Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What Does This Verse Mean and How Does It Apply? You Tell Me

This verse:
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."

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Here's how we will do this. You answer the question in the title. I will comment. Let's not make the same point twice. I won't post repeats. I am only going to show the first comment before I comment. Then I'll show another one, and comment. And we will keep going until we think we have finished. You begin.

32 comments:

reglerjoe said...

That verse means that men and women should not purposefully dress like the opposite gender.

Transvestitism is an abomination to God, and blurs the line between the genders.

Ed Bob said...

Verse commands men and women not to reverse their sexual roles. Today role rejections are common. There and men who want to become women and women who want to become men. God had a purpose in making us uniquely male and female. It offends God using the style to act out a different sex role.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I can't disagree with what either Regler Joe and Ed Bob have written. I believe the verse definitely forbids what both of these men talked about.

How far does it go though and how much more might it forbid?

Anyone else?

It certainly sounds bad, an abomination to God. I wouldn't want to involve myself with that.

KP said...

I would agree with both commentors.

How far it goes is probably a matter of opinion and something that should be prayed about by each individual.

Women are often times held to the standard of skirts only or culottes. I have to disagree with this because in other cultures, men wear robes or kilts.

Modesty is also an issue and it should be very carefully considered. There have been several times in my life where I have changed clothes because I felt I was not honoring God.

Kent Brandenburg said...

OK, more comments, thanks KP. What is a transvestite, Reglerjoe? "A person who assumes the dress associated with the opposite sex." Question: What is male dress? What is the dress associated with the opposite sex?

KP, Does the verse say anything about modesty? I know of verses that do, but this one doesn't, that I see. Could you tell me how it says anything about modesty?

We get our meaning of a verse from the words. What are the meaning of the words here.

Three parts to the verse:
Part One: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man.
Part Two: A man shall not put on a woman's garment.
Part Three: All that do either part one or part two are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

More comments from you, then more from me.

Anonymous said...

Excellent food for thought. But, if memory serves me correctly...you rather touched on this subject several times previously. I do believe you received numerous varieties of anwers..True?

Regardless I think the verse speaks for itself.

Men do not look good in womens clothes; with body piercing; long hair. I know the age old argument that "Jesus had long hair"...Maybe, and when one gets to be Jesus.....he may have long hair!!

Like wise women do not look attractive in mens clothing and yes indeed, modesty plays on both parts. I recently attended a church and the choir was elevated. Skirts were extremely short, some had on shorts and Tshirts and that was the women. Men were just as immodest. I left as I was very much embarassed. People all around me were commenting on the looks.

Remember, "we are the likeness of Christ"; made in His image. We are the vision that lost people see.
What kind of message are you sending?

My Daddy use to say..."Show me a guy with a skirt and cowboy boots and I'll show you a Dairy Queen"!

ILA

kp said...

Pastor Brandenburg,

You are right, the verse does not say anything about modesty. I was thinking of other verses.

Thanks,
KP

Kent Brandenburg said...

ILA,
You started out with positive---"food for thought"---and then you came with the counter, the left jab flicking out---I've already written on this. Yes, I did the satirical "Men's Skirt." One, out of a 175 blog posts. It was not anything exegetical. Plus, I have a book essentially finished, Fashion Statement: The Issue of Biblical Dress. This warms up to that. :)

You were correct with: "I think the verse speaks for itself." That's true, but few have noticed. Your anecdotes were good---"dairy queen."

Now, back to the verse. When we look at the words, which many other commentators have done in the past, important to interpretation: "that which pertaineth unto." It is an article, a "garment" parallel with the second half of the verse, but it has the sense of "designed for." A woman cannot have on an article of clothing designed for men.

God designed men and women and He wants us to glorify Him by agreeing with that design.

Question: What is the man's garment? Do we have one in American culture any more?

Anonymous said...

