Women Wearing Pants

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Truth Seeker, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Truth Seeker

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    My niece just lost a job opportunity because they required her to wear a uniform. Because she would have to wear pants she turned it down. It is time for us to refute this standard on women. Here is what John R. Rice wrote and hopeful some of us can Biblically refute his arguments.




    Women Forbidden to Wear "that which pertaineth to a man"; is it Ceremonial Law?

    BY John R. Rice| Edited and compiled by Robert J. Stewart

    Passage From John R. Rice's excellent book, "Here Are More Questions", Chapter 27; Question# 293.

    Throughout the first five books in the Bible, the Mosaic law is given. Some of this is moral law and some of it is ceremonial law. For example, in Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments are given. It is quite obvious that nine of those commandments are moral law and these nine are repeated in one way or another in the New Testament. It is just wrong now to worship idols, to take God's name in vain, to dishonour father and mother, to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, to lie, or to covet, as it ever was.
    But in Colossians 2:17 and 18 we are plainly told that the Sabbath days, given to the Jews and mentioned in the Ten Commandments, were nailed to the cross, a part of the ceremonial laws, "a shadow of things to come." But even if one disagrees about the Sabbath question in the same twentieth chapter of Exodus other ceremonial commands are given as in verse 24: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice therein thy burnt offerings....." So it is wrong to say that any one chapter is all ceremonial and binding for us--at least it is wrong to say that about Deuteronomy 22. For example, it is clearly a moral problem that a man is not to hide his brother's ox or sheep, but must tell where they are, a man must help his neighbor when his ox or sheep is in trouble. Verse 30: "A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt" is clearly a ceremonial law. So chapter 22 does have some moral teachings that are binding upon us today. Of course, no one was ever saved by keeping commandments, but still the moral commandments teach what is right and Christians want to keep the commandments of God that place moral obligations upon us.
    But there is another reason for believing that Deuteronomy 22:5 is a rule that is meant for women of all times. The New Testament clearly teaches that the Old Testament laws about the relations of men and women are still binding. First Corinthians 14:34 says, " Let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." Here the law means, of course, the first five books of the Bible. So the same doctrine of the Pentateuch is the doctrine of the New Testament, when it comes to the relationship of men and women. Women are to be under obedience. Perhaps this refers primarily to Genesis 3:16 where the woman is told, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall have rule over thee." But certainly the implications that follow are intended also.
    In the case of Adam and Eve, the Lord set a certain relationship between husband and wife; and women are today to maintain the same relationship. So we find that this distinction between the men and women was emphasized in the Old Testament by having men and women to dress differently, as indications of their different positions. I think it is right to believe that the same distinctions are to be maintained today.
    Again in 1st Corinthians 11:1-6 the Bible clearly states that in the manner of wavering their hair, women and men are to be different. "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for covering" (vss. 14-16). And the context plainly says that this difference is based on the fundamental difference in men and women, because "the head of the woman is man" (vs. 3). You see, Deuteronomy 22:5 is really just a part of the New Testament and Old Testament doctrine of the proper relationship of men and women. And a woman should show that she takes a woman's place, should show it by wearing long hair, and by wearing woman's clothes. I hope that you will read my book on "Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives and Women Preachers (paperbound) for further study on this matter.
    I think you will see, when you go into the matter thoughtfully, that actually the modern fad of women's wearing slacks, and of the unchristian rebelliousness of the age. It goes with unbelief and rebellion and not with the most spiritual Christianity. I think lots of good women who mean well have bobbed hair and wear pants, and perhaps smoke cigarettes, and rebel against their husbands. But they are not as good Christians as they would be if they obeyed the Word of God in this matter, I think; and I think that if they mean well, they will come more and more toward the Bible pattern of obedience to husbands, obedience to the conventions which properly differentiate between the sexes and take the place of modest womanhood, as taught in the Scriptures and upheld traditionally by the best Christian women. Don't you think so?
     
  2. annsni

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    Just when was this written? My guess is that it was written around the 50s or so? I'd love to know from John if his grandfather changed his mind on this topic. I do not see anywhere in Scripture that says women can't wear pants. As a matter of fact, when the Bible was written, men wore robes which were like dresses. So I won't wear dresses since in Biblical times, that pertained to man. ;)
     
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  3. Revmitchell

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    Women can wear nice dress slacks that are very loose fitting and very modest.
     
  4. Rolfe

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    I think that a bit of common sense needs to be used. Some could say that "That which pertaineth to a man" could also mean a baseball cap.

    My own opinion.
     
  5. Internet Theologian

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    One word: Legalism.
     
  6. blessedwife318

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    I guess if we are going to go down that route then women should not wear tights and high heals since they were originally worn by men.
    http://www.ancient-origins.net/hist...igh-heels-once-essential-accessory-men-002329

    I would love to see how that would go over in some fundamental churches.

