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Is it not an ornament ? how about a 3000- 5000 U$ worth a wedding ring. Do we still glorify God with this?

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I could have kept going, yes.. and there are many others. But does it give a quantity? or does it say, to stay away. It says to stay away. I didn't post more to it, cuz I have so many times in other threads.
"And if neither were offered, I believe Daniel and his friends still would have ignored the meat, and ate and drank what they did. Maybe thats jus me though."

Thats cos they were good Jewish boys, if was not kosher they were not eating it. It was not a stand for Vegetarianism it was a stand for their Levitical diet. Some Jews today still have the same attitude - when there is a function on if there is no kosher meat they stick to vegetables, does that mean they are taking a vegetarian stand? I'm the same if there is only unclean food on offer I go vegetarian.
Maybe, for all we know though, they did not eat meat, and were healthier than the others. : )

And how can we say with certainty that was the case, comparing Daniel & his friends to how some Jews are today?
Because Jews that practise Judaism eat kosher food, if there is no kosher food they will not eat the meat presented.
Daniel and his friends stuck to the Levitical prinicples, the others did not.
I could keep asking Qs, but I won't. All I know is they did what they did, and saw the result they did. =) I also see meat these days.... well, in a worse state then back then. Again, apparently this is just me though.
That's a different argument from don't eat meat cos the bible discourages it, since it does not. However discouraging something for health reasons is a different argument. The best diet is a meat free one we all know that but if folks choose to eat meat the next best option is to go organic and if thats not possible then eat the clean meats only. However the vegetarianism is next to godliness mindset that some Adventist promote is a load of tosh.
This hits to the heart of the issue Denny. Legalism. And the "holier than thou crowd". There is little reason to tie what you eat or drink to salvation or religion. There are good reasons to be healthy and that is fine. But we should not tie it to religion.

I think I agree with you that it is a load of tosh. If only I knew what tosh was. Ha Ha.
Idk about other ppl, but I made no claim anywhere that what I choose to eat or do makes me better than the next. I've seen ppl pull this before, and have no idea where they get that from. I personally feel a certain diet is better than another. Different people have different circumstances and I believe they can make the best choices for them depending on what they have to work with. I'm just saying, for most ppl, cuz some are different (as you may find a few select smokers to live past 90, so there may be SOME exceptions) but for the most part that one diet has more benefits than another. Thats all. As for Bible discouraging meat, I'll say that God def gave guidelines to those who want to eat it. Some follow it, some don't. Its always an individual choice. With the deterioration of everything, I do believe its better to choose a diet away from meat, if I can help it. Can you really blame me?
Hello to all my good friends ( Brothers & Sisters)
It seems like there is a lot of ENERGY being exorted, but this is GOOD ENERGY!! I have one coment to add concerning FLESH Foods & our Counsel. I will post it for review.

Statement made on May 11, 2009 at 9:53am
However the vegetarianism is next to godliness mindset that some Adventist promote is a load of tosh.

In response to comment:
I feel as though there is a correct way to encourage Healthy Living & Dietary Standards. Sister White clearly states that eating of FLESH FOODS is not the best thing for us to do. She stated that it Be Numbs our Senses! We must promote Vegetarianism in a Humble & settle Mannor. Not in an aggressive mannor. Thank you All !!

Counsels on Diet and Foods, (The Healthy Food Work)
As a School Industry {HFM 38.2}
Again, our youth, both men and women, should be taught how to cook savingly, and to dispense with everything in the line of FLESH FOODS. This is a very serious matter to the world. Thousands of human beings who subsist upon the FLESH of dead animals, are suffering and dying from causes of which they are ignorant. By painstaking effort they can be taught to discriminate between a proper healthful diet and the use of FLESH meats.
No encouragement should be given in the training of our youth to prepare dishes which are composed in any degree of FLESH meats; for this is pointing to the darkness and ignorance of Egypt rather than to the purity of health reform. Teach the students to prepare healthful drinks from grains suitably prepared to take the place of tea. This drink is unhealthful in its purest preparation; and it is so adulterated, mixed with other ingredients that resemble tea, that it has become a dangerous beverage. . . . Counsels on Diet and Foods, EGW
Do you drink this stuff .... healthful drinks from grains? ... Yes .... No

And if you do .... how do you make it? Or is there somewhere it can be purchased?

