Pastor Bob Gray Sr. Pines for the 1950s

woman wearing jeans

Last year, Bob Gray Sr., retired pastor of Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, Texas, took to his blog pulpit to whine and complain about church women no longer obeying Deuteronomy 22:5:

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

That’s right, Brother Bob is upset about Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church women wearing pants. Of all the things a pastor could or should be worried about, Gray is concerned about women wearing what he perceives to be men’s clothing. Gray writes:

… Did we somehow become lost and confused as to what the issue was really about? Does it really not matter if men dress differently than women and women than men? Is it really important that there be a distinctiveness between masculinity and femininity? The issue wasn’t as much about pants as it was principle. He was looking at a much bigger picture than most. Perhaps we saw the issue to vaguely. Perhaps we missed the point entirely.

Many men who once agreed on the issue of pants have now changed their position. Perhaps the position was too small or too narrow in the first place. Perhaps pants in and of themselves was not the issue. Perhaps the real issue was the matter of the distinctiveness between the attire of men and women. Pants gave us a focal point for the real issue, which was that men ought to dress like men and women like women.

Has that changed? Does it matter? Should we care if boys dress like girls? Should it matter to us if girls dress like boys? Is it really relevant? There has always been a focal issue that rallied us behind a principle. Long hair on men rallied us against rebellion, which was the bigger issue. Pants was the focal point for the principle of women not dressing like men. Yet when it comes to the issue of women wearing pants we seem to have missed the point. What is the point? The point is the Bible principle.

What is the Bible principle? The principle is that men should dress like men and women should dress like women. Has that changed or is the Bible still true? Should men wear clothing that pertains to a woman? Should women wear clothing that pertains to a man?…

… Distinction was brought to a higher level in the New Testament. (I Timothy 2:9) Deuteronomy 22:5 has been elevated to “modest” clothing.  No skinny jeans here! The Bible principle is for today.

So, if the principle is still true why are we criticizing those who took a stand regarding women wearing pants? I for one must allow others to disagree on the issue, but I’m concerned when they ignore the importance of the Bible principle upon which we built that position. If we lose the principle then we lose the purity of the Scripture.

If we begin to criticize those who took a stand then we should be explaining how we then are carrying out that principle. What should women wear that which a man shouldn’t? What should men wear that women shouldn’t? Does it matter? It has to because it is covered in his word…

… What is the distinction? If you tell me my position is wrong then simply explain to me what the distinction is that you are making between the attire of men and the attire of women. I’ll be satisfied with that.

If you’re going to criticize me because I have put some kind of distinction into the principle then tell me what your distinction is based upon that same principle. Whether Deuteronomy 22:5 means pants on women or not it must mean something? What does it mean? Explain it…

…Let’s face it the breaking down between the sexes has taken place. We no longer have the distinctions we once had between men and women including the way they dress. Dr. Hyles and others warned us of this danger more than they warned us of women wearing pants. He warned us of the danger of losing the distinction between the sexes. Pants was a symptom of the issue, but many have turned this against those who warned of the true danger….

…Tell me pastor what should women wear, or does it matter? What should men wear? Does it matter? This is not legalism. This is applying principles to our lives. There’s a legitimate reason that we took the positions we took. I’m saddened by the condition of our country, but I am not surprised. Same sex marriage is a result of the casual way we have dealt with issues in our country and even in many churches…

… So, now I put the responsibility back on your shoulders. Tell us what to do? If there’s no problem then there’s nothing to worry about, but I think we all know there is a problem. Dr. Hyles was right. The unisex movement is a satanic pursuit to blur the lines between the roles and identity of men and women. How do we fix it? What’s the standard going to be? Is there going to be no standard? I think it’s time to give it a second thought.

If the pastor’s wife has no distinction in her dress, then no wonder the pastor has lock-jaw and is like the Ant-Artica and frozen at the mouth.  This makes it difficult to lead a local church let alone a movement…

That’s right, women wearing pants is a “satanic pursuit to blur the lines between the roles and identity of men and women.” Perhaps these slutty, pants wearing Baptist women need to channel Flip Wilson and say, The devil made me do it.

Gray considers himself an old-fashioned IFB preacher.  Old-fashioned for Brother Bob is the 1950’s:

 Then I go into some of our churches and find myself wondering who is standing for the Bible principle of distinction in God’s house.  The decline of American morality is reflected in our distinction.  The decline of our churches is also reflected in our dress distinction.  50 years ago it was not so in public and for sure it was not so in our churches.

