Do Godly Women Wear Pants?

The following is written by my former pastor (Chuck Burke) in the IFB church in Maryland.  At the end he gives the Non-scriptural Arguments of man-made commandments.

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This book is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name is above all names, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, without whom eternity in the Lake of Fire is my portion. All credit, all honour, all praise, and all glory be His alone, forever and ever. Amen.

More precious than my own life, is my gem of a wife, without whom I would most assuredly be a failure in life and in the ministry. The very universe could not contain the rubies to value her.

All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ, who will “freely give us all things.”

All English definitions are from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, on CD. Copyright 1998, Christian Technologies, Inc.

Introduction

After pastoring in my current position for a couple of years, I happened to be in the company of a young woman that I had known for quite some time, but had not spoken with since I had been pastoring. After the initial pleasantries, she began to inquire about the state of my church. She asked me if it was an Independent Baptist church and I answered that of course it was. Then she asked me if it was a “real” Independent Baptist church.

She lowered the boom on me: “I mean, do your women wear pants?”

Now I understand why she asked. I even believe she said it without any hostility or ill intent towards me. I should have expected it, but I just didn’t. I honestly thought some of these aforementioned elements were critical in defining a “real” Independent Baptist church. Certainly, I believed (and still do) that they were many times more necessary to the virtue of a church than “Do your women wear pants?”

There was a young lady who visited our church one Sunday. She filled out a visitor’s card and one of my men and I went to see her the following Tuesday night. Upon dispensing with pleasantries I asked her what brought her to our church. She replied that she had been an Independent Baptist for some years before but had for the last few years been attending another affiliated Baptist church. She commented at how much she enjoyed the preaching and the teaching at our church and how she had missed the hard preaching that she used to get. She asked me if she might ask a couple of questions. “Of course you may,” I replied, “what would you like to know?”

“Do you believe that it is OK for a woman to wear pants?” she asked rather hesitantly and a little sheepishly.

“Yes,” came my reply.

There was a pause and then a, “You do?”

“Absolutely.”

“But, you are an Independent Baptist preacher, aren’t you supposed to believe that women must be in dresses only?”

“It’s not scriptural,” I said, “and therefore I reject it. You see, ma’am, I believe the Bible. This one right here in my hand. If this Bible says that you can’t wear pants, then I am obligated to tell you that. But, it doesn’t, so I wouldn’t dare tell you that.”

She sighed like a deflating balloon. “Where have you been hiding all these years,” she asked. “How could I have missed you?”

She went on to tell me how she had attended a good local Independent Baptist church for a number of years. They were soul-winning, bus-running, fire and brimstone-preaching, fried chicken-eating Baptists. She loved the church, but she hated the fact that she was forced to wear dresses all the time. She hated even more the fact that it was never revealed scripturally, to her satisfaction, why this was being imposed upon her and the other women. Even when she asked the pastor he never pointed her to where the Bible says a woman should never wear pants. There was an appeal made to the “eyes of a man,” or the “revealing of the shape of the body,” or to “modesty,” but never to the scriptural proof that she needed. It was just supposed to be accepted and “understood” as you “grew spiritually.”

This is the second reason for this writing. There are far too many women in Independent Baptist (and other conservative though non-Baptist) churches that are in the same dilemma as this precious young lady.

My experience has been that her story is not so nearly unique. It is repeated over and over by women all over America. And most of those ladies that feel “stuck” in dresses-only churches are miserable. Many others simply solve the problem by not adhering to the code unless they are at a church function or event.

Many would like to speak out, but even when the subject is broached they are almost always silent, being afraid to stand against their peers and the church establishment, for fear of being branded “rebellious” or “weak” spiritually. This is the state of many women in conservative, fundamental churches today; they feel just like the Israelites under Egyptian.

This book will deal with the issue of women and pants from a number of different perspectives in order to attempt to cover the entirety of the subject. I endeavor to present a complete analysis of the controversial issues. But, no matter which side of this issue the reader finds himself on at this point, would he or she please pause and pray, asking the Holy Ghost for His wisdom and guidance before we begin to search this matter.


1

Finding God’s Answer

To some people this topic will seem superfluous. Why is he writing on such a non-issue some may ask? While some may not personally understand the magnitude of this subject, to many this issue literally dominates their everyday life. Be assured that in churches all over America it is a very separatist doctrine.

Please understand before we begin, that God either permits women to wear pants today or He does not. There is really no middle ground. I pray the reader will agree that the answer lies solely with the Lord, as all answers do.

My question to you, dear reader, is this: Do you really want God’s answer or not? If God says “women must never wear pants” would you accept that wholeheartedly as God’s answer and abide by it? And, if God says “women may wear pants” would you accept that just as readily?

Why do I ask this? Simply put, the Bible says that if you want an answer from God on anything, you must be willing to accept that answer, whatever it is, when it is given, and act upon that answer faithfully in your life. Otherwise, God will not answer.

I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. [Psalms 119:100]

The key to getting the wisdom and understanding of God is accepting what He gives and applying it to your life. God will not waste His time answering someone He knows does not really want His truth, nor would that person be willing to act upon it. If you come looking for your pet answer, that’s just what you’ll get. If this sounds like you, don’t expect God to answer you.

And God does want to give his sincerely searching children the answers they seek:

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. [Ephesians 5:17]

Dear reader, please be honest with yourself and with the Lord right now. Do you really want God’s answer? Are you willing to act upon it, whatever it happens to be? I pray that God, who knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, will answer you according to your willingness to submit unto His answer.

That brings us to an interesting problem, I believe the Devil is using to devour and divide God’s people today. Most people today do not believe the Bible. Rather, they want to interpret the Bible. These are not the same thing. God is not amused with “private interpretation.”

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. [2 Peter 1:20]

The problem that causes frequent doctrinal collisions today is glaringly evident when examining these passages. Interpretation doesn’t belong to men, but to God alone. People want to ascribe interpretation to men (themselves mostly) when it does not belong there. “That’s just your interpretation” is the biggest cop-out this side of a strike by the New York City police force. It is God’s interpretation that matters, and not man’s.

It is time for God’s people to follow the example of the Bereans. It is time to put away “Well I think,” and “Well I feel,” and “That’s just your interpretation.” It is time to search the Scriptures to see if they say these things be so.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2 Timothy 2:15]

Why should we study? To show ourselves “approved unto God”! So, let’s find out what He wants. Christian, are you willing to let God give you His interpretation?


2

Doctrine

Question Number One: Is it doctrinally wrong, and therefore unscriptural, for a woman to wear pants?

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. [Deuteronomy 22:5]

This single verse is almost the entirety of the scriptural argument against a woman wearing pants; if not the entirety of the scriptural case, then certainly the bulk and the cornerstone. This is inevitably true because this command is nowhere repeated in Scripture and certainly not in the New Testament; it stands by itself. Although every Bible verse is true (as is this one), certainly one verse is a very shaky foundation for such a “critical” doctrine.  Deuteronomy 22:5 literally stands alone as the beginning and ending of the “women should not wear pants” argument.

