Anonymous said: HEY Yvonne & Howie, I am 15 and chose to become SDA as a result of visiting SDA churches with aunts of mine who were SDA. I love being an SDA and wouldn't change it for the world. I used to wear jewelry all the time and when I got baptized, was told not to. I soon forgot all about it, but sometimes I want to wear it when I go out to certain places. The fact that I have gone months without it and without thinking of it shows me that I don't need it, but is it wrong to wear it occasionally?
Glad to have you with us, friend :).
If you want something of a more in-depth answer, we’ve already tackled the jewelry issue in a couple different asks. However, they’re rather lengthy (and that second one isn’t singularly the jewelry thing), so I’ll be concise with a brief rundown of what’s up.
Now, the church does have an official standpoint on the issue - and that’s mostly a brief description of shiney stuff that’s not an issue. That standpoint is that jewelry is either okay or not depending on whether it is “in harmony with the Christian principles of simplicity, modesty, and economy” (source). Let’s break that down so it’s understandable.
First, simplicity. Pretty straight-forward, right? The idea is to not be overly gaudy. Don’t over-do it. Jewelry for the sake of jewelry is what this is about, I think. Jewelry as an accent is preferable to jewelry as the defining item of your outfit.
Secondly, modesty. This one can be a little more… un-specific. Consider that for earrings, you (generally) require a piercing. Whether or not you consider that mutilation of the temple that is our body (many do, along with tattoos and other such), I personally don’t feel confident enough in my own thoughts on the matter to tell you for certain that it’s one way or the other. But modesty also has a number of other meanings - most prominant of which (I feel) is that of not attempting to draw attention to yourself. And that can mean different things to different people. Going to a conservative church while wearing… say, a simple gold-ish chain neclace or bracelet, you’ll draw a lot of negative attention. If you’re dressing up nice for a dinner party or some such, then that’s a different story. Again though, keep it modest, and preferably subtle.
Thirdly is economy. Simply put, the pricing on the stuff. Buying expensive jewelry just because it’s expensive (or because you wish to display your wealth) or for similar price/status-related reasons isn’t really in harmony with the Christian standards, there. Money can be used in so many better ways than splurging on that super-shiny thing in the glass case.
Now, I’m going to touch on two items that are simply my own opinions based on research I’ve done in the past, and my own views on them.
Now, to me, jewelry is (almost) completely acceptable if it serves one of two purposes. Throughout history, jewelry has been a symbol of status. And by that, I refer to how for example when Daniel was pulled out of the lions’ den and given a huge promotion, he was given a gold necklace and purple clothes (purple dye was absurdly hard to make back then). Those were items that depicted his office, not vanity or wealth, and as far as I know he never protested them. Wedding rings, as a cultural symbol of commitment and unavailability, also fall into this category (as well as the following).
Secondly, it is my opinion that jewelry that is sentimental serves a purpose. As for myself, I have given to others exactly 2 pieces of jewelry - both necklaces. However, each item had a clearly-intended meaning behind it, and while either may draw attention, it wasn’t their intention and aren’t the kind to impress. Heck, one of those I made with my own hands (I’m hardly a craftsman :p). The reason I gave those to the people I gave them to is for purely symbolic and sentimental reasons. Each means something to the person that has it, and that meaning is not tied up in its monetary value or its showmanship.
Now, I’m going to conclude with the fact that as a new SDA, you should do whatever research you can for yourself. There are a number of things the Seventh-Day Adventist church (as a group, not as the organization) has mis-informed impressions of (in my personal opinion). If you know why you believe what you believe, and don’t take what the Church itself or its members say at face value, you’re likely to be more informed and more likely to live in a way that pleases God. Now that’s not saying you should do everything yourself - many in the church can tell you why something is the way the church says it is, and can explain it in such a way that makes sense. What i’m saying is that doing our own research is better than taking someone’s word for it (even mine :P).
Thanks for the question. I realize I kinda went a little less-than-concise… Yikes. Oh, well.
I pray I’ve been of some help. :)