BTW ... I can't find this in Counsels on Diet and Foods. Do you have a page for it?
This has some good points:

Adornment

Too Hot to Touch—Adornment Double Standard

J. David Newman, D.Min, a former editor of Ministry.

[This article was commissioned and paid for by Ministry. It was finally published in Adventist Today, July-August, 2002, pp. 18-19]

Seventh-day Adventists are NOT against adornment, only against certain forms of adornment. For example, one of the devotional speakers at an Annual Council that I participated in was a woman. She wore a simple dress. Tied neatly around her neck was a beautiful scarf. Skin showed above and below the scarf. If she had substituted a string of pearls for the scarf many, if not most, of the audience would not have heard a word she said. In fact, she would not have been chosen to speak if it was known that she wore pearls.

However, there is no difference in function between the pearls and the scarf. Both served the same purpose—to complement the attire. And yes, since they are not necessary they both are adornment. If a person hangs a gold pendant around their neck it is adornment. If the same person pins that gold pendant to the dress it becomes a broach and is now acceptable but it is still adornment.

Not only are Adventists against certain forms of adornment they are also FOR other kinds of adornment. The only function that a necktie serves is adornment. It is not necessary to cover one’s nakedness. It does not warm the body. Rather it constricts the neck, takes time to tie, mops up food, and costs lots of money. It is so culturally accepted that we never give the tie a second thought as adornment.

If we were to follow the definition of adornment given by Dr. Angel Rodriguez in his book Jewelry we would have to all shed our ties. He defines jewelry as “ornaments made of different materials, with different functions, that can be placed directly on the body or on the garments of a person in order to enhance the appearance of the individual, establish social distinctions, and communicate personal convictions” (p. 8). If we followed this definition we would have to ban neckties, pocket handkerchiefs, broaches, scarves, cuff links, tie pins, and lace collars, and other accessories since none of these items are necessary to be clothed.

So how did we get into this fix? Some say ornamental jewelry is out while functional jewelry is ok. Who decided that? Others say If it is on the skin it is a sin but if on the lapel wear it well. Who decided that? On what basis have we drawn up a very narrow list of what is not acceptable when it comes to adornment? Is it possible that the inconsistencies, the double standards, are doing more harm than good when it comes to teaching people about simplicity and modesty?

This issue of adornment has been with us right from our earliest days. The General Conference in its Session of 1866 forbade women from wearing the following items: plumes, feathers, flowers, and all superfluous bonnet ornaments, every species of gold, silver, coral, pearl, rubber, and hair jewelry, ribbons, cording, braid, embroidery, buttons, and low-necked dresses. Men were required not to color or trim their beards. Moustaches and goatees were specifically excluded as inappropriate for men to “adorn the face.”



At one time removing jewelry was part of the baptismal instructions for people entering the church. The 1932 Church Manual listed 21 questions for individuals preparing for baptism. Number 17 asked: “In matters of dress will you follow the Bible rule of plainness and simplicity, abstaining from the wearing of gold as ornaments and costly array, observing the principles of modesty and Christian dignity?”

This requirement for baptism was dropped in the 1942 Church Manual when the list of 21 questions was pruned down to just 11 questions. And it has never been reinstated in the baptismal questions. This is why there is still confusion on this subject. The removing of certain forms of adornment is a teaching of the church, like vegetarianism, not a requirement of the church. That is, if you agree that the baptismal questions represent the minimum requirements for joining the church.



Bible and adornment

But doesn’t the Bible condemn adornment including jewelry? The problem lies in the selective use of our traditional Bible texts on jewelry. For example, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says too much: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” The text says that women are not to wear gold. We do not teach that. We allow gold eye glasses, pins, broaches, watch bands, wedding rings, and so on. We interpret “gold” to mean a few items such as rings and necklaces. We allow braided hair. We allow pearls if they are sewed on to the dress. We have never defined what expensive clothes are.

