Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is Make Up a Sin?

Many within the Apostolic movement teach that for a woman to wear makeup, she is committing a sin. This standard of course is yet another law, without biblical precedence. It is quite simply a fable, false teaching and has no grounding in the WORD OF GOD. There is now a single biblical text that condemns this practice. A practice that did exist at the time of the Bible’s vast period of writing. In fact in all it’s pages we cannot find one single command against makeup! It therefore must be determined that man, and his traditions have yet again constructed this rule and done so on his own.

Many say the Bible teaches a woman to dress with "shamefacedness and sobriety"

(1 Timothy 2:9). They then use this text as an anchor or support for the false holiness standard.

In fact they lean heavy on the word “shamefacedness” as the clincher for this standard.

Lets look at this word

Ungers Bible Dictionary renders shamefacedness as "reverence."

Strongs G127αἰδώς

aidōs ahee-doce'

Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, that is, (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe: - reverence,


Shamefaced to be modest. It means to have downcast eyes, translated or interpreted as bashfulness. The truth of the matter is shamefacedness has much more to do with the attitude and really nothing to do with makeup AT ALL!

Vines Word Studies

With shamefacedness and sobriety (μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης)

Ἁιδώς N.T. (αἰδοῦς in Heb_12:28 is an incorrect reading). In earlier Greek, as in Homer, it sometimes blends with the sense of shame, though used also of the feeling of respectful timidity in the presence of superiors, or of penitent respect toward one who has been wronged (see Homer, Il. i. 23). Hence it is connected in Homer with military discipline


“'Tis a blushing shamefast spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom.”

Richard III. i. 4.

It signifies entire command of the passions and desires; a self-control which holds the rein over these.

The words with shamefastness and sobriety may either be taken directly with adorn themselves, or better perhaps, as indicating moral qualities accompanying (μετὰ with) the modest apparel. Let them adorn themselves in modest apparel, having along with this shamefastness and sobermindedness.

The Biblical principle intended is modesty, not drab­ness, not washed out, just simple modesty. To assume otherwise is to read into, or to elaborate on the text in a manner not intended. While I would quickly agree that to much or excessive make up are probably harmful to the witness of a Christian woman, and send the wrong message. It is unmeritorious to state “make up is a sin.”

Make up can and by many is worn in a suitable manner. With temperance and modesty by many women, to lump this practice in with the action of Jezebel is without precedence. To assume that all who wear makeup emulate Jezebel is absurdity, and is a statement that lacks ANY credibility.

If we where to state the benefits of make up, one could discuss how they hid blemishes, scars, and imperfections. The aid of make up can help to enhance the beauty of a woman. Any who declare that this emotion in a woman needs to be suppressed, tries to suppress a GOD given instinct, women want to be beautiful, certainly it is not the sum total of who they are to be – as noted by Peter and Paul, but it is a part of their personal and biological makeup.

This concept is foreign to many men. It is a fact that when a woman looks better she feels better. Though some would never admit to such a premise, the truth is many woman have lost their self worth because of the suggested pretence that “the plainer she looks the more holy she is.” The whole thing is farce and there is no precedence for such a premise. Even worse, there is no scriptural basis for it.

The sole basis of this argument against make up usually involves Jezebel. It is most commonly stated that because Jezebel used make –up it is now a “pagan” thing to do, there for it is a sin.

Notice what was said about Jezebel in 2 Kings 9:30:

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel Jezebel heard of it and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

· painted her face

· tired her head

· looked out at a window

“Tired” her hair. This means she fixed it or adorned it in some manner. There fore one must assume if an act is sinful by association with a sinner, heretic, or heathen fixing your hair is a sin.

Looking out a window is a sin. Jezebel who was a wicked woman, used makeup – she then hen looked out a window, to condemn something as sin by the sinner who used then must determine other things sinful by association as well, including looking out a window. This further begs, more scrutinized question…. Did Jezebel eat? Did she sleep? We truly begin to cause problems for ourselves when we develop a guilt by association mentality. We must let actions stand for themselves.

David Wasmundt in his book “Neo Phariseeism” points out

“If that logic is held to then we must not use silverware because the Bible says, The idols of the heathen are silver... (Psalms 135: 15).” ….

“Luke 7 talks about a woman with long hair whose sins were many. Would this prove that all women who have long hair are sinners? Proverbs 7: 17 mentions a harlot using perfume. Does this mean that perfume is wrong?”

We began to see quickly many practices are condemned if association alone is the premise. A practice cannot be condemned bu those who practiced it, but by the practice itself. Otherwise one could quickly condemn any practice. The truth is there is not ONE SINGLE SCRIPTURE that condemns the use of make up, and we know it was present at the time of biblical literature, certainly if it is such a despicable practice, it would have been addressed

Again we must defer to the WORD which proclaims

(Philippians 4:5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. ………

Make up can in no way conceivably be called a sin with any biblical integrity. It is a man-made law void of biblical principles. It is a form of legalism as is to be avoided.

While I agree that it is acceptable for a woman to wear makeup – I also agree that as with all things make up can be abused. A woman of GOD should take careful consideration, with the application, shades, and tones she administers. In this manner she should seek to best represent herself as one who is a servant of GOD.

Saying that, let me state this. By looking her best – she best represents her faith. Looking drab, and dreary, as some without make look, is not the best witness. Equally it should be stated it is not productive for a woman to look loud, proud and ostentatious. Moderation is the word the bible uses and to this end we should follow that instruction.