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Frank W. Nelte

March 1996

Make-Up: A Reply to the Paper by Robert Gardenhire

Recently someone forwarded to me a copy of a paper entitled "MAKE-UP, A VIEW FROM THE BIBLE", written by Robert Gardenhire. While Mr. Gardenhire states in the second paragraph of his paper that he does not intend it to be "a rebuttal" of my paper on the subject, it is nevertheless largely focused on attempting to present that my paper is in error. He states that he would endeavour "to present what is in the Word of God". I have endeavoured to do exactly the same thing.

Since our presentations are not in agreement, it follows that we can't both be right. Towards this end Mr. Gardenhire has attempted to show up what he feels are flaws in my presentation, or as he refers to it, "violations of logic".

In this article I will attempt to do the same thing ... point out "what is in the Word of God" and in the process point out what I feel are some "violations of logic" in Mr. Gardenhire's presentation.

In presenting this article, I trust that it will be understood that I have no motive beyond a desire to point out the weaknesses and flaws in Mr. Gardenhire's presentation. Specifically, none of my comments are intended to reflect on the person; all of my comments are intended as responses to the views expressed, or omitted, as may be the case.

With that said, let's take a closer look at Mr. Gardenhire's paper "MAKE-UP, A VIEW FROM THE BIBLE". For ease of reference, I will number the points as I address them.

1) The paper opens by claiming that a recurring violation of logic is that ... "an event following another is stated to be caused by the first", the Latin term being "post hoc ergo procter hoc".


This is a challenge of Mr. Armstrong's often-stated claim that ... "FOR EVERY EFFECT THERE HAS TO BE A CAUSE"!

Is this claim by Mr. Gardenhire supposed to imply that things that happen do NOT have "A CAUSE"? This is a basic claim he has made, right at the very start of his paper. Is it "logical" to assume that things happen "without a cause"? Did Mr. Armstrong not think of the principle stated in Proverbs 26:2?

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, SO THE CURSE CAUSELESS SHALL NOT COME. (Proverbs 26:2)

This Scripture is a fairly dogmatic statement that every problem (i.e. a curse) MUST have a cause. It is understood that the person who experiences the problem has not necessarily caused it, but that does not mean that there is not a cause for the problem somewhere in the things that have gone before.

We human beings today live in a world with monumental problems (real curses!) and they all have been caused by the way we human beings have lived, and by the things we have done.

Didn't God already point out to Cain, way back, this matter of CAUSE AND EFFECT?

IF THOU DOEST WELL, shalt thou not be accepted? AND IF THOU DOEST NOT WELL, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Genesis 4:7)

Exactly what do you mean by saying that it is a violation of logic to state that an event following another is caused by the first? A violation of WHOSE logic?? God's logic?

Why did God say to Israel: " ... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing ..." (Deuteronomy 30:19), if it was not a matter of the way they would live CAUSING certain consequences?

I put it to you that Mr. Armstrong's statement that "for every effect there has to be a cause" is a recurring theme throughout the entire Bible! No "story" of any kind can invalidate this clearly expressed principle!

The question I have is this: WHY does Mr. Gardenhire want to establish that a belief in finding A CAUSE for things that happen is "a violation of logic"? What is this claim supposed to prove?


If that is what this claim is supposed to achieve, then it is certainly flawed, because the Bible shows quite clearly that God certainly believes in the matter of cause and effect.


2) Next, Mr. Gardenhire presents the story that, in a casual conversation, Mr. Armstrong once expressed a question about eating garlic and leeks.

Applied to make-up, the whole story is meaningless, inappropriate and totally misleading!

First of all, questioning whether we may eat garlic and leeks is not something Mr. Armstrong ever TAUGHT! But he did teach against the use of make-up.

Secondly, there is a VAST difference between Mr. Armstrong one time mentioning something in a private and "CASUAL conversation" ... and BOLDLY TEACHING something by means of a FIVE COLUMN HEADLINE in the Worldwide News of November 16, 1981 (i.e. the article Mr. Armstrong wrote about make-up).

Thirdly, pointing out that Mr. Armstrong's reasoning regarding garlic was biblically unsound (and he certainly didn't teach it anyway) does not in ANY way detract from the validity of the biblical principles he presented for the things which he DID TEACH ... including the principles he explained regarding why the use of make-up is not right before God.

The point is that the private views Mr. Armstrong sometimes speculated about have NOTHING to do with what he taught as solidly based on the Bible. I myself once heard Mr. Armstrong (back in December 1967 or January 1968) speculate that he himself and Billy Graham might perhaps be the two witnesses. So what? He didn't ever TEACH that. In "casual conversations" Mr. Armstrong was just as entitled to speculate and voice opinions and ideas as anyone else.

Fourthly, this story does NOT really illustrate what Mr. Gardenhire claims it illustrates ... "that an event following another is stated to be caused by the first"! There are no two "events" involved in this story! It was simply a case of looking at a Scripture and wrongly postulating about its application.

So the whole story, even though perhaps true, is simply misleading! It really has nothing to do with the point Mr. Gardenhire wishes to prove, if we really want to be logical about this.

3) The opening two sentences of his paper are also not really correct. Mr. Gardenhire wrote:

"The issue of make-up has had a checkered history in the Church of God. No you may not, yes you may, no you may not, etc.,etc, ad nauseam."