Kent,

from what I have read, the words "that which pertaineth" mean those "utencils" that a man would use either in his trade or in war. The word "man" (from what I have read) can actually be translated "warrior." Some of the nations of that day had their women fighting along side their men. This could be one explanation why women weren't to put on "that which pertaineth to a man." God didn't want women engaging in war but to be "keepers at home." I don't know if I believe that is exactly what the verse refers to. Perhaps this is more plausible. This was written to OT Jews, right? The Jews had just come from Egypt where women engaged in business while men kept the home. The women also fought along side the men. God didn't want that. The Jews were heading into the land of Canaan where there were some pretty weird religous practices going on. One of those practices was that men would make sacrifice to their "god" in womens clothing and the women would make sacrifice in men's armour. Since God knew the Israelites were going to be in the land of Canaan is it possible he was forbidding these common practices? Men and women of those days dressed very similar. I have looked at "renderings" of what the people of that day dressed like and there is hardly any distinction between men and women.

Mark said...

Kent,

You said ‘What is the man's garment? Do we have one in American culture any more?’

If I understand where you seem to be heading with this, it does not seem that the bible is saying that there must always be a particular type of garment inherently associated with the man. Since the bible does not directly specify what would be considered men’s or women’s clothing, I believe it would, to a large (not complete) extent be determined by culture.

To phrase another way, as far as this verse is concerned, it believe if a man is wearing a particular article of clothing, what is required is to make sure it is not something that ‘pertaineth to the woman’. I do not see that the verse requires us to say ‘what is it about that article of clothing he is wearing that makes it distinctly male?’. The verse is, as I see it, against the perversion of cross dressing, ie people trying to dress in a manner culturally associated with the other gender, not saying every item of clothing must be classified as pertaining to either men or women.

Kent Brandenburg said...

OK, Thanks for the comments, first, completely anonymous, and then Mark. I appreciate your participation. What you are saying do represent a modern position on these verses. Of course, since they have been written, they haven't changed meaning. I would think that you, like me, take a strict contructionist, originalist, point of view as it regards Scripture. We ask, how did people understand it that were hearing it in that day? We are not closed off by history from understanding the words. And then we can see how God's people have understood this verse.

First, Anonymous, I suggest paragraphs in your comments. People will like reading it more.

Keli (translated "pertaineth") has the sense of "relating" and "fitting." Some garments fit only men and others relate only to women. Some articles of clothing are not distinctly male or female. BDAG (Third Edition, The University of Chicago Press, 2000, Electronic Edition), the foremost Greek lexicon, agrees on this point under the entry of keli, saying "that which pertaineth" in Deut. 22:5 is clothing due to the parallel with the second half of the verse. The Hebrew demands that it is speaking of a distinctly male garment. We have always had a distinct male garment in our culture until recently.

Anonymous, the point of using geber for "man" instead of adam is that geber is definitively masculine, not just man in general. Those who take the "warrior" argument are stretching it, because there is a specific word for "warrior," gibbor, and that is not the word used here. What makes it a total stretch, an invention, is that the second part of the verse then speaks of the man not wearing the woman's garment.

Anonymous, you read a tremendous amount into the text, extrapolating much into, when you ought to take the obvious reading of the words. If you read a commentary that is not the most conservative, Expositor's Bible Commentary, well-respected among moderns even, in the volume on Deuteronomy says that there is absolutely no evidence of the copying of Canaanite practice of which you speak. That is complete speculation.

Mark, I'm not heading anywhere with this. I'm looking at the verse and based on the words, telling you what this means. This is also what Christians have said in books since Gutenberg's printing press was invented. We also see it as the practice in America until Christians began to fold under the culture, and being an abomination to God was less important than fitting in.

Mark, if it were a prohibition of cross dressing, there are easy ways that could have been expressed. Again, that is not a historic position and it does not take the simple meaning of the Words. "Homosexual theologians" do not believe that Genesis 19 forbids homosexuality, but homosexual gang rape. "Feminist theologians" have brand new views on 1 Timothy 2:9-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:29-35, but I want us to just look at the words.

