Answering Morse on the Theology of Beard Growing

"On Monday (August 22), Desiring God published an article titled 'O Beard Where Art Thou,' wherein Greg Morse argued that growing a beard is a matter of theological significance." - C.Leaders

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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Almost makes me want to shave mine. Because if beards get politicized as some kind of protest, I do not wish to participate.

Morse seems to be missing some historical context (e.g. interesting read) but I'm not sure his point and reasoning have been fairly represented.

Here's the Morse piece: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/o-beard-where-art-thou

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dcbii's picture

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Although my personal thoughts on beards are pretty much "nature itself teaches us" that men were intended to grow facial hair, I'm not going to change my behavior due to any change in thinking because of current culture.

Similar to what was mentioned in the article, when I went to a Christian college, facial hair was not allowed (apparently because we might look like hippies or something, even though I went to school in the 80's, not the 60's).  About 3 days before graduation from college, I stopped shaving the moustache part of my face, and for the next 15 years or so, I wore a moustache.  After that, I switched to a goatee, and have worn one since.  I have not been clean shaven (even briefly) for 37 years, and I'm not about to change that now, protest or not, and certainly not because of a blog post.

I also still wear wire-framed glasses, even though styles have gone back to the horn-rimmed types, and I'm sure many of my clothes and suits are similarly out-of-date (I certainly have no skinny jeans or similar suits or pants).

I would probably change out clothing with logos if a phrase became too associated with current culture and had a new meaning opposed to a biblical viewpoint, but outside of that, I'm not inclined to change my clothing or appearance just because times and culture change.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

.....isn't there a little issue with the law (the one that required men to let some of their facial hair grow) being fulfilled in Christ?  I wonder what the (famously clean shaven) John Piper thinks of this?

On a practical level, I remember that one of the things that helped me come to Christ was my Methodist church having an anti-military "peace" center that argued that the requirement for soldiers to shave was racist since African-Americans disproportionately have trouble shaving--a kind of skin irritation.  That pamphlet led me to leave that church, because (having just attempted to gain admission to West Point) I knew that the reason soldiers are required to shave is so the gas mask would seal.

My thought was more or less "Lessee...is it worse to tell a man he must shave, or is it worse to let him drown in a puddle of his own bodily fluids as he's gassed....?"  

But that said, I'm convinced, especially because ZZ Top needs a new bassist.  Either that, or because having a beard can be really helpful at 20 below.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

AndyE's picture

dcbii wrote:

After that, I switched to a goatee, and have worn one since.  I have not been clean shaven (even briefly) for 37 years, and I'm not about to change that now, protest or not, and certainly not because of a blog post.

When my son was home visiting this summer, he had us listen to a podcast on US presidents and beards.  Other than the Civil War time frame from Lincoln to Benjamin Harrison, presidents have not had beards.  So, given the current situation, you basically have no shot at becoming POTUS.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

AndyE wrote:

Other than the Civil War time frame from Lincoln to Benjamin Harrison, presidents have not had beards.  So, given the current situation, you basically have no shot at becoming POTUS.

Well, THAT's disappointing...

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

....you can still join ZZ Top.  Is that a consolation, Dave?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

....you can still join ZZ Top.  Is that a consolation, Dave?

Not really my kind of music, unless you count the way they played in Back to the Future part III.  In any case, I don't play bass, so...

Dave Barnhart

JD Miller's picture

Jesus had a beard and my wife likes my beard and doesn't want me to shave it off.  That's good enough for me.