Here are the facts:

A) In the January 1957 issue of "The GOOD NEWS" magazine Mr. Armstrong wrote an article of over 11 pages in length entitled "WHAT The Church Ruled on Make-up and WHY!". The opening paragraph of this article reads as follows:

"This matter of the right or wrong of using make-up was becoming controversial. Some members had intense convictions one way, others just as decided beliefs the other way. Many were not sure. They were waiting for the Church to define the answer as a plain 'Thus saith the Lord'."

B) In this 1957 article we have the ruling the Church of God made on this subject, as the article's title clearly states.

C) Mr. Armstrong makes no appeals to "previous rulings" on this subject of make-up. Alright, so perhaps people had already expressed opinions about this subject before 1957. But THIS is when the Church made "a ruling" for the first time.

D) This ruling stood until about May 1974.

E) At that time Garner Ted Armstrong caught his father ... "on the run" as he was leaving for Tokyo and Manila, and presented a short statement regarding four specific Scriptures to him. In response to this Mr. Armstrong typed out a short message which appeared in the October 23, 1974 "Bulletin". However, under Mr. Armstrong's signature there was ALSO an article of several pages by Wayne Cole, which changed the Church's teaching about make-up.


This is all carefully explained in Mr. Armstrong's Worldwide News article of November 16, 1981.

F) Thus a liberal teaching had been introduced into the Church WITHOUT MR. ARMSTRONG'S APPROVAL, and Mr. Armstrong struggled with the question of how to again rectify this situation.

G) Then Mr. Armstrong suffered from total heart failure in 1978. The recuperation process took about two years. During this time Mr. Armstrong knew he was living "on borrowed time". He felt an urgency to set everything straight, as much as he was able to do.

H) During the Feast of Tabernacles in 1981, at Big Sandy, Mr. Armstrong finally felt compelled to again remove make-up out of the Church of God. He did this by first forcefully stating this at the Ministerial Luncheon, and then the next day in a sermon to the entire congregation of about 14000 people at the site in Big Sandy.

I) Then Mr. Armstrong wrote the article for the Worldwide News of November 16, 1981, which was first published in the Pastor General's Report of November 2, 1981.


Thus, Mr. Gardenhire's statement that the Church changed on this issue "AD NAUSEAM" is simply not honest! According to Webster's Dictionary the expression "ad nauseam" means "TO A SICKENING DEGREE"! That's what these words mean, and Mr. Gardenhire's statement is either based on ignorance or it is dishonest.

To imply that when Mr. Armstrong succumbed to being tricked by his son and then subsequently looked for the right opportunity to rectify this problem amounts to the Church changing on this matter of make-up "TO A SICKENING DEGREE" is "a sick" exaggeration. It is also a highly unfair statement.

The fact that Mr. Tkach in 1988, WITHOUT PRESENTING ANY KIND OF BIBLICAL JUSTIFICATION for doing so, again changed this teaching on make-up CANNOT BE HELD AGAINST MR. ARMSTRONG! What Mr. Tkach did after Mr. Armstrong's death is simply not something Mr. Armstrong is responsible for!

Thus Mr. Gardenhire's claim that the Church vacillated on this question "to a sickening degree" is simply a statement designed "to stack the deck" against Mr. Armstrong's stand. The facts prove that statement to be wrong!

Mr. Tkach's change of the teaching regarding make-up is in exactly the same situation as Mr. Tkach's authorization to change all of the Church's other teachings. It is just as invalid in the sight of God as is Mr. Tkach's claim that God's law is done away. When Mr. Tkach stated that the law of God is done away he was VERY CLEARLY being used by Satan. Where do you get the idea from that when he changed the earlier teachings, the ones that paved the way to doing away with God's laws, that then he was being used by GOD?

Let's face the facts: when Mr. Tkach changed this teaching, he did NOT present any biblical reasons for doing so! He simply changed it because for over 12 months before that OFFICIAL change in doctrine, make-up had ALREADY been used very deceptively in the various publications of the Church. He had been testing the water VERY CAREFULLY to gauge the response such a change in doctrine was likely to receive. Based on the acceptance make-up in all of the Church's publications had received, Mr. Tkach could confidently predict that it would find a ready acceptance by the majority of people.

Jesus Christ plainly said: by their fruits we shall know them. See Matthew 7:16, 20. So what do the fruits of Mr. Tkach's time as Pastor General show? Why did God take his life within less than 10 years of assuming office? Exactly who was using Mr. Tkach ... God or Satan? It should be quite obvious that SATAN was the one who used Mr. Tkach throughout his ENTIRE time as Pastor General!

Have we forgotten the lesson in the glaring headline of Mr. Armstrong's WN article? That headline reads:


History has proved that after Mr. Armstrong's death Satan once again "STARTED THE CHURCH OFF THE TRACK" in exactly the same way ... by using make-up. That is PRECISELY what has happened. The change in the teaching about make-up PRECEDED all of the other doctrinal changes, the things that motivated all of us to leave the Worldwide Church of God.

4) In the second paragraph of his article Mr. Gardenhire states:

"I will not presume to have the ability to interpret the mind of God, beyond what is in His Word."

That may sound very nice, but it is a COP-OUT!