The words say that it is an abomination if a woman puts on the garment distinctly designed for men, and then vice versa. We have always had that garment.

Anonymous, the robe argument, that you bring into this text is a red herring. Here's how: There was a male robe and a female robe. The woman would not wear the male robe and the man would not wear the female robe. One was designed for men by a culture that honored those distinctions based on God's Wor, and another was designed for women by a culture that exalted God's wisdom in His design of the woman.

I'll comment more as we move along, but this is enough for now. Changing a historic interpretation and practice should not be so easy, especially when it is said to be an abomination.

kp said...

I have always found this discussion very interesting. And I agree this verse should be taken as written.

As far as the question of a distinct male garment in American culture today, I would say yes there are many.

Mens suits, shirts, ties, coats, etc. Pants are always going to be an issue because some believers say they are distinctly male only others, myself included, disagree.

Mens clothes and womens clothes have different cuts, styles, etc. I would not wear my husband's suit and tie and he would not wear my pink capris.

Unfortunately in our culture today, we have "gender neutral" dress by men and women and I definitely think that is an abomination to God.

kp

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks KP,

I haven't said the "P" word in the post or in my comments, that five letter word "P****." Of course "P****" are not a man's garment. "P****" are for men and women. And skirts and dresses are for only women. Women have the female item. They never wore "P****" because that was the distinctive male item. Then that changed. Women began cross-dressing.

People were against it at first. Christians were against it a lot longer, like Christians were against a lot of things much longer. The resistance eroded, and now the culture has replaced the male item with? Nothing. The man has no item distinctly his in this culture. Have you noticed the role of man? What is the man's role in our culture? Breadwinner. No. He doesn't have one in this culture.

The verse does not say "dress different." It says, "Women, don't put on the male garment," and "Men, don't put on the female garment." Some will say, "There are men's "P****" and women's "P****." The female version is shaped like a woman in the woman's size. The male version is shaped like a man in the man's size. The female version is tighter (consider the point of this). In other words, they are the same. The culture nor Christians would reject a woman wearing a pair bought in the men's department---they would just need to be big enough to fit---if they did fit, then they would be women's because a woman was wearing them. In other words, no distinction here exists whatsoever, except that the female version is usually tighter and form fitting.


People can tell the difference. God can tell the difference. That's not the point. God wants us to honor His design. Disobeying this prohibition is an abomination to God, uniquely offensive to His nature as Creator.

Mark said...

Kent,

Thanks for your reply. I would offer my respectful thoughts.

You said: “The verse does not say "dress different." It says, "Women, don't put on the male garment," and "Men, don't put on the female garment."”

My contention would be that there is no way to prove biblically that pants (or any other article of clothing) are the male garment. They might have been in the past, but culture has changed, and I do not see the biblical warrant to outright condemn such a change as sinful.

So if things have changed such that pants (or any other type of clothing) are no longer seen as belonging to a particular gender, how can we say they ‘pertaineth to a man’? Again, I would suggest that the idea that pants are man’s clothes is a cultural concept, not a biblical one. Hence I do not see how a change can be condemned from the bible.

You said: “Anonymous, the robe argument, that you bring into this text is a red herring. Here's how: There was a male robe and a female robe. The woman would not wear the male robe and the man would not wear the female robe. One was designed for men by a culture that honored those distinctions based on God's Wor, and another was designed for women by a culture that exalted God's wisdom in His design of the woman.”

If there can be a male robe and a female robe, I am a little unsure why you would not say there can be male pants and female pants. I understand your point that there is little distinction between today’s male and female pants. Even if this were so, that does not make women wearing pants inherently evil, that just means the clothes need to be designed better, doesn’t it?

You said: “The resistance eroded, and now the culture has replaced the male item with? Nothing. The man has no item distinctly his in this culture.”

