Every Wednesday morning we highlight the writing and work of Southeastern’s Center for Great Commission Studies. This week, Associate Director Greg Mathias writes about evangelism and mission to Mormons by way of a bearded case study.
Here’s an excerpt:
Yes, our Mormon friends are in the news again. This time it is not for multiple wives, celestial planets, or sacred undergarments. It’s not even a news flash telling us of the changing fashion trends of your favorite Mormon missionary on two wheels. It is a brouhaha over facial hair choices often associated with No Shave November.
A growing group of BYU students are petitioning to have the beard-ban lifted on campus. What’s wrong with beard glory, you ask? Well, from the 1970s onward, the beard is a spiritual faux pas since it is identified with hippies, protesters, revolution, immodest fashion trends, and lack of spiritual cleanliness.
While the battle of the beard wages on the BYU campus, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the beard is not to be feared. Mormons too often try and cozy up to Christianity, but the beard ban is just another example of the incongruity between these two worldviews.