That statement is supposed to justify why he limits himself to the letter of the law! That statement is designed to limit the assessment of this issue to the letter of the law, and the letter of the law only!


That statement by Mr. Gardenhire is designed to justify avoiding facing Scriptures like 1 John 3:22:

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, AND DO THOSE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT. (1 John 3:22)

God EXPECTS us to make the effort to understand the mind of God! The ministry of the Church is supposed to have "THE MIND" of Christ, and we are supposed to make the mind of God KNOWN!

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Mr. Gardenhire is also a minister in the Church, as far as I understand. Thus this Scripture is also supposed to apply to him. Anyone who has the mind of Christ will therefore then THINK like Christ thinks. If we do not have the ability to understand the mind of God beyond the mere letter of the law, then we lack something ... that's Paul's whole point in 1 Corinthians 2.

There is absolutely no justification for limiting our assessment of the matter of make-up to the mere letter of the law! We in God's Church are supposed to understand that "the law is SPIRITUAL" (Romans 7:14), and God expects us to make the effort to understand WHY He has instructed us to do or not to do certain things, and to then apply those same principles to all other areas of our lives. That is the only way the Bible can become a manual for guiding us through every area of human endeavour.

Jesus Christ instructed us to pray that God's will would be done (Matthew 6:10), and that includes God's will in our individual lives. Having prayed for God's will, we then need to diligently seek to understand it, so that we may order our conduct to be in harmony with that will.

The attempt to limit the discussion of make-up to the mere letter of the law is a glaring flaw in Mr. Gardenhire's presentation. It evidences a refusal to face the real questions, which I presented in my paper. Questions like:

"Yes, I understand that what I am contemplating doing is not strictly forbidden by the laws of God. BUT I WANT TO KNOW: IS IT ACTUALLY PLEASING TO GOD FOR ME TO DO THIS OR NOT? If something is NOT actually PLEASING to God, THEN I will simply not do it, even if God does not specifically forbid me to do so!"

God tells us in Isaiah 55:8:

For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

Now God OBVIOUSLY did not intend for matters to stay that way. This very statement here is supposed to motivate us to WANT to understand the mind of God. God expects us to make the effort to understand His likes and His preferences. That is the way to strive to really PLEASE God.

Mr. Gardenhire's statement is intended to justify WHY he will make no attempt to establish what is actually pleasing to God.

5) In this regard we should also examine the closing statement of Mr. Gardenhire's paper. There he states: "only man is overly concerned about what is outside, God is concerned with what He sees on the inside".


Yes, God certainly is concerned about what is on the inside! But NOWHERE is it implied that THEREFORE the outside is unimportant and of no consequence. It is again "stacking the deck" to present these two statements in the form of a contrast. God does not present this contrast which implies that "ONLY MAN" is concerned with the outside. Certainly, God looks PRIMARILY at the heart; this is not questioned in any way. BUT "cleaning up the inside" is THE MEANS for then also cleaning up the outside. As Jesus Christ explained ...

[Thou] blind Pharisee, CLEANSE FIRST that [which is] WITHIN the cup and platter, THAT THE OUTSIDE OF THEM MAY BE CLEAN ALSO. (Matthew 23:26)

Applied to our discussion here: "cleaning up our attitude towards God and genuinely seeking to please Him" then become THE CAUSE for cleaning up "the outside". It is important that "the outside" then also becomes "clean".

No one is saying that "the outside" is the most important issue. It is not! But neither should it be neglected. To illustrate this, tithing to the smallest level, even including insignificant amounts of garden produce in the calculations, is not really the most important thing either, as Jesus Christ pointed out (Matthew 23:23). But Christ went on to say that neither should a meticulous approach be neglected ... these things should not be left "UNDONE" (same verse). Jesus Christ here made quite clear that it is not an "either/or" situation.

The Bible very plainly states that we are to "glorify God" through our bodies.

For ye are bought with a price: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

This very instruction requires us to make a diligent enquiry as to exactly how we can do this. How does God WANT us to glorify Him through the way we look after our bodies?

Mr. Gardenhire's statement reflects a lack of understanding that what is on the outside is a reflection of what is on the inside! And God IS concerned about the outside.

In 1 Corinthians 11:14 Paul explained that "IT IS A SHAME" for a man to have long hair. In 1 Corinthians 11:6 Paul mentioned that "IT IS A SHAME" for a woman to be shorn or shaven. Hair length is very clearly something that is "ON THE OUTSIDE", yet it is something God is concerned about enough to have recorded right here in His Word!

The point Paul explains in this section is that hair length reveals a person's attitude towards God's authority! A man who has long hair DISHONOURS JESUS CHRIST, who is HIS "head"!!


But I would have you know, that THE HEAD OF EVERY MAN IS CHRIST ... EVERY MAN PRAYING or prophesying, having [his] head covered (meaning "HAVING LONG HAIR", see verse 14), DISHONOURETH HIS HEAD. (1 Corinthians 11:3-4)

Similarly, a woman who voluntarily (i.e. not because of an inherent physical condition) has her hair unduly short dishonours her husband (1 Corinthians 11:3, 5), thus showing a lack of respect for the authority God established.