If we focus solely on the verse in your post, Deut 22:5, I am not sure that verse necessitates that the man must have a distinct item of dress to call his own. The verse simply says that if an item of clothing belongs to women, men must not wear it. And vice-versa. But what whether item X pertains to a particular gender is something that can change, to the extent that the Lord has not given us his opinion on item X. I believe men should dress like men and women should dress like women. I believe the way our culture has developed has made it harder to do so distinctly. But I believe that in general when looking at a person we can judge if that person is attempting to dress like the opposite sex. You may disagree with me. But I do not believe we need to hold on to cultural traditions that are not mandated in the bible.

Gary Johnson said...

"Breeches" is found five times in the Bible. In each instance a male is found wearing them. Breeches is an older term for pants. Therefore in the Bible it pertaineth to the male. Why do so many professing Christians have a hard time with this issue. Is it a matter of not walking after the Spirit? Is it rebellion? Is is just a love for the world, its fashions, its acceptance?

Sally said...

This verse was key in making my decision to give up my trousers. Modesty aside, what truly God-fearing and Christ-loving lady (please differentiate from “woman”) wants to be an abomination to the Lord? God dealt with me very personally about this issue over ten years ago. I was afraid to know the truth, because I felt comfortable in my pants, liked the way I looked in them, and didn’t want to be classed as a fanatic by my neighbors, co-workers, and even fellow church members. However, that word “abomination” wouldn’t leave me alone. I couldn’t find an example of anything in the OT that God called “abominable”, that he changed his mind about later. God sees ladies in pants the same way he sees sodomy, lying, and the things that are highly esteemed among men. It is sin. Abomination.

When I was first saved, I was clueless. I didn’t even know there was an issue with dress. When I first heard of it, I had all the standard excuses. I could not understand WHY it was abominable to God, but that is because I had not obeyed him. When I did surrender my will it was with much wrestling and many tears. John 7:17 says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine…” Through the years God has made it plain to me over and over again why it is wrong for women to wear pants, and how he can use a lady who is surrendered in this area. I can’t believe the liberal men who have answered this post, justifying the cultural norm. How can “abomination” be left to personal interpretation? Do you mean that it is abominable to my God, but not yours?? Can you men really tell me that your eyes are not automatically drawn to a woman’s crotch or backside when she is wearing pants?? If you try to tell me the first thing you see is her face, you are dishonest.

I did not get a grasp on this matter until I had been saved for several years. I thank the Lord for his long-suffering towards me, and pray that I might be as gentle in leading other clueless ladies to do right as the woman was who first showed me my sin in this area.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Gary,

Hello, and thanks for the contribution.

I won't argue with you on breeches. If someone were to look up the Hebrew word, in the best lexicons, he would see "drawers" or "trousers." They are designed only for men. I would still call that an corollary argument or a complementary argument. Why? Someone could argue that they were designed for only the priest. I think that is a weak argument against the breeches argument. Also breeches were undergarments in those passages, so they didn't actually differentiate. Yet, they are exclusively male in the Bible. It adds to the overall Scriptural presentation.

Sally, thanks for piping in from a perspective. And folks, I don't know who Sally is, so she isn't a plant. Here we are speaking purely about what the Bible says. If someone loves God, then "abomination to God" should make this a more serious matter. I've seen many professing believers call this a peripheral, second tier issue; "abomination to God" says otherwise.

kp said...

Pastor B,

Your, Sally & Gary's comments were interesting and I do not dismiss the opinion of other bible-believers out of hand. Abomination is a very serious matter and one that should not be trivialized.

Sally did get around to the modesty issue too. Suggesting that pants are not.I would like to say that Christian ladies should not wear tight/form fitting pants or anything else. This does not honor God and is a violation of other verses in His Word; plain and simple it is sinful.

Many islamic women dress much more modestly than most American women, Christian or otherwise. Where is the line? Actually this is off topic, sorry.

You mentioned that men in our culture have no distinct garment and/or possibly role? ("bread winner") Do you think this verse is also talking about rebellion?

