Day 9: Apostolic Beliefs: Holiness Standards (For Dress)


I love this topic! In case you have not read the title yet, we will be covering the holiness standards for what we Pentecostals wear. (Tomorrow I want to talk about our hair and our holiness standards for our actions because yet again I went on in this post for longer than I thought and I was not able to talk about hair!)

You may have noticed that us Apostolic/Pentecostal girls, and yes even the boys, tend to dress a certain trademark way. I want to lay out the Biblical reasonings for this way of clothing our bodies.:)

Note: We DO NOT HAVE TO DO THESE to be part of the church! It is our personal convictions and we have found them within the Bible to be true and we want to follow the Word’s teachings! They are not required for salvation, only those actions mentioned in Acts 2:38 are. We are NOT a cult, we are allowed decisions and free thought!:)

Now, a couple of the previous posts in this series (about Oneness and the way to salvation) are strictly set for the majority of Apostolics, but some of the upcoming posts (about hair and holiness standards) really differ with the beliefs of each church’s pastor and that person’s personal convictions. So I want to stress right now, what I am about to say may not be the exact same guidelines that your female Apostolic friend down the street follows. We may even be in the same church organization and differ widely in these standards.

For example, here’s a little story to show my point! A couple of years ago myself and the majority of my church’s youth group went to our organization’s National Youth Convention (where all of the organization’s youth from across the United States get together for about a week and hold church services and fellowship). My church is kind of known for having slightly stricter standards than the majority of the others. This is because it is what our Pastor believes, through researching the Bible and letting God lead him, and so throughout the year he feels it is his duty to teach us what he believes. Therefore, we learn why the Bible says that us ladies should not wear pants, show cleavage, wear makeup or jewelry, etc as listed below. However, other pastors at other churches do not feel the same convictions on the standards of holiness and will not teach them to their individual congregations as our church does.  (This is of course only on issues that are not directly related to salvation, we all abide by Acts 2:38 for example.) So when we were at the National Youth Convention all of the churches across the country were there and after an emotional service with many tears shed, it became quite obvious what churches do not teach against makeup when my church’s group of girls saw another group with mascara and eyeliner smeared faces. Immediately one of our newly converted ladies turned to us girls, who were her friends and the same age as her, and gave us a confused look. Later in the hotel room the tight-knit group of the four of  us had to sit down with her and explain that their pastor did not preach against it and that those girls were not purposefully disobeying the standards of holiness. Long story short, standards differ!

Check out this cool YouTube clip by Tiffany Hubba about Apostolic Holiness!


Here are the standards I follow and when applicable I will list what my church does and then variations that may be encountered:

~Ladies wear skirts that end below the knee in public and men wear pants that cover their legs in public. (Skirt length differs. My church says it only has to be below the knee, but some churches require it to be floor length.)

~In public, ladies do not wear shirts that show cleavage or stomach, and both men and women wear some form of sleeves. (The sleeves issue is widely different across all churches. Mine personally just asks for a sleeve that covers the underarm and is not a cap sleeve. I have seen a range from any type of sleeve, to a sleeve that must reach down to their wrists. Again, it depends on the pastor.)

~Both men and women do not wear unnecessary jewelry or any piercings. (There is varying strictness on jewelry, my church allows one ring on each hand and watches because they have a function. Other churches do not even allow wedding rings! In general though, no necklaces or bracelets, etc. Piercings do not vary however.)

~Ladies do not wear makeup. (As my anecdote showed, this varies. My church is okay with clear lipglosses and a small bit of powder to cover blemishes if needed but it should not be overly applied. Others allow light makeup but no heavy cosmetics.)

~Ladies do not wear colorful nail polishes. (Some allow a french manicure, aka white tips. My church does, although many within my church have personal convictions that feel that only clear polish should be allowed.)


Now for Biblical and just plain life reasonings!

Deut 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.” ~Hence why we ladies wear skirts and men wear pants.

1 Peter 3:3 – “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” ~This explains our lack of jewelry.

1 Tim 2:9-10 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” ~ We should be modest, and another reference to not wear jewelry.

In Biblical times Jewish men and women who were slaves were forced to wear earrings in their ears to show to the world that they were property! Egyptians wore makeup, and every woman mentioned in the Bible who “paints their face” aka wears makeup was labelled a harlot or, excuse my lewd term, a whore (ex, Jezebel). Up until relatively recently, only prostitutes wore makeup.

My pastor has also taught a couple of sermons about how when Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden God made them clothing from animal fur. (Gen 3:21 – “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”) This was symbolic for many things, but also, the original term for “coat” in Hebrew or Greek meant an outfit that covered from the elbows to the knees, hence our desire to cover a portion of our arms and wear skirts below our knees.

