It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way by Lysa Terkeurst

book lysa

It came as an anonymous gift. I’d heard people speak of this book by Lysa Terkeurst but always assumed it was a book written specifically for women. To be sure, the author is extremely popular among Christian women, and while the book might be written in a style that would appeal to that market, it has something to say to any of us.

The value of the book might be commensurate to your own level of current tragedy. As it turns out, I’m in some of the darker days of my own life and could relate to the author on so many levels. She shares her story, but her message is not pigeonholed to her exact circumstances. All it takes to find value in what she says is to be at a place where life seems completely turned upside down and the view forward is unclear.

Had I read this book, say, a year ago I might have thought it was a little over the top. Perhaps she was a little too raw and let us into her turbulent, almost ugly emotions as they zigged and zagged and rose and crashed even lower repeatedly. Then, I walked that treacherous road myself and wondered if she had been spying on me. Being a guy I held it a little more together in front of everyone else than her, but my emotions on the inside were as messy and even shocking to me as hers were to her.

I will take her at her word that she was completely the victim of what had happened to her, though if she even had any blame somewhere I don’t think it would have changed the message of the book any. I could still relate to her book though my story was different. I was at once a perpetrator and a victim. I had the additional wrestling of trying to figure out before the Lord where the line between the two was. The book still spoke clearly to my heart.

Still, I could feel inside my own heart some of the same feelings she so vividly exposed in her own. The shock. The shame. The exasperation. The uncertainty. The unclear trek ahead. She had had a writing and public speaking ministry that was probably most popular to married Christian ladies and now her own marriage had fallen apart. I was a pastor who loved the ministry beyond description and the walls came tumbling down. Then there are all the other ripples and currents that go to so many other areas of life.

Sometimes I got the feeling she was writing to herself and we were just eavesdropping. Maybe that’s why the book works so well. It’s more about principles that a Christian must wrestle with when life gets completely topsy-turvy. It’s like things you know, but you need the strongest reminder. It’s like things you would have told people in the past, and now you have to tell yourself every moment. I appreciate that she never presented herself as this perfectly packaged Christian who had it all together and was just facing each blow with perfect faith and fortitude. No, it was almost touch-and-go, but a constant bottom-line Christianity that knew there was nowhere to go but to the Lord. She got past worrying about how to understand Him or what He was doing, but just to continue going to Him. And, yes, a faith that realized that the Lord loved her and though she was going a road she despised traveling, somehow, though maybe not in this life, Christ would only take her closer to Himself. There comes a time in life when platitudes won’t do. Those words that could roll so easily off the tongue in a sermon or a discussion without a moment of thought are exposed for all the uncaring that is behind them.

Instead of that tripe that fills the thousands of pages of regurgitated Christian self-help books, she reminded us that the Christian life is a battle, that we are dust, that we are broken, and that a bunch of horrible things really could work together for good in the Lord’s hands.

She made no promises she couldn’t keep. Neither to herself, nor to we who read her book. She still didn’t know how things would turn out and neither do we. There simply is no help until we can figure that out. There are things we can’t control and there are outcomes we can’t produce.

She also refuted the lie that if we can just survive this round of trouble all will be well. On the heel of her family tragedy came the dark blow of cancer. Weakened by the first onslaught she had nothing left to face the second one. Our problems may not go away. The next problem, itself large and scary, may come before we’ve had a chance to heal and strengthen from the first one. Perhaps we’ve overlooked that aspect of Job’s story in Scripture.

So what was the good thing that she had to say besides the spiritual nuggets mentioned above that may be more dreadful to realize than to never have thought about them? Well, it certainly wasn’t a three-, five-, or ten-step program to cancel our tragedy. That would have been too simple anyway, wouldn’t it have been? You may not like the answer. She may not like how I will summarize it. But it is the only answer there is. Trust. Live closely nestled up to Jesus. Expect more possibly. And when it comes, trust. Live closely nestled up to Jesus. It may be as hard to do tomorrow as it was today. Still, trust. Live closely nestled up to Jesus. This is all there is. This is all we need. Trust because we will someday see how He worked it all out. Live closely nestled up to Jesus because that’s the only way to survive the journey until then. It is what we were always meant for anyway.

THANK YOU to whoever sent me this book! I’m sincerely grateful.

