Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Best of Phariseeism

This post might cross some lines with some people, but I don't feel that I can do anything about that. Phariseeism is starting to be a huge cancer that I can see in the church. I think that I notice it more than others because I was a Pharisee myself.

David Cloud (please don't read other things that he wrote, he's an idiot) sent out an email to certain people on his mailing list that reads like this:


August 13, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service,
P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,; for instructions about subscribing and
unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at
the end of the article) -

I have a problem that you can help me with. All I ask is that you write and let me know what you would say to the following situation. It might even sound humorous to you, but I can assure you that it is a serious matter.

There is a teenage girl in a church. The church teaches that pants are not the most appropriate and modest attire for women. The girl is from a very poor family (six people living in one room), but she was the first member of her family to come to Christ about three years ago.

She has been growing in the Lord and is faithful to church and prayer meetings. Recently she got a scholarship to a school that requires the female students to wear lose pants. Though someone from the church approached the school leaders and asked them to make an exception for her, they refused. Since the girl has decided to attend the school anyway, the church won’t allow her to teach Sunday School anymore because she will no longer meet the standards for workers.

But there is a prominent person in the church who is not content with this. He thinks she should be disciplined after the fashion of 1 Corinthians 5 and she should not be allowed to take the Lord’s Supper.

What do you think?

The more pastors I can hear from on this, the better.

Thank you!

In Christ,
Brother Cloud

This question should never have been considered, or even asked. This is Phariseeism at its best (or should I say worst). This email is a prime example. First of all, Cloud nor anybody else has managed to come up with SCRIPTURE to prove that women wearing pants is wrong, and second of all, it is a PERSONAL PREFERENCE anyway.

I have been considering doing a series of posts here about modern day Pharisees, and I am thinking that this might be the perfect kick-off as it is this type of thing that I will be addressing in my posts.

David Cloud takes his personal preference and tries to force it on all Christian women, and he tries to manipulate women into wearing skirts only through his writings. He often insinuates that women don't have their hearts right with the Lord if they don't go along with his preference.

A good friend who is a great "Titus 2" older woman told my husband and I that this kind of thing is cultish and she told us to consider that a lot of cults have many rules for the's all about the women can't do this, or that, or the other. Cults are concerned with what women can and can't do and focus on it in a big way often times. I believe that our friend has lots of wisdom in her words.

The issue of whether women should wear pants or not is really starting to get on my nerves. The whole thing is ridiculous because this is something that the Holy Spirit works on individuals about, and, last time I checked, NONE of us were the Holy Spirit.

I have heard the argument presented that "women wearing pants is wrong because it is worldly and we are to stay as far away from the world as possible". Well, how do we prove what is worldly in Scripture? It surely isn't determined by whether a woman wears pants or not.

Doing something like wearing skirts instead of pants as a woman does NOT make you any less like the world than the other. It is a problem that Christians tend to think women in pants = wanting to be like the world, women in skirts = women wanting to be as far away from the world as possible. Where do people come up with this stuff? First you would have to prove that the standard in question is "like the world" before people can be accused of "wanting to get as close to the world as possible".

Worldly people go out to eat on Sundays...does that mean that if we want to be "as far away from the world as possible" we ought never to go out as a church group after church and eat? Why do we only apply it to things we want to apply it to instead of applying it to everything?

The thing is that there are several different types of convictions in our Christian lives...

First of all there are doctrinal convictions. These come straight from the Bible, and the issues are black and white. Stuff like the virgin birth, the blood atonement, etc. These are the "non-negotiables" so to speak.

Then there are spiritual convictions, which the Holy Spirit convicts an INDIVIDUAL of. Things like dress, hair length, music, whether to watch TV or movies, etc. The Holy Spirit works in different individuals in different things and it is not up to us to try to be the Holy Spirit to anybody.

The last kind are natural convictions, which means that even if they are in the Bible, even without the Bible they should be obvious because of what is natural. Stuff like women having long hair etc, although nature doesn't determine how long is long.

If religious Pharisees would quit trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit, we would all be much better off.


Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

Good post, Mrs. W. Well said.

~~Deby said...

WOW..this is good...

Gurl4God said...

So what if a person doesn't necessarily agree with your "natural convictions" and thinks they are more of "spiritual convictions?"

Vince LaRue said...

gurl4god, when those convictions cannot be supported by Scripture, as the "pants on women" issue cannot, then they are personal convictions. That's as simple as it gets. You, nor anyone else, will ever be able to prove honesty from Scripture that women wearing pants is wrong. It's the same way with other things that "IFBs" put upon people instead of just believing the Bible.

Gurl4God said...

I think you misunderstand what I'm asking. From what I know, sects who believe that women should not wear pants can back it up with scripture. But I would disagree with their interpretation of the scripture. What happens if you have something you feel is a "natural conviction" and someone does not agree with your interpretation of scripture on this? I just don't understand the difference between "natural convictions" and "spiritual convictions" as it seems very subjective.

Vince LaRue said...

The important thing it to allow the Holy Spirit of God, through the lens of Scripture, lead and guide each person. It is not my place to decide what convictions each person should have, nor is it my place to interpret Scripture to place someone under bondage to a standard that I have set. The same with anyone else: it is up to the individual and the Holy Spirit through the Word.