Home > Brandenburg, Culture, Standards > A Biblical Approach to Liberties Versus that of Evangelicals and Many Fundamentalists

A Biblical Approach to Liberties Versus that of Evangelicals and Many Fundamentalists

The internet is new.  Just look at Al Gore.  Social networking sites (SNS)  are even newer.  In this era of modernity with the explosion of the information age, there is more to come.  C. H. Spurgeon faced new kinds of entertainment at the end of the nineteenth century.  He had words of warning based on scriptural principles for issues not found in the Bible.  These require the development of spiritual discernment.  God didn’t give church leadership a mandate to bury its head in the sand.  We should give guidance in new areas of potential danger to the church.

A common opposition to biblical application to cultural issues is argument by moral equivalence.  I’ve heard a couple different types even this month.  One goes like this:  “You can get in trouble with any kind of communication device.  You can sin on the phone or on the internet too.  SNS are no different.  You could get hit crossing the street.  Are you going to stop doing that too?”  How did you know?  I’m putting my finishing touches on my no street-crossing post, the father of all safety-patrol.  I’m kidding, but I do believe there is a biblical answer to this.   It’s 1 Corinthians 10:12:  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  We have admonition against presumptuousness about sin.  Certain places are of greater temptation than others.  Some have worse associations.

Another moral equivalent has been the “SNS isn’t that much different than writing on a blog and you do that” argument.   I could waste time here.  I could violate scripture.  I could cause damage to a church.  I could get puffed up with pride over readership.  I say “yes” to all of those.  I could do any four of those “couldas.”   So I should look at blogging with scrutiny as well.  I do.   I’m not going to write about it, but I do.  However, as I have, I see them as very different activities.  My blog posting doesn’t parallel with the activities of facebook.

The responses I’ve read and heard in this SNS discussion remind me of the major differences in the approach to liberties.  What I am often reading from evangelicals and even fundamentalists are several unscriptural and indefensible perspectives of liberties.  They’ll deny it, but I’ll also explain how it is that they do take on these three at least.

1.  We have liberty to sin.

They say, “Do not say that.”   I say, “You don’t say it, but you do it.”  How?  Some commands in Scripture require a secondary premise.  Let me provide a syllogism.

Major or First Premise:  The woman who wears the male article is an abomination to God.

Minor or Second Premise:  Pants are the male article.

Conclusion:  The woman who wears pants is an abomination to God.

I’ve found that Christians today won’t even agree on the major premise, even though Deuteronomy 22:5 says:  “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.”  “That which pertaineth unto a man” is the male article.  I often ask men, what is the male article.   Most don’t want to answer it.  They know it’s pants, so instead of replying to it, they say:  “the cape,” “the derby,” etc.  They take a position of mockery akin to those who scorn the coming of Christ in 2 Peter 3.  Without pants, there is no male garment any longer, and people know it.  And they don’t care.  It isn’t an abomination to them, only to God, so it doesn’t matter.

I recognize that I’ve chosen a more controversial example, but this isn’t a liberty issue.   We don’t have liberty just because there’s a controversy.  We don’t have liberty just because men have muddled up this issue.  This is how Christians have practiced for centuries.  Since the onslaught of feminism and unisex, men have changed the practice in favor of one more acceptable to pagan society.  We have liberty in non-moral issues, and things that are an abomination to God are moral.  It’s a sin to violate God’s instruction.  There are many other examples.

2.  We have the right to cause someone to stumble, to be a bad testimony, to offend another person’s conscience, to conform to the world, or to profane worship.

They say, “I do not say that.”  I say, “You do too.”  How?  Evangelicals and now many fundamentalists turn 1 Corinthians 6-10 and Romans 14 on their head.   Those passages don’t emphasize demanding rights.  They emphasize limiting liberties for the sake of weaker brothers, of unsaved people, and for the greater glory of God.  And yet the evangelicals and fundamentalists now see this as a basis for many unscriptural activities.

3.  I don’t practice personally unpopular biblical application.

They say, “I do not say that.”  I say, “You do too.”  How?  Evangelicals and many fundamentalists say something like what Nathan Busenitz wrote over at Pulpit Fellowship:

[T]he Bible tells us “not to exceed what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). We cannot add to the Scripture without subtracting from its effectiveness in our lives. If we elevate personal preference and man-made tradition to the level of God’s Word (Mark 7:6-15), we risk entangling people in the bondage of legalism and diverting them from the true issues of sanctification (Romans 14:17).

It sounds good.  They say we don’t want to exceed what is written.  And yet Phil Johnson recently wrote what he believed determined what foul language was:

Culture determines this. It’s quite true that the standard may be different from culture to culture and generation to generation. But both history and literature prove that it’s not nearly as fluid or as nebulous as postmodern language-theorists suggest.

You read it.  If you want to know what cuss words are or what smutty speech is, culture determines this.  Really?  I agree with Phil wholeheartedly.  To make application, you have to do that with truth not found in the Bible.  Certain words, based upon the culture, we can conclude, “Yes, that’s foul language.”

We can also determine by the culture what is worldly dress, what is pagan music, and all sorts of other important application of Scripture.  We do it the same way.  Here’s what happens.  Busenitz and Johnson (and me) don’t like the profanity in the pulpit.  That’s wrong.  So there, it’s OK to “exceed what is written” in Scripture.  They throw that verse around at what they want to throw it at.  But when it comes to these other cultural issues, they are blind in their application.  What you will see them do is make statements like this monumental and mocking strawman that Johnson  threw out for areas that he does not prefer to make application:

Yeah, but no one here (except maybe Kent Brandenburg) has ever seriously suggested that 1950′s style is the standard to pursue, either. What I have consistently argued for is clarity, biblical language (as opposed to some subculture’s hip patois), sound doctrine, and boldness in our proclamation of the truth-claims of Scripture that aren’t currently fashionable.

It’s weird how that keeps getting morphed into 1950s-style haircuts and poodle skirts in the thinking of some of the very same people who are so keen to keep up with postmodern fashions. I’ve said nothing whatsoever about dress codes, hair styles, or ’50s fashions in corporate worship or music. Let’s not pretend this post is about that.

What do you think of those arguments?  See what evangelicals and fundamentalists do?  They pick and choose the kind of applications they want to make and then veto the others.  In this case, he talks about 1950′s style (who would make that argument?) or “poodle skirts” as a way to frame what is what Zephaniah 1:8 calls “strange apparel.”  Evangelicals and fundamentalists commonly protect their popularity by making these areas of application matters of “liberty,” and the ones that they don’t like, they say they can be determined by the culture.  You can see it yourself.

  1. Joshua
    March 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm | #1

    Great post, absolutely nails the issue:

    Major or First Premise: The woman who wears the male article is an abomination to God.

    Minor or Second Premise: Pants are the male article.

    Conclusion: The woman who wears pants is an abomination to God.

    I noticed on Kent’s blog that he brought this up in a debate in the comments section. Now maybe the gentleman he was debating got bored or forgot, but at that point his opponent didn’t come back to continue the debate.

    And I can understand why. Every Christian who has ever thought seriously about his or her faith and right and wrong recognizes the absolute necessity of making those kind of judgments. It’s just that most of them (myself included) do not want to enforce it with rigid consistency because it opens the door to having to examine areas of my life that I’d rather not.

    And I can sympathize. One of the gentlemen Kent was debating goes to John Mac’s church, and had done so for years. If he was to go with what is right, it would cost him his church family and all his associations. If that man has a wife, there is going to be huge questions and problems from that end. It is morally, emotionally and spiritually expensive, and folks just dont want to pay.

    So instead, the irrational and hypocritical dichotomy is maintained. If challenged, resort to mockery. Rinse and repeat.

  2. March 26, 2009 at 8:31 am | #2

    I understand your minor premise in application to today’s society, but would you please state specifically what the male article was when Deuteronomy 22 was written?

  3. March 26, 2009 at 12:06 pm | #3

    Thanks Joshua. I agree.

    Watchman,

    I’m fine with that question. The Bible itself doesn’t tell us what the male article was at that time. Let’s assume though that it was a robe. Here is the typical follow to that. Men and women both wore robes, so it is permissible for men and women both to wear pants.

    Wrong. Why? The point of Deut. 22:5 is a different article. The emphasis is on the distinctiveness, not the sameness. Their robes would have had definitive differences in design to differentiate them from one another—the male robe and the female robe. We haven’t designed in differences between male and female pants. The point of women’s pants wasn’t to look different than men, but to look the same, so that misses the entire point. Pants on women intended to design out the distinctions, not to keep them. Even those that argue for “women’s pants” do not know what the supposed distinction is between. I asked one man what the difference between the two and I think he had it right—women’s pants are tighter.

  4. memphiswill
    March 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm | #4

    Pants were originally worn by Iranian women in the third and fourth centuries. So I guess all of us men are wearing women’s garments.

  5. March 27, 2009 at 6:43 am | #5

    My Hebrew isn’t nearly as good as my Greek (not that my Greek is that great) but if my study tools aren’t failing me, the “male article” — that which pertaineth unto a man — Hebrew word is not typically one that refers to clothing. I understand you can make an argument from context (because of the much more specific reference to a man putting on a woman’s garment) but you’re making a hard and fast application based solely on our Western cultural dress patterns. How would exposit this verse if you pastored in Kuwait where most men still don’t wear pants?

    I’m not trying to be contentious (although my brother says I manage without trying), I’m really curious as to why our culture determines the meaning of the Bible instead of the other way around. And also, why is this commandment still in effect and to be observed while we eat shrimp and bacon, wear 60-40 blend shirts and have indoor plumbing? Is it because it’s identified as an abomination, or is there something else?

  6. JON SNYDER
    March 27, 2009 at 11:14 am | #6

    I know this thread was not intended to be a pants on women topic. However, if I may, I would like to add some of my own thoughts to this topic from a layman’s perspective. I am like you memphiswill. I took basic Greek in college so I am not going to go there. I will try to be simplistic.
    Memphis mentions the Western Culture argument which I hear often in my discussions with people on the “dark side” :) of this topic. I think that they are trying to say that men In our Western culture , mainly Independent Baptists, have decided based on personal prference what is acceptable out of the OT and what is not.
    I tend to be a little old fashioned, and I think that Western Culture is a good place to turn for a lesson on women wearing pants in society. I also use a King James Version of the Bible which no doubt had a tremendous effect on our Western Culture and its dress patterns since its foundation. Somewhere along the line someone in Western Culture, I believe under a Biblical influence, decided to take the Bible literally and make a distinction in men’s and women’s clothing. At some point men began wearing pants and women dresses. A good history professor might be able to tell us when. Most people understand that only in the last 50-60 yrs has a pair of pants on a female been acceptable in society. My point is that Western Culture does give us a distinction between a male and female garment over the last 400 + years. Our founding fathers, and hero’s of the faith gave us a Western Culture with a Biblical basis which included among other things a difference in dress. I dont know about everyone else that reads here but I would rather base my convictions and standards off of their Biblical pattern and examples; and the Bible, of course! I want to “buck” as much as possible modern dress codes which culture dictates, and i want to teach my sons and daughters to do the same.
    A second point real quick. How are we as Chrisitans to shine as Lights in this dark world when their is no distinction between how a Christian family and a non-Christian family dresses? Maybe there is a way, but I dont know of one.
    Well this is my first post in a public forum. I probably just set myself up to get “hammered”

  7. JON SNYDER
    March 27, 2009 at 11:19 am | #7

    Sorry, i got the two of you mixed up Watchman and Memphiswill, see I was nervous.