Knowing this, the inference is made by some today that pants are clothes for men only and hence for a woman to wear them makes her an abomination unto the Lord. Is a woman that wears a pair of pants, regardless of the level of her spiritual maturity or the closeness of her walk with the Lord, automatically and unequivocally an “abomination unto the Lord”? Let’s examine what the Bible says.

Notice the word “pertaineth” in Deuteronomy 22:5. What does pertaineth mean? It is critical because understanding this word will help us determine what God says a woman shall not wear.

Listed are the first seven Bible references to the word pertain or one of its variants, excluding our study text.

But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. [Leviticus 7:20]

– This seems to have the meaning of belonging or property.

Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. [Leviticus 7:21]

– This has the same meaning.

This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing. [Leviticus 14:32]

– This seems have the meaning “is necessary for.”

And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof. [Numbers 4:16]

– This seems to agree with the first two mentions.

(Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep, [Numbers 31:43]

– This seems to agree with the first two also.

And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. [Joshua 24:33]

– As does this. The hill ‘belonged to’ Phinehas.

Notice that each time the word is mentioned it is used in conjunction with the word “to” or “unto,” thereby specifying ownership. In fact, in each case you will notice that the ownership is definite and exclusive. That which “pertained” to the Lord certainly didn’t “pertain” to anyone else. And Phinehas’ hill didn’t “pertain” to anyone else either, as he was the owner.

And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi-ezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. [Judges 6:11]

This oak was on the property which belonged to (pertained unto) Joash the Abi-ezrite.

So, our word “pertain,” defined Biblically, means “to be the exclusive property of or belong solely to.” Let’s see what the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says…

PERTAIN, v.i. 1. To belong; to be the property, right or duty of.

Pretty accurate I would say. Isn’t the Bible amazing?

So, we can conclude expressly that what God said and meant in Deuteronomy 22:5 is that a woman should not wear that which is the exclusive property of or belongs solely to a man.

That brings up an interesting dilemma. Are pants the “exclusive” property of men?

Let’s see what the Bible says.

A search for the word “pants” or “pantaloons” (of which pants is a shortened form) turns up no references. Trousers (or trowsers) also turns up no references.

Hence, the appeal is made to the word “breeches.” Breeches are found in the Bible as an article of clothing five times. Let’s examine them.

And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: 43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him. [Exodus 28:42-43]

And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons, 28 And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen, [Exodus 39:27-28]

And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. [Leviticus 6:10]

He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. [Leviticus 16:4]

They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat. [Ezekiel 44:18]

The argument goes something like this…”Seeeeee, they are only for men.”

Noooooo, they are only for priests.

“But, the priests were always men.”

True, but normal men are never, ever, not even once mentioned in the Bible as wearing breeches. These were not men’s clothes at all, they were priestly garments. Therefore, these garments do not “pertain to” (are not the exclusive property of) men, but rather “pertain to” (or are the exclusive property of) priests. This is called letting God give His interpretation, instead of using any pet “private interpretation.” This is what the Bible says. This is otherwise known as truth. That still small voice is God speaking. I wonder how many are actually listening?

The garments also had several specific characteristics. (See the verses above.)

1) They were holy garments. (Normal men did not wear holy garments.)

2) They were to prevent, or collect, sweat.

3) They were worn “upon his flesh.” In other words, they were worn over nothing. They were the first garment put on and closest to the skin.

4) They were to cover the nakedness.

5) Lastly, let’s see the length of these “breeches.” They were from the loins even unto the thighs. They ran from the waist down through the thighs. (They had to cover the thigh to cover the nakedness.)

Have you realized yet what these breeches really were? They were underwear! They were never an external garment to be seen by anyone. Breeches, by a strict Biblical definition, are underwear. Anyone looking at this honestly, for the truth, will have to admit this.

I have a question. Do women wear underwear? Of course they do. Well, what are they doing wearing underwear? These are “men’s clothes”!

One will surely say, “There is a difference between men’s underwear and women’s underwear!” I’m glad he said that. Because, by saying that, he just admitted that there is a difference between men’s breeches and women’s breeches today. Furthermore, in logical conclusion, he just admitted there is such a thing as women’s breeches today. If he disagrees, then he’d better get his ladies to remove their underwear and promise God they will no longer wear them. Do you think that will be the next thing to stand against, ladies in underwear?

But, the argument persists, “Pants were invented for men.” (Show me that in the Word of God. It can’t be done.) While I may in principle agree with that, the Bible does not say that. But, also please realize how many other things in this world were “invented for men.” Do you know that voting was invented for men? When was the last time a woman you knew voted? Does the Bible teach women not to vote? Is that doctrine thundering from our pulpits today? The driver’s license was also originally intended for men. Have you ever seen a woman driving? (If you do, assume she has a license and never ask to see it, for a true lady never allows the picture on her license to be seen!) Working outside the home was intended for men also. Do you know women who do that? Where is the preaching against the ungodly practice of women working outside the home? Things are different today. God understands that a woman has to work sometimes out of the home to help with the finances – unless you want to help support their family!

It is admitted that Noah Webster defined “pantaloons” this way in his 1828 dictionary…

PANTALOON, n. 1. A garment for males in which breeches and stockings are in a piece; a species of close long trousers extending to the heels.

Notice, that pantaloons are defined as being for males. Also notice that they are not just breeches, but breeches plus stockings in one piece. Things that are different are not the same! How many understand that with no further explanation needed?

If the reader believes the criteria for the determining of what a man or woman may or may not wear today, be the old definition from 1828 (or 1611 or whenever), then I have a few questions for him.

1) Have you ever seen a man in a “bonnet”?

BONNET, n.1. A covering for the head, in common use before the introduction of hats. The word, as now used, signifies a cover for the head, worn by females, close at the sides, and projecting over the forehead.

Did you notice that they are worn by females? If “pantaloons” are “for men only” then “bonnets” are “for women only.” Funny thing though, God has certainly seen men in bonnets:

And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. [Exodus 28:40]

Uh oh. These “bonnets” are Biblically worn by men, yet Noah Webster says they are for women. Is that abomination, or did something change? I doubt seriously many churches consider women that wear bonnets an abomination to God. I think maybe something has changed.

Notice that Mr. Webster uses the phrase “the word as now used.” This is exactly what has occurred with respect to pants. The word as now used signifies a man’s or a woman’s garment, regardless of what it used to mean.

2) Do the godly men you know wear girdles? God’s did.

And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons. [Exodus 29:9]

I think some things have changed. Do you think God is upset that men aren’t wearing any girdles today and that women are? Is a woman that wears a girdle an “abomination” for wearing “that which pertaineth unto a man”? Of course not.

Jonathan, David, and Elijah, all wore girdles.

