Friday, May 6, 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Make-up?

What does the Bible say about wearing make-up?

Anyone who is familiar with the UPC knows that the majority of UPC churches and their affiliates teach against women wearing make-up. The official position of the UPC on make-up is this:
Since the primary effect of makeup is to highlight sex appeal, we reject makeup as immodest1.”

However, since I spent my whole life in the movement I know from personal experience that this is not the view taught in the churches. (At least, I have never heard this view taught.) The argument against make-up that I always heard was taken from three Scriptures (2 Kings 9:30, Jer. 4:30, Eze. 23:40). The reason that it was taken from three Scriptures is because there are only three Scriptures in the entire Bible that say anything against make-up!

You see, make-up is a non-issue Biblically. Nothing was ever said about the subject positively or negatively. There are three Scriptures that make reference to make-up in passing, but none of the three even hint that make-up is a sin. Again, it’s a non-issue.

Unfortunately, the UPC takes these three Scriptures, twists them out of context, and creates a doctrine out of them. That would be bad enough of its own, but the situation is made worse because many UPC churches teach that wearing make-up is a sin. In other words, it’s not an optional doctrine in any UPC church that I’ve ever attended. (The one exception is a church that I attended for five years. The pastor–who I dearly love and respect–allows make-up as long as it does not change the base color of the skin. He is considered extremely liberal by many other pastors.)

In this article I am going to show what the Bible says about make-up, and then respond to the UPC position on the issue.

Well, again historically speaking, if you study Judaism you will find that it is part of their belief that a man fails his wife if he does not provide her with jewelry and cosmetics to make herself look attractive for her husband.

Excerpt  from ‘Refute to Other Holiness Standards ‘
by Ricky Guthrie

The only true argument they can use is the same old stale argument that prostitutes used make-up to seduce men and Jezebel wore it the day she tried to seduce Jehu.

Well, again historically speaking, if you study Judaism you will find that it is part of their belief that a man fails his wife if he does not provide her with jewelry and cosmetics to make herself look attractive for her husband. Also many of the women in the tribes wore heavy make-up when working in the fields because it protected their faces from the harsh sun.

Nowhere in the Bible do we find where the wearing of make-up is prohibited. This again lies with the fact that the ministry of the UPCI wants women to be subservient to men in all aspects, and as in a lot of their teachings, this comes back to human sexuality.

This constant fear of sexual sins. Nearly everything they teach basically comes down to what they think is immodest or what will lead their members to commit sexual sins.

They feel if they allow their women to wear make-up they will attract other men, so if they keep them looking like plain janes they will not commit sexual sins.  It does not matter how many times someone in their movement falls into sexual sin, they don't change their stand.

by Jason

The Scripture mostly used to support the teaching that one is not to wear make-up is:
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.

Proponents of this teaching will say that we really don't want to be a part of anything that has to do with Jezebel.
According to Thayer’s & Smith’s, ‘tired’ here is the Hebrew word ‘yatab’ which means, in short, ‘to be good, be pleasing, be well, be glad’. In other words, she combed her hair.

I can’t say it enough. If because Jezebel put on make-up, then make-up is a sin, then combing you hair is, too. This an just one more example of the lack of Bible scholarship in the UPC. I was always taught that Jezebel was trying to seduce her enemy here. But a basic reading of the text reveals that Jezebel knew she was going to die and was simply mocking her soon to be captor by fixing herself up for her death. She wasn’t putting on make-up to seduce anyone and neither do 85% of the women in the world!

Here is another good one:
Jer 4:30 "‘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.'"

Three things are cast in a negative light here (supposedly): 1) Jewelry 2) Make-up 3) The color red. Now the UPC condemns two of these things and they use this scripture to back themselves up, but they, like with braiding, choose to ignore part of the scripture. So, tell me, is it now a sin to wear red too?

I read where someone stated that "looking at a pattern of things in the Word of God, we can safely say that a Godly woman should not wear make-up. If Paul wrote to not wear gold, pearls, or costly array, do you think that make-up would be pleasing to God?"

Oh, so women should not braid their hair, either. I noticed they left that part out. The UPC’ers always say that ‘plaiting’ meant weaving gold into your hair. That might have applied at times, but most often women simply braided their hair without anything in it and I’ve yet to find anywhere that says it means anything other than braiding in general.

An adherent of the no make-up rule might state that the main point in this is actually not the make-up, but the spirit or attitude that would make a woman want to wear make-up that's a sin.

