Body Piercing

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Janetta Hampton, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Janetta Hampton

    Janetta Hampton
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    i teach a youth group at my church. Some of my kids have piercings. They know that I don't like it. When I give them clear biblical reasons why certain things aren't acceptable they usually listen. But I am having trouble making them see why this isn't OK because I can't pinpoint any specific verses about it. They like to remind me that God doesn't judge by the outward appearance and I can't argue that. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Young Disciple

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    Janetta,

    You'll get no suggestions from me (esp. since even male earrings and female noserings are mentioned in Scripture, though your kids would balk at in what context they are mentioned!). But you'll get loads of sympathy: I wish to high heaven that the female youth in my church would dress more modestly! Same argument: God does not judge the outward appearance. But I wish I could remind them that, like it or not, PEOPLE DO!

    I've changed my mind now that I think about it; I have a suggestion: The best Scriptural evidence against body piercings of the gross variety is the passages about letting your walk be blameless in the sight of others (Acts 24:16 is the first one I found, I'm sure there are others in the epistles; also see Mt 5:16, but compare to Mt 6:1!)

    I had a friend at grad school who always dressed outlandishly. Really sweet guy, very well-meaning. Wondered why none of the professors took him seriously. "I hate to break it to you . . . people judge people." Don't need the Bible to tell you that.

    YD
     
  3. Brother Adam

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    Ask them who are they trying to impress with their earrings. I got an earring my senior year to impress those around me- and it wasn't the godly bunch either. God got me to take it out in 2 weeks flat [​IMG]

    It really is up to God to convict them though.

    Bro. Adam
     
  4. Young Disciple

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    2 weeks, huh? I didn't even have the guts to get it done. My dad used to tell me that if I ever wanted an earring, he'd be happy to do the piercing for me. Then he'd take out his Swiss Army knife with the awl on it and remind me of Exodus 21:1-6. That cured me.

    YD
     
  5. Helen

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    Body piercings and tattooings are essentially pagan practices. They were done for a variety of reasons, depending on the culture, but one of the things that set Christians apart from the beginning was a quiet type of modesty (and courtesy toward others, not wanting to be offensive in any way save the Gospel) which was not at all in tune with the pagan cultures around them.

    At the least, body piercings give bacteria an extra place to hide and cause infections and sores. At the most, they can bring diseases from the needles and subsequent death. Most, of course, fall toward the less problematic end, but those few who end up sick the rest of their lives don't find that a comfort.

    I had my ears pierced the normal way and place when I was about 21 as I recall. I have long since wished I hadn't. It's "just like everyone else" and that is NOT my purpose in life! A person who is honestly born again and not just playing games with religion knows his or her body is the temple of the Lord, and, as such, is just to be taken care of. The Lord constructed it the way He wanted it!
     
  6. Farmer's Wife

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    Amen, Helen! [​IMG] I was about 21 also when I had my ears pierced...(because 'everyone' else did :( ). Just recently I began to "think on these things" and have since let the holes heal back! [​IMG] However, if I hadda, just once, had a preacher or teacher tell me these truths you mentioned I would not have to look at those scars in my ears everyday. :( Thanks for the post! [​IMG]
     
  7. Abiyah

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    Helen, do you really believe that? I don't know,
    bluntly. Tthe Arminian church I once belonged
    to would not alllow us to wear any jewelry that
    touched the skin other than a watch, and they
    got upset with me for wearing a watch on a
    necklace when my wristwatch had caused a
    severe, itchy, bloody rash. I was actually
    kicked out of their church for refusing to con-
    tinue to remove my wedding band when I en-
    tered the church just days later.

    My point is this: is it really that those who
    pierce do it as an affront to our God, or is it
    just that we think it is wrong, so we assume
    that it is truly wrong? There was a time when,
    as a long-time member of that church, I thought
    certain things were wrong that were not.

    As I said, I don't know. But I, personally, be-
    lieve that body piercing and tattooing are
    wrong, because of the things said in the Scrip-
    tures.
     
  8. Helen

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    I'm not against jewelry! I'm against punching holes in myself to put it on!

    I enjoy pretty things. They don't even have to be expensive! On the other hand, I work so hard in the yard and with the animals and with a profoundly retarded 18 year old son (almost 18) that my chances to feel pretty are kind of limited. So, for me, a shower and a clean pretty lounger or dress and freshly blown-dry hair are almost luxuries! I try for it once a day but don't always make it. My husband gave me some gorgeous earrings for pierced ears last Christmas and when I get the chance to put them on, I do. But I wouldn't pierce my ears again, that was part of my message.