When interpreting Scripture we must read it in its context. Is Paul writing a treatise on adornment? No. He is giving counsel on how to worship God. In the verse (8) just before he wants men to lift their hands in prayer. It seems to me that we teach the opposite here. Then in verses 11-15 he covers how women should or should not participate in worship.

The gospel brought a liberating philosophy to people and the culture. Paul said to the Galatians "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). Women had been subjected to all kinds of indignities. They could not even worship together with men. Now they were stirring themselves. Paul says "Be careful. Don't go to fast. Yes, I understand your needs but you will have more influence if you dress appropriately for worship and don't fight your culture in the worship service by demanding equal participation with men."



Paul's letter to Timothy discusses various problems in the church: people teaching false doctrines and creating dissensions (1:3, 4); false views on marriage and diet (4:3, 4); mistreatment of elderly parents and grandparents (5:1-16); fair treatment of church leaders (5:17-20); and problems in worship (2:1-15) of which overdressing had become more important than a worshipful spirit.

Because of space limitations I cannot deal with all the texts we commonly use to support our stand against certain forms of jewelry except to say that when read in context none of them are forbidding the permanent use of adornment.



Old Testament texts

Isaiah 3:16-23 is another passage that says too much for us. We are so uncomfortable with these verses that almost every book I have read by an Adventist author stops part way through this section. Dr. Angel Rodriguez (in his book on jewelry just noted) as well as other Adventist commentators tries to prove too much from this passage. He says “Isaiah’s attack on jewelry, which we have mentioned several times [pp. 34, 36], was a condemnation of jewelry as a religious and social symbol and as an expression of pride” [p. 40].

He rules out the use of necklaces and rings from this passage but does not say whether he believes the use of “fine robes and capes and cloaks, purses, mirrors, linen garments and shawls” are also wrong. I know of no biblical principle that allows us to take a passage where all the items are under the ban of God and then grant an indulgence to some of them.



When you read the passage in context you find that it is part of a larger judgment being pronounced on Jerusalem and Judah. While God is stripping the haughty women he is also stripping Judah of food and water (verse 1), the young rise up against the old (verse 5), men will fall by the sword (verse 25).

God is not saying any of the items listed in the passage is wrong. He simply talks about their misuse for power, oppression, and vanity. It was the misuse of these items not their use that God was against.



Sinai rebellion

"When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, 'Tell the Israelites, "You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you."' So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb." (Exodus 33:4-6).



This passage is one of the key passages quoted as indicating God's disapproval of ornaments. What is the context?

1. The Children of Israel had given their jewelry to Aaron to make the golden calf (Ex. 32:2-4).

2. They worshiped this calf instead of the true God (verse 6).

3. God told the people He could no longer go with them for they were a "stiff-necked people" and he might "destroy" them (33:3).

4. The people began to mourn and take off their ornaments because God told them to remove these ornaments until he decided what to do with them.

In the days of Jeremiah God's people also rebelled against Him. Again God used the same language "They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers" (Jer. 7:27). But this time instead of telling them to strip off their ornaments He commands them to "cut off your hair and throw it away;" (verse 29) and He continues "take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath."

The argument is used that the "ornament" command must still apply today because we still use ornaments and therefore we must take them off just as God commanded the Israelites. If this argument is valid we would then, to be consistent, have to apply the same principle to Jeremiah 7:29 and tell people that they must also cut off their hair when repenting, since we all still wear hair and we still mourn.



Why did God ask the Israelites to strip themselves of their ornaments? They had just used those same ornaments to make a false god and just as God poured out plagues on the symbols of the false gods of Egypt (river, frogs, flies, etc.) He again made the symbols of false gods objects of His wrath. They took off their ornaments as a sign of mourning, of sorrow, of repentance. There is no indication that this injunction was permanent. Indeed just a short while later Moses was asking for donations from those same ornaments to construct the tabernacle.



Positive side of Jewelry

There is a place in Scripture where God actually commands His people to wear jewelry. When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush he gave this command which has been strangely overlooked: "Every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your son, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians" (Exod. 3:22, KJV).

How do we erase our double standard on adornment which has caused and still causes so much grief and argument? We can either develop a comprehensive list omitting nothing or we can teach the principles and leave it to each person to decide how to apply the principle.

