Like many Protestant or Protestant-derived denominations, the Seventh Day Adventists stick closely to the words of Biblical scripture, but they also try to capture the spirit of the Bible and live it out in their daily lives. The Bible does attest to the importance of the physical or the embodied,...
Like many Protestant or Protestant-derived denominations, the Seventh Day Adventists stick closely to the words of Biblical scripture, but they also try to capture the spirit of the Bible and live it out in their daily lives. The Bible does attest to the importance of the physical or the embodied, noting that we are creatures made in the image of God, and that the world, which is God's creation, is deemed by God himself to be "good." Thus the Seventh Day Adventists take seriously what they put into their bodies and often practice, for instance, vegetarianism, believing that in paradise before the Fall, Adam and Eve abstained from eating meat. That being said the Bible also preaches modesty and focusing on the spiritual. Too much emphasis can be placed on the embodied. Jewelry and costly ornaments can gain too much importance in a person's life, so the denomination discourages wearing jewelry. It bases this on New Testament scripture that advises a woman to dress simply and without costly gold or pearl ornaments.
While the SDA would advise against wedding rings as a costly, traditionally gold ornament, it does exercise common sense and understand that in some cultures, including in the US, the rings are functional rather than ornamental, and so does not prohibit them.
The 2000 SDA Manual states:
To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith."—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 366. It is clearly taught in the Scriptures that the wearing of jewelry is contrary to the will of God. ". . . not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" is the admonition of the apostle Paul (1 Tim. 2:9). The wearing of ornaments of jewelry is a bid for attention which is not in keeping with Christian self-forgetfulness.
In some countries the custom of wearing the wedding ring is considered imperative, having become, in the minds of the people, a criterion of virtue, and hence it is not regarded as an ornament. Under such circumstances we have no disposition to condemn the practice.