Jesus and The Law The Bible contains both Old and New Testaments each with seemingly different teachings and commands, which has led to more than a little confusion for those that have not grasped the seamless relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and struggle with the tension between the Old Testament emphasis on regulations and the New Testament emphasis on grace. Certainly many Christians are not clear what our relationship to the Old Testament should be, especially when it comes to the Old Testament Laws in general and the Ten Commandments in particular, also the keeping of the Sabbath and/or other Feasts of the Old Covenant.
See UPC’s Legalistic Dress Code (Below)
Introduction: The United Pentecostal Church teaches many basic Christian doctrines, such as the Bible being the inspired Word of God, the creation and fall of man, repentance, divine healing, communion, foot washing, the second coming of Jesus, the millennium, and final judgement. All of these are covered in the Articles of Faith. However, there are three areas where their doctrine differs with other Christian churches. Additionally, several "standards", or outward ways of living, are included in their beliefs.
The main area where the UPC differs from most churches is their belief in one God. Though Trinitarians also believe in one God, the UPC opposes the concept of the Trinity. The UPC believes that God manifested, or made himself known, in different ways: as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in emanation. They do not view God as three separate but equal persons. Their belief on the Godhead is often referred to as "Oneness" or "Jesus Only".
The second area is the UPC stand on baptism. The UPC stipulates that baptism is a requirement for salvation. They teach that a person's sins are washed away in baptism and therefore it is essential that one be properly baptized. Therefore, baptism must be by full water immersion and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The third area is their belief concerning the indwelling of Holy Spirit. They teach one must be filled with the Holy Ghost, with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues (a language that is not known by the believer), in order to be saved. In other words, if a believer has not spoken in tongues, God's Spirit is not in them, and they are therefore lost. Besides "initially" speaking in tongues, most ministers teach that one should continue to do so on a regular basis. [See Tongues on THIS Page]
Their fundamental doctrine of full salvation is such: "repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance."
Concerning standards, they believe in Godly living, in which their views on what constitutes such consist of the following:
"We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities which are not conducive to good Christianity and Godly living, such as theaters, dances, mixed bathing, women cutting their hair, make-up, amusements, and unwholesome radio programs and music. Furthermore, because of the display of all these evils on television, we disapprove of any of our people having television sets in their homes. We admonish all of our people to refrain from any of these practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church."
Under a section entitled 'Public School Activities' it is stated:
"We disapprove of school students attending shows, dances, dancing classes, theatres, engaging in school activities against their religious scruples, and wearing gymnasium clothes which immodestly expose the body.
"We disapprove of school students being forced to take co-educational classes which involve boys and girls being mixed together in swimming, calisthenics, baseball, and other mixed athletics while clothed in ungodly attire which immodestly exposes the body."
Teachings Not Included in the Articles of Faith
Referred to as standards or holiness teachings, there are teachings which are not covered in the Articles of Faith. Some are basically taught in all UPC churches, while the individual pastor may add others. Some ministers teach that your salvation is at stake if you do not abide by these rules.
For instance, there is an issue of sleeve length. Most would probably teach that a sleeveless shirt would be wrong to wear, without mandating how long the sleeve should be. Another may mandate sleeves be no shorter than the elbow, with others stipulating they must be to the wrist.
Shorts are normally taught against for both sexes. Some allow culottes on women, while others forbid them. Gauchos and Capri’s are usually disallowed. My former District Superintendent once referred to gauchos as 'glorified pants.' Pants are not to be worn by women and men should not go shirtless.
Facial hair on men in many churches is discouraged and their hair should be short while a woman is never to cut or trim her hair. Long hair is translated to mean uncut hair in I Corinthians 11. Some teach a woman's spirituality and/or salvation hinges on whether or not she abides by this teaching. Others teach a woman has special power in her long, uncut hair. There are ministers who mandate that women wear their hair up.
Women are to wear dresses or skirts. Some require a set length, while others advise it should be at least to the knee. Pantyhose may or may not be required.
There are ministers who teach against all jewelry, while others will allow a pin, ring or watch. Others claim you'll be lost if you wear a wedding ring.
Radio used to be spoken against. However, for year the UPC has been broadcasting a radio program. Movies are not allowed. televisions should not be owned, however limited use of video was approved. (Yet if you want your license as a minister in the UPC, you are asked if you have a television in your home. If you answer 'yes', even if it is only for video purposes, your application will be denied at General Headquarters in Hazelwood, Missouri.)
Video use is "strictly limited to those areas in which motion picture cameras and projectors are traditionally permitted to be used; namely, in taking of pictures of family, friends, and church activities, and the viewing of educational, religious, or inspirational films which are consistent with wholesome Christian principles. Be it further resolved that we restate our strong opposition to viewing of all worldly motion pictures and video films as are being shown commercially in theatres and on television for entertainment purposes for the ungodly masses, and the use of them in any form for God's people. Be it further resolved that all video receivers be so altered as to be unable to receive television channels. Be it further resolved that none of our ministers use video in any way except as herein provided."
