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Criticism of answer to "Should a woman wear pants?"

q.gif (1639 bytes)    Why are you so caught up in only pants for men and only dresses for women when no one wore pants at the time Deuteronomy was written? Duet 22:5 (I see no reference to pants or skirts in this verse).  Do you have tassels on the four corners of your garment? Deut 22:12.  Have you ever planted your field or garden with more than one kind of seed? (I think this should include lawns where this is a common practice to have more than one type of grass planted) Duet 22:9.  Do you wear wool-blended clothing? (Some translations would make it any two kinds of fabric) Deut 22:11.  I think all of these should be taken into account to answer this question wisely. Either we must obey all of Deuteronomy to a tee or we must realize that it was written for the Israelites in order for them to be separate. There are plenty of verses about proper sexual conduct, modesty, and appropriate living outside of Deuteronomy. Remember Galatians chapter 5.


a.gif (1659 bytes)   Deuteronomy 22:1-3 says, "Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself." If you find something which someone has lost, do you not think the Biblical thing to do is return it? Are these verses not valid because they are in the Old Testament?

Deuteronomy 22:4 says, "Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again." If you saw a person trying to lift a heavy load, but could not do it alone, would you stop and help him? Do you not think that it is the Biblical thing to do? Are these verses not valid, because they are in the Old Testament?

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." Why would the first four verses be valid today, but suddenly the fifth one would not? Why would people be against the fifth verse? Because it is one which calls the believer to be different from the world, and carnal Christians do not like to be told that, because it brings persecution. John 15:19,20 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” I John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Psalm 119:96 says, “I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.” The Bible is exceeding broad; that is, it can be applied to a broad range of things in life, and to any culture during any generation. In our culture, pants do not pertain to a woman -- even the world knows that (look at the door of the next public restroom you see). In our culture, a dress does not pertain to a man (look at the restroom door again). The Bible clearly says here, "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 commandment is exceeding broad, and applies to our culture and to our generation. Therefore, it is wrong for a woman to wear pants and for a man to wear a dress in our culture.

In any culture, it must be determined what pertains to what gender; and then, if it is indeed modest. In some cultures, traditional dress is not modest (many tribes of the world fall into this category). That is why missionaries have to be sent to many nations of the world, because they do not have the true gospel, and their long-standing culture reflects their long-standing separation from the true and the living God — it is shown in their immodest dress.

We are living in a distressing day of political correctness, even amongst churches and missionaries. When I was a boy, I sat in church and watched missionary slides of their new converts on the field. They showed the new female converts in dresses, and the new male converts in pants and shirts (compared to distant shots of half naked, unsaved people). Back in those days, I never heard one statement criticizing those missionaries for teaching those new converts to dress that way (which was modest).

But now, what a change has taken place! Now, missionary candidates are grilled in Candidate School, “Do not go over there and Americanize those people!” I sat in on such a candidate class in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the late 70’s, and heard that very thing. And what did he mean by Americanizing those people? Teaching the women to wear modest dresses, and the men to wear pants and shirts. I was heartbroken then, and see the terrible fruit of that influence upon the missionaries that are being sent to the field today (they go out in their shorts and slit skirts, so how can they teach anyone else modesty?) Those young candidates were being intimidated to NOT preach the whole counsel of God. What is the Great Commission? Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” We are not to just preach the gospel, but also the all things of the Scriptures — which happen to include modest clothing, and distinctive clothing (a distinctive difference between the way that men and women dress, so that there is absolutely no confusion as to whether the person is male or female, and no reason to look over people’s bodies). What has changed? American Christians have changed. To get Americans into church now, many churches advertise “Come as you are!” “Casual dress!” I would encourage you to carefully and prayerfully study the Bible Course on the Christian’s Appearance “http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/biblecrs/cappear/cappear1.htm”.

Deuteronomy 22:6,7 says, "If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days." What is this? It is very simply, wise, wildlife management, which is in effect in every state. If you make it a practice of killing the young and the parents as well, then soon you will have no wildlife for food to eat. Are these verses not valid because they are found in the Old Testament?

Deuteronomy 22:8 says, "When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence." What is this? It is called liability. If you lived in some countries where they still have patios on the rooftops, then you would be expected to make a railing of some sort along the edge, so that people did not accidentally fall off and get hurt. The same principle is in effect in our area. If you build a deck on your home, you must make a railing along it, with the spindles no father apart than 4 inches. If you have steps up to your home, more than two steps high, the same applies for a railing along the steps. These were not always building codes in our area, but they are now, because people have gotten hurt. Are these verses not valid because they are found in the Old Testament?

If that is your feeling, then not even Christian lawyers agree with you. I just received the May 2004 newsletter, “The Legal Alert,” from the Christian Law Association. On page 6, they stated the following, “The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 22:8 that God is concerned about reasonable building safety. For instance, the Lord instructs the Israelites to ‘make a battlement for thy roof’ so that innocent people will not accidentally fall and be killed or injured.” Are those Christian lawyers wrong for using that verse and applying it to New Testament churches?

You have a great misunderstanding as to the place of the Old Testament in the life of the believer. Long before there were building codes, a Christian who believed the Bible would protect himself from liabilities like as is mentioned above, because he knew that God expected him to do so. How? From reading this passage in the Old Testament. God's Laws and principles have placed His people way ahead of those who do not read them. Deuteronomy 4:1-6 says, "Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. KEEP THEREFORE AND DO THEM; FOR THIS IS YOUR WISDOM AND YOUR UNDERSTANDING IN THE SIGHT OF THE NATIONS, WHICH SHALL HEAR ALL THESE STATUES, AND SAY, SURELY THIS GREAT NATION IS A WISE AND UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE."