Ellen White sums up how to deal with jewelry, not by making up lists and standards, but by leading people to Jesus. She talks about those who try to pick the ornaments off other people: “Talk of Christ, and when the heart is converted, everything that is out of harmony with the Word of God will drop off. It is only labor in vain to pick leaves off a living tree. The leaves will only reappear. The ax must be laid at the root of the tree, and then the leaves will fall off, never to return” (Evangelism p. 272).

If we leave it up to God to convince people regarding what is appropriate adornment we will have got rid of our double standard.

What about adornment?

First draft of a chapter in a book on Adventist Standards by

J. David Newman, D.Min. Senior Pastor of New Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church, Burtonsville, Maryland

Not for distribution without permission of the author

Imagine for a moment seven pictures of seven women. [Would it be possible to actually illustrate these in the book? Would be far more effective] Picture one shows a women clothed in a black dress with a silver brooch pinned to her right side. Picture two shows a woman clothed in a black dress with one strand of pearls around her neck. Picture three shows a woman clothed in a black dress with rings on every finger, bracelets on each arm, six strands of pearls around her neck, five earrings in each ear, hair elaborately coiffured with gold and silver thread intermingled. Picture four shows a woman clothed in a black dress with an elegant scarf tied around her neck. Picture five shows a woman clothed in a black dress with a silver brooch pinned to her right side and an elegant scarf tied around her neck. Picture six shows a woman dressed in a black dress with a simple ring on each hand and a slender gold chain around her neck. Picture seven shows a woman clothed in a black dress with no jewelry but with a very stylish hairstyle that costs her $65 every week at the hairstylist.

Which one of these women would you pick for an Adventist? Probably numbers one, four, five, and seven. And yet all of them were adorning themselves. If adornment is wrong, no ifs and buts, then we need to be consistent and speak out against anything that adorns and not limit it to precious metals and costume jewelry while still allowing men's jewelry (tie pins, cuff links, etc.), fancy hair styles, lace collars, bright hair combs, etc.

What does the Bible really say about adornment? The reader should bear in mind that God nowhere in Scripture takes a practice that is intrinsically immoral or evil and gives it positive associations. Adultery is always wrong. Stealing is always wrong. Cursing is always wrong. But when we come to adornment we find it used positively as well as negatively. First we will examine the traditional texts commonly used against the wearing of jewelry.



Genesis 35:4

"So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem."

What does this text tell us? Just because Jacob’s family puts away certain things does not necessarily mean they are evil. Jeremiah 7:29 tells God’s people to cut off their hair and throw it away. Do we teach that everyone should be bald? The Bible tells us that women wear long hair and always cover their hair when worshiping God (1 Cor. 10:5-6). Should we follow those practices today? No, we must understand the context and the principle behind every command.

Jacob is preparing to go to Bethel and erect an altar to Jehovah. He wants a special endowment of God’s blessing. He knows that there are family members with divided loyalties. He tells them to put away the foreign gods, to purify themselves, and change their clothes. The context is one of purification, dedication, renewal of the faith before God. What part did the earrings play in this? Did they give them up because God was against adornment or was something else at stake? The text does not tell us why they gave up their earrings. So we must interpret it. Some scholars believe that these particular rings were "employed for purposes of idolatrous worship, which were often covered with allegorical figures and mysterious sentences, and supposed to be endowed with a talismanic virtue."[1]



This conclusion seems valid since no other adornment is specified and it is associated with foreign gods. Also there is no prohibition recorded up to this time against the wearing of jewelry. We also know that the women wore nose rings and bracelets (Gen. 24:22) yet these were not given up by Jacob’s family. Only the earrings were surrendered. The text makes no moral pronouncement so we need to be careful what moral conclusions we draw from it.

If the principle is not to wear anything that reveals allegiance to a strange god then we need to put away today anything, and any practice, that compromises our faith in God.



Exodus 33:4-6

"When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, 'Tell the Israelites, "You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you."' So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb."

This passage is used as one of the key passages indicating God's disapproval of ornaments or jewelry. What is the passage actually saying and what is its context?

