Jewelry & Beer & the Bble & church rules

Six Reasons Why Women Should Not Wear Jewelry

When my students read this they will think I was raised in a cult or maybe among the Amish. But when I was a kid the women in my church did not wear jewelry—none. Though my dad never preached on it my mother lived it, as did every woman in my home church. They read articles about jewelry, heard sermons at camp meeting and listened to the quiet admonition of the older women in the church. In 1967 when Sharon and I were married, we had wedding rings—but we had to slip them on in secret before the reception line passed by us—and everyone glanced at them with astonishment. In 1976 when I took over the job of Executive editor of curriculum for the Wesleyan denomination the art center was still carefully blotting out all earrings and necklaces from the stock photos we used in the Sunday school take home paper Vista. Sure, we’ve mostly “moved past” those days of “legalism” but I want to remind us (or introduce these thoughts to younger people) of the logic of the sermons and articles we got about jewelry. I have a particular purpose in mind that I’ll mention later, but here is what we heard:

1. Jewelry is superfluous.
Jewelry is simply superfluous. It is unnecessary. Why add rings and bracelets and necklaces of gold and silver to what God has created? Nothing is gained for the kingdom of God by adding a chain of pearls to a woman’s neck. We are to be concerned with the kingdom of God first and last and always, not the fancying up ourselves like peacocks. Jewelry is simply not needed and our lives should be sober and simple not fancy and showy. Why do you need it?

2. Jewelry is worldly.
Why do some our women want to put on rings and bracelets and earrings? Is it not because they want to fit in with the world’s standards? Do they want to look like the pagans in order to glorify God or glorify themselves? God called us to come out from among the world and be separate. The desire for worldly adornment is merely a sign of a worldliness—the desire for the leeks of Egypt. God has not called women to be more like the world but more like Him.

3. Jewelry is poor stewardship.
How much money is wasted on purchasing bangles and trinkets and ornaments to decorate a woman’s face and wrists and ears? Why waste this money on the trinkets of mammon? Perhaps some will argue, “but my jewelry is inexpensive costume jewelry.” If that is so then why wear it at all pretending it is something it is not? You are deceiving others into thinking you have gold and silver when it is not. More, your inexpensive costume jewelry may become a snare to a wealthy Christian who will copy your ornaments by purchasing a diamond or gold ring for as much as a thousand dollars—you should not be a snare for other Christian women. If you have a thousand dollars to spend on a ring, shouldn’t you use this money to feed the poor or support the work of God or to send missionaries to faraway places to preach the gospel of Christ? All that you have is God’s; you are not free to squander these gifts on decorating yourself. How can you say, “I can afford it?” What real Christian can afford to spend on themselves what God has give

So what does all this have to do with beer?

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