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Author Topic: Sola Scriptura vs. Not Sola Scriptura in Women's Dress  (Read 2165 times) Average Rating: 0
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yeshuaisiam
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« on: August 19, 2012, 05:03:42 PM »

Interestingly confusing.   From our scriptures, women are supposed to dress modestly, not flashy (or rich), cover their heads at ALL times, not adorn the clothes of men. 

The typical dress of those who FOLLOW the scriptures:

Orthodox Nun


Catholic Nun


Mennonite common females


Eastern Orthodox common females


From OCA web site


I do not believe that many Eastern Orthodox females are living up to biblical dress... Obviously the EO nuns do not stray.  But the EO laywomen stray.  Is this because the church has allowed them to deviate from biblical teachings due to not being sola scripturists and saying "it's more practical this way"?   Does the church giving permission opposite to the scriptural teachings make this okay?  I know of many EO churches that do enforce a more scriptural approach to womens dress, but many do not. 

Where do you stand?  Opinions?  Discuss?
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 06:10:00 PM »

Interestingly confusing.   From our scriptures, women are supposed to dress modestly, not flashy (or rich), cover their heads at ALL times, not adorn the clothes of men. 

I do not believe that many Eastern Orthodox females are living up to biblical dress... Obviously the EO nuns do not stray.  But the EO laywomen stray.  Is this because the church has allowed them to deviate from biblical teachings due to not being sola scripturists and saying "it's more practical this way"?   Does the church giving permission opposite to the scriptural teachings make this okay?  I know of many EO churches that do enforce a more scriptural approach to womens dress, but many do not. 

Where do you stand?  Opinions?  Discuss?

First of all, I fear that you have already decided that you want us to agree with you.

Yes, women should dress modestly - as should men. Quite frankly, I'm not sure that Scripture prohibits outright the display of wealth, but says rather that material wealth should not be a woman's beauty. However, guidelines for much of what we view as "flashy" are already covered by an understanding of modesty. Modesty also suggests not drawing attention to oneself. I do wonder sometimes if women who dress counter-culturally - and that means some Mennonite sects - are doing so in an effort to draw attention to themselves. One must caution against that as well. I think that overall, it is best for men and women to dress in a way that does not draw special attention to themselves.

Covering heads at all times? Then what do you make of 1 Cor 11:15: But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. (NKJV, with added emphasis)

As for cross-dressing of any sort: yes, it makes sense that neither a man nor a woman should try to "become" the other by means of their clothing. Men's clothing vs women's clothing is determined by culture and that changes with time and place. Do you dress like a first century Palestinian man? or a first century Roman man? See my point?

Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion.
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 08:37:47 PM »

Interestingly confusing.   From our scriptures, women are supposed to dress modestly, not flashy (or rich), cover their heads at ALL times, not adorn the clothes of men. 

I do not believe that many Eastern Orthodox females are living up to biblical dress... Obviously the EO nuns do not stray.  But the EO laywomen stray.  Is this because the church has allowed them to deviate from biblical teachings due to not being sola scripturists and saying "it's more practical this way"?   Does the church giving permission opposite to the scriptural teachings make this okay?  I know of many EO churches that do enforce a more scriptural approach to womens dress, but many do not. 

Where do you stand?  Opinions?  Discuss?


I agree. I wish that more Orthodox women would do this more often. In countries like most Slavic countries, Cyprus, Romania, some Arab countries, and a few parts of the Balkans, this tradition is preserved. Sadly, you dont see this tradition in many churches here in the US. I think that the Church shouldnt force rules such as these but I also think that its wrong to just overlook this tradition/commandment. 
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »

Interestingly confusing.   From our scriptures, women are supposed to dress modestly, not flashy (or rich), cover their heads at ALL times, not adorn the clothes of men.  

I do not believe that many Eastern Orthodox females are living up to biblical dress... Obviously the EO nuns do not stray.  But the EO laywomen stray.  Is this because the church has allowed them to deviate from biblical teachings due to not being sola scripturists and saying "it's more practical this way"?   Does the church giving permission opposite to the scriptural teachings make this okay?  I know of many EO churches that do enforce a more scriptural approach to womens dress, but many do not.  

Where do you stand?  Opinions?  Discuss?

First of all, I fear that you have already decided that you want us to agree with you.

