The Sin of “Dresses Only”

It wasn’t too many years ago that I would have been shocked by the title of this article. I was one of those caught up in this sin. I had an article online that taught that it was a sin for women to wear pants. This teaching was based upon a verse in the Old Testament that said that “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.” (Deuteronomy 22:5) It seemed clear enough; from my viewpoint, pants had been men’s clothing before women started wearing them, so therefore it was a sin for a woman to wear pants!

Then God opened my eyes to what the New Testament teaches about our relationship to the Old Covenant—the Law of Moses. After He showed me, it seemed so plain that I wondered how I could have missed it. I won’t get into the details here; I have written more on this subject before (see “Pants, Easter and Covering“).

As I have continued to learn from the Lord, He brought to my attention a verse that does apply to Christians:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

This is a command from God: “Do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage!” What is this yoke of bondage? It is the Law of Moses. Here’s the greater context:

Galatians 4:21-5:4

  1. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
  2. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
  3. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
  4. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
  5. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
  6. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
  7. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
  8. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
  9. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
  10. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
  11. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
  1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
  2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
  3. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
  4. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

We can certainly take from this that we are not to teach circumcision and keeping the Law in order to be saved. However, there is much more than circumcision involved here. God specifically tells us that:

  1. Hagar, the slave, represents the covenant from Mount Sinai—the Law of Moses or the Old Covenant.
  2. We are not children of slavery, but of the free woman—the Kingdom of God.
  3. Therefore, we must stand fast in the liberty of Jesus, and not get tangled up in the old covenant.

In fact, God even says of those who teach the Law:

And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Galatians 5:11-13)

So, coming back to where we started, we see that God has commanded us to stand fast in liberty and not get tangled up with the Old Covenant. That means that we must not pull commands from the Old Covenant—like Deuteronomy 22:5—and tell people that they must follow them.

All this brings us to a conclusion: if you use Deuteronomy 22:5 to forbid women to wear pants, you are disobeying Galatians 5:1. You are sinning. Furthermore, it is a sin for a woman to make a rule for herself that she must obey Deuteronomy 22:5 by not wearing pants.

That is a bombshell, considering how many people hold to dresses-and-skirts-only teaching. It is sad that, in an effort to obey God, people have actually ended up disobeying him by getting tangled up in the Law.

I do want to make it clear that God does not say that a woman may not wear skirts and dresses. If a woman decides on a particular morning that she wants to wear a skirt or a dress, she is free to do so. The sin is in wearing only skirts and dresses in an attempt to follow Deuteronomy 22:5.

There is only one man who has the right and authority to tell a woman what to wear. That is her husband, or, in the case of a young lady, her father. If a husband tells his wife that he wants her to wear dresses and skirts only, she does need to obey him, not because of Deuteronomy 22:5, but because she is to submit to him. On the flip side, a woman also needs to follow her husband’s wishes if he wants her to wear pants most of the time (or even all the time).

While the focus of this article has been dresses/skirts vs. pants, there are many, many teachings that come from the Old Testament, such as tithing, Sabbath-keeping (and Sabbath rules applied to Sunday), dietary laws, circumcision and Messianic Judaism. Each one is just as wrong as dresses-onlyism.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you guilty of disobeying this command? Have you followed teachings from the Old Testament and taught others to do the same? Then you need to repent! Do as I had to do and ask God’s forgiveness for disobeying His commands. Turn from obeying the Law of Moses and obey Jesus with all your heart, and teach others to do the same.

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9 Replies to “The Sin of “Dresses Only””

  1. Dear brother,

    Do a study on what is God’s Law (written with His finger or given with “Though saith the Lord”) versus the ceremonial Mosaic law.
    The 10 commandments were written with God’s finger, His Seal and mark imbedded therein with His 4th commandment, instructing us to keep His 7th day Sabbath – Remember He said “Remember” before that commandment because He know satan would seek to “change times and laws”.
    The antichrist beast power, the roman catholic papal system, says:
    James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.