So right here Paul explained that SOMETHING THAT IS ON THE OUTSIDE (hair length) reflects something else that is on the inside (our attitude towards authority). A hair length contrary to God's intentions reflects a spirit of rebellion towards God.

Furthermore, Mr. Gardenhire's comment also illustrates the difference between those who insist on limiting themselves to the letter of the law, and those who desire to understand THE PRINCIPLES which God wants us to learn.

There is a principle contained in 1 Corinthians 11. And that is as follows: THE FACT that God has clear views regarding the hair length for men and for women should tell us something. It should tell us that hair length is not the only thing about our appearance that God is concerned about. When it comes to our appearance, it doesn't make sense to say that God's views about hair length are quite specific, but apart from that God is not interested in our appearance.

CAN WE SEE THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED HERE? Or are we also only interested in the letter of the law?

God's concern about our hair length is an indication that God DOES have a concern for what we look like "on the outside". We are, after all, created "in the image and likeness" of God (Genesis 1:26). And that is why we have A RESPONSIBILITY to glorify God by the way we look after our bodies.

6) Continuing in Mr. Gardenhire's paper, he next states:

The issue of make-up is only mentioned explicitly in three places in the Bible. In two of those references there is a slight mistranslation. This has seldom even been mentioned in previous documents. Furthermore the Bible doesn't even use the phrase "paint the face" in the original language! In Hebrew it should be "paint the eye". A small difference, but significant."

IF he would, after examining these "three places", then also cover THE PRINCIPLES revealed elsewhere, which apply to make-up, then that would be fine. However, to limit himself to these three places as being all there is in the Bible that applies to this subject is not the way to seek the mind of God. And that is hardly what he himself would do in preparing a sermon about any other subject ... he would certainly search out as many principles that applied to his subject as possible. But for the subject of make-up he is not interested in any of those principles.

In the context of assessing the mind of God about make-up, there really is no difference between "painting the face" and "painting the eye". The one is just as wrong as the other. To imply that this is "a significant difference" in determining whether or not make-up is pleasing to God is misleading.

7) Next Mr. Gardenhire discusses Jezebel.


He tries to build Jezebel up by stating that Jezebel:

A) was of royal blood

B) was a princess

C) was from the principal city of Zidon

D) which city even Jesus Christ mentioned in the N.T..


Mr. Gardenhire then states:

"NOW TO BE SURE, she was a very evil and despicable person. Her wretchedness was PERHAPS EXCEEDED ONLY BY AHAB, who took her to wife, to the hurt of all Israel."

While postulating that perhaps ONLY Ahab was more wretched than Jezebel, Mr. Gardenhire is clearly admitting that Jezebel WAS the most evil WOMAN mentioned in the Bible (Semiramis does not feature by name in the Bible).


The God who inspired the Bible makes very clear that Jezebel was the most evil woman who is mentioned in the Bible. Whether or not she was "of royal blood" and where she came from has nothing to do with this.


Mr. Gardenhire states:

"What must be understood is that she was a princess, who became a queen of Israel! There is NO EVIDENCE, biblical or otherwise that I am aware of, that she was a harlot!"

No evidence? Really? Has he actually read the Bible?

What did Jehu say to Joram before he killed Joram?

And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, [Is it] peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, SO LONG AS THE WHOREDOMS OF THY MOTHER JEZEBEL and her witchcrafts [ARE SO] MANY? (2 Kings 9:22)

Jehu mentioned TWO things here:

A) Jezebel's WHOREDOMS;

b) Jezebel's WITCHCRAFTS.

The word translated as "whoredoms" is the Hebrew word "zanuwn", which is used 12 times in the Old Testament (i.e. in Genesis 38:24; 2 Kings 9:22; Ezekiel 23:11,29; Hosea 2:2,4; Hosea 4:12; 5:4; Nahum 3:4) and the word means "to commit fornication and harlotry".

When Jehu said that Jezebel's whoredoms were "MANY", he was implying a fairly common knowledge of this fact. It wasn't something that was kept secret in a corner. Her whoredoms were MANY!

But the point still is: WHY is Mr. Gardenhire trying so hard to find something good to say about Jezebel? Is his presentation a true reflection of how GOD views Jezebel? No, it is not! Anyone who tries to present Jezebel in a positive light is NOT presenting the picture God presents to us about this woman.


It is the vilest of "burials" (for lack of a better word) that is mentioned anywhere in the Bible. It is a revolting way of disposing of a corpse. To be burned is more honourable than that.

Incidently, this prophecy was already given in the days of Elijah, when Ahab was still alive (see 1 Kings 21:23), who would have passed it on to his wife. It was later repeated by Elisha (see 2 Kings 9:10). So Jezebel knew for well over a decade what fate had been prophesied for her.

Now consider these statements by Mr. Gardenhire:

"There is NO KNOWN CONNECTION between the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20 and the one of 2 Kings 9:30. Those who insist otherwise are guessing! Symbolically OF COURSE, there could be, but in reality it is NOT RELEVANT."

No known connection? Does Mr. Gardenhire not understand that Revelation chapter 2 is PROPHETIC, that it is not at all speaking about a literal woman by the name of "Jezebel"?

When God selected this codename "Jezebel" for use in the message to the Church in Thyatira, did God not know that this was actually the real name of the most evil woman mentioned in the entire Old Testament, something even Mr. Gardenhire concedes in a roundabout way?


