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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
S. Franklin Logsdon, Tabernacle Baptist Church
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"Every man did that which was right in his own eyes," is the summation of the message in the Book of Judges. The authority of consensus was substituted for the authority of God's Word. The people had plunged into conceptual bankruptcy. Their concepts of Deity and all sacred verities had been modified so much in their thoughts and actions that absolutes had vanished.
Our day bears a sad and alarming resemblance. Divine displeasure was provoked then. It surely is being provoked today. These apostate days, termed "perilous times," (II Timothy 3:1) are being aided and abetted by the conduct of many professing believers. The destruction of divinely-established distinctions is one of Satan's most effective stratagems.
Instructing the prophets of old, God said, "They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean." (Ezekiel 44:23) The failure of the prophets to follow this command precipitated the spiritual destitution recorded in the Minor Prophets and the four hundred years of darkness which ensued.
The Lord drew a line of demarcation between Israel and the Egyptian. (Exodus 11:7) He has drawn a similar line of distinction between the Church and the world (system) today. (I John 2:15) He has drawn other distinct lines between Truth and error, between the Spirit and the flesh (self), between obedience and disobedience, between the male and the female, to mention a few. We now address ourselves to the last-mentioned, the male and the female.
God said, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth (resembleth) unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are an abomination (disgusting) unto the Lord thy God." (Deuteronomy 22:5)
In recent years, multitudes of professing Christians have come to believe the Lord did not mean what He has said in this simply-stated warning. But The Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary explains how this verse of Scripture generally was understood before our day of apostate confusion perverted thinking and destroyed standards:
"Sex is to be distinguished by apparel. The adoption of the habiliments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinction of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman, as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, opens the door to an influx of so many ills that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced an abomination unto the Lord."
Some women who wear pants or pantsuits claim that Deuteronomy 22:11 offsets or cancels verse 5. It reads: "Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together." The argument is advanced that, if you take Deuteronomy 22:5 for this day, you will have to take verse 11 as well. But the Lord does not so contradict Himself. Verse 5 is a moral law. It is for "woman," for "man." That is, for ALL, for all time. And why? Because moral laws cannot change unless God changes. Verse 11, as is so plainly seen, is a regulatory instruction — "Thou," meaning Israel. Regulatory instructions are for specific people and for particular times, but moral laws never change. This is true throughout the Scriptures. We would have grave trouble understanding the Word and will of the Lord if we did not distinguish between moral laws and regulatory instructions.
Can any discerning believer maintain that this fad of pant garments for women is not assisting in the diabolical scheme to destroy divine distinctions? Can any Christian be sure that this end time habit is not depreiating the finer qualities of femininity? Would any woman of integrity walk down the street, much less attend church, with her husband wearing a dress?
Richard Cohen, in an editorial in the Washington Post (6/4/77), wrote, "My son asked a perfectly logical question: Why can't boys wear skirts? I clutched, I froze, and what I wanted to say right off, but didn't, was something like 'You ever put on a skirt and I'll break your neck.'" Is it unfair to ask why mothers do not have a kindred feeling about their daughters wearing pants?
As a twelve year-old boy, I made a strong plea to change from knee breeches to long pants. Dad refused utterly, explaining that I must wait until I was thirteen, because long pants are a symbol of manhood. This is still true.
It cannot be questioned that, in our culture, pants have always been understood to be a man's established institution. This fact was never challenged until the foundations began to crumble in these apostate days, called "perilous (dangerous) times" (II Timothy 3:1).
On June 25, 1977, the American Broadcasting Company, in a research presentation called Close-up, stated, "Approximately twenty-five years ago, the female began to adopt the life-styles of men, to demand men's work-patterns, to participate in masculine activities, and to wear masculine apparel."
For all intents and purposes, the prophesied apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:3) began with the renewed statehood of Israel in 1948, because it marked the beginning of the last generation of the church period (Matthew 24:34). The above ABC comment indicates that the world takes notice that drastic changes began among women then. The Lord does not intend it as an offense to womanhood when the Scriptures indicate that women are more susceptible to satanic deception than men. "Eve was in the transgression" (I Timothy 2:14), the Bible tells us. It is to be hoped that godly women will be aware of this fact.