The UPC passed positional papers against organized sports and the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. The King James Version is accepted as the "most accurate translation of the Scriptures to be used in our churches and among our people."
UPC’s Legalistic Dress Code
Please Note: By challenging UPC’s dress code (among other things) we are not saying that women are free to wear revealing and\or provocative clothes to church or at any other time. It is far from decent or seemly for a woman who has committed her life to Jesus Christ to dress herself the way that so many women do today. See How Should Christian Women Dress?
Anyone can say that God has revealed something to them. In fact, that is precisely what the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. have done. They claim that God has revealed things to them that go above and beyond what the scriptures actually say.
Scriptures alone are the sole authority on the truth. Not your pastor, not the UPC, only the Book. Only the Apostles had the authority to pronounce doctrine. What the UPC has done is exactly what the Pharisees and all the legalists of Jesus' day did. They have created laws to live by that are not laws of God, but of man. This is why Jesus said that they do worship God uselessly for they obey the commands of men, not of God. He said they lay heavy burdens of oppression on the people and hinder them from serving God.
As soon as someone starts saying that God has told him or her something that is not backed up by the Bible, they are lying, whether intentionally or not. Your pastor is free to believe whatever he wishes, but when he starts requiring church members to follow an invented doctrine, or worse, telling them that they will go to hell if they don't, then he is out of line and will be held accountable for it by God.
Pray and go to the scriptures to find out what to believe, instead of going to the scriptures to prove what you have already decided to believe.
Table Of Contents
THE HAIR ISSUE I
THE HAIR ISSUE II
THE PANTS ISSUE!
STANDARDS FOR MEN
THE HAIR ISSUE.
Excerpt from ‘Refute to Other Holiness Standards’ by Ricky Guthrie
UPCI teaches that it is sin for a woman to cut their hair, trim it or in any way break it. They take this teaching from the 11th chapter of I Corinthians.
If we look at this scripture we find that at the beginning of this chapter the Apostle Paul was dealing with a literal hair covering or veil. Later on in the chapter he mentions that long hair on a woman is considered part of her covering and that there is power in that long hair. Yet, if we look at this scripture we cannot find anywhere that Paul declared how long a woman's hair was to be.
We know historically that in Corinth the temple prostitutes wore their hair as short as the men did. Some even shaved their heads, which some of the Jewish tribes considered shameful. This is why Paul kept speaking of if a woman did not wear a head covering then she should have her head shaved. He did declare that it was shameful for a woman to have all of her hair cut off, but no where did he say she could not cut her hair. Matter of fact, it declares that a woman should wear a covering on her head as a sign of authority because of the angels.
UPCI says this covering on her head is her hair and yes, Paul said long hair was given to her as a covering, but it would not make sense that this whole chapter is dedicated to long hair because he said if she refused to wear a head covering then let her shave her head. [Also See Article The Issue Of Head Covering]
Long hair on a woman has always been dictated by society. We don't know what length a woman's hair was in those days. Also let us look at something else.
It is obvious that in Paul's day it was considered shameful for a woman to shave her head but that had not always been in Israel. We read in the law that God told Moses that if they conquered a country and captured women and a Israelite man found one of the women attractive and wanted to marry her that she was to shave her head and pare her nails. (Deuteronomy 21:12.)
Also in studying Jewish history, we find where in some of the tribes it was a custom that when a woman became betrothed to her fiance she would shave her hair and wear a wig until the day her hair grew out after she was married. The reasoning for this was that hair was considered part of what attracted men to women and these women did not want to be attractive to any man than her husband to be. If any other man tried to seduce her, she would remove her wig and show him her shaved head which repulsed him and let him know she was betrothed.
If a woman cutting her hair was sinful, why did God allow these heathen women to shave their heads before marrying an Israelite husband?
It is not the cutting of the hair that is sinful. It is when men and women want to emulate one another and look like one another until you cannot distinguish man from woman. God hates unisex.
If we study the lifestyles of the people during the life of Paul and the Apostles, we find that the prostitutes of the temple cut their hair as short as the Greek and Roman men but the male temple prostitutes wore their hair long. It is obvious that Paul, in dealing with the Christians in Corinth, was using his surroundings for his message. If what he said was fully true about men, then his own people would be sinning for the men never trimmed the sides of their hair and wore it long, as under the law.
We must understand that God wants men and women to be separate in appearance. Women not to cut their hair so short they look like men and men not to wear their hair so long they look like women.