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. [1 Samuel 18:4]

And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. [II Kings 1:8]

3) Do the godly women you know wear shirts?

SHIRT, n. A loose garment of linen, cotton or other material, worn by men and boys next [to] the body.

Whoa, are you saying that shirts are only for men and boys? No, I’m not. Noah Webster is. My question is, why then do the women of today wear them when they were clearly invented for men and boys only?

I can almost hear the chorus “Oh, but our ladies don’t wear shirts, they wear blouses.” The problem is that blouses did not exist in 1828. The word “blouse” did not even exist in 1828. Neither is blouse a Bible word.

To wear a man’s shirt and simply change its name to a blouse does not fool anybody. One could simply rename women’s pants as “purls” (pants for girls) and wear them. Picture a woman wearing pants to a “no pants” church one Sunday morning. Suppose that one of the “faithful ladies” in the church confronts her (which we all know never happens). She could just say, “Silly, these aren’t pants, these are purls.” Do you think for one instant that her “purls” would be acceptable to that church? Can a pig fly? Neither is God fooled by the word blouse.

Here comes the next plea, “But, they button differently than men’s shirts!”

I’m sorry, I never really seem to notice that right off. How closely does one have to look to be sure that the “blouse” buttons correctly? And can we use that for the international bathroom door picture instead of the dress-clad stick figure? What? You mean it isn’t quite that easy to see the difference? I’m sorry, I thought I heard someone say once or twice that God wanted a clear difference. I thought we were supposed to immediately be able to tell the difference between a man’s and a woman’s garment, even from a distance. Isn’t that what is parroted by the dresses-only crowd? When do we hire the “shirt police,” replete with magnifying glass and search warrants? And we’d better hire a bunch of them, because I know some boys that’ll be mighty upset when one of those magnifying glasses gets close to his wife! Talk about your high-risk occupation! Kamikaze pilots had a safer job!

4) Do the godly men in your church wear skirts? God’s men did.

Here is the first Bible mention of the skirt. It is a man’s skirt.

A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt. [Deuteronomy 22:30]

Ruth told Boaz:

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. [Ruth 3:9]

Samuel wore a skirt.

And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. [1 Samuel 15:27]

So did Saul.

And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. [1 Samuel 24:5]

So did God, and He is a male!

Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. [Ezekiel 16:8]

This one is even modern!

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. [Zechariah 8:23]

Do women wear skirts? Of course they do. Are skirts for women or men? Well, they are only worn by men in the Bible.

The typical dress-defense quote goes something like this; “There is not one instance of a woman wearing breeches in the Bible, therefore they are men’s clothing.” If that is your argument, then hear this: There is not one verse in the entire Bible about a woman wearing a “dress” or a “skirt” and yet you claim they pertain to women. Show me that in the Book. You can’t. (Lam 1:9 is talking about Israel and not a woman.) In fact, by a Bible definition similar to the one used for “pants,” “skirts” are exclusively men’s clothing and yet ladies wear them all the time! Is this abomination too?

SKIRT, n. 1. The lower and loose part of a coat or other garment; the part below the waist; as the skirt of a coat or mantle. 1 Sam.15. 2. The edge of any part of dress. 3. Border; edge; margin; extreme part; as the skirt of a forest; the skirt of a town. 4. A woman’s garment like a petticoat. 5 The diaphragm or midriff in animals.

How did a skirt become exclusively that which pertaineth to a woman today? Did God change that? Nope, man did. “But, they are different skirts,” she says. I’m glad she said that. NOW HEAR THIS: Bible “breeches” are not the “pants” of today either! If you try to apply the “no pants doctrine” today without abiding by all of this other Scripture also, then, my friend, you are a hypocrite.

5) Do your women wear vests? Is it OK for a woman to wear a vest?

VEST, n. 1. An outer garment. 2. In common speech, a man’s under garment; a short garment covering the body, but without sleeves, worn under the coat; called also waistcoat.

6) Do you know women that wear coats?

COAT, n. 1. An upper garment, of whatever material it may be made. The word is, in modern times, generally applied to the garment worn by men next over the vest.

Where is the “men’s clothing” crowd on these items? How can anybody stand on just the single statement from Deuteronomy 22:5, applying it to pants alone, and ignore all this other evidence? It must be that they have never seen these things (as I had not). Other than that single excuse, I’m not sure I want to know.

Answer Number One: The Bible never, not in any verse, not in any book, not in any testament, claims that pants on a woman is doctrinally wrong. Therefore the “interpretation” that they are, is based on man’s motives, man’s mind set, and man’s interpretation. God is truth. Man is a liar. Whom will you believe?

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3

Application

Question Number Two: Is Deuteronomy 22:5 binding upon the Church today?

Who is this verse written to? Is it written to me in the 21st century church age? Let’s see. Let’s examine the context for some other things we should be doing if Deuteronomy 22:5 is binding upon us today.

When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. [Deuteronomy 22:8]

When was the last time you saw a new house built with a battlement? (A roof wall so nobody can climb over nor fall off.) Why aren’t all Christian houses built that way today? One will surely say, “Well brother, people don’t utilize their roof the same way today. We don’t put people on the roof any more unless they are roofers.” Ohhhhhh I see. Then things have changed a little bit since this was written. Good, I’m glad we agree.

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. [Deuteronomy 22:11]

Do men today wear garments of divers sorts? Like maybe, denim? “Well,” one says, “that doesn’t apply to us.” Good, I’m glad you agree.

Let’s quickly address one of the favorite replies to this verse. It goes something like this: “There is a chemical reaction that is present when certain fabrics are mixed together and God didn’t want his people to get sick from it.”

Uh huh. Chapter and verse please. Now reader, certainly you’ve known someone infected by the dreaded, deadly “blue jean flu”! You haven’t? Me either, although a guy told me he saw an alien in jeans once. He was with Elvis. And they both had the blue jean flu.

Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. [Deuteronomy 22:12]

Do we have those fringes on all our clothing today? Certainly not. “But,” she says, “This was written to them back then and pertained to them.” Good, I’m glad she agrees.

Here it comes, the last-ditch defense mechanism of the “real” Christians kicks straight in. “Oh, but those are only the ‘ceremonial law’. We are still bound by the ‘moral law’.” Okay, if they insist, but I have some relevant questions.

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. [Deuteronomy 22:22]

Does that apply in the church? That’s the moral law! Do we kill the adulterous offenders? Of course not, we discipline them. That is the New Testament way. Notice that God says this was intended for Israel and not for the church.

If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: [Deuteronomy 21:15]

How many men in our churches have two wives? “That’s polygamy,” one says, “and God doesn’t allow that today.” True, but isn’t that the moral law? Well? Shhhhhhh, listen carefully. Is that stammering one hears? Or just silence?

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. [Deuteronomy 21:18-21]

I’m sure that this hasn’t happened in your church. Again that’s the moral law! Isn’t it? Are we then breaking God’s commandment? Of course not. This wasn’t written to us. We don’t stone to death rebellious children.  Again, it was written to Israel.

