Friday, December 02, 2016

Should women wear dresses to worship?

Should women wear dresses or skirts to worship (as opposed to pants)? This may not interest many of you, but it was discussed on a blog I read. I thought I'd bring the question to my blog and see if any reader would comment.

Should women wear dresses to church? Is it wrong for women to wear pants to church? How much of this is tradition and how much is scripture?
  • Is women wearing pants a "wearing what pertains to a man" issue? (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.) Are pants designed for women man's clothing? Are pants inherently man's clothing? If this is a "cross-dressing" issue, isn't it wrong all the time and not just at church services? (Are Scotsmen who wear kilts violating Deuteronomy 22:5? Thought I'd throw that in for good measure.)
  • Is women wearing pants possibly a modesty issue? (i.e., are dresses inherently more modest than pants?)
  • Is women wearing pants possibly an issue of casual versus formal dress (i.e., are dresses inherently more formal than pants)? If so, is wearing "casual" clothes to worship a scriptural issue?
What scriptures guide us in this matter? Most agree that there is a scriptural principle for dressing modestly, while often disagreeing on the exact application of how to obtain that. If pants "drawing attention to the crotch" is a modesty issue (as some say), is it also so for men? Do dresses draw attention in other ways? Are pants for either men or women mentioned as attire in the Bible?

Does the law being done away have any effect on its use in discussing this issue? Is Deuteronomy 22:5 a ceremonial law or moral law or possibly both?

What does the Bible say about specific clothing? What is the first mention? With many things we find an important principle when first mentioned in the Bible. The first mention of clothing or attire is in Genesis chapter 3. Obviously the fig leaves were not acceptable, but what about what God clothed them with? Genesis 3:21: "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." One thing I notice is that the same word is used for that with which God clothed both Adam and Eve. Did He violate His own principle? Have we created new rules that He did not?

What are your thoughts? Thanks.

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