That motive is to exclude Revelation 2:20 from any discussion of the person and character of Jezebel, the wife of Ahab. The grudging concession that "symbolically OF COURSE there COULD BE" a connection is sheer double-talk ... saying yes and no at the same time!

THE FACT is that God deliberately and intentionally selected the codename Jezebel in Revelation 2:20 to directly focus our attention on the Jezebel of Old Testament times. God WANTS us to associate the one with the other!

So WHY try to claim that a connection between the two Jezebels is "NOT RELEVANT"? The truth is that this connection is VERY RELEVANT! God wants us to learn things from this connection.

8) Next Mr. Gardenhire discusses Jezebel's MOTIVE for putting on make-up. He makes a point for why her motive was not "to seduce" Jehu.


That is why in my article I stated that Jezebel's motivation was ... "PERHAPS to seduce Jehu" and ... "MAYBE EVEN to seduce Jehu".

Mr. Gardenhire's statements about Jezebel "HURLING an epithet" and calling him "the most evil name she could think of" (Jezebel really COULD think of some names that were worse than "Zimri") and "SCREAMING insults" at Jehu are clearly exaggerations for the purpose of making his point.

But I will agree that by the time Jezebel saw Jehu, and the circumstances under which he arrived, it is unlikely that she then tried "to seduce him" by the way she confronted him. But let's remember also that it was Jehu himself who was very much aware of Jezebel's "whoredoms"!

Anyway, JEZEBEL'S TRUE MOTIVE FOR PUTTING ON MAKE-UP (be it to impress or be it to prepare herself to die) does not really affect whether make-up is acceptable to God or not! Even if her putting on of make-up was "to die as a queen", that doesn't make make-up any better than if her motive was "to seduce" someone.

That is why in my article on make-up I said that her motive was "PERHAPS" and "MAYBE" to seduce Jehu. HER MOTIVE DOESN'T REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF we can see from the principles in the Bible that God is not really pleased by people wearing make-up, then it is really immaterial what Jezebel's motive was. If make-up is wrong, then it is wrong with either motive.

The main point to understand is that in my article I do NOT base my conclusion that God does not approve of make-up on the references to Jezebel! References to Jezebel are only supplementary information.

9) The key sections in my article, on which my conclusion is based, appear under the sub-titles "GOD'S PERSPECTIVE on this question", "Some more questions", "The matter of VANITY", "What about GOOD GROOMING?" and "Make-up and your Character".

THESE are the sections that the decision to reject make-up is based on. The discussion about Jezebel is important, yes; but her MOTIVATION for wearing make-up is not really the key to that importance. Whatever her true motivation may have been, it does not change the validity of what I have presented in these other sections of my article.

Thus what "the Peshitta manuscripts" and "the Jerome Biblical Commentary" and "the Ryrie Study Bible" and "the Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition" have to say about Jezebel is of no consequence to this discussion. NOTHING THEY SAY ABOUT JEZEBEL HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER GOD APPROVES OF MAKE-UP OR NOT. Her motivation for using make-up is NOT what the conclusion, that God disapproves of make-up, is based on!

To make Jezebel the big centre of attraction in this whole discussion only draws attention away from what "God's perspective" really is. About 90% of my article deals with things other than "Jezebel". That 90% contains the reasons for why make-up should be rejected.


The reason why make-up is wrong before God is NOT "because HARLOTS" used it! Mr. Gardenhire's whole exercise is called "building strawmen for the purpose of then knocking them down"! It is a very common tactic people use when they are unable to refute THE REAL ISSUES presented by other people.

Mr. Armstrong stated in his article, and I repeated this in my article on make-up, that 100 years ago VERY FEW women wore make-up. That is just a fact! I didn't say that no women wore make-up. I said that ... "the overwhelming majority of women" didn't use make-up 100 years ago. As Mr. Armstrong stated, it is also a fact that "prostitutes" were the first ones to use make-up in our modern societies. It is also a fact that THEIR motivation was indeed "TO SEDUCE MEN". Mr. Armstrong LIVED through the very age when "prostitutes" were the ones who introduced make-up as acceptable to the general population, even as they were the ones who introduced smoking tobacco as being acceptable for women.

I stated very clearly in my article:

"TODAY the original motivation for using make-up has largely been forgotten and replaced by a different perspective. The fact that the original motivation for make-up has been replaced by something that has nothing to do with immorality doesn't really make it more acceptable before God."

That paragraph in my article makes quite clear that how make-up gained general acceptance is not really important. But it doesn't change the facts which Mr. Armstrong presented ... that in our modern times "prostitutes" were the ones to gain general acceptance for make-up in our societies. This is not necessarily the case for other societies, and Mr. Armstrong didn't claim that.

11) Next, Mr. Gardenhire presents Jeremiah 4:30 as a big trump for his cause! Here is this verse in the King James Version.

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. (Jeremiah 4:30)

He then points out that the Hebrew word for "fair" also means "BEAUTIFUL", and he quotes the NAS which reads: "in vain you make yourself BEAUTIFUL". Then he writes the following:

"Now don't misunderstand! It is clear that God hates the PURPOSE of this attire! Nevertheless, HE DID SAY THAT JUDAH LOOKED BEAUTIFUL! WE MUST ADMIT THAT! THERE IS NO WAY AROUND IT, THAT IS WHAT IT SAYS! We can believe the Bible or we can believe what men say about the Bible. The choice is ours."

