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 The Head Covering Movement


Head coverings are not a popular doctrine. In fact, that’s quite the understatement. So why would I start a movement based upon it? Do I enjoy controversy? Absolutely not. Looking to be divisive? The opposite. Then what would possess me to do such a thing? The short answer is, because it’s in the Bible. See, if “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16 NASB) then all Scripture deserves fair treatment. On top of that, this particular topic is not just mentioned in the Bible, but it’s defended. It’s not just one or two obscure verses but it occupies 15 consecutive verses. We can debate what Paul meant and we can debate how it applies in the 21st century, but the one thing we can’t do is ignore this topic.

Daniel Wallace is one of the leading textual critics and the founder of the “Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts”. To say this brother knows the Greek text well would be quite the understatement. He said this about the “actual head covering” view (the position I’m advocating) which I think many can relate to:

The argument that a real head covering is in view and that such is applicable today is, in some respects, the easiest view to defend exegetically and the hardest to swallow practically. Since it is never safe to abandon one’s conscience regarding the truth of Scripture, I held to this view up until recently. Quite frankly, I did not like it (it is very unpopular today). But I could not, in good conscience, disregard it. *

That’s an incredibly honest statement. Because a head covering is a visual symbol, it’s impossible to hide or delay in stating your views. It’s the first doctrine that people know you believe if you meet someone at church, even before you shake their hands. They may be feeling judged just by you wearing one (because they’re not) and you may be thinking that they must be thinking that you’re stuck in the 50′s. To top it off, your pastors or those closest to you may be concerned that you’re embracing legalism. These are real struggles that people face when even contemplating the “actual head covering” view. So suffice it to say, when Dr. Wallace noted that it’s “unpopular today” he has an accurate perception of how well it’s received. When you wear a head covering it forces everyone in your church to deal with the text and some just aren’t ready to.

Daniel Wallace again says:

The real danger, as I see it, is that many Christians simply ignore what this text says because any form of obedience to it is inconvenient. *

Now this is not to say that the only reason that people don’t embrace head coverings is fear. Some are persuaded by other interpretations and if convinced by Scripture, would change their minds. I hope that is you and you share my desire to rightly understand everything the Bible says and submit to that. But I’m worried that many read over 1 Corinthians 11, thinking “that can’t mean what I think it says. No one I know wears one and we can’t all be wrong.” Then scurry off to chapter 12, making a mental note to look into it later (which if we’re honest rarely happens). If I described your response, now is that time. We’re going to go deep into the text and wrestle through it together as a community. Don’t worry though, this blog isn’t written to scholars, I wrote it for the average Christian, the layman and laywoman, for you. In the next four posts I’ll be making a positive case for the wearing of an artificial head covering for women while in church. Likewise, I’ll argue that men are commanded to keep a bare head in the same context. I’ll do this by pointing to four reasons that Paul himself gives in 1 Corinthians 11. When I explain those reasons, I won’t be giving as much attention to competing views as this will largely be a positive case. After that I’ll make a case for why head coverings only need to be practiced when the local church is gathered together. Finally, we’ll give attention to your questions and the popular objections.

The Heart of the Matter
Before this post comes to an end I want to bring up a word of caution: make sure your heart is prepared. I figure most people reading this blog either disagree with or don’t know what to make of head coverings, so your guard is probably up. I know, I do it too and it’s not a bad thing really. We’re always in a battle against false teaching and false teachers, so it’s good to be skeptical and keep a guard up, filtering everything through the Word of God. Just make sure you won’t accept any old argument against head coverings because you don’t want it to be true. What will my husband or wife think? What will those in my church think? How will I find a spouse if he/she knows I believe this? The fear of man can be overwhelming, but we must fear God and His commands above men. We must bind ourselves to the text of Scripture and obey no matter how uncomfortable the outcome may be. So if your heart is not ready, make sure you stop and seek the Lord in prayer before moving on. Then when you’re ready give 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 a good read. Please read through this text slowly and become intimately familiar with it. This is the only chapter in the Bible that commands and explains the practice of head coverings, so you must know it well to be a good Berean (Acts 17:11).