1. The Children of Israel had given their jewelry to Aaron to make the golden calf (Ex. 32:2-4).

2. They worshiped this calf instead of the true God (verse 6).

3. God told the people He could no longer go with them for they were a "stiff-necked people" and he might "destroy" them (33:3).

4. The people began to mourn and take off their ornaments because God told them to remove these ornaments until he decided what to do with them.

In the days of Jeremiah God's people also rebelled against Him. Again God used the same language "They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers" (Jer. 7:27). But this time instead of telling them to strip off their ornaments He commands them to "cut off your hair and throw it away;" (verse 29) and He continues "take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath."

The argument is used that the "ornament" command must still apply today because we still use ornaments and therefore we must take them off just as the Children of Israel were commanded to do. If this line of reasoning is valid we would then, to be consistent, have to apply the same principle to Jeremiah 7:29 and tell people that they must also cut off their hair, since we still wear hair.



Naturally the thinking person will recoil at the second suggestion and say "Wait a minute!! Isn't the cutting off of the hair a sign of repentance? And since that is no longer a sign of repentance today that particular application of the principle is no longer valid.

Why did God ask the Israelites to strip themselves of their ornaments? They had just used their ornaments to make a false god and just as God poured out plagues on the symbols of the false gods of Egypt (river, frogs, flies, etc.) He again made the symbols of false gods objects of His wrath. They took off their ornaments as a sign of mourning, of sorrow, of repentance. There is no indication that this injunction was permanent. Indeed just a short while later Moses was asking for donations from those same ornaments to construct the tabernacle. This place of worship was covered with as much gold as the people were and both basked in this splendor.

Recently Dr. Richard Davidson has suggested another meaning for this passage. He makes it clear that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the wearing of jewelry: "The Bible is plain: jewelry is beautiful. God made it. And He loves it. Before sin arose in the universe Lucifer was decked with jewels; 'every precious stone was . . . [his] covering;' it was beautiful, splendid, and prepared by God (Eze. 28:13). In the Old Testament God likens His salvation to the ornaments of a bride (Isa. 49:18; 61:10). At the end of the millennium the holy city will descend, 'prepared as a bride adorned for her husband'" (Rev. 21:2).

"A primary principle then is that jewelry is beautiful and approved by God"[2] Since Davidson chairs the Department of Old Testament at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary his view of the appropriateness of jewelry carries some weight. But Davidson then tries to enunciate another principle: "But to this must be added another principle. From the Old Testament record it appears that in a time of corporate investigative and/or executive judgment God regularly asks His people to remove their ornaments as an outward symbol of the special judgment setting.

The clearest example of this is recorded in Exodus 33:5,6."[3] Since Jewish interpreters applied this passage to the Day of Atonement and since strict Jews wear no gold ornaments on Yom Kippur today Davidson suggests that this could apply to Seventh-day Adventists since the beginning of the judgment in 1844. Davidson buttresses his argument by appealing to Isa. 3:13,14, 16-23, and Ezekiel 16.

Davidson then says: "Putting these principles together, is it possible that since 1844 Seventh-Day Adventists have the privilege of refraining from wearing jewelry as a special outward sign of the unique present truth that they are Laodicea, 'people of the judgment;' that they live in the time of the investigative judgment? Is it possible that Adventists adopt this posture also because, although the church is spiritually espoused to Christ (Eph. 5; 2 Cor. 11:2), the wedding is not yet consummated? (Rev. 17:4,5) For those who understand the deeper issues, taking on the bridal ornaments before the wedding is the posture of Babylon the harlot (Rev. 17:4,5) not the true church (Rev. 12:1).

It is not that wearing jewelry is wrong—but we have the privilege of waiting to do so until the wedding feast, when Jesus Himself will adorn His bride with jewels. This discussion calls for further investigation, but it illustrates how the posture of 'afflicting our souls' on the Day of Atonement may inform the practical lifestyle issues in our church."[4]

Davidson must be commended for trying to place the non-wearing of jewelry on a firmer biblical basis. However, there are several problems with his approach:

1. There is no consensus as to what constitutes jewelry. Do we adopt the Adventist version or the world's version? We have already mentioned this problem in chapter 1. Do we forbid all brooches, tie pins, cuff links, ornamental hair clips? Do we start to make a list? On what basis do we select certain items to be on the list? Remember at one time our church forbade rubber, coral, and even feathers.

