There are some churches that teach that wearing a mustache or a beard is wrong, even bordering on sin. But before we label anything as sin let us see what the scriptures say.
God gave instructions to Moses about what the Israelites could not do with their beards. (Leviticus 19:27) Then the priests were given the same instructions about what they could not do with their beards (Leviticus 21:5). This means that God expected the Israelites and the priests to have full beards.
The Old Testament makes mention of the beard. Many Israelites wore them, including Joseph, the High priest Aaron, King David, Mephibosheth, Amasa, Ezra the priest, and Ezekiel the prophet.
Although there are no scriptures to prove it, the ancient Hebrews depicted Adam, Noah, Abraham and the prophets with lush beards
From reading the Old Testament we can see that to the Israelites being shaven was considered a disgrace, a bad thing to happen.
The elders of Israel were the leaders of the people and the word elders means “bearded ones”, it comes from the Hebrew word “zaqen” which means beard.
A SIGN OF MOURNING
Shaving the beard was a sign of grief or mourning. (Iasiah 15:2)
A SIGN OF JUDGEMENT
Ezekiel shaved his head and beard to show the judgement of God. (Ezekiel 5:1-12)
God cursed and brought punishment and shame upon people by predicting that their heads and beards would be shaven (Isaiah 7:20, Isaiah 15:2, Jeremiah 48:37) Shaving the beard was a sign of judgement.
BEING SHAVEN WAS A DISGRACE
So disgraceful it was considered to have the beard cut off, that some of the Orientals would prefer death to such a punishment.
When the enemies of David wanted to show their contempt for David they shaved his servants. It was such a shameful insult that David then sent them unto Jericho to stay there until their beards were grown. Clearly it was such a grievous insult that David declared war against those enemies. (2 Samuel 10:4)
We clearly see in this incident here that shaving their beards was a disgrace for the Israelites, it was so shameful that David's men went into hiding to Jericho and did not returned until their beards had grown again.
As we can see beards were seen as something good in Old Testament times. There is no condemnation of it at all; on the contrary there was shame in shaving the beard.
A TYPE OF CHRIST
In the story of Joab and Amasa, the treachery of Joab was made more grievous by his act of grasping Amasa beard. It was a gesture of respect, but Joab used it for treachery. Just like when Judas kissed Jesus when betraying him. (2 Samuel 20:9-13)
THE ORTHODOX JEWS
Although no mention is given about other Old Testament biblical characters wearing beards besides those already mentioned, it could safely be said that being good Orthodox Jews they most certainly wore beards.
It is well known that throughout history the Orthodox Jews have honored the beard as a badge of manhood. To this day, the orthodox Jews have little respect for clean-shaven men. During periods of mourning, the ancient Jews allowed their beards to go untrimmed, but ordinarily their beards were trimmed regularly.
To an Orthodox Jew having a beard is a sign of allegiance to God. Jesus without a doubt was a devout Jew.
Although the New Testament never mentions it; it is well known from historical records that at the time of Jesus, the Jews usually wore beards, while the pagan Roman and Greeks went clean shaven. It was a clear and distinguishing characteristic of the Jews. Old carvings show clearly that the Jewish people in contrast to the Babylonians had beards.
According to the Jesus Institute. In the first century most Jews were fairly small in stature, light-skinned but tanned from the sun. Most had black or brown hair worn long, and most men wore beards.
According to Rabbi Berel Wein. In the first century, the Greeks and the Romans when men, especially nobility, were clean-shaven. The observant traditional Jewish males wore beards. Beards are seen as a mark of Jewish identity and as a physical link to Jewish tradition, lifestyle and its history.
According to Unger's Bible Dictionary: Among the Hebrews the beard was considered an ornament and was not shaved, only trimmed. Jews wore beards.
The Jewish men had hair cutting instruments; the men only wore their hair down to the shoulders and cut it when it went beyond that length. While the women often wore hair down to the waist.
The Talmud regards the beard as "the adornment of a man's face" (BM 84a); a man without a beard was compared to a eunuch (Yev. 80b; Shab. 152a).
Young priests whose beards had not yet grown were not permitted to bless the people (TJ, Suk. 3:14, 54a).