    “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

    Jesus said:
    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    Heaven and earth have not yet passed, so the law is still stands.
    This war is between Jesus and satan, is His law just – we are caught in the middle. Deception is everywhere. Make sure you’re beliefs line up with ALL scripture. Scripture will not contradict itself.
    Check out:
    Dr. Walter Veith – Total Onslaught, free on youtube

    1. Hello Daniel,

      I could spend pages giving an in-depth analysis and report on what God has taught me about the Law over the last 5+ years. I don’t have the time right now, so I’ll just say that Romans 7:6-7 makes it very clear that the Ten Commandments are part of “the Law”–the Old Covenant from Mount Sinai. Also, Jesus did not say that we must obey the Law. He only said that it will be with us till all has been fulfilled.

      I did write more about this in: http://www.aradicalforjesus.com/2010/01/17/the-law/ I suggest that you read that article and any others under the “Law of Moses” category.

      Blessings,

      Joel

    2. One more thing. Despite what the Catholic guy said, Revelation 1:10 refers to “the Lord’s Day”. This is the same term that Ignatius, one of the Apostle John’s students, used in reference to Sunday around, I believe, 105 AD. Therefore, we would have Revelation 1:10 calling Sunday “the Lord’s Day”.

    3. Two points:

      Point Number 1

      What day is the Day of Atonement? (See LEV 23)

      27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement:

      It is the Tenth Day of the Seventh Month

      When does this 10th day begin?

      32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

      ON THE NINTH DAY AT EVEN

      Keep in mind that the 10th day begins on the 9th day at even.

      Now, lets see John 20:1 What day of the week did Jesus rise from the dead? SUNDAY.

      John 20:1
      The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

      Keep in mind SUNDAY when reading verse 19

      19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,

      From verse 1 to verse 19 we go from sunrise to sunset.

      THEN, THE SAME DAY (SUNDAY) “AT” EVEN (MONDAY), being the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK.

      Monday is NOW the first day of the week, not Sunday.

      In addition, I agree with everything that Joel posted. He referenced Galatians 1:5, which is, by chance, my reasoning to study this topic. If Christians have liberty, I wanted to know what that liberty is.

      Not only that, but you misquote Matthew 5, as you neglect to include the word “prophets” when you state the word “law”, and so therefore, it is discussing PROPHECY, not the law of Moses, but the Torah, which includes Genesis. The Law of Moses begins in Exodus 20, not Genesis. Matthew 5 states “The Law or the Prophets”. It’s a common mistake among the Seventh Day Adventists, and those who adhere to keeping a Saturday BY THE LAW, legalistic mindset of a Sabbath.

      However, if you read Hebrews 4, Christians are in a perpetual everyday 7th Day Sabbath, as we are at rest from the works of the law. We entered into God’s rest. We worship God everyday, not just on Saturday, or Sunday. So, we do indeed obey the sabbath, as we are in it 7 days a week.

      So, do you want to be enslaved to the law, or set free without the law (ROMANS 3), which is indeed the righteousness of God, just like Abraham. They don’t call it the law of Abraham, but the Law of Moses.

      Ed Chapman

  2. I disagree with you on all of . First let me say that God created woman to be distinct from men . And that we are to dress as a woman and not as a man .even the bathrooms have a significant sign that pertains to what is a man’s or woman’s rest room . And I believe that if women did wear dresses all the time that more men would treat them as such and that more women would submit to there husband’s . When woman dress in pants they act just like a man . They are even working at men’s jobs . Second we are tithe not that is not just in the old testimint gods word the whole book is truth .and as far as keeping the Sabbath we are to keep the Sabbath just as he instructed .maybe you should go back thru bible and really listen ..

    1. I was in the military as a payroll clerk. I filed, I typed, I answered phones. I stripped and waxed the deck, sweep, and swabbed, vacuumed, did dishes, etc. Did I do the job of a woman?

  3. we should all be Christians in communist or radical muslim countries—we would not worry about what to wear or how to do our hair, or if the Saturday or Sunday is the Sabbath we would only worry about following the Holy Spirit so we can make it through another day without being arrested or killed for our belief in the One who made us all equal in His Sight.

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