More examples could be shown from the context but these should suffice. Why is it men want to pull Deuteronomy 22:5 out and apply it to the Church literally and then claim every other thing in the immediate context is not applicable today? This seems a little more than slightly biased to me. This is called “selective obedience”; obeying what you want and throwing the rest out. I don’t believe in that. Neither does God.

Is something that was “true” 6000 years ago always still “true” today? Has God ever allowed for “updated” things? Cain was allowed to live when he killed Abel. Why did God allow this when Genesis 9:6 specifically says that the death penalty is mandatory? You see, God stated one thing in the past, but now, as of Genesis 9:6, God has changed something. No longer was a murderer to be allowed to live, yet because Cain committed murder before Genesis 9:6 was spoken, he was allowed to live (though he was punished severely). This begs the question, did God break His own law? God forbid. Things change. Change does not make something worldly or ungodly. It simply makes it a change.

Were chariots worldly and ungodly when they were invented? Were they worldly and ungodly when Egypt had them? Were they worldly and ungodly before Israel got them? Is that why God destroyed the chariots of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, because the chariots were worldly and ungodly and abomination in his sight? Of course not. Israel even made some of their own chariots later and used them. They were new, not ungodly. You see, the Bible determines which things are ungodly, not men. And the Bible never, ever calls “pants” nor “breeches” ungodly. And it is a certainty that it makes no mention of them in the New Testament.

We are not specifically bound by the Old Testament Jewish law. Therefore, we are not bound by Deuteronomy 22:5 just like we are not bound by the other statements in Deuteronomy 21 and 22 that our churches do not heed today.

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4

Modesty

Question Number Three: Should a woman dress modestly?

Question Number Four: Are pants immodest?

A woman must dress modestly at all times except in her private life or when intimate with her husband.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; [1 Timothy 2:9]

First, let’s notice the word apparel. This is a generic word for clothing.

APPAREL, n. 1. Clothing; vesture; garments; dress.

Apparel is worn by both men and women in the Bible. If 1 Timothy 2:9 was referring to “women’s only clothing” then God would have chosen a more appropriate word or specific word. If this “women should not wear pants” thing is so critical, why doesn’t God just say it plainly right here? You’ll have to wait until heaven to ask Him, but for now just know that he absolutely does not say it right here.

We need to pause here to address a key element of the “proof” provided by the dresses-only crowd.  An appeal is made to the word translated “apparel” in the Greek.

The Greek word supposedly used here is “katastole.” And supposedly (according to them) its meaning is very exacting. It comes from another Greek word (that’s exacting?) meaning “to lower.” From this it is assumed that what Paul meant by using the word “katastole” is that women should only be in long flowing garments.

As one of those valley girls might say “Puuulease! Gag me with a whole place setting!”

I will now tear this up like a fat guy with a gyro:

1) The Greek word ‘katastole’ appears only once in the whole Greek. This makes it very difficult (in this case impossible) to get a Bible definition of the word, since it is nowhere else used.

2)  Who wrote these “Greek lexicons”? Are we sure they didn’t have ulterior motives in their definitions? Are we sure that they were Bible believers? Are we also sure that they are never wrong!

3) If God used the generic word “apparel” in the English (and He did) then He simply messed up again. He obviously should have used the English equivalent of “long, flowing garment.”

4) 1 Peter 3:3 speaks of a woman’s “apparel.”

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; [1 Peter 3:3]

Apparently God forgot to use the same exacting Koine Greek word in this verse because it is not “katastole” in your lexicon. Are these women forbidden to wear a “long flowing garment”? Or are they scripturally subject to the generic “Greek” term for apparel used here and also used elsewhere for men?

5) Men also wore “long flowing garments” 2000 years ago when Paul wrote this.

6) I want to be there when the first woman walks into Wal-Mart and asks the clerk to “point me to the katastole.” Wouldn’t it be a story if one of those militant animal rights activists happened to overhear (they are always on the lookout for any sign of cruelty to animals). “She stole a cat. And Wal-mart is fronting for her. We’ll fix them. Call 911!”

7) There are other times when “the Greek” hurts the case of the dresses-only crowd. I don’t hear much about those “Greek” words. Isn’t that “selective greeking”?

The ‘katastole’ boat just does not float (it’s fulla gaping holes) and it never will.

Now, I believe a woman should be excessively modest. This is the command of the New Testament to women. This is also the only time the word modest (in the English) appears in the Word of God. So, what is modest? Let’s not go with what you or I think, but let’s get an official, unbiased (we have used it all the way through) English definition.

MODEST, a. 1. Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man.

2. Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity. The blushing beauties of a modest maid.

3. Not loose; not lewd.

4. Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant; as a modest request; modest joy; a modest computation.

All these things constitute modesty. Let’s examine some of the key elements of this definition.

1) “restrained by a sense of propriety”

PROPRIETY, n. 1. Property; peculiar or exclusive right of possession; ownership. [This primary sense of the word, as used by Locke, Milton, Dryden, &c. seems not to be nearly or wholly obsolete. See Property.] 2. Fitness; suitableness; appropriateness; consonance with established principles, rules or customs; justness; accuracy. Propriety of conduct, in a moral sense, consists in its conformity to the moral law; propriety of behavior, consists in conformity to the established rules of decorum; propriety in language, is correctness in the use of words and phrases, according to established usage, which constitutes the rule of speaking and writing. 3. Proper state.

First, I want you to notice that propriety (appropriateness) has to do with the “customs” of the people and the day. It would certainly not be ‘propriety’ to wear dress shoes to play basketball. Neither would it be propriety to overdress for a casual party. People are restrained by the customs of the day, i.e., it is no longer propriety for men to wear powder-white wigs. This is what makes something “fit” or “suitable” for wear.

This is binding as long as it is not lewd nor bold and forward. The two must be taken together. And today, it is considered “suitable” and “appropriate” in the customs of our culture, for a woman to wear pants.

Hear it comes – the mantra. “I don’t believe that the customs of the world have anything to do with what godly women should wear.” Well, one had better be careful with that statement.

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. [1 Corinthians 11:5-6]

For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. [1 Corinthians 11:10]

The Bible says here that a woman should either be bald or wear a covering when she prays. Do the godly women in your church obey this? Why not? I’ll tell you why not. There are two reasons.

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? [1 Corinthians 11:13]

First, we can judge in ourselves. Is it comely for a woman to pray uncovered? Judging myself (that’s what it says to do) I would say it is perfectly fine. It does not offend me. I do not take it as an affront to my manhood, nor my authority, nor does my wife mean it that way.

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. [1 Corinthians 11:16]

See, the wearing of coverings mentioned has to do with the custom of the people and the custom of the Church. An uncovered woman was taken for a harlot or the like. Thankfully for you ladies, we have no such custom today. That is why you wear no covering. Otherwise, you ladies would be bound by this verse. It is the custom of today that changes this requirement. And modesty is based on appropriateness according to the customs of the people, always within the boundaries of God’s Word, of course.

