15 Theses on Alt-Pinkery

I have been studying the intersection between biblical faith and pop culture for decades now, and have read mounds of books on the subject. I have done this with one eye on possibly writing my own book on the subject—the working title is Devil in a Blue Dress—and I have been doing this because there is no other area that I know of where there is so much personal consumption and so little personal reflection. This lack of reflection is evident with movies, music, clothing design, art, dance, literature, body modification, along with many more areas, with the line running down the street and around the corner.

The combination of high consumption and low reflection results in numerous Christians who are street savvy when it comes to “name that band” kind of knowledge, but who are clueless when it comes to seeing the actual context their knowledge is operating in. Since this kind of street smarts is equivalent to the mouse knowing where on the little wooden platform to find the cheese, constant warnings are always in order.

So a critic might know the band 15 Drunk Ponies, and point out that I have obviously not had that pleasure, but there are other issues in play. Other words that need to be defined, studied and analyzed would include nature, liturgy, covenant, worship, dominion, culture, eschatology, lordship, presuppositions, aesthetics, and many more. This is not a discussion about incidentals. It is thick with paradigm assumptions, basic assumptions concerning some of the most important issues of life. And, as the apostle Paul might say if he were in this position, I am out of my mind to talk this way, but I know my onions.

Here are some of the basic principles that are involved.

  1. There is never any neutrality anywhere. Every hair on every head is claimed by Jesus Christ, and is counterclaimed by Satan—and Jesus Christ has the only true universal claim. If something is adiaphora that does not mean that it is outside the authority of the Lord Jesus.
  2. The Bible does not require women to wear plain jumpers and the men to wear skinny black neckties. But if the Bible did require it, we should be eager to obey. One of the reasons these issues are so controversial is that many in the church are unwilling a priori to submit themselves to whatever the Bible teaches on this subject. They are not interested in finding out what the text actually teaches and actually requires.
  3. Clothes, hairstyles, jewelry, and other personal accoutrements are all forms of communication. Christians should be concerned centrally with communicating that which is true, good, and beautiful. What you say non-verbally is no more under your own personal authority than anything else is. You are not your own. You were bought with a price.
  4. The Scriptures teach us repeatedly how to comport ourselves in the world. We are not told to be edgy, but rather respectable—e.g. “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire” (1 Timothy 2:9, ESV). We are given these sorts of instructions in multiple places—and there are too many places to simply dismiss them without first dealing with the teaching of the authoritative text. We should not assume that we simply “know” what that instruction is—we should pursue this knowledge. And the fact that some do in fact make an idol out of respectability does not alter the scriptural injunction. So if you had to choose between looking like the local meth dealer and looking like the chairman of the Young Republicans, the answer of Scripture is clear. Go with the Young Republicans. And I might be willing to bet ten bucks that this answer surprised more of you than it should have.
  5. When it comes to how we face the outside culture, the church must constantly keep in mind the distinction between apostles and refugees. Refugees are fleeing the world and taking shelter in the church. Apostles are trying to bring the world into the church. The former must be welcomed with open arms, regardless of tats, hair color, rap sheet, or anything else. The latter must be resisted to the last ditch. The ship is supposed to be in the water, but the water is not supposed to be in the ship. And to make this distinction is not obsess over a trifle. “Ship, water, water, ship . . . are these not just words?”
  6. The revolution has a uniform. If it is true that culture is religion externalized—and that is true—it is worth asking what religion is represented by the sartorial exhortation to “reinvent yourself” as you please, every day, while making sure you don’t let anybody tell you what to do. The revolution is radically relativistic and believes that existence precedes essence. And that means that they want you to have as much authority to alter the genitalia God gave you as to abandon the original shape of your ear lobes. The cultural alt-regalia that confronts us regularly now is simply one of the early questions in the pomo-catechism that is drilling a set of pernicious but foundational assumptions into the minds of young people. “Q. What can you be? A. I can be anything I want to be.” Can I have weird hair? Sure thing. Can I become a little girl? Why not, Sammy?
  7. There are places where biblical personal adornment and some practices of the revolution may overlap. But the intent in each is radically distinct. The former wants to adorn God-given nature and the latter wants to impose man-made choices on what used to be called nature, thus proving that nothing has a fixed nature. Depending on the circumstance, the same set of earrings can be making statements directly opposed to one another. A woman could wear them to adorn her God-given femininity, and a man could wear those same earrings in order to spit on his masculinity. Clearly the problem does not reside in the earrings.
  8. The reasons for adopting the uniform of the revolution vary. Not every person wearing that uniform is a revolutionary. Some of them are not even aware that there is a revolution on. Some do it because that is what all their friends are doing. Others do it because they want the pain of their childhood to have a visible and external expression. Others do it because their parents don’t want them to do it. Others do it because they are narcissists who crave attention—anyone with an Instagram feed with more than 500 selfies is in this category. Others do it because they are apostles of the revolution, declaring their inverted version of the good news. “Become whatever you want to be.”
  9. The reasons for adopting the uniform, although they can be quite distinct from each other, are still—overwhelmingly—not good. Narcissism, ignorance, ink therapy—none of this is what we should want.
  10. People who dress traditionally can certainly do so thoughtlessly as well. A lot of people in cubicles with pieces of cloth cinched tightly around their necks can give no better account of themselves than can the tie-dyed circle-drumming guy down at the Up with Economic Illiteracy Protest. Socrates taught us that the unexamined life is not worth living. I would want to add that the unexamined skinny jeans are not worth putting on. This one goes for everybody, khakis included.
  11. The algorithms know what I am taking about. It is easy for Christians who think that I am being “judgy” to defend themselves by saying “nobody really knows what these words are supposed to mean anyway.” But people have an amazing ability to identify a new thing and then name it. They also have an amazing ability to yell loudly whenever a conservative Christian picks up one of those nouns and uses it as though it has a reasonable meaning—which it actually does. If I write a post like this, and decide to make a meme to illustrate it, as I often do, I just go to Google Images and type in lumbersexual. And do you know what? The algorithms know exactly what I am asking for, and give me hundreds of images to select from. I then take it to memedad.com, make it my own image, and post it. What we are talking about is not mysterious. So if you type in metrosexual, and the first three images that pop up are the bass player in your worship band, the problem with all this is not my bigotry.
  12. The agents of the revolution, the apostles, have an astute eye for detail, and know exactly what they are doing. It is imperative for them to marginalize anyone on the other side who can see the same thing they do—in order to prevent them from blowing the gaff. And so the inky murk begins, and all of it is blamed on the bigoted purveyor of sensible Christian values who has, it is claimed, been poking the cultural squid with a stick. But say all the employees in a retail outlet “look gay,” that didn’t happen by accident. Vibes don’t happen by themselves. People create them. These are actions. Other people see them and name them. A little bit later, you can search for the term on Google.
  13. Culture is not possible without cultural expression. True counter culture is not possible without counter cultural expression. The biblical instruction to Christians is to be counter cultural in such a way as to create a new polis that has a transformative effect on the polis of man. This necessarily translates to the externals. So the battle within the church over these things is therefore not a trifle—it is a struggle for the creative control of the reformation.
  14. As a pastor, I am responsible for the spiritual formation of my congregants. A number of them are college students. And as one of the faculty of New St. Andrews, dedicated to graduating shapers of culture, I am responsible there as well. We want our students to graduate knowing how to shape culture. This is entirely different from being shaped by culture. Suppose another hula hoop craze swept the country, and I saw a bunch of our students hula hooping away like there was no tomorrow. My concern would not descend upon the plastic hoops, as though that item were inherently sinful. My concern would be all about the students—don’t they have any resistance at all? I hate to show off my mastery of nuance, but I do know that leaders and followers are not the same thing. I do know that 21st century America needs Christian colleges graduating yet one more evangelical generation of me-tooers like they need a hole in the head.
  15. Returning to the point made at the top, this topic is not an unfortunate but recent jag into censorious legalism. In a very real way, this topic is right at the center of my life’s work. If there were but time, I could produce scores of examples, but here is a small, random sampling—Unleashing Your Inner Fundamentalist (2009), Lowlife Authenticity (2005), Apostles or Refugees? (2005), and The Coronation of the Infantile (2017).And if there were but more time, I could go find them all and turn in a 600 page manuscript of DIABD. Maybe I will sometime, just see if I don’t. When bare bodice Minoan dresses become a thing for Christian junior high girls, I will consider myself sufficiently provoked and will get right on it.

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

There are three things I noted especially in this list, most of which is inoffensive and wise but which I can see leading in some poor directions. 1.You say that pop culture is the place where you see more consumption with less reflection than anywhere else. Yet I see tons of criticisms of rock music, hip hop, violent games, inappropriate television, inappropriate dress, tattoos, piercings, ways of speaking, and so on. In some cases not as much as it should be, but it is there. On the other hand, the trappings of wealth go virtually untouched. Which is weird, because… Read more »

adad0
Member

J’, what do “salt and light” look like? Next to more salt and light, they don’t stand out. Next to pepper and darkness they do stand out.
Salt and light look about the same, no matter how affluent or poor the vessel they are in may be.
Finally, I would say that salt and light are so basic and foundational, that it is difficult if not impossible to project imitations as a cheap fashion statement.
Does that make any salt?????????

ashv
Guest
ashv

Re John the Baptist: If you saw a guy wearing a tricorn hat and knee breeches delivering a speech in Washington DC, I doubt your first assessment of his outfit would be not respectable. Dressing that way is purposefully invoking the language of shared history. Similarly, John the Baptist dressed in a garment of hair and a leather belt and hung out around the Jordan, because as Jesus said, he was a new Elijah.