If an 80 year old, happily married grandmother put on little lipstick, which of her motivations are comparable to Jezebel or prostitution? Are you actually suggesting that she is trying to incite lust? Give me a break! But you just about have it – it is the ‘spirit or attitude’ that makes something a sin, not the make-up itself! If a woman puts on make-up to attract men, she is in sin, but if she puts it on simply to look nice, like when she combs her hair, where is the sin?

Often a proponent of these standards teachings will bring up an extreme during a conversation, saying something to the effect that homosexuality will soon be socially accepted and that just because something becomes socially accepted, it is not a reason to do such things as wear make-up or for women to wear pants.

One big difference here, it does not condemn cut hair, pants or make-up on women.

Is Wearing Make-up A Sin?

Now, if you’ve read my article on Jewelry then you read about how sin is defined. I’m not going to repeat it all here. Instead I recommend that you read the section of the article titled “Does the Bible Ever Say That Wearing Jewelry Is A Sin?” I will briefly recap the subject here by reminding you that the Old Testament Law (Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) defines what sin is (Rom. 7:7). Everything that is a sin in the New Testament was also a sin in the Old Testament Law, but everything that was a sin in the Old Testament Law was not necessarily a sin in the New Testament.

The reason that I said that is to say this: The Bible never defines make-up as a sin. The Old Testament Law was completely silent on the issue, and the New Testament never mentions it at all!

What Does the Bible Say About Make-up?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, make-up is only mentioned three times in the Bible (2 Ki. 9:30, Jer. 4:30, Eze. 23:40). Here is what these three Scriptures have to say:
2Ki 9:30 NASB
(30) When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window.
Jer 4:30 NASB
(30) And you, O desolate one, what will you do? Although you dress in scarlet, Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold, Although you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you make yourself beautiful. Your lovers despise you; They seek your life.
Eze 23:40 NASB
(40) “Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came–for whom you bathed, painted your eyes and decorated yourselves with ornaments.

One does not have to be a Bible scholar to see that none of these Scriptures say anything about whether or not a person should wear make-up! However, there is also a fourth Scripture that I often heard used to preach against make-up. It is 1 Tim. 2:9, which says:
1Ti 2:9 NASB
(9) Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.

You might be asking at this point how 1 Tim. 2:9 has anything to do with make-up, and that’s a very valid question! The confusion seems to come from a misunderstanding of the KJV translation of the Scripture. The KJV uses the word “shamefacedness” instead of “modesty.” As near as I’ve been able to figure out, many UPC preachers assume that “shamefacedness” means that a person shouldn’t wear make-up. The logic seems to be that it has the word “face” inside of “shamefacedness” so therefore it must be talking about make-up. This is an example of the sort of shoddy Biblical study that is done by many UPC preachers and pastors.

Overwhelming Evidence?

I think anyone will agree that these four Scriptures are hardly overwhelming evidence against make-up! The fact is, the Bible just doesn’t say whether or not a woman can wear make-up! We have to assume that if it mattered at all to God then He would have mentioned it at least once, right? Why should we have to take a few Scriptures that are hidden in the depths of the Old Testament and twist them together in a convoluted fashion to form a doctrine? It seems to me that God was pretty plain about the stuff that mattered to Him! For example, look at Gal. 5:19-21:
Gal 5:19-21 NASB
(19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
(21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
That’s pretty plain, right? I just don’t think God’s sitting up there seeing how many people He can trick into going to hell! A god who does that is the antithesis of the God of the Bible!

A Few Questions for the UPC:

Here’s a question that I have for the UPC:
If make-up is evil because it enhances our sex appeal, then what other things are we not allowed to do?
  • Are we not allowed to wear deoderant?
  • Are we not allowed to brush our hair?
  • Are we not allowed to wear color-coordinated outfits?
  • Are we not allowed to wear matching socks?
You see, I really want to enhance my sex appeal! I’m 26, and I want to get married some day! Because of that I do all sorts of stuff to enhance my sex appeal! I brush my teeth twice a day, I style my hair, I make sure my socks match, I exercise regularly enough to keep the worst of the flab off, etc. What’s wrong with doing that? Just because a woman wants to make herself attracted doesn’t mean that she’s promiscuous! Every single one of us does things every day to enhance our attractiveness to the opposite sex!
Here are a few other questions:
  • If 2 Kings 9:30 is saying that make-up is evil because Jezebel used it, then doesn’t it also mean that we can’t look out the window?
  • If Jer. 4:30 is saying that make-up is evil because Israel wore it while they were backslidden, then doesn’t it also mean that wearing scarlet is evil?
  • If Eze. 23:40 is saying that make-up is evil because Israel wore it while they were backslidden, then doesn’t it mean that it’s also evil to take a bath?
Isn’t this all a little bit ridiculous?!


