Summary: Why fight facial hair? C];-)|>
Beards Ain’t Weird!
I normally deal with a lot of very serious subjects confronting the believer. I have dealt with tongues, healing, women preachers, version perversions and the like. From time to time I would like to address issues that many folks did not know were issues. These are ones that I have come across in my twenty-seven years as a preacher. Some will be funny and others like this one actually have some deeper implications that are never addressed by the proponents or the opponents of the particular issue.
I have had some flack over beards from my Bible College days until now. I first grew a goatee and a mustache after I graduated high school in 1970. I guess this was done for a couple of reasons. I hated shaving. In the 60’s and 70’s it was part of the hippie movement to which I ascribed to in philosophy and practice. Thirdly, it was an expression of my becoming a man.
These were shaved after joining the Air Force. The military did not care what I hated doing and certainly did not like hippies and their idea of making me a man took a different direction. They marched to the beat of a different drummer than I did. They did allow me a mustache after I arrived at my duty station upon completion of boot camp and tech school. However, it’s dimension and style were rigidly defined.
I went to Bible College right after the military and they also allowed a mustache, but no beard. When I asked the Academic Dean why, he replied that the board was afraid that the young men would not trim them properly and no beard is easier to enforce than a beard standard. They already had plenty of trouble enforcing hair regulations for men and modest attire for the ladies. This was just one less headache for them. I also had other suspicions as why the ban after I had been there a couple of years.
So for four years, I only had a mustache. One of my fellow students went home for Christmas break and came back without his mustache. I asked if he just grew tired of it or what? He replied that after preaching a Wednesday night service a fellow came up to him and said, “And you call yourself a preacher and you have a mustache!” Radical that I am I asked if the fellow gave him a chapter and verse on that and received a negative reply. Ironically, to the Amish who have full beards but no mustache I was wearing the mark of the Anti-Christ. No, the lad I was talking to could not give me a verse for that. Usually you do not get a verse or you get one that is so ripped out of context it would make a cultist proud.
I stayed in the area for a couple of weeks after graduation and started growing my goatee back. One of my fellow alumni saw me and was flabbergasted. He told me that he knew I was as straight as an arrow doctrinally, but he could not understand how I could grow a goatee. I asked him what was wrong with it and he told me it was a sign of homosexuality. Now, I REALLY wanted a chapter and verse on that one! None was forthcoming, but he did tell me how he came to that conclusion. He said that it made a man’s mouth look like a woman’s privates. That almost sounds logical except for the fact that a homosexual does not find a woman sexually attractive so I am not sure that he would want to see a goatee in that perspective. I really wish that I could grow a full beard, but a goatee is the best that I can do. I have never had a homosexual come on to me while I was wearing a goatee so it must not be that much of a turn on. I have had them come on to me when I was not wearing a beard so go figure. This was the same guy that complained about one of our chapel speakers. It had been the best message on Jonah that I had ever heard and I still have the tape. My friend did not “hear” him, as the speaker had nothing to say to my classmate because he had a beard. Oy!
As was the custom, I had pictures taken so I could put them on my resume. I had them taken before I graduated so all I had was a mustache. I took my wife home to Pennsylvania to be near her parents while I searched for my first ministry. While a POW up there, I sent a resume to a Christian School in the area that was looking for a principal.