Yes, women should dress modestly - as should men. Quite frankly, I'm not sure that Scripture prohibits outright the display of wealth, but says rather that material wealth should not be a woman's beauty. However, guidelines for much of what we view as "flashy" are already covered by an understanding of modesty. Modesty also suggests not drawing attention to oneself. I do wonder sometimes if women who dress counter-culturally - and that means some Mennonite sects - are doing so in an effort to draw attention to themselves. One must caution against that as well. I think that overall, it is best for men and women to dress in a way that does not draw special attention to themselves.

Covering heads at all times? Then what do you make of 1 Cor 11:15: But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. (NKJV, with added emphasis)

As for cross-dressing of any sort: yes, it makes sense that neither a man nor a woman should try to "become" the other by means of their clothing. Men's clothing vs women's clothing is determined by culture and that changes with time and place. Do you dress like a first century Palestinian man? or a first century Roman man? See my point?

Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion.

The bible in several places speaks of people dressing richly as bad.

For 1 Corithians 11 it is speaking of women covering their heads while praying.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says "pray without ceasing".

1 Corinthians 11:16 is not speaking of the only covering.  Verse 6 would not make sense if it were so.   Since man's glory is Christ, he prays uncovered.  Since a woman's glory is her hair, she is to pray with her hair covered or it dishonors her.

In 1 Corinthians 11 - These commands are that a Christian woman should have long uncut hair, and that it should be modestly covered with a veil.  This is something understood by Orthodox nuns, Catholic nuns, Mennonite women, and some Orthodox laywomen (but not all).

It concerns me that through the traditions of the Orthodox church, that this tradition is fading quickly.   Even the iconography always depicts women with a head covering.  

In consideration of women dressing as men, in our culture, most women wore dresses before the feminist movement was in full swing. 

« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 09:55:01 PM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 11:35:28 PM »

The history of clothing and how it developed in different times and places can be quite interesting.  One aspect is what technology and instruments are available to make clothing and that has changed and increased over the millenia.

In Biblical times in the middle east the basic robe shape was common to both males and females. In Japan those doing field work both male and female have worn "mompe" a kind of trousers since it is practical for such tasks while the kimono is basically the same for both and differentiated by colour, decoration and sleeves (depending on age). The form being dictated by the width of the bolt of cloth (part of the technology of clothing production). The "hakama" a form of very wide legged trouser (a "trouser-skirt" in some of the descriptions from long ago) has also been worn by both sexes.

In parts of Asia/Southeast Asia the "shalwar kameez" a form of loose tunic and trousers has been worn by both.

In Scotland, Ireland and Greese a form of kilt has been worn by men (with some remarks by others about them wearing "skirts" see the Scots Black Watch  being referred to as the "Ladies from Hell")

 There are many other examples that may be given of garments that do not go along with defining pants as "male" clothing.  It is possible for human beings of both genders to be modest and not be limited to the dictates of one particular culture or time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalwar_kameez


As a side note: What do you consider to be the start of the "feminist movement" and it being in "full swing" please?  The women doing factory work during WWII for example did not wear dresses because it was neither safe nor practical.
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 07:18:27 AM »

Pants are modest.
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 07:37:03 AM »


First of all, I fear that you have already decided that you want us to agree with you.

Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion.

The bible in several places speaks of people dressing richly as bad.

For 1 Corithians 11 it is speaking of women covering their heads while praying.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says "pray without ceasing".
Yet to follow this as an absolute without qualifications would also require men to remain uncovered at all times, including during winter storms. It also means that men "before the feminist movement was in full swing" who generally wore hats in public were disobeying Scripture.
Quote

1 Corinthians 11:16 is not speaking of the only covering.  Verse 6 would not make sense if it were so.   Since man's glory is Christ, he prays uncovered.  Since a woman's glory is her hair, she is to pray with her hair covered or it dishonors her.

In 1 Corinthians 11 - These commands are that a Christian woman should have long uncut hair, and that it should be modestly covered with a veil.  This is something understood by Orthodox nuns, Catholic nuns, Mennonite women, and some Orthodox laywomen (but not all).
I wish I could ask St Paul exactly what he was getting at in that chapter. It does seem contradictory. My conclusion is that he was not prescribing a "one-size-fits-all" dictum, but rather putting forth a general principle.
Quote

It concerns me that through the traditions of the Orthodox church, that this tradition is fading quickly.   Even the iconography always depicts women with a head covering.  