  8. March 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm | #8

    Watchman,

    First, the “shrimp” prohibition and the 60/40 clothing was a part of God’s requirements for ceremonial cleanness, and was done away with by Christ, who makes us clean. There was a ceremonial abomination in Scripture that is separate from moral abominations, such as proud looks and lying tongues.

    And secondly, if I were to choose about my wife (and daughter’s) clothing on the basis of personal preference, I would much prefer for them to wear pants. For one, it would make them more acceptable to the world. For another, it would keep people from staring so much. Especially when we go skiing.

  9. Bobby
    March 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm | #9

    I think the simple answer about the shrimp, 60/40, etc. is that Deuteronomy 22:5 says “all that do so.” The rest of the prohibitions are specific to OT Jews. But “all that do so” refers to anyone anywhere. The “all that do so” is also used in reference to sodomy and similar practices if I’m remembering correctly.

  10. March 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm | #10

    We left 7:30am from Ogden, UT and I drove into the parking lot right about 9pm. I walked into my house at about 10:15pm. And here I am.

    First, Memphis Will.

    Thanks for coming in and contributing.

    Even if what you say about the history of pants were true, and I don’t at all believe it or think it, it doesn’t deal with the point, because we aren’t a 3rd century Iranian culture. I do think that your argument is as good as it gets in the arguments against the designed distinctions between men’s and women’s dress. In other words, not very good. It’s as if you haven’t read very much on the subject, and especially this post.

    Based on your type of argument, no one could say English foul language because in the Titus 2 context, it was prohibiting only Cretan foul language. So no Cretan words and we’ll all be fine. Any English word is acceptable speech, since English didn’t exist when Titus 2 was written.

    Watchman,

    HALOT, the foremost Hebrew lexicon mentions Deut 22:5 specifically and says, “garments” for that usage of keli. And then it says that it is “garments” because it is parallel with the second half of the verse that specifically says “garments.” The parallel is a dead give away. You can see that in the English even without the Hebrew.

    I’m not interpreting the verse based on culture. The culture comes in the application, which I’ve already mentioned as a second premise and that is what almost all applications of scripture require, that is, a second premise.

    Regarding trying to explain this away with some kind of dispensational argument, that is, that it doesn’t apply today, Bobby gave a good argument. Did you know that this is the ONLY place in Scripture where the person involved in a particular activity is said to be an abomination to God. The one who does this is an abomination to God. So yes, anything that is an abomination to God continues to be an abomination to God. This is the historic position on this text too. Explaining it away is the new position.

    I could say much more but this is enough to consider for now.

  11. March 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm | #11

    All sins that the Bible defines as abominations to God are still abominable and against Him. None of those sins have been done away with.

    In reference to clean and unclean animals, it is stated to the Israelites that if they ate these things, they were an abomination to them (not to God); and we see from the NT that these ceremonial laws are done away with.

    Leviticus 11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

    (Remember another incident where Joseph states that shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians – but they were not an abomination to the Lord. We must always consider context and who is in view – ie. in this case, who it is an abomination to.)

    As stated above, every passage that indicates something is an abomination to God still applies to us today – and still offends God when disobeyed, even if not directly stated in the New Testament. The NT does not state that prostituting your daughter and sodomy/incest/bestiality are abominations to God – but I daresay NONE of us would argue otherwise. Pride is still an abomination, praying and offering to God with a wicked heart is still so, using unjust measures/weights, idols/idolatry, bringing in a harlot’s/sodomites wages into the house of the Lord as an offering to God, a divorced spouse remarrying then going back to their original spouse later (which is interesting that this is one thing Hollywood likes to show in certain movies – makes it seem so nice that this couple who divorced are later reconciling, and making their original marriage work), the occult, lying lips and a perverse heart, justifying the wicked and condemning the just, and there are other things.

    Trace the word “abomination” out, see who is in view (ie. who it is an abomination to), and you will see all those things that are abominable to God under the Law are still abominable under grace. Someone would be hard-pressed to prove from Scripture that one out of all of those things the Bible mentions as abominations to God is not abominable today, when it is clear that all the rest of them are.

    Just some food for thought.

  12. James Snyder
    March 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm | #12

    1 Timothy 2:9 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;

    It has seemed too long that we have used the Deuteronomy 22:5 passage as a scripture to make a conviction against pants on women. Is there any way that the application of that verse is referring to sodomy. I do believe that sodomy is an abomination to God. It is hard for me to believe that the woman visitor who walks into church on Sunday in a pair of pants is an abomination to God. However if that woman is wearing those pants in an act to be like a man she is an abomination. It is also hard to believe that the woman visitor who is saved in that church service is still performing the abomination until she takes off her pants.

    If we were to use Deuteronomy 22:5 as our express verse for modesty on women we would have to make sure that our wives didn’t wear our sweaters. There are sweaters made for women and some made for men. Please correct me if I am wrong. It seems we have made this verse something that it isn’t.

    I do believe however that Paul gives us a stronger and more applicable verse for the standard many of us share. Modest apparel has often been referred to as “long flowing garments.” We have a larger problem in our churches than pants on women, it is immodesty.

    We have harped on the 80 year old women who wears pants to keep warm in the winter while we have let our teenage girls dress like “whores” in skirts that cover their knees.

    Modesty goes a whole lot futher than pants on women, we all know that but keeping scripture in context would go a whole lot further to help the issue in our churches.

    My wife and daugher will wear dresses because it is my responsibility to make sure they are modest according to I Timothy 2:9. Do I believe a 65 year old woman wearing a pair of pants is an abomination to the Lord? You tell me.

    I couldn’t let my big bro out do me. Go big Jon.

  13. March 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm | #13

    James, explaining the verse away is not the same thing as proving it does not apply today. And if it still does, then the women (and the men) who break that commandment are abominable to God today. If it isn’t referring to pants, what IS it referring to? Obviously, God had something specific in mind and it matters to Him – or else He would never have given us that command. God is not fickle.

  14. memphiswill
    March 29, 2009 at 11:49 am | #14

    I think my point had a lot of merit. If pants were originally designed for and worn by women, then it stands to reason that they are women’s garments. And it’s every bit as valid as your reasoning.

    Major premise: The man who wears women’s garments is an abomination.

    Minor premise: Pants were originally designed for and worn by women.

    Conclusion: Pants are not to be worn by men since they were originally designed for and worn by women.

    Now if we’re going to go by what culture has HISTORICALLY dictated is gender specific, then how far back do we go? Do we go back to the 1500′s when men wore what we would consider tights and pantyhose? Furthermore, do we prohibit our daughters and wives from wearing tights and pantyhose, since historically they have been considered mens and womens garments? Do we go by what culture dictates is acceptable for men and women? There are a lot of holes in this type of discussion, because the Bible doesn’t dictate to us what is men’s and women’s wear. We know what men and women wore in Bible times, and there was little difference in many cases, other than perhaps colors, ornamentations, and styles. Same as today, when men and women wear similar garments but are styled differently, or have different ornaments. But if a man wears clothing that is styled for women, he is cross-dressing. If a woman wears clothing that is styled for a man, she is cross-dressing. And that’s what that Bible verse is referring to. It’s amazing how Fundamentalism has built an entire dogma of “no pants on women” off of a single verse of Scripture. Women are not sinning by wearing pants that are made for women. Likewise, men are not sinning by wearing a Kilt–the traditional Scottish wear. And neither sex is sinning by wearing a robe, unless that robe is distinctively styled for the opposite sex, in the Middle East.

  15. March 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm | #15

    Memphiswill,

    What you are saying isn’t true. I think that you should see that as a major problem for you. It’s not valid either. The problem is that in our culture, pants have ALWAYS been the male garment. It has always been the distinguishing article of clothing. Your argument fails in the minor premise. You can play these kinds of games, but you should be concerned about whether God is honored.

    You talk about fundamentalism building a “dogma.” All Western culture had men in pants and women in skirts from the 1500s and until the mid to late 1900s. This wasn’t a fundamentalism conspiracy, Will. Fundamentalism is a movement that began around 1920 in the United States.

    Regarding your Iranian women, Wikipedia says nothing about it. The history there backs up what I’m saying to you.

    My opinion is that your argument is facetious and I’m attempting to be kind with that statement. It’s interesting to me that you’re sure about what men and women wore in Bible times, but you aren’t sure about what they wear today. Your cross dressing argument is commonly used by people who are bent on defending pants on women. The verse doesn’t say “cross-dressing.” By your tradition you make void the commandment of God.

    Let me ask you the question in this. What is the male garment today?

  16. March 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm | #16

    It is interesting to note that at least the priests (ie. certain men) in Moses’ time wore breeches (aka britches – and the men wear the britches is a familiar phrase)), otherwise known as pants. That was 3500 years ago – so no, pants weren’t first created for women in the last 1700 or so years.

    Seems Will has some serious problems when it comes to obeying the Bible. If, as I believe, pants are the distinctive male garment (as opposed to dresses, skirts, etc.*), then I can easily apply that principle and obey it today. But if it is not, then he has to explain away the Bible because he believes there are no specific garments that qualify – as if God was just talking through His hat.

    *P.S. Kilts were created by unsaved men in a ungodly culture – so they certainly are not some example to follow and overturn Biblical passages by…

    Also, study out the word “robe(s)” in the Bible (ie. trace out the underlying words and see the distinctions made, as well as tracing the English word through the Bible). Not everyone wore them – many were used for specific occasions or for certain people (such as warriors, royalty, honoured children, etc.); AND we know from Deuteronomy 22:5, there certainly could not have been a unisex robe tolerated by God and godly Israelites. God clearly forbade anything like that!

  17. James Snyder
    March 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm | #17

    There was no intent to explain away the verse. Do you not believe that this verse is specifically referring to Sodomy?

    Paul’s specific references to modesty would lend us a much better definition to teach and preach dress standards for women.

  18. March 30, 2009 at 5:12 am | #18

    The verse is in no way discussing abominable sexual acts, but what men and women are wearing.

    Paul’s specific references to modesty would lend us a much better definition to teach and preach dress standards for women.

    Granted, Paul has more to say on this issue – but it is not either/or. It is all Scripture that we are to teach, not just our favourite passages or the ones that we find easier to apply. Because this passage has not been proven to be fulfilled or done away with, it still applies – and therefore should still be preached/taught when this issue comes up.

    Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

    We are to take all that the Bible says on a subject together and base our conclusions/doctrines on that.