THE HAIR ISSUE. II
Double Standards and Eisegesis’ By Stephen Mann
1. OVERVIEW OF THE TEACHING OF HAIR LENGTH
The doctrine of uncut hair is thought of by many in the United Pentecostal Church International as being 'revealed' to them by God and is seen as one of the pillars for identifying people as the 'true Apostolics' or 'Pentecostals'. In following this teaching many extra-Biblical rules and guidelines have been developed which are as complex as any of the many 'hand-washing' ordinances invented by zealous Jewish believers of Christ's day. These modern extra-Biblical rules regarding 1 Corinthians 11 I will address in depth.
This teaching, followed to an extreme, results in a heavy burden of guilt to ladies under it especially since some even teach that a lady not ever trimming or cutting her hair prevents evil, deception and rebellion from entering her home or father and mother's home and so if adultery and sin enters a home some will blame the lady for cutting her hair. It can also be used as the reason any tragedy, sickness or calamity has come on individuals.
2. EXEGESIS OR EISEGESIS OF 1 CORINTHIANS 11
The reality is that this so-called 'exegesis' (bringing out the meaning) of 1 Corinthians 11, as meaning 'no cutting', is really 'eisegesis' (reading a meaning into the text). The 'no cutting' doctrine just isn't there. That's why, instead of studying, many are merely encouraged to pray for a revelation of this teaching and stay within the organizational 'fences'. This illustrates what happens (mostly through ignorance) once one starts departing from and adding to the Scriptures even in what may be considered good ways. [See Section Reading and Understanding Your Bible]
Over a period of several years as a licensed minister with the UPC, I looked more deeply at the no trimming teaching comparing it with the Bible passage. It became more and more obvious to me that the UPC teaching was very complex in its 'interpretation' of what is cultural (not for us today) and what is universal (for all people everywhere) in that passage. It wasn't until after I was led by God to leave however, that I was able to clearly see how 'no cutting' ignores the real teaching of the passage (Paul teaching wearing a physical veil, saying that if the woman isn't covered she may as well shear her hair, and comparing long hair on men and long hair on women to encourage veiling). This is more than likely because while in the UPC it is very difficult to look without bias at the passage and just be open to what the Bible teaches. It is so clear now to me that anything beyond the Bible's clear commands, by implication, must be omitted by God for a reason. If He wanted to make uncut hair important (as He did with many other issues) He would have made it clear in the Bible. I personally have no problem with any lady choosing freely to not cut her hair or any organization making it their distinctive but I believe it is Pharisaical and legalistic to put the traditions and desires of men on the same level of authority as the teaching and Word of God.
3. DOUBLE STANDARDS IN TEACHING FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 11
This non-Biblical teaching of 'no cutting' has developed a lot more than splitting hairs (pardon the pun) and has led to more and more complex rules and double standards to try to cover up the glaring omission of 'no cutting' from the text (basically teaching it is hidden inside the passage). Here are some of the double standards that I now see in their view of 1Corinthians 11 that I ignored for years thinking there was some other explanation for them:
If the word 'long' in 1 Corinthians 11 really means hair without any cutting at all (to let grow),
It follows that...
If a woman has hair to her waist but trims her ends, her head is uncovered and her hair is not long. BUT if a man has hair to his waist but trims his ends his hair is long!
Many teachers of this doctrine would consider men like the men in Megadeath, or even the Beatles, as having long hair, and if converted to their church, would teach them from the same passage in 1 Corinthians 11 that they should cut their hair 'short' (measured to above the collar) out of the same verse saying it's a shame to have long hair. (I wonder how it is that Samson's long hair pleased God?)
In other words, for these teachers, trimmed is not long enough for women but it's too long for men. This is clearly a double standard.
4. NON-LITERAL AND LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
The two different meanings and applications are taught from the one same word in the Bible, and in context clearly refer to the one thing...long hair. If this were another Greek word such as is used for baptism (baptiso) the same teachers would be acting very differently. Such teachers, on topics such as baptism, often make it very clear that to them there is only one way to translate, interpret and apply Scripture (literally) yet here they overlook the omission of clear apostolic teaching on the matter and overlook historical Biblical practice. They have a double standard and so must take the word in both a literal and a non-literal double meaning.
If the same Greek word 'komao' (only used in these two verses of the whole Greek New Testament) can be translated into two vastly different meanings (as hair 'let grow-ness' for women and in the same passage as hair 'shortness' for men) without anything in the passage to justify or confirm it, then it's little wonder that 'no braids' is interpreted to not really mean no braids but 'no jewelry' in the same Bible passage is interpreted to really mean no jewelry! (1 Timothy 2:9-19; 1 Peter 3:3)
It's also little wonder that when the Bible clearly says we are saved 'not by works of righteousness' this kind of adding to the Bible is used to say that it really doesn't mean 'not by works'...in their Bible eisegesis it is explained to mean not JUST by works, because if you don't have works then you will be lost.
What's even more amazing to me is the teaching not only implies Biblical good works are salvational, but also that extra-Biblical works such as not trimming dead ends, not wearing pants, and not wearing jewelry at all, are 'good works' and without which show one doesn't have faith (unless one is a new believer -then it's mysteriously overlooked)! This sounds like the Pharisees with their extra rules and exemptions for washing hands, Sabbath prohibitions and 'separation' from sinners and Samaritans!