    The other part was just that I know the Bible says that for Christians the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; He indwells us. So I try to keep my parts as put together as possible (with aging comes losing parts I have found!), clean, and dressed as nicely as possible in any given situation. Granted most the situations in my daily life sort of demand jeans and a t shirt, but I love it when I can get out of them and feel more like a girl again!

    By the way, I have a very hard time wearing watches, too, due to very sensitive skin and progressing arthritis in my hands and wrists. A watch on a necklace is really a very good thing for folks like us!

    So no, I'm not legalistic; I just try to be careful and I urge others in that direction as well, that's all.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    I look today at the young people and sadly, some very young people and a few older people who have piercings in the nose, between the eyes, eyebrows, lips, tongues, belly buttons, and other places that I shouldn't mention in a public forum.

    To me, it is a form of self-mutilation. And if they want a scripture that cautions against the extreme piercings, I think it would be that "our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit".

    If you are a Christian, when people look at you, do they see a temple for the Holy Spirit of God, or do they see a person who is seriously engaged in an inner struggle between honoring God and honoring self.

    I am not a prude. I am not opposed to pierced ears or conservative make up or even (*gasp*) a small, inoffensive tatoo.

    But we have not only exceeded what is modest and inoffending, but we have surged into what is grotesque and harmful to the body and destructive to the "temple".

    We should ALWAYS ask the questions. Does this slander the temple of the Holy Spirit and/or am I going to be happy with this 20 years from now and/or why am I doing this?

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;

    [ July 27, 2002, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: Scarlett O. ]
     
  10. Abiyah

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    I certainly understand what you are both saying,
    Helen and Scarlett. Thank you.
     
  11. Farmer's Wife

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    Janetta, be aware that when you approach the subject of body piercing to the youth and if you have pierced ears and wear earrings, then more than likely the young people will see you as being hypocritical. Remember that Matthew 7:1-5 warns us about hypocritical judgement. So, I've learned that it's best to make sure that I have taken care of my beam so I can clearly see how to help them with theirs! [​IMG] Their argument is...what's more damaging to the body (temple)... one hole in their nose, tongue, naval, etc. OR two holes in your ears? And they do have a point! ;) Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  12. ChristianCynic

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    When I give them clear biblical reasons why certain things aren't acceptable they usually listen. But I am having trouble making them see why this isn't OK because I can't pinpoint any specific verses about it.

    This is interesting wording. You "give them clear{!} biblical reasons" of what your are contending, yet you "can't pinpoint any specific verses about it?" You are attempting what too many Christians try... you don't 'like' something, so you assume the Bible must be against it. If there were such "clear biblical reasons," you would not be in this search trying to get the 'best' biblical reasons any posters are aware of.

    And the responses are quite expected, of course... "body is the temple of the Holy Spirit," "glorify God in your bodies," and having a 'blamesless conscience before men.' This is more of seeing what one wants to see in the scriptures-- 'they must be against what *I* don't like even if they don't mention what *I* don't like.' I think if we could get rid of this type of wishful biblical 'reasoning' and not focus on such peripheral issues we would have less obstacles to promoting the gospel.

    [ July 27, 2002, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: ChristianCynic ]
     
  13. Helen

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    Cynic, while I understand what you are trying to say, maybe you also need to understand that each of us is feeling a clear internal message that it is wrong. It is not something anyone told me. The mutilation of the body in any way is simply wrong; God made us what we are.

    Body piercing is a form of saying "Look at me; look at me." And while some people spend their lives advertising that message, it is not the message the Christian is to give the world. We are to be advertising our Lord Jesus Christ, not ourselves.

    And when someone has their tongue or eyebrow or nose or whatever pierced, what do you think people notice?
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    ChristianCynic,

    You make a very valid point. I don't disagree with you. Sometimes I probably have been guilty of trying to make the Bible conform to my personal beliefs instead of vice versa.

    Nevertheless, I feel that extremism in body piercing, to point of self-mutilation and tattoos that lean towards the profane and violent definitely make a statement.

    And brother, to me, that statement ain't, "Oh, How I Love Jesus!"