In consideration of women dressing as men, in our culture, most women wore dresses before the feminist movement was in full swing.
But what "tradition" are you championing? Should we all be dressing as the saints depicted in icons? If so, which one? Perhaps King David with his golden crown  Wink. Even there we have a variety of styles that reflect various cultural norms.

BTW, there are occasional exceptions in iconography where a woman is shown uncovered. St Mary of Egypt comes to mind - though I realize that is an extreme, and may indeed be the exception that proves the rule.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 05:43:38 PM »

As has been mentioned more than once over the years here at OC.net there is an icon of St. Mary the Virgin which is held to be of help to women who are trying to have children in which she is shown as a maiden with her hair down and uncovered.  The ROCOR Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. John the Baptist on its website has had mention of this icon. 
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 05:54:20 PM »

Yes, it is important for us to realize that in the Amerodox religion, one or two Icons can completely erase the Divinely inspired Scriptures and two thousand years of Tradition from all of the Orthodox world.
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 05:59:32 PM »


In 1 Corinthians 11 - These commands are that a Christian woman should have long uncut hair, and that it should be modestly covered with a veil.  This is something understood by Orthodox nuns, Catholic nuns, Mennonite women, and some Orthodox laywomen (but not all).

As a further note: it was the custom in a number of RC religious orders that when a woman took her vows her hair was cut and then whatever form of wimple/veil etc was put on as part of the habit. In this way the nuns did not have the need to take time for any form of hairdressing and could devote themselves to their work and worship.  I have read of this in a number of accounts of monastic life.  If you are interested I can dig up some of the titles, but one that I recall is A Right to be Merry/i] by Mother Mary Frances PCC about establishing a cloistered monestery in Roswell, NM in 1948
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 06:24:12 PM »

The title of this thread is not being understood by me  Huh
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 06:24:50 PM »

Yes, it is important for us to realize that in the Amerodox religion, one or two Icons can completely erase the Divinely inspired Scriptures and two thousand years of Tradition from all of the Orthodox world.
Why would you say "erase"? Perhaps it's just to get us to sit back and reflect a bit more. We may find that the exceptions are purely exceptions. I don't know. I just want to be open to what God would teach me as a member of His Church.
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 09:15:38 PM »

Yes, it is important for us to realize that in the Amerodox religion, one or two Icons can completely erase the Divinely inspired Scriptures and two thousand years of Tradition from all of the Orthodox world.
Why would you say "erase"? Perhaps it's just to get us to sit back and reflect a bit more. We may find that the exceptions are purely exceptions. I don't know. I just want to be open to what God would teach me as a member of His Church.

I find that when I use satire on this board, I have to be painfully obvious.  Hence the word "erase".  I personally believe that the exceptions are purely exceptions, and may not even be exceptions at all (who says those Icons are even canonical?).  Those that do not want to follow the Church's teachings will find whatever excuse they need to sooth their consciences.  We are all guilty of that to some extent, and unfortunately, the Bible (and modernist clergy) gives us plenty of ammunition to work with.
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 09:28:25 PM »

Well, when a icon is included by ROCOR on a cathedral site, it's interesting that I who am not EO am willing to accept that there are those in the jurisdiction's authority who consider it canonical. From what I have known of ROCOR they are not into "soothing" nor known for "modernist clergy".
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 09:34:30 PM »

The Bible--if I recall correctly--did not give us any specific teachings as to what exactly women are supposed to wear and not wear other than to wear headcoverings at all times. It only forbids women to wear things 'associated with a man' and to 'dress modestly'. But how do we define what is 'modest' and what is 'associated with men'? Surely these social concepts change over time. What Jewish women wore two thousand years ago that was considered modest has obviously changed from what would be considered modest or immodest in modern times. That being said, I think that these modern attempts to forbid women from wearing things like pants or having to always wear knee-length skirts is kinda silly. That may have been the standard back then for modest, but our modern standards have changed. Pants are no longer just associated with men and women can wear less than they did back then and still be modest. The point is that while women should still adhere to these principles--IE, dressing modestly and not manly, the standards for modesty and masculinity are purely relative and thus the women should dress modestly according to their culture at the time; not according to the culture from 2,000 years ago. In fact, the Bible never gave us those specifics. It only gave us the principles.
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 09:44:36 PM »

Orthodox Nun

Wat?