Jill Smith
Member

Unless it was Abbie Hoffman. He did that.

adad0
Member

Hey Jilly my dear! Considering our conversation over the last day or so,
look what Memi just reported on her site! ; – )

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/praise-the-lord-for-answered-prayers/

I suspect Memi and I were the “one or two rather fanatic type people” who kept speaking the truth to Barb and Jeff, whenever they were on a site where they could not delete truthful content!
Thank God, really, that they flinched!

adad0
Member
Jill Smith
Member

Timothy does say that women are to dress respectably, but I’m not sure what that means other than with sufficient modesty not to be making a public spectacle of themselves. I would be hard pressed to find a definition of respectable that bans pink hair but not excessive makeup. I still find this almost entirely subjective in its particulars–which is okay. If a pastor hates pink hair, he can certainly preach against it. But I think you are right about the trappings of wealth, and I am sorry to say that I have never belonged to a parish in which… Read more »

Joshua
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Joshua

Jilly’s granddaughter 40 years from now wanders past a conservative evangelical College, and reads the requirements to “look sharp” for Sunday services. On reading the particulars, she realises their version of “sharp” is their own and was derived from the prevailing styles of thirty years ago – men have to wear pants. The nicest Christian she ever met was her old pastor Stevo who never wore the shortest dresses or the most risque skirts, and avoided the most flamboyant of colours in his hair and his blouse. She still remembers her judgmental, legalistic grandma who never took a shine to… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

I think 1 is because this whole thing is inextricably wrapped up with Doug Wilson’s particular cultural and political resentments. He’s a Young Republican through and through.

Billtownphysics
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Billtownphysics

Where exactly does the Bible speak about the “trappings of wealth”? Asking for a friend.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I don’t have time for a full answer right now, because there’s a lot. But Matthew 6:19-21 is short and simple: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. It is even more enlightening in context – Matthew 6:24 and Matthew 6:25-34 are both relevant, especially in how we hoard wealth (and other… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

The Bible has a lot to say in condemnation of trying to get rich, but I can’t locate anything that condemns being rich. In particular I’d note that greed, pride, covetousness, and mammon worship happen in all income brackets. Proverbs 30:8-9 tells us that different temptations accompany these different economic situations, but being poor is not morally superior to being rich.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

bethyada
Member

What was that comment said in response to?

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Some more context: And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have… Read more »

bethyada
Member

So does that reinforce ashv’s point about love of money? or is it just having money?

Jill Smith
Member

If I can throw in my two cents worth. I think that having a lot of money is generally not to be wished for because, for most of us, it can be a temptation. Having been born incredibly good looking or incredibly brilliant is also a temptation because, like riches, they can result in pride, unhealthy attachment to them, and insensitivity to others. Unless properly governed, they all produce worldliness, and handled unwisely, they can all be used to damage other people. I do think that, for many people, having money seems to lead to a love of money and… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Jill, wealth can be a temptation. Those issues you mention are certainly real. Though I think the love of money can result from more than just having money. The possibility of having money (easy credit) can have a similar temptation.

It is simplistic to think that the poor are lazy. Many of the wealthy have had little money previously. There are the lazy who are poor (and some who are rich) and there are some poor who work harder than most of us.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

In that passage, it appears to be having money that’s the problem. The rich young man was doing everything else right but can’t give up his wealth, the disciples are put up as the positive example of those who did give up their wealth, Jesus states that “the rich”, (not “the lovers of money”) are those who cannot enter the Kingdom. There are many passages about the rich (those three, Luke 6:24, James 1:9-11, James 5:1-6) that directly condemn the rich, not just the lovers of money. There are many passages about possessions (those three, Matthew 6:19-21, Luke 12:33, Luke… Read more »

lndighost
Member

That’s an unusual interpretation of the Matthew 19 passage. If the rich young ruler had given up all his wealth, do you suppose he would have been worthy to enter heaven apart from the blood of Christ, any more than we are? Did he really keep the rest of the law perfectly? Isn’t it more reasonable to think that Jesus saw into his heart and knew his greatest weakness and drew his attention to it? Also your texts do not illustrate the point you wish to make. None of them condemns possession of wealth per se. For example, “You cannot… Read more »

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Taking Jesus literally is only an “unusual interpretation” when we’re in a world where those who hold wealth (and who align themselves with the political power of the wealthy) are in charge of Biblical interpretation. If you read the New Testament, or the early Church Fathers (even up through the 4th and 5th century), or many of the churches whose theologians were not aligned with wealth and power, it’s a fairly common interpretation. Even today, I’ve seen highly respected moral theologians like Richard B. Hays interpret it the same way as myself…and he throws himself at the mercy of God… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Jonathan, the poor without Christ go to Hell just as quickly as the rich without Christ or the middle class or the royals. You keep harping on wealth. There is nothing wrong with being rich or being middle class and taking care of your family or even being poor. There is none righteous, no not one. So if someone comes to your conclusion now, they have missed out on understanding Christianity for years. If American Christians really believed scripture, they would be overrunning the halls of Congress with their $200 watches, tiki torches from BB&B, flip flops and $200 sneakers… Read more »

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I completely agree that being poor is no absolute moral good, Dave. Just like not having an idol doesn’t mean you’re worshiping the true God. But that doesn’t mean you can make the opposite argument, that filling your life with idols isn’t problematic. I’m not sure what relation all the political stuff is But I certainly believe that “if American Christians really believed Scripture”, there would be a dozen or more priorities I would think of long before I thought of politics. Those politicians will not be our salvation nor our condemnation, they are simply an outgrowth of the weaknesses… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jonathan, when you eat out, do you tip the waitress and approximately how much do you tip?

JP Stewart
Member

Maybe he gives them an 18-paragraph treatise on the evils of having too much money instead–worth approximately $5.00 based on the labor theory of value?

Dave
Guest
Dave

That is a portion of the question, now isn’t it?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

To be honest, I struggle to remember the last time I was in an establishment with a waitress (at least before a time two years ago when someone else was treating the rest of us).* I don’t eat out much, and the places we do rarely go tend to be non-tipping establishments. But if the situation came up I think I would calculate 15% and then round up, and give a little more than that if the service was good or the bill was cheap. Occasionally even in non-tipping establishments, I discretely leave 10-15% in a manner that the server… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Please look at the top of the thread.

Katecho
Member

Indigo wrote: If all I own are a potato sack and a spoon, those are still possessions that I could give up. At what point on the spectrum do you decide, okay, anything above this line I have to give away or I’ll be ‘rich’ and therefore guilty of idolatry? This is foolish Pharasaism and not the open-handed generosity I’m sure you’re striving for in your own life. Jonathan apparently permits himself to continue to own a computer. I don’t recall if he said whether he owns a house or rents, but I think he has said that he owns… Read more »

bethyada
Member

The point is in the command he wasn’t obeying. The command that Jesus left out of the list.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I agree. Jesus is pointing out that holding onto wealth is like keeping idols around your house.

bethyada
Member

So his problem was covetousness (idolatry)?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

His root problem was failing to follow Jesus. In that sense, yes, anyone who maintains wealth for themselves rather than do what Jesus asks us to do with our resources is guilty of a form of idolatry (or simple ignorance of Jesus’s call). That is why Jesus states that it is impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom – because he is making his choice. No matter what the justification, it always gets back to that 1 John 3:16-18 question – there he is with the goods of the world, and there is the brother in need, and… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Which is why I asked the original question. The fact that Jesus did not mention covetousness in obeying the the commandments. Jesus knew this was his issue, and that is why giving away his wealth was necessary.

Jane
Member

The money is a false god only if it is a false god to you. I think your line of argument leads us to eschewing having trees in your yard, because people make trees into false gods. But a tree is not a false god unless you actively make it so.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Except Jesus never talks about trees in the yard as false gods. Jesus never says not to have trees in your yard because they’re too great a temptation. You could have idols sitting around the house without worshiping them either. But why would you? It’s an awful idea, especially if you’re in a culture where such idols are the objects of worship. So why accumulate wealth when you love your neighbor as yourself? Why accumulate wealth in a world where people are dying of real needs that are unaddressed? Why accumulate wealth when Jesus tells you directly that you can… Read more »

Jane
Member

Jesus also never says not to have too much money because it’s too great a temptation.

He tells the young man to get rid of his money because he, personally, has made an idol of it, as is evidenced by his response. Nowhere else does he tell people to “get rid of their money.”