Announcement: 2 More of My Books Are Now Published!

book meant

This book is designed for those who want to learn to study the Bible. Filled with charts to aid understanding, the book is laid out in the order I taught a class. It makes an emphasis on arriving at a proper interpretation before jumping into application. Sadly, many pastors are skimping on careful methods for handling the text of God’s Word. This book is offered as an antidote.

book pilgrim.jpg

This book covers the precious, but little known Pilgrim Psalms (120-134). They are a fascinating guide to coming to God’s presence.

Dr. Scott Pauley says, “This is a book to read with your Bible open. You will find that these amazing Psalms serve as a road map for the journey we are all on. As an evangelist who spends a great deal of time in travel these “Pilgrim Psalms” have become very special to me. Pastor Jimmy Reagan has been used of God to help them come alive in my heart. I recommend this resource to you and hope you will share it with other travelers along your journey!”

Pastor Tom Otto says, “Pastor Jimmy Reagan’s study on Psalms 120-134 in the book “The Pilgrim Psalms Our Pilgrimage to God’s Presence” is wonderful. As we travel with the Old Testament pilgrims on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, we quickly see the parallels of their journey to our own journey. Each of these psalms are thoroughly examined, explained, and applied to the modern day Christian. As a pastor, I was reminded of the seriousness of my personal journey as it relates to those journeying with me. A great study for an individual, a Sunday School class, men’s group or ladies’ group. I would highly recommend this and all of Pastor Reagan’s works.”

I’ve come to really enjoy writing and appreciate all those who have encouraged me along the way.

Follow this link to My Books Page for more information.


That Rough Patch Called Transitioning To Adulthood

blog adulthood

I’ve been reminded of late just how tough that period in life where you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you grow up really is. I can remember that in my own life, but it seems so long ago that the memories are in black and white. My oldest, Briley, is at that place where she has to decide, and her brother, Caleb, the meticulous planner, is engulfed in it as well. Sadly, if anything, it’s harder to figure out these days.

An article in National Review by Oren Cass entitled “Teaching to the Rest” highlighted just how tough it is. According to the author, the 3 million recent high school graduates can be divided into approximately five equal categories. The first group didn’t even make it to high school graduation (remember one fifth of 3 million is 600,000!). The second group will pursue no further education. The third group will enroll in college but never graduate. The fourth group will graduate college, but will never work in the field they got their degree in. Only the final group will go through college and work in a field that they studied for. I don’t know about you, but those statistics shock me.

As you can imagine in that particular magazine, the article goes on talking about the political changes that need to be made in our educational system. The author’s ideas were wonderful, but excuse my cynicism in thinking that either the government or teachers unions would give his thoughts the time of day.

He alludes to, and you’ve probably heard it from other quarters as well, that there is a dearth of young people going into trades. In other words, a college education may not be the best case scenario as was universally believed when I graduated high school. Besides the fact that many public universities have lost their way and are so out of the mainstream that they actually steer young people away from success, there’s the issue that you might be financially worse off to go to college. On the one hand, many college students today embark upon their career with a disastrous financial situation because of college debt. A trade could be learned for a fraction of the cost with a similar starting salary but without the oppressive debt.

It grieves me to say this, but even for my children who want to follow my steps into the ministry, the possibility of making a full-time income from it over the course of their whole working lives seems unlikely. The rapid decline of Christianity in our day means that all in ministry may be tentmakers like Paul in the years ahead. That likelihood means even young people considering ministry will need a trade or profession to fall back on. I haven’t lost faith that the Lord can provide what’s needed for our calling, just that He he may actually start calling more to a bi-vocational ministry.

I’m totally sympathetic to my children. The gravity with which they view their choices for the future is commensurate to current events. I never want to be guilty of calling my children to the ministry or any other profession.

I’ve decided this rough patch of transition into adulthood is tough for parents too. You’d like to make it easier for them. You’d like for them to be able to pick it without reservations and feel perfectly at peace with their choices, but the reality is they go through all kinds of options. You have to balance telling them the ideas they have that probably will not work out well to not being overly controlling and telling them what they have to do with their lives. It’s tough. It’s times like this that I’m so happy that my children know the same Lord that I do. I’ve had times of not knowing the way and being afraid, and had to learn to wait on the Lord.

I guess this post is not really instructional. I really can’t see that I gave any good advice. But I guess I’m just putting in writing a plea to my children to trust the Lord with an acknowledgment that Daddy loves you and has confidence in you. I’m tempted to close my eyes and hide until the Lord grows your faith and leads you through this, but by faith let’s just go through it together.