This is Mr. Gardenhire's trump card ... and unfortunately IT IS ONLY A "JOKER"!

He has very clearly read his own ideas into this verse! Let me explain what God is really telling us here. The problem is that Mr. Gardenhire has looked at ONLY ONE HEBREW WORD!

He really should have looked at TWO Hebrew words ... the word for "beautiful" AND ALSO THE WORD BEFORE "BEAUTIFUL"!

The expression in the NAS is: "IN VAIN you make yourself beautiful". Let's look at the Hebrew word translated as "IN VAIN".

The Hebrew word for "in vain" in this verse is "SHAV". It is A NOUN with the masculine gender. So here we have a Hebrew NOUN which is rendered in this verse as the adverbial phrase "in vain".

The noun "shav" is used 53 times in the Old Testament. Notice how it is translated in the KJV:

- VANITY = 22 times

- VAIN = 22 times

- FALSE = 5 times

- LYING = 2 times

- FALSELY = 1 time

- LIES = 1 time.

In Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament this word "shav" is defined as having three meanings in this order:

1) evil, wickedness, iniquity;

2) specifically falsehood, a lie;

3) emptiness, vanity, nothingness.

Here are some of the places where this word "shav" is used. I have rendered its translation into English into capital letters for easier recognition.

None calleth for justice, nor [any] pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak LIES; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. (Isaiah 59:4) (here "lies" is "shav")

They have spoken words, swearing FALSELY in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. (Hosea 10:4)

Thou shalt not raise a FALSE report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. (Exodus 23:1)

Neither shalt thou bear FALSE witness against thy neighbour. (Deuteronomy 5:20)

And it shall be unto them as a FALSE divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. (Ezekiel 21:23)

For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told FALSE dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because [there was] no shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)

The following two verses are interesting in that they use the construction "LYING VANITIES". Notice:

I HAVE HATED them that regard LYING VANITIES: but I trust in the LORD. (Psalm 31:6)

They that observe LYING VANITIES forsake their own mercy. (Jonah 2:8)

In the Hebrew the words translated "lying vanities" are "shav hebel". The word "hebel" means: vapour, breath, and thus vanity. Therefore the expression "shav hebel" literally means: the falsehood and emptiness of vanity".

Notice also that in Psalm 31:6 God says that He "HATES" those who regard "the vanity of 'shav'". Now let's apply this to Mr. Gardenhire's explanation for Jeremiah 4:30.

Does God REALLY call things that He hates "BEAUTIFUL"? "Must we really admit" that in Jeremiah 4:30 GOD said that Judah "looked BEAUTIFUL"?

Mr. Gardenhire himself admitted that ... "IT IS CLEAR that God HATES the purpose of this attire". When God's HATRED is so clear, then we need to ask the question: is there ever ANYTHING which God HATES that can also be "BEAUTIFUL"?

Beauty is not something that is unconditionally permanent. Beauty is very subjective; it is in the eye of the beholder. The things we HATE we do not consider to be "beautiful". NOTHING that God "hates" is beautiful! NOTHING!

When beauty is misused, then it disappears. Satan was ORIGINALLY "PERFECT IN BEAUTY" (Ezekiel 28:12). But his beauty went to his head and he became vain (Ezekiel 28:17). As a result Satan "CORRUPTED" his wisdom (same verse). But his "wisdom" is not the only thing that was "corrupted" by his sinning. His "beauty" was also corrupted.


Just like a one-time beauty queen, who has lived licentiously and who in her old age has become an alcoholic drug addict, so Satan has LOST the beauty he once had! Today Satan has to DISGUISE himself to appear as "an angel of light" (see 2 Corinthians 11:14) ... in reality he no longer IS beautiful. At this point in time Satan is best characterized as (though he may not look exactly like this?!?) "A GREAT RED DRAGON" (Revelation 12:3); not exactly a very pretty or beautiful sight.

Anyway, let's look again at this phrase "IN VAIN you make yourself BEAUTIFUL". The verb "yaphah" (to make beautiful) is used with the hithpael, or reflexive, stem. This gives the verb the meaning of "you make YOURSELF beautiful", which is correctly captured in the translations we have seen. However, we need to understand that the Hebrew text does not contain a word for "yourself" ... this is conveyed by the form in which this verb is used here. The emphasis is thus on what Judah HERSELF was doing, and not on what was done to her or for her by God. This reflexive form of this verb also does not reflect what God thinks about Judah or does for Judah, but WHAT JUDAH THINKS ABOUT HERSELF AND DOES TO HERSELF!

That is what the hithpael stem for Hebrew verbs conveys! It is reflexive, reflecting back on Judah, the subject being discussed. It is Judah's INTENTION to "make herself beautiful".

This is where the word "shav" (in vain) enters the picture!

