The Patristic Christian Belief of the Beard: A Scriptural and Historical Analysis

knox

“A woman with a beard looks like a man. A man without a beard looks like a woman.”

Ancient Hebrew Proverb

§A Word of Warning

I do not believe facial hair or hair length is a salvation issue. We are not saved by our law keeping. But with that said I do believe it to be a moral issue and not ceremonial as the early church taught. It was a God given sign of gender distinctions between men and women. But because you break it does not mean you are a false convert or unbeliever. Christians sin every day but we are to strive for holiness and keep His commandments but we are all growing in progressive sanctification and at different stages. And I am sure I have some sin in my life as well… Some I know about and other I might be ignorant of… Working on them through Sanctification. There are many things I believe Modern Christianity is in sin on…. some larger and then others… but sinful nevertheless. But please do not assume that I believe you have to have beard to be saved or a certain length of hair. I am Reformed in my view of the law, not a legalist!

§Being careful with our words and not calling people rashly by names for things we may disagree on

So I came out and declared I have to take a medical exemption on the Facial Hair Law of Lev. 19:27 for men and because I declared the law to be Moral and not Ceremonial and I get called a Judaizer, someone who wants to obey Ceremonial law and even implicitly a Pharisee. They think I am nuts and that such a view is nutty. But we need to be careful when the Church with Orthodox Theologians have upheld something and declare it nutty just because it is something we have never heard of before in our day. Many people balk at women wearing head veils in our day and consider it nutty and stupid and even to the point of calling it judaizing. Yet many Covenanter women wear the head veil, why? Because it is both in Scripture, we hold it to be moral law and the majority of the church has held to the same principle. I could sit here and list a whole bunch of topics that we Covenanters get called Judaizing, Pharisaical, and nutty on.

The Sabbath Day – Judaizer
No Tattoos – Judaizer
Exclusive Psalmody – Judaizer
No Musical Instruments in Worship – Pharisee (or Judaizer if the person happen to know the Synagogue pattern here)
Synagogue Model for the Church – Judaizer
National Covenanting – Judaizer
Establishment Principle – Judaizer and Pharisees
Magistrate Upholding Both Tables of the Law – Judaizer
Qualifications for Civil Magistrates from Ex. 18 – Judaizer
Head Veiling – Judaizer and Pharisees
Paedobaptism – Judaizer
No Images of the Triune God or even of the Cross – Judaizer
No Man-Made Holy Day – Pharisee
Post Millennial – Judaizer
Common Cup with Fermented Wine – Pharisee, YUCK Factor
No Coitus during a Woman’s Time of Flowering – Judaizer

So I believe that we Covenanters need to be a little more careful, knowing what we are called for in various matters, to be more generous and charitable toward others and not do the same thing to them. Yes it might seem nutty by today’s standards but it has not been novelty in the history of the Church..

§Moral versus Ceremonial, Corporate Interpretation versus Private

There are tons of historic testimony by orthodox theologians that has held that Lev. 19:27 to be morally binding and not ceremonial law. Is it not funny (ironically) that we Covenanters love to quote historical testimony and believe in a corporate interpretation of scriptures until it is something we do not like and then all of the sudden we switch to private interpretation? When it comes to all the topics I listed above we absolutely will quote dozens of quotes to show that they are not novelty in the church. That they are not nutty and that the majority of the church has held to those things above. But when it comes to some other things we do not like we instantly go straight to private interpretation and say that the church was wrong since the beginning and either I am right privately or my denomination is right privately.

I am not talking here about one or two theologians. I am also not talking here about one age of the church over another age of the church. I am talking about a consensus on a particular issue by numerous orthodox theologians and across the ages.

§The Moral Components, What Does the Scripture Say apart from any Historical Testimony or Commentary?

Okay, fine! Let us remove the historical testimony for a moment. Let us consult only the Scriptures and be Anabaptistic for a moment.

