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


108 responses »

  1. Very encouraging message…God bless u…Can u plz explain me more clear reason for not wearing ornaments..

  2. I have a few comments. Do the enormous bows and hair pins qualify for adornment? Also if
    the hair is for covering why does everyone wear their hair pulled up? Did the men in the Old Testament wear something like a robe? If your conviction is to wear purple polka dot whatever
    Bless your heart. Just seems as if much of what you believe is how you look.

    • I agree a lot of the ladies in our church wear 9 inch heels and fish nets I’m tired of the double standards

    • We are all entitled to our opinions and styles. We must allow the holy ghost to govern our entire lives. So, it is ok for women of God to have colors, prints, and hair bows in their style. Modesty is what we display.

      • I always thought Our Lord looks into our hearts, not eyeballing us from top to bottom to see what kind of garments or hairdos or “ornaments” we adorn ourselves with. That kind of mess is not what it’s about. There was one unbalanced woman who kept at me until I finally accompanied her to a Pentecostal show with the phoniest old leader I ever had the misfortune to encounter. This woman actually called my parents to tell them I should move out to live with her so she could “guide” me. she also called my manager at work to tell her to “let me go” (read “fire”) me so I could spend all my time studying the Bible. Okay, I know that all experiences are not like mine, but it seems that too many are. What are these people about, anyway? Also, that bunch I got into attracted people with mental problems. The old guy preacher told everyone such people were sinners and totally managed by the devil. How can people treat others with serious problems like something on the bottom of their shoe?

  3. Referring to the first verse you quoted Deu 22:5 is one of the base of your interruption but didn’t they all wear robes back then? I’m 100% positive slacks/pants weren’t made which means they made robes for women and robes for men just as they do today with clothing. I believe it’s cross dressing period that’s forbidden and disgusting in his sight.. Are mens shorts not the same length as some womens skirts? And are not some womens dresses tight as to be lustful to the eye? Also are these heaven/hell issues.

  4. I know the holy ghost is real. The holy ghost will lead you in all areas of a believers life if he or she will listen. Modesty is the goal. There are women that are just shaped very well and no matter what they put on they can not hide. So, I suggest that the saints seek God about everything. I be lead by the holy ghost. The holy ghost is never wrong.

    • We aren’t debating the holy ghost though… as i believe in the holy ghost. And therefore, in saying that “some women are shaped very well” then why is a women wrong for wearing pants? She is fully clothed but cannot help her figure. Those pants were made for her not for a man. And would you say she is going to hell for that choice in clothing as long as it’s modest/covering..?

      • I understand your frustrations, but I don’t see anything wrong with women in pants, but some people do. I have learn to be obedient to God and go along with the teaching of the church I am a member of. I only wear pants as a set to my pjs and to exercise in. The enemy will use anything as a distraction. The topic of pants or no pants for women is one. I know what the holy ghost has shown me concerning clothing and I follow. People which includes pastor’s may have their own beliefs concerning this matter. A saint must dress in such away that is pleasing to God.

      • I completely agree! And there is nothing wrong with that but what i believe is wrong is when people try to push those views on others and say this way is the only way! On a high horse feeling more righteous than everyone else because they aren’t dressed the same.. i’d call it a proud look. But i do believe in modesty without a doubt and presentng yourself in a Godly like manner. I was raised in a Apostolic church and still attend one to this day but we do not have the same standards as we once did.

      • Well my brother, you are going to have to pray for those people. People are people, which mean we all have faults. We all have our opinions, which really don’t matter. All that matters is that God’s will be done. We must not lose our focus. God said let the wheat grow with the tare and He will do the separating. So, pray for those people that have a high and mighty attitude. The way to God is humility attitude.

  5. The main issue I have in the apostolic movement, is Oneness, when all the scriptures
    Relay the Triune God.. You’re right that salvation is the most important matter.. Apostolic’s,holiness, Pentecostal, churches diminish worship service with the babbling they call speaking in tongues, first off scripture says this was to follow the apostles to establish the word, it has ceased.. Now, we have the issue of many cults doing this same thing, which is blasphemous to the Holy Spirit.. I was also told this was a sign of salvation ( which it was the least of the spiritual gifts) which caused many to question their salvation.. most everything I’ve read about these so called churches, it’s pretty much a theological cult, much like Catholicism.. These church’s never teach on predestination, election, which is all through the Bible, from Genesis to Rev, the Armanian view can’t account for this.. You can’t lose your salvation “All that the father gives me I lose NONE” this denomination has too many problems .. I’ve witnessed many chaotic services with ppl “slain in the spirit” which is mimicked in many cults, not to mention, falling backwards is a sign of judgment.. All through scripture ppl fell forward, except those coming to arrest Jesus .. I suggest ppl leave these cultic denominations, word of faith, Makeshift build A bear denomination, and actually study scripture to show yourself approved .. these many more problems but my hand hurts from all this typing ..

