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Pants on Women

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by sageoffools, Nov 6, 2008.

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  1. sageoffools

    sageoffools Poster of wit, widsom and wiffelry

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    Ok, I don't know if this is the best place to post this question (I have also posted it in the Young Adults forum). However, being a Baptist, I am interested in the feelings on this issue from a Baptist viewpoint.

    My question is regarding pants on women. Growing up in church we were always taught that it was unBiblical for women to wear pants, no women in our house our in our church wore pants. This is a standard that I have held to my whole life.
    We are now at a point in our society where women wearing pants seems to be the norm, it is no longer seen as unusual or "unBiblical". Now, as I look around I realize that "every" woman wears pants now. Honestly, in all of the Baptist churches that I know of around here, my wife is the only woman that does not wear pants. Even my former pastor, who preached it for all those years, has relented his position, along with all of my family.

    I guess, to get to the point, my real question is, what are your thoughts about women wearing pants. Let me say, I am not looking to start a battle of right or wrong, I am simply looking for some Biblical reasons why you do, or do not think women should wear pants. How do you feel about it, and what Scripture did you use to reach that conclusion? I am struggling with this issue, and would like some reasoning to consider.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. RedTulipMom

    RedTulipMom Legend

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    I am not Baptist, but i am a Christian. You can ignore my answer if you choose.

    I see woman not wearing pants as a cultural thing. Back in Bible times dressing like a woman meant wearing a dress. In todays culture dressing like a woman means wearing shorts, skirts, pants etc. They have woman's dept and mens dept. for clothes. Pants are perfectly acceptable for woman to wear.

    Scripturally speaking, you need to look at the culture, history, and the intent of the passages regarding women's clothing.

    Women not wearing pants is just a legalistic rule that is manmade and it isn't a biblical mandate. Some churches in the past have preached: no card playing, no going to movies, no dancing, etc etc. Those are just legalistic rules.

    The Holy Spirit speaks to each one of us individually. Watching a certain tv program is something that might be fine for me to do, but if the Holy Spirit spoke to you about NOT watching that program then in obedience you surely shouldn't watch it. God knows us individually. God knows our heart, our circumstances and our past.

    Seek God as to whether its ok for your wife to wear pants. Don't seek mans answers.

    God bless.
     
  3. mont974x4

    mont974x4 The Christian Anarchist Supporter

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    Keep in mind everyone wore robes at the time the Scriptures were written. So, it has nothing to do with skirts vs. pants. It deals with clothes designed for men vs clothes designed for women. Even though the type of clothes (pants, robes, shirts, etc) are similar they do usually have a unique design, or cut, that makes them for a specific gender.

    The underlying issue is one of being who God made us to be. God made me a man, I should look and act like one. My bride is a woman, she should look and act like one.

    Is it wrong for women to not wear pants? Of course not, but we should not think that it is a command for all people but rather a matter of personal freedom.

    Read Col chapter 2 and consider the underlying principles of the passage, especially verses 10-23.
     
  4. sageoffools

    sageoffools Poster of wit, widsom and wiffelry

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    One more thing that I wanted to mention.
    The big argument that I always heard against women wearing pants, especially while in Bible college in the South, was two-fold:
    1. Modesty
    2. Gender Identity

    1. Modesty - women should not wear pants because they are not modest.
    My response to this argument is that there are skirts that are immodest. A women came into my office today for training, and had on a skirt so tight that I am surprised that she got it on. The key is, just as a woman would look for a modest skirt, she could look for modest pants. To me, this argument does not hold much water.
    2. Gender Identity - women should wear skirts, to easily identify their gender. When a woman wears pants, it is too hard to distinguish her gender. Once again, to me this argument does not really work. Both men and women wear shirts, what is the difference? A woman's shirt is made differently than a man's shirt, so you can tell the difference. This same thing is true with pants, womens pants are made differently, to distinguish them from mens pants.

    Again, I am not trying to start a debate with anyone, I am just trying to figure this out for myself, and wanted to address some of the arguments that I have heard, potentially before they were brought up.
    Thanks for your input on this issue!
     
  5. mont974x4

    mont974x4 The Christian Anarchist Supporter

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    :thumbsup: Looks to me like you already have the issue handled. However, if it is your (you and your wife) conviction that she should not wear pants then I suggest she do so, but only if you are fully convinced. That is, of course, just my opinion.
     
  6. GreenEyedLady

    GreenEyedLady My little Dinky Doo

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    I very rarley come to this site. I just happen to get an email from CF.
    I am a woman that wears a skirt. I must reply to the person stating "rules" are "legalistic" I think that is the wrong word. I would say they are strict and have standards, but they are not legalistic. At our church, if you don't want it, fine, wear pants. But you can't be a worker in the church unless you abide by their dress standards. I see nothing wrong with that. It is like a uniform so to speak. I hardly see that as legalistic.