  19. memphiswill
    March 30, 2009 at 8:21 am | #19

    Kent
    If you simply make Wikipedia your source for knowledge, you’re missing out on other sources. I don’t use Wikipedia much except when it backs up information from other sources.
    http://www.geocities.com/ladysveva/clothing/Persian.html
    Of course, Indian women have worn pants for around 2000 years. The “Salwar” are a type of pants, similar to what Iranain/Persian women wore around the 3rd and 4th centuries.
    Kent, you keep bring up Western Culture, as if that’s what we should use to judge our styles of dress by as Christians. Well, it’s not. What European men have done for hundreds of years is not how we decide what is right or proper to wear. But you’re arguing the opposite. Simply because Western men have worn such-and-such for five hundred years doesn’t make it right.

    Jerry-You’re quite wrong on a couple of areas here. First and foremost, linen britches were not outerwear. They were underwear. They only reached from the hip to the thigh. Kind of like boxer shorts. And they were only priestly garments that went under the robes, so when they went up the ramp on the altar, nobody would be able to look up their robe. Exo 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

    Furthermore, Jerry, Kilts have been around a lot longer than just their appearance in Scotland and Ireland. They were worn by most Middle Eastern men. In fact, the Israelites most likely wore kilts. Archaeology demonstrates that Israelite men would have worn kilts, sometimes as an undergarment, but usually it was what they wore as they worked in the fields or on their ships. Fishermen, such as Peter and the others would not have worn a shirt, and quite commonly took off their kilts as they were fishing. The outer robes, that both men and women wore, had few differences, other than style, color, or ornaments adorning it.

    Deu 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.
    Deu 22:5 לא־יהיה כלי־גבר על־אשׁה ולא־ילבשׁ גבר שׂמלת אשׁה כי תועבת יהוה אלהיך כל־עשׂה אלה׃
    Now, Deu 22:5 says first that a woman should not wear that what pertains to a man. But it doesn’t necessarily refer to an article of ordinary clothing, it also refers to weapons, armor, or other items that men wore. It’s not simply gender-specific either, because the word translated “man” there(and both times in this verse) means “mighty man of valor” or “warrior”. The second part is even more interesting, because the word translated as “garment” is specifically referring to a cloak. But men wore cloaks during this time too. So it has to have been referring to a cloak that was distinctively feminine, either in it’s style, coloring, or the way it was worn or whatever.

    Men wore skirts in the Bible. So did women. Men wore robes in the Bible. So did women. Men wore cloaks in the Bible. So did women. The only thing gender specific about their clothing was the style of the clothing, or the colors or ornamentation. Any honest examination of the Bible and Bible archaeology will tell you this. To then turn around and say that “Because in Western Culture for the past 500 years, only men have worn pants, then women are an abomination if they wear pants” is to distort the teaching of Scripture and change it into commandments of men.

  20. memphiswill
    March 30, 2009 at 8:27 am | #20

    Mmmm…Forgot to cite sources.

    Strong’s Concordance
    Thayer’s Lexicon
    Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs(Editor Howard F Vos)
    Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible(Herbert Lockyer Sr, Editor)

  21. March 30, 2009 at 8:59 am | #21

    Will,

    I use Wikipedia to give history of dress, which, by the way, gives it’s sources. It’s also easy to evaluate online. Look at any of history of dress. Look at Encyclopedia Britannica. They back up what I’ve said. For the Hebrew, you use Strong’s concordance, and that after I had cited HALOT, the foremost lexicon on the OT. What do you think of that?

    What do you think of the Hebrew text that you cut and pasted? Could you evaluate it for me? Do you have any thoughts about it? Start with the most basic. For instance, the verb “wear”—what do you think of that?

    You tell me, Will. What is the Hebrew word for “man” in Deuteronomy 22:5? Go ahead and type the English pronunciation of the Hebrew word used.

  22. March 30, 2009 at 11:30 am | #22

    STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You guys are all missing the point, I have to agree with James Snyder the most because he took the Bible and proved what it meant to him personally. All this arguing over the third and fourth generation stuff gets repetitive and old.
    Obviously, Pastor Brandenburg and others believe that the generation we live in distinguishes how we each should live are life. Some believe that we are free and open to chose based on what we think the Bible tells us personally. I know many Christians ladies young and old that wear pants and they are 400 times better Christians then we are and I would dare anyone refute that! We need to realize that its a modesty issue based on your very own walk with God.
    As James Snyder said, I have seen many pants on women that are more modest then most of the “Godly Skirts” worn by ladies sitting in your pews.

  23. March 30, 2009 at 11:40 am | #23

    Daniel,

    What is the male article (garment) today? What particular article of clothing distinguishes the man from the woman? Can someone be a good Christian and an abomination to God? Please answer each question. Thank you.

    Will,

    I clicked on your Persian clothing article. That is missing the point—a pagan culture hasn’t determined what the male article is for our culture. They don’t follow the Bible as an authority—that is their main problem. You don’t look to them to find out how to practice the Bible.

    I’ll be awaiting your answer to my questions above about the text of Deut 22:5.

  24. March 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm | #24

    The topic of pants on women certainly stirs up matters. If I was neutral on the subject, I would have to admit that the silence to Bro. Brandenburg’s question concerning what is the particular article of clothing that distinguishes men from women is deafening. Having been saved later in life, and was never instructed in these matters until nearly 30 years old, maybe I see this just a little different from others. Pants on women is carnal, period. How any man would argue against that amazes me. And yes, many women wear carnal dresses and skirts, but that does not justify the wearing of pants for women. Maybe those arguing for pants on women do not have young daughters. The lustful wicked hearts of men behooves us to make sure that Christian women are dressed modestly, and that certainly forbids the wearing of pants which highlights the form of the body. Why don’t you just accept the simple truth of Deut. 22.5? If nothing else, the wearing of pants on women is a stumbling block to many Christians, and ought to be done away for that reason.

  25. March 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm | #25

    I am in complete agreement, Bro. Johnson.

  26. March 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #26

    Pastor Brandenburg,
    The way we distinguish between a man and a women today is not solely based on pants!!!!!!!!!!! Think about his scenario, If i walked up to you today in a pair of shorts, would you question my gender… and to take it one step farther, If an average Christian (Baptist) lady walks up to you today in pants, would you question her gender??????
    I have noticed that this whole blog is based on a verse in Dueteronomy…. and only one person has mentioned Pauls’ take on this issue in 2 Corinthians (I believe). How can someone who is very smart and sensible, take one verse from Dueteronomy but neglect other verses in the book. For example, Doesn’t Duet 21:18-21 talk about stoning rebellious sons??
    If Kirk (your son) strays from your beliefs and becomes a “stubborn and rebellious son” are you going to take him to the elders of the city and stone him??
    I am being very facetious but I have an honest point. We love to take portions of the old testament and “force” them to fit in our belief system but we don’t want to allow for Christian liberty because that is a (so called) liberal Christian view. Bottom line is, this was a book written to Israel and God knew that there would be future generations and in future generations, things would change. By things I mean, clothing, warfare, transportation etc. We are not under to the law we are under grace, I believe that is in the New Testament. ;)

  27. March 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm | #27

    The reason for the silence (Bro. Johnson) is because I work a job and cannot always “chat”. But I would love to debate your argument.
    We love to pull the stumbling block card but only when it comes to issues you agree with…
    For example, Being FAT!!!
    Our churches are filled with the biggest nastiest fattest people (excuse my harsh words).. Do we not realize that the Bible speaks more about letting ourselves go and becoming a glutton then it does about modesty and the use of alcoholic beverages?????? But we refuse to talk about issues that “hit home” because then we start to “step on some toes”!!!!
    So to sum up my argument, I believe “fat” pastors is more of a stumbling block then women in pants!

    • March 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm | #28

      I am in full agreement with fat pastors being a stumbling block, having seen many offended by that. I am a pastor, and believe all Christians ought to keep their bodies in subjection, including pastors leading the example. For proof on that, here is what I am hosting: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/monocogman/666153/.

      You won’t complete this if you are fat.

      But this matter of dress is not a preference issue for me, it is simply addressing it like any other matter of personal sanctification.

      Thanks Jackhammer for allowing me a free advertisement for the race.

  28. David Warner
    March 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm | #29

    Daniel B.,

    You still have not stated “the male article.”

    I want you to consider this issue in God’s perspective. I don’t want you to tolerate anything or anyone abominable to God. So take strong consideration of the issue.

    Furthermore, Christians are free from sin (Romans 6:7). Also read Romans 6:15. They are not free to sin. To say that you have liberty to be an abomination to God is to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4). Note also that grace does not give Christians freedom to sin because it teaches them to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12).

    It is not that the law does not apply today. Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17), bringing it to its intended purpose. 2 Corinthians 3 shows that the law is still in effect, but Christians obey the spirit of the law, which is probably a higher standard than the letter of the law, as expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5-7. However, Deut. 22:5 applies to everyone in a greater way because it is a moral law about God’s universal design.

    Jeremiah 11:1 says not to learn the way of the heathen. Also read Romans 1. The world wants to rebel against God’s design. The intention of pants on men and dresses on women is to honor God’s distinctions in design.

    So please think about it, Daniel B.

  29. March 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm | #30

    So then if that is true in the true literal Word of God that we are supposed to fulfill the law, why don’t we take every law in the OT and live it to the max??
    By the way, I have responded, (note fist paragraph of last full text). Saying that nobody will respond to my questions and statements. WHY DO YOU STILL PULL ONE OR TWO PARTICULAR VERSES OUT OF THE “OT” LAW AND FOCUS ON THEM BUT REFUSE TO FOCUS ON THE OTHER LAWS????
    I could pull 25 laws out of Dueteronomy right now that you do not live by… why would this one “catch you attention” and garnish all this commotion?
    I believe the answer to my question comes to a Christian “liberty” issue and you refuse to accept that!

  30. March 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm | #31

    How fat is fat? :-)

    Daniel,

    You really didn’t answer the question. You gave an answer, yes, but you didn’t answer the question. All three of those questions still stand. Perhaps you could reread Deut 22:5 to see what it says specifically. I would, however, even be interested in finding out what articles of clothing you think our culture says distinguishes between men and women. What are the articles of clothing our culture says distinguish men and women? Women cannot or do not put on these male articles and the men cannot or do not put on these female articles. Go ahead and answer that one then.

    I’ll answer yours. Just a tip. Cut down on the number of punctuation, especially exclamation marks!!!!!!! and questions???????????

    “Think about his scenario, If i walked up to you today in a pair of shorts, would you question my gender… and to take it one step farther, If an average Christian (Baptist) lady walks up to you today in pants, would you question her gender??????”

    With my Sherlock Holmes like ability, I’m able to tell almost 100% when a man is a man and woman is a woman without dress distinctions. Of course, that doesn’t answer my question and neither does it relate to Deuteronomy 22:5, but I’ve answered that question. Remember, this relates to what God wants. He doesn’t say anything about being able to tell the difference. That’s not the point.

