Straightforward English Helps us Understand Headcovering

Last night, I watched Steven Anderson’s sermon “Head Coverings in Light of the Bible” for the first time. For several months I had been planning to view it, but hadn’t felt quite up to the agitation I suspected would result.

Sadly, it was all I expected, and more. Pastor Anderson does not believe in headcovering, but thinks that long hair is all a woman needs to “cover” her while praying or prophesying. He believes that, and adamantly so.

I did not appreciate his approach. He referred to the revered Christian veil in a mocking tone, calling it a “bonnet,” a “coffee filter,” and a “sombrero” which elicited laughs from his congregation; it seems to me he did this intentionally. He also stated that headcovering is a false doctrine, basically equating it with heresy. He finished by warning of the dangers of immodestly drawing attention to oneself by wearing a headcovering.

At least he acknowledged that headcovering is a spreading, popular movement! So much so, in fact, that he felt compelled to caution his congregation against it.

To be completely fair, there were several points that I did agree with, and on which I think he gave some thoughtful explanations:

  • He emphasized the importance of using discernment in choosing good leaders. We are not man-followers, but God does call certain people to lead others in the church, and we should follow their examples, as long as they are being Scriptural.
  • He defended the deity of Christ, and how He is at the same time distinct from the Father. The three–Father, Son, and Spirit–are One, and yet they are distinct from each other and have different roles. The Son is God, but He is not the Father. And the Son is subject to the Father, but is not inferior to Him.
  • He defended biblical gender roles, the leadership of the husband and the submission of the wife.
  • He explained the Bible’s teaching on appropriate hair lengths for men and women. I completely agree with his opinion on hair lengths (I just don’t agree with his opinion that the hair is the covering).
  • He didn’t try to turn the covering issue into a cultural problem, as I’ve heard some do.

I’ve watched another video sermon by him on the topic of birth control, and on that I agreed with him completely. It was a great message, and I respected his boldness in addressing that controversial issue. However, I did not feel the same way after viewing his sermon on headcovering. One of the points (among many) which I found intriguing at the same time I found it disappointing was his insistence on disregarding the Greek and focusing mainly on the English.

Well, the New Testament was not originally written in English. It seems logical to me that if we want to acquire a deeper understanding of the meaning of a text, it would certainly be useful to consult a Greek word dictionary! Sometimes meaning can be lost across translation; this is something I can relate to as a bilingual English/Spanish speaker. I know that those who translated the Bible into English tried their best, but at the same time I am able to admit that English has limitations. I have heard that the Greek language actually has more words (thousands more?) than English, and because of that, it has greater flexibility for communicating complex ideas. But, we are restricted to our own, English word forms. (By the way, I am not KJV only, which he staunchly is.)

However, I think he is right in emphasizing the importance of doing our best to understand the basic English meaning before diving into the Greek, and of letting the Bible interpret itself.

Therefore, that is what I will now attempt to do, in my own simple way. Let’s look at the English, and do our best to make sense of it.

1 Corinthians 11

1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

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.

Up to here, I have no disagreement with Pastor Anderson in his interpretation.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

Basic English: if a man has his head covered–in other words, there is something on top of it–he dishonors Christ, his spiritual head. When I say that something is covered, I always mean that there is something concealing what is beneath. I cover my bed with a blanket. I cover my walls with paint. I cover my pasta with sauce. Covered = on top of.

Having his head covered means that there is something on top of, concealing, his head. What would that be? The obvious answer is: a piece of cloth, since that is what I think of first with my English-speaking brain.

However, even if by some great stretch it was not a cloth and was his hair instead, then it would have to mean that for him to have any hair at all would be dishonorable, since hair covers the head. The text doesn’t say ” having his neck covered,” or “having his back covered”; that is what it should say if long hair were the issue, since long hair doesn’t only cover the head, but the neck and maybe even the back, too. But, it says, “having his head covered,” so it is the head which is in question, and even very short hair still covers the head. So, if the covering is the hair, then men need to shave it all off, so their heads won’t be covered.

Another point worthy of consideration: why is it that “praying or prophesying” are specifically mentioned? Because if it is a shame for a man to have long hair (and it is, as pointed out later in the passage), then it would be a shame for him all the time! Why are we not told instead, “every man at church, at work, at home, or on the street, having long hair, dishonors his head”? It seems clear to me that the reason praying or prophesying are pinpointed is because we are meant to understand that the covering is something removable, something that is only intended for certain times and not for others. A man cannot shave his head for praying or prophesying and then grow it all back when he’s done. Either he’s shaved all the time, or he’s not. It’s an all-the-time deal.

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.

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.

Now for the woman. If she prays or prophesies with her head uncovered she dishonors her head, the man. When I read the word uncovered, I immediately think of something not on top of. So, if my table is uncovered, it doesn’t have a tablecloth over it. If my shoulders are uncovered, it’s because I didn’t put on a shirt with sleeves.

