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Can We Reclaim This Dress Standard?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Not if you carefully read what she said... :smug::frog:

It is a truth that one's spirituality will show on the outside. We might not like to think about it, but it's true. Does that mean that women who wear pants are wicked? Of course not.


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Prophet - you are Ojibwe, correct? Or at least Algonquin? Do you agree with Basil Johnston as to the meaning of your signature? I like his definition - beings made out of nothing. I have Narragansett roots, but that is from many generations ago....


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Prophet pointed out earlier something that has long bothered me. When Deut. 22:5 is preached as the standard for women not wearing pants, it is usually stated that it's an abomination to God. But as was mentioned, it isn't the act that is abomination, it is the person doing it. But that verse doesn't just mention women wearing men's garments - it mentions men wearing women's garments as well.

I have heard it said that when men wear dresses as a joke (in a skit, for example) it's okay - it's not the same as women wearing pants. Huh? :puzzled3: But, but...if you cite Deut. 22:5 as a reason for women not to wear pants, then it's a reason for men not to wear dresses...right? I think we've done a good job of obfuscating what's actually being taught in that verse (and the principles contained therein do carry over into the NT).

The pagans of that day had a practice of men wearing women's clothes and women wearing men's (usually the armor) when going in to their temples to worship. That being the background, we can see plainly that God doesn't want men dressing like women or vice versa. We glean the principle of gender identity from that verse - something that God addresses as well in Corinthians regarding hair length. There is a difference, and God wants us to be obvious in that difference (yes, I know...they all wore robes back then. But, among other things [like decoration on the robe], men's robes had girdles (belts) on the outside, women's did not.). Then there is Christian identity - we are a peculiar people. No, that doesn't mean weird - it means set apart, different from the lost.

Culturally for many years, men wore pants (and, yes, priests in Israel had breeches under their robes) and women wore dresses here in America (England, too, and some other countries, but not all). And, yes, pants on women was born in rebellion - claiming that it would free a woman from man's authority if she could dress like him. Because of the decline in standards (because, you know, it's more spiritual to say that it's not spiritual to say that our exterior will change when our interior does...well, according to some, anyway), pants have become accepted wear for many, many Christian ladies. Heh - it was considered very wrong for lost women to wear them back in the day...

Now the culture, it's a' changing again....And, men, you will now have the opportunity to also be free. You can now wear skirts/dresses if you so desire. Of course, that has been going on for a while - the pants-free movement. Men who claim (and these are straight men, not gay, not transgender, and not cross-dressers) that they can move more freely in skirts than in pants. (Isn't that hilarious? Women wanted to be free and pants were the ticket...now men are claiming their pants don't let them be as free as women are :nuts: )

Just recently, there was a fashion show in England. What was it? Why, the new line of men's dresses. Minis, no less. Yes, it's going to become mainstream soon. And we'll just have to accept it, you know. Because if a Christian man wants to wear a dress, it's okay as long as he buys one made for a man. Right? If it's not okay with you, well, then - you (generic, not pointing any fingers) are doing the same thing those who hold to Deut. 22:5 as the reason for no pants on women but who think it's okay for men to wear dresses when they are joking around....

Plain fact of the matter is: If a person - regardless of gender - is saved and growing in the Lord, there will be a difference on the outside. What will that difference be? I don't know - but it will be. Because God is in the life-changing business. From the inside out.

(FWIW - I don't wear pants.)

Yes, if you ask the Western Ojibiwe, out of Minnesota, they will give that answer, and I like it.

I am Blackfoot, an Algonquin Nation, and Chickasaw, BTW.
Momma' s the barkeater.
Dad's the Chickasaw.

Anishinaabe

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Yeah... let's get back to G ratings here, people.

Boy, we see it all the time at my Wal-Mart. But, then again, my area has recently become inundated with gypsies, and those young girls dress to attract the boys. It's horrible!   To address the OP,

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It has become increasingly difficult to actually prove from the Bible that "pants on women are wrong".  You can teach modesty, and you can make an argument that most pants are not as modest as skirts.  On the other hand, in our area, most Baptists wear pants on their own time.  At a local IFB church we are very familiar with...they have a "rule" about wearing skirts in youth group for activities, but the skirts are so tight and above the knee and honestly may just as well be pants...pants would cover more.  I do not think the "cross dressing" argument can any longer be made in our society (especially in light of men moving towards skirts, probably within the next ten years.)   So really the main argument that is valid from Scripture is the part about being modest.