    “I have noticed that this whole blog is based on a verse in Dueteronomy…. and only one person has mentioned Pauls’ take on this issue in 2 Corinthians (I believe).”

    First, the blog is about how evangelicals deal with liberties. However, the comment section has taken off on my one example from the first point. You are referring to 1 Corinthians 11. I didn’t deal with that chapter because my blog wasn’t about pants on women. However, I have dealt with it in the past and it is in my book.

    “How can someone who is very smart and sensible, take one verse from Dueteronomy but neglect other verses in the book. For example, Doesn’t Duet 21:18-21 talk about stoning rebellious sons??”

    Thanks on my being smart and sensible. I don’t neglect verses in Deuteronomy. I’ve actually taught verse-by-verse through the entire book. I’m not opposed to a law about stoning rebellious sons. Our country doesn’t have that law and since it is a judicial law, we must leave the practice to our court and law system. It is true that some of Deuteronomy is judicial, ceremonial, and moral. 22:5 is moral. We keep the spirit of all of it. Jesus, however, fulfilled the ceremonial laws—they were pictures of Him. And the judicial law ended with the shelving of Israel. What is moral is still moral, however. And the spirit of all of it we keep. David Warner mentioned that in his comment.

    “If Kirk (your son) strays from your beliefs and becomes a “stubborn and rebellious son” are you going to take him to the elders of the city and stone him??”

    I answered this above. The spirit of the law would be what? Sons, it is a very serious thing to be rebellious against your parents. What do you think about that, David B.?

    Then you had more questions:

    So then if that is true in the true literal Word of God that we are supposed to fulfill the law, why don’t we take every law in the OT and live it to the max??

    We keep the spirit of every law of the Old Testament. We keep all of the moral law to the max. Since, for instance, God gave the Sabbath to Israel, but Israel isn’t any longer operating as God’s nation, we don’t obey the letter of the Sabbath law. However, we keep the Spirit by resting in Jesus Christ for salvation. We don’t keep practicing the sacrificial laws, because the veil of the temple was rent in two. However, we do still keep the moral law of the OT that is not affected judicially or ceremonially.

    I hope this matters to you, because I’m putting time into answering.

    “WHY DO YOU STILL PULL ONE OR TWO PARTICULAR VERSES OUT OF THE “OT” LAW AND FOCUS ON THEM BUT REFUSE TO FOCUS ON THE OTHER LAWS????”

    I don’t think we do pull just a few verses out of the OT law to practice. I’d encourage you to check out how many times in the OT that a particular practice renders a person an abomination to God. This is the only occasion of that in the OT. It does set apart this verse in that way.

    “I could pull 25 laws out of Dueteronomy right now that you do not live by… why would this one “catch you attention” and garnish all this commotion?”

    I believe you’re wrong here. Our church practices the spirit of all the Old Testament law and the entire moral law. We practice the ceremonial and judicial in Christ. “garnish this commotion” is an interesting turn of phrase.

    Perhaps now you could answer my three questions.

    • March 31, 2009 at 10:08 am | #32

      Just answering the question, “How fat is fat?”

      When your wife quotes Amos 2:13 to you when you are in a romantic situation. That caused me to drop 30 pounds many years back.

  31. March 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm | #34

    I notice that Will has taken the time to author an entire and long blog post about our conversation here, but he still hasn’t answered my questions here. Here they are again:

    What do you think of the Hebrew text that you cut and pasted? Could you evaluate it for me? Do you have any thoughts about it? Start with the most basic. For instance, the verb “wear”—what do you think of that?

    You tell me, Will. What is the Hebrew word for “man” in Deuteronomy 22:5? Go ahead and type the English pronunciation of the Hebrew word used.

  32. James Snyder
    March 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm | #35

    Let me be clear. I am in complete agreement with Pastor Brandenburg on the issue of pants being the main article of male clothing. My intention of posting to this site was to provoke thought on the word abomination.

    Jerry has been very clear on the issue that this reference is not referring to Sodomy. I have read some commentators who feel differently. After further study inbetween work I can understand that.

    One with a proud look is an abomination to God. Liars are an abomination to God. Those who make idols are an abomination to God. Sodomites are an abomination to God. All of these examples are changed when they are washed in the blood of Christ.

    My concern is strictly the interpretation of Scripture and I am enjoying the discussion amonst those who are concerned with this.

    What was God’s intent in this law? Was it modesty? Was it a prevention of transgender?

    If the intent was that women should not wear pants it should be a conviction rather than a standard in our churches.

    If we take Paul or Peter’s definition of modesty we can move further teach our daughters why they should not wear pants ad why they should dress appropriately.

    Daniel, I never stated that I have seen modest pants, read my post again. I am sorry that you gathered that from my post.

  33. memphiswill
    March 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm | #36

    Keep dodging my other arguments Kent, keep dodging. I notice you fail to address anything else I say. Keep that intellectual snobbery going.

  34. March 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm | #37

    Will,

    Intellectual snobbery, huh? You are the one that cut and pasted the Hebrew text and then began lecturing us on what the words meant, in direct contradiction to what they clearly say in the English. If you are going to be the Hebrew scholar, I’m only asking you if you would tell us what that text is all about. They are really simple questions. I’m giving you one more opportunity.

  35. March 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm | #38

    Excellent reply, David Warner.

    memphiswill:

    First and foremost, linen britches were not outerwear. They were underwear. They only reached from the hip to the thigh. Kind of like boxer shorts.

    Well, I am not going to base my theology on your opinion based on one lexicon. The Bible indicates that breeches needed to be long enough to cover the thighs – that doesn’t indicate in itself that that was all it covered (God gave the minimum needed to cover our nakedness). Webster’s (who goes even further back in time to give the definition of the English word “breeches” – which would be better than a more modern dictionary that gives secular definitions) indicates that breeches are britches – which are pants. We have even used that term as such in my generation, as in “who wears the britches” (and it is not referring to underwear). And the saying showed it was men who (previously) wore the pants, despite what your dictionary or lexicon may say.

    In fact, the Israelites most likely wore kilts. Archaeology demonstrates that Israelite men would have worn kilts, sometimes as an undergarment, but usually it was what they wore as they worked in the fields or on their ships.

    Which is it? “Most likely wore kilts” or “would have worn kilts”? It is bad eisegesis (I was going to say exegesis, but changed my mind) to read into the Bible what you think SHOULD or COULD be there. What does the Bible actually say?

    Men wore skirts in the Bible.

    Sorry that you missed the boat on this one and have poor reading comprehension skills. You would be hard-pressed to prove any man wore a skirt in the Bible. The Bible does use the term “skirt” as in the edge of a garment – and in all the passages where this word is used, it is obvious that is its intended meaning.

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

    1 Samuel 24:4 And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.

    1 Samuel 24:11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.

    Psalms 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

    Haggai 2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

  36. March 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm | #39

    The Bible does use the term “skirt” as in the edge of a garment – and in all the passages where this word is used, it is obvious that is its intended meaning.

    To clarify, all the passages where it uses the word “skirt(s)” in reference to men. I have not studied out the issue in regards to whether it used the word in the same way when referring to women.

  37. memphiswill
    March 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm | #40

    You are the one that cut and pasted the Hebrew text and then began lecturing us on what the words meant, in direct contradiction to what they clearly say in the English. If you are going to be the Hebrew scholar, I’m only asking you if you would tell us what that text is all about. They are really simple questions. I’m giving you one more opportunity.

    In direct contradiction to what they say in English? So what the Hebrew word means contradicts it’s meaning in English? That’s absurd. I merely expounded on what the Hebrew means. Does the Hebrew word translated “man” in Deut 22:5 mean “man”, yes, but it means more than simply man. I notice that you continue to dodge the other arguments that I’ve raised, in order to pursue this one issue. Sorry, but I’m not going to submit to your request until you do so.

  38. March 30, 2009 at 8:34 pm | #41

    Will,

    If you know what the Hebrew means, then tell us what it means. Help us out with your Hebrew knowledge. You should be able to answer simple Hebrew questions. You’ve read Strong’s Concordance and a website that tells how Iranians dress. We’re starting with what Deuteronomy 22:5 means here. If we can’t know what it means, then moving into how it applies doesn’t make any difference. And I do believe that is a major problem, that is, moving to application before we even know what we’re applying. So let’s explore.

    Perhaps you can explain the verbs in the verse too. I’m asking you to do that, for instance, answering what “wear” is in the first part of the verse. You say that “man” means more than simple man. The English says, “man,” so you must have a Hebrew reason, so I’m asking you to tell me what the Hebrew word translated “man” is. And you still won’t answer. Come on. You insulted me easily over at your blog with a bunch of derogatory terms and then you said that we need to do “deep study.” I’m waiting for just a little bit of your deep study. You can do it, Will. Give it to us.

    Maybe you have some friends with Hebrew knowledge or who know how to look things up in the Hebrew. You’ve got Strong’s concordance. I’m waiting for your scholarship to help us with our “ridiculousness” as you call it. If you are going to call something ridiculous, you’ve got to know some things that we don’t know. We’re ridiculous and you’re not. Go at it. Teach us, Will. But you are asking me for arguments against what you’ve written. Part of why I can’t argue with you is because I don’t know what you are talking about. I’d like to find out if you know what you are talking about.

    I’d actually like you to pronounce the words for me in order, the Hebrew ones that you pasted. I’d like you to write an English pronunciation for me. That ought to be easy, since you know the Hebrew.

  39. Joshua
    March 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm | #42

    Perhaps I can help you out Will.

    Your explanation of what that verse is saying completely contradicts what the King James translators came up with. So clearly, when the translations of what that verse means from the Hebrew clash (your translation versus their translation), one of you is wrong.

    What you are trying to do is redefine what that verse meant, then rush from there to proving a point elsewhere. Mr Brandenburg is trying to direct you back to the start to show you where you have erred earlier. That’s why you think he’s ignoring you. He’s not – you’re trying to build an argument on a very shoddy foundation. He’s attacking that foundation – you can’t then complain that he isn’t dealing with your argument. He is, just not at the point you want him to.

    What you have done is what lots of Pastors do – they look up a word in Strongs, look for any alternative possible use of the word that fits with their sermon, then say “this word can also be translated…”

    Sometimes, there is a very very good reason that it is translated the way it is. You are going to have to prove to Kent that your translation is correct. Given that he’s harping on it, I have a suspicion he’s pretty confident it’s completely off base.

  40. March 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm | #43

    Joshua. You got it. Thanks for helping.

    For anyone reading, I recognize that they probably think I’m being rough on Will, but I believe there are very good scriptural reasons to deal with someone like Will this way. I could just let him say what he says and let it go. Or when he uses his hard rhetoric, to just let it stand. I don’t believe that, however. i think he needs to be called on it. Many, many operate just like will on these types of subjects. We don’t agree to disagree.

    Oh, and some think that I’m being arrogant and snobby by repeatedly mentioning the Hebrew. Will is the one that says he’s giving us some special Hebrew insight. And that is supposed to discredit what the English says. Does it really? I’m waiting for Will to show me. Then we might be able to discuss how he is applying this by calling out Persians and Scottish highlanders as his models.