Rabbinical authorities permitted only those who had frequent dealings with the Roman authorities to clip their beard with forceps (kom; BK 83a). Objection to the removal of the beard was on the ground that God gave it to man to distinguish him from woman; to shave it, was therefore an offense against nature (see Abarbanel to Lev. 19:27).
Even Jesus our Lord and example had a beard. Being an Orthodox Jew he would keep the Levitical commandments. Jesus kept all the commandments of the law and one of them was what to do with a beard. Would Jesus go around disregarding a clear commandment from God?
Jesus was our high priest and the high priest was explicitly commanded to have a beard, as such he too like Aaron had a beard.
Moreover Isaiah 50:6 is a clear prophecy of Jesus speaking for himself. Unless someone denies that it is not a prophecy about him, that verse should settle this argument forever.
Isaiah 50:6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
New International Version (NIV)
Isaiah 50:6 I <*1> gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
Matt 26:67; 27:30; Mark 14:65; 15:19; Luke 22:63
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to those who struck me and my cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Description of Publius Lentullus, one of the earliest descriptions of Jesus says this about him. "His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked;"
The letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar "His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age"
The Emerald of Caesar. A very early painting has Jesus with a beard.
The Acts of the Holy Apostles ascribe to him an olive complexion, a beautiful beard, and flashing eyes.
A letter to the Emperor Theophilus describes Jesus as having a prominent nose, curling hair and a black beard.
Nicephorus Callistus gives a description of Jesus as having a brown beard of moderate length.
Some have contended that some of the early depictions of the crucified Christ have him as a clean shaven man. The explanation for this is very simple; the Romans knew that being shaven was a grievous insult to the Jews, so it was not unusual for criminals Jews to be shaven before execution, as an added insult upon the individual.
BADGE OF MANHOOD
Man was created in the image of God, and having a beard is a part of that image. Men fight against that image every time that they destroy their facial hair.
God made man and women, but only man has the ability to grow a beard. Facial hair clearly distinguishes a man from a woman. In this "unisex" world you can clearly tell from far away a man that has a beard from a woman. God gave facial hair to men as a special gift.
Men have to shave everyday in order to remove a feature that clearly marks them as men, they are removing a sign of their masculinity, and they are purposely trying to erase a characteristic that distinguishes a man from a woman.
You can show pictures of shaved men and women to some people and if asked whether the person is a man or a woman and some people might have difficulty telling which pictures are the man and which ones are the women. However show a bunch of pictures of men with beards and women and most people will immediately recognize the men from the women.
MARKER OF ADULTHOOD
Facial hair also serves another function. It sets apart men as men, and boys as boys!
The beard is a sign of maturity. It gives authority to men as having reached a certain age of maturity. It is a distinct marker of adulthood.
Its absence clearly indicates that a boy is not yet mature. He is not ready to assume leadership roles. Its presence indicates that it is time for the young man to start putting away childish things.
Even the bible says it. Proverbs 22:6 actually reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is bearded he will not depart from it.”
It is almost a cliché in Hollywood that the old wise man, in the movie has to have a beard, they recognize that an old person has gone through many experiences that the young haven't and that experience makes a person wise. What better represents wisdom? An old bearded man.
IT IS NATURAL
The beard is natural; man does not have to do anything to grow a beard. It is an intrinsicall part of his nature.
Many blacks and some curly-haired whites can not shave because they have a medical problem known as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), or "beard bumps," and it resembles acne. The tiny beard hairs curl back and reenter the skin. Doctors call such hairs "bucket handles." The simplest cure is to grow a beard.
In nature God shows the beard as belonging to the male, just take a look at the lion, which wears a majestic and full mane, but the female lacks it. If you look around nature you will notice that the male of every species is distinct from the female by different physical characteristics.
For thousands of years a man's beard was a sign of his royalty, wisdom, courage, and strength. Those with assertive, bushy beards were traditionally respected. Having a beard was considered the normal state of a man in most ancient cultures. Even kings were depicted in ancient carvings with beards. Until a few centuries ago, men swore by their beards
In Nineveh men wore them curled and oiled, and often hardened them with perfumed gum and resin. Persians wove golden threads into them.