Announcing My New Book:Following Jesus Through The Gospels

book fjg

I’m excited to announce the release of my latest book Following Jesus through the Gospels. The Gospels have been a favorite of mine and the material in this book has been things I’ve studied over the last 10 years. There’s more charts than text in this volume and its designed for the busy person who needs a lot of information in a short read. It’s also designed to be small enough to easily tag along with your Bible.

In this book you will find a brief overview Harmony of the Gospels as well as an outline of the stages of Jesus Christ’s ministry. You will have a complete numbered Harmony of the Gospels that includes all the miracles, parables, personal encounters of Jesus, sermons of Jesus, private discourses of Jesus, cries of Christ on the cross, and Resurrection Appearances. Separate charts for all of the above are included for deeper study.

The final section of the book makes a special synthesis of the birth and infancy of Christ, the Upper Room and Gethsemane, the trial of Jesus Christ, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection Appearances. Perhaps you have seen my “Synthesis of the Crucifixion” that’s shared on this blog here. The others are designed similarly.

If you have interest in checking out this book in either paperback or a Kindle edition, check out the Amazon link below:

Amazon listing


This book is a great tool any student of the Bible needs in their toolbox. I’ve used many books that give Gospel parallels, but this is by far the most user friendly. The addition of geographical information makes this book especially wonderful, as combining the geographical information together gives new and improved understanding of the context of many of Jesus’ sermons and parables. The information is laid out in very easily understood tables that will make studying out common threads through the Gospels much easier. This reference book will be coming off the bookshelf on a regular basis, I can promise that.

Pastor Tom Otto

This book is a result of much careful study of the Gospel Records and is evidence that the author loves to study God’s Word. He answers many questions that most Bible students have had about geography and the harmony of the accounts of our Lord’s ministry. I really enjoyed the charts and notes that synthesized the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. This book is an excellent resource for all students of the Bible.

Pastor Jamin Boyer

This short volume is packed full of helpful charts and list. The research and study involved in this work are a credit to the author and his team. This is solid choice for any serious student of the life of Christ.

Pastor Mike Montgomery

Jimmy Reagan has done a wonderful job of compiling a great deal of information in a very concise format. The charts make this volume extremely useful. I believe it will serve as a good quick reference for those who are serious about studying the life of Christ.

Dr. Scott Pauley

Pastor Reagan is one of the most well-read ministers that I have ever been around. For many years in my own ministry I have gleaned from his wisdom and study. Following Jesus through the Gospels is a culmination of years of study on the life of Christ. In this valuable book, he harmonizes the events of the Gospel records and presents the information in usable chart form. You can now see various aspects of the Gospel records on one page at a time. This is treasure for any student of God’s Word and a handy resource for all preachers.

Pastor Mark Fowler

This book will prove to be most helpful for anyone studying through the life of Christ. It is loaded with information that is able to be both quickly accessible and easily understood. You will find it more study guide than book, but its affordable price and handy size, make it a great companion to scripture while reading through the gospels.

Pastor Allen Gibson

Pastor Reagan shows the ability to simplify the most challenging of topics in this chart filled book. There is no more vital topic for understanding than the life of Jesus Christ! I remember when the topics were first taught and put into chart form; they helped me and they will help you.

Pastor Ryan Brown


What I Learned And Received From My Mother

My mother, Patricia Reagan, is not the bragging type. She has always done helpful things for others. It seems my entire life she has always been responsible for taking people to town for shopping or doctor visits. Many of those folks were on my Daddy’s side of the family ( I have a lot of relatives that never learned to drive and others just got old).

I owe her a lot too. Every year older I get I realize more what a blessing I have had in my parents. I had a sheltered, carefree, and happy childhood thanks to them. Here are some of the things she gave me:

1. She told me about Christ.

From a very young age she told me about the Lord. She talked often of Him to me in our daily life. She had herself walked to church every Sunday as a child because her parents did not go. It was real to her. Not that she was perfect, but it was real to her. I firmly believe that moved my heart more than lectures that many parents give about a Christianity that has no impact on their lives.

When I became convicted about being saved she talked so carefully to me. She didn’t have enough confidence in herself and so sent me over to talk to my Grandfather who lived across the road. Then I came back and she and I went into her bedroom where I knelt beside her bed with only her with me and asked Jesus to be my Savior. That is, of course, the most previous memory of my life. She led me to Christ, which is the greatest thing any parent can do.