  41. memphiswill
    March 31, 2009 at 6:50 am | #44

    A: I put forth several other arguments, none of which had to do with the Hebrew language. Those arguments have been ignored.

    B: I don’t see how digging a little deeper into what these words means contradicts the English in any way. The English is NOT inspired. The Hebrew is. And as I stated, the Hebrew cannot contradict the English, unless the English is wrong.

    C: I never claimed to have a working knowledge of the Hebrew language. Am I trying to study it? Yes. Do I have a working knowledge of it? No. But Brother Kent, every time you and I get into a discussion, you start going off about how you know the original languages, even in other blog posts that don’t talk about Greek or Hebrew. So yes, I think you’re being intellectually snobby.

    D: Brother Kent, you have yet to address any of the other arguments that I’ve put forth. Any. You don’t even deal with them. You just go for the one that you feel you have the high ground on, thereby avoiding the others. I’d like to see you address the others.

  42. March 31, 2009 at 9:21 am | #45

    Memphis Will,

    We’ll go past the interpretation, straight to the application to satisfy that particular need. I think I see four arguments in your cultural reasoning, and I mean that I think I do. One, since Persian women wore pants 1700 years ago, pants were originally designed for women; therefore, pants are a woman’s article. Two, cultures in various places have women in pants and one has men in skirts, so it’s permissible too in our culture scripturally. Three, men wore skirts in the Bible, so skirts are male dress. Four, men and women both wore robes in the Bible, so the distinctions are just ornamentation.

    The point here is not a pant-skirt issue, believe it or not. It is having articles designated distinctly male and ones designated distinctly female. That fits the language of Deut 22:5. You’ve made no point at all about that with Persian females. In Bible days it was perhaps a robe designated distinctly male that a woman would not wear. In our culture, as we have reflected scripture, we for centuries designated the pants as distinctly male and the skirt/dress as distinctly female. We have erased that distinction not out of obedience to the Bible, but to defer to heathenism, anti-god, no-god philosophy. Christians have followed suit spinelessly and in certain cases today out of sheer ignorance through lack of teaching. Let’s say for sake of argument that men wore skirts in the Bible—how does that change the teaching of Deut 22:5. It doesn’t. Neither does the robes teaching.

    The point of the verse is that certain items will be designated distinctly male and certain ones will be designated distinctly female and the woman must not put on the male ones and the male must not put on the female ones. It’s really simple. All the other stuff is just attempts at confusing for purposes of disobedience. Even the Canaanite religion stuff that isn’t in the verse, but found in a couple of your quotes has been disproven. The idea that it is talking about transvestism is far-fetched. It isn’t in the verse and it isn’t how Christians have practiced this historically. Those two ought to matter to you.

    OK, now to your actual dealing with the verse. You are interesting in that at your blog, you ridicule and name-call and place yourself over other people as if they are stupid, and then when you get challenged on it, you call out intellectual snobbery. Guess what? It doesn’t work. You are the one that challenged the meaning of “man” and you don’t even know what you are talking about. And discrediting you is not snobbery. It is what I should do.

    First, you wouldn’t have known what the word for man is because you don’t have vowel points in your Hebrew text there. You didn’t know that. Second, the word for man, which you say is “warrior,” is not true. Many Hebrew words have three consonants and many times they are differentiated from one another by the vowel points. Giboor is the word for warrior. Geber is the word for man. It is a man who is distinctly male, yes. In other words, it is speaking about a male, not just man in general, which is the word adam. Of course, this point is made to make this talk about women in the military. The verse doesn’t even mention that.

    Third, the word “wear” isn’t even the verb “wear.” It is translated that way, but it is a very commonly used verb that is like our English “is.” I’m not going to get into the point of the use of that verb, but it is something that you would know if you had studied this out.

    Fourth, the people who say that keli means that it is just talking about “instruments” ignore the parallel nature of the two first sections. The woman is prohibited from wearing the man’s garment. The first half of the verse parallels with that, so “that which pertaineth” are clothes.

    If you were in a position to tell us what the Hebrew meant, you would know Hebrew or at least be very practiced in the usage of it. You aren’t. When I call you on that, you say it is intellectual snobbery. That doesn’t work, Will. You were the one at your blog that said this was ridiculous and that we ought to dig deeper. But we’re the intellectual snobs. Nope.

    One more thing: Your wrote: “But Brother Kent, every time you and I get into a discussion, you start going off about how you know the original languages, even in other blog posts that don’t talk about Greek or Hebrew.” You call people clowns and refer to what we wrote here as the “peanut gallery.” Your post directly related to the Greek New Testament. I asked if you knew Greek. I’m an intellectual snob for that. Nope. Here you act like you know Hebrew. You call this ridiculous. I call you on it. I’m an intellectual snob. Nope. Twice I’ve questioned you—not every time you and I get into a discussion. Twice. And both of them fit the topic at hand. So again, you’ve exaggerated with this “every time you and I get into a discussion.” That is not true.

    I’ll await the proper response from you.

  43. March 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm | #46

    Its been 24 hours since I have been able to read and post and it seems this comment stream has sparked some interest… it is also very interesting to notice who hasn’t commented on this hard hitting subject. :)
    First, Pastor Brandenburg I didn’t read your whole explanation to Will so I might be saying things that have already be hit on.
    Second, I would not waste you time. I believe this is a very sticky subject both in my life and in current christian philosophy.
    Thirdly, my use of excessive punctuation comes from me being a very intense texter…..haha hehe lol and so one…
    Now to my thoughts and questions.
    I think you touched on this with Will in a recent comment. I would agree with you in the fact that it is not a pants/skirt issue. But I disagree with you on the fact that it is an article of clothing issue. I truly believe that it is a Christian liberty issue but fundamental Baptists don’t want to accept that.
    Jesus came to fulfill the law and that is what he did exactly. No matter how you slice it we have to old testament law as a guiding point to live our lives by but in no way do we have to keep it like OT believers (Jews). I think an easy way to explain this is that when Christ was on earth he tore into the Pharisee’s because they believed the law to the whole extent and thought they were better because of it… we love to point out that they were hypocrites etc but I think we miss the point that Jesus is saying. Its not about keeping it to the full extent its about your heart and your personal walk with the Savior.
    And so believing this is where I differ from you! I used the example of the rebellious son and you said you believed it but because it wasn’t culture you wouldn’t do it and I think my argument is that exactly. Culture changes, garments change etc etc etc… but one thing stays the same, New Testament believers can have a close walk with God and therein have liberty for God to direct them.
    I think Fundamental Baptists pastors are so scared of the term “christian liberty” because it opens the Bible for their congregations to read and decipher the Bible for themselves and in that way maybe differ from that Pastors belief system. (in no way am I referring to you) just throwing out an example…
    Go ahead hammer away;) haha

  44. Anvil
    March 31, 2009 at 3:09 pm | #47

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    It’s interesting that in spite of the fact you admit that the male article in the scripture “was perhaps a robe designated distinctly male that a woman would not wear,” you don’t accept such differences in pants as being the same type of difference.

    It’s also not really an argument to say that the male article must be pants because those in opposition to your position can’t think of anything else.

    So, given you don’t believe that Deut 22:5 is talking about transvestism, or about distinctions between the genders, it’s pretty obvious what the male article is today: the jock strap.

    It’s an article that is as distinctly male as you can get, is something a female would have absolutely no use for, is similar to the priests’ breeches mentioned above because it is designed to be worn under outside clothing, is something from our modern culture, not from ancient Scotland or Iran (though it’s possible they might have had some version of it), and is something meant for manly men taking part in activities for which “girding up” would be necessary like football or combat training.

    Of course, if you are requiring the male article to be something visible (which does not appear to be a requirement of the verse), then it would seem you are admitting it would have something to do with appearance and gender distinction. However, if it is simply about not wearing the “male article” or the “female article,” the jock strap fits the bill as the male article.

  45. March 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm | #48

    Great discussion! Go get’em, boys!

    I will only add two things that I think are important to this discussion. One, Will talks about cultures where women wore pants. As I understand it, both Iranian and Indian women wore pants as an undergarment. They would have never thought to wear pants with a top that only came down to their midriff exposing the revealing pants in revealing places. In most cases the covering garment extended to the knees – it was a robe or tunic.

    Second, I don’t think I saw mentioned that in the New Testament God is clearly against men presenting themselves as feminine (1Co. 6:9). We can safely say that God is also interested in women appearing feminine. Which is exactly what Deut. 22:5 is saying. It has already been said that women should dress modestly, which means that their curvature should be hid to large degree. But, it also entails dressing with decorum. Who determines what is proper female and male decorum? Our culture. And why, in our culture has it been seen as rebellion for a female dignitary to show up at important public events in pants? Even femi-nazis like Hillary Clinton have only recently started to wear pants in these functions. However, at important ones like the national conventions they all wear dresses or skirts. Culture tells us what is acceptable. God also says it is the way He desires it to be. So, for thousands of years women have worn dresses or tunics or skirts. Men also wore tunics, but with varying types of “breeches” underneath as a distinguishing mark of masculinity.

    Perhaps this helps. Then again, maybe it makes you mad as a hornet! :) Hey, it’s a free country. I’m a happy guy with a happy family, and all my girls wear skirts and dresses because we want to please God, and we believe there is a biblical foundation for it.

  46. March 31, 2009 at 3:21 pm | #49

    Oh yea, God also mentions that He wants women to have long hair. Why would He say that in the NT, if there was “liberty” in the sense that some here are talking about?

  47. March 31, 2009 at 3:55 pm | #50

    Mr. Heinz,
    When I say “liberty” I mean the right to have a relationship with God. I knew it would be mistaken and used against me as it is so often in Baptist pulpits. You are right when referring to he long hair reference in the NT and so I believe a lady should have long hair… but long is an open term letting humans decide what they think long means (ie: mid back, shoulder or hair to the floor).
    Another point I am trying to get to is that Jesus never mentions it in the NT and lets Paul say something about it in Corinthians. the only thing Paul says though is “modesty”, there is nothing in the NT that says forbid to wear pants if you are a lady!

  48. David Warner
    March 31, 2009 at 4:13 pm | #51

    Daniel,

    I don’t think Deut. 22:5 is a liberty issue. A liberty issue would be something that the Bible does not necessarily prohibit. But the liberty issues must be taken with extreme circumspection (I Corinthians 8:9). Deut. 22:5 is clearly a Scriptural issue and a direct, moral command from God.

    Anvil,

    Clothing has a visible message. Zeph. 1:8 talks about “strange apparel.” What did strange apparel look like? The people who read it in that day must have known what strange apparel looked like. Proverbs 7:10 talks about “the attire of an harlot.” The passage doesn’t describe what that looks like; it is assumed that the readers understood it already. What is “modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety” in I Timothy 2:9? The readers must have had a mental image of what was meant. Therefore, pants on women sends a message to everyone else. What is the message?