Lev. 19:27 reads ‘Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.’

Now prove to me strictly from the Scriptures that this law is ceremonial! Don’t use any commentary or quote from any theologian. You cannot use modern commentaries that like to say “this is ceremonial law to separate the nation of Israel from all other nations and from heathen practice”!

Where does the Scripture declare this law to be Ceremonial law? Where does it state it to be temporary? Where does it state it to have ended? Where in the book of Hebrews does it state that this law was part of the Ceremonial law and abrogated? Where does it state that this law was only for separating the nation of Israel from all other nations? Or are we reading between the lines now? In the Book of Hebrews we get a pretty good picture of what the Ceremonial law is. We see the Temple, the Temple Rituals and Sacrifices, the Priesthood and various others aspects that are connected with the Temple. These were types and shadows of Christ and His redemptive work.

But you want to another something else. The Old Testament also states these things to be temporary. It was declared way before the New Testament that the Ceremonial law was temporary. The Temple was to be destroyed (Psalm 79) and the Messiah to set up a new heavenly temple (Zech. 6). The physical sacrifices were to cease in the week of the Messiah (Daniel 9:27). The Priesthood was to be altered (Psalm 110).

Ceremonial laws are types and shadows of the Messiah and His redemptive work. But there is no type or shadow is attached to the beard for the man. There is no ceremonial component in the beard that I can see from scripture. In addition before the modern era the church never saw a ceremonial type, shadow, or component in Lev. 19:27. I also cannot see any temporariness attached to Lev. 19:27 in the Old Testament nor do I see any abrogation of it in the New Testament.

So what do we see in the Scriptures. We see that the beard was a natural god-given distinction of genders between men and women. God endowed man with a beard and not woman. As one early church father declared, “the beard is his covering” as quoted by William Ames in his paragraph on Headveiling for women. The beard showed the man’s manliness and strength and God commanded it not to be cut nor marred.

I am not saying that a man who has a beard is more holy than one who does not have a beard. And I am not saying that a man who does not have a beard is less holy than one who does have a beard. Nor am I saying that a man who cannot grow any part of the beard is in sin. Such a one is in providentially hindered.

§The shamefulness of marring, cutting, or unkemptness of the beard

During the time of King David, it was believed that no man in good health of body and mind, would thus defile what was esteemed so honorable as the beard. King Saul was after David, and David said, “The time is going to come that I’ll fall by the hand of Saul.” So he escaped into the hand of Achish who was a Philistine. I Samuel 18:6-7, “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

Well, David saw he was in hot water, so he feigned himself mad. He acted out the nature of a mad man and slobbered all over his beard and let it run down. He scrabbled awkwardly and irregularly by marking on the wall. You see, in that day people were booked as “crazy” who would mark on a wall, and mess up his beard as David did. They would say, “Look at him! that man is crazy. Get him out of here, he’s insane.”

§Wars have started over beards

Did you know many battles have been fought over a man’s beard? For to pull a beard in ancient time was to inflict indignity. In the year 1764 a pretender to the Persian throne named Kerib Khon, sent an ambassador to Mer Mahena, the Prince of Bendervick on the Persian Gulf. Kerib Khon demanded tribute from Mahena but Mahena in turn cut off the Ambassador’s beard. Kerib Khon was so enraged at this that he went the next year with a large army and made war upon this prince and took the city and almost the whole of his territory to avenge the insult.

II Samuel 10:1-7, “And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.”

They started it by mutilating the beards of David’s servants. It was a disgrace, according to the Word of God, to have the beard forcibly mutilated.

§Christ our Lord had a beard and was shamefully plucked out as a sign of shame

Also of great importance is the prophecy regarding our Lord and Savior who is shown to have a beard and it was plucked out in shame. And it was a shameful act and He did not hid his face it says.

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)

It was an extremely shameful act that they plucked off his beard and it was shameful enough for our Lord to declare it shameful though He hid not His face from the shame.