You see, this is the problem with UPC theology: It’s a house of cards. The UPC has made the claim that they and their affiliates are the only ones who possess Truth. But what happens when they find out that something they taught as Truth was wrong? It throws everything else into question! If they can be wrong on one point then they can be wrong on other points as well.

I believe that this is what is happening with make-up. The UPC has been backed into a corner. More and more people are seeing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing make-up. There’s no Scriptural basis for not wearing it, and there’s no logical reason for not wearing it. Now the UPC is forced to defend a doctrine that makes no sense, because if they back off this doctrine then it might cause their members to doubt other doctrines as well.

This is why I believe that the Bible should be the ultimate rule of authority. If I find that I’ve misunderstood something in the Bible then I have no problem changing my beliefs. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on Truth. I claim that Jesus is the only way to God, not any one Christian denomination!

Folks, God doesn’t care whether or not you wear make-up! If He cared then He would have put it in the Bible! If you are a woman who feels that God does not want you wearing make-up then that is between you and Him, but God never gave any organization the right to dictate a doctrine that has no Scriptural basis as being necessary for salvation!


Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them: Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. 


This commandment is given to the entire community.

God only commands something that we are capable of fulfilling. Failure comes in because we underestimate our abilities.

You do not have to separate yourself from society and go meditate in a forest to become holy. These mitzvot are not for angels. They are mainly interpersonal commandments, such as honoring parents, feeding the poor, not slandering, and not hating in our heart. Being a contributing part of society is a personal obligation. Everyone should aspire to elevate himself, and at the same time aspires to elevate the community. That's why the command to be holy, kedoshim t'hiyu – is written in the plural.

This commandment is given to the entire community. If your being holy enhances your connection to the community, then you are behaving correctly. But if it causes a separation between you and those around you, that is incorrect. Our actions  should always be gauged by what will bring the biggest Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of God’s Holy Name.

Performing altruistic acts without the expectation of reciprocity is one of the greatest godly-attributes. Most religions of the East and West are bogged down by the pre-occupation with what God is or isn’t. For certain, the more we attempt to paint a picture or imagine what He looks like, the more elusive will become the effort to find Him. Emphasizing deed over creed will prove more productive.

The doctrine of the imitation of God is related to the biblical account of the creation of man in the image of God, which acknowledges a resemblance between man and his Creator. Yet man is to imitate God, not impersonate Him (see Gen. 3:5). The main biblical sources for the injunction to imitate God are found in the command to be holy as God is holy and to walk in God's way (Lev. 19:2; Deut. 10:12, 11:22, 26:17).

Man is to be God-like in his actions, but he cannot aspire to be God. This distinguishes the biblical notion from the pagan attempts to achieve apotheosis or absorption in the deity.
Man is to imitate God in loving the stranger (Deut. 10:18–19); in resting on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10–11); and in other ethical actions.

"Be like Him. Just as He is gracious and merciful, so be thou also gracious and merciful"
What is meant is that man ought to walk after [imitate] the attributes of God. Just as the Lord clothes the naked, so you shall clothe the naked. Just as He visits the sick, so you shall visit the sick. Just as the Lord comforted the bereaved, so you shall also comfort the bereaved; just as He buried the dead, so you shall bury the dead"
A person should not adhere to a standard of holiness that could have a negative effect on the community.  source:


  1. United Pentecostal Church International, Position Paper on Modesty, Accessed 2006-12-21 20:02:31 []
Bloggers note: READ Scripture in context. Remember Kafe's (Peters) warning when reading Sha'ul's (Paul) letters!
2Pe 3:14 So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
2Pe 3:15 and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him,
2Pe 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand,1 which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures.