  49. David Warner
    March 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm | #52

    Daniel,

    The New Testament does not say that a man should not wear a dress. So does a man have liberty to wear a dress?

    Deut. 22:5 is a command concerning one’s relationship to God. Against His design equals against God. If you are concern about your relationship with God, then you should take heed to this verse.

  50. March 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm | #53

    David,
    Duet 22:5 was a “Scriptural issue and a direct, moral command from God” to the Jews in the OT. I love how you break up commands as being moral, civil and (I cannot remember the last one). I agree with your stance on that but you have to think about us being NT believers. If God wanted us to be that strict on it he would have mentioned it (ie: long hair on women, modesty for ladies, etc etc etc) HE chose not to in the NT because it was a command to the Jews to be separate not to 2009 believers.

  51. March 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm | #54

    Obviously it doesn’t say that. It also doesn’t say women shouldn’t wear pants!!!! Think on both sides of the argument, David

  52. March 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm | #55

    Daniel,

    We have liberty in non-scriptural or non-moral issues. We don’t have liberty to disobey Scripture, to disobey the pastor, to cause disunity in the church, to be a stumbling-block, to be a bad testimony, to violate our own or someone else’s conscience, or to act in doubt.

    You can’t take the Bible grammatically and historically, that is, literally, if you are going to dismiss all teaching of the OT not found in the NT. The example of Jesus and Paul was that they both regularly, constantly used and quoted and referred to the OT. Paul said the law is good when used lawfully. John said that sin was a transgression of the law. Paul wrote that the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to faith. Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law. A position of lawlessness is called antinomianism. It is a position of licentiousness. Our liberty is not license to sin. Grace is not an occasion for the flesh. So again, liberty issues are ones where scripture doesn’t speak, not where it does speak. A liberty issue isn’t one where because of rampant disobedience, people now completely stop obeying a particular verse of the Bible. That isn’t liberty—that’s rebellion.

    Is this NT teaching? I believe it is in 1 Cor 11:3-16 too, but Deut 22:5 is very specific. I believe that people haven’t dismissed it as a result of study. Here’s what happened in order.
    1. Everyone in America, due to Christian influence, practiced Deut 22:5 from 1607 Jamestown through at least 1900, and mainly until the 1960-70s.
    2. The women’s rights movement grew for numbers of reasons, mainly during the post-enlightenment period during which Darwinism also came, which rose out of rationalism and a denial of supernaturalism, thus God’s design is questioned.
    3. Prominent unbelieving women wear pants.
    4. Christians oppose this activity of unbelievers.
    5. Pants on women becomes more prominent.
    6. Finally, women in churches start wearing pants.
    7. Churches preach against those churches.
    8. It becomes the norm in America.
    9. Because of worldliness, Christians go right along with the culture.
    10. New scriptural explanations arise to justify women’s pants.
    11. The churches where women still don’t wear pants are ridiculed and mocked not just by the world, but also by churches (in this case by pastors too—Pastor Will here).

    You didn’t read me very carefully if you think that I don’t practice stoning a rebellious son because of culture. It was a judicial law. In other words, it was a law to be practiced by the nation. We would do well to mirror OT Israel in our practice as a nation, but even in the OT the parent didn’t stone his child. I’ve said this again and again on line. The people who are changing this are going against how it has been practiced for centuries by Christians and they have changed it, not out of biblical conviction, but to fit into the world system. It really is more a matter of worldliness today.

    Anvil,

    So you wear your jock-strap every day then, you know, due to the fact that it is the male article and you want to glorify God’s design. I think just to be sure that everyone knows that you are wearing, you know, the male symbol, you should wear it on your face. It can double as a gas mask that way. Everyone! Anvil wants you to know that the jock strap is the last male garment!!!! Don’t miss that.

    Regarding so-called “women’s pants,” if pants were a designated female article that was distinctly female, or if there was some way that our culture did distinguish female pants from male pants, I would consider them to be that. However, we haven’t done that. Do you know why? Because women are not wearing pants to distinguish themselves from men. Pants came along on women against that distinction, to erase that distinction. I think I may have written this to you before. And what do you think of that? You support it.

    And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:1-2. Women who wear pants are an abomination to God. There, I said it. I am predicting that will be cut and pasted all over.

  53. Anvil
    March 31, 2009 at 4:50 pm | #56

    David W.,

    Since you haven’t established that pants on women fits the definition of “the attire of a harlot” (which by the way is usually not pants in most of the pictures of harlots you see today), “strange apparel” or that they always are immodest, I don’t know what message they are sending. If, in fact, pants are always immodest, no matter how loose, they are immodest on men as well as on women. So why don’t you tell me what message pants on women sends to everyone else? I must not be among that number, because I’m not getting it.

    I get modesty, gender distinction, avoiding looking like a harlot and similar biblical principles. I do my best to follow those principles with my family as well. I tend to believe that Deut. 22:5 has gender distinction in view. From what I understand, Pastor Brandenburg does not see that verse that way.

    There was a time in years past when in our culture it was scandalous for women to wear pants. I believe that would fit the definition of Deut. 22:5. However, that is no longer the case (and it’s not obvious how that change is really any different from the change from “coats of skins” that God made for Adam and Eve to robes made of cloth). And as P.B. has himself as much as admitted, pants were not necessarily specifically in view when that verse was written (maybe some type of robe) — however people knew what female clothing and male clothing was, just as they know it today. Female pants/shirts are not male pants/shirts, and people can tell the difference. The problem is that those differences are not seen by some as distinct enough to make a “male article” and a “female article.” I also don’t see how the changes from different robes to dresses/pants is OK, but the changes from dresses/pants to different pants isn’t.

    P.S. I mentioned this to P.B. a while back, but a few months ago in our area, there was an article in one of our papers about how the “attire of a harlot” was no longer what it was in years past. In order to avoid police attention, women trolling for men were now wearing modest, girl-next-door looks, with the distinction being certain accessories worn in certain combinations, or certain color or clothing combinations, etc. In other words, the attire looked completely normal to those not “in the know.” I would argue that to both the seller and the buyer, that was in fact “the attire of a harlot,” but it was not recognizable as such unless you knew what to look for. So yes, people know what the “attire of a harlot” is, and they were trying to avoid it, even though they were in the business. Clearly, “women in pants” is not equivalent to the “attire of a harlot” or the police would be picking up all women dressed in that way.

  54. Anvil
    March 31, 2009 at 5:09 pm | #57

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    I could be wrong, but Deut. 22:5 says absolutely nothing about how often the male article was worn, or where it was worn, so it’s not clear from the verse that it must be worn every day, or that it must be worn on the face — it simply says that women shouldn’t wear it. The breeches that the priests wore were only required when ministering.

    Regarding how pants on women came to be, I understand some of the history, but girls wearing pants today are not (in most cases) thinking about breaking down the distinctions. Most girls like looking like girls just as most guys like looking like guys. The dynamic from the early “women’s’ rights” time simply is not on their radar. Of course, there are still prominent “feminists” and other unisex types who want to erase any distinctions, but unlike the time you are referring to, a women wearing pants today is generally not attempting to do that. If women wearing pants was supposed to bring about the change in society toward erasing all distinctions between the sexes, then I would argue it has failed miserably to do anything like that. Just take a glimpse (not too much) at magazine covers, TV shows, movies, etc. Immodesty and profligate living are flaunted everywhere, but most women still try to look like women in their dress, and most men try to look like men.

  55. March 31, 2009 at 5:39 pm | #58

    Anvil,

    I really wasn’t looking to break down 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, mainly because of the head covering issue, but a major factor in the distinction was for it to be seen. 1 Cor 11 mentions the angels seeing it and before that so that people could see male authority. All of it is being done for God. So different underwear and garments that were hidden is not the idea of clothing distinctions. When you go to a men’s or women’s bathroom, you don’t see two stick figures with different underwear on. I’m amazed at the lengths that people will go to avoid this.

    I hear you talking about modesty. Great. But in the day in which we live a woman can get by looking like everyone else and still dress modest, but where she will stick out and be different is this very issue. There are obvious reasons, many of them having to do with egalitarian relationships.

    You know, it really doesn’t matter if someone is breaking God’s law out of ignorance. It still is God’s law. So the motive, albeit important, is not all there is to it. And then regarding women “trying to look like women.” Sure they do. They try to seduce men too. But that isn’t what the verse says. It is very clear.

    You know a good sign that you’re wrong on this, Anvil? That when it comes time to bring up the male garment, the distinguishing garment, you say the jock strap. The fact that you would even say that article of clothing says that you are grasping at straws. What I do know though from talking about this: there are men out there that were right with you on that. “Yeah, the jock strap. Good one, Anvil.” The fact is that people don’t want to obey this verse, so they don’t. We’re a nation where we have more women working than men. We are thirteen trillion in debt. We just passed laws to get the baby killing moving faster. And we’re not going to make any distinctions in activity and dress between men and women. Is there any wonder why there is rampant homosexuality too, and that our state voted by only a 52-48 margin to make marriage only between men and women.

    One more thing, Anvil. God is not going to go for this kind of game that we play. He has something for us to obey and we obey it less and less until we don’t obey it at all, and now since no one is obeying it, it must be OK. Sure, it is OK to people who walk after their own lusts, but it isn’t OK to God. We can’t play that game with him. It’s like the worship that Israel thought was so good that was in the high places that became the standard. Since no one was being struck dead for a period of time, then God must not being offended. We know He was. We should assume He is on this too.

    One comment here from Daniel Brady that is an overused new-evangelical argument is the whole, God is really mainly concerned about the heart, so we shouldn’t be concerned about these external things. This is Pharisaical to be into these externals, he would say. None of us have the same standard as that for ourselves. If you’re at a restaurant and the chef throws the food on the plate half-cooked, we don’t excuse him because we think he’s got a good heart. No, we want it like we want it. We don’t hold that standard for ourselves, and we shouldn’t assume that it is something God tolerates either. You don’t have a heart for God when you won’t do what He says—see John 14:15, 21, 23.

  56. Anvil
    March 31, 2009 at 6:39 pm | #59

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    First, I was attempting to argue on your turf by giving an example of a male article that wasn’t pants. You seem to have some sort of vested interest in pants being the only article in our culture that can be described in that verse. I simply gave an example of something that is clearly male that could fit that bill. If I read you right in the past, you have contended directly that Deut 22:5 is not talking about distinctions but about the male/female article, so I can’t see how a “visible” article is required by the verse the way you are viewing it. Of course, now you seem to be talking about distinctions. I’m not trying to avoid the “obvious” conclusion. I just don’t see that what you are contending about pants is obvious.

    I don’t actually take the view that there is one, specific article being talked about — I believe it is speaking more generally to men not wearing women’s clothes and vice versa, i.e. distinction in dress. As you have already seen, I don’t believe that pants are only a male garment any more, and as others have shown, pants have been a female garment at times. I wouldn’t wear a pony tail or a bow in my hair either, but those would have been male items/distinctions at the time of the founding of the U.S.A.

