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# 00860 :  Wearing ornaments- A tradition rooted in idol worship
Sometimes church members will remove colorful cosmetics and jewelry simply "because the church says so" rather than because they understand the principles that God has revealed to ensure a healthy relationship with Him. Such members are prone to ask, "What is wrong with my earrings or necklace? They are inconspicuous and inexpensive! What is wrong with wearing my miniskirt to church? It is only four inches above the knee! I am still young, and this is what everybody else wears!"

My heart has been troubled on many occasions by these questions because they reveal a negative attitude toward God. The concern seems to be: "How much adornment and body exposure can I get by with and still be accepted by God?" This attitude reflects a desire to do only the minimum necessary for salvation.

But a genuine Christian will not ask, "How little can I do and still remain a child of God?" but rather, "How much can I do to show my faith, love, and commitment to Christ through my outward appearance?" This is the positive approach springing from a heart so full of love for God that it wants to know how best to glorify Him in all aspects of lifestyle, including outward appearance. Christians with this positive and loving attitude are eager to know what God has revealed in Scripture regarding dress, jewelry, and cosmetics.

There are refernences in the scripture which clearly indicates the connection of ornaments and idols. From the history of ornaments also it is not difficult to find out that wearing of ornaments has much to do with idol worship. Originally ornaments are made by man (Not God) for adorning and pleasing the idol-gods. We know about "Thiruvabharanam" and "Sankarabharanam" all these words are pointing to the original use of ornaments.

If minnu and pottu are based on Hindu faiths, wearing lipstics is started by greek prostitutes, to show that they are on their menstruation. These are not my personal opinion, but which are recorded by researchers and historians. Let us discuss here how much ornaments are....

Post by : junice  View Profile    since : 26 Jul 2006


Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 5:50:26 PM Close
(contd from above...)

related to idol worship, pagan religions etc...


When we examine the most relevant Old Testament passages dealing with jewelry, cosmetics, and extravagant clothing, we shall discover a consistent association of the use of these articles with seduction, adultery, and apostasy. We shall see that the removal of outward ornaments is a precondition to inward spiritual cleansing and reconciliation with God. In view of the fact that some people find support in certain Old Testament passages for a moderate use of jewelry, we shall give special attention to these passages and to the arguments drawn from them.

The human body was the crown of God’s creation, most marvellous in design, most beautiful in form and features, and most charming in expression. God expressed His total satisfaction over His creation of Adam and Eve, declaring it "very good" (Gen 1:31). In their Edenic state man and woman wore only the garment of their innocence. "A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to compensate for the loss of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering."1

In the Bible, clothes or their absence (nudity) serve to represent the spiritual condition of human beings before God and His glory. When Adam and Eve sinned, they suddenly discovered that they "were naked" (Gen 3:7) because they had lost the robe of light. Their nakedness resulted not from removing physical garments. They had never worn any garment until that time. Rather, they became aware of their nakedness the moment they sinned and sensed their separation from the glorious presence of God which had been their covering.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 5:53:09 PM Close
Redemption is often represented in the Bible as the restoration of the original robe of light emanating from God’s glorious presence. Isaiah speaks of the restoration of the robes of light in the Messianic kingdom: "The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light by night, but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory" (Is 60:19). Similarly, John the Revelator compares the church waiting for Christ’s coming to a bride adorned for the wedding: "It was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure" (Rev 19:8). The Greek term for "bright" is lampron which literally means "shining, resplendent" like a lamp. The robe of light, lost because of sin, is finally regained. The light of God’s glory will clothe not only the redeemed but the city itself: "And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb" (Rev 21:23).

The imagery of clothing extends beyond creation and restoration to include the time in-between. To receive the robe of Christ’s glory at His Return, we need now to "put off the old nature" (Eph 4:23) and to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 13:14). The white robe of righteousness we are called to wear in this present life is not a garment woven by our efforts, but offered to us by Christ: "I counsel you to buy from me . . . white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen" (Rev 3:18). The nakedness of sin is covered by the glistening white garments offered by Christ. His promise to those "who have not soiled their garments" is that "they shall walk with me in white" (Rev 3:4).

The above sampling of references suffices to show how rich is the symbolism of clothing in the Bible. From the creation to restoration, God’s creative and redemptive activity is often represented as covering the nakedness of His children with the garments of His righteousness.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 5:55:49 PM Close
Fashion began as our guilty parents were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Innocence was gone, the robe of light had faded, and Adam and Eve, shivering and cringing in the nakedness of sin, sewed together fig leaves to cover themselves. Their temporary covering was soon replaced by skin garments provided by God Himself (Gen 3:20). As people became increasingly corrupt, they tried to replace the beautiful simplicity of their innocence with inventions of fabrics, fashions, and ornaments of gold, jewels, and pearls. The more depraved people became, the more extravagant became their clothes and ornaments.

The original function of clothes was to protect the body from changing climate and lustful desires. Soon, however, people made clothing and ornaments the expression of pride and sex. Self-respect was turned into vanity. The desire for recognition led people to load themselves with showy apparel and costly ornaments. Thus, dress and ornaments soon became the index of spiritual decline and apostasy.

in Genesis 35:1-4. God instructed Jacob to move his family members from Shechem to Bethel in order to lead them to a spiritual reformation by building an altar in the very place where He appeared to him when he fled from his brother Esau.

Jacob realized that there was much work to be done before his family members would be ready to meet with God at Bethel. Out of consideration for his wives Jacob had tolerated idols and jewelry. These items probably included the idols that Rachel had stolen from her father (Gen 31:19), as well as the jewelry that Jacob’s sons had captured as part of the spoils of Shechem (Gen 34:27-29).

To lead his family members to an inward moral and spiritual purification, Jacob summoned them to an outward cleansing: "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments; then let us arise and go up to Bethel, that I may make there an altar to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone" (Gen 35:2-3).

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 5:56:54 PM Close
It is significant to note that Jacob sensed that his family members needed the outward cleansing of their bodies and the change of their garments before they could experience the inward cleansing at the altar that he was about to build. Presumably the change of garments meant putting on clothes which were not only clean but also appropriate for this special encounter with God. We saw earlier how research has shown that we become what we wear. This is true in the spiritual as well as the professional life. A clean and new outward appearance challenges us to be clean and new inwardly through the purification of our minds and hearts. This may explain why similar directives are given later to the Israelites at Sinai as they prepared to meet with God (Ex 19:10).

The response of Jacob’s household is commendable: "So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem" (Gen 35:4). Note that they delivered to Jacob not only their idols, but also their jewelry ("the rings that were in their ears"). They recognized that these also would have been a barrier to acceptance with God.

