Face Paint - MakeUp

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Coram Deo, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Do not paint your face, which is God's workmanship. For there is no part of you that lacks beauty. For God has made all things very good. But the wanton extra adorning of what is already good is an affront to the Creator's work.
    Apostolic Consitutions (compiled circa 390 AD), 7.395; extended discussion 5.432-5.436

    Some do not believe that the scripture speaks against the evils of makeup.. I believe that the scriptures does indeed speak about make up and in facts condemns the use of make up. Let us look at a few passages...

    "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. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. And they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the Lord which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel." (2 Ki. 9:30-37)

    "The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein. And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life. For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her than bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands saying, Woe is me now! for my souls is wearied because of murderers." (Jer. 4:29-31)

    "The Lord said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my Sabbaths. For when they had slain theu children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.
    And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments, And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. For thus saith the Lord God; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. Thus will I cause the lewdness to cease out of the land, that all the women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord God." (Eze. 23:36-49)

    Let us now consider these passages. The first is the bloody end of the career of the most notorious female in the Bible, whose very name is become synonymous with whoredom, lewdness, and all feminine dishonor. The second is a prophecy which God makes against Judah, the sum of which is that in the day of her judgments her adulteries which served her in time past will fail her in the day of her visitation, the practice of painting being one particular similitude relating her adulterous practices. The third is a comparison between the sin of Israel and that of Judah, likening them both unto whorish women, and likening their spiritual adulteries with false gods as the enticements of a whore luring a prey, one such lure being her painting of the eyes.

    Such is the scripture witness on face painting.

    Now I ask candid minds: Is it really difficult to see the mind of God in this? Is His will hidden here? Is God likening these practices as fit representations of female whoredom somehow indicative that they are indifferent practices upon which He has made no express indication of His will? Can you not be made to acquiesce in matters so biblically plain? What further argument were necessary to communicate beyond controversy that a practice is forbidden in the scriptures than to prove that God likens it to the arts of whoredom? No higher degree of biblical evidence could be submitted as proof of it's unlawfulness, and if this is insufficient then the Bible is meaningless as far as being the foundation of a moral code of ethics. What answer will men make to this?

    Let us not suppose that God is not grieved when our women are attired immodestly or painted like infamous women. Let us not suppose they may forsake their callings as mothers, sacrificing their children in the fires of Molech. No, let us only repent and then let us seek the Lord, knowing that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

    Historical Testimony

    He [God] takes away anxious care for clothes, food, and all luxuries as being unnecessary. What are we to imagine, then, should be said about love of embellishments, the dyeing of wool, and the variety of colors? What should be said about the love of gems, exquisite working of gold, and still more, of artificial hair and wreathed curls? Furthermore, what should be said about staining the eyes, plucking out hairs, painting with rouge and white lead, dyeing of the hair, and the wicked arts that are employed in such deceptions? Clement of Alexandria (circa 195 AD), 2.264

    Nor are the women to smear their faces with the ensnaring devices of wily cunning. But let us show to them the decoration of sobriety. Clement of Alexandria (circa 195 AD), 2.286

    For those women sin against God when they rub their skin with ointments, stain their cheeks with rouge, and make their eyes prominent with antimony. To them, I suppose, the artistic skill of God is displeasing! Tertullian (circa 198 AD), 4.20

    I will then see whether you will rise [at the resurrection] with your ceruse and rouge and saffron — and in all that parade of headgear. I will then see whether it will be women thus decked out whom the angels carry up to meet Christ in the air! If these things are now good, and of God, they will then also present themselves to the rising bodies. Tertullian (circa 198 AD), 4.22.

    A woman should not be adorned in a worldly fashion. . .. "Let your women be such as adorn themselves with shamefacedness and modesty, not with twisted hair, nor with gold, nor with pearls, or precious garments." Cyprian (circa 250 AD), 5.544.

    What will I say of the fact that these [young women] of ours confess their change of age even by their garb! As soon as they have understood themselves to be women,... they lay aside their former selves. They change their hair and fasten their hair with more wanton pins, professing obvious womanhood with their hair parted from the front. The next thing, they consult the mirror to aid their beauty. They thin down their over-exacting face with washing. Perhaps they even dress it up with cosmetics. They toss their mantle about them with an air, fit tightly into the multiform shoe, and carry down more ample appliances to the baths. Tertullian (circa 207 AD), 4.35.