With this complexity and confusion (continually reinforced by three to four services per week, books, cassettes, videos and conferences), these kind of teachers keep souls from grasping the simplicity that is really in Jesus: Salvation is a gift and not a result of our keeping standards (even Biblical ones which we are, by the way, encouraged to keep and which we will grow to do as a result of being saved and filled with God and not the means by which to be saved or earn more of God).
The Pharisees of Jesus' day were double standards experts and had filled books with complex rules, commentary, etc. on what was allowed and what wasn't, what the passage really means and what it doesn't.
5. NON-ABSOLUTE ABSOLUTES?
These modern teachers explain the word 'long' in 1 Corinthians 11 to mean that any woman who ever trims her hair even once by definition doesn't have long hair since it is not 'let to grow' and she has an uncovered head. This is absolutely and clearly what the word 'long' in the Bible means to them.
These absolutes are further 'explained' to mean that ladies and girls can never trim dead ends since that is not letting the hair grow as 'taught in the Bible'.
Yet the interesting double take and complexity fog index is applied when these teachers supersede their previous absolute interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 and allow cut hair to be considered 'long' (since the majority of women today have cut their hair) and mysteriously recognise what was once an uncovered head as having been transformed mystically through their faith somehow into a covered head (where there is no Scripture indicating any thing of that nature or any loop-holes in the previous absolutes).
They do this through many complex maneuvers where the Bible passages supposedly clear teaching of 'long' as always meaning 'to let their hair grow' is superseded in certain circumstances.
(In other words they turn a blind eye to this absolute 'no cutting' rule sometimes.)
6. CONTRADICTIONS AND DISPENSATIONS
Dispensation for a woman NOT having 'long' cut hair (or an uncovered covered head) is granted only in the following MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES:
a) hair cutting before conversion
b) hair cutting in preparation for surgery
c) hair cutting in an emergency rescue or life threatening situation
d) hair cutting if another attacked the person and perpetrated it
e) hair cutting if you were backslidden but have since repented (although one cannot cut and repent too often or too frequently or when one's hair is too tangled since that is an unforgivable sin)
f) having an uncovered head if you were accused of adultery in the Old Covenant (Numbers 5:18)
g) hair shaving if you were a captured enemy female about to marry an Israelite (God commanded it in Deuteronomy 21:12)
h) hair cutting, shaving and plucking if it's hair that's on your legs, eyebrows or under your arms
i) if you were a female and took the Nazarite vow (Numbers 6:18)
So in summary; to the double standard teachers, 'long' means 'to let grow', EXCEPT if one is unconverted, backslidden, sick, attacked, in the OLD TESTAMENT as a captive wife-to-be or in mortal danger and can only be saved by cutting the hair.
Only in these certain cases is the non-'long' cut hair 'long'.
BUT THEN DOUBLING BACK AGAIN SAY
However 'long' can NOT be interpreted to mean it's allowable to trim it from an inability to care for it (example: disability etc.), or when elderly and unable to maintain it, or to ever make the hair healthy and get rid of split ends since that is clearly not in the Bible and the Church has clearly ruled that it is sinful, rebellious, worldly and virtually unforgivable.
7. CHURCH LEADERS LEGISLATING ON EQUAL AUTHORITY WITH SCRIPTURE
The church leaders take on an authority to rule in their member's lives beyond that which the Bible gives them. The hair cuttee ONLY receives the 'imprimatur' by the Church in said circumstances which have been ruled on. Mysteriously in those circumstances the non-'long' hair is transubstantiated into 'long' hair and the head deemed 'covered' by the powers-that-be.
To the modern (double) standards teachers, such cases mysteriously don't mean the Church has equal authority with the Bible or that they apply the Bible one way for one person/situation/time and another way for another person/situation/time. In their view they are simply 'rightly dividing the Word'.
In fact many teachers teach both contrary teachings of 'long' and think that both contradicting positions are taught at the same time in the same passage without ever seeing the contradiction. The Organisation brainwashes members to think that it's the other teachers (who to some are not even considered Christian) that are soft and have itching ears and don't understand the truth that the UPC has (known as 'the revelation'). These Organisational leaders, as kinds of vicars for Christ on earth, have an infallibility and unquestionable authority equal with Scripture and alone can interpret such mysterious contradictions of literal and non-literal interpretations of the same passage.
Saying people need to believe it while it seems contradictory and arbitrary, solely because the church leaders say it is Biblical and is not contradictory, reminds me of the White Queen saying to Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland -- "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things
8. THE SIN OF PRIDE Many tend to think, like I did, that since they are (supposedly) the only ones who really understand, teach and obey God's revelation in the Bible, that they must therefore be spiritually superior to other Christians who don't understand or obey it, or even the only 'true Christians'. Although humility is emphasized, many proudly believe that because 'their ladies' are more 'feminine' and more 'modest', that it is proof very few outside of the denomination will be saved and also is proof that they alone are God's elite whom God will use to lead other Christians to the truth they have.