Some commentators think that the earrings themselves were amulets, little idols worn as charms. This is altogether possible because many articles of jewelry were associated with idol worship (Is 3:18-21). Often people wore what they worshiped. In its article on "Hebrew Dress and Ornament," The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains: "A jewel was at the same time an amulet. According to the ancient Oriental view, metals and precious stones belonged to certain gods of the mineral world and possessed, therefore, a mysterious magic power. Aside from this, any trinket that diverts attention from the wearer to itself still serves as a protection against the evil eye. For this reason every one in the Orient wears an abundance of jewelry. Traces of this superstition are found in the Old Testament.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 5:57:31 PM Close
In Isaiah 3:20 a piece of woman’s jewelry is designated as an amulet (cf. Gen 35:4); and it is evident that the ornaments on the camels of the Midianites were charms (Judg 8:21)."3

This is true even today, especially in Catholic countries, where many people like to wear as pendants what they worship: crosses, hearts (of Jesus or Mary), and even small relics. It is also true in many new age and satanic cults, whose followers wear the objects they worship, namely, amulets, charms, talismans, and various kinds of pendants. Usually the function of these articles of jewelry is to ward off evil spirits or spells.

Judges 8:24 suggests that the wearing of earrings was native to the Ishmaelites: "For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites." The phrase suggests that earrings were a trademark of the Ishmaelites and not of the Israelites. We would say today that they were the trademark of worldly people and not of Christians.

The members of Jacob’s household had adopted the idolatrous pagan lifestyle, but now Jacob was bringing them before God at Bethel to make an atonement for their sins. It was a time of heart searching and repentance. They recognized that strange gods and jewelry were to be removed before God’s blessings could come upon them. To ensure that his family members would not be tempted to fall back into idolatry, Jacob wisely buried the idols and the earrings near the oak at Shechem, thus leaving them behind before proceeding to Bethel.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 6:01:02 PM Close
This story contains a valuable principle for Christians today. If we want to experience an inner cleansing from our sinful past and wish to have a Bethel-type ("House of God") experience with God, we need to remove all the outward besetting objects of idolatry, including ornaments worn for the glory of self rather than of God. To ensure that we will not be tempted to use them again, it is best to dispose of them permanently rather that to preserve them as keepsakes.

A similar reformation involving the removal of ornaments is reported in Exodus 33:1-6. The context is the great apostasy that occurred while Moses was up on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments. Tired of waiting for Moses and anxious to have a visible god to go before them in the place of Moses, some of the Israelites brought their golden ornaments to Aaron, who used them to make a molten calf in imitation of the gods of Egypt (Ex 32:2-4). While still up in the mountain, Moses was warned by God of the apostasy in the camp and hastened to come down, only to find the people dancing and shouting around their idol.

To show disdain for their rebellion, Moses threw down the tables of stone, breaking them in the sight of the people, thus signifying that they had broken their covenant with God. He then proceeded to destroy the golden calf with fire and, with the help of the Levites, to punish those who persisted in their rebellion (Ex 32:15-29). Then Moses went up again to the mountain to plead that God would forgive the people’s sin. God reassured Moses that He would remain true to the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to bring them to the land of Canaan, but He Himself would not go with them. Presumably the reason is that should they again rebel, His direct presence would mean their complete destruction.

When the Israelites learned that God would no longer guide and protect them with His personal presence, they deeply repented of their transgression, "and no man put on his ornaments" (Ex 34:4).

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 6:02:08 PM Close
The men were probably wearing armlets, bracelets, and anklets like those worn by men in Egypt. This shows that the temptation to wear ornaments affects men as well as women.

In response to Israel’s apparent repentance, God offered to reconsider His threat, but He requested that the Israelites give proof of the depth of their repentance by permanently removing their ornaments: "So now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do with you" (Ex 33:5). The response was positive. "Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward" (Ex 33:5).

The story suggests that penitent Israelites recognized that their ornaments were a serious obstacle to their reconciliation with God. So they decided to strip "themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward." The phrase "from Mount Horeb onward" implies that sincere Israelites made a commitment at Mount Horeb to discontinue the use of ornaments in order to show their sincere desire to obey God. This experience resembles that of Jacob’s family members at Shechem. In both instances the removal of ornaments is preparatory to a renewal of a covenant commitment to God.

Relevance for Today. What can we learn from this experience? In referring specifically to the wilderness experience of the Israelites, Paul reminds us that "these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come" (1 Cor 10:11). Like the Israelites of old, we also are journeying to the promised land. God’s command to the Israelites to remove their ornaments before going into the land of Canaan applies to us who are journeying to the heavenly Canaan. If the wearing of ornaments contributed to the Israelites’ rebellion against God and their removal facilitated reconciliation with God, could not the same be true for us today?

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 26 Jul 2006 6:11:04 PM Close
Some readers may wonder: Why were ornaments such a stumbling block to the spiritual life of the Israelites, and why is jewelry detrimental to our spiritual life today? Part of the answer is that we wear what we worship, and we worship what we wear. We wear what we worship in the sense that we wear what best reveals our idols: beauty, wealth, social status, or level of sophistication. We worship what we wear in the sense that we adore those clothes, ornaments, and gadgets that best nurture our ambitions (idols).

Have you ever heard people say, "I adore this dress or necklace! It adds so much to my appearance and personality"? Such comments reveal that the ultimate concern of such people is not the worship of God, but the cult of their own personality. The latter is idolatry. To the extent that clothes, ornaments, cars, homes, professional goals, and wealth become the priorities (the idols) of our lives, to the same extent God is displaced from our lives and consciousness. This is a fundamental reason why outward ornaments are a stumbling block to the spiritual life.

Another revealing example of how extravagant clothes and adornments fostered pride and self-glorification rather than the worship of God, is found in Isaiah 3:16-26. This passage is most significant because it contains not only the most detailed descriptions of the various articles of jewelry and fine clothing worn by wealthy women in Jerusalem, but also the most scathing denunciation of the pride and haughtiness displayed through such articles.

The context of the passage is the announcement of God’s judgment upon His people, which will result in their utter humiliation and destruction. The reason for the divine judgment is that the people have forsaken God: "For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen; because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence" (Is 3:8).

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 2:40:12 AM Close
Quote from Encarta Encyclopedia
"INTRODUCTION
Jewellery, personal adornment worn since ancient times by people of all cultures, as ornaments, as badges of social or official rank, and as emblems of religious or other belief. In its widest sense the term jewellery encompasses objects made of many kinds of organic and inorganic materials such as hair, feathers, leather, scales, bones, shells, wood, ceramics, metals, and minerals. More narrowly, and as used here, the term refers to mounted precious or semi-precious stones and to objects made of valuable or attractive metals such as gold, silver, platinum, copper, and brass. Jewellery has been worn on the head as crowns, diadems, tiaras, aigrettes, hairpins, hat ornaments, earrings, nose rings, earplugs, and lip rings; on the neck as collars, necklaces, and pendants; on the breast as pectorals, brooches, clasps, and buttons; on the limbs as rings, bracelets, armlets, and anklets; and at the waist as belts and girdles, with pendants such as chatelaines, scent cases, and rosaries. Much present knowledge of jewellery is derived from the preservation of personal objects in tombs. Information about the jewellery of cultures in which objects of value were not buried with the dead comes from portraits in surviving painting and sculpture

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 2:42:02 AM Close
Quote from Encarta Encyclopedia

"EGYPTIAN ADORNMENTS
The ancient Egyptians were familiar with most of the processes of ornamenting metal that are still practised today. They produced skilfully chased, engraved, soldered, repoussé, and inlaid jewellery. They commonly worked in gold and silver and inlaid these metals with semi-precious stones such as cornelian, jasper, amethyst, turquoise, and lapis lazuli and with enamel and glass. Their jewellery included diadems; wide bead necklaces or collars; square pectorals; hoop, hinged, or bead bracelets; and rings. Many Egyptians wore two bracelets on each arm, one on the wrist and one above the elbow. A particularly popular ornament was the signet ring. Motifs—the scarab (beetle), lotus, falcon, serpent, and eye, for example—were derived from religious symbols.