2. He makes the same sweeping use of Isa. 3:16-23 as other Adventist commentators do and in so doing proves too much as we will see later when we discuss that passage.

3. He fails to mention that it was God who dressed His bride in all manner of jewelry (Ezek 16) and later took away that jewelry when they deserted Him.

4. Even if we were to grant some validity to his interpretation do we make it a requirement or a teaching of the church? And why should personal adornment be singled out over other lifestyle issues: house, vehicles, holidays, etc.?

5. The sanctuary service had not yet been instituted so it could not have been the day of atonement when the Israelites danced around the golden calf. Therefore there is no day of atonement imagery to suggest.

God also told his people "to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth" (Isa. 22:12) as a sign of repentance. Should we suggest that we should still do that today? In other words on what principle do we emphasize certain forms of mourning and repentance and make them normative for today and not the other examples given in Scripture?

What we can learn from this passage is the principle that whatever separates ourselves from God should be given up; this might include jewelry if it becomes an idol or a source of pride. In this context their ornaments were used as a substitute for a false god. Again, God did not ask them to take off their ornaments because he was against vanity or show but because they had been used for the wrong purpose. If we use ornaments for the wrong purpose then we must take them off too.

Isaiah 3:16-23

"The Lord says, 'The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.'

"In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls."

This passage proves too much. Quite often you will find in our published material that the writer ends with verse 21 "signet rings and nose rings" omitting completely the "fine robes, capes, cloaks, purses, mirrors, garments, and shawls." If God is against the jewelry listed in this passage then He is also against the clothing and other accessories.

It is manipulating the text of the worst order to divide it in two and say that part applies today and part does not. This can only be done if one comes to the text with an a priori assumption that jewelry is evil and then impose upon the text this belief. This is proof texting of the worst kind. I will not cite specific examples of this being done to save embarrassment to the authors. However, it breeds cynicism in thinking people who discover this and makes them skeptical of other interpretations.

What is God saying in this passage? The context describes judgment that God will bring upon Jerusalem and Judah and in particular the "haughty women of Zion." Men are included in this judgment as well; the chapter ends by saying that the women will exchange their fine clothes for "sackcloth" and the men will "fall by the sword" (verses 24, 25). If we take this passage literally then we must take it all literally and ban mirrors, bonnets, cloaks, purses, veils, and so on. There is no indication in the passage that we can select what we like. If God is opposed to jewelry then he is opposed to a lot of other things as well.

God is talking about excess not moderation. He is telling His people that outward show is not a substitute for the inner being and motives. The context concerns “haughty women.” God has nothing to say about women who are humble, who are not haughty. Their dress only becomes a matter of comment when it is over emphasized and full of pride.



1 Timothy 2:9, 10

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

First, let's look at this text by itself, simply as a proof text. What is it saying? It says that women are to "dress modestly, with decency and propriety." No one would argue with those principles. Then Paul gives some examples of how to apply these principles: "not with braided hair, gold, pearl, expensive clothes." But he does not conclude here. I have never read or heard that women must perform "good deeds." That part is always left out of any discussion on jewelry.

Notice what we do not forbid. We don't forbid "braided hair." We don't forbid "gold." Gold is commonly worn in the form of brooches, watches, hair clips, tie-pins, cuff links. We don't forbid "pearls" unless actually worn on the body. And we don't give any definition as to what "expensive clothes" might be. We conclude from this text that earrings, necklaces, finger rings, and bracelets are forbidden. What kind of exegesis is that?

Secondly, we have completely divorced these texts from their context. The preceding verse says: "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger, or disputing." We actually discourage our people from following this text. Some have said that this refers to the giving of the benediction. But where does it say that in the text.



The subsequent verses say: "A woman should learn in quietness and silence and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent" (verses 11,12). We do not practice this admonition of Paul at all. "Hey wait a minute" someone says "aren’t we supposed to interpret these texts? If we took everything absolutely literally we would come up with all kinds of strange things?” Of course we must interpret but we should apply the same principles to all parts of the passage not just to one sentence or paragraph.



