Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I was recently asked by a friend if I could write a blog about jewellery. Apparently there was an after church discussion that had lead to this request of me. I did not want to ask to many details in case as per normal I was disappointed in some Christians yet again. Therefore I set about on a journey of discovery for myself on a topic that I find rather personal and also rather irritating.

To give you some background about my position and let you know my bias here goes. I am from a strong Christian family. Both my great grandparents were pastors and leaders in the church in Barbados. They were deeply committed Christians and raised my mother likewise. My mum always told me that how her grandparents were not into excessive jewellery but as a fashion loving young person my mother did not hold the same position. While growing up my family attended most denominations in the Christian faith and in the end settled on one that happened not to wear jewellery.

Jewellery is not the centre of my life but I happen to be a jewellery designer and make and used to sell my pieces. But this posed a problem for the church I attended and I spent far to much time with people confronting me about the one ring I chose to wear. It was an on going issue as I did not agree that it was a biblical mandate that we don't wear jewellery. There maybe many mandates about our life from the bible but I didn't believe jewellery was one of them. The texts that were used I felt they were inappropriate and misused. However when I got called into ministry I stripped all of it off and boxed it all up and gave up my work. So being asked about jewellery was an issue that I never really dealt with properly.

So first I looked up which churches do not wear jewellery and it was a minority that I could find. There are some Pentecostal churches that do not wear jewellery, the Amish, some Quakers and Seventh-day Adventists. For the Amish and Quakers it is a way of life, the Amish make everything they wear and each piece has significance. For the Quakers it is a lifestyle choice not a denominational mandate they wear cheap or fair traded clothes and simplify their lifestyle including jewellery. For some Pentecostal and the Adventists it is a biblical decision not to wear jewellery.

The difficulty I have is that within each of these faiths (Pentecostal and Adventist) there is no consistency. Yes the belief is stated in their doctrine but Not all people in their churches agree with the theological point that jewellery should not be worn. Some people are at the highest levels of the church in respected positions that disagree. So what do we do with the information? This is where the difficulty lies for me.

I believe wholeheartedly in modesty which some people use as a argument for no jewellery but I think that's a misinterpretation. Modesty can be applied to jewellery as well so no over the top stuff. See simple. But if you go a church that has a no jewellery policy I guess you have two options sign up to the policy and be respectful of the wishes of the church body by staying quiet whether you agree or not. Or option two wear your jewellery and deal with the fact that there will be people who find it wrong.

If you wonder what my personal opinion is then that's easy I am a jewellery designer and am hoping that like Paul this work will finance my ministry. When speaking in churches that have a no jewellery policy then respectfully I will remove mine but in my personal life I have no issue with jewellery. But if you want to know more then there are a few websites below you can check out to make up your own mind.

1 comment:

  1. The question of jewellery is an interesting one. Yes it is a position that the church has chosen. That is why it is really important to make that clear. It would be inappropriate to give the impression that smoke and mirrors are being used to convince people of the church's perspective.

    I also agree with you point about modesty. I think, that in a world where it's possible to dress up in sparkles and to glam up without wearing jewellery, there's a fine line to tread. Hopefully you won't think that I mean women and men should dress dowdily. Far from it. It's simply a question of why address the question of jewellery without addressing the question of driving a Porsche, wearing false nails, designer clothing and the list goes on. It's important to remember the principle rather than the rule otherwise we run the risk of becoming pharisaical.