckosky

    My husband of two weeks, first i want to say its been an issue before we married believes it is wrong to wear make up, i have fasted and prayed and haven’t had God tell me it is, i have toned it down for him but still do not believe it is a sin. Ive been told all the stories of Jezebel and im not evil I’ve wore make up since a young teen and now at 38 im supposed to stop, i feel im un finished,not presentable, looking like I’ve not tried to look my best not for myself but as growing up we put on our sunday best for church, now i hide my face because it’s not something for one i feel God has told me to do and also feel i cld b more confident and productive for christ if i didn’t feel like hiding by putting my head down when people talk to me or look away.

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  3. believer

    I see your point. I’ve also read through all the comments . I just want to say, regarding “pot”
    You have obviously never smoked it so you don’t KKnow the effects. If you only knew
    how many people have been lead to deeper things after pot being the first to try. Having been there myself, I understand completely why the church takes a stand against drugs. Please, sir, do some deep prayer and fasting before making a public opinion on this matter. I warn you in love that if you endorse this you will lead many young people astray. It’s not called a gateway drug for nothing. It’s a gateway to spiritual darkness. I have seen it myself.
    Regarding makeup, I will definitely be in prayer about the points you have brought up. But I think to make your case a little sstronger, maybe you should focus on a person’s relationship with God, being that that s what determine s beauty in His Eyes. Isn’t that who we are supposed to be pleasing anyway?
    I don’t feel makeup is a sin, but answer this for me:
    Why is it before a young woman backslides, she starts wearing makeup? I’ve never seen it any other way.
    Now again I say, I don’t think makeup is a sin but that question hashas always made me hesitate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  4. Cam Davis

    Let me get this straight: you personally believe Paul objected to braided hair, wearing gold and pearls, but he would be fine with women painting their faces? To me, your argument makes no sense at all. Every week I attend church, I see women and girls of all ages making themselves as attractive as possible, and that is definitely not something I can imagine Paul condoning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

      Cam,

      I don’t think that Paul objected to braided hair, wearing gold, or wearing pearls. That is what the UPC teaches, not me. My point in this article is that *IF* Paul objected to wearing gold (as the UPC teaches) then he also objected to women braiding their hair (which they do not teach). In other words, their view is inconsistent with itself.

      An additional point that I make is that Paul does not object to wearing gold or pearls. What he teaches against is a person letting that become their focus. I don’t understand why you think Paul would object to a woman–or man–making themselves attractive. Why would he? There’s nothing in Scripture against a person looking nice. As a matter of fact, God frequently uses a woman’s beauty as an illustration of blessing. Take Ezekiel 16, for example. In that passage God uses beauty as an illustration of the blessings that He has bestowed upon Israel. He describes Israel as a child who was abandoned who He rescued. He then goes on to describe her growing to adulthood, and then He says this:

      “I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

      Can you imagine God using that illustration if He was AGAINST a woman using clothing, jewelry, and perfume to make herself attractive? I can’t either.

      The only point that Paul was making in 1 Tim. 2:9 is that a person shouldn’t let their physical appearance become their focus, but that instead they should focus on spiritual beauty. As long as they do that then neither God or Paul has a problem with a person looking nice.

      In Christ,
      Josh

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. Suzan Seaton

    I’m really grateful for your explanations of jewelry and make up. I totally agree with them. My husband and I both attend a UPC church. I’m continually in a state of strife over the fact that I don’t agree with their standards. They have nothing to do with having a relationship with Jesus.

    To the opinion offered by Keith, does he not realize that “all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial”. (paraphrased) I think it should be the persons choice about make up and jewelry. It shouldn’t even be a cause for continuous behavior.

    Once again thank you for your articles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  6. Tracey

    I must say this has helped me tremendously. The Lord came to me several years ago and since then I have been following him. In the past 4 1/2 yrs I’ve attended a non denominational and also 2 completely different types of pentecostal churches. The one apostolic upc, I’ve been attending for over a year. My experience so far has not been a God one, but my husband insists on attending. I enjoy wearing skirts every now and then, but mine you they never reach my ankles, most days I’m too lazy to wear makeup and sometimes I will wear pants or shirts. Modest of course. I have been experiencing condemnation but not directly. The women do not fellowship with me, I have had comments made about immodest dress by the pastors wife on pulpit. I’m the only woman who doesn’t fit their mold in so I know it’s directed at me. I reach everything as you do and I appreciate your page. I have heard the same message in each service for over a yr. Please pray that my husband sees the truth as I have in a Jesus name.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

      Tracey,

      What you described is what most people experience when they don’t follow the holiness standards. The UPC claims that everyone is welcome whether or not they obey the standards, but in reality people are made to feel uncomfortable. The UPC likes to say that those people are being convicted but in reality they’re being condemned. God doesn’t convict you for not doing something that He never told you to do in the first place. That condemnation comes from humans, not God.