She also encouraged me to be a Bible reader. (I inherited a love of reading from her). She talked me into reading my Bible through on the one-year plan when I was thirteen. I made it to 1 Kings. That summer she was my VBS teacher and she was telling the class to be Bible readers. She also told them to not be like me and start and quit either. She was not one to ever publicly embarrass me, so this must have been incredibly important to her. I decided that day that if I lived to January I was going to start again ( I have no idea why I didn’t realize I could start then). I did read it through when 14 and have been a Bible reader since. In fact, I try other methods on occasion and always fall back on the one-year plan. You owe a lot to the one who teaches you to be a Bible reader.

2. She taught me about trusting the Lord.

When I was young she went through a period of panic attacks and depression in doubting her salvation. She talked openly of it but sheltered me from the harder parts of it. I remember her finding some good Christian materials. I remember Bible passages that she learned in her life that spoke to her problem. No one had ever trained this young lady (she is only 17 years older than me) about these spiritual truths. I saw her pray, I saw the Lord send help, and I saw her change into a happy Christian. Again, I saw that Christianity was not a game–it was real! Never once have I heard her brag on herself over this victory. She always just thanks the Lord for helping her.

She had to demonstrate this again when she battled breat cancer at 37, and ovarian cancer a few years later. She also lost three of her four siblings by the time they reached 45. She has had hard times. When I went through my own hard times at least I had had an example of trusting the Lord in a crisis.

3. She has loved and embraced my family.

It is a funny sight when we visit my parents now. There is usually one child in her lap and two snuggled up against her at all times. I imagine she is sore by the time we leave. As the kids get older I still see that they love to talk to her and tell her all about their lives and she is always ready for that conversation. I have always received unconditional love from my parents (they have never once failed me in this way) and they have passed it right on to the children.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you and thank you for all you have poured into my life.

What I Received And Learned From My Father

My father, Gerald Reagan, would never think of himself as a great father. While as with all of us he is not perfect, with every passing year I appreciate him even more. There were many things as a poor family he could not give me, but he managed to give me some incredibly wonderful things.

1. His Time
All of my growing up years when I was home from school and he from work, you would likely find us together. He has always been such a hard worker, and like any child I sometimes got tired of the work, but we were together. We have our memories too– copperheads, close calls with trees falling, me falling and sliding all the way down the mountain repeatedly during my clumsy teenage years. I never once in my life ever felt he was tired of me. It was never just a duty to him either. Years after I left home he told me how lonely he was when he went out to work without me. Sometimes when I go back to visit we go work–he runs the chainsaw and I pile the brush–just like always. Strangely, it refreshes me now.

2. His Support
He has always been on my side. He has always told me he believed in me. He told me to go to college when no one else in our family had ever been. He supported me later when the pastorate took me away and he wished I did not have to go. When I preach and he is there, or my kids sing, I usually see him crying. His support has always been so strong that I have always got the impression that my life is more important than his. It isn’t, of course, but he acts like it is. When I was growing up, I always felt safe as well. I knew if anyone ever tried to hurt me, they would have to deal with him. I never doubted for one second that he would lay his life down for mine.

3. His Unconditional Love

The best lesson for understanding our Heavenly Father’s love is an unconditional love from an earthly father. I have always found it easy to believe that God loved me because my Daddy did without fail. I truly believe that there is nothing I could do to erase that love. Others might be done with me, but his door, his table, and his love would always be there. That kind of love gives one a security and a strength that enriches your life beyond what words can express. If others’ love wavers, what a treasure to know of one whose will not.


I guess in receiving what I have from my father, I have learned what it takes to be a father. As I reflect on him, I feel that maybe I am not living up to his standard in these great categories. At least I know the way. May God help me to pass on to my children what my father did to me.

I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.


What I Am Really Thankful For

When it comes to being thankful, and I am glad that we have Thanksgiving Day to spur us to thankfulness, I am a blessed man who has all the usual suspects to be thankful for. I am so grateful to have the salvation that only Jesus could give. I have an awesome wife, six wonderful children, great parents, a good church to attend, true friends. As a bonus, I have been called into the ministry. I have been healthy my whole life. I have never missed a meal or lacked a roof over my head.

But I want to look deeper this year, past those wonderful things I list every year.

1. The Lord has given His grace to me.

As years accumulate, I find that grace is greater than I ever realized, and that I have needed and have been given more grace than I ever dreamed. My abilities are less than I imagined, my strengths are laced with weakness, my gifts were given rather than earned. With this realization of need, I too can see the lavish grace God gives me. It is ever present and writes the better parts of my story.