§The beard signifies life unto God, submission unto God and also blessing of God

In Psalms 133 we see, the beard not only signifies life unto God, and submission unto God, but it also signifies the blessing of God. Psalms 133, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
So the beard signifies the blessing of God upon the child of God.

The beard in Scripture teaches three simple things:
1. To pull it is to inflict indignity.
2. To have it forcibly cut off or mutilated is a symbol of disgrace.
3. To stroke it is to express the importance of one’s words or value or weight.

§Medical exemptions and Providentially Hindered

So what if one is sick and have both skin infections and other aliments that prevent a beard from growing like I currently have right now? Some friends said that if this is a moral commandment then there are no exceptions to it. I beg to differ. In the same way that there are exceptions on the Sabbath Law “Mercy and Necessity” and there is also exceptions to this for medical reasons. And I am not just pulling this out of thin air here. Lev. 14:9 actually is an explicitly command to remove the beard and other hairs if you have a skin infection. So there is an actual exception here to the rule.

So everything we see in scriptures is that it is a gender distinctive image between men and women much like very long hair on a women is (1 Cor. 11). We see that it is an act of indignity to inflict harm or to pull on a beard. And we also see that it is disgraceful and shameful to cut off or mutilate the beard. All of these examples from Scripture (and only Scripture) gives me an understanding that the command is moral in nature and not ceremonial. This is just from a bare reading of the Scriptures without taking into account presuppositions and modern commentaries that we have all read from.

And if the beard commandment of Lev. 19:27 is not moral neither is long hair for women in 1 Corinthians chapter 11. Of course I am sure modern Christians would love to hear that.

§The Need to be extremely careful on how we define Moral Law and Ceremonial law

We need to be extremely careful on what we define as moral law and what is ceremonial law. As I read through the history of the Christian church one thing that I have come to know is that every generation the list of what is ceremonial law tends to grow larger and larger. The reason behind this of course is our sinful nature. We don’t want to obey God. We don’t like to obey rules. And if we don’t like certain commandments we are going to find some what or every way out of obeying them which includes re-labeling it ceremonial law. Just so we don’t have to obey them. The Sabbath? Ceremonial law! Exclusive Psalmody? Ceremonial law! National Covenanting and Christian Nationhood? Ceremonial law! Sodomy Laws? Ceremonial law! Yes we have people today who want to claim that Lev. 18 regarding the natural use of men and women are ceremonial law and totally abrogated for today. We need to be careful and we need to know how to define what is ceremonial law and what is moral law in Scriptures. What is abrogated and what is not and not according to our presuppositions or our desires.

§Why does Beards matter to God? That seems so trivial and my God would never be so nit-picky

First it must be granted that this is a lesser matter of the law. This is not some fundamental of the faith! But with that being said, if God wrote about it in His word then it matters. It doesn’t matter how small a matter seems to be in our eyes or how trivial an issue is. The fact of the matter is that God did write something in His word about it and therefore it does mean it matters to God and we must obey. No matter how trivial a matter might seem if God in His infinite wisdom decide to put something in His word then we are to have no doubt and simply obey. We are to obey not just the weightier matters of the law but also the lesser matters of the law. (Matthew 23:23. If God commanded that we all have to wear green ties for His Sabbath worship He has the right and pejorative to do so without question from us.

For Reformed Christian, life on earth is about absolute submission to Christ the kingly Redeemer and diligent work to extend that kingship in the earth.

Careful, even minute, observance of the law should not set aside “the weightier matters.” But neither should “the weightier matters” set aside the careful, minute observance of the law. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

As the Great Puritan Richard Rogers (1551-1618) said, “Sir, I serve Precise God” and as the Great Covenanter Commentator Matthew Poole wrote, “What Galen said of Physics is even truer of religion. There is nothing small and trivial in it.”, he continues elsewhere, “God esteems nothing small in his worship and service, and … he expects his will should be observed in the minutest circumstances.”