      In Christ,
      Josh

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  7. Keith

    In the proper context of. tolerance I respect your attempt at using Bible to explain your position. But what I didn’t see brought out is that the Bible does teach both in principle and directly. in other words using. what I understand your opinion to be is that if scripture does not state impeccably that this is sin is ok to partake in wearing make up etc.So applying that else where the Bible does not teach against smoking pot, snorting cocain even though it states not to let your body be under the power of anything it would be ok to do so occasionally as your not doing it out of addiction. or world it be common sense if the Bible teaches against drinking or drunkenness that drugs being a bigger evil we should avoid that as well in other words. principle. I will also agree the Bible does not state make up a sin though there is no positive example of wearing it except for a negative purpose, to entice etc so that would have the potential to cause somebody to lust or sin therefor if you have the holy spirit you should not: in any way give occasion to sin that would include yourself or others. And also something else to consider God made you ages you everything about you as he thought perfect for you so wouldn’t that in sense wearing make up etc be telling God he didn’t do good enough on you that you should make better what he deemed perfect? That’s a dangerous positron to take.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

      Keith,

      Thank you for your comment. For what it’s worth, I do believe that the Bible teaches both explicitly and implicitly. I’ve talked about that in various articles throughout this site. The thing is, make-up was never taught against implicitly. It was never implied in Scripture that we shouldn’t wear make-up. It’s also not true that the Bible always speaks of make-up negatively. Esther wore make-up when she presented herself to the king. God uses the metaphor of “rubbing fragrant oils into [her] skin to describe how He made Israel into a beautiful nation (Ezekiel 16). These are just two examples of the ancient equivalent of make-up being used in a neutral or positive sense in Scripture.

      Your use of alcohol and drugs in your post is a bit of a red herring. We could go on and on about whether or not its OK for a Christian to use drugs. That’s a discussion worthy of having, but it has nothing to do with make-up. I will briefly respond to what you said though.

      First, the Bible speaks against drunkenness but it never speaks against drinking. Jesus drank wine. So did Paul. And Timothy. And all the apostles. Alcohol was never taught against in the New Testament. We were just told to not get drunk.

      Second, cocaine simply cannot be used as an argument against make-up. It doesn’t relate at all. I agree with you that a Christian shouldn’t use cocaine–first, because it’s illegal in most countries and second because it’s incredibly addictive. Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs available, and I agree with you that a Christian should avoid it. Marijuana is a more interesting subject to talk about. It’s been legalized in a couple of states and it’s not even close to being in the same category as heroine or cocaine. It’s arguably safer and less addictive than alcohol. I haven’t really formulated an opinion on it yet, primarily because I have no desire to smoke it and nobody has ever asked me about it. One thing I can say with surety though is that marijuana and cocaine have nothing to do with make-up :). Make-up isn’t harmful, it isn’t addictive, and there’s absolutely no Scriptural basis–explicit or implicit–for not wearing it.

      In Christ,
      Josh

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      1. Sarah

        Well, I believe that makeup, cocaine, weed, fornication, all of these do fall under the same category, because this discussion is about makeup as a sin, and Keith was highlighting pot as a sin….so these two therefore fall under the same category..SIN. is it unreasonable to compare sin to sin to come to the conclusion that one or both are wrong? What else is comparable. We must not forget that no sin is bigger than another, therefore, all sins are comparable one to another.
        I am not trying to throw sarcasm at you. This is a serious question. Can you show me where Esther wore makeup as she presented herself to king Ahasuerus?
        So what, marijuana has been legalized in some states…so has abortion and same-sex marriage. The fact that it has been legalized does not make it any better than cocaine. But, yes, cocaine is more addictive than marijuana, but nevertheless, a mind-altering drug as well as alcohol.

        And also, I have seen much implicit scriptural basis. Make-up caters to The lust of the flesh, The lust of the eyes,and the pride of life…does it not? God hates vanity. Every single human being that is was created in the image of God; why should we try to deviate from that perfect image? “Well, i am just trying to make myself presentable, just trying to enhance my sex appeal a little bit…” God does not need anyone’s help to find your helpmeet, He got yo’ back!:) Who are you being sexy for anyway?

        Makeup in itself is not addictive. But it can become an addiction, not to makeup itself, but to vanity.
        The whole “Heart Condition” thing…yea…that is what can go on forever and ever. The condition of the heart is very important, though. Even I as a Pentecostal (Not UPCI) can see that a woman can have the longest hair in the world, can not have ever touched lipstick of foundation or eyeliner, can have a skirt that drags the ground…but be the be the most prolific gossiper of them all. And, no, gossipers will not be going to heaven with the rest of us, even though they belong to the UPC. If one does all that, it is all in vain anyway…might as well put on some pants and some makeup.

        BTW
        “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise”-Prov. 20:1

        “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute FOR EVER throughout your generations:”-Lev. 10:9

        That sounds like drinking wine is condemned, not just drunkenness.

        God keep you in the Name of Jesus,

        To my fellowservant in the faith who has slightly different views than I,

        Love you:)

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        1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

          Sarah, thank you for commenting. You raise a couple of interesting points that I’d like to reply to.