1 First of all, then, I counsel that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all human beings, 2 including kings and all in positions of prominence; so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives, being godly and upright in everything. 3 This is what God, our Deliverer, regards as good; this is what meets his approval. 4 He wants all humanity to be delivered and come to full knowledge of the truth. 5 For God is one;a and there is but one Mediator between God and humanity, Yeshua the Messiah, himself human, 6 who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all, thus providing testimony to God's purpose at just the right time. 7 This is why I myself was appointed a proclaimer, even an emissary - I am telling the truth, not lying! - a trustworthy and truthful teacher of the Goyim. 8 Therefore, it is my wish that when the men pray, no matter where, they should lift up hands that are holy - they should not become angry or get into arguments. 9Likewise, the women, when they pray, should be dressed modestly and sensibly in respectable attire, not with elaborate hairstyles and gold jewelry, or pearls, or expensive clothes. 10 Rather, they should adorn themselves with what is appropriate for women who claim to be worshipping God, namely, good deeds. 11 Let a woman learn in peace, fully submitted; 12 but I do not permit a woman to teach a man or exercise authority over him; rather, she is to remain at peace. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Havah. 14 Also it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who, on being deceived, became involved in the transgression. 15 Nevertheless, the woman will be delivered through childbearing, provided that she continues trusting, loving and living a holy life with modesty. CJB
1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; KJV
Since I began studying Judaism one point became clear, “When reading scripture, context is everything”. Context trumps false doctrines hands down.
When in doubt about a reading the B'rit Hadashah...”Shema” -“Hear oh Israel Adonai our God is Echad (One God)
Love HaShem fully and be a blessing to my neighbors by Loving them as myself.
aidōs has nothing to do with wearing make-up !
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, shamefacedness.
Thayer Definition:
1) a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes)
Citing in TDNT: 1:169, 26

Leaving Jesus Challenges All Christians and Messianics

James Woods author of the book "Leaving Jesus" has a challenge for Christians/Messianics. Bible students studying for bible quiz compititions may want to give this one a shot. BibleQuizzing

Read more at 


  1. Girls stop with the makeup and jewelry you will not inherit God’s kingdom with such wordly things!!! watch this testimony and if you will walk alive out of it I will be happy. you can thannk me later, we have to be saints otherwise…pls warn our other sisters too, pls.

    1. So where did the teaching of "Hellfire and damnation" come from?

      As the Nicene Church was establishing its official doctrines and replacing biblical Messianic Judaism with Catholicism ("Universalism"), it is a well known and easily established fact that they incorporated the teachings of many different religious systems. These early "church fathers" were attempting to establish a new and global political and religious authority in order to control every aspect of human life. Whatever their motives, the Vatican created dogma of eternal torture as a powerful stick to wield against its opponents.

      To this end the Catholic Bishops incorporated the Roman Pagan teaching of Hades: A subterranean place of eternal fiery torment and damnation. Never mind that the dogma has no biblical basis, the Magisterium of the Church declared it so. The threat of eternal damnation made their subjects docile and the collection plates rang with tithes, offerings and indulgences as deceived people sought to purchase their salvation.

      The imagery of the Nicene Hell is largely taken from the underworld abode of the god Hades and his part time lover Persephone.

      Present day Nicene Christians vary on why people go to Hell. Some teach that the "lost" are condemned to Hell because they fail to make the one decision necessary to achieve salvation: they refuse to accept the death, burial and resurrection of Y'shua as taught by the Church. Others teach that if ones good deeds do not outweigh the negatives one goes there. Calvinists believe people have no choice in the matter at all. They say that the God of love and justice created most human being as fodder for Hell and only a few will be allowed to enter "Heaven." Catholicism is more clear: people go to Hell because they fail to accept Catholic Communion and authority. All Nicene Christians are quick to point out that Hell is not something God "does to us," it is something we do to ourselves.

      This is known as blaming the victim! There is nothing just nor loving about this doctrine nor about a god that who create billions of beings solely to torture them throughout eternity. This is NOT the God of the Bible!

      The Facts

      There is no biblical basis for this teaching.
      God can do anything and He could easily make another option for those who do not accept His gift of salvation.
      No Believers from the Abrahamic traditions living in the first century C.E. conceived of such a post-life torture.
      Many Pagans did believe in such horrors and they were viewed as savages because it.
      Not a single person in the Gospel accounts ever challenge Y'shua as to the origins of this non-Jewish teaching he allegedly taught.
      The doctrine directly challenges the Torah claims that God is Loving and Just (compare Romans 2:24).

      "Bible believing Christians" believe many unbiblical heresies. The near universality of the belief does not make it biblical.

      2Pe 3:15 And think of our Lord's patience as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha'ul also wrote you, following the wisdom God gave him.

      2Pe 3:16 Indeed, he speaks about these things in all his letters. They contain some things that are hard to understand, things which the uninstructed and unstable distort, to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

  2. Jewelry
    A lesson in how to use the physical world.
    Jews and Jewelry