So now that we have discussed the Scripture argument by itself. Apart from any Corporate Interpretation. Let us now turn to the historical testimony of the church.

§Historical Testimony

We should keep in mind the word of John Calvin when we consider the Patristic testimony of the Church.

That of course does not mean that the fathers were infallible.. Only Scripture is infallible but we must seriously consider what they said.

John Calvin admitted, “there is much that is admirable and wise in the writings of those Fathers, and while in some things it has fared with them as with ordinary men “ -Preface, Institutes of the Christian Religion

But John Calvin also spoke of the Early church as a purer age when he said, ““It is a calumny to represent us as opposed to the Fathers (I mean the ancient writers of a purer age)” -Preface, Institutes of the Christian Religion

He also spoke of the Early church as a purer age as well as a means of support in his work, The Necessity of Reforming the Church, “But, besides the clear testimonies which are everywhere met with in Scripture, we are also supported by the authority of the ancient Church. All the writers of a purer age”

Calvin also said that we are not to remove the ancient landmarks of the Early Church when he was writing about those who accuse the Reformed church of doing so, “It is not without cause (remark our opponents) we are thus warned by Solomon, “Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28).” -Preface, Institutes of the Christian Religion

And finally Calvin spoke of embracing the early church with reverence, “In this way, we willingly embrace and reverence as holy the early councils, such as those of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus I, Chalcedon, and the like, which were concerned with refuting errors—in so far as they relate to the teachings of faith. “ -Preface, Institutes of the Christian Religion

And to remember the words of Puritan Richard Baxter:

“The writings of divines are nothing else but a preaching of the gospel to the eye, as the voice preaches it to the ear. Vocal preaching has the pre-eminence in moving the affections, and being diversified according to the state of the congregation which attend it: this way the milk comes warmest from the breast. But books have the advantage in many other respects: you may read an able preacher when you have but a average one to hear. Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers: but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious; preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand: books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers: we may choose books which treat of that, very subject which we desire to hear of; but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat of. Books we may have at hand every day. and hour; when we can have sermons but seldom, and at set times. If sermons be forgotten, they are gone; but a book we may read over and over, till we remember it: and if we forget it, may again peruse it at our pleasure, or at our leisure. So that good books are a very great mercy to the world: the Holy Ghost chose the way of writing, to preserve His doctrine and laws to the ‘Church, as knowing how easy and sure a way it is of keeping it safe to all generations, in comparison of mere verbal traditions.” -Richard Baxter

Clement of Alexandria

“The hair of the chin showed him to be a man.” St Clement of Alexandria (c.195, E), 2.271

“How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them!…For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But He adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest–a sign of strength and rule.” St. Clement of Alexandria, 2.275

“This, then, is the mark of the man, the beard. By this, he is seen to be a man. It is older than Eve. It is the token of the superior nature….It is therefore unholy to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness.” St. Clement of Alexandria, 2.276

“It is not lawful to pluck out the beard, man’s natural and noble adornment.” St. Clement of Alexandria, 2.277

“For an ample beard suffices for men.”

Cyprian

“In their manners, there was no discipline. In men, their beards were defaced.” St Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.438

“The beard must not be plucked. ‘You will not deface the figure of your beard’.” (Leviticus 19:27) St. Cyprian, 5.553

Lactantius

“The nature of the beard contributes in an incredible degree to distinguish the maturity of bodies, or to distinguish the sex, or to contribute to the beauty of manliness and strength.” Lactantius (c. 304-314, W), 7.288

Apostolic Constitutions

“Men may not destroy the hair of their beards and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the Law says, “You will not deface your beards.” For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men.” Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 90 – 300, E) 7.392. (1)

Tertullian

“Of course, I am a man, and being envious of women, am banished them completely from their own domain. Are there then, somethings that to men are also not permissible. If we are god fearing and have a due regard for gravity? There are indeed. … My own sex recognizes some tricks of beauty which are peculiar ours, for example, to cut the beard sharply, to pluck it out in places, to shave round about the corners … But all these tricks are rejected (by Christians) as being frivolous and hostile to modesty as soon as the knowledge of God has destroyed the wish to please.” Tertullian (160-225 A.D.) On the Apparel of women, Section – Men Not Excluded from these Remarks on Personal Adornment.