No woman can legitimately oppose the ungodly Equal Rights Amendment who, wittingly or unwittingly, wears the uniform of the movement. From time immemorial, it has been commonly colloquial, when alluding to leadership authority, to ask, Who wears the pants? Hence, explicit or implied, the slogan of the ERA is simply this: We want to wear the pants. Christian women who fall into this practice are in serious trouble with the Lord.
Why is it that in so many Christ-honoring schools and colleges it is a dismissible offense for a co-ed to wear pants or pantsuits? Can we be too careful in avoiding pitfalls when the true standards of holiness are so high, and when we know that every believer is a member of the body of Christ?
It is not uncommon to hear a husband say, "Once, in my wife's side of our twin wardrobe, there was not one item that resembled anything in mine. Now, when the doors are open, it is difficult to tell the difference."
Paul Harvey, in a coast-to-coast newscast, made this comment: "Looking down the corridors of a high school or college when classes are changing, it is virtually impossible to tell which are male and which are female, apart from the way they carry their books." Yet, the infinite God who made man calls for a definite distinction of dress.
All over the continent, rest rooms in public places display a pants symbol for males and a skirt symbol for females, a distinction always understood.
Since the cry is becoming louder and louder for equal rights, why is it not appropriate for men to wear skirts or dresses if women are correct in wearing pants?
If pants for women are legitimate now, why weren't they acceptable earlier? It can't be pleaded that it is a change of styles. Styles are modifications within a general pattern or context; a symbol is a complete change of concept. Long hair for men, for instance, according to the Communist handbook for the corruption of American youth, is not a style but a symbol—a symbol of rebellion. They claim, "Every male with long hair is a TV commercial for the revolution."
Such matters, in the final analysis, at least for the Christian, are not appraised by opinion or argument or interpretation, but by spiritual discernment and obedience to the Spirit of God. To plead that "I see nothing wrong with it" is not tenable. Adam saw nothing wrong with Eve eating the fruit. He joined her in doing so. Cain saw nothing wrong with offering grain in worship. Aaron saw nothing wrong with the people dancing around a golden calf. Yet, each of these was a serious offense to the Lord and brought His strong condemnation.
The following was copied along the way, and was said to be a manifesto of a company of concerned college students:
"Please give us back our girls. We've had it! Take away the pants and other male garments which have become a blighting scourge in blacking out as a thick cloud the loveliness with which the divine Creator endowed womanhood.
"Give us back the silk and satin and lace, even the gingham and calico in the former modest apparel, that once again the beauty of the fairer sex may elicit our fond appreciation and our profound respect.
"Our plea is not alone a selfish one. It isn't merely a desire to regain what we now know is our great loss of feminine charm. Our concern is also for the coming generations. We fear, as things now are going, our babies will not have mothers of the dainty, attractive, commanding sort, but the fearful monstrosity of unisex."
Before the days ere darkness came,
The sexes did not dress the same.
For God decreed it long ago—
What many now don't seem to know—
That sexes must in godly fear
Unlike each other to appear.
The line God drew in words sublime
Must never fade in passing time.
His moral laws must ever stand,
Whatever styles may now command.
The world at large may set the pace
To lead some saints into disgrace.
The argument they often use,
Is that this law is for the Jews.
Or that the cloth is not the same,
Which argument is very lame.
The one who is the Father's child
Should never be so sad beguiled.
It's not the color of the cloth or kind;
it's the cut of the cloth God has in mind.
It is not because of delicate sensibilities or personal prejudices that we raise our voice in warning sincere women who really have a deep desire to do the will of God. It is because we know that we cannot be a blessing and an "abomination" at the same time. That which statedly displeases the Lord would, of course, prevent His blessing.
The Holy One, in expressing His detestation of homosexuality, employed exactly the same word (abomination) in I Kings 14:24 that he used in condemning the wearing of clothing that resembles the opposite sex in Deuteronomy 22:5.
It is hoped that, with the proper discernment, it will become apparent to the more sincere women caught in this end time development that it not only encroaches upon a province so long traditionally man's but that it violates a divine commandment.
With time running out and with the coming of the Lord so apparently near, we would do well to give the Lord the benefit of the doubt where there is some question of Christian propriety. To be on the safe side is always more satisfying and more conducive to a deeper prayer life and a closer walk with the Lord.