Vast quantities of jewellery have been found in Egyptian tombs. Especially notable are personal ornaments from the tomb of Tutankhamen (18th Dynasty, 1570-1293 BC), now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo."

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 2:44:39 AM Close
Quote from Encarta Encyclopedia

ORIENTAL JEWELLERY
In the East, techniques and styles of jewellery have continued to be made in unbroken traditions stretching from remote antiquity to the present day. Indian jewellery—gold fillets and earrings, bead necklaces, and metal and pottery bangles—was produced in the Indus Valley before 1500 BC. Later sculpture shows men and women wearing heavy necklaces, bracelets, girdles, and earrings. Today Indian goldsmiths, expert in the techniques also common in the West, produce enamelled, soldered, granulated, and filigreed work of great refinement. Some of the best work, especially silver filigree, is produced in Cuttack, Kashmir, and Bengal. Fine historic examples of Indian work on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London include a crescent-shaped gold brooch with granulated gold balls and pendants, and gold and enamelled turban ornaments from Jaipur, Rajputana. Other examples, especially from the south of India, bear motifs from Hindu mythology depicted in relief."

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 4:44:59 AM Close
The negative list of prohibited items is becoming lengthier with the above quotes from Encarta.

Encarta includes COLLARS, HAIRPINS, and BROOCHES & BUTTON among Jewelry.

Who will enact a proviso for excluding these items from prohibited list and including them under "Functional Jewelry"?

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 7:14:17 AM Close
Junice,
Your devotion to the Lord and sincerity in desiring to love and obey Him are commendable The general approach of people, I have noticed, is to take a predefined position and to search for evidences to establish it. Right from the beginning you made it evident that your intention is to produce an outcome you have premeditated. It is a kind of “Reverse Engineering”.

You have already made up your mind that ornaments are bad, they are related to idols, they must be discouraged because they will lead to idolatry etc. What remains is the finding of evidences and arguments; that you are attempting.

If you sincerely believe that the present generation will melt their ornaments to make an idol like the Israelites in the wilderness, what shall I say about that? If anybody is so desperate for an idol, he can easily order for it on the phone or through internet and it will be delivered at his door step. Don’t be so foolish.

Concerning the removal of probable things that may lead to committing sin, please read on. Man commits all the sins against God and other creation - human beings included - either with his body or mind. But we don’t insist with the same ‘ornament removal vehemence’ the physical cutting-off of parts of our bodies; though the Lord commanded it:

Contd....2.

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 7:56:14 AM Close
Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The no-ornament campaigners passionately plead to give up ornaments which they fear would lead to idolatry; and if they show the same exuberance in obeying the Lord in the matter of sins involving their body parts like eyes, ears, hands etc, the brethren assemblies would be filled with maimed handicaps with one eye or no eyes; with one hand or without both the hands, mute without tongue, deaf without ears etc. Some may come up with an excuse that “cutting off body parts is not pleasing to God”. Junice, is there no end to this hypocrisy?

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 2:11:45 PM Close
To the supporters of the Jewelry ban:

Junice wrote earlier;

“If we want to experience an inner cleansing from our sinful past and wish to have a Bethel-type ("House of God") experience with God, we need to remove all the outward besetting objects of idolatry, including ornaments worn for the glory of self rather than of God. To ensure that we will not be tempted to use them again, it is best to dispose of them permanently rather that to preserve them as keepsakes.”

I just wanted to bring this to your attention. Do you see how the gospel is perverted here? When you start misinterpreting the Scriptures there is no end to it, right?

I had no intention to write anything at all, but how could I keep my eyes closed to such heresy? Yet I will keep quiet. I have no desire to be dragged into it any more. So let me bring this to your attention to show where this is heading to.

I addressed this to you (to the supporters of the Jewelry ban) in particular because I know some of you have a clear understanding of the gospel. Even though each person is responsible for their own writings, see who you are aligned with.

BEWARE OF THE GALATIAN HERESY! ACCORDING TO JUNICE THE ‘INNER CLEANSING IS CONDITIONED UPON THE EXTERNAL RITUALS.’

Dear Zach, Vishuwasi, Philip, Sam B – Don’t you have anything to say about this work based salvation message?

Regards,

Tom J

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 27 Jul 2006 10:42:49 PM Close
To TomJ,

How can you serve two masters? You have to remove idols to serve God with a good conscious.

Not wearing ornaments is not a ritual, if you do not go to ornament shops, how can that be a ritual?

Getting rid off the ritual of wearing ornaments is the subject here. That is not needed for salvation, but because we are saved.

I did not stated anywhere that removing of idols will bring salvation!

To experience the fellowship of Christ and the inner cleansing we received the moment the holy spirit cleansed us, you need to remove all the outward besetting objects of idolatry, including ornaments worn for the glory of self rather than of God.

Please do not confuse the readers lying that I supported rituals for salvation! No, I am against such rituals.

We are not saved because of our good deeds! Because we are saved, to experience that cleansing in our day to day life, (bethel-like experience) we need to remove all idol besetted rituals and adornments!!

Our salvation is past present and future! No one can add anything to the salvation we got through the washing of Christ's blood. But we need to do good works for the every day salvation from sin.. Christ did not teach us to live as we like, because we are saved. Our salvation is for ever!! That's the reason why we should live holy to fit to the great salvation we received.

There is no need for confusion in my writings if you hold on the sound doctrines we are holding fast. Anyway, I do not want to make it a private conversation. Rather I want to post the truths for the benefit of many.

God bless you.

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 5:20:54 AM Close
COL 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his UNSPIRITUAL MIND PUFFS HIM UP WITH IDLE NOTIONS.

19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

COL 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, WHY, AS THOUGH YOU STILL BELONGED TO IT, DO YOU SUBMIT TO ITS RULES: 21 "DO NOT HANDLE! DO NOT TASTE! DO NOT TOUCH!"?

22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they ARE BASED ON HUMAN COMMANDS AND TEACHINGS.