          Keith’s point was not to highlight marijuana as sin. His point was that there are certain sins that are not explicitly defined in the Bible but are implicitly taught. On that point I agree with him 100%. I don’t think drugs are the best analogy to use, though. I’ve used the analogy of abortion to make the same point that he did, and I’ve done that elsewhere on this site (I don’t remember the article off the top of my head, but you can use the search function to find it). The point is, Keith is correct. The Bible does not explicitly teach abortion is a sin but *if* you believe that life begins at conception (and I do) then abortion is ending a human life, and that’s a sin.

          On a related note, I’m very hesitant to be drawn into a discussion about drugs in this article. It’s completely unrelated to the topic at hand. It also doesn’t seem to be something that apostolic young people struggle with. I’ve run this Web site since 2006 and I’ve never received a question about drugs. I’ve also never had a desire to do them. Because of that I haven’t formulated opinions on “soft” drugs like marijuana. Now that it’s legal in some states I expect that I’ll receive some questions on it. When that happens I’ll do some study and Bible reading and formulate an opinion. Right now I’m pretty ambivalent. (Although I’d like to stress that I’m firmly against highly addictive drugs like cocaine and heroine regardless of whether or not they’re legal).

          Now I’d like to deal with another point that you made. You said that when we compare make-up to pot we’re comparing sin to sin. For the sake of this discussion let’s agree that pot is sin. Let’s leave that out of the equation and focus on make-up. Even if pot is a sin it’s meaningless to compare it to make-up unless we can first prove that make-up is a sin. This article is not about whether it’s OK to sin, this article is about finding out whether make-up is a sin in the first place. Claiming that “sin is sin” is irrelevant in this discussion. My argument is that make-up isn’t a sin, so it’s meaningless to compare it to anything that is. We can compare it to drugs or fornication or abortion all day long and it would be irrelevant. That would be the equivalent of you saying “I’m against driving vehicles powered by fossil fuels so I drive an electric car,” and me replying by saying “I’m against driving cars powered by fossil fuels too so I won’t drive an electric car because cars or cars. It makes no sense. It’s comparing apples and oranges.

          Now to your question about Esther and make-up. That’s an easy one to answer. It’s found in Esther 2:9-13, which says:

          Est 2:9-13 NASB
          (9) Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.
          (10) Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known.
          (11) Every day Mordecai walked back and forth in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and how she fared.
          (12) Now when the turn of each young lady came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the end of her twelve months under the regulations for the women–for the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women–
          (13) the young lady would go in to the king in this way: anything that she desired was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.

          We come now to your statement about make-up catering to lust. That’s something I used to say as well but then one day I stopped and thought about it. I have never lusted over a woman because she wears make-up. Never. You’ll be hard pressed to find a man who has. When I was single I was attracted to pretty women who wore make-up and pretty women who didn’t. My wife is just as beautiful to me whether or not she has make-up on. Simply put, make-up doesn’t create lust. There’s no need to dwell further on that point.

          Finally, let me touch on your points about alcohol, there are numerous examples of Jesus drinking wine. Are you saying that he was deceived and unwise? I agree with Solomon–people are are influenced (deceived) by wine and other forms of alcohol (strong drink) are not wise. That’s one reason the New Testament speaks repeatedly against drunkenness (cf. Galatians 5). However, alcohol in moderation is never taught against in the Bible. Never. If it was then Jesus sinned.

          My favorite passage about Jesus drinking alcohol is found in Matthew 11:18-19, which says:

          Mat 11:18-19 NASB
          (18) “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’
          (19) “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

          Jesus was obviously talking about alcohol because he said that he was accused of being a drunkard because he was seen “drinking”. A second less obvious reason he was talking about alcohol is because he compared himself to John who He said did not eat or drink. Now, it’s obvious that John ate food and drank water. He couldn’t have lived without it. Most theologians believe that John had taken the vow of the Nazarene. One of the parts of that vow was that a person would not drink wine or strong drink (Judges 13:7). Jesus was basically saying that John had taken the vow of the Nazarene and was still accused of having a demon, while Jesus had not taken the vow and He was accused of being a drunkard. In other words, there’s no way to make some people happy.

          Finally, regarding your citation of Leviticus 10:9, I’d like to point out that the verse is specifically directed to the Levitical priesthood. The Scripture is part of a passage where Moses is giving instructions to the sons of Aaron. Even more specifically, it’s only instructing them to not drink alcohol when they go into the Tabernacle (some people think the “Tent of Meeting” was separate from the Tabernacle; regardless, the point is the same). It is not telling them to never drink. It’s also worth mentioning that the passage doesn’t even apply today since the priesthood is no longer necessary. Jesus is our high priest.

          I hope that answers some of your questions, and I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to write. I pray that all of us can continue to respect each other and engage in dialogue like this even as we continue to seek doctrinal unity.

          In Christ,
          Josh

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