Jesus compared the prayers of the proud Pharisee who relied on his works and left in his sins with those of the humble sinner who humbly relied on God's mercy and left justified. Friend what importance do you think God really places on their hair length? If the one crying for mercy were a female with cut hair would God have refused to justify her because she cut her hair? I think not. How would the story go if the Pharisee of Jesus day were a modern UPC woman praying, "I thank you for the revelation of 1 Corinthians 11. I thank You that I have never cut my hair, not like this other sinful lady"?
For about ten years I proudly believed that I taught (what I thought was) Biblical doctrine in Australia and overseas; that 1 Corinthians 11 teaches ladies not to ever cut or trim their hair. I now see I was wrong and apologise to any of you that have carried, or still carry this extra-Biblical yoke through my teaching or influence. I am sorry for misrepresenting the Word and character of God and I humbly thank Him for His grace to help me see my pride and errors. Please study and pray about this teaching.
I appeal to you my brother and sister, even if at this point you still disagree with me on what 1 Corinthians 11 teaches, that you agree with me that it is by no means related to the gift of Salvation, and that you agree God can and does and will forgive His prodigals whatever their hair length.
He accepts us all unconditionally as His children through our believing that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was substitutional and that His blood paid in FULL our sins, not in ANY way through our works of 'obedience', and especially not through any 'obedience' to something not clearly taught in the Bible or practiced in Jewish or Christian history.
Your brother in His Kingdom,
THE PANTS ISSUE!
Scriptures Prohibiting the Wearing of Pants by Women? By Stephen Mann
A) Verses Teaching No Pants
I have cut and pasted all five verses prohibiting women wearing pants from my KJV. Please study the five verses below with an open mind and you will see what the Bible actually says about women not wearing pants....
(That's right, friend, there are absolutely no verses at all that prohibit pants on women!)
B) Deuteronomy 22:5
Ah, but you say what about this verse...
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 (KJV)
Well quite simply, there are four reasons why I have difficulty with the no-pants interpretation from this passage...
1. The passage doesn't clearly prohibit pants on women but there are very clear prohibitions for eating pork, not keeping Friday/Saturday (Sabbath) holy, not wearing mixed apparel of linen and wool etc., so even if there was (which there isn't), it still wouldn't mean it is for us today if it isn't taught to Gentiles in the new covenant.
2. If Deuteronomy 22:5 is to be seen as a law to be obeyed today, then a consistent interpretation would mean the prohibited mixed threads, Kosher foods and other laws in the same chapter should also be followed. Why are anti-pants teachers overlooking these others?
3. If the Deuteronomy 22 passage is to be used as a principle, it should also be applicable to prohibit other male garments on women such as t-shirts, boots, underwear, scarves, gloves, sneakers, etc. Why is this principle not followed to its natural implications?
4. Lastly, if the Deuteronomy 22 passage is to be used as a principle for today (and the previous three points are overlooked), then it remains to be proved that pants are men's clothing. Culturally they were on women in China long before the Western men left off wearing tights (which by the same principle should be called men's apparel!) and hence fail on historical grounds as well.
C) Hebrew for the word translated 'garment'
Let's look at the Hebrew word that 'garment' is translated from: 8071 simlah (sim-law'); Strong says: "perhaps by permutation for the feminine of 5566 (through the idea of a cover assuming the shape of the object beneath); a dress."
Some would focus in on the word Strong uses above (dress), saying that the word in this passage teaches that the dress is female attire. They overlook the fact that Strong goes on to say...
"especially a mantle: apparel, cloth (-es, -ing), garment, raiment. comp. 8008."
Strong says the majority of times it is translated raiment, clothes and garment (as it is here in Deuteronomy 22:5 in the KJV). Not once is it translated into the English word 'dress'. Rather similar to when we say men and women's dress sense, we are not talking about only female attire. The word means clothes, not dresses!
Some commentators teach the passage is specifically prohibiting women wearing men's armour, but whether it's apparel or armour there is no teaching here that pants are for men only.
While Deuteronomy 22 verse 5 is often quoted, verse 30 is often overlooked...
"a man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt" Deuteronomy 22:30 KJV
If ladies wanted to legislate doctrine for men, here's a good place they could have started!
Did men wear skirts back then?
Is it Biblical?
Here in verse 30 you have it straight from the KJV Bible that all you women wearing skirts are cross dressers! This is really men's apparel. Consider this verse...
Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily 1 Sam 24:4
There are many more Bible verses for men wearing skirts than women wearing them! The Bible speaks of men's skirts twelve times: (Dt 22:30, Dt 27:20, Ru 3:9, 1 Sa 15:27, 1 Sa 24:4, 1 Sa 24:5, 1 Sa 24:11, 1 Sa 24:11, Eze 16:8, Hag 2:12, Hag 2:12, and Zec 8:23).