23 SUCH REGULATIONS INDEED HAVE AN APPEARANCE OF WISDOM, WITH THEIR SELF-IMPOSED WORSHIP, THEIR FALSE HUMILITY AND THEIR HARSH TREATMENT OF THE BODY, BUT THEY LACK ANY VALUE IN RESTRAINING SENSUAL INDULGENCE.

1CO 8:4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL IS NOTHING AT ALL IN THE WORLD and that there is no God but one.

1CO 8:7 But not everyone knows this. SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL SO ACCUSTOMED TO IDOLS that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and SINCE THEIR CONSCIENCE IS WEAK, IT IS DEFILED.

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 6:30:31 AM Close
An idol is nothing and a child of God shall not waste his energy to make the so called idols ‘SOMETHING’. Don’t behave like one accustomed to idols. Seeing idols everywhere in everything is a hangover, a pagan religious relic of idolaters, besetting the minds and thoughts of the ‘no-ornament campaigners’. It is a mental problem of those who are not completely liberated from the clutches of their old master needing spiritual treatment.

The new campaign of “no-ornament traditionalists” demanding abstention from ornaments is identical to what is dealt with in Colo 2: 21 "DO NOT HANDLE! DO NOT TASTE! DO NOT TOUCH!".

If Paul were here TODAY, he would have written something like this:

“Why do you submit to the rules of no-ornament campaigners telling you "DO NOT HANDLE! DO NOT TASTE! DO NOT TOUCH! DO NOT WEAR"?

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 7:06:09 PM Close
Isaiah describes how the daughters of Zion display their haughty pride: "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" (Is 3:16-17, NIV). The inward pride of the women of Zion is shown outwardly by the way they walk, with "head stretched sideways" to see if they are admired, and with ogling eyes, mincing steps, and coy glances, seeking to attract attention to themselves by the tinkling sound of small bells fastened to their ankles.

The Removal of the Symbols of Pride. Such pride provokes the Lord’s punishment, which is meted out by humiliating the women of Zion through the removal of all the symbols of their pride and through their subjection to harsh treatment

"In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and the nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the garment of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans and the veils. Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a girdle, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; instead of beauty, shame. Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle. And her gates shall lament and mourn; ravaged she shall sit upon the ground" (Is 3:18-26).

In this passage we find the most inclusive enumeration of female ornaments and fine clothing to be found anywhere in the Bible. This is surprising, because as Franz Delitzsch pointed out, it is not customary for Isaiah "to enter into such minute particulars."7 Even Ezekiel, who tends to give details of women’s ornaments (Ez 16:8-14), has nothing comparable to this detailed description. ....Contd..

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 7:06:30 PM Close
The explanation is to be found in Isaiah’s concern to expose "the boundless love of ornaments which had become prevalent in the time of Uzziah-Jotham,"8 as well as the tragic consequences of humiliation, suffering and destruction.9

We should note that the passage includes legitimate articles of clothing such as "mantles, cloaks, handbags, scarfs, linen garments." Isaiah lumps these together with all the pagan ornaments worn by wealthy Jewish women, because all of them were used to show off their pride. His intent is to show how the pride of the women of Jerusalem, manifested through all their outward clothes and ornaments, provoked God’s judgment and made destruction necessary.

Relevance for Today. This passage teaches us at least two important lessons. First, luxurious clothes and ornaments reveal inner pride and desire for self-exaltation, which can result in idolatry, adultery, and apostasy. There is a close connection between dress and behavior. Immodesty breeds impurity. The seductive look of the daughters of Zion misled the leaders and eventually led the nation into disobedience and divine punishment. Thus, an important reason to avoid ornaments is not simply their cost, but especially their negative influence upon others.

Second, God abhors the pride manifested in wearing ornaments. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion . . . by a spirit of burning" (Is 4:4). Wealthy Jewish women adorned their bodies from head to foot with expensive ornaments to make themselves beautiful outwardly, but God saw their inner pride. Evidently the beauty that counts in the sight of God is not the one obtained outwardly with ornaments of gold and fine clothing, but the one attained inwardly with the "imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Pet 3:4).

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 7:24:31 PM Close
Relevance for Today:
This passage teaches us at least two important lessons. First, luxurious clothes and ornaments reveal inner pride and desire for self-exaltation, which can result in idolatry, adultery, and apostasy. There is a close connection between dress and behavior. Immodesty breeds impurity. The seductive look of the daughters of Zion misled the leaders and eventually led the nation into disobedience and divine punishment. Thus, an important reason to avoid ornaments is not simply their cost, but especially their negative influence upon others.

Second, God abhors the pride manifested in wearing ornaments. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion . . . by a spirit of burning" (Is 4:4). Wealthy Jewish women adorned their bodies from head to foot with expensive ornaments to make themselves beautiful outwardly, but God saw their inner pride. Evidently the beauty that counts in the sight of God is not the one obtained outwardly with ornaments of gold and fine clothing, but the one attained inwardly with the "imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Pet 3:4).

The wealthy women of Judah are blamed for their pride and haughtiness manifested through their boundless love of ornaments. These they used to seduce men, and thus they led the people into apostasy. In view of this fact, God’s judgment is manifested by taking away from the women all their ornaments. Evidently God saw the ornaments as part of the problem and consequently dealt with them by taking them away. God’s action can hardly be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of ornaments.

The true church, represented in Revelation by a bride, makes herself ready for the "marriage of the lamb" by adorning herself not with gold, jewels, and pearls, but "with fine linen, bright and pure" (Rev 19:8). Not only the bride, but even the multitude of the redeemed who stand before the throne of God are adorned not with ornaments of gold and silver, but with pure "white robes" (Rev 7:9). ..Contd../

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 28 Jul 2006 7:26:35 PM Close
Contd from above...

John’s prophetic vision of the bride (the church) and of the redeemed clothed in white linen without outward ornaments, suggests that ornaments are not part of the attire of God’s children, whether in the present world or in the world to come. We noted earlier that at creation and at the final restoration God covers His children not with jewelry, but with a robe of light emanating from Himself.

to be contd.../

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 12:58:33 AM Close

1. Anything can be improperly used with sinful intent. Very legitimate articles needed for everyday life can become tools in the hands of proud and ungodly. Walk, talk, look – anything.

2. The Lord will not spare the proud, the haughty and the wicked among his people unpunished, whether they are men, women, priest, prophet, elder, king or whatever.

3. External cleanness or bareness is not what the Lord is interested in. He is looking for truth in the inner parts. One can be a man after ‘God’s own heart’ with all the beautiful paraphernalia; he can be rich, live in well-appointed properly furnished houses, can have decent dress, earn a fat salary, drive around in a good big car, wear external adornments and occupy a position of authority and respect.

4. Individual believers have the freedom to express their love, devotion, respect and obedience to the Lord by any means they choose – by doing certain things, by refraining from doing certain legitimate things, by denying or by adopting.