    I think that it is something that needs to come from God. The conviction to do so I mean. There is defiantly scripture in it and regardless if cultures change, there needs to be some kind of standard. Especially in todays society and the dress. I think its really a heart issue if you ask me. If a pastor asks his church to dress modestly, I don't have a problem with it. I will do what my pastor wants. I think that there are many women who would be "offended" or scream "LEGALIST" if there was a list of pants/ shirts that were NOT allowed to be worn at a church.

    The scripture that I used is in Deuteronomy. I think that it should still apply today. There is something submissive about wearing a skirt. Something lady like that you don't feel in pants. I believe cloths can effect how you carry yourself. When I was convicted, I put God to the test. I gave it a week to see what it would feel like. Man, I not only had a differant feeling, but I had differant reactions from people. Doors were held open for me, I was called Mam, I was treated like a lady.
    I don't care what society does, I think i will keep my skirts on!
     
  7. holyrokker

    holyrokker Contributor

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    Should women be allowed to speak in church?
    Should women be allowed to vote?
    Should women be allowed to wear make-up?
    Should women be allowed to wear jewelry?
    Should women be allowed to pierce their ears?

    Sorry - this may sound disrespectful - but I'm SICK of such nonsense.

    This is why I resisted attending a Baptist church for nearly 30 years.
     
  8. Chaplain David

    Chaplain David CF Chaplain Staff Member Chaplain Supporter Recovery Team

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    I don't claim to know all but am not aware of any scripture that says women should or should not wear pants or dresses. A related issue is people wearing very casual clothes such as blue jeans and tee shirts. Yet when you think about it and think back to Jesus' time, what do you think the multitudes were wearing? I believe that in the synagogues they dressed up but there is no evidence to show that the multitudes wore anything other than work attire or what they were wearing at the time. Further, there is no evidence to suggest what was worn in the early home churches. One could deduce from civilized human nature that people probably wore a dressier outfit while visiting someone elses home but I know of no evidence to support that. Oh and I better answer the OP, I don't have a problem with women wearing pants in church. I think these kinds of restrictions or taboos do no good for the Body and people should be encouraged to "Come" as they can and as they are to worship, praise and fellowship.

    God bless.

     
  9. sageoffools

    sageoffools Poster of wit, widsom and wiffelry

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    Hey Mont,
    Thanks for your replies. In some ways I feel like I do. However, I am battling between what I believe after study and thought, and what I have been taught, and are still being prodded with, for years. (I do realize that decisions should never be made because of the opinions of others, and I have rejected this on many other occasions, I am having a hard time with this, because such a big deal has been made of it).
     
  10. hsmommyofmany

    hsmommyofmany Junior Member

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    wow...you attended a baptist church that told you these things. have you ever read the baptist doctrine. i do not remember ever seeing any of those things (or anything about dress code) in what i read.
     
  11. fated

    fated The White Hart

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    It's difficult to deny the utilitarian nature of wearing pants if one has to work on the floor stretching patients and wrestling with very small children, as my wife does.
     
  12. sageoffools

    sageoffools Poster of wit, widsom and wiffelry

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    GEL, Thanks for your thoughts!
    I will agree with you, I think that a pastor has a responsibility to create standards for the leadership within the church. I think part of his job is to define the "gray" areas, to clarify them for that church at that time.
    I do think that skirts vs pants is a standard, and I do not begrudge anyone for the standard that they hold.
    However...I do have a problem with churches and pastors creating arbitrary standards that they cannot soundly back with Scripture. I believe that Jesus referred to those kinds of people as Pharisees. For example, at one of the churches that we attended in the South, in their constitution they stated that unless a person was Baptized by a church ordained pastor, they were not really baptized. When I confronted the person teaching this with the Bible (after some debate) he conceded that the reason that they taught this was to make it easier to handle, rather than a case by case basis. They had no backing, but they created a standard anyway, and when challenged, they had nothing to stand on.
    How is a pastor to respond when a member comes to him and says "Why do female leaders need to wear skirts?" He really has no response other than, because that's how I think it should be.
    Again, I am not saying that you are wrong for following the guidelines that you pastor has set up within the church, especially if you agreed to do so. I am just trying to get to the root of this issue, and figure out what the Bible really has to say about it.
     
  13. apsalmistspraise

    apsalmistspraise Painting with the words of the Lord...