In ancient Egypt, as well as Turkey and India, the beard was regarded as a sign of dignity and wisdom.
In ancient Egypt, Egyptian kings wore the longest ones in their society, and high-ranking men and women would don fake beards of gold or silver for special festivals and celebrations. Queen Hatshepsut wore false beards as an equal of kings, and child kings wore fake golden beards.
However later the Egyptians rejected hair as a bad thing. Their pagan priests used to shave their beards and their heads; they even shaved their bodies. They became different from other cultures in this aspect.
The Greeks at first were a culture that accepted beards; in fact a certain prominent Greek was defeated for office because his opponent had a more neatly trimmed beard. The Greeks despised clean shaven men, Diogenes mockingly asked the shaven, "What sex are you?" The Spartans punished the cowards by shaving half their hair and half their beard off.
Statues of Zeus the greatest of all the Greek gods show him with a beard, so was Poseidon the God of the sea, and many of their other gods.
The Greek philosophers were distinguished by their long beards as a sort of badge, and hence the term which Persius applies to Socrates "magister barbatus". The Homeric heroes were bearded men.
"There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one".
In ancient Greek society, the growth of a beard marked the end of the stage when a boy might legitimately be the object of sexual advances from an older man. Many pictures in Attic vases show bearded man courting and giving presents to beardless young boys
It was not unusual for homosexuals to shave their beard in order to continue their sexual lifestyle. A beard was also the distinction between the two major categories of performers, the juniors and the adults, in the Games
The Greek changed with Alexander the great who shaved his beard, and also gave the order that his troops shaved so that the enemy could not grab their beards in battle. At first the ancient Greeks were shocked when Alexander the great shaved off his entire beard, but soon many other Greeks followed Alexander's examples, and shaving soon became popular among the Greeks.
OTHER HISTORICAL FACTS
In the Middle Ages beards marked a man's profession. A minister wore a style known as Cathedral, for instance, and a soldier had a beard called a Spade
In 1535, England’s Henry VIII, who himself wore a beard imposed a beard tax.
The practice of wearing a beard was common in Europe until about the 18th century, many kings and nobles used to wear them.
When Peter the Great ordered his nobles to shave, it was shocking to the Russians. Later realizing the Jews would never shave, he imposed a tax on wearing a beard, so he could get some of their money. Yet some non-Jewish Russians were so attached to their beards they preferred to pay the special tax, rather than shave their beards.
Every US president from Grant through Cleveland had facial hair.
Some of the greatest men in history have worn facial hair, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein and many others.
THE EARLY CHURCH
In the first two centuries of the church it was considered womanly for men to shave. Men who shaved were considered as effeminates, which wanted to attract other men, or adulterers who wanted to attract other women besides their wives.
Clement of Alexandria said "For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, but has adorned man with a beard, and endowed him, as an attribute of manhood. This, then, the mark of the man, the beard, by which he is seen to be a man, is older than Eve, and is the token of the superior nature. In this God deemed it right that he should excel, and dispersed hair over man's whole body."
St. Augustine of Hippo argued that: "The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man."
"Men may not destroy the hair of their beards and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the Law says, “You will not deface your beards.” For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men." Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c.390, E) 7.392. (1)
"The nature of the beard contributes in an incredible degree to distinguish the maturity of bodies, or to distinguish the sex, or to contribute to the beauty of manliness and strength." Lactantius (c. 304-314, W), 7.288
"The beard must not be plucked. 'You will not deface the figure of your beard'." [Lev 19:32] St. Cyprian, 5.553
Although we all know that God is spirit and can not be seen, yet God has always been represented in paintings as a bearded man.
Some of the early Pentecostal pioneers were men that had long beards. It is kind of ironic that men who had long beards founded some churches that now prohibit facial hair. If they were to resurrect and return to their churches they would be barred from even entering. Those were preachers who did not care to look pretty and primp for the pulpit.
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
In Orthodox Christianity, beards are worn by the priesthood, and at times have been required for all believers. The Orthodox Church priests have always had beards. The Orthodox clergy wears beards because they want to physically resemble Jesus Christ.
