|Live Services||Shepherds Of God's People|
|Editorial||"A Time To Love"|
|Q&A||Q.: Does the Bible allow or prohibit the use of makeup?|
Shepherds Of God's People
Edwin Pope will give the sermon this coming Sabbath. The sermon is titled, “Shepherds of God’s People.”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”
"A Time To Love"
by Dave Harris
In Ecclesiastes 3, verse 1, Solomon records that “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”
This section ends in verse 8 adding that there is “A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”
How does this apply to Christians–especially as this world is engaged in a “time of war”?
First, let’s consider a warning from Jesus Christ that He left for those of us who live at the end of this age: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). Yet, for those who follow Christ, this must be “a time to love”. If we are to be a light to those around us, then above all things we must show this fruit of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. In the closing hours of His life, Jesus spoke to His disciples (and us): ” ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’ ” (John 13:35). Continuing in John 15, verse 12, Jesus says: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Later on in the events leading to His sacrifice for the reconciling of the world to the Father, Jesus spoke to Pilate showing that this was not a time for Him–or His disciples–to fight and make war: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).
Our “time to hate” is not directed at this world–a world that God so loved that He gave His Son (Cp. John 3:16). However, we also are to understand that there are things which God hates. He hates sin. He hates those activities which might destroy one of His future sons. In Revelation 2:6, Jesus addressed the church of Ephesus and complimented their valiant zeal to withstand wrong doctrines: “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”Christians are to hate what God hates
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, extols the role of love in a Christian’s life. Alongside the various fruits of God’s Spirit, love is foremost: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (verse 13). This kind of love which is imparted through God’s Holy Spirit is the embodiment of righteousness. James, the brother of Jesus Christ, shows that the kind of righteousness that is based on love will bring Christians peace: “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).
Christians are taught to love by God Himself. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Continuing in verse 16, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”
As we both see and experience the dramatic events of prophecy now being fulfilled, there is something we can and must do. In the quotation from Matthew 24, verse 12, it says that the love of “many” will grow cold, but NOT ALL. As Solomon said, “to everything there is a season,” and the season for Christians is as it has always been, “a time to love!”
This Week in the News
This week has witnessed the full eruption of war between the US led “coalition of the willing” and the country of Iraq.
A peaceful solution to this conflict was unobtainable–not in the United Nations and not between the adversaries themselves.
In both the Moslem world and the Western nations, live coverage pervades the media. A new component of war is the “embed”. This term describes reporters who are traveling with coalition forces–embedded within the various elements of this massive onslaught. New technology such as the latest video phones has brought this war into our living rooms as we watch events unfold on our television sets.
As war rages and the world watches, many are expressing their outrage. Worldwide demonstrations against this war are mounting. The hope for a peaceful aftermath of this conflict is quickly fading. There is a flood of resentment now taking root across the globe. This quote from The Associated Press on 3/25/03 highlights the problem: ” ‘Hatred against America is increasing,’ said Shahid Shamsi, spokesman for the United Action forum, a hard-line Islamic group in Pakistan, where an estimated 100,000 people marched through the city of Lahore Sunday.”
Protestors are effectively organizing via the internet. Well timed rallies are being orchestrated in nations around the world.
And although the US, Britain and the rest of the coalition are claiming the moral high ground to justify this war, it appears that a permanent erosion and ultimate division is being created with those nations and peoples who are in opposition.
UN ROLE IN POST-WAR IRAQ?
Even as the war in Iraq has entered an intense period, nations are jockeying for a role in its aftermath. Once again, it appears to be a proposition that will continue to isolate the United States. Tony Blair was in the US this week to lobby for some reconciliation with the UN and its recalcitrant members. From Reuters, 3/26/03, “British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Washington Wednesday for a war council with President Bush, insisting that the United Nations must play a central role in post-war Iraq. But his twin aims of healing a transatlantic rift between America and Europe, and binding the United Nations into reconstruction of Iraq, represents a huge challenge while Washington is still smarting at a snub from the Security Council.”
Again from Reuters, 3/26/03, “The United States will not cede control of Iraq to the United Nations if and when it overthrows President Saddam Hussein, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday. “We didn’t take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future,” Powell told a House of Representatives subcommittee.”
In another article, this from globeandmail.com, 3/26/03: “the United States appears committed to a scheme for postwar Iraq that would give the United Nations a limited role in humanitarian relief but exclude it from the country’s administration.”
This article notes an immediate problem that will occur, ‘It’s going to confirm in the eyes of so many that this is a U.S. colonial enterprise,’ said Robert Malley, Middle East project director for the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.” Continuing, “Without UN involvement, key members of the world organization could be reluctant to help the United States pay for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. A recent report by the New-York-based Council on Foreign Relations said rebuilding could cost $20-billion (U.S.) a year for several years.”
The EU has positioned its support directly with the UN. From Daily Nation on the Web, 3/26/03: “We believe that the UN must continue to play a central role during and after the current crisis. The UN system has a unique capacity and practical experience in coordinating assistance in post-conflict states. The Security Council should give the United Nations a strong mandate for this mission,” said the EU statement.
