Tattoos, Earrings, and Kilts, Oh My!
That does not mean, however, that in our respective cultures we may not find it wise to adhere to certain dress codes and patterns of clothing. That is surely a good idea. I'm not advocating some sort of total freedom where we wear whatever we want to. Rather, I am suggesting that the best principle we can come up with is that of cultural adaptation: we generally (an important qualifier) clothe ourselves according to the customs of our culture. So in America, that means we men don't wear dresses. We wear pants. In Scotland, however, we might well wear a kilt on certain days. Neither code of dress is right. Neither code of dress is wrong. Both are culturally determined. It is wise to wear each country's code in said country, and it is wise not to wear one country's code in the other. Cultural adaptation.
With the above argument, I think it's pretty clear that there is no monolithic ideal of dress. Far be it from me to go to Scotland and tell the hardy men there, many of whom could crush me with a glance, that they are "feminized." And far be it from them to tell me that I'm feminized because I wear pants. And far be it from me to tell an Indian that his manner of dress, with what looks alot like a dress to me, is wrong. I have no--utterly no--biblical basis by which to make that statement. There is freedom in dress, then. There is not one certain style of dress that is most masculine. We learn from our cultures what the norms are, and we adapt ourselves to those norms, though we are also free to freelance a bit. Do you want to shave your head? Fine. Do you want to pierce your ear? Fine. Do you want to wear baggy pants? Fine. There is plenty of room here. Too often in the Christian life and community, we busy ourselves with legislating gray areas and constructing advice that hits as hard as law. Far better for us to emphasize conformity where it is actually required and to allow diversity where it is possible. We then preserve both unity and diversity. That's a pretty good way to go about things, I think. I mean, it works pretty well for the Trinity.