 

My husband and I have discussed this at length...I was raised wearing pants (as a Christian) and I gave them up at college, but it has become an increasingly difficult struggle for me, especially in the winter, as probably 98% of all the IFBs in our area (Philly suburbs) wear pants on their own time.    It is wearisome to be one of the only "odd women out", honestly--and honestly, men do not have to face that in their lives.  It is easy for them to make rules they do not have to follow.   It is easy for them to say "I don't want men looking at your crotch" so instead the men wonder why you're wearing a skirt when it's ten degrees outside.  LOL.  (That was just me saying that, I realize it's not Biblical and I'm not advocating that argument.  Just a FYI.)

 

WITH that said.... my husband will state that the main problem he has with women wearing pants is the crotch/butt area.   He says it draws a man's attention and is immodest.  And for that reason, other than very loose lounge pants at home, and this year (due to all the snow!) allowing me to get a pair of ski pants...he asks that I wear skirts in public basically at all times.   In summer, maybe a loose, knee length pair of walking shorts for hiking in or something, that does not show the crotch or butt.

 

I find it frustrating at times, because the line has been blurred between modesty, style, and fashion SO dramatically, especially in larger city areas, that it is pretty much beyond changing, IMHO.   I'm a very casual person big on comfort, and tights and pantyhose are NOT comfortable on my stomach, haha, so it is a challenge to find skirts that look nice in the winter and keep my legs warm without fighting tights or leggings.   

 

Anyway, before you guys get upset with me...I do respect and obey my husband.  He does lead our home.  :-)    But just from my perspective...I defended skirts-only for YEARS until finally I was unable to defend it (as a 100% thing) anymore.  I have had pastors tell me why you can't preach skirts-only.  I have had every argument I've ever made proven wrong...all except the fact that if a guy has a problem looking at a woman's butt, then the pants are not modest.  

 

I do want to know, though...I know girls who lust after men's butts.  And I know men who wear pants and I'm sorry, but so many times there is an unsightly bulge in the front.  So...in all honesty....and true honest question...why is it okay to see a man's butt and, well, you know...in a pair of jeans?   People say "Well women don't lust like men".   Maybe I don't, and maybe you don't....but women do these days!!!!!!   And in the Bible, men wore their trousers as undergarments.

 

I really do want to understand that last question.

 

Once again, yes, I wear skirts in public.  FTR.  :-)

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It's a fact that many of the skirts and dresses worn by Christian women, including many IFB women, are not modest at all.

 

Most women's pants are designed to show off the feminine form and are immodest. The same is true for many men's pants these days and I was convicted of that some years ago when I overheard some women talking about how they liked the way my backside looked in my blue jeans (I was younger and much more fit back then!). After that, I changed the type of pants I wear to a style that is more loose fitting.

 

I agree there is much inconsistency with regards to the whole issue. Some will denounce a woman who is wearing pants that are actually modest fitting but then won't say anything to the woman in the skin tight skirt or the plunging neckline dress. It's also rare to hear men called out for the way they dress. Is it really modest for men to wear tight and short cut off blue jeans and no shirt in public? Why aren't they called on this?

 

The issue is best addressed in terms of biblical modesty rather than making it too simplistic and rules oriented. I can certainly understand your frustration.

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Society changes but God's Word hasn't and we shouldn't reinterpret it to suit today's world.

 

Yesteryear, women wore dresses and skirts while tilling fields, picking cotton and working on cars.  If an activity would require them to wear pants, then it wasn't something a lady should be doing anyway so the thinking of the day went.

 

I see the change happening before my eyes, ladies moving away from modest and biblical dress while others are moving towards it.  I appreciate those who have not wavered and point them out to my daughters to help my wife when they do.

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It's a fact that many of the skirts and dresses worn by Christian women, including many IFB women, are not modest at all.

 

Most women's pants are designed to show off the feminine form and are immodest. The same is true for many men's pants these days and I was convicted of that some years ago when I overheard some women talking about how they liked the way my backside looked in my blue jeans (I was younger and much more fit back then!). After that, I changed the type of pants I wear to a style that is more loose fitting.

 

I agree there is much inconsistency with regards to the whole issue. Some will denounce a woman who is wearing pants that are actually modest fitting but then won't say anything to the woman in the skin tight skirt or the plunging neckline dress. It's also rare to hear men called out for the way they dress. Is it really modest for men to wear tight and short cut off blue jeans and no shirt in public? Why aren't they called on this?