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    Hey there. I am just wanting to make mention that there are skirts that are less modest than pants, and in my opinion , being a baptist minister (I am a children's pastor) it is ALOT more modest for me, being involved with the play and running and actively participating in activities with children from ages 5-11 in a pair of loose fitting jeans or dress slacks. If I were in a skirt and fell or soemhow the wind blew the wrong dirrection, then my skirt would be very immodest. I wear skirts to church on some sundays but they are more modest if they are loose fitting and long. My husband put it this way: "As a male, I believe a skirt can be more immodest than a skirt depending on the style." And as always, I like to remind others that God isn't checking to see if you could afford a nice skirt or dress or if you walked into church in a pair of tattered jeans. he looks on the heart. I wish we could also look at the heart first, or at all, , but we do not have that capabilities. I ask God to let my heart be moved by things of him instead of me getting caught up in whether i should impress someone else by wearing what years of tradition has passed as the only way for a woman to dress. When dresses and skirts back then WERE modest. they covered Everything! Those kind you still saw the SHAPE of a woman. All we as women can do is ask the Holy Spirit to convict us each personally on something that we are wearing if it will bring someone elses thoughts to impurity. But some men look on fully clothed women and still undress them with their eyes and it is not the womans fault of the man's sinnful nature...
     
  14. Chaplain David

    Chaplain David CF Chaplain Staff Member Chaplain Supporter Recovery Team

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    My sense is that sageoffools has moved on as he hasn't been active on the forum since writing this OP. I've pm'd twice as I know others have and to the best of my knowledge, none have received replies. It is good that we pray for this person and I will continue to do so. God bless.
     
  15. mont974x4

    mont974x4 The Christian Anarchist Supporter

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    The problem is when people act as though those standards have biblical backing and they do not. Or they think that having those standards make them holier or more righteous than others, or demand others agree with their own personal convictions in an area of freedom.
     
  16. GreenEyedLady

    GreenEyedLady My little Dinky Doo

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    I think that the scripture used,
    Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
    is grounds for setting a standard. Regardless of "cultural" issues, there are many reasons for dress and the standards of dress. Each person, depending on their rank, their occupation, whatever, dressed a particular way during biblical times. God must have ment something when he wrote this AND he wanted everyone to know it is an abomination. That raises my eyebrows. Its not just something he doesn't like or that we "shall not" do, man He says its an abomination.
    Yes, we are under grace. YES, we are not "cursed" by the law, but that does not make the principles of the OT null and void.
    Can a pastor make this standard? Yes! Is it biblical? Yes!
    Does it make anyone any holier, NO WAY!
    Does it effect salvation, NO WAY!
    I think using that baptism thing doesn't really apply because no one is saying here that someone is not saved if they are not wearing a skirt. I would run if that was ever taught.
    Bottom line is I believe churches should have some kind of dress standards.
    All I know is what I read in the scriptures. I know God said something is an abomination. What God says is an abomination in the past, is still an abomination in the future. He does not change His mind about things He hates.
     
  17. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Advisory team Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    I can't buy that. Men in those days did not wear pants - they wore robes.

    I can agree with having a dress code - modesty and respectfulness is important. But I see nothing to justify the claim that women should only wear dresses and not pants.
     
  18. apsalmistspraise

    apsalmistspraise Painting with the words of the Lord...

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    I understand the origianl poster is not here but it sounds like we can still discuss the issue as it is not hindering anyone from Christianity. We are just discussing whether it is right for a woman to wear pants. As I said already, I believe God doesnt look down on how we dress if we are not intending to put someone else in a position to sin.

    Think about this: Bathsheba was on her roof bathing. The men (all of them) were to be at war. She was not bathing on the roof thinking :eek:ooo I hope King David is watching me, and likes what he sees." Her intent was to bathe and she was not clothed at all. She sinned LATER when she accepted the kings request to come to his bed. He intent was not to be naked and let someone sin. My intent wearing PANTS to be covered or warm or dressed to be active is not to bring anyone to sin. There are some that dress in low cut shirts and high cut skirts to GET a man's attention and even a womens sad to say, and who will judge whether THAT outfit is moral or not. But what if it is a homeless person and that is the only outfit she has because she found it in the dumpster. She is wearing it cuz it CLOTHES her, not to gain a persons unmoral attention. I really believe how we dress becomes a heart matter between each of us and christ and cannot be deemed as pants on a woman are bad and a kilt on a man is bad. I mean it is all about culture and intent. why caan't it be about the HEART.
     
  19. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

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    All I know is that my fundamentalist Baptist church allows women to wear pants. They say to come as you are. I agree with that. I see nothing wrong with women wearing pants and I wear pants all the time. I think the Bible is basically saying not to be a transsexual person.
     
  20. BereanTodd

    BereanTodd Missionary Heart

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    Enough people here have said it, but if we followed the biblical idea of dress we men would still be in robes ("dresses for men"). The Bible does not say men should wear pants and women skirts/dresses. The Biblical ideal is simply two-fold: dress modestly and dress distinctively for your sex. There are feminine slacks/pants/jeans and there are masculine ones. Dress appropriate to your own gender.
     
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