    "Now Susannah was a very delicate woman." This does not mean that she had flashy adornments on herself or eyes painted with various colors — as Jezebel had. Rather, it means she had the adornment of faith, chastity, and sanctity. Hippolytus (circa 205 AD), 5.193.

    Both sexes alike should be admonished that the work of God and His fashioning and formation should in no manner be adulterated — either with the application of yellow color, black dust, rouge, or with any kind of cosmetic.... God says, "Let us make man in our image and likeness." Does anyone dare to alter and change what God has made? Cyprian (circa 250 AD), 5.434.

    In their manners, there was no discipline.... In women, their complexion was dyed. Their eyes were falsified from what God's hand had made them. Their hair was stained with a falsehood. Cyprian (circa 250 AD), 5.438.

    Do not paint your face, which is God's workmanship. For there is no part of you that lacks beauty. For God has made all things very good. But the wanton extra adorning of what is already good is an affront to the Creator's work. Apostolic Consitutions (compiled circa 390 AD), 7.395; extended discussion 5.432-5.436
  2. No Longer A Libertine

    No Longer A Libertine Puritan Board Senior

    I will say that I don't like makeup too much, not really a moral stance on my part but as a preference, a woman who turns your head without makeup is truly quite attractive.
  3. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Brother, I am going to have to disagree.

    1) Jezebel's face painting had more to do with, in the words of Matthew Henry dazzling Jehu "that she might appear like herself, that is (as she thought), great and majestic, hoping thereby to daunt Jehu, to put him out of countenance, and to stop his career". I don't see the need to associate makeup with adultery, prostitution or any sin in particular.

    2) Much like Jezebel, the inhabitants of the fallen city try to mask their judgment and entice their pursuers through outward adornments. Not wrong per se but certainly used for the wrong purpose. And note that they also wear 'ornaments of gold' something which is spoken rather highly of in the Song of Solomon.

    3) The context is idolatry. The makeup is a part and parcel of the idolatry because it is put on for that reason. But notice that they also wash themselves! To be consistent one would have to say that washing would also be included in the list of prohibitions. But Leviticus has a lot of positive things to say about that.

    To sum up: make up is wrong if one is using it to mask sin or their true character. But the scriptures no where forbid such a thing in se. Indeed your case would be much stronger if you had cited a law from the Pentateuch for that end.

    After all many things we do, even biblical things, can be associated with evil but why can we (women - not the guys!) not in Christian liberty do so without participating in the sin?

    In regards to the church fathers there is much talk about the love of these things not, in every case, the simply application of some makeup. Furthermore the church fathers were a tad gnostic in their views of woman, marriage and all things physical. So if they are actually saying what you are stating, I am still more than a little skeptical in imbibing that sort of world view which often comes packaged with such statements.

    So if a woman wants to enhance her natural beauty with makeup, adornments etc. let her do so, with the understanding that her beauty in the Lord is sufficient for her salvation (which I believe was the main point of the EC statements). But if the Song of Solomon has anything to teach us, women may use adornments, ointments etc. Let all things be done in moderation.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  4. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    In the words of J. Vernon Mcgee: "Folks, if the barn needs paintin', then paint it." :lol:
  5. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Indeed. :lol:
  6. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Way to take a bunch of verses dealing with vain pride and idolatry out of context and completely skip over Song of Solomon.
  7. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    Okay but I am guessing that is not something one should say to their wife, fiancee, girlfriend or even a girl that one is dating/courting. Unless you like getting beat up by a woman.
  8. Sydnorphyn

    Sydnorphyn Puritan Board Freshman

    Sorry, I do not get it??


  9. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    And seeing as my wife has such natural beauty as to not need cosmetics, this is a non-issue for me.

    P.S. It's Valentines Day and I need all the props I can get! :lol:
  10. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    John, of course not. If it's not Markian, fishing, golf, book or Mac related in normally sails over you head.


  11. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  12. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    I was just thinking about that quote myself.

  13. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    Espessially on Valentine's Day!!!:lol::think::lol::lol:
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I can hear him saying that now. :lol:
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    :banana: :lol:
  16. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    The true motives for face painting are truly of a immoral character, and it's nature must not be covered over for conveniency sake, but the charge pressed, and made good. Face painting is, really, just one of many modern practices concerning feminine modesty which crave attention in our day.

    Face Painting or Make up IS VAIN. Idolatry is spoken, but is not alone here in these passages and of course Make up is Idolatrous in and of itself...