Let's apply ALL of the definitions of the word "shav", as found in Gesenius' Lexicon, to this expression. Then we have all the possible options. Thus it reads:

A) "with EVIL you make yourself beautiful";

B) "with WICKEDNESS you make yourself beautiful";

C) "with INIQUITY you make yourself beautiful";

D) "with A FALSEHOOD you make yourself beautiful";

E) "with A LIE you make yourself beautiful";

F) "with EMPTINESS you make yourself beautiful";

G) "with VANITY you make yourself beautiful";

H) "with NOTHINGNESS you make yourself beautiful".

Which of these 8 possibilities for translating this phrase would you like? Which one conveys to you that GOD is speaking about REAL BEAUTY, as God considers beauty? These meanings are easy to verify, and I have quoted them correctly from Gesenius' Lexicon. And in so doing, I have NOT "stacked the deck"; they are in the exact sequence as they appear in the Lexicon.

Can you see why I said that Mr. Gardenhire's trump card was nothing but a "joker"?

Jeremiah 4:30 is not at all about what GOD describes as "beautiful". It is a testimony of how Judah VAINLY ATTEMPTS to attain unto beauty. These attempts involve evil, wickedness, iniquity, falsehoods, lies, emptiness, vanity and nothingness ... and make-up is right in there!

OF COURSE, the word "yaphah" means "beautiful". That has never been contested! But the hithpael stem shows WHO thinks that this is the way to attain unto beauty. It is not God's perception of beauty at all, but Israel's own perception.

Isn't it very clear that GOD'S PERCEPTION OF BEAUTY is expressed by the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:1-6? Don't we understand that what GOD calls "beautiful" is "A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT"? Where do we get the idea from that all of a sudden GOD reluctantly concedes that things He "clearly hates" (Mr. Gardenhire's own comment to Jeremiah 4:30) are "beautiful"? Does God at one moment say that a woman's beauty lies in "her attitude" and then in the next moment God says that her beauty is expressed by "paint around the eyes"? Of course not!

Let's now look at another argument Mr. Gardenhire presents.

12) Here is what Mr. Gardenhire wrote:

"Now another point. Can we be selective in what we accept? IF the Bible is saying eye paint is wrong because of this verse, THEN we must also say that crimson garments are wrong! We must also say that gold ornaments are wrong! THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH NORMAL REASON! Doesn't Paul say that, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God"? Then we have no choice! Either ALL things mentioned here are wrong, or ALL things mentioned here are acceptable! THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION."

That type of reasoning has been used in every previous attempt to justify the use of make-up. But it is nothing more than foolish reasoning.

There is absolutely no reason why, in any given description of people, God cannot mention things that are acceptable in the same context with things that are wrong. Furthermore, why should God not be allowed to mention some things which are out-and-out wrong in the same context as other things which are normally right and good but which are being used for evil purposes?

This "all or nothing" reasoning is a cop-out!

God expects us to use our understanding of the rest of His Word in order to "rightly divide" the principles of the Bible. But that approach Mr. Gardenhire has attempted to squelch by limiting himself, in his opening paragraphs, to the letter of the law.

It is this line of reasoning that Mr. Gardenhire here claims as being "the only way" to look at things that leads to rather silly conclusions. This becomes apparent in Mr. Gardenhire's discussion of the colours "scarlet" and "purple".

In Revelation 17:1 we are told about a "GREAT WHORE"! She sits on a "beast". She is guilty of fornication (Revelation 17:4). This is a vision John saw. In this vision God pictured this woman as dressed in two colours ... purple and scarlet. She also had much jewelry.

Of course, God likes colour! He created all colours. And yes, God has used many colours in His religious system of the Temple and the priesthood. But that does not preclude God from attaching a symbolism to some colours, even as God has attached a symbolism to leaven (for the Days of Unleavened Bread) and also to several different numbers (e.g. the numbers 7 and 12).

Revelation 17 is a prophecy and it is hard to understand why Mr. Gardenhire would want to insist that there is no meaning attached to the colours in which this "great whore" is presented to us.

Anyway, the whole discussion about colours and their symbolism ALSO has nothing to do with whether make-up is acceptable to God or not. The colour of the Blue jay has nothing to do with it either. It is just a distraction away from the real issue. After all, what does the colour of a Blue jay have to do with whether we human beings should put make-up on our faces or not?

13) Next, Mr. Gardenhire discusses "the Jewish perspective". My question is: who cares about the JEWISH perspective? I want to know what is GOD'S perspective! THAT he has carefully avoided.

Don't we remember Jesus Christ's strong rebuke for the traditional "Jewish" customs of His time?

And he said unto them, FULL WELL YE REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:9)

Why should we bother to study "THE PERSPECTIVE" of people who "full well" rejected the commandments of God in order to follow their own unbiblical customs and traditions? The instructions found in the Talmud and in the Mishnah are nothing more than A COLLECTION OF HUMAN TRADITIONS AND THE IDEAS OF MEN! Those are precisely the things which Jesus Christ CONDEMNED throughout His ministry!

Further, HOW LONG make-up has already been in use in past civilizations also has nothing to do with the will of God. How long has sin been around? Don't we understand that Satan has deceived ALL NATIONS?

The origin of the word "kohl" that Mr. Gardenhire presents is another distraction. What does it have to do with the mind of God? NOTHING!