Just like He, through Isaiah, denounces people who use trees for idols. It’s the idolatry that’s the problem, not the material thing itself.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

He tells the young man to get rid of his money because he, personally, has made an idol of it, as is evidenced by his response. Nowhere else does he tell people to “get rid of their money.” I can’t tell if that’s a red herring. Neither I nor anyone else has claimed Jesus has said we need to rid ourselves of all money. But I already quoted to you multiple times where he tells people “get rid of your possessions”. Along with clear receipts that he, the disciples, and the early Church in fact did exactly that. And again,… Read more »

Jane
Member

The parallel is not between having money and making an idol. Once you’ve made an idol, you’ve made an idol. The parallel is between having money, a thing that can be turned into an idol, but is not an idol, and having a tree, a thing that can be turned into a idol, but is not an idol. Your line of argument makes money into an idol by nature. If that’s true, it would only have been consistent for Jesus to tell everyone to get rid of their money. But He didn’t — because His concern was making an idol… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You keep acting like it is the physical money that I am calling the problem. The physical money is just a counter. The problem is the personal hoarding of wealth (of which the word “money” is sometimes used as a symbol). Though Jesus does appear to have extremely little money in his hands at any point and doesn’t seem to expect the disciples to either (note the lack of money to pay the tax, the lack of money to buy food for the people, the commands for the 70 to go out without their own money to support themselves), it’s… Read more »

Jane
Member

I think the problem I am having is your identifying a certain quantity as “hoarding” simply because the quantity is in a person’s possession at a given moment in time. Hoarding is a behavior over time resulting from a certain attitude, it is not an amount of something. A man can be rich without hoarding, and a poor man can hoard.

FWIW, I never thought you were calling the physical money the problem.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If it is only there at a given moment in time, no, it is not hoarding. Hoarding is when you store it away for yourself over a longer period of time.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan should get back to us once he has gotten rid of his computer possession.

Oh, wait.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And when I open the site my password isn’t logged in, so I had the misfortune of seeing that Katecho and fp both responded below you, and you dapped their posts. Unfortunately, they not only attempted ad hominem attacks (why would making claims about what I do or do not own contradict the words of Christ?), but have followed their typical pattern of making false claims about me. So why did you dap them? No, I don’t have a car and haven’t in a very long time, no, I have not saved up a retirement nest egg, but if it… Read more »

Jane
Member

I don’t know what dapped means, but I’m pretty sure I wrote my post directly after reading yours, without seeing theirs first, if that’s what you mean.

Jill Smith
Member

Always anxious to learn new words, I asked my daughter. She said it means to fist-bump, but that made no sense. But Wiki says that it means to make a gesture of agreement or solidarity with somebody.

Jane
Member

Yes, I eventually figured out that it probably meant up-voted, and this confirms it. I didn’t perceive those questions as ad hominem, because in a discussion where the subject matter is presumably principles and morals by which the parties profess to live, whether those principles and morals work out in practice seems like a fair question. If anything, they might be more reductios than ad hominems. At any rate, I don’t think that asking whether someone’s professed principles apply to oneself in a specific manner is inimical to a Christian conversation about faith and morals, in the way it would… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jonathan wouldn’t know an ad hominem if it bit him in his reductio ad posterium. The point, which I know you and several others understood but for some unknown reason escapes Jonathan, is: Where is the threshold above which one is considered “rich”, and, by Jonathan’s lights, is therefore condemned? This is a serious inquiry, and it would be nice if hypocritical Pharisees like Jonathan would deign to help us lesser people by simply giving us a straightforward answer rather than attacking anyone who dares to question his exceedingly great wisdom. But then again, it is more fun when he… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It would obviously be as nonsensical to set a specific line to denote “wealthy” as it would to say that a specific number of drinks defined a drunkard. But I’ve given a straightforward answer for how you work it out for yourself every time anyone has asked. I’ll quote again: If you struggle with the hermeneutic, I suggest you read 1 John 3:16-18 as a starting place. Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 14:12-14, Acts 2:44-47, and Acts 4:32-35 for more detail. But those are just details – they are all rooted in, as are all of Jesus’s commandments, “Love the Lord your… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

When [you] can consider your wealth the possession of all rather than your own to hoard for your future… The communists considered wealth to be “the possession of all” — didn’t turn out so well for the kulaks, did it? If wealth is “the possession of all” then it is no longer private property. If there is no private property, then Scriptural admonitions against theft are meaningless. And if I don’t consider my wealth to be “the possession of all”, what makes you presume I’m hoarding it? How do you know I’m not putting my wealth to work, enabling it… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:32-35, and all the guidelines and commands from Scripture that explain why they acted that way. (the most direct listed above) And no, in such communities it is still easy to tell that theft is theft. I’m guessing your own immediate family considers its resources to belong communally to the family as any have need, many families only have a single bank account, but decisions are still made in an organized way and it is still stealing if someone takes for themselves what belongs to the family if the decision is not made in the agreed-upon way.… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jonathan, is there any way you can shorten your responses? Brevity being the soul of wit, and all that. So, in the case of wealth being “the possession of all”, “all” doesn’t really mean “all”, it means “family” or “community”. Got it. Any chance you could tighten up your language in the future? Also, I didn’t see a response to my questions. To wit: – If I don’t consider my wealth to be the possession of all (“all” now being defined as “not everyone”), what makes you presume I’m hoarding it? – How do you know I’m not putting my… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Jonathan, is there any way you can shorten your responses? Brevity being the soul of wit, and all that. Not really. Note the length of our host’s essays, and how he often writes many on the same subject, and even whole books. And he’s dealing with people who often are working from much the same assumptions as himself. Even when I try to explain in detail, I have certain people who consistently claim things like: * If I argue for nonviolence then I am arguing for passivity * If I argue against wealth then I am in favor of Communism… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jonathan, have you considered how your word choices and phrasing affect how people interact with you? For example, when you use a phrase such as “argue against wealth”, you give the impression that wealth, in and of itself, is a bad thing. If you actually believe that wealth, regardless of anyone’s motivation for gaining it, is neither good nor bad, then I kindly suggest you use different phrasing, such as “argue against the love of wealth” — if you were to argue that way, you’d be hard-pressed to find those who disagree here on this blog. Another example of poor… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

For example, when you use a phrase such as “argue against wealth”, you give the impression that wealth, in and of itself, is a bad thing. If you actually believe that wealth, regardless of anyone’s motivation for gaining it, is neither good nor bad, then I kindly suggest you use different phrasing, such as “argue against the love of wealth” — if you were to argue that way, you’d be hard-pressed to find those who disagree here on this blog. And yet Jesus and the New Testament authors, when speaking about the issue, like me use “wealth” or “many possessions”… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

We’re getting far off track here. I gave those examples to buttress my point, not to go into the weeds. If you want to be excessively casual with your language, then be my guest — but don’t be surprised when people argue with what you are perhaps unintentionally communicating.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, I have to apologize for using a bit of urban youth slang in the wrong place! That was certainly an accident. I absolutely agree with you that trying to understand how principles work out in practice is an important part of working one’s way through interpretation. It is a danger to put that step too early and too prominent though. Far too many people have left the Church due to pastors and/or laity who did not practice what they preached. The always-falling-short practices of the Church body never invalidate the word of God. And other times, stumbling blocks come… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: … it’s not like either of them is the slightest bit interested in my own example or attempts to be obedient other than than to have something to attack. Indeed, I haven’t the slightest interest in Jonathan’s personal life, or his attempts at self-imposed poverty. I merely raise the fact that Jonathan remains loaded with possessions, including high tech ones. That goes immediately to Jonathan’s struggle with hypocrisy. For the record, no one has a problem with Jonathan taking a personal vow of poverty. We just refuse when he tries to include us in that vow, or inflict… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

“Without going into details, I have no doubt that my home is more simple than any home fp has ever slept in in his entire life (his assumptions that I have electricity and indoor plumbing in my home are telling)…” Presume much, Jonathan? You have no idea the kinds of homes I’ve slept in over the years. You would do well to kindly shut your trap lest you make an even bigger ass of yourself. I never made any assumptions about your domicile, much less said anything about it. Go back, re-read, and deal with what I actually wrote. Your… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

fp, I want to appreciate that you care enough about me that you specifically took the time to make a comment outside of your blocked screen name so that I will see it. Unfortunately, since you again appear to insult and offend me in the comment (and in fact have stated that as your goal in the past), it’s hard for me to find something good. But I’ll consider it evidence that you want to dialogue more with me. I don’t wish to play games. Anyone can look at your history and see that since you have called me and… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jonathan, I care about the truth. That wall of text you just posted does not erase the fact that you made a presumptuous judgment. You were out of line, and this is not the first time you have been presumptuous in dealing with others on this blog. If you want people to respect you as a brother in Christ, then I would suggest you treat others respectfully. One thing you need to learn is that there are points of view other than your own. You are more than welcome to express your opinions here, but when you presume to tell… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“And for everyone’s sake, stop writing paragraph after paragraph lamenting how you’re so offended and insulted. If one little jab sends you into fits of verbosity, then, quite frankly, I’m astonished that you allow others to have that much power over you. You are your own man; you are in charge of how much you’re offended. Proverbs 19:11: ‘A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.'”

+1. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a man so fragile or in need of validation (even if it’s self-validation)…at least on a blog like this.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

mkt, I don’t know what you consider fragility, and if I needed validation this is certainly not the place I would come to seek it. You and I have very different objectives here, so our comments will always appear very different, and I see little that we will ever come to a common understanding on. So be it – you do your thing and I’ll do mine.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

fp, I think the absolute best I can do is ignore the first through fifth paragraphs. Anyone who wants to evaluate your accusations can look though our comment histories to see where this started and whose version is accurate. It is very clear that we’re not going to litigate it in any sort of positive manner. So I will simply let it go. Bottom line: If you’re willing to interact honestly with what I and others say and eliminate the presumptuousness, then I’m willing to cut down on the ridicule. I will do my absolute best to take this, your… Read more »

bethyada
Member

While I disagree with your approach here (not for you and your wife, but whether it is necessary generalisable), and disagree with a portion of your theology here and elsewhere; I have appreciated your integrity in living out your beliefs, and it seems clear (to me at least) that you love Jesus which is the beginning and crux of Christian faith.