    I hope that I would never condemn anyone who has made that choice. I never have before. I don't think I am that kind of person. But I do not approve of it and I really believe that my attitude is not grounded on just my personal opinion.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  15. Abiyah

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    I hate putting on my makeup. And I hate it more
    when it comes off at inopportune times. Oh, how
    I have been tempted to, at least, have my lipstick
    tattooed on! But I cannnot. It is clear to me, in
    the Bible, that we are not to purposely scar, cut,
    or mark ourselves. But that is the way I read it.
    If someone directly asked me, that is what I
    would tell them, but I would not just volutarily
    walk up to someone and say so much--unless
    they were family

    [ July 27, 2002, 10:56 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    To me the issue of body piercings goes more to the message it communicates. We cannot find a verse that forbids it as has already been mentioned. We also see it in Scripture. Rebekah's "engagement ring" was a ring in her nose!!! However, in modern culture, those things have very clear messages about world views and associations. Ear piercing is one thing. Nose, lip, eyebrow, whatever else carries a very clear message. After all, look at the people who do it. Is that the message we should be sending as believers? Does it properly reflect on our Christian faith and walk? I would think not.
     
  17. post-it

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    Pastor Larry, maybe you should have had this little talk with Jesus before he entered that bar or befriended a whore.

    Using this line of thought, bikers would not be as involved today in the Christian movement as they are. I remember working the parks with Campus Crusade tracts where they hung out back in the 80's. Many others did the same across the nation. Now we have some churches made up of nothing but tattooed, pierced, leather wearing bikers worshiping Jesus. Go figure.

    You preach to the saved, others like me preach to the unsaved, but you make my part harder to do with your rhetoric, please stop.
     
  18. post-it

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    So are Christmas trees and Easter eggs/bunny (fertility Gods).
    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. There is no real harm in any of these things, except it makes older people nervous. But I remember when I let my hair grow out in the 70's the same questions came up then and answered in the same small minded way this topic has been handled. It is what one believes that counts, as a parent I have learned to bite my tongue and go with the latest fads. They will get theirs when they have their kids, he he.

    [ July 28, 2002, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: post-it ]
     
  19. Helen

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    So are Christmas trees and Easter eggs/bunny (fertility Gods).
    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. There is no real harm in any of these things, except it makes older people nervous. But I remember when I let my hair grow out in the 70's the same questions came up then and answered in the same small minded way this topic has been handled. It is what one believes that counts, as a parent I have learned to bite my tongue and go with the latest fads. They will get theirs when they have their kids, he he.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Sir, you could cut your hair. And it could grow back, and you could cut it again. You could die it purple or orange and it would also grow back out again. The Christmas tree gets thrown out, the Easter bunny shelved -- if they are part of anyone's celebration at all. In addition, the tree and the rabbit are not temples of the Holy Spirit.

    But you cannot undo body piercings. The scars, at the least, are there. Unless you use some toxic chemical, dying your hair won't scar your scalp, and letting it grow or cutting it, even into strange shapes, won't either.

    But holes in the body, and scars, are (unless you can afford plastic surgery) there forever. Unlike the Christmas tree and Easter bunny, you carry them around with you; they are part of you.

    In short, none of your comparisons bear even the vaguest connection to body piercing.

    And the point is NOT that we should not talk to or be with those whose bodies are pierced; the point is that for a Christian it is wrong. If one becomes a Christian after, that's different.

    You will also notice that Jesus told the whore to go and sin no more. He did not simply 'accept' it, even though He loved her.

    If people holding up standards of holiness and respect to both God and man is damaging your evangelism, I would suggest that you might want to check out your methods and aims...?
     
  20. post-it

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    I don't think it is ungodly to do these things, I think it is stupid for most people to scar their bodies but I would never let it be some spiritual qualification. Sscriptures say it is not what is put in but what cometh out that defiles a man.

    Helen, I'm sure you are much too young to have seen that each generation goes through this “thing,” and each generation comes up with reasons why the last one was OK, but this one... well it just isn't the same!!!

    There is nothing really new in the world, same stuff, different package. Once I read a newspaper article out of Florida on the topic of whether sacrificing chickens should be legal or not (Santeria). I had just read the same topic and question in a book by John Locke written in the 1600's.

    I remember being told that I would go to hell for letting my hair grow out. It was against God and the Bible. While others may have left the Church when told that, I figured since they were wrong about other things they could be wrong about that one too. You are just playing the same old song I quit listening too years ago. The problem is who are you chasing out of the church by such rhetoric?

    [ July 28, 2002, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: post-it ]
     

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