Home Columnist Theology and issues about Christian dressing and appearance (2)

Theology and issues about Christian dressing and appearance (2)

by Church Times

By Olatokunbo Odunuga

Continued from https://churchtimesnigeria.net/theology-christian-dressing-appearance/

For emphasis, the clear principle from I Peter 3:3 is that no express prohibition was placed on the braiding of hair, use of jewelry, and wearing of dress, and also clarified in 1 Timothy 2: 9, giving guidelines for modesty, moderation, and frugality.

 And of course, there is no virtue in ladies’ discarding earrings, etc but embracing harsh attitudes, vitriolic temperament, and vengeful nagging at the home front – Proverbs 21:9; 25: 24.

 And for emphasis, as I mentioned earlier, an express divine direction that’s personal is also not to be disregarded.I listened to Dr. Tunde  Bakare over a decade ago on TV. He invited a guest minister to his Church. At the end of the powerful holiness message, a train of emotionally- charged women lined out to the podium to drop their gold earrings, bracelets, etc in trays, apparently remorseful of their perceived “worldliness”.

 The following Sunday, while the guest minister was still on the ground, Dr. Bakare himself preached on the same topic.

 For crying out loud, at the end of his message, the same women filed our again to recover their ear-rings, apparently no longer considering it as worldliness. I would have been curious to know what would have been the fate of those earrings if Dr. Bakare had not preached a bible-based counter-message.

 We can see that the average members of congregations all over are like sheep, swayed by the messages or the charisma of preachers and winds of doctrines not always necessarily by conviction, understanding from personal study or belief in the integrity of the word of God!


About beards, mustaches

 Now to the aspects of beards, mustaches, sideburns, etc-. I recall just slightly over 40 years ago, I had just been freshly converted by an incontrovertible experience.  

I visited the bookshop of one of the denominations to acquire my first collection of Christian books. I felt very uncomfortable seeing the lady clerk looking at me with disdain and contempt as if she would rather not deal with me.

 It dawned on me that my busy hairstyle, mustache, and dashing sideburns were the reasons. Apparently, she had written me off as an unbeliever because of my play boyish outlook.

 Though I felt uncomfortable and denigrated, I still bought the books and left the place.

 Throughout Church History, among the greatest Christians that ever lived were heavily bearded, mustached, and side-burned scores.

 Many of them have beards flowing up to six inches beyond the jaw, inch-thick mustaches,s and sideburns that people could barely see their mouths. Yet they turned the world upside down for Christ in the similitude of Acts 17: 6.

 The Church history examples

For now, I will just simply cite a few names that are very familiar in the history of the Church: D. L. Moody, A. B. Simpson, William Booth, Charles Spurgeon, William Tyndale, George Mueller, Albert B. Simpson, Hudson Taylor, St. Boniface, David Livingstone, Abraham Lincoln.

 Some may feel these were men and men’s examples are not worth adapting in spite of their uncommon service in the Kingdom. Then what about Moses, the prophets, and priests of old, especially Aaron, whose beard ran down towards the hem of his garment [ Psalm 133:2 ]? Some may feel these were not Christians but Old Testament saints.

 The portraits we have, especially the one by Leonardo da Vinci of the Last Supper, are that our Lord and virtually all the apostles were heavily bearded, mustached, and side-burned. I need to indicate however that I’m not advocating for these features because I, personally, had not kept any of them for nearly four decades.

So friends, religions, and religiosity may be about beards or no beards, but Christianity is not about any of such externalities.

 In spite of the prescriptions of the Mosaic Laws in Exodus 12: 48 and Leviticus 19: 27 with regards to the circumcision of the beards, ( hair/ beards cuts ) and male circumcision, the New Testament position for Christians in Galatians 6:15 is that “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but what matters is a new creation”

 Hello? Believers should be at liberty to do with or dispense with them within the ambit of decency and modesty. Now let’s see short testimonies of a few of these heavily bearded, mustached, Aaronic-styled Christian leaders through the centuries and what they were well-known for

 The saints discussed below are examples of heavily bearded, and thickly mustached saints who positively influenced their generations for Christ.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon [ 1834-1892 ]

  1. Spurgeon was converted at the age of 15 and as at age 20, he was already a pastor at Metropolitan Tabernacle, London with the largest congregation in the world. When he read the Bible the hundredth time, he marked it with a banquet. He testified that he had read the Bible to the extent that his blood had become ‘bibline’ and the essence of scriptures oozed out of his body,

 He was all out labouring for Kingdom expansion that when he died at 57, his wife remarked that her husband died labouring to prepare sermons.

 The effect of his ministry was tremendous such that he would be pleading with his congregation not to come to church the following Sunday but till the next fortnight.

This was to give room for thousands hanging on the window sills and on the trees and roofs of houses adjacent to the church.

 Within six months of his engagement as the pastor of the ailing Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, the dying church could no longer accommodate the congregants. They had to acquire a larger place downtown urgently.

 At the inauguration of the new auditorium, it became obvious that also it had become too small, so to say, from the very first service. That was the impact of a Bible-intoxicated preacher.

 From very early in life Charles Spurgeon was a habitual reader and progressively became a ferocious reader, often reading six books weekly in his prime.

 Towards the end of his years, he had amassed a library of over 7,000 books. This exceptional reading habit played a remarkable part in molding his mind to powerfully store up and release in season and out of season, such an immense biblical truth with the unusual clarity and imagination for which he was universally acclaimed as the Prince of Preachers.

George Mueller [1861-1898 ]

George Mueller [1861-1898 ]Mueller, an evangelist, and an exemplary missionary was among the founders of Plymouth Brethren. Apart from caring for 10,013 orphans in his lifetime, he established 117 schools offering Christian education to over 120,000 students.

 Later in life, he made it a practice to read through the Bible in its entirety four times in a year. In all, he read the Bible 400 times, half of the time he read it on his knees. Some other authorities claimed it was “only” 200 times.

 This saint took care of the orphans in his orphanages without requesting for money from any human being, directly or indirectly; not even by body language. His policy was to look up to God only and for Him to move men.

 When he was ninety years of age, he was still able to travel around the world to preach. Outside of Bible characters, Mueller was accredited as the greatest man of faith of all time. He transitioned to the unseen world in the most painless manner in his bedroom. He spent an excess of million dollars for his ministry and orphanage, and at his death, less than about $10 was found in his possession.

Continue reading on this link: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/theology-dressing-bearded-saints/


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