Today, I will continue part of the series we started earlier. In You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Part 1, the topic was pink shirts and how Chuck O’Neal spoke against men/boys wearing pink because pink is associated with femininity.
Today we will be discussing the topic of women wearing dark clothing: black, brown, gray. At a ladies retreat, we were told that dark colors were masculine and women should try to avoid those colors. I must admit, when I first heard it, I looked around the room to see if other people had puzzled looks on their face because the concept was so foreign to me.
Let me give a little background information. This was taught at the yearly ladies retreat held at a retreat center. Any other ladies retreats I have attended in my adult life (and my age tells me I’m no spring chicken), have been taught by women, not men. It is called a ladies retreat, right? Well, Beaverton Grace Bible Church is unique. We listened to long videos of recorded messages by the pastor – yes, the pastor, a man, taught the primary teachings via videotape at our annual ladies retreats. I attended to two ladies retreats during my time there. Both times, we listened to the same videotape and was told it was shown at least the year prior, maybe longer. So, if my head couldn’t grasp the concept the first year, I did have an opportunity the next year to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. I wasn’t.
I searched high and low for references in the Bible indicating women shouldn’t wear dark-colored clothing and couldn’t find a thing. I searched Google to see if there were any websites addressing the issue in the Bible with references. I found a couple of examples describing the clothing women wore in Bible times. Although these are not actual Biblical references, they are written by scholars of that historic time period and found that women did wear dark colors during that time period:
The garments worn by Jewish and Christian people of this period were fairly similar to those worn along the whole Mediterranean coast. However, traditional Jewish families still kept the Mosaic Law which forbade mixing wool and linen in the same garment.
Basic clothing was a tunic made from two lengths of woollen material joined at the top, with an opening for the head to pass through. It might have vertical stripes and be dyed red, cream/brown or black. A mantle/cloak made of wool was also worn; this was woven in one single piece of cloth. There was also a woollen or linen head-covering with a band that held it in place. (http://www.bible-archaeology.info/clothes.htm)
Most women in biblical times wore simple white clothing, although blue or black homespun was sometimes seen. Wealthy women wore garments of brightly dyed fine linen, often in scarlet or purple, and elaborately decorated with embroidery, jewels, and gold or silver detail (II Sam. 13:18). (http://www.houseandhome.org/clothing-in-biblical-times)
Now here’s the thing. Pastor Chuck O’Neal said that dark colors are not feminine colors. I’d like to challenge that. Here are some pictures and you tell me if these clothes look masculine.
Truth be told, if I were to discard all of my gray, black, and brown colored clothing, I’d lose over half of my wardrobe.
The traditional attire for an accompanist is all black so as not to draw attention to themselves. The job of an accompanist is to showcase the choir/singer/musician and help them sound their best. As an accompanist, I would feel very uncomfortable wearing colorful clothing on stage or in front of a church. I like to hide behind the piano and colorful clothing would only draw attention to myself on a stage, pulpit area, or platform.
One interesting observation – I remember the pastor’s wife wearing dark colors. I always admired her taste in clothing and style. I can picture her now in my mind wearing an outfit with black and a bright coral top and looking absolutely stunning and certainly feminine. Maybe he didn’t pay attention to what his wife was wearing because she did dress so well. I can’t think of her style as anything but feminine.
Bottom line is this: the concept of dark clothes for women as being masculine is a preference of Chuck O’Neal’s. It is not a Biblical concept or guideline.
Ladies, if you want to wear black, wear it! I know a husband who loves his woman in black. Mine!
11 thoughts on “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Part 2”
This post hits a nerve with me. One ladies "retreat" was enough for me. The video teaching not only said women ought not wear black but that the standard of modesty for women would be according to the dress code of the levital priests. WHAT! I recall something like shoulders should be covered and nothing above the knees. More than once ladies told me how they never wear shorts but instead wear capri's. And, of course, swimming is not to be done except in wet suits and with your family only. The Bible tells us to dress modestly but the details of that are left for the Holy Spirit to guide each believer. From the article, 'Authoritarianism in The Church" by Steve Martin3. Unbelief: many office holders do not believe the declarative statements and promises of God in the Scripture. They do not believe that Christ is Lord of His true church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. They do not believe that God the Holy Spirit is also Lord of the church, conforming God's people into His image. They do not believe God the Father will exercise His Fatherly love and discipline over the lives of His adopted children. In their unbelief, following hard on the heals of their own prayerlessness, authoritarian shepherds develop the mind-set, "If I don't make them do this, they won't!" or "If I don't make them do this, who will?" They really do not believe that the Holy Spirit will superintend His people and convict them of sin when away from the shepherd. Even as Christian parents must entrust their Christian teens unto the Lord as they drive the car down the driveway or leave for the university, so pastors must learn to trust God the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of His people when they are out from under the watchful gaze of their local under-shepherd. Sadly, such pastors create a "police state mentality" in their congregations where everyone's life is carefully monitored and scrutinized for any deviation, and "sins" are to be reported to the church leadership immediately."2 Timothy 3:5…having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Galations 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.Galations 5:16-18I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Hey, are you reading my mind? You need to add "spoiler alert" to your posts! This will be an ongoing series 🙂 What you posted is so true – a pastor cannot be someone's Holy Spirit. A shepherd guides his flock and shows them how to hear and follow the Holy Spirit, not man. Good stuff! Thank you!
I didn't hear the teaching about women wearing black. I do remember sermons in which he advised that we bring one of the ladies from the church (presumably elder/deacons' wives) over to look through our closet for anything too revealing. Another way of controlling every aspect of our lives. I can't imagine how much gossip that would have generated had I followed through with that recommendation.
I must have missed that one. But imagine being the elders/deacons' wives and what kind of position it put them in: Wardrobe Police.What were they to do with violators? Report to Chuck? And then what? Church discipline?I know he approved wedding gowns for brides. One word describes it for me: Ick.
I would hazard a guess that your pastor wants everyone but his wife to wear dark clothes so that she would stand out above everyone else.
Hey, Just following your links you posted here on your blog, to see where they go… I found this one.http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/what-guys-think-about-modesty-by-c-j-mahaney-3739It appears you hate CJ Mahaney too in reading some of your other things, but really he is just reading a letter a guy wrote that might shed some brilliant light on this subject. If you don't want to take the time to watch, it talks about the constant struggle a Godly man has with lust, and the excellent and heartfelt gratitude such a man has for those women who practice modesty with this in mind. True fellowship is possible where it would be absent otherwise. Tender bridge here; such a delicate line between feminism and/or general anti-authoritarianism or rebellion, and freedom from religion. Or is the line really thin?
Hi Shunned2: I don't hate anyone. I have problems with people who abuse authority. Where did you find that link on my blog? I'll watch it when I get some time.Thanks for your comment.
ROFLMAO at your take on feminine clothing…dark colors are the norm in a corporate authoritarian environment. Biblical women are to be representative of light not darkness or authority. Obviously you have an anti authority issue in your life and should really repent and deal with it. Maybe it is a reaction to your military life which you are projecting on churches.
I don't have a problem with dark nor light-colored clothing. I just don't think a pastor should have said something like this at all.