You can learn more about this movement to de-mystify the doctrine and practice of headcovering by sisters in the Lord: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/6/14 17:46Profile
allaboard
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Joined: 2011/5/28
Posts: 100


 Re: The Head Covering Movement

The best and only valuable VISUAL symbol is the fruit of the Spirit both for men and women. Because this is REAL. You can't tell by headcoverings (or any type of clothing for that matter) if one has the fruit of the Spirit or not.

There are women who wear headcoverings when the saints gather who also (away from the congregation) "wear the pants". So, what does the headcovering accomplish except make people believe something that is not true.

Excerpt from "The Issue of Headcoverings" by Eric Svendsen of New Testament Restoration Foundation

"But here Paul is thinking about a specific kind of covering. Up until this verse Paul has consistently used the word katakaluptos (“covering”) to insist that a woman be covered while praying or prophesying. Paul agrees with the contentious group that a woman does need a covering. What he disagrees with is their application. The contentious group insisted that the covering be a garment (a veil or shawl), whereas Paul is arguing that, in the case of the church (“In the Lord, however,” v 11), the covering is the woman’s own hair. Long hair, Paul argues, is the glory of a woman (v 15). he further argues this point in the very next phrase: “For, long hair is given to her as a covering.” The word “as” here is anti, and means literally “instead of.” The word for “covering” in this verse is not the same as has been used by Paul up to this point. Everywhere else in this passage Paul has used katakaluptos, which is a very generic term for “covering.” Here Paul uses the word peribolaios, which means literally “that which is wrapped around [the head].”

In other words, Paul is saying that, yes, women do need coverings (katakaluptos) on their heads when praying or prophesying. But, “in the Lord” that covering is not a peribolaios (cloth wrapped around the head) but rather the woman’s own long hair. In fact, “in the Lord” (i.e., in the church), long hair is given to a woman “instead of” (not “as”) “that which is wrapped around the head.” Women in the church have a ready-made covering and are therefore not necessarily in violation of the principles expressed in vv 3-10. Overall then, 1 Co 11:2-16 is a very liberating passage. In it, women are freed from the bondage of wearing religious head garb."

Read the full article here:
http://www.ntrf.org/articles/article_detail.php?PRKey=36

 2013/6/14 21:55Profile
derektina
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Joined: 2010/3/28
Posts: 9


 Re: The Head Covering Movement

Greg,
I am thrilled about this post! My husband and I both agreed on the issue of head coverings 7 years ago while attending a Bhakt Singh assembly in Sydney, Australia and I have been wearing one ever since.

The spiritual blessing is unspeakable. Personally, I become highly aware of its purpose the moment I cover my head in corporate worship.

It's a little late but when I get an opportunity I'd love to share what the teaching was that correlated the 1 Cor 11 passage to the OT passage in Gen 28. Both making important points about angels who are in Gods house....

I am greatly encouraged and once again thankful for this ministry for so many reasons!

With my love brother, your sister in Christ,

Cristina Antunes

 2013/6/15 1:08Profile
allaboard
Member



Joined: 2011/5/28
Posts: 100


 Re:

I am glad you are blessed. I genuinely mean that. And yet there are women that are equally blessed without the scarf on their head. The important thing is that nothing should detract from Christ and it should be used to divide or exclude either those who wear one or those who don't. It should not be an essential for fellowship. I have never heard of a "head covering" movement and I think if that is what the movement is based on then by definition it will be sectarian, exclusive and divisive because it implies that one must agree with the movement and get on board with the head covering. This will take the focus off of Christ, once again focusing on something that is not related to salvation or fellowship.

In my fellowship, there are those who wear one and those who don't and I don't witness any exclusion of brethren or sense of one group over the other as being more obedient. There is genuine love between the saints, which tells me it is a non-essential for church-life and focusing on Christ.

So, if you build a movement or church on the requirement to wear a scarf or doily or whatever you want to call it on your head, you run the real risk of excluding some dear saints and only weakening the church.

 2013/6/15 2:33Profile









 Re: The Head Covering Movement

Brother Greg, to say I am confused as to the onus and aim of this post is to put it mildly.

