Gregg Allison has some great advice on how Christians ought to dress. Here’s the outline:
Embrace Your Gender
5 Scriptural Principles For What You Wear
1. Understand that clothes communicate something about those who select and wear them. Christians should dress sensibly, being conscious of their selection in clothing.
2. Avoid ostentatious clothes that draw attention to one’s status of wealth and privilege.
3. Dress modestly, not sensually, avoiding seductive clothes that draw attention to one’s sexuality.
4. Dress properly, using good judgment and avoiding clothes that associate the wearer with rebellion and evil.
5. Spend wisely and fittingly on clothes, guarding against purchasing so as to overtax one’s budget and considering what is appropriate in light of personal, family, church, and world needs.
Read the rest here.
I think he missed one. Believers are not to dress in an androgynous way. That is, one’s gender is a part of how God made each one of us, and we are not to make this aspect of ourselves ambiguous.
That was the second main point.
Donald, don’t worry. He didn’t miss it. If you read the whole thing, Mr. Allison says:
“Accordingly, clothes should reflect a manâ€™s creation as a man and his acceptance of his maleness; similarly, they should reflect a womanâ€™s creation as a woman and her acceptance of her femaleness.”
No need to be concerned. He’s still letting his readers know that women in pants and men in earrings are going to hell.
I thought Allison’s advice here was an excellent example of Christian wisdom. I think some have the tendency to make these kinds of conversations legalistic, with the result that some follow guides like this slavishly, while others reject the whole construct. Maybe there is room for some common sense and Christ-centered thinking.
Well it was not part of the 5 points, altho it was in the main article.
I was trying to show that there are things that I agree with in the gender area.
Mitch that’s not what he said! Come on now I thought you were a little more self-aware with your posts.
What are your beliefs about gender?
“a woman shall not wear a manâ€™s garment, nor shall a man put on a womanâ€™s cloak…”
Is this saying that there are categories of clothes — male clothing (pants & plaid flannel) and women’s clothing (dresses & lacey blouses) -or- does it mean that women shouldn’t wear garments worn by or owned by a man and men shouldn’t wear cloaks worn by or owned by a woman?
It is interesting to note that Allison allows for hair braiding even though the Bible CLEARLY prohibits it. AND he allows for the definition of male and female clothing to be defined by culture instead of the Bible.
Much of clothing is cultural, when lace was first invented, women were forbidden to wear it as it was considered too masculine. Today, it is usually the opposite, except if wearing clothes from those times.
“No need to be concerned. Heâ€™s still letting his readers know that women in pants and men in earrings are going to hell.”
Mitch, that is NOT what he is saying (even if your remark was somewhat tongue-in-cheek). He is saying that Christians should dress appropriately and that is respectable to one’s budget. I don’t know any right-minded evangelical who would say “Women need to wear dresses always or they will not inherit the Kingdom.” However, we as Christians should dress in a way that reflects who we are as Kingdom people (e.g., no shirts with 666 logos or bikini clad imprints).
You said Allison allows for hair braiding even though the Bible CLEARLY prohibits it.
You’re over-reading I Peter 3, which is not banning the braiding of hair or of styling our hair or dress. He is saying that this is how the world defines beauty and we ought not be controlled by outward appearance (vanity), nor should it ever be more important to us than the development and nurture of our inward character and faith.
Just as a funny aside, I remember Southern comedian Jerry Clower talking about Gloria Steinem. He said, about her gender, “I could tell she was a she by the way her dungarees was fittin’ ‘er.”
I know that some have taught that women shouldn’t wear pants, but the fact that we have terms like “mom jeans” should tell us that in our modern culture, there are pants that are women-specific.
Nathan, you comment “It is interesting to note that Allison allows for hair braiding even though the Bible CLEARLY prohibits it.” If we would continue your interpretation of the passage from which I draw my statement, you would see that 1 Pet. 3:3 also prohibits the wearing of clothing (“Do not let your adorning be external…the clothing you wear”) and you would then prohibit the wearing of clothes today! Clearly, Peter is not prohibiting the wearing of all clothes, so what I’m doing in my article is setting forth principles for what we wear, principles that could be applied in our culture and other cultures. To do so, I had to consider what “the braiding of hair” and “the putting on of gold jewelry” (1 Pet. 3:3) communicated in the culture in which Peter gave these instructions. To baldly imply, as you do, that I contradict a clear statement of Scripture and affirm its opposite, is to miss the importance of interpreting the Word of God with a view to the culture in which it was written. The Bible also prohibits the eating of rock badgers and ostriches (Lev. 11:5, 16), but rock badger meat tastes just like chicken and one ostrich egg fills one up for three days–I love those foods and eat them with gratitude! And I do so because of my interpretation of Scripture in light of its cultural (or, in this context, covenantal) context. So, please, use some caution (and believe the best about others, treating them with respect) before charging them with contradicting Scripture. And (assuming you are married) when I see your wife wearing her hair in braids and wearing a simple gold neclace around her neck, I will rejoice that she is adorning the gospel in a biblically-appropriate and culturally-sensitive manner.
Sorry to Gregg Allison and all, my comment about the Bible CLEARY prohibiting braided hair was tongue and cheek. Iâ€™ve heard the phrase â€œthe Bible clearly says thus and soâ€ a million times that Iâ€™m a little sick of it. Have people used these very verses to enforce specific dress codes because the Bible clearly says that Christians shouldnâ€™t wear thus and so? YES! It seems there are a lot of things the Bible clearly states/prohibits, but then there is a large debate about the statements & prohibitions, so is it really so clear?
Anyway that was what I was poking at, but it seems that overshadowed my two other points, which are much more important:
A. Should we use cultural classifications to define Biblical standards?
B. What is the definition of a â€œmanâ€™s garment?â€ Is it clothing that fits a classification of â€œdudes clothesâ€ or is it clothing owned by a man or previously worn by a man?
The Bibleâ€™s “clear prohibition” is different based on your answers.
This original message was a very good one. Most dress is cultural, but not the dress requirements in the Bible. These are for Christians all over the world, for all times. One can not love God and justify not following his word, as the love for God (Agape)is shown by action, not feelings. On the day of judgment, many will think God is being too legalistic.