Does Cross-Dressing Apply to Today?
When I try to explain to people that women being in the military and police force is cross-dressing, they usually look at me strange. Do we recognize cross-dressing as a disgrace to God? I don’t think we see it this way anymore. It was most certainly not on my radar many years ago. Cross-dressing is an abomination to God because it is a distortion to His creation. It is dishonorable to God. We must see it this way. If we don’t, as John Calvin has said, “Not only for decency’s sake, but lest one kind of liberty should at length lead to something worse.”
How, then, are women in the military and police force cross-dressing? The police force on the outset of exploration is a murky subject due to the fact that there was no “police” back in biblical times. The military served as the police force. Many Christians today make the claim that the Bible is not clear about the allowance of women in the police force and therefore it is a matter of “liberty” to join. This mentality does not show a good attitude when it comes to finding out what God wants, requires, or what is best for His people. For the sake of argument, women in the police force is the same as women in the military. Let’s dig into some passages that talk about cross-dressing. The passages we will revolve around will be Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Corinthians 11:7-16.
Deut. 22:5, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.“
John Calvin, who is known as one of the greatest commentators of the Bible in the history of Christendom, makes these remarks regarding Deuteronomy 22:5:
“Garments are not in themselves of so much importance; but as it is disgraceful for men to become effeminate, and also for women to affect manliness in their dress and gestures, propriety and modesty are prescribed, not only for decency’s sake, but lest one kind of liberty should at length lead to something worse. The words of the heathen poet are very true:  “What shame can she, who wears a helmet, show, Her sex deserting?” Wherefore, decency in the fashion of the clothes is an excellent preservative of modesty.”
Other commentators such as Gill and Matthew Henry also say this passage is talking specifically of women wearing military clothing – and by extension, that can but only include the police force in today’s world.
The other passage I would like to mention is 1 Corinthians 11:7-16 which talks about wives being subject to their husband’s authority and this is rooted in creation and in the created order. In this passage, it talks about what is “natural.” This is referring to the differences in men and women. Women covering their heads showed and symbolized these differences. When women shaved their heads it was a disgrace because it showed rebellion and the fighting of the created order. Some try to argue that cross-dressing simply is, “Whatever the prevailing custom, men and women should wear gender-appropriate clothing, dressing decently and in order.” Some people claim the 1 Corinthian passage is cultural. Here is the problem with this. Culture changes. In this culture, it is not a matter of if but when the clothing changes to be gender-neutral, how do we keep sacred the outward showing of the beautiful differences between men and women? We have to draw a line.
On the topic of culture, masculinity and femininity are not cultural. It might appear different in cultures, but there will always be a separation; however small it may be. I believe it is our duty to fight the culture to make the gap wider between the differences of men and women. For example: The t-shirt was designed for men in the military. There is nothing inherently masculine about the t-shirt so there is no problem for women to wear one: a t-shirt can be feminized. The military uniform, however, is inherently masculine and therefore women should not wear it: killing and fighting in war can never epitomize the feminine virtues.
Please consider: what is more masculine in appearance than a Marine Corps uniform? If there is no clothing more masculine than a Marine Corps uniform, than how can a woman wear one in accordance with God’s word? If a woman wearing the most manly article of clothing does not constitute cross-dressing, what does?
The military is inherently masculine because it has to be. It is a manly environment where men do manly things in accordance to their natural and God-given gifts and callings. Thus, everything about it is masculine: posture, gestures, stances, mannerisms, behaviors, etc. When a woman is in this environment, it does not build her femininity up, it destroys it. But if the military tries to build her femininity up, while still in uniform, you will destroy your military. It is not up to us to decide whether cross-dressing is a sin or not because the Bible is clear. Men, be men. Women, be women. Cross-dressing only blurs these distinctions.
What the extremists are saying today, our children will be thinking tomorrow, and our grandchildren will be believing. We must stand firm, fight for the differences in men and women, see how disgraceful it is to crossdress. We must raise the standard “for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” and also for our children and grandchildren’s sake.
Nicole LeamanSee More Essays
Nicole Leaman is a wife and mother of four daughters. With a degree in Criminal Justice, she writes essays about social matters regarding women and culture as a Senior Contributor to The Reformed Conservative.