Jill Smith
Member

I agree.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you kindly bethyada. I believe the same of you and most of the others I interact with here, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

Katecho
Member

I’ve noted in the past that Jonathan still owns a computer, and, if I recall correctly, a car. That’s more than most people in the world have. That’s our standard of wealth, right? I wonder if he has saved up a little retirement nest egg too.

When asked about the computer, Jonathan excused it because it is small and old. Gold in coin form is small and old too though. One man’s poverty is another man’s wealth, right?

fp
Guest
fp

You know, that’s a great point. Do you suppose that Jonathan enjoys things like indoor plumbing and electricity, things that a hundred years ago were luxury items that only the rich could afford?

Solomon was extravagantly wealthy, but I don’t think his version of running water included a treatment plant and a tap.

Christopher
Member

Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That sounds like good advice. The only problems being…. 1) A great many of American Christians (and other Christians) are explicitly praying for riches. 2) It is a common self-delusion to always assume “riches” are what the other guy has. Maybe a decade or so back, a survey of millionaires found that most of them did not consider themselves wealthy, and when asked what figure would entail wealth, stated on average a net worth that was on the order of $10 million. Interestingly for these purposes, I think it quite reasonable to assume that they were indeed shooting for that… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

1) I don’t think it is a “great many ” of American Christians explicitly praying for riches. I also do not think every one explicitly praying for riches is actually a Christian. 2) True. But then that is the problem with finger pointing at “the rich” in contemporary America. Your can have less than your neighbors and even below average income or material resources and still be quite affluent by historical standards, and by many contemporary standards in the world. It is not hard to be well off in America, and really very very few people are not. Anyone able… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

1) I’d stick with “a great many”. Something like 20% of Christians in America openly identify with prosperity gospel. That’s already a great many. And I think the number that pray for more wealth/money is much more numerous and broader than that. The Prayer of Jabez sold its 10 millionth copy a decade ago – I believe it is one of the 4-5 best-selling Christian books of all time. I heard it advertised and promoted in denominations and mainstream channels all over the map. And it doesn’t even have to be that explicit. I belong to a denomination that indisputably… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I don’t assume prosperity gospel enthusiasts, or everyone buying the Prayer of Jabez are necessarily Christians, even if they claim to be. But then I don’ t believe America is eighty-some percent Christian, or ever was, either.

“However, relative poverty still creates a huge power disparity”
I suppose. But it only matters if you think power disparity rather than unmet material need is what needs to be corrected. Of course power too can be an idol, and an object of covet and envy. It most certainly is those things where power equity per se is the objective.

Jill Smith
Member

And a few more: James 5:1-6 ESV Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Jill the first example is a rich man who defrauds. The second is one who lacks compassion of his neighbour (doesn’t see his resource as coming from God and therefore is responsible to God for how he uses money). The third is one who loves money; who puts it above God. All these are wrong. But there are the rich who do not do these things. They are not condemned for being rich. You can get rich through sin and you can be tempted in certain ways if you are wealthy: wealth can be a real danger. But it is… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It was in response to someone who thought he was following the commandments. In his own witness at least he was not killing, committing adultery, stealing, he was honoring his father and mother, and he was loving his neighbor as himself. Jesus told him that the only thing he lacked, the one thing, was that he had not given up his wealth. And when he went away sorrowful, Jesus said how impossible it was for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Not the “wannabe wealthy”, just the wealthy, full stop. And Peter responds to Jesus by saying that… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

You think it’s any easier for the rest of us? :)

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Good points, all.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

ashv, I completely agree that greed, pride, covetousness, and mammon worship happen in all income brackets. But it would be quite ignorant to suggest that the accumulation of wealth is not a temptation for such sins, or that being rich is not highly correlated with trying to get rich. The Bible has a lot to say in condemnation of trying to get rich, but I can’t locate anything that condemns being rich. Then you must not be looking very hard at all. James condemns the rich multiple times (most clearly in 1:10-11 and 5:1-6). Not “those who want to be… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I confess that I only skimmed this record-length post from Jonathan. I was looking to see if Jonathan ever addresses any of the abundant passages describing wealth as a gift and blessing from God, or poverty as a curse on the foolish. Not surprisingly, I didn’t spot any. Did anyone else? Makes you wonder why he skipped those, doesn’t it. When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Mt. 25:31-46. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and… Read more »

Bike bubba
Guest

Look at 1 timothy 2:9. All of the evidence of immodesty save one thing is evidence of wealth on display–gold jewelry, expensive clothing, and the like.

Dave
Guest
Dave

“There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing, Another pretends to be poor but has great wealth.” Proverbs 13:7

Katecho posted a good link below that is worth reading. Jonathan is missing the big picture on blessings of wealth from God. So, this subject must be approached carefully and with knowledge of the Bible, not just a few verses that are surfed up quickly. You should send your friend to the link and to the Bible.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Neither Jesus, nor any of his disciples, ever spoke of these “blessings of wealth”, nor did the Acts church or the early Church outside Acts act towards wealth as we are acting today. In fact, quite the opposite. Having productive land because you’ve worked it well, or because it’s been blessed by God, is a limited and quite different circumstance. And even then, as Jesus states, it is quite a temptation, one with which we are called to give to those in need and do good works with. And not in the Muslim-like “if I do enough good works and… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“Neither Jesus, nor any of his disciples, ever spoke of these ‘blessings of wealth'”

But Proverbs and other places do. An argument from silence is a fallacy no matter how many paragraphs you write.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re comparing two unlike things. I dealt with that in detail in a comment on Pastor Wilson’s post on wealth in Proverbs. First off, the passages from Proverbs are cherry-picked to ignore the ones that give a different perspective. Second of all, none of the positive passages speak of money, gold, silver, rubies, etc. in any positive way. Whenever the Proverb is positive and specific, it is clear that the wealth being dealt with is one’s own agricultural produce. And if they were faithful Israelites following the Law, then that produce is only the result of doing well on the… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I dealt with that in detail in a comment on Pastor Wilson’s post on wealth in Proverbs. First off, the passages are cherry-picked to ignore the ones that give a different perspective. This charge is factually false. Wilson did not cherry-pick, but addressed an array of warning passages about wealth as well. In that very post, Wilson addressed the warnings in Prov. 23:4–5, Prov. 15:16–17, Prov. 16:8, Prov. 28:19–20, and Prov. 20:21. Jonathan is the one dismissing the full counsel of Scripture on the matter, not Wilson. His deflecting accusations won’t work. Jonathan wrote: Second of all, none… Read more »

Katecho
Member

You can’t defy the explicit commands of Jesus, which agree strongly in theme with the Old Testament teachings but are much more explicit and easier to apply to our own situation, by just cherry-picking proverbial wisdom about agricultural blessings and therefore assuming you can ignore what you’ve been commanded to do.

…wrote Jonathan, from his high tech laptop, using his internet access, and electricity, from the comfort of his house. Possessions, possessions, possessions.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

This is the earlier post from Pastor Wilson where I already dealt with that misunderstanding.

https://dougwils.com/books/wealth-themes-proverbs-ii.html

Katecho
Member

Except the only misunderstanding Jonathan showed there was his own. Jonathan simply brushed off the plain statement that God’s blessing brings wealth.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Neither Jesus, nor any of his disciples, ever spoke of these “blessings of wealth”, nor did the Acts church or the early Church outside Acts act towards wealth as we are acting today. Jonathan seems prepared to restrict his Bible to the passages that don’t upset his hermeneutic. It’s simple to construct an imbalanced doctrine when one dismisses the complete counsel of Scripture on a matter. Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: On the other hand, the trappings of wealth go virtually untouched. Which is weird, because the Bible speaks on that much more clearly. How large your house, your car, your boat is (and how many), how fancy your TV is, how much your clothes cost, your jewelry cost, and so on…going across denominations and especially in this one, those seem like more prevalent issues with even less reflection. Perhaps because, as you note, the trappings of wealth are seen as “respectable”, while the pop culture often is not. But Doug has addressed the trappings of wealth directly. For… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Certainly you already know this, but there are lots of folks out there now who, if you call them narcissists, take it as a compliment.

insanitybytes22
Member

I shall repent of all objections post haste, if Pastor Wilson will just stop posting pictures of me blow drying my hair.

Jennie
Member

Did you just assume that llama’s gender?!

Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Edited because I apparently can’t tell the difference between a spiritual leader and a pack animal.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I believe I saw the above as a user picture for someone writing under the name “Genderfluid Alpaca” once.

Jennie
Member

Did I just assume an alpaca was a llama? If I didn’t already live in red state, I’d be forced to relocate.

Jill Smith
Member

Didn’t know there was a difference!

ashv
Guest
ashv

It’s all a social construct anyway, don’cha know.

Jill Smith
Member

Let alone Como te llama?