The Mrs. Cleaver look was in almost every home in 1950’s.   Not so in either the home or the house of God, in a lot of cases, in this new Millennium.  If God wanted a distinction in the Old Testament how much more does He desire it in the New Testament.

You see, preachers like Gray pine for the 1950s; the time before the free love and rock & roll generation. He yearns for the days when women were housewives, homosexuals stayed in the closet, and birth control was illegal. He yearns for the days before the Civil Rights Act, Gun Control Act, and the EPA. He yearns for the racist days of his youth, a time when there was order and everyone knew their place.

I feel sad for preachers like Gray. They have spent a lifetime preaching on frivolous issues like pants on women, short skirts, long hair, rock & roll, contemporary Christian music, and premarital sex. (see An Independent Baptist Hate List)  The narrowness of their preaching makes it impossible for them to back up. To do so would be considered compromise, a sure career killer in the IFB church. So, they remain in their little box, unable to join the world that past them by decades ago,

Gray, without realizing it, revealed what the REAL reason is for all the preaching against pants and short skirts on women:

If you are an honest person you will have to admit that females in public have taken the half off sale seriously. Hip hugging skinny jeans revealing mid riffs. I travel every week of the world around this great nation of ours. It is embarrassing for a man who is doing the best he can to keep his heart right with all of the female flesh on display.

Thanks to four generations of Puritanical preaching and rules, IFB men have been turned into pathetic weaklings unable to handle their own sexuality. They’ve been told their entire life that women are Jezebel’s, seductresses out to lure them into the bed of fornication.  They’ve been taught that the reason they give into their weakness and have lustful thoughts is because women refuse to cover up their flesh. If only women would stop wearing pants, short skirts, and halter tops, and stop wearing clothing that accentuates the female shape, why horn dog IFB teenagers and men would not have a problem with lust. As any woman knows, having attended an IFB church, women are the gatekeeper. If they fail in their job and men lust after them, it is the woman’s fault.

This kind of thinking is as old as Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. When God confronted Adam about eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam replied:

The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Adam, like countless IFB preachers, blamed the woman.

What Bob Gray and other IFB preachers have done is turn out generations of men unable to handle their own sexuality. The slightest bit of female flesh brings a rise in their pants and soon their thoughts turn to banging Sister Sue in the church pew. When Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond , Indiana,  was arrested and convicted for having sex with a minor in his church, many IFB preachers blamed the girl. In the post The IFB River Called Denial, I wrote about what one IFB loving woman had to say about the slut that took down Jack Schaap. Here’s what she said:

So…what about the teenage girl? How hot was she? How hard did she pursue him? We all know young girls flaunt everything these days to get what they want. a rise from any man they can. especially one in the limelight (our a uniform!) They don’t care if he’s married our not, or if he’s her best friends dad. it’s really sad.young girls are a whoring in our churches.

You men and women be careful. She is closer than we think. the world is full of young sluts stealing our husbands and sons! Praying for Cindy!

You see, even the women in IFB churches make excuses for the lustful behavior of men and teenage boys. These church-going, Jesus loving sluts are out to steal their husbands and sons. It’s their fault, right? If they just dressed like the women on Little House on the Prairie, all would be well.

It should come as no surprise that the IFB church has a big problem with sexual abuse and misconduct. These poor men can’t help themselves. Instead of teaching them how to responsibly handle their sexuality, they are taught that lustful, carnal thoughts and behaviors are not their fault. If the pastor ends up having sex with his secretary on his office floor, it is the secretaries fault. I knew of one pastor who would, for years, send out the bus workers on visitation, and then he and his secretary would use that time to have sex in his office. When the truth came out, you know who was to blame? The secretary.

Every man must be accountable for his own sexuality. Teenage boys should be taught sexual responsibility. They should also be taught that it is OK to have physical contact with the opposite sex. (see Thou Shalt Not Touch: The Six Inch Rule)  They need to be taught that desiring a woman is normal, as is sexual arousal.  Exposure to normal heterosexual feelings and desires will do wonders for the teenage boys of the church. Instead of repressing these feelings and desires, they should learn to act on them ethically and responsibly.

IFB preachers like Gray  take viral teenage boys and turn them into eunuchs. Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t masturbate, don’t look at scantily clad women on the TV or internet. These boys are treated like toddlers and they grow up to be infantile men.

By his own admission, Gray has a problem keeping his thoughts pure. Whose to blame for this? Women. Instead of accepting responsibility for his lustful thoughts, he blames scantily clad women. Gray’s an old man now, surely he can contain himself when he see an attractive young woman? Evidently not.

