My Conviction Is NOT Your Condemnation.
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV UK)
Life through the Spirit
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.
This is a topic that I think I should write about from a perspective of being a young woman & a baby Christian. I have come across many videos of women telling other women that wearing trousers / pants is pretty much a one way ticket to hell and women should stop doing it if they want to inherit the kingdom. This is the verse that mentions women’s and men’s clothing.
Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV UK)
5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
What bothers me about people using their conviction to condemn is that there is always addition to what God’s word says.
When I have heard people speaking on this topic I have felt condemned not convicted by them when they explained why women shouldn’t wear trousers whilst using this verse. And I’ve thought “God do you want me to only wear skirts and dresses from now on?”and “I don’t want to break your laws or head to hell because of something so minuscule”. But then I would think of it from the perspective of history, and would end up asking myself the question… “Did men and women have gendered clothing as in trousers?” Because as far as my fashion history goes men and women didn’t wear trousers (in that region or that time) or underwear if we go by what (Exodus 20:26) says.
Exodus 20:26 (NIV UK)
And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.”
I recently watched this or this video by Heather Lindsey and it answered my questions about men’s and women’s clothing. H.L explained that this law pertained to what was happening at the time; the men and women at that time were cross dressing, this wasn’t limited to their clothing the men were behaving like women and vice versa. The Canaanites were purposefully dressing and acting like the opposite sex because of their idolatry, rituals etc. (I haven’t looked into this myself in terms of the Bible or other historical books.) When I heard this it made a lot of sense to me because as far as I know men and women’s clothing in terms of pants and skirts were not gendered that way. As far as I knew the only thing that has been gendered or become gendered over time is underwear. So my thinking and knowledge always told me that trousers are not a male or female item of clothing.
I will say this; we are to uphold God’s laws, (Romans 3:31) we are not lawless people. (I will post about the relationship we have with Grace & The Law from what God has taught me so far.) We are not supposed to continue sinning against God’s word just because we live under grace. But the law does not give us permission to condemn people and have them living under rules that we have created in order for us to make ourselves feel better about our “convictions.” “I’m saving someone from hell or living like the world does.”
What bothers me about people using their conviction to condemn is that there is always a hint of addition to what God’s word says. For example Biblical modesty becomes “I shouldn’t be able to see any of your female skin showing.” When the bible does not say that about modesty in terms of women’s clothing. This is what the Bible says;
1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV UK)
9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
I have written a post about modesty from my own searching for answers about what we should be and shouldn’t be wearing as Christian women who are out in the world representing God. The main take away from this is “people will sexualise you regardless of what you wear.” Don’t believe me get on google, or listen to this young lady speaking about her struggles with modesty and clothing. Modesty: My testimony & struggle – Ieva F. | What Modesty is NOT – Ieva F.
But anyway I digress… When it comes to personal convictions we should not turn those convictions into condemnation -reasons why someone else is going to hell. If you feel condemned by something search for the truth. Ask God to help you to understand that topic. If you don’t get an immediate answer I suggest that you don’t give up, you may find it when you are praying, listening to someone preach / teach about the topic, reading the Bible or speaking to a friend etc.
If someone else is convicted to do something that does not mean that you should follow suit and start doing what they are doing. As far as women not wearing trousers is concerned, are you convicted into doing it or are you condemned into doing it? If you feel like God is telling you to stop wearing trousers go ahead and do that but don’t condemn someone else and tell them that they are trying to be a man by wearing trousers or whatever else you deem to be men’s clothing.