A woman who does not cover her head shows what by her actions? She shows that she does not want to be under her God-given authority, the man (and by extension, Christ and God), but lifts herself up as leader, instead. A piece of cloth covering her head would show that she is UNDER the authority of the man. The cloth is supposed to cover her head, which would remain hidden underneath it.

The man’s own head is uncovered to show that he is (ultimately) under the authority of no one except Christ, Who is in heaven. That is another very good reason why the woman’s hair cannot be what is being spoken of, but is instead a cloth that she puts on top of her head, thereby concealing her own head and demonstrating that she is not the head. You lose the symbolism if her hair were her only covering.

No head showing = not the head (authority).

Head showing = the head (authority).

What does the text mean when it says that if she will not be covered, let her also be shorn? In basic English that is the same as saying, “if she won’t put something on top of her head, like a cloth, let her hair be cut off, too.” Having no covering is just as shameful as looking like a man with short hair; if she refuses to cover, she’s saying she wants to be like a man, so let her take things to their logical conclusion and just do away with her last vestiges of femininity, let her shame be complete. But, if hair were the covering, this verse wouldn’t make sense, since it would read, “if she won’t grow her hair long, then let her cut her hair short.” How can she cut her hair off if it’s already cut off?

If her head is uncovered, it is “even all one as if” she were shaven. In everyday English as if doesn’t mean “exactly the same as”; it means “like,” “similar to,” “kind of close.” If her head is uncovered, it’s similar to having her head shaved or her hair cut short. Similar to, but not the same as, because having short hair and being uncovered are not the same thing. It is shameful to have her hair cut short, to have it shaved, or to have it uncovered by not placing a cloth over it while praying or prophesying; those things may be equally shameful (or close to it), but they are not identical actions.

In the video, Pastor Anderson makes it a big point to “prove” that being shorn and being shaven are the same thing. I think his logic runs like this: If the hair is the covering, then not being covered means having short hair; so, when the text says to “let her also be shorn,” it cannot mean having her hair cut short since by his interpretation it is already cut short, so we should understand the word “shorn” to be synonymous with “shaven.” We should assume that the woman already has short hair, which she should shave off entirely to bring things to their logical conclusion. So, short hair is shaved off and becomes no hair.

He wants it to look like the only matter in view is whether she has long hair or short; he’s trying to take the cloth covering out of the equation. He is forced to interpret “shorn” as being the same as “shaven” since to interpret it as “cut short” would cause his reasoning to fall apart; his interpretation would no longer make sense.

He spends much time discussing the meaning of the word “shorn.” However, just as in English, in other languages too, one word can have different uses. So, to “trim the tree” can have at least two different meanings, depending on whether we are talking about a Christmas tree, or a tree out in the garden. I don’t think he proves without a doubt that to be shorn always means to be shaved, not even with the sheep example he utilizes: sheep have their hair shorn off, but honestly, it looks to me more of a cutting off than a shaving off. Nowadays they use electric razors, but back then they used shears (or sharp sickle-type knives, am I right?). Shears are scissors. As in, “the stylist used her shears instead of her electrical clipper to trim his hair.” So, being shorn and being shaven are not necessarily the same thing.

He reasons as he does, I think, to avoid the obvious conclusion that one would normally come to: God wants the woman–while praying or prophesying–to use a fabric headcovering. Long hair on its own isn’t enough. If she will not wear a headcovering, let her also be shorn. There’s nothing fancy about that, it just makes sense.

 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.

For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

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

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

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

Here we see two more reasons for covering. The first reason was given in verse three:

1)God’s design for an authority structure, a hierarchy of roles, a headship order.

Now, we are given two further reasons:

2)The need to keep God’s glory (the man) uncovered and to keep man’s glory (the woman, and the woman’s hair) covered, and

3)The creation order (the order and manner in which God created the male and the female).

Here’s my question: what covers up glory? How do you cover up brightness, splendor, radiance? By putting something over it, right? If a woman has long hair, that cannot be a sufficient covering since her hair is still showing, her glory is still shining. She must put something on over her hair (at least the hair closest to her head) in order to conceal her glory.

Additionally, the text says her hair is given her for a covering, not the covering. Pastor Anderson dismisses this point, but I think it’s important. In normal English, there can be a big difference between the word a and the word the. The phrases “I married a man,” and “I married the man,” have more than a little difference in meaning! A woman having long hair is what Nature teaches is appropriate, forming an example that sets a precedent for the cloth covering.  However, Special Revelation reveals more detail that nature by itself does not.

4)Nature forms the supportive, fourth reason for covering.

5)The fifth reason for covering, the angels, is not addressed in the sermon, and neither will I address it here.