One of the main reasons for these guidelines are that we should strive to be modest! We should not wear clothes that will distract those of the opposite sex from their walk with God. I would not want to be the reason one of my brothers in Christ struggled or fell! I would feel horrible that I could have possibly prevented it! Also, as a woman I do not want to be looked at in a vulgar way; it does not make me feel sexy, instead it is extremely uncomfortable for me!

In the end, it mainly comes down to the fact that God made us the way we are, and if we were to try and alter God’s creation, it is almost like saying “sorry God, You didn’t do a good enough job, I know better than you what I should look like so I am going to change the beauty that you have created.”

By following my personal convictions I am proudly saying “God, You made me beautiful and I am not ashamed to live the way you want me to as a virtuous woman!

I do this out of love and respect for God, not because I think it is necessary to get to heaven. This is one of my forms of submission to God. I have come to find that these things help to remind me throughout the day that I am God’s and it keeps me in a God-centered life.

God made us a “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9) and we should embrace that. God did not want us to be part of the world but rather to be separate from the world because in the end it is not our home but just a temporary stop! We should not want to fit in with this world that is full of hate, hurt, crime, adultery, pain, and so much sin. Who would want to be affiliated with that when you could be recognized as a child of God?

I hope this helps you understand the Apostolics you know a little bit better. I promise we are not some crazies in a cult!😉

❤ Passionate Pentecostal

53 responses »

  1. I’m a more on the liberal side of theology. I find this whole dress code thing to be a little bit legalistic. Any way, here’s my understanding of these passages.

    Deut. 22:5 is part of the holiness code of ancient Israel. Is it still relevant today? Possibly but for the most part, there was a lot of tampering with the law from outside as well highlighted in Mark 10 specifically when Jesus is asked about divorce. That, and pants weren’t even used in ancient Israel. They are more of a western thing any way. And nowadays, women’s clothes are designed specifically for a women’s body (such as pants and underwear etc.) while men’s clothes are also designed more for a man’s body (underwear, shirts, we don’t wear bras unless we’re really fat, etc.).

    1 Pet. 3:3 and 1 Tim. 1:9-10 come out more to me like that Annie song. That is, you’re not just wearing jewelry and what-not. You need to remember that you are not fully dressed until you put on that holy attitude.

    Any way, that’s my two cents on this issue. And by the way, this also comes from someone who has a blog about heavy metal music so I guess you can blame my theological liberalness off of that – lol.

    • This is still man made rules. I know a ladie that wears dresses to the ankles and a blouse with a nice long sleave sweater and they said she looked like a hooker. God knows your heart, he know the BEGINNING and the END of every human and yes dressing modestly is neccessary. Stay away from the cults. You will be rewarded.

  2. awesome again im also a pentecostal and hardly people speak bout this subjects as is should be and again like you say it depends on the church and the pastor but i believe the bible is our best guide and i would like to shared this with my girls

  3. awesome again im also a pentecostal and hardly people speak bout this subjects as is should be and again like you say it depends on the church and the pastor but i believe the bible is our best guide and i would like to shared this with my girls …they get confused because they feel convicted bout certain things but then they see “christians” in church dressin way different

  4. Why do you guys leave certain parts of the bible scriptures out. It seems like you only take the parts you want to live by. Also, be sure to make sure that the words you think that are being used are right. They spoke differently then, so make sure their definitions are the same as yours. Think coming from their time frame, or get a Greek English intelinear bible, its opened my eyes.:)

  5. Sorteriology is bad, context is horrible,
    Pressure to conform is major; all oneness I have met elude to conformity or lose your salvation. Modern day pharacees are all you are. Like confoming to rules regulations you are falling from grace.

  6. Pingback: God’s Definitely Dead, and Mortally Embarrassed. (SPOILERS) | Roll to Disbelieve

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  8. When I see a female that is dressed in holiness attire I immediately think that she looks like a Christian. Do you want to blend in and look like the world or do you want to stand out and look like a child of GOD? I am not ashamed of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I will not blend in with this world. I will dress to please GOD. I will be recognized by a changed heart that has permeated every area of my life including firstly how I love and serve GOD, Secondly, how I treat others and thirdly by my walk, my talk, my humor, what I listen to and what I will watch. I want to please GOD with everything that is in my power because I love HIM.

    • You claim not to have written your rebuttal to be confrontational, but you use a great deal of pseudo-academic language to call the original writer a cult member who is too dumb to realize she is a cult member.

