Saturday, September 22, 2007

Headcovering: What's the worst that could happen?

Some people say the women's headcovering in 1 Corinthians 11 was purely a cultural requirement and unnecessary today.

Supposing it was. Is there any harm in women wearing it today? What's the worst that could happen if Christian women do cover their heads?

18 comments:

Andrew said...

Hi Matthew,

I think the worst that could happen would be that women could forget what the symbol means and the covering could just become a fashion statement or something like that. Presumably for the Christians at Corinth the covering was simply symbolic of a deeper truth - their submission to male leadership. However, in this culture, a symbol devoid of such significance could become a symbol of spiritual superiority or just plain fashion sense. IMO, that's the worst that could happen - and it does.

However, I know what you're saying and realise that if the covering is invested with the correct meaning for those wearing the covering, there can surely be no harm.

God bless,
Andrew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, I think the decline of the headcovering was probably due to the fact that it became a fashion statement.

Where headcovering is practiced, it usually takes the form of hats or bonnets that follow fashion and which usually do not cover long hair.

Had headcovering made use of veils or scarves that transcended fashions, I think it would be more widespread today.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Andrew said...

I agree Matthew.

Blessings,
Andrew.

Libbie said...

I've been mistaken for a muslim before now with it, but I agree with Andrew that, like anything else, it could easily become either spiritual pride or dry formalism (which actually, I certainly agree Matthew, is why it died out in much of the church in the first place).

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Funnily enough, I saw the Muslim girl next door without her hijab this weekend. I dont think I had seen her before with hair flowing freely.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Libbie.

Rose~ said...

Good afternoon, Matthew

The worst that could happen - legalism, pride, offense.

Palm boy said...

I was thinking hair falling out due to lack of oxygen... :D
But I think Andrew and Rose called it.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

PB, I am not aware that lack of oxygen causes hair to fall out.

In any case, I think most styles of headcovering would allow in plenty of air.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Rose,

I appreciate the possible danger of legalism or pride.

The thing is those things are hardly a danger that is unique to headcovering. Any moral position could potentially lead to pride.

I think the real question is there any real harm in headcovering if it turned out that it was not really necessary?

If the textual evidence is uncertain, do we presume that headcovering is necessary or do we assume that it is unnecessary?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Rose~ said...

Some people say that the Bible teaches Christians can drink in moderation and some people say that the Bible teaches that Christians should never drink.

Supposing they can drink alcohol. Is there any harm in people abstaining? What's the worst that could happen if Christians abstained from alcohol?

Rose~ said...

If the textual evidence is uncertain, do we presume that abstinence is necessary or do we assume that it is unnecessary?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think that is a very good question, Rose.

An important difference is that headcovering is actually commanded, while there is no direct commandment in Scripture for Christians to abstain from alcohol.

I think two things would be lost if abstinence was mandatory.

Firstly, the Biblical joy-giving benefits of alcohol (Psalm 104: 14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
and herb for the service of man:
that he may bring forth food out of the earth;


15 and wine that maketh glad the heart of man,
and oil to make his face to shine,
and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.)

Secondly, if we insisted in everybody abstaining from alcohol, we would refusing to accept that people are able to exercise self control.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Rose~ said...

What Andrew says has really stuck with me in this as I have thought about it.
The Bible says this was a symbol of something. It isn't that symbol anymore, so I can't see how it would mean anything if I wore this to church.
I truly believe the point Paul is making is for women to not be show-offs in church.

Thanks for making me think about this, Matthew.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It is a symbol today because the Bible tells us what it was a symbol of. Likewise, the Bible tells us what baptism means and what the Lord's Supper means. We do not abandon those things because those in the world do not know their meaning.

For all we know, Paul's identification of the meaning of headcovering may not have corresponded with the meaning ascribed to it by those in the various cultures of the early church.

Do not forget, Rose, that there was more than one culture in the apostolic age- there were Romans, Greeks, Jews and Orientals.

The Jewish practice of headcovering may not have been understood in the same way as the Greek custom.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

David Wyatt said...

Bro. Matthew. I do not have a comment on headcovering. I just wanted to thank you for the way you sign your posts. "Every blessing in Christ." That is good, because it makes us remember just some of the multitudinous benefits we have in Him!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, David.

Rose~ said...

Matthew,
I hope you don't mind me telling David about this post re: your signature sign off. :~)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good idea, Rose.