In 1992, I was faced with a boy who started attending church, and he had a pierced earring. I saw the need to prepare a message on this subject, studying it from the perspective that men and boys needed to be masculine, not feminine, so they should not be piercing their flesh for jewelry.
But as I prepared for that message, I saw that God gave instructions for a person (male or female), who was willing to become a lifelong slave to a master, to have their master pierce their ear as a sign to all that he/she was a slave to someone.
Deuteronomy 15:12-17 says, “12 And if thy brother,
an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman,
be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year
thou shalt let him go free from thee. 13 And when thou sendest him out
free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: 14 Thou shalt
furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of
thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou
shalt give unto him. 15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a
bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee:
therefore I command thee this thing to day. 16 And it shall be, if he
say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and
thine house, because he is well with thee; 17
Then thou shalt take an aul, and
thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for
ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.”
This passage showed me that women did not have pierced ears in Bible times, or it would not have been a sign that a woman with a pierced ear was a lifelong slave to someone. If it was already a common practice for women to have pierced ears, then this instruction would have been meaningless.
As I continued to study the subject, I saw in the Scriptures that men often follow women into sin. First, it was Adam following Eve into sin.
Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Then I thought about sodomy, which I normally associated as starting with perverted males, but then studying it out, I realized that God said that it started with the women.
Ezekiel 16:49 says, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
Romans chapter one also lists the sin of sodomy
as starting with the women, and then the men following them into
perversion. Romans 1:24-28 says, “24 Wherefore God also gave them up
to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their
own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a
lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who
is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile
affections: for even their women did
change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men,
leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward
another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in
themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as
they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over
to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
Adam followed Eve into sin. The men of Sodom followed their wives into perverted immorality. The result of my study was not at all what I thought that I was going to find. I was just planning on preaching a message that our men and boys needed to be masculine (which they should be), and not feminine.
I was then faced with one of the hardest decisions that I have ever faced as a pastor. If I preached that message, that men and boys were starting to pierce their ears because they were, once again, following the women into sin (who first began piercing their ears), then I was going to no doubt highly offend many women in our congregation who had pierced ears. It was an agonizing moment in my life, but I realized that I had to preach the truth, or I was not being a faithful minister of the Word. Well, I preached it, and some women did get highly offended, and they and their families left the church. But other women came to the altar in tears, with their pierced earrings in their hands
I preached that message in 1992.
Since that time, Christians have followed the world still further, down,
down, down into sin. Now, Christians have about as many tattoos as
the unsaved have. Now, more and more professing Christians are
drinking alcohol. Are you one of those professing Christians?
None of these sins (or any other sins) will ever bring you true happiness or acceptance with other people. Giving in to the sins of this world will never bring more meaning to your life, but more emptiness, and more depth into sin. Why do you think that so many people who pierce their flesh, go on to get more piercings? Why do you think that so many people who get one tattoo, go on to get many more? Jesus gave the answer in John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
That is interesting, because it goes right back to the reason for the writing of this article: piercing the ears was a sign of slavery, life-long slavery.