I came onto the website this morning to download more brother Len's exhortations, as my dear older brother ALWAYS blesses me, teaches me via the Leading of the God the Holy Ghost.....BUT, I saw the leadline of the post and my heart sank....I did not know you were the author, which begs the question, "is this now "doctrine" of the Gospel Fellowships?"...

which further begs the question, since when did something EXTERNAL, become a "doctrine"?....if we wish to go BACK, into Scripture and look for NEGLECTED Ordinances. why not go to John 13?

to quote, and may God add His Blessing to this Precious Portion of Holy Scripture:

"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you."
John 13:1-15

lets look at that last verse again:

"For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you."

That's RED LETTER, coming from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...hence a "foot washing" movement demonstrating Jesus Love, and Servanthood to the saints, would that not be of invaluable knitting us together as the Body of Christ?would that not be of Divine profit in underlining humility one to another?

I don't understand, with a world on fire, how such external displays, qualify as "doctrine". and I did read this dear mans website, and was taken aback in the first sentences by such as this:

Quote:
Hello everyone and welcome to the Head Covering Movement.

My name is Jeremy and I’m the founder



"and I'm the founder"?

my question is this, is this now part of the Gospel Fellowships?

I have MANY more questions, but I wont belabor you. I could even bring up the importance of the Jerusalem Council Four very simple edicts, to help Early Church Gentile followers of Jesus, who were being confused by those who maintained all the external requirements of Moses and the Law, must be maintained to follow Messiah.

this whole thread greatly concerns me as it relates to Gospel fellowships, and whether such a formation is to be IN-clusive, or EX-clusive.
In Jesus' love, neil


 2013/6/15 9:39
allaboard
Member



Joined: 2011/5/28
Posts: 100


 Re:

Those are great observations, Hezwelling (Neil).

If there is to be a "movement" to "join", let us move closer to the Lord and join the movement of the Holy Spirit where Jesus is the Founder and those that are joined to Him walk in love amongst the brethren.

 2013/6/15 14:09Profile
followthelamb
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Joined: 2010/12/7
Posts: 1236
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I felt led to log on briefly to help clear up some confusion about this post:

1.) Greg is not the author of this article (though it may have appeared that way by accident)
2.) the movement is not affiliated in any way with gospel fellowships, it was simply food for thought as with many other articles shared

Thank you so much and may the Name of Jesus Christ be glorified in each of us this day and always increasingly.

In His love,
Your sister


 2013/6/15 14:33Profile
sermonindex
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Saints,

Just again to clarify what was shared. It is a blog website that is not run by myself but brother Jeremy who runs www.gospelebooks.net Which is a great website for kindle ebooks.

I am more partial to encourage the "re-thinking" of this practice in the church and therefore am not ashamed to encourage the consideration of it. As towards Gospel Fellowships this is not an issue of fellowship either way sisters interpret the passage.

There is a footnote in the Principles volume to encourage this practice but it is not a major issue or nor theme to dis-fellowship or fellowship around.

brother Niel quoted Ravenhill and their movement had sisters to be covered I believe as did most holiness pentecostal groups and most other denoninations in the early 1900's and before.

Again it is not an issue to dis-fellowship or approve. I believe the wording "movement" simply is a movement to discuss and re-think the intrepretation of it in the Church.

Watchman Nee considered it important for spiritual reasons therefore his entire little flock church in China practiced this for sisters to wear coverings in meetings.

Thank you saints for the humble heart to learn of the Lord, re-think things and if disagreed then that is fine. But we should not discourage other sisters who feel it was shown by the Holy Spirit for them to do it.

So neither compulsion or requirement is the case but all are left to the Spirit's leading and Scriptures for themselves.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/6/15 15:20Profile
allaboard
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 Re:

what are the spiritual advantages of making godly, spirit filled sisters wear one? Serious question.

 2013/6/15 15:30Profile
sermonindex
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
what are the spiritual advantages of making godly, spirit filled sisters wear one? Serious question.



Brother, I am going to respond in short to this post but is not my objective to defend this practice or promote it overtly. I would say personally it is not "making" anyone wear headcoverings. It is in scripture and if true then a practice the Lord gave for the Church.

So we would have to say it is God making or desiring sisters to do this.

God never will force, we must come to these things by His grace and with a willing heart.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/6/15 15:35Profile





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