      • I’m not sure what language you thought was “pseudo-academic.” I was writing in plain English. That aside, your gloss on my post was very ungenerous.

        I didn’t call her a cult member, nor did I call the UPCI a cult, and in fact the words I used to describe her and members of the organization were “sincere and well-meaning” and “good, otherwise intelligent.” Perhaps you missed the part about how I am a former Pentecostal? I’m no smarter now than I was back then, and nothing I wrote reduced any of this to intelligence. My post was about how dogma robs us of the ability to think critically about our beliefs. You may disagree with that, or you may agree with it but conclude it doesn’t apply to Pentecostals, but your criticism of my post was remarkably unfair and heavy-handed.

  9. I don’t intend to offend any who have posted comments here, but I do tend to notice that those who “kick against the pricks” and use Scripture to excuse themselves from Biblical standards of holiness generally have little desire to live surrendered, holy lives, hence the arguments.

    Most common objections are: “That was only cultural”. This reasoning would be fine if the Scriptures didn’t go further in explaining a principle that is involved. For example: the reason for modest apparel and shamefacedness is made clear…it is becoming of a woman professing godliness and good works. Nothing is here said of a cultural issue, rather we see a Biblical principle, a standard for holiness.

    Another excuse is, ” Well now the Old Testament says a man can’t wear a woman’s clothes, but it also says its a sin to eat shellfish or sow mingled seed!” Their argument is like saying, “Sure, I know Jesus said that looking at a woman to list was sinful, but HE also said if you present your gift at the altar and remember you’ve offended someone, you have to go make things right with that person before your gift will be accepted!” They look smug after such a statement as if they have really uncovered a hidden jewel. But….even after listening to their “reasoning”….isn’t it still wrong to look lustingly at a woman! lol Naturally when we look at the intent and motive behind such excuses it really just boils down to a stubborn heart that don’t want to submit and live holy.

  10. I am Apostolic as well but I am pained by the attitude many in my fellowship has. If a person is wearing something outside of the standards, they are scorned by others behind their backs. I do not believe that’s how God planned it. “Holiness standards” are not essential to salvation and should not be taught as gospel. True holiness is within and without. We are to be recognized by our MODESTY and GOOD WORKS. Compassion, patience… these are the things we ought to wear. Thinking that we can be “more saved” by our sleeve or skirt length is ludicrous. The greatest commandments in the Bible, according to Jesus himself, is “love the Lord God with all your heart” and “love thy neighbor as thyself”. We should not make standards that invite people who follow them to judge others by them! We will all be judged. That’s God’s job… NOT ours. As for me, I’m going to follow God’s Word and let His Grace lead me home.

    • Amen! I just told my husband tonight that I am not going to worry about what man thinks about me but what God thinks about me. I love God and I see His works in mine and my children’s lives, even though they are not following His ways at this time. He listens to my prayers and protects them. I am currently struggling with some things to do with standards and am just waiting on God’s reply. I want to know that I am listening to Him and not just having a rebellious heart. I believe we should dress modestly and show our love to all. Sometimes I feel like our saints do not show the love that we should but run people off because they are not the same as us. There is too much gossip and ridiculousness that should not be in the house of God. I ask for pray for discernment from any who would read this and be willing to ask God to help me. God Bless all who read my comment.

    • I feel sorrow when I witness what seems like competition among followers of Christ. If following modesty is meant to bring honor to God, our purpose gets blotted out if hatefulness, pride, etc. exists.

  11. It’s funny how people only quote one scripture Deuteronomy 22:5 , read the whole chapter verse 30 talks about uncovering of a father’s skirt , base on verse 5 women should wear skirts!

  12. It’s funny how people only quote one scripture Deuteronomy 22:5 , read the whole chapter verse 30 talks about uncovering of a father’s skirt , base on verse 5 women should wear no skirts!

  13. The truth about Pentecostalism is that they believe following the standards is required to be saved, because if you disobey the pastor, you’re sinning. Period. Pentecostals can smile and say they “choose to live this way” all they want, but it isn’t true. Pastors are the authority in the church. Even if you can prove them wrong by the Bible, you’re being rebellious for doing so, and you must have an evil spirit on you. The Holy Spirit isn’t enough to guide your heart, you need to live by someone else’s convictions too!

    I wonder what Jesus would say about the Apostolic church if he would walk into one today? Somehow I don’t think they’re much different from the Pharisees. Where is the faith in God to lead and to guide? If the standards are what pleases God, why are they not written on our hearts by the Spirit? When I first got saved (which happened before I “spoke in tongues” by the way) all I could think about was Jesus and how he died for me. I wanted to tell everyone about Him so we could all go to Heaven together. I felt so happy and clean. THAT is what it feels like to be free!