If you're really going to follow the Bible literally and get back to Biblical men's and women's garments, then get those sewing machines buzzing, men, and stop those women from wearing your skirts!! (Yes I am joking.)
In ancient Egypt their normal clothing was a loincloth wrapped around the hips and girdled at the waist. A cape was worn on the shoulders and later a long garment called a kalasiris was introduced. Men wore this as a skirt around their waist; women wore it over their upper body, or as a full-length garment that sometimes had sleeves.
The Hebrews, Assyrians, and Babylonians all wore a long, sleeved garment similar to a nightshirt, with cloaks or kalasiris-like overgarments. These clothes appear to be stiff, with fringed and tasselled borders and square or rounded corners.
For thousands of years in history we don't find pants and it is a relatively modern and culturally brief period of history where there was a distinction of pants only on men and dresses only on women.
Even today in the Pacific and other areas of the world, many continue to wear a sarong or robe on males and females with only a small distinction between them.
There is no verse in the Scriptures prohibiting women wearing pants or saying that a dress was all a female could wear. Instead we find, in the Bible and in history, men wearing similar garments to women (what we would call dresses today).
There is also no Biblical precedent or teaching regarding males alone wearing pants. Although there may be some cultural norms in some countries today, there is no prohibition by God and it is never referred to (as many falsely preach today) as an abomination to God. This is a sad example of denominational ignorance and eisegesis (reading meaning into the text) instead of exegesis (reading the text's meaning).
STANDARDS FOR MEN
Excerpt from ‘Refute to Other Holiness Standards ‘ by Ricky Guthrie
The UPCI teaches standards for men when there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that deals with dress codes for men except a man should not wear a woman's clothing.
Many of the hardliners say men have to wear long sleeved shirts or they are being immodest. Where they get that teaching I have not the slightest idea.
In their manual they say that their young men cannot suit out for gym because it is immoral or immodest. They say that men cannot bare their legs in public, like wearing shorts, because it is immodest.
Again let us look at history.
There were ancient pictures found in a Babylonian ruin of a Hebrew man working in the fields. This was after the law was given on Sinai. This man was wearing only a long tunic that went from his waist to his knees. Another showed a man wearing a tunic below the knees. Both men were bare-chested and bare-footed. They were working in the fields.
It has been proven that in ancient Egypt, because of the extreme heat, the Egyptian men wore no shirt. Slaves were only given tunics to wear as they worked. We know that Joseph was sold into slavery. Do we contend that he was given special privileges? I don't think so. Does this mean Joseph sinned against God?
What about all the Israelite men in slavery in Egypt? Did those who died in slavery lose their souls?
What about the fact that King Saul danced so much in the spirit that he danced his clothing off? The people saw this but none said he was immodest. The same thing with David. We know he did the same when bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. UPCI contends he sinned and that is why Michal rebuked him, but notice it was not because he had sinned it was because Michal thought the King of Israel should be above such displays of emotion.
Then we have the story of Peter. After Christ rose again, Peter decided to go fishing. The KJV said he was naked. Other translations say he was stripped for work, which tells us he was bare-chested. Historically speaking, we find that Israelite men in the heat of the day when fishing, stripped down to their tunics. This is what Peter did. It was old habit and acceptable. UPCI begs to differ because they say he was embarrassed because when Jesus called, he put on his coat and jumped into the water.
What they don't understand that at the time the waters were still cold and even then a fisherman's coat was expensive and a very valuable part of their wardrobe. It kept them warm in the winter when they had to survive. No fisherman would leave their coat in the boat.
If this was due to the fact that Peter was backslid and sinning, why did not John write and tell us that Jesus rebuked Peter for being immodest? He did not because that was not considered immodest or sin.
There just are absolutely no standards in the Bible for men except the fact that a man is never to reveal his private parts in public. This is why God had the priest put on linen breeches when going up to the altar. Israel came out of slavery in Egypt and when the Egyptians wore robes they wore no under clothing, so if they climbed something you could look up their robes and see their private parts.
Are there rules and regulations in the Bible for us to live by? Absolutely! These are well documented in the gospels and epistles. We are told that we are not to lie, steal, cheat, gossip, tell tales. We are not to abuse one another, be deceitful. We are not to live in anger and bitterness. We are not to curse or cuss or use profanity. We are not to tell dirty jokes. We are not to commit adultery, fornication or homosexuality. Men are to be masculine and women effeminate. We are to be obedient to man's laws as long as they do not try to force us to sin against God. We are to love one another as Christ loved us and to forgive each other immediately of any wrongdoing.