Jill Smith
Member

This is a good link on Victorian crime. http://www.victorianweb.org/history/crime/banerjee1.html I understand why it’s valuable to compare murder rates. But VIctorian London, while low in the number of murders, had much more common street crime that affected ordinary citizens. I am one of the few people I know to have actually been mugged (by a white person as best I could tell!), and I wasn’t hurt. People aren’t routinely chloroformed and their clothes stolen off their backs, and pickpocketing is not that common. If you read the article I linked to, you will see that there were gangs and roving bands… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

I agree with all this, though I’m sure I draw the line differently from Doug.

adad0
Member

Lance,I don’t want to give the meth dealers any ideas, but neither the cut of your jib, or Wilson’s, says “meth dealer”, on a visual level!????

fp
Guest
fp

Instead of DIABD as a working title, how about DIABLO – Devil In A Blue, Low-cut Outfit?

insanitybytes22
Member

Ha! Perhaps we should not encourage him, not give him any ideas. Let’s just cede to his wisdom, shall we? :)

Nathan Brunaugh
Guest
Nathan Brunaugh

“anyone with an Instagram feed with more than 500 selfies…” This number needs to be lowered by 495 or so.

Victoria West
Guest
Victoria West

Lumber sexual is the best look on men for decades, and it’s totally Northwestern.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Are you saying one who works at a Retail Store is “in the wrong”? Or one who wears skinny jeans is “unbiblical”? Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a matter of taste, but that is a bit presumptuous.

Jill Smith
Member

I, a respectable old lady, wear skinny jeans, although not to church. There is hardly any point in living in a state of abstemious self-denial if I don’t get to wear skinny jeans!

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Wow.

It’s like you didn’t read the post at all.

Go back, read it again, quiet your reflexive offense taking, and try to learn the lesson as it is presented.

Then come back and present your reasoned objections.

Alternately, this is the Internet and no one can hear your tone of voice. Always remember your /sarc tag.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

If I go to google image search and type in “modest clothes”, every image is of a woman wearing a skirt or dress below her knees. I tried to find exceptions, and the two I did find were referring the shirt, not the pants, she was wearing.

How come my conclusions from this and the Scriptures (Deut 22:5) make me a bigoted fundamentalist channeling my inner Caiaphas, but you lads get to pontificate on hair dye and skinny jeans full of grace, love, truth and the Holy Ghost?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, skinny jeans are not men’s clothing. The fundamentalists have missed this point for years and so did you. “The nicest Christian she ever met was her old pastor Stevo who never wore the shortest dresses or the most risque skirts, and avoided the most flamboyant of colours in his hair and his blouse. She still remembers her judgmental, legalistic grandma who never took a shine to him.” Now that is the point of the whole series. Men wearing short dresses should not be pastors or in positions of responsibility. It is not judgmental or legalistic to say that a… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Dave, what makes something men’s clothing or not men’s clothing? According to the standard used to justify pants on chicks (tons of shielas do it now), skinny leg jeans are for blokes because tons of blokes do it too. Any little standard you invent to put skinny leg jeans beyond the pale would have applied just as much in 1965 when the Pastor’s wife rolled in on Sunday with the latest slacks and horrified the congregation. In 40 years time when it’s very normal for a bloke to wear a skirt and only the oddest of prudes don’t, you’ll look… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, you apply the world’s standards rather than scriptural standards. That is the problem with pink hair and men wearing skirts. You are way off base. Churches with men wearing skirts are not following scripture. Over the past 40 years, women’s jeans have gone from skinny to bell bottom to stovepipe and such and are now back to skinny. But they are women’s jeans and are cut for women. That hasn’t changed at all. They are still women’s jeans. Slacks did not horrify the congregation at all as they were women’s slacks and conservative in cut not form fitting ones… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Hrrrmm, I can see it’s not clicking for you Dave. Let me try a different track. Our culture ran a concrete “skirts are ladies only/pants are men only” gender distinction for more than a few centuries. When the fundamentalists opposed the removal of the “pants are men only” gender distinction back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, you clearly think they were utterly mistaken. Here are my questions: 1. Why would you be right for opposing the removal of the “skirts are girls only” gender distinction now, but the fundies were wrong for their attempt to do the same thing… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Out of genuine curiosity, can you state your case positively?

Or, are you basically saying that DW’s case is your case and has been your case, and this case is sufficient, by virtue of even current algorithms, to establish modesty in atire for women as including the old pant/skirt distinctions?

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Stated positively, there is no consistent case to be made in applying what the Bible teaches about dress unless you are willing to back the fundamentalists in their crusade against women in pants. Any weapon you wield against the fundamentalists, their verses and their arguments apply just as easily to what Doug is doing here. Both Doug and the fundamentalists are correct on this issue, but only the fundamentalists are consistent. How can you strain the gnat of degrees of tightness on men’s pants, when you can swallow the camel of a complete handing over of “that which pertaineth to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

That was kind of the point I was trying to make about the IFB’s wanting their people to look modest but “sharp.” They say no pants for the ladies, but no denim jumpers either because jumpers are dowdy, not sharp. My “favorite” IFB pastor on the internet says that Jesus wore pants, and he gets pretty insane if anyone suggests otherwise. I have Central American Pentecostal acquaintances whose women wear long sleeves and ankle length dresses. On the other hand, there was Jan Crouch. Other than at the extremes, how are these clothing rules not simply pastoral preferences?

Jane
Member

So is your conclusion that the Bible has somehow isolated dress as the one thing that has no moral content and that it teaches us nothing about?

If you’re making the case that it’s not simple, well, then you’re agreeing with Doug. If you’re making the case that it doesn’t matter, then you’re disagreeing that obedience pertains to all of life, which is generally not an idea that comports well with orthodox Christianity.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, I am trying to make it plain that you are not reading scripture properly. Men in dresses, women’s style jeans i.e. super tight and such are not following scripture at all. Women in modest, women’s style slacks are. Men wearing large size baby clothing are not meeting scripture. It is most obvious to the casual observer if a clothing style is masculine or feminine regardless of the country of origin. There was a huge push for unisex clothing but that really didn’t work and now the push is for women’s and children’s clothing for men and lumberjack style clothing… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Dave, I wrote you a reply and then scrapped it. I won’t engage any further until you answer my three questions above.

Dave
Guest
Dave

“Folks responded as expected.” Joshua
Joshua, I did answer your questions but I didn’t number them 1,2,3. That is not as you expected.

Did you understand that it is the same text?

Did you understand the point about wearing sweat shirts instead of pants and calling that manner of dress OK by scripture?

Did you understand that if ACC shows men in skirts and dresses that Australian Christians did not fight a good fight?

Discus doesn’t display responses and posts properly and that is a limiting factor in this manner of discussing things. Sometimes posts show up and sometimes they don’t.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Also, you may just want to reply at the top because Discus doesn’t want to hold the older comments as well as it should.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Smile and goodnight. You are missing the big picture in this discussion.

Jill Smith
Member

Dave, would Doug have opposed pants for women if he had been a pastor in 1940? If so, would that be because pants were reasonably new and it is better for a Christian to be definitely behind the trend? (I’m assuming modest paints.)

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jilly, if the pants were cut for a woman, were modest and were not obviously made to attract attention — no.

Christians should be setting the trend instead of following it.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: Dave, would Doug have opposed pants for women if he had been a pastor in 1940? If so, would that be because pants were reasonably new and it is better for a Christian to be definitely behind the trend? I wonder if jillybean can acknowledge Wilson’s point 3 and 13. She seems to be working overtime to miss (or deliberately distract from) what Wilson is saying. Can jillybean acknowledge that certain clothes, hairstyles and jewelry are forms of communication, and that they have definite meaning in a particular setting? If she can’t, then she will learn nothing by… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I do believe that clothing is often, not always, intended to make a statement. My Grateful Dead concert tee-shirt makes a statement that in my youth I really, really liked Jerry Garcia. I don’t wear it to church or to tutor my students because, in both situations, I try to dress like a grownup. But it would be incorrect to assume that my tee-shirt is intended as an overall attack on the establishment, or as whole-hearted support for free sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I have never said that fashion and jewelry do not, or are not intended to,… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jilly, I thought it was a hatchet headed toward a keg of demon rum. ;)

Jill Smith
Member

Yes, I think that was the plan. I come from a line of rabid teetotalers on one side, and far too many drunks on the other! I have sympathy in both directions.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: I have never said that fashion and jewelry do not, or are not intended to, communicate meaning. What I have said, repeatedly, is that I don’t think Doug’s views on what particular items communicate are entirely accurate. A woman’s wearing pants to church in 1940 communicated a very different attitude and message than it does now. If that meaning has changed, how is it not possible that the meaning of pink hair has changed? If nine out of ten people think that pink hair has become as mainstream as pants on women, perhaps a statement is no longer… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