Let us read together what the Lord said:

MT 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

MT 23:25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

MT 23:27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness

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Reply by : godsown   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 3:49:14 AM Close
I was just wondering....if Hair clips, hand bags and sandals all come under this category of forbidden articles....its always the women who are targeted for being improperly dresses or overly dressed up..Sigh!!!!! I personally would never accuse of an ornament wearer of going to hell. I used to wear jewellery myself, but removed them beoz it didn't give me any personal gratification then nor do I feel self righteous now.
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Reply by : godsown   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 3:52:52 AM Close
Oh yeah I forgot to add... face creame & talcum powder and shampoo and deo.....these too must be forbidden, to maintain our relation ship with God, huh? Or am I being childish? Forgive me, but I just wanted to know if I use these, would I get a place in heaven
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Reply by : kbb   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 7:59:59 AM Close
I found the following verse. any lesson for us from this.

MK 14:51 A young man, WEARING NOTHING BUT A LINEN GARMENT, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

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Reply by : zach   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 11:58:47 AM Close
Berecha,
you quoted the following verses, inorder to call your fellow believers who do not wear ornaments hypocrites. Will you call Jesus and desciples also hypocrites because they either didn't have ornaments.
You quoted:

MT 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

JESUS CONDEMNED NEGLECTION OF JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITHFULNESS. HE DID NOT CONDEMN PAYING TITHES. WHAT HE SAID IS WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE INTERNAL TRUTHS, DO WHAT IS REQUIRED EXTERNALLY ALSO.

MT 23:25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

HERE ALSO, JESUS DID NOT CONDEMN WASHING THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUP AND DISH: WHAT HE CONDEMNED IS NOT WASHING THE INSIDE OF THE CUP. THAT MEANS THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE OF THE CUP HAS TO BE CLEAN:

ACCORDING TO YOUR DOCTRINE, THE INSIDE ONLY NEEDED TO BE CLEANED(WHICH OTHERS CAN NOT SEE) YOU MUST KEEP THE OUTSIDE IN A DIRTY STATE. (Atleast you compared ornaments to Dirt!)

MT 23:27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness

AMONG THE WHITEWASHED TOMBS AND TOMBS WHICH ARE NOT WHITEWASHED, ATLEAST THERE IS NO MUCH DIFFERENCE! BUT NEWTESTAMENT BELIEVER WHO IS REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST AND LEADING A HOLY LIFE CAN NOT BE COMPARED WITH TOMB.

CONTD...

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Reply by : zach   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 12:03:39 PM Close
NEWTESTAMENT BELIEVER WHO IS REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST AND LEADING A HOLY LIFE CAN NOT BE COMPARED WITH A TOMB. IF YOU COMPARE THAT WAY, THAT MEANS, THEY DO NOT HAVE TRUTH IN THEM, AND THEY ARE NOT SAVED.

IF THAT IS YOUR THEORY, IN CONNECTION WITH ORNAMENTS, YOU ARE SAYING THAT THOSE BELIEVERS WHO DO NOT WEAR ORNAMENTS ARE NOT SAVED!!

IN OTHER WORDS, BY WEARING ORNAMENTS YOU CAN BE SAVED. IF YOU WEAR ORNAMENTS YOU ARE NO MORE A HYPOCRITE!!! IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO TO ALUKAS, YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE.

SO IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE LABELLED AS A HYPOCRITE, MARCH TOWARDS ALUKAS OR ATLAS JEWELLERY AND BUY AND WEAR AS MUCH AS JEWELLERY YOU CAN BUY.

JAI BEREACHA, JAI ORNAMENTS, JAI ALUKAS

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Reply by : jerome1   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 12:17:09 PM Close
Dear godsown,

wearing of ornaments or smoking a cigarette will not take you to heaven or hell. if you wear a revealing miniskirt or a purdah, that is not the measuring rod for entering heaven. Our discussion here also is not "How to go to heaven!". You have to be modest in your dresses and make-up. Not adorn with excessives, but present yourself modestly. Read the whole passage Junice posted above, do not pick from there are here and ask, if I use talcum powder, will I go to heaven. You are mocking yourself by doing so.

All saved children of God will be with Him in eternity. That is the reason why we have to behave according to the will of God revealed through the scriptures. The truths of the Bible are hidden treasures. Those who have the thirst for the truth only can find it.

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Reply by : sincy_varghese   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 9:06:08 PM Close
Zach qrote:
"you quoted the following verses, inorder to call your fellow believers who do not wear ornaments hypocrites. Will you call Jesus and desciples also hypocrites because they either didn't have ornaments."
Oh yeah, they did not wear ornaments, but they did not possess anything. See what Peter says "Silver and gold we have none". See what Jesus says "The son of Man hath nowhere to lay His head"

Asking such questions is tantamount to blackmail in the name of Jesus and His disciples. Its like saying "Oh you are speaking against Jesus and His disciple, aiyo now what will happen..." Why dont we stick to the WORD of God?

I have found most of the Jewellery-banners (not all0 to be hypocritical, judgemental, worldly in other things, adding to the Word of God like introducing concepts like functional jewelley(I tried to look for that concept for that in the Bible), unmerciful etc. I was also one of them, but God delivered me. Did I start wearing gold, Not not at all. Neither me nor my wife or anyone from my family wear ornaments, but we do not judge people's spirituality based on that.

Yeah if someone wears excessive jewellery, make-up, revealing dresses we can have a fair guess of the commitment of the person and if the person has been a believer for long we can think that they might be on a dangerous path. But so is my desire to acquire things of the world-not necessarily jewellery. It takes a lot of rebuke from my wife to keep in check my likeness for electronics. I do not for a moment believe that liking for electronics is anyway less UNSPIRITUAL than liking for jewellery.

God help those who look at the speck in their brethren's eyes but miss the bem in their own eyes.

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Reply by : sincy_varghese   View Profile   Since : 29 Jul 2006 9:14:51 PM Close
Some corrections in the previous post
Read "It takes a lot of rebuke from my wife to keep in check my likeness for electronics."
as "It takes a lot of rebuke from my wife to keep in check my liking for electronics."

Read
"Jewellery-banners (not all0 to be"
as "Jewellery-banners (not all) to be"

Read "miss the bem"
as "miss the beam"

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Reply by : godsown   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 12:38:19 AM Close
Dear Jerome1

Thanx for the posting.
I stand corrected, friend. My intention has not been to mock anyone let alone myself. What I meant to ask all of you was why is it okay to do something and not okay to do somethings. I mean where do you draw the line? Like if I apply lipstick it is a sin and if I apply talcum powder it is not? Am I not applying either of them to better my looks?
I have not and will not judge anyone. I think we all have a better Judge up there who looks at our hearts. How can you convince anyone who are of the preconceived notion that jewellery is forbidden? Isn't it the same with those who have already decided that Jewellery is OK. Or else why would we be dragging this topic on for so long?
As I wrote earlier, I never felt any better then when I used to wear jewellery than I do now. I had to remove my wedding ring because I had put on a lot of weight and I din't bother to put it back on now. Gradually, the chain went too, becos I forgot to wear it on more than a few occassions. I didn't consider it to be a favour on anyone. But I know I stand out in a crowd, especially when I hear people teasing me "hey this is a Praise the Lord". That makes me feel good.
Well, I rest my case on this topic. I think we should not do anything that pricks our conscience..and I would not be judgemental about any one either...becos each one of us who have lived on this planet will have to stand b4 the throne of Judgement...and this is not something I made up myself, right?