From the "Aramaic word kohl" Mr. Gardenhire jumps to the Hebrew word "puwk" (that really is some jump!) and then he comes up with some places where the Hebrew word "puwk" is used, and then he promptly equates this back to the "Aramaic kohl" ... as if "kohl" was some big deal. "Kohl" doesn't appear in the Bible; so why try to make some big deal out of a word that is never used in the Bible?


All the way through he has only addressed peripheral issues. These include his discussion about Jezebel, a wrong explanation for Jeremiah 4:30, a discussion to try and show that colours don't convey certain messages, the Jewish perspective, and "modern connections". In all of these he has limited himself to looking at the letter of the law. The approach has been to find fault with the explanations that have been put forward for these various topics.

The first conclusion he presents is interesting. He states:

"That all things mentioned in a bad context are not bad"


But this point, which he here freely acknowledges, he himself EARLIER argued against! Earlier he claimed that it must always be a case of "ALL OR NOTHING"! To quote him again:

"Either ALL things mentioned here are wrong, or ALL things mentioned here are acceptable! There is no other option."

Compare this with the very first of his conclusions quoted above, that "ALL" things mentioned in a "bad context" are NOT bad!

So he himself admits that if God mentions one thing that is wrong (the use of make-up) it is NOT LOGICAL to conclude that everything else in that context (clothing and jewelry) must also be wrong. This is the very first conclusion Mr. Gardenhire himself presents! And that is precisely my point ... simply because God mentions clothing and jewelry in the same context as make-up, it is ridiculous to assume that therefore clothing "MUST" be bad also. It is just a silly argument, that's all.

So who is being illogical here?

At no stage does Mr. Gardenhire exhibit any desire of any kind to sincerely seek out what is really pleasing in the sight of God, as far as this matter of make-up is concerned.

His entire approach is an attempt to shoot down and to discredit the points that have been put forward against the use of make-up. His approach is: IF you will present points to prove why make-up is not acceptable to God, then I will try to show why your points are wrong.

Nowhere is there an attempt to earnestly seek the mind of God. Nowhere is there an attempt to establish WHY the use of make-up would indeed be pleasing to God. All he does is argue from an absence of a direct and specific prohibition. The frame of mind presented is: "IF GOD DOESN'T FORBID IT DIRECTLY, THEN I AM HAPPY TO ASSUME THAT IT MUST BE OKAY"!

He has only addressed some of the peripheral issues I presented in my article. The real issues are carefully avoided and side-stepped!

The burning questions of the woman who asks about make-up are NEVER ANSWERED! Questions like:

"Yes, I understand that the Bible does not contain a strict 'Thou shalt not wear make-up' command. But I am not looking for just commandments from God. When I came to repentance I surrendered my whole life to God. I GAVE my life to God. I said to God:

'Father, from now onwards I don't want to do my own will. From this day forward I want to live as You would LIKE me to live. I want to do those things that will PLEASE You. I want to go way beyond the mere letter of the laws which You have given for us to live by. Please SHOW me what is pleasing in Your sight. Please HELP me to understand Your will.'

These are the things I said to God when I committed my life to Him. And therefore don't put me off with some statement like: 'Well, actually God does not strictly forbid you to use make-up anywhere in the Bible'. I want to know: YES, BUT WILL GOD ACTUALLY BE PLEASED WITH ME IF I WEAR MAKE-UP? What confidence can I have that God REALLY will be pleased with me? By focusing on THE ATTITUDE, Mr. Armstrong in the November 16, 1981 WN presented me with a very strong case why I should NOT wear make-up. Can you show me why this attitude Mr. Armstrong explained is not valid? Do you understand that I really FEAR to knowingly disobey Almighty God? Do YOU also have the fear of God like I do? If you do, then show me on what grounds I will be able to use make-up, without defiling my conscience before God. Show me why it will indeed be pleasing to God for me to wear make-up. On what grounds is it pleasing to God if we proceed forward without any clearly stated approval from God?"

These questions are never even addressed by by Mr. Gardenhire, let alone answered. Instead they are carefully avoided.

Well, people who are not really motivated by a desire to actively seek to understand the mind of God, will never understand. If we come to God with a desire to receive approval for what we want to do, then we will always find that approval. That's one of the lessons we are supposed to learn from the story of Balaam ... he really WANTED to go with the messengers of Balak, and so God told him what he wanted to hear. God said to him: "GO" ... and then God nearly killed him in three different places, to show His anger with Balaam. And shortly afterwards Balaam was indeed killed.

If you really want your own will, if you really want to find approval for using or for approving make-up, then you will find it. In that case God says to you: "When the messengers of make-up come to you, go ahead and RUN with them" ... but God will in some way show you His displeasure, and you will not be blessed.

God is not mocked!

Those who search the Bible to find approval for their own will, have always been able to find it. You can argue about Jezebel, and about the colours, and about 'make-up being no more wrong before God than clothing and jewelry', and about the Jewish way of looking at things, and about God actually using the same things from which make-up is made ... and maybe you will even score a few points.


Beware of turning your ears away from the truth unto fables and listening to those who will tell you what you want to hear. I don't care one bit whether everyone who reads this disagrees with me. A lack of acceptance by other people will not change the things I say. The only way I will change what I say is when I see biblical evidence for doing so presented.

I hope and pray that you, who will read this, have the courage to face the truth. The truth will then set you free!

Frank W. Nelte