2. The Lord has forgiven me.

My sin comes ever more into focus. The scope of my sin, frankly, shocks me. As I see it more for what it is, I treasure forgiveness more. I think too of how far reaching this forgiveness really is. It is permanent and won’t desert me. Its depth reaches deeper than my worst as Christ’s sacrifice more than earns all the forgiveness I need.

3. The Lord has been gentle with me.

He would have been within a holy God’s right to have been hard on me, even righteous, but He has been so otherwise. “Like as a father pitieth his child” has never been more true than in my case. He has led me along slowly, carefully, and patiently.

4. The Lord has corrected and molded me.

Strangely, I vividly remember years ago thinking when I heard the song “Thank You For The Valley I Walk Through Today” how ridiculous that was and how no one could even sincerely mean it. I have learned, though I still try to dodge all valleys, that both trials and chastenings have propelled me in life. It was never punishment, just help. Help I needed and received. It is good.

5. The Lord has given me love.

I know how trite we can be when we speak of God’s love. Still, the single greatest thing in my existence is that God loves me. It has redeemed my past, defined my present, and made my future. His love was there before I even considered it. His love came to me before I even knew what love was. His love possessed me when I had none to give back for it. In fact, after giving me love, He taught is teaching me how to love. In the final analysis, there is nothing as great as being loved.

As you might imagine, I sometimes struggle with thankfulness. But as you can see here, it is never over lack of material to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving!


Missionary Adventure (and Our Children)

It is hard to overestimate the value of a missions trip. I count my missions trips as some of the greatest experiences of my life. They so put the world and God’s plan in perspective. They almost always come with their unique set of adventures.

What many never think of is what these trips could mean to our children. It seems what is valuable to us would be valuable to our children as well, perhaps only more so, since the earlier in our lives we learn this the better. Two years ago I took my oldest daughter Briley with me to Honduras. What happened is hard to put in words–to her person, to her character, and even to our relationship. She had more terror than she wanted, but she will never be the same person!

To get a feel of it, I will share an email I wrote to our family at home when we came out of the remote mountains to the city with its Internet access again. We were cut off from the world in those mountains as there wasn’t even any electricity there. It was like another world! We had adventures that Briley still absolutely loves to talk about!

So here goes:

It all began Thursday moring as we drove an hour or so on nice roads. Briley begged me to let her ride in the back instead of the front. I gave in. Later the road got much worse. I wasn´t so scared as Bro. Delarca is a great driver and and I have been on jeep roads in the Smokies before. All seemed fine, but one scary moment. Bro. Delarca let the motor die and had trouble taking off and the back end started going sideways. A precarious dropoff was there that would have looked much worse from the truck bed. I knew my little girl was becoming terrified. I started praying for her. A little later Mike (Pastor friend Mike Montegomery) tapped on the window and said Briley was sick. I jumped out and took her 20 feet or so away from the truck and hugged and reassured her. She said she was blacking out from fear and cried only softly. I put Elijah (young preacher Elijah Grimm) in the front and practically held her the rest of the way. I wouldn´t let her look at the dropoffs and keep telling her this next spot wasn´t bad. We finally arrived and she held up so good while so scared. For the rest of the time she and I had often prayed that we could go back the easier way which required the river be down. She often asked about it and it was a fear she had to carry.

Our quarters and bathroom were primitive. She really handled it well. She got into mean ants twice and has several bug bites. The amazing thing was how she would bouce back from every terror so well and be her pleasant self. I took care of her and never allowed myself to be out of her sight for a moment.

We learned once when it was raining that Briley was not very scared at all in the truck cab, so I saw to it that she never was in the back of the truck again. From here on I was in the back instead. We went to a nearby village for church, about 20 minutes away over rough roads, but no dropoffs! Hondurans have a few peciliar features like knowing it´s going to rain and not leaving quickly to avoid it. We left with a truck full of people hanging on for dear life to go back to our village. It came a terrible cold mountain rain. I was soaked and cold and miserable. Briley was in the front where I saw to it she would be. Just before we left, a man opened Briley´s door and handed her a baby about 6 months old or so. I was panicked! How could Briley hold that baby with the truck jostleing around so. When we arrived, I learned that Briley had paid no attention to the mud or rain or driving but held that baby so well she put her to sleep! I was strutting like a rooster. That was my girl!