In Christ's Love......

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Reply by : vishwasi   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 1:12:57 AM Close
Dear Godsown,

You removed the ornaments because you do not feel it a requirement anymore! That was exactly the position of many God's servants too. Why should we go after something which is not bringing any edification or advantage. Here no one attempted to ridicule or judge anyone for wearing ornaments, until it was announced by someone that "Not wearing ornament - a form of abstinance rooted in Hindu culture" No, we did not bring anything from Hinduism. We learned it from the Lord who is our example.

A WORD TO SINCY_VARGHESE:
Dear Sincy, Jesus or disciples did not have a house to stay. I agree. But remember that they did not teach agianst having a house to stay. In the case of ornaments, Jesus and desciples practised it, it is taught by two apostles in their epistles, and there are many many indirect indications. If we are no more our own, then what is the purpose of wearing Jewellery. I do not consider that wearing ornament is the biggest sin or anything. But it is a deadwork. I started writing on this matter, only when people started attacking those who do not wearing ornaments. Normally it is local church movement supporters who attacks brethren for not wearing ornaments. My guessing was right, because I found lot of quoting from local church leaders in the ornament threads.

Evenif there is no references against ornaments in the scripture, still what is wrong in not wearing ornaments? Men and woman are still beautiful without ornaments. Ornaments cannot add to anyones beauty. How many people in the western world and East asian world are crazy for ornaments. There are many many women who do not wear any ornaments, not because they are believers, but because they are not influenced by the idol-based cultures.

On whatever basis, not wearing ornament is better than wearing ornaments without doubt. You can sell your house, but the word of God do not require it from you.

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Reply by : zach   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 1:32:10 AM Close
Sincy_Varghese,

Thank you for your comments on what I posted. Your posting agrees that Wearing ornaments is an unspiritual attitude. Only problem was your failure in substantiating it.

you quoted:

"Yeah if someone wears excessive jewellery, make-up, revealing dresses we can have a fair guess of the commitment of the person and if the person has been a believer for long we can think that they might be on a dangerous path. But so is my desire to acquire things of the world-not necessarily jewellery. It takes a lot of rebuke from my wife to keep in check my likeness for electronics. I do not for a moment believe that liking for electronics is anyway less UNSPIRITUAL than liking for jewellery."

So you are stating that those wearing excessive jewellery is in a dangerous path. "They are unspiritual like those who are liking electronics"

I agree to that also. If electronics is an idol in your life, it is a sin. We are accountable in spending our money. We should not love anything more than God. But buying of necessary electronics which serves a genuine need in our life can not be considered as unspiritual attitude. Because it has a purpose to serve.

You said those who are wearing excessive jewellery are in a dangerous path and it is unspiritual. So can you tell me how much is excessive? One person whom I know have only a tongue ring and couple of tattoos. Is it considered as excessive?

Do you think that there are atleast few people today also who are not possessed by wealth and glory of this world, who live a simple life, here and there? I have come across many of them.

Anyway thank you for posting here. Though it started as critical, you exposed the truth that many of them are trying to cover-up or bypass.

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 2:36:40 AM Close
Thank you folks; special thanks for the “cheers”. On an overall review some breaking up, some softening, some faint glimmer of proof of change and hope at the end of the tunnel is seen in the responses of some of the participants. Some admissions made by the chief spokespersons of ‘no-ornament’ camp are signs of good sense.

Let me sign off asking you all to sing with me this beautiful Hymn by George Matheson.

O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray, That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead, And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be

Contd....2

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Reply by : beracha   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 2:39:27 AM Close
Contd from 1...

Matheson said about this hymn:

My hymn was composed in the manse of Innelan [Argyleshire, Scotland] on the evening of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of the family were staying overnight in Glasgow. Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.

Born with poor vision, Matheson’s eyesight gradually worsened until he was almost totally blind. However, he was academically gifted, and his sisters learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew to help him study. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh (MA 1862), then became a minister in the Church of Scotland. He pastored in the resort town of Innelan for 18 years; due to his ability to memorize sermons and entire sections of the Bible, listeners were often unaware he was blind. In 1886, Matheson became pastor of St. Bernard’s Church in Edinburgh, where he served 13 years. He spent the remaining years of his life in literary efforts.

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Reply by : bethel   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 3:13:15 AM Close
Dear Vishwasi,

I personally appreciate your previous post and particularly the following,"Evenif there is no references against ornaments in the scripture, still what is wrong in not wearing ornaments? Men and woman are still beautiful without ornaments. Ornaments cannot add to anyones beauty. How many people in the western world and East asian world are crazy for ornaments.”

I think with this approach your opinion will have a larger acceptance..God Bless u in your endeavors..
Jimmi

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Reply by : sincy_varghese   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 9:58:23 AM Close
BTW I did not say or imply that wearing ornaments is an usspiritual. I used the term excessive. There are lot of people who are as spiritual as anyone else, nut wear some simple jewellery. There are people who wear the simplest of clothing possible-and a ring or chain-I do not know if gold- and I think some of them are the most spiritual people. Now about the tattoos and tongue-rings, we all know where the person is headed, unless the person has not had anyone to point out these things to him/her.

Vishwasi said there are 2 places where it bans ornaments, I am yet to find one. Now please do not quote Peter and Paul's epistle to Timothy, becuase it specifically say 'Let it not be the wearing of jewellery..and plaiting of hair". So what kind of hairdos are allowed? Do you allow plaiting? Do you allow buns? Who makes the rule for that? I hope some ammachis and ammamma and achayans stop looking at the hairdos and necks and fingers of women and stop gossiping about them. If there are some assemblies which enforce these things and, please chack out what is their stand on gossip, anger, dowry, covetousness, lusting with eyes, lusts of the flesh, malice, envy, strifes, etc and if they preach equally vehemently against these things and practise them, they might be seeking your welfare-give heed, if not they are practising hypocrites! No apologies for saying this.

Anyway I never said wearing ornaments is better than not wearing ornaments. I think in 1% of the cases, -Godsown might be one of them-people who do not wearing ornaments are more spiritual than those wearing, but the other 99% are as worldly, as hypocritical, as indulging as those wearing ornaments.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:31:53 PM Close
/Contd from my posting above....