A quick note: I usually lump reason number one (hierarchy and headship order) with reason number three (creation order) since I see them as being the same. Perhaps I am wrong to lump them together; I will continue to consider this. Here’s my reasoning on this point, and I why I feel somewhat unsure about it:

As far as hierarchy goes, we do not function as in the Old Testament; we no longer need priests to minister as intermediaries between God and us. In Old Testament times even the priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins, which was never adequate, not even for them. Christ formed the bridge for us to have direct access to God. So, one reason man is not supposed to cover his head is to demonstrate the direct relationship there now exists between (believing) mankind and God. Woman, in order to demonstrate the preservation of human roles, covers her head. Men and women’s roles have not changed, but mankind’s relationship to God has: in the Garden, man had direct access to God; at the Fall, that access was obstructed by sin; in the law and the priesthood a temporary but insufficient “relay system” from man to priest to God was set up; through the Cross, direct access to God was made a possibility again. Clearly, things have not remained consistently the same when it comes to our relationship to God.

Pastor Anderson tries to show that since God commanded the priests to cover up with turbans in the Old Testament, and since what is a dishonor to Christ now would have been a dishonor to Christ then, therefore headcovering is not the real issue here, but hair lengths. However, after pondering over his reasoning for some time, I think it makes more sense to think that the headcovering practice has indeed changed since Old Testament times because our relationship to God has changed.

Since hair lengths are related to nature, and nature does not change, therefore the practice of women keeping their hair long and men cutting theirs short should not change, and I agree with Pastor Anderson on this point. However, even though nature is used as an example to show how headcovering makes sense, headcovering is not based primarily on nature, but on God’s order for the church.

The Father’s relationship with the Son has remained constantly the same, and the man has always been in authority over the woman, but has the church always been subject to Christ? (Ephesians 5:22-24) There was a time when the church did not exist. So, though nature has not changed, the priesthood is a structure that has been replaced by a direct relationship between man and God through Christ. So, turbans are obsolete. The headcovering practice as prescribed in 1 Cor. 11:1-16 was not in effect during the Old Testament times, but applies only to those of us living during New Testament times.

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

Pastor Anderson does not address this verse. He asserts that women wore hats or bonnets only because of the weather and because it was the fashion. But what custom did the churches of God have? History reveals that the churches did not teach the long hair is the covering view, but they did expect women to place a veil over the top of their heads before coming together for the public assembly of believers. Their writings confirm this, and multiple paintings attest to it. We can see with our own eyes what their custom was. Any man who contradicts that custom is a contentious man.

It pains me to say this, but many leaders I respect greatly “seem to be contentious” in the area of headcovering. I wish that were not so. Please join me in praying that God would bring the truth to light for them, so they could see this issue clearly and bring their preaching in line with the Bible’s plain teaching.

If you end up watching the video, could you please share your thoughts? What did you think of Pastor Anderson’s objections to headcovering? Did they seem valid to you? Did they not? Why or why not? Thank you for sharing!

~Jessica

Advertisements

43 thoughts on “Straightforward English Helps us Understand Headcovering

  1. I think many people,evangelical teachers especially cringe by the thought that the New Testament teaches things that make our christianity plainly visible. I gueß most of them are afraid of this for the danger of (easier)persecution or maybe for the danger of putting too much weight on outward symbols. So they either ignore, dismiss or explain away such passages. Of course, the heart is always the most important thing but Jesus told us that we would be mocked and hated. But these days we are quite accepted overall i find. Are they afraid to risk this general acceptance by going too literal? In other countrys christians are hated up until having to face death. I am actually convimced that a litttle leß acceptance would even do us some good.
    I found it for me important to take the bible literal because i am getting very confused by filtering out the right answer out of so many different oppinions. And for the sake of 1.Kor.11,i think it is not hard to understand the literal meaning. Not in English nor in German, my language.
    But it takes a whole sermon to explain it away 😄haha!
    Jessica, your response to the sermon is very founded are you send it to the preacher?

    Like

    • No, I have not sent it to the preacher. I don’t know that it would be appropriate for me to entangle myself in a potential debate with him!
      This post was mainly a chance for me to work through the arguments he put forth so I could solidify my understanding of what the Bible really teaches. That, and so that other ladies could benefit hopefully from this intense study, too.
      Thanks!
      Jessica

      Like

  2. I do not understand why he opposes headcovering so much.To tell the truth,some of his words gave me a shock.

    But I think that God may not give all right answers in all area to one person,one church,one denomination .For us to seek Him constantly,humbly and to need each other as a body of Christ.

    If recent recovery of headcovering is our God’s will,it will continue surely,even if there are so many opposite opinions,I believe.I just hope that His will be done.

