Chantell has previously covered pants from a women's perspective (more specifically pajama bottoms). I think it's high time to present the topic of pants from a man's perspective:
First off, when I realized pants have not been discussed on this blog, I immediately went into shock. And then I did what anyone would do in regards to the topic of pants amongst apostolics:
I thought of a parody. I quickly envisioned a rip off of the song "Men in Black" by Will Smith, except the hook is changed to "Here comes the men in Paaaaants..."...but then I remembered I was lazy and I would also have to manipulate the verses as well. And then I would also have to make a video. That requires work. So I gave up.
So if any youth pastor is looking to make their youth group famous on Youtube that thousands of Apostolics will end up watching, make the above video I referenced. And just send me a link to the finished product. I will put it on this blog, and the winds of the internet will do the rest as it gets forwarded in inboxes and posted on facebooks walls everywhere for the next 4 months.
But enough fraternizing. Let's get down to the brass tacks of it all...
Here is a letter I just wrote to "Pants in full:"
To the pants of this world as a collective body,
What benevolence of grace you bestow in all your manor to us male apostolics who do not forsake you. No we apostolics males are not like the rest. While others will pay homage to you when the centigrade is on the decline, and the earth's tilt is pointing away from the sun in the season of winter, we as apostolic warriors play by no such inconsistency in our wardrobe.
We pay homage to you oh pants in the winter. We pay homage to you in the thick of summer while the very sweat of our brow cries for us to compromise like those pagans who wear shorts as they fall to the whims of emotional desire of "comfort." But is not "comfort" what Satan desires out of us? For surely once we are content in our comfort, we shall have our path paved to hell at the exact moment. So compromise be gone to the fiery depths from whence you came! Pants to you alone I declare my allegiance to....
Sure we may rid ourselves of your extensive leg lengths for a time when we are on vacation, but we swear we won't tell anyone and the pictures we post on facebook will all be from the waist-up. So have no fear pants, forever you will remain dear to me.
Dear reader, I will have you know that I was not born in the nude. But rather I came out of my mother's womb with pants around my legs!
Okay but seriously, my nickname in middle school was "pants" because I played on the middle school basketball team in pants much to the confusion and distraction of the other team.
So know before we move on reader, know that I am not an infidel regarding pants, but rather one of your own....
Now, pants is quite confusing topic in the apostolic ranks. I don't think anyone has made a contention that wearing pants instead of shorts is a biblical issue (although I have heard from a friend that says he once heard a minister claim that "girding up your loins" in the bible indicated the wearing of pants, but I have not heard this argument myself so I do not want make a statement about something I have only heard through the grapevine about).
Keep in mind that at least in my theology, an extrabiblical rule is in no way a bad thing. So I do not have a problem with a pastor saying "God has placed the conviction of pants on my heart and for this congregation." The pastor at such an instance is not claiming wearing shorts is a sin, but rather he, by faith is obeying what is in his heart ("for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin" -Romans 14:23).
So it is with this kind of notion of pants in mind that when a church pastor goes from a pro-pants stance to a pro-choice (pants or shorts) stance, no one says a word in condemnation. I really think the beauty of pants is that it is the one issue in the apostolic ranks that once reversed draws no condemnation from neighboring pastors simply because of it's recognition as an extrabiblical issue.
Aside: I am going to speculate that the issue is much more serious of a matter in parts of the South. I just know from my area that up here in my region in Michigan, there are only a few churches left that do not allow shorts (mine being one of them).
But my question is how did pants as necessity come about....and dear reader it is here I present my hypothesis (though this is entirely speculative)....
Venture with me back to the early days of oneness Pentecostalism....
As various theologies, decrees, and standards were being discussed as what will define the movement..
As the center of the debates is a ring of pastors who determine what is and what will be the defines our "Apostolic Identity" for generations to come.
This ring of pastors has a "test" church wherein one Pastor Smith installs the various "distinctions" to see their reception within the congregation....
The first Pastoral meeting after the installation of "no-make up, no cut hair, no pants for ladies, no jewelry" within Pastor Smith's congregation is where this hypothetical meeting takes place:
(All higher-ups are seated around a conference table, Pastor Smith stands up to report his findings).
Pastor Smith: Everyone was totally on board with the whole standards thing for the female. They see how holiness is a necessity that separates them from the world and in this separation is their witness to the world.
Board Member A: Excellent, let's move onto the next item on the agenda...Playing Cards: Are those kings and queens pictures of the demoniac? I personally.....(interrupted)
Pastor Smith: However, there was one problem, primarily a question from the ladies....
Board Member B: Go on...
Pastor Smith: Well, one lady pointed out that while the female gender is so blessed to have an opportunity to demonstrate holiness out in public, and thus be a witness, she couldn't help but feel so bad for the males who would seemingly not be able to demonstrate such separation because there were no distinctions for them. And thus she asked why should all the witnessing fun through separation by example be given to the females alone?
I tried assuring her that the inability to display a distinction amongst the world would be the cross that apostolic men would have to bear. And while the burden would be heavy to not have any distinctions to display, it would not be impossible.
The lady then butted in with the urging of the women in the congregation: "we cannot let this be. We cannot let our brothers suffer here on earth by not having any distinctions. Surely there must be something....."
(the lady then looked at Pastor Smith up on down and her eyes focused on the shorts he was wearing on this hot summer July day)...
The lady then said (pointing to his shorts): "Pastor Smith, that's it. What could be a better witness of a separation from the world than you walking out into that sweltering heat in the downtown with pants on!"
(the ladies cheer)
Pastor Smith then said he would take this matter to the board.....
Pastor Smith (to the board): So team I sit here with you with a suggestion of how we as males may not be excluded from participating in holiness of dress....Why not rid ourselves of shorts? I know it's not quite the sacrifice that all those ladies go through in all those standards that we asked them to follow, but it's a start, right?
And besides, it will not be long when the feminist movement will rise in secular society, and Lord knows what they will make out this: "females follow standards, males don't have to follow any."...
So we mind as well install some kind of rule, just to say "you ladies aren't the only ones who got it bad....we have to wear pants!"
(The board members start looking at each other wondering if this will go over well)....
And one by one the board members each pitched their own view on the subject....Most of which revolved around the conclusion that it does stink that the females are hogging all the exterior holiness opportunities.
One minister then recanted that his wife said that she was strongly attracted to his calves. And thus he proposed that if men were to display their calves in wearing of shorts, men may be tempting the female.
And thus in a 9-2 Vote, the apostolic leaders elected to adopt pants as a rule for men....and forever here on earth we will be wearing something like these....
But dear reader, I have one more offer for you to make a decision with me this very day....
You see, here in the North, the ability to separate ourselves as men wearing pants instead of shorts as those in the world do, we only have 4-5 months to make this distinction. How my brethren am I to separate myself in my apparel from the world in the cold night of December and January when the whole world is partaking in the wearing of pants right along with us apostolics?
So I propose this dear readers....
Let us be yoked up with pants any time the temperature is 55 degrees or above as this will be a counter-culture sign of holiness.
And between the degrees of 40-55 degrees it's a "your call" choice of whether to wear shorts or pants. I suggest you do that which you think will be the harder thing.
But the new proposal dear reader revolves around this: Any time the temperature is below 40 degrees, we as apostolics take the wearing of shorts instead of pants. At such times, many will stop us dead in our tracks and demand to know why we are wearing such crazy clothing.
And here once again, the apostolic within us can proudly declare that we are to be separate from the world, and thus holy unto God. And most likely that man will want to come to church with you.