    • Well if you were speaking truth in love as the bible does state your hand wouldnt hurt. But its all lies. Reads acts 2:38-39 kjv. Its the plan of salvation. Speaking in tongues is right and a sign of Gods free gift to you. Also a sign of being delivered from the hold the world had on a person. I pray in Jesus Name you find the revelation of one God and baptism in Jesus Name and the infilling of the holyghost. Its real.

  6. I lost five years of my life when I joined a Pentecostal group and its phony leader. For an example, he would machinate little dramas where, for example, he would pray over someone, then make out to be laying his hands on their shoulders, and would actually be pushing them so they fell down and were supposed to be slain in the spirit. He would give some signal during his talking and most of the people would start going, “lulululululu” and make it out to be speaking in tongues. I don’t know why I stayed so long, but I was having problems that this cult made me feel worse about. Wish I could have those years back. But now I know enough so that if I see any mess like that again, I’ll run the other way.

    • I’m sorry the paster treated his saints, and you that way. All I can say is change churches, seek other options. Some Pentecostal churches are independent, and not UPCI. There are genuine Pentecostal/Apostolic out there. There should be a way to serve God and not feel forced.

  7. I’m sorry for your bad experience. The devil is out to deceive. He has for centuries tried to discredited the Word of God. I have had many bad experience with people, so call church people, but God has never change. His word is true. I have come across people that a real for God. So, Look to God not to people. People will fail you, but not God. Seek God for the truth. I did and apostolic doctrine according to the bible stands true. Pray and forgive those who did not live right before you. God is not at fault.

  8. I’m sorry for your bad experience. The devil is out to deceive. He has for centuries tried to discredited the Word of God. I have had many bad experience with people, so call church people, but God has never change. His word is true. I have come across people that a real for God. So, Look to God not to people. People will fail you, but not God. Seek God for the truth. I did and apostolic doctrine according to the bible stands true. Pray and forgive those who did not live right before you. God is not at fault.

  9. Thank you for this mini teaching. This is an excellent bible study material for young girls as they are at times confused on how to dress and feeling good about themselves. This will encourage my granddaughter. Thank you again.

  10. Thank you, kindly, for your post! I came upon it looking for reference on how Apostolic women dress. Your post has been helpful in getting an idea for how I should dress when I begin my transition into an Apostolic life. Thank you again, Sister! God Bless!

  11. Thank you for this! As I am a relatively new convert I am currently having much difficulty explaining to my daughters biological father and his family why her and I dress the way we do now. I understand that women wearing pants is not a heaven or hell issue but it’s the reason behind it. I for one feel so much more beautiful and feminine once I started dressing modestly. And like I’ve said to him and his family “do you see little boys wearing skirts and dresses?” but I’m the crazy one for wanting my 4 year old girl to look like a little girl. It’s very frustrating but I also understand now this is why God asks us to be married before we start having sex and children. Or we will be paying for it the rest of our lives as I am. I pray that my daughters walk with God will never be discouraged by that side of her family who adimitely mocks and scorns me for the person I have become and who I am encouraging her to be. I’d say that very thing is proof enough that God is real! He did say we would be hated for his names sake.
    Bless you and yours!

  12. It says in the Old Testament that we are to follow the feasts does apostolic do this as we are told it is for all times

  13. Your presentation of the standards you follow is beautiful. I am apostolic but don’t follow those standards as I had some negative experiences with them in the past and don’t believe they should be pushed on people as they were in the past. You have a lovely attitude and not judgemental. GOD Bless!

  14. So you are a memeber if a cult because as you say you are doing what your pastor teaches and instructs you to do. Also it does not say women to wear dresses because in the day of scripture men and women wore robes so by using Duet. Men should be wearing skirts and dresses. In biblical days there were no pants. The way men and women dresses different was by the color of the robes and head dress. So I believe this scripture is miss interpreted and used for pastors to see thy have brainwashed their followers when they submit and change the way they dress.

    • All I am going to say is, “Proverbs 29:9 a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest”. SMH!
      Proverbs 29:9 KJV

  15. Thanks for this information, you did a great job in explaining this. I will pass this on to my friends and family.

    God bless you!