You are correct that if my daughter had returned home with pink hair, I would neither have yelled “You spawn of Satan” or ignored it. I would have said–mildly–“What’s with the hair? Not sure that I like it with your skin tone. What about we put in some golden highlights?” As it happens, the issue never arose. As a professional model, my daughter knows the economic value of a conventional appearance. She also has quite a bit of innate good taste. Which says nothing about her spiritual life. You say: What if pastor Wilson actually has much practical experience and… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: You are correct that if my daughter had returned home with pink hair, I would neither have yelled “You spawn of Satan” or ignored it. I would have said–mildly–“What’s with the hair? Not sure that I like it with your skin tone. What about we put in some golden highlights?” I’m sorry for jillybean’s daughter. I hope she will come back to the faith in time. But speaking of charity, does jillybean suppose that Wilson yells, “You spawn of Satan”, at pink haired people that he encounters? If not, what was that about? Who does jillybean think she… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: I would have said–mildly–“What’s with the hair? Not sure that I like it with your skin tone. What about we put in some golden highlights?” I sincerely hope that jillybean would have addressed the hair more deeply than mere regard for color coordination and fashion sense. What jillybean did not do, by her example, is directly admit of a case where her daughter’s hypothetical pink hair really was a signal of trouble, and a cry for loving inquiry beyond the superficial. So the question remains, is jillybean willing to be wrong and simply ignore and deflect the hair… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

As I am beginning to grow weary of stating, I would not have addressed pink hair more deeply because I attach zero significance to pink hair. I am surrounded by women of all ages wearing hair of various hues. I have had a few very temporary pale pink streaks myself. Where I live, it is not edgy. It is not controversial. It does not represent going over to the Dark Side. It excites no comment. It is not the equivalent of getting a White Power or antifa tattoo, and it is not akin to wearing a Free Charlie Manson tee-shirt.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: As I am beginning to grow weary of stating, I would not have addressed pink hair more deeply because I attach zero significance to pink hair. The insignificance that jillybean attaches to pink hair is utterly irrelevant to the topic at hand. Wilson has already established that individuals don’t get to redefine the broader cultural meaning for themselves. Wilson has already established that even the algorithms agree with him (let jillybean google images for “feminist hair” and see how many are dyed with vibrant colors). Jillybean has repeatedly insisted that neon pink hair is effectively speechless, carries “zero… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Night Dave! Offer is open to any other takers.

If the Bible can be understood and directly applied to cultural changes in dress standards – what was going on when we tore down the concrete distinction in dress between men and women? Take Doug’s logic from above, and then apply it to that situation, and tell me what you see.

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Actually, men in our culture have only worn trousers for a hundred and a half years. Before that, they wore knee breeches with coats long and full enough to be mistaken for skirts, and before that (before our nation was a thing) they wore leggings, with tops that hid nothing from view, and before that it was leggings with skirts again. In other words, what comes around goes around, and women like to steal mens’ clothing whatever the era. They only seem to get away with it when there’s more than 100 years between when the women are stealing the… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Couldn’t disagree more here FeatherBlade. I take this to mean your answer to Question 3 is in the affirmative?

Ak, you edited your answer to include a response to this.

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Question 3 is moot. The garments already exist.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Bleh, reply got flagged as spam. Let’s see if she comes back now I’ve asked for it to be unflagged. While I wait for it to come back though, this forms a fantastic example of my point. Look closely at what FeatherBlade has done here. I was talking about clothing norms in Western culture. He switches the topic and points out that other cultures are radically different from our own – and the plain implication is that if it can be found somewhere (anywhere) else in the world therefore it must be good or at the very least neutral if… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Western Christendom began in the days of the Roman Empire. Clothing has changed considerably in the last 2000 years, as you can see. Moving closer to the present, these gentlemen, who are very much in the Western tradition, did not take kindly to anyone criticizing them for not wearing pants. A rather more diplomatically inclined Scotsman describes his modern experiences wearing something other than pants: I have worn my kilt when presenting my diplomatic credentials to President Karimov of Uzbekistan, and in private audience with the Queen. I have also worn it at official functions, and in private parties, bars… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I can’t argue you with you John. It’s a very persuasive argument. Clothing has changed before. Scots wear kilts! Therefore chicks starting to wear pants was a completely neutral change. And dudes wearing skirts will be likewise if it comes. Nothing to see here folks.

But pink hair and skinny jeans need a big dose of biblical application? Your argument for pants above demolishes Doug’s in the same swing.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

I am sympathetic to what you are saying. It is relatively obvious that the fact that “chicks started wearing pants” was not a COMPLETELY neutral societal change. Anyone who argues that it was, is simply not paying attention. The same could be said about women starting to wear pantsuits, or men wearing their sister’s pants. However, from my perspective one of the unfortunate features of this sort of debate is the undo credence given to “all-or-nothing” lines of argumentation. It is generally foolish to assume that the presence of tough cases make all cases indiscernible. Yet, many people on both… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Bibcnsl,

This was a really good response that deserved it’s own reply. I agree with you 100% here, although I’m confident you believe I’ve overstated my case.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Thank you sir. Yes. I am uncomfortable drawing the “sin” line where you draw it, and I don’t believe this would mean that I have destroyed the foundation for speaking to more dramatic examples. However, let me add a few probable areas of agreement and then attempt an explanation why. 1) I do plainly hear the critique that what comes around, goes around. The IFBs have been treated gracelessly on this issue. Payday is not someday… This is troubling. 2) Some react to IFB’s position because they are antinominan, some because they are worldly, some because they hate authority, and… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I think I was the first person to raise the issue of the IFB dress codes. I don’t agree with their insistence on skirts for women, but I would certainly not ridicule it. What I found odd was the insistence of an IFB college that people look both modest and “sharp.” This appeal to worldliness surprised me.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Ah, my comments are more personal in nature and had nothing to do with anything happening on this blog, and just broad observations related to interactions with different groups.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Bib, I appreciate your three concessions. Thanks for spelling them out so we can see where we agree. As to your cautions: 1. There are always multiple faecets of malicious and innocent intentions in any shift from a godly norm to an ungodly one. The pump was primed for the pants abomination by ladies going to work in them during WW2, and that wasn’t malicious on their part. The casual trend certainly helped. Business owners were major pushers of this to expand the available workforce for tasks impractical for a lady in a skirt, and this would help them drive… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Way too much snark in my point 5 when you’ve been nothing but gracious with me. My apologies. I’m too afraid to edit it and get banished to spamtown.

Jill Smith
Member

Hi,Joshua. Do you make an exception for work uniforms? Such as surgical scrubs for a woman surgeon?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

And what about military fatigues for lady infantry persons?

Jill Smith
Member

Yes, indeed. Although one can think women should not be in combat without concluding that neither should they be surgeons.

Katecho
Member

Joshua wrote: But pink hair and skinny jeans need a big dose of biblical application? Your argument for pants above demolishes Doug’s in the same swing. Joshua also seems to be missing the point. I’ll repeat my response to jillybean: Wilson’s point is not that cultures are fixed in regard to their fashions. Wilson’s point is not that women’s pants are always and forever an objective sign of counter-culture rebellion, but that they most certainly can be in a particular culture and setting. Just because cultural fashion is not fixed, it doesn’t follow that we surrender to fashion relativism. It… Read more »

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Not so.

A man’s garment is appropriate for men to wear, and not appropriate for women to wear, and vice versa, whatever forms those take.

Jane
Member

I thought knee breeches were only for dress. Didn’t working men wear pants for several hundred years before that?

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

You know, I’m not sure. I’d have to look it up, but I my vaguely remembered images of “Men’s clothing throughout the ages” say that if they did, they cross-gartered them below the knee.

Jill Smith
Member

I would have thought so. It would be lunatic to be plowing the field in breeches and stockings.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

And I’m back. Many good replies over the Australian night! I’ll try to comprehend them all in one post: 1. Doug is completely correct in his 15 points. This is exactly how you should approach changes in dress. 2. Doug’s approach is helpless as evangelicals are already committed to a program of radical dress change to conform to Zeitgeist. 3. To gather evidence for point 2, I tendered the example of the radical destruction of a millennia old dress distinction between men and women that occurred within living memory. 4. Folks responded as expected. They justified its destruction through the… Read more »

Jane
Member

Having said all that, do you have a constructive alternative for dealing with the issues related to how Christian conscience and obedience to scripture work out in dress? Or are you just blowing up the foundations without offering to help with repairs?

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Can do Jane. “Son, those IFB’s may not have always put it the best, but they were right about Mom’s pants. Many people mocked them for it and called them legalists, but when our culture was aligned more with the Bible we had some concrete distinctions between men and women. Our forefather’s weren’t as perceptive as the IFB’s and couldn’t see this was going somewhere fast, so they used the exact same arguments you’re using now to justify destroying that distinction. You’re just trying to continue the same trend, and it doesn’t lead to more distinction – it leads to… Read more »

Jane
Member

You’re still not being terribly straightforward. Is the guy you quote your actual voice, or something you’re trying to illustrate as being wrong? Could you do us all a favor and just explain how you think Christians should think about how to dress?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jane, Joshua is trying to show off his smarts. He said that the evangelicals have already pulled the rug out of the dress code. He doesn’t understand that scripture has been overlooked for years. Joshua doesn’t have any constructive methods of correcting the mess we are in by using scripture, he is just having fun with word and logic games.