 

The issue is best addressed in terms of biblical modesty rather than making it too simplistic and rules oriented. I can certainly understand your frustration.

 

TMI :eek

 

Three pastors ago, at our former IFB church, men's dress was preached on...even tight pants on men. Matter of fact one man got upset because he liked to wear his shorts(not at church) and the pastor wouldn't allow him to participate in certain positions in the church because of it....the man left.

Edited by heartstrings
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I see the change happening before my eyes, ladies moving away from modest and biblical dress while others are moving towards it.  I appreciate those who have not wavered and point them out to my daughters to help my wife when they do.

 

 

Why not ladies AND men?  Why are the ladies always the ones preached to about modesty, when everyone should be modest?  Just curious.

 

Again...I wear skirts LOL.  Don't want to get in a big argument.   But I do get frustrated that men are always the one worried about women's modesty, when they are not the ones that have to struggle buying themselves clothing.   I realize the men are responsible to lead the home, and I get that...but I think men need to appreciate a little more how difficult it is to have strong dress standards in our society right now.  

 

Modesty means "not bringing attention to oneself" and as a true introvert, I sure hate drawing attention to myself because I'm wearing a skirt in winter.  LOL.  (But I do it anyway!)

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The issue of modest apparel does go both ways.  We have a young man in our church who has a very athletic build and likes to wear t-shirts or sleeveless shirts that are seemingly 5 sizes to small and show every cut and ripple of his upper body.  It doesn't matter if it is raining and 40 degrees outside, if he is running around a track or on the street it is often without a shirt on and in the shortest shorts he can get away with.  The boy sometimes doesn't have enough cloth on him to cover a bicycle seat, but nothing is said?

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The issue of modest apparel does go both ways.  We have a young man in our church who has a very athletic build and likes to wear t-shirts or sleeveless shirts that are seemingly 5 sizes to small and show every cut and ripple of his upper body.  It doesn't matter if it is raining and 40 degrees outside, if he is running around a track or on the street it is often without a shirt on and in the shortest shorts he can get away with.  The boy sometimes doesn't have enough cloth on him to cover a bicycle seat, but nothing is said?

When I was young and fit I used to wear tight tank tops and sleeveless shirts except for during winter. Not once did any pastor, or any other Christian, say a word to me about it.

 

However, the Lord convicted me one day, and then a few more days after I tried to ignore the conviction, and I stopped wearing such shirts.

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Deut 22:5 is actually about a lot more than clothes.

The word with regard to women wearing men's stuff is actually about men's equipment - it is really suggesting that women and men should not only dress differently, but they also shouldn't take on each other's roles.

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It's amazing how us men don't seem to realize that women are sexual beings as well.  It finally dawned on us one day at one of our summer camp events why all the girls seemed to come cheer in much larger numbers and more enthusiastically when the boys were playing a game of football with "shirts against the skins".  We now bring enough colored shirts in two distinct colors for these games.

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It's amazing how us men don't seem to realize that women are sexual beings as well.  It finally dawned on us one day at one of our summer camp events why all the girls seemed to come cheer in much larger numbers and more enthusiastically when the boys were playing a game of football with "shirts against the skins".  We now bring enough colored shirts in two distinct colors for these games.

Yes, this is much overlooked. For some reason many prefer to think women don't have lustful thoughts and their eyes don't roam, but they are just as much fleshly human as men and subject to like temptations. If that weren't the case, why would men dress as they do when they seek to attract a woman?

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The excuse that skirts are too cold in winter is just that, an excuse! I wear fleeced lined leggings/tights under my skirts and I'm even warmer than women who just wear pants because I have 2 layers on. I've only been IFB for 2 years and nobody pushed me or said anything to me about pants. I was easily convicted of it and converting was easy for me and I feel more ladylike than I ever did in pants. I don't have that many skirts because of money but since I'm trying to learn to sew maybe I can learn to make them. Right now I'm happy to have sewed up the slits!

 

The robes/gowns worn in Biblical times were very different between men and womens. Dress has always been very distinctive between men and women until about 1920. Then it was the rebellious women who wore pants and cut their hair to show their rebelliousness.

 

To say that some women's pants are more modest than some dresses, is still just an excuse. I don't even own a pair of pants now. Freedom comes from following the Lord, not getting your own way.

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Actually, there is record of women wearing pants centuries before 1920.

As soon as one can show me where women are forbidden to wear pants in the Bible, I will begin preaching against them.

This site: http://cleftlands.cwru.edu/persian/wpants.html shows a picture painted in the early 1500's of a Parisian woman in pants.