    You did not like the quotes I gave from the church fathers... Well let me quote from a Puritan before Matthew Henry's Time.... William Prynne, a Puritan, criticized harshly many of the abuses of dress stalking about in his own day.

    Prynne carries on about things like women cutting or dying their hair, extravagance of dress, and, of course, face painting. Perhaps some of the dresses were coming up off the ankles, and dropping below the collar line! That was time to sound an alarm!

    Many Puritans were in line with Prynne.. What were the passages that he and they used against face painting... The ones I used..... Jer. 4:29-31, Eze. 23:36-49, 2 Ki. 9:30-37.

    You should read William Prynne's work "The vnlouelinesse, of loue-lockes" I hope you would not accuse him of Gnosticism.

  17. Dena

    Dena Puritan Board Freshman

    with this line of thinking, you should also probably never brush your hair, shave (especially women), and you should never clip your nails....

    just to name a few
  18. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Let the head of men be clipped, unless they have curly hair. But let the chin have the hair. ... Cutting is to be used, not for the sake of elegance, but on account of the necessity of the case ... so that it may not grow so long as to come down and interfere with the eyes. Clement of Alexandria (circa 195 AD), 2.286.

    This [male] sex of ours acknowledges to itself deceptive trickeries of form peculiarly its own. I am referring to things such as . . . arranging the hair, and disguising its hoariness by dyes. Tertullian (circa 198 AD), 4.22.

    Though in the form of men, they . . . curl their hair with curling pins, make the skin of the body smooth, and they walk with bare knees. In every other type of wantonness, they lay aside the strength of their masculinity and grow effeminate in women's habits and luxury. Arnobius (circa 305 AD), 6.450.

    [To the men...] Do not adorn yourself in such a manner that you might entice another woman to you.... Do not further enhance the beauty that God and nature has bestowed on you. Rather, modestly diminish it before others. Therefore, do not permit the hair of your head to grow too long. Rather, cut it short.... Do not wear overly fine garments, either.... Nor should you put a gold ring on your fingers. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled circa 390 AD), 7.392.

  19. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    This is a topic that may induce personal conviction against the use of make-up and cosmetics, but let's not get out of hand with it. I would daresay there are more brethren on the PB that would have no problem with the use of such products, and to infer that they are vain or idolatrous is stepping over the line and will not be tolerated. This is an area of Christian liberty and will be treated as such.
  20. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    Botox it baby :)
  21. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    From what I can tell, the passages are condemning the over-use of such things, not a moderate usage. Some women need to use make-up as they would look unwell otherwise. Its not really much different to using soap to wash your face.

    I really wish that people would realize there are "doubtful things" in the Christian life (Rom. 14:1) and stop making such a big deal out of small matters.

    The time that is wasted in pedantic discussions over trifles could surely be much better employed in something more productive. :2cents:
  22. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior


    I disagree with you.... I have quoted Church Fathers, and Even Puritans on this matter.. They disagree with you. It is not some "doubtful thing"..


    I just want to say that I know this is not a democracy so I am going to bail out at this point.. I totally disagree with you... I believe the Puritans also disagree with you over it being a Christian Liberty issue but I am a mere peon on here so that is really all I have to say......

  23. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner


    A doubtful thing refers to a small matter (not an inconsequential matter), you, however, have compared it to idolatry - are you going to break-off fellowship with such idolaters? The fact you have quoted Puritans is irrelevant - is truth determined by a head count? Moreover, is a Christian woman wearing a small amount of make-up really the same thing as the face-painting of Jezebel?

  24. 21st Century Calvinist

    21st Century Calvinist Puritan Board Junior

  25. SueS

    SueS Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't do make-up - can't stand the way it feels on my face, but........when we go to Scotland this fall we're all going to paint our faces blue, stand in front of William Wallace's statue, raise our fists, and shout, "FREEDOM!!!"
  26. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I feel like I have stumbled onto the "Amish Board"!!
  27. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  28. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Woman need to stop decking their faces out like the Englishers.... Oh I meant Americans..... :lol:

    Though, I read the Scottish Covenanter's were against make up also......

    And I prefer Reformed Amish, Thank You.....

  29. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    You look prety well shaved on that picture. And you might be wearing a bit of deodorant perhaps. And that hat looks fairly flamboyant.


    (sorry, I try to stay away from sarcasm...but its a rainy day today)
  30. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    And waht's with ties! They're not functional at all and clealry must just be vanity.
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