The Orthodox Church states. Concerning the sacred rules on the shaving of beards: The sacred rules likewise forbid all Orthodox Christians to shave their beards. For such is not an Orthodox but a Latin and heretical tradition . . . and the rules of the apostles and [church] fathers strictly forbid and denounce this.
THE AMISH, MENNONITE, AND HUTTERITE
In these sects the men wear beards because Jesus had a beard. When Jesus was crucified, they pulled on his whiskers, but since they recognize they are not perfect as Christ was, some do not wear a moustache as Christ did. This is their recognition that they are trying to be like Jesus but do not always live up to this ideal.
Another reason they do not wear moustaches is because, in Europe in the old days, military men used to wear moustaches and since they are pacifists, they do not want to be identified with war in any way.
A long beard is the mark of an adult in their culture.
BEARDS ARE HEALTHY
A study from the University of Southern Queensland, published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, found that beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays. Thereby slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Beards protect against asthma for the Pollens and dust simply get stuck in the facial hair which act like a filter.
Additionally the beard retains moisture and protects against the wind, preventing dry skin and it also keeps the skin smooth and a man looking young and fresh-faced.
Most people are unaware that hair is an insulator that keeps you warm during cold weather and prevent sickness. When a thick beard has grown under the chin and neck it will raise the temperature of the neck and will help to battle colds.
Shaving actually causes health problem for it increases the risk of skin cancer, ingrown hairs and causes bacterial infections that lead to acne.
Forgoing the razor doesn't just hide blemishes—it actually prevents them. "Razor rash, acne, and folliculitis [hair-follicle inflammation] are often the result of shaving," said Dr. Shannon C. Trotter, a fellow of the Osteopathic College of Dermatology and a dermatologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. "Razors can irritate the skin or even spread bacteria, causing an infection of the hair follicle."
OPPOSITION TO BEARDS
As we can see from the Bible, nature, history and common sense, the modern idea or teaching that men should be clean shaven is a legalism that actually goes against the word of God and the creation of God.
Since the whole Bible never condemns beards but on the contrary teaches that shaving the beard was a sign of shame and judgment. From where does the doctrine that having facial hair is almost a sin, comes from?
The opposition to facial hair has clearly emerged from a cultural setting and some personal dislike of it. Not from any biblical perspective. The New Testament makes no mention at all on this subject. So no position can be taken from this source.
Some have used the sixties as their condemnation of facial hair, because during that time it was used as a symbol of rebellion. However it was always used in conjunction with long hair, which the Bible clearly condemns. That was over 40 years ago and today hardly anyone views mustaches and beards as a sign of rebellion. The hippies have moved on, their symbols have stopped having meaning. The fact that one group of sinners adopted for a short time a creation of God to symbolize their rebellion does not automatically makes it wrong.
Preachers who teach that a man should be clean shaved do not seem to understand that they are just parroting other's ideas, instead of studying the Bible and realizing that there isn't a single scripture that teaches that doctrine. On the contrary there are plenty of scripture that support beards.
Some have attempted to use Jeremiah 41:5 as their condemnation of beards, but if one reads the verse carefully one realizes that these men had also rent their clothes and cut themselves. Cutting oneself is clearly a pagan practice that is totally against the word of God. Leviticus 21:5-6. It is clear that these men who had shaved their beards and were cutting themselves going totally against the word of God and we are suppose to imitate their bad example?
Furthermore it is not wise to take an isolated verse out of context and then build a doctrine around it.
One of the strange things of our times is the reversal of roles; men now shave to look fairer skinned like women. It is a sort of effemenization of men. But the Bible clearly says that the effeminate shall not enter into the Kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9
Therefore Christian men should try to not to be or look effeminate.
The beard may seem out of fashion in our modern society, but it is only because we have become a feminized society. Although men still rule society, all the new emphasis on men being sensitive, caring and nurturing shows that men are being pushed into accepting a more feminine role in society. Men are now told to assume roles that traditionally have been relegated to woman. No wonder they are being pushed into looking like women.
NOW and all the other feminists organizations have pushed hard to effeminize men in order to claim equality with them. The manliness of a beard seems somewhat out of place in a society where men and women are equal. When men and women look similar then it is easier to say that they are the same.