The preacher lived about a mile away from the church where we stayed and one hill with deep ruts had to be gone over each time. Usually it wasn´t bad but the first evening it rained as we went and this was the first day before Briley started riding in the front. Actually this was the straw that broke the camel’s back that required that Briley ride in the front from then on. I was standing holding the rail when a rock about 2 feet wide rolled in the gully and caused us to stop. It was hard to get over it and so Bro. Delarca had to gun the motor! I was thrown down hard and my thigh hit the tirewell. It hurt terribly and I was afraid I had bone damage. I couldn´t let Briley know as that scared her to death for me. I had trouble with it for 2 days and then it got better.

There´s more things for me but it got better for Briley. My mat went flat, we went and cut wood for the preachers, and I had to ride high on top of the wood on the truck. Briley was fine then.

She and I prayed together every morning and evening and anytime she was scared. Mike has told me repeatedly that he was so impressed with Briley. She rode much with Bro. Delarca (an outstanding veteran missionary)and he said he would remember her the rest of his life.

Briley talks much about the river. She doesn’t exaggerate. We first thrilled that God had answered the prayer to spare Briley going back the scary way. Don´t think we had a perfect road though as it is relative. We had lumber, about 10 bags of beans, and 10 other people in the back. It wasn´t a comfortable ride! At the river we saw it was crossable but Bro. Delarca got too far down and got the truck hung up on a rock. I jumped off to push with the men but we couldn´t budge it. We realized we couldn´t move and would have to get to shore. I got around to Briley who had water up to her waist but was not in danger of drowning as we were stationary. (I later learned she thought she might). Another man already had her door open as they are faster in the water than me. I grabbed her and walked her to shore.

Fortunately the current was much worse at the rear of the truck than where she had to walk. I explained that we were safe and in no danger now. She was recovered after about 10 minutes but every time we men were called back in to push the truck she was afraid I would die. I am touched about her concern for me. We were there for hours and had to be hauled home in another truck. She found a little side creek fully in my view. I told her that I knew what she was doing and she said she was finding something good in something bad. The ride home was much worse for me than her. I secured her a seat in the front and we all rode in the back under a piece of plastic like a can of sardines. It was a smaller truck and was a 2 and 1-2 hour drive. One of the Honuran ladies vomited several times, so it could have been worse. We had services on the river as we waited for help to come. Mike and I both preached. BTW, the Lord especially helped me preach at that time. We finally got back in Yoro.

The rest of the trip was much calmer, but we had such enjoyable services with several congregations.

Missions trips are life changing, for you and your children, so why you start planning one now.





Dress Standards and a Change For The Reagans

After months of prayer and study, we have reached a different conclusion on an issue that is big in some circles. After reflecting on the issue, I’m amazed that it is so big. The issue is whether a Christian lady must only wear skirts or not. The issue of clothing is, of course, broader than that, but the explosive issue is skirts versus pants. (To my readers who wonder what in the world I am talking about, this issue is big in the Independent Baptist world as well as some other Christian groups. While you read my disagreeing with some in this blog post just remember that I am disagreeing with friends and not fighting enemies.)

Our position now can be stated in 2 simple points:

1. The Bible demands modesty.

We have always believed this to be true. We believe that we have lost focus on this subject by taking ourselves away from the issue and reorienting on clothing styles. The idea is that a style of an article of clothing defines modesty more than the covering itself. For example, a skirt could be more immodest than a pair of pants by being too short, or even if longer, by carelessly sitting, etc. We maintain that the issue is not showing the private areas of the body. Despite what has been preached and taught, any honest, godly man can tell you that the issue is not along a simple divide of pants versus skirts, but along the divide of revealing versus not revealing. There are women in skirts that a godly man must quickly turn while his eyes away from while there are very attractive women in pants that he doesn’t have to turn his eyes away from. The issue isn’t pants versus skirts but modesty versus immodesty. One incites lust of men who want to do right and the other does not.

2. The Bible does not teach that pants would be wrong on a woman.

There is no Bible passage that states this idea. There are places where some wonderful people believe an inference is made and I will discuss these items later. Still, there simply is no passage that expressly teaches it.

There are many arguments given and many feel they can conclude “no pants” from principles of the Bible. I’d like to carefully discuss some of the most common ones, ones that I have thought deeply about as I tried to determine exactly what the Lord was really asking of us.

