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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Headcoverings for Women?

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 Headcoverings for Women?

 2016/11/21 11:25









 

 2016/11/21 11:51
StirItUp
Member



Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re: Question concerning "Head Coverings" for women

But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God...

I think that's the best view 🙂 because this can become a very contentious issue and as far as I understand it is not vital to our faith or church order. It seems a cultural issue as well and would seem really strange to modern western folk.

Don't bite me, just my thoughts 😇


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William

 2016/11/21 12:54Profile









 Re:

I think this topic has been covered extensively on SI.

 2016/11/21 13:12
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5276
NC, USA

 Re:

Quote: I think this topic has been covered extensively on SI.

That may be the understatement of the century.

Sherri- to quote Jiminy Cricket, why not let your conscience be your guide?


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Todd

 2016/11/21 14:00Profile
StirItUp
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Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

Sherri,
I found this on Grace To You site which is very helpful:

Head Coverings For Women
1 Corinthians 11 February 17, 2016 BQ022713
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Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying, disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head; for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. (11:4–6)

It is best to understand that Paul is here referring to activities of believers in ministry before the Lord and the public, where a clear testimony is essential.


In the most general senses praying is talking to God about people, including ourselves, and prophesying is talking to people about God. One is vertical (man to God) and the other is horizontal (man to man), and they represent the two primary dimensions of believers’ ministry. Admittedly, the detail of this passage related to head coverings is difficult because of the scarcity of historical data. But the content helps to clarify the principle Paul has in mind, whatever the special covering may have been. He wants the church to live according to divine standards.


When Paul said a man disgraces his head if he has something on his head while praying or prophesying, he had to be referring to local Corinthian custom. The phrase has something on his head literally means “having down from head,” and is usually taken to refer to a veil. The context here implies that in Corinth such a head covering would have been completely ridiculous for a man and completely proper for a woman. For Jews, who came to wear head coverings, the practice seems to have come in the fourth century A.D., though some may have tried it in the time of the apostles. But generally it was regarded as a disgrace for a man to worship with his head covered.


It seems, therefore, that Paul is not stating a divine universal requirement but simply acknowledging a local custom. The local Christian custom, however, reflected the divine principle. In Corinthian society a man’s praying or prophesying without a head covering was a sign of his authority over women, who were expected to have their heads covered in these ministries. Consequently, for a man to cover his head would be a disgrace, because it suggested a reversal of the proper relationships. Disgraces her head could refer to her own head literally and to her husband’s metaphorically.


In Paul’s day numerous symbols were used to signify the woman’s subordinate relationship to men, particularly of wives to husbands. Usually the symbol was in the form of a head covering, and in the Greek–Roman world of Corinth the symbol apparently was a veil of some kind. In many Near East countries today a married woman’s veil still signifies that she will not expose herself to other men, that her beauty and charms are reserved entirely for her husband, that she does not care even to be noticed by other men. Similarly, in the culture of first–century Corinth wearing a head covering while ministering or worshiping was a woman’s way of stating her devotion and submission to her husband and of demonstrating her commitment to God.


It seems, however, that some women in the Corinthian church were not covering their heads while praying or prophesying. We know from secular history that various movements of women’s liberation and feminism appeared in the Roman empire during New Testament times. Women would often take off their veils or other head coverings and cut their hair in order to look like men. Much as in our own day, some women were demanding to be treated exactly like men and they attacked marriage and the raising of children as unjust restrictions of their rights. They asserted their independence by leaving their husbands and homes, refusing to care for their children, living with other men, demanding jobs traditionally held by men, wearing men’s clothing and hairdos, and by discarding all signs of femininity. It is likely that some of the believers at Corinth were influenced by those movements and, as a sign of protest and independence, refused to cover their heads at appropriate times.


As with meat that had been offered to idols, there was nothing in the wearing or not wearing of the head covering itself that was right or wrong. It is the rebellion against God–ordained roles that is wrong, and in Corinth that rebellion was demonstrated by women praying and prophesying with their heads uncovered.
Dress is largely cultural and, unless what a person wears is immodest or sexually suggestive, it has no moral or spiritual significance. Throughout biblical times, as in many parts of the world today, both men and women wore some type of robe. But there always were some clear distinctions of dress between men and women, most often indicated by hair length and head coverings.


It is the principle of women’s subordination to men, not the particular mark or symbol of that subordination, that Paul is teaching in this passage. The apostle is not laying down a universal principle that Christian women should always worship with their heads covered.


The mention here of women’s praying or prophesying is sometimes used to prove that Paul acknowledged the right of their teaching, preaching, and leading in church worship. But he makes no mention here of the church at worship or in the time of formal teaching. Perhaps he has in view praying or prophesying in public places, rather than in the worship of the congregation. This would certainly fit with the very clear directives in 1 Corinthians (14:34) and in his first letter to Timothy (2:12). The New Testament has no restrictions on a woman’s witnessing in public to others, even to a man. Nor does it prohibit women from taking nonleadership roles of praying with believers or for unbelievers; and there is no restriction from teaching children and other women (cf. Titus 2:3–4; 1 Tim. 5:16). Women may have the gift of prophecy, as did Philip’s four daughters (Acts 21:9), but they are normally not to prophesy in the meetings of the church where men are present.


In other words, it is only necessary to combine the relevant passages to get the composite truth. Women may pray and prophesy within the boundaries of God’s revelation, and with a proper sense of submission. And it is critical that their deportment in so doing reflects God’s order. Certainly they must not appear rebellious against God’s will.