A careful study of those passages which speak favorably of the use of ornaments, reveals that such passages are descriptive of the prevailing cultural understanding of beauty, and not prescriptive of how God wants His people to beautify themselves through the use of ornaments. Failure to make this distinction can lead to fanciful conclusions. Walter Kaiser, a renowned Old Testament scholar, rightly pointed out that "reporting or narrating an event in Scripture is not to be equated with approving, recommending, or making that action or characteristic normative of emulation by all subsequent readers."14 A descriptive or allegorical passage must be interpreted in the light of explicit Biblical teaching and not vice versa.

This principle must be kept in mind when interpreting passages such as Ezekiel 28:13. This is a descriptive allegorical passage which is often used to sanction the wearing of jewelry: "You were in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, topaz, and onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and wrought in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day you were created they were prepared." The reasoning is that since this passage speaks of the way God created and covered Lucifer with every precious stone, then God must approve the wearing of precious stones for human beings as well.

This interpretation fails to account for the highly symbolic language of the passage. The description occurs in the context of Ezekiel’s lamentation over the pride and arrogance of the king of Tyre, which God brought to a dreadful end ("you have come to a dreadful end" Ez 28:19). By means of the prophetic perspective, that is, the capacity of the prophets to merge the present with the past or the future, Ezekiel describes the beauty, pride, and destruction of the king of Tyre by alluding to the beauty, pride, and future destruction of Lucifer who after all is the instigator of all sinful pride.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:32:37 PM Close
The imagery of decking with precious stones is used to convey the beauty of Lucifer before his rebellion and expulsion and, by virtue of the typological correspondence, the beauty of the king of Tyre before his downfall. We know that kings used precious stones to deck not only their garments, but even the walls of their palaces. The dual application is evidenced by such phrases as "in the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned" (Ez 28:16). This is an obvious reference to the dishonest trade of Tyre. There are no indications in the Bible that Lucifer fell because of dishonest trade practices in heaven.

A Symbol of Beauty. In the same way the imagery of the covering made with precious stones can hardly be taken literally to refer to an actual jewel-studded garment that God made to cover Lucifer. Why would Lucifer need such a garment in the first place? Was it cold in heaven? Nowhere does the Bible suggest that angels wear clothes or jewels. If it were true, as the title of a booklet puts it, that God Believes in Jewelry and uses it to beautify His creatures15, why didn’t He adorn the bodies of Adam and Eve with jewels?

We have found that the covering of the first pair at creation and of the redeemed at the final restoration is a robe of light emanating from God Himself. Clothes were introduced to cover the nakedness revealed by sin (Gen 3:9, 21), but there was no need to cover Lucifer’s nakedness on the day he was created (Ez 28:13). If there was no need of clothes for the holy pair before their sin, why would Lucifer have such? Moreover, why would God use earthly mineral stones (presumably before the creation of this earth with all its minerals) to decorate a garment designed for a spiritual heavenly being?

In the light of these considerations it is evident that the imagery of the covering with precious stones is designed to convey the original beauty of Lucifer as well as of his counterpart, the king of Tyre. In both instances, beauty led to pride and to downfall.

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:34:22 PM Close
The imagery of precious stones is used not to legitimize their use as ornaments, but simply to express the notion of beauty in a language that people understood. Precious stones are beautiful. God made them to beautify this world, but I find no indication in the Bible that God uses them to beautify human bodies.

The idea of God beautifying a created being with jewels presupposes the recognition of a need for improvement, making up for existing deficiencies. But God’s original creation of human and heavenly beings was perfect in function, design, and beauty. There was no need of cosmetic "makeup" or ornaments to cover up or improve the outward appearance of His creatures.

The Holy City Adorned as a Bride. A similar allegorical passage often cited to support the legitimacy of wearing ornaments is Revelation 21:2, where John saw in vision "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The city is further described as "having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates. . . . He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man’s measure, that is, an angel’s. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was of pure gold"(Rev 21:2, 11, 12, 17, 18).

In this allegorical passage the new Jerusalem is compared to "a bride adorned for her husband," not to make a moral statement about the legitimacy of wearing ornaments, but simply to help people understand the beauty of the new world through the analogy of an adorned bride. God uses the known to communicate glimpses of the unknown.

The same is true of the description of the wall of the city, which was 144 cubits wide (about 212 feet) and "twelve thousand stadia" (Rev 21:16–about 1500 miles) high. Its height is apparently the same as the length and breadth of the city, because it says that "its length and breadth and height are equal" (Rev 21:16).

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:37:03 PM Close
The purpose of this imagery is not to teach us to protect ourselves by building high walls, but rather to assure us that the new world will be a place of perfect security. God used the imagery of a city with an incredibly high wall because that was the most effective way to communicate to people of New Testament times the perfect security that will prevail in the world to come. In interpreting allegorical imagery, we must focus on the truth being communicated rather than on the details of the allegory.

The Breastplate of the High Priest. In a personal letter, a respected fellow believer, church leader, and friend, who graciously took time to evaluate the first draft of this book, argued at some length that the ephod and breastplate of the high priest strongly suggest to him that God approves gold and jewels as ornaments when properly used. After all, it was God Himself who gave to Moses the design for the construction of these two most sacred articles of the priestly vestments. We need to briefly address this argument since other Christians may think along the same line.

The ephod was a waistcoat consisting of two parts, one to cover the chest and the other the back. The two were joined together by two "shoulder pieces" (Ex 28:7). The primary function of the ephod was to hold the breastplate, which was attached to it by means of four rings (Ex 28:23). The breastplate was an elaborately decorated piece made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen folded double into a square of about 10x10 inches. On the front were four rows of three precious stones. On each stone was inscribed the name of one of the twelve tribes (Ex 28:29). It was indeed the centerpiece of the high priest’s vestments.

Does the fact that God instructed Moses to construct such an elaborate breastplate, with twelve precious stones, suggest that God approves the proper use of jewelry for all of His people? To put it differently, if the high priest, who served as a role model for the people, could be decked with jewels when ministering

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:40:36 PM Close
.....in the sanctuary before God, does that mean that ordinary believers may also wear jewelry, provided they do it humbly and reverentially?

My answer is No! The reason is that this argument fails to recognize the highly symbolic function of the ephod and breastplate. These articles were not ordinary garments worn by the priests or the high priest in everyday life. Only the high priest could wear them, and only when he went inside the sanctuary. The common priest serving at the sanctuary wore a simple white linen uniform (Ex 28:40-42). It is significant that the simple attire of the common priest, a robe of white linen, was to be ‘for glory and beauty,’ as well as that of the high priest (Ex 28:2). White is used in the Scriptures as the symbol of purity (Rev 4:4; 7:9, 14; 19:8)."16 In other words, the beauty of the priests’ attire was in the simplicity of their white linen garments.