So the bottom line is that using Joshua’s thought process, it’s OK for men to worship in or to wear for daily use adult rompers. Of course, we all know that is incorrect.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

No so Dave. We’re on the same team sire. You’re the only chap here who has admitted he’d be opposed to dudes in skirts and dresses even if the culture had changed to accept it in 30 years. I’ll keep the pew warm for you. When you find yourself staring at your Pastor’s son in a skirt and wondering how the cuddles his Dad can be cool with that in light of Deuteronomy 22:5, the gentle laughter you hear on the breeze is your spiritual ancestors from the 40’s who know just how you feel. PS. I remember 40 Acres,… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, I can say with sincerity that my preacher’s son won’t be wearing a skirt to worship and his daughters won’t be dressing immodestly or outrageously. Your thinking on this subject is still flawed.

However, that may be because you are upside down.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I understand your confidence Dave and I don’t begrudge you it. How would your great granddad treat me if I took a time machine back to the 30’s and told him that his pastor would have all the ladies in his life in pants within 2 decades? It wouldn’t be wickedness or foolishness that would keep him from seeing it, and I’d be a chump for continually browbeating him in conversation for not agreeing with me. And what am I going to do if I’m proved right a decade hence and every time you turn on the telly there is… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, the fundamentalists ran the clothing issue to the ground, but they used scripture improperly by setting strict rules — you aren’t in line with scripture unless you wear a long dress with flowers on it and for the men dark pants, white shirt and so on. They missed the Big Picture of scripture and clothing. Yes they use the same text. One of the Bible Colleges in Florida made a rule that girls couldn’t wear pants because that wasn’t scriptural. The girls took their sweat shirts, put their legs through the arms and pulled them up. That manner of… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Hey Jane,

I wrote you a reply, which was promptly flagged as spam and removed. Given my post from two days ago suffered the same fate and didn’t return, I’m not sure we’re going to be seeing it again.

tldr version

Churches return to having women in dress and skirts, and pants only for men, and apologise to the fundies for the slander. Now the churches are heading towards gender distinction while the world plunges towards androgyny, and Doug’s 15 points can be preached in sincerity.

Dave
Guest
Dave

The spam issue is Discus as are the adverts.

Katecho
Member

Joshua wrote: 2. You view pants on women as fine now because it’s the status quo. You go hunting for a point at which you can declare it fine. You might say 40’s. You might say 60’s. You might say 90’s. You find what you’re looking for. Anyone more conservative than that is a Pharisee. Anyone more liberal than that needs to read their Bible and apply Doug’s 15 points. Joshua offers a very forceful black-and-white argument, but I’m not sure how it can accommodate regional differences, or actual long-term changes in gender-appropriate clothing. For example, if Jesus wore a… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Did you, by chance, previously post as 40 Acres and a Kardashian? You are much more polite, but you have a certain verve and sacasm that reminds me of him. And women in pants was one of his pet issues, second only to his love for “only one race, the human race.”

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

My favorite Bruegel painting is The Harvesters. The close-up views should answer the question.

Jill Smith
Member

Well, that’s pretty clear!

I did some reading earlier, and learned that peasants in the early middle ages had leggings tied on with strings. But a thesis I kept encountering said that pants really became popular among all classes because of the difficulty of riding a horse without them. I have been on a horse only twice in my life, but I think I see their point.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

True, but we’re talking about dress, not work clothes, right?

Jane
Member

I thought we were talking about how people dressed, so I’m not sure it matters.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jonathan, the entire process has been about dressing appropriately all the time, not just church, school or work.

insanitybytes22
Member

So here would be my argument, a far more metaphysical and feminine one then Pastor Wilson is making, but the Holy Spirit sparkles, glows, glitters. You can spot a Christian half a mile away, they look fresh, full of life abundant, and this is true even in the midst of bad health, old age. People can be very ill, on their death bed even, and yet mention salvation,redemption, and something just twinkles inside. We are called salt and light for a reason. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. So as a temple, our identity is supposed to be in… Read more »

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

The struggle persists. On one hand we must speak a language that connects with pagans in order to communicate the gospel, but we must do this without being defiled by the world. Tricky at times.

To be fair to Paul, circumcision is ‘ok’ (neutral now?) and was mandated by God at one time. Mini skirts on dudes were not.

insanitybytes22
Member

Well, I think we could make an argument that it’s not the actual item of clothing, ie mini skirts for men, that is the issue but rather some cultural conformity and awareness of what we are actually communicating. So kilts in Scotland can be quite appropriate or perhaps long smocks in the Middle East. But are these things are not standard in Western culture! Where I live utili kilts are all the rage, the so called manly skirts from Carhart. Top it off with man bun and all I can do is groan and wail silently. Those men are flat… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Where I live utili kilts are all the rage, the so called manly skirts from Carhart.

No wonder some of your posts seem to come from a really weird place. You have my sympathy.

(There is a man at my church known to wear one on occasion. But he’s a deacon, rides a motorcycle, attends the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain every year, and if I recall correctly is the head of the American branch of his Scottish clan.)

insanitybytes22
Member

Why yes ashv, I am insane for a reason. I do live in the 9th circuit of hell.

Jill Smith
Member

Can you tell me what you don’t like about the Ninth Circuit?

insanitybytes22
Member

Well, primarily the absence of all morality, the totally subjective nature of truth, the endless defiance and rebellion against anything thought to resemble truth and beauty. Then there is the non authoritarian, totalitarianism, what most of us just call fascism.

The three social events of the year where I live were the Catholics staging an ordination of lady priests,the largest gathering of witches this side of the Mississippi,and trans-sexuals international.

Hard for you to believe Jillybean, but in my neck of the woods I actually am the prudish churchian lady, the rabid right winger, the totally uncool, unhip, not edgy one.

Jill Smith
Member

Sorry, ME, I didn’t understand you were using the ninth circuit as metaphor. I thought you meant the panel of judges. But what is the fascist part? My sister lives in Washington state, and she adores it.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“The three social events of the year where I live were the Catholics staging an ordination of lady priests,the largest gathering of witches this side of the Mississippi,and trans-sexuals international.

There’s an unmistakable nexus, wouldn’t you say? By the way, and Jilly maybe can answer this – think those were really Catholics?

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

They are now excommunicated Catholics:

Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See.

(GENERAL DECREE regarding the delict of attempted sacred ordination of a woman)

An “excommunication latae sententiae” is one that takes place automatically once the forbidden action is performed.

After the event, the late Antonin Scalia’s son, Paul Scalia, explained the reasons for the all-male priesthood in an interview with the Washington Post

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Thanks. I didn’t know about the excommunication, but I did know what they were doing was an un-Catholic charade, and that no one who takes the Roman Catholic faith seriously would ever think of participating in such a thing.

I also didn’t realize Antonin Scalia’s son was a priest.

Jill Smith
Member

Yes, but his dad wouldn’t go to confession to him! “Are you crazy?” he reportedly said.

Jill Smith
Member

Francis has said there is no possibility of change on this point.

But I found a canon law website which explained why there can now be altar girls. I hadn’t known that the revision of canon law abolished the minor orders such as porter, lector, and acolyte.

Jill Smith
Member

John is correct. If they were Catholics in good standing when they did it, they’re certainly not now. They can repent and fix this, or they can join a schismatic Catholic group that pretends to ordain women priests. I don’t think the Catholics had anything to do with the witches!

Jill Smith
Member

Justin Trudeau’s mother is of Scottish ancestry. I wonder if he could be persuaded to wear a kilt. I have an academic curiosity about his legs.

Jill Smith
Member

I saw in the news yesterday that one of London’s top private schools has changed its uniform code to allow boys to wear pleated skirts. T.S. Eliot, who taught there, would be some surprised.

wtrsims
Member

Kilt and motorcycle simultaneously? Sounds like chaps would be needed.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

What I want to know is when a cultural article of fashion passes from rebellious (like pants on women) to permissible. I understand that the 1980’s evangelical outfit is not rebellious as it is mostly safe (unless you associate the abuses of Jim Baker…) and so are slacks on ladies now cuz they don’t communicate feminism (anymore?). Kilts are out of place, but I don’t care unless the wearer is a high-leg-crosser. So can pink hair be redeemed in the future? Or is it substantially abhorrent? I’m still suspect of sports attire as a form of worship to the god… Read more »

Andy Kaiyala
Guest
Andy Kaiyala

I ask because I really want to know. No loaded Q.

Is the center of the issue externally visible rebellion to an established authority? If so, where is the standard to be found by which you measure the revolution? I know scripture. Yes. But what “external” standard can we apply consistently? If I want to know what obedience looks like “out in the open for all to see” (and I do), how do I define it and teach it to my kids (for example).

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

I am very, very upset by the lumbersexual thing. I’ve looked like this for nigh unto fifty years and now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a millennial strolling about with a beard and a plaid flannel shirt and a scarf around his neck. Where is the outrage over these dudes who wouldn’t know a jack pine if it walked up and bit them in the ash appropriating my culture?

insanitybytes22
Member

On the bright side, you seem to be very edgy, a fashion diva, a cultural leader even, one scores of young men have now tried to copy. I presume this is because they noticed all the best looking women went and married the actual lumber jacks? I believe so.That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it. :)

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

The culture seems to be chasing me down, ME. Many years ago, I used to shave only every four days or so. Then that Don Johnson guy made that look fashionable, so I quit doing that. Do not be surprised if, in ten years or so, men are commonly seen wearing Hawaiian shirts with camouflage pants.