    Like

    • Sanae,
      Some of his words were a shock to me, too!
      I have been thinking lately along the same lines as you. If we all have the same Bible, why don’t we all understand it the same? I mean, on the “basic” issues? Different backgrounds, different experiences, and maybe even pride could all be factors. But I think your explanation certainly does have merit.
      Thank you!
      Jessica

      Like

  3. I loved his explanation aboit long hair and short hair. I accepted(kind of)that not everyone agrees on headcovering but it just makes me so sad that so many of my church recently cut their hair and nobody says a thing (my church is not ‘legslistic’anymore)
    If anyone doubts headcovering surely nobody should be able to didmiss the gender/hairlenght point.

    Like

    • That’s what one would think…
      Ruth, my church and your church sound very similar. In my church, short hair on women and long hair on men is a non-issue, sadly. My husband even thought that someone I know to be a Christian was bisexual because of his long hair. So much confusion, sometimes, and it could be avoided if we just followed the Bible.
      I also liked the Pastor’s explanation regarding different hair lengths for men and women (one of the few things I did enjoy).
      Jessica

      Like

  4. I thought about watching the video but I have seen heard too many anti-covering sermons and they are are upsetting to me. I may watch it out of curiosity. I don’t get how men who remove there hats in church aren’t looked at strange but if a woman wears a covering, she is considered weird. I don’t get it.

    Like

    • I don’t know about you but I wish Church’s generally were more ‘legalistic’ in putting more pressure on members to follow Biblical teaching.

      Like

      • They are very afraid to drive people off and loose members i think. But maybe there are always only a few that really are ready to go all the way. We are so priviliged in the western world but also very lukewarm. Gueß the best weapon would be sincere prayer. For oirselves for our churches. And is not the headcovering a great reminder that we want to accept Gods autority first?

        Like

    • Regina,
      Yeah, I don’t get it, either.
      Actually, the same reason you hesitate to watch the sermon is the very same reason I put it off for so long! I get depressed and am tempted to feel bitter after watching or hearing antagonistic messages against headcovering.
      But afterwards I read the text again, do more studying, talk to my online friends, and am able to overcome those feelings.
      For sure, though, watching those anti-headcovering sermons is not something I am willing to subject myself to often!
      Jessica

      Like

  5. I haven’t watched it yet, but I think I will. In the mean time, may I just point out that understanding the original Greek is something that my DH has taught me is VERY beneficial! How could any pastor claim that the English translation could possibly be more accurate than the original language? I can recall so many passages that became illuminated to me after studying the Greek. I find that simply absurd…but again, I haven’t seen the video yet so I will let you know after I watch it. I liked what you had to say a lot Jessica.

    God Bless,
    Corinna

    Like

  6. His argument about the word “shorn” meaning shaved based on it’s use in Acts and Numbers is false because the word used in the Septuagint (which is what Jesus read and taught from 90% of the time) says that word means “cut,” not “shaved.” Which is also the same word used in 2 Samuel 14:26 where is says that Absalom “cut” his hair once a year because it was too heavy.

    Anyway…it makes me sad that pastors are teaching head covering as false doctrine. Why are so many people afraid of the truth? Even I, a woman who grew up completely independent, modern and liberal for over 30 years (only baptized a couple of years ago), can see that God created women to serve in a certain role, and even though it goes against everything I ever believed, I CANNOT refute it. God is right, and if I think differently, I am wrong! Women (and men it seems), are so afraid to accept biblical womanhood. They are so afraid to even talk about it. And they make women who want to be obedient to God seem like the outcasts, the heretics, the followers of false teachings. I simply want to cry about it sometimes. Sorry for the rant.

    God Bless,
    Corinna

    Like

    • I completely understand your feelings, Corinna!
      Pastor Anderson does teach that women should wear skirts and dresses only, that they should submit to their husbands, and that they should leave family planning in God’s hands. So, he does take a stand on those issues, which I am thankful for.

      However, he does seem a little careless and sloppy in regards to tackling the issue of headcovering, and a LOT antagonistic! I think he is not being honest with himself and with the Bible. Why? I don’t know.

      Maybe, like Ruth mentioned, he sees headcovering as being too formal and ritual-like. Maybe he knows some Calvinists who believe in headcovering, and he lumps their belief in it together with their belief in the five points of Calvinism, and wants to throw everything out all together (he is Armenian, I believe; not that I know a whole lot about what that means, though I do wish I knew a bit more than I currently do.)
      Jessica

      Like

      • Jessica,
        I haven’t heard any of his other teachings, but I am glad to hear that he at least takes a stand on those other issues (although I myself struggle greatly with the family planning issue). I do think that many pastors shy away from teaching about head covering because it is such a visible symbol, and they know that a lot of women (and men) recoil from it for some reason. I know so many otherwise very Godly women who will become actually angry and very defensive if the topic is even broached! I also find your thoughts on the Calvinist/Armenian issue interesting.