    I also don’t see how “stick out and be different” in dress is what is implied by the scriptures, except for where it was so stated for the nation of Israel. Of course, even if it were, plenty of worldly men wear suits, and plenty of worldly women wear dresses, so even a Sunday morning crowd at a “no pants” church is not really sticking out in their dress, and changes would need to be made.

    I agree that breaking God’s law out of ignorance is still wrong. My point was that in that one particular area (gender distinction) even most worldly people are not trying to cross those boundaries. It has yet to be shown conclusively (at least to me) that pants on women is even unintentionally breaking God’s law, except for those who, at the time that clear distinction (pants/no pants) existed in our culture, went against it knowing what they were doing. However, today, the thinking from that time has mostly faded into history, and there is distinction between pants for men and pants for women. I won’t argue with you about those who are truly trying to erase the distinction.

    I actually agree with you on the “slippery slope” way of thinking, but I’m still not convinced that all cultural changes fall into this. If they do, then the change from different robes to pants/dresses was one of those changes toward doing more wrong, and should have been opposed. In fact, we should all be wearing what God himself designed for Adam and Eve. I don’t know exactly what “coats of skins” would look like, but it doesn’t look like anything worn in America today.

    I’ll let Daniel handle your comment about what he said.

  57. March 31, 2009 at 8:01 pm | #60

    I’ve written this two or three times: “The point of the verse is that certain items will be designated distinctly male and certain ones will be designated distinctly female and the woman must not put on the male ones and the male must not put on the female ones.”

    I talk about “the article” in the generic sense. I don’t say there is one male article, but in our culture, it has been pants among other things, but that was clear symbol of masculinity, the male garment. Now it is nothing. We haven’t replaced it with anything. Anvil says, yes, women try to be feminine. That isn’t the point of the passage, again. I’ve said that a lot.

  58. JR
    April 1, 2009 at 7:20 am | #61

    Do you enforce a rule that ladies who are members of your church not wear pants? If so, how? Also, do you separate from churches who do not enforce such a rule, but permit serving members (i.e. sunday school teachers, nursery workers, etc.) to wear pants in their personal lives?

  59. JB
    April 1, 2009 at 8:32 am | #62

    What do you think about some instances where woman have to wear pants (i.e -a nurse)? Do you believe it is always wrong for a woman to wear pants even in the privacy of her own home?

  60. JB
    April 1, 2009 at 9:08 am | #63

    Those questions were specially for Pastor B, but others can answer also please?

  61. April 1, 2009 at 11:02 am | #64

    Do you enforce a rule that ladies who are members of your church not wear pants?

    We treat the pants issue like any other area in scripture. It isn’t a “rule” we have in our church any more than “preach the gospel to every creature” is a rule. As in all areas of sanctification, we are patient with all men, strengthening the feebleminded and supporting the weak. We know that it takes time for people to learn the Bible and we don’t start with the pant/skirt issue and neither do we avoid it.

    If so, how? Also, do you separate from churches who do not enforce such a rule, but permit serving members (i.e. sunday school teachers, nursery workers, etc.) to wear pants in their personal lives?

    I’ve written a lengthy description on how we separate here at Jackhammer. I talk about it here: http://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/separation-and-ranking-doctrines/

    I don’t like this language—”enforce such a rule.” This isnt a “rule.” It is Scripture. We expect people to obey the Bible in our church. See 1 John 2:3-5. We help them understand the Bible and obey it. People in leadership would be more mature. We don’t have a list of rules for them. They must show a consistent life of obedience to scripture, which would include significant love for others. We don’t hand them a list of rules though. I don’t think a Christian is one in public but not in private. That would be a hypocrite. We expect genuine Christianity.

    What do you think about some instances where woman have to wear pants (i.e -a nurse)?

    If you believe something, then you adjust your life to the beliefs, not vice versa.

    Do you believe it is always wrong for a woman to wear pants even in the privacy of her own home?

    Angels are in the home and so is God. Usually so are children. I believe it is always wrong to disobey Scripture. I don’t believe in obedience only in public, but not in private. This seems to be very much like your last question.

  62. April 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm | #65

    Do you enforce a rule that ladies who are members of your church not wear pants? If so, how? Also, do you separate from churches who do not enforce such a rule, but permit serving members (i.e. sunday school teachers, nursery workers, etc.) to wear pants in their personal lives?

    It is against our church’s standards – as is men wearing skirts and dresses. Do we enforce it? We preach it and the godly women are examples of Biblical modesty. Do we force visitors to wear skirts and dresses or turn them away if they are not wearing something along these lines? No, but if they are in my church long enough, they will see there is a difference in the way our men and women dress. Of course, if a man or woman came into our church in a state of undress (no skirt, revealing top, etc.), we would see if we had anything to cover them with or turn them away, so as not to be a stumbling block to others.

    I don’t have anything to comment about separating from other churches not holding these standards, as we are the only IFB church in my city (so we are not united with any churches as such anyway). Though visitors from like-minded churches from other cities come through here and there – but we do not enforce standards for them. If they were travelling through and planning of ministering in our church during their visit (such as a missionary or deputation or an evangelist or preacher doing special meetings) we would expect them to abide by those standards. I have never seen a travelling missionary, etc. preach or do a presentation from our pulpit that was not dressed appropriately in a suit and tie (I am sure my pastor would refuse them the opportunity to preach if they showed up in jeans).

    As far as standards go for church workers, I am pretty sure that these standards must also apply in their personal lives, or they cannot minister in our church (ie. like lead our Youth group or teach a Sunday School class or be a bus driver or worker), as we are examples to our youth and other members, and this is giving a hypocritical message. A difference would be the men involved in church ministry wearing suits and ties – outside of church that is not required, of course. But that is not a moral issue. As an usher and bus worker (which I was for about 5 years), I wore a suit and tie. Sometimes I could stand in for someone that was sick or was unable to make it if I showed up in my suit and tie. Though if I showed up for a service in my work clothes or regular clothes, I would not be able to stand in for one of the men.

    What do you think about some instances where woman have to wear pants (i.e -a nurse)? Do you believe it is always wrong for a woman to wear pants even in the privacy of her own home?

    HAVE to wear them? If they are wrong, they are wrong – and we need to adjust our behaviour to reflect obedience to God’s Word. Either a person can have liberty to wear something else, or she shouldn’t be in that job (if anyone is convinced that it is morally wrong to wear or do what that job requires, then they should not be in that job).

    Yes, I believe that for women to wear pants and for men to wear skirts and dresses is morally wrong; therefore wrong in every situation, not just in the confenient ones.

  63. April 2, 2009 at 1:42 am | #66

    Pastor Brandenberg,

    I can see your side of the argument but its still very confusing to me and obviously to others on here.

    First I will refer to the first part that we were talking about then I will address the new things that have come up and wearing things in private as opposed to public.

    First, I never said anything about the “whole” serving God or anything like that. I am saying pants is a Christian liberty issue. We want to put it as an article of clothing matter but Paul tells us it is a modesty issue and it is for us individually, to decide what that means.

    Now I will address the issue about obeying the whole Bible and not picking parts to obey. There is an obvious reason God gave us the contradictions to the law in the NT but for some reason you seem to miss that. Obviously we can’t “stone or rebellious sons” like in the OT and you say because that is a moral law and moral is decided by our culture. So you are willing to bend on that issue and find some way to make ut fit into your belief system.
    So my argument is this: we all would agree there are rules in the OT that we still live by today such as: thou shalt not steal etc. But all those “rules” or “laws” or “commands of God” or whatever you want to call them, are listed for us again in the NT either by Jesus himself or an author of a NT book. So in saying all that, obviously God knew we would have pants in the 21st century and he would have pointed out to us that he forbid that like he did with long hair on ladies or stealing or lying. So to sum this all up, every rule we should live by that goes from the OT is also listed in the NT and this one is not. As much as you want to say it was a command of God (and it was) it isn’t a command God felt we needed as new testament believers. So he had Paul tell us to be modest and He left it at that.

    Ok now for the whole pants in private thing…
    Someone said the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life in a post a couple back and I can’t repeat it exactly because I’m doing this from my phone but he said something about if someone came into his church that was dressed to badly that they would ask them to conver up or tell them to leave as to help Christians and not to be a stumbling block. That is beyond stupid and yes I just called that person out. There is a reason why the “world” doesn’t respect us Christians or give us the time of day and its because there are a few of you out there that are so prideful that you would do such a thing. You are bringing the rest of us Christians down and shedding a bad light on us. I’m a normal person living as a Christian in a screwed up world and my testimony is brought down by pious churches and pastors and Christians like you! You are bordering on cultish and legalistic. No wonder why us Christians have a bad name, WOW, you are ridiculous.

    Sorry had to get that out of my system.

    If a girl wears lingerie in the bedroom would you call that public or private clothes and yes I just went there… A couple of you just said that we want to be Christians in public and private because God is there. So I legitimately want you to think about that. If a girl wears night pants to bed or a guy wants to sleep naked or in boxers they are all things they wouldn’t do in public but they would in private. Wake up and think about it before you bring some robot response.

  64. April 2, 2009 at 5:14 am | #67

    Daniel, me and my church are cultist because we don’t want nudity in our church? Yeah, okay… In the couple of cases I know of, we sought to cover the woman who came in a bikini, and offered to lend the man a shirt or a jacket. The woman accepted the offered article of clothing, the man refused and left. But I guess we are a cult. Must be nice to wear your speedos to church…

    As far as only what is restated in the NT being applicable to us today, that argument is flawed. The laws against bestiality and prostituting your daughters are not restated in the NT – would any Christian in their right mind try to tell us that these are no longer against God today? I didn’t think so – and this issue is classified the same (ie. as an abomination) to the Lord God.

  65. April 2, 2009 at 6:29 am | #68

    Daniel:

    I tried to paste the universal symbols for man and woman that are found often on bathroom doors, but couldn’t. I recommend you go a look at one of those signs. They represent the clear cultural concept of men and women’s dress. Then look at Deut. 22:5. It is not confusing. We don’t want our women to become like men, nor our men women, not even in the area of dress. The Bible supports this in the Old and New Testaments.

  66. April 2, 2009 at 8:40 am | #69

    Jerry,

    You just gave the rarest of occasions and want to act like its a normal situation. I went to a huge IFB, most likely a lot bigger then yours and we brought in 1200 people to church on Sunday morning that weren’t our members and I never saw or heard that happen. Again, you are ridiculous!!
    About the bestiality and prostituition in the NT, I believe if you look again you will discover that God tells us to obey the government we put ourselves under. THE UNITED STATES HAS LAWS AGAINST THOSE!!!!!! So in all honesty, we did get a command of God to not do those things.
    By the way, thanks for again ignoring my argument for Christian liberty and also the argument about pants in private or public…

    Donald,

    Nice originality with the restroom signs! ;)

    I would agree that Duet 22:5 is a clear command from God but so is 21:18-21 and 22:11 and you don’t obey those. BY the way, the reason you don’t follow those is because of our culture and its not stated in the NT.
    Also, you said the following statement “The Bible supports this in the Old and New Testaments.”
    So now I am asking you to prove it. Please show me in the NT where it says that because you are gonna tell us all something we have never heard. You will only find that Paul tells us to use modesty (giving us the ability to use our Christian liberty and determine what “modesty” means to each of us individually).
    I will say to you the same that I said to Jerry, thank you for ignoring me once again on the issue of Christian liberty it has proven the validity of my statement.

