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Pants-Suits and Christian Women:

A Reasoned Consideration Based on the Bible

Dr. Horace F. Dean

Available in Tract Form. Contact the Editor.

Thousands of Christian girls and women today are unwittingly or innocently lending strong support to the rising revolt against God and the authority of His Word.


Thousands of Christian girls and women today are unwittingly or innocently lending strong support to the rising revolt against God and the authority of His Word.

Misled by aggressive leaders of the various so-called women's liberation movements, the women of the world are being won over to the idea that the Biblical view of man being the head of the woman and family is all nonsense, invalid and absurd in this modern world.

The whole trust of this highly organized movement is to seek to blur God's distinctive purpose in the separation of the sexes— male and female. Nothing so irks the proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment of our National Constitution than the thought that God first created man and then woman—and that He placed man in the position of authority in the family and gave him supreme power over His creation—beast, fish and fowl.

These "liberation" advocates demand the abolition of this "headship of man" doctrine in every area of life; Church—Family—Education—Industry Government, etc. Their resentment is relentless and they have made great strides toward the passage of the so-called ERA Act. It is not yet clear what the outcome will be. Quite a few states which had given approval are now reversing their decision. Much new light has been shed on the unholy and destructive purposes and results which will follow if its adoption is voted. One of the main targets of this proposed legislation is the family and home. This was God's first Institution provided for the well-being of His human family.

One of the clever moves to -advance the "liberation cause" and to obscure the Biblical distinction between man and woman, came in the area of dress or clothing. Within the past decade or two the

"Unisex clothing bit" began to manifest itself. Women who capitulated to it appeared to look like men—in trousers, creased, with jackets cut to match men's wear.

During recent years, there has developed a tremendous swing to this drastic new fashion. At first slow, then more and more women accepted and adopted it.

Christian women at first refrained, probably somewhat shocked, but little by little overcame this attitude and now, today, thousands have acquiesced and feel no shame in conforming to this worldly pattern. Even in fundamental Churches many are emboldened to appear so attired. This writer personally does not believe that such women are intentionally defying the Word of God. Rather, they probably are unaware that God has dearly spoken against this practice. And He surely has. Ignorance of His Word however, is never justified.

As a result, multitudes of our beloved Christian women who are caught up in this fashion do not realize that they are transgressing one of the most fundamental of moral laws given by God.

This is found in 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 an abomination unto the Lord thy God."

The College Dictionary (Random House) defines abomination thus—"intense aversion or loathing"—"vile, shameful or detestable."

Some believing women have sought to find a loophole in this edict of God as given to Moses. They suggest that back in Moses' day men and women dressed alike. Obviously this could not be so or the verse would not suggest a distinct difference. Certainly today throughout the western culture the distinction is clear, males wear trousers—females normally wear skirts or dresses. All accepted authoritative versions of the Bible are 100% in agreement as to the accuracy of the King James Version quoted above.

The dependable Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Moody Press) on this verse searches out the rationale back of this law of God and I quote it in full:

"Man must be mindful in all the use he makes of this world, he is God's steward. Various regulations were therefore prescribed for the Israelites which would continually remind them as they pursued the cultural program of God's Kingdom (cf. Gen. 1:28) that the world is the Lord's for He is its Maker. Man is indeed set as king over the earth, with the whole order of nature under his dominion; but man's rule is a vice-regency in the Creator's name. Human authority must therefore be exercised according to the pattern God appoints.

“It is this fundamental principle which underlies the opening requirement of this section (i.e. of Deut. 22) that the distinction between man and woman should not be blurred by the one's appropriating the characteristic articles of the other (Deut. 22:5). God created them male and female, with distinctive natures and functions; specifically, in the divinely established order of authority. Man is the head of the woman as together they reign over the earth."

Quite clearly and in keeping with this comment, a Christian woman in a pants suit is out of character. So attired, she suffers an abridgement of her God-given femininity.

The basic issue then in this whole matter is: Hath God Spoken? And if He has, shall we obey Him? We have clearly shown that He has spoken very definitely on this matter. For the child of God who wishes to walk in His will and enjoy unbroken fellowship with the Lord there can only be one answer and that—"I will obey His Word at any cost." It will not be easy for some women who have been reading this and who have been caught up in this modern fashion to break away from conformity with the practice of their friends. This will take courage. Be assured however, that God will provide this courage if you will but ask Him.

We have heard Christian women defend the practice and fashion. "It is so comfortable," they say—and this probably is true. However, it seems that our revered mothers and grandmothers managed well in skirts and dresses. Another says: "I feel more modest in pants when playing this or that sport." This is very debatable. Pants clearly outline a woman's form and can be provocative to a man's baser thoughts.

Still another asks: "How can you climb a mountain in a dress? etc., etc." These all make sense, humanly speaking, but what is really being thought or said is "God is not fair in His pronouncement or law on the matter." And so there are and will be those who will violate or ignore His command.

When this is true of a real believer—be sure it will be a most costly decision. Disobedience to God's Word is SIN. It breaks fellowship with the Lord. It will lead to further transgressions and an increasing drift from God and His Word. Once you reject the light—the light in you will become darkness.