    This also ignores the fact that back in Biblical days everyone wore robes of some sort, but how they were worn differed between the genders. Just like today there are differences between women's slacks and men's.
     
  7. Internet Theologian

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    Yes.

    No goin' to movies, no card playin', no 'public bathin', no 'bobbed women's haircut', no pants on women, no drinkin' from a dark brown bottle even if it is a rootbeer, no wire framed glasses (60's), no Satanic bible versions. Neo pharisees. "...human precepts and teachings" Colossians 2:12
     
  8. heisrisen

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    I don't even think men wore pants back in biblical times. I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem like that's what the bible says. But this all comes down to personal conviction. God will lead us into truth and I don't think wearing pants as a woman is a bad thing, as long as they don't look manly or are designed specifically for men. I think when Christians tell others that their church is wrong and their walk with God is wrong just because they wear pants is incredibly ridiculous and totally putting God in a box. Things like this are legalism.
     
  9. Salty

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    If this young lady, felt sincerely about not wearing pants- than she is protected by law for her religious beliefs to be REASONABLY accommodated.

    Now, if a muslim clerk can demand that she not be required to touch and or ring up pork products - than how in carnation, would wearing a dress be an imposition on the employer.
     
  10. InTheLight

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    And no open toed shoes!
     
  11. Internet Theologian

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    especially in MN in winter.
     
  12. mcdirector

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    We have a special needs child in SS. I wish I'd had on pants today because I really needed to sit on the floor next to him.
     
  13. agedman

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    Perhaps the mistake that is made is one of not associating "modesty" with that which believers should be concerned. It isn't a matter of style, but both design and desire.

    Too often (especially as a push back of the 60's and 70's) the typical male was and felt threatened by the times. That is one reason the show "All in the Family" was so popular. It "hooked" into the hidden and more often overt thinking of that time.

    It is unfortunate, that in some ways the preaching / teaching also swung to what we all might consider a bit extreme, by placing the emphasis upon outward appearance being a sign of how right with God or some spiritual understanding and Godliness.

    When what should have been preached is modesty, some took as the rule of law.

    There is good reason for a woman to be modest, and to purposely forgo placing appearance as a priority.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    Fundamentalism...it imagines the strangest dogmas attached to scripture by limited reasoning of an isolated mind.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    This book was edited in 1962 by Granddad's executive secretary, Viola Walden, from his correspondence of decades. He would answer and correspond with anyone except those he thought were "nuts." Biggrin The letters go back decades, so this particular item could be from as early as 1940 or so.

    This correspondence is now part of the "John R. Rice Papers," which were collated by Nathan Finn of Southeastern BTS and will be (if not already) kept at Southwestern BTS. The files are now being used by church historians such as Keith Bates in his dissertation on John R. Rice. Finn also used them in his 2007 dissertation.

    So, did he change his view? At the least he moderated it as he did other views. (In his earlier years he vehemently opposed eating in a restaurant that sold liquor, but did so quite often in the 1970's.) I don't know of this view on pants on women being taught in later years either in person or his books. For Men and Women (1979) has nothing on it. His 1971 book, God in Your Family, opposes miniskirts, stretch pants and the like (p. 106), but not pants in general on women. The 1973 followup book to the one in the OP, Dr. Rice, Here are More Questions, does not mention pants on women in the section, "How Should a Christian Dress?" (pp. 94-96).

    Interestingly enough, his six daughters all honored him while he was alive by their skirts and long hair, but after he died several of them cut their hair and started wearing pants. (I don't criticize them for this.) My mother did not, but wore skirts and had beautiful long hair until she went to Heaven.
     
    #15 John of Japan, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
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  16. John of Japan

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    That's a pretty nasty thing to say about fellow believers in Christ.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    If you are going to call yourself a theologian, perhaps you should know exactly what legalism is theologically: “Legalism is a slavish following of the laws in the belief that one thereby earns merit; it also entails a refusal to go beyond the formal or literal requirements of the law” (Christian Theology, 2nd ed., by SBC theologian Millard Erickson, p. 990).

    Very few fundamentalists believe that their standards of personal separation make them holy. Rather, by having such standards we wish to avoid temptation and live lives obviously different from the world.
     
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  18. annsni

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    Thanks John. I had a feeling that is what happened. I understand his views in light of the culture he was in - and the apparent decrease in firmness of the stance as he got older. :)
     
  19. Internet Theologian

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    Fact!
     
  20. lexinonomous

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    I think this is a bit ridiculous. Every company has their own dress code. People can find anything wrong with dress codes. I'm sure if they required her to wear a dress it might have been upsetting and come off as sexist. There's no winning in a situation like this. I would just respect the dress code and be happy that they welcomed me into their company.
     

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