2) “Not forward or bold. Not loose; not lewd.”

This means a woman ought not to dress like she is available; like she is a harlot, or a whore. She should dress like she either belongs to a husband, or to her father, because she belongs to one of the two scripturally. She is the scriptural property of her father until he gives her away. (See 1 Cor 7) She should dress “suitably” or “appropriately” for the situation. She should dress according to “established principles, rules, or customs.” Well, our custom in the good ol’ U.S. of A. is for women to wear pants when it is appropriate. It may not be your custom, but it is the nation’s. Notice also the phrase “established usage.” Well, pants are certainly “established usage” for women in our culture.

Now, with respect to sexual immodesty, are pants immodest? Well, let’s check the Word of God to see.

What is nakedness? The Bible defines it.

Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. 3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. [Isaiah 47:2-3]

Notice two things. One, the thigh being uncovered is nakedness. What does “uncovered” mean? It simply means without covering.

UNCOVER, v.t. 1. To divest of a cover; to remove any covering from; a word of general use. 2. To deprive of clothes; to strip; to make naked.

Also notice that the leg must be bare. Bare means the same thing, without covering.

BARE, a. [This word is from opening, separating, stripping.] 1. Naked, without covering; as, the arm is bare; the trees are bare. 2. With the head uncovered, from respect. 3. Plain; simple; unadorned; without the polish of refined manners. 4. Laid open to view; detected; no longer concealed.

Please notice, that according to the Bible, when a woman wears pants her thigh is covered, because it is not bare and without covering. When a woman wears a dress her thigh is covered (until her canoe tips over accidentally one day, in front of the cackling teen group, and her dress flies up over her head). These both cover the nakedness of the thigh. But, how about the bare leg? Pants cover that. Does a knee-length dress cover the bare leg? I think not. It is accepted in most churches that knee-length is appropriate dress length. Sorry, this leaves much of the leg bare. This could even be construed as nakedness in God’s view. Pants cover the whole leg! According to God’s Word, pants are even more modest than those “standard” knee-length dresses!

And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: 43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him. [Exodus 28:42-43]

“Breeches” were made for modesty. That was their original intent. The INNER GARMENT was to cover the nakedness! Pants are an outer garment, put over top of the “breeches” which cover the nakedness. If pants were truly breeches and thus an inner garment then they would be inappropriate for even men to wear much less women.

I’ve heard it voiced that pants were to cover or gird the loins for working and that is unnecessary for women. Oh, really? Tell that to God who says of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31…

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. [Proverbs 31:17]

And again to the women of Isaiah’s day…

Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. [Isaiah 32:11]

Here’s something to chew on. Does anybody care about a woman’s heels being bare? Well, why not?

And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. [Jeremiah 13:22]

It is the exposed areas of skin (low cut tops of dresses, spaghetti-strap dresses, bare legs, slits in dresses etc.) that God calls nakedness.

Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. 38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. 39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.) [Ezekiel 16:37-39]

These shiny satin shirts (we used to call those ) and tight-fitting dresses (around the bust-line and waist) that many women wear are the attire of a harlot. Even worse are the “modest” dresses with slits that come way above the knee, many times revealing the thigh with every step the harlot (oops, I mean lady) takes. These are totally inappropriate. They are immodest, and worse, the attire of a harlot. Don’t believe me? Go find a harlot and ask her! I see those slits worn by lots of “women in dresses.”

Why don’t we just put women in long burlap sacks without any waistline at all? Wouldn’t that be more modest than the just-above-the-knee-length, neck-line-showing, chest-accenting, hourglass-figure-revealing, slit-halfway-up-the-thigh thing many claim is modest?

Painted-on-jeans are the attire of a harlot. Loose fitting jeans are not. How many hookers have you seen wearing loose fitting jeans? If they did they surely wouldn’t have a very happy pimp. Why? Because that isn’t what attracts men now is it? But, a pair of painted-on-jeans coupled with one of those skin tight, silky shirts most teenagers wear, rest assured any pimp would be plum tickled with that!

Answer Number Three: The Bible says a woman must dress modestly.

Answer Number Four: The Bible never says pants are immodest. In fact, they cover the Bible definition of nakedness. Knee-length, form-fitting, low-cut, slit dresses do not.

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5

Liberty

Question Number Five: Does my wife, and other godly women, have liberty to dress in pants?

Where is the Spirit of the Lord today? Living in my saved wife!

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2 Corinthians 3:17]

That means my wife, and every other saved woman on this planet has liberty.

Jesus came specifically to bring liberty to mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [Isaiah 61:1]

He even quoted it as his mission.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [Luke 4:18]

We have liberty in Christ today. But, what exactly is liberty?

LIBERTY, n. 1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions. 2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others,…

Therefore, by applying this definition, Christian liberty is the ability to act as I see fit, without any restraint or control from any man, obeying only those things by which I am specifically bound by the Word of God.

Let’s see what God has to say. The first mention in the Bible pretty much tells the story about how God defines liberty.

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. [Leviticus 25:10]

Liberty is the freedom we have as individuals to live for Jesus Christ.

I am called upon in the New Testament to stand fast therefore in my Christian Liberty which has made me free from the “yoke of.”

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of . [Galatians 5:1]

Telling women that pants are “ungodly” and “immodest” and “out of God’s will” is putting another man’s conscience (what you think) upon their liberty. This ought not be so.

Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. [1 Corinthians 10:29]

Why is the liberty my wife has to “dress modestly” judged by “another man’s conscience”? I believe she is modest, she believes she is modest. We have studied and searched the Scripture which applies and are satisfied that we have God’s mind on the subject. Just because others don’t agree, especially in light of the non-scriptural argument they present, why should we adhere to their standard? Why do they speak evil of us when we have given thanks?

Now, we need to be careful with liberty.

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. [1 Corinthians 8:9]

The wearing of pants has never been a stumblingblock to the weak. On the contrary. If a new convert leaves a good church because she is forced to wear dresses while she cleans the toilets at home, I think that is a stumblingblock to the weak. In this case, forcing a personal “conviction” or “standard” upon others, and calling it “Bible,” is the stumblingblock. In actuality, this particular issue is more of a stumblingblock to the strong, the strong being the fundamentalist who believes a woman in pants is somehow less a Godly woman simply because she wears pants.

How utterly ridiculous to judge a woman’s Christian growth on whether she wears pants or not. I personally know some women who wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of pants, yet couldn’t find Hosea in a Bible in under 5 minutes without consulting the table of contents. In fact, they probably couldn’t tell you which Testament it’s in! A certain particularly distinguished preacher put it this way: “If you are not there yet, just look intelligently at the page you are on,” and gets on with the preaching. The “modestly dressed” woman stares at Obadiah (not knowing who he is) and acts like she actually found Hosea. This sounds crazy, but this woman is considered to be much godlier than the pants-wearing woman who found it lickety-split because the one staring at Obadiah “wears no pants.” Incredulous as this sounds, this is really the way some people think.