We are to live in peace and to owe no man anything. (Which means to pay our bills) We are not to slander one another. Be obedient to parents. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the head of the house, but men are to honor their wives, not abuse them or misuse them. Women are to dress modestly. These are just some of the rules of the Christian life.
Excerpt from ‘Refute to Other Holiness Standards ‘
by Ricky Guthrie
The only true argument they can use is the same old stale argument that prostitutes used make-up to seduce men and Jezebel wore it the day she tried to seduce Jehu.
Well, again historically speaking, if you study Judaism you will find that it is part of their belief that a man fails his wife if he does not provide her with jewelry and cosmetics to make herself look attractive for her husband. Also many of the women in the tribes wore heavy make-up when working in the fields because it protected their faces from the harsh sun.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find where the wearing of make-up is prohibited. This again lies with the fact that the ministry of the UPCI wants women to be subservient to men in all aspects, and as in a lot of their teachings, this comes back to human sexuality.
This constant fear of sexual sins. Nearly everything they teach basically comes down to what they think is immodest or what will lead their members to commit sexual sins.
They feel if they allow their women to wear make-up they will attract other men, so if they keep them looking like plain janes they will not commit sexual sins. It does not matter how many times someone in their movement falls into sexual sin, they don't change their stand.
The Scripture mostly used to support the teaching that one is not to wear make-up is:
2 Kings 9:30: And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
Proponents of this teaching will say that we really don't want to be a part of anything that has to do with Jezebel.
According to Thayer’s & Smith’s, ‘tired’ here is the Hebrew word ‘yatab’ which means, in short, ‘to be good, be pleasing, be well, be glad’. In other words, she combed her hair.
I can’t say it enough. If because Jezebel put on make-up, then make-up is a sin, then combing you hair is, too. This an just one more example of the lack of Bible scholarship in the UPC. I was always taught that Jezebel was trying to seduce her enemy here. But a basic reading of the text reveals that Jezebel knew she was going to die and was simply mocking her soon to be captor by fixing herself up for her death. She wasn’t putting on make-up to seduce anyone and neither do 85% of the women in the world!
Here is another good one:
Jer 4:30 "‘And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do ? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.'"
Three things are cast in a negative light here (supposedly): 1) Jewelry 2) Make-up 3) The color red. Now the UPC condemns two of these things and they use this scripture to back themselves up, but they, like with braiding, choose to ignore part of the scripture. So, tell me, is it now a sin to wear red too?
I read where someone stated that "looking at a pattern of things in the Word of God, we can safely say that a Godly woman should not wear make-up. If Paul wrote to not wear gold, pearls, or costly array, do you think that make-up would be pleasing to God?"
Oh, so women should not braid their hair, either. I noticed they left that part out. The UPC’ers always say that ‘plaiting’ meant weaving gold into your hair. That might have applied at times, but most often women simply braided their hair without anything in it and I’ve yet to find anywhere that says it means anything other than braiding in general.
An adherent of the no make-up rule might state that the main point in this is actually not the make-up, but the spirit or attitude that would make a woman want to wear make-up that's a sin.
If an 80 year old, happily married grandmother put on little lipstick, which of her motivations are comparable to Jezebel or prostitution? Are you actually suggesting that she is trying to incite lust? Give me a break! But you just about have it – it is the ‘spirit or attitude’ that makes something a sin, not the make-up itself! If a woman puts on make-up to attract men, she is in sin, but if she puts it on simply to look nice, like when she combs her hair, where is the sin?
Often a proponent of these standards teachings will bring up an extreme during a conversation, saying something to the effect that homosexuality will soon be socially accepted and that just because something becomes socially accepted, it is not a reason to do such things as wear make-up or for women to wear pants.
One big difference here. The Bible specifically condemns homosexuality, it does not condemn cut hair, pants or make-up on women.
Refuttation of the UPCI Teaching on Jewelry by Ricky Guthrie
According to the UPCI the Bible frequently associates jewelry with a proud attitude, an immoral lifestyle, or pagan worship. They take this stand based on the story of Jacob and the story of the golden calf. This is one of the reasons they say the wearing of jewelry is sinful.
In Genesis we find that Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to find his son Isaac a wife. Abraham sent him to some of his kinfolk. Eliezer met a young girl named Rebecca. When she told him whose family she was with, he gave her a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. Later on we read where he gave her more jewelry, etc.
We all know that Abraham was called the friend of God. It is obvious that he did not think the wearing of jewelry was sinful or he would not have sent Eliezer with jewelry for the young future bride of his son, Isaac.
We also know that Rebecca was the mother of Jacob. The same Jacob the UPCI claims did away with the wearing of jewelry.
Jacob left his home because he took his brother's birthright and went to his mother's brother's home. Here he married two sisters, Leah and Rachel. We have to understand that Laban did not worship Jehovah but worshipped household gods as we find in Genesis when Rachel stole her dad's household gods.