        I do know that the division comes into play when talking about limited vs. unlimited atonement, unconditional vs. conditional election, total and partial depravity, the argument of whether God’s grace is irresistible or not, and whether or not salvation is conditional. I’m not sure where head covering comes to play in this, but I think I might like to research that a bit. Mostly I find that people believe in a mixture of these two theologies. I myself do not tend to dwell too much on them as I mostly feel like they distract me from my true purpose and relationship with Christ. Although many would argue that head covering ect. does the same thing. I would disagree. Mostly because head covering is a command and not a theological concept, in my opinion. I do enjoy studying theology just for intellectual edification however!

        God Bless,
        Corinna

        Like

      • Corinna,
        Thanks for helping me understand more about the Five Points. I think that I am much like you: I do not dwell on those issues overly much, but choose to focus on the clear teachings of Scripture, and accept as a mystery that which I am not able to understand. Headcovering, though, is a clear command, as you said, and not at all mysterious.

        I don’t think that Calvinism and headcovering are necessarily intertwined; I think that he views Calvinism as a “works salvation” sort of system (judging by his comments in the video), and he sees headcovering as an outworking of that. He seems to think headcovering is a form of trying to please God by our own merits. At least as far as headcovering goes, he is incorrect. Women who headcover, at least the ones I know, are not trying to earn their salvation; they are simply trying to obey the straightforward commands of Scripture.

        The other thing he brings up is that women who headcover are trying to draw attention to themselves. This comment makes me very sad. From reading many testimonies of headcovering women, and from my own experience, I know that that is exactly what we DON’T want to do! We hate to draw attention to ourselves. It is often embarrassing for us to do anything that would set us apart from everybody else, and we struggle greatly with the wish to fit in. But, our wish to please God overcomes the wish to fit in, and we fight to triumph over our weak flesh so that we can live as God commands and not as we ourselves might have wanted. It’s an area of great vulnerability and is very challenging. I wish people could see the tenderness of our hearts. I wish they could see the nobleness there, too: the holy fire put in our hearts by God for Him and His Word, that not even a fear of man can quench. It is our love for the Lord that drives us, and not our vanity. I wish Pastor Anderson could see that, as well as many others who think the way he does.

        Jessica

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that women naturally accept Biblical Womanhood but all sorts of factors rooted in sin lead them to question it because it is not and is not intended to be the easiest form of life.

    With men again inanely they not only accept it but find it attractive in a woman but the feminist lobby makes them afraid to admit express their wish that women should follow a Godly path. As an example most men are glad to meet a woman who will fornicate but want to marry one who will not. Most would prefer their wife to stay at home but are afraid to insist on it.

    My husband is very traditionalist but even he was bashful (at first) of expressing his wishes.

    Like

  8. Susanne,
    I agree. The feminist lobby and the alt radical left has made it almost impossible for men to admit to believing in traditional biblical roles for women with out being accused of perpetuating a misogynist patriarchal abusive agenda! As if any man, or woman for that matter, is a horrible person for wanting to promote God’s intended plan for women. Very sad!

    Like

    • Susanne and Corinna,
      Another sad phenomena: the lazy man, and the insecure man.
      The lazy man doesn’t want to work and wants his wife to instead, because he would rather sit around playing games on the computer.
      The insecure man doesn’t trust his own ability to make ends meet, and asks his wife to work in order to form a cushion of support.

      Either way, those men have been influenced by Feminism, just in different ways than the type of man you both mentioned, the shy man.

      We as women are not biblically supposed to teach men or have authority over them. We are not supposed to tell them what to do. But you know what? We have the huge privilege and responsibility (together with our husbands) of molding the next generation of male leaders–our own sons! (I don’t know if you have children, this is just to make a point.)

      So then, let’s teach our sons to not be afraid to be manly, and let’s show them how women should act by being an example of reverence in our relationship with our husbands. Our sphere of greatest influence is our own home; as they say, she who rocks the cradle rules the world (not that I advocate trying to rule the world 🙂 ).

      I think Feminism, out of disdain for the cradle, attempts to rule the word, so to speak, by forcefully clawing and clutching at power; but, the little babes that at this hour now grasp their mother’s skirts will one day grow up to be the sort of leaders by nature that women could never be by willpower and manipulation.
      Jessica

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Jessica,
    I love this! Yes, we do have the ability to mold our sons into the strong male leaders of tomorrow. I pray constantly that I may mold my children into soldiers for Christ! I struggle with my own situation now (which is a direct result of the horrible sins I commited before finding Jesus), but I don’t want my children to suffer like I do! I want to teach them to love an obey Christ and their God given roles now, so that they don’t have the regrets that I do. Btw, I have 5 children between the ages of 5 and 18.

    God Bless,
    Corinna

    Like

    • Corinna,
      My situation and yours sound similar. I made horrible mistakes when I was younger, but I try to teach my children to follow God’s ways and not the way I used to live for a few years when I was young and foolish.