  67. April 2, 2009 at 8:49 am | #70

    Daniel B.,

    I care about you and want things to work out in your life, so I tend to be patient with you, but I want you to know that you are testing my patience with your disrespect of other people. Most of them are much older than you. Perhaps you need me to prove to you why to respect other people made in the image of God and especially older men. Scripture says to entreat them as Fathers. Almost everyone here is older than you. And as far as your respect of me, who has been very kind to you, I believe, and talked to you like a man, I don’t deserve it, because I am a worm, but based on what God says about my office and my age and experience, you should give it to me. Not giving it says a lot about your pride. Don’t let this scare you away, but now may be a time for you to learn how to respect folks that take a stronger position than what you want to take. I want you to know that I am putting this lightly to you, because if you were in my presence, it wouldn’t be the same. It would be much more fierce and you would more than deserve it. I’m happy that you want to have this discussion, but you are going to need to be respectful. What caught my attention is when you called Jerry “ridiculous.” If you were my own son, you wouldn’t get away with that. I don’t care how old you would be. You need to apologize to Jerry right now. Then after that I’ll continue this discussion.

  68. April 2, 2009 at 8:53 am | #71

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    I have just read your response to the Christian liberty issue, thank you for responding.
    There is one problem I can see with your argument. Of course, we don’t have the liberty to do those things but we have the liberty to choose which church, government we subject ourselves under. My church preaches the Bible as hard and true to the Word as you but because the Bible doesn’t state this as a command of GOD, my pastor refuses to bring it up as an important issue.
    Example, when I turned 18 I had the right to decide what I was going to do with my life be it “honoring” to my parents or not. I then have to go to Scriptures find out what I believe for myself and do it. My parents are going to have problems with some things just as your parents did with you as well as every guy on this blog. So lets say, I believe something my dad taught me was wrong or misguided, then I have the authority (given to me in the NT) to do something different then my dad taught me. Now there is a fine line to ride but I think you will understand my point.
    I am going to do some things different from my church or parents teachings but these things are mostly different in taste and not morals. This pants issue is one of taste and modesty, at least that is what Paul thought!

  69. April 2, 2009 at 10:43 am | #72

    Jerry,

    I want to first apologize for calling you “ridiculous”.
    After having spoke to an authority about this matter I can sincerely say I am sorry for calling you a name!
    I was thinking you were chiding me like a child and it made me boil over.
    As explained to me, this is your actual thinking and that I disagree with but respect!
    I am sorry and would ask for your forgiveness!

  70. April 2, 2009 at 11:31 am | #73

    Thanks Daniel. OK, let’s move on. I’m sure Jerry will forgive.

    “I am saying pants is a Christian liberty issue. We want to put it as an article of clothing matter but Paul tells us it is a modesty issue and it is for us individually, to decide what that means.”

    If you don’t respect Deut 22:5 as for today and then you don’t think that 1 Corinthians 3:3-16 applies, then you might call it a liberty. Liberties are non-scriptural or moral issues. If Deut 22:5 and 1 Cor 11:3-16 are teaching this position of no-pants on women, then it isn’t a liberty. That is the historic practice of Christianity in our culture. I believe only something clear in scripture could or should over-rule the position that would say that Christians were wrong for 400 years in this culture. That scriptural teaching should show how that people were wrong in the past. It should be a bigger deal to overturn all of Christian history. I don’t see any kind of teaching that merits that. It looks like people grasping for straws to excuse behavior.

    “Now I will address the issue about obeying the whole Bible and not picking parts to obey. There is an obvious reason God gave us the contradictions to the law in the NT but for some reason you seem to miss that.”

    This is another place you are wrong, Daniel. Nothing in scripture contradicts. Nothing in the law contradicts the NT. Some of it we don’t practice because it’s purpose is fulfilled in Christ (sabbath) and that Israel is no longer a nation (stoning sons for rebellion). Capital punishment is the domain of the nation (Rom 13:1-7), not vigilantes—that was even the case in the OT with the city of refuge laws. I suggest you read Kaiser’s Toward an Old Testament Ethic

    “Obviously we can’t “stone or rebellious sons” like in the OT and you say because that is a moral law and moral is decided by our culture. So you are willing to bend on that issue and find some way to make ut fit into your belief system.”

    I never said we can’t stone rebellious sons. I never said this. I said this was a judicial law. I’m not bending the issue. Israel isn’t a nation anymore.

    “So my argument is this: we all would agree there are rules in the OT that we still live by today such as: thou shalt not steal etc. But all those “rules” or “laws” or “commands of God” or whatever you want to call them, are listed for us again in the NT either by Jesus himself or an author of a NT book.”

    Could you point me to a place in the Bible, Daniel, that says that we don’t keep the OT anymore with the exception of those repeated in the NT? Jesus sad He didn’t come to destroy the law. Paul said the law is still a schoolmaster. We’ve shown you numerous passages that say that the OT law is still in force. It never could save us.

    “So in saying all that, obviously God knew we would have pants in the 21st century and he would have pointed out to us that he forbid that like he did with long hair on ladies or stealing or lying. So to sum this all up, every rule we should live by that goes from the OT is also listed in the NT and this one is not. As much as you want to say it was a command of God (and it was) it isn’t a command God felt we needed as new testament believers. So he had Paul tell us to be modest and He left it at that.”

    I get your argument. Deut 22:5 isn’t in force any longer despite the fact that believers still practiced it for all of history since the NT was written. When they stopped in Corinth, Paul said, keep doing it (1 Cor 11). So we have a generation of feminists and unisex and rampant homosexuality and it doesn’t work in the world so much anymore, so we give up what God told us to do? No. We do not relinquish this practice, even when the culture does.

    The whole last paragraphs on the public/private, you used a lot of disrespectful speech in there. See if you can keep from doing that. I’m including in that: cultish and robot. OK, the reason why this particular standard should be kept in private is given in 1 Cor 11—for a testimony to the angels. On top of that, Deut 22:5 says don’t have it on. That doesn’t say public or private. Regarding the modesty rules, it says dress modestly. Well, modesty is different. We have further revelation about the marriage bed being undefiled (Heb 13), so between husband and wife, it’s fine. Only then, by the way.

    As far as churches covering people up, standards of decency are fine. Everyone draws the line somewhere. You do too, Daniel. I went door-to-door last night and a girl came to the door with lingerie on, and I could see most of her body. I left her a tract and left. By the way, she claimed to be a Christian and she still stood there in the open door. If someone were to come to church that way, say in a mini-skirt, we’re a church, not an elks lodge, so we give her something to cover. That is an appropriate way to behave. It won’t stop her from receiving Christ any more than Jesus harsh confrontation of the women at the well kept her from salvation. The law is a schoolmaster.

  71. Deron Grotelueschen
    April 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm | #74

    For Memphis Will or Daniel B,
    Is there an article of clothing that is more distinctly feminine than a dress?
    Is there an article of clothing that is more distinctly masculine than pants?

    I personally do not know of any, and that is why I asked my wife and daughter to start wearing dresses, skirts, or culots a few years ago. The question for me wasn’t whether or not I could find pants that met the criteria for them, but that if they wore a dress there is no question that they are in the proper attire.

    Also, for my sons and myself, we also changed the way that we dressed. We do not wear tight fitting sweat clothes, or tank tops or the like. The reason being, we want to cover our bodies appropriately and not offend our God.

    Do you think that makes me a legalist? I believe in Salvation by grace, through faith. I think that even parents that allow their kids to wear Barney pajamas can repent and go to Heaven. Not so sure about Tinky Winky PJs though.

    Dios te bendiga!

  72. April 3, 2009 at 7:59 am | #75

    “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimonies of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)

    I think, and I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am)…God gave us His law, and that when we say civil, ceremonial, or moral, we are mentioning only aspects of that law. I believe it was Thomas Aquinas who started to divide the law into the three divisions for the sake of clarity but there really is no division within the law; everything that God prescribes he did for the purpose of purifying Israel as His elect nation. Because the Israelites did things distinct from the rest of the nations, they stuck out as the people of God.

    In our day and age of rapid secularization, we ought want to maintain clear and distinct lines of separation not only in dress and appearance, but also in music, and other avenues of life (i.e. no alcoholic beverages even in moderation), because we are His people and we want to be pleasing in His sight. Like the faithful remnant in Israel, we too will stick out as the culture becomes worse.

  73. April 3, 2009 at 9:06 am | #76

    Billy,

    You are correct. The law is one. We keep the spirit of all of it. The divisions help us understand it—a hermeneutic. Nothing in the NT says that we keep only that repeated in the NT.

  74. April 3, 2009 at 9:53 am | #77

    So in what sense are we “not under the law”? Just not under the curse? In what sense were the handwriting of ordinances taken out of the way and nailed to the cross?

  75. JR
    April 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm | #79

    Based on reading your article on separation, I would assume that you would not fellowship with churches who do not hold to the belief that it is an abomination for women to wear pants. However, I did notice that that your “What is Truth” blog links to churches that do not hold to that belief? (They may “prefer” skirts but do not have a problem with serving members wearing pants apart from church.)

    JB: In regards in to women being required to wear pants in a particular profession: you will usually be permitted to wear a skirt if it is a “religious” conviction, unless there are compelling reasons not to (military, police officer, etc.).

  76. April 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm | #80

    Kent:

    Thanks. I am thoughtful about this right now. I’m sure the links will help.

  77. April 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm | #81

    JR,

    I’m not aware that the churches I have listed on the side of my blog have a different practice than this. And even if they don’t believe and practice like I do, that doesn’t mean that I cut them off. That’s something you probably noticed in my thing on separation. Thanks for reading it.

    Thanks for dropping by, JR. I had emailed you because I thought i might know you, but maybe I don’t.

  78. JR
    April 4, 2009 at 9:02 am | #82

    I checked my email and did not get anything….maybe sent to JB? No, we have never met, but I enjoy reading the blog.

  79. April 4, 2009 at 10:24 am | #83

    I went door-to-door last night and a girl came to the door with lingerie on, and I could see most of her body. I left her a tract and left. By the way, she claimed to be a Christian and she still stood there in the open door. If someone were to come to church that way, say in a mini-skirt, we’re a church, not an elks lodge, so we give her something to cover. That is an appropriate way to behave.

    Thanks, Bro Kent, for understanding the point I was trying to make, and for seeking to make this discussion civil.

    Daniel, I accept your apology, and can state I in no way was attempting to treat you as a child. I may be poor in my debating skills, but that is not a tactic I typically use.

  1. March 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm | #1

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