It was in worship of these gods that the women wore certain types of jewelry. They wore amulets and charms also to ward off evil spirits. Jacob, who served Jehovah, knew in God's sight these article of jewelry were wicked so he had them buried. This in no way tells us that the wearing of jewelry is sinful. The wearing of jewelry worn to ward off demonic spirits or worn in worship to false gods is wrong.
1 Peter 3:3, 5 – “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel...For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:”
Above, Peter instructs women to adorn themselves as the holy women of the ‘old time’ did, right? How about Rebecca? She was unquestionably a holy woman of the old time. Was she not one of the most prominent female figures of the Old Testament? Of course. So then, let’s look at some passages about Rebecca:
Genesis 24:47, 53 – “And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands….And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebecca: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. "(KJV)
What? One of the women of old wore jewelry? Is the Bible contradicting itself? I hardly think so. So then Peter is not forbidding jewelry outright, he is forbidding excessive use of it and telling us not to let our outward appearance be what we are known by, but instead to be known by our meek and humble spirit.
In the passage below, God himself is putting jewelry on His people and referring to Israel’s beauty as ‘perfect through my comeliness.’ In fact, this passage even seems to suggest that God was glorified to the heathen as a result of Israel’s beauty.
Ezekiel 16:9-14 – “Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.” (KJV) .
Later on when Joseph, Jacob's son, was sold into slavery and became the second man in command in Egypt, we read where Pharaoh put a ring on his finger and a gold chain around his neck. We know that Joseph did not commit adultery with Potiphar's wife for it was considered sin. If Jacob his father considered the wearing of jewelry sin, why did Joseph accept these articles of jewelry from Pharaoh? The reason is clear as a bell. His father did not think the wearing of all jewelry as sinful.
If Jacob had taken this stand, then he would have stood against his Grandfather and his own mother. We know his Grandfather gave his servant jewelry to give to Rebekah and she wore it.
When God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, he told Moses to have the Israelites borrow jewelry from the Egyptians and for them to wear it. In his omniscience, God knew the Israelites would take this jewelry and wear it and later would take the jewelry and have Aaron melt it down and the golden calf would be formed and they would worship this calf as their god. Did this stop God from telling Moses to borrow the jewelry? NO!
Even though, after they had committed this grave sin, God did tell them to remove their jewelry it was not permanent.
We know that King Saul wore gold bracelets for this was told to us at the time of his death and again at the time when David composed his most famous song about Saul and Jonathan, he spoke of Saul who adorned the people with jewelry.
The Song of Solomon tells us that King Solomon wore gold chains. Also Daniel was given a gold chain by the King of Babylon.
We also read in the Book of Jeremiah where God said "Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number." (Jeremiah 2:32.) Also in the Isaiah 61, God spoke of a bridegroom wearing his ornaments.
The UPCI speaks of the time that God accused Israel of committing adultery against him in the same book of Isaiah as other proof that the wearing of jewelry is sin. Here in Isaiah 3 we read where God spoke of Israel as if she were a literal woman committing harlotry against him.
He speaks of all the jewelry she was wearing and said he would take away all of it from Israel. God also spoke of head-bands, cloaks, undergarments, bonnets, scarves, mantles, hoods, and veils. All this he was going to take away from Israel. Yet when you read UPCI's stand on outward adornment and jewelry they say it is sin to wear jewelry but okay to wear headbands, undergarments, veils, scarves, etc. Doesn't make sense does it?
When we turn over to Ezekiel the 16th chapter, when God again likened Israel to a real woman, he said he had clothed her in fine clothing and put rings on her fingers and rings in her ears and in her nose, and bracelets and gold chains and a gold crown.
This was Jehovah who said he had adorned Israel this way, and even though later in the same chapter we read where this same Israel used this jewelry to attract other lovers, God still said he would adorn her with all this jewelry.
If throughout the Old Testament we find that God told Israel to wear jewelry, why does UPCI teach something blatantly different?
Both Peter and Paul wrote that women should not put so much emphasis on outward appearance, so they both mentioned the wearing of gold or pearls. If you read their writings in the original language, you come to the understanding that they were not forbidding jewelry from being worn but were saying things such as a meek and mild spirit etc. was better adornment. They both were speaking of moderation. If we took what Peter said in the light of how the UPCI interprets what he said in I Peter the third chapter, we would come to the conclusion that Peter was telling the women not to wear clothing.
UPCI tends to have this attitude that if something has ever been used for evil then it becomes strictly evil. People have used jewelry for sexual purposes or for prideful purposes so they say it is a sin to wear it. If God felt that way about everything that has been used to sin with, he would have destroyed the world a long time ago.
One good example of this is the act of sex. It is one of the greatest sins committed daily in life (adultery and rape etc.) but God has not forbidden the use of this act in marriage just because mankind has used the act to sin with.
The wearing of jewelry is not sinful, neither for men nor for women. Also, for those who take a stand against this trend of men wearing earrings or women wearing nose rings, the people of Israel wore both.