Why don’t they judge women on something scriptural like being in subjection to their own husbands or knowing how to answer every man (see 1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:6)? I realize that those great clanking sounds you hear are the cages I’m rattling, but maybe it’s time they got rattled a little.

We also must be careful not to use our liberty as an occasion to the flesh.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. [Galatians 5:13]

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. [1 Peter 2:16]

Now, the “occasion to the flesh” is talking about sin. So is the “cloke of maliciousness.” If a woman wears pants tightly and improperly to attract sexual sin (lust of the eyes), then she is a harlot and is using her liberty as an “occasion to the flesh.” This is not why my wife wears her loose fitting pants. Those pants, by the way, fit more loosely than most ladies’ dresses I’ve seen on Sundays in many church congregations!

The dresses-only crowd illustrates it this way: “It takes two to commit adultery or fornication. If a woman causes a man to lust in his heart then they have both committed adultery. She is just as much to blame for wearing it as he is for lusting.” This seems like a valid argument. It sounds so good and scriptural. And it has its place. If the woman is dressing to attract men and it happens that one lusts in his heart for her, then she is, without a doubt, a spiritual whore and a spiritual adulteress.

But, maybe I can shed some light on this facade. I have three questions for the person who thinks this way.

1) Do you think men don’t lust after beautiful women in modest dresses?

Dream on.

2) Do you think every woman who wears “dresses only” is so godly that not one of them ever wears an outfit with intent to attract the male roving eye?

Which planet are you from?

3) If a woman dresses in an ultra-modest (by anyone’s standards) loose-fitting burlap sack, (some women would still look good even in a burlap sack) and a man lusts for her because of her natural beauty, even though that was the last thing on her mind, is she guilty of spiritual adultery? That is not called adultery my friend, that is called rape! And a woman who is raped is not guilty.

But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: 27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. [Deuteronomy 22:25-27]

Are you going to condemn a woman that has been brutally raped against her will?

“Brutally raped, isn’t that kind of harsh?” Not any harsher than making a woman wear a scarlet letter for life simply because she wears pants!

The real problem lies with the issue of liberty.

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into : [Galatians 2:4]

I am free. My wife is free. Your saved wife is free. Why is the attempt made to bring us into?

Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. [Titus 1:14]

How many times have I seen a new convert end up not going to church because of those “commandments of men.” And we have certainly shown that “dresses only” are certainly not the commandments of God. My wife has no business heeding the commandments of men.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. [Acts 5:29]

We are obeying God. He wrote the Book. We are obeying the Book.

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. [Romans 14:22-23]

My wife and I have no doubt that man, and not God, invented the “dresses only ordinance.” So we are happy in the thing which we allow. The women in my church are happy in the thing which I allow. If you are happy in what you allow then praise God. But have it to thyself.

If any doubt, then wear dresses only. That is perfectly fine if that’s a personal conviction. But, no person on earth has any scriptural right to condemn my wife, nor any other woman for wearing what “thing they alloweth.”

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. [Romans 14:17-18]

It is comical to see some “dresses-only” ladies that really think they are the godliest women in the world simply because their entire wardrobe consists of only dresses and culottes and never, ever those awful pants. They snub their noses and look down upon some of the most virtuous, godly, God-fearing, Proverbs 31-imitating ladies I have ever met, without most times even getting to know them. Why? Simply because “they wear pants.” This is beyond comprehension.

If this is your attitude you are saying that no matter how godly a woman may be in all other areas of her life, no matter how closely she walks with the Lord Jesus, no matter how many things she mimics from Proverbs 31, no matter how many hours she spends in daily prayer, if she wears pants SHE IS LITERALLY AN ABOMINATION TO GOD! Not just wrong, but AN ABOMINATION IN GOD’S SIGHT! (Isn’t that the Scripture you stand on?) Now, think about that. Is that really what you believe?

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. [John 7:24]

Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. [Romans 14:3]

Let her that weareth dresses only despiseth not her that weareth pants sometimes. For God has received her (even if other women haven’t).

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? [Colossians 2:20-23]

We are not subject to the ordinances of men. Why should we be? We serve Christ and follow His Word. That’s exactly what Christ hated about the Jewish leaders. That’s exactly what Peter denounced in Acts.

Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [Acts 15:10]

Are you willing to tempt God by putting an unbearable yoke on the necks of his disciples?

The Holy Ghost agreed.

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. [Acts 15:28-29]

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of . [Galatians 5:1]

This whole “dress issue” has spoiled many young Christians.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. [Colossians 2:8]

It is simply the “tradition of men” and nothing else. It is certainly “not after Christ.” It is philosophy. It is not Bible.

Men should fear God for Bible reasons and not because of the precepts of men. [Isaiah 29:13]

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [Hebrews 13:9]

Do you realize that women not being allowed to wear pants is a strange doctrine? It is strange for two reasons. 1) Most people are staggered when they hear it for the first time, as were many of you. It goes something like this; “You mean a woman can never wear pants at all? Ever?” Add a dumbfounded look and you can picture it. It is inordinately strange to the uninitiated. 2) It isn’t scriptural. It is man-made. That makes it “strange” in the scriptural sense.

Do you realize that God says:

And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. [Zephaniah 1:8]

Want to know what strange apparel is? Picture this. A woman goes sledding to have fun with her children. What does she wear in the snow and freezing temperatures? Culottes. Bare legs. White socks. Snow boots. Stand at the bottom of the hill and watch as she sleds down. That is some strange apparel. They’ll laugh you right out of the state of Minnesota for wearing that. Or call 911 for frostbite!

God has not commanded that women never wear pants, men have.

Answer Number Five: Nobody on this earth has the scriptural right to judge your liberty by their conscience. By the Scriptures, yes. By their “interpretation,” absolutely not!

Worse than this, my friends, there is something extremely dangerous concerning the doctrine of men.

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. [Colossians 2:18-23]

Herein lies the frighteningly real problem with following the commandments of men. It will literally and scripturally cause you to lose your rewards! Maybe many have never been taught this, nor realized this, but this is exactly what the Bible says. This would be devastating to the Christian who is subject to the ordinances of men, is vainly puffed up in the fleshly mind, and does things which indeed have a show of wisdom in will worship and humility. This person will do things to neglect the satisfying of the flesh. In other words, this person does things that look godly, even wise, however they aren’t the commandments of God but rather the commandments of men. These people exhibit self-denial and the like yet God has not specifically commanded these things of them. For example, notice the benedictine monks who isolate themselves in order to show that they are pious and humble by self-affliction and self-denial. This is not godliness. God is not only displeased with this kind of false worship, but this person will actually lose rewards for this following of the “commandments and doctrines of men”. How heinous would it be on that day to have actually lost rewards while all the while thinking they had been earned? Do you see just how dangerous the doctrines of men are? They give a false sense of piousness when in reality they are stealing the reward of men. God help those who beguile other men of their heavenly reward. John the Baptist said it this way, “Repent!”