Regarding your comment about women who began cross-dressing.I have only seen a few things about women in pants in the US historically. Some say it began as a fashion statement. Is this bad even if they were made distinctly feminine? Can it ever be just be a practicality issue, such as for comfort, warmth, different types of work, chores, or activities, etc?

Thanks,
kp

Kent Brandenburg said...

KP,

It is true that I held you to leaving out modesty and didn't mention it for Sally. Duly noted. And then you were asking whether the role issue is in the verse? I believe it is in the verse. If you study "abomination," you find that this has to do with design. It personally offends God. He personally made us and we rebel against Him in the most fundamental way when we rebel against His design. That's why this is so serious.

The "abomination" brings these two prohibitions back to creation order, man's headship and woman's helpmeet. Confusion in appearance rebels against God's design, which relates to the roles. That's why a parallel passage in the NT, 1 Cor. 11:2-16, comes in here as well on this subject.

But yes, KP, Sally took it off topic too on the "modesty" side.

On the final question, making the man's item more feminine is better than not in my opinion, but it is still the distinctly male item. It is still putting on the man's article of clothing. Our society put pants on women purposefully to remove distinctions. Those distinctions have never been replaced because the point was removing them. That I know of, secular and Christian, there has been no deliniation made between mens and womens pants. Why? People don't care about doing it. They won't confront a woman who has on a pair of "men's pants" because it isn't even an issue. The only time it comes up as an argument is at a time like this, not as an actual position, because it isn't one.

Sally said...

KP,I want to clarify something. The verse says, "...for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." It's not the act -- it's the person doing it, which is abominable to God! That's scary to me! (Or used to be.)

Where did I get on modesty? If you perceive my comments about men's reactions to women in pants to be about modesty, they were not intended to be so. I am thinking that maybe one of the reasons (in addition to those given by Pastor Brandenberg) why cross-dressing is abominable to God is that the men he created to love him with a pure heart are not able to KEEP a pure heart when they are confronted with the sight of a woman in pants.

KP, are you married? If so, what does your husband think of your pants? No doubt he likes the way you look in them, but does he believe you have a GODLY appearance in them? This was important to me at the time when I was personally faced with this issue. And no, I am not talking about modesty. I am talking about godliness. It is not a small matter - this is probably the single most devisive, explosive topic there is among Christian women.

Totally off-topic (smile -- Pastor Brandenberg, feel free to edit this out if you feel so inclined), an interesting thing to look at is the Modesty Survey conducted by the young men at www.therebelution.com. More than 1600 professing Christian men recently responded to 148 questions about how women's dress affects them.

Derek Makri said...

I am all for modesty etc., but this Scripture is not about that. It is about, as others have said, cross dressing--which does go on today.

I love how preachers will use this verse as their proof text against women wearing pants, but they never keep it in context and do not mention verse 11. If verse 5 is saying it is sin for women to wear pants then the preachers are in sin too for wearing a wool suit with a cotton shirt on.

kp said...

Thanks for this post. It has been a very interesting one. I have been given food for thought and will definitely be studying more, Scripturally and historically.

Thanks,
kp

Kent Brandenburg said...

Derek,

The position that Dt. 22:5 is ceremonial or judicial is a novel position, not supported historically or contextually. Something or someone that is an abomination to God in the OT is always moral, and God didn't do away with the moral law. He didn't do away with the law period (Mt. 5:17-19). We do keep the spirit of the ceremonial and judicial law; that would be to keep the law lawfully. Paul used the law not to muzzle the ox in support of his argument for the right to support in 1 Cor. 9, and there are other NT usages that validate the law. The law in v. 11 was judicial and was a means by which Israel kept distinct as a people from other nations. Separation and distinctiveness is still the spirit of it, but since that particular law was judicial in nature, we don't keep the letter of it any longer. Moral laws stay intact.

All preachers preached against pants for centuries. It wasn't until the 20th century with the rise of feminism and the unisex movement that this kind of preaching stopped in many circles. Today most people are ignorant about it, and have been duped on what this verse says. Almost every old commentary would take our point of view.