  16. I know this blog here is more than five years old, but I just felt like throwing my two cents in here and there.

    First, I want to say (without any harsh feelings or anything) that your church isn’t nearly as strict as the one I’ve attended for nearly the past three years. (Yes, we are Oneness and preach Acts 2:38 as the New Testament’s Plan of Salvation.) My pastor and his wife (also our pastor) are strong and firm with their opinions on inward and outward expressions of holiness. In aligning with what you have said, women always wear skirts (some sleep in pajama pants, others don’t), and they do not cut their hair. Men are generally clean-shaven, but those with beards or goatees aren’t looked down. While our pastor himself doesn’t have facial and would probably prefer the men in his flock to do the same, he is also of the persuasion that there isn’t any scripture speaking against a man with facial hair. (It is long-held holiness practice in some circles, however.) Men don’t generally wear shorts in public, and our ladies/girls’ skirts are usually a few inches past their knees (sometimes nearly dragging the floor). While our pastors initiated a wedding earlier this year wear the couple exchanged wedding bans, the pastors themselves don’t wear rings, and they do hold to the thinking that wedding bands are jewelry. All other jewelry (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, anklets, etc.) are generally preached against, while, as previously stated there is a leniency with wedding bands and some wrist watches. Ladies wear no form of makeup, whether limited or heavy applied, and while some of the younger ones might wear clear polish on their nails, they do not paint them with color. (French tips aren’t practiced, either.)

    In saying all of this, however, I must clarify a tad bit further just in case someone gets the wrong idea. While our pastors are strict on their teachings on holiness, they are always far stricter on themselves and their family then on anyone in the congregation. For example, they don’t hold “infants” in the Lord to the same standard as they do themselves. They will never pull a newcomer off to the side and force them to uphold holiness that hasn’t first started in the heart, nor will they ever judge someone for not seeing it exactly as they do. My pastors are very loving and caring individuals that allow their people to grow into holiness. Now, I’m sure if someone were growing out of holiness (or backsliding on their convictions) there might be some significant concern that might result in some form of a conference (for the lack of a better word).

    On the other hand, my mother (my parents are long divorced) also attends a Oneness church whose standards aren’t nearly as strict. This pastor has a full beard, wears short sleeves in public; his wife has her hair in layers, wears jewelry, eyeliner, “lip color”, and has french tips. Their opinions on outward holiness isn’t nearly as strict as other churches I have came across. Some of their girls/ladies wear pants outside of the church doors, and there isn’t a whole lot of preaching against such popular fashions typical of most Oneness churches. Despite this, I don’t doubt their sincerity in worshiping and loving Jesus. I’ve been in their services a number of times when the Spirit fell and people reacted accordingly. The church isn’t dead by any means; I just pray that they reexamine some of their teachings on outward holiness.

    In countering with my mother’s church having more lenient standards, my church has fellowshipped with other churches with much stricter standards than ours (see above). Some other Oneness churches we have had (youth) revivals with and visited preach strongly against all forms of worldliness, such as going bowling, attending movies, owning TVs, celebrating “pagan” holidays (that goes for any of them), or visiting other churches whose standards aren’t held at a certain line. The pastors of these churches are just stricter than what I am use to, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong.

    As I said earlier, I have been in the Oneness church for almost three years. While I didn’t have any problems seeing the Oneness of God, I must say that I didn’t see all the components of holiness right off. (I’m sure that I am not alone here.) I knew the scriptures spoke of a separation between the World and the Church, but I personally didn’t see the necessity of being as strict on one self as it was being taught to me. Over time, and through different teachings, researching, and prayer, my eyes have been opened to the more importance of stricter holiness than I initially saw it.

    I hope all of this rambling didn’t bother anyone. Honestly, I hope something I said helped someone. Holiness is an important component of the Christian’s walk with Jesus.

    God bless you all in Jesus’ name….

  17. I am visiting a Pentecostal church and hence researching to understand. In.the.old.days.
    I guess there were no womens dress pants but only mens dress pants. Now there are women’s dress pants in our culture that are obviously not mens clothes. I personally think it modest to wear a long shirt or sweater to cover up my backside for modesty. Pants are practical in cold weather. I think too many unnecessary limitatuons become a burden and a worry and a distraction from the main thing. Its a pity that something like that may keep people from being respected as people who are following Jesus in a correct way.

  18. Praise God His blood was shed to break the BONDAGE that some still are blindedly living in… but by GRACE I have been saved! Not saying I’m attending church in booty shorts next week u do have enough self worth and reverent respect for that but I’m free under his blood to wear Capri shorts and a,tee shirt and STILL have faith my name is in The Lambs Book of Life and I am a,Child of God!

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