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. [James 3:1]

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6

What May a Godly Woman Wear?

We have discussed many of the issues already. There are also a few other guidelines that a woman must follow if she is to dress in a godly manner. They are simple, scriptural, and spiritual in nature.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; [1 Timothy 2:9]

Women are commanded to “adorn” themselves.

ADORN v.t. [L. adorno, ad and orno, to deck, or beautify, to dress, set off, extol, furnish. 1. To deck or decorate; to make beautiful; to add to beauty by dress; to deck with external ornaments.To set off to advantage; to add ornaments to; to embellish by any thing external or adventitious; as, to adorn a speech by appropriate action, sentiments with elegance of language, or a gallery with pictures. 3. To make pleasing, or more pleasing; as, great abilities adorned by virtue or affability.4. To display the beauty or excellence of; as, to adorn the doctrine of God.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. [Isaiah 61:10]

And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, [Luke 21:5]

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; [1 Peter 3:3]

Adorn means to fix up or cause to look nice. Women are supposed to adorn themselves. They are supposed to make themselves look nice; they are women. Do not let anyone tell you the Bible says a woman should not adorn herself. Does God expect a woman to look like she doesn’t take care of herself? On the contrary. She is to adorn herself. It says “adorn”. She should not look like she stepped out of bed and walked into the market. That would be ungodly.

Now, how she is to adorn herself is listed in 1 Timothy 2:9:

The words “modest” and “apparel” and their application to the dress of a woman have been discussed previously and will not be repeated here.

The Bible says a woman should dress with shamefacedness.

SHAMEFACEDNESS, n. Bashfulness; excess of modesty.

This means to be bashful. To be bashful is to shy away from the spotlight, to endeavor to fade into the background. To not attract attention to oneself is shamefacedness. The women are to dress so as to NOT attract attention to themselves. Women should not dress with the intent of “standing out” nor of “drawing attention.” If a woman dresses with this in mind (she cannot lie to God) she is dressing inappropriately. The “look at me” attire has no place in the godly woman’s wardrobe. Today, a huge problem in our churches is that women are dressing to be noticed! This is ungodly apparel!

The Bible says a woman must dress with sobriety. We usually associate this with the opposite of intoxication, as do the first two definitions from Noah Webster. But, since this is obviously not telling women to dress while not intoxicated with alcohol there must be another meaning. The third definition from Noah Webster helps us considerably.

SOBRIETY – 3. Habitual freedom from enthusiasm, inordinate passion or overheated imagination; calmness; coolness; as the sobriety of riper years; the sobriety of age.

What God is saying is that your dress should not elicit inordinate passion nor overheated imagination. In other words, if a woman is dressing to turn a man’s passion toward her, then she is dressing unscripturally (she cannot lie to God). If a woman’s intent is to attract the roving eye of a man, any man, then she is dressing unscripturally. She needs to dress in a way that will not purposely cause men to lust for her (God knows her intentions). Let’s be honest; women know why they wear what they wear. Women in our churches are dressing to catch the roving eye of a man. They want to dress “hot”. They are dressing to elicit a response from the glands of a man. They are dressing to arouse the passion in some man. If women are wearing clothes in this manner then they are wearing the wrong clothing. In fact, the Bible has a specific name for this clothing.

And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. [Proverbs 7:10]

The Bible calls it the attire of a harlot! A few words pointed directly at the woman wearing this attire. If you are wearing a harlot’s clothes, ma’am, then guess what that makes you? A harlot. There is no other way around this. You are an adulterer and a fornicator and a home-wrecker. That is the bad news. The good news is, you do not have to remain a harlot. Even Rahab the harlot was saved! We have lots of information about this harlot and her attire. Check carefully to see if this describes you. Be honest. If it does, confess; repent; change your intent; change your attire; allow God to cleanse you.

Here is the Bible description of the Harlot:

1) She is subtil of heart (tricky). [Proverbs 7:10] She is not going to claim outwardly to be a harlot, but inwardly she is. It is in her heart. (The serpent was subtil too!)

2) Jezebel dressed up to try to sway Jehu to spare her [2 Kings 9]. She had a purpose in her dress to sway a man’s actions through his passion toward her beauty. She was a whore (v22). Do you think God was happy with Jezebel? If you dress to sway a man’s actions then God is just as displeased with your “whoredoms” as He was with Jezebel’s.

3) The harlot dresses seductively and with a purpose!

(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) 13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. [Proverbs 7:11-14]

4) She is not content to stay at home. Who wants to dress seductively and sit home on the couch or clean the kitchen? No, she wants to be seen! Why gussy all up and yet have no man to seduce except her husband; and what fun (she thinks) is there in that?

5) She has an impudent face. Impudent means “without shame.” Imagine that! She is dressing with the opposite of the very shamefacedness that God said she must have.

6) She has “paid her vows.” In other words, she claims to be right with God even in the midst of her seductive behavior. Remember, that she is subtil! She will not be openly whorish. She will act and talk and seem godly, but her dress is seductive and she intends to use it that way! She is a whore.

The bottom line is this: If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and smells like a duck, well, then it’s a duck. If a woman dresses like a harlot, she is a harlot. If a young girl is not already a harlot, she will shortly become one after being taught (or allowed) to dress like a harlot.

Do not be deceived.

Here is her Bible photo:

As a jewel of gold in a swine‘s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. [Proverbs 11:22]

Would you ask a pig on a date? You will if you ask her. She may look beautiful to your fleshly eyes, but behind that jewel of gold God sees a P-I-G!

In short, here are a few simple things to remember about godly adorning.

Ladies are to cover their nakedness. The thighs, from the waist to the knees, must be covered.

Clothing that reveals excess skin should not be worn. When men see skin where they usually don’t, it excites their desire.

Clothes that are too tight will arouse a man’s sexual passion. They are not to be worn.

Unfortunately, the world has given its stamp of approval to the attire of a harlot, even though God has not. Godly women have no business wearing worldly, seductive, attention-grabbing clothing. Adorn yourselves accordingly.

________________________________________________

7

Other Non-scriptural Arguments of “Real” Independent Baptists

1) What does this idiot know? How can he possibly understand what we really believe? What makes him the authority on our beliefs?

I was heavily involved in Independent Baptist churches where this doctrine was preached for more than seven years. I not only submitted to the Pastor, but supported him and “believed” that women should never wear pants. One day, I was challenged by another godly man on this issue. I was challenged to produce a sufficient scriptural defense of my belief. I hit the books. I went to the Bible and the dictionary and used whatever other relevant background information I could get my hands on. I was determined to finally prove to anybody that asked (and especially this “liberal” antagonist) that indeed women had no business in pants. Fortunately, I did prove something. I literally proved myself and my “belief” scripturally untenable. I went to prove one thing and ended up proving the opposite. Had Scripture proven that God intended for women to never wear pants that would have been the thesis of this book. It was not. I praise God in heaven for proving me wrong and setting me straight.