Deuteronomy 22:9 says, "Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled." Once again, you are in error, because you evidently do not understand the extreme importance of this principle.

If you were a farmer, you would believe this verse is still important today, and would not casually say, "Oh, that is just Old Testament -- just forget about that! We no longer have to pay attention to that!" The reason that people pay no attention to this verse and principle involved, is because they BUY their SEEDS from someone else when they get ready to plant their garden or fields each year (someone who does practice the principle in this verse). But if WE had to SAVE OUR OWN SEEDS each year to plant the NEXT YEAR, then we would soon find out how important this verse is, and we would wish that we had OBEYED this verse. Call any SEED COMPANY, and see if they obey this principle when they are growing crops for the seed to sell the following year, and you will learn something. They make sure that only ONE SPECIFIC CROP is grown in a certain field, and when it is something like corn, and it tassels out, they hire people to come in and CUT OFF the TASSELS by hand to make sure that it IN NO WAY MIXES with ANY OTHER CORN that may be in the vicinity. If you have ever planted different kinds of squash close together in the garden, or different kinds of melons close together, you would know how easily they cross breed. This verse is extremely important today, and our government takes great care to warehouse pure strains of seeds in case of a blight that corrupts certain strains of seed. Do you say that this verse is not valid because it is in the Old Testament? Then the world is wiser than you are.

Deuteronomy 22:10 says, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” That is cruel to put two different types of animals together in a yoke to pull, when they have two different gaits (a manner of walking or moving on foot; a sequence of foot movements, as a walk, trot, pace, or canter; a manner or rate of movement or progress—Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary). God has never been in favor of unnecessary cruelty to animals, and that would be an example. Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Sometimes professing Christians have been put to shame by lost people, for the way that they treat their animals. Numbers 22:21-33 says, “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.” Do these verses not apply to us, because they are found in the Old Testament?

Deuteronomy 22:11 says, “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” I have no expertise in materials that work well together in clothing, but if God said this, then there is a good reason for it. I do know that some types of fabric shrink more than others, and if you made a garment using two types of thread, it may look terrible after being washed (most wives could tell you of clothes that they bought for the family, that came out of the wash looking terrible and required much time just trying to make them look presentable to wear). Is this verse not a worthy principle to observe, because it is in the Old Testament?

Deuteronomy 22:12 says, “Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.” Numbers 15:38-40 gives more information on the fringe, “SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, and bid them THAT THEY MAKE THEM FRINGES IN THE BORDERS OF THEIR GARMENTS throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.” Notice to whom this was spoken. This command was GIVEN SPECIFICALLY to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL — not to all people.

The SABBATH DAY was also given specifically to the children of Israel. Exodus 31:16,17 says, “Wherefore THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL KEEP THE SABBATH, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FOR EVER: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” That is why to the church was written in Colossians 2:14-17, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Although there is no command for us to make such fringes today upon our garments, if it would help us to remember the Word of God; and help others looking at us to remember the Word of God — it might be a good idea!  The fact of the matter is that when people see women and girls wearing modest, long, loose-fitting dresses, they often do think of religious matters. I can recall a time when our church families were out playing softball. We ask our ladies to wear modest dresses, skirts, or culottes to all church times of fellowship. Some young men stopped to watch us for a while, and one of them finally asked, “Are you Amish?” Even though the Amish (at least many of them), are not correct in their doctrine, the world looks at them as a very religious group. Those young men looked at us, and knew that we were some kind of a religious group.

I went to Bible College in the late 70’s at Tennessee Temple University. Back in those days, young ladies in the school were never allowed to wear pants. And when anyone in Chattanooga, Tennessee, saw a young lady in a modest dress, 9 times out of 10 it would be a Tennessee Temple student. And if you saw a clean cut young man with a decent, short haircut, it was most generally a young man from Tennessee Temple. The motto of the school back in those days was “Distinctively Christian.” It was NEVER taught that you go to heaven by dressing or looking a certain way, but it was preached RED HOT that if you are a Christian, your body is not your own, but God’s, and you better remember that. 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” What a shame today, that Christians usually look just like the world. If young men stop to watch Christians play softball today, they are probably just stopping to get their lust fulfilled as they watch all the girls and women in their short shorts and immodest tops.

Deuteronomy 22:13-30 says, “If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.”

Should the above verses be discarded because they are in the Old Testament, too? If they were practiced, there would not be the immorality that we see so rampant today. If these verses were practiced, the practice of dating would have to disappear (you better visit the Marriage Bible Courses on this site). The huge number of young people in churches today do not come to the marriage altar pure. And that, again, takes us back to the way that women and girls are dressing (both in church and out of church). How shameful to see the slit skirts, tight skirts, low cut tops, and other things that people wear to church. Outside of the church, they are as sensual in their appearance as any woman or girl of the world. Why are there so many rapes today, (a problem also discussed in the verses above)? It has a lot to do with the way that women and girls dress.

You said, “Either we must obey all of Deuteronomy to a tee or we must realize that it was written for the Israelites in order for them to be separate.”

That is not good Bible study advice at all. We should not throw out an entire Book of the Bible, if any part of it applies to someone other than us. According to your advice, then must be we should also throw out the Book of 1 Peter. It begins by saying, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” Are you a stranger from any of those cities? Then does that mean that the whole Book of 1 Peter does not apply to you, and should just be discarded?

We must consider every word; every verse; every passage; every context; from every Book of the Bible, and see if it should be applied to our lives. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If you fail to study the Word of God, and apply it to your life, then you are going to stand before the Lord ashamed one day.  2 Timothy 3:16, 17 says, "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."  Did God only expect Israel to be separate from the world?  2 Corinthians 6:17 says, "Wherefore come out from among them, and BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."

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