Elsewhere on the internet, there are pictures drawn in the fourth century A.D., of Persian women on horseback... Wearing pants.

Why it seems to be frowned upon in our culture is probably due to the fact that they were not introduced to our side of the world until more recently.

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ
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I have had a lot of trouble regarding this issue and it has taken some time, but I have learned so much. My husband surrendered to preach about six months ago. I automatically decided I would have to give up my pants for my husband. Wrong. I became extremely bitter. I loved my jeans. I was actually raised they were wrong and so when I moved out on my own, I bought some and I was in love with them. I loved how they made me feel and my flesh enjoyed it. It's actually kind of hard to feel 'sexy' in a modest skirt. When we met, my husband was a bull rider and owning nice pair fitting jeans was a must for both of us. So, I told my husband he better not lust after a woman in jeans! If I couldn't wear them because of him being a preacher, he was not to enjoy them on anyone else. That was the wrong attitude and for the wrong reasons and I hindered him more as a preacher and my own relationship with the Lord, than if I'd just continued to wear pants. God convicted me on it because I kept saying it was because of my husband's ministry. But then I realized I should never do anything for anyone except the One Who gave His life for me. My husband could fall out of God's will tomorrow. Then what? My modesty would go out the window? It was a lot harder giving them up for my husband than it was for God! I asked the Lord to forgive me and to help me to be closer to Him and what my flesh wanted and what made me feel good didn't seem too important anymore. The Bible says to die to our flesh daily. Not fulfill it's worldly desires, for me it was to look sexy and fit in with the world. We are to be different from the world and we are to be separate. They may associate me with the Pentecostals but at least they know I'm different from them. There are some pants that can be more modest than some skirts I have seen and if a woman is where she should be in her relationship with God, she will have convictions on how modest her dress or skirt should be. We always tend to ride the "separation" fence as close to the world's side as we can, some of us could sneeze and we'd probably fall over on their side. We should be whatever they're not and be proud of it. We've been called out!   

 

Mrs. Francie Taylor has a study on modesty and she said in her study that if God doesn't have full access to your wardrobe, He doesn't have full access to you. You cannot serve God with the attitude that He can have everything else but your closet. She doesn't say skirts are only what women should wear, but that modest clothing is what the Bible says for us and if you have dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, shorts, or any other garment that you have a question mark about, "is this modest enough?" then the answer is, it should not be worn and it is sin. We know the answer already a lot of times, it is just not the answer we want.

 

Now for the ladies that only wear dresses and skirts to church and church outings...does God not see us away from church? If it is wrong for us to wear it at church then wouldn't it be equally as wrong to wear pants or clothing that is not modest to town or elsewhere?? I used to only wear dresses and skirts at church (before my husband surrendered to preach and I became concerned at all on this matter) but then I realized at how it was a double standard really and that I should worry how God sees me all the time and not just church folks. The Bible says we are to walk within our house with a perfect heart and that we should do everything as heartily as unto the Lord. It does matter how modest your clothing is, how it affects your heart at home and how it affects others that see you, regardless of where you are at.

 

I found this link below the other day and I really loved the things that were brought out and I agree.

 

 

http://thebaptistvoice.com/categories/student-ministry/does-god-care-what-we-wear#.Upu0heEDCaQ.facebook

Edited by honebee873
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Actually, there is record of women wearing pants centuries before 1920.

As soon as one can show me where women are forbidden to wear pants in the Bible, I will begin preaching against them.

This site: http://cleftlands.cwru.edu/persian/wpants.html shows a picture painted in the early 1500's of a Parisian woman in pants.

Elsewhere on the internet, there are pictures drawn in the fourth century A.D., of Persian women on horseback... Wearing pants.

Why it seems to be frowned upon in our culture is probably due to the fact that they were not introduced to our side of the world until more recently.

Thy women and thy daughters, or any of thy maidens shalt not wear pants Hezekiah 4:2

 

Seriously man....The Bible doesn't say "thou shalt not abort babies" either. It says it's an abomination to wear the garments of the opposite sex. 

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According to the Word of God, it was only men, specifically Priests that wore underwear. Are you going to be consistent and say it is wrong for women to wear underwear? After all, underwear in Scripture are that which pertain to a man.

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ
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Why not ladies AND men?  Why are the ladies always the ones preached to about modesty, when everyone should be modest?  Just curious.

