What About Women Wearing Pants?
For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the counsel of God. -Acts 20:27-
"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, AND WEAR OUR OWN APPAREL." -Isaiah 4:1a-
What does the Bible say about a saved woman wearing pants? Is it even an issue with God? Or is it merely a matter of preference or opinion to be left up to individuals to do what is right in their own eyes? Since we believe the Bible, more specifically, the King James Bible, to be the FINAL AUTHORITY (not tradition, opinions, or how one "feels" led), let's start there.
Deuteronomy 22:5 - "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." After reading this verse, what things pop into your mind? Earrings and necklaces on men, long hair on men, short hair on women, dresses on men, and of course, pants on women. Notice the word "abomination" is used to describe how God feels about cross-dressing.
I looked it up in Webster's Dictionary. "abom.i.na.tion"= 'extreme disgust and hatred' : LOATHING! That's pretty strong language, wouldn't you say?
While most church members react in disgust to Sodomites who parade down the street in dresses, they readily accept and even defend women wearing pants. According to God's Word, it is no more of an abomination for a man to wear a dress than it is for a woman to wear a pair of pants. "Yeah, but that's in the Old Testament, so it doesn't apply to Christians today." Ah yes, the battle cry of the liberal and the carnal church member. Let's deal with this objection by considering some other abominations found in the Old Testament.
Leviticus 18:22 - Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 - If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Would anyone care to argue that sodomy is no longer an abomination unto God? This principle is repeated in the New Testament (Romans 1:23-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9.)
Proverbs 6:16-19 - These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Do we now have liberty to sow discord among the brethren? To be prideful? To lie? To kill innocent people? Of course not! It would be absurd to think so. These principles are also repeated in the New Testament (Matthew 5:22; 15:19, Mark 7:21-22, Luke 1:51, Acts 5:3, Romans 1:25; 1:30; 12:10, 1 Corinthians 8:12-13, Galatians 5:21, Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:9, 1 Timothy 1:9; 3:6; 6:3-4, 2 Timothy 3:2, James 4:6, 1 Peter 3:5; 4:15, 1 John 2:11; 2:16; 2:21; 3:4; 3:15). People seem to be playing "pick-n-choose" with Old Testament verses. They want the twenty-third Psalm, the hundredth Psalm, and all the OT verses that won't affect their lifestyle, but then they try to explain away any OT verse that would have any effect on how they live.
2 Timothy 3:16 - "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and IS PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Is not Deuteronomy 22:5 scripture? If so, then it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Preachers, will you be like so many of the liberals of today and cut these verses out of your Bible as Jehoiakim did? Or will you stand like Paul and be able to say, "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, " Acts 20:20
"Yeah, but I thought all guidelines for how a Christian is supposed to live were in the New Testament"
Let's look at 1 Corinthians 10:1-11. "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
Throughout this passage Paul continually uses the Old Testament to prove something. Focus on verses 6 and 11. Paul tells us that those OT writings are for us today. I suppose Paul would be called a legalist or a Pharisee by todays liberals. Just because something is in the OT does not negate it from being applicable for us in the church age. Any commandment or teaching in the OT that is repeated in the NT is for us.
"Yeah, but Deuteronomy 22:5 is not repeated in the New Testament"
Wrong. In fact, the New Testament is even more specific. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, " . . . that women adorn themselves in modest apparel . . ." "Apparel" today is a very general term that means "any article of clothing." But did you know that in 1611 the word "apparel" meant "loose, long flowing garment?" Look it up in an old Oxford English Dictionary that has the archaic meanings of words. Furthermore, the Greek word is katastole which is an EXACTING WORD, and it is the ONLY place in the Bible where it is used. There are lots of words for clothing, attire, etc., but this word comes from a verb form which means "to lower." It denoted a loose-fitting outer garment, which was LONG. Paul used this word specifically to tell women that they are to wear long DRESSES. Pants, miniskirts, tight dresses, etc. can not fit the definition of this exacting word. Consult your Vine's Dictionary for verification of this word definition. The fact that God wants a CLEAR distinction between the appearance of a man and a woman is also repeated in 1 Corinthians 11 when Paul deals with the issue of hair length. God is very concerned with the outward appearance of a saved person. To believe otherwise is to profess ignorance of the Word of God.
"Yeah, but what makes you think that pants are a man's garment?"
Good question. I have a four part answer to this which demonstrates that pants always pertain to men, even today.
1. "Breeches" were an article of clothing designed by God for the priests who were all men. The word does not occur very often in scripture, but in every case it's men's apparel (Exodus 28:42, Leviticus 6:10; 16:4). According to my Hebrew lexicon, "breeches" means "trousers that extend to the knee, below the knee, or to the ankles." This would include pants, shorts, or culottes.
2. Until the advent of Hollywood and the movie screen, everyone (including lost people) knew that pants were men's apparel and dresses were women's apparel, and they dressed accordingly. Our culture's (and sadly most churches') acceptance of cross-dressing has resulted largely from the influence of television, the placement of women in the workforce, and the pressures of twentieth century feminism.
3. The universal symbol for designating a men's bathroom is a stick figure wearing a pair of pants. The universal symbol for designating a woman's bathroom is a stick figure wearing a dress. Coincidence? Hardly. Even our sinful society recognizes that there is a difference in a man's and woman's clothing.
4. Pants are a symbol of authority, as evidenced by the saying " I'm the one who wears the pants in the family." Sadly, most women might as well wear the pants, since they rule their homes anyway!
