20 Things the Bible Says Not to Do, But People Do Anyway

The Bible is a testament of faith for many people. However, there are quite a few lesser-known prohibitions that many of us break daily without even realizing it. This post digs into some surprising Biblical bans that clash with modern practices.

Round Haircuts

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The Bible instructs explicitly not to round off the hair on the sides of your head or trim the edges of your beard, as stated in Leviticus 19:27. This command is part of the broader laws that were aimed at distinguishing the Israelites from other groups, particularly in their grooming habits. Despite this, modern hairstyles frequently incorporate various forms of rounded haircuts, such as bowl cuts, fades, and crew cuts.

Tattoos

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The Bible doesn’t specifically talk about modern tattoos. Still, some Christians think all tattooing is wrong because of a clear rule in Leviticus 19:28. This rule from the Old Testament told the Israelites not to get tattoos or cut their bodies as a way to respect God. Even though Christians today don’t follow the Old Testament strictly, this rule about tattoos still makes some people think twice.

Wearing Mixed Fabrics

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According to Leviticus 19:19, wearing garments made of two different kinds of material mixed is prohibited. This rule is part of the Holiness Code, which includes various regulations meant to set the Israelites apart as holy and distinct from neighboring cultures and their influences. Modern fashion, however, regularly features blended fabrics, such as polyester-cotton mixes.

Divorce

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Biblical texts like Mark 10:9 clearly oppose divorce. This passage stresses that what God has joined together, man should not separate. This reflects the Biblical view of marriage as a permanent and sacred union intended to be maintained as a lifelong commitment.

Wearing Gold

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Timothy 2:9 advises against women adorning themselves with gold or pearls. This guidance is part of a larger discourse on modesty, urging believers to focus on good deeds and godly attributes rather than external adornment. In contrast, wearing gold is commonplace and often connects with social status or personal style rather than piety or modesty.

Using Profane Language

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Though not directly cited in the links, scriptural teachings promote wholesome speech and warn against corrupt communication. The Bible encourages uplifting speech, aligning with teachings emphasizing the power of words and the importance of maintaining purity in one’s language.

Viewing Pornography

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The Bible, while not mentioning pornography explicitly, condemns lustful thoughts and actions, as in Matthew 5:28. The Bible disapproves of actions that support sexual activity outside of marriage or distorted views on intimacy.

It explains that if a married man continues to look at a woman he is not married to with desire, it could lead to adultery. This also applies to anyone, whether married or single, who looks at pornographic images wanting to engage in sexual misconduct. This is part of a broader Christian ethic that values purity and fidelity, both in thought and action.

Body Piercings

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Some Christians think that piercings are not sinful, while others believe that the Bible instructs us to treat our bodies as sacred temples and avoid harming them, which includes getting piercings. The Old Testament, such as in Leviticus 19, forbids cutting or piercing the body due to its association with pagan rituals. However, the New Testament doesn’t mention piercings but emphasizes caring for our bodies.

Eating Shellfish

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Leviticus 11:10 declares shellfish and other sea creatures without fins or scales detestable and unfit for consumption. These laws were part of the dietary laws meant to ensure ritual purity and differentiate the diet of the Israelites from that of their neighbors.

Planting More Than One Kind of Seed

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Leviticus 19:19 also advises against planting more than one kind of seed in the same field. Modern agricultural practices, however, commonly involve crop rotation and polyculture to enhance soil fertility and biodiversity, reflecting a shift from scriptural instructions to contemporary agrarian science.

Permanently Selling Land

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The Bible views land as a divine trust that should not be sold permanently (Leviticus 25:23). This reflects a theological perspective on stewardship and the temporary nature of human claims to earthly possessions. Today, land ownership and real estate are central to economic systems worldwide, with permanent land sales being standard practice.

Gossiping

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Leviticus 19:16 expressly cautions against gossip, advising not to spread rumours among your people. Nonetheless, gossip remains a pervasive part of social interaction in many communities, often seen as a harmless way to communicate social information despite its potential to harm others.

Braiding Your Hair

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Timothy 2:9 suggests women should avoid braided hair, among other adornments. The focus is on cultivating inner beauty and godliness rather than elaborate external appearances.

Eating Fat

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Fat consumption is prohibited in Leviticus 3:17, yet modern diets often include high-fat foods driven by taste preferences and culinary practices rather than biblical dietary laws.

Charging Interest on Loans

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The Bible says not to charge interest, especially to the poor, as mentioned in Leviticus 25:36-37. This rule was meant to help people support each other. However, today, charging interest is a basic part of banking and finance. It’s a key way banks make money and is seen in almost all financial transactions.

Wearing Revealing Clothing

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The Bible encourages dressing modestly, as noted in 1 Timothy 2:9. The emphasis is on modesty and presenting oneself in a way that reflects godly values rather than wealth or status. Yet, modern fashion often includes and even celebrates revealing outfits as a form of personal expression or style, showing a big change from the modesty the Bible promotes.

Working on the Sabbath

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One of the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath day holy and not work on it (Exodus 20:10). It’s supposed to be a day for rest and spiritual reflection. However, in today’s fast-paced world, many people work on the Sabbath.

Eating Rare or Uncooked Meats

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The Bible instructs against eating blood, as in Leviticus 17:12. This rule also applies to rare or uncooked meat. This law ensures food is prepared in a clean and ritually pure manner.

Consulting Psychics or Spiritual Mediums

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The Bible clearly states that trying to contact the dead and seeking advice from mediums, necromancers, and fortune-tellers is wrong. Leviticus 19:31 warns, “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.” Scripture teaches that these activities are not only sinful but also futile. Instead of looking to mediums in challenging times, we are encouraged to trust God.

Ignoring the Poor

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The Bible strongly emphasizes caring for the poor and helping those in need. It teaches that kindness to the needy is a way to honor God. However, in today’s world, even though charities and social services exist, the poor often get overlooked. Often, social and economic systems don’t do enough to help those struggling.

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