TRANSVESTITES HATE BEARDS
Homosexuals and transvestites usually tend to disdain beards for it reminds them of their true nature. The beard that comes every morning constantly reminds them that unlike real women, they have to shave. It reminds them that no matter what they do they will always be men.
Facial hair is a clear feature of men; I have yet to see a transvestite wearing facial hair. Not only is shaving one of the first things that transvestites do, but they go to great lengths to conceal any trace of facial hair. In order to get rid of facial hair they try every trick in the book, some even take hormones and endanger their health just to get rid of their facial hair.
FEMINISTS HATE BEARDS
A small point of sore indignation among the feminist community is that in olden times facial hair was taken as a sign of intelligence and wisdom. Since biologically they are incapable of producing one, feminists have argued that the 'bearded lady' in the past, who was regarded as a sideshow freak, was actually the ultimate gesture of girl-power.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH REJECTED BEARDS.
It is interesting that the Roman Catholic goes contrary to the Old Testament teachings on beard and hair. For they make round cuttings in their head and shave their beard, things which God prohibited the priests of God. The Roman Catholic Church imported those customs from the heathen priests of the roman pagans.
In the 11th Century an Anathema was pronounced by Cardinal Humbert against the Patriarch of Constantinople because the Easter Orthodox Church following the teachings of the Bible wore beards while the Roman clergy shaved.
Up until recently Catholic priests were actually forbidden to wear beards.
THE REAL SOURCE OF THIS OPPOSITION
Could it be that this doctrine opposing facial hair comes from the same place that others do? From Satan himself who wants to erase the God given distinction between a man and a woman. Satan has whispered in the feminist's ears that men and women are the same, but that pesky beard is a clear reminder that they are not.
The devil wants to erase the distinction between the ages. He wants to blur or erase this distinction between boys and men, in order to create a culture of disrespect for grown men by boys. He wants to have men in perpetual adolescence. He wants to make us believe that we are going to live forever if we paint our hair and shave our beards to look younger.
SHAVING IS DONE FOR VANITY
Some women say that men look more handsome without facial hair, but that is just their opinion. Let us remember that God judges not the outside appearance, but the inside. Maybe in our society clean shaven man are looked as more presentable and clean, but if other men want to look pretty, beautiful and effeminate, we do not have to follow suit.
Men who will not wear a beard because it makes them look older or less attractive are simply giving themselves over to vanity! They want to appear younger in a youth culture. The beard is a sign of maturity, if it gets a few gray hairs, let them be.
A REJECTION OF CREATION
When a man shaves his facial hair he is saying to the creator “I don't like how you made me!”, “God you made a mistake that I am going to correct with a blade”. If God did not want us to have facial hair then why did he created it?
Shaving is a rejection of the wisdom of God in giving us a beard. We are saying that God did not know what he was doing when he gave the man a beard. God in his infinite wisdom was not smart enough to realize that beards are not needed by men.
Some brethren may say that there is no New Testament command to have a beard, well to that we can say that actually there is no command in the New Testament that says to shave either.
The same people who quote the Apostle Paul to teach that nature itself teaches that a woman should have long hair somehow do not seem to understand that nature itself also teaches that men should have a beard if we let nature take its course.
Society has now decreed that it prefers men without beards, but society never sets the standards on what is right or wrong, God does. Let us not be pleasers of men or society, but let us please God.
Some men and woman have even become convinced, all logic aside, that the hairless look is the more manly one.
Some corporations ask their workers to shave, so that they are more presentable and acceptable to other people. They want to present a favorable image to the public, yet some of these same corporations cook the books, cheat their workers, and have many shady dealings. Their clean image is only a front to fool the public.
The fact that some people in the corporate world or in other areas prefer men without facial hair does not make it a sin, for it is God who sets the standards on what is sin.
There is no scripture or commandment saying that we must not have a beard in order to be saved and neither is there a scripture that says you must have one in order to be saved, for our salvation is in Christ our lord. Whether a person has a beard or not is a matter that should not be legislated by any church.