Paul’s point in verses 4–5 is that, whenever and wherever it is appropriate for men and women to pray or prophesy, they should do so with proper distinction between male and female. Every man should speak to or for the Lord clearly as a man, and every woman should speak to or for the Lord clearly as a woman. God does not want the distinction to be blurred.


For a Corinthian woman to pray or prophesy with her head uncovered disgraced or shamed her and made her the same with her whose head is shaved. If a woman took off her head covering she might as well make the symbol of her role rejection complete by taking off all of her hair, the God–given identifier of her special role as a woman. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off. In that day only a prostitute or an extreme feminist would shave her head.


The Talmud indicates that a Jew considered a woman with a shaved head extremely ugly, and Chrysostom records that women guilty of adultery had their hair shaved off and were marked as prostitutes. Aristophanes even taught that the mother of unworthy children should have her hair shorn.


Paul therefore is saying, “If you are not willing to look like a prostitute or a rebellious feminist by cutting off your hair, don’t pray or prophesy with your head uncovered either.”


It is remarkable that any Christian woman would seek such an identification, until we think of how some appear today so worldly as to make the same comparison possible.


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William

 2016/11/21 14:03Profile
Sree
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 Re: Question concerning "Head Coverings" for women

I believe every command of God should be taken serious, especially the New Covenant one. No one can ignore any of these commands and teach others to do so. The curse for doing so is very serious as well. I believe those who tell it is cultural are teaching others to ignore a command of God. In NT there are very few external commands, most of them are internal. So why is it difficult to follow those few external commands?


If I was born as a women, I will cover my head in the Church and whenever I pray in Public, as a symbol of my submission to my husband. I will not care who around me does it or who does not. No women here can say that they are 100% submitting to their husbands, can they? So everyone struggles in this area of submission. If following a simple command will anyway help a women in this area of submission then let her do so. Why should someone ignore a simple doable command related to an area that is always a big challenge to all women? Can any sister answer me this simple question?

For example to men, lust in eyes is always an issue. But there is a command given by Paul to flee from youthful lust (2 Tim 2:22). This is also an external command asking young men to flee or run from women who might tempt them to lust. I believe if any man including me, does not want to flee but believes that somehow God will give them grace to overcome lust, then they will be defeated in the area of Lust. God will never give his grace to someone who willfully ignores his command. Since I am in need of grace in this area, I am willing to follow every command given with respect to Youthful lust, as I want to please God period.

So any women who is humble enough to accept her need of God's grace in the area of submission, will cover her head. She will not think twice to obey a simple command that can help her receive grace. I am not saying covering head will make them win God's grace, but not covering head might prevent them from receiving Grace. God's word is clear, only humble people who want to obey all commands of God will receive grace. Humble women will not be bothered if someone looks down on her because she is covering her head. She is already humble enough to accept that she is weak, she is not concerned about opinion of other women.


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Sreeram

 2016/11/21 14:12Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
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 Re: Question concerning "Head Coverings" for women

Quote:

I wore a head covering a couple years ago and received some strange looks from those within the body of Christ. I was asked "why" I chose to do this. I was told it was legalistic, it was presenting a holier than thou image, etc... I stopped wearing it because of the "contention" it stirred just as stated in the scriptures above.



My wife and I were attending a prayer group of all Americans, mostly women. None of them covered their head. My wife did while praying. She felt very odd and asked me what she has to do. I told her, you are covering head to obey God not to please people. So do not be concerned about their opinion of you. But if covering your head made you feel spiritually proud and made you judge those other women then you better do not do it. She said, she never judged any of them.
She continued covering her head. Another Godly sister in that group asked her about this practice. When my wife explained the meaning of head covering, the other sister also got the courage to cover her head!

I do not find any harm in obeying God's command. But there are plenty of harm in disobeying even the smallest of command willfully.


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Sreeram

 2016/11/21 14:34Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I wore a head covering a couple years ago and received some strange looks from those within the body of Christ. I was asked "why" I chose to do this. I was told it was legalistic, it was presenting a holier than thou image, etc... I stopped wearing it because of the "contention" it stirred just as stated in the scriptures above.

I do understand the Word of God says we are to obey Jesus and not follow the "traditions of men".




Brethren,

I believe this is important to allow anyone who has a sincere question towards obedience to God to ask these things.



--


Sister,

It is wonderful to see your earnest desire to obey the Lord and the Scriptures in all matters. Paul the Apostle answers your question that it is a tradition to wear headcoverings and it is from the Apostles (apostles traditions for the church), traditions are practical obedience areas, that speak of an eternal significance in the Church.

1 Corinthians 11:2
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.


Recently reading 1 Corinthians 11 it seemed so clear to me that the Headcoverings was a important and vital early Church practice as the Lords supper was as they are both covered in the same chapter and given great signifigance.

All early church women believers practiced head coverings. Most Church movements also throughout history did so. It is only modern liberial churches primarily in the last 60 years that have said "no" to this practice. The result is sadly almost no churches practice this custom anymore. What a great loss for the body of Christ and glory and testimony of the Lord.

I believe sisters who have the Holy Spirit gently encourage them in this area are doing a very signifigant thing for the testimony of Christ in the meetings of believers.

This is one of the best very short booklets on the subject I have seen: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/head-coverings-by-kp-yohannan.pdf

http://www.cfcindia.com/article/headcovering-for-women

"- If we ignore any command of God in Scripture (however small) we will suffer some eternal loss (Rev.22:19)." - Zac Poonen


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/11/21 15:01Profile
drifter
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Joined: 2005/6/6
Posts: 624
Campbell River, B.C.

 Re:

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 1 Corinthians 11:15

Long hair is the covering.


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Nigel Holland

 2016/11/21 15:08Profile





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