John
Member

When the millennials start wearing your hat, but lined in mink of course, then it could be time to run high into the Canadian Rockies.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Ear-flap hats were “fashionable” last winter! It’s time to stand on the street corner with a sign that says, “REPENT! THE END IS NEAR! REPENT YE HEATHENS!”

John
Member

Just don’t do it in a kilt in the middle of a MN winter. Otherwise – go for it.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Careful, gfkdzdds. You could start the next trend: Scotsmansexuals.

Jill Smith
Member

Make sure the mink doesn’t show before you cross the border. Otherwise you will hear, “Hey! The animal looked better in that mink than you do!”

John
Member

Ahhhh, but what if I’m wearing skinny jeans?

Jill Smith
Member

Then you’re fine. You can even have a tat now that our prime minister has one! But even I thought he looked just a little gay in the pink shirt, so I would think carefully about that one.

Jill Smith
Member

I have been laughing about this all day, and I thought it would amuse you. The Canadian government thought it would be a good idea to send life-sized stand-up cardboard figures of Justin Trudeau to each one of their embassies and consulates around the world. They thought people would enjoy a photo op.

Now they are all being recalled. People, both men and women, started coming by and behaving very inappropriately with the Justins. I think they should send them all to me.

John
Member

Just don’t tell me you want an inflatable Justin or I’ll be forced to do an “intervention” on you with Cap.

ashv
Guest
ashv

“It’s a culture, not a costume….”

Jane
Member

My daughter was vexed her last year of high school because she likes a nice flannel shirt, but couldn’t wear one to school on non-uniform days because a certain element of the female population had tacitly but very effectively established that wearing said garment communicated a meaning she had no wish to communicate.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Do you mean to say they made plaid flannel dirty? Heathens! Heretics!

Jane
Member

They made it into the badge for girls who like girls.

Jill Smith
Member

In my day that message was conveyed by wearing red on Thursdays. Good grief.

Samuel Adams
Guest
Samuel Adams

High school – a veritable field of land mines that maturing adolescents either discover or avoid.
Oh…and I hear they take instruction in various subjects as well.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Red Green agrees with you completely.

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

Epic.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

This was an interesting article, tangentially related to the subject.
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/06/dress-up

Bike bubba
Guest

I’m seeing a lot of (fun) discussion about what constituted manly or feminine attire over the centuries, and it strikes me that one way we can get out of this morass is to ask what the Bible says about adequate coverage, and about proper coverage. For adequate coverage, it’s mostly Old Testament, IMO. Adam and Eve recognized their sin in their nudity after the Fall, Leviticus 18 notes “uncover nakedness” as a metaphor for forbidden heterosexual relationships, and Deuteronomy and the Prophets, along with the story of Hanun’s mistreatment of David’s ambassadors, seem to suggest that the exposure of the… Read more »

Anne Chamberlin
Guest
Anne Chamberlin

Thank you. I’m blessed and edified by your comments on the culture and politics. I have three teenagers. You are helping me understand and better address with them concepts like dignity and modesty.

Katecho
Member

Bibcnsl wrote:

The reason why I am hesitant to draw this conclusion is due to the fact
that technically this is not a violation of Deu 22:5 in a formal sense (depending on one’s translation I suppose).

As an aside, Wilson has offered elsewhere that this particular wording of the prohibition for women encompasses the equipment and accoutrements that men would wear for battle. In other words, the prohibition is not limited to confusion of gender form and appearance, but also includes confusion of gender role.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Thanks for this. The expanded meaning/significance is helpful. How do you think this should modify my thinking?

Katecho
Member

We might consider that the principle applies to confusion of gender roles even when a man continues to wear masculine attire, and even when a woman continues to wear feminine attire.

A woman fighting in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines, while still wearing high heels, a calf-length skirt, and full makeup, has still missed the spirit of Deuteronomy 22:5.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Doesn’t a woman fighting in combat show that we have missed the mark as Christian men regardless of what she is wearing.

Of course, the movies are an exception!

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Thanks for your replies Bibcnsl. I read over what you said, but my rebuttal would just be a restatement of things I’ve already repeated too many times. I think you thoroughly understand my position and I believe I thoroughly understand yours. We’re just not going to bridge that gap into agreement. What has been missing from this discussion, that has made these discussions all the harder, is the unwritten 16th Thesis: 16. We will watch pink hair and tight pants closely over the next decade. In the event that it carries the day and becomes the new norm in our… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Joshua, that is false thinking and is exactly what led to the mess we are in right now.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

I appreciate that.

In terms of tight man pants, is prominently displaying certain unpresentable parts ever going to be objectively modest?

Further, will neon pink ever be less ostantateous than hair braided with pearls and gold?

If we consider other passages, faithful Christians might be able to avoid at least some of the extremes that you fear.

But, maybe we are at an impasse.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jonathan, thank you for stating your position clearly in respect to your life. I now understand that you and your wife are living a simple life because that is your calling and your church supports you in that lifestyle. That being said, scripture cannot be woodenly applied. The Old Testament works hand in hand with the New Testament. Proverbs gives instruction on how to apply scripture in our daily lives. A chapter a day is hard to beat. The reason I mentioned the political end and tipping is because Christians who meant well but didn’t really understand scripture and did… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Dave wrote: The reason I mentioned the political end and tipping is because Christians who meant well but didn’t really understand scripture and did not have a good vision for the future set into play laws that bind American Christians today. Welfare. Minimum Wage. Young and teenagers working. Current tax scheme. The Federal Reserve. Government Schools. Property taxes. Dave has just described Jonathan. Jonathan has been an outspoken advocate of statism and big government on this blog for some time now, including things like doubling minimum wage. Jonathan actually thinks the government’s social imposition and agenda of redistribution are helpful.… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“He justifies it because he is ‘doing the Lord’s work’ with those possessions” If I had great wealth and spent a lot of it on houses, clothing, vacations, etc. could I also not argue that I’m “doing the Lord’s work” by providing income to thousands of people? Some of them–sustained by my spending–may eventually start their own businesses or move into better careers. But how many of them would lose their jobs if we all moved into tiny houses and rode bikes purchased at 2nd hand stores? I’m not saying we should all spend like there’s no tomorrow. There are… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Nah, I pretty much disagree with everything you said and those aren’t my positions. Communism is quite destructive, and we’d be better off with smaller government (especially federal government) rather than more. Anyone who says that I have ever argued for Communism or Big Government or more central or statist control is lying.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t eat locusts – in fact, I believe that 90% of my decisions away from wealth bring joy, with only a small % requiring sacrifice. There’s a reason why there is only a tiny correlation between wealth and happiness. Most of the desire for wealth is based on worldly lies. I think we would disagree tremendously on the economy. I don’t know if you’re among them (I haven’t been able to look at your recommendation) , but a large number of American Christians have made an idol out of the market and Capitalism. I don’t think our salvation is… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jonathan, the problem is in bad worship, bad preaching, bad scripture interpretation, that is to say against the established church position for centuries, unwillingness of Christians to study Christian history, inability to see where bad decisions lead in future generations which leads to bad Christian leadership and interaction with our country. The answer is in proper worship and teaching. Our economy is forced upon us by bad decisions of Christians in positions of authority years ago. Now, many middle class families have to have both parents working to get by. Usually, the wife’s income goes to cover taxes and not… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

haha – yeah, I have indeed had fried locusts in Bangkok once upon a day. Sort of like weird chips. I certainly can’t speak into your particular financial situation. I personally (and my family) have never even paid 10% of our overall income in taxes. That comes from a variety of factors, including choosing my workplace and residence carefully so that housing is cheap, a car unnecessary, and most of the time a commute minimized. Also without things like cell phone plans and entertainment systems, etc., there is a lot of leftover money which can be given to the church… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jonathan, $25,000 in 1980 is about $73,800 today. Today, the average income for a family of four in Idaho is $48,300. The average Idaho family would be living on about $16,300 in 1980 dollars. About $9,000 per year less than what you grew up with. So, what sounds like good numbers doesn’t pan out when placed in the life of a poor state with a relatively low cost of living. For that matter it doesn’t pan out anywhere in the USofA. Our current financial mess is a direct result of preachers not having sufficient background in Biblical principles and in… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Dave, does the $48,300 family income reflect both spouses working?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Yes. Per capita about $23,500.

This is why it is so important for Christians to be educated on our government, our way of life and how the Bible’s directions differ. In other words You can’t tell the players if you don’t have a scorecard.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Jonathan, $25,000 in 1980 is about $73,800 today. Today, the average income for a family of four in Idaho is $48,300. The average Idaho family would be living on about $16,300 in 1980 dollars. About $9,000 per year less than what you grew up with. Assuming the earliest date possible and the cheapest state possible is poor form. And on top of that, we are a family of five. We’re not talking about 1980, in 1980 my dad was earning close to minimum wage in Moscow and I was being born. $27,000 in 1990 dollars (which was approximately the year… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Jonathan, can I ask how your parents managed college for you, or were you on your own?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

My freshman year my parents took out a $3,000 “parent loan” offered by the college to assist in my college costs. That, of course, only represented a small fraction of my college expenses, less than 3%. Other than that I was on my own (as were both my sisters). I made it through college with government loans for low-income students, government grants for low-income students, academic scholarships, and by working winters and summers and (to a small degree) after school hours. And also by cutting corners with a lot of the food and rent and book costs. The way college… Read more »