Augustine of Hippo

“There are some details of the body which are there for simply aesthetic reasons, and for no practical purpose – for instance, the nipples on a man’s chest, and the beard on his face, the latter being clearly for a masculine ornament, not for protection. This is shown by the fact that women’s faces are hairless, and since women are the weaker sex, it would surely be more appropriate for them to be given such a protection.” City of God (c. 410) book 22, chapter 24

“The beard signifies the courageous: the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” -Augustine of Hippo, (354-430 A.D.)

Stoglav Council of 1551

“What? Does not the Old Testament also condemn those who shave off their beards? “Do not shave off your beards; such is proper to women but out of place for men. Such has God, who made man in his own image, so decreed on this matter.” “Let no razor touch your beard, for this practice is repugnant to God”, said Moses”

Jerome

Jerome wrote against the removal of the beard (The Jewish Encyclopedia 612).

Fourth Council of Carthage

In 398, the fourth council of Carthage prohibited clergymen from removing the beard (The Jewish Encyclopedia 614).

Euthymius

“only men with a beard can enter the monastery, not boys “with female faces.”” -Euthymius, 411 A.D.

William Tyndale

In 1528, Tyndale pointed out that shaving “is borrowed of the heathen” and proclaimed that “the shaven nation hath put Christ out of his room” (Oxford English Dictionary XV, 194f).

-Reformed Christian Attitudes

It should also be pointed out that most of the Reformers grew out there beards and to extreme long lengths. We cannot know for certain the absolute reason behind their beard growths but we can at least see that they had some natural law understanding of beards for men.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther wrote to Spalatin from Wartburg on May 14, 1521 the following:

“After being captured I was stripped of my own clothes and dressed in a knight’s cloak. I am letting my hair and beard grow so that you will hardly know me…Now I am living in Christian liberty.”

Westminster Assembly

It appears that even though some divines like George Gillespie has portraits that has no facial hair but by the time of the Westminster Assembly all but the Anglicans divines did have facial hair.

“”After service the members of the Assembly, ‘three score and nine’ [1429] (twenty-nine more than the required quorum), repaired for organization to the Chapel of Henry VII., that ‘most gorgeous of sepulchres,’ where the Upper House of Convocation used to meet. The mediæval architecture formed a striking contrast to the Puritan simplicity of worship and dress. The divines appeared in black coats or cloaks, skull-caps, and Geneva bands in imitation of the foreign Protestants, [1430] with the exception of a few Royalists and Episcopalians, who in their canonical gowns seemed ‘the only non-Conformists.’ [1431] Add to this apparel their solemn looks, the peaked beards and mustaches, and the broad double ruff around the neck, and we have a spectacle of a synod differing as much from a modern Presbyterian Assembly as from an Episcopal Convocation or a Roman Catholic Council. [1432]” [1429] This is about the average attendance of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury,–Stanley, Memorials of Westminster Abbey, p. 507. [1430] Neal and Stoughton. [1431] Fuller. [1432] M’Crie and Mitchell compare it to a synod of Huguenots as pictured on the title-page of the first volume of Quick’s Synodicon. But there the Frenchmen wear broad-brimmed hats.” -Note in Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes about the Westminster divines.

Westminster Annotations

“V. 27 Of the beard] Because a decent growth of the beard, is a sign of manhood, and a remarkable difference of the male, from the female sex; and this was forbidden to be done in that superstitious manner which Heathens used; who consecrated to their gods not onely their locks, but their beards also; especially the first doune of it. Plutarch. in Theseo, and Sueton. in Nerone. 1.12.” -Westminster Annotations on Leviticus 19:27

The annotations used both the natural law and the heathen practice for the beard passage.

