Project Documents

Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce L. Bauer

Second Advisor

George R. Knight

Third Advisor

Randal Wisbey

Abstract

Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist church continues to struggle with the issue of jewelry and adornment. Fewer members agree with the standard church teaching on the subject, and pastors and teachers are frustrated with having to continually deal with the subject, a majority of the youth in the Adventist church have rejected the traditional Adventist interpretation advocating the non-usage of jewelry.

Method. This study explores the biblical texts in question, historical Adventist trends, the writings of Ellen White, and other related issues. The research results were presented in a seminar format to interested members of the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Results. The members who attended the seminar were almost unanimous in their expression of gratitude for the information that was shared. Few academy or college students attended, but this was not surprising since this subject is no longer an issue for many of them. Besides providing information on the subject matter as outlined above, considerable time was spent in discussing the conclusions and the necessity for living a principled Christian lifestyle that is inclusive of all facets of life.

Conclusions. At the close of the seminar a number of observations and conclusions were shared and they are briefly outlined. The proof-text methodology does not consider the textual context. Support is lacking for the traditional Adventist teaching on the non-usage of jewelry. The Bible and Ellen White's writings need to be interpreted according to the correct hermeneutical principles. History, culture, and traditions play a significant role in our present understanding of the issue concerning jewelry. We lack a coherent understanding of terms such as: jewelry, adornment, modestly, simplicity, and worldliness. We need to be able to discern the difference between principles and standards, and accept those standards that are relevant and based upon Christian principles. Women have borne a disproportionate amount of the censure concerning the jewelry issue. Jewelry is a lifestyle issue, not a moral one, and it should not cause us to digress from our real mission of uplifting Christ. Lifestyle principles were presented which included the principles of: Love and Justice, Personal Freedom, Judgment, Stewardship, Modesty, Simplicity, Balance, and Mission. These principles should be used to determine all lifestyle choices, not just those involving jewelry and adornment.

Subject Area

Jewelry--Biblical teaching, Jewelry--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

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