What does the word say about outward appearance?

What does the word say about outward appearance?

Hello,
I love the body of Christ. I have been speaking about the church (the body of Christ) in my recent post because I've been led by the Holy Spirit to do so. In the previous blog post, I spoke about how to handle sin in the church. In this post, I am speaking about how to handle condemnation from church-goers regarding outer appearance. For the sake of clarification, I'm referencing believers who are  focused on the outward appearance of their brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Often we see believers who attend church and their focus is on commenting on someone's appearance (e.g. look at this new person, why is she wearing shorts?) You maybe wondering why are these "very seasoned Christians" focused on outer appearance? criticizing others? maybe even condemning others? It's because they do not understand the work of the Holy Spirit. Since them themselves may not allow the Holy Spirit to lead them, they don't know that a born-again believer will have the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will teach them how to live for Jesus inwardly first, and then outwardly they will be like their inside.
In Matthew 23:25 Jesus told the religious leaders “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." 
If we are not careful, these same believers who are focused on the outward appearance can become religious because of 'working' to appear to be a Christian. Meaning they are focused on working to look like the perfect Christian by cleaning themselves outwardly, while still leaving with uncleanliness (sin) inside. Man focuses on cleaning the outside first and then the inside, which is why change never occurs. However, God is focused on the inside (the heart), because that is where true change occur. 

If you're older than 10, you may have heard of many stories about believers in church committing heinous acts; they dressed the part, talked the part, but their heart was not changed. It's because in many churches, specifically on the east coast, in the south we are trying to change people outwardly, instead of letting the HOLY (he's called Holy for a reason), Holy Spirit change the person inwardly first and then outwardly.
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Let's take time to go over the scripture so that we can receive understanding on this subject. The very first thing to understand is as a believer you're commanded to love and not to judge the world, and not to judge brothers and sisters in Christ who repent of their sins. God did not call you to look down on others, but to love! Self-righteousness can arise if we fail to love. Now that we understand that God wants us to love others before anything else we do, we can get into the word about appearance.


1. Should women in the church wear dresses only (no shorts, no pants)?
Often believers read Deuteronomy 22:5 and misunderstand it's interpretation. Currently we have many different versions of the bible [different translations]. Originally, Deuteronomy 22:5 was translated as follows:

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In other words the correct translation is: men should not dress like women [women dresses] and women should not wear [armour - for war]. Should we judge believers who do not have a clear conscious about this? Absolutely not! Neither should you be judged if you are a woman and you wear clothes other than dresses. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 8:10-13 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

2. Should women in the church wear make-up? jewelry? braided hair?
Let's take time to go over the scripture so that we can receive understanding on this subject. The very first thing to understand is as a believer you're commanded to love and not to judge the world, and not to judge brothers and sisters in Christ who repent of their sins. God did not call you to look down on others, but to love! Self-righteousness can arise if we fail to love. Now that we understand that God wants us to love others before anything else we do, we can get into the word about appearance.

In 1 Timothy 2:7-10 Paul is telling the church how women should adorn themselves. However, he does not say that women cannot wear elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls or expensive clothes. He is saying that women who profess to worship God should adorn [=make more beautiful or attractive] themselves by modesty [=lack of extravagance], decency [=behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability], and propriety[=the details or rules of behavior conventionally considered to be correct]. A woman of God can be modest and still wear jewelry, gold, pearls, expensive clothes and elaborate hairstyles, if they have 'good' deeds [Galatians 5:22-23].

Peter says the same thing in 1 Peter 3:1-5. If we read the word of God without the Holy Spirit we can read it from mankind's view point instead of what it actually says.




3. What about tattoos?
Let's take time to go over the scripture so that we can receive understanding on this subject. The very first thing to understand is as a believer you're commanded to love and not to judge the world, and not to judge brothers and sisters in Christ who repent of their sins. God did not call you to look down on others, but to love! Self-righteousness can arise if we fail to love. Now that we understand that God wants us to love others before anything else we do, we can get into the word about appearance.



Why did God command this in Leviticus 19:28? God, our father tells us not to cut our bodies or put tattoo marks on our bodies FOR THE DEAD [necromancy=the supposed practice of communicating with the dead, especially in order to predict the future.]. Once again, if we read the word of God without the Holy Spirit we can read it from mankind's view point instead of what it actually says. In the days of the old testament [even now-a-days] demons were entering people because they were cutting their body for the dead.