You mean to tell me that Orthodox nuns don't just walk around naked since there are no men around? I would. I hate wearing clothes.
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 10:03:34 PM »

/\
There are other reasons to wear clothes...like not freezing or getting sunburned or mosquitoes or....  Wink
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 09:57:44 AM »

Yes, it is important for us to realize that in the Amerodox religion, one or two Icons can completely erase the Divinely inspired Scriptures and two thousand years of Tradition from all of the Orthodox world.
Why would you say "erase"? Perhaps it's just to get us to sit back and reflect a bit more. We may find that the exceptions are purely exceptions. I don't know. I just want to be open to what God would teach me as a member of His Church.

I find that when I use satire on this board, I have to be painfully obvious.  Hence the word "erase".  I personally believe that the exceptions are purely exceptions, and may not even be exceptions at all (who says those Icons are even canonical?).  Those that do not want to follow the Church's teachings will find whatever excuse they need to sooth their consciences.  We are all guilty of that to some extent, and unfortunately, the Bible (and modernist clergy) gives us plenty of ammunition to work with.
...as do potentially hyperdox satirists  Wink Cheesy!
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 10:09:37 AM »

As to this thread, I have but two words: "Boze moi."
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 06:58:19 PM »


First of all, I fear that you have already decided that you want us to agree with you.

Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion.

The bible in several places speaks of people dressing richly as bad.

For 1 Corithians 11 it is speaking of women covering their heads while praying.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says "pray without ceasing".
Yet to follow this as an absolute without qualifications would also require men to remain uncovered at all times, including during winter storms. It also means that men "before the feminist movement was in full swing" who generally wore hats in public were disobeying Scripture.
Quote

1 Corinthians 11:16 is not speaking of the only covering.  Verse 6 would not make sense if it were so.   Since man's glory is Christ, he prays uncovered.  Since a woman's glory is her hair, she is to pray with her hair covered or it dishonors her.

In 1 Corinthians 11 - These commands are that a Christian woman should have long uncut hair, and that it should be modestly covered with a veil.  This is something understood by Orthodox nuns, Catholic nuns, Mennonite women, and some Orthodox laywomen (but not all).
I wish I could ask St Paul exactly what he was getting at in that chapter. It does seem contradictory. My conclusion is that he was not prescribing a "one-size-fits-all" dictum, but rather putting forth a general principle.
Quote

It concerns me that through the traditions of the Orthodox church, that this tradition is fading quickly.   Even the iconography always depicts women with a head covering.  

In consideration of women dressing as men, in our culture, most women wore dresses before the feminist movement was in full swing.
But what "tradition" are you championing? Should we all be dressing as the saints depicted in icons? If so, which one? Perhaps King David with his golden crown  Wink. Even there we have a variety of styles that reflect various cultural norms.

BTW, there are occasional exceptions in iconography where a woman is shown uncovered. St Mary of Egypt comes to mind - though I realize that is an extreme, and may indeed be the exception that proves the rule.

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

To answer, I suppose we should try to dress less worldly and more as the saints in the icons if possible.   I love the way monastics do this.  The saints and monastics are role models to us laymen....  Food for thought.   Thanks again.
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 07:00:05 PM »

Yes, it is important for us to realize that in the Amerodox religion, one or two Icons can completely erase the Divinely inspired Scriptures and two thousand years of Tradition from all of the Orthodox world.

Seriously, what you are saying has a LOT of meaning.  There are vast amounts of traditions broken due to a couple of examples.   Excellent comment.
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 07:10:39 PM »

The title of this thread is not being understood by me  Huh

I was comparing the sola scripturist approach of the Anabaptist faith (most on the forum consider Anabaptist sola scriptura)on head coverings vs. Orthodoxy & RC monastics & laypeople.

Almost all Anabaptist women cover, MANY EO women do, all EO monastics do.

SO basically through all the history of both faiths, with both sola scriptura and not, the tradition of covering is held.  However EO laywomen often do not cover. 

Sorry if it confuses.
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 07:39:55 PM »

If a woman dresses in a way she knows will tempt a man who should not be tempted, she is wrong.  How to fix that is between that woman and God, unless she is my wife or daughter.  Then I make sure its good to go.

Head coverings I am all for, but it isn't going to happen.  In the world right now, getting people to dress at all is a task, much less dressing modestly.
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