Carnal man is in the business of self-destruction. Given the choice between life and death, he will choose death at an alarming rate. He'll smoke, dope, and drink himself to death. He'll hate, fear, and lust himself to death. He'll steal, kill, and destroy himself to death, and so on. Why such self-destructive traits? The answer is simply heredity. Adam and Eve, our great-grandparents, had a choice to make between life and death and they chose death. Ever since that day, it's been like mother like daughter, like father like son. The only way to escape this cursed hereditary trait of self-destruction is to die-out to the Adamic fatherhood and be born a second time as a son of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming blood. Deuteronomy30:19:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
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On numerous occasions, we have been challenged concerning an article on this website titled "Tattoos & Body Piercing." Also, this subject has generated legitimate questions regarding ear piercing and the wearing of jewelry, which we'll address in this feature. But, first comes an answer to the many challenges. The primary verse quoted in "Tattoos & Body Piercing" is Leviticus 19: 28.
GOD SAID, Leviticus 19:28:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
MAN SAID: This commandment deals only with cuttings (piercings) and body markings (tattoos) when they are done for the dead.
Now THE RECORD. Physical mutilation was not only an act performed for the dead. I Kings 18:28 shows that the wicked prophets of Baal cut themselves during a religious frenzy. The once infamous madman of Gadarea, who was possessed by a legion of devils, hid in the mountains and in tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones (Mark 5:5). Consider that I Corinthians 3:16-17 reads:
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
In regard to the second part of Leviticus 19:28, "...nor print any marks upon you," the commonality or linkage between the first and second part of the verse is that they are in a list of commandments and the commandments are not necessarily related to each other, such as shown in Leviticus 19:14:
Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
The following excerpt is from "Tattoos & Body Piercing" on this website:
Tattoos and body piercings are a global rage that is turning into a worldwide epidemic. In the March 2001 issue of the professional journal, Medicine, a report concerning this subject was printed. Robert Haley, MD, chief of epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, reported that people with tattoos are 900% more likely to be infected with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C as well as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread by infected blood which can be and is spread by infected needles. Dr. Haley said, "There's a major epidemic of hepatitis C in this country, which most people do not realize." The doctor went on to say, "People can have the virus for 10 years and not know it. In another 10 to 20 years, they likely will be dead."
Tattooing is illegal in many places including the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, and New Mexico. New York City just lifted the ban on tattooing in 1997. It has been banned in New York since 1961 when health officials traced an outbreak of hepatitis B to tattoo artists who allegedly used contaminated needles and pigments.
GOD SAID, "Don't," for more reasons, of course, than contamination.
MAN SAID, "Do."
Now you have THE RECORD.
Recently, we received this question from a fine brother who is the youth minister at his church:
I read and listened to your message regarding tattoos and body piercings and I'm still unclear about piercings; especially the ears. God has recently blessed my wife and I with a baby girl named Ariana. To most people, the piercing of the ears is not a big deal. I have searched the Scriptures and still am uncertain. My pastors also seem a bit unclear. I am a youth minister at my church and hear these kinds of questions all of the time. My wife and I would love to hear your position on this matter. Also, I'd like to know your view on the wearing of jewelry.
Concerning ear piercing, it was common for the Israelites to have what certainly appears to be pierced ears. Exodus 32:2-3:
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
In this particular passage, evil came of the golden earrings but no condemnation is inferred in regard to pierced ears.
Deuteronomy 15 deals with bondmen. If at the time of his or her release, the bondman decided to stay with the master, the following directive was given by God, in chapter 15, verse 17:
Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
The following passages deal with ear jewelry and jewelry in general. Abraham, the father of all children of faith, sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac and when the servant found Rebekah, the following exchange took place. Genesis 24:22-32:
22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?
24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Micah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.
28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
And again in verse 53:
And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
Now note that the next passage deals with the household of faith and has more of a spiritual connotation. Ezekiel 16:8-13:
8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered unto a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
Concerning ear piercing, this one final note is very important. If one chooses to have an ear pierced, be extremely concerned about the qualifications of the individual performing the procedure and the sanitization of the facility and its instruments.
The question that arises concerning the wearing of jewelry typically comes from passages such as I Peter 3:1-4:
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
This passage addresses wives whose husbands do not obey the Word of God. They are told to be sure their adorning is the beautifying of the hidden man of the heart, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, so that by the wife's chaste conversation, the husband may be won. They are also told to not let their adorning be the outward adorning of plaiting (or braiding) the hair, wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel. Obviously, this passage does not mean that a woman should not adorn herself at all or she would also have to walk around in a condition of undress, but it shows that a woman of God should not have her focus on beauty, but on the "hidden man of the heart." The following Scripture in I Timothy 2: 9-10 states basically the same thing that is said to the wife, but it addressed women in general:
9 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;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
The definition of modest is, "properly restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; also, not loose; not lewd." Modest apparel and jewelry must fit that definition. A good rule of thumb is that if the apparel or jewelry you're wearing is designed to cause attention to sexuality or pride, if the clothing is tight and revealing or if the jewelry is a sexual accent, it is in error. The word shamefacedness means, "bashfulness and modesty," not "arrogant and loud." And sobriety is defined by Webster (primary definition) as, "habitual soberness or temperance in the use of spiritous liquors; as when we say, a man of sobriety." [End of quote] Spiritual beauty should be of the inward man and not of outside adornments. Outside adornments should be modest and should be that which becometh women professing godliness.
Concentrating on outside beauty can create many pitfalls. The following short list of five identifies some of them:
1. Enhancing outside beauty for the purpose of lustful allurement and drawing attention to carnal beauty contributes to the power of temptation.
2. Showing off one's "recycled mud" contributes to the pride of life.
3. It can lead others, by example, to the excesses of the flesh.
4. Desire for the outside elements of beauty will cause discontent, envy and covetousness.
5. Those guilty of disobeying these commandments of God will draw to themselves people of evil motivation and not those seeking righteousness. The end result is that the person who seeks a companion through sexual allurement will be snared by her own deeds.
As I noted earlier, in the Old Testament, the Scriptures endorse the wearing of jewelry, as shown in the quoted example of Rebekah receiving the earring and bracelets and God's adornment of the children of Israel with ornaments, bracelets and a chain on the neck. Also in the New Testament, Jesus speaks in Luke 15:22 concerning the return of the prodigal son to his father's house.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
These examples clearly show God's endorsement of jewelry. But it is within God's parameters that one must wear them.
GOD SAID, outside adornments should be modest and should be that which becometh women professing godliness.
MAN SAID: "If you got it, flaunt it."
Now you have THE RECORD.
King James Bible
http://mywebmd.com/content/article/3606.679, Dr. D. Watson
Medicine, March 2001, Robert Haley, M.D.
Paulovich, Asa, "Tattooing & Body Piercing," Acedemic Report, May 06, 2003
Webster, Noah, "American Dictionary of the English Language," 1828