      Whatever our past may be, God calls us forward to the better life He has planned for us: a life of living for Him now, of triumphing over sinful tendencies through His Spirit, of applying what we’ve learned to how we raise our children, as you point out.

      I saw a sign in front of a church yesterday which read, “Defeat is not falling down. Defeat is falling down and not getting back up.” So true! I guess what I’m trying to do in my own life is a radical but biblical sort of “getting back up.” I failed before, but now I want to live for God. That includes modesty, trusting God in our family planning, headcovering, and extends beyond those issues into other areas, too. It’s “radical,” but doesn’t God say He doesn’t want us to be lukewarm?

      I think He’s pleased with us, and we shouldn’t let other people pull us down by their complacency, their mediocrity, and their negativity.

      I’m so glad to hear that you have five children! May God bless you and your family.
      Jessica

      Like

  10. I very much agree that that in bringing up our children we should be completely un afraid to teach them to embrace the roles God designed for them however counter cultural that is.

    Especially especially especially given the evil influence of feminism it is important that we raise our daughters to follow Gods path. For most that should mean to be wives and devote themselves to motherhood and to keeping their home. For others a life devoted to God.

    Again utterly against the influence of feminism but it is our responsibility to teach them the importance of modesty and of submission and that purity before and chastity within marriage is an absolutel obligation and an essential prerequisite of Christian marriage.

    We should also teach our boys to not only value and respect Biblical Feminity but to be un afraid to demand it from their wives, daughters and sisters.

    Finally as Christian women we should lead by example, understand that as women it is our failures our pride and our vanity which is at the root of so much sin and ask our husbands and fathers to use all means in the family, in Church, in society and in law to guide and if necessary force us to follow God’s design for us to defeat feminism at every level.

    Like

  11. If you look into history feminism arose out of a huge amount of abuse.The society for a long time treated women not the way it was meant by God. Biblical understanding of gender roles is NOT the same as what happened and still happens to women. Applying biblical gender understanding results in stromg marriages and families. Any other form will end in hurt and bitterness. I know that many feminists are either hurt or just very discontent in their life. They desperatly need Jesus. Only then it will be possible for these people to accept their gender/role

    Like

    • Ruth,
      I think you are right. I also think that even though the rise of feminism was in PART due to cases of abuse, it was also due to women simply rebelling against what they viewed as an inferior role.

      Today, why are women feminists? It’s not so much that they are reacting against abuse in their own lives, as it is that they have a false concept of what it means to be fulfilled. So, yes, you are right, as long as they don’t fully understand the truth about Jesus, Who is the only One Who can fulfill us and Who created our roles for our good, they will keep searching for self-fulfillment where they will never find it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly at every time there has been sin and the weak have been abused and were in need of a voice and of protection. But it is hard to argue that ‘pre-feminist’ Christian society was not in huge part much closer to Biblical teaching than what we have after 100 years of feminism.

      Go back to that time, to a time when society was centred on the patriarchal family. When women and girls were expected to dress modestly, went premarital sex was very rare, when contraception, abortion and divorce were illegal, went if she worked outside the home a woman was required to give up her job when she married. Etc etc doubtless imperfect in many ways but far better than our society.

      Like

    • I think that the fight against abuse and exploitation (for example of child labour) lead to much wonderful Christian and charitable work. But feminism is fundamentally opposed to Biblical values in every aspect of its aims and its rejection of morality. It is also highly exploitative, though the promotion of immodest dress and most of all contraception and abortion it has allowed men to regard women purely as sex objects for self gratification.

      Like

      • Susanne,
        Since starting this journey of biblical womanhood, I have noticed the layers of misconception falling gradually away from my thinking. Some of the things I used to think of as good for women, I now have reconsidered. On the surface they appear to be advances, and they are acclaimed as such, but are they really? I agree that Feminism is a cloud that promises much, but in the end leaves us dry and empty.

        Like

  12. You know, I’d like to share another thought I think is worth mentioning: because the issues of headcovering and biblical roles for women are very sensitive (for both those of us who support those things since we face opposition and misunderstanding, as well as for those who resist those things since it rubs against their flesh), it is of great importance to guard against bitterness and resentment. We must nurture within ourselves the peace and patience of the Lord. By this gentle approach, we will win others around us to the ways of God. But, if we are angry and argumentative; if we walk around with a chip on our shoulders, we will turn people away from God’s beautiful ways. I make this point not so much for other’s sake, but for my own, because I recognize that there is a tendency to let my frustrations become predominant.