North Carolina Orange Presbytery, 1830

*** Quote Deleted. I got this quote from a trusted friend many years ago which was given to me in terms of facial shaving. It is not that the quote was false but that it is not dealing with shaving in terms of hair but note shaving in usury of which I had no idea of what note-shaving was until someone pointed out to me that this is about usury and I had to go research note-shaving.  I can perfectly understand why this friend misunderstood what the Presbytery meeting was in reference to as I did not know what note-shaving is either.

Charles Spurgeon

“From personal experience I venture with some diffidence to give this piece of advice. If any of you possess delightfully warm woolen comforters, with which there may be associated the most tender remembrances of mother or sister, treasure them–treasure them at the bottom of your trunk, but do not expose them to any vulgar use by wrapping them round your necks. If any brother wants to die of influenza let him wear a warm scarf around his neck, and then one of these nights he will forget it, and catch such a cold as will last him the rest of his natural life. You seldom see a sailor wrap his neck up. No, he always keeps it bare and exposed, and has a turn-down collar, and if he has a tie at all, it is but a small one loosely tied, so that the wind can blow about his neck. In this philosophy I am a firm believer, having never deviated from it for these fourteen years, and having before that time been frequently troubled with colds, but very seldom since. If you feel that you want something else, why, then grow your beards! A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. One of our brethren, now present, has four years found this of great service. He was compelled to leave England on account of the loss of his voice, but he has become as strong as Samson now that his locks are unshorn.” – CH Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (repr., Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1954), 125.

“At 34 years of age was he sacrificed for our sins; he was then hale and strong, although his body may have been emaciated by suffering, and his face more marred than that of any other man yet was he then in the perfection of manhood. Methinks I see him then. His goodly beard flowing down upon his breast, I see him with his eyes full of genius, his form erect, his mien majestic, his energy entire, his whole frame in full development,-a real man, a magnificent man-fairer than the sons of men, a lamb not only without blemish, but with his powers fully brought out. Such was Jesus Christ–a Lamb of the first year-not a boy, not a lad, not a young man, but a full man, that he might give his soul unto us.” Spurgeon, C. H. (1998). Vol. 2: Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 2.

”You cannot measure a man’s grace by the length of his beard, nor by the number of his years.” Spurgeon, C. H. (1998). Vol. 41: Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 41 .

”One of the old Puritans said that some men are born with beards; and, certainly, there are some believers who, almost as soon as they are converted, seem to take great strides, and to make speedy advances, so that they soon become very useful, and are able even to teach things which others only learn after long years of experience.” Spurgeon, C. H. (1998). Vol. 44: Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 44

James Ward

In 1859, an Englishman, James Ward, wrote Defence of the Beard, a pamphlet which listed eighteen reasons why a man was “bound to grow a beard, unless he was indifferent as to offending the Creator and good taste” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics 442).

One year later, a longer work was published, entitled Shaving a breach of the Sabbath and a hinderance to the spread of the Gospel. In this book, the author defended the beard on the grounds that it was “a Divinely provided chest-protector.” “Were it in any other position,” the writer reasoned, “its benefit and purpose might be doubted” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics 442).

§Conclusion

So let us be more charitable to those with whom with disagree with. Let us not call each other names and let us not allow our presuppositions to get in the way of what the Scriptures has taught just because it goes against everything we have been taught the whole of our lives. Let our speech with seasoned with salt and speak with love toward one another.This is also no novelty and so therefore we should give it some serious thought in our considerations.

As a good friend of mine once said,

There are three things unbecoming, yea four that are unseemly: A roebuck wanting his rack; A lion without his mane; The peacock stripped of his plume; and a man shorn of his beard.”

– Jason Robert Schuiling, A pogophile proverb

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