2) The “bathroom door” argument.

The favorite illustration of the crowd. The crowning glory of their “proof.” It goes like this: Take a person from China to America and they don’t have to know English to know which bathroom to use. For women it’s the door with the stick figure in the dress and for men it is the door with the stick figure in pants. Admittedly this will work for most men and women in the world today. But I have another man that has to go potty pretty badly (it’s natural you know). He doesn’t understand English either. In fact, he speaks Greek, specifically Koine Greek. He was born 2000 years ago, about the time of Christ. His name is Paul. He is an apostle. And he is advancing rather quickly toward the bathrooms. What are the chances he is going to recognize the figure in pants as designating the men’s bathroom? Chicken Little’s sky will fall first! He is going to walk straight into the room with the “skirted” figure. So much for the coveted bathroom argument. This “argument” would be sure to embarrass even the apostle Paul!

3) The “eyes focus immediately on the hips and crotch area of the woman wearing pants” argument.

The assertion is made that pants draw the attention naturally to the crotch area when viewed by another. This “experiment” has been performed for women by using other women as subjects. When large lifelike drawings were presented to ladies in a “church modesty class,” the subject ladies’ attention was drawn immediately to the crotch and groin area of the drawings of ladies in pants, but to the face of the ladies drawn in dresses. This naturally begs two questions.

First, does that mean that those same women constantly have their attention drawn to the crotches of men in pants, after all these women certainly don’t see men in dresses? Imagine a police officer trying to get a good description of a male suspect from one of these female witnesses. The conversation might progress like this…

“Yes, officer, I saw the suspect.”

“That’s great, ma’am, can you give me a description of the suspect?”

“Well, he looked like a man.”

“OK. OK. Good. We’re on a real roll here. Why do you say that?”

“He had on pants.”

“Ohhhh, I seeeeeee. Can you describe his face for me?”

“No, but he had on blue Levis with a broken zipper.”

“What else can you tell me about his appearance ma’am?”

“Uh, let’s see. Did I mention he had on pants?”

That officer is not gonna find that person even in a town of only 500 people. Lots of Levis there.

Second, have these people ever heard of a flawed environment. (Maybe not, as you learn about such things in college and that isn’t for women either.) Now, you take ladies that are in “real” Independent Baptist churches and put them in a room. You march in a woman in a loose-fitting dress and ask, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

They will look closely and may or may not find something wrong. Next, you march in a woman in a pair of pants and ask the same question. They will immediately notice that the woman has on pants every time. That is not a true test. That is a biased test! A truly unbiased test environment can be found at the mall. “But they are unsaved!”, the crowd quips, “What do they know?” Oh, I’m sorry. Forgive me, but I thought it was the natural tendency to look at the crotch we were trying to prove, not the “real” Independent Baptist tendency to focus on the crotch! And this is “proof” that women don’t belong in pants? Quick, call Charlie Darwin. He needs proof. Maybe women in pants are the missing link!

4) The “why do women need pants all of the sudden when dresses sufficed for thousands of years” argument.

Here is the “why do men need pants all of the sudden when robes sufficed for thousands of years” answer.

5) The Isaiah 4:1 argument.

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. [Isaiah 4:1]

This is used to show that women have their own apparel and that men are not to touch it. Well, what kind of bread is for women only? Please help! I hope I haven’t eaten any! If I do, should I head immediately for the Ipecac and spue it?

This is not at all what “wear our own apparel” is talking about in this verse. They were saying “let us be called by thy name,” or in other words let us be married (take the man’s name) but we will not require you to pay for our clothes nor for our food. We will support ourselves and pay for our own necessities. To even imply that this has anything to do with “no pants on women” is at best dishonest and at worst treacherous.

6) The word “apparel” is defined in the old Oxford English Dictionary as a “loose, long flowing garment” argument.

I am assuming this is the true definition given in the named dictionary as I have not checked it for myself. I did not need to in order to make this argument look silly. The argument is that Paul, in the “modest apparel” of 1 Timothy 2:9, meant specifically that women should wear only “loose, long flowing garments.” Well, in that case some of you ladies had better take off those “modest dresses” and get some real “loose, long flowing garments.” And, you men, you had better put on some apparel also…

I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. [Acts 20:33]

And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; [Acts 1:10]

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; [James 2:2]

I really want to be there when the first man walks into the Knee-Length Baptist Church in his goodly “loose, long flowing garment” (spelled “apparel” in the old Oxford English Dictionary). “Do you hear laughter Ramses?” Let’s simply say it will be a cold day in the Lake of Fire when that happens.

We have come to the end of this dissertation. This is the conclusion of the matter. When we look to the Word of God, we see that it is only too obvious that the strange “doctrine” of “women in dresses only” is simply a “doctrine of men.”

One more thing, just for fun. Let’s see Noah Webster’s definition for “breeches.”

BREECHES, n. A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs. It is now a close garment; but the word formerly was used for a loose garment, now called trowsers, laxoe braccoe.

Let’s see, originally it was a loose fitting garment covering the hips and thighs.” Now, exactly what would that describe today? Culottes! You couldn’t come up with a better definition for culottes if I stood over you with a pop-gun! For years now, the “dresses-only / no breeches” women have been wearing the very “breeches” they despise without even knowing they had them on! Could it be they who have been the real abominations to God for all these years? I’ll leave that one for you to decide.

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One Response to Do Godly Women Wear Pants?

  1. Charles says:

    Interesting subject matter, and necessary to face it, as so many foolish fallacies are afloat on the subject. People read the Bible through the eyes of whatever happens to be prevailing habits of the moment. The church has shifted from universally opposing women in pants to closer to universal acceptance. But God isn’t silly putty, and cannot be changed just because majority views change. Which majority was wrong? Those who said women can’t wear pants. Today we have another majority in the wrong—the “skirts are women’s clothes” faction. Did Christ not understand Deut 22:5? In Luke 7 we read His view that the (skirted) centurion had the greatest faith of all. Having the greatest faith and being commended by Christ cannot be the same person as “abomination” to God. Pants were invented for horseback riding. Far more men than women rode, leaving women in skirts and men switching to pants largely before 1500AD. Factory work in World War 2 put women into pants far more rapidly than horseback riding put men into pants. Social forces, not gender, have caused almost all clothing behavior. I don’t see any rational reason why men should wear bras, but the Greek army has a unit of men in skirts, who are “dressed like men,” also having facial hair, the scriptural garment of male identification. It’s a stunning example of mass hypnosis mythology that people believe placing the legs into 2 tubes of fabric, or together under one tube of fabric, is a sex difference!

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