WILL THERE BE PEACE?
The humanitarian effort that will be necessary after the Iraq war is now being heralded as perhaps the greatest in history.
The logistical aspects of feeding and caring for a nation the size of Iraq will take years, and at this point it doesn’t appear that the “coalition of the willing” will get much help from those major nations that did not sanction this war. Deep divisions were created leading up to the war, and comments ablaze in press reports point to ongoing if not deeper rifts in the immediate future.
Behind the scenes, events continue to show that the US role as a world super-power doing what it chooses will not go unchallenged. In a report from Parade this past Sunday, 3/23/03, titled “Former Enemies May Form European Supernation”, this stunning scenario takes form. “For centuries, they were bitter enemies, but now Germany and France are talking about merging into a kind of European supernation. Their leaders have proposed offering dual citizenship to French citizens living in Germany and Germans living in France. They held a joint meeting of both parliaments. Now the two are considering the creation of a confederation with joint government agencies, joint diplomatic missions abroad and shared defense and foreign policies. (They recently were united at the UN in opposing President Bush’s Iraq initiatives.) Germany and France already are each other’s biggest trading partners and share a common currency, the Euro. If they unite on other fronts, they would present a formidable force within Europe and the European Union – perhaps forcing others, especially Britain, to cultivate their own strategic alliances in an effort to curb the duo’s power.”
The sad truth is that after this current war in Iraq, peace will not be the outcome. The stage is already being set for even deeper problems that will lead to greater and greater difficulties for Britain and the US. In Deuteronomy 29, God sternly warns Israel of old to carefully heed the warnings and consequences for disobedience. In particular, verse 19 states, “and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.”
Neither nations nor individuals will ever find peace by following the dictates of their own heart–although all proclaim, “peace, peace” (Cp Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Peace will not come to this earth through its wars. Peace will only come when God sends His Son to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth
Q.: Does the Bible allow or prohibit the use of makeup?
A.: The Bible specifically mentions several times, in passing, the use of makeup. One of those passages can be found in 2 Kings 9:30, stating that the evil and wicked queen Jezebel hoped to seduce King Jehu. We read, “Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window.”
A similar passage can be found in two prophecies about Israel’s and Judah’s future enemies, in Jeremiah 4:30 and in Ezekiel 23:40. Jeremiah 4:30 speaks figuratively about the modern nation of Judah in this way, “And when you are plundered, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, Though you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you will make yourself fair; Your lovers will despise you; they will seek your life.” Ezekiel 23:40, addressing the modern houses of Israel and Judah, states, “Furthermore you sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and there they came. And you washed yourself for them, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments.”
Some have concluded that these passages prohibit the application of makeup in any manner, shape or form. Although the use of makeup would clearly be wrong if used for an improper purpose, these passages do not condemn its use in general. Note that it says, figuratively, in Ezekiel 23:40 that Israel and Judah adorned themselves with ornaments, painted their eyes, and washed themselves for powerful men they sent for. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with washing ourselves (compare Ruth 3:1-3). In addition, God Himself adorned Israel, as we read in Ezekiel 16:10-14, and Christ tells us to “anoint your head and wash your face,” when we fast (Matthew 6:17). We also read in 1 Peter 3:1-6 that the wives’ adornment should not “merely [be] outward” (verse 3).
The problem is that Israel and Judah, as well as Jezebel, were doing all of these things for their powerful lovers. Israel, like Queen Jezebel, prostituted herself to buy the conquerors’ favor. The Bible clearly condemns the motive and intent, not the mere act of washing or wearing jewelry or applying makeup. In fact, Ezekiel 23:41 goes on to say that Israel and Judah misappropriated God’s incense and God’s oil for the occasion.
Note, too, that ancient Egypt was and remains famous for its use of cosmetics. Even the lower classes of Egypt wore makeup — both men and women. Yet, none of Israel’s detailed statutes given upon leaving Egypt speak about the use of makeup.
It is also interesting that righteous Job, after he had learned his lessons and was tremendously blessed by God, named one of his daughters “Keren-Happuch” (Job 42:14). The German Elberfelder Bibel comments that the literal meaning of this name is “rouge-pot” or, more generally, “makeup.” The Soncino commentary states that the literal meaning is, “horn of eye-paint.” If God condemns make-up in every case, it would be hardly conceivable that Job, after his genuine repentance (Job 42:6), named one of his daughters “makeup.”
Some have said that every woman who wears makeup is doing it because of vanity. This is simply not true. Even when the use of makeup was officially prohibited in the church, it was always recognized that the use was appropriate in certain circumstances. It is true, on the other hand, that the wearing of makeup by women would be wrong, if done for the purpose of vanity or vainglory, or, of course, for improper motives. To paint one’s face in such a way so that one looks like a circus clown or a prostitute would most certainly not fall within God’s parameters of decent and modest conduct. However, as is the case with the acknowledgment of birthdays, the wearing of makeup is a personal decision. One must be honest with God and oneself, as to why one is doing the things that one is doing. In addition, if a woman, perhaps in order to follow the example of others, wears makeup in violation of her own conscience, it would constitute sin (compare Romans 14:23).
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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