The function of the twelve precious stones was not to beautify the high priest, but to reveal God’s concern for each of the twelve tribes. As the same commentary explains: "Each stone would have on it the name of one of the 12 tribes. These names engraved on the 12 jewels aptly illustrate the value of men and women in the sight of our heavenly Father. God regards His people as precious gems in the jewel box of His love (Mal 3:17). He thinks of His church as a bride adorned ‘with her jewels’ (Is 61:10). She is His ‘peculiar treasure’ (Ex 19:5)."17

Similar imagery is used in Revelation where the twelve gates and the twelve foundation are also made of precious stone. These too are engraved with the names of the twelve tribes and the names of the twelve apostles (Rev 21:12, 14). The fact that each tribe and each apostle has their names engraved on a gem of their own does not mean that each believer has the right to wear jewels, but rather that "every individual Christian has his own distinct personality, his own beauty in Heaven’s sight. . . .

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:42:47 PM Close
Each name on a separate jewel also suggests that God thinks of His people as distinct individuals, known, loved, and cared for by Him (Ps 87:5, 6; Is 57:15; Matt 25:40; Luke 15:3-10).18 This is the meaning of the jewels of the breastplate and of the foundations/gates of the Holy City. To extract from these passages a justification for wearing jewelry is to force them to say what they were not intended to.

Another allegorical passage used to support God’s alleged approval of outward ornaments is found in Ezekiel 16. In this chapter the prophet uses the allegory of a foundling child to illustrate God’s dealing with His people. The baby girl was abandoned in an open field on the day she was born. The Lord passed by and said to the dying child, still weltering in her blood, "Live and grow up like a plant of the field" (vv. 6, 7).

Later, when the girl became of age, God proposed to her and she became His bride. To show His love, God washed off her blood, clothed her with "embroidered cloth," and adorned her with bracelets on her arms, a chain on her neck, a ring on her nose, earrings on her ears, and a beautiful crown on her head (vv. 8-16).

Unfortunately, as the woman became "exceedingly beautiful," she came to trust in her beauty and used all the gold and silver she had received from God to make idols and to bribe men to have sex with her (vv. 15-34). Finally, God judged His unfaithful spouse by delivering her into the hands of her lovers, who stripped her of her clothes and jewels and cut her to pieces (Ez 16:39-40).

Again, can this allegory legitimately be used to sanction the use of ornaments because it pictures God profusely decking this maid? The answer is No. Why? Primarily because the episode, like the previous one, is a highly figurative allegory borrowed from ancient cultural understanding of abandonment, beauty, unfaithfulness, and punishment. As John the Revelator described the new Jerusalem as "a bride adorned for her husband,"

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Reply by : junice   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 4:44:27 PM Close
The city is further described as "having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates. . . . He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man’s measure, that is, an angel’s. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was of pure gold"(Rev 21:2, 11, 12, 17, 18).

In this allegorical passage the new Jerusalem is compared to "a bride adorned for her husband," not to make a moral statement about the legitimacy of wearing ornaments, but simply to help people understand the beauty of the new world through the analogy of an adorned bride. God uses the known to communicate glimpses of the unknown.

The same is true of the description of the wall of the city, which was 144 cubits wide (about 212 feet) and "twelve thousand stadia" (Rev 21:16–about 1500 miles) high. Its height is apparently the same as the length and breadth of the city, because it says that "its length and breadth and height are equal" (Rev 21:16). The purpose of this imagery is not to teach us to protect ourselves by building high walls, but rather to assure us that the new world will be a place of perfect security. God used the imagery of a city with an incredibly high wall because that was the most effective way to communicate to people of New Testament times the perfect security that will prevail in the world to come. In interpreting allegorical imagery, we must focus on the truth being communicated rather than on the details of the allegory.

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Reply by : terry_martin   View Profile   Since : 30 Jul 2006 11:30:13 PM Close
Dear Brethren,
This Topic is getting more & more interesting day by day.This thread is turning out into a library too.First it was personal convictions that were shared and then biblical verses & passages were quoted(some out of context)against wearing of ornaments & now yet UNABLE to CONVINCE nor be CONVINCED,books written by man is being retyped word by word to prove right what is not. Interesting book it should be,where everything written in the Word of God & every teaching is an ALLEGORY.Shocking to be told that the most WISE God intended to confuse man with so many allegories.Hope the book nor JANICE will conclude saying that the life of our Lord Jesus Christ too is to be taken as an allegory.
Woe unto you(anyone),who misquote or misinterpret the scripture & feel too smart to add anything to it nor think wise to delete anything.
Do not let traditions,personal convictions,likes & dislikes derail your spiritual insight & zeal.
Let us as children of God be led by the Father in all His wisdom(His Word).Let us strive to do & become what He wants us to do(nothing less) and what He wants to see in us(nothing more).
Unimaginable & unreliable are man's thoughts & views so do not depend on them.Traditions are man made.
If our convictions through prayer & meditation results in Glory to God,Praise the Lord, practice them whole heartedly BUT DO NOT impose it on others & DO NOT Judge others with it.
When the scripture tells us to learn to say "YES to YES & No to NO' dont you think the scripture would be more concrete and firm in commmanding and instructing us the YES's and NO's for our Christian living and Testimony.
Let the love for God be a passion to practice & excercise what is written(His WORD).Pray for one another & fellowship in peace & joy & with an open heart & attitude & live the rest to the one who has called you(Who knoweth all & who is Just and Righteous)
He chooses His children not you nor me.You will never be a loser(He keepeth His word,He is faithful)in showing love & extending fellowship.
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Reply by : kurumthottathil   View Profile   Since : 28 Mar 2007 2:18:02 AM Close
somebody said, "wearing of ornaments does not add to beauty."
Hairclips, cufflings, gold rimmed spectacles, golden watches, which are all very very common in all brthren circles, even worn by those who advocate ornaments-ban.
I am sure these do add to physical appearance, otherwise nobody would spend resources on them. Man looks on the outside, God looks on the inside. Let us look good both outside and inside.
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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 21 Oct 2008 2:56:08 PM Close
Cone,

It would have been nice to acknowledge who brings out an old thread and what is the purpose, in a sentence or two. Otherwise it would give the appearance of being sneaky, just like using multiple screen names simultaneously.

In any case, thanks for bringing this thread forward and I hope for whatever reason you brought this forward be accomplished.

Tom J

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Reply by : cone   View Profile   Since : 21 Oct 2008 3:51:27 PM Close
Tom J,

You have tremendous guilty conscience. I did not bring this thread up and I don't need to give you any justification. I can bring up many threads up initiated by you on Jewelry discussion. You entered this board in December 2003 with discussion on Jewelry and for some reason, you were bringing up this jewelry discussion again and again. Something must be bothering you very badly. It is the Father in heaven, who draws one to Him; so, even if you don't take it to heart about this jewelry issue, things will go on smooth. Take care.

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 21 Oct 2008 6:34:54 PM Close
Cone,

Do you come under various screen names [in the last few weeks]? What is prompting you to do that? Why not stick with one name?

Guilty conscience? I doubt it. Guilty before God as being sinful by nature and by my own rebellious will. But forgiven, because of the blood of Jesus Christ; I am washed by the blood of the Lamb and now I am clean and white as snow.

Tom J

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