1. This violates the Biblical prohibition of cross dressing.

Deuteronomy 22:5 is always given as the key verse that would prohibit a woman from wearing pants because it would be man’s apparel. Whatever that verse means, it couldn’t really mean what it is often said to mean here. In fact, those sincere people who use the verse this way forget that they might wear the same t-shirt or socks as their spouse. Logically, you can’t pick and choose if the verse means what some say. I would think that would refer to what is obviously for one sex. I’d worry about the man who wore a pink, frilly shirt! Some would argue that pants are that distinctly male, but most would disagree with you.

Have you ever looked carefully at pictures of clothing from Bible times in any Bible dictionary or encyclopedia? Look at this picture:

Biblical dress-1

Do you notice anything? Just how different is the clothing for male and female? Many cite Aaron’s “breeches”, but they were under his robe-like garment and weren’t that noticeable. At least you would have to admit that the difference between male and female dress in Bible times is not as large as the difference between pants and skirts now? Skirts are fine, but can they be demanded when the difference required is greater than that when the cited Scripture was given? The verse likely refers to battle apparel, but in any event, it can’t be pushed farther than the context allows.

2. Pants are a giving in to modern culture.

It is true that 70 years ago all women wore skirts only. It is also true that our culture changed. Perhaps it would be fair to say that those who first changed were making a statement that ladies today are not necessarily making. It was not culturally acceptable then. What I am afraid we fail to see is that culture is the last line of consideration for the Christian after the issue of covering our nakedness is addressed. For example, walk up and tell some burly Scottish guy in his kilt that he looks feminine or girly and as you pick yourself back up off the ground, you will probably realize he was all man and a cultural issue was involved.

Why won’t you wear the outfit of the people in the above picture from Bible times to church, or even Wal-mart? Because you know that people would roll their eyes at you. In other words, it isn’t socially acceptable. And if some measure of changing with culture within the confines of modesty is wrong, how are the church dresses of today acceptable? They don’t look like those worn in the 1800s. Dresses went to the floor then and the sight of even the ankle was a scandal. You how the 1950s became the standard for all time. That more or less is the look of most who hold the stricter position today. It is an attractive look, but can it honestly be said to be the God-given standard for today? I don’t feel there is any way I could honestly hold that position.

It is true that there are things acceptable in our culture today that are unacceptable to the Christian. But we dodge that error by our first line of defense: modesty. Modesty means I particularly cover the private or sexual parts of my body so as not to enflame others with lust. It means drawing the wrong kind of attention. To put it simply, there are 2 factors that determine what we wear: 1) modesty, and 2) culture.

3. To start wearing pants is a move to the left and therefore wrong.

There is no Scripture on it being a sin to move to the left. Actually, the only thing the Bible teaches is that you adjust to the Biblical position no matter if you need to go right or left to do it. That really is an argument for appearances. What we are all called to do is figure out what the Lord is saying to the best of our ability and adjust accordingly.

4. Ladies should not wear pants in order to take the highest road.

It is an assumption to say it is the highest road. Is it a higher road to wear a button-up shirt over a polo shirt? Is it a higher road to have a land line instead of a cell phone? How do you know that is true? In any event, I so support anyone who feels they need to not wear pants for the Lord. But in fairness, let’s support those who do not feel that way equally. If there are no clear Biblical guidelines then it must be along the lines of Romans 14:6 (“He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”)

A Plea For Consistency

Is pants- versus- skirts the big issue in the Biblical idea of modesty? Do we do the issue justice to reduce it to one area? Men, do you turn your head from every woman in pants? Or just from those who are flaunting their bodies? That really proves the point, doesn’t it?

Are pants worldly and a leaving of “the old paths”? Why do we pick this one modern development? Didn’t some think the same thing at other times about automobiles, or makeup, or jewelry, or cell phones, or electricity? Can’t you imagine some Christian years ago lamenting the shameful worldliness of bringing indoor plumbing into your home? Why would someone else get the privilege of picking and choosing such things for me?

Do you really believe that pants are a form of homosexual cross-dressing? Really? For every woman you know who wears pants? Are there not some women you admire as Christians who wear pants? Does, then, a lesbian putting on a skirt make her straight? Doesn’t this show how far adrift we are in our thinking? Cross-dressing? Where’s the outrage for issues the Bible takes care to often discuss on the level of what we see here? Is pride or anger a lesser issue than pants when you read the entire Bible? Then why are these issues not getting at least equal publicity with the pants issue?

