Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s time to paint my face on.” It’s usually women who use cosmetics, but in this day and age men may use cosmetics too. Or think of a clown and how much face paint they put on to hide or cover their real identity. Recently my husband had a word of knowledge drop into his spirit. And this was the term the Holy Spirit gave him, “cosmetic Christians.” Upon researching this on the Internet, I found there were some articles on the subject, but with different perspectives from which this article will be written.
So, what does the Holy Spirit mean when He says there are cosmetic Christians? If you ponder the question you can compare it to not only makeup that women use to look better, but you can also compare it to cosmetic surgery. Usually people who get cosmetic surgery are trying to make themselves look better or change their appearance. Insurance companies generally won’t pay for cosmetic surgery because it is not a necessary procedure. They will only pay for the surgery if there is a medical reason to.
I also had a dream recently, and in that dream, I received a huge box of free cosmetics in the mail. The cosmetics were nicely arranged and packaged to make them very appealing. The only problem was I didn’t really need nor did I want them. And I could not figure out why someone would mail them to me free of charge.
Cosmetics can also be similar to paint and in my dream interpretation book, Understanding the Dreams You Dream: Biblical Keys to Hearing God’s Voice in the Night by Ira Milligan, I found the word paint can be interpreted as covering, doctrine, or deception. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. So, you, also, outwardly seem to be just and upright to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23: 27-28 Amplified)
Box can be interpreted as religious tradition (as in “you can’t keep God in a box”) it also refers to legalistic doctrine. What I gather from the symbols and what I believe the Holy Spirit is revealing is that cosmetic Christians may look good on the outside with fancy clothing, the latest hairdos, stylish eyeglasses, and well applied makeup, but inside their hearts there is much cleansing that needs to be done. In my experience with people the ones who put on the most glamorous or “put together” outward appearances are the ones that are covering or overcompensating for brokenness and impurities in their soul and spirit.
The Lord searches the heart from the inside out and could really care less about how much makeup we choose to apply to look good in the world’s eyes. Have you ever seen someone with a really bad makeup job? I mean the kind of face that looks like a whole box of cosmetics just exploded and randomly went everywhere. The foundation doesn’t match and isn’t blended well. The eyeshadow is too bright and isn’t contoured, the lipstick is some godawful color that doesn’t compliment the skin tone. On the other hand, there are those who have a special talent for applying cosmetics and spend hours getting their face painted on. Although without their makeup, they look like a totally different person.
I believe cosmetic Christians are the type of Christians who are superficial and long for the accolades and attention of men. They tend to spew out vain babblings and philosophies and pass it off as biblical truths. “Some individuals have wandered away from these things into empty arguments and useless discussions, wanting to be teachers of the Law [of Moses], even though they do not understand the terms they use or the subjects about which they make [such] confident declarations.” (1 Timothy 1: 6 Amplified) They cover their own sin but are quick to point out other’s shortcomings.
These type of Christians are pious and judgmental towards others. They have a lot of mixture in their teachings and sometimes it blends so well with the Scripture that it is difficult to distinguish truth from human opinion. All the while, the cosmetic Christian is attempting to draw attention to him or herself. They love to have many followers and focus on ways to attract men and women to themselves.
“But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning.]” (1 Timothy 4:1-2 Amplified)
Interestingly enough, these cosmetic Christians also operate in a religious spirit , which is a holier than thou attitude. At first glance, they appear to be the real deal, but once the makeup comes off , they are not so pretty.
The danger is cosmetic Christians seldom mention Jesus, but instead promote themselves and their agenda. “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the precepts of men.” (Matthew 15: 8-9)
“As I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia, stay on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain individuals not to teach any different doctrines, nor to pay attention to legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which give rise to useless speculation and meaningless arguments rather than advancing God’s program of instruction which is grounded in faith [and requires surrendering the entire self to God in absolute trust and confidence]. But the goal of our instruction is love [which springs] from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1: 3-5 Amplified)
In conclusion, it is important to recognize the characteristics of a cosmetic Christian because without the proper discernment it is easy to get caught up in a charismatic person or charming personality. I have seen it over and over again and I myself have been deceived because I failed to really get to know the person or leader that was instructing. It can be easy to overlook errors in doctrine, if we don’t know the Scripture ourselves. Always test the spirits and compare what they are teaching or preaching to what the Bible says.
Test the Spirits
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world.” ( 1 John 4:1 Amplified)