The issue is clear—Will you honor God's Word, or are you going to defy it? It is just as simple as that. It is not a question as to your own views about the matter—for God has spoken and His Word is final and authoritative.

Sadly, there are those in high places, men well esteemed as Christian leaders who have offered misleading counsel to concerned women who, regarding the issue sincerely wish to do what is right in God's sight.

Not long ago one of the best known evangelists in the nation supplied the following comment in his syndicated newspaper column.

A woman writes: "Dear .... Many women nowadays are wearing men's clothes, even to Church. Doesn't it say in the Bible (Deut. 22:5) that a woman should not be clothed with man's apparel, and furthermore, that those who do this are abominable before God?"—K.E.

This preacher's answer:

“God created men and women to be different (Gen. 2) Generally, those ideas and practices that compromise a man's masculinity, or minimize a woman's femininity, are to be avoided.

"But having said that, let me explain something about the reference you make to Deuteronomy. This book is a rehearsal of the principal laws the Hebrew people needed to know before the entrance into Canaan. However, Chapter 18 explicitly states that the originally organized system would be superseded by another, namely Christianity. The law, with its limitations, was replaced by Christ's grace, with all its liberty (Romans 6:14). This means that all the rigid regulations were overtaken by higher virtues — mainly that of love.

“St. Peter's emphasis is clear in I Peter 3 (Revised Standard Version) where he says a woman's real beauty is the 'hidden person of the heart'. Thus, it is not essentially anything exterior.

"Today, as you know, the casual, relaxed styles are in. I think women can go along with this emphasis on functionalism without reflecting unfavorably on their femininity or, more importantly, on their commitment to Jesus Christ."

This bit of counsel contains several grievous errors:

(1) What the preacher appears to be saying is that what was evil in Moses' day is no longer an abomination to God.

(2) He bases this falsely on the assumption that with the coming of Jesus Christ and the liberating message of the Gospel of God's grace, the believer then is free "to do his or her own thing." If this is true concerning the command of God in Deuteronomy 22:5, then by the same token—it must be that all of the other hundreds of laws of Moses including the Ten Commandments may be disregarded by the believer.

God never intended this to be so. In Matthew 5:17, 18 Jesus said, "think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one Jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass, till all be fulfilled."

It is blessedly true that we are not saved by the keeping of the law—"For, by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh be justified in his sight" Rom. 3:20a

"For what the law could not do in that It was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sly In the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Rom. 8:3,4.

When the believer place his complete trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary—His precious blood shed for the sinner, the Holy Spirit immediately comes to abide in the believer's life—and the Bible then speaks of him as being "In Christ" and "If any man be in Christ he Is a new creature." 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Now then, does it mean that since we are saved by His Grace we are freed from the moral law established by God through His servant Moses? By no means, as we read in Romans 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Again in Romans 6:1 "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Christ lived a completely sinless life on earth—He thus fulfilled all the law—never transgressing even in one point. We who are saved are now "dwelling in Christ." So that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, as we walk in obedience to the Word of God.

(3) In view of the foregoing, the preacher who is quoted above is actually guilty of wresting the truth of God's Word to make his point, God strongly condemns such practice—"Thou shalt not wrest judgment" Deuteronomy 16:19. The College Dictionary defines the word WREST to mean "to twist or turn from the proper application." Peter, in his second epistle has this strong word on the matter: "There are some things hard to be understood, which they that axe unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures." 2 Peter 3:16.

(4) In his final paragraph this gentleman naturally concludes that Christian women are now free to just go and "do their own thing." This is pure antinomianism and is rebuked by the Word of God. Read Romans 6:15.

Our appeal to Christian women is to heed the commandment of the Lord—in this as in all other matters in life—Jesus said, "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love Him and will manifest myself unto him." John 14:21.

When the Word of God is ignored or violated, then it is that "every man doeth that which is right in his own eyes." Judges 17:6 This is the spirit of anarchy—lawless opposition to God—and certainly every true child of God, men or women, will have no part in this spirit of the age.

The sorry thing about this news item quoted above is that as a syndicated column written by a highly esteemed preacher, it was no doubt read by thousands of Christian women. Many of these likely have wondered about the right or wrong of believing women adopting this "in" fashion of wearing pants suits, etc. So now, on this man's say-so, they abandon their reserve and reticence and follow the popular trend. This is tragic indeed.

The writer fully realizes that in publishing this paper he is dealing with an extremely sensitive issue. There will no doubt be a large volume of "un-fan" mail and much caustic and vitriolic response. However, I believe that hundreds and perhaps thousands of Christian women will warmly receive this message—those who have wondered about the right or wrong of the matter. The writer would greatly appreciate hearing from any who have been helped.

Remember the Issue is this — Has God spoken? The answer is yes, He has! Then, obedience to His command is the only response that His children must give. The Holy, Righteous, Omnipotent God never changes. His "Word is forever settled in Heaven." Psalm 119:89.