Thursday, June 20, 2013

My View on Head Coverings...

Ok, so I had promised some readers a post on 'head coverings'.  I know this may seem like a TOTALLY random subject to be posting on, but I've come upon some situations where my stand needs to be clear on this topic.  Unfortunately, I have been way busy this summer with different things from home, church, work.  It is a blessing to be kept busy, but my blog seems to suffer when busy times come.  Anyway, I haven't had any time to pull together a post all on my own about this, but while researching the topic, I came across this article written by Pastor Steven Anderson, of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona.  I do not agree with everything that Pastor Anderson preaches about, and the different articles on both his blog and the church's website, but his article on "Why Women Should Not Wear Head Coverings" was just what I was looking for.  

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1Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 
1Cor 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 
1Cor 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 
1Cor 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 

1Cor 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Cor 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 
1Cor 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 
1Cor 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.1Cor 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 
1Cor 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 

1Cor 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 

1Cor 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

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

1Cor 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. 


Some people have misinterpreted 1 Corinthians 11 and believe that it is commanding women to wear hats or "head-coverings" of some kind. In this chapter, God is dealing with gender roles and the authority that a man has over his wife. In verse 3, the authority that a man has over his wife is likened unto the authority that God has over a man. God is the "head" (authority figure) of the man, and the man is the "head" (authority figure) of the woman. This matches perfectly with what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 

As we continue in 1 Corinthians 11, verses 4-6 state:

1Cor 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 1Cor 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 
1Cor 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 


According to these verses women should have their heads "covered," and men should not. In fact, if a woman's head is not covered, that is just as bad as if she were "shorn" or "shaven." Notice that the Bible says that it is a "shame" for a woman to be shorn or shaven. We all know what "shaven" means, but what does the word "shorn" mean? The Bible uses the word "shorn" one other time in the New Testament:

Acts 18:18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shornhis head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

The vow that the Bible is referring to here is a Nazarite vow from the Old Testament. Notice what the Bible commands about the Nazarite vow in Numbers 6:

Num 6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 

Num 6:18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 


Once again, the Bible is its own dictionary. Being "shorn" is another word for being "shaven." Paul having his head shaved with a razor is referred to as him being "shorn." Therefore God is saying that a woman being "uncovered" is just as shameful as her shaving her head completely bald as Paul did in Acts 18.

So, what is this "covering"?

1Cor 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered
1Cor 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is ashame unto him? 

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

According to verses 13-15, a woman is "uncovered" if she does not have "long hair." A woman is therefore commanded to have long hair, and a man is commanded not to have long hair.

Those who believe in women wearing external "head-coverings" or bonnets on their heads will argue that even though long hair is a covering (indefinite article), women still need to wear an additional covering or bonnet on their heads. This is easily disproved with the Bible. The same passage that tells women to be covered tells men not to be covered. Therefore, if this were talking about something other than long hair (i.e. a "head-covering" or bonnet), it would be a sin for a man to wear it while praying or prophesying. This is directly in contradiction with many Old Testament passages that command the Old Testament priests to wear bonnets and mitres while ministering in the priests office:


Exo 28:40 And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.
Exo 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. 

Exo 29:9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnetson them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.

Exo 39:27 And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
Exo 39:28 And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,

Lev 8:13 And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses. 

Eze 44:17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them,whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. 
Eze 44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat. 

Notice that the priest's clothing consisted of coats, britches (pants), and bonnets. Why would God tell us that "nature itself" teaches us that a woman should wear a head-covering, and that men should not, when he commanded over and over again that the priests (who were men of course) were required to wear bonnets when they prayed and prophesied in the priests office! The covering referred to in 1 Corinthians 11 is long hair, as defined in the passage itself; it is not a bonnet or head-covering.

This is consistent with the Old Testament, which commanded the priests not to have long hair:

Eze 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads. 

They were commanded to be neither completely bald nor long-haired, but rather to "poll" (i.e. cut short the hair on) their heads.

Other proponents of "head-coverings" on women will say that if you "go back to the Greek," you'll see that the word for "covering" in verse 15 is different than the other words used for "covering" in the passage. Of course, they are not fluent in Greek, but because the words look a lot different, they assume that they must be talking about completely different things. However, there are many examples in our language of words that look completely different as different parts of speech, but that are actually the same. Here are a few examples:

- having faith (noun) means that you believe (verb).
- being undressed (adjective) means you aren't wearing any clothes (noun).
- doing something manually (adverb) means that you did it by hand (noun).
- thing that are lunar (adjective) have to do with the moon (noun).

You see how identical words can look completely different as different parts of speech. Therefore a woman can be uncovered (adjective - ακατακαλυπτω) because she is not wearing a covering (noun - περιβολαιου). Just because the words look the same in English does not mean that they will look the same in Greek. Apparently these head-covering advocates who couldn't even order a meal in a Greek restaurant think they know more than the KJV translators. This is why one should always beware when anyone has to "go back to the Greek" to prove their doctrine.

Now that we understand what "covering" is referring to in 1 Corinthians 11 (i.e. long hair), let's go back and look at the passage with this definition in mind:

1Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 
1Cor 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered 
(i.e. having long hair), dishonoureth his head (i.e. dishonours Jesus Christ - see previous verse). 
1Cor 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered (i.e. with short hair) dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (i.e. if a woman doesn't have long hair, she might as well be bald!)
1Cor 11:6 For if the woman be not covered 
(i.e. she has short hair), let her also be shorn : but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. (i.e. in God's eyes, it is just as much of a shame for a woman to have short hair, as it is for her to be completely shaved bald).