Read the whole chapter. The context concerns instructions on proper forms of worship and is given within the Jewish and Gentile setting of the time. The gospel brought a liberating philosophy to people and the culture. Paul said to the Galatians "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). Women had been subjected to all kinds of indignities. They could not even worship together with men. They were to sit behind a screen in the synagogue. Now they were stirring themselves. Paul says "Be careful. Don't go to fast. Yes I understand your needs but you will have more influence if you dress appropriately for worship and don't fight your culture in the worship service by demanding equal participation with men."



Paul's letter to Timothy discusses various problems in the church: people teaching false doctrines and creating dissensions (1:3, 4); false views on marriage and diet (4:3, 4); mistreatment of elderly parents and grandparents (5:1-16); fair treatment of church leaders (5:17-20); and problems in worship (2:1-15) of which overdressing had become more important than a worshipful spirit. Since the instruction on how women should dress comes in the context of worship a case could be made for Paul speaking only about how women should dress when they come to worship God. Only if you take the text out of its context can a case be made for a prohibition against adornment at all times.

Other questions could be raised. Since Paul did not mention silver is that alright to be worn? If he was to extend his list would that include scarves tied around the neck, watches or eye glasses hanging from gold chains? And why were only the women singled out? Men also wore jewelry in Bible times. There is no condemnation anywhere in Scripture against men wearing adornment.



Madelyn Jones-Haldeman (professor of New Testament at La Sierra University) adds further insight to the context of this passage: "'To have authority over a man,' (verse 12) is not the usual verb to describe one's power or responsibility. Rather, in Greek, the word conveys the idea of both seduction and murder. Female teachers in both Greek and Roman times had the reputation of sexually seducing their students. The word also suggests murder—to have full power over someone to the point of destroying the person. Thus the dress of these women suggested seductive powers, and the money they controlled suggested power of another kind. The passage truly deals with highhanded power and authority, used in the most unscrupulous ways."[5]

The principles are clear: modesty, decency, and propriety. Beyond that we must leave it up to each person how they will apply those principles in their own lives.

1 Peter 3:3, 4

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

What is the context of this passage? The passage really begins with chapter 2 verse 13 and extends to 3:12. Peter is discussing relationships: first, between government and citizens; second, between master and servant; third, between husband and wife; and last, between fellow Christians. This whole passage is about relationships not about jewelry. Why then is adornment mentioned?



Peter is talking about how believing wives could best witness to unbelieving husbands. He tells them not to rely on their outward beauty or on how well they dress but to rely on a gentle and quiet spirit. He says your husbands will know that you are Christians not so much by how you look on the outside but how your inner character shines through.



Strangely enough we have turned this text on its head. We say that you tell an Adventist by what they are not wearing rather than by their attitudes and relationships. Peter says the way you tell a Christian is by his or her attitudes and relationships not by how he or she looks.

Again we try and quantify the text. We neglect the "braided hair," interpret the "gold" to mean body jewelry, and avoid saying anything about fine clothes. An interesting point concerns the phrase "fine clothes." There is no adjective modifying clothes in the Greek. Peter is literally saying “wear no clothes.” Of course we don’t believe that Peter meant no clothes that is why we add a qualifier. But there is no qualifier in the Greek. If we can add a qualifier here it is just as logical to add a qualifier before "gold jewelry" such as "excessive gold jewelry?

Again we must understand the times in which the Bible writers gave these admonitions. Madelyn Jones-Haldeman reminds us: "The austere dress suggested in 1 Peter contrasted starkly with the elaborate and exotic dress worn by female participants at the feast of Artemis. Writers of the day describe in detail the beauty of women who paraded through the streets dressed in purple chitons, their hair elaborately braided with gold and jewels. The women who dressed in such a fashion presented themselves as erotically attractive; male observers of the spectacle became convinced that these women were immoral . . ."