I don't like the word cross-dressing to interpret this verse, first, because it isn't the same thing as what the verse says, and, second, it has a different connotation today.

KP, Thanks for your interaction. You too, Sally. Come back any time.

Terry McGovern said...

Kent said,

"The position that Dt. 22:5 is ceremonial or judicial is a novel position, not supported historically or contextually. Something or someone that is an abomination to God in the OT is always moral, and God didn't do away with the moral law. He didn't do away with the law period (Mt. 5:17-19). We do keep the spirit of the ceremonial and judicial law; that would be to keep the law lawfully. Paul used the law not to muzzle the ox in support of his argument for the right to support in 1 Cor. 9, and there are other NT usages that validate the law. The law in v. 11 was judicial and was a means by which Israel kept distinct as a people from other nations. Separation and distinctiveness is still the spirit of it, but since that particular law was judicial in nature, we don't keep the letter of it any longer. Moral laws stay intact.

All preachers preached against pants for centuries. It wasn't until the 20th century with the rise of feminism and the unisex movement that this kind of preaching stopped in many circles. Today most people are ignorant about it, and have been duped on what this verse says. Almost every old commentary would take our point of view."

Great points/s!

Ruth said...

Well...knowing I am close to Pastor B's age...sorta, I am not sure it is an "old" commentary, however virtious. The scripture does not mince words about what is moral or immoral...right or wrong.
I have often heard the argument that the old testament laws were just that...OLD!!

Not sure I agree with all that. I do know that woman can "wear" many things that pertain to a man..not just apparel. I was raised that ladies do not dress as men, but also that they did not "behave" as a man. Likewise with the men not like ladies. I can think of times that women are better off wearing those long pants (breeches) for the sake of what they are doing and their modesty.

Anything that is an abomination unto the Lord....is just that.

The important issue is "How do you wear it?" Can I look at you and know reagardless of your breeches or skirt you are God's child? You are living the gospel?
Now men if you have body piercing and long hair (you should be blessed KB) or pony tail....well

......Come and see us...up here on

Blessings Hill
Ruth

Todd Mitchell said...

This verse is an excellent example of how God expects us to be culturally literate and to bring extra-biblical knowledge to bear on the application of Scripture. This is important because many people deny this, despite their own practice of it.

All Biblical principles are applied to our lives along with some extra-biblical knowledge.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mark,

I'm sorry that your second post did not show up until now. I think it was put in a trash bin or something. I'll answer yours in CAPS.

My contention would be that there is no way to prove biblically that pants (or any other article of clothing) are the male garment. They might have been in the past, but culture has changed, and I do not see the biblical warrant to outright condemn such a change as sinful.

THIS KIND OF APPLICATION SMACKS OF POSTMODERNISM. WE CAN'T BE SURE. WE CAN'T KNOW. SO WHAT HAPPENS? WE DON'T OBEY THE VERSE. WHEN CULTURE ERODES A BIBLICAL STANDARD AND THE CHURCH DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT, IT DOESN'T BECOME RIGHT.

So if things have changed such that pants (or any other type of clothing) are no longer seen as belonging to a particular gender, how can we say they ‘pertaineth to a man’? Again, I would suggest that the idea that pants are man’s clothes is a cultural concept, not a biblical one. Hence I do not see how a change can be condemned from the bible.

THIS VERSE DOES REFER TO CULTURAL CONCEPTS, AND HEAD-COVERING (1 COR. 11) DISAPPEARED AS A FEMALE SYMBOL, BUT IT WAS REPLACED.

You said: “Anonymous, the robe argument, that you bring into this text is a red herring. Here's how: There was a male robe and a female robe. The woman would not wear the male robe and the man would not wear the female robe. One was designed for men by a culture that honored those distinctions based on God's Wor, and another was designed for women by a culture that exalted God's wisdom in His design of the woman.”

If there can be a male robe and a female robe, I am a little unsure why you would not say there can be male pants and female pants. I understand your point that there is little distinction between today’s male and female pants. Even if this were so, that does not make women wearing pants inherently evil, that just means the clothes need to be designed better, doesn’t it?