You may say, "Okay, Pastor Anderson, I get it. Women do not have to wear head-coverings, but they do have to have long hair. But can't they wear head-coverings if they want to? Why are you against head-coverings?"

I am against head-coverings on women for two reasons:

1. I am against head-coverings because they associate you with the wrong crowd spiritually. Every church or pastor I have ever seen or known that taught that women were commanded to wear head-coverings was wrong on the Gospel. I have never seen or heard of a church that taught that women must wear head-coverings that believed that salvation was by faith alone. The churches and teachers promoting head-coverings on women teach a works-based salvation in one of the following forms:

- some teach you can lose your salvation
- some teach you must repent of your sins in order to be saved
- some teach you must surrender your life to Christ in order to be saved
- some teach Calvinist doctrines of "grace" which teach that if you don't have works, you aren't saved, and that God is the one who chooses who will be saved and who will be damned (TULIP).

The Bible on the other hand states that salvation is by faith alone:

Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, thatwhosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

I have never seen or heard of any church that preached Bible salvation that taught women to wear head-coverings. Therefore, wearing a head-covering will lump you in with unsaved false teachers such as the Amish, Pentecostals, etc.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 

1Thess 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 

2. I am against head-coverings because they are not modest apparel. Yes, you got that right, I said that they are not modest apparel:

1Tim 2:9 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; 
1Tim 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 

The word "modest" in these verses is often misinterpreted to only mean "not revealing" or "not promiscuous." However, there is nothing revealing or promiscuous about broided hair, gold, or pearls. This passage is telling ladies not to dress in a way that draws attention to themselves. Their good works should be what stand out, not their appearance, clothing, hair, or jewelry. Instead of a "Christian uniform," it should be thegood works of Christian ladies that stand out to the world.

mod·est

[mod-ist]
–adjective
1.having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.

Women who wear head-coverings or Amish-looking dresses are doing so in order to purposely look different and stand out. There are many beautiful and stylish dresses for women to wear that are very modest and and not revealing whatsoever, but that do not purposely draw attention and cry out, "Look at me! Look how 'modest' I am!" Purposely drawing attention to yourself is neither modesty nor humility!

If ladies who practice "head-covering" were truly just trying to obey scripture and not draw attention to themselves, then why not wear a "head-covering" something like this:

or this:


Instead, this is what you usually see:


or this:

Conclusion:
Ladies are commanded by the Bible to have long hair. They are not commanded to wear an external head covering of any kind. If they do wear one, people will probably associate them with religions that preach a false Gospel.

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Again, this article explains almost perfectly what I believe on head coverings.  As I was studying this out, I noticed that most articles written that are for women wearing head coverings do NOT use the King James Version, which is the only Infallible Inspired Word of God. I'm not saying that every single person who wears head coverings denies God's Holy Word, but I am saying that most of the articles were not KJV, and when someone uses a different version, they are denying God's Word.  As usual, while I was contemplating this post, God helped me out in this point.  My friend, Christian, preached a message on Satanic Attacks. One of his points was that Satan will attack us using the incomplete word of God. His passage was Luke 4:1-14, where Satan is tempting Christ in the wilderness. Just like he tempted Christ with scripture that was twisted, changed, or incomplete, today Satan uses new 'versions' to pervert the Bible and lead people away from the truth.  But don't worry, there's a post about Bible versions coming soon ;). I hope this post was an encouragement and help to you! 

2 comments:

  1. Hi there!

    I just found your blog and I also found this post very interesting. Recently, through reading the scriptures, I was convicted to begin wearing head coverings for worship services in church. I do not believe that they are necessary to be worn all the time, but rather when "praying or prophesying." I do not think that wearing head coverings or not is a salvation issue, but rather something that each individual must seek out between himself and God, based on study of the Scriptures. I also try to make sure that my headcoverings are not attention-grabbing, but rather modern in some way and modest. I have used lace, scarves, and knitted hats. For me, it is a wonderful way to signify the headship of my father and of God while in church. I understand that many people many disagree on this point, and I am fine with that. As it says in Romans 14, "Who are you to pass judgement on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls."

    Interestingly, the first Sunday I wore a headcovering, my pastor preached against it, but in a different way than you approached it. He stated that based on his study of the Greek, headcoverings were necessary for women of the time, but that this is a case of cultural relativity, and does not apply to us today. I found something interesting though. Did you know that all women wore headcoverings to church until the start of the feminist revolution in the 1950s and 60s? Just a thought.

    Anyway, I found this article you provided very well-thought out and thorough. I understand that your convictions are different than mine, and you have done your research. "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." (Romans 14:5)

    If you would like further reading on the subject, in order to see a different perspective, I recommend this post: http://childrenareablessing.org/2014/01/26/headcovering-in-modern-times/

    and this website: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com

    Also, a dear girl's blog which I enjoy reading often has pictures of her headcoverings which are modern and not attention-grabbing: http://freshmodesty.blogspot.com/search/label/Church

    Thank you again for the interesting read! One question though, why do you believe the KJV is the only inspired version of God's Word? I know that LDS believe in the KJV as the only inspired word. What denomination of church are you from?

    Thanks,
    Abby

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    Replies
    1. Hi Abby,
      Ok, so I have a reply to your comment, but blogger is being super difficult and not letting me publish it :( I was wondering if you had an email address I could contact you at?
      If you leave a comment with it, I will make sure that it's not published. I would love to get in touch!
      Thanks so very much
      ~Sarah

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