    Thank you to all the ladies who have commented on this topic! I loved reading your thoughts, and if you have anything more to add, I would certainly love to hear more!
    Jessica

    Like

  13. You are so right Jessica. I too sometimes need to fight the tendency that discouragement turns into resentment even bitterneß. I dont wamt to become angry and bitter. Jesus wants us to be gentle. Not that we sometimes need to openly addreß our our conviction to others but not in an angry demanding tone.
    For the video i was also greatly irritated by Mr Anderson calling us again and again ‘head covering crowd’this is absolutely disrspectfull towards fellow believers who sincerely wish to apply the word of God as they see it. This kind of disrespect is widely spread among us christians. I’ve heard this tone many times against all sorts of different denominatioms and convictions. I strongly believe that the Lord will know his own and he also will ne the judge. It is wrong to mock christians who have a different stand on things.I ve met with MANY people of very different denominations and couleurs on our travelings and we felt close connection in the holy spirit. Jesus calls us to love fellow men and to hate sin. I’m sure Pastor Amderson will not be able to proof head covering sin.
    So:love and blessings to you fellow headcovering sisters no matter wich is your denomination😉😃

    Like

    • Thank you, Ruth, for that beautiful reminder!

      I think that whenever we form ourselves into “that group versus our group,” not much good can come from it.

      Is there a right way of believing and a wrong way of believing? Absolutely! God wants us to proclaim the truth to those around us.

      Yet at the same time, we can also be thankful for the things that we share in common with others, and we can treat them with gentleness and respect, so as not to hurt their feelings unnecessarily.

      Sometimes people getting their feelings hurt can’t be helped; but if we can tell them the truth in a way that is at the same time sensitive and considerate, so much the better. This is a lesson I am learning, so it is very applicable to my own life.
      Jessica

      Like

  14. Pingback: Covering The Web: Jan 23/17 | The Head Covering Movement

  15. Sorry for not getting a chance to comment sooner – my schedule’s been swamped.

    Pastor Anderson is infamous for being outrageous – he’s sort of like the crazy guy in a reality t.v. show that people keep on voting through to see what antics he will pull next. I remember hearing that he once preached that Jesus wore blue jeans because they’re masculine, completely forgetting that back in that day and age, blue jeans hadn’t been invented. It’s important to remember that not everyone with the title of “pastor” actually is one in any meaningful sense of the word. And some people who don’t have the title / aren’t permitted it are far better pastors that some of those who are.

    I guess we have to consider whether or not we consider one’s hair a part of one’s head, or we consider hair to be covering the top of one’s head, or perhaps doing both, it is the top of one’s head that covers the top of their head. I know that there were some German monks who would cut the very top of their hair, but leave the rest of their hair growing called a tonsure. If they shaved the top of their heads, then that might indicate that they viewed that hair was a covering that men shouldn’t have.

    I don’t think that God particularly cares whether or not people are covered / uncovered when not praying or prophesying, so it doesn’t matter what you do. I’m not sure that the covering has to be removeable when not in use. Every illustration I’ve seen of ancient Jews shows some of them always wearing a prayer shawl, even when they’re not praying. Since they don’t know when/where they might to stop to pray, they always had it with them. It’s not like the rule is: “You mustn’t be covered when you’re not praying or prophesying.” Let’s put it this way if the rule is: “You must use an umbrella on rainy days.” doesn’t mean that “You’re forbidden from using an umbrella on sunny days.” It’s just considered strange – unless you want to use it as a shade.

    Dishonor. Shame. Two concepts in our society that likely don’t carry the same meaning. These two ideas are usually bound to some cultural idea. Does it follow that what was thought to be shameful / dishonorable ages ago is still true to this day? I should hope not – otherwise we would have to treat women – like the one with the issue of blood – as shameful in general and we’ve kind of grown beyond that. It’s partially because we’re a guilt / innocence society and honor is only a vestige of what it once was.

    Looking back at verse three – it occurs to me that “head” can mean a lot of things in English – from one’s physical head, to being first, to being on top, to being a part of a unit (like a hundred head of cattle doesn’t mean 100 cattle’s heads, but 100 individual cows), a leader, the upper part of a river where it begins, it can be the most important word in a phrase – so we have to wonder how/why head is assumed to mean ‘authority’ when some of the other senses of the word are just as valid (if not moreso.) One reason I find it hard to accept that God wants an authority structure / hierarchy of roles / leadership order is that he waited until 1 Corinthians 11 to say so – he didn’t put this verse in Genesis 1, he didn’t lay it down in Deuteronomy, and Jesus didn’t even say as much in any of the gospels. If this was so vitally, critically important, why the wait?

    Like

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Cody!
      Well, to start out with, I agree that not all “Pastors” really are what their name implies.

      Next, you mentioned that “I don’t think that God particularly cares whether or not people are covered/uncovered when not praying or prophesying, so it doesn’t matter what you do.” I agree. I don’t wear a covering when I’m cooking dinner or taking out the trash; I only wear it when I go to church, when I read the Bible with my children, and when we pray together (there are a few other times I cover, but that’s a basic summary). My husband never wears a hat to church. He doesn’t wear hats anyway, but if he did, it wouldn’t matter if he wore one the whole rest of the time, just as long as he took it off at church and when praying together with others. I don’t know about everybody else, but I do not make the argument for full-time covering (for women), or full-time NOT covering (for men); I only concern myself with covering or not covering specifically during the activities of praying or prophesying.