    Apostolics ought to stop worshiping their “holiness standards” and idols of “modesty” and start humbling themselves before God. Remember Luke 18:10-14. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a dirty sinner redeemed by God’s mercy than a self-righteous Pharisee on Judgement Day.

  14. What about the tounge we cover up long hair long dress I’ve seen these churches full of backbiting its the heart that needs a change and sometimes thepentecostas are to stuck up wont even speak I know everybody’s not like this but you can dress it up all you want its the inside that counts

    • Yes, where your heart is, is all that matters. If modesty and covering come from your heart and not fear or pride, then it is not an issue.

  15. Thanks a lot for sharing this insight so wonderful and I thank God for your pastor. I will however still want your pastor to pray further in regards to wedding ring as it is not in anyway mention in the bible for holy matrimony . It is invented by man, even watches must be leather not in anyway silver or gold. Make ups , powder, and any kind of nail polish is not permitted by God. The goal of God is for us to be purely natural in our look He has already made us perfect Ps 139:14

    14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well
    I pray the Holy Spirit grants more understanding to us all keep up the good job
    Gbemi Olayinka

  16. I just want to say that appreciate this article and I agree with a great deal of it. Sadly I was not raised in a Christian home, but I have been saved now 10 years attending a full gospel church, and I have recently felt lead of the Spirit to pursue biblical Holiness, as the bible says without which no man shall see God. Sadly, it is vastly ignored in this present generation and I fear many professing believers are not Christlike at all, and there is much confusion on what true Christianity is. It seems to me that those who defend the cultural trends of time are those who choose not to be set apart, but rather blend in with the world and ultimately live to please themselves. However, I have also seen the legalistic side of the “holiness” sect as well, which is equally discouraging. I agree with other comments that point to loving Christ and loving your neighbor. That is how we are to be adorned. It is not in the dissecting of scripture, in example, the not wearing of jewelry. Those verses also mention not wearing apparel, yet we do not walk around naked. The writer is emphasizing to be clothed in Christ first, not with focusing on hair and elaborate clothes and jewelry, but Christ. When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is in you, and you are in Him, I wholeheartedly believe He will lead us to what is acceptable and what is not.

  17. I personally disagree with putting too much emphasis on dress codes and make up etc. in my experience, God could care less about your flesh as much as he cares about your spirit. As much as we care about our attires and such; I wish we cared more about internal holiness; love being the center of all. I am baptized with the Holy Ghost and spend a lot of time in his presence and I can say that i have seen his glory. I love to take good care of myself and putting on make up and such. It makes me feel good. But I hate to tell you that when I get in front of my God, he could care less. But he does rebuke me if I don’t forgive, hold a grudge for long and j am full of pride and etc. but never about my nail polish and dresses and etc. now keep in mind that I don’t go out there showing my butt and thighs in church. But I love to dress my nice outfits; take care of my nails and put in my make up. My husband loves it too and I would get really depressed if I put on all these laws in my life. I am not saved by law but by the blood in the Calvary. I will be holy internally but will leave the external to you. I am enjoying my lord Jesus more and more and loving him regardless. Please think more in the sense of “spirit” and not flesh. Grow in the spirit, get to know daddy Jesus closer, be one with him and adore him. All these rules and laws you stated mean nothing to Yahweh. What means everything is the blood of Jesus on the Calvary! That is it!

  18. Angie- I totally agree. My outside appearance means absolutely nothing. Being saved is being washed by the blood and living a Godly life, loving and forgiving. I am a child of God and I refuse to live by mans rules.

    Angie- Yonkers N.Y

  19. It doesn’t seem to me that your church would fall under “strict” or even highly conservative. Makeup, several rings, and skirts that just cover the knee… That’s pretty basic liberal Pentecost. “Strict” would be NO makeup, NO rings, skirts to the shin or ankle, and sleeves to the elbows…

  20. God does care about our outward appearance as does our inward state. If our body is the temple of the Lord, if he’s dwelling inside of you than it will be reflected on the outside. We will want to glorify Him with our outward appearance. We will desire to walk in holiness. 1 Peter 1:16 says “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We will love righteousness and holiness because He is holy. I feel like I am special to Him, like a treasured princess to a Him when I dress modestly. And I don’t want to cause my brothers in Christ to stumble. Jesus died for me, he loves me so much. I want to be a welcoming vessel filled with His precious Holy Spirit.