"Yeah, but pants are not really that immodest"
The following is from What in the World Should I Wear? by Mrs. Cathy Corle:
"A friend of mine told me that her decision to restrict her wardrobe to dresses and skirts came as a result of a ladies' class. All the arguments and reasons that could be given were unheeded until the lady who was speaking said, 'Let me just demonstrate something to you.' She asked the ladies in the audience to close their eyes momentarily. She held up a large picture of a woman in an attractive, modest feminine skirt and blouse. She asked the ladies to open their eyes. Then she inquired, 'What is the primary focal point to this picture? Where did your eyes first fall naturally?' The audience agreed that their eyes were first drawn to the face of the woman in the picture. "She once again asked the ladies to close their eyes. When they opened their eyes they were looking at a large poster of a woman in a sport shirt and blue jeans. She asked, 'Now, be honest with yourselves, and tell me where your eyes first fell naturally when you looked at this picture?' Many of the ladies in the crowd were surprised to find that most people's eyes first focused upon the hips and crotch area that were so vividly emphasized before they ever noticed the woman's face. "If this happened in a crowd of ladies, how much more would it be true of men? For my friend, Joetta, this was all the 'evidence' that was needed."
To this I say, "AMEN!" Christian women should always be aware of Matthew 5:28, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. " "Yeah, but wearing pants may be wrong for some saved women, but I'm not 'convicted' about it." So you're not "convicted" about wearing pants? Big deal. Does that give you permission to rebel against the Word of God? You must ask yourself, "What is the FINAL AUTHORITY on deciding what I believe and how I live? The Bible? Or how I 'feel' convicted?"
Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Proverbs 14:12 - "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Human feelings are very deceptive. We cannot rely on them. Any "leading" you may feel to do or not to do something that is contrary to the Word of God is not of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit NEVER leads contrary to the Bible, but He always leads according to the Bible.
Ephesians 6:17 - "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
1 John 5:7-8 - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
Many people claim not to be "convicted" about forsaking church attendance, drinking alcohol, smoking, gambling, cursing, fornication, adultery, and all manner of activities clearly forbidden in the Bible, but that does not make it all right for them to do these things. 1 John 4:1 warns us, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." To try and say that wearing pants may be wrong for some saved women and not for others is to engage in moral relativism which strips all authority from God's Word.
God does not have two sets of standards. He is no respecter of persons. Acts 10:34 - "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."
Wearing pants is either wrong for ALL saved women, or it is wrong for none. In deciding if something is right or wrong, our first consideration must ALWAYS be what the Word of God says, not how we may "feel convicted."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 - Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Follow the Bible, and you'll be doing what is right. Follow your feelings, emotions, leadings, etc. , and who knows what you'll be doing?
"Yeah, but wearing pants is not really that big of an issue, and they are much more comfortable and practical to wear"
It's kind of funny that for nearly 6000 years, women always wore long dresses, but only since the last 40 years, a dress is suddenly "impractical" to wear. You cannot change history to validate what you want to make acceptable for today. Nowadays, women think that they cannot so much as rake a few leaves without adorning themselves in a pair of pants. If you saw a man wearing a dress, what would you call him? Uh-huh, you would have no trouble knowing that it was wrong, and an abomination to God (even if his dress had a fly). But we have been conditioned by the world and erring brethren that a pair of pants is a good and acceptable thing for a woman to wear today. Just because it is common does not make it right. In fact, I believe that it is all part of Satan's plan to further defile mankind by mixing the genders.
Have you noticed how wimpy the boys are getting and how masculine the girls are getting? Women's sports are becoming the rage. We would rather have our girls learn how to "Kill 'em on the court" than to learn to be chaste and skilled at homemaking. This is how we have come to put women in military combat positions. We would have never even considered this 20 years ago, but now we are eliminating the difference in the sexes that God made. Oh there will always be a difference in gender, because there HAS to be. But now, the emphasis is not on the beauty of a girl's femininity (which brings out the masculinity in a man). NOW the emphasis is the difference in BODY PARTS! There is no longer the striking difference between a beautiful woman in feminine attire, long pretty hair, and a masculine man that practices chivalry. (Put a real feminine woman around a man and see how chivalrous he becomes.)
Now the difference is emphasized in her physical body difference, which is leads to lust and a degradation of womanhood! (and manhood too). A feminine woman is in her rightful place of an elevated position. But as soon as she steps down off her pedestal to wear pants and be "equal" to a man, it drags everybody down, which is exactly what Satan wants. The devil is still whispering in Eve's ear to destroy mankind. If you look at it, you'll find it was usually the woman that lead in the matters of sin and error. You can begin at the garden, through Israel's idolatrous apostasy and even into recent history, with cults, Charasmania, and other errors. Now the boys are wearing earrings and have long hair, while the girls are wearing pants and chopping their hair off, even though this is forbidden in scripture (1 Corinthians 11). To top it off, most preachers will not preach against short hair and pants because this would affect a majority of the women in his congregation including his wife and daughters! (Say amen right there.)
Although I am a man, I have testimonies of women who say that an ankle length dress is far more comfortable than a pair of pants. But the ultimate question that you are going to have to ask yourself is this, "What's more important? Being comfortable? Or obeying the Word of God?" I think we all know the answer to that one.
In the end It does not matter where you go in life; What you do in life; Or what you have in life. It's Who you've got living inside you! Rom 8:9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.