Let us beware, lest we do like the Pharisees and substitute the doctrines of God for commandments of men. Yes it was mandatory during the times of the law to wear a beard, but Jesus has fulfilled the law and now we have freedom in Christ. So let us have freedom in this area, everyone according to his own conscience. We are free from the law through Christ.
Although I strongly encourage my Christian brethren to accept this precious gift from God and to wear their beards or moustaches with solemnity, and grace. I do not think is a sin to not wear one, since we are not longer living under the law. So no it is not as sin to shave either.
If you have a job that requires you that you do not have a beard, then at least have a moustache, but if that is not possible in your profession, then you may shave without feeling any sense of guilt.
God looks in the inside not on how pretty you look in the outside. It may be true or it may not be true that men look better without facial hair, but that should not matter. God gave us facial hair, and if you are going to wear one then do so with manly pride and make sure to keep your beard clean, combed, and neatly trimmed. We must still be and look dignified not like a homeless bum in the street.
The Christian men are followers of Christ and as such it behooves us to become the image of Christ. Jesus wore a beard and we can follow his example, without shame or reproach.
Just like the priests of the Old Testament wore beards to symbolize their special calling, we can wear a beard to symbolize our commitment to our holy calling.
We do not condemn nor shun Christian brethren, who teach against beards because we feel that they do it out of ignorance of what the word of God teaches. We just pray that God will open their eyes to this ancient Christian tradition.
The Bible teaches the following things about wearing a beard:
· The law concerning beards assumes the natural existence of the beard and prohibits its defilement while being worn.
· The wearing of a full beard was evidence of compliance to the holiness code.
· Altering the outline of the beard on the face defiles a man who is set apart for a holy purpose.
· Both respect and disrespect can be shown through treatment of the beard.
· The wearing of a full beard is a sign of masculinity, physical maturity, honor, and dignity.
· To have the beard forcibly removed or defaced was symbolic of judgment, punishment, disgrace, and humiliation.
· Voluntary removal or covering of the beard can be a sign of emotional distress, disappointment, shame, sorrow, or mourning.
The following facts are some of the most compelling arguments for a man to wear a full beard:
· It is God who placed the beard on man.
· Man was created to grow hair on the face as a natural feature.
· Altering the outline of the beard on a man's face alters his natural appearance.
· Israelite men of the general population of national Israel are commanded to wear full beards.
· Israelite priests are commanded to wear full beards as a part of their vocation.
· Jesus who is our example of righteousness wore a full beard.
· King David who had great favor in God's eyes and is recorded as a man after God's own heart wore a beard in compliance with the law (1.Sam.21:10-13; Acts 13:22).
So we concluded
1. Beards are biblical
2. Holy men of old wore beards
3. Jesus our Lord wore a beard
4. The early church encouraged beards
5. Beards clearly identifies a person as a man
6. Beards distinguishes a man from a woman
7. Beards distinguishes a man from a boy
8. Beards are a wall against perversion (Homosexuals & transvestites)
9. Beards are a natural gift from God
10. Historically and culturally men have worn beards
If a Christian is persecuted for wearing a beard, he should stand up for his rights; if his life is in danger then he may shave until persecution has ended. Of course there are times when a dispensation of wearing a beard has to be done. Such times are only to be done for necessary reasons not for vanity or to please an unbelieving person.
Christian men should forbear wearing beards when there are serving in the military or law agency. The military out of necessity requires that men be shaven so they can use gas masks and also to keep hygiene, discipline, moral and a civilized ambient.
Other reasons are hygienic, sanitary or safety reasons. These are reasons where harm could be caused to others by the keeping of this ancient tradition. There are some jobs that require that a person be clean shaved, like being a cook or working in the food service industry. Another field is medicine, where workers are required the utmost of cleanliness for the patient’s sake. If a Christian has a job which requires that he be clean shaven, then as long as he has that job he should shave without feeling any sense of guilt.
A Christian can shave for an emergency, health reasons, or for mourning. If during trimming of the beard a mistake is made try to fix it, if the problem is not fixable, then just shave the beard and let it all grow back again.
Having or not having a beard should not even be an issue in the church. It is those who preached against beards who have made it an issue and they are wrong in diving the church over such nonsense. They need to repent and stop preaching such nonsense.