What is God’s stand on women using trousers, earrings, dressing of hair, and makeup? I have seen CoG7 women displaying these in the magazine. It is regarded as sin in our churches here in Nigeria.
A close reading of the primary texts on this subject, then comparing Scripture with Scripture, leads us to these conclusions:
- Deuteronomy 22:5, found in the Old Covenant and not repeated in the New, does not prohibit Christian women from wearing trousers nor men from wearing robes.
- First Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3 stress the importance of inward beauty and modesty for women, but they do not forbid any and all attempts at outward adornment. (On the contrary, Ezekiel 16:9-14 and Luke 15:22 seem to approve of jewelry, fine clothing and outward adornment for God’s people.)
Appropriate dress is not fully learned from the Bible alone — not in detail. The culture around us influences this issue to some extent. Nigerians have customs that your churches there are wise to respect, provided Bible principles are not violated. The same is true in North America, where women may wear loose-fitting trousers, modest makeup and jewelry, and “dressed” hair without being seen as sinful or worldly.
On the other hand, much of western society has adopted an extreme permissiveness in these matters, one that disregards the biblical virtues of modesty, propriety, decency, and self-restraint. This tolerance for any and every modern fashion sometimes infects the American church — both men and women — and renders Christians too much like the surrounding culture. For our failures and the negative influence we may have had in your country and elsewhere, we ask your forgiveness.
— Elder Calvin Burrell
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