Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Doctrinal Debate (sort of)

So, here’s my doctrinal topic for the day: Should women still be required to cover their heads in church?

Before blogging about this, I talked to my dad (who is a pastor) about the context and interpretation of the infamous scripture, 1 Corinthians 11:3-10, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.”

What I understood from his explanation is this: this scripture is not a matter of a legalistic rule against women. It is a matter of conscience. In the Biblical times, Jewish women wore headdresses as a cultural thing. Therefore, it was ingrained into their culture as the proper attire for a woman and thus a matter of the conscience. However, Greek women did not wear head coverings, according to their culture. When both cultures came together to worship, Jewish women became offended. This would be equal to a woman wearing a low cut dress or a mini skirt to church on Sunday. To smooth matters over, Paul instructed that all women should cover their heads in a place of worship so that no one became offended.

Makes sense.

But, some denominations still do it today. From my point of view, it isn’t a cultural thing anymore; so, why do some churches have a legalistic hold on this?

And here is my part B of the topic of the day: Should women be allowed to speak/prophesy/hold positions of leadership in the church?

Notice that verse five says this, “And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved.”

The context of this scripture is not to pray to one’s self as in a daily devotional or petition to God in a private manner. It is referring to a public prayer or prophesy. Women were allowed by Paul to prophesy before the congregation. Women were also allowed to hold positions of leadership under Paul’s ministry: Priscilla and Aquila ministered to the body of Christ. There are other women who also helped Paul, I just can’t remember their names. :-\

My personal convictions are:

In today’s culture, women should not be required (by a legalistic preference of the church) to cover their heads during church. It is a matter of the heart (not of the rule book) that we ought to keep out consciences clean before the Lord. There is a thin line between respect and works and I feel that in some cases, head covering can become a ‘works’ issue. Covering my head will not cause me to be more holy or more acceptable to the Lord. Unless, of course, I lived back in the times of Paul.

I do believe that women are called to hold positions of leadership in the church and are encouraged to practice and participate in such things as baptism of the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues), prophesying, and even preaching. (Deuteronomy 10:1, “ For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.”)

So! Tell me (or us) what your convictions are on this. I want to know your convictions with scriptural support. Look forward to reading your thoughts!!!! :)


Anonymous said...

This is my problem with (most) Christians: They look at the Bible, and decide which parts are applicable. That whole thing against gays, well, that still holds true today, but women covering their heads? That's obviously just a cultural thing with no relevance today. And if it was just deciding which parts were important to you, without making judgments about other people, I'd be all for it, but they make moral judgments about others based on their interpretation of a book written centuries before. They even try to get laws passed to enforce their beliefs on others, and it's not just Christians, I think there are people of almost every faith guilty of this.

I mean, whatever happened to Matthew 7:1?

Sazaran said...

Might I ask a question here... by saying that Christians are the ones who pass laws yada-yada-yada, aren't you also judging?? So, maybe, watch how you judge before you judge.

Wait, this is getting too complicated.

And, as I've said before, we named this DAILY OFFENSIVE, for a reason. We want to talk about the the things that most people shy away from.

Besides, who passed a law about women covering their heads? I've heard of no such law in the USA.

P.S. I would like to add that I do not take parts of the Bible and customize it according to my comfort zone. So, I must not be apart of your "(most) Christians". Go talk to them about your problem.



Anonymous said...

Of course I'm judging, but thankfully I don't follow a holy book that tells me I shouldn't.

I definitely understand the name of the blog, and was hoping for a lively debate on the subject - otherwise, I wouldn't have posted.

I never said there were any laws about women covering their heads (at least, not in the US), but one could certainly argue that anti-sodomy laws, laws barring gay marriage, the Comstock laws of the late 19th century barring pornography and contraceptives, numerous attempts to either block evolution from being taught in schools or insist that intelligent design be taught along side it, and many similar laws are based on Christian values.

And how can you say you don't take parts of the bible and customize them, that's what this post is entirely about! You're taking a passage from the bible and making a judgement about how it should be interpreted: culturally, not literally. Now, perhaps I'm wrong and you look at everything in the bible through a cultural lens; if that's the case, then I suppose I'm talking more to other readers of your blog who take it more literally.

Daily Offensive (baha!) said...

I'm sorry, you cannot have it both ways. I do believe the judging rule is not only for those who hold the Bible. If you don't want others to judge- don't judge, yourself. You don't know my person, you're merely reading one tiny little blog entry that I wrote- it does not represent who I am or what I may believe in the end.

The reason I addressed this issue only is because I can't very well copy and paste the entire Bible into this blog- I'll have to pick and choose the most interesting subjects, for now.

Alright, if you want it- "I believe that women should not be made to wear head coverings in church". But, in no way do I pass judgement on those who do (I am not telling anyone the outcome of their salvation). Just to clear something up here. I am not talking about weather it is okay to wear a hat to church. I am talking about the legalistic 'law' of some denominations- women who are oppressed by misinterpretation of scripture.

Might I add one lasy thing. This is not LAW. It is not Sazaran's way or the highway, it is simply a blog to invoke thought or get people to scratch their heads.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, if women actually DID wear head coverings they would stop gossiping and judging so much. There is nothing like a prayer chain of women spreading the news that someone needs prayer...we all know its gossip is its purest form. I cant help but think if we couldnt see each others faces that crap wouldnt go on as much!

Sazaran said...

HA! Oh, riiiight. As if something as superficial as a head covering would stop something that has to do with the condition of a woman's heart.

For some reason, I don't think that would work.

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