WE DON'T HAVE THAT DISTINCTION MADE, BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE PANTS. IT ISN'T A DISTINCTION OUR CULTURE MAKES. NO CHRISTIAN GROUP THAT I HAVE SEEN OR EVEN KNOW OF HAS MADE A DISTINCTION. I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED THIS. THERE IS NO DISTINCTION. IF A WOMAN BOUGHT A PAIR OF PANTS IN THE MEN'S DEPARTMENT AND WORE THEM, NO ONE WOULD ACCUSE HER OF WEARING THE MALE GARMENT. THERE IS NO MALE GARMENT TODAY.

You said: “The resistance eroded, and now the culture has replaced the male item with? Nothing. The man has no item distinctly his in this culture.”

If we focus solely on the verse in your post, Deut 22:5, I am not sure that verse necessitates that the man must have a distinct item of dress to call his own.

THE WOMAN NOT WEARING THE MALE ITEM NECESSITATES A MALE ITEM.

The verse simply says that if an item of clothing belongs to women, men must not wear it. And vice-versa. But what whether item X pertains to a particular gender is something that can change, to the extent that the Lord has not given us his opinion on item X. I believe men should dress like men and women should dress like women.

THIS IS WHERE YOU SUBTLY GO OFF PATH. YOU START BY TALKING ABOUT WHAT THE VERSE SAYS AND THEN YOU MOVE INTO: MEN DRESS LIKE MEN AND WOMEN LIKE WOMEN. THAT'S NOT WHAT THE VERSE SAYS. A WOMAN IS NOT EVEN TO PUT ON THE MALE GARMENT. LET'S SAY HYPOTHETICALLY YOU WERE RIGHT. EVEN THEN WE DON'T HAVE ANYTHING THAT MEN DRESS LIKE THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE IN CULTURE OR IN CHURCHES. WE HAVE GONE THERE AS WELL. NOW WOMEN STILL WEAR WOMEN'S CLOTHES, BUT THEY ALSO WEAR MEN'S CLOTHES.

I believe the way our culture has developed has made it harder to do so distinctly. But I believe that in general when looking at a person we can judge if that person is attempting to dress like the opposite sex. You may disagree with me. But I do not believe we need to hold on to cultural traditions that are not mandated in the bible.

DEUTERONOMY 22:5 IS SAYING EXACTLY THIS. WE ARE TO KEEP DISTINCT MALE ITEMS AND FEMALE ITEMS, AND MEN AND WOMEN ARE NOT TO PUT ON THE ITEM DESIGNED FOR THE OPPOSITE GENDER. WHEN WOMEN PUT ON PANTS, THAT WAS EXACTLY WHEN THEY PUT ON THE MALE ARTICLE AND CONTINUED TO, UNTIL WHAT? IT HAS BECOME ACCEPTABLE. WE HAVE NOT DESIGNATED OR DESIGNED A REPLACEMENT. WE DON'T CARE IF WE DO. IT DOESN'T MATTER TO US, EVEN THOUGH IT MATTERS TO GOD.

WE ARE TO BE INFLUENCING THE CULTURE TO CONFORM TO THE BIBLE, NOT OURSELVES CONFORMING TO THE CULTURE.

Bill Hardecker said...

Pastor B,

What about girls pajama pants? I mean for example a pink pair of pants with teddy bears. Is that considered 'men's clothing?' Would that violate a principle of distinction?

I know my question does not fit in the basic request of your post, but I do hope to hear from you.

Jerry Bouey said...

Women are often times held to the standard of skirts only or culottes. I have to disagree with this because in other cultures, men wear robes or kilts.

And...

My contention would be that there is no way to prove biblically that pants (or any other article of clothing) are the male garment. They might have been in the past, but culture has changed, and I do not see the biblical warrant to outright condemn such a change as sinful.