"Rich women were to be extremely careful in their dress so that society would not consider these Christians as immoral as the women who attended the cultic feasts. Husbands could more readily be won over to the Christian religion if the women conformed to the norms of dress outlined by society because the husbands would not worry about the morality of the wives' new religion or the purity of the marriage bed."[vi]

If the context and the historical situation are ignored we can make the same case for putting disobedient children to death (Ex. 21:17, forbidding eunuchs becoming Seventh-day Adventists (Deut. 23:1), refraining from men cutting their hair or beard (Lev. 19:27), abolish the wearing of neckties for ministers since they must not wear anything that might make them sweat (Ezek. 44:15, 17, 18), greet everyone with holy kisses (Rom. 16:16), do not eat any meat with the blood still in it (Lev. 19:26) as we can for the discarding of jewelry under all circumstances. In fact a stronger case could be made for making these injunctions apply today as they are all actual commands of Scripture whereas the text in Exodus is the only explicit command against ornaments in the whole Bible.



Wearing of jewelry

There is a place in Scripture where God actually commands His people to wear jewelry. When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush he gave this command which has been strangely overlooked: "Every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your son, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians" (Exod. 3:22, KJV). Here God commands them to wear the ornaments they took from the Egyptians. How could God tell them to do this if the wearing of jewelry is a sin? Sin is always sin.

Without belaboring the point too much we need to explain better why we apply some texts literally (and even then not really literally) and ignore others. There is at least one command in those just cited that is still a valid health law and which we as Adventists take no stand on whatsoever. I refer to the prohibition against the eating of blood. We prohibit unclean food, recommend a vegetarian diet, and yet say nothing about the eating of blood.



Positive side of Jewelry

The Bible says much about beauty and adornment. The sanctuary, the temple, and the high priest's clothing, glittered with gold and jewels (Exd. 35:22; 1 Chron 29:2; Exod. 28:8-24).

Lucifer was adorned with jewels (Ezek. 28:13).

The maiden in the Song of Solomon is praised for wearing earrings and necklaces (Song 1:10, 11).

God commands the children of Israel to wear the jewelry they took from the Egyptians (Exod. 3:22).

In the allegory of Ezekiel 16 God tells how He adorned His bride (Israel) with: "Jewelry, bracelets, necklace, ring in nose, earrings, and a crown on her head" (16:11, 12). No where in Scripture do we find God using something that is evil in a positive light. The pig is never regarded positively. Idols are never regarded positively. Prostitution is never regarded positively. We do have examples of things that once were good becoming evil because the people misused them. The bronze serpent that Moses made to heal the Israelites later had to be destroyed by Hezekiah because the people had begun to worship it (2 Kings 18:4). We also have examples of good things being given up for a time such as when people fasted, or took off their regular clothes and donned sackcloth. But we don't have an examples of evil things being also addressed positively unless jewelry is the only exception.



We know that the New Jerusalem will sparkle with all kinds of jewels (Rev. 21:10-23). Over and over again in Scripture we have jewelry used as positive similes (Lam. 4:7; Mal 3:17; Prov. 3:15, 16; 8:11; 20:15; 25:12; 31).

In oriental times there was a very practical reason for wearing jewelry. There were no banks or safe deposit boxes. The safest place to store one's wealth was upon one's person. That was why it was so important for a wife to get a good dowry. She usually received this dowry in the form of jewelry which she then wore and could sell if she ever became destitute.



Use of Scripture

Time and place must always be considered when interpreting Scripture. As we have already stated you can prove anything you want from Scripture if we use an isolated text. What may be valid under one circumstance may be the complete opposite in another.
John the Baptist lived as an ascetic. He practiced a very simple lifestyle. Jesus said of him "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine" (Luke 7:33). Then Jesus contrasts John's lifestyle with His own "The Son of Man came eating [bread] and drinking [wine]" (verse 34).

While Jesus practiced a simple lifestyle He did not practice the asceticism of John. What was appropriate for John was not necessary for Jesus. One could use the texts about John not eating bread and drinking wine and only eating locusts and honey to make just as good a case for us following the same practice today as we use the texts for bidding certain forms of jewelry to be worn. We need to distinguish between what is essential and what is tangential. Above all we need to distinguish between the requirements of the church and the teachings of the church.

Sorry for the length of this. I normally don't post this long. But this seemed to be an important topic for some.

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