  21. I. The middle east jewels were a gift for woman, makeup and perfumes & pretty clothing are beautiful for for woman you take that away, it’s your male leaders who take that away its not of God to conntrol a human being how we come males have hair cuts look neat clean, the woman in churches look drab cheerless, dull, they all look sad why ? I’ll tell you you take the beauty out of them it’s called control, to who’re because they ware makeup and jewelry is wrong tell it to Queen Esther she was a beautiful woman regardless but God ga e her position and became a Queen for such a time as this, it ashame you teach that out ward appearance is what God looks at, when he teaches the complete opposite! , he looks at the heart that is what would more people in your church if you let go of controlling people’s lifes!.

  22. You all need to stay out of cults. The verse below means what it says. Do any of you know what kind of clothing Men & Women wore back in those days? NO! You are going by man made thoughts and Ideas. Dress modestly and love one another. Matt 22:37, please read. I will pray for you all.

    Deut 22:5 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

  23. Sorry about that, I was so excited to comment on this subject that I copied and paste the wrong verse

    Deut 22:5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this

    • But… Do you have railing around the roof of your house? Do you have 4 tassels on your garment? Do you have mixed materials in your clothing? Is it all wool or all linen? If you’re going to follow one verse don’t you think you should follow them all? Why get excited about a particular verse when the entire bible is the infallible word of God? You cannot pick and choose what you obey out of His word. I believe in the end it’ll be people like you who stand before God and say “Lord Lord, we cast out devils in your name and we did miracles in your name…, He will say to you depart from me, I never knew you”. Just be careful about letting your personal convictions turn into works. It is by grace we are saved. That’s what you should get excited about.

      • No buts… the first comment Deut 22:5 was for the people back in the Old Testament Law.

        Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

        1 Peter 3:3-4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight …

  24. I appreciate your post:) There will always be arguments on this subject. Many of which tend to lash out as a defense. I take it as they’re either just flat out rude (I don’t go around telling people how to dress or show disgust with what they have on. That’s their life and not mine) or they are convicted with how they’re living. I get so many different opinions from people…..who normally start up the conversation I might add. But, nevertheless, people DO notice a difference in us. I don’t want to blend in with this world so I continue to hold fast to the Word of God. If God didn’t have an issue with modesty, He wouldn’t have re-made clothing for Adam and Eve. He would have let them walk around with fig leaves covering the bare necessities. Just sayin:) Keep up with your posts!! I enjoyed this one!!

    • Modesty is not the issue… it is clear that the word says we should be modest. It’s more about what is modest there are many different opinions and the bible is not really specific is it? Then shouldn’t it be a personal conviction rather than a rule? Also, making rules scare away new converts that are not ready to hear others personal convictions. Let God work on people’s hearts… making all these rules leads to judgmental attitudes according to how ‘holy’ one appears to others. Creating laws just cause people to falter… just as the OT laws did, people couldn’t keep them… it is the law written in the heart.

      • I never said to go around and tell people how to dress. There are people who do that and I disagree with it. This girl who did this blog is simply telling others….who either look up her blogs or somehow come across them… what our Apostolic belief is. If people get offended by it, I’m sorry, but that’s their bad. I don’t like it when a new convert automatically changes the way they dress because I know they changed so they could look like everybody else. I didn’t start wearing dresses and skirts when I first got the Holy Ghost. I still wore my pants and shorts. If someone would have come up to me and told me what to wear I probably would have walked out. It took me a while to have the revelation of why we do what we do. And God totally had patience with me and I know He will with anyone else who is trying. I apologize for any Pastor or church who has made people sour to our beliefs. And I do believe we need to start on the inside so God will clean up the outside.

      • I am not offended by the post but I have been to churches that push standards like they are the gospel and actually belonged to one years ago. This is control and I believe it is wrong. Not every Pentecostal church is like that, thank God. I do not criticize anyone who want to live by a standard and I believe our outward appearance is important and we need to be careful.. but I think it is between a person and God. If it is a person’s conviction that they need to follow it. Also, I am certainly not against guidelines or even preferences of a pastor but they should be careful not to make them seem like a requirement for salvation. I am concerned with the focus placed on this when other things more important slide. I see standards upheld while worldly entertainment is accepted, I have more of an issue with that.. and other things that are very clear in the scripture left unsaid. Jesus admonished the Pharisees for being concerned about the outside of the cup while the inside was dirty. God Bless.

  25. This is not intended to criticize the Pentecostal religion…it carries the Gospel as was delivered by Peter on the day of Pentecost!! Acts 2:38.

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