Why do so many resort to cultural arguments? Culture changes all the time - often because people are wandering farther and farther from God; however, His Word has not changed - therefore God's standards have not changed, even if people no longer like them.

As far as men wearing kilts and skirts in other cultures - the ONLY way this type of argument could even have any relevance here (by way of argument or consideration) was if you could prove these were godly countries, striving to obey the Word of God. They were not. They were pagan cultures, lived in rebellion against the true God - as such the clothing standards they developed over time (apart from God and His Word) cannot be used as a criteria to gauge what the Lord commanded in His Word nor what is acceptable to Him today.

Jerry Bouey said...

I love how preachers will use this verse as their proof text against women wearing pants, but they never keep it in context and do not mention verse 11. If verse 5 is saying it is sin for women to wear pants then the preachers are in sin too for wearing a wool suit with a cotton shirt on.

Deuteronomy 22:9-11 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

Brother Derek, consider this point: verses 9-11 are also symbolic - and each part is clearly used consistently as a symbol elsewhere in the Word of God; however, there is nothing remotely symbolic about verse 22.

I am not arguing whether verses 9-11 should or should not be done physically, as I am not a farmer or a tailor, and am not sure if I have worn a particular garment made of both wool and linen together (so it is not an issue that effects me today, nor most people - however the issue of people in our society wearing garments pertaining to the other gender is) - but it is certain, based on the whole context of Scripture, that these things are still not to be done spiritually (therefore the true child of God that is spiritually-minded is still obeying the principle here - not just relegating it to a past age/dispensation):

Seed - the Word of God (ie. the Gospel) - we are not to mix man's philosophies or false teachings/gospels with God's Word and the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith - otherwise our fruit is defiled. We see this happening everywhere today! See Luke 8:11.

Ox - the man/servant of God - we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, nor to be yoked up in ministry with those who are rebellious to God's Word (ie. an ass/donkey represents a fool, scorner, rebel, someone living for their own pleasure, etc. - see Job 11:12; 24:5; Proverbs 26:33; Jeremiah 2:24; Hosea 8:9). See Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Linen Garment - the righteousness of Christ - we are not to add our works/righteousness to what Christ has done for our salvation. In Scripture, when others tried to cover themselves, it was unacceptable to God - whether fig leaves, filthy rags, spider's webs. See Genesis 3:7, 21; Isaiah 59:4-5; 64:6; 61:10; Romans 10:3-4.

Sonya said...

When I first came to "church", where most ladies wore dresses to service, I was convinced I would not change. I would wear jeans or slacks it didn't matter what was on the outside and besides I had an excuse. I worked in a greasy environment and I could ruin my clothing besides what type of shoes could I possibly wear with a dress that would look decent and yet be safe.

I continued to wear pants especially for midweek service that is until "hearing" Deut 22:5. The day I heard preaching from Deuteronomy 22 I was changed. An abomination to God was not who I wanted to be, and it didn't matter how ridiculous I looked in steel-toed shoes and skirts. It was liberating to be able to remove the dozens of jeans/slacks I had in my closet, although I had hung onto them the previous week.

Many times when at the grocery store I would catch a glimpse of ladies looking down at my feet. One day while walking toward the entrance I noticed two women talking among themselves and looking down at my feet. Without thinking I began speaking, "Please let me tell you why I wear dresses with these shoes” At first they were frightened, but when they realized I wasn't angry at them for talking about me. They listened.

God has opened many doors for me as I am pleasing Him in what I wear. We are a peculiar people (not that we are trying to be), and people wonder about it... sometimes that ask, but other times they just stare.

I am personally convinced by nothing other than the word of God. Men (women also) can continue to question what is a man's garment, but if there is even a remote chance that this garment could be pants or a kilt. The result is clear... it is an abomination. I will NEVER wear pants again (not even pajamas - God is everywhere)

Monde Mash said...

God bless you Sonya, it's a relief to see there are still ladies in this lost church-age who care about the commandments of God (Rev 12,17; 14,12). May He use you more abundantly.