Once I left Evangelicalism and its Puritanical, oppressive, against human nature, sexuality, I no longer feared what looking at an attractive woman might do to me. I can now enjoy the beauty without turning into the beast. As my wife has told me many times, you can look, but don’t touch. I am confident that I can handle my sexuality and I know many of the men who read this blog would say the same. Once freed from the infantile, emasculating rules of the IFB church, we are now free to be the sexual beings we are meant to me.

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15 Comments

  1. Becky Wiren

    My husband can look, I just prefer he not drool!

    Reply
  2. mikespeir

    Okay, let’s make it a rule. Men will wear only dresses and women will wear only pants. Very distinct. That should satisfy him.

    Reply
  3. Geoff

    Yes Mike but, and this is an important but, do we have to wear knickers? (I think you guys call them panties).

    Reply
    1. mikespeir

      Wish we could “like” comments here. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Steve

    “Somebody say AMEN!!”

    Reply
  5. howitis

    “The principle is that men should dress like men and women should dress like women.”

    Wonder how the pastor feels about kilts?

    Reply
  6. sgl

    notice how he kicks up a lot of dust about minutia in other people, and makes a giant mountain out of their faults. and yet when allegations of a serious problem are made against his own tribe (eg, , hyles sex life), they suddenly revert to “if you didn’t see it, it didn’t happen,” or various other ways of excusing the behavior. wearing pants = sin; seducing underage girl = nothing to see here, move along. stir up a constant stream of sin in other people to distract everyone from your own sins. works for a while, but some people see thru the hypocrisy.

    Reply
  7. khughes1963

    Dr. Bob would be thoroughly confused if he saw Scottish men wearing kilts, or if he saw Saudi men wearing the thobe tunic, or if he saw both men and women in Pakistan and Northern India wearing the tunic and pants that comprise shalwar kameez. Like most of his ilk, he seems to be completely ignorant of what other cultures might consider normative attire and assumes that the way Americans dress is normative for the entire world. Dr. Bob’s ignorance does not surprise me at all.

    Reply
  8. Monty

    I wonder…..Did Jesus wear pants????

    Reply
  9. Jada

    The lovely thing here is that none of these young women who are ‘responsible’ for making it difficult for him to stay ‘pure’ give a rat’s ass what he thinks about their attire. They’re dressing for themselves, as well they should.

    There’s something I’ve realized now that I’m older, and that’s that you only get to be young and beautiful once in your life. You should enjoy it, revel in it, and never let anyone make you feel ashamed of it.

    Reply
    1. Edward

      Well said!

      Reply
  10. Kathy Porter

    Y’all are not Christians. Your God is yourself. And I’m not a preacher-follower. Don’t care for any of the preachers listed here. But I do believe the Bible.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I love my God. He never leaves me or forsakes me. He laughs when I laugh, cries when I cry. He even goes to the bathroom with me. What an awesome God.

      You must also be God, yes? After all, you have authoritatively stated that none of us are Christian. I thought only God could know a person’s heart?

      Reply
    2. Michael Mock

      We’re not? Wait… are you really telling me that I’m not a Christian? Madam, I am shocked — shocked — to be the subject of such an accusation.

      …Though, truth be told, I’d be a lot more shocked if I actually considered myself a Christian or anything like it.

      Also, for future reference, “Your God is yourself,” is one of those sentences that sounds utterly nonsensical to unbelievers. What would that even mean? I think I’m the creator of the Universe? No. I worship myself, offer praise and thanks to myself? No, not that either. I use my own best judgement? Well, yes, but so does everybody else, Christians included. So listen, because this is important if you’re going to avoid looking like an idiot when talking to atheists and even most agnostics: some of us just don’t worship anything.

      Reply
  11. Brian

    I am fondly recalling Janet B. in jeans, 15 years old. And Debbie J. in jeans. To have either of them walk by me in the hall at school put me on my knees!. Holy Satanic crotches and sways! Bumfastic: The swish of denim and force-field thighs rumbling through my adolescence.
    But it was ALL about gender swapping, pastor? It was confusing me? The dark one was giving me a painful hard-on for a man because the women were wearing jeans? No wonder I fell from my great faith in the Lord! It began with the church bells and all was well. Then bell-bottoms fucked us forever. I would speak more of this but Janet and Debbie are wearing jeans again…. I will surely end up thinking a man is a woman and woman a man. That devil is a clever clothier.

    Reply

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