Archive for December 2015

Cross-dressing in the Church: Does God approve?

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

I have seen a lot of strange and surprising things in my life, so much so that I used to say that nothing really surprised me anymore. I may have to recant saying that, as the other day something happened that I was not at all prepared for. A man I know – a teacher in a local (Christian) church – was talking about how much fun the church had during an event in which men of the church dressed up as women for a mock beauty pageant. I was really taken aback. No, I was actually shocked. When we talked about it I was again surprised at his initial reasoning that it was OK because it was all just in fun. As we continued to talk about the Old Testament prohibition for a man to not wear a woman’s clothing in Deuteronomy 22, he decided to think about it and later give me his defense. I present that defense and my response here for those who may fall on either side of this issue, and, who want a definitive answer on how God views such things. Does this Law in Deuteronomy 22:5 apply to the Church today, or did I over-react to something trivial and meaningless?

Deuteronomy 22:5
A woman shall not wear a 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. (emphasis mine)

That’s pretty harsh! We will study here the context and meaning, including ‘hidden’ and implied meaning of this Law, as it speaks to God’s authority and His delegated authority in His people.

My friend did some research by reading what other scholars said about this verse. I am careful about the things I read from many scholars because many such ‘scholars’ have caused so much harm. Witness Martin Luther, who wrote a treatise about how evil the Jews are, that they should not be allowed to own property, a business, or to handle the Word of God. Luther also authored a German translation of the Bible where he translated the Greek word ‘pesach’, which is a transliteration of the Hebrew word for ‘passover’, as “Easter’ – the name of a pagan fertility goddess who God forbade Israel to worship (also known as Ishtar, Ashtoroth, Asherah, The Queen of Heaven, etc.). Of twenty-five uses of the word ‘pesach’ in the New Testament, Luther changed only one to Easter, but the damage was done, and the Christian denominations (sects) have replaced the name of God’s Passover with the name of a pagan goddess to this day. Furthermore, Luther had this to say about the Old Testament:
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