      Shame. You’re right that society changes, and that not everything considered shameful back then is seen as shameful now. However, God says that the reasons it is shameful for a woman to not cover her head, and for a man to cover his, during praying or prophesying, are because of
      1)the hierarchy of roles He has established,
      2)the order in which He created the first male and female,
      3)Nature, and
      4)angels.
      Which of those things is linked to society’s opinion of what is shameful? None. God’s reasons for headcovering/not covering are based on timeless principles that don’t change no matter how much our society might change.

      You’re right that “head” can have a lot of meanings in English! To understand what “head” means in this passage (1 Cor. 11:1-16), we must read the passage in context; it is clear that what is meant is “authority.” So, God has authority over Jesus, similar to how Jesus has authority over every man, similar to how man in general (and husbands in particular) have authority over the woman. This isn’t an isolated teaching found in 1 Cor. 11, but is a teaching found throughout Scripture, so your assertion that “God…waited until 1 Corinthians 11 to say so” is simply not accurate. There are plenty of other passages where God does indeed mention an authority structure. I could list the verses for you myself, but it might be easier if you do the research yourself. 🙂

      Thanks for joining in the discussion!
      Jessica

      Like

  16. Thank you for this post. It is the clearest, most thorough explanation I’ve seen of these passages (from either side of the head-covering debate). I have really been struggling with my beliefs about head coverings for about 4 years now, and I still don’t wear one. I grew up as a Southern Baptist pastor’s daughter, and am now a Southern Baptist pastor’s wife. I was taught that a woman’s hair is her covering, and always took that teaching without much thought. I read the one verse as proof of that, because that’s the way it was presented to me. But 4 years ago a woman decided to shave her head for cancer-awareness, and someone sent her to me to ask what the Bible had to say about a woman shaving her head. I landed in I Cor. 11, of course, and was confronted with an obvious truth that head coverings and hair were not the same thing.

    I have been so conflicted about it, and truthfully–afraid to embrace it. My husband just became a Senior Pastor about a year ago, and I really worry that my practice of covering my head would harm his ministry. Part of me feels guilty about this, but a bigger part of me is….. SCARED TO DEATH of how people in our church would react, how they would treat me, how it would affect my friendships with other women, and how it could possibly end my husband’s ministry in this church. (Maybe that’s just hysteria on the last one, but the fear is really there.)

    Could you offer any advice to someone in my position? When do you wear a head covering? Is it just public prayer, out loud prayer? What do you consider “prophesying”? That’s something I’m totally unsure of.

    Thanks so much for your blog and in advance for your reply! If you have other posts that already answer my questions–feel free to point me in that direction. 🙂 I’ll definitely be digging into lots of your posts!

    Like

    • Thank you for your sincere questions, Rachel! I actually looked at your blog the other day, at your meal-planning charts, and I thought: that is such a good idea, I need to come back here to learn more!

      You want my advice about headcovering? 🙂 I suggest you do whatever your husband wants. Headcovering is a symbol which represents the principle of submission. Obviously, it would be rather inconsistent to apply the symbol without observing the principle behind it (which I am sure you already know). So, talk with your husband about it. If he’s open to it, study it together. Let him be the one to decide. If HE becomes convinced that you should wear a headcovering, and instructs you to do so (or at least agrees with your doing so, and allows it with his blessing) then HE is responsible for the outcome as it relates to his congregation. That takes the pressure off of you, and should relieve your fears. 🙂

      Now, what do I consider prophesying? In the latter chapters of 1 Corinthians (after headcovering is discussed) prophesying is mentioned. From a reading of those passages, it appears that prophesying is saying whatever God moves someone to say. This could be something He says directly to us, but more likely is something He has already said in His word that He wants us to remind others of. So, I think of modern “prophesying” as reading the Bible out loud and sharing it with others. I cover whenever I read the Bible with my children, and even when I have my personal time of Bible reading. I cover at church. I cover when we pray before meals (at home). The other day when the Jehovah’s Witnesses came, I put on a scarf before heading outside, and covered my head with it after we started talking.

      Hope that helps to answer your questions! Feel free to ask any more…
      Jessica

      Like

  17. I completely agree. I am a strong believer in head covering but it is something you need to discuss with your husband and as with all important decisions you should submit to his wishes especially since it has a direct impact on his ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thankyou for this post and comments. This topic has always been foggy for me. You all have opened my eyes to so much. I thank God for you.

    Like

    • You are very welcome, jenecolvin! So nice to hear from you!

      I hope that God will help this topic become even more clear to you as you study His word (the full text of 1 Corinthians 11 is a great place to start, for a closer look at this issue).

      Jessica

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s