 

It applies to both but it's a bigger problem overall for the ladies than men (we're talking about Christians only).  My pastor doesn't discriminate when the topic comes up, he preaches to both the men and women.

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I think that's a little TMI but all of us with sound mind should realize by now that decent dress is for BOTH men and women and we know that at least some preachers preach on this. So there's no excuse for Christian men or women dressing like the world; we know what aspects of the body attracts the opposite gender.

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There are pants made to fit a woman, there are pants made to fit a man. 

Just as robes were not for one gender only in Bible times, pants are not made for one gender only in our time.

If we are going to look down on women for wearing pants, (which many falsely claim are for men only) then we may as well look down on them for wearing underwear, which from what I see in the Bible were only worn by Israelite Male Priests.

It is just as easy for a woman to lust after a man in pants as it is for a woman to wear pants.  If we are going to say women cannot wear pants because they cause men to lust, then we need to stop wearing pants as well because they cause women to lust.
 

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(SFIC - stop with the underwear talk. There's already been enough stuff mentioned in this thread that is inappropriate for a mixed forum.)  

 

In past years, women didn't lust after men.  Men were designed to see and desire - we even see that with Christ speaking of a man looking on a woman and lusting.  Note, He did not say the reverse.  

 

The problem has become what it is due to the general disrobing of society, and the inundation or pornographic thoughts/pictures/tv&movies, etc.  We have a culture now wherein the majority of people alive today are products of that inundation.  

 

The disrobing of our culture began with the downfall of standards in other areas. Yes, I'm speaking of the outward, because it is an extension of the inward, whether we want to admit it or not.  God tells us that He looks on the heart. But He also tells us - and not as a criticism, either - that man looks on the outside.  That is just the way we are.  

 

What causes sexual lust?  Clothing? No.  Lust comes from the individual heart.  It is when the heart is sick with sin that lust reigns supreme.  That same tendency to lust is what clothing designers (or lack-of-clothing designers, as it were) and media played upon to help undermine a society in which modesty and decency were the accepted mode rather than immodesty.  

 

Throughout history there have been cultures where pants on men were considered unmanly (I would assume they were the pantaloon-style pant...balloon pants. hehehe).  There have been cultures (France specifically) where men wore lace, stockings, and high heels.  And don't forget the powdered wigs.  

 

Culture should not determine what is modest and what is not.  And we should not let culture influence us. Sadly, that is what's happening. 

 

There's been more than one woman who has told me I'm immodest because my skirt only comes to the middle of my calf (or not all the way to my ankle, depending on what I'm wearing) while they are modest because their entire legs are covered by their pants (talk about stupid!).  While their pants are skin tight.  Ahuh.  And it's interesting - I've never brought it up. At all. It's always been the (saved) woman wearing the tight pants getting on me for my skirt.  Seems maybe they might have been under some conviction....

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Lust has been a common temptation and sin problem for men and women alike throughout the ages. Women didn't used to be as open about letting it be known or talking about such in public (at least in much of America), but the problem was still there.

 

A college professor collected ancient "erotica" which contained many written by women, as well as some for women.

 

The reason some consider any part of a woman's legs showing as immodest is because a lot of men are attracted to calves. I'm not saying that makes a woman with an exposed calf immodest, only pointing out why some think that way.

 

As LuAnne says, modesty comes from the heart and we have to follow the Lord's leading in our dress. No matter what we wear there is always the chance someone out there may be tempted to lust, but if we are actually dressed modestly at the time, then such is an indication of the extreme level of their sinful heart.

 

We are called to dress modestly, not to dress in such a way that absolutely no one will ever possibly have a lustful thought regarding us.

 

Muslims provide a good example of this. The reason some Muslims enforce a strict full covering burka is because some Muslim men have become so used to seeing women virtually all covered that just the sight of a woman's eyes brings lust up in their hearts. Those women are dressed exceedingly modest yet some men still lust.

 

Likely we all here could differentiate between someone who is obviously dressed immodest and those who are dressed modest. At the same time we would encounter a "middle ground" where some would say certain outfits are borderline or we think they are more one than the other. In these areas we need to leave room for the working of the Spirit, personal conviction, maturity level, and not be militant dogmatic.

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      Mike,
      RE: This is why I am here, why are you?
      Also, the land in Egypt wasn't land God gave them it was land Joseph through Pharaoh gave them. God gave them Canaan.
      Dave 
      · 1 reply
    • Alan

      Praise the Lord! Sherry and I, safe, tired, and joyful,  are back in Taiwan.
      · 0 replies
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