Is the entire issue of avoiding lust on women’s shoulders? Does the man, who is truly a visual creature, not have some of the responsibility? If a lady wears something she shouldn’t, is he off the hook for wherever his mind goes? Let’s get real—does every pair of pants give men problems? If it does, could maybe he have a problem? Can a man not lust after a woman in a skirt? Even if a woman is immodestly dressed, is a man still not 100% responsible before God to keep his thoughts pure? On the other hand, does this not mean that there could be something called modest pants?

Finally, isn’t it true that there is no “thou shalt not wear pants” command? Isn’t it true that the Scriptures used are not as clear as some say? Isn’t it true that many of the arguments used are not Biblical, but are philosophical at best? Isn’t it true that where the Bible doesn’t clearly speak it is each Christian’s responsibility to seek the Lord? Do we, then, have a right to be upset if a brother or sister in Christ doesn’t arrive at our same conclusion?

Speaking for me and my family, these things settle it for us.


I really feel that women in the Independent Baptist world really fall into three categories:

1. Those who have a personal conviction to not wear pants.

To those in this category, we love and respect you. No one should back away from what he or she believes to be true—that is the beauty of soul liberty. We will never treat you any differently or look down on you. We are firm believers in every person following the Lord’s leading personally. Let us all do this very thing.

2. Those who hold no such conviction and feel free to wear pants.

That is where we are. We would appreciate you allowing us the same grace to follow the Lord.

3. Those who only wear skirts but do not personally have a conviction.

It’s sad these ladies must make choices because of pressure. They just don’t want to infuriate their pastor or their family and are living by others’ choices now. In some cases, they do it for a husband who just doesn’t want the family criticized. 

In any event, dear friends and family you now know where we stand. We know the risk we are taking. We know how we Independent Baptists are so quick to “separate.” We know how quickly a person can be written off completely.  This is a personal life issue for us. I have never made this an issue in my ministry and have no ministry changes I must make. I have never preached on this issue, so this is just a family issue. By the way, the idea of not causing others to be offended can be taken too far—I believe no one would feel compelled to sell their Toyota because someone was offended it was foreign made. 

This issue has been so blown out of proportion!

Since writing this article, I have started a series called Independent Baptist Truth Revolution. Find all posts here.   

NOTE: As the years have past since I wrote this article, it’s mazing how little an issue it is now to us. That is the place you will finally get to as well!

Happy Anniversary Baby!

309205_10151120253620764_466567975_n14 years with the best woman you could imagine! That’s 7 + 7 or double perfection. Since I am so imperfect, you have had to be triple perfect to work it all out. I am a blessed man!

I have been thinking of this permanent anniversary message for a week or so. (For those reading this, I promise to leave the too private parts out).

I’m in a reflective mode as we hit 14 years. It’s been a great journey so far. 10 years of you walking and 4 not, but 14 of you smiling. And it’s all been good even if it is different.

I’m so glad you are you. I wouldn’t trade what you can do for what you can’t.  You may not be a Martha Stewart in housework (just like I’m the world’s worst handyman), but you make our home beautiful, gorgeously decorated, and happy. We are all addicted to you. You are always fun.

You are somewhat of a celebrity. I’m fine with that as long as I get to be the president of the fan club. For all the inspiration you give others, you give me more. For all the people who like to hear what you have to say, I’m the one who hangs on your every word. I can’t help but think of that line we heard in the movie Runaway Bride : ” I wake you up every morning because I just can’t wait to hear what you have to say”. That’s me.

You are the whole package of what I need: companionship, love, romance, and help. People would never guess (or maybe they would) how I depend on you. Your fingerprints are on everything I do and those things are better because of it. You might forget a house chore, but you’ll design whatever I need so beautifully or have a fresh idea. I wouldn’t have it any other way! And you still catch my eye everyday…oops, I promised not to talk about that stuff. You have made me a better man. My love has grown to gratefulness too.

You are not exactly superwoman, but you are pretty close. Your legs don’t have bionic power by any means, but you always get to the place where needed and you still sprint through my heart. In losses you have just become stronger. Where I have been weaker, you did your best work to be strong for me.

Thanks for 14 years. I thank the Lord for it too–every year, every day, every moment. I am begging Him for every one He’ll give me in the future too. So, you’re stuck. I’m here to stay. Accept your trial and bear it!

I love you girl. I’m 14 years into the dream and I don’t ever want to wake up! Happy Anniversary Baby!