Being a 23-year-old millennial, raised and active in a Conservative Pentecostal belief system my whole life, I believe it is time. Time to shed the skins of a previous age, a time where the world and its convictions were a very different place.
In this world, my grandparents relayed to me the difficulties that they faced. The main threats towards the family unit. Those issues which divided churches and set denominations apart from one another. The images, language and everyday lifestyle that kept us so far removed from the world (for then obvious reasons).
Yet, now in the age of the millennial our world has again shifted. All the more so towards not the good, or the wholesome, but, the unsavory and ungodly. The celebration of abominations in the name of science. The embracing of the counter-biblical and a seemingly endless chase to delve into the depths of desperation to throw off the supposedly “oppressive” worldviews shared by most of the western world for the last several hundred years.
These worldviews that I refer to are not to be confused with racial hatred, or the inequality between Male and Female, but those values which were and still are today, good, honest, Biblical and Godly.
As my generation and those coming behind us are tearing themselves apart at the seems, there are issues present within the church itself (strictly speaking towards churches in and/or close to my fellowship) that do not deserve the title of being an issue at all. In this the first part of a series I am writing entitled “Non-Issue Issues” I will be exploring one of these particular “issues”.
As a last disclaimer here, I do not wish to offend, destroy, cause a ruckus or to cause members of the body of Christ to have contention towards one another, but simply, I wish to illuminate that which has been so darkly hid. Bringing to bear that which is relevant to the New World we find ourselves living within today.
As a young man, I was taught to shave as what I thought to be the chief of all manly see through blonde mustache like growths appearing on my front lip, was in fact, not the mustaches to end all mustaches.
I was taught that to have facial hair was unseemly, unprofessional and made you look “lazy”. Basically, a Hippie. Words like “hipster” and “edgy” were not common at this point.
As I grew older I began to see a cultural revival in the trend of facial hair. One of the huge factors in the early reformation of the beard was Mo-Vember(November), inspiring men to grow out something manly to raise money for prostate cancer and raise the awareness level. We did not want another ribbon, we wore our support where it would never be forgotten or left accidentally pinned to another jacket.
This inspired a facial hair awakening in the western world that no one truly expected or immediately accepted. Meanwhile in other countries men shook their heads sporting beards for centuries. Not us, we changed, we conformed, un-conformed, whatever you decidedly call it, we lost something.
How? Why? Where?
While there are many factors that lead to the slow and then rapidly decline in facial hair in the western world one of these factors was uncontested as the major cause, the free love Hippie movement of the 60’s. This lead to the final breaking of facial hair and the professional and religious world.
Many already know this history and it is not the main reasoning for this article today. What is the main reason? So glad you asked. The main reason is the misinformed, misguided and erroneously reinforced belief systems that hold such practises in full swing, to the point of the halting of ministries and even worse, the words spoken in quiet calling into question the hearts, lives and spiritual conditions of those that choose to simply grow hair, on their face.
With many places to go in Scripture, many examples to show the importance of facial hair as a natural God-given separation between the Male and Female gender roles. To show the representation of a bearded man as wise, trustworthy, worthy of counsel would be a long and arduous journey. Maybe another time.
This article is in response to one a read a week or so ago using horrible and atrocious inaccuracies of historical cultures as a justification for a no facial hair stance. It is reasons like a read that allow the world to see us as uneducated and foolish. And while the world, the more wicked it becomes, will view us as foolish for believing in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, I do not wish to kindle the flame unnecessarily.
One such historical inaccuracy hit me the hardest. They stated within their article that the Romans would grow facial hair when at war and when returning home would shave it off because it was culturally unacceptable to be in places of standing and have it present, that is why no Roman statues of men have facial hair represented.
That was a loose but fairly accurate quote of what I read, outstanding. I never thought someone could so blatantly disregard everything about such a substantial civilization to prove a personal conviction point. With little obvious education on Ancient civilizations and Empires which spanned 2,000 plus years, this seems okay to say how?
To quickly speak to this point without becoming resentful. Rome was heavily inspired and led by Greek culture hence the name Greco-Roman world. This is a huge reason why God came in the flesh at this point in the world, the language, the roads, the networks, the systems in place, the world was perfectly poised for the Gospel to be spread to every corner.
This culture was a dark one, one filled with filthiness and lewdness to which we still have not yet fully witnessed. Where you were encouraged to have straight relations and a family but also to have a side bi-sexual/homosexual relationship as well.
This world praised orgies, pagan gods, sacrifices of human lives. This culture lead to the vast feminization of males. Preferring clean-cut smooth men as to more easily attract other effeminate men. That rough hairy deal was for Manly things such as war, but when you came home it was time for fleshly pleasure. Many of their sculptures depict facial hair as well, this is another horrible non-factual statement.
But in the end, the facial hair of men simply was and then was not. It came and went like the style of clothing and to simply put it, it is here to stay. At least for a little while anyhow.
Facial hair is not an issue, if it is an issue then we as Christians would have to honour scripture. Scripture has some very choice words to show support of beards and I have always been taught you can not pick and choose certain scriptures out of context. SO rather than fighting over something that is so incredibly unimportant we must move our viewpoints to those issues that truly require our full attention.
It is all a matter of the heart, it is a holiness issue in that if we produce actions out of a rebellious heart and life it will always be wrong, even if the action itself is not, technically. It is all dependant upon your reasoning and how you can answer the simple question “why”.
If you enjoy it, grow it. If you don’t, then don’t. But be careful what you preach as Gospel and set in stone, because God inspired some choice words to be written towards the preaching of self convictions as salvational as well.
Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another
1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master1 that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then,whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
11 for it is written,“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. fBy what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.
16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.
21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.
22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.
23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
So in conclusion. I say do not pass judgement, do not separate company and halt companionship. Do not discredit or dismiss, do not judge unfairly and unjustly. Do not do that which would maime or destroy another’s walk and do not unnecessarily make demands of those who you should call brother and sister. DO not let foolishness seperate the body because your separation will be judged of you by God on that great and terrible day.
Hold one another up, do not act as if you do not serve Him and in the same do not act as you serve Him any better than another. We make it together or we will break it together.
Love others, Love God and let us unify as the Body Christ.
Let us move past this silliness and let us run together the race set before us, because these things can so easily distract us from our one and only goal in this life, to make Heaven our eternal home and to not travel there alone.
(disclaimer, this is not me in the picture, nor do I own this photo, but I use it with the intention of not receiving profit for and or with its usage.)