Whenever I think of this journey, I consider this the real starting point. The spring of 1997 is when I began to really, seriously, intensively study what the Bible taught about being a woman of God. It seemed an obvious place to start because I’ve always believed the Bible to be the inspired word of God. So, using a concordance, I started looking up all the Bible verses I could find. It didn’t take very long. There are actually very few verses that are specifically directed to women for their instruction. Proverbs 31 is, of course, the Ideal Woman passage that will either inspire a woman or make her decide to give up right now since there’s no way she could achieve such heights of perfection. Ephesians is always fun, nothing like debating the various interpretations of “Wives, obey your husbands…” Then there’s Titus 2 along with all the stories of women in the Bible, both good and bad. However, there are two other spots in Scripture that can cause all kinds of debate: Deut. 22:5 and I Cor. 11:1-11.
Deut. 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” (NASB) I Corinthians 11:1-11 teaches about women covering their heads when praying and prophesying.
I am fully aware of the ways these verses can be interpreted, however, my goal was to go by the “simple Word of God.” A lady in our church had once asked, “Why do we need all these commentaries? Why don’t we just go by what the Bible teaches?” Although I might have chuckled at that at the time, she ends up having a very good point. (I’m not going to go into Bible interpretation issues at the moment, however; that’s a later post.) Considering myself to be a Christian striving to be faithful to the Scriptures, it was a very good point. If the Bible was the Word of God and the handbook for life that I had always been taught that it was, then one should be able to read it and discern God’s will. Simplistic? Perhaps, but if you open up any statement of belief of a Bible-believing denomination, that’s what is stated almost immediately. Our own conference, for example, had this to say, “The Holy Scriptures in their entirety are the inspired, inerrant, written Word of God. They alone contain the will of God as far as it is necessary for us to know it for our salvation, so that whatsoever is not contained therein, nor can be proved thereby, is not to be enjoined on any as an article of faith, or as a doctrine essential to salvation.” (par. 104 The Discipline of The Evangelical Church, 1995 edition)
“But,” you might say, “that is only referring to our salvation, not what we wear.” Ever done a study on “abomination” or “detestable”? Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.” (NASB) All of those things are bad, but I always think of those who perform abortions when I read “hands that shed innocent blood.” And yet, Deuteronomy 22:5 says that for a woman to wear what a man wears is an abomination. In other words, on the same level as what an abortionist does!
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, there, Tracy, my dear! Obviously cross-dressing is the issue at hand, don’t get so carried away!” Hmmm….really? Reference, please? Sorry, folks, but the plain Word of God says a woman isn’t to wear what a man wears period. Some will say that this is making a big deal out of a “non-essential.” How does an abomination fall under a non-essential? And whose opinion is it that this is a non-essential? God obviously felt it was important enough to include in the Scriptures.
“Ah, ha! Got ya! Deuteronomy 22: 11 says that wool and linen cannot be mixed in cloth. Obviously these are prescriptions of the Old Law that we, as Christians, are no longer bound by.” Sorry, it doesn’t answer the “abomination” question. Is what was once an abomination to God no longer an abomination? Answer that one carefully, you might just talk yourself into a circle. Trust me. Been there, done that.