There is no biblical premise for saying that these things are a sin.
Last week, someone told me that I had lowered my "standard", because I now wear pants and earrings. It saddens me that some people actually believe the "standard" Christians should live by is referring only to clothing. I believe your "standards" (i.e. principles) should be rooted in God's Word, and go much deeper than outward appearance- into issues of the heart. Am I condoning any type of clothing? Absolutely not! Biblical modesty is very important. But, I believe the entire point of "covering up" our bodies to not defraud our brother. When you focus on specific clothing rules, somehow that point gets missed entirely and you lose the conviction behind the clothing choices you make.
Let's examine each of these issues individually:
women wearing pants:
The ONLY verse I've ever heard to support the teaching that women should not wear pants is Deut. 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."
When I hear this verse used in the "women wearing pants" issue, I have to laugh- mostly because when this verse was written, men and women both wore long robe-like dresses. Knowing this fact, I always wondered at this verse's meaning. It just didn't seem to add up... Someone else prompted me to examine the original Hebrew text and translation of this verse. That's when it got really interesting.
The Hebrew word used for "man" is gheh-ber
Translation: Valiant man, Warrior or Soldier.
Geh-ber is very rarely translated as "man".
So, women should "not wear that which pertaineth unto a WARRIOR"?? Meaning, it is not Biblical for women to go to war? Hmmm...
After realizing the root of this word, and what the point of this verse was, it began to make a lot more sense to me. After all, women going to war would be a direct contradiction of everything the Bible has to say about the role of a woman.
That said, I firmly believe the Bible is clear in differentiating the roles of male and female.
They were created VERY differently and I believe they should look very different. Have you ever glanced at a person walking down the road, and did a double-take to figure out if they were male or female? Perhaps you still couldn't tell. God is not pleased with that. Women should make an attempt to not only look, but ACT feminine!
Godly womanhood is something I am VERY passionate about. I believe that daughters should submit to their fathers, and wives to their husbands. I believe wives should be resourceful "keepers at home" (Titus 2 & Pro. 31). I detest women's lib and the feminist movement... So if you are thinking I want to wear pants so I can be more like a man, you are very mistaken! I love that God made me a woman! :)
In case you are wondering... I still wear skirts and dresses to church, when "dressing up", and sometimes just because I love to wear them! I wear pants to keep warm in the winter, for modesty when playing sports, for modesty/convenience when wrangling my 1 year old in and out of a tall truck... etc. When getting dressed in the morning, I simply consider what my day holds, and try to dress appropriately.
Several years before I got married, I did a study on earrings. You may assume I did this because I wanted to wear them. Not true. Actually, I was scared to death to have someone poke a hole through my ear lobe, and had absolutely NO intention of ever having it done. :) I stuck to clip on's!
(Note: 6 years later I got them at the request of my husband and I love them!)
So, the reason for my study? I simply wanted to know what God thought. I knew people who considered them to be sinful. I also knew very Godly women who had them.
I just wanted the TRUTH.
In Ezekiel 16:11-12, God is speaking to His church. He says:
"I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head."
Wow! What a picture! If you saw a woman walking down the street that looked this, what would you assume her to be? A Jezebel, perhaps??
Nope... it's the Bride of Christ,
His beloved whom He plans to adorn with precious jewels. Do you still think earrings are sinful? Do you dare criticize the way God plans to adorn His church?
Interesting huh? How we've developed certain opinions about outward appearance. If you do a thorough study, you will find many occasions in Scripture where it's clear that jewels and adornment are viewed favorably by God. You will also find occasions where adornment is used to describe harlots and rebellion.
1 Timothy 2:9 says, "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"
Seem like a contradiction to the verse in Ezekiel?? What God is saying to us, is that these outward embellishments can not replace our inward character. He wants us to focus on the heart, rather than on outward beauty.
As I read this I realized that we females quite often attempt to "gain honor" or "favor" by embellishing the outward appearance. Wearing the latest fashion... making our hair look just right... The question is, do we put as much effort into preparing our hearts with the character of Christ? Where is our focus? That is the issue at hand.
Note: While conducting my own "interrogation", I stumbled across an article written by Doug Phillips titled "Questions Concerning Piercings and Body Mutilation" (click on title to read the article.) I found this to be quite helpful in understanding what is historically pagan and what is not when it comes to piercings.
The point of this article is not to defend myself. Defending Brittney is utterly pointless. I am just a sinner saved by grace, and still make mistakes daily. Defending God and His Word, however, is definitely worth writing about. I do not claim to have it all together, and I know I sometimes falter in the area of clothing. I look to the Bible and my husband for guidance in this area. The reason I write this is to plead with you not to assume yourself better than someone who dresses differently than you. By doing that, we run people off from the Christian walk and the blood of Christ. We are not being faithful ambassadors when someone feels judged in our presence.
"The Sinner Woman"
A group of preachers sat around the table, eating and conversing with their new acquaintance. They were determined to question this man until they found out his true identify- and his agenda. They wondered at his "strange doctrine", and whispered among themselves that perhaps he was just a lunatic. From where did he get his authority? What gave him the right to come into their territory and "steal their saints"?
When the woman entered the room, all fell quiet. Although the space was dimly lit, the men recognized her immediately as a sinner. Her clothing gave that fact away. She wasn't the "sort" they mingled with. As they glared down their noses at her in contempt, the host tilted his gaze to the floor in embarrassment. His thoughts raced as he searched for an appropriate response to the situation. Before he could conjure up a reason to show her out the door, she slowly began to approach their guest. The men gasped collectively at her boldness, each of them doing little to hide their horrified expressions. As she grew closer and knelt at the man's feet, it was apparent she was weeping. With her head bowed low to the ground, her tears trickled onto the feet of the man called Jesus, washing away the dust and sand. After using her long, undone hair to wipe away the salty liquid, the woman leaned down to kiss the feet upon which she had wept. The men were silent, stunned by the scene unfolding in front of them. As the woman proceeded to pour ointment over Jesus' feet, his host, Simon, privately thought, "This man is no prophet! He is so naive that he does not even recognize this woman as a sinner. If he knew, he would never have allowed such a display!"
Of course, Jesus already knew Simon's innermost thoughts, just as He knows ours. Jesus perceived Simon's motive, and saw his heart. He also sees our heart whenever we make a snide comment about someone else's apparel. He knows our motive when we toss a sideways glance at a friend regarding a person we disapprove of.
"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." Luke 7:47
What marvelous compassion! What mercy flowed forth that day! I believe this woman's clothing gave away her sinful status, which leads me to ask myself, "Whenever I am in the presence of someone dressed inappropriately, which spirit do I have towards them? That of a pharisee, or that of Jesus?"
Jesus ate with sinners, spoke with harlots, and allowed a woman with a bad reputation to anoint Him for His burial.... and WE feel it's our duty to judge others who don't "measure up" to our standards?
Shame on me for ever thinking that way! Oh, Lord have mercy on my wretched soul!My heart is desperately wicked, oh God... but YOU... YOU can save me from myself!YOU can cleanse and purify my inward being! YOU can change my heart so that mercy and compassion flows forth from my being...
...just as it does from yours.